Market Update

Squamish Market Update – Summer 2021
Two of the biggest questions I am asked come from opposite ends of the spectrum.  Buyers want to know if prices will go down, sellers want to know will they continue to rise.  Everyone is trying to time the market so suit their best interests.  Historical information can be used as a good indicator of trends. Some of the pieces that factor into movement in the housing market can be the supply of product (too much or too little), mortgage rates, cost of construction, a major financial crisis as we experienced in 2008, or like recently, a global pandemic.  When you look at home prices over time, where there is a downturn in the market over the preceding 4-year period, prices not only rebound but surpass the previous high. Even when the housing market was hit by a major unexpected crisis as in 2008 and 2020, the market promptly responded and returned to growth in a relatively short time.
In the second quarter of 2020, there were little in the way of any meaningful transactions to report while we were in the first lockdown.  As we came out of the lockdown, pent-up demand, changes in living requirements and the general desire to get out of the city took the market in directions we never dreamed of.  The last half of 2020 saw record sales numbers along with a slight increase in median prices.
The January 2021 market started with a bang and continued to build throughout the spring of 2021.  The biggest takeaway this year is the increase in prices, primarily fueled by the low inventory in our small town market.  Single-family homes have seen the largest median price increase at 20%.    Median price increase for townhomes from January to June is 18% and apartments are up 17.5% for this same period.
So where does that leave us today?  With the advent of the world opening up again, people are focusing on their families, travel and reconnecting with the world, rather than Real Estate.  The market has cooled from the frantic pace of the late spring and early summer and while inventory remains low, buyers may actually have an opportunity to take some time making their decision.  Come the fall, we will most likely have a surge of inventory and people will be ready to move once again.  So have fun this summer, see you soon!



First-time buyers plan: 8 steps to buying smart

Navigating the world of Canadian home buying

Step 1: Figure out how much you can afford.

Falling in love with a house you can’t afford can be heartbreaking. Avoid disappointment by figuring out your budget before you start looking.
  • First, decide how much you can afford for your down payment. The Home Buyers Plan lets you withdraw up to $25K per person (or up to $50K per couple) from your RRSPs – tax-free – to be repaid over 15 years. More on that here . The bigger your down payment, the less principal you will owe, and the less interest you will pay.
  • Don’t forget about closing costs, like insurance, legal fees, home inspection costs, land registration and land transfer fees. Add those to your moving expenses and service hookup fees, and they can add up surprisingly fast.
  • Your monthly housing expenses (mortgage, taxes, heat, etc.) shouldn’t use up more than 32% of your income. (If your combined monthly income is $5000, for example, 32% of that is $1600.) If you have car payments or credit card debt, the rule of thumb is that debt repayment shouldn’t be more than 40% of your income.
  • Get pre-approved for your mortgage. It’s a good way of finding out how much you can borrow – and it speeds up the process once you’ve found the home you want to buy.

Step 2: Figure out what type of home is right for you.


Sit down and make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Be realistic, but be clear about the features you can’t live without. How many bedrooms do you need? Bathrooms? Do you want a home office? A garage? How about a big backyard? Hardwood floors? Eat-in kitchen? Consider your lifestyle and your stage of life. If you’re planning kids in a year or two, the studio loft might not be your best bet.

Step 3: Decide where you want to live.

Living in an area you like is as important as buying a home you love. Do you want a busy urban lifestyle, a house in the ‘burbs, or a quiet place in the country? Do you want to walk to work or are you okay with a longer commute? Do you need to be close to good schools? Rec facilities? Shopping?

Step 4: Start looking.

Go to open houses. Visit Check the classifieds. Drive around neighbourhoods you like looking for For Sale signs. Talk to your REALTOR® about your needs and start looking at properties.

Step 5: Build a team.

Put together the right group of experts to help you buy. Start with a REALTOR® you trust, then look for a reputable lender or mortgage broker, a lawyer (or a notary in Quebec), a home inspector and an insurance broker. Your REALTOR® works closely with all of these professionals, and will be happy to recommend people you can depend on.

Step 6: Make an offer.

You’ve found the perfect place – now it’s time to make an offer. An offer to purchase includes the purchase price you’re offering, chattels to be included in the purchase (like appliances or light fixtures), the amount of the deposit, the closing date and any other conditions.

Your REALTOR® will help you prepare your offer, and will present it to the vendor, who will either accept it or make a counter offer (which asks for a higher price or different terms). You can accept or reject the counter offer. If everyone agrees, the home is yours. If not, you can make another offer, or you may have to keep looking.

Step 7: Get a mortgage.

Once you’re approved, you’ll need to decide what type of mortgage works best for your needs. Will you go with a fixed or variable interest rate? Will your mortgage be closed or open? What will your amortization period be? Will you make payments monthly, biweekly or weekly? Your mortgage broker or lender can help you find a mortgage that suits your needs – and saves you the most money in the long term.

Step 8: Move in and enjoy!

Trademarks owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association. Used under licence.