Posted on November 14, 2013 by Geoff Hastings and Yuliya Talmazan Global News
In a precedent setting case, a Surrey woman is being forced to sell her condo over multiple complaints from neighbours and unpaid strata fines. On Tuesday, the province’s highest court has upheld a rare judgment that ordered the woman to sell her condo. The people who lived in the same building as Rose Jordison and her son Jordy say calling them the “neighbours from hell” would be an understatement.
Since 2006, the Jordisons had generated more than a thousand complaints, many of them relating to noise and abuse. Neighbours claimed the son stomped around the suite, screamed obscenities at residents, made rude gestures and even spat at them. Some residents had even taken to wearing cameras to record the confrontations.
A video released to Global News shows Jordy Jordison splashing water on one of his neighbours.
After a long legal battle, the court of appeal has agreed with a lower court ruling that said forcing the Jordisons to sell is justified in such extreme cases. “It simply looks at the balancing of individual rights and community rights, particularly in a strata,” says strata lawyer Phil Dougan. “We think it is going to be massive here in British Columbia.”
Dougan says they hope the ruling will have a deterrent effect for those causing trouble to re-think their behaviour.
Geoff Hastings and Yuliya Talmazan Global News
Posted on November 9, 2013 by Bil Greene
Posted on October 31, 2013 by Bil Greene
A new way of analyzing and illustrating real estate sales and trends is being rolled out in Greater Victoria today.
Ronan O’Sullivan, a 20-year realtor with Remax Camosun, said the introduction of the Home Price Index is good for
Posted on October 29, 2013 by Garry Marr
October 29, 2013
Don't look now Mr. Flaherty - here's another shot in the arm for real estate
By Garry Marr
A London-based group is now predicting construction output, led by housing, is set to grow by about 4% over the next year, despite the fact the...
The Canadian real estate industry will get more good news today - not that it needs any more positive spin or Finance Minister Jim Flaherty even wants to hear it.
Canada won't interfere in housing market - for now: Flaherty1
The Canadian government has no plans for now to clamp down on the housing market even though prices are rising again, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Monday, but he pledged to investigate whether the price uptick looks to be more than temporary.
But a London-based group is now predicting construction output, led by housing, is set to grow by about 4% over the next year, despite the fact the industry faces labour shortages and financing concerns.
"It's not stunning growth but it's solid growth. Over the year, based on this survey, the construction industry will underpin the economy in Canada," said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors which interviewed dozens of senior managers in the largest construction firms in the country.
The news comes as Mr. Flaherty continues to keep a close watch on the Canadian housing industry which is showing signs of a recovery. The finance minister said he will be talking to developers about whether the housing sector needs more regulation as prices continue to rise in most markets and sales recover after a dismal 2012.
"I have no intention of interfering in the market for the time being," Mr. Flaherty told reporters5 on Monday, acknowledging the Bank of Canada is very restricted on what it can do to cool the market since it doesn't not want to raise interest rates for fear of impacting the overall economy.
The housing sector has shown renewed strength over the past two months, in part because statistics are being compared to a year ago when the market stalled. The Canadian Real Estate Association said this month that actual September sales were up 18.2% from a year ago while the average national sale price rose 8.8% during the same period.
Mr. Flaherty has already tightened mortgage rules four times, with one of the most restrictive measures being a lowering of amortization lengths from 40 years to 25 years. The shorter lengths increase monthly payments, allowing consumers to borrow less.
Economists who met with Mr. Flaherty encouraged him to meet with more people in the industry. "I do speak to people regularly in the business and I'm going to do more of it now because I want to ensure that this isn't just a temporary bubble," said the finance minister.
Based on the survey, the major concern out there for real estate is financing. "We try to get a sentiment and a quantitative view on what people think is going to happen and what is impeding growth," said Mr. Rubinsohn, noting financial constraints were the top issue for respondents. "Output is increasing, particularly driven by private housing, infrastructure and some commercial development."
Mr. Rubinsohn says the survey is "quite forward looking" because surveyors see many of the projects in the pipeline as they are involved in the early stages.
A shortage of labour continues to be an issue for the construction industry which ranked it as the second biggest issue after financial concerns, cited by more than half of respondents.
The group noted that British Columbia authorities are starting a recruitment drive in Ireland to attract construction workers to the province.
"Obviously they feel they need to look very far afield to attract construction workers," said Mr. Rubinsohn, noting they've headed to a region like Ireland where the construction industry is still "flat on its back."
Posted on October 21, 2013 by Bil Greene
Posted in Housing
October 22, 2013
B.C. housing rally expected to continue through 2014
By BRENT JANG
Sales are forecasted to rise 6.3 per cent next year as economy improves
A rally in British Columbia's housing market is expected to extend through 2014 as the provincial economy gathers steam.
Sales on the Multiple Listing Service are on pace to reach 71,700 units in 2013, up 6 per cent from last year's sluggish showing, says the B.C. Real Estate Association.
With consumers concerned about the prospect of higher interest rates over the next year, many British Columbians are locking in mortgage preapprovals and shopping for homes, said Cameron Muir, the association's chief economist.
In July, 2012, the federal government reduced the maximum period for a government-insured mortgage to 25 years from 30 years, resulting in a dampening effect on house sales. Last year, there were 67,637 sales across British Columbia of single-family detached homes, condos and townhouses, or a decline of 11.8 per cent from 2011.
The average residential price for a B.C. resale property this year is now forecast to climb 4.3 per cent to $537,100. A year ago, the association originally predicted a 0.7-per-cent price increase for 2013, though it subsequently revised its estimate to a 3.3-per-cent hike as the province's housing industry healed from a rough 2012.
Mr. Muir forecasts that B.C. housing sales in 2014 will climb a further 6.3 per cent to 76,200 units while prices rise 2.1 per cent to $548,200. A stronger provincial economy is taking shape, including increased production of B.C. lumber due to a rebound in the U.S. housing market. Exports generally are in line to benefit next year from improved economies globally, especially in the United States and Japan.
The 15-year average for B.C. housing sales volume is above 79,000 annually, while the five-year average is 74,600. "We're seeing a sales recovery back to long-term averages," Mr. Muir said.
The real estate market in Greater Vancouver in particular has been strengthening this year, boosting statistics provincially. The association forecasts that 28,400 homes will change hands this year in Greater Vancouver, up 11.6 per cent from last year. An estimated 5,650 sales are predicted for the Victoria area in 2013, or a 3.5-per-cent hike from last year.
Mr. Muir sees the momentum continuing, projecting a sales jump of 8.8 per cent to 30,900 units in 2014 in Greater Vancouver and 4.3 per cent to 5,895 in the Victoria region.
Average resale prices for single-family detached homes, condos and townhouses are forecast to rise 4.8 per cent in Greater Vancouver this year and ascend a further 0.9 per cent to $772,000 next year. In the Fraser Valley, which includes the sprawling and less-expensive Vancouver suburb of Surrey, average prices are likely to increase 1.1 per cent this year and get another lift of 1.6 per cent to $497,000 in 2014, according to the association.
Average prices are forecast to edge upward in other provincial markets next year, too, including on Vancouver Island and the Chilliwack, Kamloops, Kootenay, Okanagan Mainline and B.C. Northern regions.
Last year, Ottawa eliminated government-backed insurance for homes above $1-million in a bid to discourage high consumer debt levels. So far in Greater Vancouver, buyers haven't been scared away from higher-end properties, with average single-family detached prices projected to advance 5 per cent this year and a further 1.7 per cent to $1,189,600 next year.
While Greater Vancouver's sales volume surged 64 per cent last month, that is compared with a subpar performance in September, 2012, Mr. Muir cautioned.
He added that housing demand will be bolstered by business investment and steady international migration. B.C. housing starts will slip 5 per cent this year, but new home construction is expected to increase 3.4 per cent next year to 27,000 units.
Posted on June 4, 2013 by Bil Greene
Vancouver is home to one of Canada's most EXPENSIVE condos ever sold.....$25 million!! http://www.theprovince.com/business/mortgages/8328918/story.html
Posted on May 29, 2013 by Bil Greene
Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent
For immediate release29 May 2013
Contact: Jeremy Harrison
The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.
Global economic growth has evolved largely as anticipated in the Bank’s April Monetary Policy Report (MPR). In the United States, the economic expansion is progressing at a modest pace, with continued strengthening in private demand partly offset by fiscal consolidation. Japan’s economy is beginning to respond to significant policy stimulus. Europe, in contrast, remains in recession. Growth in China has continued to ease from very strong rates, weighing somewhat on global commodity prices. The Bank continues to expect global economic activity to grow modestly in 2013 before strengthening over the following two years.
In Canada, recent economic indicators suggest that growth in the first quarter was stronger than the Bank projected in April. For the year as a whole, growth is expected to remain broadly in line with the Bank's MPR forecast. Over the projection horizon, consumer spending is expected to grow at a moderate pace, business investment to grow solidly, and residential investment to decline further from historically high levels. Growth in total household credit is slowing and the Bank continues to expect that the household debt-to-income ratio will stabilize near current levels. Exports are projected to continue to recover, but to be restrained by subdued foreign demand and ongoing competitiveness challenges, including the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar.
Core inflation is in line with the April MPR projection, while total CPI inflation has been slightly weaker. Both total and core inflation are expected to remain subdued in coming quarters before gradually rising to 2 per cent by mid-2015 as the economy returns to full capacity and inflation expectations remain well-anchored.
Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. With continued slack in the Canadian economy, the muted outlook for inflation, and the constructive evolution of imbalances in the household sector, the considerable monetary policy stimulus currently in place will likely remain appropriate for a period of time, after which some modest withdrawal will likely be required, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target.
Posted on May 9, 2013 by Bil Greene
RE/MAX continued to outperform all competitors in the REAL Trends Canadian 250 as it has every year since the annual survey’s debut in 2010. Based on 2012 production numbers, RE/MAX placed 159 brokerages in the top 250, the closest competitor qualified only 25. RE/MAX also led all franchises in transaction ends per agent.
“There is no denying that consumers prefer RE/MAX agents above those at our competitors,” said Dave Liniger, Chairman and Co-Founder, RE/MAX LLC. “In Canada, RE/MAX agents have outsold the competition every year since 1987. That’s because RE/MAX agents are experienced professionals who know how to provide a high level of customer service.”
REAL Trends Canadian 250 highlights:
RE/MAX first began franchise operations in Canada in 1977 and now has nearly 19,000 Sales Associates working in more than 750 offices.
In the U.S., RE/MAX agents also ranked as the most productive real estate professionals. Released earlier this month, the 2013 REAL Trends 500 showed that more RE/MAX brokerages met the survey’s competitive qualifications than brokerages with any other competitor.
The survey showed that U.S. RE/MAX sales associates averaged 17.1 transaction sides in 2012. That figure was more than twice as high as the 7.9 average of all competing agents in the survey. RE/MAX also placed 40 brokerages in the top 50, when ranked by per-agent transaction sides – one of the most meaningful measures of productivity.
For more information about the REAL Trends Canadian 250 or the REAL Trends 500, visit realtrends.com.
Posted on May 1, 2013 by Bil Greene
Greater Victoria Residential Real Estate Transitions to a Balanced Market
VICTORIA BC - Weighing in on the best April since 2010, Shelley Mann, President of the Victoria Real Estate Board, is cautiously optimistic that the Greater Victoria is back into a balanced market.
"Consumer confidence is increasing," Mann says. "Our total number of sales for April is 615, a 5% increase compared to April 2012 with 586 sales. On the residential side, more properties are selling, and slightly fewer are entering the market, so we are moving from a buyers' market to more balanced market conditions."
Mann's cautions that one month doesn't indicate a market trend, but is encouraged by increased showings by REALTORS®, the number of sales, and comments from other REALTORS® about multiple offers on properties.
Prices remained relatively flat, as predicted by Cameron Muir, Chief Economist of the BC Real Estate Association. There were 367 single family homes sold in April at a median price of $540,000, a 16% increase of homes sold over April 2012. Condominium sales were 149 at a median price of $265,000 and with 62 townhomes sold at a median price of $415,450. There are 4,585 active listings.
Total Waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 15, up 2 over April 2012
Posted on February 21, 2013 by Bil Greene
February 21, 2013
Kelowna, BC -- Against a backdrop of strong equity gains and lower interest rates, move-up buyers are once again set to ramp up their role in major Canadian housing markets, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.
The RE/MAX Move-Up Buyers Report found that activity in traditional move-up price ranges have climbed year-over-year (2012 vs. 2011) in 87 per cent (14) of the 16 markets examined—a trend expected to continue throughout 2013. The only exceptions were Victoria and Vancouver, where softer sales activity was reported. Driving the upward movement has been substantial price appreciation in most major centres. The average Canadian home has escalated 93 per cent over the past decade; individual markets experienced increases ranging from 62 per cent in Saint John (4.96 per cent compounded annually) to 199 per cent in Regina (11.57 per cent compounded annually).
The RE/MAX report notes gains have been more muted over the last five-year period, with most centres hovering at an annual appreciation rate of five per cent. Regina and Winnipeg once again bucked the trend, reporting a 12.7 per cent and 8.39 per cent annual increase respectively, while St. John’s recorded an annual compounded gain of 11.08 per cent over the past four years.
“Canadian confidence in homeownership continues to fuel homebuying activity, particularly in the move-up segment, “says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Of Western Canada. “Equity gains have been a primary driver, with return on investment exceptionally strong in the past decade. In fact, the Prairies have seen a substantial upswing in housing values between 2002 and 2012, yet prices remain surprisingly affordable. Strong economic fundamentals helped fuel record price appreciation in markets like Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg after decades of slow but steady growth.”
The time between moves had also decreased, according to the RE/MAX report, with first-time buyers generally prepared to upgrade within four to seven years after their initial purchase.
“With each move, purchasers are accumulating equity, which is then funneled back into the next move,” explains Ash. “Their confidence in homeownership as a sound investment is a factor. Very few financial vehicles provide the security and dual purpose that homeownership affords.”
The case for trading up makes good financial sense. To illustrate, consider a first-time buyer who purchased an average Canadian home for $188,164 in 2002 with a downpayment of 10 per cent. Had the buyer financed the remaining $172,735 at the posted rate of 7.02 per cent over a five-year, fixed rate term amortized over 25 years, the balance owing after 10 years would be $135,619. During that period (2002 to 2012), the home would have appreciated 93 per cent to $363,730 at an annual rate of return of 6.81 per cent (compounded). With the equity of $228,111 applied to the purchaser’s next home, at $500,000, and today’s lower interest rates, the carrying costs would be just slightly higher than the original mortgage payment.
“At the end of their mortgage term, most homeowners find themselves in very good standing,” says Ash. “Even with modest price declines in markets like Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Saint John, trade-up buyers have focused on the opportunities that exist in the market. They’re taking advantage of the lower price point and the more favourable spread while interest rates are at historic lows. It’s all relative.”
Ample supply and buyer’s market conditions have created ideal opportunities in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Saint John. Meanwhile, tight inventory levels have hampered activity to some extent, especially in markets like Edmonton, Calgary, Regina and Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto proper, and Hamilton-Burlington, where the supply of homes falls short of demand. St. John’s also reported micro seller’s markets in prime move-up neighbourhoods, despite overall buyer’s conditions. Unless new product comes on-stream, continued upward pressure on pricing is expected in the months ahead.
“Given the supply situation in some areas, some homeowners are reluctant to place their property on the market, concerned they may not find the ideal home to trade up to,” says Ash. “Yet, that can intensify an existing supply issue.”
Sales in the move-up segment were up in 2012 over 2011 in the vast majority of markets examined. Even more impressive is the upward trending despite a decrease in overall home sales. Enthusiasm out of the gate in 2013 was particularly strong in Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, London-St. Thomas, where overall resale homebuying activity was comparatively healthy or posted positive January gains.
Posted on June 5, 2012 by Bil Greene
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE5 June 2012
Contact: Jeremy Harrison
Ottawa, Ontario -
The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.
The outlook for global economic growth has weakened in recent weeks. Some of the risks around the European crisis are materializing and risks remain skewed to the downside. This is leading to a sharp deterioration in global financial conditions. While the U.S. economy continues to expand at a modest pace, economic activity in emerging-market economies is slowing a bit faster and a bit more broadly than had been expected. More modest global momentum and heightened financial risk aversion have reduced commodity prices.
Although economic growth in Canada was slightly slower than expected in the first quarter, underlying economic momentum appears largely consistent with expectations. However, the composition of growth is less balanced. In particular, housing activity has been stronger than expected, and households continue to add to their debt burden in an environment of modest income growth. Despite external events, business and household confidence has held up and domestic financial conditions remain very stimulative. The contribution of government spending to growth is expected to be quite modest over the projection horizon, in line with recent federal and provincial budgets. The recovery in net exports is likely to remain weak in light of modest external demand and ongoing competitiveness challenges, including the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar.
The Canadian economy continues to operate with a small degree of excess capacity. Total CPI inflation is expected to fall below 2 per cent in the short term, as a result of lower gasoline prices, while core inflation is expected to remain around 2 per cent.
Reflecting all of these factors, the Bank has decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. To the extent that the economic expansion continues and the current excess supply in the economy is gradually absorbed, some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary policy stimulus may become appropriate, consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target over the medium term. The timing and degree of any such withdrawal will be weighed carefully against domestic and global economic developments
Posted on March 4, 2012 by Bil Greene
Great News for BC Builders and buyers shopping for new homes. Gordon Campbell's gift to the province has been unceremoniously returned; while we wait for the dust to settle, the new Liberal government has purchased a few votes, announcing an increased rebate to spark new home sales.
Well, the rebate seems to be working. The new policy announced just two weeks ago is already proving popular with shoppers. Builder CODA Homes Ltd and their excited newest clients have felt the positive impact. With many buyers waiting for the end of HST (still 13 months away), an interim measure is exactly what the new housing market needed to bridge the gap. Check out http://www.hstinbc.ca/ for more transition info.