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Fraser Valley inventory reaches highest level in 2016 as sales settle for fall season

Sales activity continues to slow down for the Fraser Valley in August

SURREY, BC – While sales in August remained above the ten-year average for the month historically, the number of transactions processed in the Fraser Valley continued to decrease following this year’s bustling spring.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,694 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August, a decrease of 2.3 per cent compared to the 1,734 sales in August 2015, and a 13.7 per cent decrease compared to the 1,962 transactions processed in July 2016.

“The numbers here aren’t alarming; they’re expected, and what we’re used to seeing around this time. Homebuyers should be encouraged that sales have slowed, giving inventory a chance to build back up and competition within the market to cool down,” said Board President Charles Wiebe.

The Board received 2,840 new listings in August, an increase of 15.6 per cent compared to August of last year, and a 12 per cent decrease from July 2016. The total active inventory for August was 6,102, down 17.6 per cent from last year’s 7,407 active listings but up 1.5 per cent from July.

“With sales activity moderating to more normal levels, we’re beginning to see prices follow-suit, and even drop for certain housing types in some of ourcommunities. Regardless, this is still a challenging and volatile market. Talk to your REALTOR® who can help you understand what’s happening right now and what you can realistically achieve as a seller or buyer.”

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in August 2016 was 20 days, compared to 32 days in August 2015.

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in August was $888,600, an increase of 41.2 per cent compared to August 2015 when it was $629,400.

In August, the benchmark price of townhouses was $418,400, an increase of 36.4 per cent compared to $306,700 in August of 2015. The benchmark price of apartments also increased year-over-year by 29.7 per cent, going from $191,900 in August 2015 to $248,800 in August 2016.

Full package:
http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/Package201608.pdf

Can New Kitchen Appliances Increase the Value of Your Home?

Next to a major kitchen renovation, replacing appliances is the most expensive way to upgrade the space. So if you’re purchasing a new refrigerator, stove or dishwasher in order to make your home more attractive to buyers, you want to make wise purchasing decisions.

The most important consideration is how the appliances will look in the kitchen. Ideally, they should match in colour and style. They should also be the right size for the space. The last thing you want is a fridge that’s so large it dominates the room, or a stove that’s a completely different style and looks out-of-place.

Appearance is important, but so are the features. Buyers viewing your home will scrutinize the appliances. They’ll notice if the fridge has a cold water and ice dispenser. They’ll ask if the dishwasher has noise-reduction features. Double ovens and quick-heating burners (which are now available on electric stoves) will also get a buyer’s attention. Power consumption is also a big issue these days. Increasingly, buyers are interested in the energy efficient features of a home — appliances included.

So, as your REALTOR® I would point out appliances with energy-saving features, such as a dishwasher with a slow-run cycle that saves power. Kitchen appliances may seem minor compared to the overall appeal of your property, but they do make a difference. Purchase wisely!

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Fraser Valley Housing Market remains Hectic

SURREY, BC – Consistent with the preceding two months, June saw a record-setting number of sales for the month historically, but continued easing off since this year’s sales peak in March.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 2,864 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, an increase of 18.7 per cent compared to June 2015. The previous record for sales processed in a June was set in 2005 at 2,517. However, when compared to May 2016, sales dipped 1.5 per cent.

With 1,281 sales of single family detached homes, demand for greater space and land remained consistent. However, nearly matching that was the combined total of June’s 656 townhome sales and 604 apartment sales, a rare feat for the Fraser Valley region.

“Demand for Fraser Valley homes grips the market, tightly. Still, we are seeing a slight leveling-off that while not drastic, is giving both buyers and sellers a bit more room to maneuver,” said Charles Wiebe, President of the Board.

The Board received 3,705 new listings in June, an increase of 11.7 per cent compared to June of last year, and a 0.8 per cent increase from May 2016. The total active inventory for June was 5,612, down 30.8 per cent from last year’s 8,105 active listings at this time.

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in June 2016 was 17 days, compared to 35 days in June 2015.

“Simply put, to meet demand, we need even more listings. More than half of our active inventory consists of new listings that came on to the MLS® in June; our market is truly in the hands of hopeful sellers,” added Wiebe.

“If you’re a struggling buyer, or someone thinking of selling but on-the-fence, talk to a REALTOR® and find your best path through this complex environment.”

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in June was $861,600, an increase of 41.3 per cent compared to June 2015 when it was $609,900.

In June, the benchmark price of townhouses was $387,100, an increase of 27.9 per cent compared to $302,600 in June 2015. The benchmark price of apartments also increased year-over-year by 20.8 per cent, going from $191,900 in June 2015 to $231,900 in June 2016.

 

Full package:
http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/Package%20201606.pdf

Should You Own a Fire Extinguisher?

You’ve seen fire extinguishers in commercial environments, such as schools, stores and workplaces. Does it make sense to have one in your home?

According to the experts, yes. In fact, a fire extinguisher can quickly put out a blaze that would otherwise quickly grow out of control.

There are several types of fire extinguishers that are made especially for residential use. That means they put out the most common fires that occur in the home (Class A, B & K fires), and they are easy to handle and use.

Since most residential fires happen in the kitchen, that’s the best place to keep your extinguisher. Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is and how to use it. Keep in mind that a home fire extinguisher is meant for small fires that are easy to put out, such as a pan of vegetable oil igniting on the stove. If you find you can’t control the blaze within a few seconds with the extinguisher, get everyone out of the home and call the fire department. Also, never attempt to fight a major fire yourself.

Leave that to the professionals

Finding the List Price “Tipping Points”

Setting the right list price for a home is a mystery for many sellers.

How do you begin to determine what buyers are likely to pay for your property? After all, no two homes are exactly alike. Yet, setting the right price is crucial.

You need to avoid the two price “tipping points” that, if crossed, can cause you a lot of problems.

The first tipping point is a price that’s low enough for buyers to begin thinking something is wrong. They wonder, “Why is your price so low? What are you not telling us about your property?” But that’s not even the worst problem with this tipping point. If you do get offers at that low price, you’ll have a bigger issue – leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

The other tipping point is setting your price so high it discourages buyers from giving your listing a second look. When your price is that high, you’ll get few enquiries and even fewer people coming to see your property. Of course, you can lower your price later, if necessary. But experience shows that reduced prices make potential buyers skeptical. Most sellers who price high in the hopes of getting a windfall actually end up selling for much less than they would have if they had priced their properties correctly in the first place.

So what’s the right price to list your property? The answer is somewhere inbetween those two tipping points.

Call today and I will help you determine the right price for your property.

Concerned about Condensation on Windows?

If you see a haze of condensation on your window, should you be concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on a number of factors. First of all, an occasional build-up of condensation is normal and often the result of fluctuating humidity in the home. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. If you’re using a humidifier, try adjusting the levels. If the humidity is being generated naturally, try placing a dehumidifier nearby. Also, remove any plants and firewood from the area, as they can release a surprising volume of moisture into the air. Do you see moisture in between the panes of glass that make up the window? If so, that means the seal has failed and moisture has crept in. Double and triple pane windows often contain a gas (argon, for example) that boosts the insulating qualities of the window. When the seal fails, the gas disappears, making the glass colder and often allowing condensation to creep in. Eventually, you’ll want to get it replaced. If you see moisture build-up anywhere on the frame of the window, particularly at the joints, that could be a sign of water leaking through. That’s an issue you should get checked out immediately by a window contractor.

Not-So-Obvious Reasons to Meet with a REALTOR®

When is the best time to meet with a REALTOR® like me?

Chances are, you would say, “When I’m thinking of buying or selling a home.” You’d be right, of course! However, there are many other good reasons to meet with me.

Here are just a few:

• You want a professional opinion as to the current value of your property, so you know what it would likely sell for in today’s market.

• You notice a home listed for sale in a desirable neighbourhood, and you’re interested in learning more — even if you’re unsure you want to make a move.

• You’re thinking of moving within the next couple of years, and you want to find a REALTOR® like me, that you can get to know and trust.

• You want some recommendations for preparing your home for sale and especially determining what repairs and other work needs to be done.

• You want an honest assessment as to the state of the local market, and the best time for you to buy or sell.

• You have real estate-related questions and you want to talk to an expert who knows the local market well and can provide you with answers.

As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®. Call today.

How to Reduce the Chance of Burglary by 90%

No one wants to deal with a burglary. It can be a difficult subject talk about but just how canyou reduce the chances of one happening?

Fortunately, burglaries are a well-studied phenomenon — especially by law enforcement. These studies have identified specific things you can do to cut the risk dramatically.

Here are some ideas:

• 34% of home break-ins occur through the front door. Experts recommend investing in a door with a top-quality locking mechanism. (The best are those that lock at three points of contact.)

• 50% of burglars will be deterred if your home has some sort of video monitoring system. A thief doesn’t want his face on YouTube!

• Unfortunately, signs and window stickers warning of an alarm system do not deter thieves. However, 62% of burglars will immediately run away when an alarm goes off. Always turn on your alarm system when you’re not home!

• 22% of burglaries occur through a sliding glass door or patio door. Make sure it’s locked and also use a solid metal jammer.

• Some thieves use frequency scanners to gain access to garages. Police recommend changing your remote entry code regularly and putting blinds or curtains on garage windows so thieves can’t see (and be tempted by) any valuables inside.

As you can see, there are many simple things you can do to reduce your chances of a burglary dramatically. The effort is worth it.