real estate trends

Scaling Down Homes is Trending

by Bevony on September 10, 2020 No comments
Mighty building

There has been an increase in the interest of small homes and RV model homes in the past couple of months. A factory in Oakland California is offering homeowners the option for a 3D print. They can print a 350 square foot studio in under 24 hours.  The company is called Mighty Buildings, and they have a focus on the accessory dwelling unit market. 

With a lot of uncertainty due to the pandemic more people are looking into this avenue, not just an accessory dwelling but as their main dwelling. They came up with the technology as a way to address the shortage of housing in California. They boast that they are offering a 21st-century technology to solve a crisis. 

The material being used in these structures is a quick, curing, freeform architecture that can support its weight safely. The structure you end up with an energy-efficient structure that is extremely strong. 

Sustainability

One of the key driving factors behind this printing technology is sustainability. With this technology, 3 to 5lbs of waste per square foot will not end up in a landfill.  With 3D printing, the only thing that is printed is the things that are needed. 

Cost Reductions

By cutting waste, this new technology also cuts the overall cost of the building. The average building costs with this technology are reduced by approximately 45%. The cost of labor is one of the things that affect the cost of a house the most. 3D robotics can do the more complicated and dangerous aspects of building, but human workers are still needed to complete the task, so this initiative is not taking jobs away. 

With COVID-19 motivating more people to seek financial freedom, many are downsizing their lives as a means of downsizing their expenses. In Vancouver, 3D models can be had from Mint Tiny Homes. They note that they have seen an increase in interest over the past couple of months with persons looking to downsize as they are concerned about the possibilities of job loss.  People don’t want to have large bills, and they don’t want to have large liabilities, so they are trying to get in a better financial position while they can before things get worse. We also see where people are looking more towards homes outside of the city and away from the crowds. With more people engaging in flexible working arrangements they need for living or near, the city is no longer necessary. 

read more
BevonyScaling Down Homes is Trending

Seniors Can Look Forward to New Affordable Homes in Kamloops

by Bevony on August 26, 2020 No comments

Seniors can breathe a little easier now that they have more affordable housing to look forward to. Construction for a 37 unit project is underway to provide for the aging community, as a result, the project in Kamloops will provide rental housing to seniors. 

Seniors and their loved ones can now have the peace of mind that an affordable home provides. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing along with community partners are working to provide housing for people in Kamloops that are safe, good, and affordable. 

The houses are being built in partnership with the ASK Wellness Society along with the City of Kamloops. The new homes will be built at 1260 Hillside Ct. The building goes up to four stories and offers one-bedroom units to seniors with rental costs ranging from $375 to $825. 

Mayor Ken Christian is happy to see this move for more affordable housing for the seniors of the city. He notes, “Housing is a key area of focus for our council, and we continue to work with our partners to improve diversity and access throughout the housing continuum.”

The project is owned and operated by the ASK Wellness Society and the project will go by the name “Cookie’s Place.” The homes in this development will be co-located and operated alongside Maverick Manor which is also an ASK Wellness Society Development.  Their goal is to have people move from streets into homes, so they can regain their health and have better access to employment. 

The project is directed towards couples that are 55 years and older. This new development complements the Maverick Manor development that offers residents life-skills training, recovery services, as well as employment placements. 

Stakeholder Contribution

Both the Government and the BC Green Party caucus have shared the priority for delivering affordable housing. The BC Green Party Caucus is a partner of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.  

The development is being achieved through collaborative efforts from a number of stakeholders. The Land for the project was provided by the society. Along with that, the land values approximately $817,000. The City of Kamloops has also provided municipal waivers of $130,000. The province is additionally allotting 3.9 million dollars which are taken from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund. 

The project is expected to be complete and ready for the resident move-in for the fall of 2021. 

Kamloops “Cookie’s Place” Quick Facts 

The province has over 1,000 homes that are either underway or completed in Kamloops. Of these homes, 

  • 290 homes are allotted for moderate-income earners
  • 155 homes are allotted for persons who are currently experiencing homelessness
  • 44 homes are allotted for women and children who are in violent households
  • There are also an additional 533 beds that will be allotted for student housing

Additional Resources

Check out maps of the development here. You can also find information on how BC Housing is providing support to residents of British Columbia during the pandemic here.

read more
BevonySeniors Can Look Forward to New Affordable Homes in Kamloops

Vancouver Mortgage Delinquencies: What Are The Numbers?

by Bevony on August 14, 2020 No comments
Mortgage Delinquencies on the Rise

 Even before the pandemic, there was a trend towards higher figures in Toronto and Vancouver. These two municipalities have seen record lows in 2018 and prior. But the mortgage delinquency numbers across Canada, on the whole, are rising. 

Better Dwelling tracks the Canadian Real Estate Market. The Better Dwelling entity was founded by Stephen Punwasi, who is an analyst. They indicate that mortgage delinquencies are rising. 

How are Mortgage Delinquencies Measured?

In Vancouver, mortgage delinquencies are measured by looking at the number of mortgages that are overdue for more than 90 days. In the first quarter of 2020, this number reached 0.13%. These numbers show an increase over the same quarter for 2019, rising from a percentage rate of 0.1% in 2018. 

In Toronto, the numbers are showing a 10% increase between 2019’s first quarter and 2020’s first quarter. The first quarter’s last few weeks were the beginning of the pandemic and the start of lockdowns in Canada. But the trend towards higher numbers was already established in Toronto and Vancouver before this, so we can’t say COVID-19 is to blame. 

What is a Mortgage Delinquency Anyway?

Mortgage delinquency refers to how quickly a home can be converted to its cash value. When the market is hot, homes are selling rapidly. So owners who cannot make their payments can typically, list their home, get an offer and close within three months. If this model is in play in the market, the delinquency rates are kept low. When the process takes longer, then the prices get higher.  

Better Dwelling notes that the market as it stands is stalling. The longer it takes to make a sale, the more the delinquencies will rise. With high default rates, many homeowners are unable to exit their real estate in a fast manner.

Steve Saretsky, a realtor in Vancouver, notes that the change in a rising and falling delinquency rate is something we should be watching into 2021. Saretsky thinks the foreclosure rate will also increase in the next couple of years and that the process will be very long and drawn out for British Columbia. In a recent report he notes that “From the time you miss a mortgage payment to the time the house sells in court, it takes an average of between 12 to 15 months,”

read more
BevonyVancouver Mortgage Delinquencies: What Are The Numbers?

How the COVID Pandemic is Affecting Home Design

by Bevony on May 21, 2020 No comments

The home design industry experts have always had to be at the forefront of innovation. It is necessary for the nature of their work. They have to be innovative to find ways around roadblocks such as clients’ budgets, regulation restrictions as well as size restrictions. They have to be creative and quick with their thinking in order to find alternative ways to do things. The current COVID pandemic has made it necessary for those in the home design industry to start thinking of ways for us to move forward with the changes in lifestyle that must be brought about due to the COVID 19 outbreak. 

Home Builders and designers are now having to strategize innovations into new home designs. With many people now needing to work from home there is the need for home offices more than ever. We also find many couples sharing whatever office space was already present in the home. This has created the need for additional space. With many people not having the financial or time capital to expand their homes, now we have to be looking into designing flex rooms. 

A flex room can be used in an office during working hours and can double as a guest room at other times as well as a game or playroom for kids as well. Bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms are ideal for cross use as an office as they allow for working individuals the type of environment they need to work in especially if there are kids at home. These bedrooms are also ideal for persons that may need to self-isolate if showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. 

Equipping your Home with a Decontamination Room 

We can kick things up a notch by investing in ultraviolet light incorporations for foyers or mudrooms. Ultraviolet light is currently being used in hospital settings as a means of decontaminating items. There are of course safety implications so these rooms would have to be entirely lockable if ultraviolet light will be used within. 

Equipping Your Home for Deliveries

The option is being explored to have a lockable box built into an exterior envelope on your home. This will allow delivery people to securely leave your deliveries without having to come into contact with you, your home, or vice versa. 

Considering New Materials to Use

Surfaces, paints, and other materials that can handle a lot of cleaning will now be essential. This may mean more synthetic materials than natural products. We would have to be moving away from porous surfaces such as natural stones. The move would be towards surfaces such as standard quartz which may prove more durable to repetitive chemical cleaning.  

When it comes to color, white may be better for kitchens and bathrooms which must be cleaned often. 

New technology comes at a cost. There are now door handles that self sanitize but it is still very early for residential projects. The cost of these times and implementing these new designs could add up and many people are already low on income. We see where people have had to cut costs. We now see more people planting vegetable gardens even when working with limited outdoor space. Those who don’t have space are looking towards growing vertical gardens, garden walls, and garden windowsills.

read more
BevonyHow the COVID Pandemic is Affecting Home Design

The Future of Freeing up Floorspace

by Bevony on April 29, 2020 No comments

With many places on lockdown, many people are spending a lot more time at home. As such the ability to free up floor space is quite appealing. this is so especially to those who live in homes that accommodate extended families. This is especially appealing to those who live in small quarters. 

Freeing up Floorspace

When it comes to freeing up to floorspace the answer lies in the ceiling. This we see from Bumblebee Spaces. The San Francisco based company makes a modular system for storing home furniture in the ceiling. The design allows for accessories and furniture to be stored in the ceiling and to drop down when they are needed. 

With such a design system, when working you need your desk and chair, and not your bed. You also won’t need your dresser or nightstands. With this system, these items can be stored away from sight. That way you only have the things you need to work so you can remain focused while working. 

The Inspiration Behind the System 

Murphy from the company notes that a move from Maryland to San Francisco meant making do with less space. He is a previous engineer of Tesla and Apple but notes that he had always been interested in home space. His personal frustrations made him even more interested. At the time of his move, the cost of a two to a three-bedroom home in Maryland could only get him a studio or one-bedroom apartment on the West Coast. 

Murphy noted that he had a growing family and also had to deal with parents coming to visit. He got inspiration from the Micky Mouse Clubhouse cartoon and began to prototype a floorplan in his home’s garage. The cartoon had him thinking about how the clubhouse could transform from one space to the next. After mulling over that for a while, he realized the importance of first moving shoes, clothes, etc before being able to move rooms. 

He went on to note how ceilings were really dead space and how they could be unlocked while also having the ability to liberate walls. Not only would this free up floor space but it would also create better air circulation and result in less clutter and less furniture in the home while offering more natural light. 

How their Modular System Works 

The system can work with any ceiling that is 9 feet or higher. Anchors are put in place to distribute weight across the entire ceiling. Modules are added using retrofitted furniture which takes up approximately a depth of one foot. 

The software that Bumblebee Spaces uses allows individuals the opportunity to have insight into what their homes are capable of. Looking at your home through this software will really cause you to take a look at your possessions and how you are using them. It can also help you to get a handle on items that are not entirely necessary within your home. 

Available Bumblebee Modules

Modules by Bumblebee offer desks that descend as whole work stations to include anything you want to leave out on a desk including a computer and even your pens and smaller implements. Items only come down as you needed them so when you want your desk you get only that and when you don’t need it, it won’t be taking up any of your footprints. 

Ultimately Bumblebee is giving people space; physical space which further turns around to provide mental space. This allows people to live their best lives on a budget. They can afford a home without having to invest in larger home spaces.  Future homeowners may find that they have more money to go around. Thanks to having less money going towards rent and mortgage payments. 

Are you considering building a home? Here at SilverBeam Homes, we offer house building services to help make your dream a reality.

read more
BevonyThe Future of Freeing up Floorspace

Millennials and Home Buying

by Bevony on April 22, 2020 No comments
Millennials and Home Buying

Sellers are finding creative ways to entice home buyers. You will find anything from apartment builders using clever marketing. Sellers are offering free wine and some go the extreme of offering a lucky home buyer a Tesla! The main focus of this marketing is millennial buyers and renters. These are those people between the ages of 20 and 40 years.  Or if you want to look at it another way; people born between 1980 and 2000. In Canada, that target market makes up approximately 10 million people according to a Nielsen study. This number represents approximately ¼ of the Canadian population so it is a large enough target market.

Why Target the Millenials

The Housing Market is realizing that the Millenials have different values from those of the generations before them. One example of this is the fact that Millenials have a preference for cycling and car-sharing rather than opting to own a car. They are known to be the shoppers looking for organic products, shopping locally and prefer urban lifestyles over rural ones.  

An RBC study done in April 2019, shows a trend of Millenials leaving major Canadian cities for more affordable communities within provinces. Statistics show that on average 9  Millenials are moving from different provinces or countries.  

The statistics show that Millenials are more immersed in the digital age and social media and are inclined to ordering things online. This generation, for the most part, is not looking forward to yard work on a weekend. 

What Everybody Wants

We all want a Happy Family and a Happy Home

Regardless of what era you are born in, there are some things that all potential homebuyers have in common. They want to find homes that are affordable to rent or buy. A CIBC study, published in Bloomberg News shows that 94% of individuals want to buy a home. And there is much variety of available for those who seek homes for purchase. You can find apartments, townhomes, condos duplexes and even have the opportunity to build your dream home from the ground up.

Challenges for Home Buyers

With the stress test that the federal government introduced, some are finding owning a home to be a bit more difficult. As such, one in three Canadians has put off their plans to own a home. This data can be found in a published survey found in the Financial Post. 

After criticism from young voters, the federal government decided to offer the “homebuyer incentive” program. This would mean, one could have a bank mortgage, this “incentive” loan and a student loan. With approximately 35% of millennials still living with their parents, this can be a frustrating thing to consider. This causes a delay for many and their independence which further impacts their lives as they start their families later on in life and thereby produce smaller families. 

In the above report, the comparison was also made with the wealth of Millenials compared to other generations in the Canadian population. The results show that millennials have more wealth, more assets but also more debt than Gen-Xers at their age. The study showed that educated Millenials make more money than their Gen-X counterparts did with 216% for Millenials, 125% for younger Gen-Xers and 80% for baby boomers. 

In addition to the above, there is also a rising tax burden that very often goes overlooked. The taxation of home purchases has increased and is being increased. This has a direct correlation to the affordability of housing options overall. It also has a correlation with the costs of maintaining a home. In Vancouver, we see typical new apartments with government taxes and fees up to 26% of the cost. These fees are often embedded in the final prices of these offerings. 

The Consensus

With all these costs to factor in, most millennials’ only choice is to rent. As per Statistics Canada homeownership rates of millennials versus baby boomers have a noticeable difference. In 1981, boomers of the same age owned homes. The statistics show that in 1981 55.5% of boomers owned homes compared to 30-year-olds today at 50.2%. 

While it is harder for Millenials to purchase a home. They do want to own one. An Environics study shows that they aspire to be financially secure, own a home, have a strong family relationship and achieve in their career. These are the same aspirations of all previous generations. So at the end of the day, we are looking for the same things.

read more
BevonyMillennials and Home Buying

Housing Regulations Around the Globe

by Bevony on April 1, 2020 No comments

If you thought British Columbia had a lot of housing regulations, you are in for a shocker. Today we bring you a different type of blog post. When you learn what other places have for their regulations you will understand that BC regulations are not too extreme.

We went around the globe to see what kinds of limits have legislators have placed on potential homebuyers and renters.

Housing Regulations

We found that China and  India do not allow non-residents to purchase real estate. Now, China and India are the most populous countries in the world. Their regulations protect the residents. It also allows them a better chance of being able to afford a home whether they are renting or buying.

In Berlin, we see where they froze rental prices for a period of five years. This is a legislation that protects some 1.5 million tenants.

In the Netherlands, the law protects tenants from eviction by a renovation. This legislation requires a minimum of 70% of tenants to agree with a landlord’s improvement plans. “Reno-victions” are very popular in a number of countries. As a result, this practice often displaces tenants and disrupt their lives extremely.

British Columbia Housing Restrictions

The Most Rigorous Housing restrictions in Canada today can be found in British Columbia. You should be familiar with the speculation and vacancy tax as well as the 20% foreign buyers tax. Many people do not like these measures but when you take a look at other rules that have been mandated in other places to deflate housing bubbles you find that our rules are not that bad.

Asian countries are not giving foreign nationals the ability to invest in their land. This gives them control over their property values, preventing them from going up. This is not the case in the western world. Instead, we allow foreign nationals to purchase real estate. This, in turn, has a very big impact on the value of our property.

European countries have a number of hard caps on rent. They also have direct financial top-ups that are offered to tenants who have to pay more than 30% of their income towards housing costs.

Canadian Housing Pressures

We see where a lot of the most desirable cities in the world are facing a lot of housing pressures similar to the ones being seen in Toronto, Victoria, and Vancouver. These places are seeing skyrocketing prices in homeownership and in rent. While these prices are increasing, wages are staying the same. The government must now implement policies that will provide protection to vulnerable tenants.

The regulations and taxes that are put into place are supposed to help to ensure that housing prices don’t continue to drive up. With a sharp rise in the number of global millionaires and an increase in flights from Asian countries into Western countries, coupled with a record low on interest rates for megaprojects, we see some amount of negative effects.

Population growth is a benefit to developers. They respond to this growth by building housings to increase density. But is this the true solution? If there is a continuous flow of cash into the markets house prices won’t fall.  And that is why going through the tax system is the choice of most governments. When there is no money to be funneled into expensive areas, the market will be forced to keep prices from rising.

read more
BevonyHousing Regulations Around the Globe

Surrey Housing Market Looking Stable

by Bevony on March 11, 2020 No comments

With a lack of real estate investors in Surrey, there has now come to be a more stable housing market. Many houses in Metro Vancouver’s high-status neighborhoods are now looking more affordable than they have been in years.

Housing Market

With Surrey not on the radar of wealthy domestic and offshore investors, the prices have benefited from this. The city continues to grow rapidly though. The majority of the market is made up of new immigrant buyers. This is followed by native-born immigrants simply searching for a place to call home. In contrast, other high-end neighborhoods have seen a lot of instability since 2017.

The statistics show that house prices in posh neighborhoods dropped approximately 1/5th in one year. This was also true for a variety of neighborhoods in Richmond. In contrast, the housing prices in Surrey remained very stable. This is especially true for the Northern Section where homes often sell for lower than $1 million.

Other Stable Neighborhoods

When prices fell up to 25% this year, luxury homes in some West Vancouver neighborhoods fell. These included Upper Caulfield and Chartwell prices in other North Surrey neighborhoods. The prices only dropped between 1 and 5 percent. Surrey wasn’t the only neighborhood to escape the ridiculous price drops. Other neighborhoods that remained stable include:

  • North Delta’s Kennedy West
  • The District of Langley’s Brookswood
  • Fort Langley
  • New Westminster’s Queensborough
  • Brow of the Hill
  • Lynn Valley
  • Seymour Heights

North Surrey Housing Market

North Surrey stood out among everybody thanks to the fact that their stability in prices was seen all across the board.  The affordability of the area is one of the biggest factors. This is a factor that is good for both buyers and sellers. With a population larger than half a million, the area is one of Canada’s fastest-growing municipalities. Each year the area expands by approximately 2%.

The Surrey market is largely made up of locals, but it is not the same for the West Vancouver market. While South Asian immigrants also find the affordability of houses here desirable this is not driving up prices as they don’t want a 20 million dollar home. Figures from Census Canada show that the residents of North Surrey that have roots in India are between 40 and 60%. This is especially true in Kennedy, Fleetwood, and Newton.

The area is attractive to immigrants from Pakistan and India because of the cultural diversity of the area. The area allows them a certain amount of familiarity and satisfies the needs of their culture. They will find temples, mosques, and gurdwaras. They will also be more likely to have family in these areas as well. Coming here and finding real estate for sale at an affordable price means they can lay down stakes sooner and integrate into society faster and easier. Houses can be purchased with smaller down payments which is great for first-time homeowners who often are left vulnerable to the financial stress test of the government to determine their eligibility for a mortgage.

read more
BevonySurrey Housing Market Looking Stable

New Listings at a 10 year Low

by Bevony on February 12, 2020 No comments

2018 was quite a disastrous year when looking at the performance of the housing market. In 2019, it looked a lot better with sales going up by approximately 22%. With sales hover above 10-year averages, the home price index is higher. It has increased by 3.5% from last year’s numbers and the trend is for it to continue increasing.

Homeowners are no longer listing their homes up for sale and this is the phenomenon that is driving this resurgence. With not many new listings, there is a decline in inventory. In December of 2019, the sales to new listing ration went up to 67%. This is the highest this has been since October of 2009. A ration of 40% to 60% is considered balanced and anything above 60% will put pressure on prices, causing them to rise. When looking at the statistics on a deeper level we see that listings haven’t been this low since February of 2010.

Why Are Canadian Homeowners not Listing Homes for Sale?

You will find that most places in the country are seeing an all-time high in prices. Canadian housing is on an almost 30-year bull market. So most homeowners are thinking that with prices continually rising there is no need to sell right away. In the meantime, any amount of correction in the market is met by global central banks’ ample liquidity. Banks aren’t increasing interest rates this time around. They are actually doing the opposite.

Leveraged buyers are finding incentives for taking more risks. Hoarding assets are now more attractive to homeowners even more so than putting money into bonds, savings accounts or GIC’s. The current market is not triggering or incentivizing Canadians to cash out and so new listings dot go onto the market unless it is extremely necessary.

What Does This Mean for First Time Home Buyers?

While there are not a lot of listings going up on the market, first time home buyers can find affordable housing solutions. Here at SilverBeam Homes, we are custom home builders that can help you make your dream of owning a home a reality. Give us a call, or send us a message. Let us set up a consultation and show you how you can own a home in a housing market that seems it is not going to be kind to you.

read more
BevonyNew Listings at a 10 year Low

Things Looking iffy for Luxury Builders in Vancouver

by Bevony on February 5, 2020 No comments

We are looking at New York City luxury condos that are going unsold underneath a real estate market decline. In Manhatten we see almost 50% of luxury condos built and which remain unsold up to 5 years after their build date.

The future for Vancouver is looking similar as well. In the past decade, prices have risen three times faster than those in New York. With such high prices, we find that middle-class young people are finding their dreams of owning a home are getting slimmer and slimmer.

New York Vs Vancouver

Yes, the markets in New York and Vancouver are different. But both these cities are often ranked as some of the most sought after destinations in the world. So they do have a lot of similarities, enough to make the comparison useful. East and West Coast cities are also seeing a similar downward trend.

While the luxury condos and flashy highrises in New York are staying unpurchased. We over here are seeing the same. In Vancouver, our more expensive homes are going unpurchased too. Since the peak in 2017, prices have plunged more than a quarter. Single-family high-end residences in Vancouver are also seeing a plunge in prices as sellers try to get their houses off the market.

In the past two years across West, Vancouver prices have dropped more than 25%. This municipality is known for being one of the highest per capita income in the country. Vancouver and many of its suburbs are experiencing a similar dip were in 2019, values went down more than 11%.

What it All Means

While the luxury house market in Vancouver is not as badly hit as the one in New York it is undergoing a considerable amount of struggle. We see this very evident in the Oakridge neighborhood of Vancouver alone. Hundreds of units with price tags in the millions do not have buyers. With prices over $2400 per square foot, local wage earners cannot afford to own a home. Prices like these are very common as the city becomes more and more known as one of the most unaffordable cities in Canada. The truth is that the gap between the median wages and housing costs in Vancouver is even larger than those in New York City. 

Global Real Estate Consultants at Knight Frank estimates that there will be a price fall of approximately 10% in house prices in Vancouver. So sellers stand to lose more. Even with a decrease some buyers will still see certain homes out of their reach.

What Are Your Options?

Are you a potential homeowner with dreams that are looking out of your reach right now? Why not give us a try? Let us help you make your dream a reality. We can get you a custom-built home tailored to your housing needs and your housing budget. We may not be able to get you into the fanciest neighborhood in town but we have the expertise necessary to make your dream come through.

read more
BevonyThings Looking iffy for Luxury Builders in Vancouver