Low inventory, record-high prices stressing Nanaimo real estate market

By Ian Holmes
April 27, 2017 - 6:12pm Updated: April 27, 2017 - 10:31pm

A lack of for sale signs in front of Nanaimo area homes is pushing prices skyward.Sean Kilpatrick

A continuous trend in the Nanaimo area of low inventory and rising pricesVancouver Island Real Estate Board

NANAIMO — An imbalanced mid-island real estate market has raised tensions for many people linked to the industry, according to the president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.

Janice Stromar said an inventory shortage is pushing sale prices to record levels.

“As long as the demand remains more than the supply, the prices will keep going up,” Stromar, a Nanaimo realtor, told NanaimoNewsNOW.

She said just 200 single-family homes were for sale in the Nanaimo area last month, enough to satisfy demand for only two months. She noted a balanced market would have at least 500 homes up for grabs.

The average sale price of a Nanaimo area single-family home in March was a record-high $502,696, 15 per cent higher than March of last year. Stromar noted 81 of the 83 multi-family homes that had for sale signs in Nanaimo last month exchanged hands.

Stromar said multiple offers on a home has become the new norm, after only happening occasionally in the past. She said she's often finding herself closely counseling clients looking to buy.

“And telling them to not perhaps look at the maximum amount they want to spend, to look at houses slightly less than that so they have more buying power when it comes to making an offer on a home.”

Stromar said some homeowners are only selling if they can find another place to go.

“It's not a rampant condition that we see, (but) it does happen.”

Stromar said a seller's market is tough on most people involved, with the exception being those downsizing or the few cashing out to a more affordable market.

She noted life has been a rough for many of the estimated 375 realtors in the Nanaimo-area who are burdened by a severe lack of listings. She said the imbalanced market issue has been present for the past year in Nanaimo.

Stromar expected inventory levels to improve over the next few months and the rapid rise in average sale price to slow.


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