Well, we noticed it staring waaay back in February but interest in BC real estate has picked up from the slow summer and fall of 2008. At Waterfront West, we have the advantage of being able to see the interest pick up before the sales start to come through. Back in February, we noticed an increased number of inquiries going through the site. Now this is fairly normal for February, but this time, the inquiries seemed to be more serious than the ones from last Spring. Now that the stats are coming out, we are starting to see the sales as these serious buyers make deals.
In Oak Bay, one of the most prestigious areas in Victoria, 50% of the listings are selling, while in some other popular areas (Fairfield, Maplewood, Glanford, etc..) well over 50% and in some cases 100% of listings are selling. Even we are shocked by news of bidding wars so soon. In Vancouver, Ozzie Jurock mentions a case of a lot coming up for sale in Kitsilano for $800, 000 and going through a bidding war between 15 different buyers to sell for $840, 000. Meanwhile, here in the Comox Valley there we are aware of at least one bidding war last week on an under priced property.
A good hint for judging the market in any area you are looking to buy is to go on Twitter and do a search for your key words. Here is what we turned up by searching Vancouver real estate today:
"There were 114 New Listings and 90 Sales (Sell/List of 79%) of homes in the Vancouver real estate market on Wednesday April 29th, 2009."
"Another day with nearly 1:1 list to sale ratio in the City of Vancouver real estate market. 6 calls already on my new east van house listing"
Victoria Real Estate:
"Our Real Estate Board is showing 747 Unconditional Sales on MLS in April in Victoria..Buyers are taking advantage of lower Interest rates"
This gives you real time results of what people are talking about in real estate.
The real question is, is this activity just a blip in the market? A short Spring pick-up before we go back down hill? It's hard to know, but if you are selling, I would say don't get too greedy. The buyers out there today are quite savvy-after all they waited out that crazy market until prices came back down and they are buying at a time of very low interest rates. Make sure you price competitively and that your home shines. If buying, the competition is out there for the good deals in larger cities so keep this in mind. In many areas of BC, you still have the upper hand for now, but who knows for how long?