What Do the Latest Numbers Say About Our Market?
Here’s the latest news regarding our B.C. real estate market.
It’s been nearly 60 days since our last report, and we’ve been seeing some interesting trends play out at the moment.
In my previous update, I mentioned that buyers were trending toward more square footage. It was based on a gut feeling at the time, but I now have the data to back it up.
The average property that sold in the last couple of months is 211 square feet larger than it was at the same time last year. This is a reversal of a trend that had been persisting for almost a decade. In the most recent buyer survey, we found that buyers were almost twice as likely to be upgrading their property than downsizing.
Where are these buyers coming from? Well, 60% of them are local buyers who are trading one property for another. Secondary markets like the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan Valley are seeing a flood of buyers, and these folks represent the next 20% of our buyer pool. Then there are our friends from Alberta, who aren’t as active these days for a variety of reasons (e.g., punitive speculation task, tough sledding in oil and gas) but still make up 10% of buyers.
So... is it a buyers or sellers market?
Luxury sales are up almost 300% compared to last summer. The market for agricultural land is on fire as well. Acreage sales are up over 250% in the last two months and lot sales are up nearly 100% year over year.
The single-family trend saw four times the increase compared to apartments, with single-family homes up 80% and apartments up 20%. At the macro level, the market remains tight as a drum with under four months of inventory. We’re now firmly in a seller’s market.
"Now’s a good time to cash in on home equity."
Inventory is down about 10% from where we were last year and right on par with 2018 numbers. Although the supply is limited, what’s driving our market is demand. Sales volume is up 70% compared to last year.
In the rental market, properties are being snapped up quickly, and tenants are paying their rents. This is the busiest month for property management and we’re seeing an upward pressure on rents. It’s a good indicator of overall market health.
As impressive as all of this is, especially after the shock of this spring, I’m still very mindful of the fact that unemployment is at an all-time high and our GDP has taken a big hit. Our economy is being propped up by massive stimulus packages that could end at any time, but my advice to you remains the same.
If you have a property that has seen some appreciation over the years, now may not be a bad time to capture those gains. This can be achieved through a sale or home equity line of credit. It’s also time to sell any investment property that’s cash-flow negative.
If you’re a buyer right now, don’t settle. Negotiate a great deal and make sure you truly like your home. As long as you don’t plan to sell it in the next few years, it’s a good bet that you’ll see some nice equity build up over time.
If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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