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Housing market still active in Powell River region

Sales for May 2021 considerably higher than previous year
HOUSING SALES: May 2021 real estate sales figures indicate a still-strong market in the Powell River region, with property prices remaining high.

May 2021 was another strong month for real estate sales in the Powell River region, with more than $27 million in transactions.

Neil Frost, president of the Powell River Sunshine Coast Real Estate Board, said the market is still active. He added, however, that realtors will see if changes made to the mortgage qualifying rate are going to affect the local market.

Frost said the change will likely be harder on younger and first-time buyers. The mortgage stress test is carried out by borrowers to determine whether potential buyers can sustain their mortgage payments if interest rates increase.

“We’ll see if it’s going to have an impact on our market,” added Frost.

First-time buyers are now looking at housing prices that have nudged into the $500,000 range, according to Frost. The property transfer tax threshold, where first-time buyers were exempt up to $500,000, may now be punitive for first-time buyers.

Frost said the average and median price ranges for May 2021 are perhaps a little misleading because there have been sales of some high-end properties that could skew the ranges.

There is some concern as local tenants are being displaced by housing sales, according to Frost. He said a number of investors are selling right now.

Frost said while property sales are down from April 2021, realtors are still seeing healthy activity and multiple bids.

“We’re still seeing houses selling quite quickly,” said Frost. “We are seeing listings come on the market. There’s a bit more selection. It’s still a strong market.”

In terms of single-family homes, in May 2021, there were 28 houses sold, valued at $15,256,665, compared to 17 houses, valued at $6,012,400 in May 2020.

For single-family manufactured homes and mobiles, there were three sold in May 2021, valued at $677,900, compared to two in May 2020, valued at $188,900.

In the condo, apartments and duplexes category, 10 properties sold in May 2021, valued at $3,773,600, compared to four properties, valued at $600,900, in May 2020.

The total for residential sales in May 2021 was 41 units, valued at $19,708,165, compared to 23 units, valued at $6,802,200, in May 2020.

On the non-residential side, there were eight units of vacant land sold, valued at $7,776,400 in May 2021, compared to two units, valued at $133,000 in May 2020.

In total, there were 49 units sold in May 2021, valued at $27,484,565, compared to 25 units in May 2020, valued at $6,935,200.

Average selling price for May 2021 was $544,881, compared to $353,671 in May of 2020. The median house price in May 2021 was $589,900, compared to $340,000 in May 2020.

In May 2021, there were a total of 87 new listings in the combined residential and non-residential categories, compared to 52 in May 2020. For the end of May 2021, there were 130 active listings in all categories.

Buyer statistics show that up to the month of April 2021 this year, 60 per cent of the buyers in the Powell River region were from out of town. This is up slightly from the 2020 full year statistics, which indicate 55 per cent of buyers were from out of town.

In terms of sellers in 2021, up to April, 84.5 per cent were local, while 15.5 per cent were from out of the area.