Hello and Happy New Year RADICALS (Really Appreciated and Dedicated Investors, Clients, Associates, and Loyal Supporters). We truly value your support and we're excited to kick off a new decade with you. But first, let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
2019 was a capricious year in the Vancouver real estate market. We hadn’t seen a market start out this slow since Expo Ernie was welcoming guests to our World Fair in ‘86. Sales were down 40%-50% in almost every market segment. The hardest hit was the luxury market, as foreign money was no longer free-flowing and the world stopped treating Vancouver real estate like a commodity. There was also a bunch of new legislation introduced. The stress test, foreign buyer’s tax, and the vacancy and speculation tax certainly sped up the come down. And all this after 3 years of one of the greatest real estate runs in history!
However, in typical Vancouver fashion, we bounced back. Luckily, interest rates remained low and buyer confidence soon returned. By the 3rd and 4th quarters, our Blu team was absolutely slammed. Buyers, in particular, came back to the table to take advantage of a temporary lull in the market.
So, what’s ahead for 2020?
The good news is that all indicators point to a positive 2020. Rumours of a recession have dissipated as Canada’s economy continues to perform better than expected. Plus, Vancouver is holding strong as one of the most attractive cities in the world – just ask Harry and Meghan. Our feeling is that the Spring market will see a return in multiple offers and bidding wars – particularly in the condo market where inventory has been scarce, and demand has been building.
We don’t expect the same escalation in the luxury market (condos over $2mil and houses over $4mil) but we forecast positive growth on all fronts.
What’s happening at BLU?
2019 saw lots of changes at Blu. We said goodbye to our Mount Pleasant home and hello to shiny new digs on the False Creek seawall. Our team has also grown, and we are thrilled to welcome the multi-talented James Sutton (of The Peak radio fame) and the infectiously positive Justin Sturby, who has been shining in the Okanagan market for the past 5 years. We couldn’t be more excited to have these two gems joining our roster of like-minded, hard-working Medallion members.
We are also making a commitment to getting greener; amping up efforts to become a net-zero office. It’s not an easy move in a business filled with glossy brochures, paper contracts, fancy signage, and shiny BMWs. However, we’re trying our best to reduce our carbon footprint and be an example for other brokerages in town.