Down Payments For Surrey Houses, Burnaby Condos Up More Than 250% From 2020

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The spring season, when activity in the real estate market typically picks up following the winter slump, is drawing nearer. In light of this, Zoocasa released a report on Thursday that examined the changes in the minimum down payments for single-detached homes and condominiums in 18 Metro Vancouver markets, including Vancouver, Surrey, and Burnaby, since 2020.

Zoocasa adhered to the customary minimum down payments of 5% on the first $500,000, 10% on the amount up to $999,999, and 20% on purchases costing more than $1M. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s benchmark prices for each of the 18 markets were used to determine the minimum down payments.

According to those numbers, 10 of the 18 markets — as defined by the two real estate boards, not municipal boundaries — saw increases in minimum down payments of over $100,000 from February 2020 to February 2023, with Surrey seeing the largest increase, from $74,790 to $278,060, as a result of the benchmark price increasing by about $400,000 during that same period. Surrey also had the distinction of being the only market to see an increase of over $200,000.

The markets that witnessed rises above $150,000 were closely followed by Bowen Island (+$199,360), Port Coquitlam (+$186,140), North Delta (+182,080), Maple Ridge (+$176,310), and Pitt Meadows (+$160,970).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Vancouver West experienced the smallest increase in minimum down payments among the 18 areas, rising by just $37,820 as a result of stable benchmark prices. (and high). The only other market to experience growth of under $50,000 was Tsawwassen.

Interestingly enough, when it comes to the minimum down payments for condominiums, the list of markets that saw the highest increases nearly flips.

Vancouver West still saw the smallest increase, at just $2,830, but Surrey, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge are now also in the bottom five, with increases under $8,000 after seeing some of the highest increases when it comes to single-detached homes. This is likely explained by the characteristics of those markets, which have a lower proportion of condominiums, and therefore a cooler condo market.

At the other end of the list is Burnaby, which saw the highest increase in minimum down payments for condos, from $42,507 in February 2020 to $149,550 in February 2023. Burnaby not only was the lone market to see an increase over $100,000, it was also the only market to see an increase over $50,000, with the $43,000 increase in West Vancouver being the second-highest.

Once more, this fits with Burnaby’s market characteristics. High-rise developments have gradually shifted out of Vancouver and towards Burnaby, which has the third-largest population in British Columbia and shares a border with Vancouver, as the amount of developable and redevelopable land in the City of Vancouver has decreased. It’s easy to conclude that the steady inflow of condominium constructions in the Metrotown and Brentwood communities contributed significantly to the benchmark price’s rise from $657,067 in 2020 to $745,500 today.

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