Global News BC had a story reflective of many homeowners in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley region struggling with rising mortgage payments. 

Click here for a direct video link to 'Gutted': Amid rising mortgage rates, B.C. couple sells home to go back to renting.

The cold hard truth is that the near zero interest rates we've seen in the past decade or so was a historical anomaly as the cost of money was artifically suppressed by reckless central banks like the Bank of Canada. This broken price signal encouraged many people to take on way more debt (especially mortgages) than they should have.

I always advise my buyer clients to stick with traditional affordability metrics that will ensure someone will be able to shoulder the total carrying costs of homeownership over the entire amortization life cycle, with ups and downs in mortgage rates. It is reckless and irresponsible to have assumed that record low interest rates were a new normal. Reversion to the mean is something people are beginning to understand, in the context of historical mortgage rates.

Current mortgage rates aren't high. They are in the range of historically normal and homeowners need to budget their cashflow as such. 

To the credit of the couple in this news segment, they made a responsbile decision to downsize; downsizing is a topic that I have previously written extensively about. The couple in question, in terms of a silver lining, is now going to be able to save money and gain more financial balance in their life. This is prudent and I think this is an idea that more and more over-extended Metro Vancouver homeowners will need to seriously consider.


Why Boring Can Be Good

The current real estate market in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley could be characterized as being steady or stable. It might also be described as almost slow and boring. Buying and selling a Vancouver area home in a stable, balanced market can offer several advantages for both buyers and sellers:

1. Fair Pricing: In a balanced market, supply and demand are relatively equal. This means that prices are generally stable and reflect the true value of properties. Buyers are less likely to encounter inflated prices, and sellers are less likely to face pressure to lower their asking prices.

2. Less Stress: The market is less frenzied in a balanced environment. Buyers have more time to carefully consider their options without the pressure of multiple competing offers. Likewise, sellers may not feel rushed to accept the first offer that comes in.

3. Reasonable Negotiation: Both buyers and sellers have more negotiating power in a balanced market. Buyers can negotiate with sellers for a fair price or request repairs or improvements. Sellers can negotiate terms and conditions that align with their needs.

4. Fewer Extreme Fluctuations: In an unstable or volatile market, prices can fluctuate dramatically, which can be stressful for both buyers and sellers. In a balanced market, there are fewer extreme ups and downs, providing more stability and predictability.

5. More Choices: In a balanced market, there tends to be a healthy inventory of homes available for sale. This means buyers have a wider range of options to choose from, which can help them find a property that meets their needs and preferences.

6. Reasonable Timeframes: Transactions in a balanced market often proceed at a more moderate pace. There's less urgency to make quick decisions, giving both parties more time to conduct due diligence, arrange financing, and handle other aspects of the transaction.

7. Less Risk of Overpaying or Underselling: In a stable, balanced market, properties are generally priced in line with their fair market value. This reduces the likelihood of buyers overpaying for a property or sellers receiving significantly less than their property's worth.

8. Potential for Investment: In a balanced market, properties can be seen as a stable investment. While there may not be rapid appreciation, there is less likelihood of significant depreciation, providing a safer investment environment.

9. Better Long-term Planning: For buyers looking for a long-term residence, a balanced market can provide a more secure foundation for future property value. For sellers, it may offer more confidence in achieving a reasonable return on investment.

Overall, a stable, balanced market offers a more rational and less emotionally charged environment for both buyers and sellers. It allows for careful consideration of options, reasonable negotiations, and reduced risk, making it an appealing scenario for many participants in the real estate market. This is a welcome relief and environment in the Metro Vancouver housing market, especially given the crazy frenzied activity we've seen in recent years.

Who says boring is bad? Maybe now is a great time to list your house, condo or townhouse for sale and make a move. If you're a buyer, the reasons noted above suggest now is as good a time as any to begin your home buying search.

The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.