Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Market update from wesellvancouver
Market update from wesellvancouver
Conditions continue to favour buyers in the Greater Vancouver housing market
The summer of 2012 drew to a close in September with home sale activity well below historical averages in the Greater Vancouver housing market.
September sales were 41.6 per cent below the 10-year September sales average of 2,597.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,321 in September. This represents a 6.3 per cent decline compared to September 2011 when 5,680 properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and a 31.6 per cent increase compared to the 4,044 new listings in August 2012.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Alternative dispute resolution for BC stratas
Resolving strata disputes will soon become faster, more accessible and more affordable thanks to recent provincial legislation.
Bill 44: The Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, which passed in 2012, creates an independent body, the Civil Resolution Tribunal, which will provide dispute resolution tools as an alternative to going to court. The tribunal is expected to be operational by 2014.
This is welcome news for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, which together with BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) had, for many years, voiced concerns about strata property legislation.
BCREA advocated for this change and in 2011 reiterated the industry’s position during the province’s 2011 consultation process on strata dispute resolution.
Who can access tribunal services?
Strata corporations, strata owners and tenants will be able to access tribunal services.
The tribunal will have the authority to handle strata disputes between strata property owners and strata corporations, including:
• non-payment of monthly strata fees or fines;
The tribunal will not decide matters that affect land, including:
• ordering the sale of a strata lot;
These matters will continue to be heard in the BC Supreme Court, as will other matters, including:
• the appointment of an administrator to run the strata corporation;
How will tribunal services be accessed?
The tribunal services will be available online 24/7. Assistance will also be offered by phone, mail or even in person. Disputes are expected to be resolved within 60 days, compared to 12 to 18 months for the court process.
The tribunal will have five stages
Stage 1 - Self-Help
Information and tools will be available online 24/7 to help parties resolve disputes.
Stage 2 - Online Party-to-Party Negotiations
If Stage 1 fails, parties can go through a guided negotiation monitored by tribunal staff.
Stage 3 - Facilitated Settlement
Where an agreement is still not reached, parties can pay applicable fees and request active facilitation by the tribunal involving mediation or other dispute resolution processes. All parties must consent.
Stage 4 - Case Management Preparation
A case manager will facilitate mediation and explore options for settlement.
Stage 5 - Adjudication
Any dispute not settled by agreement will be heard by an adjudicator with the authority to decide the outcome and make binding decisions.
Fees for tribunal resolution of a dispute have not been finalized.
Information on strata property and the tribunal available at: www.housing.gov.bc.ca/strata
Monday, August 13, 2012
July 2012 Market Stats
The Greater Vancouver housing market saw further reduction in buyer demand last month. Residential property sales totalled 2,098 on greater Vancouver’s Multiple Listing Service in July; this is a decline of 18% compared to July 2011 and 31% below the ten year sales average for the month. This total amounts to the lowest selling July in our market since 2000.
Home sellers listed just over 4,800 properties for sale in Greater Vancouver in July. This is a decline of just about 15% from June. It represents the lowest total of any new listings for any month so far this year. There are just under 18,100 properties currently listed on our MLS, that’s a 2% decrease from last month and about a 19% decrease over last year.
Today our sales to active listings ratio sits at 11%, which places us in the upper end of a buyer’s market. In a buyer’s market purchasers typically have more selection to choose from and more time to make decisions. Generally analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips around the 10-12% mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20-22% range for a sustained period of time.
The MLS HPI benchmark price for all residential properties in the region is currently $616,000, that’s an increase of less than 1% compared to July 2011. However, we have seen slight reductions in home prices over the last 3 months.
Market Stats from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
What Non-Residents need to know about taxes
Resident or non-resident?
• A resident must pay Canadian income tax on his/her worldwide income from all sources.
Non-residents and property ownership
Non-residents and rental property
1. Withholding tax on gross rent
2. Withholding tax on net rent
If CRA approves withholding on the net rent rather that gross rent then non-resident property owners must file Form NR6, Undertaking to File and Income Tax Return by a Non-Resident Receiving Rent from Real Property or Receiving a Timber Royalty.
When a non-resident sells a property
Article from The Open House, July 27, 2012, Volume 7, Number 8
Friday, July 20, 2012
Why use a Realtor®?
The REALTOR® Commitment
For more information about the REALTOR® commitment, plus buying or selling your home, including step-by-step guides, checklists, expectations and questions for your REALTOR® and information about REALTORS®' extensive training and Code of Ethics, visit www.howrealtorshelp.ca.
The following information is taken from the Working With a REALTOR® brochure, a standard tool used by all REALTORS® in BC that explains agency relationships and describes which personal information is collected, as well as how it's used and distributed. Click here for a PDF version.
View article online at http://www.bcrea.bc.ca/working-with-a-realtor-/why-use-a-realtor
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Federal Government Changes to Mortgage Lending
For the fourth time in as many years, the Federal Government has announced action to restrict mortgage credit. The new measures include:
•The maximum amortization on a prime mortgage will be reduced from 30 to 25 years.
•Mortgage insurance will not be provided for properties valued over $1 million.
•Refinancing has been lowered from a maximum of 85% loan-to-value to a maximum of 80% loan-to-value.
•The maximum gross debt service (GDS) and total debt service (TDS) will be limited to a maximum of 39% and 44% respectively. Currently, GDS does not apply to qualified borrowers with credit scores over 680.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Spring Activity Remains Balanced in the Greater Vancouver Housing Market
The number of properties listed for sale continued to increase in the Greater Vancouver housing market in May. The number of sales decreased year over year, but remained relatively constant compared to recent months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,853 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2012. This represents a 15.5 per cent decline compared to the 3,377 sales recorded in May 2011.
May sales were the lowest total for the month in the region since 2001 and 21.1 per cent below the 10-year May sales average of 3,617. However, sales have been constant throughout the spring months, with 2,874 sales in March and 2,799 sales in April.
“Home sellers have outpaced buyers in recent months, however, there continues to be an overall balance between supply and demand in our marketplace,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 6,927 in May 2012. This represents a 16.8 per cent increase compared to May 2011 when 5,931 homes were listed for sale and a 14.4 per cent increase compared to April 2012 when 6,056 homes were listed for sale on the region’s MLS®.
Last month’s new listing total was 15.3 per cent above the 10-year average for listings in Greater Vancouver for May.
At 17,835, the total number of homes listed for sale on the region’s MLS® increased 7.9 per cent in May compared to last month and increased 21 per cent from this time last year.
“Our sales-to-active-listing ratio sits at 16 per cent, which is indicative of balanced market conditions,” Klein said. “As a result of this stability, home prices at the regional level have seen little fluctuation over the last six month.”
The MLS® HPI benchmark price* for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver currently sits at $625,100, up 3.3 per cent compared to May 2011 and up 2.4 per cent over the last three months. The benchmark price for all residential properties in the Lower Mainland** is $558,300, which is a 3 per cent increase compared to May 2011 and a 2.3 per cent increase compared to three months ago.
Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in May 2012 reached 1,180, a decline of 24.8 per cent from the 1,570 detached sales recorded in May 2011, and a 6.1 per cent decrease from the 1,256 units sold in May 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 5.1 per cent from May 2011 to $967,500.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,156 in May 2012, a decline of 5.9 per cent compared to the 1,228 sales in May 2011, and a decrease of 14.6 per cent compared to the 1,354 sales in May 2010.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 1.7 per cent from May 2011 to $379,700.
Townhome property sales in May 2012 totalled 517, a decline of 10.7 per cent compared to the 579 sales in May 2011, and a 5.3 per cent decrease from the 546 townhome properties sold in May 2010. The benchmark price of a townhome unit increased 0.9 per cent between May 2011 and 2012 to $470,000.
Article from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, June 4, 2012, available online at http://www.rebgv.org/news-statistics/spring-activity-remains-balanced-greater-vancouver-housing-market-0
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Seven tips for selling a home faster
There are things you can do to help sell your home faster.
1. Check your curb appeal
2. Make a great first impression
4. Clean and/or paint
5. If it's broke, fix it
6. Tidy behind closed doors
7. Look at it through a visitor's eyes
And, when it comes to an open house or private tours, step aside and allow your Realtor to show the home and answer any questions.
Excerpt from Real Estate Weekly
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
May Market Statistics for Vancouver Market
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - from the desk of AMALIA LIAPIS
The political elections in Europe went as expected, the parties who promised MORE won but it is doubtful they will be able to keep most of their promises as they are so far in debt that there is simply no more to give. Markets worldwide went down as the reality of the results sunk in, more instability & market volatility over the next few months. Hollande, the new President of France, is already making his presence felt & could put the Franco-German relationship under threat. The last socialist president of France, Mitterand, nationalized the Banks & imposed a wealth tax. Hollande has already stated he will introduce a 75% tax on the wealthy, so maybe the banks are next. The wealthy are usually the wealth makers so they will leave France like they have done previously & like they have done in other countries when overtaxed. I seem to remember the Beatles leaving England after they were given an award in the Queen’s Honors list for bringing in so much foreign money in from their records sales etc. Then the Government introduced a wealth tax that sent the Beatles & most other high earning entertainers overseas; some never to return.
Greece appears to be in total confusion with no clear winner & this could result in further decline of Greek prospects of recovery. It was hopeless anyway. Rating agencies are still closely looking at the sovereign & bank risks in Europe. I believe we should expect further downgrades in Spain, France & Greece.
So what about our Vancouver Real Estate market?! Well to begin with we are still awaiting the Finance Minister to introduce an incentive package for First Time Buyers of New Condos. Developers screamed loud enough with the HST issue that this package looks like it might just become reality. It is expected to get voted around June 2012 and is only available until March/April 2013. This will help the new condo market.
I’ve been saying it for a couple of years now…Gastown is the favourite neighbourhood to live in…not a lot of product and what comes up for sale is usually gone quickly. The downtown condo market will remain steady though out the summer with an emphasis on the entry level purchases. Westside homes continue to be active with steady activity in the $5million and up market. Price and location will bring immediate results but the general market is still price sensitive...off by $10,000 or $20,000 and there will be little interest from Buyers. It’s still a buyer’s market overall but have to say the available inventory is rather average.
As always I am available for any questions.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Greater Vancouver housing market maintains a steady spring pace
Home sale and listing activity has maintained a consistent pace on the Mul- tiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Greater Vancouver in recent months, which has helped create balanced conditions for the region’s housing market.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,799 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2012. This represents a 13.2 per cent decline compared to the 3,225 sales recorded in April 2011 and a decline of 2.6 per cent compared to the 2,874 sales in March 2012.
April sales were the lowest total for the month in the region since 2001 and 16.9 per cent below the 10-year April sales average of 3,369.
“Although April sales were below what’s typical for the month, we continue to see, with a sales-to-active listing ra- tio of nearly 17 per cent, a balanced relationship between buyer demand and seller supply in our marketplace,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 6,056 in April 2012. This represents a 3.6 per cent increase compared to both March 2012 when 5,843 homes were listed and April 2011 when 5,847 homes were listed for sale on the region’s MLS®.
Last month’s new listing total was 6.7 per cent above the 10-year average for listings in Greater Vancouver for April. At 16,538, the total number of homes listed for sale on the region’s MLS® increased 8.5 per cent in April compared to last month and increased 16 per cent from this time last year.
“Recent activity has had a stabilizing effect on home prices at the regional level, although pricing can vary depend- ing on area and property type,” Klein said “To best understand conditions within your area of interest, it’s important to do your homework and consult a local REALTOR®.”
The MLS® HPI benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver currently sits at $683,800, up
3.7 per cent compared to April 2011 and an increase of 2.8 per cent over the last three months. The benchmark price for all residential properties in the Lower Mainland is $612,000, which is a 3.4 per cent increase compared to April 2011 and a 2.6 per cent increase compared to three months ago.
Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in April 2012 reached 1,126, a decline of 19.7 per cent from the 1,402 detached sales recorded in April 2011, and a 17.8 per cent decrease from the 1,370 units sold in April 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 6.3 per cent from April 2011 to $1,064,800.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,190 in April 2012, a decline of 0.9 per cent compared to the 1,201 sales in April 2011, and a decrease of 22 per cent compared to the 1,526 sales in April 2010.The benchmark price of an apart- ment property increased 1.1 per cent from April 2011 to $375,900.
Townhome property sales in April 2012 totalled 483, a decline of 22.3 per cent compared to the 622 sales in April 2011, and a 21.6 per cent decrease from the 616 townhome properties sold in April 2010. The benchmark price of a townhome unit increased 1.7 per cent between April 2011 and 2012 to $487,300.
Excerpt from realtylink, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
Top 28 grants and rebates for property buyers and owners
1) Home Buyers’ Plan
2) GST Rebate on New Homes
3) BC New Housing Rebate (HST)
4) BC New Housing Rebate (HST) for Secondary Vacation or Recreational Homes
5) BC New Rental Housing Rebate (HST)
6) BC First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus
7) BC Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Program
8) First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)
9) BC Home Owner Grant
10) BC Property Tax Deferment Programs
Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors.
Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program.
Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children.
BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue
11) Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) Grants.
12) Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI)
BC Housing www.bchousing.org/Options/Home_Renovations
13) CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund
14) Energy Saving Mortgages
15) Low Interest Renovation Loans
16) LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program
17) BC Residential Energy Credit
18) BC Hydro Appliance Rebates
19) BC Hydro Fridge Buy-Back Program
20) BC Hydro Windows Rebate Program
21) BC Hydro Mail-in Rebates/Savings Coupons
22) FortisBC Rebate Program
23) FortisBC Efficient Boiler Program
24) City of Vancouver Rain Barrel Subsidy Program
25) City of Vancouver Greenest City 2020 Pilot Home Energy Loan Program
26) Vancity Green Building Grant
27) Local Government Water Conservation Incentives
28) Local Government Water Meter Programs
April 5, 2012, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Article
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
April Market Statistics for Vancouver Market
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - From the desk of AMALIA LIAPIS
About 3 weeks ago I noticed a change in the Vancouver market – things went relatively quiet.
Looking forward into the summer I predict the general market will continue that trend. What that means is that there will continue to be moderate activity overall. The properties that are receiving the most amount of attention are homes on the East Side of Vancouver in the $1,000,000 range (and yes this is considered good value). Any property; house, townhome or apartment that is on waterfront (or with a great view) and priced well is getting immediate attention. Vancouver West homes from $3,000,000 and up are selling steadily. But it all comes down to price so if the property has any shortcomings then an adjustment in price will be needed to gain a buyers interest.
World activities have had an effect on the real estate markets as well. Recent manufacturing data out of China indicates that the economy is still contracting, however at a slower rate than previously expected. The political problems in Europe continue to surface as seen in the resignation of the Dutch cabinet over night & the weekend’s French election result. These events together with some weaker economic data saw the European markets tumble & Bond rates rose. The sovereignty risk rose in Greece, Spain & Italy when government control was weakened through political unrest. The Dutch problem arose last week when Fitch said it would put Holland (AAA) on ratings review if the government failed to take action to cut their budget deficit & stop their debt from rising. Now Holland will head to elections, earlier than expected, after 7 weeks of negotiations among the ruling coalition parties on budget cuts of Euro 14billion collapsed on Saturday. The Dutch economy is feeling the pinch including a housing market slump. Sounds familiar. Greece, Ireland & Spain revisited? Italy & Portugal?
Most European countries are living well above their means, especially those with pensions, welfare & unemployment benefits. Those earning incomes don’t want earn less through paying more tax in order to help keep these benefit payments at the same level. Who is going to pay? There is no short term fix & so far the decisions made amount to just kicking a can down the road. The debt remains as long as the will to reduce it to manageable levels falls into the political too hard basket. One step at a time, Europe will unravel. The first step could come from the French as they desert their president Nicolsas Sarkozy for a socialist government who would not cooperate with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in keeping Europe afloat. Sarkozy & Merkel have been the glue to keep the Euro together as most other leaders have only been interested in their own problems.
US reporting season continues & this is going well but not standout unless you are one of the favored Tech companies like Apple & Microsoft. GE & McDonalds were also better than expected. Investors have been disappointed with some of the Banks & some of the guidance given for future quarters. Despite its debt worries, the US market has outperformed the ASX thanks to QE1 & QE2.
Overall it’s the worry about Europe that keeps the US market on its toes. Everybody seems to be watching someone in today’s market & just shows what a small world we live in.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Greater Vancouver housing market trends near long-term averages as spring market approaches
Closer alignment between home buyer and seller activity helped to bring greater balance to the Greater Vancouver housing market in February.
March 12, 2012 REBGV Article available online at http://www.rebgv.org/news-statistics/greater-vancouver-housing-market-trends-near-long-term-averages-spring-market
Friday, February 10, 2012
January 2012 Housing Market Update
The Real Estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2008, 24,626 homes changed hands in the Board's area generating $1.03 billion in spin-offs. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is an association representing more than 9,400 REALTORS®. The Real Estate Board provides a variety of membership services, including the Multiple Listing Service®.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Buy, rent, sell, and profit
Investing 101 Novice investors took plunge on becoming landlords in small-town British Columbia
Investors: Professional working couple
Investment: Rental condo
Strategy: Buy, rent out, sell
Time frame: 4 years
Bought for: $50,000
Rented for: $400 per month
Sold for: $85,000
First time investing can feel a little intimidating in the beginning. As a young professional couple, we questioned whether investing was a smart idea at all.
We worried about risking our savings and taking out another mortgage. If we had extra finances, why not use it to pay down our current mortgage? We were concerned about finding the right property to invest in. How far would we need to travel to get something in our price range? How would we know if we were getting a good deal? Then we knew we'd have the ordeal of finding good tenants and maintaining a property from afar. With both of us being academics, rather than handy or businesslike, these were real concerns.
Yet , we saw that real estate had the potential of bringing in a better return on our investment than did our measly 2.5 per cent "high-interest" savings account. WE could keep a property short term and bring in a chunk of money to apply to our next real estate purchase or another investment.
Where to start?
To start, you need to decide what to invest in and how much moeny you want to put into it. In our case, as people who generally avoid risk, we decided on finding something we could afford, where the rent would pretty much pay for the mortgage. For us to feel secure, that meant looking for out-of-town older residential apartments.
Finding a property
Finding an area was our first challenge. We looked at small towns with properties in our price range, and tried to locate places where big companies were moving to, growth was projected and residential vacancy rates were low. We choose Kimberley, B.C., which had opened a ski resort and had an airport close by. The only problem.... it was 12 hours away.
This meant we had to get pre-approved with a good mortgage broker who could act from afar if necessary. We also had to check out what had been selling, what the average prices where and what units were renting. And finding a good realtor was essential. We phoned and emailed a couple before settling on one we believed we could trust. By the time we visited, we were in good position to view suites of interest to us and make offers on any good deals we saw.
We wasted some time getting distracted by nicer places rather than what we could afford. On the other hand, it was still important to do the work to find a unit that would be easy to rent at decent rate. So, we spent a lot of time understanding the area, looking for an accessible building with a great location and amneties nearby. After viewing several units, we found the one we wanted to make an offer on. We made sure to do our due diligence: read the strata minutes, walked the suites, got a home inspector in, talked to neighbours and collected as much information as we could. Eventually, we bought a 600- square foot condo on the ground floor of a low-rise building, which was walking distance to town centre and a short drive from the ski hill.
We were surprised by all the costs we hadn't anticipated with our investment property. In the end, the rent we received did not cover our costs and we had to subsidize it by about $100 per month when the suite was rented, and $500 when it was not. Think about how much you are able to put into this at the beginning and throughout. At the outset, consider not only the down payment, mortgage and legal fees, but any potential upgrades you may require to attract a higher rent. On an ongoing basis, remember you'll need to cover strata fees, maintenance, insurance, property taxes (with no homeowner's grant). Also, we found city utilities in a small town astronomical compared with our residence in the city. In addition, don't forget to set aside money for emergencies - months when your unit sits vacant when a tenant bails, replacing appliances, or special levies. And don't forget about capital gains tax when you sell.
To attact a good rental income, you want to make your apartment as appealing as possible to tenants. This can mean getting it properly cleaned, painted and perhaps replacing cupboards or appliances that our outdated to give your suite an edge over others in the building. We lucked out by finding a relaiable person to check our suite between tenants, and a good affordable painter.
Although we could have directly managed the tenants, we decided to get some help as we were so far away. During the four years we owned the suite, we had three different rental experiences - a rental pool and two different proerpty managers. In the rental pool, several units pooled their rents together and then split it proportionally (by square feet), regardless of whether units were rented or not. This allowed for a regular income stream, but in the end felt frustrating to those whose units were always rented.
Finally, we found an excellent solution - an independent property manager. He charged us 10 per cent of the rent, but found us a tenant who never left. He also had excellent relationships with service providers, including a plumber, electrician and carpenter, so repairs could be quickly handled. Having the property manager gave us the peace of mind that our property was being looked after.
Our strata also voted on being able to communicate and vote electronically if necessary. Above all, we found that one of the best methods to ensure that our unit was looked after was to show extra apprecaition to everyone involved.
In the end, no matter how pleasant your situation is, you are still looking to make money on your investment. For us, as we saw prices rising, we allowed our place to sit vacant, got it repainted again and put it on the market. After four years, we decided it was time to liquidate our investment property. We made quite a good profit, something that never could have happened in four years with a savings account.
Overall, buying and selling our first investment property was a scary but exhilarating process. This experience gave us the confidence that we can buy and sell real estate. In the end, we made a chunk of moeny we never would have if we didn't take the risk, and look forward to taking the plunge again.
Article taken from January 2012 Edition of Western Investor (www.westerninvestor.com)
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Transition Period for HST
The Province has announced that it will reinstate the combined 12 per cent PST and GST tax system, a process it expects to take a minimum of 18 months. The Ministry of Finance has established an action plan to guide the transition to the PST. This includes:
The anticipated target date for the switchover is March 31, 2013. "During the transition period, the provincial portion of the HST will remain in place at seven per cent," explains Finance Minister Kevin Falcon. "The PST will be reinstated at seven per cent with all permanent PST exemptions and will not be applied to items such as restaurant meals, haircuts, bikes and gym memberships – just as it was before the HST was introduced in BC," says Minister Falcon.
Businesses collecting the PST will need to change their electronic and manual systems and processes to assess, collect, report and remit the PST and other related taxes to the provincial government.
Friday, August 5, 2011
July Market Stats for Vancouver Housing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – From the Desk of AMALIA LIAPIS
While the balance between home buyer and seller activity remains in an equilibrium range in the Greater Vancouver housing market, last month’s home sale total was below the 10-year average for July.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service reached 2,571 in July, a 14 per cent increase compared to the 2,255 sales in July 2010 and a 21.2 per cent decline compared to the 3,262 sales in June 2011.
We’re seeing less multiple offer situations in the market today compared to the last few months, but homes priced competitively continue to sell at a relatively swift pace. It’s taking, on average, 41 days to sell a property in the region, which is unchanged from June of this year.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,097 in July. This represents a 23.2 per cent increase compared to July 2010 when 4,138 properties were listed for sale on the MLS and a 12 per cent decline compared to the 5,793 new listings reported in June 2011.
Last month’s new listing total was 8.6 per cent higher than the 10-year average for July, while residential sales were 17.3 per cent below the ten-year average for sales in July. At 15,226, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS increased 0.8 per cent in July compared to last month and declined 7.3 per cent from this time last year.
The number of homes listed for sale in the region has increased each month since the start of the year, which is giving buyers more selection to choose from and more time to make decisions. The MLSLink Housing Price Index benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 9.2 per cent to $630,251 in July 2011 from $577,074 in July 2010.
Sales of detached properties on the MLS in July 2011 reached 1,099, an increase of 21 per cent from the 908 detached sales recorded in July 2010, and a 31.9 percent decrease from the 1,614 units sold in July 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 13.3 per cent from July 2010 to $898,886.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,040 in July 2011, a 6.2 per cent increase compared to the 979 sales in July 2010, and a decrease of 39.1 per cent compared to the 1,708 sales in July 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.5 per cent from July 2010 to $405,306.
Attached property sales in July 2011 totalled 432, a 17.4 per cent increase compared to the 368 sales in July 2010, and a 45.5 per cent decrease from the 792 attached properties sold in July 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 6.9 per cent between July 2010 and 2011 to $524,909.
Moving forward to our Fall market, I expect an increase in housing/land prices and a stable condo/townhome market. The exception will be view properties, which will see a significant spike in demand and pricing in an increasingly competitive 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.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
14.8% Drop in Vancouver House Prices Predicted
On July 13, Economics issued a report predicting a 10.2% decrease in the housing market over the next two years.
The economists specifically focused on Vancouver and Toronto saying that they will experience an even larger decrease ...with a whopping drop of 14.8 % for Vancouver.
Among the twelve major markets profiled in this report, Vancouver and Toronto look poised for larger-than-average declines over the next few years, reflecting in part their exposure to the condominium segment, which appears particularly ripe for a correction.
The rationale for this prediction is ...
A combination of more subdued job and household income growth, rising interest rates, the recent tightening in borrowing rules for insured mortgages and fewer first time home buyers are expected to be the chief culprits behind the slowdown. With most of these drivers expected to remain supportive to housing demand in the very near term, we anticipate that the brunt of this adjustment will take place in 2012 and into 2013.
A section of the report focused specifically on Vancouver with the title reading:
VANCOUVER - THE HOUSING MARKET THAT HAS ALL EYES WATCHING
With Vancouver consistently making all the Top 10 best city lists, it is little wonder that our housing prices are amongst the highest in Canada.
The predictions focus on the higher than average housing prices, condos and foreign investment factors that have driven the prices up.
Vancouver has been the poster child for those individuals worried about a real estate bubble here in Canada. We expect that Vancouver will post modest economic growth accompanied by subdued job and income gains. Interest rate hikes will be felt in Vancouver likely more than other places due to the fact that household debt levels are the highest across the country.
With this economic climate, we foresee a 25.4% peak to- trough decline in sales and 14.8% in prices over 2012-13, by far the worst fate of any urban centre. Still, the path to correction will likely transpire over seven to eight quarters. What's more, just as some of the recent increase has reflected a shift in the composition in sales towards higher priced homes, normalization in the sales mix going forward will disproportionately weigh on average prices. At the expected through in 2013, the average resale price is expected to sit at $675,000 - nearly double the national number and that of most other urban centres.
I hope you find this information beneficial! Please feel free to call me any time.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Summer housing market trends
VANCOUVER, B.C. – July 5, 2011 - Home sellers outpaced buyers on Greater Vancouver’s Multiple Listings Service® (MLS®) in June, drawing the market back toward balance this summer. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 3,262 in June, a 9.8 per cent increase compared to the 2,972 sales in June 2010 and a 3.4 per cent decline compared to the 3,377 sales in May 2011.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,793 in June. This represents a 4.5 per cent increase compared to June 2010 when 5,544 properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and a 2.3 per cent decline compared to the 5,931 new listings reported in May 2011.
Last month’s new listing total was 9.8 per cent higher than the 10-year average for June, while residential sales were 7.3 per cent below the ten-year average for sales in June. “With sales below the 10-year average and home listings above what’s typical for the month, activity in June brought closer alignment between supply and demand in our marketplace,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said. “With a sales-to-active-listings ratio of nearly 22 per cent, it looks like we’re in the upper end of a balanced market.” At 15,106, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 3.1 per cent in June compared to last month and declined 14 per cent from this time last year.
The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 8.7 per cent to $630,921 in June 2011 from $580,237 in June 2010. “The largest price increases continue to be in the detached home market on the westside of Vancouver and in West Vancouver,” Setticasi said. Since the end of May, the benchmark price of a detached home rose more than $147,000 on the westside of Vancouver and over $80,000 in West Vancouver. Detached home prices in Richmond, however, levelled off slightly, declining $25,000 in June.” Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in June 2011 reached 1,471, an increase of 29.1 per cent from the 1,139 detached sales recorded in June 2010, and an 11.8 per cent decrease from the 1,667 units sold in June 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 13.4 per cent from June 2010 to $901,680.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,266 in June 2011, a 0.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,258 sales in June 2010, and a decrease of 29.3 per cent compared to the 1,790 sales in June 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.5 per cent from June 2010 to $405,200.
Attached property sales in June 2011 totalled 525, an 8.7 per cent decrease compared to the 575 sales in June 2010, and a 34.5 per cent decrease from the 802 attached properties sold in June 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 6 per cent between June 2010 and 2011 to $522,424.
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