The sun is finally starting to come out to greet us as I sit here on the last day of April 2013 and reflect on the last month and what has transpired in the BC real estate market. There has been a number of great articles I’ve read this mon that I think will be beneficial for most home buyers and sellers in the Fraser Valley. Enjoy!

It’s official: Canadian home prices are boring (and that’s a good thing)

Who knew that being ‘boring’ could be a good thing?

The Financial Post wrote an article last week about how Canada’s real estate market is slowing down after the stifling pace in previous years yet is still defying a collapse. So the fact that the market is not taking off again or experiencing a breakdown makes it boring. Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter reports,

“All 26 cities reported a single-digit yearly change in prices in the past year, an unusually calm background.”

How do you view boring these days?

Would you live in Canada’s smallest condo?
300 sq ft from $109,900

I blogged about Surrey’s Balance microcondos a number of months back and the article about Surrey’s microcondos still remains one of my most popular to date. It seems that others are still talking about these teeny-tiny living spaces.

I came across another interesting article about Surrey’s Microcondos where the Balance Micro-Suites developer Charan Sethi says he is already looking for sites in Burnaby and Vancouver to replicate the housing and pricing model. 

I agree with what he says – we all dream of owning our own, brand new space – especially first time home buyers who are realizing what is actually out their on the market, within their price range. If you are interested in looking at some microcondos in Surrey give me a call. I would love to walk  you through.  

Whalley is the new Yaletown: Canada’s smallest condos are in Surrey

I love this reporter’s perspective and review of Balance Microcondos in Surrey.

He or she (named Jordan) starts off with a video clip from The Fifth Element with Bruce Willis’ tiny apartment. After visiting this Surrey condo in person, which is termed “Murphy-bed-tastic”, the writer notices that there are two major buyers interested in these tiny condos:

  • Parents with young adult children who are helping their kid out with a down payment on these affordable Surrey housing options.
  • Older couples who are looking for a strong investment that can be rented out to college students.

Some of the serious details reporting in the article:

  • You only have to make $30,500 annually to qualify for the mortgage.
  • One bedroom 490 square foot units and two-bedroom 648 square foot unit are up for grabs.
  • Set to be completed by Summer 2014.

BC first-time home buyers’ grant expires

The beginning of this month marked the end of the first-time home buyers’ grant in British Columbia.

Are you regretting not taking advantage of the 5% savings on the purchase price or cost of construction offered by our provincial government?

According to Mohamed Samman with Envision Financial this shouldn’t have a big impact on your bottom line considering other cost factors such as changes in housing prices, interest rates and your ability to acquire the equity required to purchase a home in the first place. Samman argues that these are all much bigger influencers than the $10,000 incentive previously offered.

He claims that considering the average price of a BC home is $523,000 and that we are working in a buyers’ market first time buyers are more likely to save some cash by negotiating with the seller.

What do you think about this? Were you a first time buyer who took advantage of the rebates prior to April 1? Are you a first time buyer needing to find additional cost savings to make up for the loss of the BC first-time home buyer incentives?

First-time homebuyers
making up larger share of real estate market

At the very beginning of April I came across a poll by the Royal Bank that caught my attention:

  1. Fewer Canadians are planning to buy a home in the next 2 years BUT
  2. More than 1/3rd of those will be first-time home buyers
  3. 84% of those polled still see real estate as a sound investment
  4. 52% say now is a good time to get into the market

This 20th Annual RBC Home Ownership Poll shows the confidence Canadians have in the housing market and that young, first time buying Canadians are the “bright spot”.

How has April been for you and your home and other investments? I’d love to hear from you and provide any form of professional advice I can offer. Call me at 778-2316-4290 or send me an email at ntaylor@sutton.com.

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