Part of our goal in these blogs, videos or podcast mediums are to educate. However, we understand not everyone has 45 minutes to spare hearing a long drawn out Podcast. So we try to break things down into easily digestible, bitesize chunks. There are some topics that need explaining yes, but if something does not need to be over complicated, we’re not going to make it so!
Now if you’ve been following us, or a variety of other REALTORS, you may have seen what we call ‘Market Update Videos’. These are usually Monthly and talk about the previous months statistics (once they have been released) to give you an idea of what’s happening in the market.
The problem with these one off videos is the narrow vision they have. Just because February was one way, does not mean you are understanding the trends at play, what that means for you as a buyer or seller, or what to expect moving forward. Unless you start looking through various monthly updates and coming up with the answers for yourself.
Soooooooo, with that being said, we want to break it down for you. Nice and simple and easy to understand. What’s happening? Is it the same as we’ve been seeing? Why is it happening? And what’s likely to happen moving forward? Of course we don’t have that crystal ball so cannot be 100% sure, but we can certainly look at the figures to make an educated assumption!
So, let’s take January. Usually a slow month, this actually got going a lot faster than we in the industry thought it would. The entry level pricing ($650,000 and below) got a nice little boom. Overall in the stats, you may not have seen this as they usually go by homes as a whole. ‘Condos on the Westside’ for example. But this price level saw a rise in activity, including multiple offers, sales within a week and over asking prices being obtained.
The rest of the market remained relatively slow. A lot of listings continued to come to market with a minimal amount of sales taking place. This shows the obvious, a lot of people want to sell but can’t. This was much of the same towards the end of last year with buyers waiting for prices to drop, and sellers trying to hold out for prices to come back on the rise.
NEWS FLASH - Prices are not going to be moving upwards, at least very notably anytime soon. Minus an unexpected country/world event taking place. So holding out for a better price is fine, provided you’re holding out for a number of years in our opinion.
What the sales stats were not showing however, was sales were STILL happening. How were they happening you say? Well not counting the rush sales, those that did sell adjusted to the market. Now we’re not talking about your $1.5M condo now being sold for $1M, it’s not THAT bad. No, we mean those who were open to it being a Buyers market and willing to play ‘the game’. That means looking at the comparables, getting your pricing based on what’s sold, and being aware we are not in an increasing market so negotiation is crucial.Take Kitsilano, multiple Townhouses in the area have been on the market for 100, 200, 300 + days. Yet many townhouses sold after 14, 27, 29 or 33 days on the market ? This divide shows (drastically) that places are still selling. YES, they are still selling, but an even playing field is needed. Buyers, you needed to be aware of accurately priced homes and not expect 25% off everything. Sellers, you needed to accept it’s a different market and pricing high for room to negotiate is not a strong tactic in this current market.
Then the February results came out - The amount of listings coming to market decreased across the board and sales have started to increase. Well listings decreased quite a bit in the grand scheme of things, sales did increase minimally. However if you look at the figures over the last few months the ‘Sales’ line has been on either a slight decrease or buoyant levelt. This is the first time in a while we have seen a slight curve upwards in sales.
NO - this does not mean the market is hot again i’m afraid. This means the market has adjusted and people are realising. Lower amounts of listings coming to market suggests those not in need of selling are holding off. Whereas that may have been the case before but not to this level. A lot of people like to test the market too which seems to have decreased.
On the other side, Buyers are realising the market has come down and it’s at a very favourable price point for them. They’ve waited and are now comfortable with what’s happening and ready to jump on the opportunity at hand.
As to whether this trajectory continues this way, the next few months will be the determining factor. Of course we’ll be making sure to break down what’s happening along the way for you all!
Until next week,