Market Update

Luckily, there are no inclement weather patterns bothering the Bank of Canada and – more importantly – the Canadian prime rate.  On March 9th, the Bank of Canada did what we expected maintaining their over night rate.  Moreover, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of Canada, highlighted an improving near-term outlook in pretty much every category of concern in his January rate decision.

In Vancouver:
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales reached 2,545 this February on the MLS® system.  This means the housing market has seen a 61.4% increase compared to the 1,577 sales recorded in January of this year.  This represents a decline of 17.8% when compared to February last year, and a 2.9% increase when compared to February, 2010.

“With a sales-to-active-listings ratio of over 18 per cent, we see fairly balanced conditions in our marketplace as we move into the traditionally busier spring season,” said Rosario Setticasi, the REBGV president.  This is good news for those who are planning to get into the mortgage market.

February was a busy month for our government, the 2012 budget came out, and there are two key points for home buyers:

HST/PST: The transition will most likely happen between April 1, 2011 to April 1, 2013.  GST and PST will be charged for home purchases during that time, although there is a new housing rebate on the PST portion to a max of $42,500.  The government also raised the threshold for a qualifying new home purchase to $850,000.  Find out more about how the HST/PST change will effect you on our website.

First-Time Buyers Bonus –The BC Government intends to implement a new,  temporary, first-time home Buyer’s Bonus.  The bonus will be in the form of a non-refundable income tax credit worth up to $10,000 (claimed on the applicants/home buyer’s 2012 tax return). This bonus may be claimed for new home purchases made between February 21, 2012 and December 31, 2012. A “new home” under this program includes newly constructed and substantially renovated homes. The bonus tax credit is equal to 5% of the purchase price up to a maximum of $10,000.  For more information on the First-time Buyers Bonus, visit our website.