Anshu Arora LLM, MSc, PMP

Cell 604-828-7331 |

Fraser Valley’s HPI Benchmark Price — which measures the rate at which housing prices change over time — rose more than 15%, year-over-year, for single-family home in March 2018. The HPI Benchmark Price for all properties in Greater Vancouver (which includes:  Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadow, Maple Ridge and South Delta) rose more than 16% in the same period.

While housing activity appears to be slowing in 2018, real estate agents working in this western Canadian market aren’t worried. Just under 50% of ReMax agents surveyed by MoneySense believe prices will continue to rise this year.

This being said, the No. 1 spot on this year’s Vancouver neighbourhood ranking is Uptown New Westminster. The average home price in this neighbourhood in 2017 was less than $1-million ($996,903). Part of the reason for the slower appreciation in this neighbourhood is that it’s a mixed-use community, meaning single-family homes share the street with older, low-rise apartment buildings as well as newer condo towers.

The overwhelming consensus by realtors who specialize in this community is that “Uptown New West is inner-city life without inner-city Vancouver prices.”

The community overlooks the Fraser River Quay and offers a multitude of festivals, as well as a popular farmer’s market. In the summer and spring, many residents will head out to Westminster Pier Park, before sauntering down to Fraser River Discovery Centre. Commuters love the area because it’s between two Skytrain stations and still offers relatively easy access to the Highway 1A, the TransCanada highway and Lougheed Highway, the three major arteries that take commuters into downtown Vancouver.

To rise from the No. 89 spot in 2017, to the No. 2 spot in the Where to Buy Now in Vancouver for 2018 rankings, is an astounding achievement. But ask anyone in this Port Coquitlam neighbourhood if they are surprised and you’ll probably just get a smile and a small shake of the head. Over the last five years, massive price growth in Metro Vancouver meant that surrounding areas like Port Moody, Langley and Port Coquitlam also saw property prices rise. In 2017, getting into this neighbourhood meant paying almost 50% less than any other Port Coquitlam neighbourhood. The value was there, but no one appeared to see it. Fast forward one year and it turns out buyers figured it out — and pounced. Average home prices are a bargain at just under $810,000 — 15% less than the surrounding area and more than 55% less than average home prices in Port Coquitlam. As a result, prices appreciated 8% in 2017. Over a five-year stretch property values have increased by more than 103%.

You’ll find older-stock family homes in Birchland Manor. Many are on larger lots with basement entrances, where you enter the home and shed your wet and muddy layers before moving upstairs to the main living space. While the majority of homes in this community are single-family homes, the area is rapidly developing prompting more townhouse and condo complexes.

“The community is a great spot for those that want a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city but still remain close to all the amenities and benefits of urban living,” explains the Re/Max Results Realty Prince Team, who specialize in Port Coquitlam properties. For other great neighbourhoods to invest in, contact me to see how you can get the most return on your Real Estate Investment!

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With market as great as ours, comes great Responsibility! Responsibility to Invest where you see the most Return!

Responsibility to Invest, where you can pull Equity out and Re-Invest! Responsibility to Re-Invest where you can reap higher Growth!!

And responsibility to reap higher Growth, so you can keep doing more of what you want!!! Travel, Shop, Invest, Buy, Sell, Sleep...or whatever it is you Enjoy doing, and I can help you Enjoy!

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Market is always on the rise, be it by 2% or 20%. Prices have gone up for commercial, industrial, residential and farm land – as has the demand.  Prices have doubled in the last 5-6 years, and will do so again in the next 5-6 years.

Don’t wait too long and don’t pay too much attention to the media. When prices double again, the media won’t be there to pay you the extra money. It is always a great time to invest in Land!!

There is development happening in all major cities. People are moving to our cities every month, increasing the demand for housing and infrastructure, and the same land has to shared between housing, schools, hospitals and other facilities. For this reason, our prices will always go up and demand will always stay high!

Contact me, to see where the next development boom is, and get in before the prices go sky high...AGAIN

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“Finally, the market correction we’ve been waiting for!” I hear people saying recently. “Maybe now I’ll actually be able to buy my first home.”

Well, cool your jets there, enthusiastic would-be buyer. I’m sorry to break it to you, but there are reasons that home sales in major B.C. centres have fallen off a cliff, and that prices are teetering on the edge of the same abyss. And those reasons are what will probably prevent you from buying a home any more affordably than before.

Here’s the thing. People will always buy real estate at the maximum price that they can afford – it’s just human nature to make a nest that you can be proud of. If lenders and governments make it really easy, and cheap, for people to borrow a lot of money to buy a home, those people will do so. Consequently, real estate prices go up. That’s what was happening with our record low interest rates over the past few years.

As soon as you start doing the reverse – making it both harder and more expensive – people won’t be able to buy homes at the same price as before. They’ll buy cheaper homes (or won’t buy at all), real estate sales will plummet and prices will eventually follow suit.

That’s what we’re seeing right now in markets across B.C., but most notably Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. This is a very simplistic generalization for the purposes of clarity, and there are certainly other factors also at play, but the combination of the mortgage stress test introduced in January this year, along with mortgage interest rates rising, are making it much more expensive to buy a home. Therefore the market correspondingly balances this out with declining prices, and the net result is that it will probably cost about the same for a first-time buyer to get into the market as before.

Here’s a hypothetical example. Let’s say condo prices, which are starting to reverse, slide by 10 per cent by December this year, compared with December of last year. Let’s say you were unable to afford a $500K condo a year ago (you have a max budget of $450K, including $50K down), but you start thinking you could now afford the same condo, as it’s now priced 10 per cent lower at $450K.

Unfortunately, you’re wrong. The mortgage rate you could have qualified at last year is now much higher under the stress test. So even if you could reasonably afford the mortgage payments on a $450K condo, your purchase power has been reduced by around 20 per cent. So you now have to find a home for $360K to qualify.

And you’re thinking, OK, I have to get a smaller place, but at least the mortgage is more affordable, right? Well, then you have to factor in the series of interest rate increases that are making your monthly mortgage payments higher than a year ago. If you had bought that same $360K condo a year previously, when it was priced at $400K, you’d be paying the same monthly amount if you had fixed a 2.5 per cent rate then, versus a 3.5 per cent rate now. (And you’d have saved yourself a year of rent payments.) The price reduction hasn’t helped you at all.

My personal advice? Stop worrying about what the market is doing. Do whatever you can, to become a “have” in real estate

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Anyone hoping for a more affordable housing market in Vancouver will be disappointed.

“Though demand-supply conditions are improving, affordability is expected to remain a concern,” writes Marc Desormeaux, an economist and policy analyst for Scotiabank Economics, in a report published this week. “Despite the [year-to-date] increase, Vancouver’s inventory of unabsorbed homes remains well below its long-run average, building on the shortfall accrued in recent years and indicating further price increases are likely ahead,” Desormeaux continues.

In August, the benchmark price of a Metro Vancouver home was $1,083,400, up 4.1 per cent from a year ago.

In a separate report released last week, Central 1 noted that BC housing starts rose in August, marking the second consecutive month that contractors broke ground for an increasing number of units. Housing starts hit a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 48,300 homes last month, flying 28 per cent above the level reached the same time last year and up 8 per cent from July.

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