On behalf of Fraser Valley’s 2,700-plus REALTORS®, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board has donated $21,000 to five of its region’s food banks.

 

 

Ray Werger is the Board’s president. “As REALTORS®, it is our commitment to support our communities in which we both live and work. The Fraser Valley continues to grow and develop each year at an incredible rate, and so does the need for food for our neighbours who are less fortunate."

 

Werger adds, “In our region alone, food banks serve approximately 22,000 people every month, many of whom are children and babies. We hope this gift will help in providing aid for Fraser Valley residents that is so desperately needed.”

 

As in previous years, the donation is divided proportionately based on the number of REALTORS® represented in each community with $9,450 going to the Surrey Food Bank; $4,200 going to the Langley Food Bank; $3,900 going to Sources White Rock South Surrey Food Bank; $2,730 to the Abbotsford Food Bank; and $630 to St. Joseph’s Food Bank in Mission.

 

Marilyn Herrmann, Executive Director of the Surrey Food Bank, received FVREB’s cheque on behalf of the communities of North Delta and Surrey. “Regardless of where you live, there will always be someone close to you, be it a stranger or friend, who is hungry or needs to feed their family.

 

“We are very grateful to have received this gift, especially as this is a demanding time of year for many. Food banks in the Fraser Valley face an increasing population of low-income neighbours who need our help and our work is reliant on the donations we receive throughout the year. Thank you Fraser Valley REALTORS® for contributing to our vision to reduce hunger and elevate the quality of life in our communities.”

 

British Columbia’s food banks support nearly 100,000 people every year. To support your local food bank, please visit www.foodbanksbc.com. For more information about all FVREB community giving initiatives, go towww.fvreb.bc.ca.

 

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Real Estate Weekly reported on: When is it a good idea to purchase a home with lots of extras – and when are you better off with a local fitness centre membership? 

 

 

If you’ve purchased a fancy gym membership for 2015 and are already finding it hard to stick to your new regime, you may have wasted a lot of cash. But what if your fitness centre was in your building – would you get better value?

 

Amenities in today’s new condo market have reached new heights, with full-size fitness centres, pools, rooftop patios with barbecues, lounges with chef’s kitchens, guest suites and other common-use areas expanding your home beyond its four walls. Developers are selling more than just homes – they’re selling a lifestyle.

 

But amenities don’t come for free – they can add to your purchase price and strata fees. So when is it a good idea to purchase a home with lots of extras and when are you better off sticking with that local fitness centre membership?

 

Hani Lammam with Cressey Development Group advises buyers to purchase homes where there are as many amenities as possible – provided they can afford the asking price and the associated strata fees.

 

“There is a maintenance cost associated with amenities,” he said, “but they can also protect your resale value. The vast majority of developers today are including amenities in some form, but the extent to which, for instance, a fitness centre is equipped is what sets them apart. It’s the attention to detail that distinguishes buildings.”

 

Cressey is just a few weeks away from presales on Beverley in White Rock, which will include a two-storey club featuring a fitness centre, whirlpool, steam room and lap pool. The condo development also includes a patio, lounge, guest suite, garden, barbecue area and playground.

 

“It’s difficult to say how much the fitness centre adds to the [purchase] cost of each unit at Beverley,” said Lammam, “but it’s a very small percentage because that cost is spread out among all the owners. It’s likely less than five per cent. In terms of what a fitness centre adds to your monthly maintenance fees, it depends on what’s included in the facility. ‘Wet’ amenities, such as hot tubs and pools, can add an extra 15 per cent to your strata fees. Pools will last a lifetime if properly maintained. And, the commercial grade equipment at the Beverley’s fitness centre should last about 20 years.”

 

With the price of a high-end gym membership running around $1,000 a year, taking the extra hit instead to your monthly maintenance fees can be a good investment according to Katie Dunsworth-Reiach, a personal finances expert and co-founder of Smart Cookies. Annual strata fees for larger units run around $5,300 a year, with 15 per cent (about $800) paying for the gym, pool, sauna and steam room. That’s substantially less than belonging to a private club. With an estimated 60 per cent of annual gym memberships purchased in January going unused by mid-February, Dunsworth-Reiach notes it is also important to consider long-term value. 

 

You can read the full article here.

 

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CMHC will increase its mortgage loan insurance premiums for homeowners and 1 – 4 unit rental properties effective May 1, 2014.

 

 

The increase applies to mortgage loan insurance premiums for owner occupied, self-employed and 1– 4 unit rental properties, including low-ratio refinance premiums. This increase does not apply to mortgages currently insured by CMHC.

 

For the average Canadian homebuyer requiring CMHC insured financing, the higher premium will result in an increase of approximately $5 to their monthly mortgage payment. This is not expected to have a material impact on the housing market.

 

Effective May 1st, CMHC Purchase (owner occupied 1 – 4 units) mortgage insurance premiums will increase by approximately 15%, on average, for all loan-to-value ranges.

 

 

Loan-to-Value Ratio

Standard Premium (Current)

Standard Premium (Effective 
May 1, 2014)

Up to and including 65%

0.50%

0.60%

Up to and including 75%

0.65%

0.75%

Up to and including 80%

1.00%

1.25%

Up to and including 85%

1.75%

1.80%

Up to and including 90%

2.00%

2.40%

Up to and including 95%

2.75%

3.15%

90.01% to 95% – 
Non-Traditional Down Payment

2.90%

3.35%

 

For more information on CMHC’s mortgage insurance rate increase, go here.

 

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Honey, stop the car!


Great family home in the Yorkson. Over 3900 sqft. floor offers big living room with dining, large kitchen with oversize island, pantry, wok kitchen, stainless appliances & granite countertops.



4 bedrooms up including 2 ensuites. Fully finished 3 bedroom basement with separate entrance.




Close to Linda Fripp Elementary & RE Mountain Secondary, Langley Event Centre and Walnut Grove community Centre. See the full listing here.


Call today for a viewing appointment.


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I always love to hear about stories in the community of people helping each other, so today I would like to share with you about the Abbotsford Police Thunderbirds and how they raised $1,200 in a hockey fundraiser for alocal  5 year old girl needing money for cancer treatment.


 

 

We can ALL do something for someone, somewhere. I encourage you to see how you can help today!

 

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BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) Chief Economist Cameron Muir discusses the December 2014 statistics:



If you have any questions pertaining to this report please contact: 


Cameron Muir Chief Economist Direct: 604.742.2780 Mobile: 778.229.1884 Email: cmuir@bcrea.bc.ca 

Damian Stathonikos Director of Communications and Public Affairs Direct: 604.742.2793 Mobile: 778.990.1320 Email: dstathonikos@bcrea.bc.ca 


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I thought I would share a very unique home with you today!


Three Old Grain Silos Converted Into A Unique Farmhouse


This design is highly innovative and unique. It is a beautiful B&B place and its magic lies in the very original structure of the building as the architects used formed grain silos to build the house. 



These grain silos confer an industrial feel to this B&B and the strong and imposing outside harmonizes perfectly with the soft inside. The spot is called Abbey Road Farm and let’s discover together the beauty it hides inside. There are 6 different kinds of suits, each of them with an amazing view over the English Garden or the valley, spacious with a king size bed, additional seating places and high class design. 



The largest of them is the Abbey Road Farm Ranch House, which can accommodate up to 6 people in its 3 bedrooms and comes with 2 baths and a fully equipped kitchen. The Abbey Road Farm is an incredible place, where you can spend an unforgettable vacation. Just take a look at the pictures to convince yourself.



I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!


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REBGV Board Chair Ray Harris returns this month with a look at the housing market in 2014 in our year-end review.

 



For more news and statistics visit us at http://www.rebgv.org


Follow REBGV at http://www.facebook.com/REBGV and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/REBGV.

 

Here's' to a wonderful 2015!

 

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A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre.. .Actor Todd Talbot was heading to rehearsals of the Stanley Theatre's production of High Society a few years back when his phone buzzed to life. The voice on the other end suggested that it was time Talbot's two worlds collided.Talbot had spent 25 years working as an actor and for almost as long he'd been building a real estate career "on the down-low."There's a joke about what you call an actor with a bottle of champagne. The answer, of course, is a waiter. It's a stereotype with which Talbot is well acquainted.

 

"If you're an actor and you're seen doing something else it somehow insinuates that you're not successful as an actor," he says.While his evenings were spent persuading theatre audiences to invest in his character, his days were spent investing in properties - but he kept his real estate life secret.

 

As is the fate of most secret identities, Talbot's alter ego slowly become public knowledge until he was the "de facto real estate guy in the acting community in Vancouver," he recollects.

 

It was because of that reputation he got the call.

 

They were looking for a real estate agent who could play a real estate agent on TV to co-host Love It or List It Vancouver.

 

The spinoff, co-hosted by The Bachelor survivor Jillian Harris, asks homeowners who have grown disenchanted with their dwelling to renovate or relocate.Despite a professed addiction to HGTV shows, Talbot had never pursued reality TV. "I had huge hesitation," he admits. "How would (doing the show) impact my ability to go and do Taming of the Shrew at Bard on the Beach?"If he had been offered a role on TV that involved extolling the virtues of spray-on hair or dating Flavor Flav, Talbot would have passed - but this was steady work.

 

"My actor's mind looked at it and went: 'This is a big, long gig that pays better than theatre.'"With a second child to support and his gut leading the way, Talbot blindly threw himself into the show and his worlds collided.

 

"It kind of engulfed my life a little bit," he says of the show's first two seasons.With 26 episodes each season, the show is perpetually in production, ruling out theatre for the time being.

 

"Hopefully I'll be able to exercise that muscle somewhere down the road," Talbot says.The actor, who was once presented by his family with a Motor Mouth t-shirt, speaks quickly - his verbosity peppered with humour and the relentless optimism of someone who can barely see dark clouds past the silver linings.However, Talbot is quite candid when discussing the challenges of keeping Love It or List It Vancouver fresh without deviating from the show's defining formula.

 

"It's the blessing and the curse of show," Talbot says of the show's format. "It's a challenge in every episode because you go, 'Really? Are we dealing with another: I don't want to leave my neighbourhood?'"Vancouver's multitude of interesting locations has helped, he says.

 

"I think the Vancouver production, as opposed to the Toronto one, has managed to find its own legs and find its own personality."Much of that personality is supplied by the homeowners, all of whom bring a different energy and allow for a creative way to tell the same Budget vs. Location story.

 

"You always end up in that conversation. You can't not," Talbot says with a chuckle. "Unless you're (Lululemon founder) Chip Wilson, there's a compromise to be had."A resident of Lions Bay, "poor man's West Van," Talbot is aware of what a compromise can produce."I couldn't afford the house and the view that we have in West Vancouver or on the west side of Vancouver, for that matter," he says.

 

Love It or List It Vancouver, somewhat inadvertently, also chronicles the "destructive trend" of maximizing square footage at all costs in building mansions, notes Talbot.

 

"I really wish people would consider the environment that they're putting the house in as much as they consider the function of the internal elements of the house," he says. "I shudder to think what the city might look like in another 25 years."

 

Talbot has talked of doing another show in the lifestyle genre or even hosting a game show.

 

"For me, life is about making sure that your soul is filled with the things that you're passionate about."Love It or List It Vancouver is currently accepting applications for Lower Mainland homeowners to appear on season three. To apply visit: bigcoatproductions.com/be-on-tv.

 

- See more at: http://www.nsnews.com/entertainment/dossier/love-it-or-list-it-vancouver-returns-for-third-season-1.1725732#sthash.NUmFcBE3.dpuf

 

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How to hook the newest homebuyer demographic

 

Millennials have grown up in a technology-fueled world, where personal computers are everywhere, smartphones are the norm and they’ve grown used to the ability to connect anywhere with their tablets. Facebook was originally created for them as college students. Reality television has shown them that anyone can make a million dollars. Millennials tend to have a tendency toward instant gratification; they believe life is full of unlimited opportunities and are more connected by technology than any previous generation.

 

Many millennials are not quick to rush into buying their first house, but when they do, as a Realtor, the way you must cater to them might be brand-new to you. They want information, and they want it now. They don’t want to be sold. They don’t commit easily, so it will take them time to find the house of their dreams.

 

Santiago Cornejo / Shutterstock.com
Santiago Cornejo / Shutterstock.com

 

How do you cater to millennials? Use their love of technology to impress them and make your life easier. Use technology to manage their expectations and to give them the information they are looking for before they buy a house.

 

Here are six tips to working with our technology-driven millennial generation:

 

1. Make your website work for you

 

Millennials want information; they crave it. They want to be educated about a process before they make the final decision. This is especially true when buying a house. They watched the housing market crash, and they have been gun-shy about entering the market. So how do you turn that around? You educate them until they can’t take in another piece of information.

 

The easiest way to do that is to let your website do the work for you. Create a page on your website that exclusively caters to first-time homebuyers. Include a list of frequently asked questions, useful infographics and links to articles written by you that will feed first-time homebuyers information. Include a free report about the homebuying process that they can download after providing an email address. This not only gives you a list of potential leads, but it gives the prospect all the information they want in one place. Give them the information they are looking for, and you will pave the way to becoming their trusted real estate adviser.

 

2. Connect on social media

 

The millennial generation is all about connecting on social media, and they love to share what is going on in their lives. When you first meet a new client, find out which social media platform is important to them and connect with them there. (It may not be Facebook!) If it’s possible to do within their favorite social media site, add them to a custom list so you can easily find out what they are talking about. The goal here is to clue into what they are talking about during the homebuying process, the struggles, the issues and the questions. This will help you anticipate their needs, which will make you look like a super star agent.

 

3. Custom email campaigns

 

Email is still king when it comes to marketing to prospects. When millennials gives you an email address, dazzle them with an automated email drip campaign. Send important homebuying tips, but don’t make it all about real estate. Other ideas that are useful to millennial homebuyers include information about the schools, good restaurants in the area or local interest groups they can join. Millennials don’t compartmentalize areas of their lives when they are searching for a home. They are going to want to know whether the area will fit their overall

lifestyle, so show them that it will by providing them with useful information about the area.

 

4. Give millennials tools

 

This is the generation that uses an app for everything. When you meet with them, give them a list of apps they can use during the homebuying process, and they will feel like you really understand what they need during this time in their lives.

 

Ideas for apps include: realtor.com (unless you have your own branded app), Homesnap, My Nest, DocuSign, Crime Mapping and Mortgage Calculator.

 

If there is a cost to purchasing the apps, then buy the app for them. Millennials like to feel special, and this small gesture will go a long way.

 

In addition to apps, provide them with spreadsheets and checklists that will help them during the homebuying process. By giving them these tools, it will show millennials that you understand their needs, which will make you look like the expert real estate agent!

 

5. Set communication expectations

 

Millennials are so connected to technology, whether through email, social media or texting, that it seems like they always have a phone or tablet in their hands. It is important for you as the agent to set communication expectations upfront when you first meet with millennials. Ask them how they like to communicate and whether they prefer a phone call, email or text. Let them know your hours and your turn time for responding.

I know that real estate agents work all of the time, but some millennials may send you texts or emails at midnight asking about a particular listing! If you don’t want to be expected to answer at midnight, set that expectation upfront. Let them know if they text or email at a late hour, you will respond first thing in the morning. By setting these expectations upfront, they won’t feel disappointed by your communication, and you won’t feel irritated by those late-night texts or emails!

 

6. Create webinars

 

Remember in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when first-time homebuyer seminars were all the rage and would drive real estate leads? The seminars fell off as the information became more readily available on the Internet.

 

Go where your millennial clients are and offer first-time homebuyer webinars. This will give prospects the opportunity to get to know you and will help build trust in choosing you as their real estate agent. Millennials want to be educated, and they turn to the Internet to get that education. Impress them from the beginning by offering them a webinar that caters to their needs!

 

Millennials are the current first-time homebuyer demographic that help to drive the real estate market. We need them in the market to keep it moving forward. Millennials can be seen as a challenging group to work with, but I think it is because they are misunderstood. Get to know their generation, what they like and don’t like, their purchasing behavior and how they operate. Most importantly, cater to their love of technology and their need for information. Doing this will earn their trust, and you will be known in your area as the Realtor for the millennial generation!

 

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Listen to BC Real Estate Association Chief Economist Cameron Muir as he discusses the latest statistics:

 

 

Click here to visit our YouTube channel. Read the news release here.

 

For inquiries regarding statistical and economics-related news releases, please contact:

 

Cameron Muir
Chief Economist
604.742.2780
cmuir@bcrea.bc.ca 
Brendon Ogmundson
Economist
604.742.2796
bogmundson@bcrea.bc.ca

 

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The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 5,972 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November, up 8.8 per cent from November 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $3.4 billion, an increase of 12.1 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $574,694, up 3.1 per cent from the same month last year.

 

"BC home sales were robust in November," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Improving economic conditions, strong consumer confidence and persistently low mortgage interest rates are providing a solid foundation for elevated consumer demand."

 

"Market conditions have improved province-wide, with most regional markets now in the mid to high range of a balanced market," added Muir.

 

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 22.1 per cent to $44.8 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 15.3 per cent to 78,973 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 6.0 per cent at $567,292.


- See more here.


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Board President Ray Werger wraps up 2014 with a heartfelt wish for this holiday season; focus on the people who matter most to you. I could not have said this better myself.



To all my valued clients, enjoy this week and use this time to get back to what is most important in life. You'll be glad you did.



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Buying a home is more than likely one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life. Here is a great explanation of  Mortgage pre-approval, which is essentially the starting point of the home buying experience.

 

 

If you are looking for a great mortgage broker, please let me know as I work with many great ones all the time and would be honoured to refer you to one that will do whatever they can to help you.

 

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Vancouver Realtor Colette Gerber shares her lessons learned from helping her own daughters out with those first down payments  

 

It’s no surprise that young people today can have a tough time coming up with a decent size down payment that will get them on the monopoly board of Metro Vancouver real estate.

 

With the average home price in Metro Vancouver registering more than half a million dollars, you could hear them issue a collective sigh of resignation as they crunch the numbers to find the necessary down payment can easily hit six figures.

 

I recently helped my two girls to buy their first homes and I’m happy to share some of my experiences to help other parents and first-time buyers making this important purchase.

 

When I saw my daughters struggling to put together sizeable down payments, I stepped forward and offered financial help, which I think made it easier for them and allowed me to help them secure their future. For reasons I’ll explain later, I, like most parents, made my financial help a gift rather than a loan. Here are some of my tips from going through the experience twice and from helping other first-timers and their parents:

1. Rent or Buy?

There has been lots of discussion in the media suggesting young people should forget about buying, and instead look to rent a home and put their money in other investments. I couldn’t disagree more. Owning one’s home has long been, is now and will be a long time from now, the best way for the average Canadian to build financial security and stability in their lives. Unlike other investments, which can take very specialized knowledge and expertise, buying a home is within the reach of many young adults if they take a realistic approach (see REW.ca’s article on “Buy Vs Rent: Which is Better Long Term?”).

2. Should Young People Ask their Parents for Help?

Once they have made the decision to buy, the first-time buyer has to get their down payment in place. As a Realtor, I always take young people through the process of figuring out how much they can afford, first asking them how much they have to put down. If that is an issue, then I explore with them their options, including the possibility of approaching their parents for financial help. Noted Vancouver condo marketer Bob Rennie estimated this year that 45 per cent of first-time buyers approach their parents for help, so it’s very common.

3. Bank of Mom and Dad: Loan or Gift?

I gave my daughters a gift because I didn’t want to put an extra financial burden on them of making yet another monthly payment. Personally, I see lending the money as a more complicated process, both financially and emotionally. But many parents cannot afford to do this – very often the funds will have to come from retirement savings, and will need to be paid back. If so, ensure you have a solid, business-like agreement in place for the repayments, including how much and how often, so that everyone’s expectations are aligned. And then stick to it! (More on the legal ramifications of the Bank of Mom and Dad here.)

4. Use a Mortgage Broker

I told my girls – as I tell all my clients – to first get pre-approved for a mortgage once you know how much you have to put down. I suggest using a mortgage broker to do that as they often get better deals on rates than even one’s own bank is willing to offer. There is a lot more to mortgages than interest rates and that is where you can benefit from a mortgage broker who shops your loan around to several financial institutions. And get the mortgage pre-approval in writing.

5. Use a Realtor

A Realtor can be the best asset a first-time buyer can have. An agent representing a buyer knows the market, knows properties, can provide invaluable advice on the buying process, can negotiate the best price, and is objective during what can be a very emotional experience. Most importantly, it doesn’t cost the buyer a penny because it’s the seller who pays all agent commissions.

6. How Much to Spend?

I suggested to my daughters that they think about what sort of lifestyle they want to pursue as they become homeowners. For instance, if they want to travel, go out to dinner, etc., then perhaps they shouldn’t spend to the top of their pre-approval home price.

7. Is Renovating Realistic?

When it came to renovating, I advised my daughters to be very cautious. A first-time buyer has just spent a lot of money to buy a home. I’m not talking about minor things like putting on a fresh coat of paint, which can be a do-it-yourself project.

But when it comes to more involved and expensive renovations, it’s best to live in the property for a few months. What you thought at first was so important to change may turn out to be not so important after all.

8. When to Trade Up

Some young people are impatient and consider moving up to a better home after just one or two years in their first home. My advice is, “You’re young, you have time. It’s not worth it if moving up means compromising your lifestyle or putting a strain on your relationship.” A first-time buyer should only consider moving up when the current property has increased in value and selling could push them up to the next level.

 

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The increase in BC home sales in both unit numbers and dollar volume is continuing unabated, according to a British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) report released December 12.

 

The report, compiled from the combined monthly reports of the province’s 12 real estate boards, found that the number of units sold in BC rose 8.8 per cent year over year to 5,972 units, and the dollar volume of sales province-wide totalled $3.4 billion, up 12.1 per cent compared with November 2013.

 

The average MLS residential price in BC rose to $574,694, up 3.1 per cent from the same month last year.

“BC home sales were robust in November,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist.

 

“Improving economic conditions, strong consumer confidence and persistently low mortgage interest rates are providing a solid foundation for elevated consumer demand.

 

“Market conditions have improved province-wide, with most regional markets now in the mid to high range of a balanced market.”

 

Only three regional boards posted a decrease in unit sales in November. These were northern BC (down 6.8 per cent), Kamloops (down 5.2 per cent) and Kootenay (down 1.1 per cent).

 

Year to date, BC residential unit sales are up 15.3 per cent to 78,973 units, and residential sales dollar volume is up 22.1 per cent to $44.8 billion, compared with the same period last year. The average MLS residential price is up 6 per cent at $567,292 year to date.


UPDATE: Sales activity across Canada in November stood 2.7 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year, according to Canadian Real Estate Association statistics released December 15.

 

November sales were up from year-ago levels in about half all regional markets, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Calgary and Greater Toronto.

 

Nationwide year-to-date sales activity in November was 5 per cent above levels in the first 11 months of 2013. It was also slightly 2.4 per cent above the 10-year average for year-to-date sales.

 

The nationwide Aggregate Composite MLS house price index rose by 5.19 per cent on a year-over-year basis in November.

 

The average price for Canadian homes sold in November 2014 was $413,649, up 5.7 per cent from the same month last year.

 

The CREA said, "The national average home price continues to be raised considerably by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $331,743 and the year-over-year increase shrinks to 5 per cent."


See more at: http://www.rew.ca/news/bc-home-sales-up-8-8-in-november-prices-up-3-bcrea-1.1663634

 

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As reported from BCREA:

 

In stark contrast to the consensus of economists expectations at the end of last year, bond yields have spent most of 2014 trending downward. Indeed, perhaps weary of previous false starts, bond markets have even shrugged off recent signs of a strengthening economy, an acceleration of inflation and the unwinding of stimulus from the US Federal Reserve. Lenders have responded in kind, offering homebuyers record low mortgage rates.

 

 

Given well anchored inflation expectations and near consensus that short-term rates will be higher next year, the continued downtrend in bond yields this year is difficult to explain. One factor could be that investors are acclimating to the idea that the neutral rate, or the Bank of Canada’s preferred destination for interest rates once it tightens,
is likely much lower than in the past and that realization is being priced into expectations and therefore long-term interest rates.

 

Additionally, the performance of Canada’s financial and banking system post-financial crisis has won it a reputation among foreign investors as a safe harbor. Foreign holdings of Canadian government bonds and treasury bills have jumped from 15 per cent to over a quarter of outstanding debt since the global financial crisis. As uncertainty mounts in other areas of the world due to weak economic growth or unresolved conflicts, assets have crowded into both US and Canadian debt securities, forcing yields lower. Given these factors, rates could remain below historical average levels even as the Bank of Canada begins tightening.

 

While we do not expect the Bank to act on interest rates until late in 2015, bond yields could rise modestly before then in anticipation of higher rates, particularly if economic growth is stronger than expected. If so, we expect to see a slight increase in five-year and one-year fixed mortgage rates by the end of 2014.

 

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The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,136 sales on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in November, an increase of 15 per cent compared to the 986 sales during the same month last year and 22 per cent lower than the 1,448 sales processed in October.

 

New listings in the Fraser Valley decreased by 2 per cent in November, going from 1,774 last year to 1,748 last month taking the number of active listings to 8,302, a decrease of 4 per cent compared to the 8,641 active listings in November of 2013.

 

“This is the time of year when families are settling in for winter and the holidays, so we expect to see a decrease in activity,” explains the Board’s president, REALTOR® Ray Werger. “After a busy fall with volumes reaching 5-year highs, we’re winding down the year with sales on par with the ten-year average, but about 8 per cent fewer new listings therefore home buyers will notice a shortage of inventory in certain price ranges.”

 

Pricing continues along the same trends as seen for most of 2014, with single family detached prices continuing to rise; townhouse prices remaining steady, and apartment prices decreasing. The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) benchmark price of a detached home in November was $575,400 an increase of 4.6 per cent compared to November 2013, when it was $550,300.

 

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of townhouses increased 2.2 per cent from $292,400 in November 2013 to $298,900 last month. The benchmark price of apartments decreased year-over-year by 3.5 per cent, going from $196,200 in November of last year to $189,400 in November 2014.

 

“Prices are a function of supply and demand - which your REALTOR® will explain varies considerably from area to area and within the different property types - as well as local amenities, transportation options and future community development, underscoring the importance of expert guidance when you’re looking to list or buy,” says Werger.

“Overall, 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for Fraser Valley real estate,” continues Werger. “We hit a bit of a trough during the summer of last year, but since then sales have recovered and we’re tracking towards a 15 per cent increase in year-to-date sales for 2014 compared to 2013 with prices remaining relatively stable.”

 

Find the November Statistics Package here.

 

Because YOU Deserve the Best...

 

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Lights, camera, Christmas! From magical winter wonderlands to wonderfully tacky front lawns, see the most over-the-top holiday decor displays, here are some totally over the top holiday houses, click HERE to see more

 

 

 

What is your favourite Christmas decorating tradition? Share with us in the comments below.

 

Because YOU Deserve the Best ...

 

 



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As an entrepreneur it's always good to get inspiration from those around us, especially those who are making a real impact and a difference.

 

Here is a video from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president, Ray Werger with a very inspirational story:

 

 

What a great story! You can learn more about John Besh here.

 

 

Because YOU Deserve the Best ...

 

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