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At this point, it should come as no surprise that the real estate market in the City of Vancouver has seen a strong decline in the sales activity since it peaked earlier this year. It should also come as no surprise that prices have come down considerably for some property types and neighbourhoods, and moderately for others.


But with that being said, are we starting to see signs of change and stability?


In this market report, which is specific for the City of Vancouver, I will be talking about which markets may be showing signs of change and which markets may be showing signs of stability, based on an important statistic that you should be monitoring.


I'll also provide important insights and tips about this statistic.


Sales to Active Listings Ratio

If you watched my market report video in the month of July, you'll remember that I said one of the most important statistics that you should be monitoring is the sales to active listings ratio.


The reason why this statistic is important is because it compares sales to inventory levels, tells us the
rate at which homes are selling, and in turn tells us if we're in a buyer's market, a balanced market, or a seller's market.


Based on the guidelines provided by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, a buyer's market has
a sales to active listings ratio of below 12%, a balanced market has a ratio of between 12 to 20%, and a seller's market has a ratio of above 20%.


Consecutive months of a buyer's market can lead to downward pressure on pricing, while consecutive months of a seller's market can lead to upward pressure on pricing. But the key word here is can.


Let me explain.


Just because a neighbourhood is a seller's market, that doesn't mean that prices are rising. Even if that neighbourhood has consecutive months of being a seller's market, that also doesn't mean that prices will necessarily be rising.


One of the key factors in determining if prices will rise or fall is the rate at which the sales to active listings ratio is climbing or falling and sustaining from month to month.


If the ratio is climbing significantly and consistently from month to month, or remaining consistently high from month to month, that will lead to upward pressure on pricing. If the ratio is falling significantly and consistently from month to month, or remaining consistently low from month to month, that will lead to downward pressure on pricing.


Based on this information, let's take a look at what's been going on with the condo, townhome, and detached home markets on the East Side and the West Side of Vancouver over the last few months.


Vancouver East Condo Market



The sales to active listings ratio fell aggressively from March to April. It continued to fall at a strong rate from April to July, but since July it's been stable. It's been stable and consistent for three months and is currently a seller's market.


Vancouver West Condo Market



The sales to active listings ratio fell aggressively from March to April. It continued to fall at a strong rate from April to June, started to decline at a lower rate from June to July, and actually moved up in August, but then back down in September. Although its rate of decline has lowered over the last three months compared to the previous four, it's still experiencing some fluctuation. It's currently a balanced market.


Vancouver East Townhome Market



There was a strong decline from March to April, an even stronger decline from April to May. Although the rate at which it's continuing to decline has lowered considerably from month to month, since May, it's still declining and not showing signs of stabilising. It's currently a balanced market.


Vancouver West Townhome Market



The sales to active listings ratio fluctuated down and up over the last six months, with the steepest decline taking place between June and July. The overall direction has been down, and it's not showing signs of stability. It's a currently a balanced market.


Vancouver East Detached Homes Market



There was a strong decline from March to April. It continued to decline at a lower rate from April to July,
and it's actually been moving up for the last three months. It's currently a balanced market.


Vancouver West Detached Homes Market



There was a strong decline in the sales to active listings ratio from March to April. It continued
to decline from April to July. It moved up in August and then down slightly from August to September. Over the last three months, it's moved up slightly and is somewhat stable. It's currently a buyer's market.


As you can see when it comes to the sales to active listings ratios not only have a majority of the six markets seen a change in the rate of decline over the last three months, a couple of them are showing signs of stability while one is actually on the rise.


Please note, though, that this market report was for the general condo, townhome, and detached home markets only. And just as there were differences between these markets in the rate of change for the sales to active listings ratio. There will also be differences within the neighbourhoods of each of these markets.


Since we are seeing changes, you should definitely be keeping a close eye on the neighbourhoods and the property types that are the most important and the most relevant to you.


Be Market Wise. Monitor What Matters so that you can Make Informed Decisions.


If you would like to be kept up to date with the real estate market in the City of Vancouver as we continue to move through this transition, please click here.


To get a copy of the stats and graphs that were covered in this report, or if you would like to get
detailed information about specific neighbourhoods and property types, please click here.


Or if you prefer, you can call me, you can text me, or you can email me. I promise you that I'll provide you with an informative pressurefree conversation.


Thanks for reading and have a great day.


**Stats for this report were based on sales to active listings ratio data from March 2022 to September 2022, as of October 3rd, 2022. Data provided by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Data deemed realiable but not guaranteed. 

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Now that the property prices have come down in the City of Vancouver, how much further down will they go?


This is a question that a lot of my clients are asking, and you're probably asking as well. And this is why I have put together this market report, which is specific for the City of Vancouver.


In this report, I will be talking about how much the mortgage affordability has dropped by since the rise in interest rates. I'll talk about some of the pricing forecasts that have been circulating through the news. And I'll also talk about what we can expect with prices going forward for the Condo, Townhome, and Detached Home Markets on the East Side and the West Side of Vancouver.

Mortgage Affordability

Due to the recent rise in interest rates, the maximum amount of a mortgage that a buyer can qualify for has dropped by anywhere between 15% to 20% on average. Due to this drop in affordability, there has been a lot of pricing forecasts that have been circulating through the news. So how much of a price drop are these forecasts projecting? Let's take a look at a couple of the most recent ones.

Pricing Forecasts

The economist from Dejardins is predicting that home prices will decline across the country by 20% to 25% by next year, compared to where they peaked earlier this year. The economist from TD is projecting the same as well, and also adding that the declines will be steeper in BC and Ontario.


But there are a few things that you need to note about these forecasts.


One, they are referencing a large geographical area. Dejardins is referencing all of Canada and although TD has narrowed it down to BC, it's still not specific enough to be relied upon.


Two, these projections are talking about prices coming down from their peak, whereas some of the recent news headlines are making it seem like they'll be coming down by 25% from this point going forward.


The reason why this distinction is important is because three, prices have already come down from their peak, and in some neighbourhoods and cities across the Lower Mainland, they've already come down by 20% to 25%.


So how about the City of Vancouver? We've already seen the prices come down from their peak for many of the neighbourhoods across the city. But will all the neighbourhoods and all the property types come down by 20% to 25%, as projected by these economists?


In trying to answer that question, let's take a look back at a time not too long ago when we had a similar drop in mortgage affordability of between 15% to 20% and how that affected prices.

Mortgage Stress Test

Back in 2018, the mortgage stress test was introduced which applied to all mortgages and still exists today. The goal of the stress test was to make sure that a buyer would be able to handle a rise in the interest rates by making them qualify at two percentage points higher than the mortgage rate that they were given.


This requirement caused the maximum amount of a mortgage that a buyer can qualify for to drop by 15% to 20% on average. This is very similar to the current drop in mortgage affordability that we're dealing with due to the interest rates rising by 2.25% over the last six months.


So how much did the prices come down by in the City of Vancouver for the Condo, Townhome, and Detached Home Markets after the stress test was introduced? 

Benchark Price Changes after Stress Test was Introduced

Vancouver East Condo Market - Dropped by approximately 6%.




Vancouver West Condo Market - Dropped by approximately 7%




Vancouver East Townhome Market - Dropped by approximately 7%




Vancouver West Townhome Market - Dropped by approximately 7%




Vancouver East Detached Homes Market - Droppey by approximately 11%.




Vancouver West Detached Homes Market - Dropped by approximately 19%



So why didn't most of the markets in the City of Vancouver come down in price by the same percentage as the drop in mortgage affordability?


There's a few reasons for why that didn't happen.


One, the number of new listings declined, which reduced the supply and reduced the impact of downward pressure on pricing.


Two, some of the buyers were able to make up for the drop in mortgage affordability by putting down more money, by either tapping into their savings or by getting help from their parents, or by doing a combination of both.


The reason why the condo and townhome markets were not as effected is that when mortgage affordability dropped, those that were looking to buy a home moved over to a townhome and those that were looking to buy a townhome moved into a bigger two bedroom condo.


When it came to the detached homes market, the reason why the West Side was more effected than the East Side is because the West Side has higher price points and a few number of buyers to begin with. When mortgage affordability dropped, this number got reduced even further and thereby increasing the impact on pricing.


So what are my thoughts on pricing in the City of Vancouver going forward?

Vancouver Real Estate Prices Outlook

Well, in my opinion, since we are dealing with a mortgage affordability drop that is very similar to what we experienced in 2018, we should see similar effects on the Condo, Townhome and Detached Home Markets as we saw in 2018.


This is provided that the interest rates don't rise significantly going forward. Even if they do rise, I expect the pattern on pricing to remain the same as it was in 2018, meaning that even though the mortgage affordability will drop a little bit further, not all markets will come down by that same percentage.



When it comes to the Condo and Townhome Market, they will be more protected than the Detached Homes Market. And when it comes to the Detached Homes Market, the East Side will be more protected than the West Side.


Please keep in mind that there will be some properties that'll drop by less and some that will drop by more than what we saw in 2018. The property types and neighbourhoods that will be the most vulnerable to the biggest price drops are the ones that experienced the greatest price gains compared to the rest of the city.


What we do know is that markets and interest rates are cyclic. Interest rates will eventually come down and markets will eventually move back up.


We've already seen the prices come down, and since not all neighbourhoods and property types will come down equally, especially based on what we saw in 2018, I strongly suggest that you start monitoring the neighbourhoods and the areas that are the most important and the most relevant to you.


Be Market Wise. Monitor What Matters so that you can Make Informed Decisions.


if you would like to be kept up to date with the real estate market in the City of Vancouver as we continue to move through this transition, please click here.


If you would like to find out how much properties are selling for or what the inventory levels are like, in your areas of interest, please click here.


Or if you prefer, you can call me, you can text me, you can email me, I promise you that I'll provide you with an informative pressurefree conversation.


Thanks for reading and have a great day.


**Stats for this report were based on the rolling 12 months HPI data between the peak of 2018 to the trough of 2019, as of Sept 17, 2022. Data provided by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Data deemed realiable but not guaranteed. 

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There’s a lot to consider when selling your home, from market conditions and appraisals to where you’ll go next. Don’t forget, however, the importance of design. It’s often one of the first things buyers notice when they walk into a home, and it’s also a detail that you, as a seller, can easily control.


Updating your home design is one way to do that. Changes like eco-friendly fixtures or upgraded siding can add value to your home now and be highlighted when you market it for sale later. To get the most out of your updates, focus on these popular home design features that will wow buyers in 2022.


Keep in mind, not all of these will work well in every house. If you plan to buy, list, or renovate a property, give us a call. We can help you realize your vision and maximize the impact of your investment.


Eco-Friendly Fixtures

Canada’s largest demographic, millennials, has been a driving force in the country’s real estate market for the past few years. One thing that remains top of mind for this cohort is sustainable living features. A recent Deloitte survey found that one-third of millennials initiate or deepen their consumer investment in products or services that help the environment—this also includes the houses they choose to live in.1


Here are a few eco-friendly design features that will be attractive to these millennial buyers in 2022. Bonus: they can net a significant return on investment (ROI) for you, as a seller, too.


Energy-Efficient Windows: Windows and doors account for up to 25 percent of home heat loss, according to nrcan.gc.ca.2 Therefore, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can help homeowners save money. 


Low-Flow Water Fixtures: National Resources Canada also recommends replacing your water-consuming fixtures like showerheads, toilets, and faucets with ones that have flow rates of about 7.6 L/minute, 4.8L/flush, and 4L/minute, respectively.3 If you want to take it a step further, ENERGY STAR® certified appliances like dishwashers and washing machines will also make a dramatic difference in water bill savings. 


Native Landscaping: Perhaps unexpectedly, another eco-friendly ‘fixture’ is native flora. Local greenery helps combat biodiversity loss, creates a better habitat for wildlife, and has a greater resistance to pests, according to HGTV.4 These benefits of native plants add to the eco-friendly appeal of your home. 


Wellness Retreat Nooks

As many of our homes became “all-purpose” territory for the entire family, interior zoning efforts were in full effect. From designated offices to closed-door playrooms, everyone needed their own space. Add in mental health concerns, competing schedules, and reduced access to health and wellness facilities, and the result is a huge prioritization of personal care spaces.  


At-home wellness amenities, which were once viewed as luxuries, are now on many homeowners’ must-have lists. Intrigue buyers and improve your quality of life in your home with reading nooks, spa-inspired bathrooms, and exercise or meditation spaces. Even if your house doesn’t have the square footage to section off an entire room for relaxation, making simple tweaks to natural light, air purifiers, and indoor plants can help you feel better in your home now, while enabling future buyers to see the opportunity for their own space.


Calming Paint Colours

Paint colors that produce a calming atmosphere will also be a key selling point in 2022. Soft earth tones and natural hues will prevail this year, including various shades of blue, green, brown, and beige. Recent research suggests steering clear of trendy paint colors in favor of a more classic palette to bring the feel of nature indoors in a subtle and soothing way.5


A survey of American homebuyers found that a certain paint colour was able to increase a home’s value by 1.6%.5 If we Canadians see even a 1% increase, that’s $7,208 more for the average home, which is priced at $720,850, according to the Financial Post.6 


A crowd-pleasing hue to refresh the walls with is BEHR’s 2022 paint colour of the year, known as Breezeway.7 This shade of green with silver undertones was created to mimic sea glass. As the BEHR website describes it, Breezeway “evokes feelings of coolness and peace, while representing a desire to move forward and discover newfound passions.”  


Outdoor Living Updates

Don’t forget to think about your yard when considering design changes for your home. As interiors become more productive, many Canadians are looking to the outdoors for a break. HGTV predicts the “exterior living room” trend will continue in 2022, so making outdoor upgrades in the spring when the ground thaws could reap serious benefits.8 Whether your exterior square footage looks like a balcony, small patio, or expansive yard, it only takes some imagination and effort to turn it into a comforting oasis. 


Front porches, in particular, are seeing a big revival, says Greenhouse Canada.9 Power-washing your siding; adding a fresh coat of paint on the door, brick, or floorboards; and finishing it off with some exterior lighting will go a long way in upping the curb appeal.10 Don’t forget to add window boxes, big planters, and young trees that require minimal maintenance but add more life to the space. 


Finish off the space with some comfortable outdoor furniture to make the outdoors as well-designed as the indoors. If you need help deciding how to update your outdoor area, let us guide you.


Designated Work Spaces

It may come as no surprise that after the pandemic is over, 80 percent of new teleworkers want to continue to work at least half of their hours from home, according to Statistics Canada.11 However, this desire needs to be weighed against the availability of space in a home. 


If you can, try turning a bedroom or den into a work-from-home office. When designing the space, make it both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Position a desk near the window for natural light, install a bookshelf unit, arrange a few succulents on the work surface, and hang a few framed posters or a cork bulletin board on the wall. You want the space to foster productivity as well as be a place in your home you enjoy spending time.


When you get ready to sell, we can help you highlight your designated workspace. Given the high demand for this design feature, it can help you interest more buyers and attract more competitive offers—if marketed creatively. 


Plus, Canadians who transitioned to working from home because of the pandemic may be eligible to claim a $500 deduction for home office expenses—making this renovation that much more feasible.12


Luxury Kitchen Retouches

The kitchen has always been a main focal point of interior design, and that’s no different in 2022. Families will always need this space to come together in their own homes. 


This year’s buyers want a kitchen with new upgrades and retouches, but you don’t have to renovate the entire kitchen to make an impact. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips on how to create a kitchen that buyers will love without spending too much money on renovations:


Repaint the kitchen, keeping the calm and nature-inspired colours in mind that are most popular right now. Taking a kitchen from dark to light by painting cabinets and walls can make all the difference.


Update the hardware. These kitchen “accessories” stand out and add personality to an otherwise standard kitchen. 


Update light fixtures to bring in more light while also adding a fresh look and feel in the space. 


Unique Accent Walls

An accent wall gives a home character while balancing it with the calming feel of natural- and neutral-coloured walls. But, we’ve seen accent walls before, so bolder moves are expected for 2022. Here are some on-trend options that go above and beyond a solid-colour accent wall:

  • Jewel or metallic tones
  • Textured wallpaper
  • Painted ceilings
  • Built-in shelves
  • Wood paneling13
  • Sprawling wall tiles 14


If you’re planning to sell in the next year, talk to us before adding an accent wall. Depending on your target buyer, it may be a design feature that actually hurts your home’s value. We can run a free Comparative Market Analysis on your home to help you understand what would resell best in your neighbourhood.


Exterior Siding Updates

An exterior siding refresh can make an old home feel entirely new and have a big impact on its resale value. This primarily affects curb appeal, but it’s also an important factor in keeping interiors warm and protected from Canada’s harsh winters. The average cost for new siding ranges from $4.80 - $51.60 per square foot.15 That variation depends on which of the many siding materials you choose, from fiber-cement to brick, wood, vinyl, metal, or stone. 


While all these options can infuse the exterior with character and curb appeal, there are a few other factors to consider before taking on this kind of project. While brick adds more sophistication, it is on the pricier end and is susceptible to salt erosion, making it a less enticing option for those on the coasts. On the other end of the cost spectrum, vinyl is a very popular option that does not fade, is easy to maintain, and comes in many colour options.16 However, vinyl will crack over time after facing harsh Canadian winters. 


Give your home this simple and attractive facelift before putting it on the market. If you’re not sure how to get started yourself, our team can connect you with a trusted vendor to guide you through the process. 


Keep These Home Design Features on Your Radar

These design features can infuse personality into your home while helping to close the deal if you plan to sell. The average buyer knows just what they’re looking for in a space they plan to call home, so with some investment and foresight, you can give your house an edge over the competition—and boost resale value in the process. 


However, you don’t need to make all these changes to attract more buyers. We can help you determine which design features you should add to your home by sharing insights and tips on how to maximize the return on your investment. We can also run a Comparative Market Analysis on your home to find out how it compares to others in the area, which will help us decide what changes need to be made. Contact us to schedule a free consultation!



Sources:

 

1. Deloitte 

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/2021-deloitte-global-millennial-survey-report.pdf


2. NRCAN 

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/make-your-home-more-energy-efficient/keeping-the-heat/section-8-upgrading-windows-and-exterior-doors/15643


3. National Resources Canada 

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/make-small-changes-add/21850  


4. HGTV  

https://www.hgtv.ca/green-living/photos/native-plants-in-canada-by-province-1938068/ 


5. Zillow

http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2021-07-15-Homes-With-Light-Blue-Bathrooms,-Dark-Blue-Bedrooms-Could-Sell-for-Up-to-4,698-More-Than-Expected


6. Financial Post 

https://financialpost.com/real-estate/average-home-price-in-canada-hits-all-time-high-of-720850 


7. Behr 

https://www.behr.com/colorfullybehr/behr-announces-2022-color-of-the-year-and-trends-palette/


8. HGTV  

https://www.hgtv.ca/decorating/photos/biggest-home-decor-trends-2022-1952424/#currentSlide=4 


9. Greenhouse Canada 

https://www.greenhousecanada.com/garden-trends-report-sees-a-definite-shift-in-consumer-

tastes/ 


10. Toronto Sun 

https://torontosun.com/life/homes/front-porches-make-a-comeback


11. Statistics Canada  

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/45-28-0001/2021001/article/00012-eng.htm 


12. Government of Canada 

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-22900-other-employment-expenses/work-space-home-expenses.html 


13. Accent Walls 

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/ideas-how-to/decor/diy-wall-panelling.html 


14. Accent walls  

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/ideas-how-to/decor/accent-wall-ideas.html 


15. Reno Assistance   

https://www.renoassistance.ca/en/siding/house-siding-costs


16. D’Angelo and Sons 

https://dangeloandsons.com/best-exterior-siding-for-canadian-winter/



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If you want to maximize your sale price, it’s important to prepare your home before putting it on the market.


Start by connecting with your real estate agent as soon as possible. Having the eyes and ears of an insightful real estate professional on your side can help you boost your home’s appeal to buyers. What’s more, beginning the preparation process early allows you to tackle repairs and upgrades that can increase your property’s value. 


Use the checklist below to figure out what other tasks you should complete in the months leading up to listing your home. While everyone’s situation is unique, these guidelines will help you make sure you’re ready to sell when the time is right. Of course, you can always call us if you’re not sure where to start or what to tackle first. We can help customize a plan that works for you.


AS SOON AS YOU THINK OF SELLING

Some home sellers want to plan their future move far in advance, while others will be required to pack up on very short notice. Whatever your circumstances, these first steps will help assure you’ll be ahead of the listing game.


Contact Your Real Estate Agent


We go the extra mile when it comes to servicing our clients, and that includes a series of complimentary, pre-listing consultations to help you prepare your home for the market.


Some sellers make the mistake of waiting until they are ready to list their home to contact a real estate agent. But we’ve found that the earlier we’re brought into the process, the better the result. That often means a faster sale—and more money in your pocket after closing.


We know what buyers want in today’s market, and we can help devise a plan to maximize your property’s appeal. We can also connect you with our trusted network of contractors, vendors, and service professionals, so you’ll be sure to get the VIP treatment. This network of support can alleviate stress and help ensure you get everything done in the weeks or months leading up to listing.


Address Major Issues and Upgrades


In most cases, you won’t need to make any major renovations before you list. But if you’re selling an older home, or if you have any doubt about its condition, it’s best to get us involved as soon as possible so we can help you assess any necessary repairs.


In some instances, we may recommend a pre-listing inspection. Although it's less common in a seller's market, a pre-listing inspection can help you avoid potential surprises down the road. We can discuss the pros and cons during our initial meeting. 


This is the time to address major structural, systems, or cosmetic issues that could hurt the sale of your home down the line. For example, problems with the frame, foundation, or roof are likely to be flagged on an inspection report. Issues with the HVAC system, electrical wiring, or plumbing may cause the home to be unsafe. And sometimes outdated or unpopular design features can limit a home’s sales potential. 


Remember, when you’re dealing with major repairs or renovations, it’s best to give yourself as much time as possible. Given rampant labour and material shortages, starting right away can help you avoid costly delays.1 Contact us so we can guide you on the updates that are worth your time and investment.


1 MONTH (OR MORE) BEFORE YOU LIST

Once any large-scale renovations have been addressed, you can turn your attention to the more minor updates that still play a major role in how buyers perceive your home.


Make Minor Repairs


Look for any unaddressed maintenance or repair issues, such as water spots, pest activity, and rotten siding. This is the time to take care of those small annoyances like squeaky hinges, sticking doors, and leaky faucets, too.


Many of these issues can be handled by going the DIY route and using a few simple tools. Tackle the ones you can and be sure to call a professional for the ones you’re not comfortable doing yourself. We can refer you to local service providers who can help.


Remember that it’s easy to overlook these small issues because you live with them. When you work with us, you get a fresh set of eyes on your home—so you don’t miss any important repairs that could make a big difference to buyers.


Refresh Your Design


This is a great time to think about some simple design updates that can make a significant impression on buyers. For example, a fresh coat of paint is an easy and affordable way to spruce up your home. A recent survey of Canadian agents found that paint and landscaping were two upgrades that offered the highest return on investment.2 


HGTV landscape designer Carson Arthur agrees. According to Arthur, landscaping is the best place to invest your money and has the potential to increase your home’s value by up to 7%.3 If weather permits, lay fresh sod where needed, plant colourful flowers, and add some new mulch to your beds.


Even just repositioning your furniture can make a huge difference to buyers. A survey published by the International Association of Staging Professionals found that staged homes often sell faster and for more than their list price.4 We can refer you to a local stager or offer our insights and suggestions if you prefer the DIY route.


Declutter and Depersonalize


Doing a little bit of decluttering every day is a lot easier than trying to take care of it all at once right before your home hits the market. A simple strategy is to do this one room at a time, working your way through each space whenever you have a bit of free time. 


Start by donating or discarding items that you no longer want or need. Then pack up any seasonal items, family photos, and personal collections you can live without for the next few weeks. Bonus: This will give you a head start on packing for your move!


1 WEEK BEFORE YOU GO TO MARKET

With just one week before your home is available for sale, all major items should be crossed off your to-do list. Now it’s time to focus on the small details that will really make your home shine. Here are a few key areas to focus on during this last week.


Check-In With Your Agent


We’ll connect again to make sure we’re aligned on the listing price, marketing plan, and any remaining prep. We will be there every step of the way, ensuring you’re fully prepared to maximize the sale of your home.


Tidy Your Exterior


You’ve already done the major landscaping—now it’s time to tackle the last few details. Make sure your lawn is freshly mowed, hedges are trimmed, and flower beds are weeded.


In addition, now is the time to clean your home’s exterior if you haven’t already. Power wash your siding, empty the gutters, and wash all your windows and screens.


Deep Clean Your Interior


Your house should be deep cleaned before listing, including a thorough deodorizing of the home’s interior and steam cleaning for all carpets. Consider hiring a professional cleaning company to ensure the space smells and looks as fresh as possible. 


In addition to cleaning, take some time to tidy up. Buyers will look inside your closets, pantries, and cabinets, so make sure they are neat and organized. Small appliances and toiletries should be cleared off the countertops.


DAY OF SHOWING

Now you’re all set to go and there are just a few small things you need to handle on the day of showings or open houses. Do a final walk-through and take care of these finishing touches to give potential buyers the best possible impression.


Pre-Showing Prep


Happy and comfortable buyers are more likely to submit offers! Make them feel at home by adjusting the thermostat to a comfortable temperature. Open any blinds and curtains throughout the house, and turn on all lights so buyers can see all the potential in your home.


Then tidy up by vacuuming and sweeping floors, emptying (or hiding) trash cans, and wiping down countertops. In the bathrooms, close toilet lids and hang clean hand towels. 


Don’t forget to secure jewelry, sensitive documents, prescription medications, and any other items of value in a safe or store them off-site.


Finally, it’s best to have pets out of the house during showings. If possible, you should also remove evidence of pets (litter box, dog beds, etc.), which can be a turn-off for some buyers.


DON’T WAIT TO PREP YOUR HOME FOR SELLING

If you want to get top dollar for your home, don’t put it on the market before it’s ready. The right preparation can make all the difference when it comes to maximizing the offers you get. The upgrades and changes you need to make will depend upon your home’s condition, so don’t wait to speak with an agent.


Call our team if you’re thinking about selling your home, even if you’re not sure when. It’s never too early to seek the guidance of your real estate agent and start preparing your home to sell.



Please Click Here For a Free Consultation 



Please Click Here for a Free Home Evaluation



Sources:


1. ConstructConnect

https://canada.constructconnect.com/canadata/forecaster/economic/2021/07/labour-shortages-high-material-costs-strong-demand-more-pressure-on-house-prices 


2. RE/MAX

https://blog.remax.ca/canadian-real-estate-renovation-trends/


3. National Post

https://nationalpost.com/life/homes/curb-appeal-in-the-business-of-home-ownership-a-little-landscaping-can-go-a-long-way 


4. International Association of Staging Professionals

https://d3oaxt0bwkjnjn.cloudfront.net/documents/home-staging-industry-statistics-2020-min.pdf


















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If you've been thinking about buying or selling a home in Vancouver, or if you've been thinking about putting your buying or selling plans on hold because the real estate market has been shifting, I have some important information and advice that I'd like to share with you.



Assumptions about the Shifting Real Estate Market in the Lower Mainland


The Lower Mainland Real Estate Market has been shifting over the last few months. Prices are no longer rising and activity is down, but I'm also noticing that there are a lot of assumptions and generalizations that are being made.


And one of the biggest assumptions that are being made right now is that prices are down considerably and equally across all of the cities in the lower mainland. But that is simply not the case.


Surrey and Maple Ridge, for example, have seen their prices dropped by anywhere between 15 to 20% from their peak, from some of the recent sales. But you have to understand that Surrey and Maple Ridge were also cities that had seen considerable appreciation over the last two years, anywhere between 50 to 70%, whereas Vancouver only experienced an appreciation of between 20 to 30%.

So what's going on with the prices in Vancouver?

Well, for the most part, they've been relatively stable and in instances where they have come down, they've only come down by a small percentage



Should you sell now? Should you buy now? Or should you wait?


This is a question that a lot of my clients have been asking, and you're probably asking as well.


The simple answer is, it depends.


But please allow me to elaborate.

Selling a Home in the Greater Vancouver Area

Well, one thing is for sure, prices are no longer rising. There is no more upward pressure on pricing. So if you are thinking about maximizing your sale price in the short term, then yes, you should definitely consider selling.

Selling and Buying a Home in the Greater Vancouver Area

If you're going to be selling and buying, you should also consider moving forward because even though the market is no longer heated and you're not receiving condition-less offers and prices that are well above market, sellers are still getting really good prices for their homes.


And when you sell and then become a buyer, you no longer have to deal with the heated sellers market as a buyer, which can be very stressing and challenging.

Buying a Home in the Greater Vancouver Area

If you're going to be buying in a neighbourhood where the inventory has been historically low, then it may be more advantageous for you to move forward now and not have to worry about competing with other buyers versus hoping and waiting for prices to decline.


If you're thinking about buying in a neighbourhood where prices have come down and the inventory is rising, then it may make sense for you to wait and watch to see what happens.

 

Be Market Wise. Make Informed Decisions


This is why I always emphasize not to rely on news headlines, general statistics or averages when making a decision on buying or selling. You should keep your eye on the property types and the areas that are most relevant and most important to you.


Be market wise, monitor what matters, so that you can make informed decisions.


If you're interested in knowing what your home is worth in today's market, or if you're interested in knowing what the inventory levels are like and how much homes are selling for in the areas that you're interested in moving to please click here.


Or if you prefer, you can call me, you can text me, you can email me. I promise you that I'll provide you with an informative pressure free conversation.


Thanks for reading and have a great day.


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Selling your home when you still need to shop for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner. You're not alone either if you're already feeling drained by the complex logistics of trying to sell and buy a new home all at once.


Searching for a new home can be exciting, but many homebuyers admit that it can also be stressful, especially if you live in an unpredictable market with plenty of competitors. Unfortunately, waiting out a competitive housing market isn’t always the best idea either since homes can continue to remain in short supply in many areas, while demand can remain strong in others. 


That doesn't mean, though, that you should just throw up your hands and give up on moving altogether.  In fact, planning ahead and mapping out all your options will put you in a much better position to make a smooth transition from your old home to a new one.


We can help you prepare for the road ahead and answer any questions you have about the real estate market.  For example, here are some of the most frequent concerns we hear from clients who are trying to buy and sell at the same time.


“WHAT WILL I DO IF I SELL MY HOUSE BEFORE I CAN BUY A NEW ONE?”


This is an understandable concern for many sellers but chances are, you will still have plenty of options if you do sell your home quickly. It may just take some creativity and compromise.


Here are some ideas to make sure you're in the best possible position when you decide to list your home:


Tip #1: Be open to a leaseback.

Buyers may be willing to make concessions in order to get the home they want. In some cases, a buyer may agree to a sell and lease back agreement (also known as a "sell house and rent back" option) that allows the seller to continue living in the home after closing for a set period of time and a negotiated fee.


This can be a great option for sellers who need to tap into their home equity for a downpayment or who aren’t logistically ready to move into their next home. If you're dealing with an investor rather than a traditional buyer, you may even be able to negotiate a lengthy lease and lower rent payment than your current mortgage.1


However, leaseback agreements can be complex, with important legal, financial and tax issues to consider. At minimum, a carefully-worded contract and security deposit should be in place in case of any property damage or unexpected repairs that may be needed during the leaseback period.


Tip #2: Open your mind to short-term housing options.

While it can be a hassle to move out of your old home before you’re ready to move into your new one, it’s a common scenario. If you’re lucky enough to have family or generous friends who offer to take you in, that may be ideal. If not, you’ll need to find temporary housing. Check out furnished apartments, vacation rentals and month-to-month leases. If space is an issue, consider putting some of your furniture and possessions in storage.


You may even find that a short-term rental arrangement can offer you an opportunity to get to know your new neighbourhood better—and lead to a more informed decision about your upcoming purchase.


Tip #3: Embrace the idea of selling now and buying later.

Instead of stressing about timing your home sale and purchase perfectly, consider making a plan to focus on one at a time. Selling before you’re ready to buy your next home can offer a lot of advantages.


For one, you’ll have cash on hand from the sale of your current home. This will put you in a much better position when it comes to buying your next home. From budgeting to mortgage approval to submitting a competitive offer, cash is king. And by focusing on one step at a time, you can alleviate some of the pressure and uncertainty.


“WHAT IF I GET STUCK WITH TWO MORTGAGES AT THE SAME TIME?”


This is one of the most common concerns that we hear from buyers who are selling a home while shopping for a new one, and it’s realistic to expect at least some overlap in mortgage payments. But unless you have a large enough income to comfortably carry two mortgages, you may not pass Canada's beefed-up mortgage stress test until you have a contract on your first home. (You can use the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's Mortgage Qualifier Tool to check your odds.2)


Assuming you can secure financing, however, it's still a good idea to examine your budget and calculate the maximum number of months you can afford to pay two mortgages before you jump on a new home. Potential stopgap solutions, such as bridge financing, can also help tide you over if you qualify.


If you simply can’t afford to carry both mortgages for any amount of time, or if you are concerned about passing the mortgage stress test, then selling before you buy may be your best option. (See Tip #3 above.) But if you have some flexibility in your budget, it is possible to manage both a home sale and purchase simultaneously. Here are some steps you can take to help streamline the process:


Tip #4: As you get ready to sell, simplify.

You can condense your sales timeline if you only focus on the home renovations and tasks that matter most for selling your home quickly. For example, clean and declutter all of your common areas, refresh your outdoor paint and curb appeal and fix any outstanding maintenance issues as quickly as possible.


But don't drain unnecessary time and money into pricey renovations and major home projects that could quickly bog you down for an unpredictable amount of time. We can advise you on the repairs and upgrades that are worth your time and investment.


Tip #5: Prep your paperwork.

You'll also save valuable time by filing as much paperwork as possible early in the process. For example, if you know you'll need a mortgage to buy your next home, get pre-approved right away so that you can shorten the amount of time it takes to process your loan.3


Similarly, set your home sale up for a fast and smooth transition by pulling together any relevant documentation about your current home, including appliance warranties, renovation permits, and repair records. That way, you're ready to provide quick answers to buyers' questions should they arise.


Tip #6: Ask us about other conditions that can be included in your contracts.

Part of our job as agents is to negotiate on your behalf and help you win favourable terms. For example, it’s possible to add a contract condition known as a "subject to sale" or "sale of property" (SOP) condition to your purchase offer that lets you cancel the contract if you haven't sold your previous home. This tactic could backfire, though, if you're competing with other buyers. We can discuss the pros and cons of these types of tactics and what’s realistic given the current market dynamics.


“WHAT IF I MESS UP MY TIMING OR BURN OUT FROM ALL THE STRESS?”


When you're in the pressure cooker of a home sale or have been shopping for a home for a while, it's easy to get carried away by stress and emotions. To make sure you're in the right headspace for your home buying and selling journey, take the time to slow down, breathe and delegate as much as possible. In addition:


Tip #7: Relax and accept that compromise is inevitable.

Rather than worry about getting every detail right with your housing search and home sale, trust that things will work out eventually––even if it doesn't look like your Plan A. Perfecting every detail with your home decor or timing your home sale perfectly isn't necessary for a successful home sale and compromise will almost always be necessary. Luckily, if you've got a good team of professionals, you can relax knowing that others have your back and are monitoring the details behind the scenes.


Tip #8: Don't worry too much if your path is straying from convention.

Remember that rules-of-thumb and home-buying trends are just that: they are estimates, not facts. So if your home search or sale isn't going exactly like your neighbours' experience, it doesn't mean that you are doomed to fail.


It's possible, for example, that seasonality trends may affect sales in your neighbourhood. So a delayed sale in the summer or fall could affect your journey––but not necessarily. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the housing market used to be more competitive during the fall and spring and less competitive during the winter. But it's not a hard and fast rule and real estate markets across Canada have seen major shifts in recent years.4 Every real estate transaction is different. That's why it's important to talk to a local agent about your specific situation.


Tip #9: Enlist help early.

If possible, call us early in the process. We'll not only provide you with key guidance on what you should do ahead of time to prepare your current home for sale, we'll also help you narrow down your list of must-haves and wants for your next one. That way, you'll be prepared to act quickly and confidently when you spot a great house and are ready to make an offer.


It's our job to guide you and advocate on your behalf. So don't be afraid to lean on us throughout the process. We’re here to ease your burden and make your move as seamless and stress-free as possible.


COLLABORATE WITH A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL TO GET TAILORED ADVICE THAT WORKS FOR YOU


Buying and selling a home at the same time is challenging. But it doesn't have to be a nightmare, and it can even be fun. The key is to educate yourself about the market and prepare yourself for multiple scenarios. One of the best and easiest ways to do so is to partner with a knowledgeable and trustworthy agent.


A good agent will not only help you evaluate your situation, we will also provide you with honest and individually tailored advice that addresses your unique needs and challenges. Depending on your circumstances, now may be a great time to sell your home and buy a new one. But a thorough assessment may instead show you that you're better off pausing your search for a while longer.


Contact us for a free consultation so that we can help you review your options and decide the best way forward.


Sources


1. CBC

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/housing-real-estate-toronto-market-sell-stay-rent-1.4075093


2. Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

https://itools-ioutils.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/MQ-HQ/MQ-EAPH-eng.aspx


3. Government of Canada 

https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/mortgages/preapproval-qualify-mortgage.htm


4. Canadian Real Estate Association

https://www.realtor.ca/blog/are-spring-and-fall-housing-markets-a-thing-of-the-past/20405/1361



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The Greater Vancouver Estate Market has been shifting over the last couple of months.


Traffic at open houses and the number of showings, for many properties, has dropped.


The total number of offers have declined significantly from the recent feverish levels, when there was a lineup of buyers at almost every property, submitting conditionless offers with prices well above the most recent market values.


Many listings are receiving just a single offer now and that offer has subjects(conditions). Buyers are being able to get offers with conditions accepted since many are no longer competing. There has been a substantial rise in the number of accepted offers that have subjects.


We’ve been seeing more and more listings start to advertise that offers will be reviewed on a first-come first-serve basis.


There are still listings coming up that are using the offers to be reviewed on a certain date strategy. Some of those listings are doing it based on the hope that the market hasn't shifted, some are doing it because they are listing it well below market value and as a result will receive more offers, while the remaining are doing it because they are still experiencing a strong level of demand.


Here is what the Chairman of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Daniel John, recently said about the market:


“So far this spring, we’ve seen home sales ease down from the record-breaking pace of last year. While a small sample size, the return to a more traditional pace of home sales that we’ve experienced over the last two months provides hopeful home buyers more time to make decisions…”1


The President of the Fraser Valley Board, Sandra Benz, provided a similar insight:


“We would typically see a flurry of activity around this time of the year, however that’s not been the case so far. While it’s still too early to say whether this trend will endure, the slowing of sales combined with an increase in active listings is helping to restore a semblance of balance to the market, which is encouraging for homebuyers.”2


What’s led to the shift?


This is a tough one to quantify but in my opinion it's most likely a combination of; many buyers being priced out due to the significant rise in pricing, a good portion of the precovid pent up demand being satisfied, buyer’s fatigue/perception/sentiment of the market, higher inventory*(in some areas), and higher interest rates leading to investors leaving the market.


The reason why I link the higher interest rates to only investors leaving the market is because even though the 5 year fixed rates have risen significantly, and the variable rates are also on the rise, the mortgage amount that buyers can qualify for has not really changed significantly.


This is due to the stress test rules which state that the mortgage amount that a buyer can qualify for will be based on either the benchmark rate, which is 5.25%, or the rate offered by their lender plus 2%3, whichever is higher.


Buyer’s have been qualifying under 5.25% since June of 2021 and that hasn't really changed over the last few months during the shift. Even though the five year fixed rates for the 5 big banks of Canada are currently ranging between 4.29 to 4.42%4, the variable rates are still under 3%4, allowing buyers to still qualify using 5.25%.


Although investors can also qualify for the same amount as they had prior to the rise in rates, they are much more focused on the rates than they are about the mortgage amount. Their decision to buy is based purely on cost benefit whereas the decisions of buyers who are looking for a place to live is based on lifestyle and life stage changes.


In a country where about one-third of all residential properties are owned as investments (based on data released by the Canadian Housing Statistics Program of Statistics Canada)5 the entrance and exit of investors from the market can have a strong impact.


Has the market shifted equally for all areas and property types?


One of the questions that I always get asked is, “Hey Manny what's the market like?” My answer is always the same, “It depends on property type and location.”


The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market is essentially a collection of many different micro-markets, depending on property type and location. At any given time there can be differences in demand, pricing, and activity between these micro markets.


For example, not only can there be differences between the cities of Vancouver and New Westminster but there can also be differences between the neighbourhoods within Vancouver.


The same holds true for this current shift.


Although sales and number of offers are down overall, not all areas and properties are experiencing the same level of decline.


Generally speaking the condo and townhome markets are more active than the detached home markets. But within the condo and townhome markets there are areas that are also seeing a decline. And while the detached home markets have seen more of a decline than the condo and townhome markets there are still areas where activity remains strong.


What's going on with prices?


The strong upward pressure on pricing over the last couple of years started to subside a couple of months ago and based on the majority of recent sales, the prices are still stable for many markets.


However, there have also been a number of recent sales that sold for below the most recent market values.


Some of these lower priced sales were considerably lower than recent market values while others were somewhat lower. There isn't a large number of these types of sales yet, but prices have definitely come down for some property types and areas and there is another key observation worth noting that may have a further effect.


That observation is - some of the active listings on the market. There are some properties that are starting to sit on the market at prices that are both at, and below, the recent market values.


Is a correction on the horizon?


If you’ve been living in the Greater Vancouver area over the last 15 to 20 years, you’ve probably seen this question as a popular headline from time to time.


Although the long term pricing trend for the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market has been upward over that time, the market has also been through a few, short term, downward cycles.


Is the market beginning to move through one of those downward cycles now? Will the price decrease spread across all the micro markets? Will prices decline at a higher rate?


Here are some forecasts that have been cycling through the news:


Royal Bank of Canada is predicting the aggregate benchmark price will decline 2.2% nationwide in 2023, with the downward price pressure to be more intense in Vancouver at 3.8%.6


Oxford economics are predicting a much more aggressive decline of 24%.7 (this one seems too over the top and would require either a massive surplus of inventory, a major rise in interest rates, or a combination of the two)


Instead of relying on forecasts, which have been incorrect in the past, here are few things that I will be monitoring that can influence cycles and pricing:


Inventory


Inventory has moved up in some areas but remains low in others, Most of the inventory is also overpriced. But as I mentioned earlier there are properties that are starting to sit on the market at prices that are at, and below, the recent market values. If that number continues to rise then it could contribute to downward pressure on pricing.


Interest Rates - Especially the Variable


As I mentioned earlier, so far buyers have not had the amount of mortgage they can qualify for reduced as long as they choose to go with the variable rate.


But that variable rate will continue to rise in response to the Bank of Canada raising its policy rate. Variable-rates offered by banks are typically expressed as “prime plus or minus” a percentage.When the Bank of Canada increases or slashes its overnight rate, prime rates typically adjust by a similar amount.8


The Bank of Canada has already stated that they will continue to forcefully raise the rate, if needed, to battle inflation.9 If, as a result, the variable rate moves to 4% or above, then there will be a notable decrease in the mortgage amount that a buyer can qualify for, leading to reduced purchasing power which could contribute to downward pressure on pricing.


Buyers Sentiment/Perception


Unlike inventory and rates, sentiment is hard to quantify but it can be gauged by those working in the frontline, namely real estate agents and mortgage brokers.


Ever heard of the term perception is reality?


I have seen buyer perception influence decisions in the past. In 2019 the market had hit the bottom of its downward cycle. Prices had dropped by a percentage that was equal to the percentage drop in the mortgage amount that buyers were able to qualify for, due to the stress test. Despite this, the majority of buyers did not enter the market because they perceived that the market may drop further.


If buyers perceive that we are in a downward cycle, and start to believe the forecasts mentioned, many of them may put their buying plans on hold. This would reduce the number of active buyers in the market, which could contribute to downward pressure on pricing.


Should you sell now? Should you buy now? Should you wait?


The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market is a collection of micro markets(depending on property type and location), each with its own level of supply, demand, activity, and price changes.


Which is why the answer to these questions depends on the micro markets in which someone is considering buying and/or selling.


For those that would prefer to maximize their sale price in the short term, selling now should be considered since the majority of the overall market has stabilized while some micro markets have come down in price from their peak.


For those looking to buy in areas where inventory is rising and prices have come down from their peak, it may make sense to wait and see if prices come down further.


For those that are looking to buy in areas where supply is historically low, it may be better to move forward now because the opportunity to buy without having to compete, may be more advantageous than waiting for a possible decline in pricing.


For those that are looking to sell and buy, now could be a good time to make the move because even though the buying frenzy has subsided, thereby reducing the number of offers and over market sale prices, sellers are still getting good prices for their homes and once they sell and become buyers, they no longer have to deal with the stresses of being involved in multiple offers in many areas.


Please note though, that the Greater Vanocuver Real Estate Market is also very dynamic, activity and sentiment can change quickly.


Although the market has been shifting and some signs point to a downward cycle, inflation may subside or decline and as a result the interest rates may no longer rise or they may decline. Also, many sellers may remove their listings from the market if they feel that prices are going to come down and inventory may decline. Both of these changes would reduce downward pressure on pricing.


This is why the most important piece of advice I can provide, and stress, is that you should not rely on general stats, general consensus, and headlines when making a decision to buy, sell, or wait.


You should watch the micro markets that you are living in along with the ones that you are interested in moving to. By monitoring the most relevant markets you can put yourself in a position to move forward when you see shifts in the market that are either favourable to you or to avoid shifts in the market that may not be favourable.


Be market wise


Monitor what matters


Make informed decisions


If you have any questions about specific markets or if you would like to be up to date with and monitor specific markets, please call, text, or email me. I promise to provide an informative, pressure free conversation.



Please click here for a free consultation. 



1. Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

https://www.rebgv.org/market-watch/monthly-market-report/april-2022.html


2. Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/fvreb-posts-record-volume-of-new-listings-in-february-2-2/


3. Bank of Montreal

https://www.bmo.com/main/personal/mortgages/new-mortgage-rules-stress-test/


4. Rate Hub

https://www.ratehub.ca/best-mortgage-rates


5. Statistics Canada

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220412/dq220412a-eng.html


6. CTV News

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-homes-prices-forecast-to-dip-3-8-next-year-following-interest-rate-hikes-1.5872989


7. Daily Hive

https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/canada-home-prices-forecast


8. Money Sense

https://www.moneysense.ca/save/financial-planning/financial-literacy-financial-planning/bank-of-canada-interest-rate/


9. Bank of Canada

https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2022/04/opening-statement-270422/

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