When you think of the Greater Vancouver real estate market, think of the school calendar. Similarly to school holidays, the calmest months are typically July, August, December, and January. Traditionally, the market follows this cycle every year.
Sales volume in January and February generally begin the year on the slower side. By the time March rolls around, home shoppers are more active and the market picks up steam, peaking from May to June. By mid July, residents are spending their time at the beach rather than in open houses. When the Fall market materializes, sales see another upwards bump through September and October. If buyers haven't found their new home by mid-November, chances are the search is being put off to the following year.
Zooming into 2018, sales volume has been at it's lowest levels in five years. This was highlighted most recently as the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver announced that July 2018 had been the lowest selling July in over 10 years.
Numerous recent tax and rule changes imposed on the Greater Vancouver market coupled with rising interest rates have caused some to call for a more drastic market correction in the near future. While a sudden drop off might not be the most likely outcome, it is plausible that residents of the Lower Mainland see a prolonged period of stability with incremental price decreases. As it stands, the detached housing market has statistically shifted into a buyer's market for the first time in five years. This did not happen overnight, but rather over the course of the last twelve months where demand began to wane and inventory began to rise. The condominium and townhouse markets are starting to show a similar trajectory.
As we enter Fall, this will be a time to keep a keen eye on the market. The market performance in September and October may indicate what's in store for Greater Vancouver for the foreseeable future. Should the annual Autumn bump in sales volume not materialize, this could prove to be a sign that the seemingly ever-rising region is entering an unfamiliar cycle compared to anything witnessed over the last three to four years.
To all the market watchers out there, be sure to follow the Fall. Depending on your risk profile, it might give you a sign that it's time to sit on the sidelines or ramp up your buying decisions! As for the majority of the population, you may see affordability creep its way back into the market, particularly in some of the cities surrounding Vancouver.
If you're looking to learn more about Great Vancouver real estate market statistics and performance, you can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading,