Look for Marc LaCouvée's monthly article in every edition of The Beacon Magazine (www.eyesonbc.com)!
PARKSVILLE & QUALICUM BEACH FORECAST FOR HOUSING IN 2011
Happy New Year and Welcome to 2011! I hope the Holiday season treated you all very well. Skiing at Mount Washington was a big part of my family’s festive season and now it is time to get back to school and work.
As a REALTOR®, I have been monitoring the market statistics and looking at the economic data for our local region. Thank heavens for Economics 101! Perhaps the most common question I’ve been asked over the Holidays has been “How will our local housing market fare in 2011?” People are wondering if we will see volatility or stability. Are we coming into a buyer’s, seller’s or balanced market?
In the reading and research I’ve done, there is a common belief that British Columbia will likely lead the country in home sales activity next year. The market will be characterized by plenty of inventory, steady demand and moderate growth in both unit sales and prices. Although the BC economy will probably only experience modest growth through 2011, the province is in a relatively strong position. Nearly all BC jobs lost during the recession have been recouped.
A gradual pace of growth will be a good thing for our province, keeping inflation and interest rates low. If borrowing costs were to escalate rapidly, there could be a sharp erosion in home affordability. Fortunately, a quick increase in interest rates is not expected to occur. The Bank of Canada appears to be staying the course in keeping interest rates low.
Because a very large portion of home sales in the Parksville and Qualicum Beach region are to retirees, our local market is much less susceptible than others to macro-economic conditions such as volatility in the resource sector. Overall, we should be seeing a very balanced market in 2011 with increased consumer confidence and historically low interest rates still available.
One key indicator of the health of our local housing market is sales of luxury homes. In 2009, only 9 single family homes over $1 million sold in the Parksville/Qualicum region. In 2010, up to the end of November, that number had more than doubled with 20 single family homes over the $1 million mark sold in this area! That certainly demonstrates significant confidence in the Oceanside real estate market!
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