The Greater Vancouver real estate market is no longer insular. It is subject to a global economic, social and political interconnected network of forces and variables which greatly reflects in the value of our homes. Invariably, the economic and political policies of China, the US and the European Union in particular affects what happens to our home prices as much as our own Provincial and Federal government policies do.
As a realtor it is sometimes challenging to keep pace with the direction of house prices and I'm on the front line! The customary method realtors employ for pricing homes is that we have no choice but to look back at market sales and activity to try and evaluate where house prices are going in the near future. This is no longer an easy thing to do! However, as full-time real estate agents we do have the advantage of seeing what is happening to our local markets on a daily basis. I believe this gives us a practical and intuitive advantage and here's why:
I've noticed that when doing an evaluation for my clients some can have a belated perception of the market. They see what's been going on in their neighbourhoods over recent months and sometimes years, then extrapolate the value of their home based on the biased subjective valuation of their own home. This approach only works in a prolonged “flat” market; it certainly doesn't work in a declining market nor in a hot market like we've seen in recent times. Consequently, in a declining market if your home isn't priced accordingly it could be sitting on the market for a long time and the opportunity to sell at a reasonable price could be lost. The same thing can happen in a hot market; sellers could undervalue the value of their home because their perception of house prices may not fully reflect the momentum of the market and therefore under value their home. Also talking to family, friends, neighbours and work associates may skew ones perception and hence the reality of the actual value of your home because, as we all know, everyone has an opinion.
I think we can all agree that things are moving fast and there's no just dipping your toe in the water to test the temperature any more, you have to be fully immersed to know what it feels like. Here then is the clincher: “change in the real estate market is only going to happen at a faster rate going forward so having an agent that has a real pulse on the market is only going to work to your advantage, otherwise you could be leaving a lot of money on the table and nobody wants to do that.”