The unit is in a complex built in 1988, located near public transit. When the newlywed couple that purchased the unit walked through the door, they knew they wanted it, buyer’s agent Adam Senuik said. But their pre-approved mortgage was only $515,000. Mr. Senuik knew the condo had been on the market for two months at that time and had been reduced from $618,000. After three counter offers, the couple went back to the mortgage broker and came up with pre-approval of $525,000.
What they got
The 1,158 square-foot one-level townhouse has been fully renovated, with laminate floors, carpeted bedrooms and crown moulding, fireplace, quartz counters, heated bathroom floors and soaker tub. The complex was built in 1988 and is near transit and shops.
The agent’s take
Prices started dropping in the fall of 2018, Mr. Senuik says. “Vancouver’s property buyers are winning in a shifted market,” he says. “We have seen a lot of listings on the market much longer than the year previous.” In 2017, he’d see multiple offers drive the closing price above the asking price. It’s a different market today.
We thought we were done with winter. We thought it was safe to start thinking about crocuses… The mounds of snow and ice from a series of snowstorms in December had finally melted away when winter returned. It’s been an exceptional season in these parts. We’re usually lucky to get away with one or two snowfalls through the season. And they’re quickly washed away by relentless rain. But this year the cold and snow have stuck around. That’s made it tough for people to get around, navigating sidewalks that haven’t been shovelled, searching for parking in lots shrunken by sky-high piles of ploughed snow and ice. It’s also created challenges for real estate. Photos of new listings can date pretty quickly when they’re shot through snowdrifts. We’ve got to remember to pack shovels to clear walkways when we’re hosting open houses.
On the upside, sleds that were purchased years ago are finally out of storage, we’ve actually been able to skate on outdoor, natural ice (for a few days at least), the skiing has been fabulous and our familiar surroundings have taken on a whole new beauty. So cozy up to the fireplace, snuggle into your favourite blanket and enjoy this stroll through our latest blast of winter. We’ve endured the cold so you don’t have to!
BC Premier Christy Clark says the 15 per cent tax on foreign home buyers in Metro Vancouver will soon no longer apply to some buyers. Foreign buyers with temporary work permits that allow them to work and live in British Columbia will no longer have to pay the tax, said Clark on Sunday. She made the statement to reporters while she was marching in Vancouver’s Lunar New Year parade, but the government has yet to release a formal announcement or a timeline when the change might happen. “We believe the best and the brightest should be able to come to B.C.,” Clark told reporters. The tax on foreign home buyers in Metro Vancouver was implemented on Aug. 2 as a way to temper housing prices the government said had risen out of reach of many locals because of wealthy foreign buyers. “We need to make sure that we do everything we can to try and keep houses affordable,” said Clark when she first introduced the tax. The chilling effect of the tax was felt almost immediately. From June 10, when the government started tracking foreign buyers, to Aug. 1, foreign buyers accounted for more than 13 per cent of home purchases in Metro Vancouver. After the tax kicked in, the BC government reported only .9 per cent of Metro Vancouver homes sold in August went to foreign buyers. A host of other government interventions like changes to mortgage rules and qualifications for mortgage insurance may have contributed to the 2.2 per cent drop in the benchmark price of a typical home in Metro Vancouver over the last half of 2016.
We’ve got a new home! Garbutt + Dumas is now part of the Keller Williams Elite real estate team. Keller Williams is a global network of realtors and real estate professionals who believe in working together to help each other and our clients achieve success in business and life. In fact, Keller Williams is the world’s largest real estate franchise, with more than 110,000 realtors operating in 700 offices in Canada, the U.S., Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and Dubai. That’s a lot of expertise and talent to draw upon. The team at Keller Williams Elite is just that, a team. They understand the team model. Their support systems and commitment to training and innovation will make us more effective, able to provide an even better experience for our clients. We’re pretty excited about the move. But that’s not all that’s new for us in this new year. To celebrate our move to Keller Williams Elite, we’ve got a new look. If you follow our social media channels (and, really, you should), you may have noticed our new signs being posted in front of our newest listings. As the market gets busier, you’ll also be seeing more of our signs around Metro Vancouver. We like to think our new signs are bold and distinctive to catch the eye of passersby. But they’re still classy enough you’ll be pleased to place one on your lawn.
Finally, if you pay attention to the address bar at the top of your browser window, you may have noticed we’ve also got a new URL. Our new site may not look that much different from the old one, but we’re building it to make it more functional and informative, even if you’re not currently in the market to buy a new home or sell your current one. Our listings will continue to feature some of the best properties in Greater Vancouver. And now you’ll be able to easily search for properties in specific communities and neighbourhoods, as well as learn a little about what it’s like to live there. Each community page features an interactive map of its neighbourhoods where you can get familiar with amenities like parks, recreation and shopping, as well as its schools and transit information. We also want to keep you up-to-date on everything real estate in Greater Vancouver. Our blog features timely updates on market news, issues and policies, as well as useful tips and information that will help you understand and navigate the process of buying or selling a home, or just make your life a little easier if you’re content right where you are. After a record year in 2016, and with the support of Keller Williams Elite, our growing team at Garbutt + Dumas is poised for an even bigger 2017. But our priority will always be to provide our clients with the best service and a great experience.
The wintry weather we’ve all endured for the past month has focused attention on municipal bylaws about clearing snow and ice from sidewalks. The unusual pattern of snowfall, followed by a slight thaw, followed by an extended cold snap, caught many people out. Homeowners, property managers and even city crews that didn’t clear the first snowfall right away suddenly found themselves confronted with a thick moonscape of ice, frozen slush and crusted snow on sidewalks, parking lots and even roads. That made getting around tough for cars, treacherous for pedestrians.
Municipal bylaws are a set of rules and regulations that set standards for safety, maintenance, appearance, liveability and sustainability in a community. They’re implemented so residents, businesses and visitors can enjoy the community and coexist harmoniously. One of the those rules, common to many cities, mandates when property owners must clear snow from sidewalks or foot paths bordering their property. In New Westminster, bylaw 6.28.2 says “the owner or occupier of real property shall: remove snow and ice from any Sidewalk, transit landing and foot path bordering that person’s real property and from the roof and other part of a structure adjacent to or abutting on any portion of the Street, not later than 10:00 a.m. of the day after the snow or ice was deposited thereon.” The sidewalks must be cleared their full length and width, right down to the bare concrete; it’s not good enough to create just a shovel-wide foot path. And if you’ve got an awning that hangs over a sidewalk, it should be cleared as well. In Burnaby, businesses have to remove accumulated snow by 10 a.m. of any day they’re open to the public and residents must clear their sidewalks “as soon as possible.” But regulations about clearing snow are only the tip of the municipal bylaws iceberg.
Municipal bylaws affect daily life
Municipal bylaws can affect many aspects of your life, from where you can park your car, to how loud and late you can play your stereo, to how well you must care for your property and the kind of renovation work you can do on it. They can govern when and how you dispose of your garbage, how you care for your pets, and even what kind of pets you can keep. Municipal bylaws are passed by elected councils. They’re often created to address specific issues in communities, sometimes in response to concerns and complaints from community members. For instance, the value New Westminster residents have placed on preserving the city’s heritage homes and buildings led to the creation of a “Community Heritage Register” of those properties in 1997. It’s accompanied by a whole series of municipal bylaws that regulate how protected heritage properties must be maintained. They also set procedures owners of those properties must follow if they want to do any renovations, restorations or even just paint the exterior. The growing concern about the loss of trees and the possible impact on climate change as well as the appearance of neighbourhoods has led many communities to pass municipal bylaws that regulate the removal of trees. Those bylaws stipulate what size and kind of trees can be removed, as well as procedures to remove those trees so other trees aren’t affected and replant new trees. When you become a homeowner in a community, it pays to familiarize yourself with its municipal bylaws. Or rather, you won’t pay if you know the rules because then a bylaw enforcement officer won’t show up at your door with a ticket for a violation.
Slight price increases for detached houses, townhouses and condo apartments in New Westminster capped a busy year for Vancouver real estate. The benchmark price for a single family detached home in New West reached $1,035,600 in December. That’s a .9 per cent increase over November and 18.7 per cent higher than December, 2015. Townhouses were up 4.6 per cent over the month prior, 20 per cent more than a year ago; and the benchmark price for condos increased .2 per cent to $380,700, 22.6 per cent more than the end of last year. Overall, the benchmark price for a typical property in New West increased .6 per cent over November, 21.2 per cent more than a year ago.
The benchmark price for residential properties in South Burnaby also increased one per cent in December over November to $858,300. That’s mostly due to a 2.7 per cent bump in the price of condos in the area while townhouses and detached homes dipped slightly.
Those increases came even though there were fewer listings and sales. They also bucked a slight downward trend across Metro Vancouver where the benchmark price for all properties dipped 1.2 per cent from November. In North Burnaby the overall benchmark price dipped .5 per cent in December and it was down .4 per cent in East Burnaby. A general cooling of the real estate market in the last half of 2016 wasn’t enough to keep the year from being the third-highest selling on record, said Dan Morrison, the president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Only 2015 and 2005 recorded more property sales. “The supply of homes for sale couldn’t keep up with home buyer demand for much of 2016,” said Morrison. “This allowed home sellers to raise their asking price.” In fact, the benchmark price for all homes in Metro Vancouver reached $897,600 at the end of 2016, 17.8 per cent higher than December, 2015. The benchmark price for a typical single family detached home increased 18.6 per cent over the year to $1,483,500 while townhouses went up 20.4 per cent in 2016 to $661,800 and condos increased 17.3 per cent to $510,300.
Too soon to tell if 2017 will be another busy year for Vancouver real estate
Morrison said while government interventions to temper the frenzy in the local real estate market in the first six months of 2016 may have contributed to lower sales volumes and prices in the last half of the year, it’s still too soon to tell if their impact will continue to be felt into the new year. “The long-term effects of these actions won’t be fully understood for some time,” said Morrison of the provincial foreign-buyers’ tax that was implemented in August to discourage off-shore speculators and new rules to make it tougher to qualify for a mortgage that were introduced by the federal government in the fall. Another new measure introduced by the provincial government, a loan program to help first-time homebuyers with their down payment, begins accepting applications on Jan. 17. Morrison said the market was under the microscope as sales and prices peaked in the late spring. “Escalating prices caused by low supply and strong home buyer demand brought more attention to the market then ever before,” said Morrison. “As prices rose in the first half of the year, public debate waged about what was fuelling demand and what should be done to stop it. It was an eventful year for real estate in Metro Vancouver.” All the stats from a busy year in Vancouver real estate Wrapping-up our record year
Property assessment notices for 2017 are in the mail, and some homeowners might be excused if they go a little bug-eyed in the next few days. In some parts of Greater Vancouver, assessed values have jumped 30-50 per cent for a detached single-family home, and 15-30 per cent for strata properties. In New Westminster, assessments increased by an average of 28.48 per cent. In Burnaby the average increase over 2016 was 30.72 per cent. Assessments in Coquitlam increased by an average of 32.91 per cent; in Port Moody it was 31.49 per cent and in Port Coquitlam it was 33.86 per cent. Residential assessments in Surrey increased by an average of 36.26 per cent.
The most expensive residential property in Greater Vancouver is at 3085 Point Grey Rd. in Vancouver, with an assessed value of $75,821,000. All of the top 100 most expensive properties receiving assessment notices in the region are located in either Vancouver or West Vancouver. Across the province, 2,017,364 properties were assessed for a total value of $1.68 trillion, a 25 per cent increase in value over 2016.
Assessment notices part of formula to set property taxes
Property assessments are set on July 1 by BC Assessment. Assessment notices are then sent to homeowners early the following January. The agency estimates the market value of every residential, commercial and industrial property in the province based upon an analysis of current sales in the immediate area of each property, as well as its size, age, quality, condition, location and view. That information is then used by municipalities as a component for calculating property taxes, although a 30 per cent increase in assessed value doesn’t typically mean a corresponding increase in property tax. In fact, if the increase in the assessed value for a property is in line with the average increase of other properties in the community, your property tax will likely go up only by the rate set by the municipality to meet its budget. But a property’s assessed value isn’t necessarily an accurate reflection of what that property might currently sell for on the open market. Some properties sell for more than their assessed value, while others can sell for less. A month after BC Assessment set its values for this year, the BC government introduced its foreign buyers’ tax on residential property transactions in Greater Vancouver that accelerated the usual summer slowdown of prices. Subsequent initiatives by the provincial and federal governments to help address the affordability of housing further impacted sales and prices. Homeowners who can’t wait for their property assessment notice to arrive in the mail, can check their assessment online. They can also compare their assessment to others in their neighbourhood, as well as get information on how to correct or appeal incorrect assessments.
To say the 2016 real estate market in Greater Vancouver was wild and crazy would be an understatement. The first half of the year was insanely busy as the market exploded. Homes were selling as soon as they hit the market, often after multiple offers, without subjects and above list. The Lower Mainland has always been a desirable destination for home buyers, but this was off the hook, unsustainable. The 2016 real estate market was already showing signs of cooling down to a more sustainable level when the B.C. government implemented its foreign buyers’ tax. Some areas, like Vancouver’s West Side, felt its chill immediately. That created a bit of a domino effect that reached into the suburbs as buyers and sellers decided to step aside to see how the market plays out. The federal government’s new mortgage rules further tempered the market by making it a little tougher to qualify for a mortgage. Then, in December, the provincial government introduced its new loan program to help first-time homebuyers with their downpayment, beginning in the new year. It’s too soon to tell if the incentive will reignite home sales; but for young people looking to plant roots in their community, every little bit helps. And the Bank of Mom and Dad will no doubt appreciate the relief. Garbutt + Dumas enjoyed a record year; we sold 140 properties for a total of $98 million. It was hard work. But we still managed to have some fun along the way. Because providing our clients with an enjoyable real estate experience is our passion.
That commitment to superior service will continue in 2017. In fact, we’re planning to kick it up a notch or two by keeping you even better informed about what we’re up to and what the market is doing and making the biggest transaction of your life even smoother and as stress-free as possible. Thanks to all our clients for a great 2016. Thanks to our followers on social media and visitors to our website. Happy New Year! Bring on 2017!
Assignments are getting a lot of scrutiny in the Greater Vancouver real estate market. I’ve had more people ask me about ‘shadow flipping’ in the past months than in the past seven years. But what is an assignment? And how can sellers protect themselves from being exploited by an assignment resale? [somryv url=”pEjZLFOn5Mc” size=”full” align=”center”] An assignment is when a purchaser and a seller enter into a firm and binding contract that assigns the sale to another buyer before the completion date of the initial sale. There’s nothing wrong with an assignment. But there have been cases of abuse; agents with an eye to a profitable assignment have deceived sellers by undervaluing their property or not even offering it up for sale on the open market. The BC government has introduced new legislation to reign in unscrupulous assignments. It includes the addition of two new clauses in contracts that stipulate the sale can’t be assigned without the written consent of the original seller and any profits realized by an assigned sale would go to the original seller. Here are the clauses:
This contract must not be assigned without the written consent of the seller; and
The seller is entitled to any profit resulting from an assignment of the contract by the buyer or any subsequent assignee.
*With the exception that the buyer may instruct their agent not to include these clauses in the offer. Sellers can also take steps to protect themselves. Hire an agent based on the recommendation from people you trust. Don’t take an offer on your property without adequate market exposure, like listing it for at least a week, holding an open house. Accept only set offers presented in person. In the eight years I’ve been a real estate agent in Greater Vancouver, I’ve never sold an assignment. But there are a few bad apples out there.
Rising amid tall evergreens, on the banks of West Smiling Creek and a natural tree-lined stream to the east you’ll find Bridlewood by Polygon – an enclave of Craftsman-style executive townhomes nestled atop Coquitlam’s Burke Mountain. This limited collection of three and four bedroom homes offers refined architectural elements including warm cedar shingles, inviting gables and brick façades. Luxurious interiors welcome you home with bright open layouts and family-sized kitchens featuring engineered stone countertops, warm laminate flooring, and sleek stainless steel appliances. Large patios and decks let you take in the peaceful natural surroundings while you enjoy outdoor living and entertaining.
Situated in the heart of Burke Mountain, Bridlewood offers nature at your doorstep with an exciting array of hiking and mountain biking trails and the endless adventure opportunities of the local mountains. Urban enthusiasts will appreciate the convenience of newly completed Meridian Crossing and Meridian Corner (opens fall 2014) both just steps away from Bridlewood. Coquitlam Town Centre with more shopping and dining opportunities is a short drive away, as are the future Evergreen Rapid Transit Line stations.
Bridlewood sits in an unmatched natural setting on the banks of West Smiling Creek and a tree-lined stream on Coquitlam’s Burke Mountain.
Contemporary Craftsman-style architecture marked by cedar shingles, inviting gables and brick façades.
Expansive windows and charming window boxes add character and fill homes with light.
Warm wood laminate floors throughout the main level sets the tone for rich design throughout.
Your choice of two designer colour schemes in dark or light so you can “make it your own”.
Modern flat panel or shaker style cabinetry in two colour schemes elegantly matched with contemporary chrome pulls.
Luxurious engineered stone countertops and full-height imported ceramic tile backsplash.
Generous decks/patios and private fenced yards bring entertaining outdoors.
Convenient main floor powder room with stylish porcelain tile flooring, a contemporary wall-mounted or vanity sink, and a dual-flush toilet.
A central kitchen island in every home makes kitchen preparations and entertaining easy.
Secure double car garages provide a safe haven for your things and keep your vehicles protected from the elements.
A fireplace and custom mantel surround (some homes) creates a cozy ambience.