Monday, December 23, 2013

6030 MCCONNELL Road, Harrop

This unique property in Harrop is not in the ALR and zoning allows for subdivision and many other possibilities. Beautiful open spaces for multiple RVs or cabins. There is an existing cabin, plus a prime building site for a new home. Walk to the lake, a boat launch is across the road, golf 10 minutes away, backwoods wilderness trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, x-country skiing or atv-ing. The new 1150 sq. ft. off-grid wood-heated building can be used as a summer/winter cabin, a workshop/studio, for storage or convert to a conventional home. Open concept and very versatile. The property and buildings are well set up for part time summer or winter use, with little maintenance required. Local services include a year round general store with liquor and gas and a bakery cafe.  MLS #2394185  $199,900




























listing information courtesy of Fair Realty

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

BC Home Sales Edge Lower in November

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 5,490 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC during November, up 17.3 per cent from November 2012. Total sales dollar volume was 36 per cent higher than a year ago at $3.06 billion. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $557,586, up 15.9 per cent from November 2012.

"While home sales were up year-over-year, they eased back from October as slow economic growth and anemic job creation negatively impacted consumer demand,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Low mortgage rates, however, continue to remain accommodative to housing demand."

"Average prices were skewed higher last month as the composition of sales in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley tilted toward single-detached homes,” added Muir. “The MLS® Home Price Index points to relatively stable prices, with the year-over-year change up 1 per cent in Vancouver and down 0.4 per cent in the Fraser Valley."


Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 10.1 per cent to $36.7 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 6 per cent to 68,510 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 3.8 per cent at $535,411.

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Canadian Housing Starts

Canadian housing starts fell 3 per cent in November to 192,235 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The trend in Canadian new home construction declined slightly to 194,014 units SAAR over the past six months, a rate that is slightly higher than demographic demand suggests is needed.  On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 5.5 per cent.

New home construction in BC urban centres increased in November by 12.5 per cent to 26,954 units SAAR . On a year-over-year basis, total starts were 23 per cent higher than November 2012. Single-detached starts were up 47 per cent over last November, while multiple starts rose 15 per cent. Year-to-date, total BC housing starts are down 3 per cent.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA rebounded from some weakness in October, rising 19 per cent year-over-year at 1,477 units.  Single family starts increased 62 per cent while multiples were up 10 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, total starts fell 15 per cent year-over-year as a sharp drop in multiple unit starts offset a rise in single detached units. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA continues to post marked improvement. Total starts doubled year-over-year in November on strength in both single detached and multiple unit starts.  In the Abbotsford-MIssion CMA, starts increased 50 per cent from November 2012.


Copyright BCREA – reprinted with permission 

Canadian and US Employment

The Canadian economy gained 22,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate held steady at 6.9 per cent. For all of 2013, employment growth has averaged 13,400 jobs per month.

In BC, employment declined once gain, falling by 8,200 in November as both part-time and full-time work saw job losses. The provincial unemployment rate rose by 0.2 points to 6.7 per cent. Year-to-date, the total level of employment has decreased 0.2 per cent.


In the United States, the economy seems to be gathering significant momentum. Not only was third quarter Real GDP growth revised higher to 3.6 per cent, but non-farm payrolls grew by 203,000 jobs while the unemployment rate ticked lower to 7 per cent.

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

Canadian Building Permits

Canadian building permits increased 7.4 per cent in October to 7.2 billion, the second consecutive monthly increase. The rise in building permits was led by stronger permitting activity in the Ontario residential and non-residential sectors.

Construction intentions in BC were close to 1 per cent higher in October, following a decline of 6 per cent in September. The value of building permits, however, was down 2.5 per cent compared to October 2012. Residential permits were up 6 per cent from September and 14.5 per cent higher year-over year while non-residential permits fell 7 per cent on a monthly basis and 23 per cent year-over-year.

Building permit activity across BC's four major census metropolitan areas (CMA) was mixed in October. In the Abbotsford-Mission CMA, permits fell sharply from strong permit activity in September, declining 55 per cent on a monthly basis. However, permits were 10.7 per cent higher year-over-year.  Construction intentions in the Victoria CMA declined for the third consecutive month, falling 24 per cent from September and 25 per cent year-over-year. In the Kelowna CMA, permits rebounded in October, rising 57 per from September and 19 per cent year-over-year.  Finally, in the Vancouver CMA  building permits rose 6.1 per cent month-over-month and 19 per cent year-over-year.


Copyright BCREA –reprinted with permission 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nelson BC Rental

Modern 2 Bedroom available January 1st
Located in upper Fairview, just one block from the Selkirk College 10th Street Campus, this 2 bedroom basement suite was recently renovated and features a bright sunny kitchen and your own private patio. Other features include:
·         Private ground level entry
·         4 piece bathroom
·         in suite laundry
·         modern kitchen with glass top stove
·         small storage area
·         off street parking
·         quiet dead end street
·         will consider a small friendly pet

Close to the Rails to Trails pathway for bike rides,, cross country skiing and walks, this suit is located within a family home and suits a quiet, clean and respectful single person or couple. It is a Non Smoking property. References are required. $850 per month plus utilities ($100/m).  Call Robert at 250-354-8500   robert@valhallapathrealty.com


















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Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement

The Bank of Canada once again opted to maintain its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. In its accompanying statement, the Bank highlighted that inflation continues to move below the Bank's 2 per cent target due to significant excess supply in the Canadian economy. It also noted that the risks to inflation appear to be to the downside, meaning it sees the risk of continued below target inflation as a more likely outcome than a rise in inflation. This, along with the Bank's expectation of a "soft landing" in the Canadian housing market, suggest that monetary policy will remain highly accommodative.

The Bank of Canada is currently projecting that excess supply in the Canadian economy will be eliminated sometime in mid-2015. Keeping in mind that the Bank has spent the past several years pushing that date back, if the Canadian economy does accelerate as most expect in 2014, a gradual rise in short-term interest rates will follow. Importantly, an uptick in Canadian economic growth next year will most likely be the result of stronger external demand, particularly from a resurgent United States.  However, stronger growth in the US economy will also put upward pressure on long-term yields, lessening some of the urgency for monetary tightening. For that reason, we expect that eventual Bank of Canada tightening will occur very slowly, beginning with a 25 to 50 basis point increase in the overnight rate in 2015.

Copyright BCREA -reprinted with permission 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Canadian Third Quarter Real GDP Growth

The Canadian economy grew 2.7 per cent at an annual rate in the third quarter, the fastest pace of growth in almost two years.  The economy was given a boost by an uptick in business investment which helped to offset a slight deceleration in household spending and a dip in exports. Moreover, while third quarter growth was strong, a significant portion of that growth came from accumulation of inventories and therefore we do not expect a repeat performance in the fourth quarter. 

Although today's GDP report was welcome news for the Canadian economy, It is unlikely to influence the Bank of Canada's interest rate decision next week. It will take several quarters of similar growth and a concomitant rise in inflation before the Bank of Canada moves on interest rates, an outcome we do not see until 2015.

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

BC Commercial Leading Indicator Points to Growth in 2014

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) rose for the third consecutive quarter, increasing 0.4 points in the third quarter of 2013 to 114.1. On a year-over-year basis, the CLI is 0.8 per cent above the third quarter of 2012 after reaching an all-time high of 116.1 in the second quarter of 2007.

After flattening out through 2012, the trend in the CLI has turned upward. An upturn in the CLI trend is historically a good signal of expanding commercial real estate activity in the following two to four quarters.

"The CLI rose for a third consecutive quarter as growth in retail sales and office employment more than offset a decline in financial conditions,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Economist. “The rising trend in the CLI points to an improving BC economy and stronger commercial real estate activity in 2014."


Copyright BCREA –reprinted with permission 

Canadian Retail Sales and Consumer Price Inflation

Canadian retail sales rose 1 per cent in September, the third consecutive monthly increase. The advance in sales was largely attributable to higher sales of motor vehicles and parts. Excluding motor-vehicles, sales were flat.  Given today's retail sales data, our Canadian GDP tracking model estimates third quarter growth at 2.7 per cent.

Retail sales in BC were up for  a second straight month, rising 0.4 per cent month-over-month. Compared to September 2012, sales were up 3.1 per cent.  Year-to-date, BC retail sales are up just 1.1 per cent.

Declining gas prices pushed Canadian inflation lower in October, falling from an annual rate of 1.1 per cent in September to just 0.7 per cent in the 12 months to October. The Bank of Canada's preferred measure of core inflation, which excludes the most volatile components of the CPI, continues to trend well below the Bank's 2 per cent inflation target, rising just 1.2 per cent.

Copyright BCREA –reprinted with permission


BCREA Housing Market Update (November 2013) (+playlist)

BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator Discussion (November 2013) (+playlist)

Movember 29th Nelson Star Ad


Dominion Lending Best Rate Mortgages


Revised and expanded! Condominium Buyer's Guide Now Available Online

Condominium living is popular for many Canadians because it can be a relatively carefree housing option. This Guide has been created to help you become an informed condominium buyer and help you make the best choice. Topics include: condominium types, rules and regulations, a condition checklist, a glossary of terms, information sources, condominium selection checklist and Provincial/Territorial fact sheets.

Canadian Manufacturing Sales

Canadian manufacturing sales increased 0.6 per cent in September, the fourth increase in the past five months. The increase was primarily the result of higher sales in the motor vehicle assembly and food industries, though sales rose in 11 of 21 manufacturing sectors.

In BC, manufacturing sales rose 2.3 per cent from August and 4.5 per cent year-over-year. September's increase in sales was fairly broad based with shipments of both non-durable goods growing 3 per cent and durable goods rising 1.7 per cent.  Year-to-date, total BC manufacturing sales are 1.8 per cent higher than last year.


 Copyright BCREA – Reprinted with permission 

BC Home Sales Post Strongest October in Four Years

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,673 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC during October, up 26.5 per cent from October 2012. Total sales dollar volume was 34.5 per cent higher than a year ago at $3.6 billion. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $540,432, up 6.3 per cent from October 2012.

"The fall housing market is shaping up to be the most active in four years,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Persistently low mortgage interest rates and an element of pent-up demand have driven home sales higher in the province’s large Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island markets."

"While the rebound in consumer demand has been significant, home sales are trending near the long-term average and any continued acceleration will depend on stronger economic and employment growth,” added Muir.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 8.2 per cent to $33.6 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 5.1 per cent to 63,020 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 2.9 per cent at $533,321.


Copyright BCREA – Reprinted with permission 

CREA Housing Market Report 10th edt. 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why Your Mortgage Term Matters

Choosing the mortgage term that’s right for you can be a challenging proposition for even the savviest of homebuyers, as terms typically range from six months up to 10 years.

By understanding mortgage terms and what they mean in dollars and sense, you can save the most money and choose the term that is best suited to your specific needs.

The first consideration when comparing various mortgage terms is to understand that a longer term generally means a higher corresponding interest rate. And, a shorter term generally means a lower corresponding interest rate. While this generalization may lead you to believe that a shorter term is always the preferred option, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there are other factors – either in the financial markets or in your own life – that you’ll also have to take into consideration when selecting the length of your mortgage term.

With mortgage rates starting to rise, for instance, a longer term may be worth considering now. And if paying your mortgage each month places you close to the financial edge of your comfort zone, you may want to opt for a longer mortgage term, such as five or 10 years, so that you can ensure that you’ll be able to afford your mortgage payments should interest rates increase further.

By the end of a five- or 10-year mortgage term, most buyers are in a better financial situation, have a lower outstanding principal balance and, should interest rates have risen throughout the course of your term, you’ll be able to afford higher mortgage payments.

If you’re shopping for a mortgage for an investment property, you’ll likely want to consider choosing a longer mortgage term – depending, of course, on your overall plan. This will allow you to know that the mortgage payments on the property will be steady for a long time and enable you to more accurately project your future income from the property.

On the other hand, if you know you will not be staying in the same home for the next five or 10 years, opting for a shorter term can save you significant fees when it comes to early payout penalties.

Choosing the right mortgage term is a unique decision for each individual. By understanding your personal financial situation and your tolerance for risk, your mortgage broker or lender can help select the mortgage term that will work best for your situation.

Dominion Lending Centres Best Rates


Is Refinancing Right For You?

There are numerous reasons why homeowners choose to refinance their mortgages – everything from debt consolidation to freeing up money for their child’s education to using their home equity to buy another property. But the most popular reason for refinancing at this time of year is for holiday gift buying and entertainment.

Planning ahead really can save you money down the road. And with the high-cost holiday gift-buying and entertaining season quickly approaching, this may be the perfect time to refinance your mortgage and free up some money instead of relying on high-interest unsecured credit such as credit cards and lines of credit.

You may find that taking equity out of your home will help bring joy back into your holiday season – and start the New Year off on a debt-free note, as you may also be able to use some of the equity in your home to pay off high-interest debt such as your credit card and/or line of credit balances. This will enable you to put more money in your bank account each month.

And since interest rates continue to hover near historic lows, switching to a lower rate may save you a lot of money – possibly thousands of dollars per year.

There are penalties for paying your mortgage loan out prior to renewal, but these could be offset by the lower rates and extra money you could acquire through a refinance. I can sit down with you and work through all of the equations to ensure this is the right move for you.
With access to more money, you’ll be better able to manage both your holiday spending and existing debt.

Paying your mortgage down faster
By refinancing, you may extend the time it will take to pay off your mortgage, but there are many ways to pay down your mortgage sooner to save you thousands of dollars in interest payments. Most mortgage products, for instance, include prepayment privileges that enable you to pay up to 20% of the principal (the true value of your mortgage minus the interest payments) per calendar year. This will also help reduce your amortization period (the length of your mortgage), which, in turn, saves you money.

You can also increase the frequency of your mortgage payments by opting for accelerated bi-weekly payments. Not to be confused with semi-monthly mortgage payments (24 payments per year), accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payments (26 payments per year) will not only pay your mortgage off quicker, but it’s guaranteed to save you a significant amount of money over the term of your mortgage.

By refinancing now – before the holiday season is in full swing – and planning ahead, you can put yourself and your family in a better financial position.

Off Season Home Shopping

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new home but don’t think that the cooler months make for an ideal time, you may actually benefit from changing your perspective. Though spring and summer are typically the most active real estate buying and selling seasons, house hunting in winter has its own benefits. Knowing what they are and how to use them to your advantage can put you on the path to homeownership sooner rather than later.

One of the best reasons to buy a house in winter is that there is usually less competition out there. Because many people believe that buying a home in cooler months is a bad idea, they stay home waiting for spring to come instead of house hunting. After all, moving at this time can be inconvenient and messy if you have to deal with inclement weather. Additionally, families will be less likely to move in the months of September through June if their children are in school.

It’s the perfect time to start looking for a home during months when there are fewer house hunters. With fewer buyers in the market, homes move more slowly and sellers are more willing to negotiate on their asking price. They often need to move from the property in the near future, and you can use that to your advantage to get a favourable deal on a house that may otherwise be out of your price range during the peak selling seasons.

Touring a home during the winter allows you to see things that you may not have been exposed to if you had come in the summer months. For instance, drafts may be a sign that windows need replacing or that there are air leaks that may need to be sealed. If the house feels warm without the thermostat being set too high, it may be an indication that the home has good insulation.

If you decide to brave the cold and hunt for a home during winter, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, don’t feel like you’re going to inconvenience someone by viewing their home during the holidays, evenings or weekends. Sellers want to sell just as much as buyers want to buy. Also, don’t be overcome by holiday decorations, which can make a house look cramped or have the opposite effect of making the house more emotionally appealing than it otherwise would be.

Just like any holiday shopping sale, knowledgeable shoppers know where to find great opportunities. The same holds true for real estate. There are still homes for sale in winter and bargains to be found, so don’t let the seasons rule your search for a home.


Canadian Employment and Housing Starts

Employment

Canadian employment expanded by 13,200 jobs in October, and the total number of employed rose 1.3 per cent compared to October of last year. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.9 per cent.

In BC, employment again fell, with firms shedding over 5,000 jobs for a second consecutive month. In spite of job losses, the provincial unemployment rate actually declined 0.2 points to 6.5 per cent due to a sharp drop in those looking for work. Year-to-date, employment  in BC has declined 0.1 per cent.


Housing Starts

Canadian housing starts increased 1.2 per cent in September to 198,282 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The trend in Canadian new home construction rose as well, to 195,338 units SAAR over the past six months, a rate that is slightly higher than demographic demand suggests is needed.  On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 5.4 per cent.

New home construction in BC urban centres declined in October, falling 19.2 per cent to 23,918 units SAAR . On a year-over-year basis, total starts were 9 per cent lower than October 2012. Single-detached starts were up 15 per cent over last year, while multiple starts fell 18 per cent. Year-to-date, total BC housing starts are down 5 per cent.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA fell 13 per cent year-over-year at 1,533 units.  Single family starts increased 32 per cent while multiples fell 22 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, total starts continued to be somewhat volatile, falling 28 per cent year-over-year  on the heels of a 40 per cent increase in September. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA jumped 87 per cent year-over-year in October due to a sizable increase in multi unit starts.  In the Abbotsford-MIssion CMA, starts were down 29 per cent year-over-year.


Copyright BCREA – reprinted with permission 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Canadian Building Permits

Canadian building permits rose 1.7 per cent in September to $6.5 billion, following a 20 per cent decline in August.  The modest increase in building permits was led by the residential sector, primarily in Alberta and Quebec. 

Construction intentions in BC declined 6 per cent in September from August and were nearly 19 per cent lower year-over-year. The value of residential permits were 14.1 per cent lower in September and 6 per cent lower year-over-year.  The total number of residential units permitted in September fell 29 per cent from August due to a sharp decline in permits for multiple units. The value of non-residential permits rose 10.3 per in September. 

Building permit activity across BC's four major census metropolitan areas (CMA) was mostly lower in September. In the Abbotsford-Mission CMA, permits rose 15.2 per cent on a monthly basis but were 61.7 per cent lower year-over-year. Construction intentions in the Victoria CMA declined for the second consecutive month, falling 2.5 per cent from August and 31.4 per cent year-over-year. In the Kelowna CMA, permits fell 52.8 per cent after posting a 70 per cent increase in August.  Finally, in the Vancouver CMA  building permits declined 11.3 per cent month-over-month and 29.2 per cent year-over-year.

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

US Q3 Real GDP Growth

The preliminary estimate of Q3 US GDP came in at 2.8 per cent, resoundingly beating the consensus expectation of 1.9 per cent.  However, a full 0.8 per cent of that growth was due to a build-up of inventories and this report may be noisier than usual due to the government shutdown. It is worth noting that today's release is a preliminary estimate and will be revised in subsequent months.

Stronger than expected economic growth in the United States, coupled with a decent jobs report tomorrow, could put some upward pressure on long-term bond yields, which have fallen significantly since the Fed opted to delay its quantitative easing program. Even so, we anticipate that long-term rates and therefore mortgage rates, will remain stable through the end of the year.

Copyright BCREA -reprinted with permission

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

909 Vernon Street

$20,000 Price Reduction

Now $289,900 




























Situated on a gorgeous tree lined street in Nelson, BC, this classic Victorian home is located in a popular residential area that is adjacent to the downtown core.  From this ideal location you are just a short walk to the theatres, shopping, restaurants and nightlife that the Queen City is known for.  This home has an open floor plan and features wood floors and updated bathrooms.  There is off street parking, a covered porch and loads of character.  The basement is unfinished but has potential to be more than it is. Quick possession is available.  This 3 bedroom home is a must see for those who would like to take advantage of an opportunity to be part of the culture and community that is Nelson.     

MLS# 2392195

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Canadian Monthly GDP

The Canadian economy expanded 0.3 per cent in August, building off of 0.6 per cent growth in July. Nearly all major industrial sectors registered growth in August, led by oil and gas and major Canadian service sectors like retail and wholesale trade. 

With today's release, we now have two months of GDP data for the third quarter. Our quarterly tracking estimate is currently pointing at growth north of 2 per cent and, barring substantial underperformance in September, possibly as strong as 2.5 per cent which would well exceed the Bank of Canada's recent forecast of 1.8 per cent. However, stronger third quarter growth has been somewhat artificially boosted by a recovery of output lost due to summer flooding in Alberta and labour disruptions in Quebec. Therefore it is unlikely that growth is accelerating beyond what the Bank of Canada is currently factoring into its interest rate decisions. 
 

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Decision

The Bank of Canada left its target for the overnight rate unchanged at 1 per cent this morning. In its accompanying statement, the Bank highlighted that uncertain global and domestic conditions are delaying a forecast pick-up in exports and business investment, leaving the level of economic activity lower than what the Bank had been expecting. The Bank is forecasting growth of 1.6 per cent in 2013, and has trimmed its outlook on growth in 2014 from 2.6 per cent to 2.3 per cent.  Interestingly, the Bank also noted that persistently below target inflation are of increasing importance, normally an argument for a cut in the overnight rate. However, the risk of exacerbating already elevated household debt is weighing heavily on the Bank's interest rate decisions. 

Low inflation, higher long-term interest rates and the Bank's downward revisions to its economic forecast virtually rule out any movement in the overnight rate in the short term. Like the Bank, we anticipate a rebound in economic growth in 2014 that will bump inflation back onto a path back to its 2 per cent target by 2015. Rising inflation  will likely necessitate a tightening of interest rates, but not until late next year at the earliest.

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Canadian Retail Sales and US Employment

Canadian retail sales increased again in August, growing 0.2 per cent largely on higher sales at food and beverage stores. Overall, gains were reported in 6 of 11 retail sub-sectors. Given today's data release, we expect third quarter Canadian real GDP to record growth of about 2 per cent.

Retail sales in BC were up 0.6 per cent month-over-month, only the fourth monthly increase in retail sales recorded this year. Compared to August 2012, sales were up 2.8 per cent. Year-to-date, BC retail sales are 0.8 per cent higher than in 2012.

In the United States, the end of the government shut-down brings with it some long delayed data including this morning's job report for September. US payrolls expanded by 148,000 jobs while the unemployment rate edged slightly lower to 7.2 per cent. While job growth remains steady, it is somewhat worrying that a once robust trend of 200,000 new jobs in the first quarter of this year has fallen to just 143,000 in the third quarter.


Copyright BCREA – reprinted with permission 

Housing Market Rebound to Extend Into 2014: BCREA 2013 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2013 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast today.

BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 6 per cent to 71,700 units this year, before increasing a further 6.3 per cent to 76,200 units in 2014. The five-year average is 74,600 unit sales, while the ten-year average is 86,800 unit sales. A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.

"Consumer demand has bounced back after waning for most of 2012,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “With higher interest rates on the horizon, many potential homebuyers are choosing to lock in a mortgage sooner rather than later. However, rather than signaling a return to frenetic home buying activity and accelerating markets, consumer demand is simply transitioning back to its long term average." 


The average MLS® residential price forecast for the province has been revised upward from a 3.3 to a 4.3 per cent increase to $537,100 this year, as a result of stronger than expected market conditions in Vancouver. The average MLS® residential price in BC is forecast to increase a further 2.1 per cent to 548,200 in 2014.

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

“CREA Housing Market Report 9th edt. 2013



Copyright CREA

Housing Market Update (October 2013)


Watch BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir discuss the September 2013 statistics: 


Copyright BCREA - rebroadcast with permission

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Canadian Manufacturing Sales

Canadian manufacturing sales posted a modest decline in August, falling 0.2 per cent month-over-month.  Sales were lower in 11 of 21 manufacturing sectors.

In BC, manufacturing sales rose 0.8 per cent from July but were 0.3 per cent lower than August 2012.  Year-to-date, BC manufacturing sales are 1.2 per cent higher than last year, though much of the overall gain is due to a 28 per cent rise in sales of manufactured wood products. Other large manufacturing sectors such as food products, pulp and paper and mineral products have recorded year-to-date declines in sales.


Copyright BCREA –reprinted with permission 

BC Home Sales on Upward Trajectory

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,498 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC during September, up 43.2 per cent from September 2012. Total sales dollar volume was 55.7 per cent higher than a year ago at $3.49 billion. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $537,458, up 8.8 per cent from September 2012.

"Consumer demand for housing in September was the strongest in four years,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “After declining for most of 2012, BC home sales have increased now for seven consecutive months."

"While a return to a more normal level of demand is good news for buyers and sellers, relatively weak economic conditions and muted provincial job growth will likely limit continued acceleration of home sales over the next few quarters,” added Muir.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 5.7 per cent to $30 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 3.1 per cent to 56,347 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 2.6 per cent at $532,745.


Copyright BCREA –reprinted with permission 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Canadian Employment

Following significant ups and downs over the summer, Canadian employment was little changed in September. However, a decline in youths looking for work pushed the Canadian unemployment lower by 0.2 points to 6.9 per cent, the lowest rate in five years. Total employment has grown 1.2 per cent in the past 12 months. 

In BC, employment fell by 5,400 jobs as a decline in part-time work of 8,200 was only partially offset by higher full-time employment. The provincial unemployment rate rose by 0.1 points to 6.7 per cent. Year-to-date, employment growth in BC is flat while the level of total employment in September is 0.7 per cent lower than in 2012. 

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Canadian Housing Starts

Canadian housing starts increased 5 per cent in September to 193,627 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR).  The trend in Canadian new home construction edged up slightly to 188,440 units SAAR over the past six months, a rate that is roughly in-line with Canadian household formations.  On a year-over-year basis, housing starts were down 11 per cent.

New home construction in BC urban centres bounced back from a sizable decline in August, rising 17 per cent to 29,633 units SAAR . On a year-over-year basis, total starts were 10 per cent higher than September 2012. Single-detached starts were up 20 per cent over last year, while multiple starts rose 6 per cent. Through the first three quarters of the year, BC housing starts are down 5 per cent compared to 2012.

Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, total starts in the Vancouver CMA were up 1 per cent year-over-year at 1,731 units in September. Single family starts rose 15 per cent while multiples fell 2 per cent. Through the first three quarters of the year, Vancouver CMA housing starts are down 6 per cent. In the Victoria CMA, total starts were up 40 per cent compared to September 2012, due to double digit growth in both single and multiple starts. Year-to-date, VIctoria CMA housing starts are 8 per cent lower than 2012. New home construction in the Kelowna CMA fell 35 per cent year-over-year in September. The decline was the result of a steep drop in multiple unit starts compared to 2012. Year-to-date, Kelowna CMA housing starts are down 1 per cent compared to 2012. Single detached starts were 30 per cent higher.  In the Abbotsford-MIssion CMA, starts were up 400 per cent at 130 total units compared to just 26 in September 2012. Year-to-date, total housing starts in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA have risen 91 per cent.


Copyright BCREA – Reprinted with permission

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another home SOLD
















Here is a home that must be at the top of your list. Privately positioned on a prime 4.24 acre parcel overlooking green pasture with the Kootenay River in the not too distant view. As attractive as this home is from the exterior, the inside is instantly appealing and inviting. It offers a generous foyer leading to a spacious living room with a fireplace and vaulted ceilings. The kitchen is modern and is open to the dining room and an adjoining family room. Hardwood flooring and tile throughout the main. 1 bdrm and den on main and 3 more bdrms up. A covered deck wraps around 3 sides and makes warm weather living a pleasure. The barn doubles as a workshop. The property is fully fenced and currently operates as a market garden selling organic raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.  Just 20 mins from Nelson or 15 minutes to Castlegar.
MLS #2392215  List Price $499,900

Indoor air quality

As temperatures drop and the autumn leaves begin to blanket the earth we collectively embark on our migration to the warmth, comfort and protection of our indoor spaces.
According to Health Canada, we spend about 90 per cent of our time indoors at home, at work or in recreational settings such as shopping malls, restaurants and gyms. We often talk about outdoor air quality and pollution but what do we know about indoor air quality?
Given that fall is the prime time for sealing up our homes in an effort to make them more energy efficient, a look at the health of our indoor air is fitting.
Mould lives in damp environments. It might look like a stain and appear in different colours. Sometimes, though, mould is not apparent and instead there is a musty smell. High concentrations of mould spores inside your house can lead to adverse health effects such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
If the amount of mould isn’t too large, consider fixing the problem yourself. Health Canada recommends using water and dish detergent. Bleach isn’t necessary. Once that’s done, you’ll need to address the cause. There are other ways to prevent mould growth such as ensuring that your clothes dryer hose is properly vented outdoors or by repairing basement, roof and pipe leaks immediately.
Radon, which is a radioactive gas created in nature, is often found in basements and crawl spaces, where there is poor ventilation. These locations also tend to be closer to the source of radon, which is created by decaying uranium found in soil, rock and water. Radon can enter a house through cracks in the foundation or gaps around pipes. Because radon is invisible, odourless and has no taste, the only way to know for sure if you have it is to do a DIY test or call in a professional.
Formaldehyde is a colourless gas that at high levels emits a sharp smell and irritates eyes, nose and throat and can worsen asthma in children. Low levels of this gas are extremely common indoors. Formaldehyde comes from cigarette smoke, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves; paper products such as wallpaper and cardboard; paints, adhesives and floor finishes and pressed wood products used in home construction projects, furniture and cabinets.
The best way to control formaldehyde in your home is by not smoking indoors, ensuring your fireplace and woodstove are in good working order and by letting products containing formaldehyde air out before bringing them into your home.
Carbon monoxide is odourless, tasteless and colourless. Encountering low levels over long periods of time can be dangerous, but high levels can lead to death. Low-level exposure might feel like the flu. More extreme exposure can result in chest pain, confused thinking and dizziness. It’s essential that you keep fuel-burning mechanisms and appliances well vented.
It’s important to maintain your fuel-burning devices, never idle vehicles in your garage and don’t smoke indoors. Invest in a carbon monoxide detector.
The following are other general ways to bump up your indoor air quality, according to Health Canada:
* Keep adequate ventilation, especially in rooms with excess water such as bathrooms.
* Monitor and control humidity levels.
* Fix leaks and cracks in walls, floors, roofs and basements.
* Immediately clean any mould found growing in your home.
* Keep your home clean by dusting and vacuuming regularly.
* Keep the door between your garage and home closed.
* Do not store paints, solvents or varnishes inside your home.
* Coat or seal furnishings made from particle-board or medium-density fibreboard.
Learning about the condition of the air inside your home might just be the perfect winter project. There are plenty of great online sources from which to obtain more information. For starters, try Health Canada, www.lung.ca and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Canadian Building Permits

Canadian building permits fell 21.2 per cent in August to $6.3 billion, reversing July's 20 per cent gain.  Lower building permits were the result of a decline in construction intentions in both the residential and non-residential sectors.

BC was one of only two provinces to register an increase in building permits in August. The total value of building permits issued in the province rose 2.9 per cent from July as residential building permits rose 12.8 per cent while non-residential permits declined 13  per cent. Year-over-year, construction intentions in August were about 1 per cent lower than in 2012. On the residential side, the total number of units permitted increased from 2,352 units in July to a 2,666 in August. A decline in permits for single-family units was offset by a substantial jump in permits for apartment units from 1,092 to 1,478.

Building permit activity across BC's four major census metropolitan areas (CMA) was mostly positive in August. In the Vancouver CMA, permits rose 13.6 per cent on a monthly basis but were 2.6 per cent lower year-over-year. Construction intentions in the Victoria CMA broke a two month trend of double digit increases, declining 26.2 per cent on a monthly basis but were 10 per cent higher year over year. in the Kelowna CMA, permits posted another large increase, rising 79.9 per cent from June and  doubled permit values recorded in August 2012. Finally, in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA, building permits increased 2.1 per cent month-over-month and 11 per cent year-over-year.

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission

Setting the List Price

Here are some of the reasons why pricing your home at the current market value is extremely important:
  • Potential buyers may not look at your home if they believe it’s out of their price range.
  • Buyers comparison shop when considering a home purchase. When a buyer compares an overpriced home versus one that is priced at market value, it will likely convince them to place an offer on the well-priced property instead of yours.
  • Properties that have been on the market for extended periods often come under scrutiny from buyers who question why the properties have yet to sell. Perception is a key factor in how a seller’s home is viewed by the average homebuyer.
  • Real estate agents may skip over showing an over-priced home as they may believe the seller has little motivation to actually sell the property. Buyers’ agents are always keen on getting their clients through the doors of a well-priced home first in order to give their clients first crack at getting the home of their dreams.
  • The longer a listing stagnates on the market, the more likely it will sell for less than had it been priced right in the first place.
The key to pricing your home to sell for the most amount of money in the shortest period of time is to work with a local real estate professional. We know how to do an accurate market comparison and arrive at an asking price that will offer some room for negotiation, but not scare off potential buyers.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Dominion Lending Mortgage Rates


Canadian Monthly GDP Growth

The Canadian economy bounced back from a flood and labour unrest induced 0.5 per cent decline in June to grow 0.6 per cent in July. Growth was led by those industries hardest hit in the previous month, including construction, manufacturing and oil and gas. 

The rebound in July's economic growth provides some momentum for the economy in the third quarter. Our tracking estimate currently  puts third quarter Canadian economic growth at roughly 2 per cent. However, growth in the third and fourth quarter may be challenged by yet another manufactured debt crisis in the United States as well as the impact of higher long-term interest rates. While the latter have moderated significantly since the US Federal Reserve opted not to slow its quantitative easing, rates could rise quickly if US economic data exceeds expectations. Our forecast for the Canadian economy in 2013 remains at 1.6 per cent real GDP growth.  

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mortgage Rates















Please note that rates shown above are subject to change without notice. The rates shown are  posted rates and the actual rate you receive may be different, depending upon your personal financial situation. “Some conditions may apply. Rates may vary from Province to Province. Rates subject to change without notice. *O.A.C. E.& O.E.” Check with your Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional for full details and to determine what rate will be available for you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Canadian Retail Sales

Canadian retail sales rose 0.6 per cent in July on a monthly basis and were 3 per cent higher year-over-year. Retail sale were led by higher sales at gas stations, which grew 3.2 per cent, the largest increase among the 11 retail sub-sectors.  Given today's data release, third quarter GDP growth is likely tracking in a range close to 2 per cent.

Retail sales in BC posted dipped 0.1 per cent from June to July but were 2.1 per cent higher year-over-year. Following an anemic sub-2 per cent growth in 2012, BC retail sales have grown just 0.6 per cent year-to-date in 2013.  

Copyright BCREA -reprinted with permission 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Teck plan includes Nelson area

A remediation plan by Teck Trail operation will extend as far north as Grohman Narrows even though there is no sign of smelter-related contamination in the area.
It’s part of the company’s response to an assessment that found vegetation risks can’t be ruled out on 7,900 hectares of the lower Columbia valley.
“It’s not that those 7,900 hectares are contaminated,” Nelson-based ecological consultant Marlene Machmer said. “It’s that based on looking at the vegetation one cannot say there were no effects from the smelter emissions.”
The potentially affected lands stretch from Genelle south to the US border and represent 18.5 per cent of the total area of interest, which extends as far north as Castlegar.
Under BC contaminated site regulations, Teck has to come up with a remediation plan for that area. But Machmer says the company wants to develop a more comprehensive plan that almost reaches Nelson.
“Teck’s rationale for looking at the larger area is that there are a number of opportunities within the broader landscape for restoration, enhancement, and conservation,” she said. “The expanded area is not necessarily being looked at for remediation, but for opportunities.”
The wider area allows the company more flexibility to offset impacts in certain locations by restoring others. However, Teck is still discussing with the Ministry of Environment what a potential offset is worth.
“If we develop a two-acre wetland in a location which is prime habitat, what would an offset be based on the value of that wetland? We don’t know yet,” company biologist Dave DeRosa said.
He cited the example of a new mine whose footprint is offset with enhanced or protected lands elsewhere. “That’s what this program is about. We want to bring what was potentially impacted back to a state where we’ve caused no net loss in the valley.”
Specific projects haven’t been named but may include improving soil conditions and habitat preservation.
DeRosa said no Teck contaminants are known to exist at Grohman Narrows or in the Nelson area, but the company has land holdings along the Kootenay River which might prove useful to the overall plan. Other private landowners will also likely be involved.
Machmer and DeRosa appeared before the Regional District of Central Kootenay board Thursday.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mortgage Rates


Canadian Consumer Price Inflation

Canadian inflation registered 1.1 per cent in the twelve months to August, a slight deceleration from July's rate of 1.3 per cent. Core inflation, which strips out the most volatile components of the CPI, such as food and energy prices, increased 1.3 per cent in August. Consumer prices in BC actually fell 0.1 per cent in the 12 months to August largely as a result of the elimination of the HST. 

Given that inflation continues to run well below the Bank of Canada's 2 per cent target, we expect very little urgency from the Bank of Canada in raising interest rates. Our expectation remains that the Bank will begin withdrawing monetary stimulus in late 2014 or early 2015. 

Copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

US Housing Starts

US housing starts rose close to 1 per cent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 891,000 units. Housing starts had reached a multi-year high of 1.02 million (SAAR) in March but have slowed to a less than 900,000 SAAR pace since then. Slower construction activity is likely a result of rising US mortgage rates and a slowdown in job-growth in recent months.

Although US new home construction has slowed of late, it is still well above the historical lows seen since the 2008 financial crisis. This has translated to a significant boost to the BC economy, as exports of BC wood products (representing about a fifth of all BC exports) have risen 30 per cent this year. 

copyright BCREA - reprinted with permission 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CREA Updates Resale Housing Forecast

CREA’s previous two forecasts anticipated that national sales activity in 2013 would improve following the slow start to the year, buoyed by the continuation of low interest rates amid a constructive economic backdrop and the return of buyers who deferred purchase decisions or were otherwise sidelined in the wake of tighter mortgage rules and lending guidelines implemented last year.

National sales have improved more quickly than anticipated. This likely reflects the transient influence of buyers with pre-approved financing making purchases before their lower pre-approved rates expire, particularly in some of Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets.

“Real estate markets can be very different depending on the region and community due to local factors,” said Laura Leyser, CREA President. “For that reason, buyers and sellers should talk to their REALTOR® about the housing market outlook where they live or might like to.”

CREA’s forecast for national sales activity has been rebalanced with a modest upward revision this year to reflect stronger than expected sales for the year-to-date. CREA’s previous forecast for national sales in 2014 remains little changed.

Sales are forecast to reach 449,900 units in 2013. This represents a decline of one per cent from last year and marks the sixth consecutive year for which activity will have held to within short reach of 450,000 units.

The upward revision to activity in British Columbia accounts for nearly half of the small upward revision to national activity this year. The forecast for sales across the Prairies has also been raised. British Columbia and Alberta are the only provinces where CREA annual sales are forecast to rise above levels last year.

In 2014, national activity is forecast to reach to 465,600 units, a rebound of 3.5 per cent, and in line with its 10-year-average. The forecast increase reflects a gradual strengthening of sales activity alongside further economic, job, and income growth combined with only slightly higher mortgage interest rates.
British Columbia is still forecast to post the strongest sales increase in 2014 (+6.7%) compared to a weak result in 2013. Most other provinces are forecast to post gains in the range between two and four per cent.

Average prices have also remained firmer than expected due to a rise in the share of national sales among larger and pricier markets compared to last year.

The national average home price is projected to rise by 3.6 per cent to $376,300 in 2013, with gains strongest and in the range between four and five per cent in Prairie provinces and around six per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador. Average price growth in British Columbia and Ontario is expected to come in just under the national increase, advance by less than one per cent in Quebec and New Brunswick, and recede by less than one per cent in Nova Scotia.

“The environment for home prices in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia will likely be shaped by ample inventory levels relative to sales,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The balance between the two indicates that buyers have an abundance of listings from which to choose in those provinces, which could keep pricing prospects in check until sales draw down inventories.”

The national average price is forecast to edge up a further 1.7 per cent in 2014 to $382,800. Alberta is forecast to see the biggest average price increase in 2014 (3.4 per cent), with gains in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador running just ahead of overall consumer price inflation. Average prices in Quebec and New Brunswick are expected to remain stable in 2014, with other provinces eking out gains ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 per cent.

 



















Copyright CREA – reprinted with permission