Happy New Year!
I had a great time with family in December – we spent time away in California over the holidays and had a chance to reflect over the past year and look forward to the future.
2018 represented the biggest change we’ve seen in real estate since 2008. We have had several levels of government putting downward pressure on the real estate market. Rising interest rates, waning foreign buyer investors, lack of good paying jobs combined with increased transaction and yearly property taxes have all caused prices to decline. In spite of all these negative factors, our team was able to sell over $100,000,000 in real estate thanks to our friends, loyal clients and good relationships with other realtors.
The year ahead and beyond:
2019 brings great opportunity in the marketplace. If you are a first-time buyer you can look at getting into the market with decreased prices, more selection, less competition and better opportunities available. Interest rates are still historically low. Rents are still climbing with less than 1% vacancy rates. Short term rentals have made finding good long term rental accommodation very difficult. These factors all point the needle towards buying. It should not be forgotten that your principal residence is the best investment in Canada. The principal residence exemption is the most attractive feature of the Canadian tax system, as it allows a capital gain realized on the sale of a principal residence to be earned free from tax, provided the residence was designated as the taxpayer’s principal residence for every year of ownership.
Time to upgrade:
If you currently own a condo or townhome and are looking to upgrade to a detached home, there are excellent opportunities available. The percentage gap between attached and detached homes has never been more narrow. The Westside detached market has seen the biggest decrease in value in specific neighborhoods like Dunbar, Point Grey and Shaughnessy, trending downwards towards 2015 pricing. The value of the land is what has gone down the most, as many developers are on the sidelines cautious about what the future holds. Other areas like Kitsilano, Main and Cambie corridors are holding their own with small decreases in prices, low inventory and continuous high demand to live in one of Vancouver’s best family friendly neighborhoods.
Zoning and Density:
The City of Vancouver is making great strides towards creating more homes in the city. They are rolling out increased density plans for almost all single-family zoned properties allowing for a minimum of 2 half duplexes with legal basement suites, all the way up to 6-unit townhomes on certain larger lots. I recently was asked to consult with one of the city’s head planners and leading architects about increased density plans. It was a very positive meeting and gave me confidence that the city is working hard to streamline processes for developers to decrease red tape to speed up the building process. They also have created excellent density incentives for protecting Vancouver’s pre-1940-character homes. Hopefully this will slow down the wrecking ball on some of Vancouver’s charming character homes. I think we can all agree that the city has allowed too many cookie cutter homes to be built without the future in mind.
Patrick Weeks Real Estate Storefront:
Our team is excited about 2019. We are currently building a storefront in Kerrisdale. This will be an inviting space to be of service to our clients with a state-of-the-art boutique office setting.
If you are a first-time buyer, looking to upgrade to a new home, or simply deciding to sell and see what the market is going to do, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I would be pleased to meet with you for coffee and create a game plan to achieve your real estate goals.