October 2018 Sales Volume – Nanaimo & Area
Sales of single-family homes in October were 11 per cent higher than in September but dipped by 16 per cent from October 2017.
Last month, 385 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 347 in September and 458 one year ago. The number of apartments and townhouses changing hands last month dropped by eight and 21 per cent, respectively.
This year’s housing market is behaving as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Government policy-side measures introduced to cool the market, such as the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) and higher interest rates, are taking their toll on housing sales throughout the country.
On the positive side, the provincial economy is still doing well, and BCREA expects housing sales to make a modest recovery during the next couple of quarters. Further, Vancouver Island has so far been somewhat immune to the effects of Guideline B-20 because the broad demographic trend in our area includes baby boomers and retirees who do not typically need mortgages.
However, an additional government policy that could reduce that insulating effect is the future speculation tax. Although it currently applies only to Nanaimo and Lantzville, the tax could discourage some potential buyers from relocating to Vancouver Island, particularly those who purchase a home well ahead of retirement.