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The September REW.ca Real Estate Consumer Confidence Survey reveals a recent flip-flop – and slide – in consumer sentiment toward 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 is a good time to sell. This marks a big switch in consumer opinions from just six months ago, when the REW.ca 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. One-quarter 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 a home, 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 a home 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 a home (compared to 46% in March). The largest deterrents to buying a home 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%).
“Our surveys are designed to get in touch with consumers and really find out what people are thinking,” said Ian Martin, General Manager, REW.ca. “Our fall findings indicate that consumer confidence in the Lower Mainland market is waning – particularly when it comes to selling homes – but we should all keep in mind the fact that real estate markets are cyclical. We are also intrigued by the revelation that, despite the Lower Mainland’s enviable lifestyle offerings and stunning scenery, family is the number one reason why people stay in this market. Home truly is where the heart is.”
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