Google says Vancouver Real Estate Isn’t Interesting


Trends are known to be indicators of a change in direction. A Google report that tabulates the number of searches using the keywords “Vancouver Real Estate” has since 2004, continued on a steady downward trend leaving one to ask if this means the Vancouver real estate market is on a precipice or does the trend suggest a less considered alternative?

Herd Mentality

We often refer to a trend setter as the first to blaze a new path. Those who follow the trend setter do so as a result of influence. At some point given sufficient influence, a change in the followers behavior may occur where the trend is assumed as their own. As followers grow in number a group intelligence evolves which has according to some literature, been described as herd mentality.

Lost Interest

According to Google’s ‘interest over time’ graph, the keywords “Vancouver Real Estate” were used to measure the level of interest in Vancouver real estate. More pointedly, it counted the number of times someone would enter those words in their search for information.

As to methodology I have made the presumption that the trend graph and the Vancouver Real Estate Board’s average graph use similar calculation formats. One tabulates the number of visits using the key word combination and the other tabulates the monthly average price of homes sold in Vancouver. The results of both provide an observation that is curious for while interest in searching for the term “Vancouver real estate” has declined, in opposition prices and volume have in general increased.

House Picture Prices Rising

Stretching Possibility

As a Realtor® my career is dependent upon on people maintaining a continued interest in buying or selling property in Vancouver.

While viewing both graphs, outstanding was the striking divergence between the market’s actual performance versus the incredible decline in interest. Curiosity welled up and I began to wonder if this simple Google trend was multi-layered.

What If?

The two graph’s outcomes present a remarkable disconnect that made me wonder:

  • Could the Google trend be a precursor to yet unseen, ‘lag’ in market response?
  • If a change in market state was not the outcome, could Google’s trend be telling us something more deeply intrinsic about the Vancouver home buyer’s outlook?
  • Could that outlook be one where Vancouver home buyers have simply given up on the possibility of owning a Vancouver home?
  • If buyer’s have simply given up is Vancouver trending toward a new class hierarchy?
Vancouver average price for blog01

Changing Behavior

Many accounts say that the idea of purchasing a Vancouver home has reached a level beyond affordable? While that may be the case, at question is whether the ‘interest’ in owning a Vancouver home has as the ever lower points on the graph suggest, become irrelevant?

Assuming that since 2004 trend adopters have changed is that change a function of group intelligence and is that group intelligence now entrenched in a buyer’s psyche? Is the entrenchment so pronounced that it has altered buyer behavior to the point where it is exhibited as abject resignation the summation of which is buyers asking themselves “what is point”?

Forgoing the validation of these postulates, are the dwindling number of searches for the term Vancouver Real Estate sufficient proof at this junction that to justify new buyer behavior? Could the dwindling numbers be both the result and reason that fewer and fewer buyers search for a home using the key words “Vancouver real estate”?


If the multi-layered implications of the ‘interest trend’ hold true can we then further assume that the loss of all hope and interest in our real estate market forebodes a future trend recording the birth of a new class of Vancouverite?


Following the assumptions the new ‘Vancouver hierarchy trend’ may be comprised of two sectors. One class, lesser in number, is made up of those who can afford to buy a Vancouver home? The other class, is made up of a greater number of people who have yielded and resigned their fate to never owning a home.

From my selfish point of view all markets require the support of many in order to survive. Removing an entire buyer class – one which is predicated on affordability, from active participation in the Vancouver market place leaves me to ask if the market can be expected to survive. Without their support are there a sufficient number of buyers who exist at the next financial level who are ready to support Vancouver’s ever increasing cost of owning a home?

Google’s Trend for Vancouver Real Estate Interest

Social Media

It must be made clear that from Google’s advantage their graph does not portend to be anything more than a recorded accumulation of the number of people who no longer search for the three key words – Vancouver real estate.

Proffered as counter point are observational possibilities – none of which are verifiable.

  • Are buyers suffering in silence – possibly.
  • Have they expressed that suffering by not engaging in social media dialogue via those three key words – possibly?

Last, it is interesting to note that an ever increasing number of blogs – “the Bear blogs”, the ones who champion the cause of maintaining affordability have become much like those who express an ‘interest in Vancouver real estate’. They are slowly disappearing from this web space.

This begs one final question – are we in the midst of an unfolding trend where the previously topical west coast dream of owning a Vancouver home has become obsolete in on-line discourse simply because it is no longer interesting?

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

When Life Moves You - contact Larry:

*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

James Says:
March 18th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

True its one of the worlds most boring cities.

March 18th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

have to check Google to see if they have a ‘interest over time trend for that.

in the interim Vancouver hasn’t made this list:

Sum Tin Wong Says:
March 20th, 2014 at 7:10 am

The Music Just Ended: “Wealthy” Chinese Are Liquidating Offshore Luxury Homes In Scramble For Cash

March 20th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

@Sum Tin Wong,

did you stay up all night to figure out the name? :”)

Throwback Says:
March 21st, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Looks to me like the next tooth is on the down trend on the price graph, and its gonna be a sharp one.

Slow Sales Says:
March 21st, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Larry correct me if I’m not perfect…if prices start to dip and listings increase, to the point fence sitters start vultching, wouldn’t realtors rather get volume vs high prices? IE sell 2 1. Million $ homes vs 1 1.5 million? Thepprices for SFH make no cents they only cost too many cents.Unless SFH prices adjust 30% I guarantee I won’t even consider buying. And don’t tell me they won’t or can’t. Oh but it’s different here eh?

March 22nd, 2014 at 9:52 am


Of course we would rather sell 2 than 1. What I find strange is part of the equation is always left out in statements such as yours is that you neglect to acknowledge that there is a seller involved. It is THEIR property and THEY always have their own idea of what THEIR property is worth regardless of what the stats, the Realtor or market conditions say.

Admittedly my job is to get a seller the highest price possible and the best conditions BUT, IF THAT SELLER is not willing to accept that market conditions/values have changed they will not sell believing that there must be someone out there who will pay their asking price.

I can tell you that the hardest part of my job is helping sellers and buyers to be realistic.

With respect, I would point out that from the Buyer’s side of the same equation YOU are a perfect example of this thought process. 30% or nothing is a big line in the sand! Good luck with that.

Sam Says:
March 22nd, 2014 at 4:35 pm

It is easier to get a buyer to move up in price if they see that all the homes they have been searching is ‘expensive’ to them. However for sellers, if they don’t get their price, they rather remove the house from the market than to sell and what is perceived ‘below’ market value for their home.

Slow Sales Says:
March 22nd, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Thanks for your reply Larry, I guess as long as my landlord is content with renting me their 7 figure home for 3K a month, I will keep smiling:-)

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