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!

Sept. 13, 2021

Summer sees home listing supply decline across Metro Vancouver

Summer sees home listing supply decline across Metro Vancouver

Summer sees home listing supply decline across Metro Vancouver

While home buyers have remained active in Metro Vancouver* throughout the summer, the supply of homes for sale has declined steadily since June.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 3,152 in August 2021, a 3.4 per cent increase from the 3,047 sales recorded in August 2020, and a 5.2 per cent decrease from the 3,326 homes sold in July 2021.

Last month’s sales were 20.4 per cent above the 10-year August sales average. 

“August was busier than expected, and listings activity isn’t keeping up with the pace of demand. This is leaving the market under supplied.” said Keith Stewart, REBGV economist.

There were 4,032 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in August 2021. This represents a 30.6 per cent decrease compared to the 5,813 homes listed in August 2020 and a 7.9 per cent decrease compared to July 2021 when 4,377 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,005, a 29.7 per cent decrease compared to August 2020 (12,803) and an 8.6 per cent decrease compared to July 2021 (9,850).

“Housing supply is the biggest factor impacting the market right now. To help relieve pressure on prices and improve peoples’ home buying options, the market needs a more abundant supply of homes for sale.” Stewart said. “Housing affordability has been a key issue in the federal election. We encourage the political parties to focus on policy solutions that will help streamline the creation of more diverse housing options for hopeful home buyers today and into the future.”

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2021 is 35 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 25.3 per cent for detached homes, 51.8 per cent for townhomes, and 39.2 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.

“When assessing the market, it’s important to understand that while year-over-year price increases have reached double digits, most of the increases happened three or more months ago,” Stewart said. “To better understand the latest home price trends in your preferred location and home type, talk with your local REALTOR®.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,176,600. This represents a 13.2 per cent increase over August 2020 and a 0.1 per cent increase compared to July 2021.

Sales of detached homes in August 2021 reached 945, a 13.7 per cent decrease from the 1,095 detached sales recorded in August 2020. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,807,100. This represents a 20.4 per cent increase from August 2020 and a 0.3 per cent increase compared to July 2021.

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,631 in August 2021, a 22.4 per cent increase compared to the 1,332 sales in August 2020. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $735,100. This represents a 7.6 per cent increase from August 2020 and a 0.2 per cent decrease compared to July 2021.

Attached home sales in August 2021 totalled 576, a 7.1 per cent decrease compared to the 620 sales in August 2020. The benchmark price of an attached home is $952,600. This represents a 16.5 per cent increase from August 2020 and a 0.3 per cent increase compared to July 2021.

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

Posted in real estate
Sept. 13, 2021

B.C. rent freeze ends in December; 2022 rent increases limited to 1.5 percent

B.C. rent freeze ends in December; 2022 rent increases limited to 1.5 percent

The B.C. government has announced that the rent freeze implemented as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic will end on December 31, 2021.

As well, starting on January 1, 2022, the maximum allowable rent increase will be 1.5 percent.

News of the limited increase, which is tied to inflation, appeared in a September 8 news release from the Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing.

Landlords wishing to increase tenants rents as of the start of the new year must give three months’ notification via an approved rent-increase form.

Rents can only be increased once per year. Prior to 2018, B.C. landlords could add an additional two percent increase to the established rate of inflation, but no longer.

Because the rent freeze has been extended until December 31, 2021, any rent-increase notices that came into effect at any time in 2021 are not legal.

In the release, the ministry offered the following to explain how it arrives at the inflation-based allowable increase:

“* The maximum allowable rent increase is defined by the 12-month average per cent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for B.C. ending in July the year prior to the calendar year for which a rent increase takes effect.

* For example, if a rent increase takes effect in 2022, the maximum allowable rent increase is the 12-month average per cent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for B.C. ending in July 2021.”

The ministry noted that the rent-increase limit is not applicable to cooperative housing, some assisted-living facilities, commercial tenancies, and nonprofit housing where rent is tied to income.

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!

Posted in real estate
Sept. 11, 2021

The latest on Delta's housing prices

The latest on Delta’s housing prices

The sharp month-to-month increases have slowed in recent months but house prices are now significantly higher from a year ago

While the price of houses in the Lower Mainland have seen a stabilization over the past couple of months, Delta is one of the few communities in August to experience an increase.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the benchmark price for a single detached house in Ladner was $1,287,300 last month, up almost two per cent from the previous month and just over 28 per cent from the same time last year.

The benchmark for a Tsawwassen house was $1,406,200, up 2.2 per cent from the previous month and 22.7 per cent over the year.

The benchmark for a townhouse in Ladner last month was $764,200 and it was $850,300 for Tsawwassen.

The benchmark for a condo in Ladner and Tsawwassen was $571,300 and $637,400 respectively.

The REBGV notes that, overall, while home buyers have remained active in Metro Vancouver throughout the summer, the supply of homes for sale has declined steadily since June.

The real estate board also notes that while sales saw a 3.4 per cent increase from the sales recorded in August 2020, sales were 5.2 per cent down from the homes sold in July 2021.

According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, the benchmark for a single-detached house in North Delta was $1,208,700, up 1.4 per cent from the previous month and 29.2 per cent from August 2020.

The benchmark in North Delta for a townhouse and condo was $680,400 and $401,500 respectively.

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:   Delta Optimist

 

 

 

Posted in real estate
Sept. 2, 2021

Home prices climb in Richmond There were 1,872 homes sold in Richmond in the first half of this year Home prices in Richmond are on the rise despite the fact the COVID-19 pandemic is still on-going

Home prices climb in Richmond

There were 1,872 homes sold in Richmond in the first half of this year

                                         

Home prices in Richmond are on the rise despite the fact the COVID-19 pandemic is still on-going.

The average price of a single-family home in Richmond this spring was about $1.9 million – up 26 per cent from a year before. This is slightly higher than the Metro Vancouver average home price index (HPI), which was about $1.8 million in the same time period.

These figures are included in a report going to city council’s finance committee next week as city council meetings start up again after the August break.

Townhomes averaged $923,500 in the second quarter of 2021, which was 17 per cent more than last year at the same time, and apartments were averaging $718,300, up 10 per cent from last year.

And the number of homes sold  in the second quarter of 2021 increased by 234 per compared to the same time last year, which was the beginning of the pandemic.

There were 1,872 residential home sales in Richmond in the first half of 2021.

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:  Richmond News

 

Posted in real estate
Aug. 27, 2021

Realtors advocate for better housing policy

Realtors advocate for better housing policy.

Housing affordability will be a key topic on Canadians’ minds when they go to the polls to vote for the next federal government on September 20.

Home ownership is a top life goal for half of Canadians under 40, yet Canada has the lowest number of housing units per 1,000 residents of any G7 country.

This lack of supply means that for many Canadians, the dream of home ownership is out of reach.

With this in mind, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) continues to advocate for common sense solutions to make housing more affordable.  Contact me if you are interested in sharing  ideas for the dream of affordable home ownership

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

 

Posted in real estate
Aug. 27, 2021

B.C. wildfire-zone homebuyers denied fire insurance

B.C. wildfire-zone homebuyers denied fire insurance

Okanagan realtors, insurance agents confirm that buyers are getting a “hard no” on coverage for homes in alert zones and it is difficult to get within 25 km. of wildfires

Buyers purchasing homes or commercial property in B.C.’s interior where wildfires are raging may find it difficult, if not impossible, to get fire insurance on the property, at least until the smoke dies down,

“It’s true, it’s an issue” said a local real estate broker in Penticton, who said his office recently met with an insurance representative on the problem.

“It is a hard no for insurance for property in an alert area, an evacuation zone,” the real estate broker said, but added that fire insurance can be decided on “case-by-case” basis for property within 25 kilometres of an active wildfire, depending on the insurance provider. 

                                            

“There may be a lake between or other factors,” he said.

Without the insurance, it is impossible to arrange mortgage financing on a home purchase, the real estate broker said his office is adding a subject clause to its sales contracts related to delays in getting fire insurance.

“Any home within 25 kilometres of an active wildfire is uninsurable,” said Emma Fraser, an insurance agent with Underwriters Insurance Ltd. in Penticton, even property, she added, that has fire hydrants and a fire department close by.

Fraser said that is the strict policy of the insurance firms she represents. She said agencies with their own underwriters may have some leeway in a case-to-case basis, but she believes it is not likely.

“I have turned down 30 people trying to get insurance on a home purchase,” she said. “Even people who are selling a home and buying another one are affected. I haven’t written a home insurance policy in the last month.”

Meanwhile, the Insurance Bureau of Canada is urging people to get fire insurance and for governments to find ways to reduce risk.

“The time has never been more clear that we do need to build more resiliency and we do need to work together to find a way to reduce or minimize our potential exposure to these threats that we’re facing,” said Rob De Pruis, director of consumer and industry relations with the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

He points out there are no easy answers, but said wildfire policy may need a rethink.

When questioned by Castanet about the cost of insurance for people who live in wildfire zones with no fire department coverage, De Pruis says a lot of factors go into calculating a premium, but said it’s very unlikely you would be fully turned down.

“Fire insurance has been around for hundreds of years, and fire insurance is readily available in B.C. and throughout the rest of the country,” he said.

This is currently not the case in most of B.C.’s interior where wildfires remain active.

Fraser said the current insurance restrictions are temporary and will end with the fire season, though no one knows exactly when that will be.

De Pruis adds, “We need to do better to prepare for wildfires, floods, hail, windstorms. These perils are having just a huge impact on people and property.”

Unfortunately, major natural disasters are becoming all too frequent.

Between 1983 and 2008, the insurance industry was paying out on average about $425 million annually for severe weather costs. Over the past decade, the number has increased 360 percent, to almost $2 billion a year. Six out of the 10 costliest events in Canadian history have been in the last decade.

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

Posted in real estate
Aug. 17, 2021

Four ways to pay your mortgage off sooner

Four ways to pay your mortgage off sooner

If you’re like many homeowners, you dream of paying off your mortgage early.

It’s not for everyone, but getting aggressive now can mean a more secure retirement, more cash for your kids’ university tuition and massive savings on interest that you’d have paid over the remaining years of the loan.

 

To explore your options, let’s imagine you’re buying a home in a large city for $1 million. You’ll have to make a minimum down payment of 20 per cent, leaving you with an $800,000 mortgage.

 

Let’s also imagine you’re able to keep a consistent interest rate of 3.5 per cent throughout the 25-year length of the loan.

 

Having an $800,000 debt hanging over you can be daunting. So how can you speed things up?

                                                       

Make payments more often

Making payments more frequently will allow you to pay down your principal faster and save money in interest charges over the long run. You have lots of options: You can pay monthly, biweekly or weekly and can also accelerate your biweekly or weekly payments by paying a bit more.

 

In our example, a monthly payment would be roughly $3,990. You could resolve to pay half that amount — $1,995 — every other week instead. Doesn’t sound too painful, right?

 

However, because most months aren’t just four weeks (that is, 28 days), taking this biweekly option means that over the course of a year you’d end up making the equivalent of one additional monthly payment. It’s a simple, and possibly painless, way to free yourself from your mortgage sooner — and save on interest.

 

Your payment schedule is set when you sign a contract with your lender, but you can change it when you renew your mortgage. Some lenders will let you change it during the term, so if your mortgage is currently at your cash flow limit but you foresee a raise, shop for a lender that’s flexible about adjusting payment schedules.

 

                                                        

 

Make a lump-sum payment

Did you get an inheritance, a bonus or a tax refund? Apply it to your mortgage! Even a relatively small amount of money can help cut the time you’ll be in debt and save you money.

A lump-sum payment applied directly to your outstanding principal balance can reduce your overall costs by a surprising amount.

Let’s say you were able to save up an extra $5,000 by the second year of your mortgage. Over the coming years, when combined with paying your mortgage every two weeks, that one-time payment would save you around $7,000 in interest by the end of the amortization period and help you pay off your mortgage earlier.

If you have an “open” mortgage, you can pay down as much as you want, whenever you want. If you opted for a “closed” mortgage to get a better interest rate, then you’ll have to ask about what prepayment privileges are in your contract.

Paying more than your privileges allow could cost you thousands in penalties, depending on how much you want to pay and when, so make sure the math works in your favour.

 

Increase your regular payments

It hurts to see such a big chunk of money leave your account every month — but if you’re able to stomach it, increasing your payments by even a few dollars will pay off.

Let’s say that two years into your mortgage, you get a raise and can afford to put an extra $200 toward your normal monthly payments of $3,990. Instead of using that money to eat out more, you just saved yourself around $27,000 in interest over the life of the loan and shaved nearly two years off your mortgage.

Keep in mind that you can also run afoul of prepayment penalties by increasing your regular payments, so see what your contract allows.

 

Keep your payments the same at renewal

When your term ends and it’s time to renew your mortgage, you might be able to snag a lower interest rate, allowing you to reduce your regular payments. But if you can afford to keep your payments the same, you can pay off your mortgage much quicker.

With your $800,000 mortgage at a 3.5 per cent interest rate, you’ll have a balance of about $690,000 left at the end of a standard five-year term. Let’s say you’re able to renew with a lower rate of 3 per cent.

You can spend the next 20 years paying your new biweekly rate of around $1,909 — or keep paying $1,995. That would save you around $15,000 in interest over the remaining amortization period and pay your mortgage off about a year sooner.

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:     Financial Post

Posted in real estate
Aug. 16, 2021

A look at Delta's housing prices

 

A look at Delta’s housing prices

House prices have levelled off in recent months in Delta but are still much higher than the previous year

Housing prices in Delta saw very little month-to-month change in July after an extended period of steady growth, a trend seen throughout the Lower Mainland’s housing market.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the benchmark price for a detached single-family house in Ladner in July was $1,263,400, down slightly from the previous month.

Also almost unchanged from the previous month, the benchmark for a house in Tsawwassen last month was $1,275,500.

The price for a house in Ladner and Tsawwassen also saw little change from June to July.

However, last month’s benchmark for a Ladner house was up almost 26 per cent from July 2020, while it was up almost 21 per cent in Tsawwassen.

The benchmark for a townhouse in Ladner last month was $754,200 and in Tsawwassen it was $837,200, up 12 per cent and six per cent respectively over the previous year.

The benchmark for a condo in Ladner was $583,700 and in Tsawwassen it was $643,200, up 13.7 per cent and 13.4 per cent respectively over the previous year.

Meanwhile, The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board notes the benchmark for a house in North Delta was $1,191,600, up almost 28 per cent from the previous year.

The benchmark for a townhouse in North Delta was $673,200, up 18 per cent over the previous year, and for a condo it was $402,300, up just over three per cent over the previous year.

The FVRB said that while market activity in the Fraser Valley, both sales and new listings, softened in July, buyers still continued to significantly outnumber sellers. That has resulted in inventory reaching the lowest for the month since 1981.

The City of Delta is currently working on a new Housing Action Plan, while Metro Vancouver is also looking at a new long-term housing strategy as part of the new Metro 2050 plan.

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:    Delta Optomist

 

 

Posted in real estate
Aug. 15, 2021

City Grant Programs

2021 City Grant Programs

Applications to the 2021 City Grant Programs are now closed. You may still access and review your previously submitted applications. All four City Grant Programs use the same portal.

 

ACCESS YOUR CITY GRANT SUBMISSION

About the Program

 

The City of Richmond supports positive quality of life for all its residents and provides the annual City Grant Program to help support the work of community service organizations in the following areas:

Grant program goals:

  • To improve the quality of life of Richmond residents through a wide range of beneficial community programs.
  • To assist primarily Richmond-based community groups to provide programs for residents.
  • To build community and organizational capacity to deliver programs.
  • To promote partnerships and financial cost sharing among the City, other funders and organizations.

Arts and Culture

 

Contact: Camyar Chaichian, Program Manager, Community Cultural Development

Email: Chris.Duggan@richmond.ca

Phone:  604-237-8326

 

Child Care

Contact: Chris Duggan, Program Manager, Child Care

Email: Chris.Duggan@richmond.ca

Phone: 604-204-8621

 

Health, Social and Safety

Contact: Claire Adamson, Manager, Corporate Strategic initiatives

Email: Claire.Adamson@richmond.ca

Phone: 604-247-4482

 

Parks, Recreation and Community Events

 

Contact: Beayue Louie, Park Planner

Email: Beayue.Louie@richmond.ca

Phone: 604-244-1293

 

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:City of Richmond

Posted in real estate
Aug. 12, 2021

Richmond Maritime Festival Re-Imagined 2021 returns to Britannia Shipyards

 

Richmond Maritime Festival Re-Imagined 2021 returns to Britannia Shipyards

Richmond Maritime Festival Re-Imagined returns to the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site on Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22, 2021. The 18th annual festival will be open on both days from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for in-person visits. An interactive map will also be online for those who prefer to participate virtually.

The two-day event will bring back to life the rich, nautical history of the shipyard. The eight-acre site will feature a selection of roving performers, including wood carvers, model boat builders, storytellers, drummers and even the beloved puppets Lulu the Mermaid and Rikki the Rat. Down at Britannia’s 190-metre-long (600-foot) dock, visitors will get an opportunity to admire a flotilla of wooden boats up close. Visitors are encouraged to bring their picnic blanket or enjoy the offerings of our food vendors while taking in the sights and sounds.

This year’s list of artists and performers who will be on site includes: the Cannery Mermaids, Cartoon Katie, Glen Anderson, Imagniac, Ming Yeung, Pat Chessel, Paul Silveria, ReeVay, Richmond Carvers, Steveston Maritime Modellers, The Seabillys, The Wild Moccasin Dancers and many more.

Food vendors include Salty’s Lobster Shack, Aloha Poke, Fusion Icy, Mama’s Fish & Chips, Tokyo Katsu-Sand and Shameless Buns (Saturday only).

Throughout the festival hours, the entire Historic Site will be open to the public and visitors will be able to discover surprises around every corner. Visitors are encouraged to book time-based entry to visit the Seine Net Loft, the boat docks and the Britannia Shipyard building in advance. A limited number of walk-up spots will be available.

The City of Richmond is fully committed to operating safely and working to ensure all Provincial Health Orders and recommendations are followed. Please stay home if you are sick, respect personal space while at the Festival and bring your mask as it will be required inside the buildings.

Nautical buffs looking for a virtual experience can explore the festival’s new interactive map at www.richmondmaritimefestival.ca., available from August 21 to 22. The map will include videos and content about the history of Steveston, stories about the Britannia Shipyards and much more.

 

The Richmond Maritime Festival is presented by the City of Richmond, Richmond Arts Coalition, the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site Society and Anigraph Productions with funding support from the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage grant program.

For more details visit www.richmondmaritimefestival.ca.

 

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:  City of Richmond

Posted in real estate