The last couple months have been very busy. I’ve been dealing with multiple offers on a regular basis and have been working more than typical this time of year. I was wondering if this was just me, or if the Real Estate market was picking up, so I called people that have been in the industry as long as I have been, if not more, and asked them how the market is going for them. Here is what they had to say-
Devika Mehta, Notary Public - www.mehtanotary.com
Devika typically sees her business get busier two months behind the market as closings come later in the deals. She is seeing much more business this year versus last year, with the second half of the year being much busier. She noted that she is dealing with all local buyers, and is again seeing first time home buyers getting into the market. Downsizers are also selling houses and being able to purchase a condo in the city as well as a second home outside of it.
Geoff Bamford, Mortgage Specialist – geoffbamford.ca
Geoff said that there is definitely more action now that rates have gone down below the 3%, though people still have to meet the benchmark stress test rate of 5.19%. There are lenders, such as credit unions, that don’t do a stress test if you are 25% down with a 25 year amortization. He also noted that he is dealing with all local buyers, and a majority of families moving up.
Wayne DeJong, House Inspector - vancouver.pillartopost.com
Wayne told me his business is up 45% from last year, and has noticed that he got really busy from May onward. Last month was one of his busiest months in the past five years. “People have time to look at things and do their due diligence, where before when the market was very competitive they would not have a subject to inspection, or would overlook the deficiencies of the house.” Buyers are now expecting sellers to fix deficiencies or renegotiate the price.
Gary Tiwana, Builder – www.paramaxhomes.com
Gary specializes in luxury homes on the North Shore. He said he’s had more calls this year than last year for smaller homes as well as luxury homes, due to the fact that there are less good products on the market and people are not finding the home they want. Typical clients have been local, with interest from Americans as well as people wanting to take advantage of the lower land cost. Land values get affected more when the market goes down.
Noel Hache, Victoria Realtor - noelhache.remax.ca
Noel says there is 15% more inventory this summer over last summer, and has seen a pent up in demand. People that were sitting on the fence in the Spring waiting for prices to go down started to buy in July. Properties that are priced well will sell within a week close to or at list price. “Majority of buyers are locals playing musical chairs.” Vancouver buyers are looking on the island again.
After talking to these people, it confirmed for me that the market is definitely busy. Keep in mind that all of these people have been in business for 25+ years, and in a tough market like we’ve had professionals like these people keep doing business regardless. In a city like Vancouver (and the lower mainland) there will always be a demand for housing. People’s lives are always changing, and their housing demands change with them. Even though we do not have masses of people coming in from China, taxes have increased, and mortgage rules have taken their toll on purchasing power, there will still always be a demand for housing in Vancouver.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, I’ll be in the office working away, so if you have any questions on the market please give me a call. I’d like to hear from you.
Mark Hammer PREC*
RE/MAX Crest Realty