B.C. Real Estate News

British Columbia Real Estate News Stories And Articles

BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) Chief Economist Cameron Muir discusses the October 2014 statistics.

Year-to-Date Home Sales Eclipse 2013 Annual Total

Vancouver, BC – November 14, 2014.  The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,648 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, up 14.6 per cent from October 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $4.4 billion, an increase of 22 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $575,504, up 7.1 per cent from the same month last year.

“Consumer demand for housing continues at an elevated level,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “There were more homes purchased during the first ten months of the year than during all of 2013”. To the end of October, 73,001 homes have traded hands in the province compared to 72,936 for all of last year.

“Strong year-over-year increases in housing demand were experienced in Chilliwack (up 31 per cent), Victoria (up 21.9 per cent) and the Kootenay (up 19.4 per cent) market areas. Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and Okanagan Mainline also posted a marked increase in sales activity last month.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 23 per cent to $41.4 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 15.8 per cent to 73,001 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 6.2 per cent at $566,687.

This article appeared on News 1130 on November 16th, 2014 by Richard Dettman.

BC Home Sales in 2014 Have Already Topped Last Year’s Total: BCREAProvince-wide average price last month rose 7.1 per cent.

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Home sales in BC have topped last year’s total in just 10 months.

An industry group reports 73,000 homes were sold across BC to the end of October, beating the 12-month total for 2013.

In October, more than 7,600 residential unit sales were made through the Multiple Listing Service, up 14.6 per cent from a year earlier. The province-wide average price of a home rose 7.1 per cent to $575,000.

BC Real Estate Association chief economist Cameron Muir says “Strong year-over-year increases in housing demand were experienced in Chilliwack (up 31 per cent), Victoria (21.9 per cent), and the Kootenay (19.4 per cent).”

B.C. Housing Minister Moves to Shore Up Standards for Home Inspections, Globe and Mail. This article appeared on the Globe and Mail online on September 19th, 2014 and was written by Dene Moore.

By the end of next year, home inspectors will have to meet a standard set of professional criteria to be licenced in British Columbia.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman said Friday the improved requirements will help safeguard home buyers who rely on the inspections for making what is likely the largest investment of their lives.

Consumer Protection BC will set the education and training requirements and be responsible for testing and licensing home inspectors.

“At the end of the day, buying a home is one of the biggest purchases somebody ever makes, and we’ve always been very supportive of any move toward consumer protection in this area,” said Tayt Winnitoy, vice-president of operations for Consumer Protection BC.

In 2009, B.C. became the first jurisdiction in Canada to require licences and insurance for home inspectors, and there are now about 440 licensed in the province.

A few months later, a North Vancouver couple won an unprecedented award in the civil lawsuit they brought against their home inspector.

Three years earlier, Manuel Salgado and Nora Calcaneo bought a home for $1.095 million.

They paid $450 for an inspection, which found a number of structural deficiencies. The inspector, Imre Toth, estimated the repairs would cost them $15,000 to $20,000. They closed the deal.

When the bill came in, it totalled $213,000.

They filed suit against Toth, the sellers and the real estate agents, but settled with the previous owners and dropped their claim against the agents. Justice Grant Burnyeat said Toth’s estimate was “woefully inadequate.”

The purpose of the inspection is to provide a homebuyer with expert advice about any significant deficiencies, the judge wrote. “I have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the plaintiffs relied upon the report received by Mr. Toth to decide whether they would purchase the property,” he wrote.

“Plainly, if prospective home purchasers did not believe that they could secure meaningful and reliable advice about the home they were considering purchasing, there would be no reason for them to retain an inspector to inspect that home.”

Currently, inspectors must pass regular examinations to obtain and keep their license but there are four different associations that can licence, each with its own evaluation process.

In a survey by the provincial Office of Housing and Construction Standards, 78 per cent of home inspectors felt the requirements for a licence are too lax. “It is clear … that action is needed to increase consumer protection and to address the challenges in the current model,” the report said.

The Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors — one of the four groups that licence inspectors — said non-existent standards improved with the 2009 regulations, but loopholes remain.

Winnitoy said home buyers can rest assured that the inspectors they’re dealing with now have met minimum training and education requirements.

“What we see now and what we’re looking forward to is a deepening and an improving of the framework to help ensure that there’s a level playing field for all home inspectors and a clear set of expectations for consumers to have.”

Vancouver, BC – September 12, 2014.  The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,341 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August, up 7 per cent from August 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $4.1 billion, an increase of 12.4 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $560,318, up 5 per cent from the same month last year.

No Vacation for Home Buyers in August

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“Consumer demand remained relatively robust in August,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The Okanagan and Chilliwack board areas posted the strongest year-over-year gain of 22 to 25 per cent in unit sales, while Victoria and Vancouver increased around 10 per cent respectively.” Home sales last month were the highest for the month of August since 2009.

“Low mortgage rates, increased net-migration and improving economic conditions continue to underpin housing demand in the province,” added Muir.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 22.8 per cent to $28.5 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 15.8 per cent to 57,715 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 6.1 per cent at $564,466.

MLS Residential Sales BC July 2014

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Home Buying Heats Up Over the Summer Months, BC Real Estate Association.  Vancouver, BC – August 14, 2014.  The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,493 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July, up 11 per cent from July 2013.

Total sales dollar volume was $4.65 billion, an increase of 13.8 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $547,926, up 2.5 per cent from the same month last year.

“Strong consumer confidence continues to drive a summer rally of home sales,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “While sales were up in all but one BC real estate board area, the Okanagan has posted a meteoric rise in consumer demand, with the most home sales on record for the month of July.”

“Overall market conditions remain in relative balance in BC,” added Muir, “however, relatively fewer homes for sale have created sellers’ market conditions in some communities.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 24.5 per cent to $28.5 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 17.2 per cent to 50,376 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 6.2 per cent at $565,031.

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