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
- 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 March 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 more severely in the fall of 2018. During the winter months just passed, 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. Despite the relative quietness of the last 3 months of 2018, I had the feeling that there was still many buyers just waiting to jump in. Open house traffic is always a good indicator of the publics buying mood. I personally experienced busy open houses in that period. One got the feel that buyers were waiting for some inaudible cue to start buying again. Mid way through January, that cue must have been heard because buyers came out in droves and started writing offers. What does this mean? It means that the spring market has arrived and price steadying is occurring. Buying activity is back and the question is, how long will it last. Spring markets can last until July and can be very robust. Most of the sharp price increases of recent years happened in the spring, no surprise. This spring market does not look overly strong and we could see price declines begin again in the summer.