Is it finally Spring? I know it was officially The Vernal Equinox almost two weeks ago, but let's get real - it hasn't felt much like Spring out there lately. But yesterday the sun was shining, I had a little extra bounce in my step, a smile on my face, and some damn itchy eyes! This makes me think the nice weather is right around the corner.
Spring is the season of rebirth and of change. It's also the time of year when children grow a little faster* and Vancouver's cherry blossoms begin their annual flex. For many of us, this is a time of purging and planning for what's ahead. And like the Sakura and those sprouting youngsters, the Vancouver real estate market tends to go through some changes too.
2022 started off a lot like 2021, with the beginning of the year seeing high demand and low supply. Buyers once again found themselves in bidding wars with prices going up at a record-breaking pace. According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's latest stats, duplexes and houses saw the largest increase with 27% and 25% respectively. Condos bounced back a bit from their pandemic decline by climbing 16%. However, by mid-March, it felt like change was in the air. Was it the fact that buyers' minds had gravitated to the beaches of Maui for Spring Break? Or could it be a nerve-inducing mix of rising interest rates, inflationary fears, buyer fatigue, and a very unfortunate war? Or perhaps it was Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of 6 more weeks of winter? Whatever the reason, the market has cooled a tad.
It's funny to use the word "cooled" when we still have a sales to active ratio (SAR) at 40% for the Eastside and 34% for the Westside. A seller's market is classified as anything over 20%. Last Spring the Eastside hit a ridiculous 60% in March. March's numbers are not out yet for 2022, yet I suspect they will show a slightly declining trend as we see more listings coming to the market and less of the buyer frenzy we saw in 2021.
I think we can all agree that a slight balancing of the market will be a welcome sight. Although every seller wants 20 offers on their property, most have to ultimately face the market again and purchase. When the market is out of control like it's been, decisions such as buy first or sell first are tough and nerve-wracking. I may not have the same finely tuned psychic powers as Punxsutawney Phil, but my gut (plus the numbers) is telling me that we will have a much more balanced Spring than we experienced in 2021 and I'm looking forward to it!
Here is to a healthy, happy, and allergy-free Spring.
Shawn (Erin & Pickles)
* True fact according to the Google