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Every January homeowners receive their Property Assessment Notice. This is an estimate of property value established by the BC Assessment Authority for Home in Burnabyproperty tax purposes. Many get upset when values goes up because they expect property taxes would increase accordingly. This is not always the case. If the municipality in where you live decides to raise taxes to improve public services, or if TransLink or Greater Vancouver Regional District does the same, your property taxes would increase even if your assessment value dropped. Many also believe that this truly is what their property is worth.

 

So how accurate is this property assessment value if you wanted this to be used when you sell your home? Imagine two million properties in BC being...

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I've been feeling very old recently. Ever since Vancouver's housing market really took off I've been hearing and reading about people talking about houses as investments, to grow or depreciate as the market develops. I can see the validity of this viewpoint – how can I not with all this foreign investment flooding Vancouver's shores? – but until now I've only ever seen a house as a place to live and raise my (future) family.

Housing Market InvestmentThat's been changing. Now, when I see a For Sale sign and look at the house, I wonder how much the seller has gained from his investment since he first purchased it. Has he considered inflation when he calculates his per-year take-away? What about renovation costs, or holding costs, or transaction costs? Would that money...
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Downtown Vancouver Condo on WaterfrontCan it be? Is the Vancouver housing market seeing the first signs of buyer fatigue?

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver released its property sale
statistics for April based on the Multiple Listing Service and, while not the plunge many people are predicting, the numbers are trending down.

Residential property sales – including detached, attached, and apartment properties – in Greater Vancouver reached 3,225 in April 2011.  Compared to the 3,512 residential sales in April 2010, that's an 8.2 per cent decrease, which is still modest when compared to the 21 per cent decrease from March of this year when 4,080 residential properties were sold.

It's the same story with new listings in Greater Vancouver.  April 2011 saw 5,847 new listings...
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The increase in foreign investment and the recent changes in mortgage qualifications have not helped first time homebuyer in Vancouver.  In fact it feels more like a concerted effort on the part of the city to drive these young Canadians out of this market.  Even without the weight of tens of thousands of dollars of student debt, many young people simply cannot afford the price of a home in Vancouver.  Consider this fact from The Vancouver Sun’s Bob Ransford: today, the average cost of a home in Metro Vancouver is nearly ten times the median household income.  And the RBC is surprised that young Canadians are waiting another year before buying their first home.  Even for established two-income households, a mortgage of...

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While foreign investment has been a noticeable factor in pushing out young and first time homebuyers in Vancouver’s real estate market, there have been other more domestic factors as well.  Over the last year the government has made it systematically more difficult for people to purchase a home albeit to keep the threat of homeowners overextending themselves.

View of North Shore Mountains in Vancouver from Point Grey ListingIn the spring of 2010 mortgage lending rules changed, requiring all homebuyers to qualify for a standard five-year, fixed-rate mortgage.  With the highest rates compared to most mortgage options, five-year fixed-rate mortgages are the most secure but also the most difficult to qualify for. 

On July 1st 2010 the BC government rolled in the controversial Harmonized Sales Tax,...

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Coldwell Banker Westburn Realty
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