Home prices jump with more gains forecast

Sales up as last buyers sign on to beat deadline for 35-year terms

Lower Mainland real estate prices have gained ground in the last couple of months

Buying a typical detached house in Metro Vancouver costs about $50,000 more than it did in November.

And at least one forecast calls for the gains to continue – at a more gradual pace – this year.

The 6.3-per-cent house price jump to $848,645 in February from $796,900 three months earlier was driven by big price increases in Richmond and the west side of Vancouver, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

Richmond’s benchmark house price rose $190,000 in that period to nearly $1.1 million, while the Vancouver west side gained $222,000 to $1.85 million.

REBGV president Jake Moldowan said the intensity of buying activity in those areas indicates houses there are the most sought-after properties in the region.

Benchmark attached homes in the Greater Vancouver region have gained about 3.3 per cent so far this year to $507,000 while condos are up 3.2 per cent to $399,400.

The Greater Vancouver association covers Metro Vancouver except Surrey, North Delta, White Rock and Langley.

Port Coquitlam was the only city in the region to experience any drop so far this year, with detached houses down about 1.4 per cent.

Further east in the Fraser Valley, benchmark detached houses went for an average of $514,000 in February, a gain of about 3.2 per cent so far this year.

Valley townhouses were down slightly to $316,600 and apartments are up 2.3 per cent to $245,500.

One factor driving sales right now is the pending change in lending rules that will ban 35-year mortgages on March 18, making it more difficult for some buyers without big enough down payments to qualify for more conventional terms.

“Some clients have asked that their sale complete before that date,” said Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president Sukh Sidhu. “A 35-year amortization could be more attractive to those buyers.”

Central 1 Credit Union economist Bryan Yu said a sales surge early this year was expected as some younger first-time buyers move to beat the deadline.

But he predicts the dampening effects of the tightened mortgage rules and expected uptick in rates should be offset by Metro Vancouver’s continued population growth and improved economic conditions.

Yu projects median home prices in the Lower Mainland will rise four per cent this year, stay flat in 2012 and gain six per cent in 2013.

Just Posted

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

Abbotsford council OKs bus-to-SkyTrain plan

Fraser Valley Express would begin running to Lougheed Station by start of 2021

Chilliwack community group gathering to benefit youth health centre

Chilliwack Citizens for Change planning tailgate party for CHYC

PET CARE: Canada Day tips for our pet’s anxiety

Columnist Nicolette Joosting examines different ways to help your pets relax through the celebration

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

‘I feel free’ says mother of BC murder victim after daughter’s belongings returned

After 11 years, Rosemarie Surakka said she feels like it is 99.9 per cent over

Most Read