Home buyers can expect a slight discount in the first half of 2013, one economist says.
Bryan Yu of Central 1 Credit Union is anticipating a five-percent reduction in prices from current levels through till around the summertime.
“What you see is there’s some downward pressure on pricing right now,” Yu told the Straight in a phone interview.
Yu was commenting on figures released on February 4 by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board showing that sales in January were near historical lows.
The REBGV reported sales of 1,351 units last month, representing a 14.3 percent decrease compared to the 1,577 sales in January 2012. Still, that number was 18.3 percent higher than the 1,142 sales in December 2012.
However, the REBGV noted that January 2013 sales were the second lowest for the month of January since 2001.
It’s the same story for the FVREB, with 617 sales last month. That’s 23 percent lower than the 799 sales in January 2012. The board also noted that sales for January 2013 were the second slowest for that month in the last 13 years.
The two real-estate boards also reported that a number of sellers are simply pulling their properties off the market. Still, give or take a few thousand dollars, the average detached property in Metro Vancouver is a pricey $900,000.
Home sales typically peak in the month of May. According to Yu, Central 1 Credit Union forecasts an overall reduction in home prices of seven to eight percent compared with May 2012 levels through the end of the first half of 2013.
Although buyers currently rule the market, Yu maintained that most sellers aren’t willing to take deeper cuts on prices.