2017 was another record-breaking year in terms of sales volume, as well as price.
After the Foreign Buyers Tax, implemented in August 2016, caused only short-term relief, investors and home buyers continued their buying spree through the first half of 2017. With the Canadian Economy growing at a torrid pace, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates by 0.25% in both July and September, setting the new benchmark interest rate at 1%. While other major real estate markets saw drastic effects from the rate hikes, the Fraser Valley proved once again to be an anomaly in Canadian real estate, showing slowed but continued growth through the rest of 2017. November and December saw a 17% increase in mortgage applications, caused primarily by buyers looking to avoid new regulations implemented in early 2018.
As of Jan. 1, 2018, most Canadians getting, renewing, or refinancing a mortgage have
to show that they would be able to cope with interest rates substantially higher than their
These new rules by the Federal Government mean that even borrowers with a down payment of 20% or more will now face a stress test, as has been the case since January of 2017 for applicants with smaller down payments who require mortgage insurance. This new stress test, coupled with rising interest rates, an increased foreign buyers tax to 20%, and updated property transfer taxes seem to indicate an impending slow in the market. Although many of these measures were introduced in the 2018 Provincial Budget to cool an overheated market, it’s important to note that Fraser Valley real estate prices have historically been quite resistant to regulatory changes.
The Township of Langley has seen much of the same growth in multi-family developments as it has since 2016, with Willoughby Heights accounting for nearly 70% of all development activity in the Township. Highlights for 2017 included the release of the Smith NCP, which saw a drastic price increase as well as the adoption of the Brookswood Plan, which was met with a mixed response from the development community. With areas like the Williams NCP in Willoughby Heights finally beginning construction, the Township is poised for continued rapid growth.
HOT AREA: Smith
UPCOMING AREA: Brookswood
It’s easy to glance over important storylines when things are moving ahead as quickly as they are in Grandview Heights. The proposed LRT project has been gaining traction and seems to be moving ahead nicely, with a push being made for full-scale roll out in one phase rather than in two as originally anticipated. Grandview Heights #3 NCP was started in 2017, as well as the #4 NCP to be released in Spring 2018, which will see even more interest generated for Grandview.
Two areas with a significant increase in developer driven acquisitions were West Clayton and also the Anniedale Tynehead NCP, primarily on the Eastern side of Highway 15 (176th). With West Clayton progressing nicely, North Clayton is beginning to draw some interest from developers which may initiate the planning process.
HOT AREA: West Clayton
UPCOMING AREA: Tynehead
Maple Ridge has slowly grown into one of the more interesting areas in the Fraser Valley. With the obvious rapidly growing areas such as Silver Valley, many larger developers are also beginning to cross the Golden Ears to invest in lesser known Albion and even the Thornhill Urban Land Reserve, which has yet to see a planning process initiated. With low land prices and relatively large parcels, both sub-areas are poised for growth in the next 8-12 years. The city’s progressive Government, world-class amenities, and stunning mountain views have neighbouring cities taking note. It’s clear Maple Ridge is ready to grow.
HOT AREA: Albion
UPCOMING AREA: Thornhill