Greater Vancouver Real Estate Consumer Confidence Survey

March 26, 2013
Elizabeth Wilson

It's a better time to buy a home than to sell, say the people who responded to our spring Real Estate Consumer Confidence Survey.

We asked 561 people from across the Lower Mainland three questions:

Do you think it's a good time to sell a house or a condo in the next three months?

Do you think it's a good time to buy a house or a condo in the next three months?


If you had exactly a million dollars to buy your only residence in the Lower Mainland, what type of home would you buy? And where?

Which would you choose? Here's what's available for one million dollars in: Vancouver North Vancouver Burnaby Coquitlam Richmond Langley Surrey Area Abbotsford

We ask the first two questions twice a year when we do our spring and fall surveys, and they demonstrate that Lower Mainlanders are pretty savvy about what goes on in the real estate market... probably because they spend about as much time talking about real estate as they do about the Canucks.

Good time to sell?

People have been getting increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for selling a home in the Lower Mainland. In all, 30 per cent more people say "not now" to selling than did so in March 2012. This spring, 63 per cent of our respondents said the next three months would not be a good time to sell. Of those, 12 per cent say it's a buyer's market with too many properties for sale. 20 per cent of the pessimists say the housing market is soft and sales have slowed down. Almost half of those saying "don't sell" (49 per cent) say prices will go down.

Interestingly, 29 per cent of those who thought now is a good time to sell also thought prices would go downmaking it a good idea to sell now before they dip further.

Good time to buy?

Meanwhile, more people say now is a good time to buy: 54 per cent compared to 46 per cent last march. Among those who said yes, a variety of reasons were given: "prices are reasonable" (12 per cent), "the market has softened" (12 per cent), "it's a buyer's market" (18 per cent), "interest rates are low" (20 per cent) and the ever-popular "prices will go down" (23 per cent).

Those who said it's not a good time to sell overwhelmingly cited two reasons: "prices will go down" (32 per cent) and "prices are high" (also 32 per cent).

Click through the slideshow to see details of the survey.