You may be thinking January isn't a great time to sell - it's still Winter and more people will be looking in Spring. And why you might be right, consider this - we have an unprecedented lack of properties on the market in Vancouver. There is very little available for people looking to buy houses, townhouses, or condos. On the East side, there is less than a two month supply, and on the West side there is about six months. This means it's a seller's market, and if you're a buyer, it's most likely you'll be competing for anything you're trying to buy.
For example, we called on behalf of a buyer about a condo in Richmond yesterday, and were told by the realtor that they already had 26 viewings for that day alone. We're quite sure the property will be sold by Monday or Tuesday. We called about another property that was listed two days ago, and it's already got an accepted offer. We're seeing on the street lineups for viewings on townhouses in Kitsilano listed in the 1.5M range. So if you're a homeowner thinking January is too early in the year to sell, and you should consider waiting, consider this - there's not much competition! There's very few properties for sale, and you can see that just driving around and noticing a lack of 'for sale' signs. If you're a buyer, you've got to expect a lot of competition when making an offer.
So, if you're selling, it's a good time to get a GREAT price. People will compete for your property and right now they're willing to pay top dollar. What's driving this market? Low interest rates. Right now, you can get a fixed rate 5 year mortage at 1.5%, which is dirt cheap. We've never had interest rates so low, and that's a driving factor to why demand is so high. Low inventory coupled with high demand means prices are soaring.
So if you're thinking about selling, I'd list now - you're going to get a great price. If you plan to list in the Spring, you should be fine, but by May expect more properties to be listed leading to less demand. January is usually considered a bad time to sell, but this year it's a terrific one. Low inventory and high demand mean you can get an amazing price on your home as buyers are in competition for a place like yours.
Have any questions? Jil and I are always happy to answer your real estate questions. Contact us at any time!
Today, we're talking about getting your home ready for the Spring market. If you're thinking about selling in February, March, April, these tips may be useful to you! What Jill and I always recommend, before you put your house on the market, is you check on a number of things.
Today we're going to focus on exterior home issues, that if you don't take care of well, can come back to bite you big time and can take a lot of money off the price you can negotiate with the buyer. These things are so important to take care of before you list your home, it may even cause a potential buyer to walk away. You really want to make sure there are minimal maintenance issues outstanding, so that the buyer, as well as the home inspector, has a really hard time trying to nickel & dime you, push you down on the price, or walk away.
Today we're going to do a walk around the exterior of this older house and talk about a couple of maintenance issues that commonly pop up, but are easy to take care of. These are a couple of details to take care of before contacting your realtor about listing for a sale.
First and foremost are plants. As you can see, we're looking at a window flower box with dead and old plants from last summer. So, before you go to market, get rid of any dead plants. This also applies to your flower beds - make sure to tidy them up! Another thing to check for is damage to your lawn, where the grass is dead. If you have large spots, you might want to buy some grass seed to fix these areas.
When was the last time your gutters were cleaned? Dirty gutters are unsightly, but it's a very easy fix to clean them with a simple wipe-down. Also give them a clean out of leaf build-up on the inside! You should also take a look at the condition of your roof. If you have a lot of moss growing on it, like this, get the maintenance crew looking at your gutters to also take a look at the roof. Cleaning it off is usually a relatively easy task. Think about getting your paving stones and driveway power washed. It will make them look like new and considerably nicer and more expensive!
Take a look at your outside fixtures and vents. This dryer vent has certainly seen better days. Make sure they are clean and look in good repair. They're also an inexpensive fix or replacement. How are your downspouts? Check to make sure they're all intact, this is a very easy fix. Are all your outside lights working? Replace lightbulbs or fixtures as needed. Does your house have leaf debris or grime buildup? Think about getting it power washed, which will make it a lot less unsightly.
Some of these things are very small, but can make a huge difference to your selling price. These just a few, but great, suggestions for fixing up your house and increasing the listing price, all of which can be done at this time of year (for example, it's too damp and cold to paint the exterior of your home this early in the year). If you're looking to list between now and about March, the tips we've given you today will ensure a smoother process when you decide you want to sell your house. A good, cleaned-up exterior shows pride of ownership, and really does add to the house value at the end of the day.
Have any questions? Give us a call at any time. We're always happy to answer your real estate questions.
The December 2020 Market stats are out and available for download. You get the following graphs and charts for both Vancouver East and Vancouver West.
If you are interested in a report like this is for other areas, please contact me to request it and I'll send it to you.
Today I'm discussing the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax - which is not the same as the BC Provincial Vacant and Speculative Tax. They are two different taxes, with the Empty Homes Tax being a civil tax by the City of Vancouver that came into effect in 2017 as a way to encourage property owners to rent out their vacant suites.
If you are levied an Empty Homes Tax Notice, it will be included in your Property Tax Bill, usually received each year in November. I recommend always filing this immediately so you don't forget about it. If your bill is sitting on a table or in a drawer unfiled, February 2nd is the deadline to file your Empty Home Tax. This year's rate is 1.25%, next year it goes up to 3%, which will be a hefty increase.
If you have a property that you think will be levied the Empty Home Tax, go onto the City of Vancouver website. It's an easy to navigate site, and it shows you all the criteria for whether or not your property is subject to the empty home tax. As a simple rule of thumb though, if your property has been vacant more than six months in a calendar year, you're very likely to be owing the Empty Homes Tax. Just to be putting the numbers into perspective, if you've got a property with an assessed value of $1M and the property is subject to the empty homes tax, this year that will be $12,500 in taxes payable. Next year, it goes up to $30,000.
If you have any questions about the Empty Homes Tax, go online to the City of Vancouver website. Check it out, it should answer all your questions, and if you're still not sure, give Jill or myself a call, we're happy to answer any of your Empty Homes Tax Questions.
Strong December activity brought Metro Vancouver’s* 2020 home sales total in line with the region’s long-term annual average.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 30,944 in 2020, a 22.1 per cent increase from the 25,351 sales recorded in 2019, and a 25.7 per cent increase from the 24,619 homes sold in 2018.
Last year’s sales total was 2.8 per cent below the 10-year sales average.
“When the pandemic began in March, the housing market came to a near standstill. We knew, however, that shelter needs don’t go away in times of crisis, they intensify," Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair said. “The real estate community worked closely with our regulatory bodies and public health officials in the spring to ensure appropriate precautions and protocols were implemented so BC REALTORS® could help residents safely meet their housing needs."
Home listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver reached 54,305 in 2020. This is a 4.6 per cent increase compared to the 51,918 homes listed in 2019 and a 1.3 per cent increase compared to the 53,614 homes listed in 2018.
Last year’s listings total was 2.7 per cent below the region’s 10-year average.
“After adapting to the COVID-19 environment, local home buyer demand and seller supply returned at a steady pace throughout the summer, fall and winter seasons," Gerber said. "Shifting housing needs and low interest rates were key drivers of this activity in 2020. Looking ahead, the supply of homes for sale will be a critical factor in determining home price trends in 2021.”
The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ends the year at $1,047,400. This is a 5.4 per cent increase compared to December 2019.
The benchmark price for apartments increased 2.6 per cent in the region last year. Townhomes increased 4.9 per cent and detached homes increased 10.2 per cent.
REBGV reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 3,093 in December 2020, a 53.4 per cent increase from the 2,016 sales recorded in December 2019, and a 0.9 per cent increase from the 3,064 homes sold in November 2020.
Last month’s sales were 57.7 per cent above the 10-year December sales average and is the highest total for the month on record.
“Robust December sales outpaced long-term averages in what’s traditionally the quietest month of the year in real estate. This was part of an unusual seasonal pattern the market followed last year, which can be attributed in large part to the pandemic,” Gerber says.
There were 2,409 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver in December 2020. This represents a 51.7 per cent increase compared to the 1,588 homes listed in December 2019 and a 40.8 per cent decrease compared to November 2020 when 4,068 homes were listed.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,538, a 0.8 per cent decrease compared to December 2019 (8,603) and a 23.2 per cent decrease compared to November 2020 (11,118).
For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for December 2020 is 36.2 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 35.2 per cent for detached homes, 50.4 per cent for townhomes, and 33.1 per cent for apartments.
Generally, analysts say 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.
Sales of detached homes in December 2020 reached 1,026, a 71.3 per cent increase from the 599 detached sales recorded in December 2019. The benchmark price for detached homes is $1,554,600. This represents a 10.2 per cent increase from December 2019 and a one per cent increase compared to November 2020.
Sales of apartment homes reached 1,474 in December 2020, a 40 per cent increase compared to the 1,053 sales in December 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $676,500. This represents a 2.6 per cent increase from December 2019 and is unchanged from November 2020.
Attached home sales in December 2020 totalled 593, a 62.9 per cent increase compared to the 364 sales in December 2019. The benchmark price of an attached home is $813,900. This represents a 4.9 per cent increase from December 2019 and a 0.1 per cent decrease compared to November 2020.
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.