Consumer confidence in real estate falls

A recent real estate survey shows that consumer confidence in selling homes this Fall, has gone down. But it’s family ties – not the region’s livability – keeping Lower Mainlanders in the country’s most expensive housing market.

The September Real Estate Consumer Confidence Survey reveals a recent flip-flop – and slide – in consumer sentiment towards selling a home in the Lower Mainland. According to the survey, a majority (58%) of residents think it’s not a good time to sell over the next three months, while only 34% disagree, believing it isa good time to sell. This marks a big switch in consumer opinions from just six months ago, when the March Real Estate survey found that 56% of residents had a positive outlook on selling a home, with only 33% thinking otherwise.

This reversal in consumers’ sentiments toward selling supports the view that the Lower Mainland is currently experiencing a buyer’s market. Of the 58% of residents who don’t think the time is right to sell a home, 37% cited a belief that prices are on the way down (market correction) as their main reason. 25% of the people in this group blamed slowing sales, while 16% said there were too many properties for sale. Of the 34% who feel it is a good time to sell, taking advantage of current high prices and selling before a market correction were considered paramount.

As for whether it’s a good time to buy this fall, little has changed since the spring. Consumers are still equally divided, with 50% of respondents agreeing it is a good time to buy (compared to 46% in March). The largest deterrents to buying this fall include high prices (34%) coupled with a fear of home values dropping after purchasing (29%). On the other hand, would-be buyers believe the market offers a lot of inventory with lower prices. Low interest rates also continue to be a key factor.

The survey also uncovers what keeps people residing in the Lower Mainland, even though it is an expensive place to live. Despite the region’s highly touted liveability ranking, 43% of residents cited family as the number one reason, ahead of job (30%), climate (18%), and scenery (16%).

Question: “Do you think it is a good time to sell a house or a condo in the next 3 months?”

·       September Results: 34% Say Yes, 58% Say No

Question: “Do you think it is a good time to buy a house or condo in the next 3 months?”

·       September Results: 50% Say Yes, 38% Say No

Top five reasons people continue to reside in the Lower Mainland, despite high cost of living:

·       Family (43%)

·       Job (30%)

·       Climate (18%)

·       Scenery (16%)

·       Lived here a long time/all my life (14%)