Fall 2013 Market Update
HOUSE MARKET UPDATE
For the first time in a while, the house and condo markets in Vancouver are following similar lines, so much of what is written above also applies to the Detached market on the Westside. The market has found a level to function at in almost every sector now. Local buyers and a steady but more modest influx of overseas buyers seem to have found some consensus, resulting in the most stable year price wise for some time. Of course this could all change should another larger wave of new Chinese buyers arrive and house values could increase. The chance of house values going down also seems extremely slim on the Westside, unless the number of homes listed at any one time increases massively and there is no indication that this is likely to happen. So the most likely (and hopefully popular outcome) will be steady prices and healthy sales volume for the foreseeable future.
Certain pockets of the Eastside Detached market continue to outperform the rest of the City as they hit the critical mass of local families trying to stay in Vancouver. As each neighbourhood gentrifies the prices increase and the critical mass moves on to the next area (usually East or South). While this is good for real estate investment, it is (and has been for many years) inevitable that at some point the entire city will experience this and that unless more affordable housing is created, public and private service workers will have to endure tough commutes on top of already long and hard working hours, in order to find an affordable place to live.
CONDO MARKET UPDATE
As predicted in my last newsletter, the 2013 condo market has been following traditional seasonal patterns, with each month this spring seeing an increase in sales volume over the last and prices steady or nominally increasing in most sectors.
Summer, once seasonally adjusted, actually brought the most positive news with both July and August showing higher sales volume than for the same months in previous years. This might have been partially due to the lower number of sales in the spring but I think it also indicates that our “balanced market” is here to stay. Assuming prices do not increase more than nominally, there is every indication to suggest that the condo market can continue to function normally for the foreseeable future. Small pockets of the city still have more new construction to absorb than others, so caution is required in these areas, but if the focus is on established areas with limited supply, there is every reason to think that these healthy market conditions are sustainable. This is great news for the consumer, who can make the lifestyle moves they want when they need and on their own terms.
Finally, for those who are primarily value driven and looking to buy into the market, the 4th quarter almost always offers the best opportunities and I don’t see any reason why this should not be the case again this year.