Richmond and Greater Vancouver Real Estate News

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 2, 2023

Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) Forecasts Housing Turnaround in 2023

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) forecasts a slight drop in sales in 2023 with a substantial turnaround in 2024. Take a look at the price predictions.

Feb. 2, 2023

Home sales decline below long-term averages and inventory remains low to start 2023

Inventory remains low in Metro Vancouver while home sales dipped well below monthly historical averages in January.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,022 in January 2023, a 55.3 per cent decrease from the 2,285 sales recorded in January 2022, and a 21.1 per cent decrease from the 1,295 homes sold in December 2022.

Last month’s sales were 42.9 per cent below the 10-year January sales average.

“Due to seasonality, market activity is quieter in January. With mortgage rates having risen so rapidly over the last year, we anticipated sales this month would be among the lowest in recent history,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director, economics and data analytics. “Looking forward, however, the Bank of Canada has said that it will pause further rate increases as long as the incoming economic data continues to support this policy stance. This should provide more certainty for home buyers and sellers in the market.”

There were 3,297 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in January 2023. This represents a 20.9 per cent decrease compared to the 4,170 homes listed in January 2022 and a 173.4 per cent increase compared to December 2022 when 1,206 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,478, a 32.1 per cent increase compared to January 2022 (5,663) and a 1.3 per cent increase compared to December 2022 (7,384).

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2023 is 13.7 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 10.2 per cent for detached homes, 13.4 per cent for townhomes, and 16.7 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.

“We know the peak for prices in our market occurred last spring. Over the coming months, year-over-year data comparisons will show larger price declines than we’ve been reporting up to now,” said Lis. “It’s important to understand that year-over-year calculations are backward-looking. These price declines already happened, and what we are seeing today is that prices may have found a footing, even if it’s an awkward one sandwiched between low inventory and higher borrowing costs.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,111,400. This represents a 6.6 per cent decrease over January 2022 and a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to December 2022.

Sales of detached homes in January 2023 reached 295, a 52.6 per cent decrease from the 622 detached sales recorded in January 2022. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,801,300. This represents a 9.1 per cent decrease from January 2022 and a 1.2 per cent decrease compared to December 2022.

Sales of apartment homes reached 571 in January 2023, a 56.6 per cent decrease compared to the 1,315 sales in January 2022. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $720,700. This represents a 1.1 per cent decrease from January 2022 and a one per cent increase compared to December 2022.

Attached home sales in January 2023 totalled 156, a 55.2 per cent decrease compared to the 348 sales in January 2022. The benchmark price of an attached home is $1,020,400. This represents a three per cent decrease from January 2022 and a 0.8 per cent increase compared to December 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

Jan. 30, 2023

BC government introduces “cooling off” period for home sales

On July 21, the provincial government introduced a home buyer protection period, the details of which are outlined in a new regulation that allows home buyers to back out of a residential purchase up to three business days after signing a contract.

The government began to enforce this regulation starting January 1, 2023.

The province claims this three-day cooling off period will help ensure all homebuyers have an opportunity to conduct their due diligence, such as securing financing or arranging home inspections.

Key facts

The homebuyer protection period basics

  • The period is effective January 1, 2023.
  • Buyers will have three business days to back out of a residential purchase after signing the contract.
  • This applies to all contracts, regardless of subjects. 
  • The period is mandatory and can’t be waived.
  • Buyers who back out of a contract within this three-day period will have to pay a rescission fee of 0.25%. For example, if the purchaser exercises the right of rescission on a $1-million home, they’d be required to pay the seller $2,500.
  • The rescission fee is paid to the seller.
  • The enforcement mechanism for the rescission fee, and for any deposits that may need to be returned, is unclear at this time.
  • Realtors must provide general information on the period to all clients through the Disclosure of Representation in Trading Services.

Deposits

If a deposit is held in trust, brokerages may release it upon rescission.

If there’s a balance, it’s returned to the buyer, regardless of what’s provided in the contract.

Exemptions and waivers

While the period can’t be waived, there are narrow exemptions, including sales:

  • Subject to section 21 of the Real Estate Development Marketing Act.
  • Of residential real estate located on leased land.
  • Of leasehold interest in residential real estate.
  • At auction.
  • Under a court order or supervision of a court.

Residential real estate defined

  • The homebuyer protection period will apply to:
  • detached homes;
  • semi-detached homes;
  • townhouses;
  • apartments in a duplex, triplex or other multi-unit dwelling;
  • residential strata lots;
  • manufactured homes that are affixed to land; and
  • cooperative interests that include a right of use or occupation of a dwelling.

The new period doesn’t apply to presale properties, which already subject to a rescission period under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act.

The notice of rescission

  • Homebuyers must serve rescission notice to the seller through registered mail, fax, email with read receipt, or personal service.
  • The notice must contain the address, PID or description of the property, the names and signature of the buyer(s), name of the seller(s), and the date of notice.

Additional Disclosure

Realtors must also provide an additional mandatory disclosure when presenting an offer to a client, outlining:

  • that the protection period can’t be waived,
  • the rescission period,
  • the dollar amount of the rescission fee,
  • deposit handling, and
  • the homebuyer protection period exemptions.

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

Jan. 30, 2023

Monthly Real Estate Market Update for Greater Vancouver December 2022

Jan. 30, 2023

What is Buyer’s Remorse and How Do You Get Over It?

 

You’ve been viewing homes for a while now and finally bite the bullet and submitted an offer on a home. Your offer is accepted and you go to bed that night elated and excited. But then, you wake up the next morning, asking yourself troubling questions:

Did I spend too much?

Is this the right place?

Do I even want to move?

Buyer’s remorse is something nearly every new buyer experiences; good agents will even warn their clients about it ahead of time.

Why does buyer’s remorse happen?

Buying a home is likely the largest purchase of your entire life. It’s a lot of money, a lot of responsibility, and a lot of debt. For most, it’s a long-term decision that locks you into one location, so there’s a loss of (hypothetical) flexibility, options, etc.

Even just writing this, I feel a little anxious—and that’s completely normal.

People get buyer’s remorse when buying a turtleneck, let alone a house. It’s human nature to question your purchases, especially when they’re a lofty expense.

Know what you want

Your agent will ask you in your first consultation what you’re looking for, what your dealbreakers are, what you must have versus what you want to have, etc. Be very honest with both your agent and yourself about these details.

If you’re viewing homes with two-car garages, for example, you put in an offer on one of these homes, then think after it’s been accepted “Did I really need that garage? Did I pay extra for it?”, you’ll experience strong remorse because you weren’t being truthful with what you need.

Make a list of details—large to small—then edit it and rewrite it, until you have a list that’s accurate. Your agent should be able to help you assess your needs and wants.

Understand your finances

Paired with your needs and wants, you should know exactly how much you can afford. Determine monthly payments, max mortgage affordability, your down payment—all of it. You might need a four-bedroom home but can only afford three in the area you’re exploring. Instead of stretching your finances to meet that four-bedroom house then regretting it later, reassess—either downsize or find a four-bed in a less expensive neighbourhood.

I’ll stress again that this is a financial commitment, so don’t overlook this step. Just because you were approved for $800,000 doesn’t mean you have to spend every penny.

Tell yourself it’s going to happen

Before you put in an offer, even while you’re looking at homes, remind yourself that you may feel remorse, even if you’re in love with every aspect of this place. The more you acknowledge that buyer’s remorse is going to happen, the less surprised and affected you’ll be when you actually experience it.

Be very confident during bully offers

A lot of buyer’s remorse occurs after bully offers are accepted. Bully offers are early offers in a competitive seller’s market that encourage the seller to accept before offer night, meaning before others have had a chance to draft an offer and submit.

Buyers have to get their offers together quickly to submit bully offers, which means you’d have less time to stew and make a deliberated decision. When submitting a bully offer, you have to be sure you know this is what you want. If you feel rushed—more rushed than you’re comfortable with—you may feel regret the next day, for having not considered certain things.

  • Common questions after a bully offer:
  • Did I pay too much?
  • Would there have actually been other people interested?
  • Would I have actually had to compete in a bidding war?
  • Was I rushed into believing this is what I wanted?

If you see a home and are considering a bully offer, work with your agent, your partner, or someone you trust and talk out your thoughts. Write them down. You don’t need a week to decide if you want a certain property, but you do need to address your concerns.

A seller can also get remorse after a bully offer, as they may have had other interest that couldn’t get an offer ready. Sellers have to determine if the offer presented early is actually better than what they could get in a bidding war. It’s a tough call, but sometimes accepting bully offers is the way to go.

There are repercussions to backing out of an offer

If your buyer’s remorse is so bad that you have to back out of your offer, it’s easier said than done.

Once your offer is accepted, your agent has to speak with the listing agent to see if they had other offers. If they did, there’s a chance the runner-up bid will purchase the home. That said, if the sellers receive less than your initial bid, you may be required to pay the difference. And if they don’t receive a second offer at all, you’re in trouble.

In any of these situations, the sellers can take you to court; litigation can last for years and can be extremely costly.

Buyer’s remorse isn’t a fun feeling, but it happens to everyone. Be honest with yourself, be open with your agent, and talk through your thoughts and concerns with people you trust. Typically, people get over their remorse in the first couple days, once they realize the decision is exciting despite their worries, and they can focus on moving, upgrades to the home, and starting a new life in their new place.

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: Zoocasa
Jan. 30, 2023

Rising mortgage rates brought uncertainty and caution to Metro Vancouver’s housing market in 2022

Rising mortgage rates brought uncertainty and caution to Metro Vancouver’s housing market in 2022 

After seeing record sales and prices during the pandemic, Metro Vancouver’s* housing market experienced a year of caution in 2022 due to rising borrowing costs fueled by the Bank of Canada’s ongoing battle with inflation. 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 28,903 in 2022, a 34.3 per cent decrease from the 43,999 sales recorded in 2021, and a 6.6 per cent decrease from the 30,944 homes sold in 2020. 

Last year’s sales total was 13.4 per cent below the 10-year sales average.

“The headline story in our market in 2022 was all about inflation and the Bank of Canada’s efforts to bring inflation back to target by rapidly raising the policy rate. This is a story we expect to continue to make headlines into 2023, as inflationary pressures remain persistent across Canada,” Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director, economics and data analytics said. 

Home listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver reached 53,865 in 2022. This is a 13.5 per cent decrease compared to the 62,265 homes listed in 2021 and a 0.8 per cent decrease compared to the 54,305 homes listed in 2020. 

Last year’s listings total was 3.2 per cent below the region’s 10-year average. 

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,384, a 41 per cent increase compared to December 2021 (5,236) and a 19.6 per cent decrease compared to November 2022 (9,179). 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,114,300. This represents a 3.3 per cent decrease over December 2021, a 1.5 per cent decrease compared to November 2022, and a 9.8 per cent decrease over the past six months. 

“Closing out 2022, the data show that the Bank of Canada’s decisions to increase the policy rate at seven of the eight interest rate announcement dates in 2022 has translated into downward pressure on home sale activity and, to a lesser extent, home prices in Metro Vancouver,” Lis said. “While the consensus among many economists and forecasters suggests the Bank of Canada may be near the end of this tightening cycle, rates may remain elevated for longer than previously expected since the latest inflation figures aren’t showing signs of abating quickly.

We’ll watch the 2023 spring market closely to see if buyers and sellers have adjusted to the higher borrowing-costs and are participating more actively in the market than we have seen over the last 12 months.”  

December 2022 summary  

Residential home sales in the region totalled 1,295 in December 2022, a 51.8 per cent decrease from the 2,688 sales recorded in December 2021, and a 19.8 per cent decrease from the 1,614 homes sold in November 2022. 

Last month’s sales were 37.7 per cent below the 10-year December sales average. 

There were 1,206 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver in December 2022. This represents a 38 per cent decrease compared to the 1,945 homes listed in December 2021 and a 60.5 per cent decrease compared to November 2022 when 3,055 homes were listed. 

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for December 2022 is 17.5 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 12.3 per cent for detached homes, 19.5 per cent for townhomes, and 21.7 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. 

Sales of detached homes in December 2022 reached 371, a 53.3 per cent decrease from the 794 detached sales recorded in December 2021. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,823,300. This represents a 5.1 per cent decrease from December 2021, a 1.8 per cent decrease compared to November 2022, and an 11.4 per cent decrease over the past six months. 

Sales of apartment homes reached 702 in December 2022, a 52 per cent decrease compared to the 1,464 sales in December 2021. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $713,700. This represents a 1.7 per cent increase from December 2021, a 0.9 per cent decrease compared to November 2022, and a 6.9 per cent decrease over the past six months. 

Attached home sales in December 2022 totalled 222, a 48.4 per cent decrease compared to the 430 sales in December 2021. The benchmark price of an attached home is $1,012,700. This represents a 0.2 per cent decrease from December 2021, a 1.5 per cent decrease compared to November 2022, and a 9.2 per cent decrease over the past six months.

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

 

Jan. 29, 2023

First Time Home Buyers Guide in Richmond, BC, Canada

Congratulations on taking the first step towards owning your first home in Richmond, BC! Buying a home can be an exciting and overwhelming process, especially for first-time buyers. But don't worry, with a little preparation and education, you'll be on your way to finding your dream home in no time.

Here's a guide to help you navigate the home buying process in Richmond, BC.

1.     Determine Your Budget: Before you start house hunting, it's important to have a clear understanding of your budget. Take into account your monthly income and expenses, and seek the help of a mortgage broker or financial advisor to determine the amount you can afford to borrow.

2.     Get Pre-Approved: Obtaining pre-approval from a lender is crucial as it gives you a clearer picture of the mortgage amount you can borrow and helps you establish a budget for your home purchase.

3.     Hire a Real Estate Agent: RE/MAX Michael Cowling and Associates Realty can help you navigate the complexities of the home buying process, including negotiating with the seller, handling the paperwork, and assisting with the closing process.

4.     Choose the Right Neighborhood: Consider factors like schools, transportation, and amenities when choosing the neighborhood for your first home. Research the area, visit online property tours, and take a tour to get a feel for the neighborhood.

5.      Home Inspection: Before finalizing the purchase, it's important to have a home inspection to ensure the property is in good condition and to identify any potential problems.

6.      Close the Deal: Once you have found the right home, you'll need to have your agent make an offer to the seller. After the offer is accepted, the closing process will begin, which includes signing the final paperwork and paying the closing costs.

7.      Move In: Congratulations, you are now a homeowner! It's time to move in and make your new house a home.

In conclusion, buying a home in Richmond, BC can be a great investment, but it's important to be well-prepared and informed. Take your time, seek my expert help, and follow these steps to make your home buying experience a success.

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: Michael Cowling

 

Jan. 26, 2023

B.C.'s housing market nears 'cyclical bottom:' RBC

Canada’s housing market is inching closer to its “cyclical bottom,” and British Columbia is following suit, with home resale activity in the province gradually stabilizing, according to a recent housing market update from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) (TSX:RY).

This has implications for the rest of B.C.’s economy. Activity levels in the resale market tend to lead the rest of the economy, according to Brendon Ogmundson, chief economist with the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

“If we’re in an economy that’s potentially headed for a recession in 2023, the pattern that you see throughout history is that sales decline well in advance of the recession, and then bottom out and start to recover one to four months or so into a recession,” Ogmundson said.

Currently, home sales in the Vancouver market, he said, are roughly 25 per cent below normal levels and are “about as low as they can get,” he added.

According to Robert Hogue, assistant chief economist at RBC, activity in the Lower Mainland and Victoria is levelling off.

“Recent declines have slowed quite considerably, and we’re probably not that far off from the bottom. But that being said, the level of activity, even in B.C., is historically low right now. Things are quiet,” he said.

In the coming months, Hogue said he expects to see home prices depreciate further. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Home Price Index for B.C. has declined 10 per cent from its February 2022 peak, with the index for Vancouver dropping eight per cent, according to RBC’s market update.

Despite the bottom being “imminent,” as described by Hogue, he predicts that recovery will be a “large muted affair at first.”

“Higher interest rates and stretched affordability will continue to be huge issues for buyers throughout 2023 and possibly beyond. This is poised to keep activity quiet and limit any price gains,” Hogue said in the update.

Metro Vancouver home listings on MLS reached 53,865 in 2022, a 13.5 per cent decrease compared to the 62,265 homes listed in 2021, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

“It’s not hard to see a situation where the sales are rebounding into a market that is still under-supplied,” Ogmundson said.

Ogmundson said that even if B.C. hits its cyclical bottom, recovery will be slow throughout 2023, but strong in 2024.

“What we’ve seen throughout history is that the year after a recession, the home sales in the province rise anywhere between 25 and 40 per cent. But, that really relies on interest rates coming down,” he said.

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: BIV
Jan. 25, 2023

NEWS Bank of Canada Interest Rate Update

The Bank of Canada raised its overnight policy rate by 25 basis points to 4.5 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that recent economic growth in Canada as been stronger than expected and labour markets remain tight but it sees growing evidence that monetary policy is working to slow the economy. The Bank expects the economy to stall through the middle of 2023 before picking up later in the year.  The Bank sees improvement in the inflation outlook with signs that core inflation has peaked and it projects a significant decline in inflation this year. It expects inflation to return to its 2 per cent target by 2024.

Most importantly, the Bank stated that it expects to hold its policy rate at 4.5 per cent as it monitors the impact of the last year of rate increases. While the door remains open to further rate increases should the outlook for inflation change, the Bank for now is on hold.  From here, the trajectory of mortgage rates will depend on the outlook for the economy. With growth expected to slow in 2023, markets are pricing in Bank of Canada rate cuts by the end of this year and average five-year fixed mortgage rates have declined in January from their peak of 5.5 per cent to 5.19 per cent and will likely fall further in coming months. However, the average variable rate mortgage, now at 6.35 per cent will stay elevated until the Bank of Canada begins lowering its policy rate.

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: BCREA
Jan. 23, 2023

Richmond Market Update December 2022