Welcome to 2022. The barge is still chillin', and the real estate market hasn't let up—as the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported last year's sales as record-breaking. Home buying activity, albeit through a pandemic, has been resilient and remained a top priority for residents in the second year of nobody knows what's going on. Home sales in the region totalled 43,999 in 2021, a 42.2% increase from the 30,944 sales in the year prior. A 73.6% increase over 2019. Staggering numbers, though it seems we are nearing an inflection point
Homes currently listed for sale are down 38.7% over last year, with just over 5,000. The lowest level in more than 30 years. Home price growth isn't expected to relent. The benchmark price for all residential properties increased 17.3% to $1,230,200. Maple Ridge saw the largest increase in benchmark prices at 34.7%, followed by Pitt Meadows (29.8%), and Whistler (27.8%). 
Home owner grant 
The home owner grant reduces the amount of property tax you pay for your principal residence. Its threshold is set at $1.975 million for 2022, ensuring 92% of residential properties are covered by the grant that lowers the amount of property taxes people pay on their principal residence.
"Homeowners in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and Capital Regional districts may be eligible for as much as $570 for the basic Home Owner Grant and as much as $845 for homeowners 65 or older and for people who have a disability or live with a relative who has a disability." – BC Gov
BC Assessment property value increases
Owners of more than 1,076,000 properties throughout the Lower Mainland received their 2022 assessment notices—showing a significant jump in property values. 2022 assessment notices reflect the market value of a property on July 1, 2021. Homes in some BC suburbs jumped by more than 40% in assessed values. Anecdotally, a half-duplex property I co-own in North Surrey increased 43% in one year. 
More than $23.7 billion of the Lower Mainland's updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and the rezoning of properties, according to B.C. Assessment. Even Port Alberni (+47%) and the surf town of Tofino (+42%) saw a jump in property values due to the demand for homes in smaller cities.
"I think there's some serious challenges ahead of us just simply in how much of these increases in prices outstrip local incomes and how local incomes have remained relatively flat in comparison to these sizeable gains in property values" – Andy Yan, director of SFU's City Program
Still a dearth of listings, with 1,945 newly listed properties in Metro Vancouver in December 2021. A decrease of 19.3% compared to the year before. The sales-to-active listings ratio is 51.3%, heavy into a seller's market. Both detached homes and townhome prices are up 22%, and apartments up 12.8%. We will see what transpires in the months ahead, as interest rates increase and other measures come into effect.
Lots of exciting things to look forward to this year.
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