Monday, October 18, 2010

Hitting the snooze button...

Last Thursday we commented how real estate sales in Vancouver are on track for another dismal month.

If the trend holds out, sales will once again be among the lowest in the last decade - the fifth consecutive such month.

But as the Vancouver Housing Blogger noted in the comments section of the Vancouver Condo Info blog (VCI), "not only will sales be the 2nd lowest over the last 10 Octobers, but listings will be the lowest in the last 5 years. If it were a hot market, sales would be booming. They’re not."

That's a stunning situation. Low listings and low sales.

Sellers are yanking their listings off the market and waiting until 2011. The hope is that the dearth of listings will re-ignite the market.

But with interest rates at their lowest levels in history, where are the buyers?

In 2009 prices had dropped by 10%. Emergency level interest rates combined with the 10% price drop drew many into the market.

But prices have not begun to drop yet.

As I have already mentioned, many observers anticipate ongoing minor price drops through October, November and December. Then, in the first half of 2011, you will probably start to see speculators, boomers, foreign holders, overextended locals and developers all come to the market.

By then we will probably be looking at 8-10 consecutive months of the worst sales in over a decade.

As VHB noted, "the Vancouver real estate market has hit the great snooze button."

Will the market wake up in Spring 2011 with a giant hangover?

Meanwhile in West Vancouver...

This isn't to say we aren't seeing price reductions, especially at the high end (where are those wealthy Asian buyers who will keep luxury prices where they belong?)

This Arthur Erickson built home at 1812 Palmerston Avenue was originally constructed as a four-bedroom family home but was renovated into a three-bedroom by the previous owners.

Sold in 2003 for $2,375,000, it has been laguishing for sale on the market for over six months with an asking price of $5,695,000.

Recognizing the current state of the market, the seller came down on his asking price and the home has sold for $4,750,000.

That's a drop of 17%.



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  1. Thanks squidly77. I have received a number of emails about Maudlin's latest letter. This remains a huge story with lots still to play out.

  2. prices will stay flat for a while but BC is in deep trouble. Thanks again for the work on your posts. I am trying to spread the word and with the hits you should see more blinking eyes reading.