High-pressure sales, multiple offers and bidding on homes without an inspection are pushing B.C.’s urban real estate market into high-risk deals, and the province’s real estate regulator is considering a “cooling-off period” to give buyers more information and time before closing a real estate deal.
Finance Minister Selina Robinson says legislation will be coming next spring to protect buyers from making decisions without knowing enough about what they are buying, and what other offers they might be facing. B.C. already has a seven-day cooling-off period for pre-build condominium construction, to allow bidders to change their minds and walk away from deals in a market that has seen speculators bidding up prices.
The details are to be worked out by the B.C. Financial Services Authority (BCFSA), which started operation in August as the single regulator for financial services in B.C., including real estate. Robinson said a cooling-off period is coming for newly built home sales and resales, but more discussion with real estate and mortgage industries is needed to finalize that terms. Making inspections mandatory before a sale is also being considered.
Robinson said a surge in real estate demand, driven by low interest rates and a rebound after home sales were restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, has realtors and mortgage brokers concerned they can’t adequately protect their clients. Currently the BCFSA doesn’t have access to information on multiple bids, and buyers are “blind bidding” on houses without knowing about other bids.
“People looking to buy a home need to know they are protected as they make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives,” Robinson said Nov. 4. “With this step, we’re moving ahead to protect people and their interests in the real estate market by bringing in a cooling off period for homebuyers and looking at additional measures to ensure effective safeguards are in place.”
The ministry says a cooling-off period allows buyers a limited time to change their minds and cancel a purchase with “no or diminished legal consequences.”
Blair Morrison, B.C.’s superintendent of real estate and CEO of the BCFSA, said consultation with industry stakeholders in the coming weeks will help determine the specifics of the regulations. The authority has set up an email address for comments, email@example.com.
Grand real estate sales on pace to set record in 2021 – Sky-Hi News
This year is on track to see record real estate sales in Grand County, driven by a high demand for mountain properties and limited availability.
Data from the Grand County Board of Realtors shows that October was the 115th month of gains in median sales prices compared to the same month of the previous year, while the available inventory has dropped consistently during that same period.
In October, the one-year change in the median sales price for all properties was up 11.8% while the number of active listings was down 14.4%, according to the board of Realtors.
“Due to the lack of inventory and the need for housing up here, when properties do get put on the market, they’re just going so fast,” said Lindsey Morrow, an agent with Keller Williams Top of the Rockies. “This has been a really strong year for real estate in general.”
The September report from the Land Title Guarantee Company shows the average sales prices for single family and multi-family properties are at their highest reported rates with single family homes reaching an average of $876,425 and multi-family properties going for $510,367 on average.
So far this year, real estate sales have totaled more than $861 million, which is a 41.7% increase over the same time frame last year, according to the Land Title Guarantee Company.
Last year saw record sales with more than $994 million in transactions.
The high demand for property in Grand County can be credited to a number of factors, including more people working from home, low interest rates, rising sales prices in surrounding mountain communities and recreational opportunities.
“Grand County is only an hour and a half from Denver … we have the infrastructure and internet for people to (work at home), and I think people are realizing that Grand County has a great work-life balance,” Morrow said.
A majority of the buyers are from the Front Range, which has accounted for 61% of sales so far this year, per data compiled by Land Title Guarantee Company.
All the demand means that active listings go quick.
Properties sold in October saw a 52% decrease in the number of days on market compared to October 2020. The average townhouse or condo sold after only 48 days and single-family homes sold at 72 days, according to the Grand County Board of Realtors.
Morrow said the demand has slowed toward the end of the year, though it remains comparatively high when held up to previous years. Demand is the highest for properties priced below $600,000.
“It’s definitely calmed a little bit compared to the summer where there were multiple offers and properties spent two or three days on market,” she said. “Though as soon as you get into those properties in the $400,000 or $500,000, which are desirable, those are going off within five or six days.”
According to the Grand County Board of Realtors’ data, a majority of properties sold so far this year range from $600,000 to $999,999.
Inventory below $600,000 in Grand County is increasingly rare with only 13 single-family homes currently on the market.
On top of the incredible demand and low inventory, external factors such as rising building costs, labor shortages and problems in the supply chain have also contributed to the extreme sale prices.
Single-family properties going for $1 million to $1,999,999 in 2021 have increased by 52-55% increase compared to last year, GCBOR data shows.
However, there are still opportunities out there for buyers.
With rental rates increasing, Morrow urged interested buyers to reach out to a lender while interest rates remain favorable
“If people are willing to spend $3,000 per month on rent, that could potentially get them a $600,000 or $700,000 house, which there is inventory for,” she said.
Morrow said the market is sustaining itself so, unlike the 2008 market, it’s unlikely there would be a crash and current trends will likely continue until more inventory is available.
“Appraisal values of properties are still coming in at or above contract price,” she added. “The biggest thing is we don’t have the inventory for people moving into the community.”
Building permit numbers indicate that Grand County is picking up the pace on construction with 2021 seeing a record number of permits for single family homes, according to Steve Jensen of the Grand County Builders Association.
Not including construction in Fraser, Granby or Winter Park, Grand County has issued 237 permits for single family homes so far this year compared to the same period in 95 in 2020 and 108 in 2019. Of the permits issued this year, 89 are fire rebuilds.
More Bad News For China’s Sorry Real Estate Market, UBS Says – Forbes
The hits keep on coming for China’s economy.
This time the news is the country’s already beleaguered real estate sector is set for more bad news.
“Property activities are likely to fall further in the coming quarters, and without policy easing, property sales and starts could fall 20% or more by 2022,” states a recent report from Swiss bank UBS.
The current and near-future prospects for China’s property sector is the result of spillover from the Evergrande debt debacle earlier this year, policy tightening by the Chinese government, and shifts in domestic demand, the report explains.
In turn, a real estate slowdown could hit the broader economy hard slowing growth to 4% or even lower. That’s a standstill from China’s perspective.
In other words, China’s economy is likely headed for a hard landing soon if its government doesn’t take swift action.
“Our baseline forecast is for gradual policy easing, but there is a substantial risk for policy easing being delayed or insufficient,” the UBS report states.
Policy easing would likely mean lower cost of borrowing for domestic Chinese companies and or easier loan standards.
Still, the news comes on the back of a sharp contraction in China’s steel production earlier this year, at the same time when the world’s other top steel producers were seeing growth in output.
It doesn’t augur well for China’s economy overall so investors in Chinese or Hong Kong stocks might want to be cautious for the immediate future.
Research: Small-business real estate lenders for San Francisco North Bay – North Bay Business Journal
The latest North Bay Business Journal research (Lists.NorthBayBusinessJournal.com) focuses on lenders certified to handle U.S. Small Business Administration program loans for real estate.
A list of SBA 504 lenders (certified development companies) is ranked by the value of debenture portion placed in Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Solano counites from Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021. Other information provided includes the number of loans made in each county.
Detailed information from the list is available for purchase as a spreadsheet via the links above.
Want to have your company surveyed for this and other lists? Contact Research Director Michelle Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-526-8682.
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