Sutton Showplace Realty (2015) Chilliwack

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Spring market kicks-off with slim supply in March

25 April 2018
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

Figures released by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board showed that prices in markets covered by the FVREB rose in March compared to the previous month. The board covers Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, Mission, and North Delta.

While sales reached slightly above the ten-year average for the  month, a lack of sufficient inventory in the Fraser Valley continued to put pressure on home buyers in March.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,664 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, a decrease of 24.8 per cent compared to the 2,213 sales in March of last year, and a 20.1 per cent increase compared to the 1,385 sales in February 2018. The ten-year average for sales in the Fraser Valley in March is 1,658 transactions.


Of the 1,664 sales processed last month 410 were townhouses and 460 were apartments, together representing 52 per cent of all transactions in March.


Active inventory for the Fraser Valley finished at 4,796 listings last month, increasing 10.5 per cent month-over-month, and decreasing 0.2 per cent when compared to March 2017.


"We continue to see demand capped-off due to an inadequate amount of supply," said John Barbisan, Board President.
“March is typically when we see our market kick into gear, but we need to see higher levels of new listings coming in and greater overall inventory if we want more homebuyers to find success in the Valley.”


The Board received 2,865 new listings in March, a 24.9 per cent increase from February 2018’s 2,293 new listings, and a 6.7 per cent decrease compared to March 2017.


"On the plus side, despite a tighter market pricing has remained relatively stable for our region. Talk to your REALTOR® who can help show you the best options at the price level you’re looking for.”


For the Fraser Valley region the average number of days to sell an apartment in March was 13, and 16 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 30 days before selling.


HPI® Benchmark Price Activity
• Single Family Detached: At $1,001,400, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley increased 0.9 per cent compared to February 2018, and increased 15.2 per cent compared to March 2017.
• Townhomes: At $541,800, the Benchmark price for a townhome in the Fraser Valley increased 2 per cent compared to February 2018, and increased 24.9 per cent compared to March 2017.
• Apartments: At $440,400, the Benchmark price for apartments/condos in the Fraser Valley increased 4.3 per cent compared to February 2018, and increased 48 per cent compared to March 2017.

-- News Release by The Fraser Valley Real estate Board


Allergy Proof Your Home

16 April 2018
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

Follow these guidelines to minimize your exposure to allergens outdoors and to avoid bringing them home.

Beat the Sniffles


Illustration by Zohar Lazar

While many of us eagerly await spring, for the 60 million Americans suffering from allergies, April—with its mold-friendly moisture and pollen-bearing blossoms—is one of the toughest times of the year. Experiencing sneezing, a runny nose, or itchy, watery eyes? Follow these guidelines to minimize your exposure to allergens outdoors and to avoid bringing them home.

Garden Smartly


Photo by Realimage/Alamy

Pollen levels peak between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., so save yard work for later in the day. Keep grass cut short, and consider wearing an air-filtering mask, goggles, and gloves while mowing the lawn. Avoid planting high-pollen-producing flowers such as amaranthus, juniper, and peonies, especially near windows or doors.

Clean Your Gear


Photo by Matthew Benson

Don't hang fresh laundry out to dry, and shake out clothes after they've been worn outside. Shower as soon as possible after spending time outdoors. Pets can bring pollen in too, so keep a brush and wet wipes handy to clean off their fur and paws. Place mats on both sides of the front door; they'll function as a catchall for allergens and a landing pad for footwear, which should be taken off as you come indoors, when possible.

Choose the Right Ventilation


Photo by Courtesy of iStockphoto.com/IDK303

Invest in crawl-space vent fans to keep humidity levels below 50 percent, which will thwart the spread of mold and mildew. When it's warm, opt for air-conditioning, instead of open windows, to cool the house.

Manage Mold


Photo by Getty Images

Drain or dump any areas of stagnant water in your yard, and keep soil on your property moist, but not damp, to reduce airborne mold. And never linger outdoors—or open the windows—after a heavy rain.


Mortgage Stress Test

14 April 2018
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

--Article sourced from Global News

The latest set of federal mortgage rules has been blowing a cool wind over almost every Canadian real estate market. With the exception of Ottawa, Montreal and a few others, home prices have slowed down or dipped, sometimes upsetting the calculations of homeowners counting on windfall sales. The average price of a home in Canada stands at $491,000, down 10 per cent from March of last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

But that isn’t making much of a difference for many home buyers. On the one hand, if you take out Toronto and Vancouver, the national average home price slipped just 2 per cent in the last 12 months — not enough to make up for the fact that, under the new stress test, prospective buyers now have to show they’d be able to keep up with their bills even if their mortgage rate rose by two percentage points.

On the other hand, in Canada’s two most expensive markets, the stricter mortgage rules are pushing many buyers toward less pricey condo and town homes, which is in turn driving up the price of those properties. Condo prices are up 26 per cent and 14 per cent since last March in Vancouver and Toronto respectively.

So how much does one need to make these days to qualify for a loan to buy an average-priced home in some of Canada’s largest cities?

We looked at the numbers using the mortgage affordability calculator of rate-comparison site RateHub.ca. Here’s what we got:

In Toronto and Vancouver, you need well north of a six-figure salary to buy a middle-of-the-road property, which in both cities is likely to mean a condo or a townhouse — if you’re lucky.

The picture isn’t so bad in most of the rest of Canada, where an average income is enough to buy an average home (the country’s median household income stands at $76,000, according to the latest Census data).

Our calculations also include a downpayment of 20 per cent, an amount of cash that may be out of reach for many, especially first-time homebuyers. We also based our math on a 5-year fixed mortgage rate of 2.99 per cent, which is among the lowest in the country but not necessarily available everywhere.

Still, perhaps most importantly, we assumed buyers had no other debts. This is a big “if” as “54 per cent of Canadians have non-mortgage debt, which makes it even harder to qualify,” said Robert McLister, founder of rate-comparisons site RateSpy.com and mortgage planner at intelliMortgage.com

Things like credit card payments and car loans also factor into the stress test, with lenders looking at total debts taking up no more than 42 per cent of your annual pre-tax income.

“Every $450 of monthly [debt] obligations reduces the mortgage you can qualify for by [about] $100,000,” according to Bryan Freeman, senior vice president and mortgage agent at CanWise Financial, a brokerage associated with RateHub.

There are a host of other factors that might push buyers over the edge, Freeman said. For example, if you rely on freelance income that varies from year to year or on commissions, bonuses or overtime, what goes into the calculation is your two-year average pay.

“If you’ve just started [on the job], the bank will only look at your base income,” Freeman said.

Then there are property taxes, which are part of the housing costs that shouldn’t take up more than 30-32 per cent of your gross monthly pay.

The property tax rate can vary significantly from region to region and “is definitely a consideration,” Freeman noted.

Still, there are ways in which today’s house-hunters can stretch their affordability, McLister said.

One of them is turning to credit unions, which are regulated provincially and not subject to the latest federal mortgage rules.

“The income required is roughly 12-13 per cent lower for borrowers who use a credit union that qualifies them at the 5-year fixed contract rate,” McLister said.

Another possibility, if you have a down payment of 20 per cent or more, is lengthening your amortization from 25 to 30 years, which boosts buying power by about 8 per cent, according to McLister.

Logging in more kilometres will also help you get the house you want.

“If you’re open to commuting, you can drive an hour and get at least 30-50 per cent more home for the same income,” he said.

And, then, obviously, there’s buying a smaller house.

The rule of thumb Freeland advises clients to use is to aim for a mortgage no larger than four times their income.

“Even 4.5 times is pushing it,” he said.


~~Article sourced from: 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Speculation Tax

04 April 2018
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

Wondering if the new “Speculation Tax” applies to you? The BC Government has provided this flowchart to help you find out.

To help make housing in overheated markets more affordable and available, the B.C. government is targeting property speculators, while making sure that over 99% of British Columbians will not pay the speculation tax. Link to recent news release: https://goo.gl/U5WvTQ

Click here to download an attachment with more info: BC SPECULATION TAX - March 2018

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