Powell River real estate sales show equivalency in buyer profiles

Half of sales are local, half are out-of-area buyers

Powell River real estate statistics reveal an almost even split between local and out-of-area buyers during 2018 and 2019.

According to statistics collected by the Powell River-Sunshine Coast Real Estate Board in 2019, to the end of July, 50.2 per cent, or 104 properties, were purchased by local buyers, compared to 49.8 per cent, or 103 properties, purchased by out-of-area buyers. In 2018, there were 184 local buyers, or 45.5 per cent of identifiable purchasers who were local, compared to 189 out-of-area buyers, for 46.8 per cent of the market.

In 2019, the number of people purchasing principal residences has gone up. This year’s figure of 154 homes represents 74.4 per cent of the market, compared to 265 homes, or 65.6 per cent of the market, in 2018.

In 2019, in addition to the principal residence purchasers, 13 per cent were first-home buyers, 13.5 per cent were investment properties, 6.3 per cent were recreational, 7.7 per cent was raw land and 1.9 per cent was waterfront. In 2018, in addition to the principal residence purchasers, 9.2 per cent were first-home buyers, 14.4 per cent were investment properties, 6.4 per cent were recreational properties, 7.4 per cent was raw land and 0.7 per cent was waterfront.

In terms of where out-of-area buyers were from, in 2019, 6.3 per cent were from the lower Sunshine Coast, 12.5 per cent were from Vancouver Island, 52.5 per cent were from the Lower Mainland (Hope to Squamish), five per cent were from the rest of BC, 12.5 per cent were from Alberta, 7.5 per cent were from the rest of Canada and 3.8 per cent were from outside Canada.

Regarding sellers in 2019, 85 per cent were local and 15 per cent were from out of area.

Powell River-Sunshine Coast Real Estate Boardpresident Neil Frost said the statistics reflect what he is experiencing in the real estate market, with the 50-50 split in local and out-of-area buyers. About three-quarters of sales are for principal residences, which indicates it is not speculators who are driving up prices.

“A lot of out of towners are moving here, they are paying taxes and contributing to the community, at the very least with their taxes and the use of our services,” said Frost. “Every home sale has a spin-off effect.”

Powell River offers a comparatively affordable market and quality of life, said Frost. He added that it is still a vibrant market and there is a vitality to sales.

For the first seven months of 2019, there were 217 sales in Powell River, compared to 243 in 2018. In 2018 in total in Powell River, there were 404 sales.

“It seems to be on a similar pace,” said Frost. “We had a slow start to 2019 but it’s picked up.”

According to statistics from the BC Real Estate Association, in Powell River, in July 2019, there were $12.8 million in sales, compared to $11.9 million in July 2018, for a 7.6 per cent change. In July 2019, there were 38 residential sales, compared to 28 in July 2018, for a 35.7 per cent difference.

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