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Powell River housing demand outnumbers supply

Average home prices in upper Sunshine Coast area continue to rise
TRENDING UPWARD: Real estate prices in May 2017 rose by 2.1 per cent in Powell River compared with the same month in 2016, but the overall number of residences sold dropped from 63 to 36. Contributed photo

Powell River’s real estate market saw fewer homes listed and sold in May compared to one year ago, but the average price of houses continues to climb.

BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its May real estate sales figures for the province on Tuesday, June 13. Home sales slumped provincially by almost eight per cent and total dollar volume dropped by 4.2 per cent compared to May 2016.

Powell River Sunshine Coast Real Estate Board president Neil Frost said last month’s numbers did not come as a surprise.

“What’s happening now is exactly what we predicted,” said Frost. Powell River will continue to be a seller’s market for the foreseeable future, he added.

Rising consumer demand for houses around the province has not coincided with a corresponding increase in listings, according to BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir.

Muir said it is not a new trend and since 2012 home supply on the market has decreased by half.

“The entire southern portion of the province is experiencing a shortage of supply, which makes continuing upward pressure on home prices inevitable, at least in the near term,” stated Muir in the release.

Year-to-date residential real estate sales volume is down 25.2 per cent to $30.6 billion compared to the same period in 2016. Residential sales decreased 20.1 per cent, while the average home price dropped 5.7 per cent to $709,541.

Frost said the story provincially is the same in Powell River, with the exception that home prices continue to rise locally.

Powell River saw a 2.1 per cent increase in the average price for a house, from $274,155 in May 2016 to $280,044 last month. However, there was a 42.9 per cent drop in the number of residences sold in those two months, from 63 in May 2016 to 36 last month.

In May, 125 Powell River residences were listed for sale compared to 130 this month last year.

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