Spring 2002 Market Update – Vancouver Real Estate

May 1, 2002

Spring 2002 Market Update

Things are good and everybody is talking about it! Competing offers, a scarcity of listings and soaring prices… but when it hits the front page of the newspaper it’s probably a fair guess that it’s already over. In fact, the evidence is already out there to suggest that another change is coming. The number of listings is on the rise – the number of buyers is not. This should bring some much needed balance back into the market place. Over the past 6 months the pace has been frantic and if it hadn’t slowed down on its own, we could have all been in for a nasty shock. 15-20% increases over 6 a month period are clearly not sustainable and something had to change.

So what’s next? Are buyers overpaying and will they regret it later? My feeling is that only a tiny minority of buyers (none represented by me!) may have cause for concern with hindsight. These are the victims of extreme multi-offer scenarios, where the desire to be the “winner” (Realtor and buyer alike) and the frustration of having lost, perhaps two or three times previously, forces people to act irrationally and pay too much. These situations aside, I believe most buyers will be pleased to have bought in now. Securing low interest rates and buying in a rising market means acting fast, but if you can find the right place it is still a good time to buy.

By the end of this year rates may have crept up, there may be more choice in property but will the prices have actually gone down? I would be surprised. The long term graph has always gone up and will continue to do so. Many of us had been aware for the past 2 to 3 years that there was a pent up supply of buyers waiting for a signal to jump. Well it happened and 3 years worth of catch up sales just took place in 6 months. Now let’s get back to normal and hope for a couple years of healthy, steady turnover and modest, sustainable growth. Just one Realtor’s opinion.