TGIF - Stats and more stats...
By now the news of a changing real estate market along with the latest Vancouver Real Estate Board statistics will have reached most people. What we realtors knew anecdotally before is now on graphs and is common knowledge. While condos and townhomes continue to be a hot commodity, detached homes are growing in inventory and slowing in sales - a very small percentage actually selling unless you are in Pitt Meadows! Sellers are having a tough time lowering their expectations and realising that it is now almost 2 years since the price peak and even last year’s price is now a pipe dream. The ‘for sale’ signs are hanging around much longer while the number of open houses grows exponentially. Price and condition remain the defining factors in a successful house sale.
The largest population group moving through life and affecting sales of houses as well as cruises is the Baby Boomer generation. They are retiring, downsizing, moving to less expensive parts of BC, buying a different lifestyle and / or becoming debt free. What this means to our housing market is that retirees are competing with first & second home buyers for those townhomes and condos.
Aside from the supply and demand factors, the new banking rules for loans and mortgages are taking our downsizers by surprise - they can no longer do what all their friends have been doing - going out and buying the condo of their dreams, then selling their homes. For banks these days it’s all about income rather than asset value and bridging loans are no longer the norm unless you have a sold sign on your lawn. So...note to all aspiring downsizers - sell your home first, negotiate long dates to give you time to make your purchase, then go condo shopping. Being informed on the housing and money market is great preparation for what is, after all, a big step. This is where we come in - we are your experienced consultants and advisors with your best interests at heart. Let us help you navigate your way through - begin early and talk to us when you first start thinking about that downsize move.
Looking at today’s trend, with no crystal ball, potential downsizers might well be better selling their detached homes sooner than later. And for the families who have outgrown their townhomes and condos, this is your move up moment - an opportunity to take advantage of a narrowing gap between what you are selling and what you are buying. Also an opportunity to use today’s interest rates rather than tomorrow’s. We are happy to interpret our local sales statistics with you any time.
Final note to anyone who was prequalified for a mortgage a while ago, do it again to ensure that you know what you have with the new rules in place - saves a lot of time and embarrassment later.
The only constant is change and we have lived and worked through many different real estate cycles. This is just another, and as always we continue in that tradition of trust and caring by keeping you covered.
Michelle, Scott, Sheila, Ray and Shane