Market Update: November Stats

The November Fraser Valley Real Estate Stats are in! This November saw a steady stream of listings and the price-points of homes remained stable from October. The market remains to be a SELLERS MARKET with a 45% Home Selling Ratio.

The stats for this month were:

  November 2017 Stats October 2017 Stats November 2017 Stats
Number of Listings 3410 3674 3692
Sale Price 675, 000 668, 000 586, 000
Total Sales 1523 1642 1111
Days on Market 16 16 26

 

The BC Real Estate Association was quoted as saying “The combination of weakening consumer demand and a surge in new home completions next year is expected to induce  more balanced market conditions, producing less upwards pressure on home prices.”

As stated above, a more balanced market is expected to occur in 2018-essentially having prices level off and inventory become more readily available. This is excellent news for buyers wanting to break into the market.

One final consideration for December and 2018: The new mortgage regulations. These new regulations will effect many by reducing their borrowing power up to 20%! They come into full effect as of January 1, making now an advisable time to buy or sell a home!

If you are interested in learning more about the stats for your specific area/location, please give me an email or call and we would be happy to send them your way.

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4 Home Updates That Get You Top Dollar

Right now is the perfect time to list your home. Mortgage changes are coming  January 1, 2018 that could reduce buying power by uo to 20%.  Also, with interest rates rising, and market prices still high, listing your home now makes sense. However, before you put a For Sale sign on your lawn, here are 4 home updates that can help get you top dollar for your home.

  1. UPDATE FLOORING

Flooring is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to put value back into your home. Updating your floors can instantly update the entire look and feel. A simple swap is to replace outdated carpets with hardwood or laminate, and for bathrooms and kitchens look to classic, simple tile designs.

  1. SWITCH OUT HARDWARE AND FIXTURES

Kitchens and bathrooms can instantly make a home appear outdated. One simple update that is to switch out fixtures and hardware. Replace dated brass hardware on cupboards and drawers with a more modern, clean look. Also, consider updating your faucets and light fixtures too-these are budget friendly and can be installed in a few hours.

  1. FRESH PAINT

One of the easiest ways to give your home a facelift is to refresh your paint colours! Choose light and neutral, inviting tones that will work for all buyer types. In addition, select a single colour to use in each room. Keeping it simple, clean, and neutral will add value back into your home and instantly make it easier for buyers to see themselves living there.

  1. DECLUTTER AND DEPERSONALIZE

Your home is just tha…your home. It has pieces of you and your family throughout. However, when you are selling it is important to remove some of those more personal items. That wallpaper you love, the quote over your entry way, or that funky piece of artwork might not appeal to all buyer types. Remove or place these things in storage. At the same time, look at your home objectively and pinpoint any areas that are “clutter zones”. Sort and organize these areas and put any items you don’t use day-to-day in storage as well.

By taking the time to update your home and showcase its best features you will instantly see a return on your investment. Buyers are more willing to buy a home that they can picture themselves living in.  Keep in mind that at Young Real Estate Group we have a network of trusted individuals who can help you with these projects! We know moving and listing a home can be a stressful time…and having someone do it for you just makes life easier! Give us a call today and we will be thrilled to meet  you and discuss the next steps in getting your home ready to sell for top dollar!

604.720.5353

It Just Got Harder to Buy a Home in BC….

Did you know new mortgage changes and regulations are coming that will have a significant impact for home buyers?  Effective January 1, 2018 the new Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures (Guidelines B-20) will be applied to all federally regulated lenders.

The changes to the guidelines focus on:

  • the qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages
  • expectations around loan-to-value (LTV) limits
  • restrictions to purchases designed to work around those LTV limits.

What does this mean for homebuyers? I spoke with Geoff Lee of GLM Mortgage Group to give you the full details.

“The new guidelines will require that all conventional mortgages (those with a down payment higher than 20%) will have to undergo stress testing. Stress testing means that the borrower would have to qualify at the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada (currently at 4.89%) or the contractual mortgage rate +2% (5 year fixed at 3.19% +2%=5.19% qualifying rate).”

These changes effectively mean that a buyer’s borrowing power is directly impacted—up to a decrease of 25%. Let’s look at an example:

BUYING A HOME

When buying a home with these new guidelines, borrowing power is also restricted. Using the scenario of a dual income family making a combined annual income of $85,000 the borrowing amount would be:

Current Lending Guidelines 

Qualifying at a rate of 3.34% with a 25-year amortization and the combined income of $85,000 annually, the couple can purchase a home at $560,000

New lending Guidelines

Qualifying at a rate of 5.34% (contract mortgage rate +2%) with a 25-year amortization and the combined annual income of $85,000 you would be able to purchase a home of only $455,000.

OUTCOME: This reduces your borrowing power by $105,000.  I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a significant amount.

*For more information on the other guidelines, read GLM’s full article HERE

In the above scenario, it is a scary thought that you would qualify for 20-25% less than you would under today’s current lending guidelines. In our Fraser Valley markets, this is exceptionally significant when the average detached home price is well above $800,000.

What can be done?  If you are thinking of buying, you may want to do so before these new guidelines take full effect in January of 2018. The market has maintained high median prices and low inventory over the past several months—and with the rate increases plus this new announcement- it is getting harder and harder to buy a home. Don’t wait- give me a call today and let’s meet to discuss how you can win! And remember, here at Young Real Estate Group, we get you more.

Snap Stats September Edition

Housing has become a valued asset in an investment portfolio. Greater Vancouver has become viewed as a hotspot for global investors. This month, statistics explain why adding real estate to your portfolio just might be the way to go.

The market speed for the Fraser Valley is 36%  which officially makes it a seller’s market. This is due to a number of factors, but let’s start with sales. Total sales last month were 1464 which is 26% greater year over year and 14%  last month over month.

Next up, sale price.  The median sale price was $682,000 which is a 15% increase over this time last year and a 1 percent increase over the previous month.

Finally,  active listings. There were 4060 active listings last month which is a 9% decrease over this time last year and a 5% increase month over month. A property was on the market for 16 days before selling which is no change from one year ago and 23%  more than the previous month.

If you would like to see what the market stats for you specific area are, or would like to talk about listing your home please do not hesitate to contact us.

Don’t forget to visit our website too and check out our top tips for buying or selling a home…remember, at Young Real Estate Group we get you more!

 

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.

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!