First-time homebuyers will soon be able to access 25-year down payment loans of up to $37,500, or 5% of the purchase price, that are interest-free—and payment-free—for the first five years.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced December 15 the provincial government is investing $703 million over the next three years to fund the program, which will be carried out by the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership Program. It estimates this will help 42,000 enter the market for the first time.

Rich Coleman, Minister Responsible for Housing, said the program is part of the government’s focus on tackling housing affordability issues in the province.

“The first step into the market can be the hardest step, so our government will partner with homebuyers to help them achieve their minimum down payment,” Coleman said. “This partnership can help lower their monthly costs in the first five years, and help make home ownership more affordable.”
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HIGH DEMAND AND LOW SUPPLY CONTINUED TO CHARACTERIZE VANCOUVER’S AND TORONTO’S HOUSING MARKETS THROUGHOUT 2016 AS COMPETITION FROM BUYERS FOR LIMITED INVENTORY OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES PUSHED PRICES HIGHER.

The average residential sale price increased 13 per cent in Greater Vancouver to approximately $1,020,300 and rose 17 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to an estimated $725,857. Although demand remains high in both urban centres, limited inventory in the freehold market, the new 15 per cent foreign-buyer tax in Vancouver and the recent tightening of mortgage rules by the federal government are expected to soften market activity in the short term. In 2017, RE/MAX estimates average residential sale price will increase by two and eight per cent in Greater Vancouver and the GTA respectively.

Regional markets in close proximity to Canada’s highest-price cities continued to experience steady interest from local move-up buyers and buyers from these cities (“move-over...

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Home sales and listings just below 10-year average

Home buyer and seller activity remains near historical averages in the Metro Vancouver housing market.

Residential home sales in the region totalled 2,214 in November 2016, a decrease of 0.9 per cent from the 2,233 sales recorded in October 2016 and a decrease of 37.2 per cent compared to November 2015 when 3,524 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 7.6 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

“While 2016 has been anything but a normal year for the Metro Vancouver housing market, supply and demand totals have returned to more historically normal levels over the last few months,” said Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president. 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 3,147 in November 2016. This represents a decrease of 20.9 per cent compared to the 3,981 units listed in October 2016 and a 7.2 per cent decrease compared to November 2015 when 3,392 properties were listed.

Last month’s new listing count was 1.2 per cent below the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,385, an 8.3 per cent decrease compared to October 2016 (9,143) and a 3.6 per cent increase compared to November 2015 (8,096).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for November 2016 is 26.4 per cent. This is up two per cent from last month (24.4 per cent). 

Downward pressure on home prices can occur when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices can experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

“Demand, relative to supply, for detached homes is lower right now than demand for townhomes and apartments,” Morrison said. “This is causing prices to remain stable, or flat, for townhomes and apartments, while detached homes are seeing modest month-over-moth declines.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $908,300. This represents a 1.2 per cent decrease compared to last month and a 20.5 per cent increase compared to November 2015.

Sales of detached properties in November 2016 reached 638, a decrease of 2.1 per cent from the 652 detached sales recorded in October 2016 and a 52.2 per cent decline over November 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,511,100. This represents a 2.2 per cent decline compared to last month and a 23 per cent increase compared to November 2015.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,200 in November 2016, an increase of 1.9 per cent compared to the 1,178 sales in October 2016 and a 22.7 per cent decrease compared to November 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $512,100. This is unchanged from last month and is an 18 per cent increase compared to November 2015.

Attached property sales in November 2016 totalled 376, a decrease of 6.7 per cent compared to the 403 sales in October 2016 and a 40.9 per cent decline compared to November 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $667,100. This represents a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to last month and a 23 per cent increase compared to November 2015.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.