Nearly all the New West luxury homes sold in April 2018

After many months of waiting on the market, nearly every house for sale in Queens Park sold in the month of April. Was it a fluke? Was it foreign investment? Is it a sign of another rapid increase?

It’s actually great news for stability. Houses in Queens Park and particularly those that sold recently fall into the luxury segment for New West (about $2M). The market for detached houses has been slowly improving since the beginning of 2018. Small gains week by week have created consumer confidence and pushed activity up the price band. Houses started selling at $1.2M then $1.4M followed by $1.6M and in April the buyers who sold between $1.4M and $1.6M had the funds to move up to the $2M house that they wanted.

Very aggressive markets from years past would have seen this entire progression happen in less than one month. We took three months this year to walk ourselves there. It’s a sign of stability. It’s a sign of consistency. It’s a great time to plan and to complete all your due diligence when making a purchase. You might even get away with an offer subject to sale!

Your options definitely depend on your goals, the home you’re in and the type of home you want to move to. An expert can help create a strategy to help you get there. You know I want to be that person to help you!

My recent video blog tells the same story…and you get to see me where a tie. Video below:

Matt’s New West market update:

We are only two weeks into January and usually there isn’t enough activity to make any inferences at all. This year is different! There is already a lot of activity in all price bands. That means consumer confidence in long term values. That means there is a sense of urgency among buyers. And that could be a result of mortgage rules changing. Buyers with a pre-approval in place have a window of opportunity to make a purchase under the old rules. That could be a primary driving force. A strong start usually means a very strong Spring with high sales volume.

Property Assessments were released at the start of the month. I’ve already heard from several past clients to discuss appealing. If this has crossed your mind please read my blog ( and/or watch the included video.

Please help my business with any leads you can think of. I’m right on top of the market right now, and my client list is very short. I have all the tools to put to work. Please, help me put my expertise to good use.

2018 Property Assessments – view yours and learn more:

The video below gets into a specific example using the two properties that I own. The links below will help you find your assessment and estimate what you will owe this year (if your property is in New West).

Assessments are always a talking point this time of year. The most important thing I want you to know is that the assessment is not intended to represent what your home should sell for. For starters, the assessment is based on values as of July 1 2017. A lot has changed since then. In addition, the goal of the assessment authority is not to provide an exact market value. If they strive to get too close to perfection they run the risk of being perceived by many as being incorrect. They’re big fear in that scenario is a giant wave of complaints and appeals flooding in.

When should you appeal your assessment? The important differentiator you are looking for is the average increase for your area. If most homes in your area went up 15% and your property went up 30% then it’s worth investigating if that difference is warranted. It’s that type of scenario that will have your property taxes going up more than average. Of course, the actual valuation has to be out of line for them to even consider your appeal.

Send me a direct message if you want to talk about it more. I usually help a few people each year gather information to help appeal their assessment.

Helpful Links:

BC Assessment –

New West Property Tax Information (Mil Rates, Due Dates, and more) –

New West Property Tax Estimator –

New mortgage rules are already driving up prices

On October 17 2017 the announcement was made that as of January 1st 2018 buyers will qualify for a smaller mortgage than they do today (read this from the Financial Post for more details on the upcoming changes The immediate impact has been noticeable. This is a short term analysis that, despite its small sample size, can’t be ignored.

As of today we are about 10 days into a wave of aggressive and urgent behaviour across all price bands. We know it’s a result of the announcement because we saw properties (average condos and houses for the area) that had sat on the market for 3+ weeks get a surge of interest. The announcement was made and the next week these properties were selling with multiple offers over their asking price. It is highly unusual for a listing more than two weeks old to sell over the asking price and we are seeing it again and again.

What does this mean for the rest of 2017? I suspect this trend to continue. Those who didn’t pounce in the past two weeks fear losing their buying power and could keep this wave moving to the end of the year.

The big mystery is the start of 2018. Will fear be the predominant emotion? If so, expect a slow, cautious start. Never underestimate the demand for housing in our region. Too many people feel pushed out. Prices could drop just slightly. They reach a point of acceptable affordability for just a small segment and buyers are jumping on it. Demand is too high to have the patience to wait out sellers and drive down their prices.

Market Update & Predictions

New Westminster Condos – 2017 Fall Market Update & Predictions

Condos are STRONG! Why? Because people can afford them! Competition happens where there is the most interest. Don’t get me wrong, people are interested in houses, but a lot fewer people can afford a house, so there is more activity in the condo segment.

Buyers are watching condo prices continuing to rise. Young people want their first home, small families want a bigger condo and investors want in on the action too. The hottest segment is the low end of the condo market. It’s the most affordable, so there’s a group of buyers fighting to get into this neighbourhood while it’s still within their budget.

We are reaching the peak. We can already see prices settling in at the top end of the condo market. That will trickle down the price bands as the year comes to an end and we should see stabilizing prices.

New Westminster Houses – 2017 Fall Market Update & Predictions

House sales volume and prices have both taken a hit. Buyers are out there. They can feel that the pressure is off and they have time to make a decision, so they’re taking their time and picking just the right home, for the right price. New West buyers are not getting fooled or pressured into over-paying before someone else does. The houses that have too many compromises are getting over-looked and sitting on the market. Buyers are getting picky, because they can.

Expect further softening of the detached market while buyers bask in the luxury of time to reflect on their million, or multi-million dollar purchase.

Where is the market headed to close out 2017?

The big if, maybe, or what the ….? What impact will the lending rules have? They take affect Jan 1 2018. It is expected that they could drive up prices to close out 2017 as buyers rush to get in before the rules reduce their buying power. Then the limiting buying power could push prices down for the first quarter of 2018. As is almost always the trend, the Spring will bring more activity, competition and possibly drive prices up.

I suspect that if prices start to rise they will settle right back around whatever peak they dropped from in the first place. Market factors in and around New West seem to change monthly. I’ll have a new prediction by the end of November.

Simply considering what’s happening at this moment, the trend is toward stable prices, after some feeling out of the new lending rules.