May residential sales were the strongest in several years at 64, up sharply from April (47) and well above the previous highest months in 2014 at 33 and 2015 at 41. Market conditions are dramatically different from those years as well with listings selling very quickly especially in the $200,000 to $350,000 range. Prices are definitely on the rise as well. Homes in that popular price range may be up by 10% or more over last year. We’re seeing the market rising to homes that had been sitting overpriced for six months or so and now selling at full list price. According to economic development staff at the city, it appears the activity will continue with several new developments moving forward in the area. We’re seeing younger couples from the lower mainland and nearby exploding markets cashing out to opt for a better lifestyle at cheaper prices away from the larger centers.
Supply and Demand…
What’s going on with the current popularity of Powell River real estate? There are a variety of factors driving our busy market. Partly, we’re experiencing the regular cyclic nature of the market. We’ve seen a general downward trend since 2008. Prices were still falling in 2012 & 2013. We saw some levelling in 2014, some upward pressure in 2015 and now the market has turned and we’re seeing prices rise. Anyone who was thinking about buying in Powell River is motivated to buy assuming prices will continue to rise.
Last fall it appeared prices were poised to rise and I believe sellers held back on listing at that time to see what the spring market looked like. This created a shortage of listings, a sellers’ market and frustrated buyers unable to get what they need. With prices up and a surplus of ready and willing buyers, the listings that come on are being sold within days and often at or near full list price. All this creates a demand for what’s in short supply which creates that “I better get it now” mentality.
I regularly hear that our prices are the lowest on the lower coast. Houses are unaffordable not only in the lower mainland, but also in those areas adjacent to it – Victoria, Maple Ridge, Whiterock, Squamish to name a few. Even though we complain about the ferries, it has created a community that is somewhat self-reliant with social and health amenities, recreation and arts activities and best of all, we still have that ‘small town atmosphere’. People from ‘the city’ are loving our slower-paced, friendly culture.
I think another part of the enthusiasm we’re seeing for Powell River has to do with the line up of ‘light’ developments that are on the horizon. Long term Powell Riverites will chuckle about rumours over the years of Boeing or large fertilizer plants coming to town. We need well-paying jobs for young people. The planned developments in Wildwood for a university campus and next to Brooks for a high school along with residences are light industry which should have a very positive economic impact. The coming of Pacific Coastal’s maintenance division, a medicinal marijuana operation in the Catalyst admin building and plans to lease several other buildings on the mill site are all still moving forward. These too should help us bring in needed young families while maintaining much of what we love about Powell River.
We have some great marketing of our city going on too. Check these links:
Single-detached Patio Home!
#17-4020 Saturna Ave
- 2 Bedr/2 Bath -1169 sq ft
- Well-managed Strata, single garage
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