21 Jun

Where’s The Real Estate Market Heading?


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

Where’s the market heading?

According to both BCREA and CREA, home sales are forecast to decrease in 2012 compared to last year, but not enough to destabilize prices. Both indicate the outlook for 2013 is a slight improvement over 2012.

For Fraser Valley, BCREA is projecting residential home sales overall to decrease by 3.2 per cent (with a 5.5 per cent decrease for detached) this year compared to last, while average prices overall will dip by 1.5 per cent (detached will remain on par with 2011).

“Consumer demand in the Fraser Valley is expected to continue trending at the 10 to 15 year average both this year and in 2013,”  BCREA announced in it’s June 2012 Housing Forecast, attributing its Fraser Valley forecast for moderation to modest demand and plenty of inventory.

CREA also revised its 2012 and 2013 forecast for home sales in Canada, predicting generally stable resale housing activity this year, with sales declines in BC and Ontario and growth in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

CREA is projecting sales across BC will decrease by 4.5 per cent in 2012 and by 2013 that decrease will shrink to 0.8 per cent. Similarly with prices, CREA is forecasting home prices in BC will decrease by 3.4 per cent this year and by only 0.5 per cent next year.

In its June statement, Gregory Klump, Chief Economist said, “CREA’s forecast for annual activity this year has been boosted by what’s already in the rearview mirror.

“Activity is still expected to recede, but from a higher level than previously anticipated. The pace for interest rate increases next year is expected to be very slow and gradual, so combined with further job growth, Canada’s housing market should remain resilient.”

Because of overall economic conditions improving, BCREA says the outlook for Fraser Valley in 2013 is more optimistic than this year, while still being offset by gradually rising interest rates. It’s projecting sales in the valley will rebound by 3.1 per cent with average prices remaining effectively unchanged with an increase of 0.2 per cent from 2012 to 2013.

21 Jun

Four New Clampdowns on Insured Mortgages: Effective July 9, 2012


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

If you’re considering buying a new home or refinancing/renewing your current mortgage, it would be a wise move to act before July 9th!


The Federal Government announced this morning four new clampdowns on insured mortgages that will quickly come into effect on Monday, July 9th, 2012.


These changes include: 

  • Reducing      the maximum amortization period to 25 years from 30 years 
  • Reducing      the maximum amount of equity homeowners can take out of their homes when      refinancing to 80% from the current 85% 
  • Limiting      the availability of government-backed mortgages to homes with a purchase      price of less than $1 million 
  • Fixing      the maximum gross debt service ratio at 39% and the maximum total debt      service ratio at 44%


The first two changes will have the biggest impact on Canadian borrowers.


If you’d like to review your options or if you have any questions, please give me a call or send me an email, and I’ll be happy to discuss how these changes may affect your mortgage situation. It’s my job to ensure you have the best options and strategies available at all times!! 


4 Jun

June 4, 2012 News Release Fraser Valley Real Estate Board


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

News Release: June 4, 2012


(Surrey, BC) – Home sellers and buyers in the Fraser Valley took advantage of the first warm spell of the year triggering an increase in new listings and keeping sales steady last month.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board posted 1,616 sales in May, an increase of 13 per cent compared to April and on par with the 1,608 sales processed on the Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) during May 2011. At the same time, the Board received 3,305 new listings, an increase of 5 per cent compared to April and 8 per cent more than were received during the same month last year. The new inventory took the number of active listings in Fraser Valley to 10,826, an increase of 8 per cent compared to the volume available in May 2011.

Scott Olson, President of the Board, says “Fraser Valley’s market is at an even keel. Since February, the ratio of sales compared to the number of active listings has stayed at 14 or 15 per cent, which means for every 100 properties available to purchase, 15 sold.

“It’s a healthy, competitive market. It gives buyers excellent selection and the time to negotiate, but not too much time. The average number of days to sell a detached home or a townhome is still only a month and a half and for condos a little over two months, which is why we’re seeing benchmark prices in most communities holding steady.”

The benchmark price* as determined by the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS®HPI) of a single family detached home in Fraser Valley increased 3.6 per cent in one year. It went from $528,900 in May 2011 to $548,000 last month.  

In May, the MLS®HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley townhouse was $306,800, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to $304,500 in 2011. The benchmark price of an apartment increased by 0.7 per cent year-over-year; going from $202,100 in May of last year to $203,600 in May 2012. 

Olson adds, “We encourage buyers and sellers to talk to their REALTOR® about the difference between benchmark and average prices to better understand how we establish a recommended list price or an offer.

“A benchmark is the value of a home with characteristics “typical” to your neighbourhood, whereas the average is the dollar volume divided by the number of sales – so, if a significant number of higher priced homes sell in a given month it will skew the average high. This happened last spring when a number of communities in the Lower Mainland experienced higher than normal sales of luxury homes, which is why we’re still seeing average prices recovering while the benchmark has gone up.”

*Note: Benchmark prices underwent a recalculation this month in order to more accurately reflect trends measured by the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI.) There were no changes to the calculation of index values.This recalculation involved aggregating benchmark prices using the sales weighted approach for the reference period (i.e. January 2005) and thereafter linking movements in aggregate benchmark prices to their corresponding MLS® HPI.

The methodology can be viewed in greater detail at:

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The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,896 real estate professionals who live and work in the BC communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. The FVREB marked its 90-year anniversary in 2011.

Full package: