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

Mathieu Caron leads Chilliwack Chiefs to shutout win over Wenatchee Wild

Chilliwack’s netminder stopped 29 pucks Saturday night in a BCHL Showcase game at Prospera Centre.

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

VIDEO: Foster and adopted children claimed and named

Traditional ceremony welcomes children into community

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

Porsche impounded for going 138 km/hr in 90 zone during charity rally

West Vancouver Police said wet roads and heavy rain made it extra dangerous

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Phase 2 of $1.35B Royal Columbian upgrades won’t be a public-private partnership

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says it will be a design-build

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Most Read