Is this a good time to buy or sell a home in Vancouver?

We Love Kits
We Love Kits
Published on March 25, 2020

Social distancing. Self-quarantine. Hand sanitizer, soap and water and elbow-bumping instead of shaking hands.

In our efforts to deal with a world-wide pandemic, not only are our priorities changing, but our vocabulary as well.

There was no warning, really, so it naturally caught many of us by surprise. We’re getting a lot of questions from our clients, worried about whether or not they should continue to close on their transactions, continue searching for a home or for a buyer for their current home.

We aren’t medical experts, so we can’t field medical questions. But we are real estate experts and are happy to offer our opinion of what is happening in the housing market and what experts expect in the coming weeks and months.

Uncertainty reigns

While there are plenty of rumors and much guessing from the experts as to how the Canadian economy will be impacted by the safety measures federal, provincial and municipal governments are enacting, nobody is certain.

We agree with those who claim that it all centers on how long the virus takes to get under control. The longer Canadians are out of work, the longer retailers and other businesses remain closed, the bigger the impact on the economy.

Will our deal close?

If you have already signed a purchase agreement, as a buyer or a seller, lenders are taking extra steps to help speed up the process.

The real sticking point to be aware of is that with municipal buildings closing down, the sale may not be recorded when you expected it to. Some municipalities are offering alternatives, such as closing remotely, through e-recording (thank goodness for technology!) and even by mail.

Is this an ok time to buy a home?

Within the real estate industry there’s a well-known saying that the best time to buy a home is when you can afford to buy a home.

While mortgage interest rates have edged up a bit over the past few weeks, we’re still at historic lows. Borrowing money has rarely been so inexpensive.  The Bank of Canada just cut it’s prime rate to 0.25%.  The Canadian banks are raising fixed rates while Variable have been going down. 

When rates are higher you won’t get nearly the size or type of home you can right now.

If you’re worried about exposure while house hunting, understand that touring homes for sale is a bit different now but still quite doable. Much of the process can be done online via virtual open houses, 3-D home tours, floor plan drawings and more.

Even in-person tours can be accomplished in a safe, healthy way.

What about selling? Is this an ok time?

While spring is typically the best time of the year to put a house on the market in Vancouver, this spring is going to be quite different.

There are buyers in the market, however, so if you need to sell, by all means, let’s get that home on the market.

As mentioned in the buying section, above, we can employ a number of methods to keep your home and your family safe during and after showings. Prior to the Corona outbreak we also utilized video in our listings. This continues and is one of the ways the we market our clients properties. We utilize technology as well to ensure that the video is viewed by motivated buyers.

Remember, the inventory of available homes is still quite low, so you will have little competition for homebuyers’ attention. We’re even seeing bidding wars still happening, across the country.

If the home is in good condition and priced well, it will sell.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’re happy to help. Stay safe!

Just a quick update after our Monday sales meeting. All markets in Vancouver West & East are in a Sellers market. High sales month over month with low inventory. The lowest was 1.9 months of inventory for Townhouses in East Vancouver.

The average inventory city wide was approximately 3 months of inventory based on the monthly sales. What does this mean, activity is still really high even with the Covid-19 restrictions. 

Regan & Tomas

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