Blog › February 2014

The one thing you can do to make sense of the real estate market


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Making sense of a crazy market

Unless you're a real estate expert, you probably look at the market and think things are pretty confusing. Even a bit crazy! You hear news about “bubbles bursting”, “higher or lower home sales in a particular month”, “new home starts” that are up or down, and on and on it goes.

It’s a lot of news and a lot of jargon.

If you're thinking of selling your home within the next year or two, you will want to understand what's happening in the market so you can make the right decisions and get a clear sense of what to expect. So, how do you make sense of it all?

That's where a good REALTOR® can help.

Even if you don't have any definite plans to move in the near future, a REALTOR® who is an expert in the local marketplace can help you understand what homes in a particular neighbourhood are selling for, and what you can expect to get should you decide to list your property.

Getting to know a REALTOR® also means you’ll have a trusted expert to talk to from time to time, when you have real estate-related questions.

You’ll have someone you can think of as "Your REALTOR®".

Plus, when the time comes to sell your property, you won't have to deal with a stranger. Instead, you'll be able to work with a REALTOR® that you know well -- and who knows YOU. Overall, that will make the buying and selling process go more smoothly and more successfully.

Looking for a good REALTOR® who wants to get to know you? Call today!



First Time Buyers Get A Break!


February 18, 2014

Government reduces tax burden on first-time buyers

First-time home buyers received welcome news in today’s provincial budget. Any REALTORS® currently working with first-time buyers will want to share this news with them as soon as possible.

The government has announced, effective February 19, 2014, under the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Exemption program, qualifying first-time buyers can buy a home worth up to $475,000. The previous threshold was $425,000.

The partial exemption continues and will apply to homes valued between $475,000 and $500,000.

With this change, the government estimates 1,700 additional first-time buyers will annually be eligible to save up to $7,500 in PTT when they buy their home.

The government estimates this measure will cost $8 million in lost tax revenue each year.

The Real Estate Board, together with BC Real Estate Association, has actively lobbied to make home ownership more affordable for first-time home buyers. This increase in the threshold clearly signals our efforts have paid off as in past years.

In 2008, as a result of industry lobbying, the provincial government increased the threshold to $425,000 from $375,000. 

In 2005, the government increased the threshold to $325,000 from $275,000.

The PTT is calculated at a rate of one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remaining value of the purchase price.

Here is a link to the Budget.: http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2014/default.htm




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January 2014 Housing Market Update - The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver


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.



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