Vancouver Islanders Purchasing Vancouver Island Real Estate

Posted: Aug 16, 2010


Largest Group of Buyers are Comox Valley Residents

Comox Valley home sales are always in the news regardless of what the market is doing.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board has carried out a detail survey of people who bought homes in the Comox Valley last year and the results of this survey were published.

Approximately 16% of buyers purchasing Comox Valley homes were from Alberta and an additional 4% of Comox Valley home buyers were from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This means that one in every five buyers came directly from the Prairies.

Mild Vancouver Island winters, together with recreational opportunities and easy transport links, attract buyers, despite the general economic downturn that occurred last year.

The largest group of Comox Valley home buyers totalled 36% and they were already living in the Comox Valley. These Vancouver Island home buyers were simply moving to a new place locally. However, some of those buyers had lived in the Comox Valley for less than a year, indicating they were in interim accommodation while they searched for their ideal Comox Valley home.

An additional 18% came from elsewhere on Vancouver Island, including Victoria; and another 14% were from mainland BC, including Vancouver.  Therefore, more than two-thirds of Comox Valley home buyers were either local or from elsewhere in British Columbia.

Just over 9% of buyers were arrivals from further parts of Canada, mainly Ontario and almost 3% that purchased Comox Valley homes were from countries elsewhere in the world.

Approximately 96% of all purchasers were buying a property as their principal home and not as an investment for the future or for renting out. Many of the buyers were choosing to settle down in the Comox Valley for their senior years, with 38% of buyers saying the property they were acquiring would be their retirement home on Vancouver Island.

What buyers paid for their new Vancouver Island homes varied considerably. Five people surveyed managed to buy properties (mainly small mobile homes) for under $50,000, and another five paid over $1 million for their high-end properties. Although, more than half of all buyers paid somewhere between $200,000 and $350,000.

The most common price band for a Comox Valley home in 2009 was $300,000 to $350,000; this was derived by taking the top answers in the survey. A typical property bought for that sum was a single-family home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, finished with vinyl siding, had a double garage and tended to have a mountain view.

First-time buyers accounted for 13% of the home sales in the Comox Valley last year – a lower figure than the Vancouver Island average of 19%.  Due to the higher pricing of Comox Valley homes, this made if more difficult for young people to get into the market which in turn depressed the figures.

The real estate board survey also extended to all other areas of Vancouver Island north of the Malahat, but details have been broken down to distinct areas to give a clear picture of local markets.

To read more on the survey, visit the Comox Valley Echo.

Please note that this blog entry was published more than three months ago. Some details may be outdated.


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