Nanci Fulton

Committed to YOUR success!


Each season I like to look ahead and make some predictions about what the property market will do over the coming months. As Spring was approaching I had predicted increased demand for condos and townhomes, a healthier supply of properties on the market, and continued price gains (but not as drastic as 2016).

 

These predictions did manifest and between March and May 2017 we saw sales of townhomes and condos make up 53 percent of total sales in Squamish while making up 49 percent of sales during this period in 2016 (this data, in most cases, doesn’t include new construction which would tip the scales more heavily in 2017).

 

Inventory in spring this year also maintained a healthier supply than 2016. Total inventory across all property types averaged 157 in Spring 2016 while in 2017, the inventory on the market for the same period was 207.

 

Price gains also continued in spring 2017 but as predicted we did not see the same level of increase as the market experienced in 2016. Across all property types the year-on-year median sales price gains between May 2015 and 2016 was 31.8 percent, while gains between May 2016 and 2017 were 2.4 percent.

 

Looking forward to summer I am predicting an active real estate market over the coming months. Halfway through June and we have already seen 55 new listings come on the market and 34 sales. This is pacing similair to last year and for the entire month of June 2016 there were 57 sales and 104 new listings.

 

In July 2016 the real estate market reacted to the shock of the Foreign Buyers Tax. As consumer and investor confidence dipped the market stalled until late Fall. Disruptions such as this are not expected to affect this summer’s real estate market, and buyer and seller sentiment remains strong.

 

Prices will steady this summer and create optimal conditions for buyers as inventory remains at a good level (though still below long-term averages). Although the Squamish real estate market is still tipped in favour of sellers, historically summer presents a better market than spring for buyers especially when there are plenty of properties on the market to choose from such as now.

 

Summer remains a great time of year to sell as the Squamish backdrop makes any property dazzle and the additional out-of-town traffic who are here to experience the adventure that is Squamish also bring with them a curiosity about what it is like living here.

 

If you’re looking to buy or sell this summer, make sure to reach out and we can discuss your real estate plans over the coming months.

 

  • Nanci

Read Full Story

Every real estate agent wishes they had a crystal ball that would predict property trends. I have been selling real estate in Squamish since 1988 and never fail to be surprised with our local Squamish market. Since a crystal ball isn’t possible the next best method of determining the likely direction of the market is looking into the past. Analysing real estate trends and data give us some of the picture, and understanding the economic, political and regulatory landscape surrounding the market can help decipher some of the rest.

 

There will always be a piece of the real estate predication puzzle that can never be solved. Many would have never predicted the global financial crisis a few years before it happened, especially not its impact on property markets all around the world. Macro factors such as interest rates, industry changes, economic conditions, consumer confidence, global issues etc. all effect the real estate industry.

 

Based on data and by examining three important metrics, we look at Squamish’s real estate past to predict the future of the local housing market.

Sales Price

Sales prices have been trending upwards since 2005 with a slight dip between 2010 and 2013 due to the GFC, and a strong recovery starting in 2015. Between 2015 and 2016 sales price for detached homes increased 31 percent, townhomes 24 percent and condos 39 percent.

 

Price increases, although still impressive, are now beginning to ease. Between 2016 and 2017 sales prices went up 20 percent for detached homes, 12 percent for townhomes and 14 percent for condos. This is showing a stabilization which will likely continue for the next few years. With new construction being built, lack of affordable housing and possible interest rate rises, there is a good chance sales prices will steady for the short-medium term.

Days on Market

Days on the market signifies the demand for property at a particular period of time. Looking back 12 years ago, days on market were as low as they are now. Around 2008 homes began to sit on the market for longer, peaking in 2012 before the market made a strong recovery in 2015 and homes began selling quickly once again.

 

We are now seeing detached homes stay on the market for longer due to their higher price point, while condos are not staying for sale long (this is a reverse of 2015). This trend is expected to continue while prices remain high, and as the market begins to steady days on the market will increase for all housing categories.

 

Total Inventory

While days on the market tells a story about demand, total inventory tells the story of supply. Inventory peaked around the time of the Olympics, when assumedly many people believed it was a good time to sell. Inventory levels stayed high until 2012, at which point they started to deplete.

 

Our inventory levels are now around what they were pre- GFC and are creeping back up to more moderate levels. The demand for properties at the bottom end of the market is draining condo stock, while detached homes are accumulating on the market longer as many people are being priced out of the single-family home market. As new developments help alleviate the shortage of affordable housing, and as people seek more affordable markets elsewhere, expect more inventory on the market over the next few years.

 

 

More questions about the Squamish real estate market? Make sure to contact me about buying or selling in Squamish this year. With nearly 30 years of expertise and as a top performer in the local market, I have the experience, knowledge and know-how to represent you in today's market.

 

*stats taken from April 2005, April 2007, April 2012, April 2015 and April 2017

Read Full Story

 

We are in the midst of a busy spring market and the popularity of Squamish real estate is going from strength to strength, despite a slowing down of Vancouver’s market to the south. So what are the best performing housing categories in Squamish? What property types are most ‘in-demand’, and where can deals be found? Here we look at condos, townhomes and detached single family homes in Squamish, and how they are performing in the current market environment.

Condos

The average sales price of a Squamish condo in March was $344,000. This is up 9.2% from March last year, and 43% from March 2015.  The average days on the market of a Squamish condo in March was 12, this was down from 100 days in January, and similar to March 2016 where the average days on the market was 11. Total inventory of condos has been dropping steadily since November 2016 which peaked at 67 condos on the market; in March 2017 there were only 24 (compared to 58 in March last year). Condo sales are down from this time last year, mainly due to the lack of inventory.

 

New inventory of condos in Squamish is limited. The Main, located in downtown Squamish, is nearly sold out, and Sirocco and Skyridge’s Skysuites have not announced pre-sale dates. As the Squamish real estate market becomes more expensive, and as first-time buyers receive government assistance with down-payments, we will continue to see condos being highly sought after and sell quickly until new developments begin to replenish stock.

Townhomes

Squamish is seeing a surge of new townhomes come on the market, which may help stabilise property prices in this category, although we are not seeing proof of this yet. The median sales price of a townhome in March 2017 was $584,450, up 16 percent from March last year. Townhome inventory surpasses condos, with 53 on the market in March. Because of this days on the market are greater, averaging 32 days in March, giving buyers more choice when it comes to shopping around. Townhome sales remain similar to last year at 18 in March, although for the most part, this does not factor in pre-sales of new developments.

 

Projects like Summits View, Soleil, The Breeze and Skyridge are bringing much needed townhome inventory to Squamish. With completions starting late 2017, and more townhome projects coming up, there will hopefully be some stabilization of prices in the near future.

Detached Single Family Homes

Prices of detached single family homes have been on a sharp upward trend since 2015. In March 2017, the median sales price of a single-family home in Squamish was $952,000, up 13 percent from March 2016. Unlike condos and townhomes, there is little in the way of new inventory coming on the market, and besides Ravenswood, there does not appear to be much in the way of land or new developments happening in the near future. That being said, resale inventory is strong with 119 listings on the market in March, compared to only 66 listings the same time last year. Homes are selling for on average of 96.3 percent of the list price, which is lower than condos and townhomes which are at about 99 percent. There were 30 sales in March 2017 compared to 34 in the same month last year.

 

As you can tell by the numbers, no matter what property type you’re looking at, the real estate market is hot in Squamish. The robust real estate market is staying strong even with the additional inventory coming on, and will likely remain this way as more projects commence in the next few years, fronted by the Squamish Oceanfront project (Newport Beach) which is securing 20 years of development on Squamish’s Oceanfront peninsula making way for a further 6,500 residents in this community.

 

If you’re wondering when is the best time to buy or sell, it is now! For buyers, prices are continuing to climb, there is plenty of inventory on the market so if you’re able to buy, don’t wait. Sellers are seeing healthy levels of appreciation and can be confident about getting a strong sale price for their home. So far in April we’ve seen 41 new listings, 9 price changes and 41 sales.

 

If you have any questions about the Squamish real estate market, or are thinking of buying or selling in Squamish, make sure to contact Nanci Fulton today.

Read Full Story

 

I am hearing many people ask the question, “are we likely to see a similar spring real estate market as last year?”.  If you’ve forgotten what happened last spring or weren’t here to witness it, we saw sales prices increase up to 30% in some neighbourhoods, multiple offers became the norm, and inventory got to record low levels. These frenzied conditions simmered down in summer, and the rest of the year regained a normal pace; however, many are wondering if we are likely to see a repeat of spring 2016. Will sellers experience market conditions as favourable as last year? Will buyers finally get a break? Let’s look at the data.

 

Sales Price

The average sales price in February 2016 was $638,372, this has increased 1.8% to $650,022 in February 2017. When we look at Vancouver the sales price has actually decreased 10% year-on-year.

 

New Listings

Spring is the time when people like to put their homes on the market. It appears we are slightly behind pace with new listings this year. Between January 1st and March 15th last year there were about 220 new listings that came on the market. This year, we are pacing slightly behind at around 206. In March 2016 there were 115 new listings that came on the market, half way through March 2017 and we have 57, slightly under.

 

Overall Inventory

Although new listings are down our overall inventory is actually above last year. In February 2016 there were 134 total listings, February 2017 there were 197.

Days on the Market (DOM)

We saw a significant drop of days on the market between January and February this year. In January 2017 the average days on the market was 64; this dropped to 24 in February. Homes are still staying on the market longer than they were last year. In January 2016 the average DOM was 27, this dropped to 16 in February.

 

Sales

Sales transactions are down from last year. In February 2016 we saw 64 sales, there were 20 less sales in February 2017. So far in March we have seen 31 sales (half way through the month), March 2016 had a total of 87 sales transactions.

 

So what does all of this mean?

We will and are seeing an upswing of activity following the usual spring trend. We are unlikely to see the market pick up to the same pace as it did last spring. There are several variables that account for this. The Vancouver market has cooled, giving buyers in Metro Vancouver some reprieve enabling them to enter this market instead of seek more affordable markets elsewhere. Prices have increased and the Squamish market is now unreachable for some buyers. The lending environment is tightening meaning mortgages aren’t as plentiful as they have been in the past.

 

These balanced market conditions are favourable for both sellers and buyers. Sellers are seeing strong prices, above this time last year however are unlikely to see multiple offers as frequency as we saw last spring. Buyers have plenty more inventory to choose from, lots of new projects, and therefore can be more selective with their purchase.

For those seeking more information about the Squamish real estate market, or are looking to buy or sell, you can contact me at nancifulton@shaw.ca.

-           

Read Full Story

 

Half way through February and it’s been a great start to the year of real estate in Squamish. What makes it so great you ask? We start the year with balanced market conditions, plenty of inventory for sale and a more relaxed paced to the market compared to last year. In January 2016 we started the year with a mere 113 listings on the market compared to 210 listings in January 2017. The sales to active ratio, which indicates a buyer’s or seller’s market, was .25 percent in January 2016 (and rose to .64 percent in April 2016). In January 2017 the ratio was .17 percent, indicating a balanced market, favourable for both buyers and sellers. A seller’s market is anything over .20 percent while a buyer’s market is anything under .14 percent.

 

For Sellers

Property prices remain strong and according to the MLS HPI Price (which measures the rate that housing prices change over time), home prices have increased 28.3 percent since January 2016. There is a strong demand for well-priced properties, especially homes with suites, suite potential, and condos and townhomes under $500K.

For Buyers

With plenty of inventory on the market, including new developments and re-sale homes, there is lots to choose from in Squamish! The balanced market means buyers have more time to find that perfect property. In January the average home sold for 95.3 percent of the original price, this indicates some room for negotiation.

 

The current real estate market is positioned for a much more reasonable spring compared to last year, this however can change in an instant, we only have to look at sales last year which jumped from 28 in January to 99 in April. The Squamish real estate market does mirror Vancouver’s to some degree (read here to see just how similar the two real estate markets are), and many experts are predicting a continued decline of sales and a slight correction to property prices in Vancouver as the price heights of 2016 were at unsustainable and unaffordable levels. As we saw last year, many buyers were pushed out of Vancouver and turned to nearby markets like Squamish, this trend is expected to continue in 2017.

 

So far in February we have seen 47 new listings come on the market, 9 price changes (mostly down) and 25 sales. Stay tuned to the next market update in March where we will have a clearer picture of what the Spring real estate market will bring.

 

As always if you’re thinking of selling in 2017 I’d be happy to provide you with a free, obligation-free market evaluation of your home. If you’re looking to buy in Squamish, I can keep you posted with the latest listings that meet your requirements, and represent you during the real estate process. Contact Nanci Fulton today.

Read Full Story

 

Welcome to 2017! I hope everyone had an excellent Christmas holiday and is ready for a promising year ahead. Real Estate predictions for 2017 range from continued growth at a pace similar to last Spring to full on bubble bursting prophecies. Although our real estate market does mirror Vancouver’s to some extent (read on to see how our markets compared in 2016), there are a few things isolating us from anywhere else in BC, here are the top 5 reasons I believe the market will be hot in 2017.

  1. Population growth- Squamish’s population growth is one of the strongest in the Province (growing at around 12 percent per annum). This is fueled by a migration of people from the Lower Mainland who can no longer afford the market and who are seeking a life of recreation and adventure here in Squamish. It’s a simple supply and demand issue. The demand for real estate from our current population coupled with people moving here is in excess of the current real estate supply available.
  2. Low rental inventory- Squamish also has some the lowest rental inventory in the Province. I have heard figures as low as zero percent vacancy. This is turning some would-be renters into to buyers due to the un-availability of rental properties. Some of my renters were forced into buying last year and certainly didn’t regret it. Their new home increased nearly 30 percent in one year. The initial $30,000 equity invested in their home increased to nearly $40,000 in one year. If they would have rented, that $30,000 in twelve months of rental payments (at $2000 per month) would have been more like $6000. No brainer.
  3. New developments- If you think the development in Squamish right now is booming just wait. With the Squamish Oceanfront Project (Newport Beach) on track to be finished in 20 years, the next two decades will transform this town even more than we have seen in recent years. Couple this with other projected developments like the Waterfront Landing, Garibaldi at Squamish, Garibaldi Springs and many more, Squamish is only going to become more appealing for investors and buyers over the coming years.
  4. Foreign Buyers Tax- The foreign buyers tax was a catalyst for Vancouver’s cooling market, however this tax does not apply for Squamish. The tax could result in overseas buyers looking for areas around Vancouver that are not subject to the tax- such as Squamish.
  5. First-time Buyers Home Equity Program- This new program which is in affect as of January 16th 2017 will see the BC government matching first-time buyers deposits of up to 5 percent. This is going to mobile more first-time buyers to take the plunge into real estate and will likely see the bottom end of the market move up due to competition for more affordable properties.

For buyers, now is a great time. The market is relaxed and corrected since the heights of Spring 2016. It is likely the market will pick up pace come February/March so if you’re thinking of buying, now is the perfect time (plus there’s lots on the market).

For sellers, now is the time to get your home on the market! With a good possibility there will be a surge of buyers this Spring which is what we saw last Spring (so many buyers + not much on the market = strong sales prices and multiple offer situations). If you’re thinking of listing this Spring, we need to talk now.

 

And as for stats so far this month…

 

14 new listings

7 Price changes

6 Sales

 

Look forward to crossing paths in 2017!

-          Nanci

Read Full Story

Only two weeks left in 2016 and with many people reflecting on the year that’s passed, we will reflect on the year in real estate. And what a year it was. Squamish is officially in the middle of an unprecedented development boom and real estate market. With so many industry changes such as the foreign buyers tax (which effects Vancouver, not Squamish), new lending rules, and big changes in global politics, there is certainly plenty shaking up real estate this year. Although the Squamish real estate market is showing some correction, we are still seeing strong prices and plenty of sales across all property types.

 

So far in December we have seen 21 new listings, 11 price changes and 24 sales. How about the rest of the year?

 

Sales in 2016

Total property sales across all property types peaked in April with 99 sales and were at their lowest in January with 28 sales. Since April, sales have been declining with a slight upswing this November. Looking at previous years’, sales paced ahead for the first five months of the year and then dropped below 2015 sales volume levels from June onwards.

Sales Prices in 2016

Sales prices gradually increased as the year went on. At the height of market activity in April the average sales price across all property types was $529,000. This has increased slightly in November to $537,000. In the detached home category, the median price went up $50,000 from April and $140,000 from November 2015. For townhomes, the median price dropped $36,450 between April and November and was also slightly down from November 2015.

Days on Market 2016

Days on the market hit a low this year in April with the median days on the market being 11 across all property types. In November, this increased to 36. In November, detached homes were likely to stay on the market the longest (60 days), followed by apartments (52 days) and townhomes (18 days).

Inventory 2016

Inventory is once again starting to climb, the highest inventory (active listings on the market) achieved this year was in November with 251 listings. The last time inventory was so high was in August 2014. Although inventory has been steadily climbing since December 2015, prices are remaining strong.

 

Many home owners in Squamish are asking themselves is now the time to sell? Our answer to that is YES! There are still favourable selling conditions in the marketplace and price gains in the last year surpass 30% in some Squamish neighbourhoods. If you have been considering selling your home we encourage you to contact us so we can discuss how your property could perform in the current real estate market, and what you can expect to get for your property. Despite Christmas being just over a week away the buyers are here, waiting for their perfect home to go on the market (it could be yours!)

Read Full Story

As a Realtor® there is nothing better than a balanced real estate market. Balanced markets present ample opportunity for sellers to get a fair price for their home, and buyers to negotiate on a property that’s right for them. Now that we are safely on the other side of one of the most frenzied Spring real estate markets I have seen in nearly 30 years of real estate in Squamish, many of us Realtors are taking a collective sigh of relief as the market regains a regular momentum once again. So, what are the benefits of this balanced market for both buyers and sellers? Let me tell you.

For Sellers

Sales prices have remained strong and well-priced homes are selling quickly. The days of putting any price tag on your property and watching it sell are over for now. That being said, sellers can expect getting 21% more for their home compared to this time last year. That’s an additional $120,000 for a $600,000 property- not bad gains in 12 months.

For Buyers

Yes, you are paying more to buy property in Squamish than you were a year or two ago. Compared to Spring however, prices are more reasonable, there is more room to negotiate and there is time to find your ideal property. The market does appear to be correcting, with prices trending down slightly so there is less pressure to secure your home. In October the average home was sold at 97.4% of list price, in March and April 2016 properties were being sold at 100% of list price.

Another positive for buyers is the added inventory coming on the market. There are several new townhome development presales happening, condo projects about to launch and new construction of single family homes too. There looks to be a good twenty years of strong development in Squamish led by big projects like Newport Beach (Squamish Oceanfront Development). This correction in the market may be a good opportunity for buyers to get in, with nothing but strong growth predicted for Squamish’s economy and property market moving forward.

So as a Realtor®, these are my favourite market conditions. So far in November we have seen 47 new listings come on the market, 17 expired listings, 27 price changes (mostly going down), and 24 sales.

If you’re looking to buy or sell, now may be the perfect time. While I can’t predict what the future holds for the local real estate market next year, there is no time like the present to negotiate on that property you’ve been watching, or to take advantage of the increased value of your home by selling.

Read Full Story

In recent months there’s been a lot of news about Vancouver real estate but what about Squamish? As many people are aware, the Squamish market does mirror Vancouver’s in many ways. If Vancouver sneezes, Squamish catches a cold- or so you would think. But what do the stats indicate, and is Squamish following the same real estate fate as Vancouver? This is what the numbers have to say…

 

Property Sales

Property sales are a good indicator of how active a market is. In the height of the property market this March, Vancouver recorded 5196 sales. In the height of Squamish’s market, which occurred in April, it recorded 99. The decrease in sales from the height of the market to September has been 55% for Vancouver and 58% for Squamish.

Verdict- Vancouver and Squamish are comparable with regards to the decrease in property sales between March and September.

 

 

*REBGV is Greater Vancouver

 

Sales Price

Sales price has been the metric receiving the most shock and awe in recent months. Between March 2015 and March 2016 average sales prices jumped 19% in Vancouver and 17% in Squamish. So what have the sales prices been doing lately? Although Vancouver saw a sharp dip in July, the average sales price in Squamish has remained relatively stable dipping ever so slightly from the heights of July/August.

 

 

In Squamish for most of year sales price has been over 100% of list price, this dropped off in July with August being 96% and September 96.9%

Verdict- Sales prices in Squamish are remaining steady while they are dropping ever so slightly in Vancouver


New Listings

At the end of 2015, listings were a scarce commodity. In December 2015 there were only 15 new listings on the market in Squamish compared to 115 new listings which came on the market in March 2016. In the graphs below you can see Squamish and Vancouver are following a similar trend with listings. This trend is also showing a regular seasonal tendency, with the bulk of listings coming on the market in Spring, a lull during summer and then a small momentum shift in the fall before listings generally quiet down around Christmas.

 

 

Verdict- Squamish and Vancouver are following usual seasonal trends with listings


Days on Market

Days on Market (DOM) indicates property market activity. The fewer days on the market the quicker properties are being purchased. The more days on the market the more likely price reductions and expired listings will occur.

In March the average days on the market of a property in Vancouver was 9, in Squamish it was 14. Here is what DOM has been doing in recent months.

 

Although Vancouver has remained relatively steady with regards to days on the market, Squamish has seen a rapid rise of DOM. For seller’s this means they should no longer expected their property to fly off the shelf, for buyer’s this presents an opportunity to take their time before submitting an offer and to submit offers more competitively than they were able to do in prior months.

Verdict- Properties in Vancouver are still selling quickly while properties in Squamish are staying on the market longer than they were this Spring.


Sales to Active Listings

Sales to Active listings is the best metric to assess when determining a buyer’s or seller’s market. The ratio measures a balance between supply and demand and is calculated by the number of unit sales by the number of active listings. Based on this ratio a seller’s market is declared when the ratio is above 20%, and a buyer’s market is declared when it’s below 12%. Anywhere between these numbers the market is said to be balanced. Here is what the sales to active listings ratio has been doing in Squamish and Vancouver recently.

 

As you can see, both Squamish and Vancouver had very clear seller’s markets this Spring. According to the ratio, Vancouver still has a slight seller’s market with a ratio of .23 in September while Squamish dipped to .17 showing a balanced market for the first time since January 2015.

Verdict: It’s a seller’s market in Vancouver and a balanced market in Squamish


As the statistics show, the Squamish and Vancouver real estate markets are deeply intertwined. It is clear as we move into winter the strong seller’s markets that were present in Vancouver and Squamish this past Spring are beginning to soften. The balanced market environment is a great time for both buyers and sellers. Sellers can be happy that prices are holding strong although quick sales above list price and multiple offers are far less likely to occur. Buyers can delight in more inventory on the market and no longer need to rush into purchases often facing multiple offer situations.

 

If you’d like more information on the Squamish Real Estate Market or are looking to buy or sell your home this year- please contact Nanci Fulton and Team.

Read Full Story

 

 

The summer is over and the real estate market this September is gaining momentum following the regular summer slowdown. Although we are starting to see listings pick up once again, the market is not presenting the same frenzied pace as it was this past Spring. We’re only halfway through September and there are already 53 new listings on the market; in August there was a total of 70 new listings. So far this month we have seen 18 price changes and 19 sales.

Looking back into August the average price in all dwelling categories in Squamish was $623,100. This is an increase of 2.4% from July and an increase of 17.62% from January 2016. Although prices are still staying strong, they are not rising at the rapid rates that they were earlier this year. The average days on the market in August was 28 days, this is up from 11 days in April meaning we are not seeing properties snapped up as quickly as we were this Spring. Sales have also halved since the height of Spring with 47 sales in August compared to 99 in April.

What does this mean?

Without a crystal ball it’s impossible to predict with certainty what the market will do; however, key metrics indicate that homes are staying on the market longer and sales are not as strong. This suggests a bit of a break for buyers who, in the Spring, were competing often in multiple offer situations. With more inventory on the market, several new developments launching pre-sales this Fall, and a more settled pace, this may be a great time for buyers to find their perfect home or investment.

New Developments

There are two new exciting projects launching pre-sales this month. Skyridge, located in the Tantalus area, will be releasing single family home lots, duplexes, townhomes and condominiums. The official sales launch for Skyridge is September 24th. The next phase of Coastal Village will also be launching late September/ early October; prices have already been released and three bedroom townhomes are starting at $499K!!! Soleil follows the popular Aqua phase and will consist of 64 two and three bedroom townhomes. If you are interested in being the first to know when these are released- please contact me. For more development news this September check out a recent update published on Move to Squamish.

 

Read Full Story

 

Real Estate in Metro Vancouver and subsequently Squamish and the Sea to Sky has sure received a lot of media hype over the last six months. Instead of casual conversations about weather, real estate seems to be the dominant go-to conversation piece (and not just for Realtors!).

Two very big events have occurred in the last month, with another event forecasted. Here is an overview of these events, in case you missed them, or wanted to learn more:

  • The Provincial government announced it would call an end to the self-regulation of BC’s real estate industry as a way to monitor and ensure ethics and integrity were maintained. After an independent review of the industry, some proposed changes that will come into place include the end of limited dual agency (where an agent represents both a buyer and a seller), and dramatically higher fines for agent misconduct.
  • As of August 2nd, a 15 percent tax will be applied on all transactions of foreign buyers in the Metro Vancouver area (this does not include Squamish or Whistler). This tax will be applied on all purchases, even those where the contract of purchase and sale was signed before August 2nd.
  • A vacancy tax is also in the works for Metro Vancouver after a 2014 study by the City of Vancouver found that nearly 5 percent of all properties in Vancouver were vacant (nearly 13 percent of condos). The details of this tax has not been worked out, but expect it to be implemented in the coming months.

While the BC Real Estate Industry undergoes reforms, and the Metro Vancouver Real Estate Market receives a shake-up with the new foreign buyer tax, it is still business as usual here in Squamish. Sales figures for July are in with the dollar volume for sales slightly down from June, and total sales also slightly down. This is following normal summer trends as the real estate market tends to pick up again in September, before quieting down over Christmas and then peaking once again in Spring. So far in August we have seen 26 new listings come on the market, 8 price changes and 20 sales.

 

Looking to buy or sell in 2016 or have questions about the new foreign buyer tax or changes to the BC real estate industry? Make sure to contact Nanci Fulton for all of your real estate needs in Squamish.

Read Full Story

 

Well summer is here, and although you wouldn’t notice it by the weather, the real estate market is showing typical signs of summertime as it quiets down compared to the bustling months of March, April and May. Although some indicators are showing the market quieting; compared to other summers, we are still way ahead of pace. So far in July we have already seen 45 new listings come on the market, 23 sales and 13 price changes.

 

When the kids get out of school and people head off on their summer holidays, the real estate market in Squamish historically takes a breather. This June appears to be no different. For all property types the overall inventory climbed slightly, new listings dipped compared to previous months and sales went from 95 in May to 57 in June. Days on the market also increased from 11 in April, 15 in May and 22 in June. Sales prices continued to steadily increase in the month of June.
The detached home market saw the greatest fluctuations from months prior. Sales in June halved from 40 in May to only 20. Days on the market crept up slightly in this category and the sales price remained the same. The average sales price of a detached home in June was $887,500 a whopping $221,500 more than the same time last year.


In development news the Ravenswood Development off Loggers Lane opened their show home and announced pricing. The three and four bedroom homes will start at $820,000 and already the first release has sold out. Arbutus Grove is another new development consisting of 11 luxurious, three bedroom townhomes just outside of downtown Squamish. Stay up to date with the latest development news at MovetoSquamish.ca


Now is still an excellent time to sell your home and may also be an ideal time for buyers as the market hype may have settled briefly due to summer holidays. Contact me today and let’s discuss your real estate goals and objectives this summer.

Read Full Story

If you live in Squamish, most likely you’ve engaged in a conversation this week about how crazy the local real estate market is right now. Although these conversations may be getting tiresome (and frustrating for many), the state of the current market is newsworthy and the sales prices have soared astronomically in the past year. Driven by factors such as Vancouver’s booming market fueled by overseas investors, low interest rates and a healthy BC economy- the perfect conditions have presented for a strong real estate market in Squamish.

New developments coming to town are likely to increase interest in Squamish and could possibly calm the climbing prices. Here we will look at the median home sales price over the last year for the townhouse and detached property market.

 

Median Sales Price- Townhomes


 

In January 2015 the median sales price for a townhome in Squamish was $399,900, at this time the average days on the market was 16 and the total inventory was 27. Fast forward to May 2016 and the average sales price is $525,000 (that’s $125,100 more), days on the market has dropped to ten and total inventory to 20.

 

Median Sales Price- Detached Homes



 

At the beginning of 2015 one could purchase a detached home in Squamish for $555,000 which, at the time, seemed expensive compared to a few years earlier when the average price of a detached home was only $389,000 (2011). In January 2015 the average days on the market was 77 (in May 2016 it was 15), and inventory was 96 homes for sale compared to 85 in May. In May 2016 the average price of a detached home sky-rocketed to $887,450 an increase of $332,450 in a little over a year!

So far in June we have seen 43 new listings come on the market, 23 price changes and 24 sold properties. Good news for buyers, we are seeing some price reductions indicating the top of the market may have been reached. Those looking to sell their home only need to look at the numbers to see the value in their property compared to even a year ago. Having practiced real estate in Squamish for over 25 years I have been through some strong markets and also through some very weak and difficult ones. I certainly can say however, that I have never seen a market quite like this before!

Have any questions or comments about the Squamish real estate market? Want to find out what your home may be worth? Contact me today and find out more.

Read Full Story

 

Already this month there have been 53 homes sold, 64 new listings and 18 price changes. If you live in Squamish you’ve probably noticed for-sale signs popping up in your neighbourhood and sold signs quickly following. Many houses are being sold within days of entering the market, above list price and with multiple offers. As the weather heats up, and tourists from around North America start exploring the natural world around us- demand is expected to continue.

Looking back at April we saw the strongest April on record for dollar volume ($40 million). There was a total of 47 homes sold, 16 townhomes, and 36 apartments. Single family homes and apartments/ condos had the most interest while the townhome market appeared to cool slightly in in April.

The Squamish Oceanfront Development was in the news earlier this month; Nexen Beach was officially renamed Newport Beach. Construction has commenced on the oceanfront lands; initial ground-works have begun with the education precinct and parklands are to follow. Read my latest Blog post, Welcome to Newport Beach Squamish, for more information about the Newport Beach Development.

This month saw changes to the contract assignment regulations. A contract assignment is when an interest in property is transferred from the sellers to a new party before completion date. The real estate market in British Columbia, most notably Vancouver, was seeing Realtors and sellers profiting on the hot real estate market by flipping property. New regulations to protect the seller and the buyer stipulate the seller must give consent to assign the contract and any profit from the assignment goes to the initial seller.

As Vancouver’s real estate market continues on at a frenzied pace markets surrounding Vancouver (including Squamish) are feeling the effects. The real estate market in Squamish is expected to continue at a steady pace this summer, making 2016 an excellent time to sell your home.

For more information on Squamish’s real estate market and to find out what your home may be worth contact Nanci.

Read Full Story

 

There’s been a lot of exciting news in Squamish this year and perhaps the most exciting would be the breaking ground of the Squamish Oceanfront Development, now called Newport Beach. On February 3rd 2016 59 acres of waterfront land transferred from the District of Squamish to Newport Beach Developments Limited Partnership. The construction has begun on Squamish’s waterfront dream set to house 6500 residents, create 2300 jobs and establish over 21 acres of parks, public space and community facilities. The project is expected to take 20 years to complete.

 The sub area plan has been implemented and initial work has already begun. The first order of business is to commence site filling and grubbing. The entire site will be brought up to current flood levels complying with city standards. Once the site preparation is finished construction will start on the Green Tech Centre, Education Complex and Public Park.

 

The University of British Columbia has signed a statement of cooperation with Newport Developments to establish a Clean Energy Research Centre with some student residences. This synergy will develop sustainable employment in the community and bring Squamish to the forefront of innovation and technology in the renewable energy industry of Canada.

The public park is also one of the first areas to be developed in Newport Beach and will include kilometres of biking trails, green space and waterfront walkways. There isn’t expected to be any interruptions to walkers and bikers at Newport Beach (Nexen Beach) this summer, although some parts of the trail may be closed temporarily.

In terms of real estate development there is lot to be excited about for community members in Squamish and investors. An Oceanfront Hotel will be built in the second phase of the development followed by the first two residential projects in the third phase. The residential developments will be built on the marina boardwalk with further residential developments happening in later stages of the project.

If you are interested in investing in Newport Beach, you are not alone! This development has been attracting investors from all over North America since it started as a whisper years ago. As a Realtor in Squamish for over 25 years I have seen the town go through waves of development and this is certainly the most exciting project I have seen as of yet.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest happenings of Newport Beach | Squamish Oceanfront Development send me an email nancifulton@shaw.ca and I will add you to my update list. Alternatively, I would be happy to sit down with you and discuss the impact of Newport Beach on Squamish and what it means for the local real estate market.

 

** Latest News** (June 2016) Construction has started! The ground has broken and construction on the new office building has commenced in Lot 4. Environmental monitoring continues and the foreshore design is underway.

Planning has started on the first major development at Newport Beach, the Green Technoloy Centre which includes the Green Tech Office Building and Research and Development Facility. Here are some artist drawings of the two buildings:

 

Green Tech Building

 

 

Research and Development Facility

 

 

 

Want to stay up to date with the latest development news in Squamish including the Newport Beach Oceanfront Development? Contact me today nancifulton@shaw. 

Read Full Story

 

WOW April has sure seen some action in Squamish’s Real Estate Market! So far this month we have seen 66 new listings come on the market, 76 sales and 10 price changes. Causes for the current market conditions include Vancouver’s real estate market bubble making affordability in Vancouver out of reach more many. People are cashing out, or looking elsewhere and are turning to places like Squamish, The Fraser Valley and the Okanagan instead of the Lower Mainland.

Our current low interest rates are another factor contributing to the fast paced market as is the number of developments recently announced and either confirmed or in final phases of approval. The following developments are generating demand in the Squamish region and are expected to transform the landscape of Squamish over the coming years:

The Squamish Oceanfront Development

Garibaldi at Squamish

Woodfibre LNG

Great Wolf Lodge Resort

Not only this, but Whistler has recently announced a $345 million project, ‘The Renaissance’,  which will feature the biggest indoor waterpark on the continent, an indoor all season training facility, a roller coaster, the Northern hemisphere’s longest suspension bridge, upgrades to both Whistler and Blackcomb mountain, a doubling in size of the bike park and real estate and hotel developments. Of course Whistler is only 30 minutes away from Squamish, which will no doubt further fuel demand for Squamish which is conveniently 30 minutes closer to Vancouver.

Exciting times for this small coastal town! I moved to Squamish in 1988 and sure have seen things change. When I started Real Estate in the late 80's I couldn’t have imagined the town transform into what it is today. I certainly am proud of what Squamish has become and look forward to the continued expansion in the coming years!

Read Full Story

We are now two weeks into March and the Squamish Real Estate Market is continuing on at a frenzied pace. We are seeing multiple offer situations and well-priced homes aren’t staying on the market long. Since the first of the month we have seen 48 new listings and 50 sales!

The rain and recent news of Squamish Valley Music Festival’s cancellation hasn’t dampened the real estate market in Squamish. Those considering buying are encouraged to have all of their pre qualifications in order to ensure they don’t miss out. Those looking to sell their Squamish home couldn’t have timed it better. With inventory still at historic lows, and buyer demand at unprecedented highs now is an excellent time to put your home on the market.

Have a look at what BC Real Estate Association’s Chief Economist Cameron Muir had to say about the sizzling real estate market in BC and contributing economic factors.

 

 

Looking back to February and Metro Vancouver received the highest selling February on record with 4172 sales, up 36.3 per cent since February 2015. Squamish is no doubt seeing the flow on effect of Metro Vancouver’s real estate market. Many Vancouverites are opting out of the market and turning to more affordable areas like Squamish and the Fraser Valley.

 

Contact me today with any of your real estate queries or to find out what your home may be worth in today's market!

-Nanci

Read Full Story

 

A lot has been happening in the real estate world this Feburary in Squamish and throughout the country. New mortgage rules which aim to limit risk for lenders and slow the pace of red hot real estate markets came into effect on February 15th 2015. The new rules stipulate that buyers purchasing a home between $500,000 - $1 million will need to put down a 10% deposit on the portion of the home over $500,000. This means amounts under $500,000 are still subject to a 5% minimum down payment but a home costing $750,000 for example, would require 5% on the initial $500,000 plus 10% on the remaining $250,000.

 

The BC Budget has announced tax exemption for buyers of new homes up to $750,000. Unlike the previous tax exemption for first-time buyers on homes up to $475,000, this new initiative will be available for all buyers purchasing a new home. On a $750,000 home, the exemption of the property transfer tax will see a savings of $13,000. Those purchasing homes over $2 million will see their property transfer tax increase from 2 to 3 percent.

 

Locally in Squamish we have seen a typical early spring increase in new listings coming on the market over the last couple weeks pleasing the stockpiles of active buyers in the region. In the last two weeks there has been an increase in listings coming on; and the pace is expected to continue as we move towards spring which is typically one of the busiest times of the year.

 

In recent weeks there have been announcements that the Squamish Oceanfront Development and Garibaldi at Squamish are getting closer to becoming a reality. The District of Squamish transferred a parcel of district land to a joint partnership developer with construction to commence on the oceanfront park phase of the development in the coming months. Garibaldi at Squamish was given environmental approval subject to forty conditions outlined by the Province; this is a major hurdled cleared by the four seasons resort. Find out more information about both these developments and others in the region.

 

Now is a great time to list your home for sale. Contact me for more information about what your home may be worth in today’s market.

-Nanci

 

In the last 2 weeks there have been…

60 new listings

27 sales

9 price changes

Read Full Story

 

This Thursday the District of Squamish is holding a public visioning event where Squamish residents will come together and create a collective vision for 2040. This high level brain-storming session will filter into the Official Community Plan, the approved document paving the way for the vision, goals and objectives determining Squamish’s future. A lot can happen in 24 years, and although it may seem light-years away, the results of Thursday night’s meeting are the first step in shaping Squamish’s future. So what do you see for Squamish in 2040- 24 years from now?

 

A journey into the past can help reveal the future which lies ahead. Rewind back to 1992- 24 years ago. Squamish, most commonly recognized as the McDonalds on the way to Whistler, had a population of 11,000. The main industry was forestry and the largest employer was Interfor. The drive to both Vancouver and Whistler was along a windy double-lane highway, scenically stunning but alarming accident prone; the drive in those days took an additional 10-15 minutes in both directions. The cost of a 3 bedroom home in Garibaldi Highlands in 1992 was $155,000. That same house today costs $800,000, that’s a remarkable increase of 416 percent.

 

Squamish sure has changed a lot in 24 years. Gone are the days of the Bowling Alley on 2nd Ave and the brown, orange and beige Civic Centre. The Olympic boom saw the upgrade of the Sea to Sky Highway, big box stores like Walmart and Home Depot, and Canada’s first Liberal Arts University, Quest University which constructed a campus in Garibaldi Highlands in 2007.

 

As the rest of the Western world tumbled into a recession, Squamish continued to surge forward with the Sea to Sky Gondola and Squamish Valley Music Festival firmly establishing Squamish on the international stage. The New York Times recently ranked Squamish as one of the top 52 places to go in 2015 and the town’s population reached 17,000 in 2011, a 14.6 percent growth from the previous census in 2006.

 

No longer is Squamish just a pit-stop town on the way to Whistler or a bedroom community of Vancouver. People are moving to Squamish in droves because of what it offers, not only because of what it’s close to. The rock-climbing, mountain biking and wind-surfing are drivers for both locals and tourists. The demographic shift to young families and professionals has created a youthful and vibrant energy around the town. The new Ground-Up climbing centre plus a handful of fitness centres which have sprung up in the last year are a testament to the youthful and active community that forms that majority in Squamish.

 

The development boom in Squamish is transforming the landscape of the town. Downtown Squamish has been inundated with condo and townhome developments as has Dentville, the Northyards and Tantalus in Garibaldi Estates; there is no sign of this development boom stopping anytime soon. The Squamish Oceanfront Project is becoming a closer reality and developments in the Cheekeye Fan and Garibaldi at Squamish could soon come to fruition. The average home price has increased 62 percent in the last 5 years and the insatiable demand for life in Squamish is only curbed by the actual inventory of properties available for out of town buyers.

 

Things sure have changed in Squamish in the last 24 years. Imagining the town in another 24 seems like an impossible feat. If the population increases at the same rate it has been there could be a total of 26,000 people in 2040. That same three bedroom home in Garibaldi Highlands if increasing at the same rate will cost 3,328,000m in 24 years. 

 

 If you could create your ideal Squamish in 2040 what would it look like? Do you see tourism driving the economy? What type of jobs do you envision supporting the growth of the town? What type of parks, trails, and gathering areas would you like to see? What natural resources should be preserved? How would you address the current housing affordability as we move into the future?

 

Thursday night’s Public Visioning Event is your chance to participate in the creation of Squamish’s future. The event is taking place at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park between 6pm and 9pm. If you can’t make the event there is an online questionnaire available.  It’s is exciting times here in Squamish, and although I can’t predict what 2040 will look like, I don’t think the excitement will be slowing down anytime soon.

 

Read Full Story

Thinking of selling your home? Here are 7 common mistakes when selling your home and how to avoid them.


In one of the best seller’s markets in recent history many people are considering putting their home on the market in 2016. If you are one of these people, this list of the seven common mistakes that people make when putting their home on the market may be useful. As a Realtor® serving the Sea to Sky Region for over 25 years I have seen almost everything. One trend that is common in a strong seller’s market is sellers believing they can simply put their home on the market ‘as-is’ and expect strong offers. Although there is a good chance you will get a good price for your home, make sure to avoid these common pitfalls in the process.


1.       Pricing based on profit not market conditions

Yes the buyers are here and there is not a lot of homes for them to choose from but that doesn’t mean you can price your home well above its market value. Often sellers have a magic number in mind that they would like for their home. It is important to ensure that your desired selling price is realistic in today’s market. As your Realtor® I will help you assess the current market conditions. We will take into consideration things such as your neighbourhood, the age and condition of your home, the lot size and aspect plus the current real estate market to determine a realistic selling price.

2.       Overlooking outstanding repairs

When you see homes selling in under a week with multiple offers it is tempting to put your home on the market without addressing outstanding repairs. This strategy can end up hurting you in the future. Although buyers are interested and ready, they are not un-educated. Outstanding repairs will be a big red flag to prospective buyers and will deter many people from putting an offer on your home. Even if buyers do proceed with an offer a building inspection will reveal any repairs or defects and may jeopardise and delay the offer. I always suggest to my clients to do their due diligence and make any necessary repairs before listing their home for sale. This includes ensuring home systems are in order, repairing any structural damage as well as smaller repairs like changing light bulbs and fixing leaky faucets.

3.       Selling your home before you’re ready

It’s tempting to sell your home in a hot seller’s market but it’s important to make sure you are actually ready to move. Your first step is to contact your Realtor® and make sure your ducks-are-in-a-line before you list your home. Chances are, your house may move quickly so it is important that you are prepared if this happens. Where will you move once your home is sold? Do you need to start searching for your next property? If your home is put on the market do you have essential paperwork ready such as strata documents?  

4.       Neglecting the clutter

First impressions are important to prospective buyers and a well presented home does wonders for first impressions and early offers. It’s a proven fact that homes sell quicker and for a higher price when they are staged in a clean and organized manner. This means removing all personal effects (such as photos) and storing away any loose and unnecessary items in the home. Simple staging can include placing your furniture in a neat and organized way and adding some nice details such as cushions, flowers or a centerpiece on the table. Hiring a professional stager is another option; this can involve complete overhauls inside your home using borrowed furniture and décor. When working with clients I will often walk through their home before listing it on the market and make recommendations in regards to de-cluttering and staging.

5. Avoid being unavailable

Once you put your home on the market, expect that people will want to see it. It is important that you make your home (and yourself) available during the process. Although it is best that you are not around when potential buyers view your home it is important that you make your home available for showings and open houses. When an offer does come in, ensuring you are on the ball with signing paperwork and negotiating the sale will help expedite the process and better your chances of a successful deal.

6. Letting emotions rule your decisions

Selling your home is an emotional experience for many. For some, a home is a place where a lifetime of memories have been made. I have seen many clients over the years become very emotional during the process. It is important to ensure your emotions don’t hinder your decisions when selling your home. By creating clear boundaries and expectations before the offers come in, and sticking to these is a helpful strategy. By having a minimum offer price set out beforehand you will avoid accepting an offer based on emotion and alternatively will avoid rejecting one out of fear or upset.

7. Not disclosing defects in your home

It is your legal duty to disclose all defects (latent and patent) on your home when putting it on the market. Upon listing your home your Realtor® will have you complete a property disclosure statement which is legally binding. The risk is too great to neglect to inform potential buyers of defects and could result in deals falling through and costly legal battles if not done accurately.

 

 It is an exciting time for Sellers in the Sea to Sky area with unprecedented demand in the real estate market and prices at an all-time high. This hot seller’s market is not an excuse however to get lazy and neglectful when selling your home. By avoiding these common mistakes you are well on your way to getting the most for your home. If you are thinking about selling your home in 2016, contact me today for an initial discussion about getting your home ready for sale!

 

 

Read Full Story