As a real estate agent in Vancouver, Ariane Benjamin has focused on the townhouse and condo market for the last 15 years. 2018 proved to be an interesting time in real estate, a stark contrast to the previous three years where it seemed like the competition for housing would never end. In examining what will happen moving forward, Ariane looks back to some of the biggest changes in 2018.
“2018 marked the end of the bidding war,” says Ariane. It was often so competitive that buyers had to forego subjects and conditions when making offers or risk losing the property. The market in 2019 is much more balanced. Buyers have more choices and more time to make decisions, which makes it much easier to find a property that really fits with your goals and lifestyle.”
Another big change seen in 2018 was the number of properties on the market. Availability skyrocketed, meaning buyers had a much bigger inventory of homes to consider.
“Sellers who are serious about moving their properties must now consider how to create a competitive listing. It’s important to look at what’s going on in the neighbourhood—what’s selling and what isn’t. It’s now incredibly important to find an experienced home seller who can ensure that all aspects of property preparation and marketing are at its best, otherwise, there’s a risk a property will simply be overlooked. It’s no longer enough to post a listing with a few blurry pictures. Homes in 2019 need to be presented nicely and marketed strategically.”
The final market change in 2018 was the decrease in purchasing power. Worried about inflation, the Federal Government implemented measures like the mortgage stress test to ensure Canadians would remain solvent, even if interest rates were to substantially increase.
“It was a move that cut the purchasing power of home buyers by about 20%,” explains Ariane. “Some people left the market while others decided to look for smaller or older properties.”
Many people, particularly those in and around Vancouver, decided to wait it out, especially when the volume of sales dropped by about 25%.
“Around the end of 2018, what we saw was that detached housing prices, on average, had dropped by about 8%,” explains Ariane. Condo prices remained consistent—and townhouse prices were actually up by about 1%.”
Overall, it’s hard to say what’s going to happen next. Vancouver remains an attractive place and will continue to appeal to people attracted by its lifestyle, scenic beauty, and work opportunities.
“As far as real estate in Vancouver, we’ve seen increased interest and activities in terms of web visits and calls in January,” says Ariane. “But ultimately the future is anyone’s guess.”
Looking to buy or sell a townhouse in 2019?
As an experienced townhouse realtor in Vancouver, Ariane Benjamin has been tracking and studying townhouse sales and neighbourhood trends for over 15 years. Her one-on-one approach to buying and selling emphasizes a customer-first attitude and allows her to deliver results and value. Call (604) 779-1500 to set up a complimentary consultation with Ariane today.