July 21, 2011
For serious gardeners or families, Surrey homes are tough to beat!
A quick search around the Surrey real estate market for detached houses in the $200K to $400K range showed 24 properties.
Some were excellent first time buyer homes, some earmarked to be torn down but one thing was the same for the majority – they all had really nice sized yards. And for growing families that’s gold.
Families need the yard space for children to run around, build tree forts, install a trampoline and Surrey offers very nice lot sizes at reasonable prices.
For the serious gardner, the trees are mature, but there seems to be a lot of opportunity to create a haven in the back yard with more shrubs, grasses, vegetable plots and the like. The houses reviewed had spacious yards but were mostly lawn (a missed opportunity for the seller as landscaping adds value to the house).
With lot sizes starting in the 3600 square foot range and going up to 7000 square feet there is a lot of yard to love! On the City of Surrey website you can find more information on lot sizes by entering in the specific address into their COSMOS system – the instructions on how to use it are below
“To find a lot size (area) go into COSMOS, Surrey’s GIS mapping system, enter the address under “Address Search” and click the search button. Click the “Property Report” (house) icon at the top of the page for lot area and other information. For lot dimensions, click on the “Layers” icon at the top and go into Property>Lot Dimensions and turn on all the layers in this folder to show the dimensions of the property”
So if good lots size need to be a major box to tick, then Surrey is the place for you.
June 16, 2011
Fraser Valley Real Estate Outlook is Positive
We reported a few weeks back that the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board had increased sales month-on-month and year-on-year according to its Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) stats. Fraser Valley real estate sales showed an increase of 9% in May (1,608 property sales) up from 1,477 sold during May of 2010 and up 6% on April's 1,516 sales.
One part of the Fraser valley that is really booming is the Langley Township area. It was reported in the Langley Advance newspaper and website that housing construction almost doubled Fraser Valley real estate since 2010. There are more homes, suites, and apartments going up fast in the Langley Township area, this can be seen especially with the growth of Willoughby Heights real estate and other neighbourhoods. According to the article, the number of building permits for homes in Langley Township has almost doubled in the first five months of 2011 compared 2010.
According to MLS® stats issued by the Board of Fraser Valley Real Estate, sales of townhouses in Langley in May were up 25% on May 2010 numbers. The Langley real estate market had however almost 25% less new townhouse listings in May, compared to the previous May. Also in regards to listings, it was the same for detached properties and apartments/condos. New listings for detached properties were down 27% and new listings for apartments or condos were down 25%. There were also slight decreases for both detached properties and apartments or condos in May across all Fraser Valley real estate, compared to the previous May--down 2.8% and 11.9% respectively.
The outlook for the Fraser Valley is According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing demand will remain steady as favourable mortgage rates and lower home prices in comparison to other major centres in the Vancouver CMA attract home buyers to the Fraser Valley.
You can read the full stats package for May on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board website. They issue a monthly press release with a summary and statistics document outlining sales and listings for each month.
June 6, 2011
Fraser Valley Real Estate Stats for May 2011
Property sales in the Fraser Valley were up 9% year-on-year and up 6% on April's figures according to the latest stats released by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. The Board processed 1,608 property sales on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in May, compared to 1,516 sales the previous month, and 1,477 in May 2010.
Apart from sales being up month-on-month, active listings were also up with a 2.9% increase on April with 9,978 active property listings in May compared to 9,697. New listings also showed an increase, with 3,070 new listings in May, up 5.2% on April.
Despite monthly numbers increasing for both active and new listings, the year-on-year figures for both were both down--there were 12.6% fewer active listings than there were active during May 2010, and the Board received 11.2% less new listings than received in May 2010.
The theme of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's press release was "variation". "Fraser Valley Housing Market Shows Local Variation" was the actual full title of the release, and with the increases and decreases mentioned throughout the piece, this was a pretty good headline.
Another part of the Fraser Valley real estate variation is home prices. The benchmark prices for detached homes increased year-on-year, yet decreased on April numbers. Benchmark prices are the estimated sale price of a benchmark property, and represent a typical property within each market. The benchmark price for Fraser Valley detached homes was $529,810 in May 2011, up 2.8% on May 2010 numbers. May’s average price for detached homes, also increased on May 2010 numbers--up 11.6% to $630,870. The Board said this was "influenced by the sale of higher-end homes or homes with larger lots".
While detached home prices showed increases, attached home prices, such as for townhouses decreased both on a monthly and yearly level. The benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhomes decreased by 1.1% from $328,295 in May 2010 to $324,730 this year. Apartments prices too saw a decrease in the benchmark price, with a 0.5% decrease on May 2010 numbers--from $252,221 down to $250,988.
Different areas of the Fraser Valley saw variation in home sale and listings levels too, with Abbotsford seeing decreases across the board year-on-year, whereas Surrey North seen increases in both listings and prices across the board.
According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's Housing Price Index, the benchmark price for a detached properties in Fraser Heights was $741,181, an increase of 3.1% monthly and 3.9% yearly. For other areas of Surrey or the Fraser Valley see the full press release at the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board website.
May 30, 2011
Environmental Tips for Home Owners
Everyone knows that owning your own home can be expensive, and the Internet has lots of useful advice and resources for both property buyers and owners. There are lots of local Fraser Valley real estate websites, provincial, and national websites dedicated to providing useful information on how you can save money, and protect the environment. There are lots of different grants available, both provincially and federally that many people just don't know about. These range from mortgage savings and renovation loans to appliance grants. Your local city council website is also a great source of information on grants and incentives that can save the average homeowner hundreds or thousands of dollars every year. Here's just a few top tips:
Energy Saving Mortgages. A 10% CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium refund and extended amortization period without surcharge may be available when you use CMHC insured financing to purchase an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations. Read more on this at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) website.
LiveSmart BC: Efficiency Incentive Program. Tens of thousands of BC home owners are saving energy and money because of their participation in this program. There is lots of great info on this website on environmental rebates and ways you can save money around your home and help the environment at the same time.
BC Residential Energy Credit. The Canadian government is providing a provincially administered energy allowance of the British Columbia component of the harmonized sales tax (HST) on residential energy, including electricity, natural gas, heating fuel, heat, steam, kerosene, propane, firewood and pellets purchased for residential use. Find out more on this on the BC Government website.
BC Hydro Rebates and Buy-Back Programs for Home Owners. BC Hydro offers several rebates and buy-back programs for appliances to help the environment. Get up to $75 off select ENERGY STAR® labelled clothes washers, dish washers, refrigerators and freezers. They also offer incentives and rebates on everything from windows, to low-flush toilets to home electronics. Read more at the BC Hydro website.
FortisBC Rebate Program. If you are making home improvements or just shopping for new appliances, FortisBC provide offers to help home owners save even more money and help the environment. See all the details at the FortisBC website.
BC Water Meter Programs. Depending on which city you live in in BC, the amount you pay for your water can vary. Either way, water metering is good for the environment. Find out more, and how you can save money by installing environmentally-friendly water-saving hardware at the City of Surrey website.
Surrey's Waste Reduction Challenge is a call to all Surrey property owners and businesses to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills by creating less waste, and recycling more. The goal is to achieve a 70% waste diversion by 2015. There are lots of tips on the website for home owners, as well as a contest where you could win a trip for four to Whistler.
May 11, 2011
Fraser Valley Real Estate and Economic Growth
2010 was a great year for the Fraser Valley real estate market. The City of Surrey website still carries a feature from June 2010 titled "Surrey Ranks #1 in B.C. Real Estate Market and 4th in Canada". The article described the City of Surrey as the best place in B.C. to invest in the residential real estate market, and the 4th best city in Canada. That was based on a report published by Real Estate Investment Network of Canada titled “Top Canadian Investment Cities”. That report examined factors such as home affordability, income level, economic growth, job creation and population growth. Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was quoted on the website as saying “For the second year in a row we’ve been named the number one city in B.C. to invest in residential real estate”. It will be interesting to see if Surrey real estate will be ranked number one in 2011, and make it three years in a row.
In January, the (then) Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president, Deanna Horn, was quoted as saying that the Fraser Valley real estate market "was a bit of a roller coaster in 2010 with buyers appearing earlier than expected in the year, tapering in the summer and returning in the fall…”.
Horn said at that time that "If there’s one lesson buyers and sellers can take from our market in 2010, it’s to recognize there are real differences in home values based on their type and location…". While that statement is true of any real estate market in B.C., it's especially true of the Fraser Valley real estate market. A good example of this is the benchmark prices of condominiums. Last year the benchmark prices of condominiums in North Surrey decreased by 3.8 per cent, while the benchmark prices of detached homes in west Abbotsford have increased by 4 per cent.
This year's March home sale activity started strong, with an early spring surge in sales and new listings in February and March seeing a five-year high in the Fraser Valley. April home sales returned to balance after the strong start to the year. It looks like 2011 could be a roller coaster year for the real estate market. April finished with five per cent more active listings on the MLS® than it had in March this year. New listings saw a decrease however, of 14 per cent compared to March. Fraser Valley property prices increased across the board for real estate; detached homes, townhomes and condos or apartments all increased on April 2010 figures.
Reasons why the real estate market in the Fraser Valley continues to grow is primarily down to location. With two border crossings to the USA, links to five major highways, deep sea docks, and four railways, it’s easy to see why the Fraser Valley is a prime location to do business and to live. The city of Surrey continues to grow and grow, and the amount of properties for sale in Fraser Heights, Guildford, Walnut Grove and other suburbs show that it's not just the city centre that has lots of inventory available. Talk to us if you need any information on any listings.
May 4, 2011
Fraser Valley Real Estate Stats for April
According to the monthly press release by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board levels of home sales are beginning to return to normal, based on the Fraser Valley real estate stats for April 2011. A total of 1,516 property sales were processed by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in April. That works out to be a 15% decrease compared to April 2010 numbers, when 1,793 properties were sold.
The president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, Sukh Sidhu, said explained the terminology of "return to balance" used in its press release. The 20-year average for residential property sales was 1,580, just above the 1,516 number of April 2011.
Numbers in April were down slightly on March too--down 17% in total. But the Board is not worried by those number either. The spike in February and March and normalization in April was expected because of the tighter credit conditions that were introduced by the Canadian Federal Government on March 18.
Not all areas of the Fraser Valley experienced lower sales numbers, certain market areas within the Fraser Valley have remained active in April. Sales of single detached homes in White Rock/South Surrey have remained strong. Property prices have continued to increase in those areas too; the benchmark price of detached homes in the White Rock/South Surrey area have increased by 11% over the last three months.
The same levels of property price increases were not seen in all areas of the Fraser Valley however; the average increase was 3.9%. According to the press release, the benchmark price for a detached home in the Fraser Valley was $525,510, up 1% on the April 2010 price. The benchmark price of a townhouse was $332,992, up 2% on April prices. For condos or apartments, the benchmark price was $252,689, up 1.3% on April 2010 prices. The benchmark price is the estimated sale price of a benchmark property. Benchmarks represent a typical property within each market.
In regards to real estate market listings, last month finished with 9,697 active listings on the MLS®--5% more than in March, but a 9% decrease on the number of active listings in April 2010. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board received 2,918 new listings last month, down 14% on March. Several areas in the Fraser Valley had a high level of new listings; Fraser Heights real estate listings came in strong comparatively, as did listings on the market around Surrey City Centre.
You can find more information on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board website, or follow our commentary of Fraser Valley real estate news and stats on our blog, where we cover every angle of property news from the Fraser Valley.
April 28, 2011
Fraser Valley Real Estate in the News
Fraser Valley real estate is getting some great press lately. Hot on the heals of the recent report by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) that March home sale activity reached a 5-year high in the Fraser Valley comes good new on future development and strategy, especially for Surrey real estate. "We are building B.C.'s next metropolitan core" is a quote from Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts in her State of the City report, according to an article in the Surrey Now newspaper.
According to the article Surrey has the lowest property taxes and the second-lowest business taxes in the Metro Vancouver area. It also said that Surrey also has 48% of the region's industrial land. These factors, it said, and the Surrey's aggressive $2.8-billion "Build Surrey" construction program combine to attract significant investment to the city and the accompanying jobs. The City is not raising property taxes to pay for the Build Surrey program, according to the City of Surrey website.
The City of Surrey website, also boasted that Surrey saw over $1 billion in construction activity in 2010. A big part of that is the construction of a new city precinct in City Centre. According to the Surrey Now article, a new library is well underway and ground has been broken on a new city hall and public plaza to be opened in 2013.
It's not just residential real estate that is in the spotlight in the Fraser Valley, the industrial real estate sector is also making headlines now. A recent report by Avison Young (Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company) said that Fraser Valley industrial real estate sale transactions and dollar volume in 2010 exceeded 2009 levels and that the area's industrial real estate market would see ‘robust’ growth in the sector this year--early indications are pointing to an active industrial real estate market in 2011.
April 11, 2011
Fraser Valley Real Estate Stats March 2011
According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, home sale activity reached a 5-year high in the Fraser Valley in March. In terms of sales, on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS), Fraser Valley REALTORS® experienced their busiest March since 2006.
According to their monthly statistics package, the Fraser Valley Real Estate
Board processed 1,818 property sales in March, up 16 per cent compared to March 2010, and up 42 per cent compared to February 2010 when 1,279 sales were processed.
There were also big increases in the number of new properties being listed for sale (up 11 per cent). There were 3,376 new properties listed in March compared to 3,038 new listings in February. This gives buyers more choice at a time which is traditionally one of the most popular times to house hunt.
There was also good news for anyone selling a property as prices were also on the increase. In March, the benchmark price for detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $519,628, up 0.9 per cent from the the benchmark price of $514,787 in March 2010. The benchmark price is the estimated sale price of a benchmark property, benchmarks represent a typical property within each market.
If you are looking to buy or sell a property in and around the Fraser Valley then talk to us. We will be glad to be of service. Have a look at all the Fraser Valley properties for sale
on our listings page.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,919 real estate professionals who live and work in the communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission. For more information on the March 2011 Fraser Valley Real Estate stats or other monthly reports, see the official Fraser Valley Real Estate Board website
March 8, 2011
Fraser Valley Real Estate Stats - February 2011
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board released numbers for February 2011 and there was some positive news on sales trends. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board serves the communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford and Mission.
Their numbers showed that they processed 1,279 sales on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, an increase of six per cent compared with 1,204 sold during February 2010, and a 53 per cent increase on the 834 listings that sold in January 2011.
The Fraser Valley real estate market appears to be more active earlier than expected. It appears that the change in mortgage rules, coming up on March 18, are causing the market to heat up. The new mortgage rules mean the end of 35-year amortizations--30 years is the new maximum.
February was a busy month for Fraser Valley REALTORS®; there were sales of 659 detached homes last month compared to 398 in January--more than a 60 per cent increase. A large number of properties also come on stream since last summer; the MLS® received 3,038 new listings in February, and the month finished with 8,680 active listings.
There was mixed news on the benchmark prices for properties: detached homes increased slightly, but townhouses decreased slightly. Apartments prices remained on par year-over-year. The benchmark price for detached homes in the Fraser Valley was $514,161, an increase of 1.2 per cent from the February 2010 price.
The benchmark price of townhouses in the Fraser Valley area was $316,578, a 2.5 per cent decrease on February 2010. The benchmark price of apartments remained roughly the same going from $245,879 in February 2010 to $245,519 in February 2011.
Visit the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board website for full details.