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Real Estate Newsletter January 2019 Qualicum Beach Parksville Nanoose Bay & Area Vancouver Island, BC

Home > Market News > Tom’s Blog > Real Estate Newsletter January 2019 Qualicum Beach Parksville Nanoose Bay & Area Vancouver Island, BC

2018 Summary & Outlook for 2019

  • Photograph of Tom Whitfield
  • Parksville Qualicum Beach REALTOR®
  • Published: Jan 19th, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Here in the Qualicum Beach/Parksville area, what drives our local economy is retirement and tourism. We are somewhat insulated from factors that more directly impact real estate markets in other jurisdictions, such as manufacturing, oil & gas, exports, etc. in places like Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. However, we are ‘downwind’ of what happens in other regions which then does impact our real estate market. The ‘big win’ is to sell over in the Lower Mainland, where the prices are so very high, and to then buy here for so much less and get a much better lifestyle.

2018 started off with federal mortgage stress testing rules coming into effect in January. Many home buyers found themselves qualifying to borrow about 20% less than what was available to them before. Some buyers with an existing mortgage who wanted to move and buy a more expensive property were caught off guard when they couldn’t just take the amount they had already approved by banks in the past and automatically put it to a new purchase. They too, needed to re-qualify by meeting the standards of the stress test and this confounded some deals. At the end of February the BC provincial government raised the foreign-buyers’ tax from 15% to 20% and announced a 0.5% speculation tax on homes left vacant in certain regions of BC (Note: this does not apply to the Qualicum Beach/Parksville area). As a result, there has been a retreat of money coming from China to purchase real estate in the Lower Mainland. In addition, the Chinese government made it more difficult to move large amounts of money out of that country and this has also impacted Lower Mainland sales.

More stringent energy codes are impacting the design of new buildings in 2019. We can expect to see less glass and more energy efficient walls and heating systems, especially electric heat pumps and electric baseboards. In addition, there is a need for greater affordability that has given rise to the ‘small house movement’. Expect to see more laneway and carriage homes to be built in rear yards both for rent but also for sale. This may satisfy the need for more intergenerational living as many seniors seek alternatives to traditional care facilities and some millenials choose to live much longer ‘at home’ with their parents. We can expect the concepts of home sharing and co-living to gain further momentum in the future, offering not only shelter but also services and companionship.

Wishing you health and happiness and hope to see you here in 2019!

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