Thank you to all who commented on my year-end diatribe on the Real Estate market’s apparent “tiresomeness” and not being tired of London! Our love of that city has resulted in a somewhat spontaneous visit being planned for late January/ early February and we are soooo looking forward to touching down at Heathrow. In the meantime, business continues in the form of an accepted offer on a Westend high rise property. Yes folks, multiple offers continue happening in 2016.
Now to the 2016 market. As I have hinted above we are continuing as we left off with new listings coming on to the MLS and eager buyers stepping forward to view them and, yes, make offers. A complaint oft heard from would-be buyers in the last few months has been the lack of fresh and appealing new inventory. Initial feeling is that the supply is certainly improving and the buyers are appreciating that. That is, they are very active, if last weekend’s open houses are anything to go by.
So, whither prices? We are seeing competing offers and sales above the asking prices. This, coupled with the recently received tax assessment value notices, which are stirring up the usual discussion “this is crazy” …”how can prices keep on climbing” …and the perennial ” this poor old market which is busting to burst!”
Do remember that the values we have just received were based upon the Assessment Authority’s estimates of value as of July 2015. Time will likely show that, in the majority of cases, the properties that are selling today and in the coming months will in most cases, sell at a number above those assessed values.
Remember that all homeowners have the option to argue that this assessment is above the actual market value. It is however becoming more and more difficult to make a convincing case that that is so. I heard a frustrated wannabe buyer say the other day that they would willingly pay most of those who are contesting their assessments at least 5% over that assessed value. Increases of between 10 and 30% are not unusual and it seems that a large proportion of these are playing ‘catch up’ as of late were significantly below the actual market values. We will continue to follow…..
Now to the entire 2015 years figures. North Van detached homes sold are up 20% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 31% and apartments up 49%. The detached median price is up 22% and inventory is up 9% from 2014. Median prices (t/hses) up 21% and up 17% for (apts) too. Inventory (t/hses) down 8% from Dec 31st 2014 and (apt) up 6% from last year for the same date.
In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for Dec 31st 2015 is up by 30% from last year at that time. Median price of what has sold is up 41% from last year and inventory now up 35% from Dec 31st 2014. On the condo side, attached (t/hses) sold by Dec 31st 2015 are up 46% from 2014. Active listings are down 10% year over year. Apartments reflect 206 sold in 2015 vs. 181 in 2014 (up 14%) – median price now up 7% and active listings down 3% from Dec 31st 2014.
No matter what you’ve read, no matter what your friends have told you and no matter what real estate industry detractors say, seriously consider having your Agent do a Public Open House.
Detractors will say that Agents only do Open Houses to pick up new clients and that it’s not about selling your house. While there is certainly an element of that, it is not necessarily the primary focus.
The other concern, often expressed, is that only ‘nosey neighbours’ are going to show up. Who the heck wants their neighbours walking into their house just to see how one lives? I MOST CERTAINLY DO!
Nosey Neighbours tell their friends and relatives about homes in their area. “Hi Cousin Paul. You know how you’ve been looking to get into this neighbourhood? Well a house down the street isavailable, I went to the open house and it’s gorgeous. You should go take a look, they’re open again tomorrow – BTW here is the Realtor’s number/e-mail address”.
The bottom line is this, open houses are important because:
– Weekends are when most house hunters are out looking. They often spend the week researching on the internet and the weekend visiting homes.
– Open house signs attract attention, and that’s important to get people talking
– You can maximize exposure by having multiple people through the house in a short period of time
– Other busy Realtors are appreciative of your agent holding one as they can simply send their clients through the open of a colleague they trust.
All of these factors together are key and increase the chance your home will sell in the first few weeks.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Have Open Houses and get your house SOLD!!! And with an experienced Realtor that will be more assured.