What’s just Happened in Real Estate?

If you look at any major news site at least one of the headlines will be about Real Estate. With the Bank of Canada’s rate hike 2 weeks ago, along with low inventory, and fast-moving sales, real estate today can be confusing for the typical consumer. To make things easier on you, we’ve examined 3 trends and market changes that have created the current state of real estate.

 

  1. Bank of Canada Rate Hike.

On September 6, the Bank of Canada quietly raised its interest rate another 0.25%. This brought the rate up from 0.75% to 1%. Why did this happen? With Canada’s record year of economic growth, a higher interest rate is needed to cool the economy and ensure that inflation doesn’t get out of hand.  This can also have implications on mortgages. The lending rate of variable mortgages is tied to the Bank of Canada’s prime lending rate and it can impact the amount of homeowner’s payments. For more about interest rates and how they affect you click HERE.

 

  1. Continued Low Inventory

According to my Snap-Stats, in August the total number of listings was down from last year. The total listed homes came in at 3,884 this year, compared to 4,174 in 2016. This is an ongoing trend in The Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver detached home market. As fewer homes become available, pricing continues to push upward. This is great for sellers but creates the perfect storm for buyers looking to get into the market.

 

  1. A Shift to Townhomes and Condos

August Sales numbers were pushed above average levels due to a demand for condos and townhomes. Last month, 3,043 residential properties sold, marking a 22.3% increase compared to 2,489 sales in August of the previous year, and a 2.8% increase over this July. When compared to the August sales average from the last decade, 2017 sales were 19.6% above average. This surge in sales in Metro Vancouver is being led by first time homebuyers looking to buy property listed between $350k – $750k.  With demand rising, developers are working to keep building, and many new developments are planned for 2018.

 

The Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley real estate markets continue to change. Each day new statistics show that we are currently in one of the best markets for sellers, and also one of the most difficult for 1st time homebuyers. However, to the buyers – do not get discouraged! At Young Real Estate Group, we are committed to helping you find the right home in your budget – no matter what it takes. For those thinking to sell, don’t hesitate. Now is one of the best times in Real Estate to place a “For Sale” sign in your yard.

To learn what your home is worth, or to buy a home, please contact us. We happy to serve you whether you’re selling or buying. Call us at 604-533-3491 or email by clicking here.

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Guest Post: The Top 10 Latent Defects in Home Inspections

We are excited to have one of the sharpest Home Inspectors with us today! Say hello to Daniel Fedosenko of Mr. Home Inspector Ltd! Daniel has been in the industry for a number of years and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to home inspections. From Vancouver to Hope and everywhere in between they are helping homeowners check off all the boxes when it comes to home inspections. So without further ado, take it away Danny!

I have worked with Alistair Young and his team for a number of years. At Mr. Home Inspector our goal is to:

  • Offer solutions to issues/challenges (not just reported problems)
  • Go above and beyond the call of duty, and
  • Provide exceptional customer service in the Lower Mainland (from Squamish to Hope).

Today, we wanted to cover the topic of Latent Defects.  Latent defects are those which would not be revealed by any inquiry which a purchaser is in a position to make before entering the contract. Here are the top 10 Latent Defects that you may miss if you don’t have a proper home inspection done!

  1. Bathing area moisture issues behind tile surrounds: water damage.
  2. Pest infestation in attic, crawlspace, and or living areas: damage and air qulity issues can arise.
  3. Plumbing issue: polybutylene pipes with plastic fittings 1978-1995 years installed. Water damage and insurance issues, extra costs
  4. Hidden water leaks: ceilings, walls, or floors: water damage and extra costs will occur.
  5. Grade levels around homes too high up onto the structure: structural rot and extra costs will occur.
  6. Electrical panel size 60 amps: causes insurance issues and extra costs to upgrade the panel size to minimum 100 amps.
  7. Poor ventilation in attic causes mildew/mold in areas: air quality issues and extra costs to treat area.
  8. Toilet tanks by Crane manufactured between 1980-1991 (tanks prone to crack): water damage
  9. Basement and crawspace water leakage issues: water damage and extra costs to address.
  10. Aluminum wiring 1960’s to 1970’s: expands and contracts and loosens and can cause a fire.

There you have it folks–these 10 defects can be avoided by having a home inspection done before you move into your new home. Get in touch with me and my team today, we promise to help you find any issues and find a solution!

 

6 Tips for Homebuying Success

You did it! You have saved, saved, and saved some more and you finally have the money needed for a down payment! This is an exciting time for you—and also one that can be filled with questions. As a first-time homebuyer, the market can be confusing and misleading. However, there are tips that you can use that will make the process a memorable one for the right reasons.

  1. Research the Area

Really get to know the community you are looking at buying in. Find out what it has to offer in terms of nearby schools, drive time distances to work, and other destinations. Your dream home may become less dreamy when you discover you are 30 minutes away from the nearest grocery store!

 

  1. Get a Home Inspection

A home inspection will put your mind at ease that your prospective purchase is in good condition. The last thing you want are unexpected surprises once you move in and it’s too late. Make sure you choose a credited home inspector and review the report with them understanding that any repairs will be money out of your pocket once you own the home. Knowing all the facts is a good thing!

 

  1. Use a Mortgage Broker

One of the easiest choices you can make during this process is to work with a mortgage broker—and get pre-approved! Pre-approval will give you a set budget that your realtor can work off of. This way you can have your dream home—but stay on budget too.

 

  1. Avoid Large Purchases while House Hunting

As a first-time buyer, you will want to avoid making any large credit purchases while you are house-hunting. Large credit purchases will alter your debt-to-income ratio which will directly affect how much you qualify for a loan. The less you have in the “debt” category typically will result in you qualifying for more.

 

  1. Look past Décor

When entering a home, you have to look past the cosmetic décor items such as paint colour, furniture, finishes, etc. They are easy, low cost changes that you can easily switch out if you choose to purchase the home. As a buyer, remember that the homes you are looking at will undoubtedly have the current owners touch to it but this is easily fixed.

 

  1. Make a List

While you will need to retain some flexibility in this list, make a list of both your needs and wants. Your list should encompass your basic desires (like neighbourhood and size), all the way down to the smaller details like kitchen and bathroom layout. Match the property as closely as possible to your list and be honest with your realtor when looking at properties.

Finally, use a local realtor! Realtors that are well-versed in the area will have a better idea of fair-market value in the area. This will allow you to make an offer that is in line with the true price of the home vs. the listing price. Using a local realtor will also help you to have more insights into the neighborhood. They can help you determine the walk-score, tell you about nearby points of interest and have information about the general population in the area. A realtor well-versed in the area can be an invaluable resource especially for first time buyers!

Are you a first-time homebuyer? Give us a call at Young Real Estate Group and we will meet with you to help start the process!

July Market Update

July’s market update is live! As we head into the dog-days of summer, real estate is still going strong in the Fraser Valley. We are still in a Seller’s Market, with a 43% home selling rate.

There were a total of 4087 active listings in July. This is up from the previous year slightly. There were 1744 sales made in July, which was on par with last year’s sales at this time as well.

One of the most interesting, and still a concern for many first time and buyers in general, was the rise in sale price of 15% from last year. The main issue that is driving prices up continuously is the lack of inventory. Despite a record setting month in construction, there is still a high demand and low supply.

If you would like to see your snap-stats report for your area, get in touch with us and we will set you up!

4 Secrets of Real Estate Investing

The recent boom in BC real estate is getting people excited about real estate investing. Investing in real estate can give you a strong source of income and move you toward financial freedom and the life you have always imagined. Here are 4 key Secrets to buying your first investment property.

  1. Budget—and Stick to It

One of the most important aspects of investing is ensuring you understand your borrowing limitations. Blindly looking at properties before assessing your finances can be a recipe for disaster. Take the time to meet with a qualified mortgage broker to determine how much you can afford to borrow responsibly before you start shopping.

  1. Find the Right Property

Once you have a set budget, you can begin looking for a property. It may be tempting to scour the listings on your own, but working with an experienced local realtor will be a great addition to your team. Working with someone who has first-hand experience in investing will help you find the right property, on budget, in the right area, and provide you a higher return.

  1. Have a Home Inspection Done

Any property you want to purchase should be inspected.  Find a licensed home inspector who will point out any potential problems with the property. This can help you avoid costly repairs down the road. Also, if there are minor updates needed to the home, find a contractor who you can trust can put value back into the property when the time comes to sell or rent it out.

  1. Keep Records of Everything

Keep proper records of income and expenses for your property. Set up a separate, business account so you can easily trace your expenses associated with your real estate investing. This will make tax season and filing a breeze each year.  Along the same lines, if you are buying with a partner ensure you have an agreement in place to protect both of you should things not work out as planned. Have your lawyer draft or review the agreement.

As a bonus tip, it is important to take time to build your “investment team”. Finding people that you can trust and work can make a large impact on your success. To build your network come to our Investors Network Seminar on Tuesday August 15. We are a dedicated group of entrepreneurs who can advise and guide you. You also get monthly training about the real estate market, mortgage changes, and much more!

As always, if you have questions or would like to find the right property, give us a call. Young Real Estate Group is here for you!

How the Bank of Canada’s Interest Rate Hike Will Affect You and Your Mortgage

On July 12, we saw the first rate hike from the Bank of Canada. The rate was raised 0.25% from 0.5% to 0.75%. This was the first increase since September 2010 and more will come this year.  What do these increases mean for your fixed or variable rate mortgage? 

Mortgages

Your home may be the biggest purchase of your life, and anything that could affect the amount you are paying each month is important.

 

For a Fixed Rate Mortgage:

  • Payments for current homeowners stay the same
    • The interest rate on this type of mortgage is fixed so no matter what the Bank of Canada does, your rate will not change until your mortgage is up for renewal.
  • Increase at mortgage renewal
    • If you are at the end of your mortgages’ term, you will have to renew and your rate will change accordingly. This is not all bad news as the rate that you initially had at the start of your term (typically 5 years) may have been higher than the current rate is—even with the rate increase. To check what your future mortgage payments might be, I suggest using GLM Mortgage Groups’ Mortgage Calculator.
  • Higher Rate for Prospective Homebuyers
    • First-time home-buyers may have a higher rate if they are applying for a mortgage. Remember that the Bank of Canada will raise their rates in small increments (0.25%) at a time. Also, each increase translates into around $13 per $100k—an increase that most people can afford (though it may mean sacrificing a coffee run or two per week).

 

Variable Rate Mortgages

  • Your Payments Will Increase
    • A variable rate mortgage moves up or down with the general level of interest rates in the economy. This recent Bank of Canada hike means your mortgage payments will go up, but the amount you will be paying will be affordable, working out to around $13 per 100k
  • Should you switch to a Fixed Rate?
    • Deciding to lock into a fixed rate mortgage, depends on your ability to handle an increase in interest rates over time.  Historically, borrowers who stay in a Variable Rate Mortgage (VRM) tend to save more money over the course of the term. It is important to make an informed decision and to understand how Variable Rate Mortgages work.  Locking into a fixed rate may cost you more money than what an increase in your VRM would be.

The Mortgage Payment Calculator can show an estimated mortgage payment based on a new rate.

So there is no need to panic about these interest rate increases. It is important to stay informed and to budget for them.  The effect these increases will have on the real estate market remains to be seen.  This increase was the first one since 2010 but as we continue to get information we will keep you updated!  If you have any questions, please contact Young Real Estate Group and we can put you in touch with the best professionals out there to help you navigate these mortgage rate changes.

Market Update + What defines a Sellers Market?

The summer heat has spilled over to the real estate market! This month the Fraser Valley remained in a Sellers Market.

Looking at the table above and seeing the ‘sales ratio’ you may ask how those numbers translate into a Seller’s Market. So we thought that this month we would dive into how we determine the market as a balanced, sellers, or buyers market.

First, what is a Sales Ratio? The Sales Ratio is the current inventory of homes that are selling. It is found by taking the number of sales and dividing

Examples:

 10% sales ratio=1 in 10 homes selling rate

33% sales ratip=1 in 3 homes selling rate

Make sense? We then take those ratios and compare them to benchmarks which determine if the market is balanced, favours buyers, or favours sellers.

  • A buyers market would have a sales ratio of 11% or less
  • A balanced market would have a sales ratio of 12-20%
  • A seller’s market would have a sales ratio of 20% or more
Looking at the stats in the table above, you can see that we are in a seller’s market–and have been for the past several months. If you would like to learn more about the stats for your specific area–or are interested in chatting about putting your home on the market get in touch with us today. We would love to meet with you and help you understand what the market is doing in your area!