The numbers are in and all signs point to now being an excellent time to purchase real estate in Surrey, White Rock, Langley and the Vancouver area.

We’ve moved into a buyer’s market which means there is more homes for sale. This means buyers have more selection which can put them in the driver’s seat a little bit more.

In a seller’s market like we experienced for several years recently, homes were selling fast, there wasn’t a lot of choice and it meant buyers did not have as much power at the negotiating table. Now that buyers are more in control of the market, they have the opportunity to negotiate more on things that matter to them which could be price, timelines, deposits, and conditions of sale.

According to CMHC, the Vancouver area real estate market is still in a vulnerable position though. The market’s once soaring real estate prices have leveled off since last June’s highs and are down about 7-8%.

There’s a huge increase in the number of homes for sale too. For example, over the past two years the number of homes for sale at any given time was around 400. Now we’re seeing upwards of 1100 active listings on the market.

This increase in volume doesn’t need to cause too much worry as this is still a fairly low number of homes for sale for the size of the area. What this means is that buyers have more choice and in many cases, are seeing slightly lower prices.


Vancouver Real Estate Market – What’s The Risk?

The Vancouver real estate market is being described as vulnerable. And, that’s because there is some risk for buyers.  When borrowing money, it’s important to ensure that the value of your home remains more than the cost of your borrowed money.

The risk in the market pertains to how much money people have borrowed to afford the homes they already own. People who have paid a high price for their homes are vulnerable to any increased interest rates.


The Real Estate Cycle

Generally speaking, people take out mortgages in 5-year terms so we like to look at the real estate cycle in five-year increments. Within a five-year time-period it is common to see prices rise, level and fall.  To what degree? Well that depends on the market and the economy.

While economists and real estate agents can predict whether or not the Vancouver market has plateaued and will continue to fall, or is at the bottom and will begin to rise, the fact is, nobody knows for certain.


Does This Mean Now is a Bad Time To Buy?

Real estate is generally considered a long-term investment. In addition, if it is your primary residence, it is a place to live. You could be paying rent that is helping pay off your landlord’s mortgage, or you could be paying down your own mortgage. When you look at it like this, it often makes sense to purchase your own home.

So, with that in mind, there isn’t a bad time to buy or sell. When you are buying, you need to consider how long you plan to be in that particular home. Are you hoping for a quick flip? Will you be able to wait out and falling prices?

The answers to those questions can help determine if the current market is right for you to purchase a home. If you are hoping for a quick flip and the market declines, you could lose money on your investment. However, if you can stay in your home and weather out a real estate cycle, now might be the right time to buy.


Is Now a Bad Time To Sell?

There are so many different reasons people sell their homes. And, the right time to sell is when the time is right for you. Finances. Job changes. Location changes. Lifestyle changes. All of these are reasons why you might require or yearn for a move.

If you purchased your home ten or twenty years ago, you’ll likely have seen increased equity. So, even if you regret not selling two or three years ago, you haven’t actually lost money.

Ideally, when buying or selling, the goal is to get the best price for the current market. With the help of an experienced real estate agent, you are in a better position to come out ahead.


Surrey, White Rock & Langley

The real estate market dip has affected all of the Lower Mainland; however, in Surrey, White Rock & Langley we’re still seeing buyers and sellers.

When homes are priced right for their condition, market and neighbourhood they aren’t sitting on the market for too long.

In May, the median days on the market for a home in Langley was 15. Prices are down over last year; however, there are still buyers and sellers out there.

There’s a lot of watercooler talk about the Vancouver and area market experiencing a correction from the plethora of foreign investor activity that took place in recent years.

If you are purchasing your primary residence, have a good down payment and can afford the mortgage and live in it for multiple years, now isn’t a bad time to purchase a home. After all, you have to live somewhere, right? Interest rates are low and there is a lot of selection on the market. Spend time looking with the right real estate agent, and you might find a true gem out there.

Natasha Taylor is among the top 1% of buyers’ agents in the Greater Fraser Valley area. In today’s market, it helps to have an experienced buyers agent like Natasha on your side.

Whether you are purchasing a condo, townhouse or detached house in Surrey, Langley or White Rock, Natasha Taylor and the team at Sutton WestCoast Surrey help clients find the perfect home.