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first time home buyers

Buying a home is a monumental purchase. It might seem intimidating to take the first step, but these easy DO’s and DON’Ts will make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

If you’re a real estate agent, be sure to add this list (or one like it) to the list of buyer resources on your agent website. Online prospects will appreciate the free advice!

DO’s

Know your credit score.

Check your credit score before beginning the home buying process so you know where you stand. The better your credit, the better the terms of your loan. If your score is looking a little low, you might want to spend some time trying to raise your number before meeting with a mortgage specialist.

Investigate programs for buyers in your area.

Many cities and workplaces offer programs to build their communities by helping first-time buyers. Check with your employer or local real estate association. They can point you in the right direction!

Get preapproved for a loan.

Make an appointment with a mortgage specialist to get preapproved for a home loan. Preapproval is a written guarantee by a lender or mortgage broker to grant you a loan up to a specified amount. Being preapproved also means that you will have more pull than a competing buyer who is only prequalified.

Learn more about local neighbourhoods.

Explore the neighbourhoods in your city in person and online. A lot of online real estate search websites, like Point2 Homes, will have information about the demographics and walkability about different communities in your area.

Interview real estate agents to find the right fit.

Ask your friends and family and search online to find your real estate agent. You may end up interviewing several before you find one with the expertise and communication style you’re looking for. A good agent will also be interviewing you, so keep your ears out for questions like these.

Identify your wants vs your needs.

Knowing the difference between what you really need and what you actually just want will help you compromise and stay on budget. You may need a certain number of bedrooms, but you want an open plan kitchen.

DON’Ts

Change jobs. 

If you’re hoping to secure a mortgage in the next 6-12 months, job stability is key! Stay in your present position until your purchase is closed, if possible. If you do get offered a job that pays more, you can probably still get your loan approved, but be warned that you will have to jump through more hoops!

Make large purchases.

Large purchases – like buying a new car or lots of furniture – can affect your credit and set off red flags for lenders who worry you won’t have money left when you need it. We advise you to wait to make substantial buys until after you move into your new home.

Get attached to the first house you see.

It’s easy to do. You fall in love with the first house you place an offer on, and then are heartbroken when someone else gets it. So many factors are involved in a successful real estate contract. Talk to your agent about your local market so you have realistic expectations from the get go.

Miss an opportunity to negotiate. 

First-time buyers don’t usually know the many different kinds of negotiation that can take place before escrow closes. In addition to price, you may be able to negotiate for repairs, a new paint job or an extended move-in/out window. The agent you choose will go to bat for you, so be sure to pick a good one!

Skip a home inspection.

Never skip a home inspection on your first home. You want to know exactly what your hard-earned cash is buying before you buy it, after all! Learn more about home inspections and read about 14 common home problems to be on the lookout for.

Give up. 

Buying a home can be a long process, but it is rewarding in the end! Don’t give up if you don’t find what you’re looking for right away. New houses come on the market all the time.

 

Thanks Point2.com!

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Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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Barry Thomas Bowen Island Real Estate

A great article written by:

Craig Munn

Manager, Communication
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver


VANCOUVER, B.C. May 4, 2015 Strong home buyer demand coupled with below average home listing activity has created seller's market conditions within the Metro Vancouver* housing market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 4,179 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2015. This represents a 37 per cent increase compared to the 3,050 sales recorded in April 2014, and a 2.9 per cent increase compared to the 4,060 sales in March 2015.

Last month’s sales were 29.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“The supply of homes for sale today in the region is not meeting the demand we're seeing from home buyers. This is putting upward pressure on prices, particularly in the detached home market," Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,897 in April. This represents a 0.9 per cent decrease compared to the 5,950 new listings reported in April 2014.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the region’s MLS® is 12,436, a 19.8 per cent decline compared to April 2014 and an increase of 0.5 per cent compared to March 2015.

“It’s a competitive and fast-moving market today that is tilted in favour of home sellers. To be competitive, it’s important to connect with a local REALTOR® who can help you develop a strategy to meet your home buying or selling needs,” McLeod said.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $673,000. This represents an 8.5 per cent increase compared to April 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in April was 33.6 per cent. This is the highest that this ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since June 2007.

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Sales of detached properties in April 2015 reached 1,815, an increase of 35.9 per cent from the 1,336 detached sales recorded in April 2014, and a 70.6 per cent increase from the 1,064 units sold in April 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 12.5 per cent from April 2014 to $1,078,900.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,579 in April 2015, an increase of 34.7 per cent compared to the 1,172 sales in April 2014, and an increase of 50.1 per cent compared to the 1,052 sales in April 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.4 per cent from April 2014 to $394,200.

Attached property sales in April 2015 totalled 785, an increase of 44.8 per cent compared to the 542 sales in April 2014, and a 53.6 per cent increase from the 511 attached properties sold in April 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 5.7 per cent between April 2014 and 2015 to $493,300.

*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta. 


 

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Barry Thomas Market Update

February 3, 2015 – The first month of 2015 saw home sale activity above historical

norms, while the number of homes listed for sale trended below typical levels.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 1,913 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January 2015. This represents an 8.7 per cent increase compared to the 1,760 sales recorded in January 2014, and a 9.6 per cent decline compared to the 2,116 sales in December 2014.

Last month’s sales were 14.9 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“While demand remains steady, we’re seeing fewer homes for sale at the moment,” Ray Harris, REBGV president, said. "This is creating greater competition amongst buyers, particularly in the detached home market. The number of detached homes listed for sale today is the second lowest we’ve seen in four years.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver1 totalled 4,737 in January. This represents an 11.4 per cent decline compared to the 5,345 new listings reported in January 2014.

Last month’s new listing count was 1.2 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 REBGV MLS® is 10,811, a 14.2 per cent decline compared to January 2014 and a 4.8 per cent increase compared to December 2014.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $641,60022. This represents a 5.5 per cent increase compared to January 2014.

With the sales-to-active-listings ratio at 17.7 per cent, the region remains in balanced market territory.

“The Bank of Canada’s recent announcement to lower its benchmark interest rate is an important one for home buyers, sellers and owners to note,” Harris said. “A reduced rate could allow you to pay down your mortgage a little faster, save some money on your monthly payments, or change the amount you qualify for. It’s important that you do your homework and understand how these announcements impact your situation.”

Sales of detached properties in January 2015 reached 781, an increase of 7.3 per cent from the 728 detached sales recorded in January 2014, and a 44.1 per cent increase from the 542 units sold in January 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 8.4 per cent from January 2014 to $1,010,000.

Sales of apartment properties reached 809 in January 2015, an increase of 7.4 per cent compared to the 753 sales in January 2014, and an increase of 40.5 per cent compared to the 576 sales in January 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 2.5 per cent from January 2014 to $382,800.

Attached property sales in January 2015 totalled 323, an increase of 15.8 per cent compared to the 279 sales in January 2014, and a 38.6 per cent increase from the 233 attached properties sold in January 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.3 per cent between January 2014 and 2015 to $479,600.

Greater Vancouver Home Price Index Barry Thomas

Editors Notes:

  1. 1.)  AreascoveredbyRealEstateBoardofGreaterVancouverinclude:Whistler,SunshineCoast,Squamish,West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

  2. 2.)  ThenationalMLS®HomePriceIndex(MLS®HPI)operationsgroupunderwentanannualreviewofthe model in January. This led to the following changes:

  • Neighbourhoods where home sales over the past three years totaled 12 or less have been removed from the model. Neighbourhoods where sales have increased to 20 or more over the past three years have been added. Historical MLS® HPI data has been recalculated to reflect these changes.

  • The benchmark property descriptions have been updated to reflect current buying trends.

    Background: MLS® HPI benchmark prices represent the value of a ‘typical’ property within a market. When the HPI was developed in 2011, a composite description was created for every neighbourhood and property type based on MLS® sales data for that specific area. What people typically purchase can change over time due to changes in affordability and buyer preferences. Therefore, it’s necessary for these descriptions to be occasionally updated.

    The MLS® HPI methodology has been updated to reflect these changes and is available at http://homepriceindex.ca/hpi_tool_en.html 

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It's easy to save power and money, especially over the holidays!

Home Tips For December

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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Wishing you and your loved ones all the best for the festive season and a healthy, happy & prosperous 2015!

Bowen Island 2015 Community Offer

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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Home Tips for November

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Realtor

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VANCOUVER, B.C. November 4, 2014 Home sales in the Metro Vancouver* housing

market continue to outpace long-term averages for this time of year.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,057 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2014. This represents a 14.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,661 sales in October 2013, and a 4.6 per cent increase over the 2,922 sales in September 2014.

Last month’s sales were 16.6 per cent above the 10-year sales average for October.

“We’ve seen strong and consistent demand from home buyers in Metro Vancouver throughout this year. This has led to steady increases in home prices of between four and eight per cent depending on the property,” said REBGV president Ray Harris.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,487 in October. This represents a four per cent increase compared to the 4,315 new listings in October 2013 and a 14.7 per cent decline from the 5,259 new listings in September.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 13,851, a 9.2 per cent decline compared to October 2013 and a 6.6 per cent decrease compared to September 2014.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $637,000. This represents a six per cent increase compared to October 2013.

“Detached homes continue to increase in price more than condominium and townhome properties. This is largely a function of supply and demand as the supply of condominium and townhome properties are more abundant than detached homes in our region,” Harris said.

Sales of detached properties in October 2014 reached 1,271, an increase of 19.1 per cent from the 1,067 detached sales recorded in October 2013, and a 60.9 per cent increase from the 790 units sold in October 2012. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 7.9 per cent from October 2013 to $995,100.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,268 in October 2014, an increase of 15.5 per cent compared to the 1,098 sales in October 2013, and a 57.9 per cent increase compared to the 803 sales in October 2012. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased four per cent from October 2013 to $380,200.

Attached property sales in October 2014 totalled 518, a 4.4 per cent increase compared to the 496 sales in October 2013, and an 53.3 per cent increase over the 338 attached properties sold in October 2012. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.7 per cent between October 2013 and 2014 to $479,500.

 

 

* Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

The real estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2013, 28,524 homes changed ownership in the Board’s area, generating $1.84 billion in economic spin-off activity and 13,977 jobs. The total dollar value of residential sales transacted through the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver totalled $22 billion in 2013. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is an association representing more than 11,000 REALTORS® and their companies. The Board provides a variety of member services, including the Multiple Listing Service®. For more information on real estate, statistics, and buying or selling a home, contact a local REALTOR® or visit www.rebgv.org. 


Craig Munn, Assistant Manager of Communications

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver 


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VANCOUVER, B.C. October 2, 2014 Home buyers were active in Metro Vancouver last

month, with home sales well exceeding the 10-year average for September.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,922 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September 2014. This represents a 17.7 per cent increase compared to the 2,483 sales in September 2013, and a 5.4 per cent increase over the 2,771 sales in August 2014.

Last month’s sales were 16.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the third highest selling September over that period.

“September was an active period for our housing market when we compare it against typical activity for the month,” Ray Harris, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver* totalled 5,259 in September. This represents a 4.6 per cent increase compared to the 5,030 new listings in September 2013 and a 33.5 per cent increase from the 3,940 new listings in August. Last month’s new listing total was 0.4 per cent above the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 14,832, an 8 per cent decline compared to September 2013 and a 0.4 per cent increase compared to August 2014.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $633,500. This represents a 5.3 per cent increase compared to September 2013.

“Gains in home values are being led by the detached home market. Condominium and townhome properties are not experiencing the same pressure on prices at the moment,” Harris said. “Individual trends can vary depending on different factors in different areas, so it’s important to do your homework and work with your REALTOR® when you’re looking to determine the market value of a home.” 

Sales of detached properties in September 2014 reached 1,270, an increase of 24.1 per cent from the 1,023 detached sales recorded in September 2013, and a 113.8 per cent increase from the 594 units sold in September 2012. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 7.3 per cent from September 2013 to $990,300.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,188 in September 2014, an increase of 16.7 per cent compared to the 1,018 sales in September 2013, and a 75.7 per cent increase compared to the 676 sales in September 2012. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.3 per cent from September 2013 to $378,700.

Attached property sales in September 2014 totalled 464, a 5 per cent increase compared to the 442 sales in September 2013, and an 88.6 per cent increase over the 246 attached properties sold in September 2012. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.2 per cent between September 2013 and 2014 to $477,700. 


* Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

The real estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2013, 28,524 homes changed ownership in the Board’s area, generating $1.84 billion in economic spin-off activity and 13,977 jobs. The total dollar value of residential sales transacted through the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver totalled $22 billion in 2013. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is an association representing more than 11,000 REALTORS® and their companies. The Board provides a variety of member services, including the Multiple Listing Service®. For more information on real estate, statistics, and buying or selling a home, contact a local REALTOR® or visit www.rebgv.org


Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist




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Here are some great tips for gardening in May!

Gardening Tips for May

Barry Thomas ~ Bowen Island Realtor

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We all know April showers bring May flowers, but there is also an opportunity to harvest this water for garden use, spring cleaning, ect. AND reduce your water bill!

 

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialitst

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Here is a great infographic from The Appraisal Foundation outlining common myths about the appraisal process among lenders, borrowers, real estate brokers, and homebuilders.

 

Click to see larger image

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Realtor

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Here are some great tips on how to kick start this years Spring cleaning! Let's keep it green on Bowen Island!

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Realtor

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Here are some great tips that you can easily use to conserve/save power and save money!

 

Eco infographic

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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So excited for the artists on Bowen Island to create the 2015 Macdonald Realty Calendar. 10,000 calendars are distributed!!

Article from The Bowen Island Undercurrent

posted Feb 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM

The Bowen Island Arts Council (BIAC) is thrilled to announce that Macdonald Realty will be publishing a custom 2015 calendar featuring the work of resident artists. The 70-year-old real estate firm prints 10,000 calendars each year, working with arts organizations to help coordinate the project. Local Macdonald Realty realtor Barry Thomas pitched the idea to the company last year, and subsequently connected the firm to BIAC. Rosey Hudson, Creative and Brand Marketing Manager for Macdonald Realty formally offered the opportunity to the arts organization this month. In response, Gallery Curator Janet Esseiva said: “The Visual Arts Committee of BIAC, on behalf of local artists, thanks Macdonald Realty for this great opportunity. We know that the 2015 calendar will be very special, featuring what will no doubt be stunning work by Bowen artists.” BIAC will receive 200 copies of the calendar for fundraising sales.

Artists whose work is selected will be asked to agree to one-time use of their work, retaining all rights. Their bios and contact info will be included in the calendar and they will receive 10 complimentary calendars.

BIAC members are encouraged to submit their work for consideration by emailing a digital photo to calendar@macrealty.com (max 6MB per email). All mediums will be accepted and artists can submit more than one piece. Preference will be given to horizontal pieces that showcase the beauty of British Columbia (urban, rural and island life, ocean and mountain scenes, and of course home portraits and other subjects which would be a natural fit for a real estate company’s calendar). Experience shows that still life, portraits and flowers are generally not chosen by the selection committee. The submission deadline is March 31, 2014. Submissions must include the artist’s name, the title of piece, the dimensions of piece, and the medium.

 

For more information, please contact Rosey Hudson at Macdonald Realty [calendar@macrealty.com].

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Cynics may scoff, but getting under contract on the right home can turn even the most stoic shopper into a bit of a dreamer. From paint colors to planting a garden, picturing yourself in that property is critical for many buyers.

But leave a little room for pragmatism. Remember that getting pre-approved for a mortgage and even under contract isn’t a guarantee. That prefix is there for a reason. Loan pre-approval is not loan approval.

You’ll have more hurdles to clear before a lender legally commits to funding your home loan. Buyers who don’t know any better can inadvertently add obstacles to that path — or even kill the entire deal —between contract and closing day.

Some missteps can be costlier than others. Here’s a look at five of the worst things you can do before buying a home.

1. Go Credit-Crazy

It’s almost become cliché in the mortgage industry, but the warning still bears repeating: Don’t buy a truckload of furniture until after your loan closes. The prohibition goes beyond sofas and settees — avoid obtaining credit for any major expense, such as a car, a boat or, yes, a new bedroom set.

Be careful with even minor expenses. If you absolutely need to obtain new credit or accrue debt before closing, talk with your loan officer as soon as possible.

New payments are going to affect your monthly debt-to-income ratio (and residual income on a VA loan), and not in a good way. Hard inquiries on your credit report could also lower your credit score. That might hurt your interest rate if you haven’t locked or even knock you out of qualifying range all together.

2. Shuffle Dollars and Cents

Lenders will scour your most recent bank statement as part of the pre-approval process. It’s not like they forget about it after that. They’ll take another look at your assets and bank records again during the underwriting process.

You’ll need to explain any unusual deposits or withdrawals. Lenders will require clear documentation and a paper trail if you’re putting gift funds toward a down payment or closing costs. Stuffing a wad of undocumented cash into your account is going to raise some red flags.

3. Get Behind on Bills

Having a late payment hit your credit report before closing can devastate your deal. Payment history comprises about a third of your credit score.

One solitary 30-day late payment can clip 60 to 110 points from your credit score. Maybe not a huge deal if you had an 800 score, right?

Possibly. But if that 30-day late blemish is a mortgage or rent payment, some lenders will boot your application altogether. Many will require at least 12 consecutive months of on-time payments to qualify for a home loan.

4. Co-Sign on a Loan

Co-signing a loan is arguably a bad financial move whenever you make it. But it’s especially risky during the mortgage lending process. It means you’re financially liable for someone else’s debt.

Yes, that someone else might be the most responsible person on the planet. Lenders will still need to factor that new monthly obligation into your overall affordability profile. Adding one more debt to the list could stretch too thin your debt-to-income ratio and assets.

5. Changes in Employment

Probably goes without saying, but losing your job is going to be a big problem. Even job-hopping can present some major hurdles. Lenders crave stable, reliable income that’s likely to continue.

Lenders are likely to slam on the brakes if you take a new job in a different field. Or if you decide to start your own business. Or even if you get a promotion but see some or all of your income shift to a commission basis.

The bottom line: Any change to your employment is significant. Keep your loan officer in the loop, and ask questions when in doubt. The last thing you want is to waste time and money on a home loan you’re never going to get.

Throughout the mortgage process, it can also be helpful to monitor your credit scores for changes so you can know whether you need to address any problems. To do that, you can use a free tool like Credit.com’s Credit Report Card, which updates your credit scores and an overview of your credit report every month.

———

This article was written by Chris Birk and originally published on Credit.com.

 

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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Follow the road to homeownership on this handy infographic!

Infographic: The Road To Homeownership

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Real Estate Specialist

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An interesting article from BC Business:

 

"Good news for homeowners hoping their property value will go up (and bad news for buyers looking for a deal): a new forecast is calling for moderately higher sales and prices across B.C. for the next three years.
 
Central 1 Credit Union has increased its provincial pricing outlook, citing stronger population and economic growth. It predicts that the median resale house price in B.C. will end this year up about 1.5 per cent, at $388,000, and will increase steadily to $415,000 by 2016. That’s another 1.5-per-cent increase in 2014, followed by 2.5-per-cent bump in 2015 and three-per-cent hike in 2016. 
 
“We are past the bottom in terms of our housing market correction in the post-recession period,” says Central 1 economist Bryan Yu. The bottom was in 2012, when the number of home sales across the province was 63,798, compared to 71,737 the previous year. Central 1 predicts sales to reach 68,085 in 2013, 72,560 in 2014 and 83,750 in 2016.
 
While the growth appears significant, Yu says the sales level is moderate when the province’s growing population is taken into consideration. Central 1 forecasts B.C.’s population to increase by about one per cent annually, to reach 4.7 million by 2016. At the same time, it expects the B.C. economy to grow two per cent next year and 3.1 per cent in 2015.
 
“We see a relatively stable environment going forward in most areas,” says Yu. “There isn’t a catalyst for a substantial drop off in pricing.”
 
The Central 1 forecast comes amid predictions of a “soft landing” for Canada’s housing market from Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz and several national economists. The Vancouver and Toronto markets are closely watched because they are among the biggest and the most expensive in Canada. “If any city is at risk of correcting, it’s pricey Vancouver,” says a recent report from BMO Capital Markets economist Sal Guatieri. It notes the Vancouver market has bounced back from a slowdown earlier this year. “Buyers held the upper hand last year, but the pendulum has swung towards balance today,” Guatieri says.
 
Central 1 predicts a stronger market for condos and townhomes as increasingly scarce, high-priced detached homes become even more out of reach for many homebuyers. Rental vacancy rates are also predicted to fall in 2015 and 2016, as more people turn to renting over buying. Central 1 expects the provincial vacancy rate to dip to 2.5 per cent in 2014 and down further to about 2.2 per cent by 2016.

According to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) report released December 18, condos made up 35 per cent of the owner-occupied housing stock in Vancouver in 2011, “the highest market share by far” among Canadian cities. Vancouver’s share of condo starts among all housing starts was also highest in 2012 at 64 per cent, compared to 59 per cent in Toronto and 58 per cent in Montreal, according to the CMHC report." - BC Business

 

Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen

Bowen Island Realtor

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2014 Mortgage Rate Forecast
 
The British Columbia Real Estate Association's Chief Economist, forecasts the average five-year fixed rate in 2014 to be 5.5% with the one-year mortgage rate at 3.4% as a result of the Canadian economy accelerating and related bond market activity. The Canadian five-year bond yield climbed to 2.3% in September representing a two-year high. As this bond yield is a key benchmark for five-year fixed mortgage rates the upward trajectory of mortgage rates in 2014 will be lead by the acceleration of the Canadian & US economy and bond price tightening.
2014 Mortgage Rate Forecast Chart
 
Barry Thomas ~ Living Bowen
Bowen Island Realtor
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