January 15, 2016
December Smashes Home Sales Record and 2015 Enters Record Book
Vancouver, BC – January 15, 2016. TheBritish Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record number of home sales were recorded in the province for the month of December. A total of 6,590 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) last month, up 29.8 per cent from the same month the previous year. Total sales dollar volume hit a record $4.62 billion for the month of December, up 55.4 per cent compared to the previous year.
The average MLS® residential price in the province climbed above the $700,000 threshold for the first time in BC last month, rising 19.7 from December 2014 to $700,943.
“The 2015 housing market finished in dramatic fashion, with record demand for month of December,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “BC home sales breached the 100,000 unit threshold in 2015, and it was only the third time on record that this high watermark was achieved.”
The combination of record home average home prices and near record annual unit sales prices propelled the dollar volume of MLS® residential to a record $65.3 billion in 2015, up nearly 37 per cent from the previous year. The average annual residential price reached a record $636,627 last year, up 12 per cent from 2014. A total of 102,517 residential unit sales were recorded, an increase of 22 per cent compared to 2014. A record 106,310 residential unit sales were recorded in 2005, while the only other year eclipsing 2015 were 2007 when 102,805 unit sales were recorded.
December 14, 2015
November Home Sales Second Strongest on Record
November Home Sales Second Strongest on Record
Vancouver, BC – December 14, 2015. TheBritish Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,032 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November, up 34.5 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $5.38 billion, up 56.4 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $668,317, up 16.3 per cent from November 2014.
“Housing demand last month was the second strongest ever recorded for the month of November,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “You’d need to look all the way back to the frenetic market of 1989 to find more homes trading hands in November.“
The largest increase in consumer demand occurred in the Fraser Valley, where home sales climbed over 60 per cent from November 2014. Vancouver and Chilliwack experienced an increase of over 40 per cent, while Kamloops home sales were up 30 per cent.
The year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 35.4 per cent to $60.7 billion, when compared with the same period in 2014. Residential unit sales climbed by 21.5 per cent to 95,927 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 11.4 per cent to $632,209.
October 7, 2015
Do You Have “Recalled” Products in Your Home?
You’ve no doubt noticed the occasional news report about a product being
recalled for safety reasons. For example, a car model with a brake problem,
or a children’s toy that, under some circumstances, may cause injury.
You may not know that these news reports are merely the tip of the iceberg.
For each product recall you hear about in the media, there are dozens that
get little, if any, publicity.
That means there may be products in your home that have been recalled —
and you don’t even know about it. It’s a scary thought.
How do you find out about recalled products that may affect you? Here are
1. Always complete the registration that comes with many products.
This is typically done by mailing in a registration card or filling out an
online form. When you register, you’ll be alerted by the manufacturer
if the product is recalled for any reason.
2. Both Canada and the United States have agencies that list recalled
products on their websites. In Canada it’s the Healthy Canadians
website at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca. In the United States it’s the
Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.CPSP.gov. It’s a
good habit to check these sites every season.
If you discover that a product in your home has been recalled, contact the
manufacturer immediately. Never assume that the reason for the recall
won’t apply to you.
October 6, 2015
What Buyers Don’t Want to See in Your Backyard
When you put your home up for sale, you want it to look its best to potential
buyers. That’s why you clean, tidy and de-clutter every room.
Some sellers, however, miss the backyard. You need to pay just as much
attention to that space as you do to the interior of your home. The backyard
is as important a living space as the family room. To some buyers, even
Buyers want to see an attractive backyard space, with the grass cut and the
hedges trimmed. The more neat and tidy you can make it, the better. Be
sure to sweep walkways and wipe down patio furniture.
Also, watch out for the following things that buyers do not want to see:
• Bags of garage and other waste.
• Doggie do-do. (Be sure to stoop and scoop!)
• Rakes and other tools piled in the corner.
• Cluttered and disorganized storage sheds, pool huts and other
• Weeds in the flower beds.
• Items stored underneath the deck.
• Hoses not stowed neatly.
• Electrical outlets and water faucets that don’t work.
These are not difficult issues to fix. Doing so will positively impact the
impression the buyer gets of your backyard.
Do you have a backyard that shows particularly well in the summer? Here’s
a tip: Take pictures. Those photos will help buyers be able to appreciate
how it looks should you list your home in the winter.
Want more tips on making your home show well so that it sells fast? Call
September 26, 2015
How to Deal with a Low-Ball Offer
“You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” Charles Buxton
“Ask yourself your secret of success. Listen to your answer, and practice it.” Richard Bach
“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” John Wooden
Not intended to cause or induce the breach of, cancellation of, assignment of, or to interfere in any way with the existing agency agreement of another REALTOR®.
If you take care to price your home correctly —
that is, at a price that is in line with what similar
properties in the area have sold for recently —
then you have a good chance of selling it at or
near your asking price.
That doesn’t mean you won’t get a low-ball offer.
You might. So what do you do when that happens?
First, understand that the buyer may not
necessarily be trying to steal away your home at a
bargain-basement price. He might simply be
mistaken about its true market value. Of course,
he might also be coming in at a low price in the
hopes he’ll get lucky.
You will never actually know the buyer’s motives.
So it would be a mistake to get angry or dismiss
the offer out-of-hand. That low-ball offer might
end up being the beginning of a negotiation that
results in you selling your home at a good price.
Your first step is to work with your REALTOR® to
• How serious the buyer is.
• How qualified the buyer is. (For example, does
he have a pre-approved mortgage?)
• How amenable the buyer is to a counter-offer
that reflects the true market value of
• What that counter-offer should be.
This isn’t an easy process. It takes knowledge
and experience to get it right. That’s why working
with a good REALTOR® is essential.
Looking for a REALTOR® who is an expert at this
stuff? Call today.
If you see a haze of condensation on
your window, should you be
concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. It
depends on a number of factors.
First of all, an occasional build-up
of condensation is normal and
often the result of fluctuating
humidity in the home. Usually, it’s
nothing to worry about. If you’re
using a humidifier, try adjusting the
levels. If the humidity is being
generated naturally, try placing a
dehumidifier nearby. Also, remove
any plants and firewood from the
area, as they can release a
surprising volume of moisture into
Do you see moisture in between the
panes of glass that make up the
window? If so, that means the seal
has failed and moisture has crept in.
Double and triple pane windows
often contain a gas (argon, for
example) that boosts the insulating
qualities of the window. When the
seal fails, the gas disappears, making
the glass colder and often allowing
condensation to creep in. Eventually,
you’ll want to get it replaced.
If you see moisture build-up
anywhere on the frame of the
window, particularly at the joints,
that could be a sign of water leaking
through. That’s an issue you should
get checked out immediately by a
Concerned about Condensation on Windows?
Think, Act... Live!
August 15, 2015
Elevated Home Sales Point to Strong Consumer Confidence
Vancouver, BC – August 13, 2015. TheBritish Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 10,247 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in July, up 20.7 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $6.2 billion, a 33.9 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $608,294, an 11 per cent increase since last July.
“Consumer confidence is brimming in the fastest growing economy in the country,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Broad-based consumer demand continues to push BC home sales higher in every region except the more resource dependent northern markets.”
“Tighter market conditions are driving home prices higher as supply struggles to keep up with demand,” added Muir. The Fraser Valley experienced the strongest average price growth, climbing 13.5 per cent year-over-year to $571,700 on the strength of strong demand in the single-detached market.
The year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 36.4 per cent to $38.8 billion, when compared with the same period in 2014. Residential unit sales climbed by 22.7 per cent to 61,806 units, while the average MLS® residential price rose 11.1 per cent to $628,025.
July 14, 2015
BC Home Sales Post Second Strongest June on Record
Vancouver, BC – July 14, 2015. TheBritish Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 11,294 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, up 25.6 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $7.1 billion, a 42.6 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $631,962, a 13.5 per cent increase since last June.
“BC home sales posted the second strongest June on record,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Economist. “A growing provincial economy and record low borrowing rates continue to push demand higher, particularly in the lower mainland.”
“While consumer demand is surging, the supply of homes for sale has not kept pace. The resulting imbalance of supply and demand has put upward pressure on prices in many areas of the province, most notably with respect to single-detached homes,” added Ogmundson.
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 36.8 per cent to $32.6 billion, when compared with the same period in 2014. Residential unit sales climbed by 23.1 per cent to 51,559 units, while the average MLS® residential price rose 11.2 per cent to $631,946.
April 16, 2015
BC Home Sales Post Strongest March in Eight Years
BC Home Sales Post Strongest March in Eight Years
Vancouver, BC – April 16, 2015. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,101 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, up 37.6 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $5.8 billion, an increase of 57.1 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $641,799, up 14.1 per cent from the same month last year.
"BC home sales climbed significantly in March," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "More homes traded hands last month than any March since 2007. On a seasonally adjusted basis, March posted the most home sales of any month since December of 2009."
"Rock bottom interest rates and rising consumer confidence have strengthened housing markets in most regions of the province, added Muir. "Many board areas are now exhibiting sellers' market conditions with home prices advancing well above the overall rate of inflation."
During the first quarter, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 33.2 per cent to $12.7 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 22.5 per cent to 20,139 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 8.7 per cent at $630,435.
May 13, 2014
Record Low Mortgage Rates Push Home Sales Higher
Vancouver, BC – May 13, 2014. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,730 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, up 12 per cent from April 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $4.3 billion, an increase of 19 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $561,613, up 6.3 per cent from the same month last year.
"BC home sales trended higher in April as the typically robust spring market unfolds,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Rising consumer demand coupled with fewer homes for sale has most BC housing markets now exhibiting balanced conditions, where neither buyers nor sellers have any particular advantage."
"Housing affordability improved last month as intensifying completion for new business by financial institutions pushed the posted five-year fixed mortgage rate to a record low of 4.79 per cent” added Muir.
During the first four months of the year, BC residential sales dollar volume was nearly 28 per cent to $13.9 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 18 per cent to 24,165 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 8.3 per cent at $573,965.
March 14, 2014
February Home Sales Edge Lower
Vancouver, BC – March 14, 2014. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 5,578 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February, up 24.9 per cent from February 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $3.4 billion, an increase of 43.1 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $611,688, up 15.4 per cent from the same period last year.
"Consumer demand was much stronger in February compared to a year ago, but edged lower compared to January,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Weak employment growth in 2013 has limited home sales so far this year to long-term average levels."
"Record low mortgage interest rates and population growth continue to underpin the housing market and most regions of the province are at or near balanced market conditions,” added Muir.
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
February 14, 2014
Strongest January Residential Sales Since 2010
Muted Impact Expected From Cancelled Investor Immigrant Program
Vancouver, BC – February 14, 2014. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,244 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, up 24.5 per cent from January 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $2.4 billion, an increase of 36.8 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $565,036, up 9.9 per cent from the same period last year.
"Residential sales activity in the province posted the strongest January since 2010,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Consumer demand has recovered from last year’s lower levels and is now trending at the long-term average.” The ten-year average for January is 4,276 unit sales.
"Stronger economic conditions are expected to underpin a modest uptick in home sales later this year,” added Muir.
The demise of the federal Immigrant Investor Program is expected to have little impact on the Metro Vancouver housing market. “The only impact we foresee is less pressure on the inventory of detached homes in Vancouver’s West Side, Richmond and West Vancouver,” said Muir.
The number of investor immigrant landings peaked at 5,876 in 2008 before declining to just 2,644 in 2012, with a similar number expected for 2013. These numbers include spouses and dependents. The total number of added households is estimated to be between 900 and 1,000 per year since 2011
January 21, 2014
3 Bed room and den condo in Steveston Village, Richmond B.C.
The Village in Steveston, 3 Bedoom + Den
208 - 4211 Bayview St, Richmond, BC V7E 6T6
Bright, clean, spacious 3 bedroom and den in the heart of Steveston. Room for the family/grandkids here. Open floor plan with lots of windows, high end kitchen finished with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances with gas range. The large covered deck overlooks the courtyard and the unit has a East and North exposure. Close to transit, both levels of schools and just steps to the waterfront boardwalk and the village shops. 2 pets are allowed and rentals are also allowed.
Asking Price: $620000
Sq. Feet: 1373
Subdivision: The Village
Year Built: 2006
For pictures click below
Dir (604) 727-5385
Team 3000 Realty
October 27, 2013
BC Home Sales on Upward Trajectory
Vancouver, BC – October 15, 2013. 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.
August 14, 2013
July Home Sales Highest Since 2007
Vancouver, BC – August 14, 2013. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,650 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC for July, up 18 per cent from July of 2012. Total sales dollar volume was 32.8 per cent higher than a year ago at $4.09 billion. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $534,360, up 12.5 per cent from July 2012.
"Home sales in the province posted their strongest July since 2007,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “After six consecutive months of rising consumer demand, it’s now clear that BC housing markets are recovering from tighter lending regulations introduced last year,” added Muir.
"Rising home sales are unlikely to put any significant upward pressure on home prices,” cautioned Muir, “as the inventory of homes for sale is expected to keep pace with demand.” Many potential home sellers that have been holding off for improved market conditions are expected to put their homes on the market to meet the swelling ranks of home buyers.
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 2.8 per cent to $22.9 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were down 4 per cent to 42,986 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 1.3 per cent at $531,928.
May 15, 2013
Housing Market Conditions Improve on the South Coast
Vancouver, BC – May 15, 2013. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 6,904 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC during April, up 1.9 per cent from March on a seasonally adjusted basis, but down 2.2 per cent compared to April 2012. Total sales dollar volume declined 3 per cent to $3.65 billion. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $528,507, down 0.8 per cent from a year ago.
"BC home sales trended higher again in April, with seasonally adjusted unit sales now 8 per cent higher since the beginning of the year," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Market conditions were at or near balanced conditions in Victoria, Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the North last month, leading to a firming up of home prices." The MLS® Home Price Index edged up 0.7 per cent over the past month in the Lower Mainland, and 1.5 per cent over the past three months.
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 16.6 per cent to $10.8 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales dipped 13.9 per cent to 20,476 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 3.1 per cent at $529,785.
For more information, please contact:
||Director of Communications and Public Affairs
BCREA represents 11 member real estate boards and their approximately 18,000 REALTORS® on all provincial issues, providing an extensive communications network, standard forms, economic research and analysis, government relations, applied practice courses and continuing professional education (cpe).
To demonstrate the profession's commitment to improving Quality of Life in BC communities, BCREA supports policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods.
For detailed statistical information, contact your local real estate board. MLS® is a cooperative marketing system used only by Canada's real estate boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.
To subscribe to receive BCREA publications such as this one, or to update your email address or current subscriptions, click here.
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April 23, 2013
Get ready condo flippers, Canada Revenue Agency is hunting you
You just sold your condo, you made a hefty profit and know you have to pay your taxes.
The bill might be more than you think.
If it’s your principal residence, there’s no tax, as long as you have the paperwork to prove it. The Canada Revenue Agency is taking a closer look at the condominium sector in what some in the industry have dubbed the “Condo Project.”
You might want to think very carefully about how you record that housing sale you made in 2012
Let’s say your gain is $100,000 and your tax bracket is 46%. Capital gains are taxed at 50% so you would only owe $23,000 on that profit.
Not so fast! If the CRA says you are in the business of flipping condominiums, get ready to pay based on the gain being counted as income for a tax bill of twice the amount at $46,000. And, it gets worse. You could also face a fine of up to 50% of the tax owed for making a false disclosure.
With the deadline for filing taxes coming up April 30, you might want to think very carefully about how you record that housing sale you made in 2012.
Sam Papadopoulous, senior public affairs advisor-manager with CRA’s Ontario region, acknowledges that the strength of the condo sector has attracted the attention of the taxman.
“We do from time to time target some sectors more closely than others,” he said. “We look at the real estate market in general. Of course, [there is more focus], it’s a hot market.”
People in the industry have a different view.
Some suggest it fits in with the recent budget when Jim Flaherty, the finance minister, announced his government was taking a closer look at loopholes and tax cheats — hoping to shrink its deficit in the process.
One of the issues attracting the attention of the CRA is assignment clauses, where one person agrees to purchase a condo before it is built but ultimately sells his or her right to buy that condo before the building is even registered.
Builders usually collect a fee for that privilege but ultimately when title is registered at the land registry office the original purchaser’s name is nowhere to be found.
While most builders are unlikely to voluntarily supply a list of properties in their building that were assigned, they could be forced to cough it up if they are audited by the CRA.
Those people who have assigned their units to another buyer are going to be hard pressed to prove they planned to use the unit as an investment property rather just flipping — meaning the CRA is highly unlikely to allow them to count money made at the lower capital gains rate.
“If you keep [assigning property] then it is not capital gains, that’s trade and that’s income,” said Mr. Papadopoulous, adding you do it a “couple of times” and it’s income. “Of course, that’s part of [what they are investigating].”
The warning to people flipping property and thinking they can get away without reporting the gain is pretty clear.
“We live in the information technology age,” said Mr. Papadopoulous, who wouldn’t get into how CRA is tracking down the tax evaders. “We are putting our resources to work and following the trail where we can.”
The tree is capital and it produces a fruit and the income is the profit that is derived when that fruit is sold
Robert Kepes, a Toronto tax lawyer at Morris Kepes Winters, said he’s seen the CRA go after people who have been living in a property and still question it as a principal residence.
CRA starts with a letter to a taxpayer asking them for details about when and why they sold their property and people often fill out the questionnaire without legal advice.
The issue goes all the way back to 1971 when there was no tax at all on capital gains so everybody tried to avoid counting gains as income.
Mr. Kepes says the distinction between income and capital is as simple as the difference between a tree and the fruit that it bears.
The tree is capital and it produces a fruit and the income is the profit that is derived when that fruit is sold,” he says.
If your condo is that tree and your rental income is the fruit and you make a profit from that rental income, that’s taxed as full income. You eventually sell the tree for more money and that’s just a capital gain, taxed at the 50% rate.
If your entire businesses is just trading trees and not producing fruit, that’s business income.
“The Income Tax Act asks what was your intention when you bought that condo,” said Mr. Kepes. “These principles are easy to describe but harder to prove in fact.”
If you never actually moved into the condo, it’s going to be tough to prove that it was principal residence
The law is like a civil case, a judge doesn’t have to believe you beyond a reasonable doubt, but a judge does have to conclude you are more believable than the CRA.
“We have to bring all kinds of intrinsic evidence,” says Mr. Kepes, noting some clients will produce something as simple as a change in address on their driver’s licence to show they were using their condo as a principal residence.
If you never actually moved into the condo, it’s going to be tough to prove that it was principal residence.
You may never have produced income from the profit but that’s not to say you didn’t plan to, so perhaps you could get the capital gains exemption.
“The question can be ‘how did they come to sell the property,’” said Mr. Kepes, adding the CRA might look at whether you were advertising the property for sale.
Brian Johnston, chief operating officer of Mattamy Corp., says the CRA has ways to get information on sales.
“They audit real estate companies, look at the name on the contract and look at the final deed and see a difference,” said Mr. Johnston. “They see Bill Smith bought it and Joe Blow is on the deed. They want to know how this happened and follow the paper trail.”
He has some sympathy for consumers confused about the whole process.
“I think the government should make it a little simpler in terms of filing for principle residence exemption,” said Mr. Johnston. “It’s a real gray area of the law. The government has not done a good job for Canadians trying to specifically identify all the rules around [selling homes and paying taxes]. People might have inadvertently made mistakes.”
Condominium developer Brad Lamb, who has been audited several times, said ultimately it’s better to be more conservative when you’re filing — meaning just count the gain as income if you are in doubt.
“If you are prolific buyer or seller of properties, whether it’s condos or not, you have to govern yourself accordingly. If you don’t, you’ll get caught and be fined,” said Mr. Lamb. “I decided many years ago when I started buying condominiums, after talking with my accountant, you can pay [lower tax] or you can fight 50 years with Revenue Canada.”
March 14, 2013
Home Sales Continue at Modest Pace: Pent-Up Demand Growing
Vancouver, BC – March 14, 2013. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,501 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC during February, down 23.6 per cent compared to February 2012. Total sales dollar volume was down 29.9 per cent to $2.39 million. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $514,134, up 3.1 per cent from January, but down 8.1 per cent from a year ago.
"BC home sales continued at a modest pace in February,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Despite improved affordability, many potential buyers and sellers remain in a holding pattern. With pent up demand now becoming latent in the market, it’s not a matter of if, but when home sales rise above their current pace."
“An unusual spike in the average MLS® residential price in February 2012 is largely responsible for the year-over-year percentage change,” added Muir. “Most BC markets have experienced relatively stable price levels during the first two months of the year.”
Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume declined 24.6 per cent to $4.1 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales dipped 19.6 per cent to 7,911 units, while the average MLS® residential price was down 6.2 per cent at $523,117
March 7, 2013
Canadian Building Permits - March 7, 2013Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission
Canadian building permits rose 1.7 per cent in January, following an 11 per cent decline in December. Higher building permits in the residential sector offset a decline in non-residential permits.
BC posted a 10.9 per cent increase in construction intentions compared with December 2012, and a 4.5 per cent increase over January 2012. Residential permits rose nearly 16 per cent over December while non-residential permits dipped 2 per cent lower.
Permit activity in BC's four major metropolitan areas was varied in January. Construction intentions in the Kelowna CMA fell by nearly half from a relatively high level in December but were up 63 per cent over January 2012. Permit values were 14 per cent lower month-over-month in the Abbotsford CMA but rose nearly 25 per cent in the Vancouver CMA and 44 per cent in the Victoria CMA
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission
March 4, 2013
Foreclosed Properties By CMHC
It’s Now An Optional Disclosure By Quebec Realtors
Financial Post revealed that CMHC had been asking Quebec Realtors to keep quiet about whether the home being sold is a foreclosure, disclosure normally considered mandatory. Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards which oversees 12 real estate boards in the province, eventually agreed the Crown corporation reached a compromise with the Quebec Realtors to leaves it up to the real estate professional to decide whether to put that fact on the MLS system for buyers, including investors, to see.
Why the new ruling?
The CMHC stance has industry experts divided, with some wondering whether the corporation is hoping to dodge low-ball offers by avoiding disclosure, or preparing for a housing market collapse.
For investors and buyers, not knowing a deal is a foreclosure can make the difference between offering market price or going in with a low offer many buyer for a distressed property. When CMHC takes over the responsibility of recovering money loaned to a home owner who defaulted on his or her loan is determined by the financial institution that issued the loan and CMHC.
How most banks deal with their foreclosed properties now?
When a bank takes over a loan in default through a power of sale or foreclosure, the process is very formal and a process is in place how the property is disposed. First, three appraisals or evaluations are done to establish the value of the property. The property is listed on the mls system indicating the bank as the owner of the property. When an offer is submitted which falls within 5% of that value, a date is booked to deal with the sale through the court. If no offer is forth coming after a period of time the bank might drop the list price by 5% and then wait for an offer within 5% of the new list price.
Any low ball offers below the 5% listing price will not trigger an acceptance by the bank. This process safeguards the sale and disposal of the foreclosed property below the price expectation of the bank. An investor or home buyer can submit a low ball offer, but they will be just wasting their time and energy.
Loaming danger faced by CMHC
In today’s market when home prices are down by 10% or more, CMHC has on it’s book many properties that are worth less than their loan values. CMHC is in danger of holding thousands of properties and tens of millions in potential losses if home owners default on their loans. CMHC’s concern is on too many foreclosed properties undermining the value of all the other properties which they are guaranteeing under their insurance program.
February 28, 2013
BC Proposes Community Safety Act in Legislature
On February 21, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond tabled the Community Safety Act in the legislature. If passed, it will enable people to submit confidential complaints to a new provincial unit charged with investigating, mediating and working with property owners to curb various threatening and dangerous activities. The bill targets the sites of specific criminal and nuisance activities, including drug production and trafficking, prostitution, unlawful liquor sales, child abuse, possession of unlawful weapons or explosives, and activities conducted by or on behalf of gangs and organized crime.