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Archive for the ‘BC Real Estate’ Category

February 2018 FVREB Market Update

Posted on: March 2nd,2018 By Rod Friesen

Lack of supply continues to command Fraser Valley housing market

Despite slight increases to both active and new inventory in the Valley, overall supply in February remained well below the ten-year average for the month historically.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,385 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, a decrease of 0.8 per cent compared to the 1,396 sales in February of last year, and a 14.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,210 sales in January 2018.

Of the 1,385 sales processed last month 336 were townhouses and 379 were apartments, together representing 52 per cent of all transactions in February.

“Attached apartment inventory in particular has struggled to keep up with the shift in demand we saw prominently throughout last year,” said John Barbisan, Board President. “Without sufficient supply, it has become increasingly challenging for buyers looking to enter the market at that level.”

Active inventory for the Fraser Valley finished at 4,340 listings last month, increasing 9.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreasing 6.6 per cent when compared to February 2017. The 10-year average for February active inventory is 7,487 units.

The Board received 2,293 new listings in February, a 9.6 per cent increase from January 2018’s 2,092 new listings, and a 5.6 per cent increase compared to February 2017.

“With the sales-to-actives ratio for townhomes and apartments at 67 per cent and 75 per cent respectively, sellers can expect interest if they price their homes effectively. Talk to your REALTOR® who can evaluate your local market and find the right price point for success.”

For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in February was 13, and 16 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 38 days before selling.

HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

• Single Family Detached: At $992,100, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 1 per cent compared to January 2018, and increased 15.7 per cent compared to February 2017.

• Townhomes: At $531,000 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 2.2 per cent compared to January 2018, and increased 25.4 per cent compared to February 2017.

• Apartments: At $422,300, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 4.5 per cent compared to January 2018, and increased 46.7 per cent compared to February 2017.

New rules regarding dual agency or double ending

Posted on: January 1st,2018 By Rod Friesen

The practice commonly known as double ending or dual agency has come to an end. No more will realtors be allowed to represent a buyer and seller on the same transaction. This is a practice that has been going on for many years and raises some serious concerns, but the rules are the rules and all realtors must abide by them.

double ending dual agency

 

I do not agree with the change but as mentioned above we will adhere to the rules and work within the guidelines. I looked back through my 2017 deals to see how many conflicts I would have had and there were several. One in which was very troubling. I listed a property and emailed my database. The sellers did not want the chaos of open houses and were hoping if they priced it well they would have minimal disruption in their lives and would secure a good offer. That is exactly what happened. A good client of mine who I have known for 15 years wanted to view the property and in turn they purchased the property.

Given todays new rules, I would have had to explain why I could not represent this buyer I had worked with almost a dozen times and how I would have to refer them to another agent who they would likely not feel as comfortable with. I am not sure how this works out fair for both buyers and sellers (both should be allowed to pick their agent of choice) but it is the rules.

A look at the past from 2011 (http://www.rodfriesen.com/abbotsford-real-estate-market-heating-up-jan-2011/)

Want to borrow $37,500 to buy a home, interest free?

Posted on: December 16th,2016 By Rod Friesen

B.C. will lend first-time home-buyers up to $37,500

First-time homebuyers can soon get a loan from the B.C. government to help with the down payment on a house, Premier Christy Clark announced Thursday.

But critics warn that the program will drive up prices and increase risk for young homeowners already carrying crippling debt.

The province will match the money saved by first-time buyers up to $37,500 or five per cent of purchase price.

No interest or principal payments are required in the first five years of the 25-year loans, as long as the home remains the buyer’s main residence. Purchase price must be $750,000 or less, excluding taxes and fees.

After five years, buyers will make monthly payments at prevailing interest rates. The loan will be registered as a second mortgage.

“What we know is for many first-time homebuyers, qualifying for a mortgage is hard, but getting past that down payment and scraping together the 25 grand or 50 grand that you might need to be able to get into your first home is just impossible,” Clark said.

“So we want to be there to help first-time homebuyers get over that hump. And we are going to be partners in their home.”

The province offered the example of a $475,000 home where the first-time buyer has saved $11,875 or 2.5 per cent of the selling price. In that case, the province will match the buyer’s saved amount, allowing them to make the required down payment of $23,750.

In the case of a $750,000 house where the buyer has saved seven per cent or $52,500, the province will match the buyer’s contribution up to five per cent of the price. The government’s maximum loan of $37,500 would allow the first-time buyer to put down $90,000 and reduce interest costs.

Tom Davidoff of University of B.C.’s Sauder School of Business panned the program for primarily benefiting sellers and developers. “I really don’t like it. I just think it’s lousy economics.”

He said that subsidizing buyers in markets with limited ability to increase housing supply will drive up prices. “So taking taxpayers’ money to give to people who own property — that’s a step in the wrong direction.”

B.C. NDP housing critic David Eby said the program will encourage young people to take on more debt. “This is a group that’s struggling with credit-card debt, student debt, record levels of debt that, according to the federal government, is so high it’s concerning for the federal economy.”

The province should use swaths of publicly owned land to develop co-ops and other affordable housing rather than selling the land for one-time gains, Eby said.

Bryan Yu, an economist with Central 1 Credit Union, struck a more positive note. He said helping first-time home buyers with their down payment is “critical” in higher-priced markets. “It does provide definitely a demand uplift on the townhome and condo side for areas like Victoria as well as Vancouver, and allows people who have been waiting to get into the market that ability.”

He doubted the program would increase prices significantly, because buyers still have to qualify under tighter federal rules that make it more difficult to get a mortgage. “A lot of these buyers who it’s targeted at are still constrained by other factors.”

Mike Nugent, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, welcomed the program. “It’s certainly positive. A lot better than the federal government [saying]: ‘Let’s make borrowing and lending more restrictive.’ ”

The province is spending $703 million over three years for the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program, and estimates it will help about 42,000 B.C. households get into the market. Clark said there is no cap. “It’s not as though once we get to 42,000, no one else will be eligible.”

The program will begin accepting applications on Jan 16.

To qualify, buyers must have:

• been pre-approved for a high-ratio insured mortgage for at least 80 per cent of the purchase price.

• been a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years.

• lived in B.C. for at least one year before applying.

• never owned interest in a residence anywhere in the world.

• combined, gross household income under $150,000.

– See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/b-c-will-lend-first-time-home-buyers-up-to-37-500-1.4647435#sthash.dmfBGSzq.dpuf

15% Foreign Investors Tax – Article

Posted on: August 4th,2016 By Rod Friesen

With what amounts to lightning speed, by government standards, British Columbia has slapped a 15% land transfer tax on foreigners who buy residential real estate in Metro Vancouver. The government says revenue generated will be used to fund housing, rental and support programs.

The charge is being promoted as a weapon in the battle to cool the area’s red-hot housing market. But even supporters of an “anti-speculation tax” say a 15% levy on real estate that has increased in value by more than 30% in the last year is unlikely to be a deterrent.

The tax has strong public support. It is unsettling to think BCers may have fallen victim to the nativist rhetoric of Donald Trump, or Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage (of Brexit infamy), or others who have scored disturbing political points by blaming the “others” for domestic problems.

If you have not heard it yet, you will hear it soon: the 15% levy will be called a de facto, “head tax”. Given that the vast majority of those affected are from mainland China it will be compared to the punitive fees charged to Chinese immigrants between 1885 and 1923. Premier Clark issued a formal apology for the head tax and other racist policies in May 2014.

Thanks to Matt Robinson for the article

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