Buyers & Sellers Survey

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Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Buyers & Sellers Survey: January 2009

Transcript of Buyers & Sellers Survey

  • 1Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Fraser Valley Real Estate BoardBuyers & Sellers Survey

    January 2009

  • REBGV & FVREB - Buyers and Sellers Survey

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    Executive Overview

    The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board commissioned Mustel Group to conduct a survey of 2008 residential home buyers and home sellers. We thank the Real Estate Foundation of BC for providing funding. A similar survey was conducted in 2006 by the REBGV. Highlights from the survey of 1,100 buyers and sellers (705 from Greater Vancouver and 395 from Fraser Valley) include:

    Characteristics of Home Purchased/ Sold Just over half of respondents (52% in Greater Vancouver and 56% in Fraser Valley) both bought and sold a

    home or property in 2008. Approximately four-in-ten only bought and 10% or less only sold. A total of 22% in Greater Vancouver were first-time home owners (down from 31% in 2006). A slightly higher

    proportion of Fraser Valley home buyers (in comparison to Greater Vancouver) were first-time purchasers (26%) which may indicate a shift from Greater Vancouver to the Fraser Valley of these buyers.

    Approximately 10% of home buyers in both regions bought a new home. Among those who bought a new home, 53% in Greater Vancouver and 65% in the Fraser Valley purchased the home pre-completion.

    Most homes bought and sold in both regions were a principal residence rather than vacation home, investment property or second home.

    The majority paid about what they expected with 31% in Greater Vancouver and 23% in Fraser Valley paying more. Furthermore, the majority sold for about what they expected with 29% in Greater Vancouver and 23% in Fraser Valley selling for less than anticipated. But note that one-in-five sold for more.

    In the Greater Vancouver area, 74% own one home or property, 18% own more than one, and 7% do not own any (sold in 2008 but are now renting). Note that in 2006 this group was too small to measure. In the Fraser Valley area, 82% own one property, 15% own more than one and 3% have sold but not purchased.

  • REBGV & FVREB - Buyers and Sellers Survey

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    Executive Overview (contd)

    Decision Criteria Those who both bought and sold real estate in 2008 were primarily driven by the need for more or less space. A

    change in location and desire for a different style of home were secondary reasons. A desire for home ownership and investment potential are the additional motivators among those who only

    bought (and did not sell) in 2008. Concern about falling market values was a key reason for selling among those who only sold but did not buy. Proximity to such amenities as shops, grocery stores and medical facilities is the most common factor

    considered in selecting neighbourhoods, particularly among condominium, townhome or duplex buyers. Secondary considerations include proximity to transit, work, schools, and parks or green space.

    Furthermore, approximately one-third of Greater Vancouver buyers and one-in-five Fraser Valley buyers report to have paid more for their homes to be closer or within walking distance to amenities such as public transit, shops and schools.

    Apart from price, other factors considered in the selection of their home include, the style of home, followed by the size (with the majority desiring a larger home). The number of bedrooms and the condition of the home are other important considerations. Green features are considered by one-in-ten.

    The size of home is the most common characteristic buyers will compromise to afford their home. A number of other features are also mentioned but note that 44% in Greater Vancouver and 52% in the Fraser Valley did not make any compromises.

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    Executive Overview (contd)

    The Home Search Process More than nine-in-ten used a REALTOR to buy or sell their homes, with no significant change in Greater

    Vancouver since 2006. Among those who both bought and sold a home, 83% in Greater Vancouver (up from 73% in 2006) used the

    same REALTOR. The proportion using the same representative was lower in the Fraser Valley (68%). The primary reason for using a different REALTOR is knowledge of the area. Dissatisfaction with the initial

    REALTOR and a number of other reasons are also given. Referral by a friend or family member is the predominant way buyers and sellers first learned about their

    REALTOR. Regardless of whether the REALTOR was used to buy or sell their home, the key quality in their selection of

    a REALTOR is the honesty or integrity of the representative. Other considerations include knowledge of the local area and market conditions.

    The majority of those who used a REALTOR were at least somewhat satisfied overall with their representative, with those who used the same representative for both buying and selling expressing the highest level of satisfaction.

    As found in 2006 in Greater Vancouver, dissatisfaction is highest among those who used a different representative to sell their home, with 22% being dissatisfied in contrast to 5-6% of those using a different representative for buying their home or same representative for both. This pattern is not as evident in the Fraser Valley.

    Those satisfied with their experience commonly use descriptions such as professional, hard working, listened to me, and supportive when probed for reasons for their satisfaction rating.

    Lack of professionalism, a concern about honesty and lack of responsiveness (did not listen to me) are the key reasons for dissatisfaction.

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    Executive Overview (contd)

    The Home Search Process (contd) Almost nine-in-ten sellers believed they received at least somewhat good value relative to the fees they paid,

    with half reporting very good value. These findings represent an improvement over 2006 ratings in Greater Vancouver.

    The most valuable services provided by their REALTOR include locating the most suitable neighbourhood, and placing or negotiating offers.

    Approximately one-in-ten believe their REALTOR did not explain their roles and responsibilities to them with this level slightly higher among Greater Vancouver buyers who used a different representative to buy their home.

    Just over half claim to be aware of the consumer protection available through using a professional REALTOR. First-time buyers are less inclined to be aware (44% aware).

    A REALTOR and MLS listings on the Internet are the most common ways home buyers first learned about the home they bought.

    MLS listings on the Internet were most commonly used to market homes for sale, followed at some distance by REALTOR client lists, open-houses and newspaper ads.

    The Internet, followed by a REALTOR are the most useful sources of information about homes for sale. Email is the most commonly preferred method of receiving information by buyers who used a REALTOR.

    Telephone calls and in-person are the next most preferred ways (except among seniors who tend to prefer these methods over e-mail).

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    Executive Overview (contd)

    Financing Equity from the sale of a previous home, followed by personal savings are the most frequently reported

    sources of downpayment. An average of just over 50% of the purchase price was financed, this proportion being relatively consistent with

    2006 findings in the Greater Vancouver region. Approximately 15% financed their property transfer tax, most commonly through borrowing or taking a loan

    from their financial institution.

    Future Plans Approximately one-quarter (down from one-third in Greater Vancouver in 2006) intend to buy or sell a home or

    property in the next five years or so. The majority expect that prices will decrease in 2009. Approximately one-quarter believe they will stay the

    same and less than 10% predict an increase.

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    Executive Overview (contd)

    Demographic Profile of Buyers and SellersKey characteristics of buyers and sellers include:

    Buyers tend to be younger than sellers with just over half of buyers being less than 45 years of age whereas just over half of sellers are 45 years of age or older.

    The majority (over seven-in-ten) buyers and sellers are married or living common-law. The average household size is 2.7. In the Fraser Valley buyer households tend to be slightly larger (3.0). Close to 70% of buyers and 65% of sellers in Greater Vancouver have obtained a university degree or college

    diploma in contrast to about 50% of Fraser Valley buyers/sellers. A slightly higher proportion of buyers than sellers are employed. Also note that the employment rate is higher

    in Greater Vancouver than in the Fraser Valley area, with no significant change since 2006. Only one-third of Greater Vancouver home buyers were born in B.C. The proportion is slightly higher in the

    Fraser Valley (about 40%). A language other than English is spoken in the homes of 15% of buyers in both regions and 10% of sellers in

    Greater Vancouver and 7% of sellers in the Fraser Valley. Punjabi is the most common alternate language in the Fraser Valley.

    Approximately 8% of households have extended family living with them. Greater Vancouver buyers and sellers report a range of household incomes, whereas Fraser Valley consumers

    are skewed towards those earning $90,000 or less per year.

  • REBGV & FVREB - Buyers and Sellers Survey

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    Research Objectives and Methodology

    The Real Estate Board of Greater V