Maria Mak | 604-839-6368

February 4, 2014

Steady trends continue in the Greater Vancouver housing market

The first month of 2014 saw home sale and listing totals outpace historical averages in the Greater Vancouver housing market.

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 1,760 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January 2014. This represents a 30.3 per cent increase compared to the 1,351 sales recorded in January 2013, and a 9.9 per cent decline compared to the 1,953 sales in December 2013.

 

Last month’s sales were 7.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

 

“The Greater Vancouver housing market has been in a balanced market for nearly a year. This has meant steady home sale and listing activity accompanied by stable home prices,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.

 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,345 in January. This represents a 4.2 per cent increase compared to the 5,128 new listings reported in January 2013.

 

Last month’s new listing count was 17.7 per cent higher than the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

 

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® is 12,602, a 4.9 per cent decline compared to January 2013 and a nine per cent increase compared to December 2013.

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $606,800. This represents a 3.2 per cent increase compared to January 2013.

 

With the sales-to-active-listings ratio at 14 per cent, the region remains in balanced market territory.

“If you’re looking to sell your home in a balanced market, it’s critical that your list price is reflective of current market conditions,” Wyant said.

 

Sales of detached properties in January 2014 reached 728, an increase of 34.3 per cent from the 542 detached sales recorded in January 2013, and a 10.5 per cent increase from the 659 units sold in January 2012. The benchmark price for a detached property in Greater Vancouver increased 3.2 per cent from January 2013 to $929,700.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 753 in January 2014, an increase of 30.7 per cent compared to the 576 sales in January 2013, and an increase of 14.6 per cent compared to the 657 sales in January 2012. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.7 per cent from January 2013 to $371,500.

 

Attached property sales in January 2014 totalled 279, an increase of 19.7 per cent compared to the 233 sales in January 2013, and a 6.9 per cent increase from the 261 attached properties sold in January 2012. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 1.7 per cent between January 2013 and 2014 to $457,700. 

 
Thursday, January 31, 2013

Home Owner Grant threshold rises with property values

To keep pace with rising property assessments, the BC government has raised the Home Owner Grant threshold by $10,000 to $1,295,000. The threshold is the maximum assessed value an owner’s property can reach, which still allows them to claim the full Home Owner Grant.

How is the threshold established?

BC Assessment estimates the value of all BC homes on July 1 each year. The Ministry of Finance reviews this data and adjusts the Home Owner Grant threshold to ensure at least 95.5 per cent of eligible homeowners receive the full amount.

This move ensures more than one million home owners in BC may be eligible to receive the full grant. Owners of homes valued above the threshold may qualify for a partial grant.

The basic Home Owner Grant gives home owners:
• a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser
Valley regional districts;
• an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and war veterans of certain wars, or low-income Canadian Forces veterans who don’t already qualify as seniors or persons with disabilities; and
• a Northern and Rural Area Homeowner Benefit which increases the Home Owner Grant by $200 to provide additional property tax relief for northern and rural British Columbians.

Basic grant: for 2013, the basic grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,295,000, and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,409,000 or more.

Additional grant: for 2013, the additional grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,295,000, and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,464,000 or more. 

Home Owner Grant thresholds 

Property
Tax Year
Assessment
Threshold
Amount
Basic Home
Owner Grant
Phase-out
Threshold
Additional Home
Owner Grant
Phase-out
Threshold
2012 $1,285,000 $1,399,000 $1,454,000
2013 $1,295,000 $1,409,000 $1,464,000

Canadian citizens and landed immigrants residing in their principle residence are eligible for the grant.

The BC Government also provides property tax deferral programs for qualifying property owners including those age 55+, persons with disabilities, and families with children.

Deferment programs are low-interest loan programs that allow qualifying residents to defer all or part of their property taxes
until they sell or transfer ownership of their home, or it becomes part of an estate.

Home owners planning to participate in a tax deferment program should seek appropriate financial advice. For information on BC property tax deferment programs, visit: www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/hog

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Bank of Canada signals rates likely on hold until 2014

 

The Bank of Canada announced on January 23rd, 2013 that it is keeping its key policy interest rate at 1 per cent, where it has been held for more than two years. In providing guidance on where interest rates are heading, the Bank said interest rate hikes are “less imminent than previously anticipated.”

 

The Bank acknowledged that Canadian economic growth slowed more abruptly in the second half of 2012 than it had previously anticipated. It also recognized a marked deceleration in the growth of household debt, moderation in the housing sector, and softer than expected inflation.

 

The Bank now expects inflation to return to its 2 per cent target sometime in the second half of 2014. That represents a significant weakening in the Bank’s outlook for inflation; in October, the Bank expected inflation to return to target by the end of 2013. Consumer Price Inflation rose by 0.8 per cent in November 2012.

 

The Bank said it still expects the Canadian economy to gain strength this year, but it lowered its forecast for economic growth to just 2 per cent in 2013. By contrast, its growth forecast for 2014 was raised to 2.7 per cent versus its previous forecast reading of 2.4 per cent contained in its previous Monetary Policy Report (MPR) published in October 2012.

 

The bottom line is that economic growth is expected to remain modest but positive, consistent with low inflation and low interest rates. At the same time, growth in household debt burdens, which the Bank has repeatedly flagged as a major risk in this low interest rate environment, is showing positive signs of topping out as housing market activity continues to stabilize at a more sustainable levels. Combined with extremely well anchored expectations for inflation, that means the Bank is in no hurry to raise interest rates anytime soon, with the first such move in that direction unlikely to be for at least another year.

 

As of January 23rd, 2012, the advertised five-year lending rate stood at 5.24 per cent. It has been unchanged at this level since the beginning of June 2012.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Home Owner Grant threshold rises with property values

To keep pace with rising property assessments, the BC government has raised the Home Owner Grant threshold by $10,000 to $1,295,000. The threshold is the maximum assessed value an owner’s property can reach, which still allows them to claim the full Home Owner Grant.

How is the threshold established?

BC Assessment estimates the value of all BC homes on July 1 each year. The Ministry of Finance reviews this data and adjusts the Home Owner Grant threshold to ensure at least 95.5 per cent of eligible homeowners receive the full amount.

This move ensures more than one million home owners in BC may be eligible to receive the full grant. Owners of homes valued above the threshold may qualify for a partial grant.

The basic Home Owner Grant gives home owners:
• a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser
Valley regional districts;
• an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and war veterans of certain wars, or low-income Canadian Forces veterans who don’t already qualify as seniors or persons with disabilities; and
• a Northern and Rural Area Homeowner Benefit which increases the Home Owner Grant by $200 to provide additional property tax relief for northern and rural British Columbians.

Basic grant: for 2013, the basic grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,295,000, and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,409,000 or more.

Additional grant: for 2013, the additional grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,295,000, and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,464,000 or more. 

Home Owner Grant thresholds 

Property
Tax Year
Assessment
Threshold
Amount
Basic Home
Owner Grant
Phase-out
Threshold
Additional Home
Owner Grant
Phase-out
Threshold
2012 $1,285,000 $1,399,000 $1,454,000
2013 $1,295,000 $1,409,000 $1,464,000

Canadian citizens and landed immigrants residing in their principle residence are eligible for the grant.

The BC Government also provides property tax deferral programs for qualifying property owners including those age 55+, persons with disabilities, and families with children.

Deferment programs are low-interest loan programs that allow qualifying residents to defer all or part of their property taxes
until they sell or transfer ownership of their home, or it becomes part of an estate.

Home owners planning to participate in a tax deferment program should seek appropriate financial advice. For information on BC property tax deferment programs, visit: www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/hog

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

New property listed in Metrotown, Burnaby South

I have listed a new property at 206 4105 MAYWOOD ST in Burnaby.
Spacious and bright 1 bedroom plus den in Times square. Corner unit facing south. Good sized living room leading out to a large balcony overlooking Central Park. Newer appliances. Building has recent updates include elevator, plumbing. Great amenities include exercise room, sauna/whirlpool. Central location with steps away from Patterson Skytrain, Metrotown and Crystal Mall. Easy to show.
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Home sellers continue to outnumber buyers in Greater Vancouver’s summer housing market

VANCOUVER, BC – Home sale activity remained below long-term averages in the Greater Vancouver housing market in August.
 
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 1,649 in August, a 30.7 per cent decline compared to the 2,378 sales in August 2011 and a 21.4 per cent decline compared to the 2,098 sales in July 2012.
 
August sales were the second lowest total for the month in the region since 1998 and 39.2 per cent below the 10-year August sales average of 2,711.
 
“Home sales this summer have been lower than we’ve seen for most of the past ten years, yet we continue to see relative stability when it comes to prices,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.
 
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,044 in August. This represents a 13.7 per cent decline compared to August 2011 when 4,685 properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and a 15.8 per cent decline compared to the 4,802 new listings in July 2012.
 
“For sellers it’s critical to work with your REALTOR® to understand today’s market and to develop the best strategy for selling your home,” Klein said. “On average it’s taking about two months for a home to sell on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver today.”
 

At 17,567, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 13.8 per cent from this time last year and declined 2.8 per cent compared to July 2012.

“Today, our sales-to-active-listings ratio sits at 9 per cent, which puts us in a buyer’s market. This ratio has been declining in our market since March when it was 19 per cent,” Klein said.
 
The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver is $609,500. This represents a decline of 0.5% compared to this time last year and a decline of 1.1% compared to last month.
 
Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in August 2012 reached 624, a decrease of 38.8 per cent from the 1,020 detached sales recorded in August 2011, and a 30.1 per cent decrease from the 893 units sold in August 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 0.2 per cent from August 2011 to $942,100.
 
Sales of apartment properties reached 725 in August 2012, a 24.1 per cent decrease compared to the 955 sales in August 2011, and a decrease of 22.5 per cent compared to the 935 sales in August 2010. The benchmark price of an apartment property decreased 0.9 per cent from August 2011 to $370,100.
 
Attached property sales in August 2012 totalled 300, a 25.6 per cent decrease compared to the 403 sales in August 2011, and a 19.8 per cent decrease from the 374 attached properties sold in August 2010. The benchmark price of an attached unit decreased 1.9 per cent between August 2011 and 2012 to $462,300.
 

For all the premium real estate services, contact Maria Mak @ 604.839.6368 or visit her website www.mariamak.com, you will be smiling too!

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