Firstly, I hope this news letter reaches you well and healthy.
Many homeowners and investors are looking for predictions in the real estate market on Vancouver Island. As no one would ever predict that COVID-19 pandemic were to transform the world health and economy, 6 months prior, a prediction in real estate would not be prudent. However there are historical comparisons and indicators of where the market may go, please keep in mind that the Real Estate industry’s direction is a moving target.
What the facts are ( It's not all good news) :
“The S&P/TSX Composite Index capped off the first quarter down 21.59 per cent”
Energy ( Stocks) : -38.2 per cent"- BNN Bloomberg April 1 2020
"OTTAWA — Canada lost a record-breaking 1 million jobs in March while the unemployment rate soared to 7.8 per cent, official data showed on Thursday” Financial Post April 9 2020
"Evidence suggests housing activity will continue to improve into 2020, with prices either continuing to rise or accelerating in many parts of Canada. Indeed, many housing market indicators continue to support this outlook. " CREA Dec 2019 forecast
"Mortgage interest rates have declined, including the Bank of Canada’s benchmark five-year rate used by Canada’s largest banks to qualify applicants under the B-20 mortgage stress-test. Though the decline in the benchmark rate has been modest, it is helping to improve homebuyer access to home purchase financing.”CREA Dec 2019 forcast.
The Positive News for Real Estate in B.C.:
Currently, homes are holding their value. The real estate markets did not see the plummet in prices that stock markets saw in March.
People will need to move. There is a need for homes and supply of Real Estate.
2020 started with low inventory. Prior to COVID reality there was upward pressure of the need for housing inventory. Buyers are waiting in the wings. There is a good likelihood that Vancouver Island will see another wave of buyers from Alberta seeking retirement or a change in life-style homes.
Forecasts suggest upward pricing within the year and maybe as early as summer months.
Mortgage rates are apppealing, making home ownership possible for new home buyers.
In summary, it is a good time to talk to me about selling your home. Based on low inventory and low activity levels, I believe there will be a surge in the Real Estate market activity when health and social-distancing restrictions are lifted. Both for investors who have pulled out of stock markets and people downsizing or a need to liquidate their Real Estate assets will need to move to a more affordable home.
Real Estate services are essential services in BC. I offer all the required COVID safeguards to keep you and your home safe. The Real Estate Trade is running, albeit adapted, almost the same as before.
We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful community full of natural beauty with a variety of homes. Someone will want to purchase your home.
Be ready for the market to gain momentum soon, when social distiancing rules are modified. If you are considering selling or buying now is a good time to talk give me a call. As always, confidental.
Call or Text. 778-966-9177 Vida Glaser email@example.com
January 2019 Real Estate Statisics
Sales numbers decreased in December 2018. What does that mean in the housing market? Fewer properties sold, so more to choose from.
“A grand total of 7,150 properties sold over the course of 2018, 20 per cent fewer than the 8,994 sold in 2017. 2018 sales came in very close to the ten-year average of 7,351 properties sold. Condominium sales totalled 2,162 in 2018, compared to 2,783 in 2017. Single family home sales were down from 4,069 in 2017 to 3,187 in 2018.
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2017 was $832,000. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2018 increased by 3.2 per cent to $858,600, lower than November's value of $865,200. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in December 2017 was $464,300, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in December 2018 increased by 8.2 per cent to $502,400, slightly more than November's value of $500,500.”
"The market in 2019 will continue to be quieter than in previous years, as buyers and sellers adjust to new market conditions and government policies," adds President Kerr. "Inventory is still quite low when you look at a longer range, which will continue to put pressure on pricing. Our overall economy is predicted to slow slightly, and that will likely mean a slower increase in interest rates but also slower growth. The good news is that savvy buyers will have more time to find their new homes, and that sellers will be under less pressure if they are planning to move within our market.
This means more opportunity for buyers and that the market is approaching Normal values. Watch for some price reductions while the market remains strong compared to Alberta.
Remember in evolving markets like ours, it's important to enlist the services of a REALTOR® to help you navigate what may be your largest transaction ever."
What do the Victoria Board November Statistics mean in Markets that are not “Victoria proper”? Victoria Board October Statistics indicate the sales have decreased and sales are heading toward a balanced market - not a Sellers Market as labelled for the last 4 years. Does this apply north of Langford?
The Malahat Area - which comprises Mill Bay, Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake and Malahat properties has its own set of statistics. The Malahat area is lumped into the Victoria Real Estate Board Statistics, but has several unrelated characteristics. One, being that the Victoria Market is subject to Speculation and Vacancy Tax which affects the Market. New building projects, properties that are vacant and properties that are rentable are all affected if different ways. In the Malahat Area, this tax does not apply. Second, the October Benchmark Price in Victoria was $881,000 for your “average home” in the Victoria board, a 6% increase over last year. We know that in the Malahat Area, this is not the case. $650,000 will purchase a beautiful average home in today’s market, while single family homes in the $450-$550,000 are common. We are our own little microcosm. The Sales Statistics are quite specific.
If you would like to know where your home fits into the current area Real Estate Statistics Contact me for details and your own pertinent statistics. firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, there is some clarity. Buyers should have their REALTOR verify if the property they purchase maybe subject to this tax. BC Government website info:
Speculation and Vacancy Tax
The speculation and vacancy tax is designed to prevent housing speculation and help turn vacant and underutilized properties into homes for people who live and work in B.C. The tax is a part of the B.C. government’s 30-Point Plan to address the housing crisis and help make life more affordable for people.
For 2018, the tax will be levied at:
- 0.5% of the property’s assessed value for all properties subject to the tax
For 2019 and subsequent years, the tax will be levied at:
- 2% for foreign owners and satellite families
- 0.5% for British Columbians and other Canadian* citizens or permanent residents who are not members of a satellite family
The tax will be levied on owners who own the property on December 31 of each taxation year.
By levying the highest tax rate on foreign owners and satellite families, the tax ensures those with limited social and economic ties to the province pay the largest share.
For more info contact Vida Glaser REALTOR (250)743-0043
British Columbia Speculation Tax provides investment opportunites and homes for BC residents. With the speculation tax being effective January 2018, we are already seeing more properties coming on the market after the first announcement in February 2018. Investors with vacant properties are beginning to sell. The good news is for you; more great properties to buy. Long term rentals are exempt fromthe tax, as are primary residences. New housing projects will also provide opportunites for you to own a home in Beautiful British Columbia. Contact me for exempt map locations, where investment or second home opportunites are currently allowed. Details from BC website below.
Focus on urban centres:
The speculation tax applies to residential property in British Columbia’s largest urban centres facing the housing affordability crisis. These are regions with low vacancy rates that are facing severe affordability challenges in which home prices drastically exceed local incomes.
The tax applies in the Metro Vancouver Regional District (excluding Bowen Island and Electoral Area A, except the part of the electoral area that is the UBC and University Endowment Lands), the Capital Regional District (excluding the Gulf Islands and (Juan de Fuca), Kelowna-West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville (excluding Protection Island), Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission. Most islands are excluded.
Primary residences of British Columbians are exempt from the tax.
Properties that are used as qualifying long-term rentals are exempt from the tax. Homes will need to be rented out for at least three months to qualify for an exemption in 2018. Starting in 2019, homes will need to be rented out for at least six months, in increments of 30 days or more, to qualify for an exemption.
Over 99% of British Columbians will be exempt, because the vast majority of homes owned by British Columbians in the province’s urban centres will either be owner- occupied or will be rented long-term.
In 2018, the tax rate for all properties subject to the tax is 0.5% on the property value.
In 2019 and subsequent years, the tax rates will be as follows:
2% for foreign investors and satellite families;
1% for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who do not live in British
0.5% for British Columbians who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents
(and not members of a satellite family). Credit design:
British Columbians who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and not part of a satellite family, will be eligible for a tax credit that is immediately applied against the speculation tax. This credit will offset a total of $2,000 in speculation tax payable. For homeowners with multiple properties, the tax credit will only apply to one property.
This tax credit will ensure that British Columbians do not pay tax on a second home valued up to $400,000. For more expensive vacant properties, the credit ensures that tax only applies to the value of the property above $400,000.
Who doesn’t pay the tax:
The vast majority of British Columbians:
Over 99% of British Columbians are estimated to be exempt from the speculation tax because they own a home and live in it, rent a home, have a second property that is outside of a designated urban centre, have a second property that is valued below $400,000 or have multiple urban properties that are rented out long-term.
People whose homes and cottages are outside the designated urban centres:
The speculation tax uses a targeted approach. It is purposefully designed to help bring housing stock onto the market in B.C.’s urban centres hit hardest by the housing crisis. People with homes and cottages outside the designated area do not pay the speculation tax.
Homeowners with properties in designated urban centres, but who rent them out long-term:
People who hold properties in designated urban centres will also be exempt from the tax if they rent the properties out at least six months a year.
Those eligible for special exemptions:
There will be exemptions to accommodate special circumstances, including:
The owner or tenant is undergoing medical care or residing in a hospital, long- term care or a supportive-care facility
The owner or tenant is temporarily absent for work purposes
The registered owner is deceased and the estate is in the process of being
January 2, 2018 A total of 462 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this December, 1.9 per cent fewer than the 471 properties sold in December last year.
A grand total of 8,944 properties sold over the course of 2017, 15.8 percent fewer than the record breaking 10,622 that sold in 2016. 2017 sales came in at 21.7 per cent over the ten year average of 7,349 properties sold.
"Early in 2017 we discussed how the Victoria area housing market would be different than the record breaking year we had in 2016 and that over the course of the year we'd probably see a gradual return to a more balanced market. We did see evidence of this change come early in the year, as multiple offers and rapid price increases leveled out," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "However, the ongoing low inventory of properties for sale meant that buyers continued to experience competitive situations in high demand areas, and multiple offers were still a common occurrence as buyers negotiated in a tighter market. What we couldn't anticipate were outside factors such as changes to mortgage qualifying rules that may have pushed people into the market early. The pending mortgage stress test in particular is likely to have caused much of the increased activity we've seen in November and December."
There were 1,384 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of December 2017, a decrease of 21.5 per cent compared to the month of November and 7.3 per cent fewer than the 1,493 active listings for sale at the end of December 2016. This is the lowest level of inventory for the area in the month of December since the statistic was tracked in 1996.
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in December 2016 was $753,900. The benchmark value for the same home in December 2017 has increased by 9.3 per cent to $823,800, and is slightly lower than November's value of $824,600.
"Overall, the low inventory and the continued interest in Victoria real estate meant that well-priced homes were quick to sell in 2017. Moving forward, we expect to see more inventory come into the market, which will continue to move us toward a more balanced state," adds President Balabanian. "We also expect housing prices to remain stable, without the increases we tracked in 2016, and anticipate steady slow growth. In markets like these, it's important to enlist the services of a REALTOR® to help you navigate what may be your largest transaction ever."
About the Victoria Real Estate Board - Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of Realtors. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,374 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.
Victoria Real Estate Market Statistics for August 2017
Sept 1, 2017 - A total of 736 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this August, 16.6 per cent fewer than the 883 properties sold in August last year.
"I admit to being a little surprised by the August numbers," notes Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. "I expected inventory numbers to be climbing by now, but instead we've seen even lower numbers of listings on the market. This is likely leading to some buyer fatigue along with pressure on pricing in high demand areas."
There were 1,917 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of August 2017, a decrease of four properties compared to the month of July, and 8.5 per cent fewer than the 2,094 active listings for sale at the end of August 2016.
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in August 2016 was $743,200. The benchmark value for the same home in August 2017 has increased by 10.8 per cent to $823,100.
Are you putting yourself and your biggest asset at risk?
For Sale by Owners…BEWARE
-You put yourself at risk of being sued or liable for misinformation or for non-disclosure on contracts; brokerages and associates would usually be the barrier to the home owner in this case.
-You risk losing thousands of dollars by poor pricing or poor exposure to the market to make your home price languish and get stale. Would you want to buy a stale loaf of bread? Your home is your biggest asset!
-Your real estate associate is trained in negotiating with the greatest benefit to, their client, the seller. They have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interest; with…… maybe the expert buyer. Are you ready to haggle for the value of your home and to keep your equity for your most important asset?
-Would you feel comfortable selling your $400,000 retirement fund, with no expert advice, to a stranger?
Are you showing your own home, who is at risk?
-Who are you inviting into your home? Are they an interested neighbor – using your precious time to “look around”? Are they a stranger who may be scouting out your home? Have you told them when you are and aren’t home? Can they see children live here?
-Is there a security risk to being alone in your home with a stranger to you and your young or elderly family? Is there a risk they may come back when you are NOT at home?
- Real estate associates a you professional real esate asscociate will pre-qualify a buyer to ensure their motive is to buy a home and keep your home safe and secure when it’s for sale.
Who saves the commission? Will you be losing out on income?
-Buyers come in thinking they can save the commission, so they may “low ball “your price.
-Ask a buyer if they expect to pay full commission prices on a FSBO?.
-Are you offering the buyer’s agent 3.5% and 1.5% to come and see your home? If you are paying the same amount to buye’rs agents, are you really saving on the whole sale or just getting a discount for poor exposure and uncertain pricing and a lot of stress?
-Many professional real estate associates will not show their buyer’s a FSBO. It may put their client at risk for a fraudulent sale or other legal issues, undisclosed defects, potential difficulty in negotiating with an emotional sale or having to haggle for or put their full commission at risk. Are you missing out on buyers seeing your home?
-Sellers will have to incur their own cost up front for time and cost of advertising, internet posting, marketing to get the same exposure to the real estate market at their cost when full service brokerage associate commission covers this.
-Sellers will have to lower their initial listing prices to gain attention in the market, then what happens when an offer comes in, will they offer full commission prices then, or will they offer even less?
-Who determines if the listing is competitively priced, too high? =No interest, Too Low? =Risk losing income from the sale? This is you professional real estate associate’s business and goal: to be educated to professional and provincial standards to help you price your home right.
After having read this?
Who comes out on top of a “For Sale by Owner” ( FSBO)?
You may have heard that Victoria Real Estate is experiencing higher prices due to the low supply compared to February 2017? In Last months statistiics indicate that inventory levels edged lower, with 1,537 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2017, 40 per cent fewer than the 2,562 active listings at the end of February 2016.
Some buyers and sellers see this as low inventory for previous month and expect an increase of supply for the comiing months Look again....In February 2015 there were 3,480 active listings for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February, 7.7% fewer than the 3,770 active listings in February 2014. Total MLS® sales in February were 412, a 4.6 per cent increase over February 2013 when 394 units sold and a 20.5 per cent increase over the 342 sales reported to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) in January 2014.
The high supply of homes on the market was due to low sales in previous years combined with higher inventory levels.
Good news for buyers , number of sales have decreased; March 1, 2017 - A total of 675 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 12.6 per cent fewer than the 772 properties sold in February last year. We are seeing fewer sold, in the last month, so things may be settling down. Builders are building up a storm, there are options for people who want to move to more suburban centres for lower prices. We might see and easing up of high prices and more Victoria homes available this spring. The peak may have passed
Keep your eye out for a cooler market late this spring. March trends will give better indications of where the peak prices are going.
Calgary and area real estate markets are trending to more balanced conditions. Transition to higher prices will be slow. Detached inventory in Calgary was easing to lower levels in Jan. and Feb. stablizing prices. Sales to new lisitng ratio has improved from Feb. 2016 to Feb 2017, 39% to 55%. Benchmark prices for detached homes were 1% lower than 2016. CREB says," sellers need to be realisitc with pricing". We may have realized the bottom of prices and it is forcasted to be a slow and steady recovery.