on March 10, 2023 Comments Off on The New Rate Hold and Spring Housing
On Wednesday the 8th of March, The Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate. Economists and Real Estate players alike agree that this will have major implications for the Canadian housing market. Expect to see these implications, this spring and onward if it is continually held.
This decision by the Bank of Canada could mean the bottom of the housing correction. But there is still a bit of uncertainty for the future, as a hike is still looming over our heads.
Housing Market Seasonality Returning
Even before the decision for the hold was made we were seeing some housing markets in the country showing signs of life since the 2022 downturn. When the Bank of Canada made their announcement on Wednesday it didn’t provide much certainty along with the announcement.
The Central Bank is maintaining a wait and see approach for its policy rate so we could see more rate increases there in 2023. Let’s hope there are no additional economic shocks that send the inflation forecast off its trajectory.
The forecast issued by the Royal Bank of Canada earlier this week suggests we can look for the bottom of the housing market to show up around springtime. Based on inventory in many markets it looks like sellers will still have the upper hand over buyers during the spring. While the options for buyers are limited the options for building are not.
Have you considered building your home? If you have been looking at housing inventory with no hope in sight. Instead of purchasing an existing home, maybe it’s time to explore building your home with us. Reach out to us and let us help make your dream of owning a home a reality.
on February 23, 2023 Comments Off on Are New Home Prices Falling?
In January 2023, home prices for new homes in Canada dropped by 0.2% month over month. The latest New Housing Index report showed higher mortgage rates, putting downward pressure on the prices of new houses.
January also saw an increase in borrowing costs, bringing the policy interest rate up to 4.5%. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that there were 18.7% more single-family homes completed in December 2022 than in December 2021, of which none were sold.
In addition to that, the costs of softwood lumber decreased in January by 61.2% since they hit a high in March 2022. This has helped reduce construction costs as well. Builders like us had experienced a deteriorating market, and now with the decrease in construction costs, we can pass the savings on to home buyers, hence the decreasing new home prices.
The Canadian Real Estate Association had predicted this decline in housing prices. They predicted an almost 6-percent drop over 2022. This caused both sellers and buyers to sit on the sidelines and watch. So we can likely expect rising interest rates and high levels of uncertainty to be a thing of the past. The CREA also forecasts that average home prices will reach $662,103 this year.
Slowed Growth in New House Prices
CREA also reported that the new listings ratio for resale homes in January 2023 was 57.8 compared to January 2022, when it was 77.9… This indicates a cooling market.
In Calgary, there was a record year-over-year gain on new house prices. Calgary saw a 10.9% increase, Windsor came in with 5.9%, and Quebec followed with 5.3%.
Sales hit a 14-year low in the month of January. The sales volume went to a 14-year low, making January 2023 the second-best January on record. The national average home price in Canada was $612,204, down 18.3% year over year.
British Columbia and Ontario saw steeper price drops, according to CREA.
on January 24, 2023 Comments Off on 10 Benefits of Hiring SilverBeam Homes for your Custom Home
When building a custom home, you want to hire the best. After all, you do want your home to be a true expression of your dreams and plans. Here at SilverBeam Homes, we make it possible for you to create a home that has your personal touch. But when you hire us, you will benefit in many more ways than pure aesthetics. We can also help you save time and money while getting the home you always wanted. Here are some other ways you can benefit when you choose us to build your custom home.
We Are Connected with Expert Subcontractors
We work with a reliable supply chain and have a relationship with not just you, and our clients but also with agents, realtors, and different subcontractors. As home builders, we have connections with different subcontractors that are needed for the different aspects of your home build process. This way you don’t have to try and source items or workmen for particular tasks yourself.
We Can Get Discounts with Bulk Purchases
When we purchase from our vendors, they allow us certain benefits you may not be entitled to if you were to do the purchasing on your own. Our well-established relationship with a variety of vendors can provide us with substantial discounts when we purchase items in large volumes. We pass this discount on to our customers so you can save on build costs or can put more things into your home design.
You Can Choose Your Floor Plan
Not only can you provide your floor plan you can fine-tune a floor plan as you would like. We will work to get your requests approved. This way we can move on with construction – another hassle you don’t have to worry about on your own. You can modify how a space will be used or plan to add new rooms in the future.
You Get to Choose Your Location
When you build a custom home, you don’t have to stick to houses and by default locations that are on the market. You get to choose where your house is when you choose to build a custom home.
We are Better At Resource Management
We know what we are doing and we maximize your biggest resource – time. You only have a set amount of time to devote to this project and we know that. So we don’t ever waste your time. We take care of different aspects of the process so you don’t have to. While always keeping you posted on how the process or processes are going.
We can help you customize your design or you can tell us your biggest dreams and we can try to make it happen at your budget. So that exposed brick wall that you imagine in your living room… don’t hold back. Let us know your ideas and we will show you how we may be able to work them into your budget or work in something similar.
Another exciting part of customizing your home is handpicking appliances that meet your lifestyle needs and your creative disposition. We will help you source and order all the things you want for your home.
Reduced Maintenance Charges
While upfront charges may seem high, the costs pan out over a few months. We help you to choose the best quality items that will be expensive upfront but will save you money on your electricity and heating bills and other maintenance and upkeep costs down the road.
We work with companies that offer warranties and professional maintenance so you can keep your items in tip-top shape ensuring they are working for you.
You Only Pay for What You Want
No useless trends will be in your house when we build it from the ground up. You pay for only the luxuries that you want to enjoy. Your house will truly be you from floor to ceiling so if you need a wine cellar instead of a walk-in closet, we got you!
Our Process is Smooth and Streamlined
Our procedure ensures you don’t get caught up in the intricacies of building a home. SilverBeam Homes are well-versed in the process of building homes and have effective solutions for any type of problems we may run into while completing your project. When you hire us, you are sure to enjoy a seamless experience.
There is Always Room for Improvement
When you build your home to meet your needs you can create an avenue for making alterations later on in life. A personalized home can change with your changing needs without too much fuss. You have complete control of your interior and exterior spaces and how you may want to update or improve them in the future. So when your budget now doesn’t allow for you to do it all, you can still plan your current space to accommodate those changes later.
Hiring SilverBeam Homes as your custom home builder is the right choice. We offer quality workmanship and have established relationships with various parties that you will need throughout the home-building process. Get in touch with us and let us help you build your dream home from the ground up.
on January 10, 2023 Comments Off on What’s Going on in the British Columbia Housing Market?
Metro Vancouver continues to be one of Canada’s most expensive housing markets. It is rivaled only by Toronto. While a decrease in prices is expected, the decrease forecast is a small one of around 1%.
Why Are BC Home Prices So High?
The story behind the home prices in British Columbia is a story of supply and demand. There are currently more potential buyers than there are sellers, and this has caused a bidding war that causes prices to spiral. Many homes are selling for more than asking doesn’t do well for the real estate market, this only causes higher prices to surface throughout the market.
Where Is The Hottest Real Estate Market In BC?
Vancouver is still the preferred market for British Columbians seeking to purchase real estate. It is also the highest priced, so it is hot in more ways than one. Persons looking for value are looking toward Victoria and Kelowna.
Will Mortgage Rates Go Down In 2023 Canada?
As of January 1, 2023, the market consensus is for the Central Bank to increase mortgage rates by 0.25% to 4.5% in the early part of the year. This can go even higher if inflation does not drop below 4.5%.
When the Central Bank meets on the 25th of January, we are expecting to see a prime rate increase. There is also the speculation of an additional increase of 0.25% in March of 2023. But it is still very early for this forecast.
The Government of Canada Bond Yield is the main tool used to read the current mortgage rate. The Canadian bond is a debt security that pays investor returns. The percentage return is called the yield and is a very safe investment, because the only way investors won’t get paid is if the Government goes bankrupt.
The Bond Yield factors in all the economic data on a day to day and even a minute to minute basis. When bond traders think the Central Bank of Canada is going to increase rates, then the Bond Yield is increased. Likewise, when the Bond market thinks the rates will decrease from the Central Bank, then the yield drops. So Bond yield trades in anticipation of where the rates will move from the Central Bank of Canada. And the Central Bank makes all its decisions based on the current economic status.
For right now, the Yield seems to be priced for an anticipation of a 0.25% increase in rates from the Central Bank of Canada. So mortgage rates aren’t going down anytime soon – not to be the bearer of bad news. But that is the current state of the British Columbia Housing Market.
on January 5, 2023 Comments Off on The Canadian Real Estate Market for 2023
There was a strong real estate start to the year in 2022, but that year was defined by unaffordability, which sparked one of the most remarkable interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada. Because of this, many sellers and buyers were sidelined and continued to remain as such even while house prices were declining.
2023 rolls in, bringing new hope for many Canadians to reenter the real estate market, but we have to adjust our expectations. So what can you expect?
While there will be a lot of the same kind of prices from last year, we can see a bit of reprieve on the horizon.
The Bottoming Out of Prices
The housing markets were in correction mode for most of 2022, and it seems the worst parts of the correction are behind us. But there are still major markets that are seeing a downturn in conditions. But we haven’t seen prices come down in a meaningful way, just yet. We expect to see a gradual month over month decline as we proceed through 2023. But it is likely we will still have to wait years for this large deterioration to be reversed.
Each market will tell a different story of price depreciation. So properties in smaller markets will see more significant corrections in the average prices. British Columbia will continue to see overstretched affordability.
The End of the Rate Hike Cycle
The Bank of Canada saw its 7th consecutive interest rates hike in December of 2022. The sad thing is the hike cycle has not done much to bring down inflation. There is another hike on the horizon, set to happen on the 25th of January to the tune of 25 basis points.
While we don’t expect to see too much improvement in the first half of 2023, buyers will soon be able to make a move on properties that catch their eye without too much competition.
Effect on Mortgage Carriers
Mortgage carriers find themselves in a tight spot for 2023. If house inflation is 10 times, then mortgage inflation is also 10 times. Individuals with a HELOC or primary-based mortgage product will have difficulties with increases, which escalate their payments. Persons that are mortgage hunting will also be in a tight spot.
Immigration and Housing
The government of Canada plans to welcome over 460,000 permanent residents in 2023 alone. Over the next three years, the government is set to welcome a total of 1.45 million permanent residents.
This will result in an immigration housing demand that will inject the market with the lacking urgency from 2022. New development costs will lead new and existing Canadians to turn to the rental market, which will further compound the affordability challenges of the sector.
on December 21, 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 December 8, 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 November 30, 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 November 23, 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 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?