Tina Mak Co-Host of AM1320 Radio Real Estate 2007-2010
Click on the links below to hear the archived shows.
June 26th, 2010
Condo Market Price in Downtown Vancouver Coal Harbour area between 1997 & 2010
What is happening to Prices in Vancouver Downtown Coal Harbour area?
From 1997 in 13 yrs the Prices have increased by about 130%
A one bdrm about 623 sqft sold in 1997 for $178,000 today it has sold for $413,000
That is from $285 sqft to $662 sqft.
and in certain cases property prices have increase by 165% since 1997.
From 2003 in 7 yrs the prices have increased about 100%
A two bdrm about 897sqft Sold in Sept 2003 for $316,000
was has been sold May 2010 for $600,000. That is from $350 to $670 a sqft
A two bdrm + den about 1157 sqft Sold in Aug 2003 for $394,000
was Sold May 2010 for $780,000.
That is from $340 to $674/ sqft.
The Prices have doubled in 7 yrs.
Recently, a 2,700 sqft suite @ the Fairmount on the water sold for about $2,000 sqft .
And just off the water a suite sold at just over $700 sqft.
Why buy in Coal Harbour?
CH has very limited land for redevelopment. Therefore any future demand will cause prices to increase more here than elsewhere
Beautiful Vcr was showcased to the whole world during the Olympics with pictures of Coal Harbour in the backgrd of all TV broadcasts.
Chinese gov't recently granted Cda "approved destination status" which means more tourist will be coming to Cda-Vcr.
China Eastern Airlines just announced permanent daily service between Shanghai & Vcr.
Who are the buyers?
about 70% are local buyer. They are young working couples, who are first time buyers and investors
about 30% are international buyers.
During the hi tech boom yrs many of the international buyers were Americans
During the last 8yrs or so The Mainland Chinese buyers have been gaining market share
The people from Iran and S. Korea are also strong buyers.
one bdrm + den 615sqft. rents for $1700/month ( $2.76 sqft)
2bdrm at 1050 sq.ft rents for $2700/month ( $2.57 sqft.)
3 bdrm 3bath 1340 sqft rents for $3600/month ( $2.68sqft )
Click Podcast to listen to the full interview
June 19, 2010
HST and Commission
Here are 2 interpretations about HST and commissions. The position that can be taken is that any residential sales that firm up before July 1, 2010 but close on or after July 1, 2010, only GST would apply because 90% of the realtors job would have been finished, only conveyancing to be done. If you have listing which firms up after July 1, 2010, it likely that HST would apply; however there may be pro-rated calculation. As we are not accountants or CRA, we can only go by what information is provided to us. If you have an active listing writing on an old MLS contract which does not address HST, seller should sign a listing amendment to acknowledge the change from 5% to 12%HST on top of the commission
Click here to listen to the Cantonese interview in Podcast
Live Interview with Coldwell Banker Canada President
It is an honour to have our Coldwell Banker Canada President, John Geha join us over the phone from Toronto on AM1320 today to share with our listeners how Coldwell Banker is different from other real estate brands.
-- And finally, give our customers an opportunity to evaluate our service in the form of customer satisfaction surveys.
Tina Q. How does completing a satisfaction survey after the transaction is over benefit the customer?
John A. Actually, there are two ways that our satisfaction surveys benefit the consumer.
Canada’s population is very small comparing to Asia. Service plays a very important rule in a successful business. If you’re truly offering Ultimate Service, that means, by definition, that you are continually evaluating and refining your service.
Only by constantly improving can you ensure that your service stays ahead of your customers’ expectations.
Our Ultimate Service claim is unique in the real estate industry. Why? Because it’s not something that we’re saying about ourselves…
This is what real, live customers had to say about the service experience delivered by their Coldwell Banker agent.
Coldwell Banker Canada has just earned a 98% overall satisfaction rating from Canadian Home Buyers and Sellers…and what’s more, we’ve now done it for 13 years in a row!
– And this 98% satisfaction rating – which was tabulated by an independent third party tabulation firm – was based on the responses of over 50,000 Canadian home buyers and sellers.
No other company in real estate can make that claim…
When you choose Coldwell Banker, you don’t have to take our word for it that we provide outstanding service – just ask our customers!
Q. What else should the Asian consumers know about Ultimate Service?
John A. For new immigrants coming from Asia, I understand sometimes “Trust” is a big issue. In order to earn your trust, we put our words in writing & if you don’t approve our service, you can definitely hold us accountable and terminate the relationship. The Ultimate Service program helps us ensure that Coldwell Banker professionals deliver value to the consumer.
Last but not the least, many Chinese might not realize Coldwell Banker has a great many affiliated offices in Taiwan, Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou & Chongqing. Tina, perhaps you’d be good enough to translate the brand’s operating name into Mandarin for your listeners.
Tina: “Thank you” to John.
John: ‘Shay Shay’ once again Tina, for having me on AM1320 today. Goodbye, Vancouver!
Click Podcast to listen to the full interview.
How interest rate affects Buy & Sell?
To know more about "How interest rate affects Buy & Sell? , please click in Podcast Cantonese version
April 10, 2010
Live Interview with Coldwell Banker US President in Vancouver
Jim Gillespie, Coldwell Banker President came to Vancouver for our Canadian Conference between April 8th & April 10th. During the interview, he talked about the opportunity Canadian investing in US real estate. Click PODCAST to listen to the full interview.
The Rolston will be a 23 storey highrise located beside the Yale restaurant on Granville Street. The homes will be one, one & den and two & two & den bedrooms, ranging from approximately 460 to 890 square feet. Amenities will include a 16th floor Terrace for outdoor entertainment, a 27th floor Garden with an edible garden, yoga area and barbeque , and a meeting room/lounge.
They are currently finalizing the Presentation Centre, which will be located at 999 Seymour Street. They anticipate opening in mid-April. At this time, they are still finalizing strata fees and some finer details of the finishing.
Click here to listen to the Cantonese interview in Podcast version
New US Resident lending policy in Canada
It now is going to be a lot easier for US residents to purchase in Canada. Effective immediately you are able to purchase with as little as 20% downpayment. There has also been changes to the Canada-US tax treaty(稅收協定)and this particular Bank will no longer gross up the interest rate for US Residents. Income, downpayment and credit history will have to be confirmed as usual and will be subject to the same debt servicing qualifications.
There used to be a tax treaty between the US and Canada. The Canadian Banks had to gross up the interest rate by either approx 1.48 or 1.74 and send a withholding tax down to the US IRS (Internal Revenue Service). The particular Bank that has this new program for US Residents is no longer doing that as the tax treaty is over. If other bank don't follow, US buyers will pay higher interest unless they sign a letter saying that it would be used for personal use and then there would be no increase. Some convention banks usually ask for at least 35% downpayment.
Therefore, if you have US friends or relatives wanting to buy properties in Canada. They should consider talking to mortgage broker for further assistant
Click here to listen to the Cantonese interview in Podcast
Jan 23rd, 2010
Introducing Vancouver Downtown new high rise "The Rolston"
- The Rolston will be the first major residential tower development in - Midtown Vancouver. Corner of Drake n Granville. Stretching from the West End to Yaletown and from False Creek to Downtown, Midtown centers on Granville Street. One direct way head over to Richmond
- Only minutes away from a plethora of city amenities. This uniquely located, vibrant urban living lifestyle includes the Vancouver library, the stadium, Granville Island, English Bay, Pacific Center, the skytrain, Robson street, Stanley park, big city shopping from boutique to big box, restaurants offering delicacies from around the globe, bakeries, coffee shops, entertainment,
- This 23 storey, 180+ units high rise has unobstructed water view & unobstructed view of Mt Seymour.
- This project has an unparalleled craftsmanship. The Rolston pushes the boundaries. Buyers have the option of two completely different designed floor plans. It only available for a few floors which is like a "Limited Edition". The design shows a level of architectural confidence seldom seen in Vancouver.
- The advantages of buying a new condominium today means new home warranty protection,
Visit www.Rolston.com for registration. For Chinese assistant, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org in Chinese.
Click my Podcast listen to my Mandarin introduction of this project.
January 16, 2010
Vancouver Downtown Apartment listing & Selling ratio
Westend: 0 listings under 350k 0 listing between 350k & 525k
Coal Harbour: 0 listing under 350k 13 listings between 350k & 525k & 9 sales between Nov & Jan 16th
Westend: 0 listings under 350k 0 listing between 350k & 525k
Coal Harbour: 0 listing under 350k 13 listings between 350k & 525k & 9 sales between Nov & Jan 16th
B.C. GOVERNMENT TAKES COMPANY’S PROPERTY
If a holding company is a vendor of a property & had not filed it’s annual reports for over two years, it technically considered “dissolved” by the Corporate Registry.
At the time of sale, listing agent should run a company search and if realized the company had been dissolved before the sale contract was signed. This mean the company is not a valid legal entity and therefore, can not enter into a contract to sell the land. Not only that, but by operation of section 4 of the Escheat Act of B.C. the land technically had “escheated” to the B.C. government. What does this mean? This means that the land became the property of the B.C. government.
Oct 24th, 2009
Economists prediction on BC housing prices for 2010
With all respect to all the well educated economists, I happened to have the same economist who did a prediction on BC housing market in last Oct in our major newspaper say that the BC market was into a "downward trajectory". Last Wed (Oct 21st), same economist has a completely opposite forecast in the same major newspaper on BC home prices. This time he predicts BC home prices could hit new highs in 2010.
If you understand Cantonese, click & listen to my podcast again!
click here to read full article
Oct 17th, 2009
Where does Canada ranks on Current Account Balance among 163 countries in the world?
To read the full article, go to my Blog page or click the link below. You will see Canada is not bad at all. No.16 in the world ranking. We are richer than we think! It has been showing very clear how much money actually has been sitting on the side and now is being injected back into the housing market. If you don't want to get into the multiple offers situation like we have been having over the Summer. Winter purchase is the best. Psychologically, buyer tends to shy away from the market because of the wet weather. Therefore, instead of thinking the market will go down due to the traditional slower sales Fall/Winter stats, take advantage of this market!
If you understand Cantonese, click my Podcast & listen to the live interview.
Oct 10th, 2009
Toronto & Ontario Housing Market update
To read details, pls click:
Should you wish to listen the Cantonese interview, please click the Podcast here: http://tinacoldwellbanker.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=537425
Info provided by Frank Petriglia, Coldwell Banker Terrequity
Oct 3rd, 2009
What happen to home owners if interest rates goes up? (Podcast in Cantonese)
I was watching an economic debate among the European countries on Friday(Oct 2nd). The topic was the question "when should the world consider exiting the stimulation package?" Well, the conclusion is that China and India is moving forward on their own with signs of economic improvement. The rest of the world is very much in different pace. Although US is the biggest economic driver in the world, the power is now shifting to China and India. It will balance out the power and it would be a good thing to the world politic.
Do we worry about interest rate hikes. Well, Since March,
The euro has jumped 21 percent against the dollar,
The Canadian dollar has gained 17 percent,
The British pound has risen 16 percent,
And the Japanese yen has climbed 11 percent.
Even though we might want to hike interest rates to control the high Canadian dollar as well as inflation, we cannot because of the US situation. The US cannot hike the rates due to the trillions dollars they have in debt and because their economy has not seen a signifcant recovery yet. Therefore, in my opinion, the interest rates will stay low for quite a while. I can't see the interest rate going up more than couple basis point difference.
I therefore, would not worry about high interest rates causing future foreclosures. Even with HST potentially coming next July, developers would have a marketing strategy reflect on their pricing. I know people bought into downtown presale at low $500 per sf in todays market. The sensitive price point is between 300k & 400k in Vancouver Condo market. If u can get one within that price range. You are just doing fine. I've known quite a few pre-sale projects going to come up for sale within the next few months. Should u be interested, pls call me at 604-412-5860 or email me at email@example.com. I will put your name on my list & call u back when I get more solid confirmation.
August 22nd, 2009
How to buy real estate in our red hot Vancouver market?
Top dollars doesn't necessary get you the property during multiple offers presentation. No matter whether you buy a strata property or a single detached house, in order to be the winner during the multiple offer situation, the key is to put a subject free offer. Please make sure you arrange your financing ahead of time. I understand lending institution always prefer buyer to put financing condition. However, for those buyer who really wants that particular property, even if we, as an agent suggests them to leave the financing clause there, they sometimes decide to take a risk and leave it out. Another key condition is inspection. You can definitely do an inspection before offer presentation. Now, spending the money like that ahead of time doesn't guarantee you will get the property. Therefore, you need to prepare you might be wasting the money if you decide to put a low offer. Final suggestion is when buying condo. Almost 90% of the one bedroom listings in DT have multiple offers. If you are planning to buy 1BR in downtown, be prepared to ask the listing agents for all the strata document and read them all ahead of time. Many listing agents already have all the strata documents ready n some of them are on line too.
No subject offers are common again. We, as a buyer's agent not supposed to encourage you to do that unless you understand all the pros and cons of writing the subjects free offer. There is always a risk but that's the risk you decide whether you want to take or not.
August 15th, 2009
A few tips to improve the value of your house immediately while u r still living in there:
1) Declogged the house: keep the house as simple as possible to make the house look more spacious. Throw away or put into storage of all the newspapers, plastic bags, plastic container.
2) Keep kitchen counter as empty as possible. Put vanilla into microwave to create some roma
3) Bathroom: clean up the bath tub grouts or redo it if necessary. Keep sink counter as empty as possible. Avoid hanging any personal belongings such as underwear, bra, rags, etc
3) air out: pls keep windows open all the time. Air ventilation is very important esp. to get rid of any cooking smell
4) avoid using moth balls. It turns buyer off and very bad to health
5) turn on all the light even during the Summer time.
6) clean up the windows, exterior walls, gutter, deck
7) beautify the lawn with pots of plants or flower beds
8) Have a pre-sale building inspection to find out what the buyer will eventually find out and may negotiate on after the deal has been made. Than take time to resolve some of the small issues and maybe some of the larger issues which will make a difference in selling at a higher price.
Date July 11th, 2009
Immigrants are driving the buying activity
Immigrants are driving the buying activity, closing the home-ownership gap with their Canadian-born neighbours.
In the past, newcomers tended to rent rather than buy. But by 2006, almost 72 per cent of immigrants lived in a home owned by a household member, up from 68 per cent in 2001. For the Canadian-born population, 75 per cent lived in their own home in 2006, up just two percentage points from 2001.
Date: July 4th, 2009
Market conditions drive strong June housing sales
VANCOUVER, B.C. – July 3, 2009 – The combination of low interest rates and more affordable pricing helped propel Greater Vancouver home sale numbers to the second all-time highest total for the month of June.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that sales of detached, attached and apartment properties increased 75.6 per cent in June 2009 to 4,259, from the 2,425 sales recorded in June 2008. The figure is just short of the record-breaking 4,333 sales which occurred in June 2005.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties declined 17.9 per cent to 5,372 in June 2009 compared to June 2008, when 6,546 new units were listed. However, new listings increased 13.5 per cent from May to June of this year. Total active listings in Greater Vancouver currently sit at 13,252, down 27 per cent from June 2008 and 2.9 per cent below the active listings count at the end of May 2009.
“Price reductions and low interest rates have created an improvement in affordability, which is causing the number of sales to rise to levels comparable to 2003 to 2007,” Scott Russell, REBGV president said.
“Many people who were reluctant to purchase a home last fall and earlier this year are returning to the market because they see conditions that appeal to their personal and financial needs,” Russell said. “However, the current marketplace is such that buyers are more inclined to walk if they don’t like the terms of an offer.”
Residential benchmark prices, as calculated by the MLSLink® Housing Price Index, declined 8.2 per cent to $518,855 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.
The number of sales of detached properties increased 81.6 per cent to 1,667 from the 918 detached sales recorded during the same period in 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties declined 8.4 per cent to $701,384 in June 2009 compared to June 2008.
The number of sales of apartment properties in June 2009 increased 69.3 per cent to 1,790, compared to 1,057 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property declined 8.2 per cent from June 2008 to $356,880.
The number of attached property sales in June 2009 increased 78.2 per cent to 802, compared with the 450 sales in June 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit declined 7.3 per cent between June 2009 and 2008 to $441,620.
Date: June 27th, 09
Canada, a nation of homeowners!
According to the Bank of Nova Scotia report, CAnada has become a nation of home owners. A record of 68.4% of Canadian households owned their homes in 2006 & the number edged up even further in 2007. That is a significant increase from th e 63.6% that owned their own homes a decade earlier. As well, 9% of Canadian households now own a 2nd home, such as a cottage, resort condo.or other vacation residence, up from 7% in 1999.Part of the trend toward home ownership stems from the baby boom generation entering peak home-buying years of 45 to 64. However, there are other age groups have also seen a pick-up in home ownership.
Date: June 20th, 09
Buyer & Seller whose English is 2nd language should pay extra attention when buying & selling strata unit?
Both the buyer & seller should understand that the brokerages providing agency services to the buyer and seller do not provide legal or other expert advice in matters beyong the common standard of care in the real estate industry. The parties have been advised to seek independent legal advice prior to executing this contract of purchase and sale.
Date: May 30th, 09
B.C. Real Estate association in last November said housing price in 2009 would drop another 9%, in Feb, 2009, they raise it to 13%, last week they trim it down to 8% drop but IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. For those who follow religiously what the economists said and make decision based on what they predict, u must be living like a yo-yo.
Date: April 11th, 09
Even with all these once again negative news bombarding us, Metro Vancouver housing market experienced a movement away from volatility and toward stability to start the spring season. The opportunity to get a steal of a deal from a desperate seller are probably gone.
Read more about Vancouver Spring Market Condition
Date: April 4th, 09
Due to the market condition, many developers are offering great incentives now. Pls make sure you do the following:
1)understand the disclosure statement that is provided by the developer. If you do not understand any part of it, spend some money to get legal advice.
2) Add a clause to say "If buyer don't complete the purchase, this deposit is forfeited as liquidated damages as the sole remedy of the developer".
3) buyers should also want to look at clear language around the completion dates for construction of the units and clauses allowing the developer to delay completion & make changes in finishings or unit layout that also give the buyer a reason not to complete.
Date: March 21st, 09
Walking away from Pre-Sale
In today's Vancouver Sun Business section mentioned that there are 6 developers suing some 74 different buyers for not completing the purchase of homes they'd signed contracts to buy.
Date: April 11th, 09
Date: March 14th, 09
Toronto Downtown Market Update
Market appears to be picking up and although they have had a significant drop in prices in most neighbourhoods, not all neighbourhoods have been hard hit.
Read more about Toronto Downtown Market Update
Date: Feb 21st, 09
Front Page News
With all the negative real estate news still broadcasting by the media, would you believe me if I tell you the market is actually very active? I hate to tell you but it's true! I spoke to an inspector last week, he told me his phone died in the month of Nov & Dec. Phone started to ring from Jan 15 and from Feb 1st, he has been fully booked everyday. Most of the buyers are caucasians, young couples with parents' financial assistant. He has been to Vancouver East, Vancouver West, Richmond, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Downtown, etc.
Click here to read more about the Front Page News
Date: Jan 31, 09
Lower Mainland Real Estate in 2008
Mostly negative stuff is found in the news because it sells. It’s no secret that sales are down (by 35% unit volume compared to 2007) and prices off by 15% (Greater Vancouver benchmark price from May highs to Dec lows). Expectations are that prices may drop a further 9% or more. Meanwhile interest rates are now at 50 year lows in Canada making it an excellent opportunity to buy. The best 5 yr fixed rates are now at 4.25% so what a field day for buyers. Real Estate downturn no big deal for homeowners unless you must sell. Despite short-term declines, large increases from previous years have not been eroded.
Date: Jan 17, 09
Make A 5-7% Return On Investment (ROI)
Why would you buy a revenue property now when you feel the market is not going anywhere fast? Well, how about starting an investment now where you get a 5-7% return per year?
Read more about how to make 5%-7% ROI via real estate
Date: Jan 3rd, 09
How do we start fresh in 2009!
2008 is a year that most of us would like to forget. From rich to poor, all of us lost money in all forms of investments. In the past, a lot of us would blame our financial advisors or stock brokers for we would have to rely on their expertise and judgement. With the technology of the internet, we were able to do our own research and we still could not avoid the losses.
Read more about How do we fresh in 2009!
Date Dec 20th, 08
Vancouver Real Estate Market Trend:
In its most recent statistics release, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver declined 69.7% in November 2008 to 874 from the 2,883 sales recored in November 2007. Comparing to October 2008, sales volume dropped another 35%.
Read more about Vancouver Real Estate Market Trend
Date Dec 6th, 08
More bang for your buck!
The good news is that for the last 2 months our listing inventories have declined. 3% in Oct from Sept and now, Nov. listing inventory has declined another 4.7% from Oct. The bad news is that the number of sales have dropped about 70% compared to the same time in 2007 when there was no global financial crisis. The good news is our price levels are at approximately 2006 levels again and it's a great time to start shopping again.
Between 2003 & 2008, the HPI benchmark price of a detached home in Greater Vancouver increased nearly 70% to $761,000 from $449,000. Condominiums over the same period increased 82% to $387,000 from $213,000. Left unchecked at this rate, by 2013 the benchmark price of a detached home would top $1.2million and condos more than $700,000.
I can understand that we might all get a bit of depress when all we hear only negative news. We listen to all kinds of predictions from all levels of economists. They like to compare our time to the Great Depression in 1929. Cash is King in times like this. Some will start look into buying the good quality stock & hold it as a long term investment. If you have more cash to invest in real estate, well, tons of great deals out there. For example:
The Shanghri-La building: Seller paid between $450 and $650 per sf during pre-sale. We see some big unit asking only $700 per sf with 2 parking.
Land value in N. Van with nice view at low $500 range
Land value in Van East in low $400 range.
Land value in Van West is under a million
We shouldn't feel poor just because our property isn't worth as much as the beginning of the year. As long as you have a good steady job and you don't sell your property, your financial situation is not getting worst. A matter of fact, you are in much better position because you can buy more with your money now. More bang for your buck!
Date Nov 29th, 08
The Foreclosure Process in British Columbia
In British Columbia, it is the judicial sale process that involves licensees most frequently. The petitioner or any of the respondents (i.e. 1st, 2nd or 3rd Mortgagee) can apply for a judicial sale, also known as a court-ordered sale, which will be carried out under the supervision of the court.
Read more about The Foreclosure Process in BC
Date: Nov 22nd, 08
Creative deals in the development projects
During the last slow cycle back in the late 90's, the backbone of the Vancouver real estate market was supported by the entry level buyers. 10 years later, it happens the same. I was out with my buyer this morning, they are immigrants, have been renting for couple years cause the housing prices was too high for them, now, finally their opportunity arrived. They are sitting in the driver seats and ready to buy when the right deal comes along. We went to a new project in Coquitlam, developer is willing to reduce $25,000 off the sales price but it only applies to the unit locates in the undesirable part of the complex.
Developers these days have a target to meet for each month, if the target hasn't been met, there can be a lot of creative deals going on in the sales office. In the past few years, all the pre-sale projects were sold in "Future value". Developers priced the new homes factoring in estimates of 15% higher construction costs onto their current price. It worked for many years till now. With more developments putting on hold due to the credit crisis, lots of building materials could be stored in the warehouse ready to sell with big discount. Look at Home Depot, they are having big sale going on this weekend.
Talk about creative deals, in the Fraser Valley areas, cities like Chilliwach and Langley, smaller developers are definitely sharing in the pain. Take a new townhouse project in Chilliwack, the 3 BR units with air-conditioning, high-end finishes, etc, are priced at around $140 per sf for 1,760 sf. at $249,000. Another condo project in Langley, the incentives incl rent-to-own. There, buyers can purchase a 2 BR condo for $219,000 with no money down. Instead, the buyer pays rent at around $1,000 per month with 100% of the rent counted as a down payment after 10 months. In another word, the developer is giving a $10,000 loan to the buyer.
As we have heard so many small and big projects are putting on hold these days, the Keefer project is apparently forging ahead in China Town. The 4 units prices range from 1.69 million to 3.9 million. It is to complete next year. The Keefer is being renovated from a heritage industrial building on Keefer St. There's a rooftop pool with a glass bottom that serves as a ceiling of the living space below in the penthouse.
Date: Nov 15th, 08
Observation in today's Vancouver market
Buyers who have bought the pre-sale condo and havethe thought of walking away from the deal, think twice before you do it. Developers have all the right to sue the buyer for "Specific Performance" which means that besides loosing the deposit, you might end up paying for the price difference if developers sold your unit below the price you paid for. I'd urge you to speak to a lawyer before you walk away from the deal.
Read more about Observation in Today's Vancouver market
Date: Oct 25, 08
INTRINSIC INVESTMENT VALUE
I just attended a economic seminar sponsored by the real estate board which brought in an analyst who used to work for CMHC. Cameron Muir states that BC's economy is much better than the rest of Canada because our U.S. trade is 45% of our total, compared to 80% in Ontario but the BC consumer confidence is rattled, just like the rest of the world, from all the media coverage of the falling stock market and the financial crisis.
Read more about Intrinsic Investment Value
Oct 4th, 2008
Excitment is over, what is next?
US Bail Out/Rescue Plan finally passed. After the unexpected failure on Sept. 29th, the whole world was waiting for this to be passed. The stock market rallied up before the legislation was passed and then went downward once it was passed. Unexpected and completely the opposite of what you would think would rationally happen but that's where the stock market and real estate market differ. Real estate is totally rational and will react to market supply and demand as it should. Everybody is expecting the 700 billion dollar bail out will change the financial world and restore people's confidents level around the globe. Let's see how effective this is going to be in the next few months ahead.
Read more about this Exciting is Over, What is Next?
Date: Sept 27th, 2008
Change of Canada mortgage lending policy
Canada's lending policy has always been a lot tighter than US especially among all the major banks. A couple of years ago, a few major banks started not granting mortgages to apartments less than 500 sf or they would approve the lending only depending on which part of the city. Down payment for those properties are going to be varied based on whether you are a first time buyer or investors. The rule favors first time buyers.
Read more about Change of Canada Mortgage Lending Policy
Date: Sept 20th, 2008
Whoever holds the gold makes the rules
I hope you have a strong heart and low blood pressure in order to handle this pass week financial crisis. Who can imagine a 150 years old, Lehman Brothers would go bankrupt.
When the general public is in fear or doubt, it is the best time for smart purchasers to come into the market to take advantage of the general public's fragile mentality.
Read more about "Whoever holds the gold makes the rules
Date: Sept 13th, 2008
How should the Seller priced their house for sale?
While the US banking system is in shambles, Canada has been holding their own with limited exposure to the sub-prime mortgage in the US. RBC, TDCanada Trust, and National Bank still had substantial profits, just short of previous records. I don't have a crystal ball, but it's not as bad as people may believe. If u wish to read the details, visit my Economic Analysis web page under Global Market Update page in my www.TinaMak.com.
There's no doubt that the market is very quiet, however, during my open houses, I've noticed that there are a lot of serious buyers on the market. They know this is the best opportunity for them to get into the Vancouver real estate market. Due to the zero downpayment & 40 yrs amortization is coming up to an end, all the qualified buyer would like to buy before their pre-approval mortgage expired. Most sellers on the market are also buyers & a majority of them would like to upgrade. Due to the market condition, they need to sell, try to find out how much they can net in their pocket before they know how much they can spend on the next home.
The listing in the month of August is a lot lower than July due to sellers realised they are unable to fetch their dream profit that they would like to get so they take the property off the market. The market is more or less the same as last yr. If you are serious about selling now, I'd strongly recommend you to list it in the last year price. You would have a better chance to carry on your upgrading plan cause the current benchmark price still slightly higher than same time last year but just down a few percent from May this year.
This is a tough transition not just for both seller and buyer, it is also tough for real estate agents too. I've gone through the same situation back in the late 1990's. Believe me, the challenge to bring the seller to reality is not easy. Instead of worry or panic, give me a call and I'll discuss your situation in more details.
Date: Aug. 23rd, 2008
Who are the volatile groups in today's market?
Everytime when the real estate market or the stock market goes through its cycle which is normally once a decade, I noticed it always affect a few groups of people:
1) Virgin buyer.
2) New immigratant
3) Virgin investors
To read more about these 3 groups in details
Date: August 16th, 2008
Is it a good idea to sell and rent?
NO! NO! NO! However, at the end of the day, it's how much risk you are willing to take. Remember, "timing the market" is for speculators but for home owner's it's "time in the market" that counts.
Read more about "Is it a good idea to sell and rent"?
Date: August 9th, 2008
Perfect Market for 3 groups of Buyers
I believe the audience must have heard of the real estate report from the real estate board on the media. You can read the whole report at http://www.tinamak.com/VancouverArchives.ubr. In my opinion, this market is perfect for 3 types of buyers:
Read more about Perfect Market for 3 Groups of Buyers
Date: August 2nd, 2008
US Housing Market Recovery Bill:
July 31st, 2008, President Bush passed a the most welcomed new housing legislation aimed at ending the current cyclical downturn in the housing industry. You can go to my website to read the article in details http://rismedia.com/wp/2008-07-30/president-bush-signs-landmark-housing-bill-into-law/. This legislation is to help Americans avoid foreclosure, cracking down on predatory lending and providing generous tax incentives to encourage home ownership.
Read more about US new housing legislation
Date: July 26, 2008
Back to Basics!
Back to basic investment formula which is if you are able to put 25% down payment & the rent covers 75% financing then that qualifies as a good long term investment. Remember, the mortgage is being paid off, giving you approximately 4%-5% return on your down payment which is greater than you putting your money in the term deposit. Another formula is if the property produces a net rental income equal to a minimum of whatever the prime rate is ie 4.75%, of the purchase price, then that's a good long term investment property. Example: purchase price $500,000 yearly net income would have to equal or be greater than $25,000 or $2,100 per month.
Read more about Back to Basics investment formula
Date: July 19, 2008
ARE YOU THE VICTIM OF THE PROPAGANDA?
The state of the economy and greediness are two major elements that determined whether home owner will face financial hardship.
For there to be a rise in delinquencies in Canada, we probably have to wait for the economy to really weaken, the unemployment rate to rise sharply and then people have a harder time.
Read more to find out if Canada is facing hardship
Date: June 28th, 2008
How do I take advantage of today's market?
Buy when the market is less active and stop being a procrastinator. Nobody can time the peak market to sell nor the lowest market to buy. Traditionally, no matter it is stock or real estate market, buyers tend to buy when market goes up but hold off and watch when market is less active. I'm sure all the lines up at all the pre-sale project sites in the past few years are still fresh in our mind. Most likely you yourself or one of your friends were one of them too.
One thing I don't get is Sellers tend to sell when everybody is selling which means lots of competition, and possibly less profits for them but hold off when the market needs inventory which is also the time they make the most profit. This type of behavior happens during every single cycle. This also mean "Buyer Opportunity"! Get off the fence. GREAT TIME TO BUY!
Read more about How to take advantage of today's market
Date: June 21th, 2008
How Parents assist their children to become home owners in Vancouver?
A lot of the parents have been living in their home for decades and have built up a large amount of equity which may be just sitting their. This may be a good time to liquidate some of your equity by taking a credit line against your property so you can help your children on their downpayment and save the huge CMHC insurance premium. Charge your children an interest rate equal to your line of credit interest rate(that is usually around prime rate) so that you are not out of pocket each month. In time when the property goes up in value, they will be able to refinance and pay you back this amount.
Read more about How Parents assist their children
Date: June 14th, 2008
Is Vancouver housing price really that out of reach comparing to the rest of the world?
According to the May statistic provided by the real estate board of Greater Vancouver, which everybody can read on my website at www.TinaMak.com under Global Market Update page, once again, it shows the sales volume is down around 30% comparing to May, 2007 but price in average is still up approx. 8% comparing to last May. With the continuous increasing inventories, we are happy to hear that we are now in a "Buyer Friendly Market".
Read more about Vancouver housing price vs the rest of the world
Date: June 7th, 2008
Sweden and Holland real estate general information
Interesting fact I found out is 'bidding war" is very common in Sweden. Same as Asia, they only have dual agency there. When I told my friends about our system here, they feel we are a lot more fair by having buyer and seller agent to work on their client's best interest. Listing Agents in Sweden will just SMS the potential buyers to tell them what the highest bid is and they have to make decision right a way. They also told me the agents don't necessary tell them everything about the properties so they might end up finding some latent defects after completion.
Date: May 17th, 2008
Should you buy or should you wait?
Well, recently almost everybody I spoke to talk about housing prices is dropping across British.Columbia. Here's the facts provided by the MLS and once again, it shows only the sales volumn has gone down but average home price is still higher than same time last year. Be the judge yourself after reading the following statistic. So, should you buy or should you wait? Should you consider upgrading? Feel free to contact Tina at 604-412-5860 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further on our balance market.
March MLS Statistics: The number of residential units sold in B.C. on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) declined 22.4% in March, with 7,319 units sold. Residential sales dollar volume reached $3.54 billion this month, a 12.6% drop compared to the same month last year, while the average residential home price reached $483,286, and increase of 12.6% compared to March 2007.
Read more about British Columbia Housing Statistic
Date: April 26th, 2008
Who is renting in Vancouver and where to advertise?
Things to be aware of if you rent your property to these new comers:
In most cases, these potential tenants do not have any credit in Canada. Credit check companies are able to do searches for some countries but it could be a challenge to do it for some Asian countries. If that's the case, the best you can do is to ask for the following documents:
Read more about Vancouver Rental trends
Date: April 12th, 2008
Is the Vancouver Market active or slow?
Buyer might shift from "unmitigated optimism" to "Caution" given what has happened in the US. Greater Vancouver Multiple listings in March were up 4% compared to March 2007 with benchmark price still 12% up from last year. Fraser Valley listing inventories hit a 10 years high in March 2008, 27% above March 2007 & the sales is 25% decline from the same month a year ago. However, benchmark price is still 8% above last year.
Read the Vancouver Market Update
Date: Feb. 23rd, 2008
To know more about Kitchener-Waterloo market condition, click http://www.tinamak.com/Kitchener-WaterlooArchives.ubr for details.
Date: Feb. 16th, 2008
Difference between US and Canada's housing market & price difference if you wish to upgrade in the current market.
As much as the US situation shakes the world and their economic downturn is becoming one of the most severe in decades. Cameron Muir, BC Real Estate Association Chief Economist remains optimistic about our healthy housing market which has a great deal to do with the confidence of those who live, work & raise families in our communities. Barring any unexpected shocks, home sales should remain strong in 2008.
Home owners and home buyers need to understand Canada's mortgage lending standards and practices, are rigorous & don't encompass sub-prime loans or loans for more than the amount of the home value. Here's a sub-prime mortgages example:
Mortgage loan: $450,000 (25 year amortization)
Teaser rate for first 2 years: 3% Rate after 2 years: 11%
Monthly pmt: $2,134 Pmt jumps to: $4,411
On Jan 29th, 2008, US introduced a House Bill to temporarily froze the interest rates. If passed, this hopefully will help some troubled home owner to refinance and potentially keep their homes. The hardest housing prices declined are in California, Florida and Nevada. All the oil related areas remain steady and they expect to create half a million jobs by the end of 2008.
Positive affect to our Canadian housing market:
There is no doubt that we could feel the chill coming from south of the border. The Bank of Canada will have little choice but to join the rate cut party. Look for 50 basis points cut in the next rate announcement.
Low interest rate, increased inventory, slower sale BUT benchmark price are still rising due to the materials and labour cost keeps going up. To read about all the statistic details, visit my National Real Estate Information Centre page. Generally speaking, if you wish to upgrade, I am using the "January" benchmark price in a few poopular areas in Metro Vancouver as an example, so home buyer would realise the price difference between the upgrades.
Apartment Attached Detached
Burnaby: $338,885 +32% $449,677 +63% $736,003
Vancouver East: $317,117 +53% $485,221 +37% $665,328
Vancouver West: $490,101 +42% $698,836 +200% $1,405,945
Richmond: $307,532 +47% $452,420 +59% $721,193
Coquitlam: $291,946 +44% $421,057 +56% $659,601
If you wish to upgrades across city, you might need to prepare to pay more or save some depending on whether you go west or east!
Should you wish to relocate within Canada or globally, Tina Mak can connect you with the experienced agents in the area you wish to move to. Contact Tina Mak for further details at 604-412-5860 or email at email@example.com
Date: Feb. 2nd, 2008
How B.C. housing prices rank among 6 English speaking countries?
We all thought BC housing prices is top in the country. U'll be surprised to learn the result of a new study that was being done recently by Demographia International Housing affordabillity survey shown Kelown actually out beat BC, ranked #13th among 6 English speaking countries (Canada, U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand). This is based on how expensive housing is in relation to incomes.
Least affordable cities in Canada:
City World rank Median Median
(6 countries) house price income
1. Kelown 13th $446,300 $52,200
2. Vancouver 15h $503,400 $59,900
3. Victoria 22nd $427,200 $58,600
4. Abotsford 59th $360,900 $62,100
5. Toronto 97th $318,500 $66,300
Least affordable cities in 6 countries surveyed:
City Median Median
house price income
1. Los Angeles $558,400 $51,100
2. Salinas, California $574,500 $52,500
3. San Francisco $825,400 $76,100
4. Honolulu, Hawaii $649,900 $63,100
5. San Diego, California $589,300 $58,800
As much as we always thought our Canadian income is not as high as the U.S.. Based on this survey, it surprisingly see the median income in Kelown and Vancouver vs Los Angeles and Salinas, California is actually very close. In fact, Vancouver ranks even higher than Salina, California but our housing prices ranked 15th where as Salinas is at #2.
U.S. & Canadian economic situation:
According to a report being released on January 22nd, 2008 by TD Financial Group, the fundamentals Canadian economy are much better the U.S. Despite tighter credit conditions at the lending institutions, strenght in domestic demand is expected to remain supported by continued income growth associated with the increase in commodity prices since October, which has led to further gains in our terms of trade. Home prices remain on the upswing in most major urban centers and there is little concern that the Canadian housing market will start to mirror the slump in the U.S.
TD believes the next move on March 4th will be a more aggressive 50 basis point interest rate cut and another 25 basis point after that. This move is definitely very encouraging to many Canadian home buyers. Over night line up for Pre-sale condo project is no longer only happens in Vancouver. Toronto buyers are willing to pay someone between $2,000 & $3,000 to line up for them. The hottest price range in Toronto is between $380 & $480 per s/f. The market is hungry for life stye & higher interior design. Most buyers are either the young group or empty nester. Toronto real estate board expects to see another strong condo year sales in 2008. Their one bedroom is around 700sf which is quite a bit larger than Vancouver downtown 380sf studio that has potential to get even smaller in the near future. Once again, instead of forecasting a slower housing market, TD believes national home prices will rise at a rate of 5-7% in 2008, compared to a U.S. market that will likely absorb lossess on around 5% or more.
Date: January 26th, 2008
With the recent stock market volatility that has created lots of panic around the world, investors as well as people like you and me are wondering what they can or should do. Should we sell or hold on through to the end and hope all comes back? The stress comes from not knowing what to do and having no control over the stock market. You are one of the little people with little money compared to the large professional money movers. Last nite on the news they said a Parisian might be responsible for all the volatility with a 7 billion forgery and he agreed to cooperate with the investigators. It reminds me of our dot com crisis, boomed in Novemeber & December of 1999 and collapsed in March
2000. How many of you know of people that thought they did well with Nortel and found out later they lost their shirt and still can't believe what happened. Early in the millenium, we had other 2 major frauds take place in the world, Enron and World com. Arthur Anderson, the largest accounting firm in the world was behind the Enron fraud which shook the public trust and confidents in well known public companies financial reports. Lots of us, including myself, lost faith in trusting the expects and decided to start managing our own affairs. Real Estate is the investment alternative. An investment we can go by everyday and know it is under our control. We are the CEO, President or financial controller of our real estate investment instead of giving away our hard earned money to the "experts" where we have no control and no understanding of how the outcome is going to be.
Take a look at our Vancouver real estate market, it has been going up since the stock market tumbled in and continued after the 9/11/2001 bombing of the World Trade. Just when we started to wonder if we can sustain the real estate market going higher, we are experiencing another stock market panic. All I know is while everyone who had their future invested in RRSP and running for the exits I was happily going about my day rather calm and peaceful. The latest stock market volitilty will certainly encourage investors to put money back to the old tried and true method of investing in real estate again.
Are you interested to increase your net worth? Well, first of all, how do we know how much net worth one supposed to have? Here's the formula that was being outlined in the Best Seller book "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko:
Multiply your age, times your pretax annual household income from all sources excluding inheritances. Divide by ten.
This is what your net worth should be. ie. if your pretax income is $100,000 multiply by your age, say 40, then divide by 10 your net worth should be at least $400,000.
The only way I believe to increase my net worth is to continue investing in real estate. Treat your real estate as your RRSP investment and you will be very happy by the time you retire. Hire a property manager you can trust if you don't want to manage it yourself.
I'd like to conclude my thoughts with the following example. I just met with my client yesterday who asked me to
evaluate the property he bought back in 1987 for 287k in Shaughnessy area. Today, just the land value, this 60 years old property worth at least 1.8million. It took him 15 mins to buy this property then headed back to Hong Kong. 20 years later, he is reaping with 620% return!
Date: January 12th, 2008
Vancouver Housing Starts Reach Near Record High in 2007
Preliminary figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) indicate that the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) ended 2007 with the third highest number of housing starts in 50 years. Driven by a strong apartment/condominium market, the total number of housing starts reached 20,736 in 2007, an eleven percent increase over 2006. Overall, multiple family homes accounted for close to 80 percent of all housing starts in Vancouver CMA.
"With the overall average MLS price of a single detached house over $800,000 in Greater Vancouver, buyers have shifted their expectations towards more affordable higher density style housing," said Richard Sam, Market Analyst with CMHC. "Developers have honed in on this demand and increased the number of new multiple family projects being built. As a consequence, the number of single detached housing starts declined by one quarter compared to last year."
The story was mixed in centres east of Vancouver CMA. Total housing starts in Abbotsford CMA declined ten percent over last year's totals despite a significant increase in single family housing starts. Further east in the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack Census Agglomeration (CA) recorded an eleven percent increase over 2006 figures due to a 50 percent increase in multiple family home starts in the area.
Click here to view the statistics
Date: January 9th, 2008
BC Homebuilders Focus on Denser Housing Forms in 2007
In 2007, new housing construction in British Columbia's urban areas exceeded the 2006 level by 5.5 percent. But while the volume of annual housing starts increased in 2007, the composition of starts by dwelling type changed as well. Multi-family dwellings made up over two thirds of BC housing starts in 2007, up significantly from 2006. At the same time, the proportion of housing starts made up of single detached houses declined.
"In 2007, solid economic fundamentals resulted in continued strong demand for housing in British Columbia," said Carol Frketich CMHC's Regional Economist for the BC Region. "However, high prices for single-detached homes forced some homebuyers to look at denser housing forms, and the development industry responded accordingly. The result was a 14-year high in urban multi-family starts in 2007."
Nationally, housing starts in 2007 are estimated at 229,600, surpassing 2006 starts, and reaching their second highest level in nearly two decades.
Click here to view the statistics
Date: Jan 5th, 2008
The Million Dollar Question
BC housing market had ended on another strong note in 2007. Second highest recorded ever in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. How long is this going to last? When are the Vancouver high prices housing market going to cool down? Will the weaker US economy lowers Canadian prospects or simply the sentiment of buyers in the market? How will the parity of the Canadian dollar with the US dollar impact Canada & BC’s economy? We all wish to have the answer for these million dollar questions.
The ride up has been exciting and yet a little scary. There are lots of speculations even among my colleagues within the industry but bankers are somewhat more conservative as could be expected. When everybody is trying to find the crystal ball and get answers for all the million dollar questions, there are opinions that have been presented to us over and over again, year after year through the media, from CMHC, economists, & the President of the Real Estate Board has said that British Columbia has very healthy and strong economy. Low unemployment, strong wage gains, favourable mortgage rates with 40 years amortization instead of the traditional 25 years, 100% finance is available to both principal resident as well as revenue properties with certain conditions, inheritance money going to the baby boomers and baby boomers going to echo boomers all help demand from the first time and repeat buyers. BC’s large construction plan has increased for the 17th straight quarter. With different condominium projects going up in the Lower Mainland, it provides a wide range of prices from $183 per square foot in the new project in Chilliwack to $2500 per square foot at the Ritz Carlton project in downtown Vancouver .
CMHC analyst, Robya Adamache’s forecasts 35,000 new residents and the creation of 33,000 new jobs adding its job growth and population growth to support the demands for 2008. For that reason, she feels that there is still room for the price to rise. As much as some might worry about the US sub prime mortgage crisis, high Canadian dollar, global events and how the war is affecting the world, we shouldn’t put buying a home on hold. With the prices becoming increasing unaffordable year after year, economists have been predicting the market should cool off by now. However, as Patricia Croft, Chief economist of Vancouver-based Philip Hager & North Investment Management recently said in the Vancouver Sun business session, “At some point, you would expect to see things cool off (in Vancouver), but anybody who has been waiting for that so far has been disappointed.”
Vancouver has been rated in the Top 3 best place in the world to live for many years. We have become a fairly cosmopolitan vibrant city with immigrants coming from all over the world. Our market is no longer merely relying on Asian or US buyers. In my opinion, 2010 Winter Olympic is just the beginning to increase Vancouver ’s popularity on the global map. For those buyers who are still analyzing, worrying and disbelieving our healthy housing market, procrastination is not going to help you. I understand any new Canadian comer might be a bit scared because they can’t grasp the market condition. However, one thing for sure is that the local buyers are still going strong. I also understand some buyers think the condo and townhouse market is getting very pricy and it is true that there are still many speculators around willing to pay for future value. It is the fact that the detached home price is increasingly becoming unreachable and the age of the houses are relatively older, it just makes the new strata units more attractive with all the recreation facilities comes with it. A Canadian survey was being conducted back in 2006 showing more and more Canadians are willing to raise the family in smaller strata for various reason.
Watch out for the “Premier residential development” site in Vancouver . Hot bidding expected for 16 acres just east of Cambie Street and Queen Elizabeth Park in January 2008. The land is held by BC Housing. City of Vancouver already approved the RM3A zoning (mid density residential) which allows 1 million square feet to be developed.
Real estate cycles DO happen but with no more residential zoning to be approved in downtown Vancouver , real estate will always be a good investment. It has a use and thus always has value. Don’t run with the herd, do your researches, take the emotion out of the equation. The right deal always comes when you are level headed.
I strongly believe buyer should take the opportunity of our current “leveled balanced market” to get yourselves a home sweet home instead of betting the market is going down in 2008.
Date: December 1, 2007
Last week we talked about general market info in BC. Remember we mentioned about Chilliwack is the only market that is not doing as strong as the other area. I understand most Asian will not consider living in Chilliwack however, from the investment point of view, it might not be a bad place to consider. Chilliwack is a fast-growing area, has great infrastructure, a new recreation centre, a regional hospital, near full employment, low rental vacancy rates and a new RCMP training campus. Average price of a detached house in Chilliwack was $362,000 in October, compared to $517,000 in the rest of Fraser Valley, and more than $730,000 in Greater Vancouver. Townhomes are popular for an average price of $262,315, up a startling 22% from a year ago. There's new project coming out for sale next year at $183 per s/f offering 3 BR, 1,418 sf from $259,900. Lots of local resident is waiting for it to start selling.
If you don't want to go to Chilliwack, you might want to check out Abbotsford. When Latitude, a 80 new condos building launched a couple of weeks ago sold out in 2 hours at prices from the low $200,000 range. Abbotsford expected to be one of the hottest construction zones in the province in 2008. It expected to see a 17% increase in multi-family starts next year. The re-sale detached house averaged at $400,000 & according to CMHC, it will rise approx.10% in 2008.
The new CMHC rental property product has opened the doors to wealth creation via real estate. For the 1st time, buyer can attain 100% insured mortgage financing on a rental property. If you were on the fence before, this might just put yuou over. For investors who already own rental properties, there is the additional benefit of refinancingyour rental purchase up to 95%. Newcomers to Canada, self-employed borrowers and also corporate borrowers are all eligible. Be aware buyer's good credit will be a determining factor in this program. So, pls speak to your banker or mortgage broker for further clarification.
Instead of buying where your friends are telling u to buy, you might want to do some research yourself whether what suitable for ur friend would be right for you. If you want to learn more about investing in BC, you can book an appt with Tina Mak at 604-412-5860 to go through your investment plan or visit Tina's National Real Estate information Centre at www.TinaMak.com under Market Update.
Date: November 24, 2007
Information from CMHC.
September MLS Statistics:
In spite of a North America media focus on a credit crunch arising out of US subprime uncertainty, the overall BC housing market is strong supported by record low unemployment, strong job growth and positive migration. BC homebuyers stepped further into homeownership as most major centres recorded year over year sales increases for the month of September. Furthermore, strong wage gains and still relatively favourable mortgage rates have kept total average price on the rise. Home sales and related residential dollar volumes arising from home sales in BC are expected to remain solid to the end of the year. We will all watch with interest as to the extent of the downturn in the US housing market and whether a Canadian dollar at parity with the US will impact Canada's commercial activity from US consumers.
Please note that the statistics below compare the respective month in 2007 against the same month in 2006.
Greater Vancouver: September sales continued to be higher than the same month last year, unit sales were up 10% (2,852 in 2007 vs. 2,583 in 2006) and dollar volumes up 22% ($1.66 billion in 2007 vs. $1.36 billion in 2006).
Fraser Valley: Sales in September edged up slightly when compared to 2006, dollar volumes of $540 million were 7% higher than 2006 while unit volumes (1,262) were 2% higher than the same period last year.
Chilliwack: September saw a decrease in dollar volumes of 5% compared to last year ($68 million in 2007 vs. $72 million in 2006) and unit sales decreased 20% (215 in 2007 vs. 268 in 2006)
Victoria: The Victoria market continued to showed strong results in September with unit sales up 6% (583 in 2007 vs. 550 in 2006) and dollar volumes increased to $279 million, up $42 million or 18% from 2006.
Vancouver Island: The rest of the Vancouver Island market outside the Greater Victoria showed gains as well. Unit sales were up 16% (793 in 2007 vs. 684 in 2006) and dollar volumes up 18% ($240 million in 2007 vs. $204 million in 2006),
Okanagan (including South Okanagan): The Okanagan and South Okanagan markets have remained strong with September dollar volumes up 33% ($352 million in 2007 vs. $266 million in 2006) and unit sales 8% higher (867 in 2007 vs. 802 in 2006).
Kamloops: Dollar volumes for Kamloops climbed 22% over last year ($72 million in 2007 vs. $59 million in 2006) while units sales remained level (245 in 2007 vs. 246 in 2006).
BC Northern: Residential sales were lower in September when compared to the same period last year. Unit volumes were down 10% (477 in 2007 vs. 528 in 2006) while dollar volumes increased by 8% ($98 million in 2007 vs. $90 million in 2006).
Kootenay: Dollar value sales in the Kootenay's continued to be substantially higher in September in comparison to the same month in 2006. Unit volumes increased by 51% (317 in 2007 vs. 210 in 2006), while dollar volumes were up by 122% ($97 million in 2007 vs. $44 million in 2006).
Date: November 2, 2007
Calgary Market Update
Long-term Buying Opportunity is Here ~
The market this last month has been long awaited for those wishing to move to Calgary or to move within Calgary. The reason is that supply is very good, giving buyers a break from the recent past where tight supply drew competition on almost every property that was listed. Supply has continued to climb to a new high at the end of September with 9,447 listings.
Graph #1: Supply
Supply Analysis: Generally there are fewer moves in the fall, especially after school starts. The Supply graph shows an unusual upward slope for this time of year when we would expect it to more flat. I wrote about the reasons for this increase in inventory in last month's newsletter, but briefly there was a financial markets fallout that started in July. Note that this year's supply parallels last year's; however, this was a recovery from a record-low inventory. I predict that inventory will begin to drop significantly after end of October. High inventory indicates buying opportunity.
Graph #2: Demand
Demand, represented by the Number of Sales Graph above, has moved downward as expected with the annual cycle. There is a drop of 13% over last year (September 2006). The lower demand is likely a result of slowing numbers of people coming to Calgary in comparison to the previous two years' rush.
Graph #3 - Number of Sales vs. Avg. Sale Price
Average Sale Price peaked in mid-June and now at the end of September we have seen the average price come down about 5.2% overall, to the same level as average prices in March this year.
SUMMARY: The fall and winter to the very early new year generally represent the best selection of property, and a good time to buy within the annual market cycle. Last year at the end of September I noted a buying opportunity as the supply reached a normal level. This year I see the same timing opportunity only with better selection. It is also now easier to transfer to a new home within Calgary. Calgary, as Canada's Oil and Gas capital city will continue growth. The future remains bright as the natural assets of Alberta are in demand around the world.
Date: Oct. 27th, 2007
Edmonton Market Update
The market in Edmonton is slow. It takes 43 days to sell a listing now compare to 23 days in 2006. It's currently over 10,000 listings compare to 1200 in 2006 in MLS system. Price has rowed back between 7% & 8 % compare to May 2007. New home builder is throwing in new car - Toyota and all GST rebate to attract buyers. It will probably last till the end of 2007. There were 1100 sales in Sept 2007 compare to 2000 sales in 2006.
For the condo market in Edmonton, Hi-rise is more of the life style vs price point. The high concentration of hi-rise condos only locate in downtown area with age & pets by-law restriction. The empty nester, single and young professional buyers are the target audience. Price range between $200's & $600's. Less than 10% sales are over $500,000. We do have a lot of inventeory due to the lately conversion from rental. Lots of the non concrete construction walk up 4 storeys wood frame buildings are now available. The town house that was built in the 70's and 80's (row house) are also popular because of the price range between $250,000 & $320,000 with less bylaw restriction.
The immigration market is a lot less than 15 yr ago however, the Mainland Chinese buyers are still dominating the market. They are the graduates from the University and the professional immigrants landed with professional immigration status. Chinese investors is another factor from all origin. Rental market is in high demand. Some areas are less than 1% vancancy rate. Percentage of Asian market is around 10% or less. Average single family house as of Sept 07 is still approximately $399000 which is very reasonable.
Information provided by
Coldwell Banker Panda Realty
Date: Oct. 3rd, 2007
News Release from Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
Buyers fuel continued growth in Greater Vancouver housing market
Vancouver, B.C. October 2, 2007 - The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total residential sales of detached, attached and apartment properties reached 2,776 units in September 2007, an increase of 10.2% compared to 2,519 sales in September 2006.
The inventory of residential properties listed for sale remains stable, with an overall year-to-date increase of 4.1% to 45,054 residential units listed between January and September 2007, from 43,264 for the same period in 2006. The number of new listings increased 8.2% to 4770 in September from 4408 in August of this year.
"There is no single demographic of buyers. They include first-time buyers, people choosing to take advantage of current home equity to "move up" in the market, as well as people coming into Greater VAncouver from other areas. Our data indicates that the majority are purchasing a principal residence," says REBGV president Brian Naphtali.
"There's a great deal of choice in the market for a range of consumers today," explains Naphtali. "While 45% of homes for sale are priced at below $500,000, there are also a significant number - 37%- listed in the $500,000 to $1-million range. Of the active listing inventory of more than 11,000 residential properties, approximately 18% are priced above $1-million."
According to Multiple Listings Service (MLS) data, sales of apartment properties increased by 7.7% to 1,177 sales in September 2007 compared to 1,093 sales in September 2006. The benchmark price of an apartment property in Greater Vancouver, calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index, is $371,718 up 11.1% from one year ago.
Sales of attached properties increased by 27.6% in September 2007 to 500 sales, compared to 392 sales in September 2006. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $452,944, up 10% from a year ago.
Sales of detached properties increased by 6.3% in September 2007 to 1,099 sales, compared to 1,034 sales in September 2006. The Benchmark price of a detached unit is $737,927 up 11.9% from last year.
Bright spots in Greater Vancouver in September 2007 compared to September 2006:
Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows up 11.8%..........(133 units sold, up from 119)
Richmond up 29%.....................................(147 units sold, up from 114)
Vancouver East up 22.9%..........................(172 units sold, up from 140)
New Westminster up 38.1%.......................(29 units sold, up from 21)
Burnaby up 38%.................................(69 units sold, up from 50)
Port Moody/Belcarra up 142.9%..........(34 units sold, up from 14)
Richmond up 38.6%............................(115 units sold, up from 83)
Vancouver West up 70.7%...................(70 units sold, up from 41)
New Westminster up 17.4%.................(81 units sold, up from 69)
Port Moddy/Belcarra up 39.1%............(32 units sold, up from 23)
Whistler/Pemberton up 188.9%...........(26 units sold, up from 9)
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Dec 19th, 2009
Shall I buy or shall I wait in this red hot Vancouver real estate market?
The bank says that with expected economic growth rates of 2.6% next year and 3.9% in 2011, Canada will lead the G&, particularly the US, in recovering from the deep recession.
Shall I buy or sell now or shall I wait after the Olympic or the HST bill passed to see if prices will go down?
Click my Blog to read full details & click my Podcast listen to the Cantonese live interview version on AM1320 again
Dec 5th, 2009
Vancouver Real Estate Market Updates
Low interest rate keeps the real estate market steaming hot. One project in Yaletown area had long line up during the rain n cold last week, asking average $720 per sf. Realtor paid $200 to buy a front spot. If you are interested in pre-sale, I know there'll be many choices next year after the Olympic.
Click my Blog to read full details & click my Podcast listen to the Cantonese live interview version.
Oct 31st, 2009