The British Columbia Real Estate Association reported a few days ago that total sales dollar volume this past January is down 36.5% from January 2016, while the residential price in the province was $621,093, a 17.5% lower from the same period last year. The association also reported that home sales for Vancouver fell from 43% of provincial transactions in January 2016 to 35%. These figures have been getting a lot of attention and headlines like Home sales in BC return to 'historic averages' says real estate board and Greater Vancouver housing sales see January slump as slide continues are making their way into major media outlets.
Certainly the market is different from what it was a year ago. However, I have experienced a different story than what the media is portraying. For example, just this week, we sold over listing price a one-bedroom condo in Lower Lonsdale. It had multiple offers, many of which didn’t have any subjects. When compared with detached homes, the smaller condos are getting multiple offers right now. But that doesn’t mean that detached homes are not selling; a couple of weeks ago, we sold one in Upper Lonsdale just a few days after listing it, despite the heavy snow fall.
There is no guarantee, but at this point the timing is perfect for those people that are thinking of selling their home because the inventory is low, but demand is high. There are many Buyers looking for a home. This might be related to the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership, which started accepting applications roughly a month ago and helps first time Homebuyers with a loan of up to $37,500.
A crucial piece of having a successful sale in a short time is the importance of being reasonable with the list price. In the case of the one bedroom in Lower Lonsdale, by being strategic with the list price and not going too high, multiple offers were encouraged. This doesn’t mean we were leaving money on the table; on the contrary, my client was perfectly happy with the list price because she would have been doing better than she would have a month ago. But you don’t want to push the price too much. I don’t mean to suggest Sellers throw out any price and they will do well, the market is still price sensitive. The fact is people looking at a certain price point, cannot go so much higher, otherwise they would be looking at more expensive homes. If you are thinking of selling your home give me a call, I will be happy to discuss the best strategy to sell your property.
As for Buyers who are looking to get into the market, do not feel discouraged. The multiple-offer scenarios underline the importance of doing the legwork up front, especially for those looking to buy a small condo right now. What does this mean? Get prequalified before looking at homes. Keep in mind Sellers prefer to go with offers with limited or no subjects if the price is right. Let’s sit down and create a strategy to get you into the market.