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:
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Home sales decline in Vancouver, but surge in rest of BC
The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that the dollar volume of homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC declined 12.9 per cent to $3.1 billion in July compared to the same month last year. A total of 6,482 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded over the same period, down 0.8 per cent from July 2011. The average MLS® residential price was $474,954, 12.2 per cent lower than a year ago.
"While some potential homebuyers in Vancouver are taking a breather over the summer months, stronger consumer demand continues across the rest of the province," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. MLS® residential unit sales outside of Vancouver were up 11 per cent in July over a year ago. In contrast, home sales through the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver were down 18 per cent over the same period.
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume declined 16.5 per cent to $23.5 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales dipped 7.9 per cent to 44,794 units, while the average MLS® residential price was 9.4 per cent lower at $525,183.
Article from British Columbia Real Estate Association, August 14th 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Secondary Suite Guide
STEP 1: Apply for a Special Inspection and book an appointment for this inspection. A Special Inspection is a coordinated inspection carried out by the Building, Electrical and Plumbing Inspectors. Its purpose is to determine what upgrading work would be required to legalize a suite.
STEP 2: Review Upgrading Letter. You will receive a letter listing the permits, plans, and upgrading requirements. Please read the letter carefully and prepare any documents that are required to obtain permits (e.g. Plans).
STEP 3: Obtain Permits. Bring the letter to City Hall (453 West 12th Ave, 2nd floor of the East Wing Building) with the necessary plans as indicated on the letter and apply for a Combined Development and Building Permit.
NOTE: A Combined Development and Building Permit can be obtained by the homeowner. However, Electrical, Plumbing and Gas Permits, if required will only be issued to licensed contractors.
STEP 4: Call for Inspections. Progress inspections are required during the course of the upgrading. Several inspections may be required before a job can be finalized. To book a progress inspection or final inspection for a secondary suite, you or your contractor may phone 3-1-1.
STEP 5: Suite Approval. If the work meets al requirements, your suite will be approved. Staff in the Secondary Suite Office will send you a letter confirming this.
STEP 6: Annual Business License. An annual Business License will be required for rental suites. Please see staff in the License Office or phone 3-1-1.
Permits, Plans and Upgrading Requirements:
If the upgrading letter identifies any required trades permits, i.e. Electrical, Plumbing or Gas Permits, these permits can only be obtained by licensed contractors.
These plans do not need to be prepared by a professional; however, they must be drawn to scale, with location and dimensions of all secondary suite rooms (bedrooms/kitchen/bathroom/living room etc.), stairs, windows and doors clearly labelled. Plans should also include location of electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures.
If on-site parking is required, two sets of site plans will also be required showing the location and dimensions of the on-site parking space. Building a new garage or carport will require further plans and permits.
If additions or alterations are proposed or required in other parts of the building, or if the building is raised or lowered, further plans will be required.
For information regarding the submission of drawings for new construction, please contact the Enquiry Centre at 604-873-7611.
Plumping and Gas:
Changes to the Zoning and Development By-law now make it possible to have a secondary suite in most detached single family homes in the City of Vancouver. In addition, building code standards have been relaxed to facilitate the secondary suite process. Example of these changes include:
One time inspection and permit fees as follows:
Special Inspection - $$155 (plus HST)
For more information on secondary suites and to book inspections, please phone 3-1-1.
Annual fees as follows:
Annual Business License - $61
Please contact the License Office at 3-1-1.
Additional Water, Sewer and Recycling Flat Rates (part of your annual property tax). For more information, please contact the Utility Billing Office or phone 3-1-1.
Water - $182
Note: Rates subject to change without notice.
Guidelines from the City of Vancouver
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, June 5, 2012
Vancouver approves a new Secured Rental Housing Policy
Vancouver, like other Metro Vancouver municipalities, is scrambling to accommodate the 52% of residents who rent their home.
The situation is expected to worsen given that 40,000 newcomers or about 18,600 households arrive each year, and of these 6,500 households are renters. Since 2007, less than 1,000 rental units per year have been built in Metro Vancouver.
In 2009, to help address the problem, the City created the Short Term Incentives for Rental (STIR) program, which ran until December 2011. STIR provided incentives such as increased density and development cost levy waivers to builders of rental housing in both 100% residential and in mined-used buildings. But the program hand problems. While the 100% rental projects cost the city $4,900 per unit or a total of $1.8 million for 372 units, in contrast the 327 units in mixed strata/rental buildings cost $70,000 per unit, for a total of $23 million. The huge price difference has been attributed to building materials: the 100% rental units were in wood frame walk-ups, while the units in mixed use were in expensive-to-build concrete towers.
But the chronic lack of rental housing isn’t going away. So on May 15, 2012 Council approved a new Secured Rental Housing Policy. Like STIR, it will provide incentives for developers but this program will be for 100% rental buildings only. Mixed-used developments will not qualify.
The new Secured Rental Housing Policy is part of the City’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy which seeks to create 5,000 rental units in Vancouver by 2021.
Incentives under the new policy will likely be similar to those of the STIR program which included:
Affordable rental housing is vital for small businesses throughout the Lower Mainland to attract and keep workers, according to John Winter, President of the BC Chamber of Commerce, who notes: “Without affordable places to live that are close to jobs and transit, local employers will have trouble competing for talented workers. “
The Canadian Rental housing Coalition, of which the Real Estate Board is a founding member, supports Vancouver’s policy and is bringing national attention to the need for rental housing to stimulate the economy and provide affordable housing alternatives.
Article from The Open House, June 1, 2012
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.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
50 Ways to Green Your Home and Save $$$ in Greater Vancouver
1. Green neigbourhoods
2. Transit-orientated density (TOD)
3. Lower Cost Luxury
4. Score your location
5. Get an energy audit
6. Install a high-efficiency heating system
8. Insulate your pipes
9. Insulate your hot water heater
10. Install a programmable termostat
11. Clean your furnace filter
12. Get the most from your fireplace
13. Use curtains
14. Install ceiling fans
15. Use an electric fan
16. Fix leaks. Fix leaking taps
17. Instal a filter
18. Change your light bulbs
19. Sensor lights
20. Keep it dark
21. Holiday lights
22. Replace your fridge
23. Replace your dishwasher
24. Replace your freezer
25. Low flow shower
26. High efficiency or dual flush (you choose the amount of water used) toilets
27. Use smart strips
28. Buy energy smart electronics
29. Recycle your old electronics
30. Conserve Water
31. Drip irrigation
32. Elbow grease
33. Less lawn
34. Grow your own
35. Presever your produce
36. Bee friendly
37. Go chemical-free
38. Plant fruit trees
GREEN AND CLEAN
40. Clean freen
41. Green Laundry detergent
42. Upgrade your washing machine
43. Install a clothesline
44. Get a rack
46. Buy local
47. Don't use paper or plastic
48. Borrow green
49. Green Tool Kit
50. Loan programs
February 6, 2012, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Article
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®.
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.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Changes the MLS Areas/Boundaries
There are a few recent changes (June 16, 2011) to the MLS Areas/Boundaries of which people should be aware.
New sub-area boundaries have been implemented for the False Creek area of Downtown Vancouver. What was previously termed "False Creek North" will find itself under the new heading of "Yaletown".
The original "False Creek" boundaries have been expanded to cover the area at and around the Olympic village site.
These changes can be viewed by clicking here.
It is good to see Yaletown has received its own classification within the MLS system - it is a distinctive neighbourhood in Downtown Vancouver. I expect to see similar changes for other areas soon (Gastown).
If you are running your own searches, please remember to use the new categories. If you receive automatic listing searches via email from Amalia Liapis or use the preconfigured searches on this website, the criteria have already been adjusted.
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.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Commercial property owners across Metro Vancouver typically pay a far larger share of property taxes
In the City of Vancouver, the situation had reached the point where eight per cent of all properties (commercial) paid more than 50 per cent of the property taxes, explains Bob Laurie, cochair of the Vancouver Fair Tax Coalition (VFTC).
In 2009, the VFTC successfully convinced Vancouver City Council to approve a one per cent tax shift to residential properties from non-residential properties.
Since then, the City of Vancouver has shifted property tax by one per cent each year to residential from commercial, a gradual correction of the long-standing inequity. Laurie estimates savings for Vancouver businesses include:
- a tax reduction of $155 for a business property valued at $783,000; and
- a collective saving of more than $5.5 million each year.
Attracting investment, jobs and workers
To attract investment, local governments throughout the Real Estate Board area are rezoning to create denser, walkable, lively urban hubs close to transit.
Who are they trying to attract? Talented younger adults ages 25 – 29 and known as the Millennials, who are well-educated and highly skilled, and much-needed in our knowledge-based economy.
"It’s part of the shift in our local labour market as baby-boomers age and retire," says Andrew Ramlo, Executive Director at Urban Futures Inc. And they're having a significant effect on the future prosperity of our communities.
Where do the Millennials want to live? “Downtown,” says Ramlo.
To attract and retain the Millennials, cities throughout the Lower Mainland are rethinking former approaches to planning for economic development.
What Millennials like most, explains Ramlo are higher density, mixed use, walkable, green, lively neighbourhoods with businesses, restaurants, transit and parks just steps away.
A closer look at the downtown area of Vancouver reveals the effect of the Millennials - even taking into account that between 15 and 20 per cent of buyers in the downtown area are retirees and empty nesters who have sold larger properties and are moving back downtown.
What happens as downtown residents age? After age 35, when babies have grown to toddlers, they are more likely to move to suburban locations, according to Ramlo, but they also still want their neighbourhoods to have a vibrant urban feel and be walkable, interesting and attractive.
A tale of two downtowns – it goes both ways
- No. of workers who live in Richmond and work in Vancouver: 18,530
- No. of workers who live in Vancouver and work in Richmond: 22,880
Urban workplace = recruiting tool
What happens when a company wants to move downtown, but the neighbourhood is faded – the opposite of the urban vibrancy so popular with the Millenials?
Some companies like Telus create their own neighbourhood. Although the zoning still requires approval, Telus plans to relocate its national headquarters downtown in a one million square foot, $750 million project that will revitalize a fading block of prime real estate bordered by Georgia, Robson, Seymour and Richards Streets.
The proposed Telus Garden will include:
- 500,000 square feet of new office space in a 22-storey tower for multiple tenants built to the new 2009 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standard; and
- 500 new residential units in a 44-storey tower, built to the LEED Gold standard which will be one of the highest buildings in Vancouver and include retail and a wellness centre with a meditation room.
"Our vision is a beautiful and unique location where leading-edge technology, urban living, environmental sustainability and tomorrow’s work styles are integrated into a vibrant community”, says Darren Entwistle, TELUS president and CEO.
The development will consume 30 per cent less energy, making Telus a significant contributor to Vancouver's goal of becoming the greenest city in the world.
It will also feature 10,000 square feet of green roofs providing organic produce for local restaurants, two elevated roof forests, British Columbia artwork, LED lighting projecting programmable coloured images onto glass, and media walls where cultural events such as symphony concerts can be broadcast.
The project’s construction will inject a much-needed hundreds of millions of dollars into our local economy and create three million person-hours of employment during construction, scheduled to begin this fall and be complete in 2015, according to Entwistle.
Once occupied, the site's business and residential tenants will contribute up to $10 million annually in new tax revenue to the city.
With more than 100 restaurants, the seawall, an aquatic centre and upscale retail shops and groceries within blocks, it’s clear Telus has made talent attraction and retention a key part of its business strategy.
source: Realty Link in print.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Congratulations! Top 100 Western Canada!
April 29, 2011
On behalf of RE/MAX of Western Canada, I would like to congratulate you on your outstanding individual performance on completed transactions for the month of September.
We appreciate the hard work and dedication to your clients. Sales Associates like yourself add to our image and give meaning to our trademark "RE/MAX. Outstanding Agents. Outstanding Results".
Wishing you continued success for 2011.
RE/MAX of Western Canada (1998), LLC
Friday, April 29, 2011
Forecasts keeps buyers sidelined and prices in check for commercial real estate in 2011
Recovery on the economic front will go hand in hand with retail and office investment in 2011, as developers cautiously brush off plans for towers downtown and improved housing starts boost demand in the suburbs for retail projects.
But this year will be characterized by hard bargaining on prices and incentives as doubts remain about the depth and speed of the economic recovery.
While Metro Vancouver retail remains "the most sought-after property type" in Canada, according to a third-quarter report by Avison Young, sales tallies are off across the board from the second quarter as activity slowed in the second half of 2010 to the lowest level since the first quarter of 2009.
Overall investment sales totalled $527.3 million in the third quarter of 2010, including $68.8 million worth of office deals and $143.7 million worth of retail sales.
Those deals include South Surrey's South Point Exchange, which sold to a private investor for $91 million, and Bosa Development Corp.'s sale of Semiahmoo Shopping Centre to First Capital Realty Inc. for $82.7 million - both driven by strong growth in surrounding residential communities.
But the deals also highlight the shift from the bargain-taking deal-making that characterized the first half of the year to a strategic rejigging of portfolios in the second half that heralds more stable conditions as owners prepare for the long term.
Based on interviews in the third quarter, Colliers International reported that 61 per cent of investors were looking to expand their portfolios, down slightly from six months earlier when 65 per cent were looking to expand. On the other hand, approximately 22 per cent were looking to rebalance.
Close to two-fifths of respondents attributed the shift in emphasis to a desire to shift asset classes, while other key factors were linked to advantages to be gained from location, liquidity and leverage. Approximately 17 per cent were looking to trade up or trade down and 6 per cent were looking to increase leverage.
A further 28 per cent refused to disclose the reasons for rebalancing their portfolios, but the several factors point to a hunkering down for the long term in the face of lacklustre growth for the year ahead.
--excerpt from: Western Investor, January 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
10 Often Forgotten Costs to Include in your Budget
This covers any costs in the gap between closing dates and first mortgage payment. Avoid or minimize this by arranging the closing date and first payment to be exactly one month apart.
This is often required by lenders if your payment is 20 per cent or less.
The average cost is roughly $100 per hour, but some inspectors may charge by size or flat fee packages.
If there is not one available and your bank requires one, expect to pay anywhere from $750 - $1500.
These will vary greatly, depending on who you choose to use, but expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $3000.
This may be required by your lender, however it is often included as part of the mortgage package (or broker service). If it is not, expect to pay $100-250 dollars.
Cost will vary greatly, as will the services offered.
This covers the costs of items paid for in advance by Seller, such as taxes or hydro.
Land Transfer Tax
Property purchase tax must be paid for any property to be transferred to a new owner.
Parking or storage may incur a seperate monthly fee. There are often move in or elevator fees. Review the bylaws and minutes beforehand.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Don't Forget About Closing Costs!
In addition to having a sufficient down payment, you will need to ensure you have enough savings to cover the additional expenses to complete the purchase (lawyer/notary fees, property transfer tax and disbursements).
As a guideline, expect closing costs to about 2% to 2.5% of the purchase price, though this can vary greatly, especially if HST is applied. You may also need to budget for extra costs such as appliances, utility hook ups, renovations, moving fees and more.
Buying a home in Vancouver may be one of the biggest decisions you will make, but it can also be one of your best investments! We here at weSellvancouver.ca are here to help you every step of the way and answer all your questions.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Home buyers and sellers enter the housing market at near record pace in March
VANCOUVER, B.C. – April 4, 2011
Activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market continued to strengthen in March with both the number of homes sold and added to the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) reaching near record levels.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver reached 4,080 in March 2011. This represents a 31.7 per cent increase compared to the 3,097 sales recorded in February 2011, an increase of 30.1 per cent compared to the 3,137 sales in March 2010 and an 80.1 per cent increase from the 2,265 home sales in March 2009. The all-time sales record for March occurred in 2004 when 4,371 transactions were recorded.
“Our market has had a very strong start to the spring season,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said. “With home sales above 4,000 and nearly 7,000 home listings added to the MLS® in March, it’s clear that home buyers and sellers view this as a good time to be active in their local housing market.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 6,797 in March 2011. This represents a 3 per cent decline compared to March 2010 when 7,004 properties were listed for sale on the MLS®, an all-time record for March. Compared to February 2011, last month’s new listings total registered a 19.4 per cent increase.
At 13,110, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 9.9 per cent in March compared to last month and declined 3 per cent from this time last year. “Conditions favour sellers at the moment, but we’re seeing differences in home-price trends and overall activity depending on the region and property type,” Setticasi said.
The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 5.4 per cent to $615,810 in March 2011 from $584,435 in March 2010. Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in March 2011 reached 1,795, an increase of 34.4 per cent from the 1,336 detached sales recorded in March 2010, and a 100.1 per cent increase from the 897 units sold in March 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 8.3 per cent from March 2010 to $866,806.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,622 in March 2011, a 29.6 per cent increase compared to the 1,252 sales in March 2010, and an increase of 66.2 per cent compared to the 976 sales in March 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 2.1 per cent from March 2010 to $403,885. Attached property sales in March 2011 totalled 663, a 20.8 per cent increase compared to the 549 sales in March 2010, and a 69.1 per cent increase from the 392 attached properties sold in March 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 3.6 per cent between March 2010 and 2011 to $511,039.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Federal government announces changes to mortgage financing requirements
The federal government recently announced three changes to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages.
First, the government will reduce the maximum mortgage amortization period from 35 to 30 years. Second, the maximum amount of the value of a home that can be re-financed will drop from 90 per cent to 85 per cent. And finally, government insurance will no longer be available to financial institutions wishing to insure home equity lines of credit.
“These are prudent measures that promote responsible lending practices and further strengthen our internationally recognized mortgage finance system,” Jake Moldowan, Board president said.
The adjustments to the mortgage insurance guarantee framework will come into force on March 18, 2011. The withdrawal of government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes will come into force on April 18, 2011.
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.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Happy New Year!!
From all of us at weSellvancouver.ca:
Wishing all of you a Happy & Prosperous New Year!
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