March 24, 2017
Staging Tips for Spring
Brighten up your home and bring in buyers with these easy ideas.
Springtime brings sunshine, showers -- and plenty of opportunities for home staging. Make the most of the season with these fresh updates that are sure to attract buyers.
Whip your yard into shape.
When you're selling in the spring, you need to get your yard in shape as quickly as possible. Clear winter yard debris, and get frost-resistant plants that won't be affected if a late cold spell hits. Or, invest in silk flowers for a touch of color that you don't have to worry about watering.
Do some spring cleaning.
It's natural to want to spruce up your space in the spring, so scrub away! A sparkling home will impress buyers and make your home seem even more appealing.
Box up your winter wardrobe.
Bulky winter clothes take up lots of space, so move them out as you de-clutter your closets. You'll impress buyers with all that space.
Spruce up the entryway.
If your welcome mat is covered with winter dirt, pick up a new one. A clean, pretty doorway will help set the tone for the entire showing.
Bring spring aromas indoors.
Spring is not only a colorful season, but a fragrant one, too. Bring the aroma indoors. Scents have a profound effect on mood, so infusing scent into your decor with diffusers, candles, fresh cut plants/flowers, or incense can change the overall feeling of a space.
Bring out the bright colors.
Tuck away the heavy, winter flannel comforter and pull out crisp linens with coverlets for color. Bring in the spring with floral-designed spreads or colorful solids. Don't forget accent pillows for added style and comfort.
Full Article >
March 24, 2017
The Liberal Government releases their budget and here are the housing related promises.
Within the release of the budget they've also stated that, for the time being, there will be no additional mortgage rule changes or tightening. This is a good thing as the last set of changes resulted in a lot less competition and an increase in interest rates.
The Liberals are promising to spend 11.2 billion in housing initiatives over the next decade. How are these dollars going to be spent? See the full article from MortgageBrokerNews.ca
as reported by The Canadian Press below:
"Cities and affordable housing providers will find themselves with $11.2 billion more to spend on new and existing units over the coming decade, as part of the federal government's multi-pronged push to help people find homes.
Of that money, which comes from the government's social infrastructure fund, $5 billion will be allotted to encourage housing providers to pool resources with private partners and to allow the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., to provide more direct loans to cities.
The funding falls short of the $12.6 billion the mayors of Canada's biggest cities requested last year andWednesday's federal budget shows that the majority of the $11.2 billion isn't slated to be spent until after 2022.
Over the next 11 years, the Liberals pledged $202 million to free up more federal land for affordable housing projects, $300 million for housing in the North and $225 million to support programs that provide units to indigenous peoples off reserve.
The money, coupled with $2.1 billion for homelessness initiatives over the next 11 years, sets the financial backbone for the Liberals' promised national housing strategy that will be released in the coming months. The document will outline how the government plans to help people find affordable housing that meets their needs, and ensure a robust emergency shelter and transitional housing system for those who need it.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau told reporters the spending will make a difference for those who rely on social housing. He said the Liberals want to ensure cities can access funds as quickly as possible to make necessary investments in the country's stock of aging affordable housing.
The details are among many laid out in the budget, which outlines how the government plans to spend the $81 billion it is making available between now and 2028 to address future infrastructure needs and, the government hopes, boost the economy to create new jobs and government revenues.
It also gives $39.9 million over five years for Statistics Canada to create a national database of every property in Canada. This will include up-to-date information on sales, the degree of foreign ownership and homeowner demographics and finances to answer lingering questions about the skyrocketing cost of housing that may squeeze middle-class buyers out of the market.
The Liberals clearly see a need to attract private investors to help pay for infrastructure projects, including affordable housing, given the federal government's tight fiscal position.
At the centre of that push is a proposed new infrastructure bank that would use public dollars to leverage private investment in three key areas: trade corridors, green infrastructure and public transit.
The government is setting aside $15 billion in cash for the bank, split evenly between each of the aforementioned funding streams, with spending set to start as early as the next fiscal year on projects based on budget projections.
Morneau said that the government wants to have the bank up and running this year, including having some projects that will be identified for investors.
But the budget document again projects that the majority of the bank's spending won't happen until after 2022. And in the case of trade corridor infrastructure, spending isn't expected to start until 2020, even though some experts argue this stream would give the country the biggest economic bump.
The Liberals are also tweaking how much of the bill it will cover for municipal projects under the second phase of its infrastructure plan in order to nudge provinces to pony up more money for work and to prod cities to consider using the bank for projects that could generate revenue, like transit systems.
The government will cover up to 40 per cent of municipal projects under the upcoming phase of its infrastructure plan, 50 per cent for provincial projects and 75 per cent for indigenous projects."
310-328 West Hastings Street
March 16, 2017
The OECD has some good news regarding Canada's economy
According to the latest report by the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development) the pace of Canada's economy will grow faster than originally thought. See the full article below as reported by the #1 non-bank mortgage lender in Canada, First National:
"The latest outlook from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development offers some good news for Canada.
The Paris-based think-tank has boosted its projection for economic growth in this country from 2.1% to 2.4% for 2017. That puts Canada on par with the United States and ahead of the rest of the G7 countries.
For a long time housing has been a key driver of the Canadian economy, but the OECD is pointing to external factors for its improved forecast. It cites better export-market growth and an end to the decline in commodity-related investment. The organization does talk about housing though.
The OECD is, once again, warning about the rapid rise in housing prices in Canada. It also mentions Australia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In its report the OECD says past experience has shown that “a rapid rise in house prices can be a precursor of an economic downturn.”
310-328 West Hastings Street
March 16, 2017
Did you sell your home in 2016? Let the CRA know or else…
If you sold your home in 2016, you need to let the taxman know as failing to do so could cost you up to $8,000 in penalties.
You heard that right. Canadians didn’t used to have to report the sale of the home that was their primary residence, but the Liberal government changed that when it introduced new federal mortgage rules last October.
Starting this tax-filing season, a home sale that took place after January 1, 2016 needs to appear on your income tax return. Here’s what you need to know:
You still get the principal residence tax exemption
The changes do not affect your ability to claim the principal residence tax exemption, one of the most cherished provisions of our country’s income tax system. If you made money from selling your home, you don’t have to pay a capital gains tax on the proceeds.
From now on, however, you need to report the sale in order to be able to claim the exemption.
New requirement part of a tax-evasion crackdown
The new rule is meant to reduce tax evasion and take some steam out of overheated housing markets by closing a loophole exploited by real estate speculators.
Without a requirement to disclose the sale of a primary residence, house flippers had an easy time buying and selling property tax-free. The primary residence exemption was never meant for such transactions, but what were the chances of an audit when the CRA wasn’t even aware the sales?
When the Liberals introduced the reporting requirement, it was widely seen as a measure to crack down on foreign buyers. But the primary residence exemption has been widely abused by Canadians as well, York University professor Lisa Philipps has noted in the Globe and Mail.
And now that the CRA will start receiving more data on home sales, you can bet it will keep a close eye on them.
“There is a perception that house and condo renovation and flipping has been taking place and that the profits from those sales are not being reported,” Toronto tax lawyer David Rotfleisch wrote on his website. And that has put pressure on the CRA to crack down, he added.
The agency has added at least 70 auditors to look specifically at real estate in B.C., according to a leaked memo that emerged last summer.
The CRA has also recently told Global News that stepped-up information-sharing with the provinces has helped it detect fraudulent real estate transactions.
In general, the industry is one of three — along with the food and accommodation sector and the retail sector — that the agency has singled out in its effort to catch tax-cheats in the cash economy.
Here’s what you need to do to stay out of trouble
- - Report the sale of your primary residence on Schedule 3 of your T1 return. You’ll have to indicate when you bought the house, when you sold it and how much you made on it. You’ll also have to provide a description of the property.
- - If you didn’t live in the house for the entire period you owned it, you’ll have to also file Form T2091, according to the CRA website. This would apply, for example, if you’ve designated your cottage as your principal residence for part of the year.
- - Even if you rent part of the house or use it for business as well, you might still be able to claim it as your primary residence. More details here.
- - If you forget to report the sale this year, you should file an amended return as soon as you can. The CRA can impose a penalty of $100 for every full month since the filing deadline, capped at $8,000. The good news is that the agency has said that for the first year it will only apply the penalty “in the most excessive cases.” Remember, though, if you don’t file, you won’t be eligible for the capital gains tax exemption
March 10, 2017
Surging sales of Vancouver condos, townhomes edging up real estate prices
Surging sales of condos and townhomes are pushing up the price for a typical Metro Vancouver home once again, according to the latest figures from the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board (GVREB).
According to figures released today, benchmark prices are rising fastest for apartment units, which are up 2.7 per cent to $526,300 since January.
Prices for attached properties such as townhomes also rose 0.3 per cent to $675,500, while detached homes remained about the same as January at $1,474,200.
The rising prices were driven by an increasing number of residential sales, which were up 59 per cent compared with January.
But that's still 42 per cent less than the record set in February of last year during the height of the region's real estate boom.
Dan Morrison, the president of the GVREB, says another factor pushing up prices is a lack of new listings last month. In fact, the number of new listing totaled only 3,666 in February, the lowest level since 2003.
"While home sales are not happening at the pace we experienced last year, home seller supply is still struggling to keep up with today's demand. This is why we've seen little downward pressure on home prices, particularly in the condominium and townhome markets," Morrison said.
In the Fraser Valley, prices are also rising according the February figures from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB).
The benchmark price for a single family home in the valley is $859,300, up 0.4 per cent compared to January and 20.4 per cent compared to February of last year.
Townhomes hit $422,400, up 0.5 per cent since January and 25 per cent since Feb 2016.
Apartment rose the most, hitting $267,000, up 1.8 since January, and up 26 per cent since February 2016.
Overall, the trend is a return to normal historical sales numbers, said FVREB president Gopal Sahota.
"This is the kind of February we like to see. Last year at this time, the incredible demand created a market that was difficult for consumers."
"Now, we have sales moving upward from the winter months at a typical, healthy pace and a growing inventory to support it."
Benchmark prices are calculated to reflect the price of a typical home, rather than the average price, which can be skewed by the sale of a small number of luxury homes.
Full Article >
March 10, 2017
8 out of 10 Millennials Plan to Buy Their 1st Home in the Next 5 Years
According to a recent survey by HSBC 8 out of 10 Millennials plan to buy a home in the next 5 years. There are, of course, some barriers but also some things the respondents are considering in order to obtain the dream of home ownership soon.
"About 8 in 10 (82%) millennials in Canada who don’t own a home expect to one in the next five years, despite facing “significant barriers,” a global survey commissioned by HSBC said.
The figure is just about the global average (83%), according to the poll of 9,000 people across nine countries – including 1,000 in Canada. It’s also slightly above the 70% of Canadians across all generations surveyed.
Over a third (34%) of millennials in Canada own their home. Of that group, the survey found that 37% of them used the “Bank of Mom and Dad” as a source of funding. Some 21% of millennial home owners moved back in with their parents to save for a deposit.
“Despite a strong desire to take the homeownership journey, the findings also suggest that Canadian millennials face some significant barriers,” said Larry Tomei, HSBC Bank Canada executive vice president and head of retail banking and wealth management. More than two thirds of Canadian millennials (70%) said they haven’t saved enough for a deposit nor do they have a firm budget in mind.
About 42% of millennials in Canada who bought a home in the last two years ended up overspending their budget, versus the global average of 56%.
Millennials said they would consider making sacrifices to afford their own home. More than half (59%) of Canadian millennials intending to buy would consider spending less on leisure and going out, compared to the 55% global average. Some 37% would be prepared to buy a smaller than ideal place (global average: 21%).
Furthermore, almost a third (30%) – the highest proportion of all markets surveyed – would even be prepared to delay having children.
“The reality is, it`s a challenge – and so I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good plan that includes getting the right financial services advice and support before and after you buy,” said Tomei. "
If you want to talk strategy for savings of down payment or any other ideas for financing that first home I'm always here to help.
310-328 West Hastings Street
March 2, 2017
REBGV February Stats
Low supply continues to limit Metro Vancouver home buyers.
VANCOUVER, BC – March 2, 2017 – Reluctance amongst Metro Vancouver* home sellers is impacting sale and price activity throughout the region’s housing market.
Residential home sales in the region totalled 2,425 in February 2017. This is a 41.9 per cent decrease from the record 4,172 homes sold in February 2016 and an increase of 59.2 per cent compared to January 2017 when 1,523 homes sold.
Last month’s sales were 7.7 per cent below the 10-year February sales average.
“February home sales were well below the record-breaking activity from one year ago and in line with our long-term historical average for the month,” Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “Limited supply and snowy weather were two factors hampering this activity.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 3,666 in February 2017. This represents a 36.9 per cent decrease compared to the 5,812 units listed in February 2016 and an 11.4 per cent decrease compared to January 2017 when 4,140 properties were listed.
This is the lowest number of new listings registered in February since 2003.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver is 7,594, a four per cent increase compared to February 2016 (7,299) and a 4.9 per cent increase compared to January 2017 (7,238).
The region’s sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2017 is 31.9 per cent, a 10-point increase from January. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.
“While home sales are not happening at the pace we experienced last year, home seller supply is still struggling to keep up with today’s demand. This is why we’ve seen little downward pressure on home prices, particularly in the condominium and townhome markets,” Morrison said.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $906,700. This represents a 2.8 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 1.2 per cent increase compared to January 2017.
Sales of detached properties in February 2017 reached 745, a decrease of 58.1 per cent from the 1,778 detached sales recorded in February 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,474,200. This represents a 6.5 per cent decrease over the past six months and is unchanged compared to January 2017.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,275 in February 2017, a decrease of 28.8 per cent compared to the 1,790 sales in February 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $526,300. This represents a 2.3 per cent increase over the past six months and a 2.7 per cent increase compared to January 2017.
Attached property sales in February 2017 totalled 404, a decrease of 33.1 per cent compared to the 604 sales in February 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $675,500. This represents a 0.3 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 1.3 per cent increase compared to January 2017.
*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta
Full Stats Package>
March 1, 2017
Does Less Competition Mean Higher Mortgage Rates?
It appears the mortgage rule changes introduced in 2016 have started to have some impact on the choices Canadians have when it comes to obtaining their mortgage. The recent changes made by the federal government led to an increase in mortgage rates as well as a decrease in overall competition in the mortgage market, particularly with options and solutions that non-traditional mortgage lenders provided.
Competition in the mortgage industry is great for mortgage consumers. It provides more options as well as a more competitive rate environment that of course benefits everyone. Our national association, Mortgage Professionals Canada, is a strong supporter of the Canadian mortgage market and encourages more competition and choices that benefits all Canadians www.mortgageproscan.ca.
The Bank of Canada has been supportive of polices that they believe will stabilize the risks associated with an ‘overheated' real estate market especially in large cities such as Vancouver and Toronto. However, these policies seem to have little effect on price appreciation in those markets and have led to higher mortgage financing costs for people right across the country.
As your mortgage professional, I advocate for more competition and mortgage options so that I can deliver even more choices that benefit you. My goal is to help you achieve home ownership while showing you options and products that can put thousands of dollars in your pocket.
Getting the right mortgage for you takes a lot of understanding of what is available in the market today. As the mortgage industry continues to evolve, I will always remain up-to-date with all the necessary resources to make sure you have all of the choices available to you. There are a lot of questions out there today so if you or anyone you know is looking for mortgage answers, please call or email me.
310-328 West Hastings Street
February 24, 2017
One-quarter of Vancouver homes could be torn down by 2030: UBC study
About a quarter of single-family, detached homes in Vancouver are at risk of being torn down between now and 2030 due to rising land costs, predicts University of B.C. architecture professor Joseph Dahmen.
He developed the “teardown index,” which compares the value of a residence to the value of the overall property, also known as its relative building value (RBV). The lower this RBV, the more likely a house will be torn down and replaced by a new one.
The RBV — based on municipal data and B.C. Assessment records on detached homes bought and sold between 2005 and 2015 — has been the single, most important predictor of whether a house will be kept or torn down, said Dahmen.
The scenario has persisted as land costs keep increasing, leaving what seem to be expensive and just-built homes quickly in jeopardy of being demolished again and again in order to keep pace, he said.
“I have been intrigued, cycling by many different (teardown) sites. The city is actively remaking itself,” said Dahmen, who grew up in Norway and studied in Boston before moving to Vancouver five years ago.
With the recent rise in real estate values, half of single-family homes in Vancouver have RBVs under 7.5 per cent, according to mathematician Jens von Bergmann of MountainMath Software, who collaborated with Dahmen.
A relative building value or RBV of 60 to 70 per cent would be considered healthy for a new building. One below 10 per cent means the likelihood of a home getting razed and replaced goes up significantly, they add.
“If you have $2 million in dirt, unless you build a $4-million house, which is hard to do, you can’t get to a RBV of 50 per cent. Most new builds only get 38 per cent. That’s the median. So they get demolished again,” said Dahmen.
“I have an outside perspective when it comes to single-family homes in Vancouver. It caught my interest seeing quite shabby single-family homes fetch high prices,” said von Bergnann, who grew up in Germany before moving to Calgary and Vancouver for school and work.
The two set out to first dig into the economics and extent of tearing down single-family homes in Vancouver. Eventually, they hope to examine the environmental and financial impact of constant construction and demolition.
Upgrading old housing stock that may be “poorly insulated and not airtight” improves energy consumption and makes homes more efficient, argues Dahmen. In the long run, this could lower carbon emissions. However, the buildings need to stand long enough for the cost of reconstruction to be recovered. Aside from waiting long enough to recoup expenses for materials, there is also a need to consider the energy poured into building a new home, he added.
An optimal way to add value to a residence, in order to raise its RBV, is to allow for more multi-family, low-rise homes in areas that are currently not zoned for this, said Dahmen.
The researchers acknowledged the city’s desire to expand areas where homes built before 1940 cannot be demolished, which would halt some of their forecast. “It’s not to take away from this. Architectural heritage is important, but we should do it with a clear eye, taking into account, competing agendas such as sustainability and affordability,” said Dahmen.
February 24, 2017
Mortgage math: Rates aren't everything, don't forget to consider term
OTTAWA -- You shopped around for the best deal on your mortgage and weighed the pros and cons of going with a fixed-rate or a variable-rate loan, but another key factor to consider is the term.
A majority of borrowers opt for a five-year mortgage -- about 54 per cent according to Mortgage Professionals Canada -- but experts say homebuyers need to consider how long they want to commit to when it comes to their loan.
James Laird, co-founder of interest rate-comparison website RateHub, says when people are buying a house and signing a mortgage it can feel like nothing is going to change for the next 10 or 20 years, so signing for a five-year term may seem like it's no big deal.
"But life is a bit different than that," Laird said, as relationships and jobs can change.
"Sometimes it is new relationships forming where someone buys a condo, gets a five-year fixed-rate, but then they meet someone and get married... That usually dictates a change in the residency that they have and the mortgage is broken."
"That can really set you back," he added, noting that penalties for breaking a fixed-rate loan will be more severe than those for terminating a variable-rate.
While mortgages in Canada generally have terms of one to 10 years before the remaining balance needs to be renewed, refinanced or paid in full, Laird said the average Canadian will only have their mortgage for 3.8 years.
For those nervous that interest rates are going to be significantly higher in five years, it might make sense to take a longer term -- but that means making a prediction on where rates are headed in the future.
Choosing a longer term mortgage can help protect you if interest rates rise, Laird says, but the reverse is also true.
For instance, when the rate charged for a 10-year term dropped below four per cent in 2012, some borrowers leapt at the chance to lock in at what was seen at the time as a great rate for a decade.
However, Laird says rates continued to fall and what seemed like a deal at the time, no longer looked so appealing.
Frank Napolitano, managing partner at Mortgage Brokers Ottawa, says the rate difference between a five-year and a 10-year mortgage has been around 1.5 to two percentage points.
"That's a big jump in rate, especially in that initial five-year period, to have to pay just to get that rate for the following five years," he said.
Mortgage rates today are sitting near historic lows and while it's unlikely they will return to the high teens of the 1980s, a move higher five years from now is not out of the question.
Canadian mortgage lenders raise the money they need on the bond markets and bond yields have risen since the U.S. election last year, pushing up the cost of fixed-rate mortgages.
"Ultimately, choosing the right mortgage type and term length is a matter of personal preference and what option best suits customers and their personal needs," says Marc Kulak, associate vice-president of real estate secured lending at TD Canada Trust.
Full Article >
310-328 West Hastings Street
February 17, 2017
Home sales in B.C. return to 'historic averages’ says real estate board
VANCOUVER — The B.C. Real Estate Association says the province’s housing market has tumbled from record highs posted in 2016 to return to what it calls historic, long-term averages.
The association says 4,487 condos, townhomes and detached homes were sold in B.C. in January, down 23 per cent compared with the same period last year.
The total sales value also dropped 36.5 per cent over the same period to $2.79 billion, while the average home price was off 17.5 per cent to $621,093.
Figures from the real estate association show the change was most pronounced in Vancouver where fewer detached homes sold and sales of all property types made up just 35 per cent of sales across B.C., an eight per cent decrease from January 2016.
With fewer expensive, single-family homes changing hands compared with condos or townhomes, the association’s news release says the average price of a property in the Vancouver area skewed downward.
It says the residential benchmark price in Greater Vancouver declined 3.7 per cent over the last six months, but record hikes last year mean prices are still 15.6 per cent higher than they were in January 2016.
“A marked decrease in the average residential price (across B.C.) is largely the result of relatively more home sales occurring outside of the Lower Mainland,” association chief economist Cameron Muir says in the release.
He said Victoria’s sales showed above average performance in January, but overall, the market is returning to long-term average levels.
February 17, 2017
How much do you plan to put down on your first home purchase?
A recent poll done by IPSOS asked first time home buyers how much they will have for a down payment on their first home purchase. According to Canadian Mortgage Trends these are the results and the commentary has been pulled straight from their article:
How long do young buyers expect to save for their first down payment?
53% say “up to three years”
25% say between four and six years
16% say seven years or more
6% say they’ll never save enough to buy a home
Prospective first-time buyer term choices:
39% prefer a term over five years (versus 22% of all prospective buyers)
38% prefer a 5-year term
23% want a term less than five years.
Of Canadians in general:
14% of homeowners said they should have made a bigger down payment.
29% of prospective borrowers (42% of first-time buyers) are considering a hybrid mortgage (e.g. part-fixed and part variable). But far fewer (just 7% according to CAAMP) actually choose hybrid mortgages.
Just 5% of homeowners admit to choosing the wrong type of mortgage. (From our experience, far more complain about their financing than 5%. Many don't realize they've taken an inferior mortgage until they learn of their lender's policy on penalties, porting, blending a rate, converting a rate and so forth. Those lessons typically come after closing, when it's too late.)
Term selection is one of the most important topics of conversation and is the top priority in order to save you money in the long run. It should be based on your individual goals and your tolerance for rate movement as this will eventually or instantly affect your mortgage rate or interest you pay depending on the term you select (i.e. fixed or variable) A good discovery conversation is strongly recommended with your mortgage advisor.
Let me know if you have any questions regarding this info or want to start a discovery and advice meeting with me in the future.
310-328 West Hastings Street
February 10, 2017
Lower Mainland population growth outpaces national rate, census shows
New census data shows the population of the metropolitan area of Vancouver outpaced the national growth rate over the last five years.
Statistics Canada released the first batch of numbers from the 2016 census on Wednesday and the population of what the government agency refers to as the census metropolitan area of Vancouver increased by 6.5 per cent since the last census in 2011.
The area's growth rate was above the national growth rate of 5.0 per cent, while the population of British Columbia increased by 5.6 per cent.
The municipalities with the largest individual growth were Surrey at 10.6 per cent, the Township of Langley at 12.6 per cent, and the area comprising UBC and the Endownment Lands, at 24.2 per cent.
Census metropolitan areas do not conform to established municipal boundaries. Statistics Canada defines them as a metropolitan area with a population of at least 100,000, where the urban core of that area has at least 50,000 people.
Commuting patterns and other factors are used in determining these census metropolitan areas.
Looking at metropolitan areas this way takes into account the growing impact of suburban areas on Canada's largest cities.
When the 2016 census was taken last May 10, the population of the census metropolitan area of Vancouver was 2,463,431, compared with 2,313,328 from the 2011 census. The population of the actual city of Vancouver was 631,486, up from from 603,502 in 2011.
The next largest census metropolitan areas in B.C. were Greater Victoria, Kelowna, and Abbotsford-Mission.
The census indicated that Vancouver ranked No. 3 among the country's 35 census metropolitan areas.
Canada's population on census day was 35,151,728, Statistics Canada reported.
The national census is conducted every five years.
The information published Wednesday is the first of several releases of data to come from Statistics Canada over the next year that will eventually paint a detailed picture of the country, right down to the local level — including age breakdowns of the population, family makeup, languages spoken, immigration and ethnic origin, the level of education attained and income earned.
Future census releases will give more insight to explain the reasons behind the population changes — whether it's related mostly to changes in birth and death rates, immigration or interprovincial migration.
B.C. outpacing 5 provinces
At the provincial level, population levels in Alberta saw the highest increase at 11.6 per cent, followed by Saskatchewan (6.3 per cent) and Manitoba (5.8 per cent).
Growth in New Brunswick shrank by 0.5 per cent — the first time since 2006 a province has reported a negative growth rate.
British Columbia's population levels increased by 5.6 per cent, compared with Ontario (4.6 per cent), Quebec (3.3 per cent), Prince Edward Island (1.9 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (1.0 per cent) and Nova Scotia (0.2 per cent).
Among the northern territories, the population grew by 12.7 per cent in the Northwest Territories, 5.8 per cent in the Nunavut and 0.8 per cent in Yukon.
Ontario is still the country's most populous province, with a population of 13,448,494.
The population of other provinces and territories:
- Quebec, 8,164,361.
- British Columbia, 4,648,055.
- Alberta, 4,067,175.
- Manitoba, 1,278,365.
- Saskatchewan, 1,098,352.
- Nova Scotia, 923,598.
- New Brunswick, 747,101.
- Newfoundland and Labrador, 519,716.
- Prince Edward Island, 142,907.
- Northwest Territories, 41,786.
- Nunavut, 35,944.
- Yukon, 35,874.
February 10, 2017
Who's The Chief Financial Officer of a home with a Man & a Woman?
According to a recent study by Allianz Life Insurance Co. women are in charge but only slightly.
51% of women are the CFO's at home. For the reason why this is as well as other interesting numbers see the full article from MortgageBrokerNews.ca
"Most women are the ‘chief financial officer’ of their household, a study by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America has found, but most wish they had spoken with a finance professional sooner.
Fifty-one per cent of women control the finances in their household and there has also been an increase in the proportion of women saying they are the primary breadwinner (37 per cent compared to 31 per cent 4 years ago).
“Women are taking a larger role in managing household finances and are gaining more responsibility for the financial success of their family,” said Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe. “The savviness that women exhibit with their household finances can translate to being more assertive and having confidence to take risks in their careers.”
Most of the respondents say they feel financially secure but most would like more knowledge about financial planning and investments.
Around a third of women use a finance professional for guidance while 75 per cent said they wish they had done so sooner."
310-328 West Hastings Street
February 3, 2017
What's New for 2017?
The mortgage world has definitely changed over the last year with what seemed like new mortgage rules coming out monthly.
In January, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced new increases to the insurance premium charged on mortgages it insures. This new change will take effect March 17th. Steven Mennill, Senior Vice-President at CMHC states “Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan industry and contribute to financial stability”. The insurance premium in the case of a borrower with 5% down payment for example, will increase to 4% of the amount borrowed as opposed to the current 3.6%. Since these premiums are typically added to the mortgage amount, this will also slightly increase your mortgage payment.
With the addition of the new mortgage rules that are implemented in the later part of 2016, this year could be more of a challenge in securing the mortgage you want especially for first-time homebuyers. Many first time homebuyers many have to step back a bit and reevaluate what they can qualify for, Some might even postpone the purchase of their first home.
The government’s concern with the risk associated with the pace of escalating real estate prices, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, and the affordability of homeownership seem to be the catalyst for these most recent changes. B.C has already seen a reduction in overall real estate activity since some of the provincial and federal changes came into effect in the fall of 2016.
The Trump Factor
Some of the initial policies that the new US government is thinking about implementing could have the effect of rising US bond yields which could partly contribute to rising mortgage rates in Canada. It can be argued that this has already started.
Because of this, it is imporant to get pre-approved now to be protected from rising interest rates. This could easily save thousands over the term of a mortgages regardless of this being a first mortgage, second home or a mortgage renewal in 2017.
I have access to many traditional and non-traditional lenders and I know how all these changes will affect homeowners so I can take the stress out of getting the right mortgage.
Download my MOPOLO app on your phone from any app store and you can apply from anywherem anytime. You can slo get a FREE monthly credit score without affecting your credit rating and a FREE home valuation! Make sire to enter my name or code 936115 under "Find A Broker."
310-328 West Hastings Street
February 3, 2017
REBGV January Stats
Metro Vancouver housing market off to a quieter start than last year.
VANCOUVER, BC – February 2, 2017 – Home sales and listings trends are below long-term averages in the Metro Vancouver* housing market. This is due largely to reduced activity in the detached home market.
Residential property sales in the region totalled 1,523 in January 2017, a 39.5 per cent decrease from the 2,519 sales recorded in January 2016 and an 11.1 per cent decrease compared to December 2016 when 1,714 homes sold.
Last month’s sales were 10.3 per cent below our 10-year January sales average.
“From a real estate perspective, it’s a lukewarm start to the year compared to 2016,” Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. “While we saw near record-breaking sales at this time last year, home buyers and sellers are more reluctant to engage so far in 2017.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,140 in January 2017. This represents a 6.8 per cent decrease compared to the 4,442 homes listed in January 2016 and a 215.5 per cent increase compared to December 2016 when 1,312 properties were listed.
The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver is 7,238, a 9.1 per cent increase compared to January 2016 (6,635) and a 14.1 per cent increase compared to December 2016 (6,345).
The sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2017 is 21 per cent. This is the lowest the ratio has been in the region since January 2015. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.
“Conditions within the market vary depending on property type. The townhome and condominium markets are more active than the detached market at the moment,” Morrison said. “As a result, detached home prices declined about 7 per cent since peaking in July while townhome and condominium prices held steady over this period.”
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $896,000. This represents a 3.7 per cent decline over the past six months and a 0.2 per cent decrease compared to December 2016.
Sales of detached properties in January 2017 reached 444, a decrease of 57.6 per cent from the 1,047 detached sales recorded in January 2016. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,474,800. This represents a 6.6 per cent decline over the last six months and a 0.6 per cent decrease compared to December 2016.
Sales of apartment properties reached 825 in January 2017, a decrease of 24.7 per cent compared to the 1,096 sales in January 2016.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $512,300. This represents a 0.3 per cent increase over the last six months and a 0.4 per cent increase compared to December 2016.
Attached property sales in January 2017 totalled 254, a decrease of 32.4 per cent compared to the 376 sales in January 2016. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $666,500. This represents a 0.4 per cent decline over the last six months and a 0.7 per cent increase compared to December 2016.
*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.
The real estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2016, 39,943 homes changed ownership in the Board’s area, generating $2.5 billion in economic spin-off activity and an estimated 17,600 jobs. The total dollar value of residential sales transacted through the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver totalled $40 billion in 2016.
Full Stats Package >
January 27, 2017
What's the Top Financial Priority for Canadians?
According to a recent article by MortgageBrokerNews.ca it's paying off your mortgage. What percentage of Canadians are making it their top priority and what are some of the other important priorities? The details are within the full article below:
"More than a third of Canadians polled by CIBC said that paying off their mortgage sooner was a key financial goal."
Among those with a financial plan, saving for retirement was the priority of more than half while eliminating credit card or other debt was in joint second place alongside clearing the home loan.
"While most of us have a fairly good sense of our financial goals, so many Canadians do not have a clear road map in place to achieve what they want today – and tomorrow," says Sarah Widmeyer, Managing Director and Head of Wealth Strategies, CIBC.
Even among those with no clear financial plan, 80 per cent are confident that they could manage in the event of an emergency home repair and 58 per cent are confident in their ability to manage if someone in the household lost their job."
For ideas and help on paying down your mortgage faster or even any of the other financial priorities feel free to give me a call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.
310-328 West Hastings Street
January 27, 2017
B.C.'s foreign buyer tax soothes 'problematic' Vancouver housing market
British Columbia’s tax on foreign real estate buyers is having its desired effect, dragging home prices down from dizzying highs compared to the rest of Canada, according to research from BMO Nesbitt Burns. However, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) warns Vancouver continues to be plagued by “problematic conditions.”
The additional 15 per cent property charge on foreign buyers has seen a steep drop in real estate transaction in the Vancouver area since it was introduced last summer. The MLS Home Price Index, a tool used by Canadian Real Estate Association to monitor price fluctuations, now shows prices trending downwards as well.
“We have enough history now to distinguish the clear divergence between Vancouver (down) and Toronto (still straight up),” said BMO Chief Economist Douglas Porter in a research note on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Toronto and Victoria – two of the Canada’s hottest real estate markets where foreign investment is unchecked – have shown continued price increases.
“In case there was any doubt what force was at place, note that Victoria has tracked closer to Toronto’s behaviour than Vancouver’s,” Porter wrote.
The CMHC downgraded its outlook on overheating in the Vancouver market from moderate to weak in its latest quarterly Housing Market Assessment released Thursday, as sales fell more in line with the number of new listings.
However, the agency also noted “moderate evidence of price acceleration and strong evidence of overvaluation.”
While housing demand in Vancouver has cooled, the supply of new and resale homes remain below the 5-year average level.
Single-detached homes, in particular, continue to command a premium above what financial, economic and demographic trends would indicate.
“Considering all factors, the overall assessment for Vancouver indicates strong evidence of problematic conditions,” said the report’s authors.
December saw residential sales decrease 39.4 per cent from a year earlier, according to data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The benchmark price for a detached home ended the year at $1,483,500, 18.6 per cent higher than the same time last year.
Economists are projecting Vancouver sales and prices will continue to slump into 2017, following the city’s third highest selling year on record last year.
Vancouver ranked number three on a recent list of the least affordable housing markets in the world in the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.
While the impact of the B.C. government’s intervention in Vancouver has yet to be fully realized, “extremely poor affordability” remains a key risk, according to RBC chief economist Craig Wright.
“The market is still adjusting to the recent policy measure to address housing risk,” he wrote in a note to investors on Thursday. “The market has cooled off significantly and home prices are coming under downward pressure. However, a crash is unlikely given still-solid economic underpinnings.”
January 20, 2017
Mortgage Insurance Premiums Are Going Up. When will that happen? And what will this cost borrowers?
CMHC (Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation) & now Genworth have both raised their default insurance premiums on all loan to value financing. This is the 3rd time in three years! When & why do they need to do this and how much will it cost borrowers? Check out the full article from MortgageBrokerNews.ca for the answer to these questions along with a chart to show you the exact increases:
"CMHC announced early Tuesday it is increasing its loan insurance premiums effective March 17."
“We do not expect the higher premiums to have a significant impact on the ability of Canadians to buy a home,” said Steven Mennill, Senior Vice-President, Insurance. “Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan insurance industry and contribute to financial stability.”
According to the Crown Corporation, the average homebuyer will see a $5 increase to their monthly mortgage payment as a result. That $5 certainly adds up, however, to a total of $1,500 over the course of a 25 year mortgage.
The increase is the result of last year’s mortgage rule changes, CMHC claims.
“Capital requirements are an important factor in determining mortgage insurance premiums. The changes reflect OSFI's new capital requirements that came into effect on January 1st of this year that require mortgage insurers to hold additional capital,” it said in a release.
“Capital holdings create a buffer against potential losses, helping to ensure the long term stability of the financial system.”
See the table below for the exact premium increases:
310-328 West Hastings Street
January 20, 2017
5 Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for the Spring Real Estate Market
Even though it’s the middle of the winter season, before you know it, spring will be here. Historically in most real estate markets, the spring is when it really begins to heat up. The spring real estate market generally yields the highest prices for those selling their home. This is only possible though if the proper preparations are taken before spring is upon us!
If you’re thinking of selling your home in the spring, you must know that even though you may receive top dollar for your home, the competition will also be the strongest. This means it’s absolutely critical that you’re prepared for the spring real estate market so you can knock out your competition. Check out these tips so that you’re prepared.
Begin Interviewing Prospective REALTORS®
It doesn’t matter what time of year you decide to sell your home, it’s critical that when selling a home, you know how to interview REALTORS® when selling a home. As spring continues to approach, the top producing REALTORS® will only continue to get busier. Make sure you start reaching out to the agents you think would be a great representative to sell your home sooner rather than later.
Know What Your Plan Is
One huge mistake sellers make is not knowing what their plan is once they sell their home. Are you planning on buying another home once your home sells? Do you have the option to move in with family? Can you rent, if need be? Can you buy non-contingent? These are things you should think about and know the answers to before the spring real estate market hits. It’s a great idea to discuss your financing options with a local lender before you list your home for sale. If you can get pre-approved to purchase a home non-contingent, if need be, it can give you a huge advantage over any seller who is selling their home subject to finding a suitable property to purchase.
Consider Having a Pre-List Inspection
One of the biggest reasons a home sale gets derailed is due to the home inspection. Most buyers will opt to have their offer contingent on an acceptable home inspection. Some buyers can even get alarmed and scared by the smallest home inspection finding. It can be easy to avoid this possibility and have your home inspected by a professional before listing it. Having a pre-list inspection is one of the top things to do before listing a home for sale.
Know Your Local Spring Real Estate Market
Every real estate community and market is different. Some spring real estate markets begin in late February/early March and others begin in the middle of April. It’s important that you truly understand your local real estate market. The best way to know your local real estate market is by hiring a top REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® should be able to advise you on current, past, and projected market conditions and also give you advice as to when you should list your home.
The time you choose to list your home for sale is critical in the spring market. If you wait too long, it’s possible you can miss that prime selling time frame. There are some REALTORS® who will even suggest beating the spring market competition and that it can be beneficial to list a home now and not wait until spring.
Clean & Organize
I know it’s cliché but it’s imperative to give your home a thorough “spring cleaning.” This doesn’t mean wait until spring though. Be proactive and start cleaning now; you’ll be glad you didn’t wait. A huge turnoff for prospective buyers are foul odors. Things such as smoke odors and pet odors can kill home sales.
Here are just a few things to make sure you clean before listing your home:
- Wash your windows
- Dust your blinds
- Dust baseboard trims
- Clean appliances
- Clean shower(s) & toilet(s)
- Clean inside cabinets
When selling a home, it’s important that you de-clutter and organize your home, too. A great way to achieve this is by packing. It may sound silly seeing as you haven’t listed your home for sale yet, but you will need to pack at some point anyways, so why not do it now! Clean out closets and pack away anything that you don’t have a necessity for. It is incredible how much better a home will show and how much quicker it will sell if it’s organized and de-cluttered.