Until quite recently, the sky has been the limit for many home hunters.
One often hears about bidding wars breaking out, buyers making offers without conditions, and sold prices going over the top.
It’s no surprise that real-estate markets in Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and across B.C. set new record highs in March and April 2021.
However, economists and analysts have noted some signs of cooling down.
Some recent sales in Vancouver, the prime market in the province, seem to indicate that the market isn’t as white hot as it used to be.
Sold prices for these properties fell below both their asking prices and 2021 assessed values.
One example is a single-family home at the wealthy neighbourhood of Point Grey in the city’s West Side.
The one-and-a-half storey residence at 4188 West 15th Avenue sold on May 10 for $2.2 million.
Based on tracking by real-estate site Zealty.ca, the sold price came 7.9 percent below the asking price of $2,388,000.
In addition, the sold price for the 7-bedroom, two-bath home was 1.1 percent below its 2021 assessment value of $2,224,900.
Another example is 3294 Prince Edward Street in East Vancouver.
The two-storey detached home sold on May 4 for $1,185,000.
Zealty.ca tracking showed that the sold price was five percent below the property’s 2021 assessment of $1,247,300.
Moreover, the sold price of the five-bedroom, one-bath residence was 1.2 percent below its listing price of $1,199,000.
The Straight asked Vancouver realtor and market observer David Hutchinson what’s going on.
“Current sales activity seems to suggest that the Vancouver real-estate market has finished its trajectory to the moon,” Hutchinson said.
Although market activity remains elevated, it may no longer be high up in the stratosphere.
“The market may be headed back to Earth,” Hutchinson said.
To illustrate, the Sutton Group-West Coast Realty agent cited other examples of Vancouver properties that sold in May 2021 below asking prices and assessment values.
One is one-storey-with-basement home at 4380 Miller Street in East Vancouver.
The five-bedroom and three-bath house sold on May 13 for $1,265,000.
Zealty.ca tracking showed that the sold price was 6.2 percent below its asking price $1,349,000, and 15.6 percent below its original tag of $1,498,000.
Also, the sold price was 5.5 percent below the property’s 2021 assessment of $1,338,000.
There are other examples as well of May 2021 deals for condos and townhouses that sold below listing prices and assessed values.
“Some sales are now down to Earth,” Hutchinson said.
Meanwhile, Dexter Realty has forecast that May 2021 home sales in Greater Vancouver will likely be less than April and March tallies.
In a mid-month report, the Vancouver-based realty agency predicted that sales may come “in the range of 4,500” units, which still indicates an “extremely busy” market.
“Truly rarefied air when looking at the month of May,” Dexter Realty partner and economist Kevin Skipworth wrote.
In April 2021, realtors in Greater Vancouver sold 4,908 homes, marking the highest total on record for the month of April.
In March, 5,708 homes were sold, setting the highest on record for the month of March.
Also in March 2021, realtors across B.C. sold a total of 15,073 homes, notching a new record for best monthly sales in the province.
The March 2021 volume beat the previous provincial record of May 2016, when realtors across B.C. sold a total of 13,482 homes.
In the Dexter Realty report, Skipworth noted there is the “possibility of some balance returning in the market”.
Skipworth also noted that “multiple offers are still a strong occurrence albeit in some cases less offers than we’ve been seeing before”.