LOOKING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD
What does comparing Spring 2019 real estate market to 2018 tell us about where the real estate market is now going?
The increase in people from the western portion of BC who are finding our gem in the southeast corner of BC was quite evident in 2018. So, what can we expect for the balance of this year?
Well, so far this year it looks like we’re experiencing the after-effects of the decline in the major markets last fall for our neighbours to the west. Prices stalling and dropping in the BC Lower Mainland and Okanagan regions in the latter part of 2018 have influenced potential buyer’s plans to make a move to the Creston Valley and East Shore of Kootenay Lake for their main homes or vacation properties. If they can’t sell there for what they need to move here, it just doesn’t happen. A repeat of the increased market activity here last year has lost some of that 2018 momentum.
Last year’s brisk spring sales activity started to wane last fall with new mortgage qualifying rules put into effect and the stalling of these BC markets. This year sales in the Creston Valley and East Shore have retreated to near 2017 levels. Prices started to rise in 2018 but this year they have remained stable and the supply of homes are in similar territory as last year.
We continue to see people coming to the Creston Valley to retire to experience our relaxed small-town rural lifestyle. Our very favourable climate, great gardening capability, and an abundance of nature at our doorstep are still very desirable qualities that many people are seeking. Add in the new facilities and services we have added over the last few years and we are still an attractive choice for people wishing to escape city life or harsher climates.
The East Shore of Kootenay Lake continues to be a pristine, largely undiscovered area, with comparatively low-priced waterfront properties still available (albeit in limited supply every year). For those looking to enjoy one of BC’s finest large lakes without the crowds and traffic, here it is.
The majority of our area’s buyers still come from within the region or from the prairie provinces (mostly Alberta). In that regard, the last few years’ oil industry and economic woes there have put a damper on our market activity, particularly East Shore vacation properties.
Many people are still endeavouring to downsize from larger acreages and/or homes to simpler, smaller homes. An aging population drives this trend and the most common request is still for homes with few or limited stairs.
Statistics from the Kootenay Real Estate Board indicate a median home price for the Creston Valley and Rural areas adjacent continue to hover between approximately $ 250,000 to $ 285,000 which is very reasonable when comparing to other market areas in BC.
Months of inventory, a measure of how quickly properties are selling, show that in May we are at 15 months versus 8 months in 2018 and 12 months in 2017. There is still limited supply of homes in desirable lower price ranges but also fewer buyers in the game thus far in 2019 (versus 2018). An ongoing theme I hear from buyers is that they want to make a move to the valley but they aren’t finding exactly what they’d like to buy. We still are an area with a small population and a limited supply of properties. So often it’s a wait-and-see game for buyers (unless they opt to purchase something that is not quite ideal for them and make do/renovate it to suit).
Summer is on its way- perhaps the best time of the year to live and play in the Creston Valley and East Shore of Kootenay Lake!