July 2019 Market Update

I’ve been selling real estate in Coquitlam and the Tri City area for more than 30 years, and in those years, I’ve seen all the ups and all the downs. I’ve seen:

• slowdowns
• all out bidding wars
• sharp declines
• mini slumps
• seasonal slowdowns
• buying mania, and, everything in between

It’s a learning curve, paying attention to the market. If you study it, you’ll see a rhythm to it, certain telltale markers that foretell what is likely to happen. For example, if you want to be able to predict a fairly serious downturn in prices, look for the “spring market” to not show up. A strong spring market is a necessary precursor for a “normal” real estate market. If the spring market fails to show up, look out, price corrections are on the way. Now, here we are in July 2019 and to be sure, we have already seen a price correction, especially in the detached home category. Detached home sales peaked in May/June 2017. The spring market of 2018 did show up but was not nearly as frenetic as 2017. Detached home prices did improve but started to correct in the fall of 2018. Last winter, the detached market fell precipitously. For example, a Coquitlam home that would have sold for $1.2M +/- in May 2017, sold for $1M +/- in December 2018. That’s a fairly serious price cut. That brings us back to 2019. The year started tentatively, the first 3 months were busier than the final months of 2018 but, no headline making events happened. Many buyers were just waiting to jump back in. Open house traffic is always a good indicator of the publics buying mood. I personally experienced busy open houses in that period. If you only listened to the media, you would have heard that sales were down some large percentage from the previous year and from the 10 year average. This is all true, but what is left out is that the market has returned to a healthier and more sustained pace. The all important “sales to active listings ratio” (sales in a month over actual number of listings in that month) indicates that we are in a balanced market, or one slightly titled towards buyers. The bottom line is that the conditions that made home buying a living nightmare from late 2015 to late 2018 no longer exist. If you were a home buyer in that period, you likely had to write a few offers before one was accepted. Multiple offers were the norm. Bidding wars drove prices up and drove buyers mad. Today the market is much friendlier. Two conditions have come together to make life so much easier for buyers. First, inventories are much higher. This means you have more homes to choose from. Second, the number of buyers in the market is dramatically down which usually means that once you find the right home to buy, there is almost no chance of multiple offers happening. If you are considering buying or selling, be happy, conditions are just right.