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Potential home buyers need to be patient: realtor

Last Updated Oct 5, 2016 at 8:46 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

The latest numbers show home sales are down across the region, but prices are up

One local realtor says people still can't afford a down payment for a detached home

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Despite all the changes aimed at cooling down the red-hot local real estate market, you’re being warned not to get your hopes up if you’re looking to buy a place for the very first time.

Just one day after new numbers from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver revealed a big drop in sales, an industry insider says you’ll have to be patient.

If you’re looking for a detached home it might still be out of reach, as realtor Steve Saretsky says those prices will remain sky-high. “I definitely don’t think the detached market might ever get to realistic levels, but I certainly think that it’s coming down and I think that patience right now is pretty critical for a buyer.”

He thinks first-time buyers will likely move to condos and townhouses. Saretsky adds cobbling together the cash for a mortgage could still be tough with the new lending rules rolled out by the federal government earlier this week.

“That’s going to wipe out a lot of mostly first-time buyers that don’t have 20 per cent down. They won’t be able to get the loans that they used to get because they now have to qualify at a 4.6 per cent [interest rate],” says Saretsky. “I would say look for that to be a pretty significant factor in the next couple of months.”

Meaning, in the coming months we could see a drop in demand, so prices could sink to a more reasonable level.

Yesterday’s figures showed home sales totaled 2,253 last month, which is a decrease from the 3,345 sales that was recorded in September of 2015. That number also represents a drop compared to August of this year when 2,489 homes exchanged hands.

The report showed housing prices were actually going up even with a lower demand for sales, but Saretsky expects those prices to fall.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver came in at 4,799 last month. That is drop of one per cent compared to the 4,846 units listed in September of 2015 and an 11.8 per cent increase compared to August 2016.