The Comox Valley’s secret is out.
Data released by B.C. Assessment last week shows the world has stepped up and taken notice of the valley’s charms as the assessed value of a typical residence has increased as much as 9.3 per cent, versus a year earlier.
Comox saw the biggest jump with the typical home’s assessed value increasing 9.3 per cent to $392,000. Courtenay increased 9.1 per cent to $360,000 and Cumberland jumped 7.9 per cent to $302,000. Campbell River, north of the valley, saw an increase of 4.05 per cent to $303,000.
B.C. Assessment said the typical increase around the Island ranged between five and 25 per cent, with areas of Greater Victoria seeing increases as high as 40 per cent.
Like most of Vancouver Island, scarcity of product is one of the big drivers of the increases.
According to figures from the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, which oversees real estate in all markets north of Greater Victoria, the region saw housing inventory drop to a historic low in December with just 859 listings, a 37 per cent drop from the year previous.
In the Comox Valley, sales activity increased 26 per cent in 2016, compared to 2015, and the average sale price jumped 14 per cent to just over $413,000.
The same holds true in Campbell River. There was a 34 per cent increase in the number of sales last year, compared to the year previous, and the average sale price increased eight per cent to $344,450.
“Residential sales are robust and many homeowners experience multiple bids on their properties. Campbell River is in a very fortunate situation for investment both residential and commercial,” said Colleen Evans, chief executive of the Campbell River chamber of Commerce.
Evans said the market has become competitive with businesses choosing to invest in the area because housing is deemed affordable and there’s an available workforce. “With multiple major construction projects contributing to growth and prosperity in our community, residents and businesses alike receive great value and return on their investment,” she said.