Does your home sometimes feel a little cramped? If so, this month's article has some terrific space saving strategies that will help you get the most out of your square footage!
There's also some great advice on how to keep your plants lean and green as well as a reminder about the dangers of radon and how it can affect your family's health.
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
The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Report
Vancouver condominium sales drive activity in August.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 3,043 in August 2017, a 22.3 per cent increase from the 2,489 sales recorded in August 2016, and a 2.8 per cent increase compared to July 2017 when 2,960 homes sold.
Last month’s sales were 19.6 per cent above the 10-year August sales average.
“First-time home buyers have led a surge this summer in demand in our condominium and townhome markets,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said. “Homes priced between $350,000 and $750,000 have been subject to intense competition and multiple offers across the region.”
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for August 2017 is 34.6 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 16.3 per cent for detached homes, 44.8 per cent for townhomes, and 76.3 per cent for condominiums.
Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.
“Conditions in our detached home market are distinct today from the dynamic in our condominium and townhome markets," Oudil said. "Detached homes have entered a balanced market. This means there's less upward pressure on prices and that buyers have more selection to choose from and more time to make their decisions."
Locally in Maple Ridge
Sales of detached houses for August were 116 which is a 8% decrease over last August while the number of houses for sale increased by 13%. The average price for the month of August was $876,291 compared to last years August of $774,481. This represents the average price increase this August of 8% over last August. Average sale price year to date is $823.952 which is 8% higher than last years $759,681.
Sales of townhouses for August were 47 which is an 26% decrease over last August while the number of townhouses for sale is 42 which is a decrease of 30% over last year. The average price for August was $472,706 compared to last years July of $409,252. This represents an average price increase of 15% over the last 12 months. Average sale price year to date is $468,748 which is an incease over last years by 17%
Sales of condos for August were 29 which is a 35% decrease over last August while the number of condos for sale is 24 which is a decrease of 67% over last year. The average price this August was $294,729 compared to last years August of $286,112. This represents an average price increase of 3% . Average sale price year to date is $297,950 which is an incease over last years by 24%
The Pearce Team Crystal Ball
September is traditionally the second busiet market of the year. We still have a shortage of inventory of all types of homes and lots of buyers looking to get in to the market. The Bank of Canada has increased its overnight rate AGAIN by .25% which will translate into a $50-$70 a month increase in mortgage payment for someone with a $400,000 variable rate mortgage. This is the second .25% increase in rates in the last 3 months. We see continued upward pressure on all types of property.
The Federal Goverment is considering legislation to decrease what a person can borrow for mortgage. See artical below.
Average sale price Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver last 11 years
Detached house - http://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/h1us-NlU
Townhouse - http://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/h1uE-bt5
Condo - http://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/h1u8-tLA
Average sale price Maple Ridge for last 11 years
Detached house - http://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/h1uU-h4S
Townhouse - http://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/h1uN-pWc
Condo - http://statscentre.rebgv.org/infoserv/s-v1/h1Am-3NU
** If you save these links somewhere convenient you will able to check on a monthly basis for the new months information. A new month is added to the right side of the graph and the old month is removed from the left side the first of every month. **
If you want a personal graph for your area or type of property just call or email.
Tough Mortgage Rules on the Horizon
On the horizon in terms of tighter credit regulations is a new rule from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions that would target home buyers with down payments of more than 20 per cent with a tough new stress test:
They would have to qualify based on a rate 200 basis points above their contract. This would see the amount of mortgage available to by a home reduced by 15 – 20%. For example, if you qualified for a $500,000 mortgage you would only be able to borrow $400,000 if the change is implemented.
“It could be the biggest rule change of all-time,” said Rob McLister, the founder of ratespy.com. The housing market has already been adjusting to changes in the insured market, instituted in 2016, which forced homeowners with less than a 20 per cent down payment to qualify based on the Bank of Canada five-year qualifying rate as opposed to the one on their contract. That rate is now 4.84 per cent.
“What I worry about is there is a series of policies and programs being implemented by governments at various levels and they are not necessarily co-ordinated,” said Brad Henderson, chief executive of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “Any of them can influence the market but all of them together can have a very significant and unintended consequence.”
Consumers are also soon going to be hit by increasing rates on long-term mortgages which are priced based on government of Canada bond yields. The best five-year fixed rate from a broker for an insured mortgage is now 2.48 per cent and a typical discretionary five-year bank rate is up to 3.04 per cent.
For now, it appears consumers have jumped into the market to beat the latest rate increases, said Bill Whyte, senior vice-president with Ontario credit union Meridian. We were quite busy,” said Whyte, who does believe market can withstand the rate increases and the tougher lending rules.
Thinking Big in Small Spaces
With a little help, you can still live large in a small space!
If you live in a small space, it’s important that you don’t feel boxed in. The following tips will help transform your cramped quarters into something more expansive:
- Shady Solutions - Painting walls a soft shade and the ceiling bright white will give the illusion of added height.
- Is That a Door In Your Pocket? - Installing pocket doors is an easy and inexpensive way to create lots of extra useable space.
- Lighten Up - Keep window areas clear of heavy drapes to expand wall area and let the sun shine in as it helps a space feel larger.
- Mirror Mirror - Strategically placed mirrors will create the illusion of added space and they’ll also reflect light into adjoining rooms.
- Cut a Rug - Having the same type of flooring throughout your home will make it feel more spacious so avoid using too many area rugs.
- Hide & Seek - Maximize every hidden space you have by using shelving pockets behind doors or bed risers for that all important under the bed storage.
- Cut the Clutter - Have a place for everything so that the surfaces in your home don’t get cluttered. Storage baskets for example are great for hiding remotes & magazines.
- Open Up - Arrange your furniture so you can see as much of the floor as possible. Rooms with blocked views can feel cramped so move furniture away from entrances.
Whether you're getting ready to put your home on the market or you just want to create more space for yourself, these easy and inexpensive tips will help give you a little extra breathing room. By thinking big and getting creative, you can comfortably live large in even the smallest of spaces.
How to Keep your Houseplants Lean and Green
A few houseplants will offer your home a breath of fresh air!
Houseplants are visually appealing and also improve our home's air quality by adding oxygen and removing harmful pollutants. Here are a few hardy plants that will thrive in any environment:
- Spider Plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are great for beginners as they’re almost impossible to kill and they also look great in hanging baskets.
- Cast Iron Plants (Aspidistra elatior) are foolproof as they only require dim light and don’t need much water.
- The Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderana) simply stands in water and has been used by the Chinese for centuries in the art of feng shui to create harmony in the home.
Accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for houseplants. Water them thoroughly but make sure there are drainage holes so excess water can escape as you don’t want your plants to be sitting in water.
Improper lighting is another reason why promising young plants become statistics. It's important to match the lighting needs of plants with the amount of light you have to offer.
Houseplants are a simple and cost-effective way to infuse natural, serene style into your home. Better yet, research suggests they reduce stress and cold related illnesses and also increase our energy levels so go out today and outfit your home with some of nature's lean mean green machines!
The Lowdown on Radon
Do you know if you and your family are protected against radon?
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks.
It doesn't present a concern outdoors but when radon becomes trapped inside a house, it can be very harmful to your health as it increases the risk of lung cancer.
Radon can seep into your home through gaps in floors, walls and foundations. The only way to know if you have high radon levels is to purchase an inexpensive testing kit or to install a radon detector.
Radon concentrations vary from home to home so don't take any chances -- protect your family by testing your home for radon today.