Some Facts About Richmond

Some Facts About Richmond

Population & Land Use

With a population estimated in 2008 to be 188,100 people, Richmond is a growing dynamic urban centre with a unique mix of residential and commercial property, agricultural lands, industrial parks, waterways and natural areas. It lies where the River meets the ocean.

The shores surrounding Richmond create an estuary border that provides habitat for fish and for migrating birds on the Pacific Flyway between the Arctic and South America.

Richmond has undergone enormous change over the last several decades, with significant growth in the early 1990’s. Today, Richmond is a dynamic, multi-ethnic community. Much of the recent population growth has been made up of Asian immigrants. People of Chinese or South Asian ancestry represent more than sixty percent of Richmond residents. Newcomers have contributed significantly to the growth of the small business and retail sectors and have added to the diversity and vibrancy of the City of Richmond.

Source: City of Richmond

Richmond Private Dwellings

Richmond Dwelling Unit Numbers

In a recent count, there were 59,3801 private dwellings in Richmond. Single detached units account for 47% of the housing stock, followed by low and high rise apartment units (29.4%), townhouse units (21.4%) and semi-detached or two family dwelling units (2.1%).

Source: City of Richmond

Slow Start, Strong Finish

Slow Start, Strong Finish for Housing Market in 2009

After beginning the year at near record low sales levels, buyers’ confidence in the Greater Vancouver housing market quickly returned, allowing for significant and sustained increases in the number of residential property sales for much of 2009.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total unit sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2009 reached 35,669, a 44.8 per cent increase from the 24,626 unit sales recorded in 2008, but a 6.3 per cent decline from the 38,050 residential sales in 2007.

The number of homes listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Greater Vancouver declined 15.5 per cent in 2009 to 52,869 compared to the 62,561 properties listed in 2008.

Low interest rates, an economy emerging from recession and continuing to improve, and consumer confidence led to the resurgence experienced in the Greater Vancouver housing market in 2009. Home sales neared or passed monthly records in Greater Vancouver throughout the latter half of 2009. In fact, last month’s home sales rank as the third highest selling December in the 90-year history of The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,515 in December 2009, an increase of 172.2 per cent from the 924 sales recorded in December 2008, and an 18.4 per cent decline compared to November 2009 when 3,083 home sales occurred.

The residential benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for Greater Vancouver increased 16.2 per cent to $562,463 between Decembers 2008 and 2009.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,153 in December 2009. This represents a 38.9 per cent increase compared to the 1,550 new units listed in December 2008 and a 41.1 per cent decline compared to November 2009 when 3,653 properties were listed.

The number of homes listed for sale on our MLS® has been in decline in Greater Vancouver for eight of the last nine months, which results in upward pressure on home prices and less selection for buyers to choose from.

Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 8,939, a decrease of 41 per cent from December 2008, and a decrease of 19 per cent from November 2009.

Sales of detached properties in December 2009 increased 159.2 per cent to 902, compared to 348 sales in December 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 18.3 per cent to $766,816 compared to December 2008.

Sales of apartment properties in December 2009 increased 176.7 per cent to 1,154, compared to 417 sales in December 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 14.8 per cent since December 2008 to $382,573.

Attached property sales in December 2009 increased 188.7 per cent to 459, compared with the 159 sales in December 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 12.9 per cent between Decembers 2008 and 2009 to $478,093.

Source: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Richmond Market Overview

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Strong Demand Carries into Late Fall

Home values continued to edge upward in November as demand in the Greater Vancouver housing market remains well above seasonal norms.

Over the last 12 months, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver increased 12.4 per cent to $557,384 from $495,704 in November 2008. This price, however, remains down 1.9 per cent from the most recent high point in the market in May 2008 when the residential benchmark price sat at $568,411.

This unseasonably high level of demand can be attributed in large part to low interest rates, but it also speaks to the diverse range of housing options available in Greater Vancouver. Prospective homebuyers today have more options at different price levels than ever before.

The REBGV reports that residential property sales in November were the third highest volume ever recorded in Greater Vancouver for that month. Sales in the region totalled 3,083 in November 2009, an increase of 252.7 per cent compared to November 2008 when 874 sales were recorded and a 16.8 per cent decrease compared to the 3,704 sales recorded in October 2009.

We are experiencing a brisker than normal market for this time of year, although we have begun to see a reduction in the number of homes listed for sale, which is normal as we head into the holiday season.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 3,653 in November 2009. This represents a 21.3 per cent increase compared to November 2008 when 3,012 new units were listed, and a 26.6 per cent decline compared to October 2009 when 4,977 properties were listed on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Greater Vancouver.

At 11,039, the total number of property listings on the MLS® decreased 8.6 per cent in November compared to last month and declined 39 per cent from this time last year.

In contrast to this year, note that November 2008 was the lowest selling November in Greater Vancouver in 27 years.

Sales of detached properties increased 261.5 per cent to 1,164 from the 322 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for detached properties increased 13.6 per cent from November 2008 to $757,209.

Sales of apartment properties in November 2009 increased 240.5 per cent to 1,396 compared to 410 sales in November 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 11.6 per cent from November 2008 to $381,945.

Attached property sales in November 2009 are up 268.3 per cent to 523, compared with the 142 sales in November 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 10.2 per cent between Novembers 2008 and 2009 to $469,686.

Source: The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Monday, November 16, 2009

High Sales Levels Spur Rise in Home Values

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Strong demand has led to a steady rise in Greater Vancouver home prices compared to last year.

Over the last 12 months, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver increased 6.8 per cent to $553,702 from $518,668 in October 2008.

While home prices have been rising in 2009, they have not eclipsed the peaks reached in early 2008. We’re coming off several months of unseasonably high sales levels, which has allowed for a gradual increase in home values this year.

The REBGV reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 3,704in October 2009, an increase of 4.1 per cent from the 3,559 sales recorded in September 2009, and an increase of 171.6 per cent compared to October 2008 when 1,364sales were recorded. Looking back two years, last month’s sales increased 22.3 per cent compared to October 2007 when 3,028 sales were recorded.

High confidence and low mortgage rates are continuing to drive the activity we’re seeing in the housing market today.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,977 in October 2009. This represents a 2.3 per cent increase compared to October 2008 when 4,867 new units were listed, and a 13.4 per cent decline compared to September 2009 when 5,764 properties were listed on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Greater Vancouver.

At 12,084, the total number of property listings on the MLS® decreased 4.1 per cent in October compared to last month and declined 37 per cent from this time last year.

Sales of detached properties increased 201.6 per cent to 1,487 from the 493 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for detached properties increased 7.7 per cent from October 2008 to $749,808.

Sales of apartment properties in October 2009 increased 148.4 per cent to 1,607, compared to 647sales in October 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 6.3 per cent from October 2008 to $380,975.

Attached property sales in October 2009 are up 172.3 per cent to 610, compared with the 224 sales in October 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.6 per cent between Octobers 2008 and 2009 to $468,798.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Buyer Demand Remains Strong While Home Listings Increase

VANCOUVER, B.C. – October 2, 2009 – Greater Vancouver home sales remained strong last month, with the second highest number of residential sales ever recorded for the month of September.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 3,559 in September 2009, an increase of 3.4 per cent from the 3,441 sales recorded in August 2009, and an increase of 124.5 per cent compared to September 2008 when 1,585 sales were recorded.

As homes sales in Greater Vancouver continued at an elevated pace in September it’s encouraging to see that more homes were listed on the MLS® in the month than any other so far this year..

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,764 in September 2009. This represents a 6.2 per cent decline compared to September 2008 when 6,142 new units were listed, but a 26.8 per cent increase compared to August 2009 when 4,544 properties were listed on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Greater Vancouver.

At 12,596, the total number of property listings on the MLS® increased 5.5 per cent in September compared to last month and declined 36 per cent from the 19,852 homes listed for sale during the buyer’s market that was experienced at this time last year.

During this period of renewed demand in our marketplace, home values have gradually recovered from the declines that occurred in 2008.

Since the beginning of the year, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 13 per cent to $547,092 from $484,211, while home prices compared to Septembers 2008 levels are up 1.6 per cent.

Sales of detached properties increased 160.6 per cent to 1,423 from the 546 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for detached properties increased 2.1 per cent from September 2008 to $741,632.

Sales of apartment properties in September 2009 increased 94.9 per cent to 1,489, compared to 764 sales in September 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 1.5 per cent from September 2008 to $374,686.

Attached property sales in September 2009 are up 135.3 per cent to 647, compared with the 275 sales in September 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 0.4 per cent between Septembers 2008 and 2009 to $466,276.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Canadian Housing Markets Buck Recession

Canadian Housing Markets Buck Recession and trend upwards, says RE/MAX. With the worst of the recession over, residential real estate markets in major Canadian centres are poised for growth in the final quarter of 2009, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Bricks and Mortar Report found the bounce back that began in early Spring has made this recession one of the shortest on record. Low interest rates, pent-up demand, and improved affordability levels have all played a role in the recovery now well-underway. Percentage increases in unit sales from January to August 2009 were led by Vancouver, (up a substantial 14 per cent to 23,158), Victoria (up 7.4 per cent to 5,266), Edmonton (up 6.2 per cent to 13,691), Regina (up five per cent to 2,597), Ottawa (up 2.4 per cent to 10,830) and Toronto (up 1.8 per cent to 58,421). Housing values are already ahead of record-breaking 2008 levels in seven of the 11 markets surveyed, including Newfoundland-Labrador (18.1 per cent year to $203,584), Regina (6.4 per cent to $244,088), Halifax-Dartmouth (3.5 per cent to $239,633), Winnipeg (3.5 per cent to $207,006), Ottawa (3.3 per cent to $301,684), and Toronto (up 0.3 per cent to $385,978). Nationally, average price hovers at $312,585, up 0.5 per cent over one year ago.

The strength of the residential housing sector cross-country has taken many economists and housing analysts by surprise once again. In terms of its impact on the resale market, by historical standards, this recession was one of the mildest. The resilience of bricks and mortar has been demonstrated time and again. While there may still be some challenges down the road, the worst is definitely behind us in the housing industry.

The recovery of Canada’s resale housing markets speaks to the tremendous value Canadians place on the importance of owning a home. The number of Canadians overall who own a home has increased since 1981 from 62.1 per cent to 68.4 per cent, with some markets posting even higher home ownership rates — Calgary (74.1), St. John’s (71.5), and Regina (70.1). Significant gains have also been made over the same period in markets such as Ottawa, where levels rose from 51.4 per cent to 66.7 per cent, and Toronto, where levels rose from 57.3 to 67.6 per cent.

Public sentiment can perhaps best be illustrated by a recent Angus Reid Omnibus Survey* that asked the question “In which do you feel more comfortable investing your money? The stock market or real estate.” Out of 1,000 respondents from coast-to-coast, 77 per cent chose real estate. The results of the RE/MAX Bricks and Mortar Report are clearly representative of this national dynamic at work.

Markets are heating up across the country as purchasers take advantage of affordable prices and rock bottom interest rates. Those who missed the boat in years past have found that sitting on the sidelines can be a costly move. Prices are on the upswing and inventory levels are tightening, so the push toward home ownership is expected to continue throughout the Fall and possibly into early 2010.

Over the past thirty years, the Canadian residential real estate market has experienced three major downturns – 1981, 1989, and 2008. While there have also been regional fluctuations throughout the years, return on investment over this period has been substantial, with Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Regina and Ottawa leading the country in terms of price appreciation.

The overall stability of real estate as an investment has also played a role. Markets like Halifax-Dartmouth, Regina, Ottawa, Winnipeg and London have provided steady returns (especially in recent years), with minimal fluctuation.

* The Angus Reid Omnibus Survey was conducted on September 15, 2009 and yields a margin of error of +3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Homeownership Rates

Canada and Major Centres

1981 — 2006

Canada 62.1 — 68.4

Metropolitan Areas*

St. John’s 69.5 — 71.5
Halifax 55.6 — 64.0
Ottawa 51.4 — 66.7
Toronto 57.3 — 67.6
London 58.0 — 65.9
Winnipeg 59.1 — 67.2
Regina 65.4 — 70.1
Calgary 58.4 — 74.1
Edmonton 57.9 — 69.2
Vancouver 58.5 — 65.1
Victoria 59.8 — 64.7

Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (May 2008)
*Homeownership rates based on 1986 boundaries for the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)

Top Performing Markets by Price Appreciation

1980 YTD 2009 % Increase

Market Avg. $ Avg. $ 1980 – 2009

Greater Vancouver $100,065 $574,061 473.7%
Victoria $85,066 $466,611 448.5%
Greater Toronto $75,694 $385,978 409.9%
Regina $48,628 $244,088 402.0%
Ottawa $63,177 $301,684 377.5%
Halifax-Dartmouth $53,161 $239,633 350.8%
Winnipeg $50,491 $207,006 310.0%
Calgary $93,977 $380,489 304.9%
London – St. Thomas $55,210 $213,683 287.0%
Newfoundland & Labrador $52,768 $203,584 285.8%
Edmonton $84,623 $319,939 278.1%
Canada $67,024 $312,585 366.4%

Source: Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), RE/MAX

Friday, August 7, 2009

Strong Spring Market Carries into Summer Months

The Greater Vancouver housing market gained further momentum in July with record sales levels and a continued strengthening of home prices.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that the number of residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,114 in July 2009, becoming the highest volume of sales ever recorded within the REBGV for that month, outpacing the 4,023 sales in July 2003, which is the only other year that July sales exceeded the 4,000 mark.

Since the beginning of the year, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 9.2 per cent to $528,821 from $484,211. However, home prices compared to July 2008 levels are down 5 per cent.

Home sales this summer are seasonally higher than normal, which is due in large part to the price correction that has taken place in the last year and low interest rates. Although well priced listings and lower-to mid-range priced properties remain in the highest demand across Greater Vancouver, recent activity from first-time buyers is beginning to boost demand in the “move-up” segment of the market.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined in Greater Vancouver, down 17.4 per cent to 5,041 in July 2009 compared to July 2008, when 6,104 new units were listed. At 12,482, the total number of property listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) declined 5.8 per cent compared to last month and 34 per cent compared to July 2008.

It is currently taking, on average, 48 days for a home to sell in the region. Today’s market activity differs by area and property type and it’s important to call me to tap into local housing market expertise to understand why some properties are attracting multiple offers, while others are not moving.

July 2009 home sales declined 3.4 per cent compared to June 2009, but are up 89.2 per cent when measured against the 2,174 sales recorded in July 2008.

Sales of detached properties in July increased 95.2 per cent to 1,614 from the 827 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The HPI benchmark price for detached properties declined 5.5 per cent from July 2008 to $711,702. Since the beginning of the year, the benchmark price for detached properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 9.8 per cent.

Sales of apartment properties in July 2009 increased 76.8 per cent to 1,708, compared to 966 sales in July 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 4.3 per cent from July 2008 to $365,291. Since the beginning of the year, the benchmark price for apartment properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 9.6 per cent.

Attached property sales in July 2009 are up 107.9 per cent to792, compared with the 381 sales in July 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 4.6 per cent between July 2008 and 2009 to $452,085. Since the beginning of the year, the benchmark price for attached properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 6.8 per cent.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in July 2009 compared to July 2008:

DETACHED:

Burnaby up 121.7 per cent (153 units sold from 69)
North Vancouver up 53.3 per cent (115 units sold from 75)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 60 per cent (160 units sold from 100)
Richmond up 140.2 per cent (221 units sold from 92)
Vancouver East up 66.4 per cent (208 units sold from 125)
Port Coquitlam up 236.4 per cent (74 units sold from 22)
Vancouver West up 104.5 per cent (180 units sold from 88)
South Delta up 203.1 per cent (97 units sold from 32)
West Vancouver up 108.1 per cent (77 units sold from 37)
Sunshine Coast up 60.5 per cent (69 units sold from 43)

ATTACHED:

Burnaby up 123.3 per cent (134 units sold from 60)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 77.7 per cent (64 units sold from 36)
North Vancouver up 70 per cent (51 units sold from 30)
Vancouver West up 110 per cent (105 units sold from 50)
Richmond up 152.1 per cent (179 units sold from 71)
Vancouver East up 195.8 per cent (71 units sold from 24)
Port Coquitlam up 117.6 per cent (37 units sold from 17)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 77.7 per cent (64 units sold from 36)
Coquitlam up 88.2 per cent (64 units sold from 34)

APARTMENTS:

Burnaby up 72.8 per cent (235 units sold from 136)
North Vancouver up 47.9 per cent (105 units sold from 71)
Richmond up 85.5 per cent (230 units sold from 124)
Vancouver East up 64.2 per cent (179 units sold from 109)
Vancouver West up 94 per cent (584 units sold from 301)
New Westminster up 70.6 per cent (116 units sold from 68)
Coquitlam up 62.3 per cent (86 units sold from 53)
Port Moody/Belcarra up 138.1 per cent (50 units sold from 21)

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Friday, July 3, 2009

Market Conditions Drive Strong June Housing Sales

VANCOUVER, B.C. – July 3, 2009 – The combination of low interest rates and more affordable pricing helped propel Greater Vancouver home sale numbers to the second all-time highest total for the month of June.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties increased 75.6 per cent in June 2009 to 4,259, from the 2,425 sales recorded in June 2008. The figure is just short of the record-breaking 4,333 sales which occurred in June 2005.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 17.9 per cent to 5,372 in June 2009 compared to June 2008, when 6,546 new units were listed. However, new listings increased 13.5 per cent from May to June of this year. Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 13,252, down 27 per cent from June 2008 and 2.9 per cent below the active listings count at the end of May 2009.

Price reductions and low interest rates have created an improvement in affordability, which is causing the number of sales to rise to levels comparable to 2003 to 2007.

Many people who were reluctant to purchase a home last fall and earlier this year are returning to the market because they see conditions that appeal to their personal and financial needs. However, the current marketplace is such that buyers are more inclined to walk if they don’t like the terms of an offer.

Residential benchmark prices, as calculated by the MLSLink® Housing Price Index, declined 8.2 per cent to $518,855 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.

The number of sales of detached properties increased 81.6 per cent to 1,667 from the 918 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties declined 8.4 per cent to $701,384 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.

The number of sales of apartment properties in June 2009 increased 69.3 per cent to 1,790, compared to 1,057 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 8.2 per cent from June 2008 to $356,880.

The number of attached property sales in June 2009 increased 78.2 per cent to 802, compared with the 450 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit declined 7.3 per cent between June 2009 and 2008 to $441,620.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in June 2009 compared to June 2008:

DETACHED:

Burnaby up 109.7 per cent (151 units sold from 72)
Coquitlam up 122.2 per cent (160 units sold from 72)
Delta – South up 107.7 per cent (56 units sold from 27)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 54.3 per cent (162 units sold from 105)
New Westminster up 104.8 per cent (43 units sold from 21)
North Vancouver up 96.2 per cent (153 units sold from 78)
Port Moody/ Belcarra up 120 per cent (33 units sold from 15)
Richmond up 77.4 per cent (204 units sold from 115)
Squamish up 107.7 per cent (27 units sold from 13)
Sunshine Coast up 33.9 per cent (75 units sold from 56)
Vancouver East up 71.2 per cent (238 units sold from 139)
Vancouver West up 85.2 per cent (200 units sold from 108)
West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 117.8 per cent (98 units sold from 45)

ATTACHED:

Burnaby up 81.8 per cent (140 units sold from 77)
Coquitlam up 80 per cent (54 units sold from 30)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 48.6 per cent (55 units sold from 37)
North Vancouver up 121.2 per cent (73 units sold from 33)
Port Coquitlam up 82.6 per cent (42 units sold from 23)
Port Moody/ Belcarra up 77.3 per cent (39 units sold from 22)
Richmond up 84.5 per cent (155 units sold from 84)
Vancouver East up 118.5 per cent (59 units sold from 27)
Vancouver West up 121.8 per cent (122 units sold from 55)

APARTMENTS:

Burnaby up 60.4 per cent (239 units sold from 149)
Coquitlam up 93.9 per cent (95 units sold from 49)
New Westminster up 57.1 per cent (121 units sold from 77)
North Vancouver up 71.4 per cent (120 units sold from 70)
Port Coquitlam up 58.1 per cent (49 units sold from 31)
Port Moody/Belcarra up 128.6 per cent (48 units sold from 21)
Richmond up 54.1 per cent (225 units sold from 146)
Vancouver East up 58.7 per cent (165 units sold from 104)
Vancouver West up 87.2 per cent (627 units sold from 335)
West Vancouver/Howe Sound up 155.6 per cent (23 units sold from 9)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Increased Demand Steadies Housing Market

A continued increase in buyer activity over the last four months has resulted in increased home sales and lessened the downward pressure on housing prices in Greater Vancouver.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that the number of residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 3,524 in May 2009, an increase of 17.4 per cent from the 3,002 sales recorded in May 2008, and an increase of 18.9 per cent compared to last month.

Since the beginning of the year, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver has increased 4.5 per cent to $506,201 from $484,211. However, home prices compared to May 2008 levels are down 10.9 per cent.

The increased level of buyer activity over the last few months has had a stabilizing effect on home prices across our region. MLS® data continues to show a trend toward a balanced market in the region.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined in Greater Vancouver, down 36 per cent to 4,733 in May 2009 compared to May 2008, when 7,390 new units were listed. At 13,641, the total number of property listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) declined 4.7 per cent compared to last month and 16 per cent compared to May 2008.

Sales of detached properties increased 16.5 per cent to 1,402 from the 1,203 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The HPI benchmark price for detached properties declined 11.8 per cent from May 2008 to $680,320.

Sales of apartment properties in May 2009 increased 17.2 per cent to 1,458, compared to 1,244 sales in May 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 10.2 per cent from May 2008 to $349,987.

Attached property sales in May 2009 are up 19.6 per cent to 664, compared with the 555 sales in May 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 9 per cent between May 2008 and 2009 to $435,848.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in May 2009 compared to May 2008:

DETACHED:

Burnaby up 48.9 per cent (140 units sold from 94)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 13.4 per cent (144 units sold from 127)
North Vancouver up 31.4 per cent (134 units sold from 102)
Port Moody/Belcarra up 52.6 per cent (29 units sold from 19)
Richmond up 14.0 per cent (170 units sold from 142)a
Vancouver East up 11.1 per cent (180 units sold from 162)
Vancouver West up 63.4 per cent (232 units sold from 142)

ATTACHED:

Burnaby up 31.5 per cent (96 units sold from 73)
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 43.8 per cent (46 units sold from 32)
North Vancouver up 31.8 per cent (58 units sold from 44)
Vancouver West up 54.5 per cent (102 units sold from 66)

APARTMENTS:

Burnaby up 32.6 per cent (187 units sold from 141)
North Vancouver up 22.6 per cent (103 units sold from 84)
Richmond up 27.4 per cent (200 units sold from 157)
Vancouver East up 28.7 per cent (139 units sold from 108)
Vancouver West up 25.4 per cent (529 units sold from 422)

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Vancouver

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

In a few years, you will look back at this time period and say to yourself “why didn’t I purchase real estate back then”?

Today in Richmond, you could not ask for a better time to purchase your first home or sell the one you are in now and move up to a larger one. We have the makings of the “Perfect Storm” in the Real Estate world here in Richmond.

Here are the three key aspects that make-up this Perfect Storm:

1- PRICES the same as two and a half years ago

2- SELECTION hundreds more houses and condos to choose from

3- INTEREST RATES at an historical low

Yes, except for a few over-priced, unrealistic sellers, the market in Richmond has leveled off and for the average buyer the opportunity to get tremendous value in your home purchase will not get better than it is today!

Here is a quick observation for you to ponder:

If you purchased a single family home in April 2008, average price at that time, $810,158 at a 5 year rate of 5.69%, with 5% down, add CMHC and 35 year amortization, your monthly payment would be $4,387.00

Now buy that same house today, at an average price of $742,518, 5 year rate of 3.79%, with 5% down, add CMHC fees, 35 year amortization and your monthly payment would be $3,117.00

That is a savings of $1,210.00 per month or a 27.75% savings!!!($14,520.00 per year or $72,600 over 5 years)

QuestionWhat if I have to sell, in order to move up?

Well, it works even better in your favour to do just that in today’s market.

Here’s why:

Lets say you sell your current home for $500,000 today and move up to a $650,000 home that is bigger, more bedrooms, a garage, etc.

Versus

Four years from now, when prices are up 5%, and if prices have gone up, then you can take for granted that the interest rates have also gone up. Without adjusting for the increase costs of the future interest rate and you only focused on the 5% price increase, here are the new numbers:

Your current home in 4 years, $500,000 x 5% = $525,000

If you move up now to the house you need and then look at it in 4 years you get $650,000 x 5% = $682,500

A difference of $7,500 (and remember this is without the interest change calculated in).

Some banks will waive or discount your payout penalty or blend with the new mortgage rate for your new home.

I encourage you to give me a call l at 604-276-2335 and we can help you make the right choice and answer any questions you may have for you specific situation.

Michael Cowling

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Buyer Activity Brings Greater Stability to the Housing Market

VANCOUVER, B.C. – May 4, 2009. With more buyers and fewer homes for sale in recent months, the Greater Vancouver housing market has entered a more moderate and balanced state.

For the sixth consecutive month, new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined in Greater Vancouver, down 33.7 per cent to 4,649 in April 2009 compared to April 2008, when 7,010 new units were listed. The total number of property listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), while slightly down compared to last month, remains unchanged compared to the same period in 2008.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,963 in April 2009, a decline of eight per cent from the 3,218 sales recorded in April 2008, and an increase of 31 per cent compared to last month.

We are seeing greater balance in the housing market, as evidenced by a strong sales to active listings ratio of over 19 per cent. The result is a relatively stable market in which homes are being realistically priced.

The bridge between buyer demand and housing supply is continuing to narrow, which, as we see, helps bring stability to home prices. The trends in our housing market over the last couple of months offer a much more comfortable, historically normal set of conditions.

Sales of detached properties declined eight per cent to 1,190 from the 1,293 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index®, for detached properties declined 12.2per cent from April 2008 to $675,268.

Sales of apartment properties in April 2009 declined 10.5 per cent to 1,179, compared to 1,317 sales in April 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 12.6 per cent from April 2008 to $340,203.

Attached property sales in April 2009 are down 2.3 per cent to 594, compared with the 608 sales in April 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 9.7 per cent between April 2008 and 2009 to $431,759.

Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in April 2009 compared to April 2008:

DETACHED:

Vancouver West ……….up 59.5 per cent (193 units sold from 121)

ATTACHED:

Port Coquitlam ……….up 69.6 per cent (39 units sold from 23)
Richmond …………….up 17.9 per cent (132 units sold from 112)
Vancouver West ……….up 46.3 per cent (98 units sold from 67)

APARTMENTS:

North Vancouver ………up 29.2 per cent (84 units sold from 65)

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Vancouver

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Federal Budget 2009

The Federal Budget 2009, released January 27, 2009, offers four key benefits for home buyers and renovators.

Benefit 1: Home Buyers’ Plan (RRSPs for downpayments)

The withdrawal limit has increased to $25,000 from $20,000.

For information and forms, go to: www.cra.gc.ca. In the search box, type Home Buyers’ Plan. You will see Suggested links which include links to:

• Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) – includes conditions, how to participate, cancel, repay, and a Q&A.

• The Home Buyers’ Plan Guide – a 22 page guide that covers all aspects of the plan; and

• Form T1036 Home Buyers’ Plan Request to Withdraw Funds from an RRSP in pdf and text for¬mats and there is a phone number if you have more questions: 1-800-959- 8281.

Benefit 2: Home Renovation Tax Credit

The new provision that lets eligible home owners qualify for an income tax credit of up to $1,350 for home improvement projects.

For information, go to www.cra.gc.ca. In the search box type Home Renovation Tax Credit. You will be taken to a Q & A that provides comprehensive information on eligible dwellings, expenditures, calculations and required documentation.

Note: there are no forms. Beginning with the 2009 personal income tax return, a new line will be incorporated to allow renovators to claim the credit.

Benefit 3: First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit provides up to $750 in income tax relief to qualifying buyers for eligible costs associated with buying their first home. We expect details soon.

For information, go to www.cra.gc.ca and in the search box type First-time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit. You will be taken to a Q&A that provides comprehensive information.

Note: there are no forms. Beginning with the 2009 personal income tax return, a new line will be incor-porated to allow first-time home buyers to claim the credit.

Benefit 4: ecoENERGY Retrofit Program gives property owners grants of up to $5,000 to offset the costs of making energy-efficiency improvements.

For information, go to the Natural Resources Canada web site http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/cor¬porate/retrofit-summary.cfm where there is a list of retrofit grants and incentives for residential property owners, commercial and institutional buildings and industrial facilities.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Vancouver

Down on the Farm in Richmond

The 55.2 hectare Garden City lands in Richmond will remain in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) as a result of a recent ruling by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).

The City of Richmond had asked for the farmland to be excluded from the ALR, reasoning that the Garden City lands are isolated from other farmland in an urban area surrounded by highways with low capability for agriculture in its current state.

The site is bordered by the following streets: Westminster Highway, Alderbridge Way, Garden City Road and No. 4 Road.

The ALC found that Richmond had made no attempts to reclaim the land, which is close to highly productive farmland, and concluded that the existing road network enhances agricultural suitability by providing a buffer from adjacent lands.

The commission also noted that Richmond did not provide an adequate assessment of the effect of removing the lands on the agricultural land base in the municipality.

The property is owned by the Canada Lands Company which holds 50 per cent in an undivided beneficial trust for the Musqueam Indian Band. There is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Canada Lands Company, the Musqueam and the City of Richmond. If the lands had been removed from the ALR, the MOU would have given Richmond 50 per cent of the property. The Canada Lands Company and the Musqueam likely would have developed the rest for high-density housing. The purchase and sales agreement has now expired. There is no expiry date to the MOU.

Many local residents wanted to keep the lands for agricultural and ecological use. This use is supported by provincial MLA Hon. Linda Reid (Richmond East), federal MP John Cummins (Delta-Richmond East), in whose ridings the lands are located.

Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Vancouver

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