Summer in the YVR 'Burbs - Your Real Estate Update

Friday, July 21, 2017

Summer - the pools & beaches are full of families enjoying the water, the parks are fun gathering places with games and music and walking in nature at its best is such a pleasure - not to mention the sunny patios and BBQs. All this and more, makes it hard to imagine what it is like to be evacuated from our homes for an indefinite period, to have our homes burn down and to be living at best with friends, possibly sleeping on a cot in a "reception centre" or living in our car! Amazing how all this can be happening so close to home. Our Realtors Care charity is raising funds across the region for the Red Cross BC Wildfires Fund, which is registering evacuees directly. There are many ways to help, but this is the easiest, most direct route to getting funds quickly to where they are most needed. Click here for more info.

Summer always affects our real estate market and we feel the slow down here in detached housing. Our local market is not alone in this - Canada's home sales posted their biggest monthly plunge in 7 years in June. Federal Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, attributed part of this change to steps the Government had taken to help slow down the Canadian real estate market, and said there was a "need to continue to focus on this market". An increase in interest rates is obviously a large part of the equation. Minister Morneau is correct when he said that it is "too early to draw conclusions" on how Government intervention in the market place along with rising interest rates will affect the real estate market - specially in the middle of summer, traditionally a slower time.

As more than 65% of household debt is created by mortgage payments, there is much discussion these days about whether Canadians should be considering their homes as an investment.

Livio Di Matteo ("Household Debt and Government Debt") makes the valid point that it is important to consider not simply household debt, but also the degree to which Canadians are using it to increase their net worth. He calls the Government "hypocritical"with their alarmist headlines about household debt levels when the level of government debt is "arguably a more pressing concern". Since 2007, government debt has increased while its net worth has decreased. We are grateful such a prominent economist has put forward this argument because many of our baby boomers are retiring comfortably on the proceeds from their primary residences and helping their adult children to buy their first home. With the current cost of living and lack of work pensions for a huge sector of our population, treating their home as an investment has been the sensible move.

So...let's appreciate the joys of summer here in this beautiful spot. We'll keep you updated on the ever changing real estate market and answer your questions - happy to chat about buying and selling, how to prepare and current values.

No matter the season, we'll keep you covered. Sunscreen is the order of the day!

-Sheila and Michelle

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