Richmond and Greater Vancouver Real Estate News

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Oct. 1, 2022

Canadian Housing Market Outlook: Fall 2022

Canadian housing market_Hamilton fall scenery

RE/MAX Canada Network expects Canadian housing market prices to decrease 2.2 per cent this fall

  • RE/MAX brokers and agents anticipate prices in the Canadian housing market to ease by 2.2 per cent this fall, due to high inflation, rising interest rates and economic uncertainty
  • Rising interest rates have prompted 44 per cent of Canadians to temporarily shelf their home-buying aspirations, while 34 per cent say they won’t hold on purchasing a home for the foreseeable future
  • Recession worries have impelled 41 per cent of Canadians to wait to purchase/sell their home in fall 2022

Toronto, ON and Kelowna, BC, September 28, 2022 – RE/MAX brokers and agents are anticipating the national average residential sale price in the Canadian housing market to decline 2.2 per cent in the final months of the year (September-December), according to RE/MAX’s 2022 Fall Canadian Housing Market Outlook Report. This market moderation comes on the heels of rising interest rates, record-high inflation and broader global and economic uncertainties that have impacted consumer confidence and market activity. Bucking the downward trend, seven out of 30 Canadian housing markets analyzed are likely to experience modest price appreciation between 1.5 and seven per cent. Meanwhile, RE/MAX brokers and agents expect a decline in sales this fall, in 18 out of 30 markets surveyed.

In a survey of RE/MAX brokers and agents, 25 out of 30 said rising interest rates have affected activity in their local residential market this year, with some indicating that this has been the biggest factor impacting homebuyer and seller confidence – a trend that is likely to continue for the remainder of 2022. These insights are supported by a new Leger survey commissioned by RE/MAX Canada, which reveals that 44 per cent of Canadians agree that rising interest rates are compelling them to hold on buying a property this fall, while 34 per cent say they won’t hold.

“While we are still facing significant housing supply shortages across the Canadian housing market, many regions are experiencing softer sales activity given recent interest rate hikes. This provides some reprieve from the unprecedented demand and unsustainable price increases we’ve seen across Canada through 2021 and in early 2022,” says Christopher Alexander, President at RE/MAX Canada. “However, the current lull in the market is only temporary. Until housing supply increases, these ‘boom’ and ‘bust’ cycles will likely be a recurring event.”

“Despite the fact that nearly half of Canadians are waiting to buy or sell a home, we’re confident that as economic conditions improve by mid-2023, activity will resume,” says Elton Ash, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Canada. “Timing the market for short-term investment is extremely difficult and rarely successful. But as a long-term investment, the Canadian housing market continues to yield solid returns. If someone needs to buy or sell, regardless of those cyclical peaks and valleys, being informed and working with an experienced real estate professional can help consumers clarify some of those unknowns and make the best decision possible.”

Regional Canadian Housing Market Trends

RE/MAX brokers and agents in Canada were asked to provide an analysis of their local market this fall and share their estimated outlook for the remaining months of 2022 (September-December).

Western Canada and the Prairies

In regions such as Vancouver, BC, Victoria, BC, Kelowna, BC, and Edmonton, AB, RE/MAX brokers reported rising interest rates as a factor impacting local market activity, resulting in softening consumer confidence, fewer multiple offers from buyers, and a shift toward more balanced conditions between buyers and sellers. In all regions analyzed in Western Canada and the Prairies, with the exception of Calgary, AB and Edmonton, AB, the average residential sale price is expected to decline between zero and 6.5 per cent.

In Calgary, AB, interest rate hikes and recession worries have not had a notable effect on the market, due to the region’s relative affordability. As such, a modest three-per-cent price increase is expected through the remainder of the year. In Edmonton, AB, rising interest rates have had the greatest impact on homes priced from $500,000 to $1,000,000, while those priced at $400,000 or less are still relatively affordable and a good entry point into the market, despite the current economic climate. Edmonton is likely to experience a modest price increase of 1.5 per cent for the remainder of the year. In both Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB, demand for luxury properties has remained stable, with interest rate hikes having a minimal impact on this segment of the market. This is expected to continue into the fall months. Low inventory remains a pressing concern in Kelowna, BC, Victoria, BC, Vancouver, BC and Calgary, AB, and is expected to place upward pressure on home prices in 2023 and beyond. In contrast, recent commercial and industrial developments have eased inventory concerns in Winnipeg, MB for the time being.

 Ontario

Much like other provinces across the country, Ontario has not been immune to the impacts of rising interest rates. Many markets including Oakville, Windsor, Barrie, Durham, Kingston and Kitchener-Waterloo, anticipate – and in some cases already experiencing – a reduction in the number of units sold over the coming months. Apart from Oakville and Muskoka, average residential sale prices in Ontario are likely to remain steady or decrease between two to 10 per cent in the fall months.

Similar to Western Canada, the luxury market has remained resilient and in-demand among buyers in Oakville, despite rising interest rates and a looming recession – a contributing factor to the modest two-per-cent average residential sale price increase expected in Oakville this fall. Muskoka continues to attract homebuyers to the area, while simultaneously, many sellers are eager to sell before year-end. Given a steady stream of demand, Muskoka is expected to experience a modest five-per-cent increase in average residential sale price this fall. In Peterborough, interest rate hikes and the subsequent effects on the stress test have eroded affordability in the area, which is the main factor contributing to the seven-per-cent decrease in average residential sale price expected in the coming months. The return of conditional offers has been a prevalent trend across the province, including in Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka and Peterborough. Echoing many regions across Canada, Durham, London, Sudbury, Ottawa, the Lakelands and the Greater Toronto housing market are expected to regain balance in 2023, albeit with low inventory continuing to place upward pressure on prices. As one of the more affordable markets in Ontario, Thunder Bay is unlikely to experience any significant fluctuations in average residential sale prices this fall.

 Atlantic Canada*

Similar to Western Canada and Ontario, economic factors such as rising interest rates and a possible recession have contributed to decelerated home-buying activity in the region. Charlottetown, PEI experienced immediate impacts as interest rates rose, with the number of sale transactions reduced by almost half on a month-over-month basis, particularly among properties in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 price range. Despite these circumstances, Atlantic Canada continues to attract out-of-province buyers due to its affordability, relative to the rest of Canada. The majority of Atlantic Canada housing markets analyzed are expected to experience modest price increases through the end of 2022, including Halifax, NS (+1.5%), Moncton, NB (+6%) and St. John’s, NL (+7%). The outlier is Charlottetown, PEI, where average residential sale price is expected to decline by two per cent in the fall months.

Housing affordability continues to attract buyers in Moncton, who have been able to leverage the recent decrease in demand to negotiate with sellers and include conditions on purchases. Meanwhile in St. John’s, NL, economic pressure from rising interest rates has resulted in extended rent periods by would-be buyers, despite this region anticipating an increase of seven per cent in average residential sale prices. The trend has been further exacerbated by low housing inventory. However, recent “green” government announcements and initiatives are anticipated to boost the local economy and in tandem, the housing market. In spite of concerns over supply falling short of demand, Charlottetown, PEI is expected to regain more balance in 2023. However, inflation coupled with the increased cost of living will likely result in a moderate two-per-cent decline in average residential sale prices through the end of 2022.

Are you looking to buy or sell property? If you’d like, we can have a real estate expert show you the most efficient process that saves you thousands of dollars, a lot of time, with little or no inconvenience to you. Contact us today!

Source:  RE/MAX
Aug. 10, 2022

How should sellers prepare and maximize their potential in a shifting market?

Aug. 9, 2022

Can you get a zero-down mortgage in Canada?

When it comes to buying a home, the down payment is probably the biggest barrier that new homebuyers face. For this reason, it is common for buyers to try and buy with a lower down payment in order to purchase their home sooner. Especially with prices as high as they are, this option has proved useful for many homebuyers.

Generally, when it comes to buying a home, the lowest possible you can go on a down payment is 5% of your home's purchase price. But what if there was another way to get your home while paying even less?

It turns out there may be. Though zero-down mortgages are rare in Canada, there are some ways you may be able to make it work. However, this option will not be suitable for everybody. In general, your mortgage will be riskier the less you pay, and your mortgage terms may also become less favorable. But if you have no other options and are willing to put in a bit of extra work, this may be the path for you.

In this article, we will explore your options for a zero-down payment mortgage in Canada, how to qualify, and whether or not it is right for you.

Do zero-down payment mortgages exist in Canada?

You might be surprised at this article’s topic if you thought that a zero-down payment mortgage was not an option in Canada. Technically you're right, but that isn’t the whole story.

The vast majority of lenders in Canada will not offer you a mortgage with no down payment at all. In fact, the more highly regulated major lenders legally could not if they wanted to.

In most cases, the lowest you can go is 5% of your home's purchase price. This is only available for homes under $500,000 and will incur mortgage default insurance costs.

But, just because you can't get a zero-down payment mortgage doesn't mean that the down payment money has to be your own. It is possible in some cases to use borrowed money as the down payment to borrow more money for a mortgage, resulting in effectively zero-down on your part. This is the basic principle that makes zero-down payment mortgages possible in Canada.

How does a zero-down mortgage work?

Essentially, if you want to put zero-down upfront on your mortgage, you will need to get the money somewhere. There are a few options where you may go for this loan.

Naturally, this comes with some complications. The first and most obvious is that you are now taking on two separate debts to buy your home. This can put you at a lot of risk as a borrower and will mean higher monthly costs requiring strong money management skills.

Further, lenders don't just give you a mortgage if you show up with a down payment. They want to know where the down payment came from and that you have the money to support the payments. If they know you went into deep debt to get your down payment funds, they might just disqualify you from getting the mortgage anyway. You may be required to shop around to different lenders willing to work with someone in your position.

On top of everything else, you will need a great financial profile to qualify. Obviously, your savings aren't great if you had to take out a loan for a down payment, and now your debt service ratios may not be great either. To make up for this, you will have to have an excellent credit score and a high and stable income to boot.

Where does the money come from?

When looking to put zero-down on a house, there are a few places you can look to find funding.

Borrowing money from family

One increasingly common option among young home buyers is to receive money from parents or a close family member to help buy a home. There are two ways this can be handled.

The first is simply a gifted down payment. With a gifted down payment, your money will not impact your debt ratios, as it is technically not considered borrowed. The gifter is legally not allowed to collect any repayment for this gift. If you are not self-employed, this gift can make up the entirety of your down payment.

If you have borrowed money from a family member that you intend to pay back, like the rest of the options listed here, you will need to inform your bank about the repayment and potential interest on this loan so they can take it into account when qualifying you.

Personal loans

Another option may be to get a personal loan. Personal loans can be found at several different institutions, though you will likely have to pay a pretty hefty interest rate for your borrowed money. This may be a good option if your down payment is very small, such as for an inexpensive home.

Personal lines of credit

A third option would be a line of credit, which will have better interest rates than personal loans. However, you will likely need to get a line of credit from a different lender than you get your mortgage from, and the same debt service rules will apply if you are making regular payments on your line of credit.

Borrowing from home equity

Finally, many homeowners choose to fund a second property with equity from their first. This is technically borrowed money, though since it is secured against your home most people simply see this as using your enquiry directly. Unfortunately, having an existing home to borrow against is not necessarily a viable home buying strategy for many buyers looking to make their home purchase cheaper.

Credit cards

Buyers may also be tempted to consider using credit cards to help fund part or all of their down payment. This is not recommended. Credit cards are best used for small and medium-sized purchases that you can pay back promptly. A large amount like a down payment, even if your credit limit would allow for it, would incur massive amounts of debt in a very short period of time, and this is a very bad idea.

How does getting approved work?

Getting approved for a mortgage with a borrowed down payment will be similar to being approved for any other mortgage. Your lender will need documentation to support your income, savings,employment, debt obligations and credit score in order to determine your creditworthiness. As mentioned previously, you will need to inform them of where your down payment funds have come from if they are borrowed so they can take this debt into account. Finally, you will need to pass the mortgage stress test as well.

To make up for increased debt service, you will need to prove your creditworthiness in other ways. You will firstly need a reliable job that pays you a high enough income to cover your increased debts. Though you can borrow money for your down payment, you can't borrow your monthly payments and will need to keep up with those.

You will also need a high credit score. Lenders already prefer borrowers with high credit scores, so the higher, the better when going for a no-down payment mortgage.

Being in good financial health will also be necessary when it comes to getting your down payment loan in the first place. You should take a careful look at your financial circumstances and consider talking to a mortgage broker before getting a loan to be sure you will be able to get a mortgage.

What's the lowest down payment I can make?

If you are borrowing money for a down payment, you will need to borrow at least 5% of your home’s value, though more expensive homes may require higher down payments. In addition, consider what additional costs you may be required to pay from things like closing costs and mortgage insurance. If you don’t have money for these, you may need to borrow an even larger loan to ensure your home purchase goes through.

Borrowing only part of a down payment

You may also choose to borrow only a portion of your down payment to increase the amount you can put down. This would be useful, for example, if you had less than 20% for a down payment and

were interested in reducing your cost from mortgage default insurance. Depending on how far off you are, borrowing money may cost less than paying the insurance premium. Another example may be to pay more for a better interest rate. Generally, it will be easier to qualify with only part of your down payment borrowed as opposed to attempting a zero-down mortgage.

You may also want to borrow a bit of extra money when buying your home if you find you are falling short of closing costs. In this case, your option would be to borrow the money or break the purchase agreement, making it a clear choice. For purposes like this, some banks offer cash-back mortgages, allowing you to receive extra cash after your mortgage closes.

What are the downsides of a zero-down mortgage?

When you are looking to find a way around the minimum requirements for a mortgage, it is important to understand that these requirements are in place for a reason. This is partly to protect lenders from defaults, with mortgage insurance being the best example. But by protecting from defaults, these limits also protect consumers from financial disaster.

The trouble, then, when you try to circumvent these minimums is putting yourself at increased risk. First, you also pay more interest by borrowing more money. You may feel like you are saving money upfront, but you would pay a lot more down the line. Furthermore, increased debt service will limit your disposable income and make you more susceptible to financial shocks.

At the same time, though you own your home, you will have very little equity due to borrowing such a large amount. This will make it hard to use something like a HELOC until you have made significant payments toward your principal.

Finally, when you have two loans instead of one, especially with something like a personal loan, you will be affected much more by interest rate increases. If you don't anticipate the possibility of rate increases, you could run into trouble down the line if things increase.

Conclusion

Though many homebuyers aren’t aware of the option, it may be possible to reduce the amount you need to pay with a down payment. However, this will make it harder to get your mortgage approved and will end up costing you more down the line. Though it still presents a viable option for some buyers, you should carefully consider your financial status and speak to a financial advisor or mortgage specialist before you pursue this option.

Are you looking to buy or sell property? If you’d like, we can have a real estate expert show you the most efficient process that saves you thousands of dollars, a lot of time, with little or no inconvenience to you. Contact us today!

Source:  Real Estate Wealth
Aug. 8, 2022

Home Prices Are Predicted To Rise Again In BC Due To Lack Of Supply

Aug. 8, 2022

Foreign buyers stuck to the sidelines through recent market

The percentage of residential sales involving foreign buyers has dropped to record lows over the past 18 months.BC Ministry of Finance

While the province continues to take action to cool the housing market, the original target of government intervention has been quietly sticking to the sidelines.

The latest round of property transfer tax data released by the BC Ministry of Finance shows that foreign buyers accounted for a record low proportion of residential transactions in June at just 1 per cent. This is consistent with a downward trend seen even before the pandemic, when international borders shut to foreign travellers and potential purchasers.

The proportion of residential transactions with foreign involvement has not been above 1.5 per cent since July 2020 nor has the proportion been consistently above 2 per cent since April 2019.

The low level of activity is a shift from July 2016, when the province reported that foreign nationals were involved in 9 per cent of residential transactions and began charging those buyers an additional property transfer tax of 15 per cent of transaction value.

Popularly known as the foreign buyers’ tax, it had a short-lived chilling effect on transactions. Residential transactions fell to 1.4 per cent of all residential sales in August 2016 before normalizing to a level of three to four per cent for the duration of 2017. When the new BC NDP government raised the additional tax to 20 per cent in February 2018, the rate fell below three per cent and stayed there even as sales surged as the economy reopened.

Sorted by municipality, the latest figures indicate that Surrey, Richmond and Vancouver are the top municipalities for foreign buyers of residential real estate. Surrey saw 84 residential transactions involving foreign buyers in the first half of this year, followed by Richmond with 64 and Vancouver with 44.

Of the 11 jurisdictions reporting residential sales involving foreign nationals, Whistler is the only one outside Metro Vancouver. (When other types of transactions involving foreign buyers are included, Ashcroft also figures.)

The relatively low percentage of foreign buyers now active in the market underscores that the tight market hinges more on a lack of supply than competition from those who wish to park capital here.

Underscoring this is provincial data regarding first-time buyers.

During the first half of this year, first-time buyers accounted for 4,426 residential purchases. That’s a 46 per cent decrease from the same period last year, when first-time buyers made 8,130 purchases.

Are you looking to buy or sell property? If you’d like, we can have a real estate expert show you the most efficient process that saves you thousands of dollars, a lot of time, with little or no inconvenience to you. Contact us today!

Source:  Western Investor

 

Aug. 5, 2022

Stats Center Report Richmond BC July 2022

Aug. 5, 2022

Home buyer demand continues to ease across Metro Vancouver

Metro Vancouver’s housing market has entered a new cycle marked by quieter home buyer demand and a gradual rise in the supply of homes for sale.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,887 in July 2022, a 43.3 per cent decrease from the 3,326 sales recorded in July 2021, and a 22.8 per cent decrease from the 2,444 homes sold in June 2022.

Last month’s sales were 35.2 per cent below the 10-year July sales average.

“Home buyers are exercising more caution in today’s market in response to rising interest rates and inflationary concerns,” Daniel John, REBGV Chair said. “This allowed the selection of homes for sale to increase and prices to edge down in the region over the last three months.”

There were 3,960 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in July 2022. This represents a 9.5 per cent decrease compared to the 4,377 homes listed in July 2021 and a 24.7 per cent decrease compared to June 2022 when 5,256 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 10,288, a 4.4 per cent increase compared to July 2021 (9,850) and a 1.3 per cent decrease compared to June 2022 (10,425).

“After two years of market conditions that favoured home sellers, home buyers now have more selection to choose from and more time to make their decision,” John said. “In today’s changing housing market, both home buyers and sellers should invest the time to understand what these changes mean for their personal circumstances.”

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for July 2022 is 18.3 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 11.8 per cent for detached homes, 20 per cent for townhomes, and 24.5 per cent for apartments.

Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,207,400. This represents a 10.3 per cent increase over July 2021 and a 2.3 per cent decrease compared to June 2022.

Sales of detached homes in July 2022 reached 523, a 50.2 per cent decrease from the 1,050 detached sales recorded in July 2021. The benchmark price for a detached home is $2,000,600. This represents an 11 per cent increase from July 2021 and a 2.8 per cent decrease compared to June 2022.

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,060 in July 2022, a 36.4 per cent decrease compared to the 1,666 sales in July 2021. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $755,000. This represents an 11.4 per cent increase from July 2021 and a 1.5 per cent decrease compared to June 2022.

Attached home sales in July 2022 totalled 304, a 50.2 per cent decrease compared to the 610 sales in July 2021. The benchmark price of an attached home is $1,096,500. This represents a 15.8 per cent increase from July 2021 and a 1.7 per cent decrease compared to June 2022.

Are you looking to buy or sell property? If you’d like, we can have a real estate expert show you the most efficient process that saves you thousands of dollars, a lot of time, with little or no inconvenience to you. Contact us today!

Source:  REBGV
Aug. 5, 2022

2022 Housing Affordability Report

 

View Report

The newly released 2022 Housing Affordability Report reveals that 68 per cent of Canadians are willing to make at least one sacrifice to buy a home they can afford, according to a new Leger survey commissioned by RE/MAX Canada. The most common concession is relocation, as identified by 64 per cent of survey respondents. Read the full report to learn more, and share with your clients to keep them informed.

KEY FINDINGS

56 per cent say that moving to a different neighbourhood/community would be one of the top three sacrifices they would make.

Based on average residential selling price, Brandon, MB ranked as the most affordable market in 2022. This is followed by Regina, SK (which remained on the list year-over-year), St. John’s, NL, Moncton, NB and Red Deer, AB.

Based on the share of income spent on mortgage payments, Red Deer, AB ranked as Canada’s most affordable housing market, with 25.86% of average monthly income spent on the average-priced home.

Are you looking to buy or sell property? If you’d like, we can have a real estate expert show you the most efficient process that saves you thousands of dollars, a lot of time, with little or no inconvenience to you. Contact us today!

Source: RE/MAX Canada

 

Aug. 4, 2022

Market Update Greater Vancouver July 2022

Aug. 4, 2022

Market Update Richmond BC July 2022