Market Update

A blog category dedicated to my monthly Real Estate Market Updates for Vancouver.

Kristi Holz Market Update

April 2020 Vancouver Real Estate Update

Hi Everyone. So we’re into April now and a few weeks into our Stay at Home” measure. This measure started about halfway into March, so the month of March tells two different stories. April’s numbers are going to be a much more realistic measure of the change in activity. As per the Real Estate Board, the first half of the month were “the busiest days of the year for our region with heightened demand and multiple offers becoming more common” and boy was that the truth. Anything good was getting multiple offers and a lot of Buyers were excited about the additional influx of inventory we were expecting to see in the Spring. Interest rates were good and Buyer confidence was back after a slow 2018-2019. This allowed Sellers to upgrade to a bigger home and produced a lot of activity and excitement.

As the province forced restaurants and bars to close, and asked anyone who could work from home to do so, the number of real estate transactions dropped quickly. There were still some people who needed to buy or sell and they continued on their quest, and I expect we’ll see more of that activity in the next few weeks as people have had time to consider their situation and  needs. I would imagine that anyone who has their home listed for sale right now is pretty keen to sell and with an expected recession, there are going to be opportunities for Buyers to get into the market if they have retained their job and didn’t see a huge hit to their financial situation. 

I wrote a longer blog post about some initial thoughts (from mid-March) on Covid-19 and the Real Estate Market in addition to a blog about Navigating a Slow Market.

Listing Agents are ensuring people are only viewing if they aren’t showing any symptoms, and are asking people to wash their hands before the viewing, using protective gear and cleaning units before and after all showings. Many realtors are also asking all parties involved in the showing to sign a waiver indicating that everyone is following proper procedure themselves, and are waiving liability in case anyone gets sick. 

Mortgage interest rates have dropped (again!) and are expected to stay low for awhile. I’m on a variable rate mortgage and as of this week my rate dropped to 1.5% (thankfully that results in some much appreciated monthly savings, though rates will increase again in the future). A lot of Buyers are taking this opportunity to defer their mortgage or re-finance with these low rates as well, so check in with your mortgage broker for more information. As always, don’t hesitate to ask me if you need a referral to a great mortgage broker

I have been spending a lot of my time researching economic cycles, recession and the Vancouver market over the last few decades in an effort to be prepared and knowledgeable from what we’re experiencing now. We just came out of a slow market in 2018-2019 so the memories of a slow market and how to attack it are still fresh. I had a lot of clients waiting for the market to drop during the slow market, only to miss the boat and end up in competing offer situations. This sentence remains true: “How do you know we’ve hit the bottom of the market? Prices have increased”. When the market is slow, you have to be an active Buyer negotiating with Sellers in order to find the deals. And in the excitement of finding a deal, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re trying to find the right home. Good properties in good buildings in good locations will be a better option for you long term, and will always be an easier sell when it comes time to move.

Onto the stats. 

The stats below are for the entire month of March, and can’t be split up into days or weeks, so it’s hard to see the difference this month. April’s numbers will be more interesting as that will likely be a full month indicating the impact on the market. 

On the Westside of Vancouver: 

– HPI Price remained steady this month, across the board. Prices in this market have been really consistent all year despite a huge decrease in median Days on Market and a huge increase in the Sales to Active Ratio. That tells me that Sellers hit a point where they weren’t willing to budge on price and waited for the market to improve.

– The detached house market has been really robust this year, and still, despite the pandemic. I have heard that there has been an increase in foreign buyers over the last few months which isn’t a surprise given how much the market has dropped over the last year or two. Not only does BC look like an amazing, well managed city during the pandemic, but the decline in price makes up for the extra foreign buyers tax that foreign buyers would have to pay. Check out the median Days on Market drop from January!

– Westside Condos saw a big increase in both inventory and new listings. I imagine a lot of this is attributed to downtown investor owned condos being listed for sale at the start of this pandemic. Sales were up as well so that was the extra boost in confidence many Sellers likely needed to list ASAP.

– Activity in the westside Townhouse market increased significantly in February like the detached market, and it has retained a steady HPI Price. Inventory is slightly down.

Vancouver Westside Real Estate Stats up to and including March 2020

HPI Price for Vancouver West

Median Percentage of Original Price for Vancouver West

New Listings for Vancouver West

Total Inventory for Vancouver West

Total Sales for Vancouver West

Sales to Active Ratio for Vancouver West

Median Days on Market for Vancouver West

On the Eastside of Vancouver:

– The HPI Price increased slightly this past month, across the board.

– The detached house market saw a drop in total inventory but an increase in new listings. I can imagine Sellers who already had their property for sale that wasn’t selling took their home off the market once this “stay at home” measure was in place, whereas a swath of new Sellers listed their home as the pandemic worsened in order to sell before things got really slow.

– Condo inventory slowed down this month, though sales continued. HPI and average sale price dropped ever so slightly. I find first time condo buyers to be the most nervous, so this market always slows the most whenever the general market slows, however, this was also a busy market so there is room to slow down.

– The townhouse market is generally the steadiest and smallest market. It saw fewer new listings and the smallest increase in sales.

East Vancouver Real Estate Stats up to and including March 2020

HPI Price for East Vancouver

Median Percentage of Original Price for East Vancouver

New Listings for East Vancouver

Total Inventory for East Vancouver

Total Sales for East Vancouver

Sales to Active Ratio for East Vancouver

Median Days on Market for East Vancouver

If you’d like to follow the ups and downs in the market, I can set you up on a Custom Real Estate Search. Contact me to get that started: kristi@realestatevancity.ca or 778-387-7371.

Sending you love and happiness during this crazy time! 

Kristi

Kristi Holz Market Update

Covid-19 and the Vancouver Real Estate Market

Oi vey. 

What a week. What a year. Obviously, Covid-19 has had a dramatic affect on how we all interact and changes in normal protocol seem to be finally hitting the Vancouver Real Estate Market. This blog features my own thoughts and insights from those in my circle during this strange time. In addition to conversations with my contacts in the financial world, I’ve been studying real estate stats and the recession in 2008 for some insight into what might happen over the next few months.

Though most units are still receiving significant interest and multiple offers, Agents are starting to have discussions with their Buyers and Sellers as to their short term plans. As with everything during this pandemic, we are re-evaluating plans on a daily basis. This scenario is unprecedented – I find people are reacting in a way similar to a decline in the market. Some fear the worst and want to act immediately, while others would rather wait it out. If you were looking to make a move before this situation hit, what you should do is your decision. Life will return to some semblance of normal, so it’s a matter your personal and financial position, as well as how long you want to wait to make a move.

Here are a few thoughts: 

  • The general consensus is for everyone to self quarantine as much as possible over the next 2 to 3 weeks to stop the spread of the virus, so I expect the next few months to be slower than normal.
  • Although no one knows what will happen in the future, the turnaround in Asia is a positive development for everyone, as well as the news reports that a variety of vaccines are in development and that Canada and the US are taking this situation very seriously.
  • The economy has been through similar drops in recent decades and history has shown that recovery, if not a stronger economy, will happen in time. The Government has done a great job thus far of supporting individuals and businesses, and we are lucky to live in a strong economy that will weather the storm. There will be hardship, especially if society is all but shutdown for a few weeks, but we have recovered from similar scenarios in the past. Certain industries will be more affected than others, but as the recession in 2008 proves, we will steadily recover.
  • In order to stimulate the economy, our Government and the Bank of Canada will likely keep interest rates on the lower end of the scale for the time being. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some changes in the rate, but it should stay fairly low. I can’t see the Government making any negative changes to policies (as in, changing any policies to make it harder to purchase property) anytime soon. If anything, there’s a chance they will relax lending policies to help folks recover quicker, but I wouldn’t rely on it.
  • There was a lot of pent up demand for Real Estate this year after the recent slow market that saw a lot of Buyers take the “wait and see” approach, and this pandemic will likely increase the amount of future pent up demand as Buyers do it again. Housing is such an important part of everyone’s life, and Real Estate is an investment into yourself, so even if things do slow down for a few months, it never stays down. Buyers will adjust their ideal price range, but the market will keep moving, albeit, slower.
  • There are going to be Sellers who continue with their plans to sell in order to take advantage of the current competitive Buyer activity while it’s still happening. I would imagine if this coming weekend’s open houses are abnormally slow, some Sellers will pull their listings and wait until things improve. Those who are really keen to sell will keep their listing up.
  • There are also Sellers out there who need to sell. Perhaps they just bought their next place, and have to sell in order to complete their next purchase, perhaps they have an investment property and want an influx of money given other losses, perhaps they’ve lost their job and need to re-configure their finances and perhaps they’re the doomsday type that feel it’s better to sell now, regardless of the situation, than to wait until things return to normal.
  • Properties have been getting multiple offers, so there are still a lot of Buyers looking to make some moves and I can’t imagine everyone will step back for the next couple of weeks. Some Buyers view these uncertain scenarios as an opportunity to take advantage of a slow weekend, especially since just about everything this year has gone into multiple offers. If a Buyer has been looking for a particular property for awhile now, and it finally hits the market, those Buyers will likely pursue it. 
  • As for prices.… the drop in the stock market will affect high net worth individuals the most, so we may see a decline in the upper end of the market. These individuals may re-focus their energy on investment properties, which is often seen as a more stable long term investment compared to the stock market. However, the focus of any investor will be specific to homes that can be rented so anything that allows rentals will have a lot more interest than buildings that do not allow rentals. First Time Buyers are always the most nervous about buying, and they have the ability to stall the market (if they don’t buy the 1 bedrooms, then the people who own 1 bedrooms can’t buy the 2 bedrooms, and those 2 bedroom owners can’t move up, etc) so once this pandemic proves to be on the upswing, I think we’ll see the market pick up again. This lack of activity will likely lead to some minor prices decreases and an overall stalling of the market – BUT – if you happen to be looking to buy a good unit in the most active Vancouver markets (the entry level detached market, entry level two bedroom, or rentable 1 bed condo market) then I would expect the activity to remain fairly steady. These units were often getting 5+, 10+, 20+ offers recently, so there are still a lot of Buyers out there even if many choose to step away from their search for the time being. I believe we’ll be in a strong, active market once this passes, so it’s a good time to take advantage of the opportunities now. Remember, if you’re buying a home to live in for 3+ years, you’ll ride out any short term changes in the market.
  • Some people are postponing listings and their searches until there is more certainty and confidence in the health of our community. For obvious reasons, this applies to those who are ill, immunocompromised or older, in addition to people who aren’t comfortable knowing who they are interacting with during viewings.
  • I’m hearing a lot of Agents talk about cancelling Open Houses and only allowing private showings. This will help to ensure some distance between Buyers as well as the chance to sanitize appropriately. UPDATE: The Real Estate Board will not be allowing Open Houses after the weekend of March 21/22nd though private showings are allowed.
  • I’ve had a few Buyers postpone their search for the time being mostly due to social responsibility, but a couple have cited declines in their investment portfolio (and thus down payment) and wanting to wait to see what happens. Similar to any slow market (which we just went through in 2019) a lot of Buyers step out of the market for fear of what might happen, only to miss the opportunities and realize this when the market picks up again. If you’re buying a unit to live in for the next 3+ years, you’ll ride out any short term market changes. Here’s my post about How to Navigate a Slow Market.
  • Overall, I don’t anticipate any major and long lasting, changes to the Real Estate Market. I bet that we’ll see strong activity in the market in the late Spring, throughout the Summer and into Fall (without the typical Summer slow down) to account for a few slower weeks now while everyone is trying to “stay the F home”. 

The Real Estate Board has released statements to Realtors indicating that it is the decision of us and our clients as to continue, adapt or cancel any short term plans given the pandemic. UPDATE: The Real Estate Board is not allowing any Open Houses after the weekend of March 21/22nd for the time being. Any sales already under contract are still obligated to proceed and properties are still allowed to be listed and sold, though Agents and their clients need to understand the potential issues we might face during this time period, which could include unexpected and required quarantines and lockdowns, unexpected changes to the financial market and possible illnesses. 

In the meantime, remember to continue to support local businesses and workers, when possible, during these times. Order take out and tip your delivery drivers. Treat workers and fellow residents kindly. Get outside for fresh air and exercise. Don’t forget the fun in puzzles, music, games and books. Call your friends and family. Follow protocol if required. And stay positive! We live in a strong and prosperous economy, and everything will be okay. 

I wish everyone health and happiness. I’m here if you need me and happy to chat about any of your questions with regards to real estate, now and in the future: kristi@realestatevancity.ca or 778-387-7371.

Kristi Holz Market Update

February 2020 Real Estate Market Update

Hi Everyone! We’ve made it through January and the market is picking up steam. We’re seeing new listings every week and Buyers getting excited about their options, which is normal activity for January. What’s interesting this month is the number of multiple offer scenarios we’re seeing and the differences between the Eastside and the Westside. 

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Kristi Holz Market Update

January 2020 Real Estate Market Update

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you have a great holiday season filled with lots of holiday and family fun. The real estate market always slows down in December – full stop over Christmas – before gaining energy in January, so I’ll keep the stats review short this month, but instead offer a general recap of the market.

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Kristi Holz Market Update

December 2019 Real Estate Market Update

Happy December everyone! I’ve been listening to “All I want for Christmas is You” all week and I’ve got my tree up and a roaring fire on my TV, so it’s officially Christmas season – yay! 

The Real Estate Market is still chugging along.. we have 2 more weeks before everyone really takes it easy for the holidays. November kept up the activity of October, despite what felt like low inventory numbers. The number of new listings dropped this past month but it did seem like everything that was listed was priced to sell. Sellers don’t have as many weeks to test the market at this time of year (with Christmas very quickly approaching) so they’re often a little more motivated. 

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Kristi Holz Market Update

November 2019 Vancouver Real Estate Market Update

October kept up the activity we saw in September, which is great since it’s a balanced market for Buyers and Sellers. Inventory hasn’t been especially deep and I’m sensing a lot of Buyers are starting or re-starting their searches and getting familiar with what’s happening in the market. I expect this interest to carry over into the new year and keep the Spring Market busy as well. Interest rates are still quite low so it’s a great time to be pre-approved. 

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Kristi Holz Market Update

October 2019 Vancouver Real Estate Market Update

September is such a great month. Every sunny day feels like a bonus and every rainy day is a good chance to relax! When it comes to real estate, August always slows down so it’s exciting when it picks up in September. New listings to consider, new clients excited about their opportunities and some movement in the market. This past September delivered, with some great new listings and a lot of activity in the market.

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Kristi Holz Market Update

September 2019 Vancouver Real Estate Market Update

Summer has come and gone. Now it’s back to school and back to work, with fall and winter around the corner. August is always one of the slowest months in Real Estate – everyone seems to focus on fun rather than real estate, so we typically see fewer listings, fewer sales and not much motivation from Buyers. Last month was slower than July so this wasn’t a surprise, but I did still sense some motivation from Buyers, a trend which I think is going to continue into the Fall.

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Kristi Holz Market Update

August 2019 Vancouver Real Estate Market Update

This summer was off to a great start! July is typically a fairly slow month for new listings and sales, but this past July was very active. As per the Real Estate Board, July was the second highest selling month this year. Personally, all of my listings sold this past month – no small feat in what has been a slower market this year – and I’ve had a few Buyers find some great properties.

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