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Halloween PumpkinWith the end of October comes with it Hallowe’en and the memories of the great Dot Com crash that occurred many years ago which we are still recovering. We have seen a lull in our local real estate market for the last number of months. Are we going to experience what the reporters have been waiting for decades to report of a real estate crash? Ask any economist and 50% of them will be correct and become gurus should the event happen. I have no crystal ball. The Buyers tend to hold off writing offers when they hear the news; meanwhile the Sellers don’t put on their properties because they cannot get their pricing. Yet when the market jumps, Buyers scramble to outbid each other to buy anything without much thought. Investors stock up on pre-sales like there is no tomorrow. Home Sellers get excited because they can get almost any price but are also worried that they cannot find their next home. While everyone’s circumstances are different, I’d rather be taking my time to buy or sell in a normal or Buyers market. I think that a hot market is when it’s scary. Happy Hallowe’en!
  
--Arthur Ng
Managing Broker
  
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Stockbrokers tell consumers to “buy low, sell high”. Can this be applied to Real Estate? While a great concept, it really doesn’t work for most homeowners and end users. I would argue that many people buy and sell real estate not because of the market but rather because of their personal or family circumstance. The individual who has been relocated sells and moves while the new immigrant needs a place to call home, whether they buy or rent. A couple, either expecting their second child will be looking for a larger place to live or downsizing because the children have all moved out.  A family with a daughter starting university may move into town from Maple Ridge because of the commute. A family looking for a specific neighbourhood to raise their children does not wait for the market to act; rather they buy when the home becomes available. An investor generally buys when the return is sound and makes financial sense regardless of an up or down market. Everyone would love to buy real estate at the bottom of the market and to sell at the top; unfortunately this is not realistic for most homeowners. I believe, first and foremost, that a home is a safe place to raise the family, that meets your needs, and to be enjoyed over time. The market should not dictate when you buy or sell; it’s when the time is right for you.
 
 
--Arthur Ng
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As per my previous blogs and what I have been advising our clients, the local real estate market is unique. The economic and political stability, quality of life, the natural beauty and the sound social and education system is desirable world-wide. This is confirmed by the latest 2011 census report from Statistics Canada shows that our population is growing faster than any G8 nation, fuelled primarily by immigration and the bulk landing in Western Canada. For Metro Vancouver with its’ limited land base, it just means that prices can only head one way overall. This explains why Surrey and Port Moody is experiencing 19.9% and 18.6% growth respectively when compared to 2006. More than 200,000 new residents came to Metro Vancouver since 2006. This and more is expected to continue for the next 20+ years by 1.6 million. Vancouver has been quoted for many years as one of the best places to live in the world by many sources including the Economist, the Conde Nast, Mercer, and others. If you are in the market to buy your first home, I would suggest that you act sooner than later.
 
 
--Arthur Ng
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Expensive Real Estate Market

Many reports suggest that we have the most expensive real estate in the world. How then do the residents cope? The studies generally compare the ratios of average or median family income with the ability to finance a detached home. With the average price over CDN $1 million, many cannot afford to buy a house, but they do have other options.

 

Family dynamics have changed over the last 20 years. Couples are getting married later in life, having less children, and needing less space. While a detached house may be desirable, a townhouse or an apartment may be more practical where prices are less and the upkeep of the exterior and common areas is maintained by monthly fees. In fact, according to the REBGV MLS® statistics, more than 50% of all sales are from town homes and apartment units.

 

Many Buyers are also having family help with the down payments and as guarantors for the mortgage, or finding homes with rental suites to offset some of the monthly debt. Those who already have bought can make the easier transition to move up with equity built up over the years and whose values also appreciated. First time buyers have more realistic expectations on what they can buy for their money. Buyers can sacrifice land and opt for less living space for proximity to the city or move to the suburbs and accept the commute.

 

The reality is that we are live in a beautiful place and everyone wants to be here. BC Stats projects in their PEOPLE 36 report that our province will gain another 1.6 million people in 25 years, by 2036. Real estate here is not going to get any more affordable.



--Arthur Ng

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Consult with a Coldwell Banker Agent today“I’m going to wait until prices drop.”
“I want to save enough for a large down payment.”
“The prices are too high.”
“A better house might come up.”
“My friends/media told me not to buy.”
 
We hear these comments on a regular basis. I will say that the right time to buy is when the conditions work for you regardless of the market. If you can afford the mortgage and the property is in the right location and meets most of your needs, why wait? What happens if the prices don’t come down? If the prices do come down, would you and the others sitting on fence jump in at the same time to compete for the same property? When you find the near perfect house but wait to see if another better one comes up and doesn’t, and meanwhile the house that you liked has sold, what do you do then? A home is where you live. And we happen to live in the Lower Mainland where the population continues to grow from international immigration and the rest of Canada at a record pace. Prices are based on supply and demand. Have you wished that you had bought earlier but didn’t because you thought prices were going to fall? Ask some of your friends that did. I am not suggesting that you jump in blindly. Consult with one of our experienced agents and they can guide you in the right direction.
 
 
-- Arthur Ng
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