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Vancouver real estate buyers, sellers take wait-and-see attitude (updated)

News Release Provided by Vancouver Sun

It appears everyone is taking a wait-and-see attitude on Metro Vancouver real estate, statistics released today by regional real estate boards Thursday show.

Both buyers and sellers appear to be holding off, with home sales totals about 30 per cent below last year at this time and the number of new listings down 15 per cent from last December and numbering just half of the properties listed last November in Greater Vancouver, REBGV said. The Fraser Valley saw a drop of 25.4 per cent in sales numbers and a drop of three per cent in active listings from December last year.

“The last half of 2012 was like a Mexican standoff. Buyers kept hoping for greater price drops while sellers who didn’t have to sell just took their home off the market rather than lower their price,” said Scott Olson, president of the Fraser Valley’s Real Estate Board.

Realtor Larry Biggar said one of his clients did just that in November. The Richmond home had been for sale for about six months, and rather than lower the price any further, the couple decided to take the home off the market. They are in their late 60s and want to downsize to a condo, Biggar said. He said everyone who went through the home liked it, but that they all seemed to be waiting to see what would happen with prices.

“We watched the market slow down, and slow down, and slow down. ... It just got quieter and quieter,” said Biggar, who works with ReMax Westcoast. “Finally they said enough is enough. We really don’t have to sell. We can stall our plans if need be, although that’s not our first choice.”

Biggar said the couple will be putting their home back on the market soon, and although they have not discussed the asking price, it will probably be the same price it was when they took if off the market.

“My job is to show them that what they want to purchase will also have come down,” Biggar said. “They’re not investors, so as long as they can get on with their plans, and the dollar difference remains the same, then the plan works for them.”

Another listing Biggar had in the same neighbourhood sold recently after eight months on the market, and he said his phone has started ringing again this week, with mostly local people looking to buy.

“The last two weeks have been really busy,” Biggar said. “I’ve had a significant number of calls on condos. the resale condo market for us last year was very, very flat — there were just no first-time homebuyers, but they appear to be surfacing now at some rate.”

The home price index, which is a benchmark price for a typical home, is down 5.8 per cent from a peak of $625,000 in May 2012 to $590,800 in Metro Vancouver. In the Fraser Valley, the benchmark price was up 1.2 per cent compared to last December, but down 1 per cent compared to November 2012.

“We saw home prices come down a bit during the latter half of the year. During the same period, we saw fewer home sales and listings,” said Eugen Klein, REBGV president. He called the stall a “tug of war” between potential buyers and sellers.

“Sellers are saying we don’t need to sell and we want a certain price. Some buyers are expecting fantastic opportunities so they’re waiting for prices to drop further, but that’s not happening, so they’re not making any decisions,” Klein said, adding that a slowdown is expected after the past few years of significant price hikes and record sales numbers.

He said he doesn’t expect sales activity to change significantly in the next three months.

“It will take some inducement to get people off the sidelines. They need a real reason to buy or to sell. When that comes, then you will see the standoff change,” Klein said.

There were 1,142 home sales in Metro Vancouver in December, down 31.1 per cent from December 2011, while there were 1,380 new listings in December, down 15.3 per cent from December 2011.

Yesterday, B.C. Assessment sent out 2013 property assessments showing values dropping for the first time in many years, most notably in areas including the west side of Vancouver, Whistler, Pemberton, Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast.

The assessments, which reflect values as of July 1, 2012, showed the majority of property assessments remained stable, gaining or losing less than five per cent of last year’s assessment.

In Metro Vancouver, December sales were 38.4 per cent below the 10-year December sales average of 1,855, REBGV found. For the year, total residential sales numbered 25,032, a 22.7-per-cent drop from 2011 and an 18.2-per-cent drop from 2010.

For the year in Metro Vancouver, sales were one-quarter less than the ten-year average, while the number of listings was 6.1 per cent above the ten-year average for the region, REBGV said. The sales-to-listing ratio is the lowest it has been since 2009. In the Fraser Valley, sales for the year were down 10.6 per cent, while the number of new listings was down 1.8 per cent.

The sales slowdown appears to be affecting single-family homes, townhouses and apartments in slightly different ways.

Detached property sales were down more than one-third from both December 2011 and 2010, while the benchmark price for a detached property has dropped 6.5 per cent since the peak in May to $904,200, REBGV said. The benchmark price for a detached property is also down from last December by 2.7 per cent.

Apartment sales also dropped more than one-third from the last two Decembers, while the benchmark price dropped 12.8 per cent since the peak in May to $361,200. The benchmark price for an apartment is down 1.8 per cent from last December.

Townhouse sales volumes fell 16 per cent from December 2011 and 33.2 per cent from December 2010, while the benchmark price has dropped 4.4 per cent to $450,900 from the peak in April. "

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房地产经纪人拉里·比格说,他的一个客户一样,在11月。里士满的家已出售约半年,而不是价格越低,任何进一步的,夫妻俩决定把家里客市场。 Biggar说,他们是在60年代末,并希望将其缩小为一个公寓。他说,每个人都经历家庭喜欢它,但他们似乎都在等着看会发生什么价格。

“我们看着市场的放缓,放缓,并减缓。 ...它只是变得更安静,安静的,说:“比格与REMAX西海岸,谁的作品。 “最后,他们说够了。我们真的没有卖。如果需要的话,我们可以搪塞我们的计划,虽然这不是我们的第一选择。“


“我的工作是告诉他们,什么他们想要购买的也将有所回落,Biggar说。” “他们不是投资者,所以只要他们能得到他们的计划,美元的差异仍然相同,则该计划为他们的作品。”


“过去两周一直都很忙,Biggar说。” “我有一个显着的呼吁公寓。转售公寓去年市场对我们来说是非常,非常平坦的 - 有没有首次购房者,但他们似乎浮出台面,在一些速度。“


“我们看到了住房价格回落在下半年的一年。 REBGV总裁,说:“欧根·克莱因,在同一时期,我们看到更少的房屋销售和上市。他所谓的失速潜在的买家和卖家之间的“拉锯战”。





昨天,B.C.评估发出了2013年的财产评估值多年以来的第一次下降,最显着的领域,包括西边的温哥华,惠斯勒,彭伯顿,鲍恩岛(Bowen Island),阳光海岸(Sunshine Coast)。