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Many Feeling Owning a Home is Out of Reach 

by Bevony on May 9, 2022 No comments

Experts in the real estate market are calling for more supply to help quell the rising prices of homes. This is happening all across Canada, and interest rates are rising, showing us that the market is cooling off. But even so, we are seeing more and more people with a lost hope of owning a home. There are some that don’t even see changing their rental situation in the near future. 

And this is not just Canadians that are in the low income bracket. Persons making “a good income”, even those who have money saved up for a down-payment are finding it hard to afford homes in their communities. More people are living with parents and hoping to purchase homes, but the dwindling list of available homes is getting worse and worse as the days go by. After all, when you move, you will have more than a mortgage to pay. There will also be other living expenses, and current inflation levels are so high, so is the cost of living. 

Many people have downsized their house wish list to fit owning a home into your budget, and it is still not enough. 

Why is the Market so Hot? 

It’s all due to the lack of supply, says economists, politicians and advocates, but others like us here at SilverBeam Homes believe it is the lack of affordable housing that is preventing people from making the step into homeownership. This is actually pushing people out of the market as they get pre-approved and see what they can really afford. It is sad, because a place to live/sheltered is a basic human right. Sadly, many have been outpriced out of the housing market. 

Affordability and 30% Pre-Tax Income

The CMHC – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation defines affordable housing as being less than 30% of an individual’s pre-tax income. This doesn’t just refer to home ownership, though, it also refers to market-rate rentals and subsidized housing as well. 

The median pre-tax household income in 2020 was $55,700. This would make an affordable housing option slightly under $1,400 per month. Many people, even in double income households, think it will be well into their 40’s before they can afford a nice home, or even a good enough one. For many, the only way they may be able to afford a home is to move out of the country, or so many people think. But what if we told you you had another option?

Building a Home 

Here at SilverBeam Homes, we can help you make your dream of owning a home a reality. Choose us to build you a more affordable house, and also a custom built house with the features and amenities that will meet your specific needs. If you feel like the current housing market is simply not meeting your needs, we may be able to help you. Housing is essential, and we can help you achieve your goals to own a home. 

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BevonyMany Feeling Owning a Home is Out of Reach 

House Framing Basics 

by Bevony on April 30, 2022 No comments

What is called “framing” in residential construction is also known as light frame construction. The technique uses vertical components to create a stable frame for both interior and exterior walls. The length of the floor, as well as between walls or beams, you will find horizontal elements called joists. These joists will provide support to the floors and ceilings. 

The method of choice for most construction projects today is platform framing. This is where each story of a building is framed on top of the one before it. The first floor is used as the platform that supports the construction of the next floor. This is advantageous, because it creates a stable surface for construction crews to work on. 

As builders, this gives us the opportunity to make use of dimensioned lumber, which is unlike those used in older methods. Older methods used pieces of wood that were longer and had more natural cuts. 

Platform Framing 

This is the most common type of framing used in modern residential buildings. One story platforms are framed with 8 or 9 foot stud walls that rest along your subfloor. Each additional story of the building will be framed next, before moving to a higher level. It is used for one and two story houses and is now the standard for building in the contemporary home. Why? 

Three Different Reasons:

  1. Shorter pieces of lumber, since longer studs will prove more expensive and will be harder to source.  
  2. There are breaks in the studs from one level to the next, which create natural firebreaks. 
  3. The next floor is always built on a solid surface, and so this ensures that the work environment is safe and structurally sound. 

Framing is one of the typical things you will find on the blueprint of a home these days. If you are in the market for building your own home. We have all the expertise in framing and all related to constructing homes. Give us a call and let us get you home.  

Framing Components 

Here are the common framing components used in every part of a house. 

The Floor 

  • Joists – These framing components run horizontally along the length of the floor. They are the base of the support for the home’s floor and serve as the base that the wall panels will be attached to. They are covered with subflooring, which in most cases is derived from plywood. 
  • Truss – This is made of 2 x 4 or 2 x 3 pieces of lumber, which are connected to metal plates. A truss can take one of a number of configurations. Essentially though, the truss creates a stable web that supports the floor while also resisting bouncing. 
  • Sheathing – this is another name for the subfloor. This panel is fastened to the floor and carries the loads to the floor joists

Framing can seem complex with all its different elements. But, a frame is one of the most important steps when it comes to building a home. It gives your home a sturdy base and frame, and allows room for you to lay all electric, mechanical and plumbing things in place.         

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BevonyHouse Framing Basics 

by Bevony on April 21, 2022 No comments

Bank of Canada’s First Big Hike in Decades

Photo by T. Royce Xan: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silver-canadian-coin-10785960/

Just this month, the Bank of Canada had its first 50-basis point hike in interest rates in the past 22 years. The move was expected by many bank watchers and economists who were anticipating the increase. Now, there is a lot of uncertainty as to what is coming next. 

The move is seen as a very aggressive one. There was also the announcement of a quantitative reduction of the number of government bonds held on the bank’s balance sheet. This will come into effect on the 25th of April. There is acknowledgement of the need to move forcefully to combat the increasing prices, as well as the return rates.

Exact Change is Made by the Bank of Canada 

The hike comes in after inflation in February hit 5.75%, as seen in the consumer price index readings. The bank raised the overnight rate to 1% and increased the GDP growth projections to 4.2% for this year. Inflation expectations were bumped to 5.3 per cent, moving from the 4.2 percent average.  

The revisions are not surprising, especially with the estimates that were released in January. The Bank of Canada is still optimistic for more growth in 2023, but not everyone is as optimistic as they are. Some analysts expect to see further tightening into 2023. However, we don’t think the Bank of Canada will attempt to keep up with the U.S Federal Reserve. 

It is thought that it is housing vulnerabilities that would keep the bank’s hands tied so it can’t take the rate much higher. The opposite is true of the U.S Federal Reserve. They are expected to peak at 3.38%. Housing is of course overvalued currently, and so household debt burdens are higher and more rate sensitive for investment accounts. It is these that have the biggest share of the economy. 

What Does this Mean for Residents?

Persons with housing and mortgage debt may be under a bit of pressure in the coming months. Canadians with HELOCs and variable rate mortgages will feel the impact right away. With each rate hike, homeowners will continue to feel the hit. Look out for lender rates increasing in the coming days, and try to budget for even more rate increases through the rest of the year. The Central Bank updated its estimates for neutral interest rates running from 1.75% – 2.75%. 

BMO responded to the bank’s actions by indicating a raise in interest rates forecast by the 25 basis points for the year. It is now expecting 50 point hikes in June and July. 

The Bottom Line 

We do expect rates to go up for the rest of the year, but we are not sure just how much just yet. This will mean a sort of roller coaster experience for would-be homeowners and current homeowners. Therefore, homeowners who have the chance to switch to a fixed rate now should possibly take advantage of that and make the move to switch now. 

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Vancouver Housing Market Overview – Updated April 5, 2022

by Bevony on April 12, 2022 No comments

The data for March 2022 is out, and across all property types we are still seeing increases in listing prices. Comparing the March 2022 numbers to March 2021 numbers, there has been a 21% increase in listing prices for all property types. To further break this down, we can go into property type. For detached homes, we are seeing a 24% increase in selling price. For Townhomes, we are seeing a 31% increase in selling prices, and for Condos/Apartments there is a 17% increase. With these prices, we have seen decreases in buying compared to the same period in 2021, so overall the data shows a 24% decrease in home buying. Detached home sales have decreased by 34%, Townhomes sales have decreased by 29%, and Condos/Apartment sales have decreased by 14%. 

March 2022 Benchmark Prices in Metro Vancouver 

March 2022 saw home prices in Vancouver breaking an all time high. Vancouver is now seeing its 12th consecutive month of price records. In March of 2022, the benchmark price for a home in Metro Vancouver was $1,360,500. This reflects a 3.6% increase from February’s benchmark price of $1,313,400. March 2022 is also the 16th consecutive month that the benchmark home price has risen over a month to month basis. The last decrease we saw in the benchmark home price for Vancouver was November of 2020. It then dipped ever so slightly to $1,044,400, coming from $1,045,900. 

Metro Vancouver is still the most expensive housing market in Canada, having held this title for more than 30 years. The Benchmark 

March 2022 Benchmark Price Comparisons 

The benchmark price for Vancouver is also higher than the average home price in Toronto, which is $1,299,894. This has seen a slight drop from previous months. Toronto once had the most expensive housing market title for the month of February in 2022. There are slight price increases compared to the previous months. 

Over the past year, we have seen price increases of 25%, inching to $2,118,600 seen in March 2022. The 3.6% increase over the benchmark price in February represents a monthly increase of $73, 800. In the past year, the benchmark price for detached homes in Vancouver has gone up by $418,400. This gain is more expensive than the average home price in Edmonton, which was at $414,788 in March 2022. 

The prices of townhomes have also surged year over year and month over month. Prices are staying above the 1 million mark after passing that level in December 2021. The condo and apartment prices were lagging behind with a 17% increase, which is an increase none-the-less. 

We saw the highest year over year benchmark price growth from homes in Maple Ridge. Their prices went up to $1,275,300, up by 37% year over year and 5.3% month-over-month. 

In West Vancouver, we saw the highest benchmark home price in Metro Vancouver. The price came in at $2,677,500. West Vancouver also saw the lowest annual growth in home prices, with a year-over-year increase of 7.7%. The number of listings has reduced over last year, with a decrease of 16.6%. In March 2022, the 6,673 listings represented a year-over-year decrease of 19.5%. 

This month’s home sales stand at 4,344, reflecting a year-over-year decrease of 24%. With these numbers, Vancouver’s sales-to-active-listings ratio is 56.9%. So this means that the home sales for this month are making up a larger section of active listings. 

Vancouver’s housing market saw one tailwind in the 2021 update. Homebuyers in Toronto, Victoria and Vancouver now can benefit from the 5 or 10% down payment incentive that is paid by the Federal government. Persons with a household income up to $15,000 can benefit from this. 

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BevonyVancouver Housing Market Overview – Updated April 5, 2022

The Best Time To Sell A Home

by Bevony on April 7, 2022 No comments
Photo by Thirdman

We are currently in a seller’s market, so if you are considering selling your house, it could be just the right time to do so. But maybe you are not ready to sell right now, maybe you need some improvements before you list the home. Even so, when should you list your home for sale?

We have seen the housing market in Vancouver constantly in a state of flux. We’ve seen high supply and little demand prompting a drop in price, and more recently we have seen a market with more buyers than sellers, causing bidding to escalate prices. 

When you are selling, you want to list your property at the right time of year. You don’t want your house to sit too long on the market, and you definitely want it to go for a great price. 

The Importance of Timing for Home Sales 

Here are some of the things people consider before buying. This data reflects previous home sales. 

  • Convenience – homeowners tend to be more eager to buy when the weather conditions are pleasant. 
  • Competition – If you don’t have a lot of listing competition, you can list your home at a higher price. 
  • Interest rates – When interest rates are lower, chances are you will have a larger buyer’s pool.  

Timing is definitely everything, and with the housing market, time of year is very important. The housing market sale price can be affected by seasonality as much as 10%. 

The Best Time of Year to Sell

The best time to sell houses is during the early spring or early fall. Selling during spring is very advantageous. People start looking for homes in spring, in the hopes of moving in by or during summer. Then, in the fall, the rush of summer is over and there are fewer competing listings. 

The weather is pleasant in both spring and fall, giving you a prime opportunity to list your home. The temperatures are not too cold nor too hot for moving in and doing initial yardwork. But you can still sell your home in the winter. It likely will take longer to finalize a sale, since people are less likely to move when it’s cold outside. Families with school aged children may find it difficult to move in the middle of the school year. 

Many people believe the summer is the best time to sell, but this is usually a very competitive time. In Vancouver, it is typically in the summer that sellers list their homes.

When you decide when to list your home, what is your next step? Will you be looking for your next home or are you considering building? If your answer to the latter is yes, give us a call. We are in the business of building homes from the ground up specifically to meet your needs.  

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BevonyThe Best Time To Sell A Home

Canada’s Most Moved-to Cities 

by Bevony on March 31, 2022 No comments
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com/photo/multiethnic-couple-packing-ceramic-belongings-in-parchment-before-relocation-4246193/

2021 was the second year of the global COVID-19 pandemic.  This has changed the way that Canadians live, and also has changed where they live.  There are currently more than four million Canadian workers working from home.  This change in work environment has given them the freedom to change their plans on settling in major urban centers.  Persons are now looking to settle in smaller cities where they can afford more square footage for their money.

A recent report from Statistics Canada shows that people are migrating to the East Coast more so than the prairies and metropolitan areas. Another report by U-Haul based on its customers is showing Canadians moving to smaller towns like Alberta and Rural Ontario. 

Alberta is the Top Province for U-Haul Movers

U-Haul’s report is based on customer data, and they are seeing a rise of 33% in one way U-Haul trucks arriving in Alberta. Within the province, the top city and destination seems to be Calgary. The arrival of new residents in the city has caused an increase in home prices, as the demand rises above the supply. In January of 2022, the average cost of a home in Calgary was $510,701.  This reflects a year-over-year increase of 8%. 

Most Moved to Cities in Ontario 

Wild Alberta took the prize for the most moved province of Canada. Ontario was also high on the list. Here we saw smaller communities receiving the newest residents. We believe that in the sky high prices in the greater Toronto area, many homeowners move to smaller communities.  In these smaller communities, individuals find more affordable homes and more square footage for their money.

 There has been a change, you know what Canadians are looking for in your homes. People are moving away from open floor plans, I know, seeking homes with dedicated spaces for work, relaxation and exercise.

A recent Zolo survey showed that 34% of Canadians wanted a change in the size or layout of their homes after living through the COVID pandemic and its ensuing restrictions. We think this is one of the major driving factors in choosing where people want to move to. These smaller communities offer more square footage and space for their home offices at a more affordable price than their current place of residence. 

Top Moved to Cities As Per U-Haul’s Data 

Photo by Curtis Adams: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-house-3555615/
City Approximate Average Home Cost% More Affordable Than Toronto 
North Bay $478, 00056
Belleville $546,00050
Greater Sudbury $458,000 58
Kingston $578, 00047
Owen Sound-Port Elgin$555, 00049
Sault Ste. Maire $269, 00075
Chatham $457, 00058
St. Thomas $707, 00035
Sarnia $539, 00051
Brantford $758, 00031
Orillia $748, 00032
Peterborough $814, 00026
Cornwall$397, 00064

Affordable Cities Seeing Home Price Increases

The search for more affordable housing has increased the demand in these smaller towns and cities, and so the house prices here are starting to crawl up as well. We are seeing this sort of domino effect in a lot of the smaller towns and cities, and coupled with high prices is a dwindling supply. 

It is hard to predict the future, especially with the unknown of the virus and with the effects of inflation. What we do know is that cities like North Bay and Calgary are posting large year over year gains in prices. Other urban centers like Halifax and Moncton are seeing price appreciation as well. 

With these significant price gains, these areas are still not as expensive as the Metro Vancouver and Greater Toronto areas. With this, we believe that Canadians will continue to look to smaller cities, as their needs are not being met in these metropolitan areas. Cities like Alberta and Ontario will continue to see new families arriving in the search for more space and more affordability. 

What are your thoughts? Are you in the market for a home? Can you afford one where you currently reside? Have you ever thought of building? If your answer to the last question is yes, give us a call and let us discuss your needs and your budget. We can build your home from the ground up, making your dream of owning a home a reality. 

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BevonyCanada’s Most Moved-to Cities 

Vancouver Housing – All You Need to Know

by Bevony on March 23, 2022 No comments
Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Vancouver ranks highly as one of the most livable cities in the world quite often. It has been ranked as the best North American city to live in. With a very scenic location with views of the oceans on one side, while being tucked against the North Shore mountains, it is ideal for those who want milder weather, so they can explore all year round. 

Vancouver House Prices

With a high demand for houses, it is currently a seller’s market. What this means for buyers is waiting longer to close on a home, being bid out of homes, and pushing the dream of owning a home in Vancouver further away.  If we compare home sales prices of 2017 and 2021, we see an increase over each month, and this trend continues to be the norm.

Unless a healthy supply of houses are entered into the market, we can expect these conditions to remain fueled by a high demand. If you must relocate to Vancouver, you can expect to find diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. You will have a lot of nature to enjoy and have almost every cuisine at your fingertips. Jobs are plenty, and you can only expect the best healthcare and education here, so it is a good choice. 

If you choose to make Vancouver your home, you also don’t have to worry about not owning a car, because there are lots of transit options. These include the bus, the sky train and the sea bus. There are also a lot of walkable downtown sites, and others are typically just 30 minutes away by bus or sea bus. This network of public transportation can help to ease some of the expenses that come along with owning a car. 

Best Places to Live in Vancouver 

Vancouver’s most livable communities include: 

  • Fairview 
  • Grandview-Woodland
  • Kitsilano 
  • Mount Pleasant 
  • Riley Park 
  • Shaughnessy 
  • South Cambie 

Where Not to Live in Vancouver

Like almost everything on this earth, Vancouver has its downsides. Stay away from areas east of Main Street. Avoid the Downtown Eastside and East Hastings, and these places are known for homelessness, prostitution, crime and poverty. 

Outside of that, Vancouver is a fairly safe place to both live and visit, and buying a house here is worth it if you are planning on living here for the long term. Vancouver has always been a desirable place to live and will always continue to be. 

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BevonyVancouver Housing – All You Need to Know

Hot Housing Market in Rossland, B.C

by Bevony on March 15, 2022 No comments

There has been a lot of growth in property valuations in Rossland. This small town did not escape the woes of the rest of the housing market. Many people who are not Rossland natives come here in the hopes of buying a more affordable home, but find themselves being priced out of the market still. This can be especially discouraging, especially now with a pandemic and most people not having a 20% down payment. 

What the Price Increases Look Like

Prices jumped 33% from July 2020 to July 2021, reveals B.C Assessments. These numbers were shared in January of 2022. Where we saw a 16% increase in Vancouver for the same period. This jump was a surprise for many, even though there was intense inflation in previous years for the housing market. The increase is being attributed to persons who now can work remotely choosing to make a lifestyle change, because they like the idea of living in a ski resort area. 

In the past, one of the saving graces for Rossland was the difficulty to reach the area. But now with remote work, even though local businesses can’t afford to pay the kinds of wages to support the house prices, purchasers are coming from outside the community, pushing up prices even further. Many parents who are longtime residents of the community are worried that their children won’t be able to afford to live here. Residents feel like the area is beginning to feel like a town for the rich. 

With intense demand driving up prices, some homebuyers are spilling into places like Castlegar, which is close by but still cheaper. We can expect to see a domino effect of prices there going up in the near future too. They have seen a year over year growth of 21% compared to the 33% seen in Rossland. 

Rossland could benefit from new developments, but not all the locals like this idea. They think new development will just lead to more city folk moving into their quiet ski town. But there are some locals that welcome the change. 

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BevonyHot Housing Market in Rossland, B.C

Metro Vancouver Prices Continue to Wow

by Bevony on March 8, 2022 No comments

Just two weeks into March, and the local housing market is showing us that it hasn’t gotten wild just yet. A new report published by Dexter Realty indicates March could yield the highest prices we have ever seen in the Metro Vancouver housing market. 

There was a significant increase in listings in February 2022, as well as there was a significant increase in home sales. We can expect March to be a “barn-burner”, the representative from Dexter Realty said. 

When we look back at March of 2021, we also saw a high number of new listings. March 2021 was also the month we saw the highest sales. There was an all time high of 45,000 sales in that month alone. 

Low Housing Supply

We are still seeing low supply of housing, as a matter of fact, some areas have extremely low supply. But we have seen some increases in new listings recently on the metro Vancouver market. Some markets, however, only have one month supply of homes. Markets with just a month of homes for sale include;

  • Port Coquitlam
  • Port Moody 
  • Tsawwassen
  • New Westminster
  • Pitt Meadows
  • Maple Ridge
  • North Vancouver

Without a sudden increase in the available supply, the spring buying season will only continue to see higher prices. With low supply, you will also see multiple offers, which will just drive the prices up even more. The demand is still high, but the supply is just not scratching the surface when it comes to meeting the need.  

Condo, Townhouse, Detached Home Sales

In metro Vancouver, February sales were dominated by condo apartment sales. This is due to the greater supply of these types of properties, with lower prices than the other property types available. Added to that was a high demand from investors. 

Vacancy rates are now back to record lows. Investors are aware of this and aware of the need for rental housing. Governments in all cities have been able to supply this need adequately for a while now. But there is a predicted shortage looming over our heads currently. Added to that, the current benchmark prices are currently 15.9% higher than they were just a year ago. 

The prices for detached homes dropped in February when compared to February of 2021. Factors causing the price drop include buyer resistance due to lack of choice, and benchmark prices at a record high of $2,044,800. 

There are also not enough townhomes available for sale. As of February 2022, only 90 new townhouses were started in the Metro Vancouver area. 

What Are Your Options?

It is a seller’s market, and there is no doubt about it. If you are a potential homeowner, be prepared for high prices and competition from other buyers. If you are looking for a detached home, your other option is to build your own home. Build with us, let us show you how!

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BevonyMetro Vancouver Prices Continue to Wow

Financing for Pre-Sale Homes 

by Bevony on March 1, 2022 No comments

All home loans are definitely not the same. Here’s how you can tell the difference between a good and a bad fit. 

The region is still seeing a strong demand for real estate, and with listings highly priced, many are turning to the new construction market to meet their home ownership needs. Most Condos and Townhomes are sold pre-sale. That means they are sold even before construction starts, or sometimes while construction is ongoing. This is referred to as a presale purchase. 

Your reason for presale doesn’t matter too much. There are some critical elements that can help you enhance your experience when purchasing presale. This is very true, especially when you consider your options for mortgage financing. You won’t find comprehensive financing solutions. So you have to ask all the right questions. The main thing is that you want your mortgage approval to still be valid when the construction is all done. Here are some things to consider when purchasing presale. 

What is the Lender Offering?

You can get one of two options. There is the condition free and final mortgage approval offer, and there is the mortgage pre-approval for purchasing the presale home. There are conditions that come with pre-approval offers, which allow the financing to be reviewed later, so there is the chance that the terms can change. With a final mortgage approval offer, you get peace of mind knowing there will be no changes in the terms of the offer when your construction is finished. 

Validity Length of Mortgage Approval 

The best scenario is to choose a lender that offers a final mortgage that is equal to the length of construction. The best scenario is for the final mortgage to be valid for greater than the length of construction. 

You want to know what happens if there is a delay in construction. Will your lender require you to undergo another requalification, or will they honor the original approval? 

We find that most lenders can only guarantee mortgage rates for up to four months. But there are those that specialize in presale construction financing. These will allow 36 months and beyond, giving you even more peace of mind. 

Review or Requalification 

Not all lenders will offer you unconditional mortgage approval for the long term. They will often ask for updated information, even if they don’t do an actual requalification. They may simply ask for updated income verification or may retrieve an up-to-date credit report. If you can, choose a lender that will not try to requalify you and will keep the initial commitment. 

Additional Benefits

Some lenders offer disability, life and critical illness coverage. If you can get this type of coverage, it is highly recommended, since anything can happen with you and your family as you wait on the completion of your new home. 

If you are considering presale construction, it is important to note that mortgage financing options are different for this market. When selecting your lender, review the above information and make an informed decision. Close on a new home without any unpleasant surprises, by being harmed with the right knowledge from the get go. 

Purchasing a pre sale property can be a great experience, whether you are purchasing for yourself, for a child or as income property. Start off by seeking the advice of a mortgage specialist. 

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BevonyFinancing for Pre-Sale Homes