Yorkson Park West
 
(February 10, 2018 )

 

A new condo development is now in pre-construction in Willoughby. Built by Quadra Homes, the builders of the very popular Yorkson Creek and Yorkson Downs developments. Yorkson Park West will be located on the southeast corner of 86th Avenue and 202 Street, across from the Carvolth Park and Ride. We expect the presentation centre to be open for viewing by the end of February 2018, with sales starting in March 2018. 
This is going to be a very popular development, so stay tuned!
 
 Click Here to get notified of updates on this development.

Features:

Retractable Glass Solarium Balconies
Private Storage Garage
Air Conditioning & Heat Pump
2 Parking Spots
Natural Gas BBQ hook-up
9 ft Ceilings, 7 ft doors, extra sound-proofing
Plug-in for electric car, every suite
Gas Range & luxury appliances
Low Strata Fees
Great Location Near Transit
 

Payment details:

$0 when you write your contract
$5000 10 days later if you go ahead
$ balance of 5% down 60 days later
Nothing more until move-in in late 2019
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Summer Housing Market Continues to Sizzle.
 
(August 14, 2017 )

 

Vancouver, BC – August 14, 2017. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,275 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July, down 6.3 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $6.48 billion, down 1.3 per cent from July 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $698,761, a 5.3 per cent increase from the same period last year.

“Strong economic growth, an expanding population base and a lack of supply continue to drive BC home sales and prices this summer," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "However, home sales have edged back 4 per cent since May, with active listings beginning to bounce back from a 20-year low," added Muir. "If these trends continue, it may signal that more balanced market conditions could emerge before the end of the year."

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 19.3 per cent to $45.6 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 17.0 per cent to 64,107 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 2.8 per cent to $710,921.
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Fraser Valley apartment sales reach all-time high in June.
 
(July 05, 2017 )

 

SURREY, BC – While overall market activity slowed slightly in June, apartment sales reached record-breaking levels at 683 transactions for the month. 
 
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 2,571 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, a decrease of 10.2 per cent compared to the 2,864 sales in June of last year, and a 5 per cent decrease compared to the 2,707 sales in May 2017. 
 
At 683 sales, apartment transactions represented 27 per cent of all sales activity in the Fraser Valley in June, increasing 13.1 per cent compared to apartment sales in June 2016 and 12.2 per cent compared to May 2017. The average number of days to sell an apartment in June was 15 days, compared to 32 at this time last year.
 
 "We knew that there was a growing appetite for our attached properties, but this month was exceptional," said Gopal Sahota, Board President. “I think one reason demand has continued to be so strong for our region is that we have such diverse, robust inventory to help buyers find the right home even in a more complex market like this one.” 
 
Last month the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 5,487 listings. Active inventory decreased by 2.2 per cent year-over-year, and increased 5.5 per cent when compared to May 2017. 
 
The Board received 3,707 new listings in June, a 0.1 per cent increase from June 2016, and a 0.1 per cent decrease compared to May 2017’s 3,712 new listings. 
 
Sahota added, "More and more buyers are looking for affordable entry points in to the Fraser Valley. No matter what you’re trying to sell – from townhomes to ranchers – if it’s priced right, someone will be knocking on your door.” 
 
For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in June 2017 was 21 days, compared to 17 days in June 2016. 
 
HPI® Benchmark Price Activity
 • Single Family Detached: At $934,600, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 2.1 per cent compared to May 2017, and increased 8.5 per cent compared to June 2016. 
• Townhomes: At $467,000 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 1.8 per cent compared to May 2017, and increased 20.6 per cent compared to June 2016. 
• Apartments: At $325,300, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 10.3 per cent compared to May 2017, and increased 40.3 per cent compared to June 2016.
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Housing Supply Not Keeping Pace with Demand in Most B.C. Regions
 
(June 14, 2017 )

 

Vancouver, BC – June 13, 2017. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 12,402 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, down 7.9 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $9.33 billion, down 4.0 per cent from May 2017. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $752,536, a 4.2 per cent increase from the same period last year.

"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."

"The entire southern portion of the province is experiencing a shortage of housing supply, which makes continuing upward pressure on home prices inevitable, at least in the near term," added Muir. Total active listings in the province were down 11.1 per cent to 28,404 units from May 2016. The ratio of home sales to active listings was well over 20 per cent in nine of the province's 11 real estate boards, and over 50 per cent in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack and Victoria.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 25.2 per cent to $30.6 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 20.1 per cent to 43,158 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 5.7 per cent to $709,541.
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February Home Sales Reflect Typical Consumer Demand.
 
(March 15, 2017 )

 

Vancouver, BC – March 15, 2017.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,580 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, down 31.7 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.53 billion, down 39.7 per cent from February 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $688,117, an 11.7 per cent decrease from the same period last year.

“Consumer demand has returned to a more typical level over the first two months of the year," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "While the home sales have declined nearly 32 per cent from the extraordinary performance of a year ago, last month's activity reflected the average for the month February since the year 2000."

“The average MLS® residential price for the province was down nearly 12 per cent from a record $779,419 in February 2016. However, this change is largely the result of a decline in the proportion of provincial sales originating from the Vancouver region. Last month, 37 per cent of BC home sales occurred in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's area, compared to 44 per cent in February 2016.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 38.5 per cent to $7.3 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016. Residential unit sales declined 28.5 per cent to 11,067 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 14.1 per cent to $660,943.
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Winning Tips for Buyers and Sellers in Sellers' Markets.
 
(March 02, 2017 )

 

For sellers, success is all about managing the offers, while buyers must strategize and be prepared to compete.

In a market with limited inventory and lots of willing and able buyers, we find a hot sellers’ market. Phrases such as “bidding wars” and “no-subject offers” are music to sellers’ ears - and enough to scare a buyer into renting for another year. Here are some tips to make the most of a sale or purchase in a sellers’ market.

Sellers still need to make the effort.

Just because it’s a sellers’ market doesn’t mean that the traditional real estate rules get thrown out the door. Sellers still must put their best foot forward in order to get top dollar and complete a timely sale. The well-priced homes that show in their best condition will sell instantly in a sellers’ market.

If you price your home higher than the comparable sales or you don’t put in the right effort to make the house show well, you may not get the most money for it. What makes a sellers’ market so strong is attracting multiple buyers at once.
Buyers will always flock to the well-priced homes that show well — period.

Dealing with multiple offers

If you have the luxury of multiple buyers making offers, choose the best buyer right out of the gate. How can you tell who that is? The best buyer is the one who is most experienced in the market, is working with a local agent, has their loan lined up, and makes the most aggressive offer, soon after you list. Often they are the first buyer in the door.

Also get a backup offer (or two) lined up and in writing when you accept the first offer. The last thing you want is to have to go back on the market. It signals that there could be something wrong with your home. And once you’ve lost that initial momentum, it’s hard to recoup it when you go back on the market.

Buyers need to plan and strategize to win in a sellers’ market

There is nothing more frustrating than being a buyer in a sellers’ market. A buyer who wants to purchase, has their financing lined up, and has done their research may be unable to do so. This is frustrating, and there is little they can do but wait for inventory and have their ducks in a row.

Don’t wait around

The early bird approach works in real estate. Once a good listing hits the market, the interested buyer should see it instantly. If it comes on the market on a Wednesday, don’t wait for the open house. A more aggressive buyer will see it Thursday morning and make an offer within hours. Come Sunday, you will be disappointed.

Invest the time

Buying a home requires lots of time and energy. You need a good agent on your side and a serious investment in time to watch the market and see homes quickly.

If you like a home, move fast with an offer, and make it a strong one — not just in price, but also in terms. Knowing that you may face other buyers, find out what is important to the seller. Maybe they want a quick close, or they need time to find a home. Structure your offer to meet their needs.

Make a good first impression and a strong offer

The first buyer is nearly always the best buyer. By moving quickly, these buyers show sellers they mean business.

If you want to submit an offer, make your contingencies and timeframes swift, and take as much risk as possible off the table for the seller. If you need to inspect the property and have an appraisal, get those done within days of getting into contract, not weeks. If you are aggressive, have the home inspected prior to submitting the offer. Inspections pose the biggest risk or uncertainty in the eyes of the seller. If you inspect before you make the offer, you can make your offer not contingent on inspections.

Loans take longer today than they did 10 years ago. When obtaining financing, work closely with your mortgage professional well in advance. Submit a full file and understand what is needed. The more complete your file, the quicker the mortgage will close. If you need to ask the seller for two weeks for a financing contingency, you won’t be able to compete with someone who can do it in half the time, simply because, they planned better.

Know before you go

Part of what makes a buyer successful in a sellers’ market is being aware from the outset what they are in for, and then planning accordingly. If you find yourself being beat out by other buyers or too late to the game, you simply may not be ready to buy. Think long and hard about your personal and financial situation, and take a step back if you aren’t prepared to compete.
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Encouraging Multiple Offers
 
(February 27, 2017 )

 

Pricing, Preparation, Timing ...and a little Luck.

The real estate market in Metro Vancouver is a fickle beast. Every day, we see conflicting opinions in the news specifically designed to get us all talking at the water cooler about what’s going to happen with real estate prices. Some people will tell you it’s a bubble ready to pop, others will say prices are going to continue to soar. Of course it's impossible to predict it for sure because there's too many other factors in play. If we could eliminate those factors and leave the market alone to do its thing with no external influences then we would probably see modest annual gains of maybe 1-2% in home prices year over year. 

But that's not reality is it? The market is never left alone. Pressures like increases in immigration numbers, limited supply of new housing, and increased costs to developers will drive up prices. Conversely, introducing more taxes on real estate transactions, over-developing, and further tightening mortgage regulations are likely to have a negative effect. Now, throw in the media, the economy and even the weather in to the mix and imagine how that changes things. Ugh. 

Understanding markets is a science. The more you understand, the better chance you'll have of capitalizing on it. It's the only way to beat the system because nobody is ever going to control the market on their own, unless they're a wealthy policy maker, rubbing shoulders with Ottawa’s elite (like Bill Morneau), or an overly ambitious Premier, hell bent on getting re-elected (like Christy Clark).  Even then, the meddling they do to the real estate market usually has consequences beyond the original desired effect. One thing you can do, however, is create a stronger demand for your listing over that of your competition. Creating demand is a fundamental part of my business and a solid marketing strategy is crucial if you want to get multiple offers.
 
Here’s what I would tell a seller if they want to see multiple offers.

First, you should price your property accurately. If its too high, buyers will not show much interest, that part should be obvious. It also needs to be stressed that the tactic of starting with a slightly higher price (just for a while, to see if you get any takers) is not going to work so please don't do it. You're not fishing and buyers are smarter than that. They also have memories so you've pretty much lost them for good. You'll never get a second chance to make a good first impression. 
 
Getting your pricing bang-on is not easy. If you price it right at the actual market value or just slightly below that and you have a property that appeals to a wide range of buyers, the buyers will start to sense each others growing interest and, as more people see it, the interest will achieve critical mass. Like I said, it's not easy, but even if you get this part right, you're still not done.

Now comes the groundwork. Prepare your property to show at its best. Remove clutter and hire a cleaner to get into the nooks and crannies of your property and make it shine. Consulting with a professional stager is always a good idea and hiring an accomplished photographer will make sure the property shows well in online photos, which is an increasingly important part of creating demand. I always discuss these steps with my client and this is a big part of the marketing strategy that I put together for them.

Next, you need to have at the ready all pertinent information ready for potential buyers. Having all your ducks in a row is critical to getting the best offer in. If you were selling a strata property, you’d want to have all the documents available. Both of these are designed to take away any questions the potential buyer has, so they are comfortable putting in an offer without conditions.

Then, it’s time to list your property on the M.L.S. but, and timing is crucial here, give at least a couple days before the first open house and specify a date after that to examine the offers. Some buyers don’t check the new listings every day so give them a little time to see your listing online and make sure you have incredible photos and a virtual tour to back up a host of advertising initiatives that your realtor promotes for you. 

Best dates last year..notice a pattern?This is where a good agent shines. Having a solid marketing plan in place is of ultimate importance to generate maximum interest and your realtor should be immediately leveraging print media, social media, and canvassing your neighbourhood or building to generate extra interest. There is nothing people like more than talking about real estate, especially when it pertains to the value of their own property. Talk to the neighbours, let them know there is a listing for sale and an open house coming up, most will want to come by and take a look.

Now comes the open house. You’ll want to vacate the property so your agent can show it and promote it to visitors. If you think it will be okay to just hang out in the garage or in the backyard, it’s not. Your presence on the property during an open house is always a bad idea. Open houses will usually be during a two-hour time frame, but this isn’t set in stone. 

After the open house, allow potential buyers a day or two to inspect the premises, in case they want to do that before making an offer. As with the open house, it’s a good idea to keep this confined to a specific time period. Busy activity on your listing is foremost on the buyer’s mind and increases the competitive atmosphere. If you are selling a strata unit, use this time to make sure all of the potential buyers have a chance to look at all of the strata documents. 

The realtor should be calling all the interested parties to make it known that you are looking for an offer without conditions. And of course, you can always accept an offer with conditions if you feel the price and terms are in your favour.

Right from the beginning , you and your realtor should have specified a time to have the offers come in from all the interested parties. This is where things can get testy so having a seasoned negotiator working on your behalf goes a long way. There will always be buyers looking to put in an early offer to thwart your marketing plan so your realtor needs to be on the ball during this time. Now its time to go through the offers and see which one has the best terms for you and your family. Don’t forget that all the terms need to be considered, It’s not just about price. Discuss these terms with your realtor and make a decision. Then choose a backup offer in case anything goes sideways with the first one. By having a backup in place and communicating that fact to the buyers of the first offer you have both underscored the urgency of completing the first deal and stated that you're not willing to negotiate further.
 
If you have any questions, contact me. 
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The Upside of Downsizing.
 
(February 26, 2017 )

 

In business, downsizing isn’t a word that anyone wants to hear, but in real estate it provides homeowners with a wealth of opportunities. Every year, millions of people are electing to purchase a property that’s smaller than the one they currently own. Whether you’re switching to a smaller space because the size of your family is changing, or you want a lower-maintenance home for retirement, there are plenty of upsides to downsizing.


The recent trends in home prices in Langley are indicating that more and more people are looking at downsizing. The Conference Board of Canada has predicted more than 80 per cent of new housing demand in the next 20 years will come from buyers over 65.

ACCESS YOUR EQUITY
Downsizing is an excellent way to convert your home equity into capital that you can put towards what your family needs (like a vacation home or a better retirement lifestyle). Whatever your goal, don’t forget that in some cases, swapping a 3,500 sq. ft. split-level in the suburbs for a 1,800 sq. ft. space in the heart of downtown may leave you with little financial room to spare. It’s best to assess the value of your home and any desired properties with your realtor first.

TRAVEL MORE, MOW LESS
One key benefit that attracts homeowners to townhouses and condos is the convenience of maintenance-free living. Less space means less time spent cleaning. Sure, you’ll still have to do laundry, but to permanently cross off outdoor chores from your to do list might be just the incentive you need to include the yard tools in the sale of your property. Plus, you may be inspired to use all your new free time to take a well-deserved holiday. Or two. The best part is, no one will know you’re on vacation by the state of your front yard.

ELIMINATE EMPTY ROOM SYNDROME
How many rooms does your home have? Of those, how many of them do you actually use? Take a tour around your home and assess how much space you use on a regular basis. If it’s 100%, stay put; if it’s 65% or less, you could be suffering from empty room syndrome. The average size of a home has almost doubled in the past 30 years, yet the average family size keeps on shrinking. Having too much space creates an imbalance that costs more than just time and money—it also means there’s more stuff to organize and dust.
LOCATION
The size of your new home isn’t the only thing that matters. When you’re planning to scale down your square footage, consider choosing a location that brings you closer to the places you regularly go—family, friends, work, shops—so that you’ll cut back on travel time and expenses. Better still, opt for an area that takes it a step further and places everything within walking distance; your heart will thank you for it.

THINK GREEN
Corporations downsize to save money – why not follow their example? A smaller space can mean reduced mortgage payments and taxes. Less square footage requires less heat, light and AC, which means you’ll spend less on energy. It all adds up to savings that can help the environment and keep some cash in your pocket.

ACCESSIBILITY AND COMFORT
Moving to a smaller home, townhouse or condo can also provide you with the added benefit of stair-free living. In fact, developers are responding to the increased demand for accessible living spaces by building single-level suites and properties with residential elevators so that homebuyers can move into a space that will allow them to age gracefully and comfortably.

PEACE OF MIND
Most people have discovered that the longer downsizing is put off, the harder it gets. Savvy homebuyers start thinking about finding a smaller property long before the last child leaves the nest – or maintenance-free living becomes a necessity. A large number of townhouse and condominium communities offer on-site features that few detached dwellings do. From fitness centres to party rooms to guest parking, you can simplify your surroundings while still enjoying the comforts of living large. Best of all, condos provide the added benefit of entryway video monitoring and, in many cases, a concierge.

REDUCE, REUSE, REJUVENATE
The benefits of reducing your living space increases exponentially when you combine them with clearing out the clutter, opting for multipurpose furnishings and fully exploring what you want out of a home. Many downsizers who dreaded moving into a smaller home are enjoying a freedom they haven’t experienced since long before the kids arrived.
While downsizing can be a daunting task, it can be used successfully to help you increase cash flow and convenience – and enjoy a simpler way of living.
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Canadian home sales edge down from December to January
 
(February 15, 2017 )

 

Ottawa, ON, February 15, 2017

– According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were down slightly in January 2017 on a month-over-month basis.

Highlights:

  • National home sales declined 1.3% from December 2016 to January 2017.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in January was up 1.9% from a year earlier.
  • The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% from December 2016 to January 2017.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in January was up 15.0% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price was little changed (+0.2%) y-o-y in January.
Home sales over Canadian MLS® Systems edged down by 1.3% month-over-month in January 2017, putting them at the second lowest monthly level since the fall of 2015 and only slightly above levels recorded last November when recently tightened mortgage regulations came into effect.

Sales activity was down from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by three of Canada’s largest urban centres: the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Greater Vancouver and Montreal.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 1.9% compared to the same month last year. While sales were up from year-ago levels in about two-thirds of all local housing markets including in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton, London and St Thomas, and Montreal, they were down significantly in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

“Canadian homebuyers face some challenges this year, including new mortgage rules that make it harder to qualify for a mortgage and regulatory changes that will push up mortgage financing costs,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “It will take some time to gauge the extent to which these challenges will weigh on home buyers in different housing markets across Canada. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”

“The shortage of homes available for sale has become more severe in some cities, particularly in and around Toronto and in parts of BC,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Unless sales activity drops dramatically, the outlook for home prices remains strong in places that face a continuing supply shortage.”

The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% in January 2017, the second consecutive monthly decline. New listings were down in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by the GTA and environs across Vancouver Island.

With the monthly decline in new listings surpassing the decline in sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio jumped to 67.7% in January compared to 64.0% in December and 60.2% in November.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was above 60% in about half of all local housing markets in January, the vast majority of which are located in British Columbia, in and around the GTA and across southwestern Ontario. A monthly decline in newly listed homes further tightened housing markets that were already in sellers’ market territory.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 4.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of January 2017 – unchanged from December 2016 and a six-year low for the measure.

The imbalance between limited housing supply and robust demand in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region is without precedent (the region includes the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country). The number of months of inventory in January 2017 stood at or below one month in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford and Guelph.

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) now includes Oakville-Milton and Guelph, and has been historically revised to ensure that all aggregate measures remain comparable.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 15.0% y-o-y in January 2017. This was up slightly from December’s gain, reflecting an acceleration in apartment and townhouse/row unit price increases.

Prices for two-storey single family homes posted the strongest year-over-year gains (+16.8%), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+15.8%), one-storey single family homes (+14.4%) and apartment units (+13.3%).

While benchmark home prices were up from year-ago levels in 10 of 13 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI, price trends continued to vary widely by location.

In the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, prices have receded from their peaks posted in August 2016. That said, home prices in these regions nonetheless remain well above year-ago levels (+24.9% and +15.6% respectively).

Meanwhile, benchmark prices continue to climb in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island together with Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph. Year-over-year price gains in these five markets ranged from about 18% to 26% in January.

By comparison, home prices were down 2.9% y-o-y in Calgary and by 1.0% y-o-y in Saskatoon. Prices in these two markets now stand 5.9% and 4.3% below their respective peaks reached in 2015.

Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+3.8%), Ottawa (+3.7%) and Greater Montreal (+3.1%). In Greater Moncton, home prices for the market overall held steady (-0.2%), reflecting an increase in townhouse row units prices (5.8%) that was offset by a decline in prices for one-storey single family homes (-1.0%).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in January 2017 was $470,253, almost unchanged (+0.2%) from where it stood one year earlier.

The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.

That said, Greater Vancouver’s share of national sales activity has diminished considerably over the past year, giving it less upward influence on the national average price. The average price is reduced by almost $120,000 to $351,998 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.

– 30 –

PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 120,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics
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Buying Your First Home.
 
(February 15, 2017 )

 

The B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program may not be the home-ownership plan for everybody but it has already been used by more than 250 first-time buyers and more are applying everyday. The Province of B.C. has already announced that more than $1.1 million in loans has been conditionally approved since they first started taking applications on January 16th, 2017. Of course, with an election coming on May 9th, there is no guarantee that this program will last forever. 

 
Here's the basic details:

For eligibility for the program, all purchasers:
  • Must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents for the last five years.
  • Must have resided in British Columbia for the past 12 months.
  • Must have a total household income of $150,000 or less per year.
  • Must live in the home as their principal-residence.
  • Additionally, the home must be located in B.C. and have a purchase price of less than $750,000.
If the above criteria is met then the buyer(s) must qualify for a mortgage for 80% of the home’s value.

Case study A:
Purchase price of home $450,000
Buyers down payment: $10,000
B.C. Home Ownership Loan: $10,000

Case study B:
Purchase price of home: $700,000
Buyers down payment: $22,500
B.C. Home Ownership Loan: $22,500

The amount of money you can afford to pay for a home depends on many factors, including your income, your debt, your monthly expenses and the amount of money you can contribute to the purchase (your personal down payment), among other factors. 
Again, there is no guarantee that this program will last forever, so contact me to get started. There is a particular process to follow to get you approved including talking to an expert mortgage professional. 
 
Contact me and you could be out home shopping within days.
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Demand for Real Estate Remains Consistent. For Now.
 
(February 03, 2017 )

 

It may be snowing outside but there’s still some heat in the housing market. Granted, it’s not like what was happening this time last year. But there’s still multiple offers occurring and many properties are not languishing on the market for very long.

The cooling from last year’s levels is likely due to the B.C. Foreign Buyer Tax and China’s recent tightening of currency transfers to offshore accounts. Those two pieces of legislation have brought our market activity from last year’s “crazy” levels to a more normalized level, but there still was lower inventory levels last month (Jan. 2017) than January of the previous year, so home sellers are still enjoying a favourable market…for now.

Buyers:
While it’s certainly encouraging to see a relatively healthy market in our region, it’s a more complex market for buyers. Some homes are still getting multiple offers and since it’s crucial for sellers and their realtors to be smart with pricing, it is also important for buyers to consult a professional and be ready to pounce on the right property. Time is still of the essence.

Sellers:
There’s a number of factors out there that are starting to suggest that we may see even more of a downturn; the Trump effect, policy changes from the B.C. and federal governments, employment levels and even less migration from other parts of Canada, specifically Alberta, where the unemployment rate is now beginning to fall

If you’re thinking of selling you should act quickly. There’s no true gauge of what’s going to happen in the near future but watch the news for a half hour and you’ll realize that the winds of change are coming, probably sooner rater than later. 

Best advice:
If you’re thinking of a move, you’ll want to get your condo, townhouse or house on the market quick and get a firm offer with a 30-60 day close. Then, should the sales start to sputter, you’ll be sitting pretty as a buyer in a softening market. A golden opportunity. Give me a call at 604-626-8250 or message me and let’s get the ball rolling.
 
Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's latest statistics package is available for download here.
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Foreign Buyer’s Tax Changes Coming
 
(January 30, 2017 )

 

The Province of British Columbia will soon allow international citizens working and paying taxes in the province to bypass the 15-per-cent foreign home buyer’s tax in a bid to make the province more attractive to skilled professionals but what the specific changes will look like and who will be impacted remains to be seen.

Premier Christy Clark announced the coming move on Sunday when she said,
“We believe the best and the brightest should be able to come to British Columbia” [and] “We’re going to lift the foreign owners’ tax on people who have work permits, who are paying taxes and living in British Columbia, as a way to encourage more people to come.”

A Ministry of Finance spokesperson says government has not set a timeline for the change, but they plan to have it implemented “as soon as possible." The spokesperson was unable to comment on what would happen to those who have already paid the tax but who would be eligible for the exemption. Sounds like they are governing by the seat of their pants.

Since Expo '86 the provincial government has been strongly promoting foreign investment in B.C., and especially so in mainland China. Moreover, between 2005 and 2012, according to Statistics Canada, 37,000 Chinese millionaires arrived in B.C. as permanent residents under the now-defunct Immigrant Investor Program (IIP), a federal initiative that invited wealthy immigrants fast entry into Canada in exchange for low-interest loans to provincial governments. The increased demand has made property values increase to the point that it has become unaffordable for many people to live and work in the city.
 
While affordability is still the problem, when it comes to housing, Vancouver will always be an expensive city. Every large city has housing affordability issues and Vancouver's problem is compounded by its geographic location high desirability. What's important is that people don't look at this as an immigration problem. It is the miserable failure of many governments - (SoCreds, NDP and Liberal) in understanding markets and urban planning.
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Property Tax Assessments
 
(January 05, 2017 )

 

Property tax assessments have been mailed out this week and homeowners throughout the Lower Mainland are being hit with huge increases in their property assessments, many are up 30%-50%. The property tax you pay is partially based on what the government believes your property (buildings and land) is worth. In most cases, the value is an estimate of your property's value as of July 1 of the previous year. To determine the value of your property, an assessor compares your property to actual sales in the same area. Some of the characteristics the assessor compares are:
* Location
* Age and condition of buildings
* Property size
* Land topography
* Shape
* How the land is used
The assessed value is then used to calculate your share of municipal taxes. Your municipal government sets its budget for the year. It divides that budget into the total assessed value of all the properties in the municipality. The result is what’s called the Mill Rate. 

The mill rate is expressed as X amount of dollars of taxes per year per $1,000 of assessed property value. It’s possible that you may not see a tax increase from a higher assessment if the the mill rate for your municipality is down but that’s not likely the case as most governments love to spend and prices always rise. Also bear in mind if your assessment increases drastically chances are the market value of your house has probably increased as well. Which is good, should you decide to sell.

If you accept the assessor’s opinion of your property’s assessed value, the calculation of the actual property tax is automatic. You can appeal the assessed value of your property, but not the property tax itself. 

If you think the assessment is too high, you can check with B.C. Assessment http://www.bcassessment.ca/ as most concerns can be resolved through discussion with their staff. You will have to produce evidence that shows the assessor made a mistake. If you are still not satisfied after discussing your concern with them, an independent appeal process exists to have your assessment reviewed. The first level of appeal is to the Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP). It’s important to note that the deadline to appeal your 2017 Assessment is January 31, 2017.

Property Assessment Review Panels hear assessment complaints between February 1st and March 15th of each year.  For owners who are not satisfied with a panel decision, a second level of appeal is to the Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB).

The B.C. Home Owners Grant
The grant is a tax relief to home owners that are residing on the property being taxed. It is not applicable for investment property. It offers $570 (or for northern and rural areas, up to $770) to homeowners of properties with an assessed value of less than $1.2 million. The amount was at $1.1 million last year but the provincial government increased it because of rising home prices. As of this writing there is talk in the media about raising it again but so far that hasn’t occurred. The Finance Ministry says the grant covers 91% or more than one million homes in the province.

Tax Deferment
It may be possible to apply to defer all or part of your property taxes, with interest. Consider it a loan from the province. There’s legal fees, it’s not very easy and it’s certainly not fast. You’ll find more info here:
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/pay/defer-taxes
*Important to note that tax deferment is a very last resort because if the province pays your unpaid property taxes on your behalf you'll have a restrictive lien registered against your property and you must pay the full outstanding balance before you sell.
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Mindset for a Happy New Year!
 
(December 31, 2016 )

 

New Years Eve and there is so much to celebrate, and despite the pull to lament the losses of the year that was 2016, I shall not. I wish only to offer my gratitude, love, and a few words.

Our reactions to the stimuli of the world are real. Although one concentrates events, occurrences, and experiences into a construct like a year -a construct invented to explain the passage of night and day, the turning of the seasons, and ultimately time itself- the reason we are doing so is that the feelings are real. So, with that in mind, I wish to offer a thought to carry with you this evening.

This night belongs to you. Seize it. There are no doubt many things we want to change with ourselves and for those of us that are introspective or critical of ourselves the list is long, but stick a pin in that list and walk away from it for just one night. You are alive and you are loved. Those are the only two requirements of happiness. 

The turning of the clock to midnight tonight is a symbolic moment where we can pretend to push the reset button on a portion our lives so that we may start again with the thoughts and intentions of resetting the starting line to right below our feet, but you can't start the race if you're not there. So even if you're feeling down, if you try hard enough, you can fool yourself to becoming fully happy and this is the perfect time to do it.
 
It's an old acting trick I learned in my theatre days and if you really, really try, it works. 
Shoulders back, head held high, smile, and breathe. Feel it slowly come over you and believe it. Don't let your thoughts wander and let happiness take root. I believe that even though it may be a construct of our psyche, a little bit of self-manufactured happiness can put us on the road to true happiness. You have to start sometime, and since that list with the pin in it will be there in the morning, there's never been a better time than right now. 

Peace and love and happy new year.
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The B.C Home Partnership Program
 
(December 15, 2016 )

 

BC Government Offers New Down Payment Loan to First-Time Buyers.

December 15, 2016. 
Premier Christy Clark announced on December 15 a new government-backed loan program, which will lend homebuyers in BC up to $37,500 towards a down payment for their first home.

The B.C. HOME Partnership program will match the amount first-time homebuyers have saved towards a down payment, up to a maximum of $37,500, and no more than five per cent of the home’s total value. The loan only applies to homes with a total purchase price of $750,000 and under, and only for qualified "stress-tested" buyers with insured high-ratio mortgages (with a down payment of less than 20 per cent).

At the press conference this morning, Clark said the BC government established the loan to help homebuyers who already qualify for an insured high-ratio mortgage but struggle to afford the initial down payment.

“I firmly believe that the dream of homeownership must remain within reach of the middle class in British Columbia,” Clark said.

The 25-year loan will be interest-free with no payments required for five years, after which interest will be applied at current market rates. Applicants must be first-time homebuyers and have a total household income of less than $150,000. Homebuyers must also have been Canadian citizens for the past five years and lived in the province for a period of two years. Applicants will have to demonstrate that they’ve paid taxes in Canada for at least one year.

“People need a partner in scraping together that down payment, and the B.C. government wants to be that partner,” Clark added.

The funds for this program are sourced from the province’s property purchase taxation, which includes the foreign buyer tax, said Clark. She doesn’t believe the loan program will affect home prices.

“Our analysis tells us that it won’t because everybody who is going to be eligible for this program will have to have been accepted for a mortgage already,” said Clark.

The program will last three years and Clark said there’s no cap on the amount of money available or the number of applications they can approve. Online applications open January 16, 2017.
 
Kevin Horn
RE/MAX Realtor

www.hornchez.com

Contact me anytime for more details.

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Nov. 2016 Fraser Valley Realty Report
 
(December 09, 2016 )

 

A quick snapshot of the Fraser Valley's real estate market today covering the following areas: Surrey, South Surrey, North Delta, Cloverdale, Langley, Abbotsford and Mission.


 
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RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2017
 
(December 08, 2016 )

 

Canadian home prices expected to increase by 2% in 2017 as demand remains high.

HIGH DEMAND AND LOW SUPPLY CONTINUED TO CHARACTERIZE VANCOUVER’S AND TORONTO’S HOUSING MARKETS THROUGHOUT 2016 AS COMPETITION FROM BUYERS FOR LIMITED INVENTORY OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES PUSHED PRICES HIGHER.
The average residential sale price increased 13 per cent in Greater Vancouver to approximately $1,020,300 and rose 17 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to an estimated $725,857. Although demand remains high in both urban centres, limited inventory in the freehold market, the new 15 per cent foreign-buyer tax in Vancouver and the recent 
tightening of mortgage rules by the federal government are expected to soften market activity in the short term. In 2017, RE/MAX estimates average residential sale price will increase by two and eight per cent in Greater Vancouver and the GTA respectively.

Regional markets in close proximity to Canada’s highest-price cities continued to experience steady interest from local move-up buyers and buyers from these cities (“move- over” buyers) who are looking to nd a balance between affordability and square footage. This year there were considerable year-over-year average price increases in Barrie (16 per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (20 per cent), the Fraser Valley (20 per cent) and Kelowna (14 per cent).

Click to Read the Full National Summary

The RE/MAX 2017 average residential sale price expectation for Canada is an increase of two per cent as Canadians continue to see home ownership as an important milestone as well as a good investment.
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OPEN HOUSE Saturday Dec. 10th 1-3pm
 
(December 06, 2016 )

 

Open House cancelled due to snow. Sorry.

13178 Coulthard Road, Surrey Beautiful home in Panorama Ridge

GREAT FAMILY HOME ..Two storey home with daylight walk-out, fully-finished basement on a picture perfect South facing 1/2 acre lot with Partial Ocean View! Peaceful and quiet, beautifully landscaped, this well maintained and spacious 2 storey home is in one of Surrey's nicest locations with easy access to all services. Quiet no thru street and backing onto park greenspace. You will love the view from the huge south facing sundeck. Lovingly updated with granite in kitchens and baths, new roof, cozy gas fireplaces. Bright and airy, this is the perfect family home, and a gorgeous property. At this new price this is a terrific opportunity. FOR MORE DETAILS CLICK HERE
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