Summer is here and we’re reminded how good we have it to live in Greater Vancouver!
While the changing weather has brought hot temperatures, the summer has also presented us with a cooler market. As everyone knows the market was red hot through most of 2016 and 2017, and while homes are certainly still selling, they’re not selling as quickly or as frequently. There are a few reasons for this: tougher mortgage lending rules, rising interest rates, increased property transfer taxes for higher priced properties, speculation taxes, and the simple fact that summer is here. In recent years we have seen the Spring market, carry on through July and August with barely a slow down, but historically when you look at the stats, July and August are slow times every year and this is the case again in 2018.
The good news is the sky is not falling. These same historical graphs show sales and activity picking up in the fall and continuing into the winter. I expect to see a slower August, but I also anticipate we will see trends follow typical September numbers and increased activity will come with that.
Buyers don’t have a lot of urgency to buy right now. Many people are taking a wait and see approach because for the longest time the market was moving up and away from people and there was great urgency to buy something before getting left behind. Now that that has changed, and demand and prices are not increasing rapidly, there is an appetite to see how much they continue to soften. Instead of feeling that need to get in and buy, people are being much more patient and interested to see how far things move back.
In previous soft markets throughout my career, these down times do not last long and once there is perceived value among buyers, homes start selling quickly again. The last two slow markets took about six months to rebound to a point where prices eclipsed previous records. An old teacher of mine at BCIT used to always say, “smart people buy when no one else is.” If you have been sitting on the fence, perhaps now is the perfect time to discuss your options and how to move up in the market. Recently I was able to help clients secure a wonderful home with a subject to sale offer, and then we listed and sold their home for a great price which allowed them to move on. These are the most satisfying examples for me personally because we were able to do it in a smart way that protected their interests. At least for now, the days of buying a home with longer dates, and then listing and selling your current home are gone.
If you are thinking about down sizing the good news is that this slower market is all relative. If your home isn’t quite worth what it was six months ago, then it’s very likely that the home you are looking to buy isn’t worth what it was worth six months ago.
Having a proven negotiator and experienced Realtor working for you is more crucial than ever and I’m proud to say that having been through these markets before, I able to help you navigate these waters with carefully crafted plans. Preparation is always key so if you would like to discuss your options, please reach out and get me working on a plan for you.