While it has been an ongoing trend that demand has been outpacing supply, residential sales have not been slowing down. In the latest market stats released mid-June by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), there continues to be a month-over-month surge in residential sales. There has been a 26% increase in sales from April 2017 to May 2017 with a total of 12,402 residential home transactions. If it weren't for the low supply, 20-year low as a matter of fact, sales figures may even be higher than actual figures. This amount is 8% lower than May 2016 when the market was hot.
As you can see below, as a result of 9 of 11 real estate boards in BC having a home sales to active listings ratio above 20%, this has resulted in a seller's market. The BCREA states that anything greater than 20% for a sustained period is a seller's market. The Greater Vancouver region, the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack and Victoria all have seen ratios of over 50%.
Source: British Columbia Real Estate Association
In May 2017, MLS® recorded a total of 12,402 residential unit sales and an average MLS® residential price in BC of $752,536 which is a 7.9% decrease and 4.2% increase, respectively, from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume amounted to $9.33 Billion which is a 4% decrease from May 2016.
For a detailed look at residential statistics for May 2017, read our previous blog here. For all your real estate needs, contact Amalia Liapis at 604-618-7000 or alternatively at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following suit with previous months, housing demand is still continuing to outpace supply. In May 2017, MLS® recorded a total of 12,402 residential unit sales and an average MLS® residential price in BC of $752,536 which is a 7.9% decrease and 4.2% increase, respectively, from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume amounted to $9.33 Billion which is a 4% decrease from May 2016.
“Market conditions have tightened considerably this spring as an upturn in consumer demand has not been accompanied by a rise in homes listed for sale,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The supply of homes for sale in the province has fallen 50 per cent over the past five years.
There is a shortage of housing supply in the entire southern portion which consequently results in upward pressure on home prices. Total active listings has decreased by 11.1% in comparison to May 2016 and totals 28,404 units. The ratio of home sales to active listings was over 20% in 9 of the province's 11 real estate boards and over 50% in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack and Victoria.
Below you will find a comparative chart showing May 2017 and May 2016 figures for average residential price, active listings, sales-to-active listings, dollar volume and residential units sold in BC. (Click to enlarge photo).
For all your real estate needs, contact Amalia Liapis at 604-618-7000 or alternatively at email@example.com.
Premier Christy Clark has recently announced a new loan program called the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership Program that will assist first-time home buyers by contributing to your personal down payment. The government will lend the buyer funds equal to the down payment up to $37,500, or 5% of the purchase price. This new loan would be granted to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have never previously owned a property and is only applicable to residences with a maximum purchase price of $750,000. This will be an interest-free and payment-free loan for the first five years. After that period, buyers can then either repay their loan or enter into monthly payments at current interest rates. These loans will become due after 25 years, which is the typical length of most mortgages.
Applications will be accepted on January 16, 2017 and the program comes to an end on March 31, 2020. Additional information can be found here.
As mentioned previously, this program is for first-time homebuyers. All individuals applying that have a registered interest on title must reside in the home. In addition, you will find other requirements as seen below.
Eligibility Requirements: » Have been a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years » Have resided in British Columbia for at least one year immediately preceding the date of application » Be a first-time buyer who has not owned an interest in a residence anywhere in the world at any time » Use the property as their principal residence for the first five years » Purchase a home that has a purchase price of $750,000 or less (excluding taxes and fees) » Obtain a high-ratio insured first mortgage on the property for at least 80% of the purchase price » Have a combined, gross household income of all individuals on title not exceeding $150,000 » Have saved a down payment amount at least equal to the loan amount for which the buyer applied
As of February 19, 2014, the BC Government has implemented a tax break for first-time home owners and can be used in conjunction with the BC HOME Partnership Program. The First Time Home Buyers’ Program reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax paid on your first home. We blogged about this back in 2014 and you can view it here. Our blog outlines both homeowner and property requirements.
For all your real estate needs, contact the WeSellVancouver team at 604-801-6654 or alternatively at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
Vancouver has seen slower home sales in August but there has been an overall strong housing demand across most regions within BC. There were 8,945 residential units recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) last month which is an increase of 1.5% compared to the same month last year. As for the total sales dollar volume, it has seen a decrease of 6.7% compared to last year with a total of $5.1 Billion in sales. The average MLS® price has also seen a deline of 8.1% compared to the same month last year which brings it to $569,393.
"The newly introduced 15 per cent foreign buyer tax combined with the 3 per cent property transfer tax on homes over $2 million brought in earlier this year, slowed demand at the top end of the market in Vancouver last month." - Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.
"The decline in the average home price was due to a change in the composition and location of homes sold in the province," added Muir. "Fewer sales of high priced detached homes relative to all other homes sales in Vancouver as well as fewer Vancouver home sales relative to the rest of the province has caused the average price statistic to decline."
Year-to-date, the BC residential sales dollar increased to $61.6 Billion (39.1% increase) when compared to the same period in 2015. As for the unit sales, it has also increased to 86,206 units (22.1% increase) whereas the average MLS® residential price totaled $714,400 (13.9%). 2016 was off to a good start with record-breaking sales while July and August saw more historically normal activity.
The new foreign tax implemented appears to be a factor in the downward residential sales within the Metro Vancouver area. It has reduced foreign buyer activity within the residential market and has caused some uncertainty amongst local home buyers and sellers. It may be a little early to see the true impact of this new tax but in a few months time, we would be able to analyze foreign buyer data more closely. As September comes to an end, stay tuned in the next few weeks for stats on this month. For all your real estate needs, contact the WeSellVancouver team at email@example.com or alternatively at 604-801-6654.
Source: British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA)
As of May 16, 2016, the government now requires contracts prepared by real estate licensees to include a clause that sets restrictions on assignments. This new requirement for real estate contracts is in effect and affects both residential and commercial contracts. The following paragraph has been added to the contracts as seen below:
Paragraph 20A (Residential) & Paragraph 40A (Commercial) RESTRICTION ON ASSIGNMENT OF CONTRACT: The Buyer and the Seller agree that this Contract: (a) must not be assigned without the written consent of the Seller; and (b) the Seller is entitled to any profit resulting from an assignment of the Contract by the Buyer or any subsequent assignee.
"Real estate consumers now have a tool to help them decide whether they want their contracts to be assignable," says BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) President Deanna Horn. "Like many other provisions in the contract, buyers and sellers have the option of keeping the new paragraph, changing it or striking it out completely - but at least the conversation is more likely to happen now."
What exactly is an assignment? Basically, it is the practice of someone assigning their rights in a contract to someone else prior to the completion of the transaction. In layman's terms, someone can buy the right to step into the original buyer's shoes to complete the contract. While they are legal under common law and by secion 36 of the Law and Equity Act, there may be instances of parties utilizing assignments as a way to make a profit, especially in a busy real estate market. As such, the new revisions in place stipulate that the Seller is entitled to any profit resulting from the assignment.
Commencing in June 2016, the provincial government will be collecting citizenship data of real estate owners through the Property Transfer Tax Form as per Mike de Jong, Minister of Finance.
"BCREA is pleased that the government will collect this information, in which there is obviously a lot of public interest," says Association CEO Robert Liang. "Strong policy is based on solid information, and we look forward to learning more about this aspect of the real estate market."
For all your real estate needs, contact Amalia Liapis by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively by phone at 604-618.7000.
It's no surprise that the ongoing trend of housing demand outpacing supply has followed us into the month of May. Let's look back at April 2016 statistics to solidify our understanding of the housing market.
There has been an increase of 30.3% residential unit sales when comparing April 2016 to April 2015 with a total of 12,969 units recorded. The total sales dollar volume was $9.64 Billion which is a 52.7% increase compared to the same period in time last year. Looking at the average MLS® residential price in BC of $743,640 shows a year-over-year increase of 17.2%.
“Housing demand is exceptionally strong across the southern regions of the province,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Consumers appear to be particularly active in the Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and the Thompson/Okanagan regions.” “Strong employment growth is helping underpin consumer confidence,” added Muir.
Despite what appears to be a period of higher than normal unemployment, there has been an additional 78,000 workers employed in BC in the first quarter of 2016 which is a 3.5% increase in comparison to the same period last year. Looking at the year-to-date statistics, the BC residential sales dollar volume is sitting at $31.2 Billion (64.3% increase), unit sales total 28,028 units (36.2% increase) and the average MLS® residential price is currently $761,860 (20.6% increase). Take a look below for a regional breakdown of MLS comparative data and the changes from April 2015 to April 2016.
Source: British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA)
For all your real estate needs, contact Amalia Liapis by e-mail at email@example.com or alternatively by phone at 604-618-7000.
As we take a look at MLS® sales figures for February 2016, it is evident that there has been a substantial increase in residential unit sales in comparison to February 2015 numbers with a total increase of 44.7% (9,637 sales). There is a stark contrast in terms of total sales dollar volume from one year to the next with a total of$7.51 Billion which is a 76.4% increase. The average MLS® residential price in the province was up 21.9 per cent year-over-year, to $779,419.
"Housing demand is now at a break-neck pace," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Home sales last month were not only a record for the month of February, but on a seasonally adjusted basis, demand has never been stronger in the province."
"Downward pressure on active listings has created significant upward pressure on home prices in some regions, particularly in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley," added Muir. "While home builders have responded with a record pace of housing starts for BC last month, the supply isn't expected alleviate the imbalance in these markets in the near term."
Looking at year-to-date data, residential sales dollar volume for BC has increased 73.6% to $11.9 Billion in contrast to the same period in 2015 whereas unit sales increased 40.1% to 15,468 units. At the rate this is going, it is no wonder why the intense housing demand is causing a shortage of supply. For all your real estate needs, contact Amalia Liapis at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively, at 604-618-7000.
Come join us TOMORROWfor an open house at 4561 Sardis Street - we can't wait to meet with you. For additional information on this property, contact us at email@example.com or alternatively at 604-716-6155.
From a macro perspective, Canada's economy is going through a rough patch and growth is slowing down. Several variables contribute to this such as the equity markets being off to a historically bad start, the weak Canadian dollar and the oil prices struggling to find a floor. On the bright side, looking at BC's economy allows us to let out a bit of a sigh of relief. There seems to be a multitude of indicators that provide British Columbians with a glimmer of hope as these indicators point to significant momentum underlying our provincial economy.
The pace in which consumer spending and retail sales grew last year was the fastest pace in close to a decade. This key indicator proved to be the largest component of BC's economy. As a result of this, this growth largely reflected markedly improved labour market fundamentals. While employment growth has seen sluggish growth for the past few years, the last six months of 2015 proved to be a stark contrast. Growth was moving at more than a 2% rate over the latter half of the previous year. Full-time employment seeing an increase was the driver spearheading the growth seen.
With the growth demonstrated, it is no surprise that British Columbians were in a spending mood. Not only did consumption goods see an increase in sales but larger paychques and confidence in the BC economy resulted in the third highest year on record for provincial home sales. With the relative strength of the economy in BC, it is no wonder why we are seeing more interprovincial migration with workers moving to BC. Since 2013, there has been a net inflow of more than 30,000 people from other provinces, resulting in population growth and adding to an already strong housing and consumer demand.
With a strong housing demand comes a record low supply of re-sale and new housing in BC. Developers reacted to this lack of supply by breaking ground on over 30,000 new housing units last year making it the highest number of housing starts since 2008. All in all, BC's economy is forecasted to continue being a growth leader in Canada for this year and the years to come.
Want a way to measure home price trends in a chosen area? MLS has designed a tool that does just that. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) allows users to measure home price trends in the Greater Vancouver region and other major markets in the country. The HPI follows a similar concept to the economic tool called the Consumer Price Index (CPI). With the HPI, it measures inflation or deflation as well as the change in the price of housing features. It "tracks price levels at a point in time relative to price levels in a base (reference) period for one- and two-storey single family homes, townhouse/row units and apartment units".
The MLS HPI model is typically utilized to calculate Benchmark Prices. A "benchmark home" is one with similar attributes to those in the surrounding area in which it is located. Relative Benchmark Prices measure the percentage by which the Benchmark Price in a particular area and category is in relation to the overall market at any specific point in time.
The tools put out by MLS are there at your disposal and for your convenience. Check out their website here for all these handy tools. For all your real estate needs, contact Amalia Liapis at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively, at 604-618-7000.
2015 was the strongest in the past few years with 102,517 MLS residential sales. Economists believe that this year will follow suit with strong consumer demand, however, with a slight 6.2% decline in sales bringing it under the 100k mark to a projected 96,100 units in 2016 and 98,000 units in 2017. A visual representation of BC's MLS Residential Sales are shown below starting from 2005 to 2017F.
BC's relatively robust economy coupled with strong net interprovincial migration has subsequently led to the strong housing demand that we have been seeing. Residential sales over the next two years are projected to remain well above the ten-year average of 83,200 units. In addition to strong housing demand, the average MLS residential price in BC is forecasted at $677,200 (6.4% increase) in 2016 and a further 4.1% to $705,300 in 2017.
"The inventory of homes for sale is now at its lowest level in almost a decade," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Fewer homes for sale and strong consumer demand are expected to push home prices higher in most BC regions this year and in 2017."
In line with the strong housing demand and low inventory levels, new home construction activity is expected to be on the rise to combat the issues of not having enough inventory to supply the high demand. This issue is particularly present on the South Coast.
For all your real estate needs, contact Amalia Liapis at email@example.com or alternatively at 604-618-7000.
Looking for major developmental projects happening in the Lower Mainland? Look no further! The BC Major Projects Inventory (MPI) gives details on projects within BC with a capital cost value of $15M or $20M within the Lower Mainland area. Take a look below for a snapshot of some private and public sector construction projects.
For a more comprehensive look at the projects, click here. For all your real estate needs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively at 604-801-6654.
Our last blog took a look at 2014 statistics in the realm of commercial real estate. Today we'll be exploring statistics for 2015 thus far. As noted in our last blog, commercial land sales have driven sales activity for the first quarter. It has been an upward trend for the past four years in terms of dollar value in land sales.
“It was the most active first quarter we’ve seen in our commercial market over the last five years,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “This activity reflects the growth we’re seeing in related sectors within our economy such as retail and manufacturing.”
Below you will find a comparison chart of Quarter 1 commercial real estate activity by category for the years 2014 and 2015. As you can see, the number of sales has seen an increase from 2014 to 2015 whereas the dollar value for each respective category has increased in some categories and decreased in others.
Land - Includes properties that are holding properties, farmland, garden centres, redevelopment sites, land assembly sites, vineyards, etc.
Office and Retail - These properties are defined by the zoning according to each municipality and must have a building on the site. This includes office, office condo, retail, retail condo, shopping centre, gas station, car dealerships, banks, community centres, daycares, educational facility, institutional, golf courses, movie threatre, hotel, churches, restaurants, truck stops, etc.
Industrial - These are defined by the zoning according to each municipality and must have a building on the site. This includes warehouses, warehouse bays and multi-bay warehouses.
Multi-Family - These include nursing homes, high rises, low rises and any condo or townhome properties containing four or more units with at least one zoned for commercial use.
Cameron Muir, Chief Economist of the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA), gives a quick, yet detailed overview of the May 2015 statistics. Looking at the statistics, seller market conditions are prevailing. In the first time since 2007, MLS residential sales within BC surpassed 10,000 units in the month of May with an astonishing 10,174 residential unit sales recorded. Looking back at the first five months of the year, there has been a 22% increase in home sales and a 35% increase in the dollar volume bringing it to $25.4 billion. In contrast, there has been a 14% decrease in inventory of homes for sale from the previous year at approximately 45,000 units. This is the lowest level for the month of May since 2007.
"Home sales for the month were at an eight year high for the month of May," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Strong consumer demand is pushing home sales up in most of the large urban areas of the province."
Average home prices for BC have seen an increase of 12% year over year at $632,000 and the price for a typical home increased over 9% in Vancouver. Moving over to the commercial side of real estate, retail sales have grown more than 8% through the first quarter of 2015. This growth rate has been the highest in the past five years.
For all your real estate needs, contact us at email@example.com or alternatively at 604-801-6654.
Amendments to the BC Building Code have been introduced and effective as of December 19, 2014. The amendments include an additional section entitled 9.36 Energy Efficiency which are new requirements for houses and small buildings. This section is concerned with the energy used by buildings and outlines new requirements for insulation, ventilation and radon mitigation rough-in. The update sets out mandates for increased energy-efficiency standards for home construction and should result in further efficiency in how new homes are built. The building construction regulation is a provincial responsibility and thus, other provinces are at different stages of adoption.
A house with green features feeds the need to be environmentally sustainable while positively impacting the construction and quality of the dwelling. There are many reasons as to why being energy-efficient can help you cut costs and we've listed out some tips here:Home Renovations: Heating Edition.