Provincewide real estate figures released this week by Landcor Data Corporation compared all residential sales for the first nine months of 2019 with the same period last year.
It breaks down sales numbers, sale prices, sales volumes and what percentage of sales were above or below the assessed value — a gold mine of information for any homeowner.
Here are five interesting things to know:
1. Let’s start with Vancouver
Most of the horror stories around money being lost in residential real estate are based on sales of high-end detached homes in the province’s most-populous city.
Using detached homes as a bellwether, Landcor data shows that the value of a detached home in the city fell 11.3 per cent for the first nine months of this year compared to last, with the median price now being $1.825 million.
There were 1,172 detached homes sold from the start of January to the end of September this year, compared to 1,448 for the same period in 2018. The value of those sales fell from $3.8 billion to $2.76 billion. Almost 73 per cent of detached homes sold in Vancouver in the first nine months of 2019 went for below assessed value.
Condo owners in Vancouver experienced a 3.3 per cent rise in the median price on 30 per cent fewer sales.
2. LNG boom in Kitimat leads to huge jump in home values
There’s an energy boom underway in northwest B.C., driven by a $40-billion LNG project in Kitimat. There are already 1,000 workers setting up the construction site at the mouth of Douglas Channel, with 7,500 workers expected from 2022 to 2024. That creates a big need for housing and its shows in the data.
In Kitimat, the price of a detached home jumped almost 50 per cent in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2018. While the number of detached home sales actually fell from 99 to 91, the value of those sales soared from $28.1 million to $38.7 million, and only two homes sold for less than assessed value.
Nearby Terrace had a 21 per cent increase in the value of a detached home to an average of $385,000.
3. How are things in Surrey?
While owners of detached homes in Surrey fared better than in Vancouver, condo owners fared worse. There were 2,201 detached homes sales in the first nine months of 2019, a 22 per cent drop on the same period of 2018. Sales volumes were $2.7 billion for the same period compared to $3.6 billion. Interestingly, that shows that the total sales volumes in Surrey and Vancouver for detached homes are about the same.
The median price of a detached home fell three per cent to $1.038 million, while the median price of a condo was down 9.3 per cent to $365,700. Just over 50 per cent of detached homes sold in Surrey for the first nine months of 2019 went for below the assessed value.
4. The beautiful Kootenays are doing OK
A common refrain in Vancouver is “I’d love to live in Nelson.” It’s the Jewel of the Kootenays, rural with city touches, a world-class ski hill nearby and a reputation for cool known around the world.
The Landcor data shows several Kootenay towns doing well on the real estate front. In Nelson, the median price of a detached home rose 11.4 per cent to $440,000 — and despite the average assessed value of a detached home rising 16 per cent from 2018 to June 30, 2019, over 65 per cent of the homes sold in the first nine months of 2019 went for over assessed.
Salmo and Slocan saw a 27 per cent jump in detached home values, while Creston went up 10 per cent and Castlegar 11 per cent.
5. Victoria not so hot, but Langford is
Victoria has seen detached home values fall, though not as much as Vancouver. A detached home is now worth $790,000 on average, which is 4.8 per cent less than in 2018. Volumes are down slightly, with 171 sales in the first nine months of this year; almost 80 per cent of those sales were below the assessed value.
But west of Victoria, in Langford, detached home values soared 12 per cent in the same period, while detached homes in the Gulf Islands rose 19 per cent in average value.
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