Happy New Year 2017!
It’s always exciting to start a brand new year. Plans and resolutions are made for health, family, work and investment. If you are thinking of investing in real estate this year, I suggest reading, “Why Real Estate Investing is Right for You“, a special report by REIN, Real Estate Investment Network. As prices rise throughout the Lower Mainland, many investors are looking at purchasing in the most eastern areas where property values are significantly lower but rental rates are not. Also, if you are looking to buy your first home but Abbotsford is just too far from Vancouver for you to live, consider purchasing a rental property there instead.
If your plans are to move your primary residence this year, you will have to consider the pros and cons of selling first or buying first. Financially, the pros favour selling first, however, that only applies in a stable or declining market. In last year’s rising market, many people who sold first ended up losing money when they went to buy. Of course, buying first may mean including a subject to the sale of your home and that clause is not always accepted by a seller. Let me know if you need more information on this dilemma.
There is much speculation about where prices will go in 2017. In the past six months, we have seen prices drop as much as 10% in West Vancouver but actually remain unchanged in many areas such as Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows. Prices have continued to rise in Mission. North Delta and North Surrey are the only areas in the Fraser Valley where prices for detached homes have shown a drop in the benchmark price over the past six months. Prices for townhouses and condos in the Fraser Valley have remained stable but I expect prices to increase again over the next few months because of high demand.
If you are wondering about the new financial assistance plan the B.C.Government is rolling out this month for first-time home buyers, talk to a mortgage broker. The interest rates have been released and the loan from the government may not benefit you.
December is a unique month of the year for real estate because activity is so low. Inventory fell drastically across all areas of the Fraser Valley, which is normal. Sales were also down, however, Surrey, South Surrey, North Delta and Abbotsford remained in balanced markets overall. Cloverdale, Langley and Mission remained in seller’s markets overall with Cloverdale continuing to be the hottest market in the Fraser Valley. Even though Cloverdale and Langley have remained in seller’s market over the Fall, the benchmark price has remained stable.
Buyer Opportunities (Detached)
Both the Elgin Chantrell area and Pacific Douglas area of South Surrey are in low buyer’s markets. Only 5% of the inventory there moved last month and only 6% moved in the month of November (compared to an average of 15% to 19% across Surrey). The Pacific Douglas area is a developing area with shopping and amenities still to be completed.
It may be the right time to purchase in North Delta, especially Scottsdale or Nordel. Prices there have dropped 8% since June and although Sunshine Hills and Annieville are in seller’s markets, Scottsdale and Nordel are in buyer’s markets.
All markets across the Fraser Valley remain in seller’s markets. Prices have been stable in most areas but expect that to change over the coming months due to high demand. If you are thinking of buying a strata, buy soon.
Buyer Opportunities (Attached)
Higher inventory levels in White Rock and Whalley may make it easier to get a good deal.
If you are thinking of selling in the spring, now is the time to start thinking about preparations. My free, Home Seller’s Kit is full of information to help you prepare.