Real estate activity in Squamish has under gone a significant shift so far in 2014. What are the reasons behind this recent upward trend in both prices and number of sales? There seems to be several explanations that could account for the increases in the current market.
The first cause of the upswing in the Squamish market has been the zero vacancy rate and higher costs in the rental market. In addition, we are seeing lower than average inventory for property available for sale. The affordability of real estate in the community when compared to the Lower Mainland and surrounding areas in another factor. And, lastly the lifestyle that Squamish offers.
The combination of a lack of rental stock, the high prices of monthly rental rates, and the increasing prices in the real estate market, has created a perfect storm. Current owners are able to sell their investments for a profit. Investors are looking to buy as they see good value in the market with high rates of return. Present tenants, faced with moving and increased expenses, are purchasing homes for long term stability. Finally, the other factor that is coming into play in relationship to real estate purchases are the very low interest rates that are currently available.
This year have seen a slightly higher number of listings coming onto the market for sale than we saw by this time last year. However, inventory levels are still lower than normal due the higher than average number of sales that have occurred so far in 2014. This increase can be seen not only in the percentage increase in sales but also the sales to listing ratio. In both of these areas there has been significant increases when compared to last year. This is pushing the market toward higher prices and less availability.
Although real estate prices have increased across most housing types in Squamish, median prices in the community remain good value when compared to other areas of the Lower Mainland, with the exception of Maple Ridge.
Finally, we must consider the lifestyle reasons for the increased interest in the Squamish market. As the Outdoor Recration Capital of Canada, there is something for everyone in Squamish – from adrenaline junkies to art exhibits. Squamish offers lifestyle options unlike anywhere else and this continues to draw more and more people to Squamish.
– Lisa Bjornson