There's been a few updates to real estate topics we've talked about in previous articles and we wanted to take the time to give a quick summary of some of the issues that may affect you.
Fraser Valley Real Estate Board releases stats for AUGUST
In a news release earlier this September, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) states that the market has continued to slow and sales numbers are at their lowest level this year. Sales this August have decrease by 10.5% since July and a total of 38.5% when compared to last year's August sales. The president of the FVREB, John Barbisan, believes that buyers and sellers can expect a decrease in multiple offer situations. "With demand slowing down and prices staying put, right now, effective pricing is key and will be the determining factor for a successful transaction," he says. “Our market continues to open up the further we get into the year, and that means you can make more considered, informed decisions if you’re looking to jump in,” continued Barbisan. With fewer listings appearing on the market but taking longer to sell, opportunities will increase for buyers.
Bank of Canada: a Possible Interest Rate Hike in October
The ongoing tensions regarding the NAFTA negotiations have played a huge role in the Bank of Canada's interest rate decisions. Without knowing the outcome of the continuing negotaions, the BOC has been inclined to leave the key interest rate unchanged during their scheduled September announcement. Senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins mentioned in a public address that it's been difficult for the Bank of Canada to estimate the right course of action, even with the speed of the rate hikes. It was agreed upon that the current "go-slow" approach is the best way to proceed. The next announcement is set to be held on October 24th where many analysts believe the rates will be increased again, despite continuing uncertainty. We will all be anticipating the next move of the Bank of Canada.
Government Reconfirms Funding for Surrey's Light Rail Transit
The LRT project has had an air of uncertainty in recent months, with so many weighing in on the prtoject and even becoming a hot button topic in the upcoming mayoral election in Surrey. To put the debates to rest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was joined by B.C. Premier John Horgan, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner at the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University to reconfirm the certainty of the project. Horgan said, "This [news conference] is about locking this down. This is happening. It's not being revisited." Although no additional money was being put towards the transit project, the government states that the "cheques are in the mail" and we can expect to see construction begin in 2020.
Toronto real estate board releases previously private sales data
After a long bitter battle between the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) and the Competition Tribunal, the Supreme Court has sided with the Competition Tribunal and the residents. In depth sales data will now be available to the public marking the first time a major real estate market has allowed the publishing of sales and pricing information for each property sold. John Barbisan, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board has said although there hasn't been the same type of demand for sales data to be released, the board is keeping a close eye on how it plays out. It will be interesting to see whether there is a push for the same type of transparency in a very similar market in British Columbia.