Newsletter E-market update
April 17, 2016
April 2016 Newsletter
More March Madness……record home sales
For the first time ever Metro Vancouver home sales totaled 5,173 in March 2016. That is an increase of 27.4% over March 2015 and is 56% above the 10-year sales average for the month. With the inventory down 40.5% from March last year and a strong buyer demand it is getting harder and harder for the average buyer to purchase the property they want. Most active listings are being sold very quickly and in some market segments, there is the routine bidding war for properties. Good for the sellers, not so good for the buyers.
What I am finding most interesting is that many potential sellers are holding off for fear that they may not be able to buy a property after they sell and also, with prices getting higher most sellers are waiting for the peak of the market to sell. It is like guessing when the best time is to sell a stock. You obviously want to sell at the highest price, and just before the price starts to go down. I have seen this market before and the current run we are having will eventually slow down and prices will retreat. But, it is anyone’s guess when that will occur.
Media scrutiny of our profession is at an all-time high. Rising home prices have created an emotional climate and the media are placing blame on wealthy foreign investors, assignment contracts, “shadow flippers”, tax evasion and money laundering. I’m not going to suggest that these things aren’t happening but, in my world the realtors and clients are acting in an honest and professional manner. I hate to think that I am working in a money laundering business. The heart of the matter is that more and more people want to live here and we are constrained by mountains to the north, an ocean to the west, and a border to the south. Our growth strategies focus on more density and that creates a decreasing supply of detached homes. Residents of London, San Francisco and New York have not found easy answers to rising home prices. I think the media has over simplified the problem to this complex issue. Their preferred narrative is to write about something that will attract attention, even if the facts are inaccurate or out of context. Our local real estate board and council have recently responded with action to prevent unscrupulous and illegal behavior by realtors and their clients.
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