A more detailed article today in the Vancouver sun about listings, sales and prices in Septembers real estate market in Vancouver. This article starts with the statement “The sellers’ market in Lower Mainland real estate is coming to a close.”
Cameron Muir of the CMHC makes the comment that “The asking price of many home sellers is getting to the point at which fewer and fewer buyers can pay”, but says that it this point (four months of sales decline) its not a signal of any kind of “significant market correction”.
However, Tsur Somerville, director of the centre for urban land economics and real estate at the University of B.C.’s Sauder School of Business, said the trend in sales is a sign the Lower Mainland market “is clearly putting the brakes on. But it’s too early to say how much.”
Somerville said real estate markets pass through a balanced period when they are rising from depression to overheated, and will also hit balance, or “equilibrium” on their way back.
“Since [the market] has been very overheated, it’s quite reasonable to go back to balance,” Somerville added. “The question is, are we going to stay there or keep going?”
Somerville wonders whether the psychology of buyers is shifting and more of them are focusing on negatives rather than positives, such as cost overruns for the 2010 Olympics. Somerville said buyers might also be looking at the poorly performing U.S. housing market and worrying how that might affect B.C. Whether it does or not is immaterial, he added, “because psychology matters.”
Anecdotaly, I’m finding that people around me no longer view real estate in the lower mainland as a ‘sure-bet’, In fact- I think I’ve heard expectations ranging from a dip to a crash from more than 10 different people in the last couple of weeks. Is this the end of the sellers market in Vancouver real estate? What will a transistion to a buyers market look like? Or will we find that sought for balance that saves us from a crash and enables more people to buy?
What are you hearing from people on the street?