B.C.’s Current Consumer Confidence in Real Estate

Below is an article that talks about the level of consumer confidence in B.C. and Canada in regards to real estate. It’s basing itself on a report that was released by RBC Wednesday. For those of you who don’t live in Canada, that’s the country’s largest bank. Overall, the report says that Canadians are feeling optimistic about buying a home in the next little while, and I’ll let the article explain about that.

Something that I don’t see in the article that is worth mentioning (listen up investors) is that the stats for February that have just come out are showing that the buyers are starting to come back somewhat. I mentioned this is an earlier post a few weeks back, but it was too early for it to be backed up by statistics. In real life terms, open houses are becoming quite busy again and Realtors like myself are more busy than we were a short time ago. A personal example, I usually get about 8 – 12 people on average at an open house but had 25 this Sunday. I’m not the only one in my office to tell this story, it’s becoming typical this past little while.  Presumably this has to do with people taking advantage of the historically low interest rates and lower real estate prices. Have we hit the bottom of the market yet? No one knows, but we will certainly know a couple of months after things start to around. The thing is, by then the sellers who need to sell won’t be feeling the same pressure to accept lower prices like they are when prices are still declining like they are now.

Oh, and by the way, the statistics the article mentions regarding Vancouver Island are not quite the same as those in Nanaimo. I’m pretty sure the stats they’re quoting are the “average sale price for single family homes”. These stats measure what people are spending on houses, which is not to be (easily) confused with the actual values of all the houses in the area.  There is a correlation sure, but I’m not going to digress any further into those details. On to the article. 🙂

Ryan Coffey

RBC survey finds British Columbians bullish on real estate, despite downturn

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Thursday, 05 March 2009

Despite declining real estate prices, British Columbians are still among the most bullish Canadians about residential real estate prospects, according to a new RBC home ownership survey.

Approximately 78% of British Columbians said it was a buyers market for residential real estate, compared with 65% of Canadians overall.

Among those planning on buying a home, 27% said they would do so because their current home didn’t meet their needs. Almost 25% of respondents cited attractive housing prices as being an incentive for them to look for a home; 23% said they wanted to buy a bigger home.

The average price of residential homes has fallen 14.2% year-over-year to $653,452, according to statistics released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Prices of condominiums and other apartment properties have fallen 13.9% to $333.143.

According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, average home values in the Fraser Valley have dropped 10.5% to $295,731, while condo prices have fallen 10% to $228,091.

On Vancouver Island, housing prices have fallen 11% to $307,927, according to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.

The RBC survey found that buying intentions in B.C. have not changed despite the recession. About 26% of respondents said they plan to buy a home in the next two years; 20% believe prices will be higher in a year’s time. More than 80% of British Columbians said buying a home was a good investment and 76% were planning to buy a detached home.

Almost 85% of British Columbians planned on buying a resale home, compared with 74% of Canadians.

According to the survey, British Columbians were also the most likely to include environmental considerations as part of their buying decision, with more than 90% wanting to buy an energy-efficient home and 72% wanting other environmentally friendly features.

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