Clean and competitively priced homes are selling fast, said Ralph Telep with Coldwell Banker Realty in Maple Ride, but the change in mortgage rules last year have had a “massive effect” on buyers.
He is optimistic about the state of real estate business, but he sees challenges for first-time buyers.
Especially affected, he said, will be first-time buyers struggling to get into the market.
“He [first-time buyer] is having a very tough time qualifying [for a mortgage],” Telep said.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver released its housing numbers for the past month last week, and while recently there’s been a increase in the selling price of single-family homes in Pitt Meadows, the selling price of Maple Ridge homes has seen a small but steady decrease.
Overall housing prices in Pitt Meadows continue to increase slowly, while Maple Ridge has dropped slightly over the past year, with an overall drop of 5.1 per cent over the past five years.
In its most recent report, the board that tracks housing prices in several Greater Vancouver municipalities points out that sales are up significantly compared to last year but prices overall have remained stable.
While there has been more activity in the past year, September 2012 was one of the lowest sales months in almost three decades, said Sandra Wyant with the real estate board, adding that “home sale and listing activity this September were in line with the 10-year average for the month.”
The price for a single-family home in Pitt Meadows rose by 1.8 per cent in the past year, and over the past five years, it has risen by 7.5 per cent.
The benchmark price in September for a single-family home in Pitt Meadows was $510,600 and in Maple Ridge, $461,600.
In Maple Ridge, single-family homes have dropped in price by 2.7 per cent over the past five years, with a 1.5 per cent decrease over the past year.
Darcy McLeod, vice-president of the real estate board and a local Re/Max realtor, said the real estate market in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows is “very local” and there might be large price differences between different neighbourhoods, for example, Albion might not be reflective of what’s happening generally in Maple Ridge.
But overall, McLeod sees people from all over the Lower Mainland interested in buying locally “because it’s a really good value here.”
“It’s a great place to invest,” he added.
In addition to residential interest, McLeod said business also are seeing it as a viable place to invest.
Townhouse prices dropped in both communities over the past year – 5.5 per cent in Maple Ridge and 3.6 per cent in Pitt Meadows.
The benchmark price for a townhouse in Maple Ridge was $274,200 and in Pitt Meadows, $315,900.
Prices for apartments dropped the most dramatically in both markets, with Maple Ridge prices dropping 13.8 per cent over the last five years and Pitt Meadows seeing a 5.7 per cent decline over the same time period.
Over the past year, however, apartment prices have come up 8.2 per cent – a typical apartment in Pitt Meadows cost $237,600 in September.
@ Copyright 2013