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February 18, 2014

First-time home buyers received welcome news in today’s provincial budget. Any REALTORS® currently working with first-time buyers will want to share this news with them as soon as possible.

The government has announced, effective February 19, 2014, under the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Exemption program, qualifying first-time buyers can buy a home worth up to $475,000. The previous threshold was $425,000.

The partial exemption continues and will apply to homes valued between $475,000 and $500,000.

With this change, the government estimates 1,700 additional first-time buyers will annually be eligible to save up to $7,500 in PTT when they buy their home.

The government estimates this measure will cost $8 million in lost tax revenue each year.

The Real Estate Board, together with BC Real Estate Association, has actively lobbied to make home ownership more affordable for first-time home buyers. This increase in the threshold clearly signals our efforts have paid off as in past years.

In 2008, as a result of industry lobbying, the provincial government increased the threshold to $425,000 from $375,000. 

In 2005, the government increased the threshold to $325,000 from $275,000.

The PTT is calculated at a rate of one per cent on the first $200,000 and two per cent on the remaining value of the purchase price.

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NEW YEAR WELCOMES INCREASE IN SALES AND NEW LISTINGS IN FRASER VALLEY

(Surrey, BC) – The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) recorded higher activity in January compared to one year ago with an increase in sales and a slight increase in new listings.  

The Board processed 772 sales on the MLS® last month, a 25 per cent increase compared to the 617 sales in January 2013.  In addition, the Board saw a modest 1 per cent increase in new listings in January, 2,676 compared to 2,643 received during the same month last year, but a 164 per cent increase compared to the new listings received the previous month, December 2013. 

Ron Todson, President of the Board, says, “Starting early in the year, we typically see a ‘re-stocking of our shelves’ in advance of the spring market, which is a positive trend for buyers in that it creates new opportunities for them.
With higher inventory they have greater freedom to comparison shop.”

From a historical perspective, the number of new listings received in January 2014 was 7 per cent higher than the 10-year average for that month, while sales finished 8 per cent less than the 10-year average.  

Todson explains, “Over the last few months, housing supply in the Fraser Valley has moderated while sales have been variable, fluctuating below average levels. When supply meets or exceeds demand, it has a calming effect on prices. 

“Generally, values of ground-oriented homes in Fraser Valley have been stable or increasing while condo values have been flat or decreasing. This is why it’s important to talk to your local REALTOR® because we’re seeing different market trends dependent on property type and location.”

In January, the benchmark price of a detached home in the Fraser Valley was $552,500, an increase of 2.2 per cent compared to $540,500 in January 2013 and an increase of 0.6 per cent compared to December.

For townhouses, the benchmark price in January was $297,600, an increase of 1.3 per cent compared to the same month last year when it was $293,700 and up 1.5 per cent compared to December. The benchmark price of apartments in January was $192,300, a decrease of 4.0 per cent compared to January 2013 when it was $200,400 and a decrease of 0.2 per cent compared to December.

January’s total active inventory at 7,384 listings finished 8 per cent lower than the 8,031 active listings available during January 2013.

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The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board is an association of 2,778 real estate professionals who live and work in the BC communities of North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, and Mission.  The FVREB marked its 90-year anniversary in 2011.

Full package:

http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/Package%20201401.pdf
  

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