National, provincial and local economists from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) agree: the real estate market in British Columbia, and specifically in the Lower Mainland, will remain strong and steady into 2016. That was the overall message at their Housing Outlook Conference, held in Vancouver on November 4.

 

Presenters cited several reasons for that housing market stability. Chief Economist Bob Dugan noted that Canada’s economy should continue to improve, which in turn will continue to attract immigrants and new residents to BC. He also noted that CMHC doesn’t expect any interest or mortgage rate increases until late in 2015.

 

Shifting demographics will also play a role in this stability moving forward. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, we’ll see more senior-led households and more single owners in the market. They’ll either be looking to age in place (creating more jobs for home renovations) or move to smaller townhomes or condos (keeping the detached resale stock buoyant while keeping the demand for new condos and townhomes high).

 

Total sales in the region are forecasted to reach 32,800 this year, then slip slightly to 32,250 sales in 2015 and to 31,600 in 2016.

 

Senior Market Analyst Robyn Adamache pointed out that while no definitive data exists on the influence of foreign buyers on our local market, trend data can be drawn from REBGV’s monthly poll to REALTORS® who complete a sale each month. Our data indicates that foreign buyers make up approximately three per cent of home sales in any given month.

 

Keynote speaker and REBGV member Bob Rennie weighed in on the affordability issue. When you factor out the top 20 per cent of sales, he said, average prices become much more reasonable. Using this method, the average price of a detached home drops from the one million dollar range to around $670,000, while condos drop from $470,000 to $316,000.

 

He also stressed the need to assess and review zoning policies to create more opportunities for density. Today’s buyers are attracted to ‘energy centres’ where amenities like shopping, transit and schools are easily accessible. Rennie pointed specifically to strong condo sales in areas like Metrotown and the forthcoming Marine Gateway project. Keeping this supply steady while an estimated 40,000 new residents move to BC each year is key to keeping affordability in check.

 

“Because without supply, there’s no cure for affordability,” said Rennie.

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You don't notice it – but most buyers will.

 

Imagine you're viewing a potential new home. You walk in the front door and are instantly impressed. You explore the property room by room and like what you see.

 

Then there's something you notice that's not quite right. An odour. You realize that it's likely cat dander and, now that you've identified it, you smell it everywhere. Suddenly the home doesn't seem as attractive as it did just moments earlier.

 

The owner of the property is probably so used to the smell that he doesn't even notice it. Neither does anyone else in the household.

 

So, when marketing your home for sale, be scent sensitive. Think about the odours that you may have become used to but others are likely to notice. Even odours you think are pleasant, like the strong scent given off by some house plants, may not be pleasing to everyone.

 

An odour can easily distract a buyer from appreciating the good qualities of your property. Pay particular attention to garbage bins (which can smell even when empty), pets, kitty litter (even when fresh and unused), the kitchen (especially after cooking), perfumes, and closets.

 

The smell of cigarette smoke is particularly unpleasant to many people. Its odour can linger even on an outside deck or patio.

 

Bottom line? Don't assume buyers won't notice certain smells. They will.

 

Looking for more advice on selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call today.

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Metro Vancouver October home sales up 15% from last year, 16.6% higher than 10 year average

 

Home sales in the Metro Vancouver* housing market continue to outpace long-term averages for this time of year.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,057 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2014. This represents a 14.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,661 sales in October 2013, and a 4.6 per cent increase over the 2,922 sales in September 2014.

Last month’s sales were 16.6 per cent above the 10-year sales average for October.

“We’ve seen strong and consistent demand from home buyers in Metro Vancouver throughout this year. This has led to steady increases in home prices of between four and eight per cent depending on the property,” said REBGV president Ray Harris.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,487 in October. This represents a four per cent increase compared to the 4,315 new listings in October 2013 and a 14.7 per cent decline from the 5,259 new listings in September.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 13,851, a 9.2 per cent decline compared to October 2013 and a 6.6 per cent decrease compared to September 2014.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $637,000. This represents a six per cent increase compared to October 2013.

“Detached homes continue to increase in price more than condominium and townhome properties. This is largely a function of supply and demand as the supply of condominium and townhome properties are more abundant than detached homes in our region,” Harris said.

Sales of detached properties in October 2014 reached 1,271, an increase of 19.1 per cent from the 1,067 detached sales recorded in October 2013, and a 60.9 per cent increase from the 790 units sold in October 2012. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 7.9 per cent from October 2013 to $995,100.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.