Vancouver's West End - Spring Into Summer

What a difference a week makes.  All you had to do was venture to Vancouver's West End on the weekend to see what a little sunshine will do for the area.  Of course the residents always consider their home to be a "sunny" place.  I felt sorry for those who thought that driving to the core of the city on the first truly sunny weekend in recent memory - was a good idea.  Advil anyone ?

No doubt the press seems intent on painting a nervous picture of late - when it comes to Vancouver real estate.  Sure the volume of sales is down - which on CBC's National broadcast last week - was the focus of just about the entire report.  But for a fleeting moment they did mention that prices remain stable.  A bit confusing for some potential buyers.  Yes it is a great time to be shopping for a new home as we are now in a "buyers" market - which simply means there is an abundance to choose from.  No magic formula here - lots of selection means buyers can take their time looking.  Interest rates are going no where.  Tickle the underbelly of our economy and many in the know - including the government and Bank of Canada will caution - don't tickle too hard.  We are hanging on in some sectors but - we are at the mercy of many larger economies around the world - who constantly hint at being in a bit of trouble.  Even China - which everyone hoped for the last 3 years would drag the rest through this troubled period - is expected to produce "real" numbers very soon - none to positive. 

The West End currently shows 261 active listings - with June reporting 42 sales.  The most active price range is between $300-500,000 - with 19 sales.  Thanks to the Shangri La on Alberni Street - the West End does boast 8 sales over one million dollars.  Looking back June does follow the trend for the downtown core areas.  June of 2004 produced 72 sales, '05 had 80, '06 in at 66, 2007 with 69 and then the dam burst of 2008 with 40.  But in true Vancouver fashion - we bounced back with 87 sales in 2009.  2010 shows 58 sales, 2011 at 43 and this year with 42.  Are we back in range for another "bounce" ?  That remains to be seen.  What we are seeing - negative press or not - are properties that are priced right - from the start - are getting the most attention.  Buyers are out there.  These cycles continue but sooner or later - those on the sidelines come back to the dance floor.  It's a perfect time to be looking - but be prepared.  Have a mortgage in place - a budget prepared and most of all - work with a realtor who knows the area you are interested in.  Area knowledge equates to dollars saved - a formula most agree - is a good thing.

Contact me anytime for a chat - I only guarantee one thing - honest answers.  To make promises and predictions on the market would be - well - a guaranteed risk.

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