In case you didn't know, here's a short video on this history of Labour Day in Canada; interesting stuff!



I'd would like to take the chance to say to all my clients, fans, followers and readers; have a happy, safe and fun Labour Day Weekend!



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An international technology firm has introduced an interactive digital three-dimensional model of downtown Vancouver that it says could change the way commercial realtors, landlords, developers and other businesses serve their customers and clients.


GeoSim is a 14-year-old company with offices in Warsaw, Tel Aviv and Vancouver. Matthew McCauley, GeoSim’s chairman, introduced the Virtual Vancouver model recently at the Emerging Technologies show at SIGGRAPH 2014, a computer graphics, technology and digital design show held annually around the world.



Produced using air and ground laser scanning and photography, the technology provides digital models that can be used on a screen to view cities and specific buildings in three-dimensional detail within centimetres of precision.


McCauley said the resulting 3-D model enables free virtual movement anywhere within the city, including the inside of buildings. “It’s highly precise, it’s interactive and it’s what we called parametric, which means the model can be searched for attributes, such as windows, fire hydrants,” he said in an interview.


“For example, how many north-facing windows are there on the Harbour Centre building? Or, show me all the fire hydrants on Georgia Street,” he said. “It’s not just an image of the city, it’s an interactive model.”


He said the model, which has captured about a 12-square-km section of the city, represents GeoSim’s flagship project. “Vancouver is by far our largest and most detailed model,” he said, adding they plan to eventually model every major city in the world.


The model takes users beyond what they can have access to with similar technologies, such as Google Earth, he said. “The difference with our model essentially is that you can (virtually) walk right to a building, and around, and behind and so on, so you continue to have freedom of movement in every direction.”

Read the full article here.


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Have you seen the myriad of videos circulating regarding the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge"? It is a very worthy cause and it seems people right here in Langley have been participating as well.



The Langley Advance reports:


The Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraiser for ALS, is taking the online world − and Langley it seems − by storm.

On Wednesday, Kyle Sanker and Patrick Matiowski represented the Langley Lodge in the challenge and proceeded to dump buckets of ice water on each other.

While it may seem a bit silly, the challenge is growing quickly in popularity and has already exceeded the original ALS Canada goal and is half-way to the new goal of $3 million to fund a search for a cure. In the U.S. the total has topped $40 million.

ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Because these cells die, people with ALS often face partial or total paralysis as part of the condition.


The Ice Bucket Challenge encourages those nominated to dump a bucket of ice water over their head, make a donation to ALS, or both, in order to raise awareness and funds for ALS.

If you don't feel like dowsing yourself with ice cold water, but would still like to make a donation to this great cause, please click through here. (Click here to see how the whole thing got started!)

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According to a recent release by BNN "the average price of a single-family home in Vancouver (is) around $1.2-million"



One of the largest real estate companies in British Columbia says that more than one-third of all the single-family detached homes it sold last year went to people with ties to mainland China.


Macdonald Realty Ltd., which has over 1,000 agents and staff in B.C., said 33.5 per cent of the 531 single family homes sold by its Vancouver offices in 2013 went to people who the company said were a mix of recent immigrants and Canadian citizens.


Those buyers, the company added, tended to spend more money, too, with the average cost of a house sold to these clients topping $2-million, compared to $1.4-million on average overall.


The figures did not include Macdonald’s sales in suburban areas such as Richmond, Burnaby or North Vancouver.


“This is our snapshot of Vancouver,” says Dan Scarrow, vice-president of corporate strategy at Macdonald Realty.


The information is based on reports from the firm’s sales, anecdotes from its agents and Mr. Scarrow’s own experience working with mainland Chinese clients, and it’s a glimpse into the influence of mainland Chinese money on Vancouver’s real estate market, which is considered among the most expensive in North America.


Vancouver has been flooded in recent years by tens of thousands of investor-class immigrants from mainland China, who have seen the west coast city as a stable – and picturesque – place to park their capital in luxury property.


That has helped drive up the average price of a single-family home in Vancouver to around $1.2-million.


Mr. Scarrow, who noted the firm does not query buyers about immigration status, believes that investment flowing from mainland China into Vancouver real estate is a quantifiable phenomenon, but has not personally seen much of the more controversial type of buyer: Those from abroad who buy for investment purposes but never live in the city. “We still see very few pure investors from China who have no connection to Vancouver,” he says.


Getting a handle on foreign buyers is difficult and Macdonald’s survey is far from exact – though one major property developer in Richmond said “that sounds about right.” The federal government does not collect


meaningful data on the number of foreign buyers purchasing Canadian real estate, leaving industry participants to debate the impact of foreign capital on the local market. And that debate has gotten heated recently, with some developers accusing others of racism and criticizing those who want to slap curbs on foreign investment. The issue is complicated by the fact that some of Vancouver’s ethnically Chinese Canadian citizens with ties to Hong Kong view newer immigrants from mainland China with a degree of suspicion, assuming their wealth might have been accumulated in part by proximity to China’s Communist Party, rather than in a free market with the rule of law like Hong Kong.


The lack of hard data has also complicated discussions about the city’s affordability crisis and fuelled a local cottage industry where analysts attempt to decipher the scope of foreign money by looking at things like electricity usage in downtown neighbourhoods where some suspect foreign buyers have bought condos in which they never live.


“People always say there are no stats. Well, here are the stats,” says Mr. Scarrow. “This is actual evidence.”


There have been some reports and statistics about the scale of foreign money in Vancouver real estate before, but few have been conclusive – and none have settled the debate. One Sotheby’s report based on a survey of its agents found that 40 per cent of the luxury properties it sold in Vancouver were to foreign buyers – but not all of them were from China. Many developers trying to downplay fears about Chinese investment cite a statistic showing that only 1 to 3 per cent of Vancouver real estate purchases are “foreign” buyers – but, as is the case with Macdonald’s sales, many more expensive homes are still sold to people based here but who have come, at some point, from mainland China. A 2011 study by Landcor Data showed that 74 per cent of luxury purchases in Richmond and Vancouver’s expensive west side were by buyers with mainland Chinese names.


Mr. Scarrow says his company is “indicative of the overall market,” since his firm has some real estate agents who target overseas Chinese buyers, but is also firmly oriented toward domestic sales, unlike other real estate firms that deliberately target Chinese buyers.


At the same time, Mr. Scarrow and Macdonald are so bullish on the potential for Chinese investment that he is spearheading the company’s efforts to open an office in China. “While there is very little data about foreign investors in Vancouver real estate, our own internal data is enough for us to commit to investing in a representative office in Shanghai,” said Mr. Scarrow, whose mother Lynn Hsu, who came from Taiwan in 1979, is the majority owner and president of Macdonald.


Others remain unconvinced – not about whether there is an influx of Chinese money, but whether the flow of foreign capital will continue unabated.


Richard Kurland, a Vancouver immigration lawyer who works with wealthy Chinese immigrants, believes Vancouver may see a slowdown in foreign investment. He said some wealthy Chinese buyers might get anxious and sell off second properties because of the current crackdown on corruption in China.


In meetings with top real estate agents earlier this year, Mr. Kurland predicted that luxury residential real estate could drop in value by as much as 25 per cent as foreign investment dips. As evidence, he points to July real estate figures that showed 106 homes for sale on the west side in the $3-million to $3.5-million price bracket, and just nine sales, compared to 73 active listings and seven sales during July of 2013.

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I have listed a new property at 401 33338 MAYFAIR AVE in Abbotsford.
Honey Stop the Car! Fabulous Top Floor Unit 1 bedroom open concept, granite counter tops, laminate flooring and stainless steel appliances. With a mountain view off your deck to the North, this is hard to beat. Located in the Stirling building, 2 blocks from Mill Lake, 4 blocks from the new hospital and convenient to Hwy 1. No Rentals, 1 pet allowed. Call Today why rent when you can own?
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There were few signs that Canada’s home resale market was letting up in this morning’s statistics from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The numbers showed that home resales rose (albeit modestly) for the sixth consecutive month nation-wide in July to the highest level since March 2010, and that prices were still up comfortably from year-ago levels. While the fact that July sales levels moved further above the longterm average indicates that the market is getting hotter overall, this latest increase stemmed more from the temperature rising in previously cooler local markets than an overheating in markets that saw strong gains earlier this year such as Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. In fact, activity fell in these three markets in July. Where the upward pressure emerged in July relative to June was in areas such as Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria and Halifax in July, which were soft markets until very recently. 



The supply side of the market continued to adjust upwardly, thereby maintaining some balance with demand overall. The Calgary and Toronto markets continue to be among the few where supply is tight relative to demand; however, Toronto saw some reprieve in July with new listings rising faster than resales. The demand-supply balance also eased in Vancouver.


Home prices (MLS HPI) climbed at a year-over-year rate of 5.3% overall in Canada in July, still faster than growth in household disposable income (3.2%); however, the increase was still narrowly based in Calgary, Toronto and, to a lesser extent, Vancouver, where gains were substantial.


For the full report please click here.


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British Columbia’s housing market is not likely to see the same “soft landing” in 2014 and 2015 as the nation as a whole, according to the latest forecasts in the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Third Quarter Housing Market Outlook British Columbia Highlights.


Housing starts in the province are expected to remain balanced, with a total of 27,500 homes expected to be built in 2014 and 27,900 homes in 2015.


“While housing demand [in BC] will be supported by stronger economic and employment growth, total housing starts will remain relatively stable due to a well-supplied resale market and inventory of newly completed and unabsorbed units,” said Carol Frketich, CMHC’s BC Regional Economist.


CMHC forecasts the average BC home price to be $553,300 in 2014 and $556,500 in 2015. The 2014 prediction would represent a 2.95 per cent increase over the BCREA’s stated 2013 average house price of $537,414, and suggests a more modest rise than the BCREA’s recent forecast that average BC house prices will rise 5.6 per cent to $567,300 in 2014.


The CMHC also predicts that BC home resales through the Multiple Listings Service® (MLS) will total 78,200 units in 2014 and 78,700 units in 2015, compared with the BCREA’s figure of 72,936 units in 2013.


The steadily rising BC statistics compare with the agency’s nationwide figures, which predict that housing starts will to drop slightly to a point forecast of 184,800 units in 2014 and 183,100 units in 2015 – compared with the 187,923 units that were built in 2013.


“Recent trends have shown an increase in housing starts, which is broadly supported by demographic fundamentals. However, our latest forecast calls for starts to edge lower as builders are expected to reduce inventories instead of focusing on new construction,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist for CMHC.


CMHC’s point forecast for Canada’s average MLS house price is a 4.5 per cent increase to $399,800 in 2014 and a further 1.8 per cent rise to $406,800 in 2015.


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Real Estate Weekly has some great advice, and today I'd like to share something on Real Estate Investing:



Are you looking for a great real estate investment deal but struggling to find one? Don’t dismiss options that don’t seem particularly promising at first. A skilled investor can turn even a mediocre deal into a money maker.


Take our example. We bought a Nanaimo property in September 2005 and sold it in June 2011. We bought it in a hot market and sold it in a soft market. That’s not the recipe for success, but we made it work.


By drawing on some equity in another property and getting bank financing, we were able to buy this property with only $10,000 out of our pocket.


From 2005 to 2010, it basically broke even each year. For most of those years, we didn’t worry about the fact that it wasn’t a super-duper cash-flowing property because we both had jobs that paid us enough so we didn’t worry about it.


When I left my job in 2008, we couldn’t afford to have any of our properties underperforming. We needed cash coming in to pay our bills. So we listed the property for sale in 2009 but it didn’t sell; we had very few showings and we didn’t get a single offer. To make matters worse, it was vacant and our property manager wasn’t very proactive in helping us fill it.


Stuck with a property that was starting to cost us money, wasn’t selling and didn’t have great management, we decided to fix it up a bit more and try to turn it into a rent to own.


Unexpectedly we discovered a tremendous demand for rent-to-own properties in that area. The property filled instantly, and because it was now a rent to own, we:


  • received a $10,000 option fee, which paid for all the upgrades and repairs we had to do;
  • no longer had a property management expense because the tenant handled most maintenance issues;
  • received slightly higher rent because some of the rent went towards a credit they would receive when they bought; and
  • created an exit strategy for the property that didn’t require a realtor and made it easier to sell an investment property in a soft market.

Thirteen months later, the tenant successfully closed on the property and he is now a happy home owner. In the end, this mediocre property made us $118,000 after six years of owning it.


The best part is that even if the property had not gone up in value, we still would have made a pretty awesome return on it.


Here’s how it looked:


  • Our purchase price: $274,000
  • Our sale price: $344,000
  • Appreciation: $70,000
  • Mortgage pay down: $33,000
  • Cash flow: $15,000

Total cash return over six years: $118,000

Even cooler than the money we made was that we helped a young guy who was struggling to qualify for bank financing to become a home owner. Without this program, he would still be a few years away from home ownership.


The bottom line is that there are a lot of ways to make money from a rental property. A good understanding of what is possible can really change your perspective. Plus it’s nice to see that even a mediocre deal in an average Canadian market can make really solid money in times like these.


Forget about the things you think are holding you back. Instead, think about what’s possible.


This is an edited excerpt from the Amazon #1 bestselling book More than Cashflow by Julie Broad. You can get your copy and get more valuable investing advice from Julie at

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As posted from Front Line:



A Light Rail Transit plan has received the support of outgoing Surrey Mayor Diane Watts for years and was also included in the Metro Vancouver Transport Plan brought forward by the Mayors’ Council in June. The proposed plan would link Surrey City Centre with nearby commercial centres via three light rail lines. One to Guildford along 104 Avenue, one to Newton along King George and the third to Langley City Centre along Fraser Highway.


It’s not the only plan being promoted though. One citizens’ group, The Better Surrey Rapid Transit, recently released a report which proposes an elevated SkyTrain Expo Line extension in place of the LRT, along with other recommended transit improvements. The report includes the SkyTrain expansion, running from King George to Langley City Centre along Fraser Highway, a dedicated rapid bus lane along King George to White Rock and bus service improvements along the 104 Avenue corridor.


The citizens’ group estimates their proposed plan would cost $2.3 billion, compared with the $2.44 billion LRT model. It would also save commuters from Langley to Surrey Centre seven minutes, and commuters from Langley to Vancouver 12 minutes of travel time, compared to the LRT model. Also, it could attract 202,000 new riders per day, versus the LRT’s 166,000 riders (TransLink’s 2010 Surrey Rapid Transit Study).


One proponent of the LRT, Mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode, defended the LRT, arguing speed and price aren’t the only considerations. She told The Province that she favours the LRT option because it would “prevent the community being divided up by big concrete pillars” and would promote business along the route.


Candidate Doug McCallum said his research as a former TransLink chair showed LRT was the most logical and economical option for Surrey’s urban-rural geography. “(Surrey is) one-third parkland, one-third agricultural land, one-third residential and commercial,” McCallum said. “It’s not really high density overall in our city. The only option that could be built is light rail.”


As mentioned, the LRT plan has received the support of Surrey’s mayor Diane Watts who has been lobbying TransLink for funding for the plan for years, with the support of the Surrey Board of Trade’s Light Rail Links advocacy group and the Mayor’s Council. However, the transit authority has not committed to the plan yet and an expanded SkyTrain route may still be in Surrey’s future.


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Read more:

BC Business, An Expo Line to… Langley?, by Trevor Melanson, published July 16, 2014

The Province, SkyTrain expansion would be cheaper, faster than LRT, says Surrey citizens’ group, by Elaine O’Connor, published July 15, 2014

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Here is the latest news from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board:



Continued demand for single family homes and townhomes resulted in the busiest July in five years for the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 1,615 sales in July, an increase of 11 per cent compared to the 1,456 sales in July last year and 1.4 per cent above the 10-year average for the month.


Ray Werger, President of the Board, says, “July’s steady activity is a continuation of what we’ve been seeing all year. Our market has fully recovered from last year’s slump and has returned to what we typically see in the Fraser Valley, which is a steady, consistent market.”


In July, the Board received 2,724 new listings, a decrease of 2 per cent compared to July 2013 taking the number of active listings in Fraser Valley to 9,636, a decrease of 8 per cent compared to the volume available in July 2013.


Werger says, “Although our sales were slightly above average for the month, the volume of new listings added to the MLS® was 7 per cent lower than what’s typical for July, so for certain property types and price ranges we’re actually seeing a shortage of listings creating a seller’s market for particular homes.


“When demand starts to exceed supply it puts upward pressure on prices and in areas such as White Rock/South Surrey, North Delta and Langley we’ve seen an increase in benchmark prices of single family detached homes ranging from 3 to 6.6 per cent over the last year. It’s a different story for condos. In most of our market, there’s excellent selection and prices lower than they were one year ago offering tremendous opportunities for buyers.”


In July, the benchmark price, as determined by the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI), of a ‘typical’ single family detached home was $568,300, an increase of 3 per cent compared to July 2013 when it was $551,000.


The HPI benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhouses increased by 0.2 per cent; going from $297,800 in July 2013 to $298,500 in July 2014. The benchmark price of apartments was $194,700 last month, a decrease of 3.6 per cent compared to $202,000 in July of last year.


Find the July Statistics Package here.


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Honey Stop The Car!


Situated in peaceful Port Kells, this Cozy,Comfortable,Colonial Style home boasts many wonderful features. Ffrom location to privacy, this hidden oasis allows you live in the country yet close to freeway access and shopping. 


Features include well maintained home in the country formal living, dining, great room office/den with pine softwood throughout the main, pella windows with pine trim, updated spacious kitchen featuring, qaurtez counter tops, 6 burner gas range, updated main bathroom with soaker tub and large shower, amazing 2 storey workshop insulated/drywalled and heated workshop, hot tub great home to raise a family or retire. Its all about community!




There are so many amazing pictures, and more details on this listing. I'd love for you to see the whole thing, just click here.


You must book an appointment for viewing, so give me a call at 604.832.8229 to do so. I would love to work with you!


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The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2014 Third Quarter Housing Forecast Update today.


"Stronger than expected consumer demand in the third quarter triggered an upward revision in the housing forecast,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Rising consumer demand is now broad-based across the province, with some of the largest year-over-year gains occurring in the Okanagan and the Kootenay regions."


BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 9.8 per cent to 80,100 units this year, before rising a further 4 per cent to 83,300 units in 2015. The previous forecast was for 76,700 and 81,800 unit sales respectively in 2014 and 2015. The 15-year average is 80,400 unit sales and a record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.  


The average MLS® residential price for the province is forecast to increase 5.6 per cent to a record $567,300 this year and a further 1.4 per cent to $575,400 in 2015. “Since the housing stock is generally expanding at the same pace as population and household growth, rapid escalation of home prices is not expected over the next two years,” added Muir. BC housing starts are forecast to edge up 2 per cent to 27,600 units this year and a further 1.8 per cent to 28,100 units in 2015.


To view the full BCREA Housing Forecast Update, click here.


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