Burnaby BC Condo Market Update – February 2017

Here is a detailed breakdown of Burnaby BC condo market for February 2017. We will look at both 1 and 2 bedroom units. Townhouses and detached properties are not included in the statistics. Only resale properties are accounted for; no new construction.

Average Sales Price for 1 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: $373,057 | +17.3% (change since February 2017)

Average Sales Price for 2 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: $571,335 | +20.6% (change since February 2017)


Average Percent of Original Price for 1 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: 99.8% | +1.8% (change since February 2017)


Average Percent of Original Price for 2 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: 99.9% | +0.9% (change since February 2017)

 


 

Average Price Per Square Foot for 1 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: $582 | +13.9% (change since February 2017)

Average Price Per Square Foot for 2 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: $576 | +13.8% (change since February 2017)

 


 

Total Inventory of 1 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: 61 | -46.0% (change since February 2017)

Total Inventory of 2 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: 136 | -40.4% (change since February 2017)

 


 

New listings of 1 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: 55 | -20.3% (change since February 2017)

New listings of 2 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: $388,204 | +25.5% (change since February 2017)

 


 

Total Sales of 1 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: 40 | -42.0% (change since February 2017)

Total Sales of 2 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: 72 | -36.8% (change since February 2017)

 


 

Sales to Active Listings Ratio of 1 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: 0.656 | +7.4% (change since February 2017)

Sales to Active Listings Ratio of 2 Bedroom Condos in Burnaby in February 2017 (see graph below)

February 2017: 0.529 | +5.8% (change since February 2017)

 

In conclusion, Burnaby condo market is still a very strong sellers market. We see a very strong buyer demand for both 1 and 2 bedroom units. Low inventory demand and hight buyer demand are driving the market. Many condos are still selling with multiple offers and over the asking price.

3 things you NEED to know about your 2017 B.C. property assessment

coquitlam home

A few days ago homeowners all over Lower Mainland have received their 2017 Property Assessments. Single-family homeowners have seen an increase of 30 to 50 per cent in one year. Most condo owners in Metro Vancouver have also seen major increases of 15 to 30 per cent.

Every year B.C. Property Assessment come out I get a ton of questions from my clients. I thought I’d be easier to write a blog post about it.

Here are things you need to know about your 2017 property assessments.

  1. Even though Property Tax Assessment are sent out in January of the new year the assessed value is as of July 1 of the previous year. Your 2017 tax assessment roughly estimates how much you could have sold your property for on July 1, 2016. Whatever market changes happen after July 1, 2016 will be factored into your 2018 tax assessment. Unfortunately, most of the Metro Vancouver home prices have decreased since July (See my Vancouver Housing Breakdown for Dec 2016 here).
  2. Assessments and tax increases are not a linear relationship. Your property increasing in value by 40% based on the tax assessment doesn’t mean that your property taxes will be 40% higher. There is something called mil rate.  The mill rate is a factor which goes up and down to even out the price fluctuations.  The mill rate (factor) is multiplied by the value of the home to achieve the taxes that the city deems it needs.    The City uses this factor to achieve the rate increases to pay for their budget.  Usually 3-5% per year.  Your taxes will be very close to the amount that the city has earmarked.
  3.  Typically your tax assessments are 10-15% lower than the actual value of the property. That’s done for a reason. City Halls all over Lower Mainland don’t want to have angry homeowners at their footsteps demanding their property assessments to be lowered. However, due to the decrease in home prices in recent months your 2017 tax assessment might be very accurate.

In conclusion, huge increases in B.C. property assessments don’t necessarily mean huge property tax increases for the homeowners. No need to panic. Based on the changes in the real estate market most property assessments are outdated.

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.

One simple way to protect yourself agains “Shadow Flipping” in Vancouver

Image from cbc.ca
Image from cbc.ca

Turn on the TV or go online and you will see countless news stories about “Shadow Flipping” in Vancouver BC. It is a scary thing for some homeowners. Nobody want’s to have their property flipped for profit before the sale even completes. In some cases the “flipper” can make hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of days. So how do you protect yourself from the “shadow flipping” as a seller?

By default every Contract of Purchase and Sale has an “assignment clause” in it. The “assignment clause” is the clause investors abuse to assign/sell contracts for profit. The general rule, in the absence of wording in the contract to the contrary, is that BUYERS MAY ASSIGN their rights under the contract as long as they do not prejudice the rights of the sellers. For example, if the sellers are carrying the mortgage, they may not want the contract to be assigned to another party.

If you are concern about “shadow flipping” and want to protect yourself just add a simple clause in your Contract of Purchase and Sale. This will eliminate the assignment clause and thus eliminate the ability of anyone to assign (or sell) the contract to a third party.

Here is an example of the no assignment option clause:


 

“No Assignment Option Clause

The Buyer agrees not to assign this contract in whole or in part to any third party.”


 

That’s it! Now you can sell your property without worrying about anyone trying to flip it before the completion date. Feel free to contact me with questions about selling your property (house or a condo) in the Greater Vancouver area.

 

DISCLAIMER: Seek independent legal advice before implementing any of the idea discussed in this article.

Should you hire an inspector for a walk-through of your new property?

Inspection-Passed

As real estate professional I get asked a lot of questions. “Should I get an inspection done, when I buy a property?” is among the most frequently asked questions. Here is a simple answer – YES! YOU SHOULD GET AN INPECTION DONE WHEN BUYING  REAL ESTATE! But what about brand new properties? Should you still get an inspection for brand new properties? If so, when should you do it?

The answer is YES! Even for the brand new house or a condo you should still hire an inspector. I am not some crazy “inspector employment advocate”. Experienced inspectors will be able to find hidden issues that might need attention, even in the brand new properties. If they don’t find anything, at least you will sleep better at night. That’s a scientific fact.

The question of “IF you should get an inspection?”, becomes “WHEN should you get an inspection?”.  Brand new properties can be either move-in ready, under construction or in the development stages. 

If the house or a condo is under construction or in the development stages the only time you will be able to hire an inspector is for the final deficiency report (also referred to as “walk-through”).

The deficiency report or the final walk-through is 1-3 hours inspection booked off for you and the developer to walk through the property and look for deficiencies. This date is usually set about a month prior to the completion date. All of the deficiencies found should be fixed before the completion date at the expense of the builder/developer. Ask your real estate agent about appropriate subjects to include in your contract. Feel free to contact me as well.

The walk-through is a great time to hire an inspector. He or she will be able to point out hidden deficiencies and save you time and money in the long run. As a curtesy let the developer (or selling agent) know that you will be hiring an inspector for a final walk through.

If the new property is move-in ready, I suggest adding an inspection clause into your offer, if possible. This way you will have 5-10 days to schedule the inspection and make sure that there are no hidden problems with the property before committing to the purchase. Ask your real estate agent about “the inspection subject”.

If the inspection is not possible before subjects’ removal (or you don’t inspection subject in your offer), you can still hire an inspector for the final walk-through. The same rules apply as before.

When buying real estate, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Always hire a professional inspector even when buying brand new construction.

3 Tips for selling your home or a condo in a “HOT” Vancouver market

Miniature house with sold sign

Greater Vancouver market continues to be very active late into the fall of 2015. Metro Vancouver has a very strong sellers market, for the most part . That’s great news if you are planning to sell your house or a condo.

To find out if your neighbourhood and a property are in a sellers’ market you can contact me (or your real estate agent) directly or check the statistics here – the latest real estate market statistics for September 2015 from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board. If your home is in fact in a “HOT” sellers’ market what is the best way of selling it and making sure that you don’t leave any money on the table?

  1. Price is everything.  One of the main services that your real estate agent provides is figuring out the exact value of your property. To figure out the value (price) of the property recent sales, available inventory and even tax assessments are all taken into account. Every agent has a different strategy to find the value of the property. I will share mine in another blog post. After the value of your property is established; take away 3-5% and that should be your listing price.  Listing your property 3-5% below market value is very important step. This will generate a lot of buyer interest.
  2. “Hold” your property for at least 5-7 days on the market. In a hot sellers’ market you will be receiving offers on the very first day your property is being listed. Accepting an offer on the first or second day of your property being listed is a mistake and will most likely cost you thousands of dollars. It is very important to hold off all offers for at least 5-7 days. This way your property will get appropriate market exposure.  Set a date for the offer presentation. More often than not your will have a bidding war. Buyers will be lining up to present their offers.
  3.  Do Friday showings and an open house on the weekend. There are circumstances where open houses are not an option. For example it’s against the strata bylaws. In these instances regular showings should be scheduled for the weekend.  Assuming you are able to host an open house you should definitely do it.  Friday showings will be mostly for the agents and for the buyers who can’t make it to the open houses on the weekend. The weekend open houses are what really sells the property. If you followed tip #1. You will have people lining up outside of your front door to view the property. More people = urgency = higher offers.

Ideally, you would want to follow this timeline in listing and selling your property for best results in a sellers’ market. Monday or Tuesday your property is live on MLS (with pictures and full description). Make sure that it’s priced 3-5% under the “market value”. No showings throughout the week until Friday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday showings and an open house. Create urgency and drive as many people to the open house as possible. Monday or Tuesday evening offers presentation. Have at least 3 offers and accept the most favorable one. Sounds easy right? The whole process is of course a little bit more complicated but this should give you a pretty good idea.

Make sure to consult with your real estate professional or call me directly 604-565-7052 before implementing any of the steps. Happy selling:)

3 tips for buying real estate in a sellers’ market

BuyingYourHomeinaSellersMarket

Vancouver has a very strong sellers’ market at the moment. Houses (pretty much in every Vancouver neighbouhood) and condos in Downtown and the Olympic Village area are selling within days. Other Lower Mainland cities such as: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, some parts of Richmond, some parts of Surrey (Fraser Valley), North and West Vancouver have incredibly strong sellers’ markets as well. It isn’t uncommon for properties to have multiple offers and to sell over the asking price.

Some people argue that Vancouver is a real estate bubble. I am not going to argue that point. Although, my personal opinion is that we aren’t in a housing bubble. In fact I believe that the market has still quite a bit of room to come up before a small correction. More on that subject in another blog post.

So what defies a strong sellers’ market? Basically, if the sales ration (number of properties sold vs the number of properties listings) is over 20% we have a sellers’ market. According to the latest real estate statistics current sales ratio in Greater Vancouver is around 31%. The are a lot of buyers on the market “fighting” over a limited number of available properties.

It is certainly very frustrating to be a buyer in such market conditions. All of the power is in the hands of sellers. Here are my top 3 tips on deal with sellers’ market (as a buyer):

  1. Find a good real estate agent. It is a good idea to have a real estate agent representing your interests in any market condition.  Sellers’ market makes working with a realtor much more important. Real estate agents have access to listings 2-3 days before general public.  A good real estate agent will be able to tell you how much the property is worth (it’s very easy to overpay in a sellers’ market). Most importantly a good realtor will be able to guide you though each offer presentation. Be prepared to “lose” some multiple offer “bidding wars”.
  2. Get pre-approved. I usually advice my clients not to get pre-approved. However, searching for properties in a sellers’ market with a mortgage pre-approval is a good idea. First off, you will know your exact budget. Being pre-approved takes away a certain amount of stress. And lastly, you could always play the “no subjects offer” card. Although, you should be very careful with strategy. Make sure to talk to your agent about making offers without subjects. If you don’t have an agent feel free to call me 604 565 7052.
  3. Look at as many properties as possible. In the sellers’ market there isn’t a lot of inventory to preview. That makes looking at as many properties as possible even more important. Looking at many different houses or condos will get you familiar with the market. It will also make you more confident about making an offer on the property that you do like.

I hope you find these tips useful in your home search. Drink a cup of tea, take a deep breath and relax. Buying a property is a little stressful, sellers’ market adds a little to that stress. Be prepared for multiple offers. Be prepared to make offers on multiple properties. And be prepared to let some properties go. It is all part of the real estate buying process.

For more real estate related content follow me on social or check back on this blog. Please, share this with people that you think might find it useful. For real estate advice email me at [email protected] or call 604-565-7052.

Selling your Vancouver home in a “down market”

Selling your Vancouver home in a “down market”

Selling a home could be a stressful activity.  A lot of home owners are very uncomfortable with strangers coming through the house, opening closet doors and cabinets but it is a part of the sales process. Another added stress of selling a home in any economy is keeping your Vancouver house in a “show ready condition. A lot of times you will have to get your house prepared for showing within hours’ notice. It isn’t such a big issue in when the market is up and properties sell within days but when the market is slow and your property “sits” on the market for months at the time selling process could get frustrating. Imagine trying sell your property for 8 month.

What is down market? Down market could mean many things. It could mean that there are very few buyers and a lot of inventory on the market (aka. the buyers’ market). Buyers’ market could be a result of many factors. Some of the main causes for buyers’ market in Vancouver are: high interest rates and/or change in immigration policies among many others. High interest rates create buyers’ market due to lower number of people being able to qualify for increased monthly payments. Change in immigration regulations could also be a factor in buyers’ market in Vancouver. Vancouver is known for having a hot real estate market for foreign investors. When immigration policies change international investors would be looking for different real estate markets to invest into and thus Vancouver real estate market will have a decrease in active buyers.

Down market could also mean significant housing price drops. Most of United States and Canada experiences significant real estate price drops and eventually recession in 2008. A lot of people could not afford their mortgages any longer and had to sell their homes or had their homes in foreclosures. When there is a large inventory of houses doe to foreclosures and not enough buyers real estate prices can drop significantly, which creates buyers’ market.

Now that we have a better understanding of what down market is and how it’s created let talk about selling your Vancouver home.

To sell a home in any market there is only one thing that’s required – a buyer!  Imagine going out fishing. It’s a lot easier to catch a fish if the river is full of them. As the number of fish decreases it becomes harder and harder to catch one. It is the same situation with buyers.  When the market is on the upswing there are plenty of buyers and a lot easier to find one for your house. Sometimes you could find a few and even have your house in a biting war. As the number of buyers decreases it becomes harder and harder to find one for your house.

In my opinion the key to selling your Vancouver property in a down market for a reasonable price is making it appeal to as many people as possible.

Why did I say for a reasonable price? You can sell anything if you lower the price enough. If you were to put your Vancouver property on the market for $10 it would sell within minute (your real estate agent would probably be the first one to make an offer).  I know it’s a silly example and you wouldn’t put your Vancouver house on the market for $10 but it gets my point across.

So how do you make your property appealing to as many people as possible?

De-personalize your home. Turn your home into a house. Take down all of the family photos. A lot of times buyers would be uncomfortable with having sellers family photos in the house they are thinking of purchasing. Think of it this way. You want to do everything possible to help buyers envision themselves living there.

Make sure your Vancouver house is in a move-in ready state. Fix up all of the little projects around the house you’ve been neglecting. Paint the walls, fix door knobs, remove carpet stains and do whatever else that needs to be done. A big majority of buyers want to buy a house in move-in ready condition without any added DIY (do it yourself) projects.

Curb appeal. Make sure your house looks good from the outside. You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but most people do. Make sure the lawn is landscaped, house has been pressure washed or painted and looks like your buyers’ dream home.

Offer “take-back mortgage”.  As I mentioned earlier one of the reasons for slow market is buyers not being able to qualify for mortgages.  If you are in a position to offer buyer take-back mortgage your Vancouver house will come with an extra added bonus that will make it easier to sell. Please, make sure to consult with your financial professional about mortgage take-back option before making any decisions.

Follow these tips for selling your Vancouver home in a down market and good luck.

Furnished strata rentals in Vancouver

Furnished strata rentals in Vancouver

Becoming a landlord is exciting. If you are thinking of purchasing a condo in Greater Vancouver as an investment property you are moving in the right direction.

Investment strata properties are very popular in Vancouver. Condo rentals are especially popular in downtown core. As a new landlord you have a choice of renting a furnished or unfurnished suite.

Renting an unfurnished suit it’s pretty straight forward. Usually you would lease it out to someone for at least a year. It would be up to your tenant to furnish the unit.

Furnished rentals are increasing in popularity in Vancouver. They do require a larger upfront investment but the return most of the time is well worth the effort. Usually with furnished rentals they would be rented for a short period 2-3 months at the time. Which could mean that you are able to charge double the rent as opposed to the unfurnished renal unit.

Some strata corporations in Vancouver are becoming increasingly aware of short term executive rentals and are changing their by-laws to prevent them. Strata corporation are changing their by-laws to allow a minimum of 1 year lease thus preventing short term rentals.

If you are looking to get into executive rentals, be sure to double check all of strata by-laws regarding rental restrictions. Also be sure to check any possible upcoming amendments to the rental restriction by-laws.

For more information call or email me today: Oleg 604-564-7052 or [email protected]

Please, keep in mind that I am a licensed real estate agent and not a licensed property manager.

 

3 common mistakes real estate agents make

3 common mistakes real estate agents make

Real estate agents are absolute professionals. We are held to a higher standard of business ethics and care. Which means that we owe our clients fiduciary duty to put their best interest ahead of our own.

What is actually considered best interest of your client? Here are 3 common mistakes real estate agents make when working with their clients.

Number one: overpricing the property. Some of the real estate agent will overprice the property to please their clients. They might want to get the listing and will put a higher value on the property in order to get their client’s business. Or maybe they have a long relationship with the client and don’t want to upset them. Whatever the case might be, overpricing your clients property is a disservice. Property will most likely sit on the market for a long time. Sooner of later price reduction will follow.

Number two: over promising and under delivering. This is a common trend in many service driven business. To get clients’ business some agent will promise a lot. Things like: “will sell in 30 days” or “it will sell for “this” price I guarantee it”. Empty promises are just setting agents for failure and clients for disappointment. It’s very hard to predict where the market is going and how buyers will react to the property you’re selling. Educated estimates based on current market conditions and agents personal experience is what clients are really looking for.

Number three: cutting corners with MLS listing. Multiple Listings Service is one of the best if not the best sources of finding buyers for your property. MLS listing for the property should clearly outline it’s benefits in the description. Great pictures of property’s best features is a must. The pictures don’t have to be professionally take but should showcase the property well. Room measurements and property information are very important as well. Cutting corners with MLS listing ads could cost clients some valuable buyers.

Real estate professionals are great, honest and trustworthy people. Chances are you will be working with a true professional who will not make any of the silly mistakes listed about. Nevertheless,  keep your eyes open for the mistakes outlined above and happy selling.

Please, call or email me with any questions. Oleg 604-565-7052 or [email protected]