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Showing posts from 2018

Family Life in a Langford Condo

As affordability and availability of single family homes have risen through the last few years, attitudes toward family spaces are shifting. Condo living can be just as fulfilling for the progressive-thinking family as for anyone. 
Here are some considerations for families: Space. Obviously the biggest challenge families have is rambunctious tots who move a lot, and all the accoutrements that go along with them — craft supplies, bedding, study spaces, books, and toys, toys, and more toys. There are numerous space-saving storage ideas out there which make modern life in smaller spaces possible and even enjoyable. If you are feeling particularly challenged, why not hire a clutter or storage consultant to help you maximize the space? It’s a small investment for a potentially huge gain.
Proximity to other families. It’s always nice when children are able to walk to a friend’s house, or have their friends over. You just can’t beat a trip down the hall or across the parking area. That’s not…

Start with a Condominium

Over the last few years, rising housing prices have outpaced the ability of many first-time buyers to save a sufficient down payment to service a mortgage for a single-detached house.
If you are getting tired of paying rent and you would like to own some real estate, there is an alternative. Purchase a condominium as your first home.
Doing so doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream for a white picket fence and big garden. It simply means you shift your current expectations to get into the real estate market and put your monthly payments towards building your own family’s equity instead of a landlord’s equity. While considering your decision, may we point out a few benefits to condo ownership you might not have considered?
The Primary Consideration - Price In Greater Victoria, condominiums are more affordable than owning a detached home. You’ll likely find your mortgage plus condo fees are equivalent to how much you pay for rent. If you end up paying more, be assured it’s less tha…

How Victoria’s Real Estate Market is Shaping Up This Summer

The changes in mortgage qualification rules have reduced buyer’s purchasing power and the proof is in the numbers. Event though there are 20 per cent more active listings than this time last year, there are 25 per cent fewer homes sold compared to June last year. We also have a lot more competition for any homes listed at a lower price ranges and for condominiums because there are a third less homes listed under $750,000 this year over last due to rising real estate prices, and there has not been enough condominiums to meet demand.
On the higher end of the market, there are at least 50 per cent more $1.5 million plus houses listed. The new and potential taxes from the provincial government are putting pressure on some high value home owners to sell. The provincial taxes include the Foreign Buyer Property Transfer Tax, the increased School Tax and the potential Speculation Tax.
The VREB (Victoria Real Estate Board) President Kyle Kerr summed up the current market well. "You may f…

Residence 1 Now Sold Out!

Thank You to everyone who has invested in the Triple Crown Community and purchased a condominium. All 46 units in Residence 1 are now sold.
Those of you who were not ready to buy, or who are waiting for the next phase of condominiums, stay tuned. We will be announcing details soon.
Now that you’ve put a deposit down for your new condominium, make sure you make yourself aware of some expenses you will need to set aside some money to pay before the day that you close if you’re living in or renting your unit.
Closing costs
GST is included with the rebate going to the seller. If the buyer is not living in the unit and not eligible for the rebate they must pay the rebate portion on top of the Selling price. Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is similar in that it is included if you are living in the unit. Those not living in the unit they must pay the PTT on top of the Selling price net of the GST.
You will need insurance for the unit whether living in it or renting it out.
Utility Hook ups. When you …

Victoria & Langford Real Estate Market Review of April

"Last year, the months of May and June were the busiest," said Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "So, we may see this pattern again but on a slightly smaller scale than last year, since our sales for the year thus far are down about 18 per cent when compared to 2017."
A total of 2,002 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April 2018. A total of 774 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region through April which is a 12.5 per cent increase from the month previous.

There isn't a lot of homes on the market to meet demand, and good homes in desirable locations still see multiple bids. There is a strong pressure on lower-priced properties. The reduced buying power of consumers due to the new mortgage rules is creating more competition for lower-priced properties. That's what is pushing prices up.

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single-fam…

BC Government Legislating Measures Designed to Control Home Prices and Increase Rental Vacancy

Recent legislation introduced by the BC Government will require builders to collect and report their buyer's information on the purchase and sale of condos before they are built. The NDP are putting this practice into place because they are concerned speculators are making purchases, riding out the equity increases while the property is being built, then selling them at a profit without ever living in them or reporting any of the capital gains. 

“This is a key step to stopping people from using presale condos as a quick, lucrative investment,'' says Carol James. ``It's also to stop them from driving prices up for British Columbians trying to get into the housing market.''

This legislation would force the reporting of the condo flips and allow the government to collect the tax.

Whether or not one agrees with their legislation, if you read between the lines, the government is taking action because it recognizes the value in pre-sale condos as a way to build some…

How Quiet is my Condo?

“What about the noise?”
We hear this question time and again. It’s one of the larger concerns our customers have when they are considering a condo purchase.
“I like the idea of the condo lifestyle,” a customer told us. “I’m just not excited about hearing my noisy neighbours on all sides. I like a quiet space.”
We get it. And we feel the same way.
“Did you know there have been recent changes to the National Building Code (NBC) to reduce noise transmission” we asked?
In 2015, the NBC, which is Canada's building code that sets technical provisions for the construction of buildings, was updated to change how builders and architects design for acoustics to ensure you have quieter neighbours.
What is required and how they measure it needs a little explaining.
The measure of how much material can reduce noise transmission is called the Sound Transmission Class (STC). The higher the STC number, the less sound transmitted. The NBC now requires an STC rating of 50. For our technically incl…

Should a Condo Be Your First Home Purchase?

The rising price of single detached housing in Greater Victoria means many families and investors are considering the purchase of a condominium – perhaps for the first time in their lives. And while most of our clients are embracing the idea, some feel a condominium is their “second best” choice after a detached home with a driveway, garage and back yard.
We get it. It’s no fun to be faced with home prices that are outpacing your ability to save a down payment or service the mortgage. It’s hard to give up the white picket fence and big garden. However, we’d like to point out some benefits to owning a condo you might not be aware of, and help you jump into the real estate market.
Price In Greater Victoria, condominiums are simply more affordable than owning a detached home. You’ll likely find your mortgage plus condo fees are equivalent to how much you pay for rent. If you end up paying more, be assured it’s less than what you’re going to be paying for a detached home mortgage plus m…

Why Investing in a Pre-Sale Condominium is a Good Idea

We are seeing three categories of people purchasing our condominiums right now: young professionals looking for less expensive entrance into the competitive housing market; retirees downsizing from a big family home; and investors who want to buy a unit and rent it out to make a profit over time.
Quite a few real estate investors make a purchase at Triple Crown. That’s because real estate investors are catching on to the advantages of condo pre-sales, especially as the price of single detached dwellings skyrocket and become less financially tenable.
More Time to Save the Down Payment
The advantage of buying a pre-sales or pre-construction condo as a real estate investment is the flexible financial arrangement. If this is your first-time real estate investment, it’s difficult to come up with the required 20 per cent down payment. As of February 2018, the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) lists the benchmark price for condominiums in the Greater Victoria area as $463,100. The down pay…

Examining the BC NDP Budget Impacts on the Housing Market

The NDP budget includes a 30-point housing plan that is designed to stabilize the housing market. This plan outlines a new speculation tax on people who own empty homes but pay no income taxes in B.C., expands the current transfer tax and foreign buyers' tax, and cuts a loan program for first-time buyers.
Finance Minister Carole James said she hopes this and other changes will cool real estate costs, but would not predict how much, or what will happen if they take a bigger bite out of housing values than intended. "We are treading on new ground," she says.
Speculation Tax
Part of the plan includes a new levy, or "speculation tax," which will be applied to more than 15,000 residential properties in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the regions of Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, and Kelowna. The tax rate, charged on a property's assessed value, will be 0.5 per cent in 2018, and then 2 per cent in the following years. This means if an overseas owne…

Builders are Flat-Out Busy!

According to a report released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on February 8th, the number of January starts – 100 units – is down from 175 starts last January.

CMHC Stats

However, 2017 was a near-record year with close to 4000 units started. That’s nearly double what the Capital Regional District normally sees – on average 2000 – 2200. Builders in the Greater Victoria region started 2,966 multi-family units and 896 single-family homes last year for a total of 3862 new homes. This number beats every other year except 1976 when the region saw 4439 starts.

Lack of Inventory in Greater Victoria Continues to Drive Prices

Real estate prices have risen a good deal in the last year, driven by the lack of inventory which was at a record low in January.
There was a total of 1,491 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January 2018, 1.6 percent fewer than the 1,516 active listings for sale at the end of January 2017.
The lack of inventory in our market is maintaining pressure on pricing, especially as high demand continues in many areas of Victoria.
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single-family home in the Victoria Core in January 2018 was $831,900, a 9.3 percent increase from January 2017.

HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria area in January 2018 was $450,600, a 20.1 percent increase from January 2017. 
Read the full report on the Victoria Real Estate Board website.

Pricing Trends of Condominiums in Langford and Greater Victoria

Like all real estate sales in 2017, condominiums saw brisk sales! There was a total of 2,773 sold in Greater Victoria through the year, 370 of those being in Langford. At Triple Crown, we sold 34 of the 46 condominiums we have available, which means we contributed just over nine percent to that figure.

The average price of condominiums rose significantly through 2017, as did all other types of housing. We're happy to say our prices have remained the same, so we didn't contribute to the average rise in price. The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for condominiums was $449,460 in the Victoria downtown core, an increase over last year of 16.3 percent.

An interesting trend to note over the past 50 years of real estate prices in Greater Victoria is that prices tend to be flat for an average of eight to 13 years, then shoot up rapidly in a short time. In Langford, prices have more than doubled since 2005 but remained relatively flat from 2008 to 2016. What’s b…