SilverBeam Homes Blog

2021 – A Record Year for Canadian Home Sales

by Bevony on December 3, 2021 Comments Off on 2021 – A Record Year for Canadian Home Sales

In November 2021 the Canadian Real Estate Association released national home sales statistics. The statistics showed that 2021 had set another yearly record where home prices were concerned and the year is not even done yet.  These high house prices are bringing investor capital into the market just as a number of recent reports had suggested. 

The analysis of the data indicates that more Canadians are purchasing homes as investment properties than as principal residences. Often these already have their primary residence and the phenomenon is continuing to grow. Online data from the Bank of Canada supports this reflecting mostly domestic investors. 

What is Causing This Influx of Investors into the Market?

Many of these residents are using the equity in their primary residences to purchase new vacation homes and investment properties in coveted spots. Many are making this move as they see housing as a safer way to invest their money leaving the financial markets behind. Real estate continues to attract people thanks to all the records in price gains seen since the summer of 2020. 

How the Trend Has Changed

TheToronto housing boom of 2020 was driven by end users but this is not the trend we are seeing for 2021. New investors are playing the majority role in driving up the real estate prices this year. 

In the summer, we saw where home price growth cooled off a bit. Now we see the market heating up. In October we saw the prices increase more than 23% over the prices of October 2020. The data shows an increase in activity from multi-property owners. There are borrowers with 2 or 3 active mortgages. These homeowners have their primary property in addition to one or more vacation homes. 

There are also those who have four or even more than four mortgages. These are most likely real estate investors. Homeowners in the latter group increased by 15% in 2021 for the months April to June when compared to the same period in 2019. This increase was highest in Ontario with a 21% increase and in Quebec with a 16% increase. 

How Long Can Investors Remain Optimistic?

The concern now is that these investors could cause the prices to increase at a faster rate, locking out others looking to buy a home as their primary residence. Investors are less constrained by income when considering a property for purchase. Investors are looking to turn a profit by re-selling a home at a higher price. This is why investors aren’t deterred by rental income being under the costs of the home. As long as investors are optimistic prices will continue to rise because they are usually willing to pay higher prices and have money at their disposal. This is similar to the type of investor psychology seen in 2016 to 2017 in Toronto. This was followed by the government stepping in with the mortgage stress test requirements.

What Happens if Investor Optimism Continues?

Expectations of future price gains can expose the housing market to a higher correction chance. If this happens it is not just investors that will feel the squeeze. Many households  have their wealth and access to credit tied to their home value. This could lead to a housing market crash of 2007 and 2008 in the United States. The good news is that our country’s financial system is quite resilient so we can envision a horizon with little to no calamity. 

Still, if housing prices were to drop significantly this could affect household spending and even have repercussions on employment. So there’s a lot at stake as we watch Canada’s housing market prices. 

Check out our last post on this topic and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Bevony2021 – A Record Year for Canadian Home Sales

Expect a New Surge in Canadian Home Prices

by Bevony on November 25, 2021 Comments Off on Expect a New Surge in Canadian Home Prices

Canadian house prices are expected to increase again. We are seeing both first time home buyers and investors scrambling to buy before the interest rates increase. The Bank of Canada has issued a warning that there is a high risk of a sudden price drop but people are ignoring this and looking to buy now. 

We can see renewed investor activity and market frothiness in a number of cities. So homeowners are considering if it is a good time to buy or not. These conditions are known to have the ability to expose the market to a higher chance of correction. 

The Bank of Canada in October 2021 signaled that the overnight rate was at an all time low of 0.25%. They also predict that this could begin rising in the middle quarters of 2022. Analysts note that another rush to buy may have already started. 

It is common for people to jump into the market when interest rates start rising again. This includes investors who want to make most of their money and of the market. This is why an acceleration is expected within the next couple months. 

A Little History – Canadian Housing Market in 2021

In March of 2021, Canadian house prices increased 31.6% year over year. We hit a record high before prices softened a bit in the summer of 2021. We are now seeing a price just below this peak in October 2021. 

The rating agencies are taking notice with estimates of Toronto’s housing market being overvalued at 32% and Vancouver’s housing market being overvalued at 23%. Toronto is Canada’s largest city and the average home price there hit 1.2 million CAD in October. This is an increase of 19.3% from the previous year. This, while the average cost of a detached home is CAD $1.5 million. 

While the Prime Minister promises to act on the market, many are criticizing him about the 77% increase nationwide since he came into office in 2015. 

Mortgage brokers everywhere are seeing an increase in clients that are motivated to buy, as they fear the prices will only keep going up. While fear is never a good motivator, this is the current reality of the Canadian housing market.  

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BevonyExpect a New Surge in Canadian Home Prices

Lumber Prices Increase as Storm Blocks Roads and Rails in British Columbia

by Bevony on November 19, 2021 Comments Off on Lumber Prices Increase as Storm Blocks Roads and Rails in British Columbia

Canada’s largest port located in Vancouver is currently stranded with no access to rail cars and trucks. These are what move goods, including lumber, out of the region. Many roads have been washed out and rail tracks are locked in the westernmost province. As such, key lumber supplies are at risk of being stuck. This while many home builders were just piling-up materials to ensure supply. This not only affects us here, but also affects the entire North America, which gets approximately 14% of their lumber from British Columbia. 

With the risk of no movement for lumber many mills are increasing their prices. What is worse is, it is not the first time that rail tracks have been blocked in British Columbia in the past five months. Previous damage caused by wildfires and a record heat wave during the summer months of 2021. 

This time of year usually sees lumber prices rising as builders start to accrue materials for spring season building. This is usually their peak season. The market saw a strong start to the week but with the rail issue there is now a frenzy. On Thursday, the B.C government closed all Forest Service roads.  

What Is Being Done to Remedy the Situation?

While crews are working to clear the roadways after mudslides the railway tracks are being repaired. There may be the option to transport lumber and supplies through Albreta but this all depends on where the lumber company is located.

 

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BevonyLumber Prices Increase as Storm Blocks Roads and Rails in British Columbia

Potential Solutions for Affordable Vancouver Housing

by Bevony on November 11, 2021 Comments Off on Potential Solutions for Affordable Vancouver Housing

The current housing market in Vancouver is unbalanced, to say the least. As such, it is our opinion that the government needs to be more inventive with their policies. We need to now, more than ever, tackle the problem of housing affordability head-on. It’s not just about increasing the supply of housing, it is also about ensuring that the supply of houses is also affordable. 

Negative Impacts of an Unbalanced Housing Market

The main problem with an unbalanced housing market is that it will destabilize the economy. Housing prices have a huge impact on residential investment. With a disruption in the global supply chain, materials have become harder to source and delivery times have become longer. Companies are having to find alternatives which are often more expensive. This is also causing an increase in prices for building a new home. 

What Needs to Be Done 

Upcoming housing developments should include a full range of homes for different income groups. While there is no silver bullet, this can make a big enough difference. Building from the ground up can be done to ensure that people from every income bracket have a fair chance to access homeownership. This is where Silverbeam Homes comes in. We can help you create a home that meets your needs while keeping you within the budget you can afford. It is important to come with an open mind. Contact us and let us sit down and work something out. Your dream of homeownership may not be so far fetched. Give us a call today!

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Creating Your Haven at Home

by Bevony on November 4, 2021 Comments Off on Creating Your Haven at Home

After we build your home it’s time for you to add those finishing touches to make the inside “homey”. You want your home to be tailored to your lifestyle and that’s why you decided to build your home from the ground up. You want to look at how you live currently and how you want to grow in your home. This will ensure that your choice of design elements will make your life comfortable now and for years to come as your lifestyle and family needs change.  

Things to Consider 

You will have some things you need to consider before you even start building. Or if you already reside in your forever home you will need to consider these before your planned renovation. What are the needs of your family? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help create your home haven. 

  1. Two person showers?
  2. How many sinks are needed in each bathroom?
  3. Will you need large closets?
  4. Do you need a lot of storage space in your kitchen?
  5. Do you like to entertain and need room for that?

Considering Prices

With the global disruption of supply chains across industries the prices of materials and furniture have increased and continue to do so. When you do find items priced within your budget you may find yourself waiting quite some time for these items to arrive. 

All in all you can create a haven at home whether you build your own home or buy a home. By taking the above considerations into mind, creating and striking a budget you can achieve your goals for a lovely home that meets your needs now and in the future. 

We can help you build that home from the ground up. Give us a call today and let our team of experts get started working for you.

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BevonyCreating Your Haven at Home

Could B.C Move to Ban Single Family Zoning?

by Bevony on October 28, 2021 Comments Off on Could B.C Move to Ban Single Family Zoning?

New Zealand has taken the move to ban single-family zoning in cities. Housing advocates think this is a move that British Columbia should consider. This would mean an end to single-family zoning. That could open up some of the housing markets to persons who previously had no hope of owning a home in some places.

Housing advocates think it is worth considering this move in the most expensive markets of British Columbia. There are those of course who think that there may be unintended consequences that come along with this move.

What the New Legislation Means

The New Zealand legislation was introduced last week. It requires the selected cities to apply “medium density residential standards” to single-family zones. the legislation needs this to be done by August of 2022. These new regulations allow homeowners the ability to build a maximum of three housing units. And they can go up as much as three storeys high. The New Zealand cities that will be affected by the change include Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch.

The idea for the changes is to urge the new construction of as many as 75,000 housing units within the first eight years. A similar change in British Columbia would have the largest impact in certain areas. These would include point Grey and Kerrisdale in Vancouver. Homeowners in these areas would have more flexibility to build larger homes and separate units that could replace single-family homes.

Does the Move Increase Costs?

Yes, the change in legislation does make single-family homes more expensive. But it also increases the availability of other housing options. This can help to make the current housing shortage in New Zealand a little better.

Lessons for British Columbia

A move like this in British Columbia could help to reform local municipal powers but with a change in the current powers, a lot of housing development could open up. But with the possible blowback, some municipalities will find this hard to do.

We have seen some steps taken towards similar measures in some municipalities. But there has been opposition from powerful constituencies. There have been attempts by Ontario and Vancouver to eliminate single-family zoning but experts note that the New Zealand move offers a lot more flexibility.

Benefits of Getting Rid of Single Family Zoning

Several reasons are getting rid of single-detached zoning could be beneficial. These include:

  • Climate
  • Affordability
  • Equity
  • Public Health
  • Infrastructure Costs
  • Public Interest
  • Increase in value of existing lots

The problem with the latter is that the land often gets re-priced before the building starts. This was the experience of Vancouver the last time they tried to relax single-family zoning. This had effects on infrastructure and transit and these have to be factored in before an all-out change.

The experts suggest starting with research to ensure that the policy is sound if and when the changes are made.

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BevonyCould B.C Move to Ban Single Family Zoning?

British Columbia COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

by Bevony on October 20, 2021 Comments Off on British Columbia COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted

Residents of British Columbia have a lot to look forward to with the news that restrictions are being lifted. Parties, weddings, funerals, sports events, and concerts will be allowed to operate at full capacity beginning October 24, 2021. 

The lifted restrictions won’t apply everywhere though, like those places with additional COVID-19 restrictions in place.  These include parts of Fraser East, Interior Health, and Northern Health. So some events will still remain at half capacity. But in Vancouver will be allowed to operate at full capacity. For example, the Vancouver Canucks game is scheduled for October 26th. This will be allowed to operate at full capacity in Vancouver, but the Abbotsford Canucks game will have to remain at a 50% capacity. 

Restriction Impacts

The restrictions have impacted all of us overall. However, they have had a greater impact on the event and tourism & hospitality sectors. These sectors are among the happiest about the lifts in these restrictions as now they can start recovering. 

The lift in restriction comes on the same date that it becomes mandatory for all individuals over the age of 12 years old to present a vaccine card. The card must be presented in order to access many services, businesses and events. These include concerts and sporting events. While people will still be required to wear a mask indoors, they will also be allowed to mingle in pubs and restaurants as long as they remain at their seats. No dancing will be allowed in these settings. 

Why Lift the Restrictions? 

Changes in Covid-19 infection rates are the driving factors behind the lifting of the restrictions. Infection rates in different age groups have fallen. This is especially true for those in the 5 to 8 and 9 to 11 year old age group. September started with a spike in cases. But since the start of October, we are seeing declining numbers. Not only is the infection rate declining, but hospital admission rates also declining in that age group. 

The seven day average case count is declining slowly and active hospitalizations and cases are remaining stable. The statistics at the time of putting this post together for vaccinated British Columbians over the age of 12 showed 83.5% of that population fully vaccinated. 

We look forward to business slowly going back to pre-pandemic viability but we know it will likely be a slow process. Here in the building market we are available to customers and potential customers looking to build their dream home. 

If you are ready to build your home, we are ready to help you make that step. Give us a call or send us a message through our contact us page. We want to hear from you.

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It’s the Perfect Time for Harvesting our Gardens

by Bevony on October 14, 2021 Comments Off on It’s the Perfect Time for Harvesting our Gardens

It’s the perfect time for harvesting from your garden, as a matter of fact you should have done some of your harvesting by now depending on what you planted. If you had potatoes in the ground they should be right about ready to be dug up. It is time to pull, to pick, to cut and to cook and savor the produce you were able to grow yourself. 

This time of year is always the perfect time to harvest that bounty of food that your land was able to give to you. It’s one of the benefits of being a homeowner and having space outdoors to garden.  

Your salad crops should be in their best shape now as well. What do you have? Whether it be Red Express leaf lettuce, Buttercrunch or Romaine they should be ripe and ready for the cutting. The last cucumbers should be all harvested by now. If you haven’t started yet you should get going if you want to enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

While late tomatoes may still be green you should be able to harvest some cherry tomatoes. Your herb garden should be ready with cilantro, chives, thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley great for flavoring all your dishes for the remainder of the year. 

Main Course Vegetables

Main course vegetables become ready this time of the year as well. If you have carrots, broccoli, or broccoli, these can be gathered. Red and green cabbages, as well as white, purple and orange cauliflowers, are also ready to add color to your meals for the next couple weeks if harvested in time.  

Leave turnips until after the frost for a more intense flavor and a more unique and rich taste. Beets are another one that can stay much longer in the garden. They will be fine if left out for the most of the winter. This goes for cylindrical beets, golden beets, the Bull’s Blood heirloom variety or the Chioggia beet heirloom variety. 

If you still have zucchinis, summer squash or scallopinis these won’t be as soft and supple as earlier in the season but they can still be enjoyed at the family table. Some vegetable spaghetti squash could be a great choice for impressing your guests with its unique flesh. It’s a nice surprise dish when baked and topped with a bit of tomato sauce. 

If you have winter squash these are great and will make a great mashed dish. You can use a multi colored variety or pure white acorn squash. If you have the Buttercup and Butternut varieties these are ideal for smaller servings. If you have grown the smaller Sweet Dumpling or Delicatas these are about ready for harvesting. 

Onions 

Your onions should have been stored by now except for white bunching onions and leeks. If you haven’t, then at least you know better for next year. Walla Walla onions, while very popular, do not hold up very well, so they may not be the best choice for your next crop. Try to get some Giant Kelsae onions or red onions. Riverside sweet Spanish onion is also a great option and it is ideal for use in a number of Christmas dishes. 

Berries 

If you have fresh cranberries these can be harvested and used for making tart sauces. You can also leave them and you will find they sweeten up after experiencing a couple of frosts. At that time they will be nice to eat fresh. 

Lingonberries will make for great garnishes as will Gaultheria Procumbens with their spearmint flavor. 

What About Dessert?

It’s the season for traditional pumpkin pie and for this most varieties work even though it is the smaller sugar pumpkins that are the original pumpkins used for pies. You can also bake up a sweet bread with some baking squash. 

An apple dessert is always well appreciated and apples still on the tree this late tend to be larger in size as well as full of flavor.  Depending on where you live you may have a different variety of apples available now. No matter what type of apple you have you will enjoy them fresh or in pies and salads. 

Late pears are also great for eating fresh or made into tasty desserts. 

Nuts

Not many people grow nuts in their gardens but if you are one of the few then your nuts should be ready for harvesting. Nuts such as Wepster, Sacajawea, Theta, or Jefferson are all blight-resistant. They are ideal for eating fresh or for use in baking. 

These are just a few of the foods you can harvest in the fall and well into winter. It’s best to plant a strategic crop so you have an abundant harvest  for your Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. If you don’t have these for harvest this year you can plan so that next year around this time you will be well able to harvest your own fresh and healthy produce. 

Don’t have that home with the yard space just yet? Give us a call and let us help you build your dream home from the ground up. We are waiting to hear from you. 

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How Much Mortgage Do You Need?

by Bevony on October 5, 2021 Comments Off on How Much Mortgage Do You Need?

There are a lot of options out there to get a home loan, but you have to go into the market knowing that not all loans will be right for you. You really need to find the right mortgage for you and we can help you find the perfect fit. 

You may find that you qualify for a certain amount but that doesn’t mean you should take on that mortgage. It may not be the right fit for you and your family. A mortgage is a big deal and it comes with a lot of responsibility as well as will have a big impact on your current lifestyle as you know it. 

Lending Criteria

There are a broad range of factors that create the basis for lending criteria. Oftentimes these do not take into account the unique circumstances within your household. Your mortgage payments will make up the largest chunk of your housing costs but it is not the only fast. This has to be taken into consideration. 

Before diving into home ownership, you would want to take stock of all of your income and expenses. This will help you to stay within your comfort zone, knowing what you can afford and what will be off the table. 

There are a number of guidelines and policies in Canada that help home buyers to stay within a comfortable budget and I’m usually. Mortgage lenders will look carefully at your income and your debts when determining what type of mortgage you should receive. They do this to ensure that you don’t get in over your head.  

Ratios Lenders Use to Determine Your Mortgage

The two main comparisons that lenders use as ratios to determine if you can afford a mortgage are the Gross Debt Service (GDS)  or the Total Debt Service (TDS). 

The Gross Debt Service will compare your income and your mortgage expenses. The rule is that no more than 30% to 32% of your annual gross income should go to your mortgage. This includes all fees related to the mortgage to include HOA maintenance fees, property taxes, heating costs, your principal and of course your interest. 

The Total Debt Service compares all your existing debt and your gross annual income. This really takes the big picture into view. It will look at your personal loans, any car loans you may have, any leases and credit cards. The lender you choose to go with may allow your total debt payments to go as high as 40% of your gross annual income. So using this ratio could allow you to qualify for a higher mortgage with higher payments but remember that it is calculated against your gross income and not the income that you actually take home. 

If your ratio falls outside of any of the benchmarks there is no need to lose hope. You may just need to review your budget and see where you are spending money which could be going towards clearing up more of your debt. Once you can identify ways to use more money to clear up your debt, start doing that and then revisit the lender for another calculation after you have taken down your loans a bit. 

Tips to Put You In a Better Position to Qualify

Here are some more tips that can help put you in a better position for obtaining a mortgage: 

  1. Do you have any short term expenses you will be removing from your budget soon? For example, a student loan that will soon be paid off or any childcare costs that may soon change. 
  2. Can you consolidate your debt providing a lower interest rate and lower monthly payment?
  3. Have you considered a home that may allow you the opportunity to earn an income through a rental suite? This can help offset your out-of-pocket mortgage costs. 
  4. Have you considered looking at lower priced homes, homes further away from an urban center for example?
  5. Have you considered the option of building just the amount of house you need from the ground up instead of trying to buy something already on the market? 

If you have never considered building your home, you should get in touch with us. This is right up our alley, and you may be surprised at what you can do when you build. Yes, these benchmarks and rations can help you understand what home ownership can cost you. But you don’t have to overextend yourself. 

Give us a call, we are home builders with a team of experts in house as well as our partners. We can put you on to a mortgage specialist that can work with us to help you find the right numbers as we build you the perfect home. 

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BevonyHow Much Mortgage Do You Need?

Strata Councils Demanding Vaccine Disclosure

by Bevony on September 24, 2021 Comments Off on Strata Councils Demanding Vaccine Disclosure

Condo residents are finding themselves in the conundrum of being asked to provide their vaccination status to their strata council. Councils requiring this information are insisting the information is needed as a safety measure. But there are concerns with privacy. Who will be seeing this information? What will they be doing with this information? How will this information be collected? What plans are put into place to ensure the information stays safe? 

Here at SilverBeam Homes, we cannot speak to the extent of your rights as a condo owner in a situation such as this. What we know is that based on the current trajectory of the pandemic, we will all be subject to new laws and regulations.  The only way for some of us to avoid this is to move out of condo spaces and into single family homes where there is no strata council.  

Owning a Single Family Home Vs Living in an Owned Condo

When you own your own home you may have restrictions according to where you live and according to your HomeOwners Association if there is one. But you don’t have the larger body of a strata council coming down on you. This is because you are not living in an arrangement with shared public spaces.

No one will be interested in seeing your BC vaccine card. Because you won’t be in a situation at home where you are in breach of any of the social distancing guidelines. For example, at an indoor organized event with more than 50 people, you would be required to show your vaccine card. But of course, you won’t be hosting such events in your backyard, so there would be no need. These types of events may be held at a condo. It is a common area, so we can understand why the council would talk about the safety issue.  

Staring into The Unknown 

There will be changes for those living in condos and other types of multi-housing communities. Eventually strata councils will make amendments to their privacy bylaws that may permit the collection of vaccine card information. If you don’t already own a condo, maybe you should reconsider your position. If you are concerned about your rights and safety. Consider working with us to build you the home of your dreams from the ground up. We are in the business of making your dream of owning a home a reality. We work with a team of experts and have a number of partners from every possible industry. With us, you make your transition into owning a home; a smooth one. 

Give us a call today and let’s talk about what we can accomplish together. 

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BevonyStrata Councils Demanding Vaccine Disclosure