BC Home Sales Return to Historic Average, BCREA

Vancouver, BC – February 15, 2017. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,487 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, down 23 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $2.79 billion, down 36.5 per cent from January 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $621,093, a 17.5 per cent decrease from the same period last year.

MLS Residential Sales BC Real Estate

“Housing demand across the province returned to long-term average levels last month,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, regional variations persist, with Victoria posting above average performance and Vancouver falling below the average.”

“A marked decrease in the average MLS® residential price is largely the result of relatively more home sales occurring outside of the Lower Mainland,” added Muir.

Home sales from Vancouver fell from 43 per cent of provincial transactions in January 2016 to 35 per cent last month. In addition, fewer detached home sales in Vancouver relative to multi-family units has skewed the average price statistic down in the province’s largest urban area. In contrast, the MLS® Residential Benchmark Price in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver area has declined 3.7 per cent over the past six months, but is up 15.6 per cent from January 2016.

BC Home Partnership Program Information and Guide

I had the opportunity today to be part of a webinar discussing the new BC Home Partnership Program for first time home buyers. After being presented with the information in the webinar it is fairly straight forward and easy to understand from an experienced Realtor’s perspective. I could also see that first time home buyers in Kamloops may need some help and direction navigating the entire process.  I thought it was important to create a guide to help buyers understand how the program works and where to start. There were also a number of points that were brought up in the webinar that I feel are important to consider.

STEP 1: Who can qualify for the BC HPP?

  • Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident for the last 5 years Minimum.
  • Must have resided in BC for the full 12 months preceding the application.
  • Must be a first time home buyer and never have owned a property before. This would also include being on title of a parent’s property as I find this does happen. If a buyer were on title at any time this usually would disqualify a buyer as a first time home buyer.
  • Only registered buyers on title can be first time home buyers (ie. a couple wants to purchase a home and one of the two buyers have owned a property before). This would disqualify the buyers based on the one person having owned a property.
  • Purchase price of the property not to exceed $750,000.
  • Must be a high-ratio insured mortgage (less than 20% down payment).
  • Combined household income not to exceed $150,000 per year.
  • The Buyer’s property purchase must be their primary residence for 5 years.
  • Mobile homes on a lease or rental pad do not qualify.
  • Recreational properties do not qualify.
  • Minimum 2.5% down payment required to qualify.

STEP 2: So you think you qualify ~ What next?

  • Get pre-approved with a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers will approve you based on the down payment that you have and ensure all your documents are in order for the first mortgage.
  • Your pre-approval must be for a high-ratio first mortgage from a lender approved by the National Housing Act.

STEP 3: You are pre-approved by your Mortgage Broker ~ Congratulations! Next steps:

  • Fill out the online application here for the BC HPP.
  • In the application you must have the following:
    • Proof of status in Canada (one of the following):
      • Canadian Birth Certificate
      • Permanent Resident Card
      • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
    • Secondary Identification that includes a photo (BC Drivers License, BCID, Passport, Secure Certificate of Indian Status are the main options)
    • Proof of income: Notice of Assessment from CRA or Proof of Income Statement from CRA.
    • Proof of pre-approval from a mortgage broker: Must be a Lender approved by the National Housing Act. Your mortgage broker will provide a letter to you that you will upload for BC HPP.

You have submitted your full application, the BC Home Partnership Program will give you a pre-approval within 5 business days of submission.

STEP 4: Go find your home!

  • Begin your search for that dream home. We have a number of resources available for our buyers outlining the process for purchasing a home. We would be happy to help you with this process!
  • Write an offer on a suitable home and begin to work on the conditions of the sale (ie. financing, home inspection, etc).
  • At this time the accepted contract is submitted to both your Mortgage Broker and BC HPP.
  • BC Home Partnership Program will take one business day to review your final application. You will also have to have a final approval by your mortgage broker for your high ratio insured mortgage.
  • Once approved by both your mortgage broker and BC HPP you are safe to remove the condition to financing.

STEP 5: Complete on the sale.

  • You will need to have a lawyer or notary represent you to finalize all documents and register the mortgage. In Kamloops a lawyer or notary can run anywhere from $1,100 to over $1,500. I always suggest making a few calls to real estate lawyers or notaries to find one that fits you as a buyer. We have a list of trusted professionals we can provide our clients.
  • BC HPP also has a legal fee that a Buyer is responsible for in the amount of $560. This is in addition to the Buyer’s legal fees with the lawyer or notary they choose. This fee is due upon completion of the sale of the property.

STEP 6: Get moving!

Here is a simple flow chart showing a simplified version of the application process:

BC Home Partnership Program Flow Chart

A FEW NOTES AND IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW:

  • Interest will not be paid on the BC HPP loan until year 6. That interest rate will be set from year 6-10 at 3.3%
  • Year 11 on-wards the interest rate is pegged to the Royal Bank of Canada’s Prime Rate plus 0.5%.
  • There is NO interest or NO penalty for early payment of the BC HPP loan.
  • Co-signers will be considered and don’t have to be first time home buyers. A co-signer would not appear on title.
  • The purchase contract must allow at a minimum of 14 days to complete the sale. So this means there must be at least a 14 day time period between the day you remove subjects and the day you pay for the home.
  • The down payment can be a ‘gift’. Your mortgage broker will advise you as to what documentation you would need to qualify for a first mortgage with a gifted down payment.
  • Does the house you are buying need improvements? There is the opportunity to obtain a purchase plus improvements mortgage under this program. Consult your mortgage broker for more info about how this works.
  • If you choose to sell your home before the 5 year term is up the loan becomes due upon completion of the sale and must be paid in full. You cannot transfer the loan to another property.
  • BC Home Partnership Program is not limiting the number of approvals it will provide. Buyers have up until March 31st, 2020.

For more information about this program visit the BC Home Partnership Program’s website here.

Consult a mortgage broker for all mortgage related questions. As a Realtor I facilitate the sale of a property and do not advise clients regarding financing and mortgage qualification. Contact me anytime if you would like a recommended list of great mortgage brokers in the Kamloops area or if you would like to start your home buying process.

 

BCREA Housing Market Update January 2017

The BC Real Estate Association has released it’s the latest market update. Kamloops saw a fairly significant jump in both the volume of sales and value of homes for December 2016. Also according to the stats we have a 7 month supply of listings. This may be true in theory but a lot of buyers are having trouble finding a suitable home. Take a look at the video for more info.

BC Home Sales Post Record Year, BCREA

Vancouver, BC – January 13, 2017. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 112,209 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2016, an increase of 9.5 per cent from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was a record $77.6 billion, up 18.8 per cent from 2015. The average MLS® residential price in the province climbed 8.6 per cent to $691,144 on an annual basis in 2016.

MLS Residential Sales 2017 2016 December January BC Real Estate BCREA“Broad-based consumer demand driven by strong economic conditions, employment growth, consumer confidence, and an expanding population base pushed home sales to record levels in many BC regions last year,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, home sales have fallen back from their lofty peaks early last year.” The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales activity was approximately 92,000 units in December.

A total of 4,721 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS® in December, down 28.4 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $3.1 billion last month, a decline of 33.1 per cent compared to the same month the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $654,699 in December, a 6.6 per cent decline from December 2015.

BC Home Sales Trend Toward Ten-Year Average, BCREA

Vancouver, BC – December 15, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that 6,419 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November, down 20.1 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.02 billion in November, a decline of 25.2 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $625,871, a decline of 6.4 per cent compared to the same month last year.

MLS Residential Sales November December 2016 Trend Statistics“Moderating consumer demand in the province’s largest population centres continues to trend home sales toward the ten-year average,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of MLS® residential sales was approximately 89,000 units last month. The ten-year average is 83,000 unit sales, while the 15-year average is 85,300 unit sales.

“A relatively higher number of transactions outside of the Lower Mainland is largely responsible for pulling the provincial average MLS® price lower,” added Muir.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 22.8 per cent to $74.5 billion, when compared with the same period in 2015. Residential unit sales climbed by 12.1 per cent to 107,488 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 9.6 per cent to $692,745.

BC Home Sales to Decline in 2017 from Record Pace, BCREA 2016 4th Quarter Housing Forecast

Vancouver, BC – November 29, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2016 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast today.

MLS Residential Sales by Region October November 2016Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to climb 11 per cent to a record 113,800 units this year, eclipsing the previous record of 106,310 units in 2005. Less robust economic conditions combined with government policy constraints are expected to slow housing demand by more than 15 per cent to 96,300 units in 2017. However, housing demand is expected to remain well above the ten-year average of 85,000 unit sales.

“”Housing demand across the province is expected to moderate next year as declining affordability related to rising prices and government policy interventions limit the number of eligible buyers,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, while home sales are not expected to repeat this year’s record performance, consumer demand is expected to remain well above the ten-year average.”

The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 9.8 per cent to $698,900 this year. The supply of homes for sale is expected to trend higher next year as moderating demand is met with added new home completions. A trend toward more balance in the market will unfold next year and exert less upward pressure on home prices. In addition, a larger contraction in the number high-end home sales will contribute to moving the aggregate average price statistic lower. As a result, the average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to decline 6.4 per cent to $654,200 in 2017.

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