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BC Financial Services Authority To Be Created By Spring 2021 To Regulate BC’s Real Estate Sector.

BC has been under pressure to deal with money laundering in the province’s real estate market, which has inflated home prices by at least 5%. Creating a single regulator was a key recommendation for cracking down on money laundering in the sector.

Currently oversight and enforcement of regulations in BC’s real estate sector remains the joint responsibility of the Real Estate Council of BC and the Superintendent of Real Estate. Both have been mandated to work closely to crackdown on money laundering.

On Nov 1, the province created the BC Financial Services Authority as a Crown agency to continue the regulation of the province’s financial institutions, mortgage brokers and private pension plans. This Crown agency consists of an independent board of directors, effectively to take over from the Financial Institutions Commission under the Ministry of Finance.

Carole James who is BC’s Finance Minister unveiled plans for the new regulator to be created by the spring of 2021. Her reason for the lengthy rollout is mainly due to the fact that “ it will take some time to transition to make sure that the Crown Corporation is ready to take on that responsibility. ” She added, “For example, we don’t want to have a gap in disciplinary hearings. We also need to give the financial services agency some time to get up and running.”

According to B.C. Superintendent of Real Estate Michael Noseworthy, the change should make for better consumer protection “to increase public confidence in the broader financial services sector.”

Our team of real estate professionals has years of experience and first-hand knowledge about the market. We thrive on working with homeowners to help them achieve their dreams, whatever the season or style of home. For more information, please call us on 604 913 1000 or 604 695 1000, or email us.

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How the COVID 19 Pandemic Is Affecting Home Inspections

Despite the fact that the COVID 19 pandemic that has virtually changed the way we live our lives, people are still buying and selling their properties. Any person buying a home would want to get a home inspection, in order be alerted to any issues that could become problems in the future.  

In the past, it was not uncommon for buyers to show up during the inspection, so that they could learn about the property, as the inspectors would go through it. But now with social distancing and keeping safe being on the forefront of everyone’s minds, new home inspection protocols have been introduced by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA). 

Inspectors now conduct their work differently compared to before the pandemic.  

Below are some of the changes that are required to ensure the lowest possible risk to the inspector. 

 – Before an inspection is considered, the occupants of the home must answer the following questions, if in the last 14 days: 

  • Have they been, sick or showing any signs of sickness 
  • Have they been in isolation or quarantine 
  • Have they been in contact with anyone exposed to the coronavirus 

If any of these answers is a “yes”, then the inspection is considered as a medium or high risk one, and should be postponed to a later date. 

– The use of PPE (personal protection equipment) such as masks, hand sanitizers and shoe covers is necessary and the job is done in complete isolation.   

– The seller must ensure that the inspector gets a clear and unobstructed access to the heating equipment, water heater, air conditioning , electrical panel and attic access hatch. All window coverings must be raised or opened. In effect, the inspector must have the least amount of physical contact with the seller’s contents. 

– Used wipes, gloves and other disposable items used during the inspection must be collected in a disposal bag and then disposed off with other household waste. 

– The post inspection summary review should not be done in person, but rather by telephone, email or video chat, ensuring that the inspection is done with the lowest possible exposure risk. 

If you are looking to get into this market, we are offering a wide range of homes suitable for any budget. Visit our website and browse our wide range of listings. 

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REBGV Market Update For May 2020 – Home Sales Down, But The Future Looks Optimistic.

Buyers and sellers are getting used to the new normal, and this is reflected in the May 2020 market report released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). 

Although sales still lag, they are down 44%, they did rise sharply from April 2020 and prices are up slightly from May 2019. 

According to Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair, “Home prices have been stable during the COVID-19 period. While we’re seeing a variety of long-term projections for the market, it’s critical to understand the facts and trends as they emerge.” 

She added that “Home sale and listing activity is down compared to typical, long-term levels and up compared to the activity we saw in April 2020. Home buyers and sellers are adapting today, becoming more comfortable operating with the physical distancing requirements that are in place in the market.” 

Home Sales 

Realtors registered only 1,485 residential property sales in May 2020 for the region. This represented a 43.7% decline from the same period last year in which 2,638 sales were recorded, and an increase of 33.9% from April 2020 when 1,109 homes were sold.  

The number of detached properties sold was 534, 41.5% less than May 2019 (913 sales). 

The number of apartments sold was 653, 47.6% less than May 2019 (1,246 sales). 

The number of attached properties sold was 298, 37.8% less than May 2019 (479 sales). 

Home Listings 

May saw 3,684 new listings of detached, attached and apartment properties added to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Metro Vancouver. This was a 37.1% decrease compared to the 5,861 homes listed in May 2019, and a 59.3% increase compared to April 2020 when 2,313 homes were listed. 

“Home buyers and sellers are working with their REALTORS® to use new tools to complete different stages of the real estate transaction virtually,” Gerber said. “When in-person interactions are necessary, we’re working with our clients to follow the physical distancing requirements set out by WorkSafe BC and the provincial health officer.” 

Sales-To-Active-Listings Ratio 

This ratio gives a better understanding of the relationship between supply and demand in the market. Downward pressure on home prices can occur when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, and home prices can experience upward pressure when the ratio is above 20% for sustained periods. 

For all property types, the ratio in May 2020 was 15%. When broken down by property types, the ratio was: 

  • 13.3% for detached homes  – moving into seller market territory 
  • 18.9 % for townhomes  – in seller market territory 
  • 14.8% for condominiums – in seller market territory 

Home Prices 

For the month of May 2020, The MLS Home Price index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $1,028,400. This was virtually unchanged from April 2020 and a 2.9% increase when compared to May 2019. 

The real estate landscape in Vancouver is changing. If you are buying or selling a home, you need to get in touch with an experienced real estate company such as ours to navigate this market during these unheard of times. Contact us by email or call us on 604 913 1000. 

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Take Heed Of Your Property Tax Assessment – There Could Be Some Savings Here

On January 1, 2017 property assessments became available on the BC Assessment website. And as expected, the increases in property values are substantial: values were calculated as at July 2016 when local real estate prices were at their peak. 

The main issue here is that your property value has risen and you are facing a higher than normal property tax rate hike. 

It is important to note that a sharp increase in your property value does not necessarily indicate a proportional property tax hike; it’s relative to how much your property appreciated compared to others in the same municipality. 

In view of this year’s higher assessments, the Provincial government just announced an increase in the Home Owner Grant threshold from $1.2million to $1.6million, in an effort to assist homeowners whose property values and taxes have increased substantially. 

Since July 2016, prices in some neighbourhoods have marginally declined while others have not.  There are a number of homeowners who strongly disagree with their assessments. If you are one of them should you file an appeal? 

You have until January 31 to appeal your property assessment.  Before you do, consider the following: 

  • There are 2 arguments for appeal: either that the assessed market value of your property is too high based on comparable sales, or that you were unfairly assessed in comparison to your neighbors. 
  • There is not a straightforward correlation between your property taxes and your property value  – the important factor here is how your property fared relative to others in your property class and local taxing jurisdiction. 
  • An appeal could work against you as a second review of your property may reveal that you were initially under assessed. 

If your property value went up 30% or 40% don’t panic. It does not mean that your property tax will increase by that much. What matters is how much your value appreciated relative to other homes in your municipality. 

If you are unsure on how to handle the recent dramatic rise in your property value and whether you should appeal or not, we have experts who can advise you as to the best course of action. Contact us on 604 695 1000, email us or visit our offices on 1280 West Pender St. 

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REBGV Market Update For April 2020 – April Home Sales In Metro Vancouver Lowest Since 1982.

Last month life as we knew it, ground to a halt because of COVID-19, and so did Metro Vancouver’s real estate market. This was reflected in The April 2020 market report released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

“Predictably, the number of home sales and listings declined in April given the physical distancing measures in place. People are, however, adapting. They’re working with their realtors to get information, advice, and to explore their options so they’re best positioned in the market during and after this pandemic,” said Colette Gerber, REBGV president-elect.

She added, “We’re seeing more innovation in today’s market, with realtors using different technology to showcase homes virtually, assess neighborhood amenities with their clients and handle paperwork electronically.”

Home Sales

April 2020 sales were 62.7% below the 10 year April average and were the lowest total for the month since 1982.

There were 1,109 residential property sales. This represented a 39.4% decrease from the 1,829 sales in April 2019 and a decrease of 56.1% from March 2020 when 2,524 homes were sold.

The number of detached properties sold was 388, 33.8% less than April 2019.

The number of apartments sold was 503, 43.2% less than April 2019.

The number of attached properties sold was 218, 39.1% less than April 2019.

Home Listings

April saw a plunge in new home listings. There were only 2,313 newly listed properties for sale on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in Metro Vancouver. This was 59.7% lower than the 5,742 new homes listed in April 2019, and a 47.9% decrease when compared to March 2020 when 4,436 homes were listed.

The total number of homes listed for sale in April decreased to 9,389 – a figure well below the inventory of April 2019 when 14,357 homes were listed and a 2.3% decrease compared to the 9,606 homes listed in March 2020.

Sales-To-Active-Listings Ratio

This is a good indication of the supply and demand forces in the market. Downward pressure on home prices can occur when the ratio is below 12% for a sustained period, and there is upward pressure when the ratio is above 20% for a number of months.

For all property types, the ratio in April was 11.8%. When broken down by property types, the ratio was:

  • 10% for detached homes
  • 14.7% for townhomes
  • 12.4% for condos

Home Prices

The MLS Home Price index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $1,036,000 in April. This was 2.5% higher than April 2019 and 0.2% higher than March 2020. Despite ongoing concerns about the economy and millions of Canadians out of work, the average price of a home in Vancouver went up. 

Paul Kershaw, UBC professor and founder of Generation Squeeze, says the rising prices, as sales fall is worrisome. 

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, our entire economy has been upended, our housing system has been hit with a massive shock, and no one knows where all of this will go,” he said.

Click here for a full report.

Working with our real estate professionals will enable you to set realistic expectations that help you achieve your real estate goals. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, contact us by email or call us on 604 913 1000.

 

 

 

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The Impact The COVID -19 Pandemic May Have On How The Real Estate Industry Functions In The Future.

Don’t Let The COVID-19 Pandemic Prevent You From Selling Your Home – Here Are Some Useful Selling Tips. 

The real estate industry in Canada has come to a screeching halt in many regions as the COVID -19 pandemic takes its toll on every aspect of our lives. With social distancing firmly in place, real estate companies have been forced re-think and re-engineer the way they successfully conduct business. 

We are typically in the busiest time of year for home sales. The future is unknown. No one knows when we will recover from this unprecedented shock. While it may prove more difficult to buy and sell your home, it is not impossible – thanks to technology and our ability as an industry to adapt. 

Here are some useful tips on selling your home: 

Create a 3 D Home Tour to replace in person showing 

With open houses being shunned and homeowners skittish to let would-be buyers in, real estate professionals are turning to technology to give buyers a look inside properties by recording or streaming virtual tours, and holding open houses where buyers jump on a video conference to walk through the home. Many are using technology to turn 360-degree panoramic photos of properties into 3D virtual tours. 

In these “virtual tours,” agents act as narrator and walk through homes with their smartphone’s video camera capturing a home’s key selling points while buyers watch virtually from home. 

Stage a Virtual Open house event to replace a conventional open house 

With social distancing limitations, it is difficult to hold an in-person open house. The alternative is to hold a virtual open house, where a virtual tour of the home is uploaded and a digital walk through is performed for everyone tuned on line. Typically, a Facebook page can be set up for the home and a virtual open house event can be created. The real estate professional walks the viewers through the home as if he/she were touring with the buyer in person. 

Be prepared to be patient and flexible 

Actions that once could have taken, a few minutes or a few hours to complete, may take much longer. This is due to the fact that many of the people involved in the sale may be working under different circumstances – limited hours, home office, affected by travel restrictions, may be infected by the virus, etc. Be prepared to wait longer for documents to be completed and reschedule of tasks. 

You may have to close your deal with a “drive through closing”, where by you meet the concerned parties at a parking lot, and handing documents through a car window using gloves.  

In these trying times, a real estate company that is tech and video savvy and has successfully sold homes using virtual marketing is important – that describes us perfectly. Contact us if you want to sell or buy a home. 

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Here Are Some Great Ideas On Buying A Home, For First Time Home Buyers

Owning a home is a dream and a goal for most of us. But today’s first time homebuyers face numerous challenges in the form of higher prices and government regulation, which makes this dream more difficult and out of reach for some.

So as a potential first time homebuyer, you have to change the way you think and act differently. Here’s how:

Get a renter to help with the mortgage payment.

If you are buying a home, then convert the basement into a suite that can be rented out. If you are buying an apartment, get a 2 bedroom one and rent out the other bedroom. You will have to compromise your privacy, but this is a useful way to get that first home you always wanted.

Lower your expectations.

Instead of a 3-bedroom home in a desired neighborhood, settle for a smaller home in a more affordable neighborhood. Fewer people spend most of their lifetimes in one home. Think about your lifestyle for the next 5-10 years and make a decision based on that.

Share the ownership.

Buying a property with family or friends may be an easy way to get that first home. This is useful if you have friends or relatives who may have that extra cash and are keen on investing with you. You need to ensure that there is a watertight agreement that avoids any future problems when you decide to sell the home or buy out the other party.

Be patient and realistic.

Take your time to furnish or renovate the home. Yes the home may not be exactly what you want, but in time you can slowly make it into what you want it to be. So Don’t immediately jump into a large spend on furniture or start fixing things the way you want the home to look like, do it progressively.

If you cannot buy, then keep saving.

If you are determined to buy a home eventually, don’t let the prices and regulations deter you. Keep saving and putting your money away for the down payment. Eventually you will find that ideal home and your life will be changed forever!

If you have any questions about this blog, or any home-related issues, please contact us and one of our real estate professionals will be glad to help.

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REGBV Report April 2019 – The Trend of Reduced Demand And Increased Supply Still Prevails In The Market.

The latest Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REGBV) report on the April 2019 real estate market, shows that buyers are reluctant to get into the market and sellers are being forced to be creative. Product that is staying on the market for more than a month is seeing discounts that were unheard of 2 years ago. For a decade it has been a sellers market. This has changed.

Residential property sales totalled 1,829 in April 2019, a 29.1% decrease from the 1,829 sales recorded in April 2018 and a 5.9% increase from the 1,727 homes sold in March 2019.

“Government policy continues to hinder home sale activity. The federal government’s mortgage stress test has reduced buyers’ purchasing power by about 20 per cent, which is causing people at the entry-level side of the market to struggle to secure financing.. Suppressing housing activity through government policy not only reduces home sales, it harms the job market, economic growth and creates pent-up demand.” Ashley Smith the REBGV President said. She added,” “There are more homes for sale in our market today than we’ve seen since October 2014. This trend is more about reduced demand than increased supply. The number of new listings coming on the market each month is consistent with our long-term averages. It’s the reduced sales activity that’s allowing listings to accumulate.”

The total number of properties listed on MLS system in Metro Vancouver in April was 14,357  – a 46.2% increase compared to the 9,822 properties listed in April 2018, and a 12.4% increase compared to the 12,744 properties listed in March 2019.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,008,400. This represents an 8.5 per cent decrease over April 2018, and a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to March 2019.

The all-important sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2019 was 12.7%. The general rule of thumb is that there is downward pressure on home prices when the ratio dips below 12%, and upward pressure on home prices when the ratio surpasses 20% over several months.

April 2019 Sales Stats:

Detached properties                       586                  (807 – April 2018)

Apartments                              885                  (1,308 – April 2018)

Attached properties                        358                  (464 – April 2018)

Click here to obtain a full report.

In these market conditions, you need to work with a real estate company that has the experience and know how on getting you the right home. Contact us and let one of our real estate professionals obtain the best results for you.

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REBGV Market Update May 2019 – Modest Bounce In May, But Sales Remain Below Historical Averages

The latest report released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) showed that sales in May 2019 crossed the 2,000 units sold for the first time this year.

However, homebuyer demand remains below historical averages.

“High home prices and mortgage qualification issues caused by the federal government’s B20 stress test remain significant factors behind the reduced demand that the market is experiencing today” remarked Ashley Smith, REBGV president.

Home Sales

Residential home sales totaled 2,638 in May 2019, a 6.9% decrease from 2,833 sales recorded in May 2018 and a 44% increase from homes sold in April 2019. Last month’s sales were 22.9% below the 10 year May sales average. This was the lowest total for the month since 2000.

Detached homes – 913 sales in May 2019 – 926 sales in May 2018

Apartments – 1,246 sales in May 2019 – 1,431 sales in May 2018

Attached homes – 479 sales in May 2019 – 476 sales in May 2018

Benchmark price of all residential homes $1,006,400 in May 2019.

New Listings

There were 5,861 new listings for May on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This represents an 8.1% decrease compared to the 6,35 homes listed in May 2018 and a 2.1% increase compared to the 5,724 homes newly listed in April 2019.

Total Listings

The number of listed homes across Metro Vancouver also edged upward 2.3% between April and May, to 14,685, marking the highest number of properties for sale in the region since September 2014. In April 2019 there were 14,357 listings and in May 2018 there were 11,292 home listings.

Sales-To-Active Listings ratio

This ratio explains the relationship between supply and demand that influences price. When the ratio is around or below 12% for a sustained period, then there is downward pressure on prices, and when it is above 20% for a sustained period, there is upward pressure.

Detached homes – 14.2%

Townhomes – 20%

Condominiums – 12%

If you are looking to get into this market before prices start escalating, we are offering a wide range of homes suitable for any budget. Visit our website and browse our wide range of listings.

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105 – 100 Park Royal S West

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Tel: 604 913 1000

105 – 100 Park Royal S West

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Tel: 604 913 1000