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Vancouver Real Estate and the Holidays

So far, 2009 has been an extraordinary year for Vancouver real estate. Well, at least it's been good for those of us that own real estate. For those of us that were sitting on the sidelines hoping that the market would collapse even further, it hasn't been so hot.

If you've been reading my blog posts regularly, or have visited my website, you'll know that I follow the Vancouver real estate statistics closely. One record breaking week seemed to follow another this year. However, that trend has finally broken.

It's safe to say that we have finally hit the Holiday Wall. Every year, no matter how strong the market, the approach of Christmas signals a slowdown in property sales activity. In fact, I'd suggest that the slowdown is even more dramatic in years that have seen stronger markets (like this 2009).

The reason for this is simple, as the holidays approach fewer people are thinking about buying or selling a home. People with their homes on the market decide to take them off so that they can enjoy the holidays in peace. Those thinking of selling decide to postpone their listings until after the holidays...and buyers just don't have the time to think about a new home as they get busy with holiday purchases.

It's the same for realtors. Many realtors take advantage of the slower winter season to take holidays, or spend time with families, or plan their business for the coming year (and likely a combination of all three). We don't typically see the market pick up again until the first or second week of January.

That being said, the holiday period can be a fantastic time for both buyers and sellers. If you are selling, you can list your home with the least competition of the year. Yes, the number of potential buyers are fewer but those that are active are serious.

From the buyers perspective, it can also be a fantastic opportunity. Over the holiday period you tend to find that the sellers that have their homes on the market want to sell. Also, with less competition from other buyers there is less likelihood of multiple offers and you can take more time to view properties and make a decision. You also have a better chance of finding a seller that really needs to sell and getting some of the best prices of the year.

So, just because holidays are approaching, don't stop thinking about real estate. It's often best to be active in a market when no one else is.

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