Spring market kicks-off with slim supply in March          

SURREY, BC – While sales reached slightly above the ten-year average for the month, a lack of sufficient inventory in the Fraser Valley continued to put pressure on homebuyers in March.


The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,664 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a decrease of 24.8 per cent compared to the 2,213 sales in March of last year, and a 20.1 per cent increase compared to the 1,385 sales in February 2018. The ten-year average for sales in the Fraser Valley in March is 1,658 transactions.


Of the 1,664 sales processed last month, 410 were townhouses and 460 were apartments, together representing 52 per cent of all transactions in March.


Active inventory for the Fraser Valley finished at 4,796 listings last month, increasing 10.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreasing 0.2 per cent when compared to March 2017.


“We continue to see demand capped-off due to an inadequate amount of supply,” said John Barbisan, Board President. “March is typically when we see our market kick into gear, but we need to see higher levels of new listings coming in and greater overall inventory if we want more homebuyers to find success in the Valley.”


The Board received 2,865 new listings in March, a 24.9 per cent increase from February 2018’s 2,293 new listings and a 6.7 per cent decrease compared to March 2017.


“On the plus side, despite a tighter market pricing has remained relatively stable for our region. Talk to your REALTOR® who can help show you the best options at the price level you’re looking for.”


For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in March was 13, and 16 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 30 days before selling.


HPI® Benchmark Price Activity

  • Single Family Detached: At $1,001,400, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 0.9 per cent compared to February 2018, and increased 15.2 per cent compared to March 2017.
  • Townhomes: At $541,800, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 2 per cent compared to February 2018, and increased 24.9 per cent compared to March 2017.
  • Apartments: At $440,400, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 4.3 per cent compared to February 2018, and increased 48 per cent compared to March 2017.

Find the March Statistics Package here.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2017 Third Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.


Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to decline 10 per cent to 100,900 units this year, after reaching a record 112,209 units in 2016. Strong economic fundamentals are underpinning consumer demand and are expected to keep home sales at elevated levels through 2018. The ten-year average for MLS® residential sales in the province is 84,700 units.


"British Columbia's position as the best performing economy in the country is bolstering consumer confidence and housing demand," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Strong employment growth, a marked increase in migrants from other provinces, and the ageing of the millennial generation is supporting a heightened level of housing transactions. However, a limited supply of homes for sale is causing home prices to rise significantly in many regions, particularly in the Lower Mainland condominium market."


The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 3.5 per cent to $715,000 this year, and a further 4.1 per cent to nearly $745,000 in 2018. However, the provincial average price is being skewed lower as the result of a change in the mix and share of homes selling. Fewer detached home sales relative to attached and apartment properties and a larger proportion of home sales occurring outside the Metro Vancouver region are operating to hold back the provincial average price. Home prices in ten of the 11 real estate board areas are forecast to rise at a higher rate than the provincial average.

 

To view the full BCREA Housing Forecast, click here.

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You’ve been saving for awhile, weighing your options, looking around casually.  Now you’ve finally decided to do it—you’re ready to buy a house.  The process of buying a new home can be incredibly exciting, yet stressful, all at once.  Where do you start?

 

It is essential you do your homework before you begin.  Learn from the experiences of others, do some research.  Of course, with so many details involved, slip-ups can be inevitable.  Be as careful as possible:  learning from your mistakes may prove costly.  Use the following list of pitfalls as a guide to help you avoid the most common mistakes.


 

1.  Searching for houses without getting pre-approved by a lender:

 

Do not mistake pre-approval by a lender with pre-qualification.  Pre-qualification, the first step toward being pre-approved, will point you in the right direction, giving you an idea of the price range of houses you can comfortably afford.  Pre-approval, however, means you become a cash buyer, making negotiations with the seller much easier. 

 

2.  Allowing “first impressions” to overly influence your decision:

 

The first impression of a home has been cited as the single most influential factor guiding many purchasers’ choice to buy.  Make a conscious decision beforehand to examine a home as objectively as you can.  Don’t let the current owners’ style or lifestyle sway your judgment.  Beneath the bad décor or messy rooms, these homes may actually suit your needs and offer you a structurally sound base with which to work.  Likewise, don’t jump at a home simply because the walls are painted your favourite colour!  Make sure you thoroughly the investigate the structure beneath the paint before you come to any serious decisions.

 

3.  Failing to have the home inspected before you buy:

 

Buying a home is a major financial decision that is often made after having spent very little time on the property itself.  A home inspection performed by a competent company will help you enter the negotiation process with eyes wide open, offering you added reassurance that the choice you’re making is a sound one, or alerting you to underlying problems that could cost you significant money in both the short and long-run.  Your Realtor can suggest reputable home inspection companies for you to consider and will ensure the appropriate clause is entered into your contract.


4.  Not knowing and understanding your rights and obligations as listed in the Offer to Purchase:


Make it a priority to know your rights and obligations inside and out.  A lack of understanding about your obligations may, at the very least, cause friction between yourself and the people with whom you are about to enter the contract.  Wrong assumptions, poorly written, incomprehensible or missing clauses, or a lack of awareness of how the clauses apply to the purchase, could also contribute to increased costs.  These problems may even lead to a void contract.  So, take the time to go through the contract with a fine-tooth comb, making use of the resources and knowledge offered by your Realtor and lawyer.  With their assistance, ensure you thoroughly understand every component of the contract, and are able to fulfill your contractual obligations.

 

5.  Making an offer based on the asking price, not the market value:

 

Ask your Realtor for a current Comparative Market Analysis.  This will provide you with the information necessary to gauge the market value of a home, and will help you avoid over-paying.  What have other similar homes sold for in the area and how long were they on the market?  What is the difference between their asking and selling prices?  Is the home you’re looking at under-priced, over-priced, or fair value?  The seller receives a Comparative Market Analysis before deciding upon an asking price, so make sure you have all the same information at your fingertips.

 

6.  Failing to familiarize yourself with the neighbourhood before buying:

 

Check out the neighbourhood you’re considering, and ask around.  What amenities does the area have to offer?  Are there schools, churches, parks, or grocery stores within reach?  Consider visiting schools in the area if you have children.  How will you be affected by a new commute to work?  Are there infrastructure projects in development?  All of these factors will influence the way you experience your new home, so ensure you’re well-acquainted with the surrounding area before purchasing.

 

7.  Not looking for home insurance until you are about to move:

 

If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be rushed to find an insurance policy that’s the ideal fit for you.  Make sure you give yourself enough time to shop around in order to get the best deal.

 

8.  Not recognizing different styles and strategies of negotiation:

 

Many buyers think that the way to negotiate their way to a fair price is by offering low.  However, in reality this strategy may actually result in the seller becoming more inflexible, polarizing negotiations.  Employ the knowledge and skills of an experienced realtor. Realtors will know what strategies of negotiation will prove most effective for individual situations.

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SURREY, BC – Propelled by significant activity in attached categories, March housing sales in the Fraser Valley reached their second highest point for the month in ten years, trailing only last year’s extraordinary market levels.

 

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 2,213 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a decrease of 26.4 per cent compared to the 3,006 sales in March of last year, and a 58.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,396 sales in February 2017.

 

Of the 2,213 sales processed last month, 526 were townhouses and 638 were apartments, representing over half of the region’s total sales of all property types for the seventh straight month.

 

“Inventory levels aren’t where we’d like them to be, especially with demand picking up as we move deeper into the spring season,” said Gopal Sahota, Board President. “However, that being said, it’s great to see more buyers turning to our burgeoning apartment and townhome markets and taking some of the pressure off of detached homes.”

 

Last month the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 4,808 listings, the lowest level seen for a March in ten years. Active inventory increased by 3.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreased 12.3 per cent when compared to March 2016.

 

The Board received 3,072 new listings in March, a 41.5 per cent increase from February 2017, and a 24.3 per cent decrease compared to March 2016’s 4,057 new listings.

 

“We’ve never seen sales like this for our attached category homes. Whereas buyers may have had a more relaxed experience looking for a townhome a few years ago, things have certainly changed: competition is up, and listings are moving fast”, added Sahota.

 

“Talk to your REALTOR® to help you understand what’s happening in your community. The support of a local expert goes a long way when navigating a busy spring market here in the Valley.”


HPI® Benchmark Price Activity


  • Single Family Detached: At $869,000, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 1.1 per cent compared to February 2017, and increased 17.3 per cent compared to March 2016.
  • Townhomes: At $432,100 the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 2.3 per cent compared to February 2017, and increased 25.5 per cent compared to March 2016.
  • Apartments: At $276,900, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 3.7 per cent compared to February 2017, and increased 27.5 per cent compared to March 2016.

Find the March Statistics Package here.

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Vancouver, BC – January 13, 2017. 


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 112,209 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2016, an increase of 9.5 per cent from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was a record $77.6 billion, up 18.8 per cent from 2015. The average MLS® residential price in the province climbed 8.6 per cent to $691,144 on an annual basis in 2016.


"Broad-based consumer demand driven by strong economic conditions, employment growth, consumer confidence, and an expanding population base pushed home sales to record levels in many BC regions last year," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "However, home sales have fallen back from their lofty peaks early last year." The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales activity was approximately 92,000 units in December.


A total of 4,721 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS® in December, down 28.4 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $3.1 billion last month, a decline of 33.1 per cent compared to the same month the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $654,699 in December, a 6.6 per cent decline from December 2015.



 

For more information, please contact: 

Cameron Muir Damian Stathonikos
Chief Economist Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Direct: 604.742.2780 Direct: 604.742.2793
Mobile: 778.229.1884 Mobile: 778.990.1320
Email: cmuir@bcrea.bc.ca Email: dstathonikos@bcrea.bc.ca

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