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Real estate market stays hot through January in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge News

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The real estate in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows continued as hot through the first month of 2021 as it did at the end of last year.

There were 95 single family homes sold in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows last month, which marked it one of the most attractive markets of the cities in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). Those 95 houses sold for a median price of $1.05 million.

By comparison, there were 67 houses sold for a median price of $850,000 in January of 2020.

“The secret is out about Maple Ridge,” said Cass MacLeod, a realtor of 10 years and former director with the real estate board. “We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the Lower Mainland.”

The Royal LePage realtor sees a market as busy as it ever has been in the past decade. He said home buyers are initially attracted here by lower prices. That $1.05 million benchmark price for a house in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows compares favourably to the Lower Mainland benchmark of almost $1.4 million for the entire Lower Mainland.

Once they are here, buyers are impressed by the natural beauty of lakes, rivers, mountains, with a great system of parks and trails.

“I love Maple Ridge, and so do the people who live here, and so do people who are coming here,” said MacLeod.

The entire region remains a hot real estate market. The REBGV reports residential home sales in the region totalled 2,389 in January 2021, a 52.1 per cent increase from the 1,571 sales recorded in January 2020. Last month’s sales were 36.4 per cent above the 10-year January sales average.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows predicted to be hot real estate markets

READ ALSO: 16% boom predicted for B.C. real estate sales in 2021: experts

Demand is leading to increased prices.

“With home sale activity well above our January average, the supply of homes for sale isn’t able to keep pace,” Colette Gerber, REBGV chair, said. “This is causing increased competition amongst home buyers and upward pressure on prices.”

That’s despite COVID-19.

“Shifting housing needs during the pandemic and historically low interest rates have been key drivers of demand in our market over the last six months,” Gerber said. “People who managed to enter the market a few years ago, and have seen their home values increase, are now looking to move up in the market to accommodate their changing needs.”

There were 49 apartment sales in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows last month, for the same median price of $400,000 as January 2020. Also, 68 townhouses sold for a median price of $640,000, compared with $529,000, the median price for 32 townhouses in January 2020. The benchmark prices for Lower Mainland townhouses in January 2021 was $712,000, and apartments $655,000.


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BOC Governor Says Canada Will Lean On Real Estate Because “We Need The Growth” – Better Dwelling

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Canada’s central bank isn’t really that worried about real estate, it appears. Bank of Canada (BoC) governor Tiff Macklem held a Q&A after a speech for the Edmonton and Calgary Chambers of Commerce yesterday. During the Q&A, the governor dismissed concerns about an overheated housing market. In fact, he welcomed its contribution to the economy as something needed.

Canada’s Economy To Further Lean On Housing

When asked if Canada needs new measures to cool the market, the governor wasn’t worried. Macklem responded, “I think right now the economy is weak… I think we need the support.” Further adding, “We need the growth we can get.” Yeah, it’s an odd take, let’s unpack what he may be referencing, if anything at all.

Canadian Residential Investment

Canadian residential investment as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Source: Stat Can, Better Dwelling.

One big red flag is Canada’s residential investment as a percent of GDP. Residential investment reached 9.43% of GDP in Q3 2020, up from 7.71% last year. For context, US residential investment peaked at 6.7% in 2006, during their housing bubble. The current rate in the US is just 4.3%, which is still considered high. Reading between the lines, that may have been subtle acknowledgment that Canada doesn’t have much else to lean on at this point. Further, a rise in household debt means a long-term slowdown in growth, which is a gamble they’re taking.

Bank of Canada Is “Surprised” By The Housing Rebound

The governor also stated they were surprised by housing activity during the pandemic. Macklem said, the BoC was “… surprised by the extent and strength of the housing rebound.” Further adding, they only see “some signs of excess exuberance.” It would appear a typical home rising more than the median household income is fairly normal to the BoC.

Canadian Real Estate Prices

The benchmark price of a typical home across Canada, in Canadian dollars. Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

Canadians Shift To Living Outside of Cities

The BoC governor also thinks these are “fundamental” market shifts. Macklem continued, “with respect to single family homes, underlying this demand, is a genuine, fundamental shift in preferences.” Adding, people “want more space. They don’t [want to] commute.” This repeats the perspective the central bank shared a few weeks ago in their FSR report. At the time they said, the rise in sales is just a temporary bump, that will subside later in the year.

When does this become a concern? The governor said he’s watching for buyer expectations. He asked rhetorically, “Are people expecting the kind of unsustainable house prices we’ve seen?” Answering himself, “if people start to think those [price gains] go on indefinitely, that becomes a concern.” Must have been his first day looking at Canada’s real estate market.

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Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem on whether Canadian real estate needs cooling measures. Feb 23, 2021.

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Many positive signs in local real estate market, says Weyburn realtor – Weyburn Review

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A longtime Weyburn realtor, Winston Bailey, said there are many positive aspects to the real estate market in the city and area right now, in a presentation he gave to the Weyburn Rotary Club on Thursday via Zoom.

He noted he’s been in business in the city for 46 years, since he began with a construction company in 1976, and in real estate for the last 16 years, “and I have no intentions of quitting just yet.”

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Sharing statistics about how real estate is doing in this area, Bailey noted that provincially the real estate market has had one of its strongest ever starts to a year, according to the Saskatchewan Real Estate Association, with housing values up by one per cent after going down for the previous four or five years.

One factor is the low interest rates, said Bailey, pointing out that on a recent home sale the buyers were able to get 1.79 per cent on a 20-year mortgage with a five-year term.

Comparatively, when he built a home in 1983, the interest rate went down from 14 per cent to 11.5 per cent, “and I said yep, we can afford this — so that’s quite a difference.”

He added that in the last few months, he hasn’t seen any interest rates higher than 2.25 per cent, which can make a large difference in mortgage payments.

Currently the number of houses and other properties on the market has dropped by about 30 per cent, which has the positive effect of quick sales for a seller — unless it’s a condominium unit, which are “very sluggish” right now with 41 condos on the market in Weyburn right now.

Overall, there are about 135 properties on the market in Weyburn right now, including the condos, where normally the city has over 200 properties for sale. Bailey noted that “well over 200” properties sold in 2020, and “that’s pretty impressive. We haven’t seen that for a long time.”

There are few housing starts right now due to the high cost of building materials, said Bailey. He noted his son, Chad, recently built a fishing shack, and a sheet of plywood cost about $60, up from the past average price of around $22-23 a sheet.

The strongest real estate markets right now are in the larger cities, like Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert, while in the smaller cities, like Weyburn, Estevan, North Battleford and Kindersley, most of them have a strong presence of the oil industry.

“When the boom was on, it was our cities that grew the most. We’re suffering a little bit right now, but by the same token, we’re not in trouble. I don’t think that’s too negative a thing, I’m still very optimistic,” said Bailey.

Farmland values have been very strong in the Weyburn region, particularly good quality farm land from Yellow Grass, Lang and Colfax areas up to Regina, said Bailey.

He pointed to two recent land sales just north of Yellow Grass, with six quarters selling for $3,500 an acre in one sale, and in a smaller parcel, the land sold for $4,000 an acre, “so $600,000 for a quarter is what you’re seeing on some farmland.”

Land in the Weyburn area has sold for around $250,000 a quarter, he added, saying as a general rule, farmland will sell for 1.2 to 1.3 times its assessment, and high-quality farmland will sell for 1.5 to 1.6 times its assessed value.

“Even pasture land will sell for $150-175,000 a quarter,” he added.

For commercial properties, Bailey said some oil-related properties have had their tenants move on, but many of them have tenants renting so very few of those are sitting empty.

Addressing how COVID-19 has impacted the real estate business, Bailey said they are making it work and are abiding by the provincial regulations around how businesses are to operate.

“When I go to show a house, I have a mask on and keep a physical distance, and use hand sanitizer. You just comply by the rules,” he said. “People in general have been very open to allow us in. Some ask us to wear gloves, and that’s fine, that’s not a problem. In all, it’s a different way of doing business, but we just comply with the provincial standards, rules and regulations, and we can live with that.”

Weyburn has a lot going for it, such as being declared one of the best communities to live in on the prairies and in Canada.

“I’m a believer in our city, and in what we have going for us. It continues to attract people of all walks of life,” said Bailey, pointing out Weyburn has a new school and a new recreation and culture centre under construction, and a new hospital is on the way.

“I’ve had the privilege of taking a couple of tours (of the new facilities) and it’s absolutely amazing, it’s unbelievable. We should be very, very proud to have that facility here,” he said, adding the new hospital will also be a big boost for the city.

Combined with having Southeast College here, Weyburn has a lot to offer, he said. “Education and health care always assist in attracting people to the city.”

The ranking of Weyburn as one of Canada’s top communities is based on many factors, he added, including affordability, crime rate, schools, recreation and sporting facilities, and the business community, not to mention Weyburn’s friendliness, which is mentioned to him all the time by visitors from other communities.

Asked if Weyburn’s Golf Club is a selling feature for potential buyers, Bailey said it absolutely is a major recreational asset, along with the other sporting and recreation facilities that are here.

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Pattie Lovett-Reid: Bank of Canada governor sees signs of 'excess exuberance' in real estate market – CTV News

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HUNTSVILLE, ONT. —
Over the past year, one thing has become abundantly clear as we work from home. We now know with crystal clear clarity what our homespace should look like. If it didn’t meet your new expectations, you likely have been on the move.

The result? Home prices are on the rise, and this has caught the attention of the Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem. 

Throughout the pandemic, one of the pillars of the economy has been the real estate market. Rising demand, constrained supply and rock-bottom rates are all conspiring to lead us to believe home prices have only one way to go: higher. 

Now to be fair, home prices have been on the rise, but we still have a long way to go before we get to the heated market of five years ago. But that doesn’t mean the Bank of Canada isn’t watching this closely. Macklem has stated he is seeing early signs of what he called “excess exuberance,” with people expecting the recent increases in prices to go on indefinitely. 

I have learned that nothing goes on indefinitely when one of the variables changes. In this case, it could be mortgage rates.

Canadians might have grown accustomed to fixed rates continuously declining after the five-year fixed rate in Canada reached a record low this past summer of 1.39 per cent.

This is about to change for the first time since the pandemic began.

According to RateHub.ca, fixed rates are on the rise in response to higher-than-expected inflation in January. And if this inflation continues to go higher and optimism around the vaccine rollout continues, Canadians should expect to see rates continue to move higher. By the end of the week, the expectation is for the best rate to be 1.54 per cent.

Call to action: if you are in a variable rate mortgage, you might want to consider locking in. If you are first time homebuyer, a mortgage pre-approval today will hold rates for 90-120 days. 

According to the RateHub.ca mortgage calculator, a homeowner with a 10 per cent downpayment on a $500,000 home with a five-year fixed rate of 1.39 per cent and a 25-year amortization would see their payments increase per month by $32.00, or $384.00 per year, if rates increase to 1.54 per cent.

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