Monday 14 January 2019


After significant changes to the Vancouver Real Estate Market in 2018, this is the big question on everyone’s mind. Following several years of unprecedented, meteoric spikes in both sales volume and prices, the levers of government, at all levels, are determined to slow what they see as an overheated and unaffordable housing market ... and the tactics are working. Compared to this time last year, sales are down significantly and prices have seen an uneven road:  flattening in some areas, a significant dip in others, stability and even slight increases in certain micro markets.
So how do we look at this? Well, if you are a proponent of healthy, vibrant metro communities, you will be glad to see the dampening of the propensity towards "empty homes", a market scourge that has decimated local communities and risked putting us on the path towards an antiseptic, unfriendly and unaffordable future. If you are a Buyer you may feel challenged by the stricter mortgage rules that rendered your dream home just out of reach, but you should also be buoyed by the fact that the market is turning in your favour, with more choices, more room for negotiation and less anxiety about multiple offers and a “take it or leave it” environment. If you are a Seller, well, you’re probably not too happy right now being on the down side of the peak craziness. But let’s try to look at the upside: if you have owned your home for more than two years you have still gained substantial value in your investment in spite of a value drop from last year. If you’ve owned your property for 5 years or more you are sitting pretty, very likely to have doubled your investment. The challenge for a Seller in this market is to wrap your head around logical pricing and to engage in expert, thorough marketing strategies in cooperation with your real estate professional. With these elements in place you will see your property move eventually, maybe just not over the first weekend.
Regarding the future of our market, I do not present myself as an economic expert. I do, however, follow many who are experts and, in doing so, I strive to find any common thread underlying the hysterics and the bold predictions that we read or hear on a daily basis. I lean towards the idea that the big money has been made in our market for the time being, and that we are heading into a situation that will feature slow growth and a lack of massive pricing spikes, at least for the foreseeable future. In other words, a normal, balanced market may well be on the horizon. A strong job market, the lowering of household debt via stricter mortgage rules, the resort-like quality of the West Coast and a solid flow of new population into our region will, in my opinion, create a solid base for the continuation of a stable housing market.
Let’s all take a deep breath, we’re going to be fine, maybe just a little less rich than we were hoping this year.
For a complete statistics package, including year over year graphs, click here

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