The past year proved interesting in that the start of the year still saw some hesitancy with sellers and buyers in the real estate market. Home prices had shown steady increases in 2018, but did drop significantly in 2019 as the effects of new taxes and mortgage stress tests strained the market and buyer confidence. Purchasers were still a little unsure after stricter lending rules made home buying more challenging. The government’s goal was to curtail household debt burdens, but this made mortgage application more difficult for some. It remains to be seen if the policy makers will reassess and make adjustments to make the home buying process less complicated.

Confidence did grow a little as the year progressed and buyers reassessed their purchase needs – many looking farther afield or reducing expectations in their home searches. Mission (and the Fraser Valley in general) remains a more affordable and desirable area for first-time home buyers or those looking to downsize.

The ratio of listings to sales generally evened out in December. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board reported the following stats as of mid-December, 2019:

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board graph of 2019 real estate sales

The summer of 2019 had shown some increases in listing prices as the peak sales occured, but the fall of months showed a dip in sales, resulting in some home prices dropping — this encouraged home hunters even more. The buyers re-energized, but inventory was down. Some potential sellers noticed the increase in interest and jumped to list while buyers were active. November and December saw an increase in listings and sales, up from the same time last year, and it will be interesting to watch how the market progresses into 2020.

BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson says, “After several months of strong gains, home sales are now firming around long-run averages. We expect 2020 will be a much more typical year for markets compared to the volatility of recent years.”

This is great news for my clients who are considering selling in the new year. I can provide an in-depth analysis of the market and a free home evaluation. Many clients ask me, “When is the best time to sell?” and I answer, “Any time!”—It all depends on what your goals and needs are, and my 17-years’ experience as a professional Realtor will help guide your decisions. I examine the competition, consider the market forecasts, and coordinate the best marketing strategies to sell as quickly and for the best price possible.

If you’re on the hunt for property, the inventory in the winter months is typically down, but it’s a great time to examine what the market has to offer and narrow your search criteria before the spring buying rush. There may be opportunity to find a great deal too!

If you have any questions about the current market, or would like a complimentary home evaluation, give me a call at 604-302-0177 or email me at bob@bobmclean.ca – I’d be happy to hear from you!

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