Anshu Arora LLM, MSc, PMP

Cell 604-828-7331 |

Last month's Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales data, analyzed by research firm Snapstats, reveals by the end of the month sales of downtown Vancouver condos and townhomes just under $600,000 were dramatically outpacing new listings. The same was true for attached properties at the $700,000 mark on Vancouver's east side. In other words, the pool of available homes is draining faster than it's being replenished.


The B.C. Real Estate Association says it has been seeing this trend — over 100 per cent sales ratios — throughout Vancouver for many months now, and has even coined a special term for the phenomenon — an "accelerated" market. In comparison, a traditionally hot "sellers" market is defined at a sales ratio of 21 per cent or higher.


While much of Vancouver's real estate conversation has focused on extreme sales in a handful of west side neighbourhoods, all of these "accelerated" condo and townhome sales were units priced under $1 million.

Offshore money, absentee landlords and even the latest villain, so called 'shadow-flippers', all get blamed for putting home-owning dreams out of reach.


But what if the answer is much simpler — what if there simply isn't enough housing to meet a steadily growing population?


The Urban Development Institute — a non-profit association representing the development industry and related professions — argues that while a great many factors contribute to rising prices, lack of supply — both in type of house and location — is a major problem.


But it's not a bogeyman that can be easily unmasked and banished. People don't hold rallies about increasing supply of homes, and there is no #BuildMoreMultifamilyHomes trending on Twitter.


"The answer," said institution president Anne McMullin, "is to increase density and people don't want that. They're looking for an easy answer — let's blame others."  The pace of new home construction in Vancouver has remained virtually unchanged over 15 years, averaging under 4,500 new completed units a year according toCMHC data. Compare that to the population growth that B.C. saw in 2014 — 55,000, mainly through immigration and in-migration.



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March (hopefully) means the weather is warming up. If you don’t have a trip planned to an exotic locale, take some time to get ahead on home maintenance projects. Here are a few projects you can complete during a spring fling of home repair.

1. Fun with water
Power washing your home’s exterior not only adds to its sparkle factor, but also blasts away any potentially damaging mold and mildew. Rent a machine at your local home improvement store and tackle your siding, deck and driveway.

2. Check your AC
Scheduling a tune-up for your cooling system can save you bucks in the long term. Change your AC filter and schedule a pro to come check your system now, before contractors get busy.

3. Go with the flow
Pull out a ladder and unclog gutters and check that they’re connected securely.

4. Bask in the sun
Catch some rays – and brighten your home – by cleaning the interior and exterior of your windows. Try a squeegee and skip the paper towels, to avoid looking out through a filter of lint.

5. Hit the fridge
Dust and grime on your refrigerator’s coils causes the machine to use more energy to cool. Cleaning coils is easy with your vacuum’s hose attachment. Then, enjoy efficiently-made ice cubes in a cocktail after all your hard work.

And add a paper drink umbrella. After all, it is spring break.

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Lenders will perform extensive research into your financial history before they approve you mortgage application. Prepare for your meeting with a loan officer by finding the answers to the following questions:

1. What is your credit score?
Not only should you know the score, you should take a look at the items on your record. Say you missed the final electric bill from your last apartment and it ended up in collections. You can call the agency and ask them to remove it from your report (they’re under no obligation to do so, but it’s worth a shot). It’s also important to check for instances of mistaken identity, especially if you have a common name. And never pay for your credit score: You’re legally entitled to a free report every 12 months.

2. What is your annual income?
Don’t forget to add in income earned through bonuses and investments. Track down your most recent W2s and tax returns for easy reference.

3. How much debt are you in?
Tally up all of those credit cards, car loans, student loans and other monthly payments. This will be important information to help you and the lender determine your debt-to-income ratio, a tool for figuring out how large of a mortgage is appropriate.

4. What are you worth?
Lenders will want to see documentation of your assets, including automobiles, investments and income properties. Did you recently receive an inheritance? Loan a family member money? Be ready to explain any large deposits or withdrawals.

5. How much can you put down?
All this financial reckoning will help you determine how much cash you’re able — and willing — to spend on a down payment. If family members plan to help, the lender will most likely require a letter from them.

6. How much house can you afford?
A general rule of thumb: Your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, HOA, etc.) should not take up more than 28 percent of your income before taxes. There are plenty of online calculators to help give you an idea of what your monthly mortgage payment will be.

I can help you find a lender and prepare to apply for a mortgage

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The process of putting your home on the market and finding your next place can be overwhelming. Fortunately, an experienced agent can help you weigh all your options. Here’s where a professional might start:

1. Researching your home’s value
I have the pulse on the current market. Together, we can review how much comparable properties have been selling for and how long they lingered on the market. I can provide a realistic idea of what your home is worth, and how fast (or long) it could take to find a buyer.

2. Working with your budget
After you learn what your current home is worth, you’ll be able to hone in your options for your next one. I can give you an idea of what types of properties and which neighborhoods are in your budget. I know the area will also be aware of local housing trends, and can advise you when might be a good time to buy.

3. Making your home market-ready
There may be work to do before you put your house on the market. Ican help you prioritize repairs. I can also recommend a home inspector for an expert opinion on features like roofs and HVAC.

Ready to explore your options? Call me!

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