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‘Our agent and the seller ganged up on us to go way over asking,’ says ‘shell-shocked’ Burnaby buyer

"I felt shell shocked."
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Glacier media file photo

Burnaby's housing sales have slowed a bit from a scorching spring, but prices keep rising.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's June report shows listing activities and sales have eased since record-setting paces were seen in March and April this year. 

But the report shows the median house price in Burnaby rose from 1,784,000 in May to 1,874,000 in June.

Matthew thinks he knows why.

Matthew and his wife read some recent stories in the NOW about frustrated buyers fed up with being caught in multiple-bidding situations that are pushing prices up.

The couple, who rent in Vancouver, was looking at condos in the Lougheed, Edmonds, Brentwood and Metrotown areas in order to be close to SkyTrain because they both work in Vancouver.

They were using a real estate agent in Vancouver to help them negotiate the market.

It didn’t go well.

The couple was careful with bidding only on a condo that they really loved and not just simply to get into the market. But things quickly spiraled out of control.

“Our agent and the seller ganged up on us to go way over asking,” said Matthew. “I mean my real estate agent is supposed to be protecting us, but seemed to be taking their cues from the seller. He kept telling us, ‘This won’t get it done, you have to go higher’ even though we had clearly outlined what our budget was and what line we wouldn’t cross. We got really whipped up into all of this and found ourselves bidding beyond our means. I felt shell shocked. And we still lost out on it. In hindsight, we feel we were lucky. We’re definitely looking for a different agent who will listen to us next time.”

Greater Vancouver saw 3,762 sales last month, which is a 54% increase from 2,443 sales in June of 2020, but a decrease of 11.9% decrease from 4,268 listings sold in May of this year. 

There were 5,849 detached, attached and apartment properties listed for sale on MLS during June of 2021 which marks a 17.9 decline compared to May when there were 7,125 homes listed. 

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts slowed in June.

The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts fell 1.5 per cent to 282,070 units in June compared with 286,296 in May.

The annual pace of urban starts fell 1.8 per cent in June to 251,190 as the pace of starts for apartments, condos and other types of multiple-unit housing projects rose 0.6 per cent to 191,085.

Starts of single-detached urban homes fell 8.5 per cent to 60,105.

MHC estimated rural starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 30,880 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 293,567 in June, up from 284,837 in May.

  • With files from Jess Balzer and the Canadian Press