Maggie Prince

604-862-4524

MARKET UPDATE FOR MARCH 2022:


We saw more homes come onto the market in February, as homeowners moved to get a jump on the spring market and take advantage of the un- precedented demand and high prices.

With more homes to choose from, Buyers could be a little more selective and perhaps a little more cautious in their approach. We started seeing conditional offers again, at closer to asking price, rather than subject-free offers way above list price.

Many homes still sold within a few weeks, and many still received multiple offers, but not to the same extent that they had in preceding months.

Although it’s early days to make a prediction, this may be the start of a subtle shift away from the extreme conditions of the Seller’s market we’ve seen since the early days of Covid-19.

Even so, the Seller’s market will likely continue through 2022. Persistent demand from Buyers has created a market that is continually under-supplied.

Rising interest rates will affect Buyers’ borrowing power moving forward, and that should moderate price growth somewhat, but with the ongoing high demand and low supply, prices will continue to rise.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver expects prices to go up by an average of nine percent for all property types in 2022; 13 percent for detached homes, townhouses are expected to increase by 9.5 percent and condos by eight percent.

My advice to people who do want to sell is don’t wait too long. If you act now you may be able to ride the end of the extreme Seller’s market.

Buyers should keep an eye on interest rates. Even a one-percent hike in rates will reduce the amount you can borrow by up to 10 percent. Current global uncertainty may drive interest rates higher than predicted, so consider buying sooner rather than later.


On an interesting note, we’ve seen a shift in the typical Buyer.

As first-time Buyers and millennials get priced out of the market, an increasing number of people who already own homes are becoming Buyers, as they leverage their equity to purchase additional properties for investment purposes.

Hopefully some of them are purchasing to help their kids, the would-be first-time Buyers.

Whether Buying or Selling, let me put my experience to work for you.

POSTS BY DATE


January 2022

December 2021

October 2021

August 2021

June 2021

April 2021

February 2021

MARKET UPDATE FOR JANUARY 2022:

No one could have predicted at the start of the pandemic just what a profound effect Covid would have on the housing market, but the 2021 stats have been released, and the full impact can now be measured... at least, up un- til this point in time. 

The big story in 2021, of course, was the unanticipated and unprecedented demand for housing. Prices sky-rocketed to unheard-of levels, especially in the suburbs, where you could buy more for the money. 

Almost like dominoes, we watched prices shoot up in Coquitlam, then Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, even Mission, which now has a home price index (cost of a ‘typical’ home in an area) of more than a million dollars. 

Of these communities, Pitt Meadows was the place with the largest benchmark price increase for detached homes in 2021, a whopping 42.2 percent, followed by Maple Ridge at 38.5 percent. Townhouses in Maple Ridge were up 35.2 percent. Those are staggering increases in just one year. 

And the south side of the river has seen even larger gains: in Surrey, Langley, Aldergrove, Abbotsford we’ve watched prices climb in succession; even Chilliwack has seen substantial price increases. 

While demand was high throughout 2021, inventory remained low. Across Metro Vancouver, we began 2022 with fewer homes for sale than we’ve seen in over 30 years ...This at a time of unprecedented demand. 

It’s anticipated that mortgage rates will increase somewhat this year and that could have a modest effect on the market, but we’re not likely to see big changes anytime soon. 

In the meantime, the seller’s market continues. If you’re considering selling your home now is a great time to do it, especially if you’re planning to down-size or move away from the Lower Mainland. 

Buyers will continue to struggle to get into the market, but I predict it’s only going to get more difficult, as prices continue to climb and mortgage rates go up. The last thing buyers need is for their buying power to diminish because of higher interest rates, at a time when home prices are so high. 

Whether buying or selling, a trusted, hard-working realtor can be your best friend in this market. Give me a call... I’d love to help!


MARKET UPDATE FOR DECEMBER 2021:
The fall market continued much as it began… with not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of people wanting to purchase.

The number of total sales (detached, townhouse and condo) has been well above the 10-year average month after month in this hot market. At the same time, the number of homes offered for sale has declined; typical for this time of year, but putting stress on the market.

With not enough inventory, competition has heated up between buyers. Many of them are feeling frustrated, especially if they’ve made offers and lost out because of multiple bids on properties.

Many places are selling well over asking price, which is great for sellers, if the property appraises out high enough that buyers can get the financing they need.

And just a note here: most buyers need some help with financing for their real estate purchases, so even an offer that doesn’t contain a ‘Subject to Financing’ clause can collapse if the lender decides the buyer is paying more than the property is worth.

The heated market has led the government to announce plans for a ‘cooling off’ period for home purchases, something they plan to address in the spring. We’ll find out more at that time.

Mortgage rates will almost certainly be going up next year, likely by around mid-year. One mortgage broker I work with predicts three hikes to the rate in 2022, and the same again in 2023.

Current mortgage rates start at 2.49 percent for a five-year fixed term, while a variable rate mortgage starts at just 1.15 percent. Even with the predicted increases in rates, she feels the variable rate mortgage is still a better choice, with its lower rate and no early pay-out penalties.

I was surprised to learn recently that up to 60 percent of people locked into a fixed-rate mortgage break their mortgage early and pay for the privilege through interest penalties. So much for the forever home! 



MARKET UPDATE FOR OCTOBER 2021:
The real estate market experienced a little bit of a slowdown in August as people made getting away a priority, but by September many were focused once again on buying or selling a home.

If the start is any indication, it’s going to be a robust fall market… if we can get enough inventory to satisfy the home-buying public.
It’s been a seller’s market since shortly after Covid hit, with a migration of people from Vancouver moving out to the suburbs. Last month there were only two markets in the Lower Mainland that had balanced markets, i.e. conditions that favoured neither buyers nor sellers.
Those communities were Vancouver (no surprise there), and New Westminster, which is a relatively small sampling.
The other areas are firmly in the seller’s market camp in all categories: detached homes, townhouses and condos. And as we’ve seen over the past 18 months, that does nothing but drive prices up.
It’s unfortunate for people who were entertaining the idea of buying but didn’t… now many may feel as if they’ve been priced out of the market.
The reality is, many will have to revise their plans and look to buy a townhome instead of a house, or a condo instead of a townhouse. Or buy out further, although we’ve seen what that’s done to pricing out in the Valley, with prices in some communities rising over 30 percent in the last year.
Will this market shift again and will prices come down? The experts that I’m hearing from are predicting that the busy fall market will pave the way for a spring market that is busier than ever, so it doesn’t look like prices will be dropping anytime soon.
The demand for housing is bringing with it more multiple offers, and that often drives prices up way over the asking price.
Good news if you’re a seller with a plan to either downsize or move out of the area to a more affordable community. If you are interested in selling, please don’t attempt it on your own; you’ll need a good realtor to navigate the process in a market like this.
And if you’re a buyer hoping to get into the market, you make want to get creative and think past the one family/one home scenario.
Whatever your goals, I would be happy to discuss them with you and offer suggestions.


MARKET UPDATE FOR AUGUST 2021:

Both the number of sales and the number of listings declined last month, although sales were still above the 10-year average in most areas of the Lower Mainland.

The easing of activity is likely just the typical summer slow-down in the market, although since Covid hit, things have been anything but typical!

So… sales and listings were down from the month before, although sales were still above average. At the same time, the number of listings actually fell below the 10-year average.

Prices have been stabilizing over the past few months, but the combination of fewer listings and high demand may change that. It will be interesting to see what happens to house pricing this fall.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at what’s happened over the past few months:

Properties took an average of two to four weeks to sell in June and July, whether they were condos, townhouses or detached homes.

The price of detached homes was up just over 20 percent from a year ago, according to the Home Price Index or HPI (price of a ‘typical’ home in a given area). Townhouse prices were up 16 – 17 percent, and condos up about eight percent from July 2020 levels.

Many of the more affordable markets have seen the largest gains in selling prices, especially for detached homes.

Prices of detached houses were up about 35 percent over a year ago in Mission and on Bowen Island; Maple Ridge saw increases of 32 percent; Sunshine Coast was up 33 percent; and Whistler was up 30 percent. Abbotsford topped the list with house prices going up 36.6 percent in one year.

According to statistics released by our two local real estate boards, the only communities where a ‘typical’ house averages under one million dollars are the Sunshine Coast and Mission.

If you’re in the market for a condo or townhouse, stats show that on the mainland, Maple Ridge, Mission and Abbotsford are still the most affordable places to buy (condo HPI ranges from $384,000 to $425,000) or a townhouse (HPI: $587,300 to $688,000). Mission is the best-priced market for detached homes with an HPI of $929,600.

Keep in mind these are only averages; there are lots of homes available for less than these amounts… and I would be happy to help you find them!


MARKET UPDATE FOR JUNE 2021:

The real estate market has settled down a little in the past month or so, but sales have remained brisk. What has seemed to have changed is the frenzy that was accompanying the buying, especially of detached homes.

Most of those properties still tend to sell quickly, but not at the hectic pace that they were. We’re still seeing some multiple offers, but not as frequently as we were, and many offers now contain subjects. Offers are now being received at asking price or a little less, depending on pricing.

Prices also, while not going down, seem to be rounding a bit, rather than climbing dramatically upwards as they have been over the past year.

Optimistic buyers may wonder if the ‘housing bubble’ is ready to burst, but as one astute observer of the market put it, “The so-called bubble has withstood a pandemic, two recessions, the foreign buyer’s tax and the stress test, and still prices have continued to rise.” Prices are not likely to come down anytime soon, especially post-pandemic, with pent-up demand and the return to more normal immigration levels.

It’s still a seller’s market for all categories – detached, townhouses and condos – with just 2.6 months’ worth of inventory according to stats released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

That number diminishes as you head east where the more affordable properties are, but demand has driven prices up considerably in the past year, in those ‘affordable’ markets. Below is a glance at how Home Price Index values of detached homes were affected out in the ‘burbs. Please note that these numbers are approximate only:

Coquitlam                 up $150K

Port Coquitlam         up &200K

Maple Ridge             up $280K

Mission                     up $250K

Langley                     up $350K

Abbotsford                up $300K

The upward trend in pricing continued for townhouses and condos too, but the increases weren’t as dramatic.

Interest rates remain low (HSBC has a variable rate mortgage at just .99%!), and the stress test adjustment which took place June 1st has had little effect on the market thus far.

Wondering what your home might be worth today, or curious if now might be a good time to buy? Just give me a call or send an email, and I’ll be happy to help.


MARKET UPDATE FOR APRIL 2021:

As everyone in the Lower Mainland knows by now, the real estate market has been going crazy. Homes are listed with two or three days for scheduled viewings, then at a set day and time offers are presented, and almost always, multiple offers are received, and prices go well over asking price.‘Almost always’ I say, because there are exceptions. My last two buyer purchases were at asking price and just below asking. So, there are opportunities out there for savvy buyers who are prepared to act quickly when the right set of circumstances present themselves. I know some buyers are holding off making a purchase, thinking that prices will come down when this buying frenzy subsides, but I don’t think that will happen for quite some time.
Once the world wrestles the pandemic under control and travel becomes a possibility once again, the pent-up demand for immigration will bring thousands of people to Canada, many of them heading straight to the West Coast and the greater Vancouver area. And that will push prices up even more.

Interest rates are likely to remain low for a few years yet, so my advice to people who want to get into the market, is buy now if you can, before prices go up even further. And hire a seasoned realtor who’s worked in this kind of market before and can spot opportunities when they arise.

Sellers can get top dollar for their homes now, but the challenge is finding somewhere else to live once your home is sold. Anyone looking to downsize or move from the Lower Mainland is in a great position to cash in their chips, so to speak.

Others may want to consider the possibility of selling now and renting for a couple of months till the right place comes along. Not ideal, but it certainly takes the pressure off, and could even provide a useful cooling off period, a time to re-assess your options and goals. You may even be able to negotiate the renting back of your own home, until such time as you find and purchase another place. Meanwhile, the proceeds from your sale are in your bank account for your use.

You may have heard that the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions wants to expand the mortgage stress test, with changes coming into effect June 1, 2021.

The proposed changes will apply to uninsured mortgages, or those purchases with more than 20 percent down. The proposed change will see the qualifying rate raised to the higher of the mortgage contract rate plus 2 percent, or 5.25 percent, whichever is higher. This will effectively reduce buying power by limiting the amount you can borrow.

Insured mortgages are already subject to the stress test.

Incidentally, variable rate mortgages are probably your best option right now, with some rates as low as 1.35 percent. They traditionally save money compared to fixed rate mortgages, which often have high penalties for early pre-payment.

If I can help in any way – perhaps with a referral to a mortgage broker or other professional – please just let me know.


MARKET UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 2021:
It’s certainly been a busy couple of months in the Greater Vancouver real estate market.
December, which is traditionally one of the quietest months of the year, had robust sales that were up more than 50 per cent from the corresponding month in 2019. Sales were nearly 58 per cent above the 10-year average for that month and were the highest ever recorded for a December. To say the year ended on a strong note is a bit of an understatement!

Things slowed a little in January, but sales were still very brisk, with demand driving detached home prices up considerably.

Multiple offers became commonplace out in the suburbs, further contributing to escalating prices. Many communities saw a price increase on detached homes of 10 or 15 per cent… that’s up to $120,000 on a home that would have sold for $800,000 just a few months previously.

In contrast, condo prices have not fluctuated much at all, and townhouses are up a modest amount.

With interest continuing at record low rates, watch for a very busy 2021.

If you have your own home and want to downsize or move away from the Lower Mainland, now’s the time to do it. You’ll cash out at top dollar, giving you money to buy a new home and, in all likelihood, put money in the bank.

If you would like to buy a home – especially if you’re looking for a detached house – you’ll have to be patient, as you may not get the first home you place an offer on. There’s not a lot of product out there, and most homes are being sold almost as soon as they hit the market.

Whether you’re a seller looking at possible multiple offers on your home, or a buyer going up against a lot of competition to find the right place, it’s never been more important to have a good realtor working for you.

People mistakenly think that realtors enjoy this kind of market, but the truth is it’s stressful for all involved. Navigating multiple offers can be tricky, especially when dealing with “bully offers” from frustrated realtors. Trying to get a home for buyers when competition is so fierce can be even more challenging.

Perseverance is the catch word for buyers in a market such as this. Trust your realtor and listen to his/her advice. Chances are they’ve seen this before and know how best to handle market conditions.

And if I may be of service to you or answer any questions, please just let me know.

The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.