Happiest of New Years to all of you. May 2016 give you unexpected blessings. Because of you Collette has qualified for the prestigious 2016 Fraser Valley Medallion Club. This is given to the top 10% of Realtors by way of sales numbers. Collette place in the top 6% this year. Thank you for your friendship and you patronage!
Looking to live in Vancouver? This 2 bedroom + den and 1 bathroom recently came on market in Vancouver. Located in the trendy Main area, located at approximately Main and Kingsway, this 760 sqf condo is perfect for first time home buyers looking to for a place to start a family in.
Pictures include a beautiful family/living room with large windows to ensure natural light. A decent size master and 2nd bedroom. A kitchen with bar seating and a good sized pantry.
This place also includes a storage locker and one parking stall.
All this for $450K, allowing first time home buyers to avoid the transfer tax.
5% Down= $21,000
Mortgage payment at current variable rate of 2.10%= $1492.26
Tax per year = 1308.07
Therefore with 5% down, the cost per month is $1889.78!
Yes, you CAN afford to live in Vancouver.
We recently sent out pamphlets in the Vancouver area, targetting renters and explaining how they could get into the ultra-competitive Vancouver market. The premise is that with the low interest rates, and 5% down, your mortgage payments and maintenance fees are lower, or similar, to what you pay in rent per month. For example:
The average monthly rental in Vancouver is $1807 per month.
Over 200 properties have sold in Vancouver for under $475K, which is important because it allows first time home-buyers to avoid the transfer tax.
Interest rates for today, according to Macklem Mortgages are $3.67/100,000. Therefore, for a $470K condo, you would need a 5% down payment of $23,500 and your mortgage payment would be $1638.66.
Of course there are other things to consider, such as taxes, maintenance fees etc. but the point is that you dont have to be a millionnaire to own your own home in Vancouver.
We thought we were pretty smart when we sent out these brochures, and I think we've been validated with a recent Vancouver buzz campaign #dontneed1million to own in Vancouver.
At $2,488,000, this impeccable custom built home was recently listed in desirable Peninsula Park. Nearly 5,000 sq ft. home with exceptional millwork finishing, including: granite counter tops, new appliances, mahogany hardwood floors, crown molding and recessed lighting .
This beautiful house as french doors opening onto private manicured 12000+ sq ft. lot with hot tub, large patio and attached sun room.
Upstairs are three huge bedrooms and bonus room with large laundry room, a spacious master bedroom with fireplace and heated floors in ensuite.
This house also has a fully finished basement with master bedroom and ensuite, games room, second bedroom, bathroom and separate laundry.
Recently listed for $674,900, this beautiful loft sold in Vancouver for $680,000. Immediate impressions of the loft, while beautiful, are underwhelming for the sale price. Walking in to the main floor, one will notice the pristine hardwood floors with an updated kitchen and open living/dining room. The loft is large (14’11 x 13’9), allowing sufficient space for a king or queen size bed and ample storage space. However, the main feature of this loft, is the large 375 sqf rooftop patio, with 360 degree views of the city.
What does this cost?
Down Payment: 5% Down= $680,000 x 0.05= $34,000
Monthly mortgage payment based on 1.95% variable rate (Rate as of August 24, 2015) = $2,370.82 per month
Not bad for the best views in the city!
Perhaps one of the biggest debates in Vancouver since, whether Earnest Ice Cream or Rain or Shine serves better ice cream, is if the current Vancouver housing market is a bubble. Of course, if I could tell the future I would probably living here, but I have had this conversation many times over a cold one, and I’m happy to provide my two cents.
Firstly, when talking about this so-called real estate bubble, I would like it to be known that unlike many people, I believe that the markets in Vancouver and Toronto are completely different, and the main reason for this, is geographical. Toronto is a large sprawling city that will continue to grow in size because there are no oceans or mountains to hinder its growth. Developers will continue to build condos and create new neighborhoods in the GTA. For this reason, I think eventually the Toronto real estate bubble will eventually burst and, while I do not expect a full-out recession, I do believe the cost of condos will decrease as the supply eventually surpasses the demand.
Vancouver, on the other hand, looks like this, which should draw comparisons to other high priced real estate markets such as here and here, New York and Hong Kong respectively. With a limited land supply due to hindrances, such as oceans and mountains, there is a limited supply of real estate available. Foreign investment is also driving up prices, according to quartz.com, which is increasing the demand for real estate while the supply remains stagnant. For this reason, Vancouver is considered a “sellers market” meaning there are lots of people wanting to buy, and a limited number of houses available. This has even begun to cause bidding wars in Vancouver where properties are going for over asking, driving up the prices of Vancouver real estate.
The province newspaper recently posted an article that Chinese foreign investment is responsible for approximately 70% of homes priced over $3 million. Other articles have noted that there have been adjustments in Chinese currency (a decline of 4.4% last week), and decline in the Chinese stock market. I’m certainly no expert on the Chinese economy, but articles like this due speak of the instability of the Chinese economy, which may be responsible for wealthy Chinese investors wanting to avoid locking their money up in Chinese currency or the Chinese stock market, and seek more stable investments. So when world investment experts such as Laurence D. Fink say to “forget gold, [and] buy a Vancouver condo if you want to stash your wealth”, I tend to believe that the Vancouver market is a good investment.
What further blurs the picture, is that Harper has finally decided to take action on foreign real estate investment (article posted here). Harper has agreed that, if elected, he will begin to collect data on foreign buying of homes (finally). If it is found that the foreign investment is significant, and a government decides to take action by decreasing the amount of foreign investment, what effect will this have on Vancouver housing prices? While I do believe there will be an adjustment in housing prices, I believe the it will mainly affect the high end houses, and only make a small adjustment on the “cheaper” homes. My belief, is that even with major taxation on foreign investment, it will not be significant enough to ever cause a housing collapse, and that the Vancouver housing market will continue to be worth its weight in gold…or more.