Welcome back to the Buyer’s Market

Anyone who has been following my real estate news snippets that go out with our newsletters will have seem me mention that we are moving into a buyer’s market. The press in Vancouver, largely quoting from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), have also been telling the same story.

How do we know it is a buyer’s market? The main indicators is that there are more listings on the market, there are price reductions appearing and the number of sales are slowing.

To quote from the REBGV’s press release:

“Increased property listings and moderating home prices have eased the Greater Vancouver housing market into a buyer’s phase. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver declined 42.9 per cent in June 2008 to 2,425 from the 4,244 sales recorded in June 2007.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties increased 18.3 per cent to 6,546 in June 2008 compared to June 2007, when 5,533 new units were listed.”

What is the effect of the Buyer’s Market? For sellers the main issue is to price their homes realistically. This means moderating expectations of achieving huge increases in the value of the home. Our recent history of year on year double digit price rises has left many sellers expecting more money for their home than the market will bear. We are seeing sales slowing down and more choice for buyers, so an over-priced listing will tend to hang around on the market. But it is still possible for well-priced homes to sell quickly and even last week we saw competing offers for a townhouse in Kitsilano.

For buyers the market is less crazy than it has been. More choice is certainly welcome, as is the chance to take a bit longer over making decisions. Making offers below the asking price is now to be expected especially where a property has been on the market for a long time. When I did a quick look at the statistics for the last 2 months, I saw sales at between $5,000 and $25,000 below asking across most of the area.

For people moving into the province, this market is good news. Being able to choose your home and get it at a discount will be some compensation for the long wait to get here.

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