BCREA reports Home Sales Increase in July 2013

Here’s the latest from the BC Real Estate Association:

July Home Sales Highest Since 2009

Vancouver, BC  August 14, 2013. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,650 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC for July, up 18 per cent from July of 2012. Total sales dollar volume was 32.8 per cent higher than a year ago at $4.09 billion. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $534,360, up 12.5 per cent from July 2012.2013-07chart

“Home sales in the province posted their strongest July since 2009,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “After six consecutive months of rising consumer demand, it’s now clear that BC housing markets are recovering from tighter lending regulations introduced last year,” added Muir.

“Rising home sales are unlikely to put any significant upward pressure on home prices,” cautioned Muir,as the inventory of homes for sale is expected to keep pace with demand.Many potential home sellers that have been holding off for improved market conditions are expected to put their homes on the market to meet the swelling ranks of home buyers.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 2.8 per cent to $22.9 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were down 4 per cent to 42,986 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 1.3 per cent at $531,928.

For more details see the BCREA site.

Summer Video Updates

It’s early summer in Vancouver, and here’s the latest overview of the market from Nicholas Meyer. The following two videos cover both the real estate market and the market for condo rentals here in Vancouver BC.
Please contact Nic for further info.

BCREA 4th Quarter Housing Forecast, 2012


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2012 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast on October 26, 2012

BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to decline 9.8 per cent to 69,200 units this year, before increasing 8.3 per cent to 74,920 units in 2013. The fifteen-year average is 79,000 unit sales, while a record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.

“Despite stronger consumer demand in the interior, BC home sales will fall short of last year’s total,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “A moderating trend in Vancouver has recently been exacerbated by tighter high-ratio mortgage regulation. The resulting decline in purchasing power has squeezed some potential buyers out of the market. However, strong full-time employment growth, persistently low mortgage interest rates and an expanding population base point to more robust consumer demand in 2013.”

“While the average MLS® residential price is forecast to decline 7.6 per cent to $518,600 this year, the change is largely the result of luxury home sales returning to more normal levels after an unusually active 2011,” added Muir. In addition, the Lower Mainland’s share of provincial home sales is expected to decline to 57 per cent this year from 62 per cent in 2011.The average MLS® residential price in BC is forecast to edge up 0.7 per cent to $522,000 in 2013.

For full info, go to the BCREA site.

Video of BCREA stats Oct. 2012

Housing Market Update (October 2012)
Click on image to watch BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir discuss the September 2012 statistics

BCREA News: Tighter Regulation Trims Home Sales

The latest economic news from the BC Real Estate Association.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that the dollar volume of homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC declined 28.5 per cent to $2.2 billion in September compared to the same month last year. A total of 4,539 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded over the same period, down 24.3 per cent from September 2011. The average MLS® residential price was $494,213, down 5.6 per cent from a year ago.

“Stricter high-ratio mortgage regulation further exacerbated a moderating trend in consumer demand,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Reducing the maximum amortization from 30 to 25 years had the equivalent impact to affordability as a 100 basis point increase in mortgage interest rates.”

“An expanding population, strong full-time employment growth and persistent low mortgage interest rates are expected to bolster housing demand in the months ahead,” added Muir.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume declined 18.5 per cent to $28.4 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales declined 10.6 per cent to 54,670 units, while the average MLS® residential price was 8.9 per cent lower at $519,289.

Link here to original article

Selling vs Renting

We met with an owner today who had a property and was unable to sell it without a drastic discount in the current market as she needed the equity to be transferred to a recent purchase.

After crunching the numbers, it turned out that by renting she would be about $500 better off by retaining the suite and renting it out through Downtown Suites.

How did we arrive at this number? By determining her net equity in the old suite after selling, then calculating how much the new mortgage would be lowered by reducing the equity amount compared with the rental income, less expenses.
This one example shows a very good reason why you should consider renting as opposed to selling.

In addition, consider this:

  • If your property is sold you may not be able to get back into the market so easily later on.
  • Rents will go up over time, we are allowed to raise rents by 4.3% annually ( this increase % fluctuates yearly and is set by the provincial government.)
  •  The principal owing will reduce as it is paid down, providing you with more monthly income.
  •  The tenant will pay most of the costs for your holding the property.
  • Finally, the suite of course will continue to appreciate as well over time.

This particular suite was what we call a blue chip investment, right on the water front on Marinaside Crescent in Yaletown. They are not building any more real estate there and this suite will definitely continue to be more valuable and sought-after.

If you are currently trying to sell your suite in this depressed market, we encourage you to discuss with us at Downtown Suites how we can maximize your rental income and preserve your investment.

March 2012 Housing Stats from REBGV

The President of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver gives his overview of the statistics for last month

Spring 2012 Market Update with Nicholas Meyer

Nicholas Meyer, President of Downtown Suites Ltd. gives an overview of the current market in Vancouver for real estate investors and renters.

Expert Advice: Should You Rent or Sell?

Expert Advice from Nicholas Meyer of Downtown Suites

One of the biggest questions we have right now, and one I was asked just this week by a client of ours, is whether the person should rent or sell. And this is a question that pops up a lot in people’s minds. If they’ve held a property for a number of years and the market’s improved, it seems to be waning – should they jump ship now before it goes down further, or should they hold? These are questions I get asked on quite a regular basis.

The first thing that you have to look at is what’s going on in the market, how much demand is for my property and what did I originally pay for it? Have I made a profit?

And then more importantly I think, because I never believe in selling anything unless there’s a reason for it: possibly you’re not happy with the way the building is being run or you don’t like the fact that there have been too many transient people moving in to the property, or various other things: you don’t like the upkeep, the strata corporation is not maintaining the property as well as they might. There are a few things like that. And by all means when those things happen you should always follow your intuition and move on, and place your funds somewhere else where you will probably have a better investment.

One of the things that you really need to think about is, “If I sell it, what am I going to do with the funds that I realize from the sale?”Maybe it’s that time in your life when you do want to go on a couple of around the world vacations or buy that big tv or diamond ring or whatever.  But the reality is that the investment vehicle is lost. You may want to pay down your own mortgage on your own home, and be mortgage-free, which is also another good thing to do.

But really make sure that you have some viable vehicle to place the funds in. Maybe it’s another property, or maybe it’s an oil well, but I think that’s one of the big things.

Also, “Am I getting a good rent? Do I like the rental return I’m getting? I’m getting a good monthly income, am I going to miss that? Am I going to be able to get as much money if I move the funds somewhere else?” These are things that are just sort of basic questions, but that’s what you need to ask yourself.

Essentially, “What is going on in the market?” Currently, our market, we have well over 1000 suites for sale right now. Going into the winter market, things will be slower here. We’ve had some good news this week, interest rates are remaining stable, probably not going to be rising till the end of next year. Who knows when, but the government are keeping the rates down, which is keeping mortgage rates down, and should keep our market getting along. We’ve been fortunate to have such a large influx of foreign capital.

Looking around the world, I was just recently in the Middle East, and I’ve been back in Europe. Our prices are not out of line with what’s going on in the rest of the world. There are some places far humbler than Vancouver which is number 1 or number 2 on the most liveable places on the planet to live, that are as expensive or more expensive that here. Yesterday I saw an apartment property in London selling for 140 million, and I think that was pounds – it makes our real estate seem miniscule by comparison. And I know in Amman, in Jordan where I just was there were 5 and 10 million dollar properties supposedly. So our prices here are definitely in line with what’s going on in the rest of the world, and given that we’re such a desirable place to be. I feel we will continue to appreciate in value. We’ll have some lulls and we’ll have some plateaus, but over time we’re going to continue to rise in value.

So, happy investing!

Market Conditions Beginning to Improve Says BCREA

For immediate release

Vancouver, BC – October 13, 2010. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province declined 36 per cent to 5,511 units in September compared to the same month last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, MLS® residential unit sales in the province increased 2 per cent in September from August 2010. The average MLS® residential price climbed 4 per cent to $493,846 in September compared to the same month last year.

“BC home sales increased for the second consecutive month in September,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, consumer demand is still noticeably lower than last fall’s frenetic pace.”

“Market conditions have improved, with the months of supply declining from 11.1 in June to 8.9 in September,” added Muir. A balanced market typically exhibits five to seven months of supply.Housing Market Conditions, 2010 Oct.

“The current downward pressure on mortgage rates is expected to bolster housing demand this fall as consumers take advantage of a second opportunity to secure near record low interest rates,” noted Muir.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 2 per cent to $29.6 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales declined 7 per cent to 59,228 year-to-date, while the average MLS® residential price climbed 9 per cent to $500,539 over the same period.

For more info, download full pdf from the BCREA Newsroom