Our current softer real estate market can provide great opportunities for trading up or down. You can call me any time to check out your options.
But before making a commitment, I advise you to talk to a mortgage broker first. The Vancouver Sun reports that, because of new mortgage rules – in particular, the “stress test” that is designed to ensure borrowers can comfortably survive a rise in mortgage rates – it may be that you will not re-qualify for your existing mortgage, so you may not be able to port it to a new property.
Even though the rates may not have changed much, and you have a few years’ proven payment history, the new test is more stringent. Note that renewing a mortgage on your existing property will not be affected by the new rules, but any change to the mortgage may be.
I can recommend great mortgage brokers for you – they usually don’t cost you anything but can save you a lot of time and money, while providing valuable advice.
Retirement & Recreational Property Trends
As our population ages, the interest in recreational properties by seniors increases.
A recent report says that countrywide, retirees are driving 91% of the recreational property market, up from 55% only a year ago. On average, recreational property prices in Canada have increased by 13% over the past year.
About 20% of the senior owners say they are using their recreational property as their retirement home, and about 1/3 are holding for investment purposes.
Tofino, BC topped the list as the most expensive recreational waterfront in the country, with a median price of $1,400,000. That is almost double from a year earlier, a rise partly driven by a lack of supply.
Housing Construction Trends
In Greater Vancouver from January through August, there were 3,099 detached houses started construction (down slightly from 3,143 in the same period last year) and 13,714 townhouses and apartments (up a bit from 13,309 last year).
Overall in BC, the number of detached home starts was 7% lower than the same period last year, while apartments and townhouses were up by 9%.
Builders seem to have continued confidence that strong demand for housing will still be with us in 12 to 18 months when these projects come on stream.
Statistics Source: CMHC
And if you are considering buying a pre-sale condo – be sure to talk to me first to help look after your best interests; the presale staff are working for the developer