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Burnaby housing prices hit $2M benchmark in March

Benchmark price of single family detached homes in Burnaby north, south surpass $2 million in March.
Don't expect home prices in Burnaby to get cheaper anytime soon.

The real estate market in Burnaby continues to stay hot, with no signs of slowing down. 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's monthly report for March shows the cost to buy a single-family detached home, apartment, townhome or residential all increased last month. 

REBGV chair Daniel John said in the report when it comes to listings, there's less than half of what is needed to help shift the market into better conditions.

“We’re still seeing upward pressure on prices across all housing categories in the region. Lack of supply is driving this pressure.

"The number of homes listed for sale on our MLS® system today is less than half of what’s needed to shift the market into balanced territory.” 

The real estate board says sales last month were 25.5% above the 10-year March sales average. 

Burnaby single-family detached homes hit a benchmark price of $2 million

According to the report, two out of three Burnaby areas surpassed the $2 million mark for a benchmark price last month. 

Burnaby South currently sits at a benchmark price of $2,067,100 (+4.2% in one month) while Burnaby North was at $2,021,400 (+4.9% in one month). 

Burnaby East stayed under $2 million at $1,776,300 (+2.7% in one month). 

Burnaby realtor sees 'chaos' coming with B.C.'s new 'cooling-off' period

After the province announced proposed amendments to the Property Law Act earlier this week, a Burnaby realtor is wondering how well the cooling-off period presented would actually work. 

On March 28, Finance Minister Selina Robinson announced what the government is calling a "home-buyer protection period" allowing buyers a limited amount of time to consider their offers, get financing in order, obtain a home inspection or cancel a purchase. 

“Too often, buyers are feeling forced to submit no-condition offers just to have a chance in a multiple-bid situation,” Robinson said. 

“People need to have protection as they make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. A home buyer protection period is about improving consumer protection and balancing the risk in the marketplace.”

Robinson said the current situation — where the speed of transactions puts buyers in a position where they can’t properly evaluate the property — is only working for people who profit from an overheated market.

The province has not announced how long the cooling-off period will be, or what the financial costs of retracting an offer would be.

Seven-day cooling-off periods for pre-construction sales of multi-unit development properties such as condominiums are already in place under the Real Estate Development and Marketing Act.

'How does the government expect their idea of a cooling-off period, to actually cool anything off?': Burnaby realtor

Paul Prade, managing broker at Burnaby's Macdonald Realty, told the NOW that while he understands the idea behind the government's proposal, he wonders how much of a positive impact it will actually have.

He also noted that it could have negative impacts on those selling. 

"My question would be this: how does the government expect their idea of a cooling-off period to actually cool anything off?" Prade asked. 

"On the surface, it looks to me like you're going to be able to make an offer on a property. And you don't have to commit to the offer for seven days. That may very well be beneficial to buyers. But what about if they're speculators and people who decide they're just going to throw offers at properties? Because they've got seven days before they have to commit? If that is, in fact, what the government's proposing, I see chaos. 

"You don't want to create situations where you help one side and not the other." 

Prade says that until there's more clarity and answers from the government, it's hard to say how well the province's proposed amendments would work out.

Lack of supply driving the hot market: Prade 

Prade added that the source of the problem is supply, something he has seen consistently over the past 44 years of his career. 

"It's a supply-and-demand business, always has been," he said. 

"At the end of the day, if there is not enough supply and there are all these buyers lining up, how is making it a seven-day delay going to cool it off?" 

He said similar rules already now in place for pre-sales, haven't done much to help slow down buyers. 

"The right of rescission allows the buyer seven days to review what's called a disclosure statement, which explains to a buyer of a new product, everything that's going to be built in how and all the rules and every it's a large document, that's actually a legal document, that allows a buyer of new products and time to fully understand what they're undertaking.

"But the seven-day right of rescission certainly hasn't cooled the pre-sale market that the real estate markets hot because there's a lack of supply."