The supply and demand equation, along with consumer confidence, is always the key to the Vancouver Real Estate market, but what is going on in the North Shore right now? There is good news for buyers as the heated pace of the market has drop off. People are scratching their heads and wondering what will happen to the market, while inventory is creeping up, so we are getting into a more balanced market. In other words, we are seeing less of a frothy market. A few months ago, buyer activity was off the charts. Interestingly, it was mostly due to locals, not foreigners as many believe. Many local buyers were of the mindset, “if we don’t get in now, we will never get in.” It became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The slowdown that we had over the summer is typical and it happens almost every year. People go on vacation and their plan of buying a property takes a back seat. It’s predictable and it is a relief from the frothiness and pace of the market earlier in the year. Added to the market’s normal behavior is the new Foreign Buyer’s Real Estate Tax introduced by the B.C. government in early August, which has created uncertainty amongst local buyers. It might still be early to say how much of this market shift is related to this new tax, but at the end of the day we see our market questioning where it is going.
Now you can actually go look at a property once, twice or even three times, before making a decision because we are not in that multiple offer scenario of a few months ago. Of course, there are still certain types of properties that are more in demand than others.
For example condos are selling brisker right now. However, many houses are selling below list price, so there is room to negotiate. Buyers actually have an opportunity as the inventory increases and the interest rates are still low.
West Vancouver is a great example. The prices haven’t moved much yet, but if this continues, people that have to sell are going to sell and likely come down on their price. If this happens enough times, prices will go down. If I were a buyer looking for a house in West Vancouver, I would get all my ducks in a row and be ready to strike when the house that ticks all the boxes becomes available.
Prices could come down a little more, but if you are trying to time the market and get in at the bottom, unless you have a crystal ball, you will never truly know when or where this will happen until after it’s happened. On the other hand, if your plan is to buy a home for the next 5 to 10 years, it doesn’t matter if you pay a little more than when the market hits bottom. On the North Shore, on average prices have doubled every ten years for the past 30 years.
Many buyers follow the signals of other buyers. They watch their friends buy and see it as an indicator that it’s time for them to buy. However, going against the trend can generally bring the best value.
As a Realtor that specializes in the North Shore with 18 years of experience under my belt, my clients have the certainty that I will tell them what they need to know and guide them through the process of buying a new home. Especially in a frothy market, they need to know that they can rely on me and that my integrity is key.