More rent increases for Vancouver in the near future

We have seen countless number of news stories about unaffordable rental rates in Metro Vancouver. It’s a hot subject in the media and with local politicians. The rent has been steadily increasing for a long time. But it seems that in the last coupe of years it has really “shot up”.

Local residents don’t know how to deal with such rent increases. There even is a tenants union that has been created back in April of 2017.

City of Vancouver is trying to deal with a problem by passing a foreign buyers tax, a vacant home tax and regulations for short-term rentals. Last week the city has released their 10 year housing strategy. The new strategy will encourage developers to build more rental suites within their “for sale” buildings. It will also promoted more co-ops and affordable living units. Many critics says the new strategy is not aggressive enough. But it’s a good start.

In my opinion, the rental rate increases we’ve seen in the last 4-5 years are not the end of it. CBC news wrote an article about the rent increases in the last 5 years. This article also includes census of rental increase by a neighbourhood in Metro Vancouver from 2011 to 2016. Most neighbourhoods went up in rent by 30-50%. That’s a big increase in only 5 years. Full article: here.

Condo prices in the last 12 months in most Metro Vancouver neighbourhoods have gone up by 30-45%. These price increases will have upward pressure on the rental market. I think we are going to see huge rental rate increase in the next 24-48 months and beyond. And the real estate condo market is not showing any signs of slowing down in the near future.

I would not be surprises to see 50-60% increase in rental rates in Metro Vancouver over the next 3 years. Especially since we are currently at close to zero vacancy rate.

All of the proposed and implemented changes and taxes are a good steps but they are too late. The city is reacting to the huge price increases that already took place. The bottom line is that huge rental rate increases are not over. Even if the real estate market prices don’t increase any more, we will still see an increase in the rental rates as a reaction to the condo market price increases that already took place.

What you need to know about the new AirBnB regulations in Vancouver BC

On Tuesday November 14th, city of Vancouver has approved regulations making AirBnB rentals legal to operate within city limits. Vancouver is the first major Canadian city to regulate short-term rentals. Starting April 2018 homeowner will have to become part of city’s new regulatory regime for short-term home rentals, approved by council last week.

To become a part of cities licensing system will cost a one time activations fee of $54, plus $49 per year for the licence. All postings on AirBnB will have to include the homeowner’s licence number. If homeowners choose to operate without a licence they can face a fine of $1,000.

All income from short term rentals will have to be reported to Canadian Revenue Agency. Even if the generated income is very small. AirBnB said that they will not share personal information, and address of hosts with the CRA. But the the City of Vancouver will have its own list of names and addresses of short-term rental hosts. The city said Friday that information will be shared, upon request, with the CRA and other government agencies.

Here is in my opinion the most important and the most controversial regulation: individuals will be allowed to rent only their principal residences. Suites in basements, above garages or in coach houses can no longer be offered as short-term rentals.  In other words the city of Vancouver wants homeowners to rent out their basement suites and laneway houses for long-term rental leases instead. Penalties for not complying with this regulation are still nuclear.

The city is hoping that all of the regulations for short-term rentals will create more long-term rentals for the local residents.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered about those new short-term rentals regulations and the over all success of the licensing program. I will centrally do more blog posts on the topic in the future.

Burnaby Housing Market Real Estate Update – June 2017

burnaby housing market update

Here is a real estate update of Burnaby housing market for June 2017. We will look at detached market only. Condos and townhouses have their own market update in a separate blog post. We will only look at resale homes (no new construction).

Average Sales Price

Average Sales Price of detached house in Burnaby in June 2017 (see graph below)

Burnaby East: $1,634,000 | +12.6% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby North: $1,737,458 | -3.6% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby South: $1,846,264 | +4.6% (change since June 2016)


Average Percent of Original Asking Price

Average Percent of Original Price of houses in Burnaby in June 2017 (see graph below)

Burnaby East: 99.6% | -3.2% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby North: 97.3% | -3.4% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby South: 98.8% | -5.4% (change since June 2016)


Total Inventory

Total inventory of detached houses in Burnaby in June 2017 (see graph below)

Burnaby East: 58 | 0.0% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby North: 177 | +13.5% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby South: 224 | +15.5% (change since June 2016)


New Listings

Total number of New Listings of detached houses in Burnaby in June 2017 (see graph below)

Burnaby East: 28 | -15.2% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby North: 101 | +6.3% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby South: 107 | 0.0% (change since June 2016)


Sales

Total Sales of detached houses in Burnaby in June 2017 (see graph below)

Burnaby East:  9 | -55.0% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby North: 43 | -8.5% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby South: 46 | -8.0% (change since June 2016)


Sales to Active Listings Ratio

Sales to Active Listings Ratio of detached houses in Burnaby in June 2017 (see graph below)

Burnaby East:  0.155 | -55.1% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby North: 0.243 | -19.3% (change since June 2016)

Burnaby South: 0.205 | -20.5% (change since June 2016)

In conclusion, Burnaby detached housing market is a little slower than it was at this time last year. Average sale price prices remain strong. Average sale price of detached houses in Burnaby East is at it’s all time high. We see healthy inventory levels in all the Burnaby areas. Total number of sales is about the same as June 2016.  Based on the Sales to Active Listings Ration all three Burnaby areas are in a balanced market with a slight favourability of sellers.

CMHC Mortgage Insurance Rates Are Going UP This Spring

interest rate increase

On January 17th 2017, CMHC mortgage insurance agency announced that their mortgage insurance premiums will be increasing starting March 17, 2017.

Over the past 2 years we have seen a number of changes to the mortgage borrowing regulations.  This CMHC insurance premiums increase is another change to mortgage borrowing process and rules.

According to the CMHC agency an average increase in premiums for the homeowners will be insignificant. Roughly $5 per months increase on average.

However, this increase will vary significantly depending on the mortgage amount. Home-buyers who have a $250,000 mortgage will see a $4.70 per month increase.  Average Canadian insured mortgage is about $245,000. The monthly increase in premiums on mortgages of $150,000 will be $2.82.

In Greater Vancouver, home-buyers are very likely to see higher average payment increases, as the average mortgage in the region is above that of the Canadian average. The CMHC said that the increase on loans of $450,000 would be $8.47 per month, and nearly $16 for those with insured mortgages of $850,000.

cmhc premiums increase chart 2017

Roughly two-thirds of home-buyers with a CMHC-insured mortgage have down-payments of less than ten per cent. For most new home-buyers the monthly payment increase will be “negligible,” said Steven Mennill, CMHC’s senior vice-president of insurance.

Steven Mennill said, “We do not expect the higher premiums to have a significant impact on the ability of Canadians to buy a home. Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan insurance industry and contribute to financial stability.”

The CMHC’s statement said, “Capital requirements are an important factor in determining mortgage insurance premiums. The changes reflect OSFI’s new capital requirements that came into effect on January 1 of this year that require mortgage insurers to hold additional capital. Capital holdings create a buffer against potential losses, helping to ensure the long term stability of the financial system.”

From my experience this increase in the CMHC insurance premiums should not have any significant impact on the Metro Vancouver real estate market. I think that first-time home-buyers are the ones who most likely be effected by these CMCH premiums increase.

Burnaby BC 1 bedroom condo market update – December 2016

burnaby condo building

Happy New Year, guys! In this article I will breakdown one bedroom condo market in Burnaby BC for the month of December 2016. The statistics only apply to condos and apartments in Burnaby (townhouses are excluded). The breakdown is for one bedroom resale condos only. New construction and condos with more than one bedroom are excluded.

Average Sales Price for 1 Bedroom Condo in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

December 2016: $357,435 | +17.6% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: $344,681

There is a substantial increase in the average sales price for one bedroom condos in Burnaby as compared to December 2015. We also see an increase in the sales prices as compared to last month. It seems that the sales prices are catching up with the sales prices we’ve seen in the summer of this year.

 

Average Percent of Original Asking Price seller of one bedroom units in Burnaby are getting in December 2016 (see graph below)

December 2016: 97.8% | +0.6% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 99.2%

In December sellers of one bedroom condos in Burnaby were selling their units for about 2-3% below their original asking price. That’s an indication of a healthy buyer demand.

In the summer and spring of 2016 sellers were selling their units for 5-8% over their original asking price.

 

Average Price Per Square Foot of one bedroom unit is Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

December 2016: $537 | +20.7% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: $547

A huge increase in the average price per square foot since December of 2015. Again, an indication of a strong buyer demand as the prices don’t seem to be dropping for one bedroom units in Burnaby BC.

 

Total Inventory of one bedroom condos and apartments in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

December 2016: 36 | -69.0% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 53

Record low inventory levels for one bedroom units in Burnaby. In fact this December we’ve had the lowest number of one bedroom condo units for sale in the last 10 years.  Such low inventory levels are likely to cause price increase for one bedroom condos.

 

Total Number of New Listing of one bedroom condo unit on the market in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

December 2016: 18 | -41.9% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 33

Some of the lowest numbers for new listings of one bedroom condos in Burnaby we’ve seen.

 

Total Number of Sales for one bedroom condos in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

December 2016: 21 | -60.4% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 43

Not surprisingly we see a huge drop in the total number of sales as compared to December of 2015. Lack of inventory as well as the natural slow-down in the real estate activity are the likely causes for such low transaction numbers.

 

Sales to Active Listings Ratio for one bedroom condos in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

December 2016: 0.583 | +27.6% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 0.81

The one bedroom condo market in Burnaby is still a very strong “sellers” market. On average 58 out of 100 condos were sold in December 2016.

In conclusion, one bedroom condo market in Burnaby is a “sellers” market. Units are generally selling for very close to their original asking price. Sale prices are gradually increasing. Total inventory levels are at all time low heading into 2017.

Leave a comment below if you found this information useful! 

*all of the data is taken from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

WHAT you NEED to KNOW about BURNABY housing market – DEC 2016 update

Burnaby house for sale

Happy New Year guys! Here is a detailed breakdown of the housing market in Burnaby BC for December 2016. We will only focus on detached houses. New construction is excluded from this breakdown. Condos and townhouses are also excluded (Burnaby condo breakdown can be found here).

Average Sales Price of Houses in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

Burnaby, Dec 2016: $1,591,410 | +5.3% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: $1,491,466

We can see the price increase of over 5% as compared to December of last year. The average sales price is also up as compared to last month. This could be a good sign for the sellers heading into 2017.

 

Average Percent of Original Price sellers in Burnaby are getting for their homes in December 2016 (see graph below)

Burnaby, Dec 2016: 93.5% | -8.8% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 94.2%

Since the height of the real estate market in the summer and spring of 2016 average percent of original price has been declining. Home sellers are selling their houses 5-7% under their original asking price. We haven’t seen such low numbers since 2013.

 

Total Inventory of Detached Houses for Sale in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

Burnaby, Dec 2016: 236 | +41.3% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 419

There is substantially more inventory on the market as compared to December of 2015. However the inventory levels have dropped significantly as compared to last month. Sellers seemed to be pulling the properties off the market in December.  A large number of these properties will be back on the market at the beginning of 2017.

 

 

Number of the New Listings on the market in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

Burnaby, Dec 2016: 35 | -45.3% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 82

As can be expected for this season there are very few listings. In December 2016 we had half of the new listings as compared to the December of last year. To be fair, December 2015 was an usually busy year for detached houses in Burnaby.

 

Total Number of Detached Houses Sold in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

Burnaby, Dec 2016: 40 | -56.5% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 48

We see lower than usual number of sales in the last quarter of 2016. Slight decline in sales as compared to November 2016. However, more than a 50% in sales as compared to December of 2015.

 

Sales to Active Listings Ratio for Detached Properties in Burnaby in December 2016 (see graph below)

Burnaby, Dec 2016: 0.169 | -69.3% (change since December 2015)

November 2016: 0.12

Burnaby housing market is still a “buyers” marker in December 2016. Huge difference when we compare to earlier this year when we had a very strong “sellers” market.

In conclusion, the housing market in Burnaby continues to be a “buyers” market. The average sales price has not gone down as compared to November of this year. In fact the average sales price has gone up. Overall we see low levels of inventory and low transaction levels. Burnaby detached housing market is “slow” heading into 2017.

If you found this article helpful leave a comment below. 

*all the information has been take form the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.  

Are the interest-free housing loans for first-time buyers a good idea? [OPINION]

vancouver street with houses

On December 15th 2016, Premier Christy Clark unveiled a new loan program for the first-time home buyers. This loan program will lend money to the first-time home buyers who cannot come up with the downpayment. The loan will be interest-free for up to 5 years.

There has been some criticism for this program. The primary criticism is that it will actually make housing more unaffordable. Which is the opposite of its purpose.

From my experience most first-time buyers are looking for 1 bedroom condos. For the most part the 1 bedroom condo market in Greater Vancouver is a ‘seller’s market’. (Read more about: Burnaby 1 bedroom condo market here.)  There is a lot of demand for these “starter” 1 bedroom units but not a lot of supply. By making it easier for the first-time home buyers to get into the real estate market the demand for these units is likely to go up. The increase in the demand will of course lead to the increases in price.

On the other hand, it’s very hard for young people to save up enough money for the downpayment. This program will potentially help many first-time buyers get into the real estate market sooner than they would with out. In most cases buying it’s better than renting. With the low interest rates mortgage payment are almost the same as rent.

In my opinion this program will cause the prices for “starter” condos and townhouses to go up in the long run. What Metro Vancouver but especially the City of Vancouver needs it to green-light more development projects. We need to change zoning bylaws for many of Vancouver areas and start building more strata condo buildings. There is a lot of demand and not a lot of supply. To make Vancouver real estate market more affordable we must increase the inventory.

If you are a first-time buyer thinking of getting into the real estate market in Metro Vancouver I suggest getting started as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the prices of the “starter” units go up thanks for the very program.

New BC Government Downpayment Program for the First-Time Buyers; Here is WHAT you NEED to KNOW

Christy Clark

On December 15th 2016 Premier Christy Clark unveiled a new loan program to help first-time home buyers come up with their down payment. This program is designed to make it easier for the first-time home buyers to into the Real Estate Market.

The BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program will offer qualifying first-time home buyers loans of up to $37,500, interest and payment free, for up to five years. It’s basically a second mortgage on the property that you don’t have to make any payments on for the first 5 years.

The province will begin accepting applications from qualified first-time buyers on January 16, 2017.

To qualify, buyers must:

1. Be buying their first home

The buyers who previously owned real estate anywhere in the world DO NOT qualify for this program.

2. Obtain a high-ratio, insured first mortgage for at least 80 per cent of the purchase price

The buyers can not have a downpayment on the property larger than 20% of it’s value. They must obtain CMHC insurance.

3. Have a combined gross household income not exceeding $150,000

The buyers who will have their names on the tittle must collectively earn less than $150,000/year.

4. Have saved a down payment amount at least equal to the loan amount

The BC government will only land the buyers 50% of the total downpayment. The other half of the downpayment will have to come from the buyers themselves. In other words first-time buyers will still have to contribute at least 2.5% downpayment.

5. Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years

Foreign buyers will not be eligible to take advantage of this program.

6. Have lived in BC for at least the full year preceding their application

In other words potential buyers will have to have lived in British Columbia for at least 1 year before applying for this program.

The loans will be due in full if the buyer defaults on a payment, ceases to use the home as a principle residence or resells the home.

Key facts:

• The BC government loans will match a home buyer’s contribution to a down payment up to five per cent of the home’s purchase price. 

• The maximum purchase price to qualify for a loan is $750,000 (excluding taxes and fees).

• After five years, buyers can either repay their loan or enter into monthly payments at current interest rates.

• Loans through the program are due after 25 years. The same as standard mortgage. 

“This program will boost sales to first-time home buyers. Without question, they’ll take advantage of it wherever they can,” said Helmut Pastrick, Central 1 Credit Union chief economist.

The province estimates this initiative will help at least 42,000 buyers or households province-wide over the next three years. About half of these buyers will be in the Lower Mainland, according to Pastrick.

EVERYTHING you NEED to KNOW about Burnaby BC housing market – December 2016

burnaby bc home

Here is a detailed breakdown of the Burnaby detached housing market for November 2016 and for the past 3 years. In this breakdown I will solely focus on detached houses in Burnaby South, Burnaby North and Burnaby East areas. We will only look at the resale properties, brand new construction is not included.

See all houses for sale in Burnaby BC here.

*All of the market statistics and graphs were taken from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Lets start with Average Sales Price of Houses in Burnaby in November 2016 and for the past 3 years (see graph below)

Burnaby: $1,491,466 | +6.9% (change since November 2015)

The sales price is up by almost 7 percent as compared to November 2015. However, we see a significant drop in the sales price as compared to Spring and Summer of 2016. Prices started to dip in August of 2016, right around the time “foreign buyers tax” was introduced.

 

Next, lets have a look at the Average Percent of Original Price sellers in Burnaby are getting for their houses in November 2016 and for the past 3 years (see graph below)

Burnaby: 94.2% | -7.0% (change since November 2015)

There is a small decline in the percentage of then original price as compared to November of 2015. If we compare current average percent of original price with the average percent of original price in Spring and Summer of 2016 the different is substantial. At the hight of the market this year seller were receiving offers 5-10% over their original asking price.

 

Next, Total Inventory of Detached Houses for Sale in Burnaby in November 2016 and for the past 3 years (see graph below)

Burnaby: 394 | +60.8% (change since November 2015)

We see substantially more inventory on the market this November as compared to November 2015. However, total inventory for this November is still right around the 10 year average.

 

Now, lets take a look at the Number of New Listings on the Market in Burnaby BC in November 2016 and for the past 3 years (see graph below)

Burnaby: 82 | -7.9% (change since November 2015)

There are actually fewer new listings on the market this November as compared to November 2015. The number of new listings in November 2016 is around the 10 year average.

 

Lets take look at Total Number of Sales in Burnaby in November 2016 and for the past 3 years (see graph below)

Burnaby: 48 | -55.1% (change since November 2015)

The total number of sales for November 2016 is less than a half of sales in November 2015. The number of sales for this November is alarmingly low, some of the lowest numbers we’ve seen in the last 10 years. If the sales don’t pick up in 2017 we might have a lot of leftover inventory which might cause prices to dip even more.

Lastly, lets have a look at Sales to Active Listing Ratio for house in Burnaby in November 2016 and for the last 3 years (see graph below)

Burnaby: 0.122 | -72.1% (change since November 2015)

We are currently in a “buyers market”. In November 2015 we had a strong “sellers market”. Real estate market for detached houses has shifted from “sellers market” to “buyers market” in July 2016. The “foreign buyers tax” (introduced in August 2016) has added breaks to the already slowing down market.

 

The increasing amount of inventory with the lack of buyers’ demand might cause house prices in Burnaby to dip even more in the near future.

I hope you found this article helpful. If so, please, share it with someone who’s looking for a house in Burnaby or someone who owns a Burnaby home and would appreciate the extra information.

What effect will “empty home tax” have on Vancouver real estate market?

Vancouver to implement vacancy tax on empty homes and condos

cmhc-risky-markets-20160427

BC government has cleared the way for Vancouver to impose a vacancy tax on empty homes. Vancouver plans to impose the tax by early 2017. It will make it the first major city in Canada to implement such a penalty amid skyrocketing rents and growing concerns about foreign investment and speculation.

Mayor Robertson noted that a city study concluded there were about 10,800 empty residential units homes in the province, almost all condos, as of 2014.

Similar tax was introduced in London on ‘ghost homes’ back in 2013. As a result, one third of absentee owners began renting out their flats. However the majority of absentee owners left their flats vacant. The annual appreciation is way more than the ’empty home tax’.

So what effect will this new tax have on Vancouver’s real estate market?

In my opinion there will be no significant effect. Overseas millionaires and billionaires would not care about a couple of thousands of dollars per year in taxes. Vancouver has one of the lowest property taxes in the world. Even after additional vacancy tax it would still be quite affordable.

Empty home tax would be very hard to enforce. You could always have one of your family members “live” in the unit for a couple of weeks every year.

Other municipalities have not agreed to such tax yet. If Vancouver has an “empty home tax” a potential investor can alway buy in Burnaby, or North Vancouver, or Richmond, or… you get the idea.

In the best case scenario a small portion of the absentee owners will decide to rent out their units. Which should stimulate the rental vacancy rate. Currently the rental vacancy rate in Vancouver is 0.6 percent. Housing experts say a healthy vacancy rate is 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

In summery empty home tax will not have any significant effect on the real estate market in Vancouver. It might have a slight effect on the rental vacancy rates, but even that is questionable.

 

NOTE: This article represents my personal opinion. Do your own independent research before taking any actions.