Recent AVTimes article on the housing market
Posted on Aug 5, 2012 in Mortgage Market Updates and News
Friday's newspaper included an article on the recent Vancouver Island Real Estate Board statistics report released. The article was an interview with our VIREB Director, Gary Gray of Coast Realty.
Upon reading the title, "Housing sales up 5%, says VIREB report', being in the Real Estate Industry, I was very excited to read the article. I love to read positive news, especially when it involves our real estate market. As I read through the article, I have to say unfortunately I was very disappointed.
While I do agree we need to be realistic and not sugar coat the market, as the intention is never to mislead any potential purchaser, I don't believe in putting a negative spin on positive statistics.
The article discusses the recent VIREB report that states Port Alberni's average housing price increased this July over last July by 5%, $230,958, from $219,229 in 2011. In addition it goes on to say we had a 53% increase in number of homes sold, over last July. I do agree with one point Gray made that the average home price can be skewed and not necessarily an indicator of where we're at. As we have such a range of housing levels in Port Alberni, from $80K town homes, to $2Million lake homes, one sale one way or the other can make a month's average price look really good or really bad. Gray points out that you really need to see a trend over a few months, before reading much into that number. That I agree.
I don't however agree with the rest of the article and especially the overall tone of it. I don't care how you look at it, 53% increase in number of homes sold this July over last July is a good thing. There's no way around that. The article quotes Gray saying, "I hate to say this, but it's the same story every month in Port Alberni. It sounds like we're in a pretty crazy market, but we're not." It goes on to point out that the Port Alberni region had the least unit sales of all 6 regions. I just feel like this is a very negative way for our region representative to portray our market. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and in mine, all the positives of the VIREB report were missed, and the negatives stressed.
It wasn't mentioned, that the Port Alberni region had the highest growth in unit sales, of all six regions over last year with our 53%. The average being 14% and 3 of 6 actually decreasing from their number of sales last July. As well the statement, 'the Port Alberni region had the least number of unit sales of all 6 regions', doesn't take into account our size. Does it make sense to compare directly Port Albenri's number of sales with Nanaimo's? They have roughly 3.5 times our population. If you do the math and compare accounting for populations, Port Alberni would actually be right in the middle for number of sales, not at the bottom. We're the second smallest region population wise, with Parksville Qualicum (the smallest), very close, so it would make sense that we'd have the fewest sales, but pointing it out without mentioning populations is misleading.
I'm not trying to say that Port Alberni's market is thriving, most market's currently aren't, but I think to imply ours is worse off than others is a bit unfair. As a mortgage professional in Port Alberni, some trends I've been seeing include current residents purchasing rental properties due to strong rents and low housing costs. I see this saying Port Alberni residents are confident in our market. I also see young families getting into the market who wouldn't be able to afford to in other markets. I myself moved back to Port Alberni after living in Victoria for 4 years because home ownership was appealing to me, and achievable here versus in Victoria. I see that as a positive to our market:)
To read the AV Times article and see the report on July's Market Statistics, see links below: