Real Estate Highlights of 2010 – continued…
Buyer’s Market

On April 27th I posted, “Hello Buyer’s Market!” to let my clients know we were in a Buyers Market.  It was four months later that the chief economist of the Real Estate Association mentioned “a summer shift to a buyers market”.

Balanced Market

Locally this past November we moved back to a balanced market and prices stabilized around September after a 2 – 3 percent decline. The number of REBGV MLS listings at that time was hovering in the 14,000 range. As at December 31, 2010, this number had declined to 10,716, and for the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) this number was down to 6,586.

As I’ve reported before, the last day of each year is the day we get the single largest number of expiries and December 31, 2010 was no let down. Overnight the REBGV dropped from !0,716 to 9,207 and the FVREB dropped from 6,586 to 5,583.

Supply

With less than 15,000 listings available between the two regional boards, we must be careful before declaring a Seller’s Market because of a couple of factors.

The number of buyers (demand) appears to be diminishing and if the upcoming budget changes the lending rules then we could see them evaporate further.

The big unknown is, how many new homes are for sale directly from builders that are not listed on MLS?  Also, whether the effect of the HST will take it’s toll on new home sales?

The other factor is that many of the listings that expired in late 2010 will be brought back to market in the next few months.  Hopefully these potential sellers were given a reality check by their REALTOR® and will have a realistic price this time; please don’t waste out time.

Demand

The in-migration for BC is still trending up and by 2040 we will have grown by nearly 50% to be a population of well over 3.5 million.

This almost guarantees an annual demand for housing whether it be owned or rented, and the number of people actually coming into BC averages about 40,000 annually with the majority coming to the Lower Mainland. This is all new demand for local housing and a part of what makes the Lower Mainland inimitable.

The real estate business today involves Gen X and Y over 70 percent of the time. In 2010 94% of all residential real estate business originated from online.

For Consumers (of real estate services)

Consumers expectations were met with more services that add value as the real estate industry (North American-wide) underwent changes in 2010.

For example, an increase in the adoption by REALTORS® of, texting, GPS, CR codes, etc., is replacing (or complementing) the more traditional tools and systems.

REALTOR® turnover

While many new licensees are unable to make it in the business, many just can’t keep up with the changes.  Is the turnover of REALTORS® on the rise? There are about 16,000 REALTORS® in BC and turnover continues at breakneck speed. Total turnover for the latest 5 year period is darn close to 100 percent, and I believe that this turnover is going to get higher as we move forward.

A few personal 2010 slices…

Our new workshop, which is about current information for people entering the market to consider, was held in 2010. The Buyer Beware seminar was video taped in modules and will be released online in 2011. It will also resume on January 25, 2011 at Douglas College. 

I provided background information to many media sources in 2010, and participated in several reports. Here is the most recent; a story done by CBC TV in which I participated: Homeowners out thousands despite warranty

A new look website was launched at the end of 2010; let me know if it could be more helpful.

In 2010 I was proud to be recognized and receive the REALTORS Care® award from my peers.

I met some wonderful people online and in person (including many new additions to clients families – congrats) and in so doing made many new friends in 2010.

Remember that unless we live our lives differently than in 2010 things are unlikely to change. Happy New Year.

Real Estate Highlights of 2010: part 2

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