Summer 2009 Market Update – Vancouver Real Estate

August 2, 2009

Summer 2009 Market Update

House Market

The most active sectors of the housing market in Vancouver, have been those fueled by local buyers, mainly young families seeing this as a good time to move up. Bidding wars on affordable character homes have become commonplace again in the 2nd quarter. Unlike the luxury condo market which remains stalled due to the lack of international investors and empty nesters, sales of luxury detached homes are brisk. The added ingredient here is the continuing stream of new buyers from Mainland China who have chosen the Westside as their neighbourhood of choice. Land values on the Westside dropped dramatically from mid 2007 to end 2008 and they appear to have perhaps overshot the bottom and are now bouncing back a little. Most of the families have probably made their moves for this year already. However, despite less sales I don’t think there will be a huge amount of new listings either, so I can see prices holding fairly steady for the remainder of the year.

Condo Market

2009 has brought almost as many surprises as 2008, only this time they have been nice ones! The 4th quarter of 2008 was the toughest quarter in recent history for most markets in Canada including here in Vancouver, with very few sales and sharply declining prices. The first quarter of 2009 saw the market begin to stabilize but not many people predicted the huge increase in activity that would follow in the 2nd quarter. With low interest rates, limited inventory and renewed buyer confidence, the condo market driven primarily by local first time buyers came to life almost overnight. Sales volume increased and prices appear, for now, to have stabilized. So what happens next? My best guess is that the sales volume will decline for the second half of this year and this will likely steady things off until next spring, with prices leveling out and possibly softening a little more towards the winter months especially in areas with more product availability. And then just 8 months away is the ultimate wild card…. the 2010 Winter Olympics!!