What’s New January 2012

Hi, Friends! I hope this letter finds you having an incredible start to the New Year. I just wanted to touch base and give you a little information on the current market forecast for 2012.

While we wait for 2012 housing market statistics to materialize, let’s take a peek at 2011’s last quarter.
In Greater Vancouver, we ended the year with adequate supply and reasonable demand, creating a healthy housing industry to start the new year. The Fraser Valley was deemed a healthy industry with rates up to 9.6% year-over-year to $494,000. Nationally, from September to October of 2011, housing sales were up in 17 of 28 areas, and the average home values increased in 16 areas.

To translate, the Greater Vancouver market is stable and continuing to grow at a steady rate. The fear that the American economy would drastically effect interest rates is mostly past, so we shouldn’t fear a housing “bubble” or the effect of that bubble “popping.” The market in Vancouver is no exception; the national housing market ended the year on a healthy note, creating stable projections for 2012.

Let’s have a look at the housing forecast for 2012, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Committee. (To learn more, check out an article by The Vancouver Sun.)

For 2011, the average price of a home (including single- and multi- family) in Greater Vancouver was $796,000. The CMHC predicts the average will rise to just over $800,000 by the end of 2012, a solid 2% increase. The number of houses sold is also forecasted to rise by 9% over 2011.

CMHC figures show mortgages made up about 68% of total household debt in 2010; consumer credit, which makes up the other 32%, has been growing faster than mortgage debt over the past two decades. Lower interest rates and rising household income has allowed Canadians to make lower payments on higher debt loads.

What does this mean for you? It means real estate is still a solid investment for everyone whether you’re single, married or retiring. It also means you need to be smart about how you invest – especially when it comes to your mortgage. Real estate is affordable for everyone, and getting involved in the market now and can enable you to “move up” once you have some equity. That same equity can help you get rid of the “bad debt” – the consumer credit – in your life, freeing up more of your income for fun… and future plans.