VIREB’s 2009 Vancouver Island Buyer Profile
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) released its 2009 Buyer Profile for Vancouver Island, which tracks where people are coming from, what they are buying and why.
Statistics are for the overall Board area and for each individual zone (Duncan/Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, Port Alberni/West Coast, Parksville/Qualicum, Comox Valley, Campbell River, North Island and Island areas).
There were 1,685 completed responses to letters that were sent to residential buyers of Vancouver Island real estate. These responses were entered into a database from which the profile was developed.
First time buyers comprised 19% of all transactions in 2009. This was the highest record for Vancouver Island since 2004 and was due to low mortgage rates and attractive pricing.
Local buyers made up 39% of sales in 2009, which was a result of low interest rates and demand.
Consumer demand from Alberta buyers was higher than expected given the Canadian economic performance in 2009, slipping from 13% to 11%.
A growing segment of retirees seem to be relocating to Vancouver Island and it continues to be their preferred destination. In 2009, forty percent of residential properties purchased on were purchased as a retirement home, which is up from last year. There was also an increase in buyers from other areas of Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island homes that were purchased as a principal residence made up 95% of the sales transactions. Only 3% were investments or rentals.
The Buyer Profile also shows the characteristics of Vancouver Island homes with the highest frequency. The single-family detached unit was the most popular representing 62% of all sales, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a double garage and a vinyl exterior with mountain or ocean views.
There is speculation that over the next decade approximately 5,000 new households will be formed annually in the Vancouver Island/Coast Development Region, with approximately 1,300 of these new Vancouver Island homes formed in Nanaimo.
Excerpted from 1stView.ca.