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Showing posts from 2017

November Saw Greatest Number of Sales Since 1996

November saw the greatest number of home sales in Victoria BC since 1996!
Is this a start of a new trend? Not according to Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. “The fact that we've had an unusual month does not necessarily mean that this is the start of a new trend. It is, however, a good example of how outside forces can impact a housing market."
Balabanian suggests buyers have accelerated their purchase timelines in order to avoid the upcoming stress test on uninsured buyers coming into effect on January 1st. The new stress test will now include those with a down payment of 20 percent or more. The test will require purchasers to prove they can make meet their commitment if interest rates rise above the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or 2 percent higher than their contracted mortgage rate, whichever is higher.
"Judging by the sales we saw in November and what I have heard from our REALTOR® members, some buyers have indeed acce…

Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Much like owning your first car, buying your first home brings you a whole lot of freedom, but it can also bring you a whole lot of emotional stress.
Many first-time home buyers quickly tire of the home buying grind and they end up settling too quickly before they find out what is possible. It gets really difficult to be patient when the search stretches into weeks or even months – especially after your bank or mortgage broker has given you the green light – but patience and diligence will reward you in the end.
If you see what you like right away, don’t immediately succumb to that “it’s meant to be” feeling. Even in current market conditions of high demand and low inventory, it’s almost always better to take your time for a thorough look rather than make an impulsive purchase only to find your property’s downsides later on. Finding a place to live isn’t hard; finding a home requires patience, diligence, research, and, yes, a bit of frustration along the way.
Financial Readiness:
Run a …

Markets Stable in Victoria BC

“The fact that we’ve seen such a controlled levelling off in the market directly following a year which felt so uncontrollable in terms of demand and pressure on prices illustrates the depth and stability of the Victoria market,” says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian.
“An unstable market may have experienced a heavy correction or shift, whereas in our market sales are moderating at a reasonable rate.”
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core in October 2017 was $449,176. The benchmark value for the same condominium in October 2016 was $394,571

Analyzing Home Affordability in Canada and the World

In the news of late, there is a good deal of discussion about home affordability in cities around the world. A major contributor to this conversation is Demographia International. They just published their 13th annual Housing Affordability Survey in which they use a simple method to determine affordability. They take the median price of a home in a city and divide it by the median income of a family in the city. The resulting number is the “Median Multiple”, or simply, the number of years of income it would take to pay a mortgage for the home.
It was no surprise Hong Kong’s homes are the least affordable in the world, and for good reason: A densely populated island with over seven million inhabitants packed into 1,106 square kilometers, it’s a major hub of world commerce, and mainland developers are driving up costs with the government’s blessing. Demographia International’s recent survey put the median home price at 18.1 times the gross annual median income. In other words, it will …

Prices are Leveling Out in Victoria

“Now the tempo of the market is trending slowly – very slowly – towards more balanced conditions, says Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian.
“Recently we’ve seen overall price increases level out, which can indicate slightly less demand, and inventory is building.”
There were 1,976 active listings and 214 condominiums for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of September 2017.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core for September 2017 $488,348. The benchmark value for the same condominium in September 2016 was $380,976

No Rentals to be Found

The rental vacancy rate in B.C. has hovered at an average of 1.3 per cent over the past three years, according to stats from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

In Victoria, the rate sat at only 0.5 per cent at the end of 2016.

In the Lower Mainland, the City of Vancouver’s rate is 0.8 per cent, while Surrey sits at 0.4 per cent. The rate is 0.5 in Abbotsford and Mission, and White Rock has the fewest available rentals in the region, at 0.1 per cent.
Kelowna is sitting at 0.6 per cent.

If you have kids going to Royal Roads, consider helping them buy a Triple Crown condo instead of living in barely suitable accommodations in the rental market. A condo is a valuable family asset that will appreciate, and a good way to set your kids on a path towards building their own financial future rather than a landlord's.

Reviewing Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)

In recent years, home equity lines of credit — or HELOCs — have become popular for homeowners that want to turn their huge house price gains into cash.
In a HELOC, a lender allows a borrower to withdraw a certain amount of money against the equity in their home. The interest rates tend to vary between 0.5 and two points above prime, so they're a little more expensive than mortgages.
And they are extremely convenient. While people will do anything to make their monthly house payment and avoid default, HELOCs allow borrowers to simply make payments against the interest with no obligation to pay down the principal each month. Most people had no real intention to pay them off, and most felt safe about taking a loan in the face of rising home values. Almost 40 per cent of people who have them did not make regular payments against the principal. They owe the same amount on the principal as they did four or five years ago.
A generation ago, the common wisdom was to pay off your mortgage…

The Real Reason Condominium and Townhouse Prices Are Rising

What is driving gains in the condominium and townhouse market?
Two factors: affordability and inventory.
Although the average price of homes in BC is lower than last year, a closer look at the data reveals the composite of homes being sold has shifted to smaller free-standing homes, condos, and townhouses. BCREA economist Brendon Ogmundson attributed this shift to a pronounced need for more affordable residential real estate along with short supply.
“(The) supply of homes available for sale has not recovered and is still declining in many markets around the province,” says Ogmandson. http://www.bcrea.bc.ca/news-and-publications/news-room/news-releases/2017-03-statistical-release
Indeed, home prices in most BC markets are being pushed higher due to severe supply constraints. This is particularly true in the Victoria region, which currently has less than two months of total inventory for sale.
Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian stated "This July, we saw a strong f…

Thinking of Purchasing a Condominium?

If you are working to get into the real estate market for the first time, or you want to downsize after your kids have left the nest, a condominium lifestyle can offer freedoms and opportunities beyond the single detached dwelling worth consideringat any age. Here are six reasons:
Affordable Lifestyle
Living in acondominium is usually more affordable. It cost less to buy vs. a house, and your mortgage is typically lower. As of June, the benchmark average price of condosas per the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) is $416,281 That’s now less than half the benchmark average price of a single detached dwelling in Greater Victoria now pegged at $885,281. Triple Crown’s condominiums in Langford are an even better price. A current example is our 2 bd, 2 bth, 976 square foot, 3rd floor condo (MLS 377098) listed at $389,900.
Selling your paid off family home to buy a condominium can provide you with a desirable nest egg in your retirement years. Or, if you’re just starting out, a condominium is…

June Sales Steady

July 4, 2017 - "This year may feel a bit steady and less exciting when compared to last year's record-breaking market. People are getting used to this new tempo of brisk sales," says 2017 Victoria Real Estate Board President Ara Balabanian. 
"However, when we look at the longer-term numbers, we're in a very active market. This June we counted over one thousand properties sold, while the ten-year average for sales in the month of June is 798. If we remove 2016 sales, this June would have been the record-breaker."
A total of 1,008 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board Region this June - 14.1 per cent fewer than the 1,174 properties sold in June last year.
There were 1,915 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of June 2017, an increase of one per cent compared to the month of May, but 16.3 per cent fewer than the 2,289 active listings for sale at the end of June 2016.
"The good news fo…

Short-Term Predictions for Canada's Real Estate and Household Debt

Last week, the Bank of Canada reviewed the financial system and downplayed fears that the Canadian economy was in serious jeopardy from a potential real estate market correction.

About time!

We are NOT going to suffer a U.S.-style melt-down. If a big drop in home prices were to occur in the Vancouver and Toronto regions, (which Is unlikely), it wouldn't drag the rest of the country down with it. As the Bank of Canada sees it, a full-on bust in the Toronto and Vancouver regions would have only “modest direct spillovers to housing markets in the rest of the country.”

Most experts do not see anything like a full bust coming, albeit sensationalist reporting from, for example, CTV News quoting David Mandani, senior Canadian economist of Capital Economics on Monday continues to scare homeowners who haven’t done their research.

Read Article HERE

Three Forces Behind Today’s Hot Real Estate Market

Three forces have come together in a “perfect storm” to create Victoria’s hot real estate market: environment, economics, and exposure.

It’s no secret Victoria is considered the “California of Canada”, and Boomers across Canada have moving to Victoria in mind as they make their retirement plans. In a 2015 survey, over fourteen percent of retiring Canadian Boomers surveyed stated they would like to retire in Victoria. And no wonder! Victoria has the highest number of annual snow-free days of any major city in Canada. On the rare occasion it does snow, it never stays for long. Blossoms begin appearing in February, the earliest in the country. We enjoy over 2,000 hours of sunlight annually, less than half the rain as Vancouver, and the temperature rarely drops below freezing or climbs above 25°C.

While Victoria home prices have surged, driven by offshore buyers, most off these buyers are not foreigners arriving after a long overseas flight, but rather a 90-minute ferry ride from just ac…

Economic Growth Factors in Victoria

As the provincial capital, Victoria's economic outlook is closely tied to the public administration sector, and strong hiring last year helped spur solid real GDP growth of 2.7 per cent. Fortunately, further public administration job gains are on tap for this year, though the rate of increase will be more moderate. As such, public administration output growth is projected to slow sharply from 6.8 per cent in 2016 to 1.3 per cent in 2017. Nonetheless, the overall economy is forecast to advance at a healthy pace of 2.1 per cent this year, as other industries help pick up the slack.   In particular, several sectors on the services side are poised to post output growth greater than 2 per cent, including wholesale and retail trade, finance, insurance and real estate, personal services, and transportation and warehousing. The personal services and transportation and warehousing industries will both benefit from a strong tourism outlook, driven by healthy flight and cruise traffic as we…

Inventory in Greater Victoria is Increasing Slowly

“The numbers we saw in April are a further indication that the market is gradually moving towards a more balanced state compared to the record setting pace of 2016.” says 2017 Board President Ara Balabanian.
A total of 885 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April*, 31.2 per cent fewer than the 1,286 properties sold in April last year. The ten-year average for sales in April is 772 properties.
“We are starting to see hints of a more traditional spring market. Local agricultural production has been delayed due to the late spring, and so has the local real estate market,” adds President Balabanian, “More sellers listed their homes for sale over the month of April compared to the month previous.”
There were 1,690 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2017, an increase of 8.6 per cent compared to the month of March, but 34.8 per cent fewer than the 2,594 active listings for sale at the end of Apr…

Condominiums Now on Sale at Triple Crown

We are pleased to announce 46 top quality contemporary condominiums featuring quality construction, quality fit & finish and energy efficient features including gas appliances. 
You are the first to receive notice of the first batch of ten condos for sale. To take advantage of our initial offering, all you need to do is fill out the contract and place a $20,000 deposit with the balance due on the completion of project.
Make sure you ask us about the 18 month rate hold if you are looking for financing options. It's an industry-leading financial product and well worth exploring.
These will sell very quickly, so if you're interested, call Todd Mahovlich or Justine Connor at 250-474-4800

Watch this short interview with Todd Mahovlich

Why You Should Choose Condo Living

Living in acondominium is all about lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle that gives you more freedom than a house can, and it’s a lifestyle you can enjoy at any age. Here are five compelling reasons you might not have thought of yet to choose condo living:
You Live in a Great Location
Condos get built in popular areas, and Triple Crown is no exception. Entertainment, restaurants, and shopping are all close by in the vibrant city of Langford. If the great outdoors is more your style, lakes, walking and biking paths and golf courses are all around you. Triple Crown is close to town on the edge of nature.
You Have Peace of Mind and Security
You don’t have to worry about installing alarm systems or video cameras because a two-key system – one for the front door and one for your unit – makes the possibility of robbery slim to none. Your neighbours are a kind of built in block watch! It’s hard for a thief to remove large items from your home without being seen by someone.
You Live Maintenance Free
Becaus…