Under Nanaimo


Written by on May 2nd, 2017

Market Strength Continues on Reduced Volume


Single Family Prices and Volume

139 single family homes sold in April, down 26% from the 188 sold in the same timeframe last year, and surprisingly down nearly 10% from the 154 that sold the previous month. The average home price dipped slightly, coming in at $497,224, down 1.09% from last month’s average, but still up nearly 14% year-over-year. If you’ve been following our commentary for a while now, you’ll be well aware that the average price isn’t the only determining factor in assessing the strength of a market. The median sell price is relied upon as a secondary measure which will not be skewed by a few high-priced homes selling at the top end of the market. April’s median price of $480,000 eclipsed March’s levels by merely $100, however, this figure represented a nearly 23% increase from the same period last year. We interpret more movement in the median than the average price as a signal that prices for homes at the low end of the market continue to accelerate. With average household incomes in Nanaimo no longer qualifying families for high ratio mortgages at average sale price levels, one could reasonably expect continued competitive market conditions on the back of heightened demand in the lower end of the market for the foreseeable future.

Strength of the Trend

Factors we also look at when analyzing a market to validate its strength are sell/list ratio; sell price; days to sell, and current inventory numbers:

The sell/list ratio moved downwards to 62% in April from 77% in March, and down from the 79% posted in April of 2016.

For the homes that did sell, the sell price/list price remained at 100%, up 1 point from 99% in April 2016. April’s figure is not suggesting every home is selling at 100% of the asking price as it is just an average, with some selling well below asking, and the most attractively priced offerings going into multiple offer situations and selling well above the list price in many cases. For a general frame of reference, typically anything 96-97% and above reflects strong market conditions.

The average number of days on the market decreased 32% month-over-month to 17, down 35% from a year earlier. Taken together with a 100% sell price/list price, these figures suggest that buyers continue to take aggressive action to avoid missing choice opportunities.

As of the end of April, the number of active listings is 277, up 13% from March, but down 2% from the 283 listed at the end of April last year. There were 225 new listings in April, which is down 5% from last year’s figure for April.  Given the limited supply and strong demand, it is no surprise that buyers continue to struggle to find suitable properties.

Only Found Here

Multiple Offers: In this section, we provide some insight into a sample of our team’s proprietary data analysis, as well as sharing how we make use of this information to formulate effective strategies for our buyers and sellers. With uber-competitive market conditions and multiple offer situations still dominating the headlines, this month we thought it would be timely to provide some insight into multiple offer situations happening in Nanaimo. The statistics provided focus on homes that sold above the asking price, so for the purposes of our analysis, these are assumed to have resulted from multiple offer situations. We’ve analyzed the 2017 statistics specific to single-family and strata (apartments/townhouses/patio homes), and the findings are as follows:

– Sales above list price: 224 or approx. 30%

– Average premium paid: 4.37%

– Largest premium paid: 22%

– 10% premium or more: 9 – approx. 4%

– Subject free offers: 36 – approx. 16%

– Average subject free offer premium: 5.42%

– Average days on market: 12

– Median days on market: 3

This is just a sample of some of the proprietary analysis we conduct when strategizing about how to best prepare our clients to be successful when bidding in multiple offer situations. We have also thoroughly examined the tendencies of competing agents, so we can advise our clients accordingly on how they can best position themselves for success. On the sell side,  information such as this is relied upon when helping our sellers position their homes to maximize their returns.

In multiple offer situations, it is vital that you are working with a Realtor who has a proven ability to successfully navigate multiple offer scenarios on both the buy and the sell side. On the sell side, experience is important to be able to determine the strength of the offer. Price is only one factor, so if there is a low probability of proceeding to completion, you have to factor this into your decision. Ask any realtor you are considering working with how many multiple offer situations they have been involved in this year, and more importantly, what the outcome has been. It will save you a lot of frustration in the long run.

Top Performing Neighbourhoods & Categories

16 of the 18 sub-areas defined by the real estate board in Nanaimo saw an increase in the average selling price (trailing 12 months) from March to April, with all 18 experiencing increased prices year-over-year.  These annual increases range from 5.57% to 33.10%. Top risers month-over-month were South Jingle Pot, Cedar, University District, Pleasant Valley, Central Nanaimo, and Upper Lantzville. Top performers year-over-year were Old City, Pleasant Valley, Chase River, Cedar and Lower Lantzville. As was noted last month, it is interesting that both of these lists were absent of the consistent top performers (North Nanaimo, Hammond Bay, Departure Bay) in the earlier stages of the current cycle. Looking at volume, risers both monthly and annually included Cedar, Chase River, and South Jingle Pot. There are two key observations here…Firstly, most price and volume risers are the traditionally more affordable neighbourhoods. Secondly, most of these neighbourhoods are near the city limits or in the cases of Cedar and Lower Lantzville, technically beyond. This is textbook market action for a maturing real estate market, as many buyers have now been priced out of the traditionally more desirable and/or more conveniently located neighbourhoods in relation to jobs and amenities, and must head further and further out to find a home in their price range.  With real estate being location specific, it is vital to know what is going on in your area when determining whether the timing may be right to sell your home. For buyers, neighbourhoods will experience differing price action throughout the cycle. Again, it pays to know what is happening in each sub-area, to determine whether a purchase would be prudent.

On lower volume, patio homes were the top performing category in April, followed by townhomes. If you have been following our commentary, this should not come as a surprise as we have been suggesting the babyboomer and empty nester demand should propel these categories forward.  While lot prices pulled back slightly after a strong March, average lot prices were still up substantially (75%) from the average price last April.


We are in a SELLER’s market. The opportunities undoubtedly are on the sell side. With approximately 30% of homes selling above the list price, there has never been a better opportunity for sellers for a quick sale at top dollar. If you have previously listed a property that didn’t result in a sale, now may be the perfect opportunity to re-enter the market. With prices rising rapidly, there is a strong chance that you would be able to list for more than you had previously and arrive at a sale in a timely fashion.

On the buy side, we see the residential market as a crowded space. If you are a bargain hunter looking to buy low and sell high, you should probably be considering other locations, as Central Vancouver Island has never had so much buyer demand competing for too few properties. For investors looking to diversify, one area that may be worth a look is an investment in commercial real estate. The commercial market traditionally lags the residential market, and while the residential market has gone crazy, commercial real estate has remained relatively subdued. As our population continues to grow with baby boomers increasingly choosing Central Vancouver Island as their retirement destination of choice, the need for service based businesses to meet the needs of the growing population is only poised to increase. More businesses equal more commercial real estate required. As we are seeing in the residential market, increased demand moves the pricing needle upwards. Commercial also seems to intimidate most residential investors, so competition is limited. Just some food for thought. Our team’s commercial real estate specialists are here to assist you in determining whether an investment in commercial real estate could be right for you at this time.

For a consultation specific to your situation, or if you have any questions about market conditions, please contact us at info@jahelkagroup.com and we would be happy to help.

Check out the Nanaimo Market Statistics Here: Monthly Statistics Nanaimo April 2017

Source: VIREB