Are there seasonal trends in Real Estate?
When it comes to the Greater Vancouver real estate market buyers want to know, “When is the best time to buy?”. While timing the real estate market with laser precision is impossible–due in large part to the many factors underpinning market growth (stress test, etc.!) and consumer behaviour (fear, pressure, urgency) —there are still certain seasonal trends that can’t be ignored.
The days are short and the weather is typically unfriendly in Vancouver during the winter months. This is a time when many Canucks prefer to hibernate or temporarily relocate to warmer climates on holiday. The results are obvious- both prospective home buyers and sellers tend to shy away from the market from the months of November through February. Moreover, the second half of December is a time of year where very, very few buyers actively search for homes (most of them are actively searching for the next holiday party). It’s reasonable to conclude that if a seller has their home listed for sale over the winter holidays, they are motivated to sell- great news for BUYERS! The houses that get listed, still get bought by the few buyers out there. Not many listings hang around till Spring- great news for SELLERS!
Choices, choices, choices. But, you’d better be ready! It’s easy to claim that Spring is the best time for home buyers in YVR. I don’t have any special ground-breaking info for you here (you read my blog “Why Sell in SPRING?”, right??). You can’t drive out of your neighbourhood without seeing a FOR SALE sign on at least 2 or more properties. From a historical standpoint, springtime is easily the most active time of the year for houses, condominiums and townhomes. With the increase in daylight, purchasers have more hours at their disposal to hunt for a new home. Plus! Buyers are just flat out happier when spring is in the air.
While traditionally (and by traditionally I mean ages ago) the summer months have been regarded as a time of slow-down in activity within our local real estate market, this appears to no longer be the case. In recent years, sales activity in the summertime has often mirrored activity levels set in the spring. On average over the last 15 years, sales activity within the summer months has been 35% more than in the decade prior. While the summer real estate market in Vancouver is making a comeback, it still can’t win the race against Spring.
The fall is still second only to spring in terms of consumer activity. While price appreciation is less common towards the end of the calendar year, that doesn’t seem to stop hopeful home purchasers from hitting the streets (some of them more desperate than they were in June!). With the return of children to school and adults to a routine schedule, many see it as the perfect time to begin searching for a new home before the new year.
Though the presence of seasonal patterns in Vancouver is undeniable, no two years are ever the same. Many factors toil with these broad trends. Every home purchaser and seller is unique in their circumstances, so it’s crucial to be present when determining to what extent seasonality should play a role in shaping your real estate strategy. We can’t control everything! So, if it is winter and you need to sell, DON’T FREAK OUT. You just need a solid strategy and a representative that believes in the value of your property.
Do you have questions about the market? Drop me a line!