Impending buyer's market improves opportunities at bottom of ladder

Many real estate forecasts are now predicting that the Metro Vancouver real estate market is starting to trend in favour of buyers. This is a large step in the opposite direction from predictions of growth and price increases of a mere fourth months ago.

starter home

But, this could be a good thing. The resulting market balance and sharper pricing should potentially allow more folks to climb on to the property ladder, and history has taught us that market conditions in areas such as Vancouver can shift quickly. The buyer's market might be short-lived, almost a summer fling if you will.

Persisting low rates could push fence sitters into market

Despite consecutive 25 basis point increases by the Bank of Canada in the overnight band and corresponding increases in the prime rate, and increasing bond yields towards the end of the 1st quarter forcing banks to shoot up their fixed rates, and predictions of further increases, in actuality fixed rates have come down again almost to their all time low levels as a result of weak economic data released over the last couple of weeks. Forecasters are also predicting that prime will at least stay stagnant This trend should reverse the impact of the upward trend of a few months ago, encouraging would be buyers who are sitting on the fence to dive into the market.

HST unlikely to create stumbling block for real estate virgins

Certain experts believe that the implementation of the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) has caused some weariness among would be homebuyers, stalling their purchase decisions. Consumers should be aware that, although there is no HST on resale homes, that they will be charged HST on their legal fees and appraisal costs, regardless of whether they venture into the resale, or pre-sale market.

But is the added cost attached to a new home worth overlooking the many benefits of a brand new home; benefits such as superior design and leading-edge technology, enhanced building and fire codes, energy-efficiency upgrades, health-related features, competitive pricing and the strongest warranty in North America.

If we look closer, say the new home is priced lower than $525,000 then the HST doesn't even have a sizable impact.


Housing start numbers were released last week, for Metro Vancouver, and not surprisingly starts for the first seven months of the year are more than double from a year ago, which was a horrid year for home construction.

Of the 8,005 housing starts recorded in the January-July period, the city of Surrey was responsible for roughly 25% of all metro Vancouver starts.

The Real Estate Investment Network has recently released a list of the top 10 Canadian Cities to invest in. Surrey, BC was ranked 4th. The study highlights two border crossings, links to 5 major highways, deep sea docks and four railways that Surrey possesses. The city of Vancouver, by the way did not make the list.

Bottom line, if you're a first time home buyer looking to get into the market, right now may be that perfect time that you have been searching for