Hello and welcome back.
Another month has passed in what was a very surprising and healthy summer real estate season. September held the trend that was set from July and August - with activity levels not seen in many years for those particular months.
We are still entertaining a steady flow of traffic into our waterfront office - from both local residents and those from afar - who contiue to marvel at our wonderfull city. The one thing we really noticed over the summer is how many visitors just had to stop in and comment on our fantastic waterfront areas and the city (country). The secret has been out for years.
September showed an average increase in "activity" - note activity - in some areas of almost 70%. This is not a typo. Detached sales hit 70% and attached condo sales increased 50%. This historically would result in increased prices for homes but the benchmark pricing held steady - with very little fluctuation - and actully dropped about 2-3% in some areas. This is truly a balanced condition - with a difference. Buyers have been on the sidelines for a couple of years - hearing doom and gloom from those in the prediction business. Sellers, who were not in a must sell situation - were willing to test the market and if the numbers didn't work - they were happy to continue to sit until things improved. Interest rates went basically no where - so the lending was still cheap. Hence - if the home was priced right, met the right criteria and without the panic of the past - buyers were willing to proceed on purchases with reasonable sellers - regardless of the pent up nervousness of the last few seasons. Moving on with life - was a common conversation topic.
I did notice one publication that usually produced a cover story on the bursting of the Canadian market - just about every 4 months over the last 3 years. Their latest issue - almost as an aside - published in very small font on the latest cover - "What Happened to The Real Estate Disaster"? Sure other areas are seeing a much greater softening but as we have said for many years - Vancouver being a world destination will on some fronts - buck most trends.
Our waterfront office alone is now working with 7 buyers from all over the world and local residents either up or downsizing. As well - we have 4 new listings on the way for the fall. This is another mini-market with folks hoping to be in a new home by the Christmas Season - yes, it's just around the corner.
Have we arrived at the new norm ? Time will tell but take a look around the city. Ongoing developements are well underway. False Creek has about 9 cranes in the air - with unsold inventory at the old Olympic Village. A new tower announced on Howe Street, Trump Hotel and Residences are now at ground level, 1300 condos annouced by Concord for the area right beside BC Place. What does this say ? If you build they will come - but they - are in no panic.
Stop by anytime for a chat. Straight talk - straight answers.