Balanced Market (…didn’t you hear that we’re in one?)

There is a cycle that serious buyers and sellers need to consider with their own timing if they are going to be in the market seriously. I use the word “seriously” because far too many people are just wasting the time of willing REALTORS® that take a listing for the sake of having a listing. This is one reason we see so many expiries, and I really don’t want to get started here on that bone of contention; actually for me it’s a pet peeve that I’ve blogged about for many years.

On January 1st last year we started with over 10,200 resale listings on MLS in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). In the months that followed we saw a listing frenzy that peaked early in the second half with over 19,000. By the end of November 2012 we were down, but still at over 16,700 active listings.

In December the buyer’s market was over, and by December 31st we were down to about 13, 800 active listings. Then, overnight about 2,200 listings expired, which left us with around 11,700 listings available for the New Year on January 1st. So we ended the year with 1,500 listings more than we started with.

The supply and demand in the REBGV is worth paying attention to but there is a problem. The MLS only accounts for between 70 to 80 percent of the market. The majority of the missing information is new home sales, and only a few get listed on MLS.  That 20 to 30 percent balance also includes the houses sold by owner in the mix, which isn’t very many in the whole scheme of things.

So as I reported last month, yes, we’re in a balanced market, although it doesn’t appear to have been reported yet officially. It certainly wasn’t mentioned in the month end report just circulated by the REBGV: http://www.rebgv.org/news-statistics/prices-hold-firm-home-buyers-and-sellers-conclude-2012-sidelines.  Hmm, mysterious!

Btw, if you read this last line from the report first, then you will realize that everything that preceded it was bafflegab: “Activity continues to vary depending on area so it’s important (to work with your REALTOR® and other professionals) to understand the trends in your area of interest”. As a serious buyer or seller, how will any of the other information in the report possibly help you make a better decision?

If you are a serious buyer or seller, not currently working with a REALTOR®, and would like to understand the cycle, or hear some common sense, just contact me.

Balanced Market

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