The real estate market in the Cowichan Valley is suffering a lack of inventory making it a seller’s market. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

The real estate market in the Cowichan Valley is suffering a lack of inventory making it a seller’s market. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Sellers rejoice, home buyers frustrated as prices up, inventory low in Cowichan Valley

Demand for homes in the Cowichan Valley is exceeding supply, driving up prices and frustrating potential buyers, according to local realtors.

It’s a trend being seen across B.C. from bigger cities to even the smallest of towns, agreed Ally Earle, owner of RE/MAX Lake Cowichan.

“Yes we definitely are for sure,” Earle said. “Inventory is extremely low and we have a large amount of buyers that are looking to purchase in the Cowichan Lake area. We are slowly starting to see more inventory come available. However, until we have enough supply to meet the demand, I predict the market will stay strong for awhile.”

According to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, Duncan has reported a benchmark price of $578,500, an increase of 15 per cent from March 2020.

Lack of inventory is a problem across the province but it has reached a point of crisis on Vancouver Island, according to 2021 VIREB president Ian Mackay.

“Demand-side policies like taxes and higher mortgage rates have done little to remedy our inventory issue, which is a decade-old problem,” says Mackay. “Vancouver Island has always been popular with retirees, but COVID-19 and the option of remote work are now attracting younger buyers. Competition is fierce, and we don’t see that abating any time soon.”

Caitlin McKenna of Sutton Group Duncan said that “the big problem is that inventory is at historical lows.

“The number of single family home sales in March was 79 homes,” she said. “There’s a lot more than 79 people looking. There’s thousands and thousands.”

The average price of those homes was $734,450, which continues to make the Cowichan Valley a desirable place to live, McKenna noted, because it’s much more expensive in urban centres, for a lot less space and quality.

“There is fantastic value in the Valley,” she said. “People want to take advantage of that. The pandemic has shifted how people do their jobs, meaning many of which are no longer tied to a desk at an office.

“We have younger people getting out of cities as they look to make the most of remote work, who are now working from home and are flexible with their jobs,” she said. “Why buy an expensive condo now when you can move out here and have a full house with a yard?”

McKenna also said house hunters from other urban centres are also now realizing that “to stay in Canada, if you want to live in one of the more beautiful places without the harsh winters, you’ve got to move west.”

And that’s not to mention the retirees from the greater Toronto and Calgary areas that want to settle on the Island in their golden years.

“There’s a lot more competition and the inventory isn’t coming up,” she said. “It’s a sustained low inventory.”

And, when you take into account the fact that many people won’t be able to afford the average cost of a home in this region, the inventory gets that much smaller for them.

“It’s not enough at all price points,” she said. “It’s a very strong sellers market.”

Even so, she said, like all things, real estate is cyclical and McKenna believes more homes, townhouses, and condos will come on the market and eventually things will adjust. “But for now, sellers are doing really well.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Lake CowichanReal estate

Just Posted

Robert’s column
Robert Barron Column: Poachers in forest reserve should be treated harshly

‘Poachers need to be rounded up and prosecuted as soon as possible’

Can you dig it? Crofton In Bloom volunteers certainly can. From left: Trayci Lepp, Tony Lamley, Bonnie Lamley, Mary Patient and Jane Grueber. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Community pride grows from volunteer group’s beautification efforts

All ages contribute to Crofton In Bloom’s objectives

An object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest stays at rest. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: This mother is grinning and bearing it

News broke the other day that, after months in hibernation, Grouse Mountain’s… Continue reading

An online cooking lesson with Ian Blom, the Red Seal Chef from the Ainslie Restaurant, is one of the items on auction in a fundraiser for the Duncan Curling Club and other causes. (Submitted photo)
Online action being held to assist Duncan Curling Club and other causes

Auction, run by the Duncan Rotary Club, closes May 22

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read