Airbnb has grown tremendously in the last several years as many travellers go-to accommodation site. Here in Vancouver, the City has a fairly strict policy as to who can Airbnb their property. Prior to 2018, rental stays for less than 30 days were not permitted in Vancouver, except for licensed hotels or bed-and-breakfasts in certain zoned areas. However, due to high rental and low vacancy rates, the city voted to begin allowing short term rentals in certain buildings. 


There is a pretty heft list requirements that you must qualify for in order to rent your unit out on a short term basis, but given the high traffic of tourists and visitors to our beautiful city, it can certainly be a profitable venture if done correctly. In order to be eligible, you must occupy the home for most of the year, and it must be a legal suite that meets all of the safety requirements. Precautions such as proper smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and more will be checked for prior to licensing. Provided your suite is secure and safe, you will  need to acquire a short term rental business license from the City of Vancouver. The license requires you to pay a small annual fee to maintain your license. 


As reatlors, we are familiar with many building bylaws, and have compiled a list of buildings that allow Airbnb in downtown Vancouver:


  • 1372 Seymour Street (The Mark)
  • 33 West Pender Street (33 Living) 
  • 989 Nelson Street (Electra)
  • 27 Alexander Street (Alexis)
  • 1010 Howe Street (Fortune House)
  • 1166 Melville Street (Orca Place)
  • 689 Abbott Street (Espana 1)
  • 188 Keefer Place (Espana 2)
  • 58 Keefer Place (Firenze 1)
  • 150 E Cordova
  • 1160 Burrard Street
  • 1200 Alberni Street (The Palisades)
  • 1288 Alberni Street (The Palisades West)
  • 933 Seymour Street (The Spot)
  • 1331 Homer Street (The Point 2)


There are so many benefits to buying in an Airbnb friendly building. If you like to travel, or spend a lot of time travelling for work, it is a great way to dramatically reduce your expenses. We have many clients that have positively cash flowed each month off of their unit while they've been exploring the world! There is also a lot of value in having this option for your building when it comes to resale, because as you can see, Airbnb friendly buildings are limited. If you have any questions about how to align your goals with short term rentals, please feel free to give us a call!

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We hear all the time if the Vancouver Real Estate market is in a bubble or if the bubble is going to burst.  In order to answer this question we likely need to determine what is a real estate bubble?  We also need to determine what constitutes a bubble bursting?


First off what is a bubble and what is a real estate bubble?

My take is a bubble is something that has been propped up for a single reason, or for reasons that are more filled with emotions than reality.  When a penny stock goes from 10 cents to 10 dollars it’s usually because a massive wave of buyers were scared to miss out.


They may not even care what the stock is or why people are buying it.  They just know that their friend bought it for 10 cents and is now drinking margaritas pool side after making a fortune. But when the momentum changes, and people see the stock coming down, they all jump ship as they don't really even know what this stock is that they own.  They also don't have a purpose for this stock.  


Blue chip stocks are expensive, and they serve a valuable purpose in our daily lives.  Apple, Nike, CN Rail etc.  These are companies that we all use and know.  We don't look at these stocks as being in a bubble when they go up and when they dip down we don't run for the hills.


So how does this relate to real estate?  Let's use Northern Alberta for example.  When there is talk about a new pipeline or big drilling going to a small town we see those prices sky rocket.  Investors buy because they see a shortage of housing and tremendous job growth.  Workers are being paid well as it's hard to find workers to go to these areas.  These same workers are willing to spend more for a home as they are making substantially more.  But when the oil dries up or the project is over these towns crumble.  This is because they were propped up by only ONE factor.


Now let's look at the Vancouver Real Estate market in terms of why it boomed.


1) Foreign Buyers

Obviously buyers from China had a influence in our market.  But within the group of Chinese buyers we had typical off-shore investors as well as families relocating, students moving for school and developers moving their money here.  We also had other groups.  Iran, Russia, USA and Mexico have also been very influential in the amount of money that has landed in Vancouver.


2) Lack of Supply

The City of Vancouver has done an amazing job of retaining our view corridors and limiting the size of towers.  With that they have also limited the number of homes that could be built within the city.  When the boom was happening we simply had way too much demand compared to supply.  


3) Population Growth
Vancouver's population growth has been tremendous as well.  According to this article the city of Vancouver went up by nearly 500,000 people between 2010 and 2019.  Our tech industry is growing and with more jobs available more people will continue to move here.  Amazon coming to Vancouver is a great example.

4) Scenery/Weather
Simply put, Vancouver is a beautiful city and one of mildest climates that you will find in Canada.  Retirees want to live here due to accessibility of health care as well as the ease of not living in a snowy region.


5) Money Laundering
With all of the news recently, we need to talk about this.  Was this the reason the market boomed?  Likely not.  But to say it didn't have any impact is likely foolish.  Illegal money was definitely put into the real estate market.  How much and for how long?  We will likely never know, and it is my guess that there will continue to be some illegal money going into this sector.

6) Speculation

As the market was booming, buyers flooded the market hoping to not miss out.  Similar to the 10 cent stock we discussed earlier, as people saw their friends, colleagues and family members reap the rewards of the booming market, buyers rushed in.  Investors stretched themselves and moved money from stocks to real estate. 

These are the main 6 reasons why I believe that we saw the growth that we did in the market.  In 2005 the Benchmark price in Metro Vancouver was $386,200.  In May 2018 the same benchmark price went to $1,104,400.  That is an increase of $718,200 in 15 years or nearly $50,000 per year!

So let’s go back to the bubble phenomenon that we keep hearing.  Has our bubble popped?  Let’s go through our list of 6 reasons why it’s increased the way it has.


1) Foreign Buyers - Do we still have foreign buyers coming into Vancouver?  Yes, although slower and more cautious we still have foreigners immigrating to Vancouver daily.  The new taxes have drastically put a damper on this; however, we are still seeing foreign buyers in our market.


2) Lack of Supply - We are still surrounded by mountains and the ocean.  The city is still being reluctant to allow infill housing, although the new duplex zoning should help increase some density.


3) Population Growth - Our population growth continues and likely will for the forceable future.


4) Scenery/Weather - Forest fires aside, Vancouver remains one of the most desirable cities to live in.


5) Money Laundering - The government is putting in regulations to curb money laundering.  It will slow down but will likely always be a factor.


6) Speculation - We are seeing MUCH LESS speculation these days.  Taxes that have been implemented and a general cooling of the market has really slowed down this pillar.


When I look at this list 2, 3, and 4 will likely never change.  Foreign buyers have slowed down, money laundering has likely slowed down and speculation has definitely slowed down.  There is no question why we have seen a slow down, but I by no means see this as a BURSTING BUBBLE. 

At the beginning of this blog I discussed bubbles being propped up by singular factors and the way I see it we will always have at least 3 pillars driving our market.

For that reason I expect to see regular corrections and regular inflation, but I DO NOT consider our market a bubble and I by no means see a hard crash landing.

If you have any questions about this topic or any others feel free to reach out to us directly.  We would love to hear your feedback and any topics that you would like us to discuss.


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When you are ready to buy your first home you have a few critical decisions to make.  First you need to decide how much you are willing to spend.  You should get a pre-approval from a mortgage broker, and from there decide if you want to max that out or spend a bit less so that your budget can remain more manageable.

You will need to decide next what is most important in terms of the home you are going to buy.  In Vancouver price per square foot is a very standard way of valuing a property.  If you are buying a condo, most units within the building will sell in and around the same price per square foot, unless they are substantially renovated or the view is drastically different.  Of course there are outliers for penthouses or units with large patios, but generally a 2 bedroom condo on the 8th floor will sell for a similar price per square foot as a 2 bedroom condo on the 9th floor.

If you are like most buyers and you don't have an unlimited budget, there are usually some things that you need to give up.  The newer, the bigger and the more central buildings usually sell for more.  

So do you want an older wood frame building that has larger square footage but it's a block from the beach?  Or would you rather something a bit smaller, maybe concrete and newer, but it's maybe not as central as you had hoped?

Well we can't tell you exactly what is important for you, but if you are looking at it in terms of a long term investment there are a few KEY factors to think about:

1) What condition is the building in? The last thing you want to do is buy in a problematic building.  Read the documents, ask your Realtor, and do some homework on the building.  You can fix a leaking dishwasher but dealing with a negligent strata is much more difficult.


2) Location Location Location... You've heard this before, but it still rings true.  When markets slow down, the good areas generally hold value better.  With that being said if you can look for areas that have reasons to grow (maybe a new hospital or skytrain or new restaurants) then look at what the area is going to be like in 5 years, not right now.  This is where you can really make some good decisions!

3) Layout - In a condo you can only do so much.  If the living room is an awkward shape it's likely always going to be an awkward shape.  You may be able to open up the kitchen or take down a wall or two but if you buy a pie shaped condo, it will always be a pie shaped condo.

4) PRICE - Last but not least.  When buying you want to make sure you get in at a number that will make sense not only today, but down the road.  Get your Realtor to do a market analysis to give you a good understanding of what the place is worth and what you can likely buy it for.


At the end of the day deciding where to buy will really depend on what is important to you.  I look for areas that have new transit opportunities, expected growth and areas close to parks and commerce.

I always advise my clients to first get into a good building, then look at what you are willing to give up in terms of size or location.  If you are willing to live in a smaller space in a better area go for it, but if you need more space then we may need to get creative by looking into some areas that have room for long term growth.

If you would like help with your home search don't hesitate to give us a call! 

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What are Assignments? How do Assignments work? What should we expect from Assignments moving forward?

The Greater Vancouver real estate market has seen a tremendous amount of new construction over the years. With new construction comes assignments.

Essentially an assignment is when a purchaser of a property sells their contract to a new purchase before closing on the property. This can happen in both re-sale and pre-sale markets; however, it is much more common on the pre-construction side of things. Not all developers allow assignments, and some developers that do allow them will not allow them to be made public on MLS. Most developers charge an assignment fee ranging from a few hundred dollars to 5% of the original purchase price.

With changes to the local government policy, taxes and a shifting market we are seeing a lot of assignments come on the market. If you have any questions about assignments feel free to drop us a line down below or text me directly at 604-363-7858
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Chapter 1: Know What's Selling


Springtime; typically one of the busiest seasons for Real Estate. I’m incredibly curious to see what the April statistics have in store for us. We see so many posts, on so many mediums, casting a very dark light on the market. Everyone seems to be getting inundated with information without knowing exactly how to perceive what they are taking in. We hear the stories from clients who speak with their coworkers, and the public that attends our open houses, everyone has heard different and conflicting options. So what properties are actually selling successfully in a down market? 


The answer is simple. The well priced, quality homes are still selling quickly and for fair market value. We are still seeing quite a few properties receiving multiple offers. In the last 2 weeks, we have been in 4 multiple offer situations, on properties ranging from Kitsilano condos, to a Burnaby townhouse, and even a 2 million dollar detached in Strathcona. For reasons detailed in this post, its the quantity that has greatly decreased; but quality properties are still moving. 


Without a doubt, you can certainly feel the shift that has occurred over the last year. We see a great difference in our clients' mentality when they are buying and selling now versus 2 years ago. Buyers and Sellers alike have erred on the side of caution over the last year, and we see that continuing for the foreseeable future. Buyers are taking longer to weigh their options and watch the market. Sellers are reluctant to reduce listing prices with the market downturn, afraid to leave money on the table from the sale of their home.


We see that housing demand isn’t aligned with our growing economy and low unemployment rates. The market trends we’re seeing are largely policy induced. For three years, governments at all levels have imposed new taxes and borrowing requirements on to the housing market. But what policymakers are failing to recognize is that these demand-side measures don’t eliminate demand. That demand is ultimately satisfied down the line because shelter needs simply don’t go away. Using public policy to delay local demand in the housing market just feeds disruptive cycles that have been so well-documented in our region.


The number of homes for sale continues to climb as sellers try to offload their properties in what is traditionally a busy spring market, while buyers hold back. There were 4,949 homes newly listed for sale on the MLS in March 2019. This is an 11.2% increase from March 2018 and 27.2% higher than February 2019. This shows us that the market is picking up as we transition out of winter.


The overall sales-to-active listings ration for all property types is teetering between a balanced market and a buyer’s market, and currently standing at 13.5%. The improvement in sales in March brought this figure back into balanced market territory, which is generally between 12 and 20%.


However, the market varies greatly by property type, as the ratio is 9.4% for detached homes, which is firmly a buyer’s market. It’s a balanced market for townhomes/duplexes/rowhomes at 15.9%, and for condos at 17.2%.

The benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver stands at $1,011,200, which is a 7.7% drop from March 2018, and a 0.5% slide in the month since February 2019.

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I recently went to the realtor prescreening of the Vista project by Dolomiti Homes in Burquitlam. We have been selling quite a few homes to our clients in the suburban areas surrounding Vancouver, as people are tired of paying a premium for square footage in the city when commuting via skytrain is quick, easy and affordable. Burquitlam is a fantastic example of this. From the skytrain station you can be downtown within approximately 30 minutes and pay a fraction of the price for a home. With tons of development proposed for this area, we are seeing a lot of activity from the developers and inquiries from our clients. The Presale market has seen a slight decrease as well, so we are finding that builders are offering certain incentives for buyers (such as no strata fees for a year, decorating bonuses, etc) you just have to know where to look. 


Vista Overview 

Grand Opening: April 6th, 2019

This particular project is just 8 minutes from the skytrain station, groceries, shops, and services 

35 minutes to downtown by skytrain 

Walking distance to Lougheed Town Center 

Contemporary design

Modern 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units available 

Over 4,000 sq ft of amenity space

360 degree views from the 3,300 sq ft 

ample outdoor space including a childrens play area next to greenspace

Secure underground parking 

 

Starting Price List:

1 Bed - $375,000                              

2 Bed - $499,900

3 Bed - $693,900


If you have any questions about presale projects around Metro Vancouver, we are here to help. Call us today for details, floorplans, and pricing! 




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With the high inventory of homes on the market today, homebuyers can afford to be picky. As consumers, we are always looking for the best option, so a home can easily be overlooked if it's not in pristine condition. Use these 10 tips to whip your home into shape and wow potential buyers.


Know your selling point; What made you fall in love with the home in the first place? Whether it be unique features or prime location, know what will attract potential buyers. 


Clean; Ensure that your home (both exterior and interior) are as clean as possible. If buyers see an unkept house, they will question if the home has been properly maintained. This will decrease saleability and increase the chances of a low offer.


Repairs; In a buyer's market, you want your home to be in its best condition. Clean up landscaping, fix doorknobs, change lightbulbs, whatever it needs to show the best. 


Improvements; take colour down a notch. Bright colours don’t really appeal to all buyers. Paint your walls a light, neutral colour to make spaces feel bright and calm. Little upgrades to lighting, flooring, or cabinetry can make a dramatic difference to a room.


Create a lasting first impression; Buy a new welcome mat, replace faded house numbers, and paint the front door a tasteful colour that compliments the home.


Remove clutter and depersonalize; Buyers want to envision their belongings in the home. Remove knickknacks, photos, extra furniture, and other personal items.


Stage; Staging can go a long way to highlight the best features of a space. Improving the aesthetic of your home will positively affect how it shows both online and in person. 


Organize closets and drawers; Messy closets give the appearance that your home doesn't have enough storage space.


Eliminate bad odors; Fill your home with inviting smells. When showing the home light candles, diffuse the air, putting out fresh flowers or bake a batch of cookies.

 

Aside from making sure your home is show ready, arguably the most important tip is to offer a reasonable selling price. Compare your property to similar homes sold in your building or area. Choosing the right price is one of the most important factors to determine how quickly you sell your house. Develop a sales strategy to maximize your return. 


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It’s a new year, and I know some of you are looking to make your first home purchase. I’d firstly like to commend you for making the decision to invest in your future! As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, 2019 will bring some excellent home buying opportunities as our market is in a period of correction. To make sure that you are making the best decision for your family, I wanted to highlight 5 common mistakes made by first time home buyers. 


Not going out and getting a pre-approval 

Searching for a property before getting a pre-approval is like going shopping with a credit card and not knowing the limit. So before you set foot into a home, make sure that you sit down with a trusted mortgage specialist to find out exactly what you can afford. It is important to shop the rates, do your research and find a trusted representative to work with. They will look at your bank statements, debt load, notice of assessments, income, investments, and so on. 


Think practical; not emotional 

This is probably going to be one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime. Therefore, you want to make sure you are making a practical, educated decision about where and when to buy your first home. Ensure that you are purchasing in a good neighbourhood that easily accessible with amenities nearby. Remember that your first home may not be your forever home, so you want to think resale value above all else.  


Conditions 

Make sure that you are aware of the conditions that you are including in your offer. They are your protection should the property or terms not meet your standard. This is where working with a realtor is essential; they will advise you what to include/exclude to make sure you’re covered.


Hire your own real estate agent 

Remember 99.9% of real estate transactions the seller pays the realtors commission. Therefore, I always advise hiring your own agent who has your sole interests in mind. They will act as a second set of eyes to highlight the pro’s and con’s of properties, which will be valuable in the decision-making process. At the end of the day, its someone working for you. 


Don’t forget to factor in closing costs 

You’re at the end of your first home buying experience, and the keys are almost yours. At this point, a lot of people forget the additional costs of closing a house. There are lawyer fees, deposit to utility companies, movers, property taxes may be applicable, etc. Be sure to have a buffer within your budget to factor in these costs, as they can be substantial. 

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Interest rates; certainly a big topic of conversation as we saw policy changes throughout the country in 2018. Ever since the benchmark interest rate was increased by the Bank Of Canada, economists, policy-makers, bankers, and realtors have been warning Canadians to expect more increases as we progressed through the year. It was forecasted that there would be as many as three more hikes by the end of 2019. 


But with current market conditions, prices of oil plummeting, and talk of a recession in the states, the outlook has quickly changed. At present, there is not a single hike priced for 2019. In fact, the bank has downgraded its expectations for the Canadian economy this year. Stephen Brown at Capital Economics predicts the slump in the worlds price of oil could be enough to take the wind out of Canada’s economic sails, slowing GDP growth to just 1.5 per cent this year. This is well below the two per cent growth the Bank of Canada was forecasting as of October when it nudged its rate up to where it is now at 1.75%. If the oil and housing markets continue to drag growth, increased interest rates are very unlikely, and the odds of rate cuts will rise in the coming quarters. 


The market in the Greater Vancouver area is nothing short of a roller coaster ride. As an industry professional, we have to stay on top of micro and macroeconomics to ensure we are providing our clients with the best advise possible. Be sure to follow along via our blog and subscribe to our monthly market analysis reports to ensure that you stay on top of the current market trends. 


Buying?

With pricing adjusting across most segments in the greater Vancouver area, housing is becoming more affordable. Although buyer stress tests decrease purchasing power, it is important to link up with an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage advisor and realtor to help you navigate this complex market. Make sure that you shop the rates and do your research! 


Selling? 

It is now more important than ever to ensure that you have an effective sales strategy in place to ensure your property is well advertised to receive top dollar. An effective online presence that makes your property stand out amongst the competition is imperative as we head into these difficult financial times. We are now technically in a buyers market, so being a savvy seller and having someone to educate you on current market trends is critical. 


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2018 Real Estate Review


Firstly, Happy New Year! 2018 was certainly a year of change for the Vancouver Real Estate market. Changes with financial terms and lending restrictions to new taxes implemented, and a shift in pricing and volume, I feel as though it has left the public perplexed. In order to help make sense of the last year, here is a quarterly summary of what the 2018 real estate market looked like. 


At the beginning of the year, we saw many regulations and tax changes, which greatly affected sale prices and volume. By the second quarter, sellers were still hanging onto the record prices that we saw in late 2017, not quite ready to adjust when the market changed. This led to longer days on the market and fewer sales. Properties that were priced sharply still saw multiple offers, but those priced on the high end were virtually at a standstill. Buyer mentality changed as well as inventory began to build throughout the year, with purchasers hoping to get properties at a discount. By the final quarter, sales were down about 42.5%, while the total number of homes listed were up 42.1% compared to the same time in 2017. Home sales across Metro Vancouver in 2018 were the lowest annual total in the region since 2000.


So overall, what does this mean? Well, it is a great time for buyers to move up in the market and for first-time buyers to finally get in. Although times have certainly changed, there is an incredible opportunity for investment and advancement, you just need to play the right cards. If you're thinking of selling and wondering what your home is worth in today's market, please give me a call. BC assessments were released, however, tax assessed value doesn't necessarily mean market value.


First Quarter 

  • At the beginning of the year, the government increased the foreign buyer tax to 20% from 15%
  • The province also implemented a new speculation tax on residential properties, targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who don’t pay income tax in BC. This includes those who leave homes vacant
  • The tax rate increased $5 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Property Transfer Tax on residential properties above $3 million increased to five per cent from three per cent


Second Quarter 

  • 29.7% decrease in sales comparing March 2017 to March 2018
  • 14% increase in sales compared to February 2018
  • Benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $1,092,000. This represents a 14.3% increase over April 2017 and a 0.7% increase compared to March 2018 
  • Sellers were hanging onto the record prices that we saw in late 2017, not quite ready to reduce. This led to longer days on the market and fewer sales.


Third Quarter

  • July 2018 had 30% fewer sales than July 2017
  • July 2018 had the fewest number of sales in any July since 2000
  • By August, sales were 25% below the 10 year August average
  • In September, sales were 46% below the 10-year average and 44% less than last September
  • Prices are still up nearly 7% since a year ago, but they are down from the second quarter


Fourth Quarter

  • At the beginning of the quarter, sales were 26.8% below the 10-year October sales average 
  • Home listings at four-year October high as sales remain below typical levels
  • The total number of homes listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 12,984, a 42.1%increase compared to October 2017 
  • By November, sales had decreased by 42.5% compared to November 2017, with an 18.2% decrease compared to October 2018 
  • Last month’s sales were 34.7% below the 10-year November sales average and were the lowest sales for the month since 2008
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The number 1 question I get once I inform people that I am a realtor is “how is the market”?

Well, my answer is usually long-winded and accompanied by speculation from other parties, which I always welcome. Here, I will try to use statistics collected from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, information gathered from some of the top mortgage agents in the city, and Re/Max Crest Realty data to break down where we are headed in this crazy housing market. 


This year, we have certainly seen the market slow down. We are in a period of correction, where the times of multiple bidding wars, subject free offers, and property values increasing by 40-50 percent are seemingly behind us. Buyers are able to take a moment to breathe, to solidify their financing terms, and also ensure that the property is to their standard. When it comes to the largest investment most families will ultimately make, it should be staring down the barrel of a shot gun competing against 5 other families. It seems that the times of more educated, concise buying are upon us… for now. 


What are housing prices doing? 


Well it depends on the property type, each are experiencing different levels of change. Greater Vancouver continues to see strong activity in the townhome and condominium market. RE/MAX predicts that it will decrease by 3%, given the high supply and low absorption rates heading into the new year. However, we did see a 4% and 5% increase in the number of condos and townhomes sold in October comparative to last year. So it's up for now, but trending down. One thing we know for sure that 1 bedroom condos win the popularity contest. Given that the condo market attracts first time buyers and investors, it's no surprise that prices hold true. 


But the greater question is, who will be most affected? 


Most affected: 

  • Luxury homes 
  • Land value 
  • Fixer-uppers 
  • Busy streets or prominent negative features 

Least affected: 

  • Condo’s under $1M 
  • Suburb condos under $700k
  • Townhouses in Vancouver under $1.2M 
  • Suburb townhouses under $900K 
  • Houses under $1.6M 
  • In terms of cities, less expensive suburbs to Vancouver seem to be holding up well 


Unaffected?:

  • Pre-sales for new condo developments remain hot. We’re still seeing pricing at its peak and quick sell outs in this sector 
  • In particular, we’re referring to the more affordable price points in desirable locations with easy access to public transit 

So.. what’s next?

New mortgage stress test and higher interest rates! Basically purchasing power has decreased as lending is getting tighter. This coupled with a 1% increase in interest rates will slow things down in the new year.

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Every time I see a house sell for under value I wonder what happened. Were the owners desperate? Was it priced incorrectly? Was something wrong with the building? I see all of the new listings and keep track of what homes are selling for. When I see homes sell for under asking, it’s generally due to poor marketing, incorrect pricing, or a lack of high quality photos.

Most home owners have a pretty good sense of the market. They read the headlines, they know if the market is hot, if it’s changing or if it is a buyers or sellers market. What they don’t fully understand is where THEIR home fits into this niche, and they DON’T have a process in place to navigate their specific niche.

Just because the papers say that the market is slowing, does that mean your condo is going to get less attention? Not necessarily. Condos vs homes, 2 bedrooms vs 1 bedrooms. Every niche will have its own specific market trends.

With the proper plan, expectations, and follow through you should never undersell your home. It’s an entire process and one that if you follow and trust you will reap the rewards.

Trust the process.
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I am a huge believer in floorplans.

As we head into a era where 90% of people start their home search online, it makes complete sense that without a flooplan some people may miss something about your home that they really would appreciate and that they may be willing to spend more money on.

The MLS only allows us to upload 20 photos. Depending on the size of the property this may only show segments of the home and it may miss some huge selling features.

A floorplan enables us to capture the entire home, and allows buyers to understand where the photos are that they are looking at.

Not to mention that Vancouver truly is an international city. Buyers that are out of town during showings will be much more comfortable submitting an offer sight unseen if you have a floorplan available. I sell a few properties every year without the buyer being present!

FLOORPLANS ALSO SAVE YOU TIME!

Buyers often want to come back once we have an accepted offer to take measurements and plan their furniture. With a floorplan already done, this step may be unnecessary and it definitely speeds up the process or lessens the number of times that they will ask for access.

I am in touch with buyers daily, and know how often buyers are asking for floorplans. Often buyers don’t want to waste their time if they aren’t sure that the layout will work. I provide professional floorplans for nearly all of my listings because they really do help.

Now that we know that floorplans bring you more buyers, make you more money and save you time, why wouldn’t you get a floorplan?
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Should I paint? Should I hire a stager? Should I do renovations? How do I price my home?

These are all questions that I receive on a regular basis, and there is not a one size fits all but here are 5 tips to use as a general rule of thumb:

1) Declutter - Thin down your closets, remove everything on your surfaces, and keep the furniture to the essentials. Take as much of your “extra” stuff to storage or donate what you don’t need to Value Village.


2) De-personalize - Remove all personalized photos and any feature pieces that are a very specific taste. Remember you are trying to appeal to the masses


3) Paint - If you have dirty old walls or any extreme colours a neutral grey or white will be a cheap fix and make the house look much brighter.


4) Fix - If there are a few things that need to be fixed that you have been putting off, now is the time to do it. Make sure all light bulbs are in working order, make sure the faucets don’t leak and clean up any old holes that may be in the walls from photos.


5) Staging - bring in a stager to see what should be done. They will have cost effective ways to help make your space look larger and emphasize the good and hide the bad.

If you have questions feel free to contact me!

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Rent increases have been capped in the province of BC since 2004. The usual method to determine the cap for the upcoming calendar year was to take the current average rate of inflation and add 2%.

 

In 2019, that would have allowed a 4.5% increase.

 

The NDP government has removed the additional 2%, so the maximum allowable increase will be set at the rate of inflation, 2.5%.

 

“It’s simply not sustainable for renters, many of whom are on fixed incomes, to see their rent increase by more than inflation each and every year,” said Premier John Horgan in a media release. “We have to eliminate the risk of such huge increases for renters. Our new approach strikes a balance between giving relief to renters while encouraging people to maintain their rental properties.”

 

As a result of eliminating the additional 2 per cent increase, the government says people living in a $1,200 per month apartment, which is the average rent in B.C., could save up to $288 in 2019 over what they could have paid under the old formula.

 

People in an average two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver could have faced paying up to $432 more over the course of the year.

 

“We recognize supply is key to bringing down rental costs in the long term, but renters have told us they are hurting and need help today,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a release.


“That’s why we are taking careful steps to address the housing crisis and ease the pressure on renters, while also making sure that landlords have the tools they need to continue to invest in their rental properties.”

 

The proposed change would bring B.C. in line with Ontario and Manitoba. The task force also recommended that the province give landlords the ability to apply for an additional increase if they can show the formula would not cover maintenance and other costs, as is the case in other Provinces with rent control.

 

In Ontario, landlords can apply for an "Above Guideline Rent Increase” under certain circumstances, including if the landlord’s taxes increased by an “extraordinary” amount, the landlord did significant repairs or the landlord’s costs for security services increased.


Above-guideline increases for repairs or security services are capped at a maximum of 3 per cent above the guideline in any one year. There is no limit on the percentage rent increase above the guideline allowed for an extraordinary increase in taxes or utilities.

 

The province of Alberta is looking at implementing their first rent control program in 2019.

 

Full recommendations for BC are expected to be released in November of this year.

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