Monday, October 29, 2012
An Alternate Strategy for Vancouver’s Affordable Housing Crunch
David & Mark Goodman, The Goodman Report
Vancouver’s affordable housing initiative recently proposed by Mayor Robertson has triggered heated debate amongst its citizenry, especially those residing in single-family neighbourhoods. While most support the search for financially reasonable solutions to alleviate our well-publicized housing shortages and sky-high costs (amongst the highest in North America), there are those determined not to accept change particularly if it affects them directly.
source: The Goodman Report
Monday, October 22, 2012
Grant for new secondary or recreational homes available
If a client buys a new or substantially renovated secondary or recreational home in BC, but outside of Greater Vancouver or Victoria, before April 1, 2013, they may qualify for a provincial grant for the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
The grant for new secondary or recreational housing is directly administered by the BC Ministry of Finance. This grant should not be confused with the BC New Housing Rebate available for new residential homes bought as a primary residence, and administered by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The grant for new secondary or recreation housing is 71.43% of the provincial portion of the HST paid on the new home up to a maximum rebate of $42,500. Secondary or recreational homes priced at $850,000 or more are eligible for a flat grant of $42,500. To be eligible, the secondary or recreational home must be:
• a new home (detached, semi-detached, duplex, condominium, townhouse) constructed or substantially renovated (more than 90%) together with land bought from a builder;
In addition to the general qualifications above, buyers must meet other conditions depending on the type of home and whether the client buys or builds the house alone or with others. For example, if two or more individuals buy a new secondary or recreational home, or build or substantially renovate a home, each buyer must meet all eligibility conditions, but only one may apply for the grant as the claimant.
You do not have to be a BC resident to be eligible for the grant. Buyers of secondary or recreational homes must complete an application form and provide supporting documents within six months from the date the HST was paid and before October 1, 2013 (whichever date is earliest).
To learn more, contact:
Friday, January 27, 2012
Vancouver among world's 'least affordable' housing markets
Vancouver is the world’s second-least affordable major city to buy a house, according to an annual survey of global housing markets.
The Eighth Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey covers 325 metropolitan markets around the world.
It measures the markets using something called the “median multiple,” which is the median house price divided by gross annual median household income.
The study comes as Canadian banks worry about the state of the market and economists suggest prices could drop by as much as 10 per cent in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto.
Canada was the third most affordable market, behind the United States and Ireland. The markets that were surveyed were Australia, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States.
The report suggests the country is actually a very affordable place to own a home. There’s a catch, of course. It depends where you buy. And it’s a big country.
At 10.6 – with prices at $678,500 and incomes at $63,800 - Vancouver comes second only to Hong Kong in the major market category (cities over one million population), which has a rating of 12.6 ($3.1-million median house price, with income at $249,000).
Toronto sits in 18th place ($406,400/$73,600), sandwiched between Boston and Los Angeles with a rating of 5.5.
Montreal is the world’s 23rd least affordable market, with a rating of 5.1 ($281,700/$54,700).
“Canada’s Median Multiple was 3.5, indicating slightly deteriorating housing performance from last year’s 3.4,” the report states.
“All of the 128 affordable markets (having a Median Multiple of 3.0 or below) were in Ireland, Canada and the United States. There were 117 affordable markets in the United States and nine affordable markets in Canada and two affordable markets in Ireland.”
There were no affordable markets in Australia, New Zealand or the United Kingdom.
“The 87 moderately unaffordable markets were divided between the United States (64), Canada (19), Ireland (3) and the United Kingdom (1). There were no moderately unaffordable markets in Australia or New Zealand.”
The report said the world’s least affordable markets all had something in common – “each of the least affordable markets were characterized by more restrictive land-use regulations which materially increases the price of land and makes housing less affordable.”
The most affordable major market in the world was Detroit, with a multiple of 1.4 ($66,500/$48,700).
Over all, Windsor was the most affordable Canadian city of any size, with a ratio of 2.2 ($149,900/ $67,900).
January 23, 2012 Globe & Mail Update, available online at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/vancouver-among-worlds-least-affordable-housing-markets/article2311279/
Monday, January 23, 2012
2012 MARKET FORECAST
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – From the desk of Amalia Liapis
2012 MARKET FORECAST
As we move forward into 2012, the year of the Dragon, I thought it helpful to review some global activity that will have a measurable effect on our local real estate market.
China’s fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) rose 8.9% from a year earlier, beating analysts’ expectations of 8.6% growth. For the full year of 2011, China’s GDP rose by 9.2% compared to a 10.4% rise in 2010. It always amazes me how China can produce statistics so quickly but market analysts are always skeptical on how accurate the data is out of China as there is no way to reliably check the accuracy.
USA reporting season is in full swing for the December quarter and results here will direct US and world markets over the next few weeks. The US still has the world’s largest economy and, while it has slowed, guidance from the corporate world during reporting season will give a better idea of future recovery. Again the next two weeks will be vital here, but so far so good. Economic data has been better than expected and this has been reflected in the US equities market now at five month highs. This is the year for the Presidential elections, so we can expect to see lots of big promises from both parties that should also help equity markets and real estate activity.
Europe’s financial problems will be with us all during 2012 as there appears no easy fix. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is hoping to raise $500 billion US to help with the European crisis. The US Treasury and some non-euro zone European countries, such as Britain, are reluctant to contribute and this could leave Asian and other developing countries to make up the shortfall.
Greece is trying to work out with its creditors how much they will write off. An agreement of sorts was reached last year as a part of the Greek bailout fund that bond holders would take a “hair cut” of 50%. Now, Greece wants that to be taken out to 68% and could be close to an agreement; however Greek Banks don’t want to be included. No one does, but most will agree if everyone else will. The European Central Bank (ECB) is the largest holder of Greek bonds with a total of around €50 billion ($61.5 billion US). Hedge funds are threatening to sue the Greek Government to make good on bond payments so this issue could hang over any deal made. We could then expect Portugal to be the next to stand up for Portuguese bond holders to also take a “cut,” perhaps then followed by Ireland. If Spain and Italy start looking for a deal then the world economy will be in turmoil for a long time which will have an effect on the stock markets. During these economic times people start to move their money into other investments and so real estate is an obvious choice. Demand for investment properties will create a momentum in our local market.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Interest Rates Likely to Remain Low
Canadian markets didn’t get much of a summer vacation this week, as negotiations on the Greek bailout package took centre stage globally, while the Bank of Canada’s interest rate decision was the main event at home. On balance, an agreement on a second Greece bailout, combined with some positive corporate earnings reports, improved market sentiment and helped equity markets rally. A more hawkish-than-expected statement from the Bank of Canada (BoC) added fuel, initially taking bond yields higher, and the Canadian dollar along with them. After a benign inflation report for June on Friday, however, these moves were partially unwound.
As expected, the BoC left interest rates unchanged, but the accompanying statement was more hawkish than anticipated. The Bank dropped the word “eventually” from the statement “some of the considerable monetary policy stimulus currently in place will be [eventually] withdrawn”, leading markets to move up their timetable on rate hikes. However, Wednesday’s Monetary Policy Report (MPR), included two technical boxes that emphasized the case for leaving rates lower for longer. One explained how interest rates can remain stimulative even after inflation has reached its target and the output gap is closed. This occurs if the economy is facing significant headwinds, such as a persistent reduction in foreign demand for exports. Governor Carney reiterated that monetary policy is not some mechanical process whereby you input expected inflation and the output gap, and out comes a rate decision (in fact if that were the case, he wouldn’t have a job). Rather, the Bank takes into account what he characterized as “the very real headwinds from the dollar, the U.S., from Europe”. This is likely in response to some critics who argue the bank is at risk of getting behind the curve on inflation.
The other technical box in the MPR underscored the damaging effects of a strong Canadian dollar on some sectors of the economy, expanding on the responses in last week’s Business Outlook Survey. Nearly half of firms surveyed reported adverse impacts from a stronger dollar, and these firms tended to be less optimistic about their future prospects. Adverse effects were more common among manufacturers, and firms based in Central or Eastern Canada. In sum, the survey showed that headwinds from a strong C$, and continued softness in U.S. demand are constraining sales prospects over the next 12 months for firms not benefitting from high commodity prices.
The Bank is clearly focused on the danger of hiking prematurely, and then having one of these risks worsen. It would be very difficult to raise rates before January, because in all probability they would want data on how Q3 evolved, and confirmation of firmer U.S. demand. Friday’s release of Canadian CPI and retail sales reports showed there is little urgency for the Bank to restart rate hikes. June inflation came in softer-than-expected, and retail sales were flat in real terms, confirming that there is little scope for retailers to raise prices with debt-fatigued consumers reining in spending. All told, our expectation for the Bank to delay resuming rate hikes until January remains in tact.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Housing Market Spring Activity in April
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver saw a typical, solid month of residential home sales on the MultipleListing Service in April, in contrast to the near record pace witnessed in the two preceding months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver reached 3,225 in April 2011, an 8.2 per cent decrease compared to the 3,512 sales in April 2010 and a 21 per cent decline compared to the 4,080 sales in March 2011.
Looking back further, last month’s residential sales represent an 8.8 per cent increase over the 2,963 residential sales in April 2009, relatively unchanged compared to April 2008, and a 4.8 per cent decline compared to the 3,387 sales in April 2007.
While it continues to be a seller’s market (Detached) in Greater Vancouver, last month’s activity brought greater balance between supply and demand in the overall marketplace,the REBGV president said. The year-over-year decline in April sales can be attributed to a less active condominium market on our MLS, as there were more detached and townhome sales this April compared to last year.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,847 in April 2011. This represents a 23.5 per cent decline compared to April 2010 when 7,648 properties were listed for sale on the MLS, which was an all-time record for April. Compared to March 2011, last month’s new listings total registered a 14 per cent decline.
At 14,187, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS increased 8.2 per cent in April compared to last month and declined 10 per cent from this time last year.
There’s considerable variation in activity within the communities in our region. This is causing home price trends to differ depending on the area.
The MLSLink Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 5 per cent to $622,991 in April 2011 from $593,419 in April 2010.
Sales of detached properties on the MLS in April 2011 reached 1,402, an increase of 2.3 per cent from the 1,370 detached sales recorded in April 2010, and a 17.8 per cent increase from the 1,190 units sold in April 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 7.4 per cent from April 2010 to $879,039.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,201 in April 2011, a 21.3 per cent decrease compared to the 1,526 sales in April 2010, and an increase of 1.9 per cent compared to the 1,179 sales in April 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property Sales of apartment properties reached 1,201 in April 2011, a 21.3 per cent decrease compared to the 1,526 sales in April 2010, and an increase of 1.9 per cent compared to the 1,179 sales in April 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 2.9 per cent from April 2010 to $409,242.
Attached property sales in April 2011 totalled 622, a 1 per cent increase compared to the 616 sales in April 2010, and a 4.7 per cent increase from the 594 attached properties sold in April 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 2.4 per cent between April 2010 and 2011 to $514,670.
In the coming Summer months we should continue to see the strong activity of Westside Detached homes. I believe we will see a strong increase of activity in Apartments and Townhomes. For those who are considering a purchase in this sector of the market…now is a good time to buy.
As always I am available for your questions.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Real estate market stable at year-end
The Greater Vancouver residential housing market entered three distinctive phases in 2010. Continued buoyancy from the post-recession recovery began the year, followed by a summer lull and, throughout the fall, a sustained period of stability.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2010 reached 30,595, a 14.2 per cent decrease from the 35,669 sales recorded in 2009, but a 24.2 per cent increase from the 24,626 residential sales in 2008. Last year's number of housing sales was 10.3 per cent below the ten-year average for annual Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales in the region.
The number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver increased 9.7 per cent in 2010 to 58,009 compared to the 52,869 properties listed in 2009. Compared to 2008, last year's total represents a 7.3 per cent decline compared to the 62,561 residential properties listed in 2008. The number of properties added to the MLS® peaked in April and generally declined for the remainder of the year.
The last two years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for the real estate market. However, sales over the past six months have definitely shown a trend toward stability. We think that's good news for home buyers and sellers, Jake Moldowan, REBGV president said. The Greater Vancouver housing market experienced a modest increase in home prices in 2010, and a continual decrease in the number of properties being listed for sale.
Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,899 in December 2010, a decrease of 24.5 per cent from the 2,515 sales recorded in December 2009, an all time record for the month, and a 24.3 per cent decline compared to November 2010 when 2,509 home sales occurred.
More broadly, last month's residential sales represent a 105.5 per cent increase over the 924 residential sales in December 2008, a 0.1 per cent increase compared to December 2007's 1,897 sales, and a 12.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,686 sales in December 2006.
The residential benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for Greater Vancouver increased 2.7 per cent to $577,808 between Decembers 2009 and 2010. However, prices have decreased 2.6 per cent since hitting a peak of $593,419 in April 2010. Although we saw some pressure on home prices throughout the year, home values in 2010 remained relatively steady in the region compared to the last few years when we witnessed much more fluctuation, Moldowan said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,699 in December 2010. This represents a 21.1 per cent decline compared to the 2,153 units listed in December 2009 and a 43.9 per cent decline compared to November 2010 when 3,030 properties were listed.
Sales of detached properties in December 2010 reached 769, a decrease of 14.8 per cent from the 902 detached sales recorded in December 2009, and a 121.1 per cent increase from the 348 units sold in
Attached property sales in December 2010 totalled 319, a decline of 30.5 per cent compared to the 459 sales in December 2009, and a 100.6 per cent increase from the 159 attached properties sold in December 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 2.7 per cent between December 2009 and 2010 to $490,869.
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