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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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BRAUN: Pace of real estate decline finally slowing – Toronto Sun

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The downturn in the housing market might be slowly coming to a close, suggests a new report from the Royal Bank.

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Prices will likely still fall in Toronto, but the decline has begun to slow and expectations are that prices will bottom in the spring. 

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Some areas in the GTA have done better than others.

As predicted, areas outside the city where prices skyrocketed once remote work became a possibility are among the hardest hit.

Prices in Cambridge, for example, are off 22%, while London and Brantford have seen an 18% decline. Kitchener-Waterloo, Kawartha Lakes and Hamilton/Burlington have all had a 17% drop in prices.

While Toronto’s decline has been 11%, prices are expected to fall further.

Toronto also saw a drop of almost half (49.3%) in numbers of home sales in October versus October 2021, while new listings were down 11.5%.

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“The market downturn may be in a late stage, but it doesn’t mean things are about to heat up again,” said Robert Hogue, RBC’s assistant chief economist, in the report.

“We expect high — and still-rising — interest rates will continue to challenge buyers for some time. This will keep activity quiet for a while longer, even if it stabilizes near current levels.”

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For those on the sidelines wondering when or if to buy, a Toronto mortgage expert (who prefers not to be named) has some words of wisdom.

For starters, he prefers to keep all the gloom and doom on the down-low.  A correction notwithstanding, real estate remains a solid investment. 

So on the plus side, “with the correction have come reduced prices and reduced closing costs, especially in the GTA,” the expert said.

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And maybe no bidding war, although some neighbourhoods have not lost value because the three rules of real estate — location, location, location — never change.

If you’re wondering what the bank will lend you for a mortgage, the expert offered a useful rule of thumb: 4.2 times your salary will tell you what you qualify for.

That’s provided you don’t have a lot of other debt, obviously.

As for figuring out your monthly mortgage payments, calculate $6 per thousand; a $500,000 mortgage will cost $3,000 a month, for example.

The fact that a one-year mortgage is currently at the highest rate and the five-year rate is lower — an inverted yield curve — is a sign of uncertainty.

“For the first time in my career, I’m not telling people what to do. Instead, I’m telling them their options,” he said.

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As for that swift rise in interest rates tamping down inflation, that’s working “to some extent.”

The government should have started two years ago and raised rates more slowly, he explained. 

The consensus seems to be that the worst is behind us, “but we’re heading into stagnation. Things will level off, but we need stability.”

There’s very little on the market right now, but the expert’s expectation is that things will pick up after March break, when young families will start looking again in earnest.

“The banks aren’t taking any chances. Anyone who thinks the banks are just giving money away — no! It’s never been tougher to get credit.”

Last word: focus on your debt. “I used to say, ‘Continue to save.’

“Now I say, ‘move from investing to getting rid of debt.’”

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Durham real estate broker says 'date the rate, marry the house' – durhamregion.com

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Durham real estate broker says ‘date the rate, marry the house’  durhamregion.com



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LACKIE: Buyers in driver's seat as sellers ride out real estate rough seas – Windsor Star

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I got some blowback last week when I suggested that while quite clearly the housing market is in the throes of a strong correction, life and real estate continues on.

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No, I was not shilling for my industry and, by extension, one might assume, my livelihood.

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Yes, I still absolutely believe that things are rough and about to get rougher.

But notable to me is the fact that even amidst all of the scary headlines and all of the well-founded doom and gloom, there are still real estate deals happening in this city. And while as far as I can tell, the who and the how and the why has shifted from the who and the how and the why that drove that wild market that already feels like a distant memory, I’m not sure what we’re seeing should be written-off as anecdotal outliers.

Transaction volume is down by half compared to this time last year. Interest rates currently stand at levels inconceivable less than a year ago. New homeowners are stressed, would-be home buyers are spooked, and everyone else is trying to figure out how worried they need to be.

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Yes, yes and yes.

  1. Real estate for-sale sign.

    https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lackie-good-homes-still-selling-amid-turbulent-real-estate-market

  2. Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, address media outside of the Premier's office at Queen's Park in Toronto, Ont. on Monday, May 27, 2019.

    LACKIE: Can housing crisis be fixed by tapping into the Greenbelt?

  3. A real estate sign is displayed in front of a house in the Riverdale area of Toronto on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021.

    LACKIE: Real estate market looking more like ‘crash’ than ‘correction’

But here’s what I am observing in real time: buyers are absolutely still out there.

Our transaction volume may be down by half, but the remaining half of what was truly record-levels is not inconsequential. It maybe just feels that way.

Case in point: I listed an adorable house in a central Toronto neighbourhood last week. The perfect starter home for first-time buyers. It would have been an absolute bun fight last winter.

I wasn’t sure how it would go. And because of that, I left nothing to chance. We shined her up, I spent a small fortune on staging, the photos were perfect. We did all the things.

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I also spent a lot of time managing expectations. All we need is one buyer, I explained to my clients — just one.

Never would I have guessed that we would end up with twenty-five groups braving the miserable cold to come to the open house. And these weren’t people just out killing time on a Sunday. These were buyers, with parents in tow, and home inspection reports in hand, armed with their questions and their critical eye. The same buyers that are supposedly priced out or debilitated by the fear of catching falling knives.

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Offer night yielded four offers. But unlike the offer nights of days prior, these prospective buyers weren’t armed with letters to the sellers and waving their bank drafts around. They were cool. They had conditions. And their numbers were conservative. Even in competition.

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The house sold for less than I expected, but with the four offers the market was clearly speaking and my clients were willing to listen.

And this experience tracks with what I am hearing from my colleagues: the buyers still out there will participate at the right price. They will come forward when they’re good and ready. There is no FOMO. They will offer on things, sure, but will walk if it’s not right for them.

And this will be how the prices continue to grind downwards.

So while yes, the market has slowed right down, I wonder if the stasis is also due to the logjam of sellers determined to wait out these unfavourable conditions.

I suspect that once reluctant acceptance of new-new normal settles in, we will see inventory rise and sales volume increase. But I feel pretty confident in saying that it will be quite a long time before sellers leave the table feeling like heroes again.

@brynnlackie

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