The first month of 2022 saw home sales come down from last year’s record-setting pace, while low supply continued to cause home prices to edge higher across Metro Vancouver. 


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,285 in January 2022, a 4.4 per cent decrease from the 2,389 sales recorded in January 2021, and a 15 per cent decrease from the 2,688 homes sold in December 2021. 


Last month’s sales were 25.3 per cent above the 10-year January sales average. 


There were 4,170 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in January 2022. This represents a 6.9 per cent decrease compared to the 4,480 homes listed in January 2021 and a 114.4 per cent increase compared to December 2021 when 1,945 homes were listed.  


“Our listing inventory on MLS® is less than half of what would be optimal to begin the year. As a result, hopeful home buyers have limited choice in the market today. This trend is causing fierce competition for a scarce number of homes for sale, which, in turn, increases prices,” Keith Stewart, REBGV economist said. 


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 5,663, a 31.8 per cent decrease compared to January 2021 (8,306) and an 8.2 per cent increase compared to December 2021 (5,236). 


“As we approach spring, we’ll keep a close eye on the impact of rising interest rates on buyers’ willingness to buy and on whether more home owners will opt to become sellers in what’s traditionally the busiest season of the year,” Stewart said. “With home prices reaching new highs in recent months, the need has never been greater for government to collaborate with the building community to expedite the creation of housing supply and provide more choice for those struggling to buy a home today.” 


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2022 is 40.3 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 28 per cent for detached homes, 51.6 per cent for townhomes, and 49.7 per cent for apartments. 


Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months. 


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,255,200. This represents a 18.5 per cent increase over January 2021 and a two per cent increase compared to December 2021. 


Sales of detached homes in January 2022 reached 622, a 15.9 per cent decrease from the 740 detached sales recorded in January 2021. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,953,000. This represents a 22.7 per cent increase from January 2021 and a 2.2 per cent increase compared to December 2021. 


Sales of apartment homes reached 1,315 in January 2022, a 10 per cent increase compared to the 1,195 sales in January 2021. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $775,700. This represents a 14 per cent increase from January 2021 and a 1.8 per cent increase compared to December 2021. 


Attached home sales in January 2022 totalled 348, a 23.3 per cent decrease compared to the 454 sales in January 2021. The benchmark price of an attached home is $1,029,500. This represents a 24.3 per cent increase from January 2021 and a 2.5 per cent increase compared to December 2021.



FRASER VALLEY



Meanwhile, the real estate board in the Fraser Valley released its own report on the same day February 2.



The board reported that the benchmark price of a detached home increased to $1,569,300 in January 2022.


This represents a 4.6 percent increase from December 2021 and a 41.8 percent rise compared to January 2021.



For townhouses, it was $796,500, up four percent from December 2021 and 37.2 percent compared to January 2021.



For apartments, the typical price climbed to $574,300, making a 4.6 percent increase from December 2021 and up 30.6 per cent compared to January 2021.



The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board covers North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission.


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Not all insurance products are created equal. One of the most common mistakes homeowners and potential homeowners make is that they hear the word “insurance” and just assume they have it! Well, you might have one kind of insurance, but you might be missing coverage elsewhere.

It is important to understand all the different insurance products to ensure you have proper coverage.


To help you get a better understanding of the insurance, below are the four main insurance product options you will encounter and what they mean:


Default Insurance: 

This insurance is mandatory for homes where the buyer puts less than 20% down. In fact, default insurance is the reason that lenders accept lower down payments, such as 5% minimum, and actually helps these buyers access comparable interest rates typically offered with larger down payments.


Default insurance typically requires a premium, which is based on the loan-to-value ratio (mortgage loan amount divided by the purchase price). This premium can be paid in a single lump sum, or it can be added to your mortgage and included in your monthly payments.


In Canada, most homeowners know of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which is run by the federal government, and have used them in the past. But did you know? We also have two private companies, Sagen Financial and Canada Guaranty, who can also provide this insurance.



Home (Property & Fire) Insurance: 

Next, we have another mandatory insurance option, property and fire coverage (or, home insurance, as most people know it by). This is number two on our list as it MUST be in place before you close the mortgage! It is especially important to note that not all homes or properties are insurable, so you will want to review this sooner rather than later.  


In addition to protecting against fire damage, home insurance can also cover the contents of your home (depending on your policy). This is important for anyone looking at purchasing condos or townhouses as the strata insurance typically protects the building itself and common areas, as well as your suit “as is”, but it will not account for your personal belongings or any upgrades you made. Be sure to cross-check your strata insurance policy and take out an individual one on your unit to cover the difference.


One final thing to consider is that you may not be covered in the event of a flood or earthquake. You may need to purchase additional coverage to be protected from a natural disaster, depending on your location.


Title Insurance: 

Another insurance policy that potential homeowners may encounter is known as “title insurance”. When it comes to lenders, this insurance is mandatory with every single lender in Canada requiring you to purchase title insurance on their behalf.


In addition, you have the option of purchasing this for yourself as a homeowner. The benefit of title insurance is that it can protect you from existing liens on the property’s title, but the most common benefit is protection against title fraud. Title fraud typically involves someone using stolen personal information, or forged documents to transfer your home’s title to him or herself - without your knowledge. 


Similar to default insurance, title insurance is charged as a one-time fee or a premium with the cost based on the value of your property.


Mortgage Protection Plan: 

Lastly, we have our mortgage protection plan coverage. This is optional coverage, but one that any agent can tell you is extremely important. The purpose of the mortgage protection plan is to protect you, and your family, should something happen. It acts as a disability and a life insurance policy in regards to your mortgage.


Typically, when you get approval for a mortgage, it is based on family income. If one of the partners in the mortgage is no longer able to contribute due to disability or death, a mortgage protection plan gives you protection for your mortgage payments. However, most homeowners don’t realize that if they buy one of these policies through their financial advisor, life insurance agent or bank, the policy will not be able to move with them to a new lender.


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So! You think you’ve found your dream home, and you can’t wait to check it out in person.

Before you go, here are a few things that are important to look out for during a home tour:


  • Odor: Unusual smells can indicate problems, especially mold or mildew issues.
  • Plumbing and Electrical: Check water pressure as well as electrical systems to ensure no eroded or exposed wires, properly functioning HVAC, sealed water heater, etc.
  • Noise: This is one that homebuyers can often overlook, but it is important to consider the noise within the house as well as how loud the street and neighbourhood are before committing to ensure they are suitable for you.
  • Home Layout: Whether or not the layout and function of the home suits your needs.
  • Number of Rooms: How many bathrooms and bedrooms does the house have? Is that amount suitable for your needs?
  • Wall and Flooring Condition: What is the condition of the walls and floors? Defects such as warping, cracks, watermarks, etc., can be indicative of larger issues.
  • Unpermitted Additions or Updates: On occasion, you might go to view a home that was listed as having 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, only to find that it actually has an extra bathroom! As great as this might be for your needs, you'll want to double-check that the addition was permitted. Unpermitted construction can create major issues when it comes to insurance coverage and potential structural headaches if not done properly.

Remember, things like furniture, decor, wall or floor treatments, and hardware or other fixtures are easily updated and not important when viewing a home as they can be changed if the rest of the home suits your needs!

In addition to these items to keep an eye out for, there are also a few specific questions you should be asking your realtor, including: deadline for offers, number of offers that have been made, why the sellers are moving, any concerns they may have, whether or not there is a homeowner association with fees, and how old the home is. 

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The cost of building a 2,500-square-foot house has increased by $68,000 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, and all types of properties are taking as long as 10 weeks longer to construct.


The organization said lumber increases account for half of that increase, with “other material costs” contributing to the rest. Supply chain disruptions and strong demand from buyers has led to the crunch.


“[There are] continuing challenges with the supply chain and labour availability, which is increasing construction costs and causing delays in home completions,” the organization wrote. “These challenges, combined with a lack of land availability, are reducing the industry’s ability to bring still more much-needed housing supply online.”


The organization said closings are being affected, with delays extending from quarter-to-quarter to as long as 10 weeks mostly due to a lack of appliances and windows. Sixty four per cent of builders said they expected a delay in pre-sales or development.


“Respondents are now indicating that plumbing components are being hit the hardest, though appliances and windows remain close behind, along with a long list of other products and materials,” they wrote. 


The group launched its Housing Market Index in the first quarter of 2021. It said today builder sentiment is increasingly positive, but they do worry about the challenges.


“Until the fourth quarter, quarter-to-quarter sentiment in 2021 had been declining due to a number of uncertainties in the housing market such as supply chain disruptions, material costs, changes to the stress test, and another wave of COVID-19,” the wrote. 


“The reduction of some of those uncertainties and continued homebuyer activity have resulted in a positive shift in sentiment, which is consistent with the incredibly strong housing starts and building permits data over the past few months.”


Meanwhile, 63 per cent of builders said the supply of lots in their area were “low to very low” and called on governments to look at addressing permit delays, zoning issues and “NIMBYism.”


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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.