Greater Vancouver Real Estate News from The Pearce Team March 2019   

 
The world of real estate is full of ups and downs so trying to figure out when to buy or sell can be a real challenge. This month's article offers some useful strategies for those who are looking to make a move in today’s ever-changing market.

There are also some great ideas for upcycling old household items into something new and unique as well as a few of the latest tech trends from the recent Las Vegas Electronics Show!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general. It'd be great to hear from you!

The Pearce Team

In this issue...
Vancouver Real Estate Market Update 

Housing market conditions continue to favour home buyers.

 

The Metro Vancouver housing market saw increased supply from home sellers and below average demand from home buyers in February.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,484 in February 2019, a 32.8 per cent decrease from the 2,207 sales recorded in February 2018, and a 34.5 per cent increase from the 1,103 homes sold in January 2019.

Last month’s sales were 42.5 per cent below the 10-year February sales average. "For much of the past four years, we’ve been in a sellers’ market. Conditions have shifted over the last 12 months to favour buyers, particularly in the detached home market. This means that home buyers face less competition today, have more selection to choose from and more time to make their decisions."

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 11,590, a 48.2 per cent increase compared to February 2018 (7,822) and a 7.2 per cent increase compared to January 2019 (10,808).

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2019 is 12.8 per cent. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“Homes priced well for today’s market are attracting interest, however, buyers are choosing to take a wait-and-see approach for the time being,” Moore said. “REALTORS® continue to experience more traffic at open houses. We’ll see if this trend leads to increased sales activity during the spring market.”

 Locally in Maple Ridge    

  

Sales of detached houses for  February were 50 which is a 37% decrease over last February which was 80 while the number of houses for sale increased by 49%. The average price for the month of February was $850,045 compared to last years February of $902,079. This represents the average price decrease of 5% over last year. Average sale price year to date is $856,179.       

  

Sales of townhomes for February were 31 which is a the same as last January, while the number of townhouses for sale is 120  which is a increase of 74% over last year. The average price for February was $532,883 compared to last years February of $569,112. This represents an average price decrease of 6% over the last  12 months. Average sale price year to date is $514,650.

  

Sales of condos for February were 17 which is a 61% decrease over last February while the number of condos for sale is 100 which is a increase of 156% over last year. The average price  this February was $351,450 compared to last years February of $384,263. This represents an average price decrease of 8% . Average sale price year to date is $351,758.    

  

Overview of the local market: 

  

The number of sales in all categories and the sales prices seem to have stabilized. For detached, townhomes and condo's the average selling price dropped approximately 5-7%. from their peak prices.  This market shift makes it an ideal time for the townhome or condo owner to move up to a detached home. Call us today to review the benefits of moving up in a softer market.   

  

Inventory has increased and is now at similar levels to mid-year 2015. We have seen a steady increase in activity over the last 4-6 weeks as buyers decide to take advantage of the decrease in prices. This is a more balanced market with the buyers having the advantage and allows for more time to shop and purchase

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Is it a Good Buy or Good Bye? 
Will the housing market cool down, level out or gain steam?

No one can say for sure what’s around the corner when it comes to the real estate market but there are steps you can take ahead of time to prepare yourself. If you're currently considering home ownership, here are a few points to consider:

  1. Planning Makes Perfect - It's important to plan ahead so research local amenities and consider features like parks and schools if you’re planning to start a family.

  2. Know the Numbers - Ensure you're financially ready to buy a home. There are many other costs aside from mortgage payments so know what you're getting yourself into.

  3. Stick to Your Budget - Examine your individual needs so that you don’t overextend yourself financially. Make a list of the features that fit your family's lifestyle before looking at homes.



  4. Go Pro - Have a real estate agent help guide you through the entire process. Start with a market evaluation of homes that have recently sold in your area along with an analysis of community trends.

  5. Think Straight - It’s normal for home buyers to experience a full range of emotions during the complex real estate rollercoaster ride. House hunting should be fun though, so don’t take things personally or let your emotions rule every decision.

  6. Inspect the Unexpected - Just because you've checked over the house thoroughly doesn't mean all’s well behind the scenes. Making an offer conditional on a home inspection will help you avoid any nasty, expensive surprises.

An uncertain real estate market can make it difficult to know whether you should hold off purchasing a home in case prices fall, or jump right in before prices skyrocket. One thing’s for sure though. The time to buy is when your budget matches your needs, so always consider your personal circumstances before making a decision. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you ever have any questions!

An alternative way to get into the market. 

If you’re tired of renting but can’t quite come up with a down payment, you may have to get creative.  One option is to purchase a property with a friend or relative.

Co-ownership enables you to share the down payment and monthly expenses which makes buying a home so much easier.  Like everything in life though, there are pros and cons to consider.  This is one partnership you don’t want to enter into lightly.

The pros are fairly obvious – it’s affordable and you’ll be able to start building up some equity instead of throwing it away on rent.  There are drawbacks however with co-ownership including the potential loss of a valuable friendship.  You may like and trust each other now but things can quickly change once you start living under the same roof and sharing the expenses.

 

One of the easiest way of co-ownership is to purchase a home with a basement suite. One family lives in the suite and one in the larger portion of the home. This way everyone has their own space. If the suite is 40% of the home then a simple division of down payment and expenses is 40% of mortgage payment, down payment and of the annual expenses associated with the house. This also means that on the sale of the home on a future date the family living in the suite would receive 40% of the equity that has built up since purchase.

 

A good example of the above is parents and their children (along with grandchildren) purchasing a place together. It gives the children an entry point into the market and someone to assist with child care and it gives the parents a "downsizing" option and an opportunity to be closer to grandchildren.

 

You could purchase a two bedroom condo and co-habit as room mates. You would have a bedroom each and a "common area". Just need an agreement on what expenses are split and what the proportions are

 

Before deciding if you’re going to purchase with your friend or relative, try to determine whether your personality styles are going to be a fit for co-habiting.  If you’re a neat freak and your friend doesn’t know one end of a vacuum from the other then problems will likely arise.  Also, think about how you like to spend your leisure time.  If they’re a party animal and you like a quiet life then this may not be the partnership for you.

Once you've determined that you're a good fit, visit a mortgage broker to get pre-approved so you know exactly how much you have to spend.  Next, make a checklist of critical factors such as location and parking.  Seemingly small issues like who’s getting the master bedroom can create tension down the road so sort out those details before moving ahead.  Agreeing to get a home inspection is a good plan so you’re not on the hook for unexpected future expenses.

It is critical to seek legal advice and draw up a detailed contract so you’re prepared to deal with potential problems.  Discuss worst case scenarios like break up or death, job loss or relocation, and what happens when one person wants to sell and the other doesn’t.  Home ownership can be fraught with problems from a leaky roof to a leaky faucet, so discuss how you’re going to approach home maintenance. The relationship will sour quickly if one of you spends hours on fix-it jobs.

Building up your financial security through co-ownership can work well for both parties but only if you have an open line of detailed communication before, during and after you’ve bought a house together.  Having a legal contract will help eliminate future problems leaving you to enjoy the benefits of co-ownership while remaining good friends!

 

More questions? Give us a call and we can discuss your options.

Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle 
The junk in your attic may be a treasure trove of opportunities!

Upcycling is a popular trend where existing items that would normally make their way to the curb are instead transformed into something useful and stylish. Here are a few creative ideas to help inspire you:

  1. Tub Chair - Cut an old claw foot tub in half and add a few seating pads for a very unique set of chairs.

  2. Bike Sink - Transform an old bicycle into a bike sink and use the basket for towels, plants or toiletries.



  3. Stylish Shelf - Turn an old ladder into a cool spot to hang towels or fix it to the ceiling and hang photos or lanterns from the rungs.

  4. Picture Perfect - Love an old painting but don’t have anywhere to hang it? Just add some handles to create a unique serving tray!

  5. Door Designs - Salvaged doors can be upcycled into tables, headboards or a storage bench. You can even create a folding screen divider by fixing a few of them together.

The opportunities for creative upcycling are endless, so give your old items a new lease on life while adding your own twist to them. Not only will you save money but you’ll also help the environment while injecting some fresh new creativity into your space!

Home Is Where the Smart Is 
Check out the latest and greatest in household smart gadgetry!

Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas introduces new and exciting technology. Here are a few of the latest innovations in smart home gadgetry:

  1. Smart Plank - This smart home hub looks like a smooth and simple piece of wood but it has an integrated touch sensor that will help control your home.



  2. TV Be Gone - Now you can literally not watch TV as the latest models will magically disappear and turn into an attractive piece of furniture when not in use.

  3. Sleep Easy - There’s a new headband for those not getting enough shut-eye. Sensors detect when you enter a deep sleep cycle and then play sounds to help you remain there.

These are just a few of the latest technologies to hit the market. As homes get smarter and more connected, homeowners will continue to benefit by enjoying unprecedented levels of convenience and comfort.



PS

 

 We have ALL the MLS listings on our site, no need to go anywhere else.   Sit back, relax and let us do the work for you! Just visit www.ThePearceTeam.com and use our preset searches in $50,000 increments for Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows. If you want to be more specific use the "other communities feature". Either way, save your search and whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home. Go to www.ThePearceTeam.com  to get started. Our site is a virtual office so if you sign up as a member (no obligation)  then the MLS information you receive will be current to the minute with twice the detail ( room sizes, time on market, previous prices, etc). SEE IT FIRST ON OUR SITE!! Sites like realtor.ca and mls.ca have a built in 24 to 48 hour delay on all their listings. Use our Google maps interface to get a  "birds eye" view of the listing and of the neighborhood. Check out the amenities in the area with the "walk to" score. If English is not your first language then use the translate feature on the home page. Want a feature that is not there, give us a call or email and we will see if we can add the feature. We look forward to hearing from you.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.