When most people heard the words luxury homes they immediately think “one million dollars” and up. By many standards in many cities around the world this is a fairly reasonable expectation but this is not the case in the Comox Valley. Prices in this part of Vancouver Island peaked in the 2006-2007 time frame. Since then, the number of sales and the sale prices of higher end homes dropped steadily up to and including last fall. While sales of upper end homes have picked up a bit this year, prices have not followed. In fact, some continue to correct downward in this segment of the local real estate market.
In contrast, the Vancouver market is now considered the second most expensive market in the world and high end homes sales above a million dollars are fairly routine. The recent $51.8 million sale to a Chinese investor represents the top of the market. Sales topping $5 million dollars total 39 year to date. But prices alone do not tell the whole story. Sales in metro Vancouver were up about 54% in March 2015 compared to sales in the same area a year ago according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Buyer wars are not uncommon and sales are brisk even through listings and prices continue to climb. Where this is all heading remains to be seen but there are some economic storm clouds on the horizon. Increasingly there are warnings about an overvalued Vancouver market and of over leverage individuals holding very expensive mortgages.
Perhaps Vancouver’s future is foreshadowed by what is currently happening in the luxury homes market across the Atlantic Ocean in London England. A fairly typical recent headline states “UK Housing Bubble Bursts: Sales of Luxury Homes Crash by 80% as wave of wealthy people are leaving”. This trend follows a dramatic fall in Chinese house prices that started about a year earlier.
The realty and images of the luxury homes market in these two well known cities is starkly juxtaposed by that the reality of luxury homes at affordable prices in the Comox Valley, which you can find here. Luxury homes prices have dropped in many parts of the valley since the peak prices of 2007. While some downward pressure still remains in a few areas, many segments of this high end market bottomed out last year. This year there are many luxury and oceanfront homes for sale at very reasonable prices.
There are currently 26 homes for sale above $1 million and the highest list price is $4.5 million. A total of 62 homes have sold for more than $1 million since 2003. There were 9 sales above $1 million in 2013 and three in 2014. None recorded so far this year. The good news is that you do not have to spend $1 million or more to buy a luxury home in the Comox Valley. There are many really nice executive homes in the 500 to 600 thousand dollar price range and some exquisite ones in the $700 thousand to one million dollar range. These homes are a veritable bargain compared to similar offerings in major cities like Vancouver.
Thinking of a change in lifestyle? Looking for a slower pace of life and higher quality of life? Check out the Comox Valley luxury homes market and you will be surprised at just how much you can get for your money. Contact Brett for more information.