CMHC ANNOUNCES NEW CHANGES STARTING JULY 1ST

CMHC has announced new changes coming on July 1st. You can read the official CMHC announcement here. But here’s a quick summary of the changes:

–       Minimum Credit Score rises from 600 to 680

–       Maximum GDS drops to 35% (formerly 39%)

–       Maximum TDS drops to 42% (formerly 44%)

–       Borrowed Down payments are banned

Do you need to panic?

Not necessarily as there are 3 insurers in Canada.  So far CMHC is the only one that has announced any changes.  It is possible that the other 2 mortgage insurers (Genworth & Canada Guaranty), won’t follow at all, or they’ll only follow some of the rules.  In fact, it might be a good competitive advantage for them not to follow all of the changes (unless mandated by the federal government).  We may hear from the other 2 insurers early next week.

What does each change mean?

No More Borrowed Down payment – This isn’t really a big deal at all, as virtually zero lenders participated in this program, and the way this program worked it was pretty much an un-used program anyways.  In fact, as you read this, you likely didn’t even know this program was still an option.

Credit Score Requirement – CMHC now requires a minimum 680 credit score (for 1 borrower). Previously it was 600.  CMHC says that less than 6% of their mortgage applications this year had scores below 680, so it should not really affect a lot of CMHC buyers anyways…but it will affect some.

35/42 GDS/TDS – This is without a doubt the biggest announced change, and it could potentially have the largest effect on the lower end of the real estate market.  This could affect an average borrower anywhere from 12% or more on their borrowing power.   For example if you qualified to borrow $500,000 before, your maximum mortgage is now reduced to about $440,000.

Why are they doing this?

This only affects people buying homes after July 1st.  And it will mostly affect the purchasing power of the youngest, the lowest income and lowest down payment buyers.

It won’t affect any of the following types of mortgage borrowers:

–       Any buyer with over 20% down payment

–       Any buyer of a home valued more than $1 Million

–       Rental property purchasers

–       Anyone refinancing their mortgage

–       Anyone renewing their mortgage.

So, it only affects a very small portion of home buyers in the lower mainland.  Unfortunately this could meant that it’s the first-time buyers that are hurt the most.  Those same first-time buyers that were hurt the most from the mortgage stress test.

If you’re preapproved, and you’re intending to buy a home with less than 20% down payment, you definitely need to speak to us about how this might affect you.  It might put some urgency to buy a home before July 1st.


10 WAYS IN WHICH WE ARE HELPING OUR CLIENTS SAFELY BUY AND SELL HOMES

Thinking of putting your home on the market? You’re not alone. As of May 25th, new listings in the Fraser Valley have increased by over 46 per cent compared to the same period in April.

And last month, even though transactions were down significantly compared to April of last year, on average on a daily basis, 23 families in the Fraser Valley relied on the guidance and advice from their REALTOR® and purchased a new home, while on average, 47 sellers per day listed their home.

Chris Shields is the President of the FVREB. “Housing needs do not stop during a pandemic. It’s why we were declared an essential service early on and why the real estate industry was included in BC’s phased reopening for businesses.”

“We have been working hard since the beginning of the lockdown to serve our clients in innovative and effective ways that limit personal interaction yet showcase homes and facilitate sales,” added Shields.

If you are currently considering buying or selling a home, here are the top ten actions REALTORS® are taking to meet WorkSafeBC’s new guidelines to serve the public:

  1. DIGITAL COMMUNICATION
    Your Realtor will communicate with you through telephone, email, or video/teleconference. During this period, Realtors have been connecting virtually with their clients more than ever through FaceTime, Zoom and other videoconferencing technologies.
  2. DOUBLING THE VOLUME OF LISTING PHOTOS ON REALTOR.CA
    As you search Canada’s most-viewed real estate website, you’ll notice that Fraser Valley listings may display up to 40 photos now, up from a previous maximum of 20. This allows your Realtor to provide more visual depth and detail for your listing.
  3. VIRTUAL HOME TOURS
    In April, Realtor.ca introduced a new feature that allows Realtors to showcase listings by integrating video and 3D tours from multiple popular services. Since mid-April, traffic to Realtor.ca has increased by 14 per cent and inquiries to Realtors have increased by 25 per cent.
  4. LIVE STREAMING OPEN HOUSES
    Realtors are now scheduling and promoting live stream open houses using popular platforms such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Zoom and YouTube. They walk through the home videoing each room describing while you watch live and in real time. “What’s behind that door?” They’ll show you.
  5. E-TRANSACTIONS
    No sharing of pens and much more efficient. For many years, Fraser Valley Realtors have guided their clients through the completion of MLS® contracts electronically using PDF and e-signature technology.
  6. E-DOCUMENTS
    If you haven’t sold your home in a while, you may not be aware that strata documents, land title documents, floor plans and others are available digitally. Your Realtor will email them to you.
  7. SAFE IN-PERSON VIEWINGS
    When a client is serious about a purchase, they (and their home inspector) must see the home. Per WorkSafeBC’s reopening guidelines, Realtors are working with their buyers and sellers to ensure that in-person viewings adhere to stringent safety protocols including physical distancing; handwashing and sanitizing; the use of masks, gloves and shoe covers; viewings by appointment only; limiting the number of viewers and allowing time to disinfect between viewings.
  8. DISINFECTING REALTOR/CLIENT HIGH-TOUCH SURFACES
    When appropriate, Realtors are taking extra precautions to ensure that high-touch areas such as keys, lockboxes, doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, etc. are cleaned and disinfected.
  9. ENSURING REAL ESTATE OFFICES ARE SAFE TO VISIT
    Like many businesses, numerous local real estate brokerages are in the process of reopening and are aware of the government’s stringent public safety guidelines including physical distancing policies, personal protective measures, and disinfection protocols.
  10. NEW PROVINCIAL REAL ESTATE STANDARD FORMS TO PROTECT CLIENTS
    A new Notice & Acknowledgement form is available for use by your Realtor during the COVID-19 pandemic. It alerts clients of changes to the real estate practice and supports your safety by helping you make informed decisions.

For more information about how the FVREB and its 3,671 members are working to keep real estate transactions safe during the pandemic, see our dedicated page at www.fvreb.bc.ca/about/covid-19-update/

In addition, the province’s real estate licensing body, the Real Estate Council of BC has a COVID-19 page devoted to consumers.


BC PREPARES TO START TO OPEN UP THE ECONOMY AND HERE IS HOW THEY PLAN TO DO IT

BC’s Restart Plan lays out a series of steps that we will take together to protect people and ensure that our province can come back from COVID-19 stronger than before.

Around the world, governments have taken different approaches to try to bend and flatten the curve of transmission — from complete lockdowns to quarantines and varying intensities of physical distancing.

From the outset, B.C. established clear guidance, transparency and an evidence-based approach as hallmarks of our fight against COVID-19.

Protective measures B.C. has taken have included:

  • Providing physical distancing and hygiene guidelines for people, businesses and essential services to follow
  • Banning mass gathering of more than 50 people to reduce the risk of outbreaks
  • Closing bars, dine-in service at restaurants, and personal service operators, like barbers and dentists, to reduce the risk of transmission
  • Reducing in-classroom learning and child care
  • Requiring travellers to develop and stick to a 14-day isolation plan when arriving in B.C. from abroad
  • Restricting visitors to health care and assisted living facilities to protect some of our most vulnerable people
  • Postponing non-urgent and elective surgeries while maintaining urgent and emergency procedures

Working together we’ve made a lot of progress. These protective measures and restrictions have directly saved lives, but we also know that the public health benefit has come at some expense, including the economic, social and personal well-being of many British Columbians.

Check out the BC Government website for more info.

 

 


PLEASE HELP US HELP OUR COMMUNITY AT OUR FOOD DRIVE FOR THE LANGLEY FOOD BANK

See the video below.

Help us help the community during this tough time. Please watch the video featuring Jim from the Langley Food Bank. Please share this post and donate if you can during this time. Let’s rally together as a community, to help those in our community!

If you are able to make a cash donation it would be extremely appreciated by the Langley Food Bank. We have made it easy to donate and you will receive a Charitable Tax Receipt. The money will be used to purchase items that are most in need:

https://www.canadahelps.org/…/p…/help-the-langley-food-bank/

Food Drive: We will be at Royal LePage Wolstencroft Realty parking lot (19664 64 Avenue, Langley) from 12-2pm Sat/Sun May 2/3 & Sat/Sun May 9/10 facilitating drop offs from a safe distance.

We are also offering to pick up any donations form the Langley or Cloverdale area. Please email Donna at admin@garryvoigt.com or call/text her at 604-551-9924 if you can not make it to the drop off times.

Popular items in need include: Canned Meats and Fish, Canned Fruits and Vegetables, Sandwich Spreads (jam, peanut butter), Canned Stews, Rice and Pasta, Personal Care Products, Baby Food, Formula, and Cereal & Diapers (especially larger sizes)

During this tough time, people have to do whatever it takes to make ends meet, on top of their high demand, the food bank is seeing a huge influx of new faces and families struggling to keep up. Whether people have lost their job, seen a decrease in income, or just going through a tough time. This could be your neighbour, friend, family member, co-worker or even your grandparent. Let’s come together as a community to help our neighbours get through this tough time. CASH donations are most valuable to the Food Bank and it is easy to donate online. If you are fortunate enough to not be severely impacted by this pandemic, we are asking for your help and donation, every dollar and donation counts. Thank you!!


Check out the March 2020 SnapStats for the Fraser Valley.

The typical ‘Spring Market’ made a great start in March but the need for social distancing meant we had to make some big changes on how we do business and that was bound to have an impact on sales. Take a look at the SnapStats Video for the Fraser Valley – March 2020.

For more information on how we have adapted our business and the current market, call or email Garry Voigt – 604 789 2140, info@garryvoigt.com.

 


THE WONDERFULLY UNIQUE HEMP HOUSE IS SOLD

We are extremely excited to announce the successful sale of the coveted “Hemp House”. A truly unique, one of a kind, architectural masterpiece. Another one will not come along like it! Congratulations to our sellers and thank you for allowing us the opportunity to market this masterpiece, as well as congratulations to the buyers for acquiring a beautiful home and property.


JUST LISTED – 2 BED – 2 BATH CONDO IN A HOT ABBOTSFORD LOCATION!

Welcome to COLLEGE PARK PLACE. This 2 bed 2 bath open plan unit is light and bright & Benefits from southern exposure. The great layout has bedrooms separated by the living space for max privacy & has 2 full bathrooms. Stylish laminate flooring throughout, crown molding & updated pot lights in living room. Tons of storage, BONUS, 2 large pantries & laundry/storage room, side by side washer dryer & cabinets. Master bedroom could fit a king bed & has walkthrough his and hers closets. Spend winter in front of the cozy gas fireplace (gas included) or sun filled summer days on the south facing deck. 2 parking spaces. Excellent CENTRAL location, minutes to highway 1, walking & biking trails, shopping, restaurants, Abbotsford Events Centre and the University Of Fraser Valley.


CHECK OUT THE LATEST SNAPSTATS FOR THE FRASER VALLEY FOR FEBRUARY 2020

Check out the latest SnapStats for the Fraser Valley for February 2020. Sales are up and there has been a slight increase in sales prices indicating that we are in a ‘Sellers Market’. We are once again seeing multiple offer situations not only in condos and townhomes but also single family homes. Inventory is low and there are a lot of buyers out there!!

Contact Garry Voigt today for more information 604 789 2140 or info@garryvoigt.com

 

This report data was captured on March 2, 2020 from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board MLS® . Refer to our YTD reports for sustained periods of the Sales Ratio % . The accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed. In providing this information SnapStats® or Garry Voigt do not assume any responsibility or liability. More info at snap-stats.com .


BANK OF CANADA REDUCES THE BENCHMARK INTEREST RATES BY 50 BASE POINTS

The Bank Of Canada today announced that they were reducing the benchmark interest rate from 1.75% to 1.25%.

The outbreak of Cornavirus is having a negative impact on the global economy and according to the Bank Of Canada “a material negative shock” to Canadian and global outlooks.

The slash in the interest rate, coupled with the relaxation in the street test could me more borrowing power for buyers. The market is already hot right now with many buyers once again finding themselves in multiple offer situations. Now is definitely a good time to list!

Contact Garry Voigt for more information 604 789 2140 or info@garryvoigt.com.

Click on the links below for more information.

Globe and Mail

 


SOLD – JUST 2 DAYS ON THE MARKET – 2 BED – 2 BATH TOWNHOUSE – LANGLEY

31 5388 201a Street. SOLD in just 2 days! The market is hot, inventory is low and there are lots of buyers out there. There has never been a better time to list your home!! If you want to get the conversation started and learn about we can help you get top dollar for your home call Garry Voigt today 604 789 2140!