Spring / Summer 2011 Market Update
The house market, as has been well documented in the press, has found yet another extra gear in 2011. The Westside market, fuelled almost exclusively now by new families moving from China, has soared to new heights. Sales exceeding listing prices by 10-20% are common place and “land” is king. The larger the lot the better. Proximity to specific schools is also a high priority. Brand new homes and “tear downs” are most popular, but such is the demand for land that even recently renovated older homes are now coming down too. My hope is that, unlike what happened in the 90’s, because most of these homes will become the primary residence of part or all of the family purchasing, the quality of the new homes will be higher and built to last in our climate This will benefit everyone, most of all the owners themselves. The traditional local Westside buyer is now purchasing on the Eastside, Northshore and as far out as White Rock, placing similar upward pressure on prices in these areas too.
As predicted in my previous newsletter, the last quarter of 2010 turned out to be a great time to buy a condo in Vancouver! A new wave of buyers breathed life into the market starting in January, with activity really heating up in March. Prices remain very solid with small increases especially in the lower price ranges. Downtown has recovered particularly well with the increased inventory from last year getting soaked up fast by the high volume of sales. Now that the March 18th deadline has passed and new mortgage rules are in place, it will be interesting to see what if any effect this has. My view is that while it may have created a spike in activity just prior, most buyers/lenders had in the main been borrowing/lending in a much more conservative manner for the past 2 years anyway, so I don’t anticipate it placing any significant downward pressure on prices. I expect to see a healthy balanced market throughout the year but with higher sales volume in the first half than the second.