It's a buyer's market, or is it?

(July 19, 2012 )

A buyer’s market is loosely defined as a market condition in which supply exceeds demand. By that definition, we are in a buyer’s market. The number of residential property sales in Metro Vancouver hit a 10-year low in June, prompting the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver to declare a buyers' market (source).

But is the media hysteria really necessary? While sales in some areas have slowed, overall, the market seems to have remained status quo.

From this Vancouver Sun article, I pulled the following quotes from Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist, explaining the results of the REBGV report.

In June, the average price in Vancouver was down 13.3 per cent from June 2011, and it was down 12 per cent for the province as a whole.

"But you've got to take that number with a grain of salt because of how the distribution of sales was last year," Muir said. "Even though we're seeing average price declines in Vancouver, that doesn't indicate that the price of the typical home is falling.
"In Vancouver the bench-mark price is pretty flat right now and that's a much better indication."

The downturn is likely to be temporary, Muir said, because mortgage rates are low, employment is showing improvement and population growth is positive in B.C.

That’s good news then, right?

According to the stats released by the REBGV in June, there is optimism and good news in the market.

Westside Houses indicate a buyers market and Buyers are taking action buying faster but sharply priced sellers are still netting almost full list price.

Vancouver Eastside Houses show an official sellers market (26% Sales Ratio) with 1 in 4 homes selling (unchanged from April).

Downtown condos are showing a balanced market with an 18% Sales Ratio (1 in 5 homes selling). Downtown remains busy again despite an inventory injection of 8%. Sales are up 5% and buyers kept change to the average price minimal.

So what can we take from this?

Make careful decisions before you buy, weigh your options and look around.
There is no doubt that Vancouver is a beautiful city, where many people want to live and call home. In general, the summer markets are a bit slower on the sales side, so don’t be too discouraged by all the bad news in the media. Peaks and valleys are typical in real estate, but if history repeats itself, our homes will continue to increase in price in the long term.

As always, if you need tips and updates on the market, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

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