2016 Nanaimo Real Estate Market Review

2016 Nanaimo Real Estate Market Review

That’s a wrap! Let’s review what went on in the 2016 Nanaimo Real Estate Market Review. Depending on the statistics you follow, our 2016 market saw price increases of 13% (average price per unit) to 17% (Home Price Index).  This is exciting news for homeowners, particularly home SELLERS, as until the BC Assessment Authority releases their updated assessments, changes in market prices can be a worry.  This is the time of year when friends, family and clients of REALTORS® call to confirm, not always believing the good news. The BC Assessment Authority has valued homes very close to market values, with the usual exceptions. This also accounts for huge spikes in the assessed value of a home.

Selling?

As a home seller you may ask: “How much will this cost me in property taxes?”

To find a proper answer, take the time to visit the Assessment Authority website and find out how their process works.  They aren’t perfect, and by the mere fact that they offer the public an appeal process, they acknowledge their own limitations.  However, the many hardworking individuals at BC Assessment do try their best to convey true and accurate information. As a home seller, you should also consider that the City of Nanaimo determines taxes based on a formula called the ‘Mill Rate’.  This formula is adjusted up and down to make sure the City receives the tax base it needs to continue all the services it provides, and to show it is not in place to extort the Tax Payer.  There is a breakdown of this process on the City of Nanaimo website that can be found here:

How Are My Taxes Calculated?

As another consideration, if your assessment has increased significantly, it may be time to contact a RE/MAX of Nanaimo REALTOR® to get a good market value for your home.

Contact a REALTOR®

2016 Nanaimo Real Estate Market Review

2016 has been a great year for home sellers in Nanaimo and the surrounding area.  Home prices have gone up and volume has been strong, especially when you consider the lack of inventory.  If you’re downsizing or even hoping to leverage the equity in your home to downsize, a RE/MAX of Nanaimo REALTOR® can give you a great foundation for your decision.

As a home buyer, prices have also gone up, but rates remain VERY appealing. The Canadian Government does offer several new programs to help first-time buyers into the market, and if you’re buying in Nanaimo, you are in a market that offers great value, a spectacular place to live, and plentiful amenities for you and your family.

View Current Listings

That’s a wrap for our 2016 Nanaimo Real Estate Market Review. Come back monthly to stay current with the monthly Market Updates for 2017 and to find quick tips for buying, selling, renovating and so much more.

The REALTORS®, staff, management and owners at RE/MAX of Nanaimo want to thank all our clients for their business in 2016 and every continuing year. We wish you and your family the very best in your 2017 home search!

Government, First-time home Buyer

BC Government Unveils Plan To Help First-Time Home Buyers

As the cost of home owernship in BC continues to go up, the Provincial Government has offered downpayment assistance to those who struggle the hardest with prices on the rise, First-time buyers. The essence of the plan is to assist first-time home buyers with the downpayment requirements that are set in place. Read more to find out the plans in a nutshell.

First-Time Home Buyers

  • Begins January 16, 2017 for purchases that close on or after February 15, 2017
  • Is set to run for 3 years, ending March 31, 2020
  • Is available Province-wide
  • Is for a legal, self-contained mortgageable residence in BC
  • Provides eligible first-time buyers with loans which are*;
    • Interest and payment free for up to 5 years
    • Are for a maximum of 5% of the purchase price to a maximum of $37,500
    • On a 25 year term and registered as a second mortgage on title
    • For a principal residence ONLY
As with any new plan, there are many questions and terms which need to be clarified
  • Will mortgage lenders accept down payments which are loans?
  • Will the lending institutions accept these 2nd mortgages being on title?
  • How will changes in market affect the affordability of payments after 5 years?

Mortgage lenders

Mortgage lenders seem to be trending towards rate increases in recent weeks, so affordability remains a big concern.

Interested in finding out if this program is a fit for you? Call your RE/MAX REALTOR®, and ask them to give you names of some good Mortgage Professionals who can answer your questions.

*this list of qualifications in not exhaustive, for all the eligibility requirements, contact a Mortgage Professional or the Province of BC Website.
Curb appeal, Nanaimo Real Estate

How To Improve Your Curb Appeal In The Winter

While it’s easy to give your home a great look during the summer months when the flowers are in bloom, it’s more difficult to make a home look great during the cold, darker winter months. Here, we’ll take a look at a few things you can do to improve your curb appeal for your home during winter.

Improve your curb appeal

Clean up the landscaping

Prune the bushes and shrubs so that windows are visible. This lets as much daylight as possible into the home and the shrubs appear neat and well kept. Remove old flowers and weeds from the flower beds. This not only looks neater, but you won’t be faced with this task in the spring when it’s time to plant new flowers.

Sweep up leaves and shovel snow

Not only does this make the home look better, it’s also a safety issue. Guests don’t want to slip and slide their way to your front door, and in most municipalities, you’re required by law to clear the sidewalks of snow and ice. Make sure you do the driveway as well and then throw down some sand, salt or ice melt for good measure. Lastly, while you’re shoveling the snow, take a look at the eaves and gutters and knock off any icicles that may have formed.

Turn on this outside lights

Bright lighting is important in winter not just for visibility, but because it makes the home appear warm and welcoming. It is especially important to make sure the garage and porch lights are on if potential buyers are coming to view the property. During the Christmas season, have a few festive lights on the house, trees or shrubs to add even more warmth but be careful you don’t go overboard.

Put away the non-essentials

If you have kids toys, empty plant pots or lawn furniture in the yard, put them away for the winter. If you’re not using them during the winter months, it’s easy to store them away in the shed, garage or basement until spring arrives. It cleans up the appearance and if your yard is not large, it can give the appearance of more space.

Winter isn’t a bad time to sell your home and with these few simple tips, you can improve the appearance of your curb appeal in the winter, with very little cost and effort.

Planning a winter move? You wouldn’t be the first one. One of our agents will be happy to assist you in finding the right home!

Market Update: An Amazing Year For Nanaimo Real Estate

Amidst scandal resulting from questionable “Ghost Flipping” practices on the Lower Mainland, a loss of self-regulation for the BC Real Estate community, more mortgage rule changes, CMHC rule changes, and Real Estate Services Act rule changes, our local market has thrived and continues to do so.

Market update

Single Family Home inventory remains at unprecedented lows of 229 active listings. To put this in perspective:

  • a normal market in November of 2011had the single family home active listings pegged at 521
  • the last hot market in November 2007 had active listings dropping to 460
  • our lack of inventory is in no small way the driver behind the continuos increase in price. Compare avg sell price:
    • Nov 2016 $472,137
    • Nov 2011 $357,000
    • Nov 2007 $364,163
  • the many multiple offers and an average days to sell down to 26

Nanaimo real estate buyers

Even in this busy market, buyers remain vigilant. When a well-priced and well-marketed home hits the market there is often a flurry of activity, resulting in multiple offers well above asking price.  One home in Nanaimo last week reported 17 offers to be presented to the sellers. Buyers may also be feeling the pressure as they wonder how they will afford a home.

In comparison, the average price of a home selling in:

Average home price, Nanaimo Real Estate, Market Update

  • Nanaimo as stated above was $472,137
  • Victoria’s benchmark price was $755,000 in October
  • Vancouver’s benchmark price was $919,300 in October

Affordable homes

Nanaimo real estate continues to be an affordable alternative, offering great amenities, stunning landscapes, and access to excellent services.  When my wife and I moved to Nanaimo in 2002 from the Lower Mainland, we chose Nanaimo because it was affordable, centrally located, and because it was a GREAT place to raise a family.

Thank you

All the numbers and statistics aside, each and every REALTOR®, Owner, and Staff member at RE/MAX of Nanaimo would like to thank the community for choosing RE/MAX to help them buy or sell, or rent a property in 2016, and every year.  It’s the support from the community that allows RE/MAX of Nanaimo to retain the highest Market Share in our area.  We would also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Best of the Season and a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year in 2017!  We hope you will continue to choose RE/MAX for all your Real Estate needs.

Thank you for choosing RE/MAX of Nanaimo. If your 2017 goal or New Years Resolution is to move, let us find you the perfect home!

Resources for Moving to Canada

Are you considering moving to Canada from the United States? Here’s some tidbits and resources that might help you along the way.

Moving to Canada?

  1. The Government of Canada Immigration website is a great resource. You’ll find everything you need to know about the application process, different types of visas available, and processing times for the various types of visa applications. There’s also information about preparing for life in Canada once you’re approved – what to expect culturally, socially or financially. Visit cic.gc.ca and click on Immigration for all the details, forms and guides.
  1. If you want to hire a representative to help with your application, go to the Use a Representative page of the Government website for information about who is considered an Authorized Representative and why this is important. It also gives details about how to make sure you “get what you pay for”, what to look for in a representative, what to expect from them and how to handle a complaint should the need arise.
  1. Finding a representative to assist you in immigrating to your new city can be done by getting a referral from someone you trust. You can check the local yellow pages, or Google “Nanaimo Immigration Lawyers”. Whoever you choose, be sure you clearly understand the services they’ll provide, establish the price you’ll have to pay for those services and get it all in writing. Speak to references if possible and find out how many years they’ve been in business. Interview them as you would any other service professional.
  1. Go to the City of Nanaimo website at nanaimo.ca for all the information you’ll need about living in our beautiful city. Find out the schedule for garbage and recycling pickups, learn about how to license your dog, where to find parks and recreation facilities or to check out the map of the city. You can also reach them by telephone at (250) 754-4251.
  1. Find a new home. That’s the easiest part! Call RE/MAX of Nanaimo at (250) 751-1223. Whether you want to buy a home or rent one for the first while, we can help you with both. Our expert real estate agents or our Property Management group can find you the perfect place to call home and get settled. You can also visit our website at remaxofnanaimo.com for more information on what’s out there.

At RE/MAX of Nanaimo, we love to welcome new residents to our wonderful “Harbor City” so when you’re ready, call us at (250) 751-1223.

4 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Fall is here and it’ll be cooler before you know it. So what do you need to do to get your home ready for winter? Here are four key things for winterizing your home and to prepare it for the winter season!

Winterizing your home

  1. Make sure the furnace and gas fireplaces are ready to go. The best way to do this is to have a professional company service the units. They’ll replace filters, if necessary, and make sure there are no other obvious problems. If anything is wrong, they can fix it now, before the temperature drops too much. You don’t want to be the one whose furnace gives out on the coldest day of the year!
  1. Clean out the gutters and downspouts when the leaves have finished falling. Plugged up gutters and downspouts cause all sorts of problems if they overflow. Fascia or soffit damage, landscaping erosion, and roof leaks can all be avoided as long as you keep the gutters and downspouts clear. Check them at least twice a year (more if you have a lot of trees) and don’t forget the elbows and joints because these are prime spots for clogs.
  1. Blow out the irrigation/sprinkler system. If you have an underground sprinkler system, you need to blow out the water lines and shut off the water to avoid frozen lines. Pipes can crack or burst when they thaw, which can then damage your home or garden. Pay a professional to do this properly and you’ll be assured you won’t have pipe bursts in the spring.
  1. Make sure you have Ice-Melt, Sand or Salt on hand for the sidewalk and driveway. The sidewalk can get slippery from frost or ice even if it doesn’t snow, so it’s important to be prepared. Sprinkling the sidewalk with one of the noted products only takes a couple of minutes but can save a whole lot of aggravation later. You don’t want someone to slip and fall because you’ve forgotten to take care of this.

In Nanaimo, Bylaw 5000 requires that sidewalks be cleared by the homeowners within 24 hours of the snowfall. For more information, call the City of Nanaimo at (250) 758-222 or go their website at www.Nanaimo.ca, click on Departments and go to Engineering & Public Works. You can follow the links from there.

If you’re looking for your next home before winter arrives, call one of the expert real estate agents at RE/MAX of Nanaimo today at (250) 751-1223.

October 2016 Real Estate Market Update

The the local market has cooled, it appears that Vancouver’s resale market is strong and attracting the interest of foreign buyers. The Globe and Mail reports that Vancouver still has a strong interest from foreign buyers, even in the wake of a new property tax for foreign buyers.

Read the full article here.

The Market Update for some sales in Nanaimo has cooled. Inventory has dipped to a new historical low in October 2016, meaning there are very few homes on the market compared to months and years past. Here are some of the highlights for October 2016 Real Estate Market Update.

October 2016 Real Estate

IN October 2016, 399 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 368 last October – an increase of eight per cent.

Sales have decreased month over month by 24 per cent from September.

Reduced sales activity

Reduced sales activity in October was likely caused by typical late-summer cooling and continuing inventory challenges.

  • Active listings of single-family homes dropped once again in October, dipping to 1,158, the lowest VIREB has seen since the board began tracking inventory levels in 1999.
  • In October 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $393,700, up 16 per cent from one year ago.
  • Prices increased 19 per cent in Nanaimo and the Parksville-Qualicum area.
  • The benchmark price of an apartment rose approximately 18 per cent board-wide, with Parksville-Qualicum reporting an increase of 33 per cent.
  • The townhouse market also strengthened, posting a 12 per cent increase board-wide.

For more information on what this means for you, contact one of RE/MAX of Nanaimo’s REALTORS®

September Real Estate Market Update

By far the biggest question we get asked in the real estate industry is “how is the market.” Here is an update from VIREB for Nanaimo’s September real estate market update.

September real estate market update highlights

  1. Number one on our list is our inventory statistic. With historic lows in inventory, buyers are challenged to find homes on the market. A nine per cent decrease in inventory from the previous month and down 40 per cent from one year ago.
  2. We saw an increase of 23 per cent in September compared to last September – 531 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 431 last September.
  3. Month over month, sales decreased by 14 per cent from August, which saw 623 unit sales.

September 2016 Market Update

Sales of single-family homes in September were lower than in August but rose significantly over September 2015.
Last month, 531 single-family homes sold on the MLS® System compared to 431 last September, an increase of 23 per cent. Month over month, sales decreased by 14 per cent from August, which saw 623 unit sales. Inventory dropped to a new historic low, dipping to 1,265, a nine per cent decrease from the previous month and down 40 per cent from one year ago. The last time inventory was this low occurred in 2005 when the supply of single-family homes for sale dropped to 1,629 units. VIREB began tracking inventory levels in 1999.
In September 2016, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $389,200, up 14 per cent from one year ago. Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 11 per cent in Campbell River to 17 per cent in Nanaimo and the Parksville-Qualicum area. As in August, the benchmark price of an apartment rose approximately 15 per cent board-wide, with Duncan and Parksville-Qualicum reporting 21 and 29 per cent increases, respectively. The townhouse market also strengthened, posting an 11 per cent increase board-wide.
For our media release and a detailed breakdown of sales activity by zone, click here.

If you are thinking about selling your home, now is the time!  Inventory dropped to a new historic low, dipping to 1,265. The last time inventory was this low occurred in 2005 when the supply of single-family homes for sale dropped to 1,629 units.


Call RE/MAX of Nanaimo to list your home at 250.751.1223

Consumerism

Consumerism can very generally be defined as a preoccupation with and inclination toward the buying of consumer goods. There are other interpretations as well but to simplify it – we work more, to earn more, to spend more.

Consumerism

While there are different types of consumerism, the decision to buy a home falls into the category of “purchase with a high amount of decision making”. These types of purchases are usually unfamiliar and expensive and the items are bought infrequently – cars, homes, or computer systems for example. The buyer often invests a significant amount of time gathering information before committing to the purchase because there’s a high degree of risk financially.

Buying a new home

When looking at scaling down, you’re going to spend a lot of time on that decision. What items can you not live without in a smaller home, and what can you easily dispose of? If you’re at a place in your life where you don’t want to worry about so much “stuff”, you’ll need to be honest with yourself in your assessment and get rid of whatever is surplus or not used.

Is your new home move-in ready or are you going to do some renovating. If you’re renovating, will you consider the type of materials you use? Are they environmentally friendly, are they sustainable? Are they durable or will you end up replacing them again before long?

Informed purchase with your home

To avoid falling into the consumerism trap, you’ll want to make sure your decisions are made based on as much information as possible. Are the materials going to last or will you be replacing it all again in a few years? This can apply to both the house structure itself, as well as the fixtures and fittings inside. Can you lower your impact on the environment by using more energy efficient items or fixtures that help reduce your water consumption?

Give careful consideration to the purchases and investments you make. Evaluate whether or not they are a necessity or a luxury, the origin (how it’s made and where) and what impact it may have on the environment. Then make your decisions based on what best meets your needs, in the most economical way.

If you are considering moving, call one of our expert agents today at RE/MAX of Nanaimo at (250) 751-1223. They can help you find exactly what you dreamed of when you first thought of scaling down.

Fall Cleaning – Scaling Back on Consumerism

How can scaling down on consumerism can help simplify your life? Can it actually get you into a smaller home? Perhaps it’s time to do some fall cleaning and scaling back on consumerism.

Fall cleaning

Consumerism is, very simply, our inclination toward buying and owning a lot of “things”. By scaling back on consumerism, we are less controlled by the things we own and are better able to live life without added stress.

Simplifying spaces

We don’t have to pay for storage units because we have so many possessions. We don’t have the added financial burden of paying a bigger mortgage on a larger home, not to mention the extra utility costs, extra insurance costs for all our possessions and extra property taxes.

Scaling down and getting into a smaller home not only reduces the financial obligations you face, but lowers the stress associated with it.

The time and money we put into managing all our stuff can be significant. A bigger house means more time spent cleaning, more time for maintenance and repairs, and less time for enjoying your life and your family. Scaling back on consumerism gives you the opportunity to really experience the things you want to experience – a quick trip somewhere fun, going to the kids after school activities or sporting events or lazing away a sunny day with friends and a bbq.

Space planning

Smaller homes can be just as tasteful, cozy, relaxing or beautiful as a larger home. Planning the space, deciding which piece of furniture makes the most of the living room, or laying out your bedroom furniture in the most attractive way ensures you’ll enjoy the smaller home just as much. Let the kids plan their bedrooms  – how it will look and what to put where, so they’re comfortable right from the start. If they can make the space their own, they’ll adjust to a smaller space before you know it.

If you’re ready to simplify your life and scale down your home, give a RE/MAX of Nanaimo real estate agent a call today at (250) 751-1223.