The real estate market in Vancouver

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Overview of downtown Vancouver

When I arrived in Vancouver in 1991 as a student, I was one of the few Brazilians living here. Today, I hear Portuguese everywhere. In 2019 the number of permanent residents from Brazil rose to fifth place.

When these Brazilians arrive here, one of the most difficult things for them is finding a place to live. With a vacancy rate of 1.1% in Metro Vancouver and an average rent of $ 1,715 for a 2 bedroom apartment many new Brazilian immigrants ask me as a real estate agent “should I buy my own home, it is still worth it with the high cost of properties?”

My answer is based on statistics and my own experience. Below is an example of the average price of an apartment purchased in 2009.

You don’t need to buy a property on Vancouver West Side or even on the Vancouver East Side! There are many cities in Greater Vancouver that offer a great quality of life like Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam or Port Moody where you can still buy a cheaper property.

If you are buying a house for you to live in the long term it is worth it. Instead of paying expensive rent and having the uncertainty that you may have to leave because the owner may want to sell the apt, use the rent money and pay a mortgage. Buying property is a great way to save money: you have to have the discipline to save for the down payment and to pay the mortgage every month. Current interest rates have never been so low. In the long run, I believe Vancouver’s real estate price will continue to rise as it has a lot to offer in terms of quality of life, jobs and education.

The second question I always hear: what are the steps?

  1. 1. Access your financial situation

A. The Credit: a critical step towards obtaining a mortgage in Canada. As soon as you arrive in Canada, start a relationship with a bank or credit union. Do you already have a credit card here?

B. Salary. The size of a mortgage you will get from a bank depends on your salary. If you know you are going to have a raise in a month you might want to wait.

C. Entry: Usually you need 5% of the value of a property to get financing. As a first time home buyer, there are programs to help increase the value of your entry.

i. First Time Home Buyers Incentive: This program offers 5 or 10% of the property value for you to add to the entry price. These are the eligibility criteria: you already have the minimum down payment (5%), your annual income is no more than $ 120,000, the financing amount is no more than 4 times your annual income, you or your partner are buyers of immovable for the first time, you and a Canadian citizen, permanent resident on non-permanent but authorized to work in Canada.

ii. Home Buyer’s Plan: This program lets you take money from the RRSP to buy or build a property for you. If you are shopping with a partner you can contribute $ 50,000 together.

2. Get financing approval from a bank: before you start looking for real estate, talk to a mortgage broker who usually works independently from a bank and can, therefore, negotiate better interest rates. This service is paid by banks, not you.

3. Find a realtor: the real estate agent can help you find a property that fits your budget, whether it be the type (apartment / single house / semi-detached house / duplex) and in the region you want. BC’s Real Estate Council is a regulatory agency that ensures that brokers have the knowledge to provide you with quality service. Remember that as a buyer you don’t have to pay for a broker’s service. Here is the simplified purchasing process.