There many good Vancouver people who wave the flag proclaiming that Vancouver is the very best place on this world to live. Some are sufficiently bold to proclaim that this place we call Vancouver is ‘super natural’!
Armed with tabulated daily total listings for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Board and the Chilliwack Real Estate Board since October of 2010, some might also say that the meteoric climb in home listings in 2012 has crossed over into the realm of the super natural.
Hitting the Big Time
On October 1 of 2010 the Total Listing count was 24,457. It seemed then, to be an extraordinary number of listings. A month later on November 1, 2010, 1,934 units of those Total listing dropped off this earth as the total began to slide down to 22,523. A month later that downward slide accelerated as it dropped another 2,180 units.
On October 1st of 2011, it seemed we had hit the big time when Total listings set a not-seen-before record of 25,235 units. Then at approximately the same time as in the year before, things started to change but more slowly. A month later on November 1, 2011 listings had dropped by less than half when compared to the same period in 2010. With only 909 units off the books the total number of listings faltered but remained high. As winter settled in with its long dark days, the total listings began to recede in December to finally reach its lowest point in that cycle on January 04, 2012 when only 15,444 listings were registered on the board’s systems. In just 4 months to this April we have hit the big time as the Total number of listings reached yet another new high of 25,424 units.
Different Then and Now
Going back to January 04, 2011 the total recorded was lower at 13,966 – some 1,478 less than January 04 of 2012. Like last year, total listings started their rush as they climbed higher each month. The pattern was the same now as then except for this difference. In 2012 the level of Total Listing has accelerated so much so that it has eclipsed 2011′s high a full 6 months ahead of anticipated schedule.
With a smirk, you might think someone had switched the months of the year on your 2012 calendar. The reality is that this hasn’t happened but to use the misquoted phrase from the Apollo 13 space flight commander – “Houston we have a problem.”
There is no reason to suspect that the headlong rush of listings coming to market will begin to slow in the short term. After all, your calendar tells you it is the wrong season for it to stop! Puzzling is that if this rush continues at this pace can anyone really know when the Total Listing count will reach their ultimate high in 2012?
The Total Listing rush gives reason for concern.
By inference, Sellers, all 25,424 of them spread across the lower mainland, are hoping to sell their homes. As such, with this great number of listings the competition to secure a buyer is fierce.
With new mortgage rules in place and perhaps even more to come, remaining are a rather select group of buyers who meet the requirements of having saved a down payment, a steady job, and the ability to qualify for mortgage finance. Add to this, that in the majority, these now exclusive buyers are more selective about the home they will consider buying. Critical decision makers, this new group of buyers demand value for money in things such as quality construction, renovation, proximity to schools, parks, community centers, transport and child care.
The selection of Vancouver and valley homes are as diverse as are the owners. It could be said that there is in this mix a home that will suit every buyer were it given that there were enough buyers ready willing and able to purchase every Vancouver home. Based on the new and the potential for more regulation in financing requirements and the lack of rising income levels, it seems obvious that the buyer pool is shrinking at a time when there are more listings than ever at prices higher than before.
It seems obvious that opposing forces are at work as the number of homes for sale increase while the number of potential buyers decrease. These opposing forces have the potential to generate an outcome that may be considered as super natural as a meteor hitting earth.
If the graph is a portent of the future in the months ahead we might expect a massive and more rapid drop in listings exceeding those adjustments seen in a late winter market. In addition, if that calendar is real, it might be sooner than later.
By way of casual observance it is suggested that prevailing human nature will dictate that many of these sellers would rather not sell and forgo perceived gains by removing their home from the market place. Alternatively, total listing levels may sustain but see price reductions by sellers who due to imposed or selected circumstance, can’t wait any longer. Ultimately, something has to give!
Regardless of what some sellers wishes are current income levels and mortgage rules are tightening the noose. In time a change must occur and market watchers salivate as they stand in shared excitement with the thought of seeing super natural Vancouver real estate forces collide.