And so the saga continues - rages in some circles - what does the future hold for real estate in Vancouver near and long term ? The most common question I am hearing from both buyers and sellers - "should I buy or should I sell ?" Just how long are we going to be seemingly less affected by the continued death spiral of the American economy and the real estate disaster affecting so many south of the border. Is our very own demise still under disguise ? Oh by the way - just for perspective - 102,000 properties were seized by lenders in the US in September alone. Morgan Stanley reports 2.5 million have been taken back since 2005. They are predicting 6.5 million more are at risk ! (do we even have 6.5 million homes in Canada ?) Thought the worst was over ... ??
The most recent statistics (PDF) from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show a steady 4 month period throughout the summer which indicates some "stability" in the residential housing market. The Sales to Active Listings ratio does indicate a buyers market - and the feet on the street does confirm this - properties have been selling BUT only if appropriately priced. Buyers can afford the time to browse with the amount of inventory and interest rates remaining firm at record lows. The next Bank of Canada meeting will be held on December 7th
The West End had 36 reported sales in October. There are currently 223 attached homes listed on the MLS - the West End has just about every type of home in the City. Some interesting comparisons over the last 2 years. Admittedly 2009 was a bit of a surprise with the rebound in activity that was recorded after the recessionary fallout. Total sales in October 2008 - 20. Total sales in October 2009 - 71. This year we hit 36.
The price of homes were very consistent but it is important to note conditions often vary between communities and neighbourhoods - at times block by block.
For those buying today - one of the driving factors is the interest rate levels remaining for at least the next 5 weeks. The gamble - will the Bank of Canada increase the rates in December - starting the clock on interest rate holds promised by lenders and how will inventory affect home prices - especially as we enter the spring market for 2011.
Home sellers are in the same boat - do they list now while rates are low capitalizing on active buyers while adding to the current inventory which increases downward pressure on home prices or wait for spring. There is only ONE key to selling in this market - aggressive pricing to take out the competition. Buyers are on the sidelines - waiting and watching. We have had multiple offers on our last two sales.
The future ? Keep in mind we live in an area that consistently makes the top 10 list of best places to live on this earth. Immigration drives housing needs and sales. With the current state of the world - if you were looking to make a move for good of family and opportunity - can you think of anywhere else you would rather start a new life...?
Any comments or questions are more than welcome and if you find yourself on either side of the market I am always willing to pass on what I am hearing and seeing on the street - it just might save you $1000's ...