on 21 December 2022 Comments Off on Canada – Home To the Largest Real Estate Bubble
In November of 2022, housing affordability eroded all across the country. The RBC notes it is now harder to buy a home than it was in the last bubble seen in the 1980’s. The 2021 price surge has definitely caused lasting damage that will take years to correct.
Many buyers today may call some housing prices affordable. But the truth is that Canadian households have never had to spend such a large share of their income on owning a home. The incredibly sharp increase is 14.5 points higher than the previous year across the country.
Canada’s Least Affordable Real Estate Markets
While every market in Canada is seeing higher prices, Ontario and British Columbia are showing the highest numbers. A Toronto household will need to spend 85.2% of their income on a mortgage. That doesn’t leave much room for living.
No generation in Canada has seen the need to dedicate so much of their income towards servicing a mortgage. The sudden erosion has caused rising interest rates, but this isn’t the major issue in most markets.
Hopes for Market Correction
Before the interest rates increased, there was an excess demand, which drove the erosion of affordability. RBC notes that interest rates are stabilizing, and that will help to correct the prices. But we can’t expect this very soon. A 14% correction would be one of the largest in history, rivaling the corrections in the 80’s and 90’s.
Some household incomes are growing, and this should help with affordability. With incomes rising, prices will stagnate and affordability will return to the housing market. But this will take some time.
If you have never considered building a home, maybe now is the best time to consider this option. Give us a call, we’d love to hear from you and guide you through the process of building your home.
on 8 December 2022 Comments Off on Burnaby and Vancouver Energy Step Code Requirements
The BC energy step code has been in place for over a year, but not many people know how the Step Code works. Each city has their own requirements, and the federal government indicates that by 2032, all residential buildings with seven or fewer stories must meet net-zero standards. The step code is currently a voluntary program to help get to this goal. This applies to newly built houses and existing homes, with a significant portion being renovated.
The step code has five levels, and each level has its own performance target. Designers, builders and homeowners have options for different materials and techniques that can be used at each step.
Step 1 – Improved Energy Efficiency Above the BC Building Code
No requirement for air changes per hour.
No specific requirements for energy use per year.
Step 2 – 10% More Energy Efficiency
Air changes out 3 times per hour.
Energy use per year of 35 kWh/m2/year.
Step 3 – 20% More Energy Efficiency
Air changes out 2.5 times per hour.
Energy use per year of 30 kWh/m2/year.
Step 4 – 40% More Energy Efficiency
Air changes out 1.5 times per hour.
Energy use per year of 20 kWh/m2/year.
Step 5 – Net-Zero Construction
Air changes out 1 time per hour.
Energy use per year of 15 kWh/m2/year.
How the BC Energy Step Code is Implemented in Vancouver and Burnaby
District of North Vancouver
North Vancouver has opted in at Step 3. If you are building in this area, you will need your home to be 20% more energy efficient.
City of North Vancouver
This city has opted for Step 3, but there are some neighborhoods that require Step 4. This step was put into place on the 1st of July 2018.
The standard here is Step 3. This was enforced on July 1st 2018.
There are currently no requirements in place, but the process of developing a step code proposal under Part 9 has been initiated. No start date has been declared, but we expect this to be put in place shortly.
If you intend to build, you can build to the step code requirements if your city doesn’t have a code in place. We recommend new buildings meet step 5 requirements. This will be better for the environment and for your health. It will also save you from making costly renovations when the Net-Zero step comes into play in 2050.
on 30 November 2022 Comments Off on Sleepy Salmo – The Affordable Housing Market Alternative
Residents of British Columbia have been moving to Salmo in their search for more affordable homes. This small mountain village can be found on the interior of B.C., and has property values below $500,000.
Salmo has always been that small town that you drive by without noticing. It’s not on any of the main highways in the province, so it is easy to overlook. It sits on one of Canada’s highest mountain passes. But the highway is always open. The location is out of the way, with an 8 hour drive from Vancouver or Calgary.
Salmo homes have always been on the more affordable side, and the town was not spared. The increases brought on by the pandemic. Still, many young families are finding their way to the village to get into the real estate market.
Comparing Salmo Prices with the Surrounding Areas
Prices increased in surrounding areas like Nelson and Trail. These cities saw their first million dollar homes during the pandemic. However, the prices are still remarkably lower than the more mainstream areas in British Columbia.
Residents of Salmo have to drive to Trail or Nelson in search of well-priced groceries and clothing. But the community on a whole is very supportive, and you can find ways to make up for the inconveniences.
Salmo is not only attracting local individuals. It is attracting people from Vancouver Island City seeking their first property. Salmo is a good choice, since you can find homes at the $300,000 price point.
The Mayor welcomes newcomers and tries to personally meet every single person who moves into town. She also went on to note that while people are coming over to make Salmo their home, the town isn’t necessarily growing, since young people are leaving for College and most often stay away after finishing school.
People in town note they see a change in the culture. There is a stronger presence of young artists.
The downside is there aren’t a lot of houses being built in Salmo. So the supply could dry up and what will this mean for the growth of the small town? Also, what will it mean for those who want to return to their original home after college?
on 23 November 2022 Comments Off on Is Moving To Vancouver Worth It?
Vancouver is a multicultural city with many different nationalities calling it home. You can even find entire neighborhoods that are primarily one ethnicity. The local government loves diversity and offers a number of community spaces and cultural programs to embrace the diversity and help people feel more at home.
In addition to diversity, Vancouver has a booming economy that makes it a very vibrant place to live and work. It offers a natural landscape, providing outdoor activities for those who love the outdoors. There is extensive shopping and so much to do in your leisure time.
No matter who you are, what stage of life you are in, or what you are looking for, chances are you can find it in Vancouver. Nonetheless, Vancouver is a very welcoming place to relocate to.
Relocating to Vancouver
The process of relocating has its pros and cons, but it is never a pleasant process. After all, you are taking up your whole life and moving it across town, across cities, and even across countries and continents, depending on where you are coming from.
Before you decide to move here, there are a couple things you should know. Here we’ve put together a pros and cons list to help you make your decision.
What You Should Know Before Your Move to Vancouver
Vancouver is constantly ranked as one of the top 10 cities to live in. Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada, and it boasts a very high quality of life, but like anywhere else, it does have its downsides.
Here you will find a mix of English, English-Canadians, Aboriginal people, Scottish, Irish, Indians, Koreans, Chinese, Filipino, Hispanic, Iranians and much more.
Lots of Nature To Enjoy
Vancouver offers everything from beaches to mountain ranges. In the middle of the city you will find Stanley Park, which is a beautiful green space. You will find the best sunsets here in the whole of Vancouver.
There are many job opportunities available in education, healthcare, technology and finance. As such, finding a job here is not such a hard task.
Each person that has a permanent residency permit has full access to public healthcare that covers almost everything. This is because public healthcare in Vancouver is subsidized by taxpayer money.
Public education in Vancouver is free and maintains a high rank on an international level. You will find different schools offering different emphasis, with some even catering to multicultural backgrounds.
The city of Vancouver is one of the most expensive cities across the world as it relates to real estate. When relocating here, you must consider the cost of housing. Half of your income may be going towards rent, or for more affordable housing options. You may have to endure long commute times to and from work by choosing to live on the outskirts of town.
Vancouver is a high risk area for earthquakes, as it sits on two Northern plates. The city frequently experiences small earthquakes.
Salaries are low here for persons who are not skilled workers. Since living in the city is expensive, if you are earning an average salary, it can be hard to live here.
Homelessness, Drug Use and Crime
You will see once here that Vancouver has a big problem with homeless people. There is also rampant drug use in some areas, like downtown Eastside and East Hastings. The crime rate in areas with high drug use tends to be high, with violence against women common.
Advice for Moving to Vancouver
The city has been hit by a housing crisis, and so finding a home can be the hardest part of moving to Vancouver. You can avoid moving to Vancouver and instead move to the surrounding communities of Port Moody, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Tri-Cities of Coquitlam and Surrey.
Most of these communities are connected to the center via a good public transportation network, so you can move around with ease even before you have gotten yourself a car. You can start out by finding a short-term rental before deciding on your permanent home.
The market for skilled jobs is a very competitive one, even though there are new jobs being created often. Persons with specialized skills in business and technology or bioengineering may have better luck securing a well paying job.
All in all, Vancouver is a great place to live, and we do not want to discourage you from relocating here. Once you move, you can connect with new people and find diverse communities where you can feel at home.
Moving with Pets
As long as your pet has a valid Rabies passport, and has received all the recommended vaccinations, you can bring your furry friend with you. Moving with a pet may make it a little harder to find a home, but it is not impossible.
Living in Vancouver
Living in Vancouver is a very enjoyable experience. The city has a lot to offer, and as we said, it has everything from beaches to mountains for outdoor lovers. If you love a party, there are beach clubs that offer happy hour, especially in the summer months.
The city is vibrant, and city dwellers will tell you it’s an amazing experience living here. The only hesitation would be the current housing shortage in the city, and there is also the traffic.
Working in Vancouver
Working in Vancouver is just as diverse as the population there. The natural resources and technology sectors have been booming there. The financial sector is also a good place to find well paying jobs for skilled workers.
Even with a decent salary, your pay could only cover the necessities, thanks to the housing crisis hiking up prices. The best advice for people looking to relocate to Vancouver is to get a well paying job, try to find your home in the suburbs, and use public transportation.
on 14 November 2022 Comments Off on House Hunting in British Columbia Canada
Known as the Sunshine Coast, the southwest corner of the British Columbia mainland stretches 110 miles between Howe Sound and Desolation Sound. Here you will find the traditional territories, including Sliammon, Sechelt, Squamish and Klahoose nations. The population here is a rough 50,000.
The region features a lot of coastline, but there are also inlets, lakes and mountains. This makes the area a paradise for persons looking for a more outdoor focused lifestyle. The area used to be one of Vancouver’s best kept secrets, but around 5 years ago there was an uptick in foreign buyers. This triggered an increase in prices.
Pandemic Effects on Pricing
Then came the pandemic, which further increased the region’s desirability. Vancouver residents dwelling in condos started to move to larger properties that gave them the home office. At the start of this year, the median sale price for a detached home in this area was just over a million Canadian. In the first half of this year, we saw a 22% increase over the same period for last year.
At that price, the Sunshine Coast is one of the most affordable regions in the Vancouver metro area. 2022 has shown us prices flattening in the area despite Greater Vancouver’s downward housing market trend. This is greatly in part caused by the increase in interest rates we saw this year. These increases kind of helped the market cool off.
Through June of 2022, sales of detached homes in the Greater Vancouver area were lower across the board. The Sunshine Coast and other outer areas were down by 25%. Cosmopolitan areas in East Vancouver were down 40%, according to data shared by Re/Max Canada.
One of the things that dictates prices is the proximity to the ferry in Langdale. This makes the town of Gibsons the most elite area neighboring here.
The housing crisis has hit the area, and there is a shortage of rentals, making it hard for business owners to find workers. As such, quite a few businesses are struggling, and often they will buy housing to help provide housing for their employees so they can keep them on.
Inventory in the Region
The inventory in the Sunshine Coast region is still relatively low. The majority of buyers are from the Vancouver area with just a small number of foreign buyers. Most foreign buyers are from the United States, but the area also attracts buyers from China who are looking into making business investments.
Buying in the Region
In January of 2023, the Canadian government plans to put a two-year prohibition on home purchases by foreign nationals. This should alleviate some of the pressures on housing prices. International students and temporary workers are exempt from the ban, as it really is targeting investors.
In British Columbia, foreign buyers are currently mandated to pay a 20% tax on home purchases. In the Sunshine Coast, however, the tax is not mandatory. Because there is no foreign buyers tax here, there are investors that come up just to purchase here. It is also important to note that most properties in the region are not connected to a municipal sewer, and so the buyer will need to create their own septic system, and this must pass inspections.
Would you consider purchasing in the Sunshine Coast? Would you be able to afford a home there?
on 7 November 2022 Comments Off on Living in British Columbia – The Good and The Bad
Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is one of the largest and most prominent cities in the Province. British Columbia is well known and sought after for its low crime rate, cultural diversity and employment benefits. As such, British Columbia is seen as one of the best places to live, not only in Canada but in the world.
As we talk about places to live we of course have to talk about the cost of living. First on the cost of living is an actual place to live, a place to call home.
How Much Does A House Cost In British Columbia?
Information from the British Columbia Housing Market with data as of September 2022 indicates an average home price of $927,119. Over the past six months leading up to September 2022 the average home price has seen a decrease. In September, though, the home price increased to the above mentioned amount. If this price seems outside of your affordability range you may be wondering if there are any affordable housing options in British Columbia.
Is There Affordable Housing In Bc?
There are housing support programs available to those who qualify. Those with low to moderate income could qualify for these support programs. There is also subsidized housing that is available for senior renters as well. So the answer is yes, there are some affordable housing options in British Columbia available to those who qualify.
September 2022 Census – B.C. The Most Unaffordable Province for Housing
British Columbia is showing to be one of the most expensive provinces when it comes to housing, and also is the province with the highest number of renter households. The current housing costs are affecting people from all societal groups. Young professionals can’t afford the down payments, students and low income renters can’t afford the rental rates, and there are people living in tents because they have no other options.
According to the census data, the province is leading the country with the highest rate of unaffordable homes. This rank is due to the amount of people paying high rent in the downtown Vancouver area. British Columbia was followed very closely by Ontario having the second highest unaffordability rate.
The 2019 National Housing Strategy Act declared that “the right to adequate housing is a fundamental human right affirmed in international law.”
Fewer Canadians are Owning Homes
The recent census data indicates that the homeownership rate fell to 66.5% in 2021. Its peak was 69% in 2011.
British Columbia had the 3rd largest home ownership decline falling from 70% in 2011 to 66.8 in 2021. B.C also leads Canada, having the highest number of renter households. There was more than a 54% increase in renters in Kelowna.
Landlords are adamant the 2% rent increase cap is not enough, and renters are saying it is too much. Nobody is thrilled about the housing conditions in British Columbia. We see more first time buyers choosing condos as their first foray into homeownership. 23.6% of B.C in 2021 were calling a condo a home. This includes 32.5% of Vancouver households.
The statistics also indicate that+
more than 77% of the condos in B.C are owned by individual Canadian investors. The data also showed that improvements in household incomes were reducing the core needs for housing.
Outside of British Colubmia though almost 1.5 million Canadians are living in conditions defined as unaffordable, inadequate and unsuitable. So the problem is not simply a British Columbia one.
on 2 November 2022 Comments Off on It’s Going to Be a Record Year for the Canadian Housing Market
October showed us a significant slowdown in sales. Not all areas saw a drastic fall in sales activity, though. In Calgary, for example, there were 1857 total sales, which according to the Calgary Real Estate Board is stronger than pre-pandemic long-term trends.
The region saw a total of 26,823 sales from January to October.
Calgary is doing a bit better than other parts of Canada, not seeing the same amount of pullback in housing sales as other areas.
Here in British Columbia, we have not been this lucky. Our cities are struggling with inflation. We are looking forward to this being offset with positive migration flows, strong employment growth and a stronger commodity market.
With new listings going down in October, the sales to new listings ratio was pushed up to 85%. Since the peak, we saw in May of this year, prices have fallen by 4%. Noteworthy is the fact that benchmark prices are at least 10% higher than the reported prices of last year.
on 26 October 2022 Comments Off on Homebuilders are Affected By the Housing Crisis Too
As mortgages have become more expensive, buyers have declined. This is true for both pre-built homes and for homebuilders like us that help people build their dream homes from the ground up.
The decline was most notable in the summer months. This was just another signal of the slowdown in not just Canadian housing, but North American housing as a whole. The rising mortgage rates have decreased the demand for homes as central banks battle with inflation.
Potential homeowners are shying away from the market because they are now being met with higher rates. Even current homeowners are feeling the pressure, as they now have higher rates than when they initially acquired their homes and relevant loans.
In the first 6 months of 2022, prices have fallen by approximately 9%. This is the seasonally adjusted percentage. This data was retrieved from the National Real Estate Association. Steeper price declines have been seen in the suburbs around the largest cities in Canada, making moving outside of a city the best option for those looking for affordability or more house for the money.
How Building May Be the Best Option
Building a home may be your best option whether you are just entering the property market, looking for an investment property, or considering upgrading to your forever home. Here are some benefits of building instead of buying.
Build A Home Tailored to Your Lifestyle
No matter what you want in your home, building from the ground up is the best way to meet your needs. You can create a huge entertaining area or design your own scullery. When buying a home, you are limited to choosing from homes that won’t have all the things you want.
Create Spaces that Accommodate Your Growing Family
If your family is growing, you need to factor that into the size of your living space. How many bedrooms and bathrooms will be ideal for you and yours? Would you want to have a dedicated home theater room, or do you need space for a pool?
Future Proof Your Home With the Use of Smart Technology
Technology is moving at a rapid rate, and if you don’t want your home to become obsolete, you should consider smart technology. The best way to incorporate the newest technology is to build your home with the newest technology of the time.
Newer appliances tend to be more energy efficient and include smart technology so you can control them remotely. These types of features also make a home more attractive to buyers if you are choosing to build an investment property.
Create an Eco-Friendly Home
Eco-friendly homes are getting very popular, as most people are trying to reduce their carbon footprint. An eco-friendly home will also help you to save money, and improve your health while supporting the environment. We can tie in point 3 above here when it comes to energy-efficient appliances and technology that can be controlled remotely. All of which can cut down your carbon footprint.
You have all the Creative Control
You get to decide the floor plan and where to place that beautiful fireplace. There is no need to settle for a home with awkward spaces and random walls. You get to create a home that is 100% yours.
Easier Re-Sale Process
A smart, eco-friendly home built with newer construction materials, new appliances, and technology will sell easier in our current market. This type of home will save a new homeowner time and money on replacements and renovations. No buyer will want to pass up this type of advantage.
Less Competiton in the Market when Buying Land
Unlike homes, the market for land is not as full of competition. You won’t have to battle with crowds at open houses and the competition going over asking.
If you think you may be in the market to build a home, SilverBeam Homes is an independent residential home builder that is committed to helping you design the home your lifestyle desires. Find out how we can help make your dream a reality by contacting us today.
on 11 October 2022 Comments Off on The Cost of Building a House in Canada
The cost of building your dream home in Canada will vary between provinces, but there are other factors. Prices can range from $120 to $250 per square foot, so the average cost would be $185. This takes the estimated cost for a 2,000 square foot home in Canada to around $370,000. When it comes to Vancouver, the averages are higher, ranging between $430 to $1090.
Let’s provide you with the details and information as well as the necessary steps for constructing a home in Canada. This can help you to make the best informed decision for you and your household.
The Real Costs of Building a Home
Cost # 1 – Buying Land
Land is likely going to be your biggest expense when it comes to building a home. If you are looking in an urban area, you will find that land alone could cost as much as an existing home. This is why you often see real estate investors buying older buildings, demolishing them and rebuilding them from the ground up. But if you are willing to move out of the city and into a rural area, you will find land available at more affordable costs. You will be able to purchase a larger lot at a lower price, so you are left with more budget to build your dream home.
Cost # 2 – Preparing the Land
Now that you have sourced and purchased your land, you will need to clear any debris on the land. This could include rocks and trees, etc. Preparing the land also includes setting your foundation, and depending on where you purchased your land, you may have to connect water lines, add drainage systems and power lines. The latter tends to be necessary when you purchase land in rural areas that are still mostly untouched by civilization.
These tasks will vary in cost depending on the land itself. There are some properties that will require more work than others based on the time of year, the current market etc. If you want an estimate, you can give us a call so we can visit the property and let you know what you can expect to pay if you choose us as your builders.
Cost # 3 – Builders Risk Insurance
This insurance provides coverage for worst case situations. This cover is important during a construction project, and during renovation projects as well. When you do not have this cover, worst case scenarios can lead to major losses. Sometimes this loss may be minor, but sometimes it can be major, such as irreparable damage to the structure of your home.
What Does Building Risk Insurance Cover?
This type of insurance is ideal for when a building is being constructed. The insurance covers the building itself, as well as tools, equipment, machinery used in the construction of the building. The coverage offered during a renovation job is the same.
When a building is under construction, it is exposed to multiple risks. Many of these are due to uncontrollable environmental factors, such as high winds or even flooding. And sometimes it’s just an accident that occurs, causing major damage.
The policy price will often dictate the extent of what is covered or not. It also indicates what sort of damage is covered and what requirements need to be met before a payout can be made.
Cost # 4 – Obtaining Building Permits
To build your home, you will need permits from your municipality. The fees for these permits vary from city to city, and different areas may have different cost structure setups. You can find the current schedule of fees as of September 2022 for the city of Vancouver here.
Cost # 5 – Architecture Planning
It is recommended you reserve 12% of the estimated cost of your home for architecture fees. This cost again varies depending on where you choose to build your home. If you already have a home plan, this offers a reduction in costs by a few thousand dollars. If you would like to have a professional review your existing plan and make changes, this will incur a cost, but maybe not as much as having them create a whole new plan.
Cost # 6 – Construction Costs
The cost of construction mainly consists of materials and labor. The total costs have a lot to do with your choices of materials and the company you hire. As such, it is challenging to provide a cost estimate without knowing your specific needs, goals and dreams.
Contact us today so we can help you build the home of your dreams. We can help you every step of the way and have a team of professionals working alongside us to help make your dream of owning a home become a reality. We will help you every step of the way, where we can’t assist you ourselves, we will put you on to a professional that can assist you at any stage or phase of the home building process. Give SIlverBeam Homes a call today!
on 30 September 2022 Comments Off on Building a House May Be Better than Buying
Crushing the housing market won’t help, what will help is the rebalancing of the housing market. The state of the housing market is one of the biggest challenges our country is currently facing. Meaningful housing construction acceleration is the way to go to fix the issues in the housing market. It is the key to helping prevent an entire generation from being permanently priced out of the housing market.
A recent census showed that the fastest growing type of household in Canada is “roommates”. This is a big problem, but if housing prices fall too fast or too far, we will have even bigger problems. Even if prices decrease, rent and mortgage payments may still go up.
We expect demand in the cities of Vancouver and Toronto to at least remain the same, but chances are it is expected to increase. More density can help to wrestle down prices, but this can’t happen overnight.
A house is the largest asset someone can own. Housing is costly in our country, and not many people are able to access or are willing to spend. A house can build your retirement wealth. Business closures and layoffs can cause people to miss mortgage payments. That, along with high-interest rates, can cause a big escalation.
Building a Home
Buying an existing house is not always more cost-effective than building your own. There is also the emotional fulfillment of getting everything you want in your home. When you build your home, you get to make the choices you wouldn’t be able to make when purchasing an existing home. But that isn’t the only benefit of building. Here are a few reasons it may be better for you to build your house than buy an existing one.
Sustainability and Efficiency
If sustainability and efficiency are important to you, then building a custom home is for you. Building a custom home now will provide you with a more energy-efficient home than even homes built ten years ago.
Homes built in the 90 even tend to not have energy-efficient windows. If you purchase one such house, you would have to make these updates when you move in. if you don’t make these changes, you end up losing money on your potential selling price on your monthly utilities. You will continue to pay those higher utilities until you can afford to do a renovation, and that can add up over the months and years.
With global warming, sustainability should be high on your priority list when looking into the features you want for your home.
Room for Growth
Most people only move out of their homes if their family has grown or is growing. This can mean a new baby, an elderly relative or a child moving back home. When you build your home, you can cater to these possibilities instead of choosing what is available on the market, even though it may not entirely meet your needs.
You can choose the number of bedrooms you need or you can add on a guest house, a mother-in-law suite, or a basement with a separate entrance. The possibilities are endless.
New Appliances – New Technology
We have all moved into a home with existing appliances, and there is always that one item that is faulty. If you haven’t had the best of luck, you may have encountered more than one faulty appliance in a move.
When you build a custom home, you won’t have any faulty appliances, and on the off chance you do, you can send it back to the seller/manufacturer for a working one. Best of all, you will be able to choose from products with the newest technology to ensure that they truly enhance your life.
You get to base your entire design on what you must have for your home, with no risk of this list being diminished, as long as you have the necessary budget to support it.
Buying an existing home may seem more manageable, and it may be the norm, but you don’t have to take that approach when it comes to owning your home. We can help you build a house that will satisfy your needs and the needs of your family. Take a chance and let us help you make your dream home a reality. Take a look at our services, and then contact us when you are ready to move ahead.