Vancouver Real Estate Market Update

Summary for local Downtown Vancouver Market Report

The market continues to show positive signs.  Inventory is still low, and our market still remains as a sellers market (defined by having less than three months supply).  Sales activity has slowed down since the Summer months which is typical for this time of year, however; sales in October were up 4.1% from September which was already a very active month.  Compared to October of 2008, sales were up 117% for Greater Vancouver. 

“High confidence and low mortgage rates are continuing to drive the activity we’re seeing in the housing market today. We’re coming off several months of unseasonably high sales levels, which has allowed for a gradual increase in home values this year,”  - Scott Russell, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said.

This month I wanted to more of an analysis of Greater Vancouver, and Western Canada.

November Market Update
Since the market correction last winter, the market has bounced back nicely to test previous highs, both in the number of sales and in benchmark prices. The summer of 2009 surprised many analysts and market-watchers with both its resiliency and fervour, and clients have asked what will happen in the fall and winter.

No one really knows what the market will do, but traditionally, the winter season has resulted in a slow-down in the market as families buckle down for the school year, weather patterns make buyer tours less pleasant, and holiday planning begins. Because there are fewer buyers, some sellers will decide that they can wait until these buyers return, which results in less supply to offset the drop in demand.

However, statistics show that house prices tend to be lower in the winter than in the summer which is why home price stats are seasonally adjusted. People who sell in the winter are more likely to be ready to sell and realistic rather than curious and unmotivated. Also, because there are fewer buyers, true negotiations between buyers and sellers are more likely to occur in place of auction-type multiple offer situations.

So what does this mean if you're a buyer or seller? If you're a buyer that has the flexibility to purchase during the winter months, your selection may become more limited, but if you find what you like, you will likely have a better opportunity to negotiate for your home rather than bid for it. If you're a seller, a limited supply can work in your favour if you have a good realtor that can outline the unique features of your home.

Every situation is different, and each year presents a new set of challenges and opportunities that require professional analysis.  Source, Macdonald Realty Ltd.

End of Oct 2009 graph