November 2022

All posts from November 2022

Sleepy Salmo – The Affordable Housing Market Alternative

by Bevony on November 30, 2022 No comments

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. 

Salmo’s Reaction

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? 

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BevonySleepy Salmo – The Affordable Housing Market Alternative

Is Moving To Vancouver Worth It?

by Bevony on November 23, 2022 No comments

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.

The Pros  

  • Diversity 

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. 

  • Booming Economy 

There are many job opportunities available in education, healthcare, technology and finance. As such, finding a job here is not such a hard task. 

  • Healthcare 

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. 

  • Education 

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 Cons 

  • Expensive 

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. 

  • Earthquakes 

Vancouver is a high risk area for earthquakes, as it sits on two Northern plates. The city frequently experiences small earthquakes. 

  • Low Wages 

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. 

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BevonyIs Moving To Vancouver Worth It?

House Hunting in British Columbia Canada

by Bevony on November 14, 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?

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BevonyHouse Hunting in British Columbia Canada

Living in British Columbia – The Good and The Bad 

by Bevony on November 7, 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. 

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BevonyLiving in British Columbia – The Good and The Bad 

It’s Going to Be a Record Year for the Canadian Housing Market

by Bevony on November 2, 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. 

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BevonyIt’s Going to Be a Record Year for the Canadian Housing Market