What is going on in the market right now?

Recent interest rate hikes aimed to target inflation have caused a media frenzy. Headlines and news stations are causing panic over the Bank of Canada’s latest 1.0% increase today. The media thrives and profits off of fear, and what is scarier than predicting a market crash? Right now it’s important to take a step back and evaluate what is actually happening.

It’s no secret that the housing market is changing. New figures released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) revealed that the country’s home price index fell 0.6% between March and April, its first decline for over two years, as home resales also dropped by 12.6%.

The actual national average home price has now declined for two months in a row after peaking in February, according to CREA. It might seem like the housing market crash that has been predicted for years is imminent…but prices are still about 7% higher than last year. *Based on April 2021 and April 2022. 

Meanwhile, the home price index is 23.8% up compared with the same time last year, although that represents a smaller yearly increase than the 29% it recorded in February.

It seems like everyone has an opinion about what is going to happen next, but here’s the truth, no one can predict the future!

For me, this data suggests we are moving towards equilibrium rather than a crash. We are still seeing values continue to grow, jus not as rapidly as they have been over the past two years.

Conditions are constantly changing and we won’t know where we are heading until we get there. But smart investors know that every market can provide great opportunities.

Right now, it’s easy to speculate and be wary of jumping into the market. I have a lot of my clients who are waiting to see what happens and think the market is going to collapse but here are a few more points to consider. 

We’ve been wrong before

At the start of the pandemic, many economists predicted that there would be a housing market crash. While the market did slow for about 3 months, it quickly recovered and hit record highs. This just goes to show we don’t always know what will actually happen until it does.

History doesn’t always repeat itself

The 2008 recession really spooked a lot of people, and for good reason; many people lost their homes. The sudden increase in interest rates helped trigger a seemingly overnight crash in the housing market back then. However, there were lots of other factors including shady practices on Wall Street, poor government policy, and lax lending from banks. It is important to understand that many of the factors that caused that crash have since been corrected and are not likely to be repeated.

Real Estate boards led by top industry professionals are now involved in helping create effective and fair policies, that protect public interests. These boards help guide the government into creating and implementing real estate-related laws and regulations that aim to solve issues without causing catastrophic damages.

Keep in mind, that in 4 of the past 6 economic recessions, housing prices remained consistent, or increased. 

Interest rates are still low

Even with the recent hikes, we are still at a great number, the prime rate is still very low. In fact, most mortgage brokers I’ve talked to are still recommending their clients stay on variable rates. Yes, they will continue to increase in the near future, but they could also go back down again in the long term.

The next increases are scheduled to take place on September 6, October 25, and December 6. After these it’s all speculative as to what could take place. Keep focused on your long term plans. It might be a good idea to start with a small payment increase now, to prepare for these increases. Speak to a professional mortgage broker and ask how an increased rate will impact your payments and affordability.

The Sea to Sky Market

Unlike other areas, the Sea to Sky region attracts buyers who are looking to purchase here for the lifestyle. Squamish, Pemberton, and Whistler are all highly sought-after and internationally renowned destinations, it is unlikely that prices will ever completely tank here. There is a large pool of buyers who have been waiting to jump into the market and were put off or priced out these past years. If the market continues to dip a bit there will still be purchasers ready to act. Other world-class North American resort towns like Vail, Aspen & Lake Tahoe, saw housing prices decrease significantly less during the great recession than the national average.

Our demographic is different here than in other regions of British Columbia. We have a lot of high-net-worth individuals here in the corridor, who purchased in cash or with a high down payment. Many of the homeowners here are investors who own multiple cash flow-positive properties and are able to make enough money to cover mortgage payments if rates continue to increase. Whistler has a high number of properties, that have been passed down through families. These tend to be fully paid off or have incredibly low mortgages.

Due to the geographical barriers of mountains and the ocean, there is limited useable land to develop more houses in this region. The Sea to Sky highway is another major limiting factor for future growth. Emergency evacuation routes are not able to support more residents, specifically in Whistler. This has led to limited development allowances and zoning changes from the municipalities. All of these factors will help keep supply relatively lower than in other areas of Canada helping keep demand high.

The benefits of a balanced market

It’s still a good time for Sellers

The average home in North America increased in value by 36% in 2021 alone. This means homeowners who purchased anytime before this are sitting on a lot of equity. While the market may no longer favor sellers as heavily as it did from the end of 2020 to the start of 2022, they will still most likely be able to sell their homes for more than they bought for.

If your goal is purely to sell at a premium and very quickly, you may have missed the mark. Sellers may have to be a little bit more patient and manage expectations. Right now, houses that are priced right and leave a great first impression are still selling, but more slowly.

This is actually a really great situation for any sellers who are also buyers.  Sellers can still profit off of their sales and move up the property ladder without being priced out on the buying side.

It’s good news for buyers

Buyers rejoice, your time has come!

Anyone who has tried to buy in the past two years experienced frustration and stress from the market. Properties were selling within hours, in competing situations, and for way more than the list price.

As we head to a more balanced market, properties will sit for longer periods of time. This will lead to some price reductions, as well as taking the frantic sense of urgency we have been seeing for buyers away. As houses continue to sit longer, there will be more time to do your due diligence and allow you to put subject conditions into offers such as financing, selling your existing property, or inspection.

We will likely also start to see fewer competing and multiple bid situations. These were one of the primary causes of skyrocketing house prices in BC. If you were put off by the red hot market and fed up with being in multiple offer situations, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

More to choose from

The Seller’s market we are starting to shift away from had historically low levels of inventory. Super-low interest rates and feeling like they couldn’t purchase another property prevented many people from putting their homes on the market.

As I mentioned previously, we might not see the same increase in listings as other markets might. But houses will sit for longer and continue to come on, giving buyers more choices. Homeowners can sell their properties to climb the housing market or downsize You can spend your time exploring a property and a neighborhood before you purchase.

For Buyers:

There is always a risk to any investment and it might always feel like the wrong time to jump into the market. Yes, prices could drop even more and rates could increase, but the opposite could also happen. Consider taking advantage of the low level of competition right now. Acting while others sit back might lead to a great deal and could pay out in the long run. Be aware that nothing is ever guaranteed and this dip might not last as long as some people think.

Getting into the real estate market as soon as you possibly can is one of the quickest and safest ways to improve your personal wealth. Money losses value over time and stocks and bonds fluctuate. But property holds its value.

For Sellers:

Take a deep breath and relax!  You may have missed the red hot market, but prices remain high. You might not be selling your home the week it comes onto the market, or receive multiple, competing, over-asking offers right now. However, if you’re patient you will likely be able to sell your home for quite a bit more than you purchased it for. A bit of extra effort to get your home market-ready is going to be key.

This is a chance to reassess your goals. You might be able to use your equity to reinvest in the real estate market.

The takeaway

Stay calm…

It’s easy to worry about the future, but the bottom line is there are opportunities in every market if you make well-informed and rational decisions. Heading to a more balanced market might actually help you achieve your real estate goals. 

Stop going onto those click-bait websites that use scare tactics to get traffic.  Listening to all those armchair experts who treat opinions like facts can make you act rashly, which is often the primary cause of a deal you will regret down the line. Instead, think about the life you want and how real estate can help you achieve it. Educate yourself through credible and reliable sources. If you have questions or are uncertain about your specific local market, it’s always best to talk to a licensed and trusted real estate advisor.

The bottom line is we are shifting back to a market that will have benefits for both sides.

We know that real estate has consistently proven itself as one of the most solid long-term investments and will continue to trend upward in the long term, even if there is a slight dip.

Prices are starting to trend down slightly for the first time in a while but are still up from this time last year! 

I’m intimately involved in real estate for the corridor and am always happy to have a chat with you about your real estate goals and how we can achieve the in the current market.

Give me a call or sign up for my monthly and weekly newsletters to stay up to date on the Sea to Sky housing market.

I’ve been noticing a little bit of a trend lately. Many sellers are hoping to capitalize on the hot real estate market but have tenancies in place.

In these situations, the seller can either wait the appropriate amount of time to legally end the tenancy in place or list it with tenants.

Ideally, before you list a property your home is vacant so you can have staging and a professional cleaner in. Not only will this make your home look its best, but it is also easier to show your home and easier for interested buyers to closer quicker. Listing your home with a tenant can create additional challenges, but sometimes it is the only option. If you do want to list your tenanted home, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

Work with an experienced Realtor

Real estate is one of the biggest investments and decisions most people will make in their life. It is crucial that you have a Realtor on your side to help you navigate your local market and make informed decisions. When finding the right Realtor for your situation, ask if they have ever worked with tenants before and how they navigate the challenges. Your Realtor should have a good understanding of the BC Tenancy Act and will help protect you from any legal action.

Understand the BC Tenancy Act

The BC Tenancy Act, linked here, is the legal guidelines that must be followed when listing your tenanted property for sale. These guidelines go into depth on the amount of notice that must be given for each type of lease, as well as, the rules which must be followed by the tenants, the landlord, and the real estate agent. Be sure to give this a deep read so you understand how to work with your tenants while your home is on the market and how to legally.

Be Open & Transparent

Everyone appreciates being kept in the loop. Let your tenants know ASAP if you are planning on listing your property. This will give them more time to start making arrangements. Have an open conversation about what your expectations and goals are with this sale. Why are you selling? What do you think the timeline will be for closing?

Most tenants will appreciate the honesty and be happy to work with you.

Consider introducing your tenants to your real estate agent. That way your tenants can direct questions to them that you may not know the answer to. This will also give them a touch point person to voice any concerns to. If your tenants feel involved in the process it is more likely that they will be helpful while your home is on the market.

Respect their schedules

If you have tenants, your home is also their home, and no one wants to feel uncomfortable at home! Ask your tenants about the best method of communication to use with them to request access.  Have a conversation with your tenants about what you can both expect while your home is on the market. Get your tenants to share their schedules so you and your Realtor can try to navigate showings while they are already out of the house.

Sometimes, finding a time that works for potential buyers and your tenant isn’t possible. . Ideally, your tenant is willing to work with you and either step out or be respectful while the home is being shown. If your tenant is being less cooperative, know your rights. You are entitled to show the home if you give them 24 hours’ notice.

Make it easy

In a perfect world, your tenants are clean and tidy people and have lots of time to help your home looks its best for showings. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Most tenants have their own busy lives to worry about and won’t bother to do a deep clean before your home is listed. Offer to get the carpets and the home professionally cleaned before it’s listed, your tenants will appreciate this and so will potential buyers.

Give as much notice for showings as possible so that your tenants can tidy up or make arrangements. Consider offering a free lunch or even a night at a hotel if there is a certain day that there will be multiple showings or an open house. If you can, offer to reduce rent a bit if they agree to help tidy up the property. Giving a little bit and being generous can make the transaction much more smooth for you.

If it goes wrong…

Keep in mind that no one wants to move or be uprooted. Having your house listed can bring up a lot of negative emotions for your renters. Despite your best efforts, they may still be uncooperative. If a tenant unreasonably refuses access to show the unit or provides misleading or inaccurate information to prospective buyers, the landlord could:

Make sure you and your Realtor have a game plan in place to deal with the tenants BEFORE you list. This can help your home earn more money and be a much less stressful experience.

 

If you’re thinking of listing your tenanted property email me at madison@madisonperry.com for more tips and advice.

Are you thinking of listing your home this holiday season?

If you are thinking of listing your property, now may be the time to do it! In the Sea to Sky, the holidays are a great time to get a lot of exposure and open up a wider buying pool for your property. Many buyers are hoping to find a last-minute ski chalet so they can get the most out of the ski season. As a Whistler Realtor, I love listing properties over the holiday season. With snow on the mountains and lights throughout the villages, the Sea to Sky corridor really sparkle this time of year.

Some Sellers are deterred from listing during this time of year because they still want to decorate and enjoy their holidays. Luckily, the right decorations can actually be a big bonus and work with your home to help get top dollar! Here are some helpful tips for sellers who still want to decorate!

1. Set the stage

Before you go around and add decorations, make sure you have a solid base. This means your home should be professionally cleaned and staged. I have written posts in the past about the importance of staging and am constantly telling my clients how beneficial it is. Making sure you have the right furniture and placements in a clean space is step number one for holiday sellers.

2. Stay neutral

You may celebrate Christmas, Haunaka, Kwanza, or something else; but the person who buys your home may not celebrate the same thing. Keeping decorations religiously natural can help buyers imagine their family celebrating their traditions in that space. Small key pieces like a manger or menorah are okay, as long as they don’t overpower the space or take away from the rest of the home. Not sure what’s religiously neutral? No one is offended by snowflakes or nutcrackers!

3. Less is more!

The holidays are a time for sentimentality. You may have boxes full of crafts from your kids, heirlooms from relatives and fun, brightly coloured knick-knacks that you’ve collected over the years, however heartfelt these objects are, they will not help sell your home! Try to really restrict what you bring out this year. Pick a few key pieces to work around and pack away the rest. Buyers are here to see your property, not your personal possessions. It can be distracting and look cluttered if there are too many decorations.

4. Pick a colour scheme

This ties into the “less is more” idea. Too many colours and tones can be very overwhelming and take away from your property. Colour can impact mood and perception. It’s a good idea to think about how you want potential buyers to feel when they enter your home and utilize colours that create those moods. A palette for decorations should also work with the existing colours of the space. Make sure to consider the rest of the home before jumping in with decorations. Picking the right colour scheme will help make your decorations feel cohesive and give your space good energy.

5. Keep it classic

We all have our own personal styles and preferences. It’s therefore important to try to appeal to as many styles and preferences as possible. Classic, timeless decor is always the best for listing your home. Think; real garlands, light natural or metallic colours and gold or white string lights, simple baubles, wreaths and candles.

6. Size matters

When it comes to decor, size matters! The right proportions can make a space feel larger and highlight key features. A tall tree can emphasize the height of the ceiling, just make sure there is a gap at the top and the base isn’t too wide. Use your decor to accentuate the key features and space of your home. Make sure there is symmetry and balance with the height and size of your decorations.

7. Don’t forget about first impressions!

First impressions are KEY for sellers. Perceptions are made within 8 seconds of being in a new space. This is why it is incredibly important that you make every one of those seconds count! If you are decorating the exterior of your property keep lights minimal and a neutral colour. A fresh wreath on the front door or some winter greens in planters can also be a nice touch! Don’t bring out the inflatables or signs this year. The exterior of your property sets the overall impression of your property so be sure to make it look its best!

Looking to list?

I am always available for a complimentary home evaluation and market advice!

There are a number of ways you can update and modernize the look of your home, without the large price tag of a major renovation. Let’s look at a few!

Get new outlet and light switch plates. Over the years outlet and light switch styles have changed and as they are usually right in the line of site, updating them can do a lot for modernizing the look of your home!

Get rid of the popcorn ceiling. Just make sure to get it tested for asbestos before you try this one yourself—some homes built before the 1970’s have asbestos in the ceiling. During a certain period it was very in fashion to have thick, sparkled popcorn ceilings, and it can date a space visually. If you have the time and motivation, this project can have a great return on increasing the value and look of your home.

Update light fixtures. This can transform a room almost entirely on its own. The difference between a dated old light fixture and an inexpensive modern one can make such a huge impact!

Stay tuned and I’ll share some more of my ideas in the coming weeks of other things you can do to spruce up your home and not break the bank!

How to stage your home for success

 

The first impression you have on a potential buyer for your home can be the most important. Staging your home and being intentional on the important areas that a first look sees can be pivotal in the success of your sale and maximizing the value of the offers you will receive.

Here are a few tips that will help you on what to focus on:

Curb Appeal

As this is going to be the first thing that a potential buyer will see before even entering your home, it is important that you make sure the outside is looking as polished as the inside. Make sure your lawn and landscaping are looking great. Mow your lawn, blow the leaves away, pull the weeds, all things that cost mostly effort and time and will be worth it. Make sure your front door is clean and clear of dirt, cobwebs, and any debris, a freshly painted door can been an easy spruce up project and not super costly either.

Make Sure Your Home is Sparkling Clean

Investing in a professional cleaning service to come and do a deep clean before your home is ready for viewings is a great idea. Professional cleaners will get to all of those areas that you may not think of in your day to day cleaning and having a fresh set of eyes will likely end up with all sorts of areas you never thought of cleaning!

Clear Away the Clutter

This one is often the most difficult, but if you are serious about selling your home, all clutter must go! Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers and an opportunity to envision their own things in the home instead of looking at your things.

Tone Down Your Style

Often times homes are carefully curated to a homeowner’s taste, however your taste may not be those of your potential buyers. The easiest way to do this is to acquire storage and place things that are very style specific away while you are in the process of selling. Keeping clean sophisticated and neutral colours and items will be helpful in appealing to a broader audience of tastes in potential buyers.

Arrange Your Furniture With Style In Mind

Rearrange your furniture. In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Make sure to pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of couches, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area. You may have furniture put a certain way to watch tv or make room for the dog or kids to run around in your normal daily life, now is the time to locate furniture to showcase the room and make it look stylish and inviting. These steps are a great starting point to staging your home with the goal of a successful sale. I’ll touch more on professional stagers tips in one of my next blog articles, so stay tuned!

It seems like Whistler has been increasing in popularity each year. Hotels book up on almost every holiday weekend. The demand for nightly rentable (Phase 1 zoned) properties in town is continuing to increase. Websites like Air B& B and VRBO have made it easy to market your own property as a nightly rental and are a great way to generate extra income.

If your looking to get into the market for a nightly rental, or interested in generating more interest in your property check out these tips below.

1.) Make it as clean and modern as possible.

Where would you rather stay? A musty, dated room or a modern and fresh space? It’s definitely the second one, right? Your guests will be thinking the same thing. Making sure your property is rental-ready is key for success in the Whistler market. Paying attention to trends in home decor and interior design can make a big difference. Beautifully appointed properties tend to be the first to book out and can normally charge a higher rate.

2.) Keep it clean!

No one wants to stay in a dirty property! Stained linens, smudges on windows, smells and garbage can ruin a first impression. Invest in multiple sets of bleachable white hotel-quality towels and linens. Make sure your property is thoroughly cleaned between each guest stay to help keep your ratings high and guests happy. If you are out of town or unable to clean often, consider highering a reliable cleaner to come to your property.

3.) Get professional photos

High-quality photos can make all of the difference in renting out your property. Bright sharp images will appeal to your potential clients and make you stand out from your competition. Spending a bit more on marketing your property can pay off big in the long run.

4.) Pay attention to detail

What’s your favorite thing about staying in a 5-star hotel? Is it the fluffy robes? The crisp white bedsheets? Maybe it’s the signature scent in the lobby or the chocolate on the pillows. All of these small touches add to the overall guest experience and can create a custom memorable stay. Small added finishes can leave a lasting impression. Taking time to add little luxuries to your property can improve your rating and increase your bookings.

5.) Make it unique

Standing out is crucial to making your property as attractive online as possible. Consider adding something unique that no other hotel or property in town has. Maybe it’s an instagramable feature wall or unique art piece, maybe a games room, maybe a sauna, or a large selection of board games. Whatever it adding something funky, cool, or just plain fun in your place will make it stand apart. Past guests are more likely to tell others of their experience at your property if you give them something to talk about!

6.) Keep up with the demand

Running a successful rental property is a full-time job! Between responding to bookings and keeping up with maintenance and cleaning, it can be a challenge to keep up! It is important to be available to respond quickly to last-minute guests and any challenges that may arise. You may need some extra help running your rental if you work full time or live far away. If you are unable to run it yourself consider getting a rental management company to help lighten your load. Ask us for some recommendations of excellent local property management companies if you would like to get some help!

Thinking of buying your next income-generating property? If you ever see a listing that interests you please reach out to our team and we can help guide you through all of the zonings and answer any questions you may have!

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