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Good Time to Sell or Buy: 2012 REW.ca Survey

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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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Good Time to Sell or Buy: 2012 REW.ca Survey

  1. 1. September 2012Real Estate WeeklySeptember 2012 Omnibus Survey Results 1
  2. 2. Introduction 550 telephone interviews with Metro Vancouver & Fraser Valley adults, 18 years and over; Margin of error: ±4.2% at 95% confidence level in the most conservative case; 7.2% point spread required between measures; Industry-standard, multi-stage random selection techniques employed; Municipal quotas ensure the population is represented according to its actual distribution; At tabulation stage, weighting adjustments bring basic characteristics of age, gender and region into their correct known proportions based on Statistics Canada population figures Interviewing conducted September 4th to 19th, 2012 2
  3. 3. Good Time to Sell a House/Condo in Next 3 Months Mar 12 56% 33% 10% Sep 12 34% 58% 9% Yes No Dont know Base: Total Mar’12 (n=278) Total Sep’12 (n=550) Q.1a) Do you think that it is a good time to sell a house or a condo in the next 3 months? 3
  4. 4. Reasons Think Good Time to Sell in Next 3 Months Good time to sell Total Yes No (498) (183) (314) % % % Prices will go down/market correction/housing bubble 32 24 37 Housing market is soft/sales have slowed down 17 4 25 Prices are high 16 26 10 It’s a buyer’s market/too many properties for sale 12 6 16 Concerned about the economy 6 4 7 Housing prices have stabilized 5 7 4 It’s a seller’s market 5 13 - Prices will continue to rise 4 4 5 Interest rates are low 4 8 1 Bad time of year to sell 3 - 5 Prices are low/reasonable 3 4 3 New mortgage lending rules 2 3 2 Good time of year to sell 2 4 1 Economy is improving 2 4 1 HST/taxes concerns 1 - 2 Population growth/immigration 1 2 1 Foreign investors 1 - 1 Miscellaneous 4 4 3 4 Nothing/no comment/none 9 10 7 Q.1b) Why do you say that?
  5. 5. Good Time to Buy a House/Condo in Next 3 Months Mar 12 46% 42% 13% Sep 12 50% 38% 12% Yes No Dont know Base: Total Mar’12 (n=278) Total Sep’12 (n=550) Q.2a) Do you think that it is a good time to buy a house or a condo in the next 3 months? 5
  6. 6. Reasons Think Good Time to Buy in Next 3 Months Good time to buy Total Yes No (481) (289) (192) % % % Prices will go down/market correction/housing bubble 28 27 29 It’s a buyer’s market/too many properties for sale 17 28 3 Prices are high 16 3 34 Interest rates are low 13 22 2 Housing market is soft/sales have slowed down 8 10 5 Concerned about the economy 8 2 16 Prices are low/reasonable 4 8 - Prices will continue to rise 4 7 1 Housing prices have stabilized 4 4 2 New mortgage lending rules 2 1 3 Bad time of year to sell 2 2 2 HST/taxes concerns 1 - 3 Economy is improving 1 2 <1 It’s a seller’s market 1 1 1 Miscellaneous 4 5 4 Nothing/no comment/none 11 10 12 6 Q.1b) Why do you say that?
  7. 7. Reasons Continue to Reside in the Lower Mainland Total (550) % Family 43 Job 30 Climate 18 Scenery 16 Lived here a long time/all my life 14 Location (i.e. best place to live, transit, close to parks, shopping) 11 Quality of life/lifestyle (i.e. multicultural, restaurants, activities) 9 Outdoor lifestyle 8 Friends 8 Education/schools 7 Own my home/mortgage free 5 Love it here/wouldn’t want to go anywhere else 4 Can’t afford to live anywhere else/can’t afford to move 3 Miscellaneous 4 Don’t know 2 Q.3) As you know, the Lower Mainland is an expensive place to live, what keeps you here? 7
  8. 8. Distribution of Interviews Mar ‘12 Sep ‘12 (278) (550) % % Home Tenure Rent 22 25 Own 76 73 Refused 1 1 Gender Male 49 48 Female 51 52 Age 18 to 34 29 29 35 to 54 40 38 55 to 64 14 16 65 + 17 17 Refused <1 - Region Vancouver 27 25 North Shore 8 7 Burnaby/New Westminster 12 12 Tri-cities/Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows (inc. Coquitlam/ 11 12 Port Moody/Port Coquitlam/Anmore/Belcarra) Richmond/Tsawwassen/Ladner/South Delta 10 10 Surrey/White Rock/North Delta/Langley/East to 24 26 Aldergrove 8 Fraser Valley 10 9
  9. 9. Confidence Limits A reported finding of 50% would fall between 45.5% and 54.5% most of the time. Accuracy increases for findings above and below 50%. The table below illustrates tolerance limits for various incidence levels at several subgroup sizes. This table applies to observed differences within one study. TOLERANCE LIMITS (± range in percentage points) n=500 n=400 n=300 n=250 n=200 n=100 n=50 50% 4.4 4.9 5.7 6.2 6.9 9.8 13.9 40 or 60% 4.3 4.8 5.5 6.1 6.8 9.6 13.6 30 or 70% 4.0 4.5 5.2 5.7 6.4 9.0 12.7 20 or 80% 3.5 3.9 4.5 5.0 5.5 7.8 11.1 10 or 90% 2.6 2.9 3.4 3.7 4.2 5.9 8.3 5 or 95% 1.9 2.1 2.5 2.7 3.0 4.3 6.0 Exercise caution when interpreting data based on samples of less than 50. Such results must be treated as directional only. 9
  10. 10. Confidence Limits A reported finding of 50% would fall between 45.5% and 54.5% most of the time. Accuracy increases for findings above and below 50%. The table below illustrates tolerance limits for various incidence levels at several subgroup sizes. This table applies to observed differences within one study. TOLERANCE LIMITS (± range in percentage points) n=500 n=400 n=300 n=250 n=200 n=100 n=50 50% 4.4 4.9 5.7 6.2 6.9 9.8 13.9 40 or 60% 4.3 4.8 5.5 6.1 6.8 9.6 13.6 30 or 70% 4.0 4.5 5.2 5.7 6.4 9.0 12.7 20 or 80% 3.5 3.9 4.5 5.0 5.5 7.8 11.1 10 or 90% 2.6 2.9 3.4 3.7 4.2 5.9 8.3 5 or 95% 1.9 2.1 2.5 2.7 3.0 4.3 6.0 Exercise caution when interpreting data based on samples of less than 50. Such results must be treated as directional only. 9

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