If you have been sitting on the fence to buy or sell, it may be time to jump off.
Things have changed. The news is quiet, the papers have found something else to report on, the sun is coming out and the banks are in competition for business. Life is good if you are a home seller or buyer.
Over the last 8-10 months, selling your home would have been tough. With photos on the front page of MacLean’s magazine showing a high-rise condo unit with flames shooting out the side of it, this kind of media hype and attention cannot be good for any home owner. Sellers were stubborn to adjust to realistic times of a down market, and buyers were fearful of over-paying for a home that was developed by fear tactics of the media to sell papers, air-time and magazines. Award winning novelist Morris West said, “If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm to end, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.” Many homeowners and buyers are now enjoying the sunshine. Is it time for you to get some sun too?
Predicted to drop up to 25%, the housing market got stale. Realistically, from the point last year to today, our housing market in the Fraser Valley is up. Detached homes are now actually 0.6% more expensive than they were at this time last year, townhomes just under even, and condos up 0.8% in value. Buyers and Sellers, and Realtors for that matter, will tell you it isn’t quite as slow as the media predicted, nor is it even close.
It is true that sales have slowed down and the buying and selling frenzies of the past are indeed, in the past. Yet what part of the story don’t we hear?
Sales in the Fraser Valley are down 20% from this time last year, yet strangely enough are up 24% over last month already. People listing their homes is also down 10%, largely from people likely thinking they are going to lose their shirts on their homes. With the sales on their way up, and listings on their way down, this effectively is closing the gap between how much property is available and the amount of people able to buy it. When inventory and availability go down, we tend to see prices go up. Basic supply and demand.
So is it a good time to buy? What about sell? For one of the first times in a while, it looks like each side of the coin can benefit. Interest rates for a mortgage are at some of the lowest points in history, and there is only one way to go from the bottom… Up. Sellers have been fearful for so long that they don’t know what to believe, yet the numbers say things really are pretty good, and they look like they may get better. For those who have to buy and sell, you can take advantage of the low rates, and moreso the benefit of the true knowledge of what is happening in our marketplace. If prices continue to slowly rise, the heard mentality will kick in pretty quick. This could result in sellers overpricing their homes (because they think they now can again), paying more for that next property, and possibly getting an unfavorable interest rate should a productive market signal a rate increase to the banks.
We have a very unique and golden time in our market right now that should last about 2 months. This is a time when the media keeps its mouth shut, and the market does what it will do. The frenzy looks like it is on the horizon (and feels that way too), now it is time to decide if you want to sneak in the back door before, or deal with the herd when the time comes.
Every market and product is unique, so feel free to forward your questions about your specific needs and situation to get the best and timely advice. Until next time,