That Age Old Question: Should I Buy Now Or Wait?

We Love Kits
We Love Kits
Published on June 28, 2024
waiting by the ocean

When considering a significant investment like purchasing property, timing can play a crucial role in the financial benefits or drawbacks you may encounter. Vancouver, one of Canada’s most vibrant and sought-after cities, presents a unique real estate market. In this post, we will explore the financial benefits of buying property in Vancouver now versus waiting a year. We’ll delve into factors such as inflation, current mortgage rates in Canada, the projected increase in property prices, and other relevant financial data to provide a comprehensive analysis.

Current Market Overview

As of mid-2024, Vancouver’s real estate market continues to be robust. Despite the pandemic’s economic uncertainties, the city’s property market has shown remarkable resilience. According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the average home price in Vancouver has increased by approximately 5% annually over the past decade. However, this growth rate has recently accelerated due to high demand and limited supply, with some areas seeing year-over-year increases of over 10%.

Inflation and Its Impact

Inflation is a critical factor in the real estate market. As of 2024, Canada’s inflation rate hovers around 3.6%, influenced by global economic conditions and domestic policies. Inflation erodes the purchasing power of money, meaning that the longer you wait to buy, the less your money will be worth. Consequently, the real cost of properties tends to rise with inflation.

Buying now allows you to lock in a price with today’s value of money. Waiting a year means you may pay more for the same property due to the general rise in prices caused by inflation. Additionally, inflation can affect mortgage rates, which are closely linked to the Bank of Canada’s policies aimed at controlling inflation.

Mortgage Rates: Now vs. Future

Currently, mortgage rates in Canada are relatively low, though they have been gradually increasing. As of mid-2024, the average fixed mortgage rate for a five-year term is around 5.0%. The Bank of Canada has signaled that further rate decreases later this year are possible if inflation continues to ease.

Property Price Trends

green arrow going up

Historical data and current market conditions suggest that Vancouver’s property prices will continue to rise. Several factors contribute to this trend, including:

  1. High Demand and Low Supply: Vancouver remains a desirable location due to its economic opportunities, natural beauty, and quality of life. The demand for housing consistently outstrips supply, pushing prices upward.
  2. Foreign Investment: Vancouver attracts significant foreign investment, particularly from buyers seeking stable and lucrative real estate markets. This influx of capital further drives up prices.
  3. Economic Growth: Vancouver’s economy is robust, with growth in technology, finance, and tourism sectors contributing to job creation and, consequently, housing demand.

If property prices continue to increase by 5% over the next year, waiting to buy could mean paying significantly more for the same property. For example, a $1.5 million home today could cost $1.575 million next year.

Opportunity Cost of Waiting

The opportunity cost of waiting to buy property can be substantial. By purchasing now, you can start building equity immediately. Real estate often appreciates over time, providing both a place to live and a valuable investment. If you wait a year, you might face higher purchase prices and mortgage rates, but you’ll also miss out on a year’s worth of equity growth and potential rental income if you plan to rent out the property.

Tax Considerations

tax guy holding books

Purchasing property in Vancouver also involves various tax considerations. British Columbia’s property transfer tax, for instance, is a significant upfront cost. However, property tax rates and potential tax benefits, such as deductions for mortgage interest, can influence the overall financial impact of your purchase. Consulting with a tax professional can help you understand these implications and make an informed decision.

Let’s take a look at what happened between May 2023-2024 and the financial impact of buying vs waiting. The top table is for Residential Houses and the lower table is for a Condo. The appreciation for Houses was 2.1%, and for a Condo was 4.5%.

In the Condo scenario above, consider that the principal payment of $16,937 annually is equivalent to $1,411 per month. How difficult would it be to save that if you were renting? I’ll give you the same amount for a 1 bedroom valued at $600,000. $8,491 annually or $707.58 monthly. That’s $8,491 that you can now put in the asset column of your financials. At the end of 5 years that principal amount is now $48,071. Have you been able to save that in the last 5 years?

Rental Market Dynamics for the Investor

Vancouver’s rental market is another important factor. High demand for rental properties means that if you purchase a property now, you could benefit from strong rental income. Waiting a year might mean higher purchase prices and potentially lower rental yields if rent prices do not increase at the same rate as property values.

Investment Diversification

Real estate is a valuable component of a diversified investment portfolio. By investing in Vancouver property now, you diversify your assets, potentially reducing risk compared to more volatile investments like stocks. Real estate can provide stable returns through appreciation and rental income, making it a sound investment choice.

Conclusion: Buy Now or Wait?

Considering inflation, current mortgage rates, projected property price increases, and other financial factors, buying property in Vancouver now presents significant financial benefits compared to waiting a year. Locking in today’s prices and mortgage rates can save you money in the long run, and you’ll begin building equity immediately.

While waiting might seem tempting in hopes of a market correction or other favorable changes, the risks of higher prices and interest rates, combined with the loss of immediate equity growth, make purchasing now a more financially sound decision for most buyers.

Ultimately, the decision should align with your personal financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance. Consulting with real estate and financial professionals can provide personalized advice to help you make the best choice for your circumstances.

You might also like:

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Kitsilano Homes for Sale

Kitsilano Condos for Sale

About the Author:

kitsilano real estate

That Age Old Question: Should I Buy Now Or Wait?: was provided by Regan Pyke, a Vancouver Realtor and a leader in the field of sales, marketing, and real estate investing. Regan can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 778-228-2448.

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