Should You Sell First and Buy Later? Or Vice-Versa?


When you’re thinking of selling your home and buying another, you face the inevitable question: Should I list my property first or buy my new home first?


Let’s take a look at both options.


If you attempt to buy a property before listing your home, you run into a couple of challenges.


First, sellers may not take you seriously as a potential buyer. After all, you haven’t put your own home up for sale. As far as they’re concerned, you might merely be testing the market.


Second, your property might not sell as quickly as you thought it would. If there is an early closing date on the home you purchased, you might end up owning, and paying a mortgage on both properties, at least until your home sells.


If, on the other hand, you list your property before buying a new home, sellers will know you’re serious. That puts you in a competitive position in the event of multiple offers.


Also, if your home sells quickly, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of knowing exactly how much of a new home you can afford. You’ll be able to shop with confidence.


Of course, like the first option, there is a chance that the closing dates won’t match and you’ll end up owning two properties for a period of time. However, solutions such as bridge financing are available to help.


So, there is no perfect answer. A lot depends on the state of the local market.


Looking for a good REALTOR® who can help you decide which is the best move for you? Call today.



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June 5, 2015

The below letter from President J. Darcy McLeod was sent to our media contacts this afternoon.

Will more taxes solve housing affordability challenges? History says no and so do we....


The rising cost of homes in our region is well-documented. Metro Vancouver home prices have increased nearly 80 per cent since 2005. Detached home prices have increased over 100 per cent.

We worry about how our children can afford a home and how the most vulnerable among us can find basic shelter. These concerns have led to public debate about possible solutions.

One suggestion is for government to introduce new taxes. Some believe government should tax non-Canadian investors who buy properties. Mayor Robertson believes there should be a "luxury housing" tax on the sale of the most expensive homes in Vancouver.

We believe more taxes won’t help. Taxes bring unintended consequences. There’s little to no evidence that a luxury or foreign buyer tax would make homes more affordable. 

History tells us that taxes like this fail to have the desired impact and succeed in permanently adding to government coffers.

In 1987, the provincial government implemented what was advertised as a “wealth tax”. It was supposed to apply to the sale of the most expensive five per cent of homes sold in BC. It's been 28 years since that tax was introduced and the thresholds have never been adjusted for inflation. 
Today, that tax is known as the Property Transfer Tax (PTT). It’s applied to 95 per cent of all residential property sales in the province. This tax makes housing less affordable. 

The home is where many people’s financial net worth resides. It's one of the last major assets that residents can sell and not pay a tax on the revenue. A little mentioned fact is that we already have tax disincentives for foreign owners. If a foreign home owner wants to sell a property in Canada, they are unable to receive a capital gains exemption.

The picture of affordability and home ownership is changing in Metro Vancouver. Our region's affordability challenges are complicated and, unfortunately, there isn't a single action that can solve them. Economists will tell you that offshore investment is a factor in today’s market. To what extent, no one has the data to know. 

What we do know is that local conditions have a much more significant impact. We live in one of the most beautiful, progressive and prosperous areas of the world. There are more people who want to live here than there are homes available. This causes prices to rise. 

The natural solution would be to create more supply, but we're constrained by mountains to the north, an ocean to the west, and a border to the south. 

Despite the headlines, the majority of home sales in Metro Vancouver are not $1-million and beyond. Based on our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) statistics, nearly 70 per cent of all sales in the region last year were below $800,000. 

The price of condominiums today ranges between $200,000 and $600,000 depending on size and location. Townhomes range between $300,000 and $800,000 in the region.

Detached homes in the City of Vancouver are at the high-end of our market. Recent activity has pushed homes on the Vancouver Westside above $2.5 million. 
It’s a different story in neighbouring communities. The benchmark price of a detached home in Maple Ridge today is $499,100; in Ladner the benchmark price is $713,200; in Coquitlam the benchmark price is $845,400.

Affordability challenges exist. But there are also more options and aspects to the story than is typically discussed in the media. Certainly more than the mayor is putting forward.


J. Darcy McLeod
President of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Source: REBGV 


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June 2, 2015

Metro Vancouver home sales surpass 4,000 for third consecutive month

It continues to be a competitive spring market for Metro Vancouver* home buyers. This competition continues to put upward pressure on home prices, particularly in the detached home market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 4,056 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2015. This represents a 23.4 per cent increase compared to the 3,286 sales recorded in May 2014, and a decrease of 2.9 per cent compared to the 4,179 sales in April 2015.

Last month’s sales were 16.7 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“We continue to see strong competition for homes that are priced right for today’s market,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “It’s important to remember that real estate is hyper local, particularly in a seller’s market. This means that conditions and prices vary depending on property type, neighbourhood, and other factors."

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,641 in May. This represents a 5 per cent decrease compared to the 5,936 new listings reported in May 2014.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the region’s MLS® is 12,336, a 23.2 per cent decline compared to May 2014 and a 0.8 per cent decline compared to April 2015.

“While the supply of homes for sale remains below what’s typical for this time of year, our region continues to offer a diverse selection of housing options at different price points,” McLeod said. “This diversity within the housing stock is part of what’s driving today’s home sale activity.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $684,400. This represents a 9.4 per cent increase compared to May 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in May was 32.9 per cent. This is the highest that this ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since June 2007.

Sales of detached properties in May 2015 reached 1,723, an increase of 18.6 per cent from the 1,453 detached sales recorded in May 2014, and a 42.2 per cent increase from the 1,212 units sold in May 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 14.1 per cent from May 2014 to $1,104,900.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,600 in May 2015, an increase of 24.4 per cent compared to the 1,286 sales in May 2014, and an increase of 40.8 per cent compared to the 1,136 sales in May 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.6 per cent from May 2014 to $396,900.

Attached property sales in May 2015 totalled 733, an increase of 34 per cent compared to the 547 sales in May 2014, and a 37.3 per cent increase from the 534 attached properties sold in May 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 6.4 per cent between May 2014 and 2015 to $501,000.

*Note:  Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

Source: REBGV

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