Home prices jump with more gains forecast

Sales up as last buyers sign on to beat deadline for 35-year terms

Lower Mainland real estate prices have gained ground in the last couple of months

Buying a typical detached house in Metro Vancouver costs about $50,000 more than it did in November.

And at least one forecast calls for the gains to continue – at a more gradual pace – this year.

The 6.3-per-cent house price jump to $848,645 in February from $796,900 three months earlier was driven by big price increases in Richmond and the west side of Vancouver, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

Richmond’s benchmark house price rose $190,000 in that period to nearly $1.1 million, while the Vancouver west side gained $222,000 to $1.85 million.

REBGV president Jake Moldowan said the intensity of buying activity in those areas indicates houses there are the most sought-after properties in the region.

Benchmark attached homes in the Greater Vancouver region have gained about 3.3 per cent so far this year to $507,000 while condos are up 3.2 per cent to $399,400.

The Greater Vancouver association covers Metro Vancouver except Surrey, North Delta, White Rock and Langley.

Port Coquitlam was the only city in the region to experience any drop so far this year, with detached houses down about 1.4 per cent.

Further east in the Fraser Valley, benchmark detached houses went for an average of $514,000 in February, a gain of about 3.2 per cent so far this year.

Valley townhouses were down slightly to $316,600 and apartments are up 2.3 per cent to $245,500.

One factor driving sales right now is the pending change in lending rules that will ban 35-year mortgages on March 18, making it more difficult for some buyers without big enough down payments to qualify for more conventional terms.

“Some clients have asked that their sale complete before that date,” said Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president Sukh Sidhu. “A 35-year amortization could be more attractive to those buyers.”

Central 1 Credit Union economist Bryan Yu said a sales surge early this year was expected as some younger first-time buyers move to beat the deadline.

But he predicts the dampening effects of the tightened mortgage rules and expected uptick in rates should be offset by Metro Vancouver’s continued population growth and improved economic conditions.

Yu projects median home prices in the Lower Mainland will rise four per cent this year, stay flat in 2012 and gain six per cent in 2013.

Just Posted

Fridays are for the future in Hope

Weekly meetup coincided with global strike for climate action

Hope healthcare model ‘nothing short of amazing’ says rural doctor

Hope celebrates being named Community of the Year for unique model

Westbound Highway 1 crash between Abbotsford and Chilliwack has person trapped in vehicle

Helicopter lift requested over emergency scanners, congestion is building fast

Some Hope school buses will soon have seatbelts

Parents asked to encourage children to comply with new safety rules

Threats to the Fraser River at a ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Braille signs coming to TransLink bus stops in 2020

Transit authority says it’s the first to do so in Canada and the United States

Six B.C. municipalities accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon-pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, Richmond, Nelson and Rossland have intervener status

CUPE issues 72-hour strike notice for SkyTrain

Local 7000 release states ‘parties are still bargaining’, union will have job action plan by Saturday

Abbotsford man was ‘unintended victim’ of 2018 fatal shooting, police say

Jagvir Malhi, 19, was gunned down while on his way to university

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

Province wants to seize Langley property connected to drug lab

The Office of Civil Forfeiture is targeting a property on Fraser Highway

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Most Read