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Strong demand for Olympic village condos stuns realtor

February 17th, 2011
Friday is the date set for the Olympic Village Condos to officially go on sale. A test of the market earlier this week showed a strong demand for the units in the troubled development.
This week, condo marketer Bob Rennie’s office gave a small number of interested buyers the opportunity to submit offers on units in the Kayak and Bridge complexes, as a means of testing whether the new prices reflect the market.
Results were surprising as the high demand showed that a third of the buyers were willing to pay upwards of $ 1 million per unit.

This new sale offers 230 of the remaining 474 units at steep price reductions from the original prices.

To read the full article, please click on the link below.

The Vancouver Sun – February 17th, 2011

Olympic Village condos to go to market – again

February 16th, 2011
Olympic Village condos had an opening on Thursday held by Rennie Marketing Systems and this is the third time that the condominium units are open for public sale. The marketer Bob Rennie said there is a lot of pressure because of the market condition and economy situation. A selected group of interested buyers has been allowed to put in offers after seeing the units and they are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. Bob Rennie said the number of offers is close to 25 right now. So far no deals have been approved yet but some real estate agents are getting angry because some people are able to submit offers in advance. Bob Rennie mentioned that the information must be leaked by the tested buyers, breaching the confidentiality agreement. To read the entire article, please click the link below:

The Vancouver Sun, February 15, 2011

Metro Vancouver, rest of B.C. show sharps differences in housing price changes

February 14th, 2011
According to a survey released by B.C. Real Estate Association, the housing price in Metro Vancouver went up by 19.6 per cent in January 2011, compared to January 2010. While Metro Vancouver has shown a strong increase, the rest of B.C. saw prices dropping. The average prince has fallen in most cities in B.C. in January, except for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley. However, the average housing price of the province still rose by 11.5 per cent in January, compared to the same time last year. It is mainly because of the strong market activities in parts of Vancouver, notably the purchases of luxury and executive homes. Vancouver also has more diversified economy and the advantage of immigrants, which provide a solid basis of housing demand. To read the entire article, please click the link below:

The Vancouver Sun, February 14, 2011

Metro Vancouver housing market balanced in January; demand rising

February 7th, 2011
The housing market in Metro Vancouver remains a healthy balance in January, but varies from region to region, according to Jake Moldowan, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). Meanwhile, a strong increase in demand is seen. In areas like Richmond and Vancouver’s west side, solid sellers’ market has been seen. Realtors have seen more multiple-offer situations, and the sales to new listing ratio above the rage of 45 per cent to 60 per cent also indicates a sellers’ market. Over last year, the benchmark prices of detached homes in Richmond and Vancouver both rose by 22.6 per cent and 12.2 per cent, respectively. Elsewhere in the region, REBGV reports a decline in residential property sales in January compared to December 2010. To read the entire article, please click the link below:
The Vancouver Sun, February 3, 2011

Vancouver building permits value falls in December; Abbotsford, Kelowna rise

February 7th, 2011
According to Statistic Canada, B.C.’s building permits value falls in December by 5.7 per cent, while it rises by 2.4 per cent nationally. In B.C., Vancouver and Victoria both saw decline in the building permits value in December, which are 3.6 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively. On contrast, Abbotsford and Kelowna managed huge gains in building permits value by 199 per cent and 42.3 per cent, respectively. Nationally, the value rose for the first time in three months, mainly because of the higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in Ontario. Also, the gain in residential component may be another driving force. The value of residential permits went up by 21.2 per cent in December. To read the entire article, please click the link below:


The Vancouver Sun, February 7, 2011
With the upcoming changes to mortgage financing in March, it would be easy to conclude that Canadians are racking up levels of debt that are unsustainable should interest rates rise.   While it’s true that the ratio of household debt has reached 148% of household income, there are other numbers that need to be taken into consideration to determine the impact of that indebtedness.    40% of homeowners have no mortgage (compared to 31% in the US), and 30% of Canadians rent, meaning about 58% of households pay no mortgage interest.  Also, net equity of owners in their homes is more than 60%, compared to 39% in the United States.   Combine that with the type of mortgage products that are held by Canadians.  With two out of three mortgage homes paying a fixed rate, only 14% of mortgages are variable rate.   That means that the monthly-payment shock from an interest rate rise would not affect the majority of Canadians.
To see the full article, click here:



Real estate market calm expected to follow hectic 2010 in Metro Vancouver

January 28th, 2011
Home prices rose sharply in Metro Vancouver over 2010, whereas the Interior and other parts of B.C. saw flat prices and stalled sales.
Buyers, especially first-time buyers, were brought back into the market after a dip from the recession credited to a combination of low interest rates, stable prices throughout B.C., and a consistent improvement in the economy aided by the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Home prices are predicted to level, indicating no repeat of last year’s price bump.

To read the details, click on the following link:

Vancouver Sun – January 27th, 2011

Metro Vancouver resale price indicates sellers’ market in November

January 26th, 2011
While major urban markets in Canada show the balanced conditions, Toronto and Vancouver’s markets can be considered sellers’ market, according to data from Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). In November, Vancouver prices went up by 0.6%, being the only one in six metropolitans in Canada that saw the increase. Nationally, Canadian home resale prices fell for a straight third month in November, possibly due to higher interest rate and slowing economy. Overall prices went up 4.9% from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month increase since December 2009, indicating a balanced residential market. In the near future, the mortgage policies are expected to be tightened, which could limit price growth. On the other hand, there could still be a price increase in the next few months since people try to precede the new measure that will take effect in March. To read the entire article, please click the link below:

The Vancouver Sun, January 16, 2011

Home prices less affordable across Canada – especially B.C.

January 25th, 2011
According to a study released by a Canadian think-tank, Saskatoon surpassed Edmonton and Calgary in housing prices, and for the first time in years Montreal became less affordable than Toronto, while British Columbia stands firm as being the least affordable area in Canada.
With the average home costing 9.5 times the average annual salary of its inhabitants, Vancouver holds the title as the lease affordable metropolitan area in Canada, reports a survey released by the Frontier Centre.
To read the complete article, please click on the link below.
Vancouver Sun – January 25th, 2011
Changes to the Rules for Government Insured Mortgages
Since October 2009, the Government of Canada has been systematically tightening mortgage financing regulations for all federally regulated lenders.  The changes have been made in order to ensure that Canadians are prepared for higher interest rates in the future by not taking on too much debt, which will improve the stability of Canada’s housing market.
On January 17, 2011, Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced additional changes to the rules for government insured mortgages.
We want to be sure you understand the changes and how they might affect your clients’ home financing options. Three new measures that have been announced are as follows:
New Guidelines – Effective March 18th 2011
1) Lowering the maximum amount consumers can borrow     when refinancing their home
This change will lower the maximum mortgage amount for refinances to 85% of the appraised value of the property from the current 90%. This change will help to promote savings in homeownership and ensure that homeowners don’t become overextended by using all the equity they have built up in their home when refinancing.
2)  Reducing the maximum amortization period for new government insured (default insured) mortgages
The maximum amortization for all new default insured mortgages will be reduced to 30 years from the current 35 years. This change will help reduce total borrowing costs for consumers, helping them to build up equity more quickly.
As an example, a $300,000 mortgage with a 4.5% interest rate and an amortization of 35 years has a monthly payment of $1412.05 and total interest cost of $293,059.17 over the life of the mortgage. The same mortgage with a 30 year amortization has a monthly payment of $1512.65 but total interest cost reduces to $244,551.49. The difference of roughly $100 a month in monthly payment reduces the interest cost by almost $50,000 over the life of the mortgage.
New Guideline – Effective April 18th 2011
3) Withdrawing government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes
Home equity lines of credit generally offer a variable interest rate and often have no repayment terms associated with them, which exposes borrowers to an increase in interest costs should interest rates as expected. Due to an increase in the household debt associated with these loans, the federal government wants to limit the amount of equity for which these loans can be granted
Loans that have repayment terms associated with them will still be eligible for default insurance.


Vancouver resale housing market stabilizing

January 14th, 2011
Despite a small month-over-month decline in activity in December 2010, Vancouver’s housing market is stabilizing, according to Canada Real Estate Association (CREA). The market had peaked earlier in 2010 and ended about half-way between the peak in January 2009 and the valley earlier in 2010. Gregory Klump, chief economist for CREA, said the B.C.’s numbers of months of inventory has gone up slightly in December, but still on a downward trend. It could also suggest stability of housing market. For more details, please click the link below:

Business Today, January 14, 2011

Average BC home price hits record of $505,178 in 2010

January 14th, 2011
The average home price in BC reached $505,178 in 2010 but the sale fell 12%, according to B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA). The inventory of homes for sale peaked in May at 53,375 units, and then down to 46,000 units in December. Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist, said that improved economic condition and low mortgage rate may be contributing factors. Also, fewer active listings and increased consumer demand further improved the market condition. To read entire article, please click the link below:

The Vancouver Sun, January 13, 2011

Assessment increases are a tale of where housing sales are strongest

January 13th, 2011
The rising value of property assessments has been heavily influenced by the higher proportion of people wanting to purchase homes than the number of people willing to sell them in Vancouver during 2010.
With the BC Assessment, homeowners in Vancouver saw their property assessments increase by 12.17% on average, with actual increases varying considerably by neighbourhood.
In a breakdown from BC Assessment, the area of South Granville gained the most at nearly 25%, west-side neighbourhoods such as Arbutus/Mackenzie Heights, Kerrisdale and Southlands saw approximately 20%, while Shaughnessy, Oakridge and Dunbar assessments rose by about 18%.
To read more on how the property assessments have affected Vancouver neighbourhoods, please click on the link below.

Vancouver Sun – January 13th, 2011

January 12th, 2011
Housing starts slow down nationally in December, led by the drop of 45.4% of urban starts in Ontario, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts fell 13.3%, and multi-unit construction was down by 20.1%.  An economist at HSBC Canada said that the extreme weather conditions may be one contributing factor to the decline. In addition, an economist at BMO Capital Markets said there could be an even steeper decline in December housing starts. Meanwhile, British Columbia saw an 46.8% increase. To read the entire article, please click the link below:


The Vancouver Sun – January 11, 2011

CMHC: Metro Vancouver housing starts strong in December, bucking national trends

January 12th, 2011
Metro Vancouver’s housing starts in December still went strong, ending the year with a data close to the 10-year average. According to Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), all the municipalities in Metro Vancouver saw great increase in housing starts over the year from the previous year. The BC’s seasonally adjusted rate of urban housing starts in December went up by 47% compared to November, and Vancouver’s seasonally adjusted annual rate also increased in December. However, nationally housing construction slowed down in December, led by the drop of 45.4% in urban housing starts in Ontario. To read the entire article, please click the link below:

The Vancouver Sun – January 11, 2011

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