Traditionally the strongest market in the year is the "spring market" . This would be from mid February to late June depending on the year. People want to sell or buy and be moved before summer vacation with kids out of school or so they can relax and enjoy their vacation. The second busiest time is the "fall market" , usually from September 1st to mid or late November. These are the buyers and sellers wanting to get moved by year end and the Christmas season. It is not as busy as the "spring market" . The months of July and August are often quiet as people are enjoying the sunshine and summer. The months of December and January are the quietest of the year with the holiday season and cold rainy winter.
Our market is Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has not changed much in the last 3-4 years. This last 12 months we have seen the number of sales drop substantially (20-25%) but prices have only decreased about 5%. More expensive properties have likely decreased a little more but our market is holding up well.
With more downward price pressure on expensive property it is a very good time to consider moving up. For example if you were selling for $400,000 and buying for $500,000 the increase was $100,000. If prices have dropped 5% then the $400,000 house is now $380,000 and the $500,000 house is now $475,000 and the difference is now $95,000. The more expensive purchase may have decreased 6-7% in price also.
Anytime to sell and buy is fine as long as you do so in the same market. You do not want to sell and rent in anticipation of declining prices only to have the market suddenly change, prices increase and consume a portion of your equity.
Interest rates are still at historic lows. I saw a mortgage broker today advertising 2.75% for a 5 year term mortgage. This means a $300,000 mortgage has payments of $1382 per month.