Blog by Patricia Houlihan - Personal Real Estate Corporation

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Don't Believe The Hype

Remember Y2K? The end of the world as we know it. Do you remember the Rapture of 2011? What about Dec. 21, 2012? If you believed everything you read, you’d be a nervous wreck by now.


The world is full of naysayers and little chickens. It’s hard to imagine a moment in history where there wasn’t a shaggy haired radical standing outside a parliament building with an “End is Nigh” sign.


If it bleeds, it leads. There’s a reason Lindsay Lohan is still relevant. And reality shows. The public loves to gorge on misfortune. It’s catharsis. It goes back to the days of gladiators and pubic executions.


The media loves to play upon the fears of its consumers. That’s how you get eyeballs. That’s how you sell papers. Their latest funny bone is Vancouver real estate.


Most homeowners in Vancouver have now heard the dreadful news. Property values are dropping. Appraisals are down. The bubble has burst. The end is nigh.


Read a few papers like this, and you’ll be convinced we’re doomed to bomb shelters and canned beans without labels.


Here are a few of the more alarmist articles.


The Great Canadian Real Estate Crash of 2013.  Really, Macleans?  You just lost all credibility as far as I am concerned by saying most Canadians will not be unscathed! Crazy and wrong!


The Housing Bubble May Deflate Slowly.



Big Drop Predicted In Vancouver Real Estate Prices



It ain’t the case, folks.


The Vancouver market is due for a slight correction, sure. But there is no reason to panic.


If you are feeling skittish that your biggest investment is teetering on the brink of massive devaluation, I think you are worrying about rumours akin to those of the Mayan end of the world.  But when the media is preaching doom and some market players are buying into it, who do you really want in your corner? A quick-talking realtor with an agenda to sell and move on, or a long-term partner, equally invested in the big picture….


A good realtor will understand the market and look after the long-term interests of your property. Your realtor should be an ally, guarding your investment, and surveying the horizon for potential opportunities.


If you are a homeowner planning to sell and not buy again or planning to sell and significantly downsize, then you may want to hold on IF you bought in the past few years and are looking at losing money should you sell.  However most people considering a move will not be losing money if they sell now despite the market being down slightly.  Most of my sellers who are downsizing are selling homes that they have owned for quite some time and which have appreciated significantly. As one of my sellers said “pigs get slaughtered”- he explained that he bought his home for much less than he was selling for and while it may not currently be worth quite as much as it once was, why should he stay in it just to try to squeeze out the last possible dollar when he has already made a significant profit AND had somewhere to live for years.  Yes maybe he could sell it for more in a few years but there is no guarantee of that so why wait?  It depends on one’s situation.  For him it was more important to move on with his life; for others who are in no hurry to move, they may want to wait for a few years and hopefully make a little bit more on their home.  I like to discuss all of the options with my clients as what is best for a particular client is very situation specific and one cannot say this is a bad market for sellers-for some it is and for others it is not….sometimes I recommend that one sell; for others I recommend holding tight. Information is key in order for me to look out for your interests.


If you’re a buyer, there’s never been a better time to make the most of the Vancouver market.  The prices have come down, selection has improved and there is no rush to make a decision in most cases as properties are taking longer to sell.  Interest rates are very low and for those worried about future increases, you can lock in at under 4% for 10 years…crazy!  Just don’t wait too long and miss the boat.  Realtors are buying; my investor clients are buying now…what does that tell you? If you are waiting for a crash, you will likely end up buying in the next market upswing having missed the best market for buyers (including those making an move up or lateral) in the past decade.


If you’re thinking about selling, I recommend a patient realtor, one who understands the market. My grandfather weathered the Vancouver real estate storm of 70s and my father successfully navigated the post-Expo crash. Their experience is my knowledge. Let me put it to work for you.



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