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Federal Budget, Upcoming Changes, What You Need to Know!


The long awaited Federal Budget has finally been received in the House of Commons. This comes after the unusual announcement made in January that Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s first budget, which would typically be presented in February or March, would not be delivered until April amid falling world oil prices. It’s apparent that this budget has a lot more to do with politics than spending and budget cuts since the federal election is only months away.


A highlight of the budget is the increase in the allowable TFSA contributions from $5500 to $10000 which will be well received by Canadians. Mr. Oliver also proudly stated “this budget is balanced”; the surplus is only 1.4 billion which is subject to what direction world oil prices move.


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which is the crown corporation that plays a leading role in housing programs, just recently announced that it has increased the insurance premium on their 95% loan to value program. This means that if you are buying a home and putting down less than 10% down payment, the premium to insure the mortgage increases from 3.15% of the total amount borrowed to 3.6%. This new increase comes into effect June 1, 2015. The good news is that you can buy a home right up until May 31, 2015 and still be charged the lower premium regardless of when you move in.


As a mortgage professional, my role is to keep you up-to-date on all the changes that are taking place and how they affect you and your mortgage decisions. With the access I have to a large variety of lenders competing for your business and current CMHC premiums, now might be the best time to save if you were thinking of buying your first or second home.


Warm Regards,

Tony


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North Vancouver Waterfront Development Plan Scaled Back

 

NORTH VANCOUVER — The City of North Vancouver is going ahead with a toned down version of its grandiose plans for the Shipyards area at the base of Lonsdale Avenue.

 

The plan still has features an outdoor public skating rink and covered structure, a water feature for kids (or adults) to play in, an event stage and gathering area, revenue-generating commercial space, and connections to the spirit trail and foot of Lonsdale.

 

Gone from the plan, however, is the ferris wheel at the end of the pier, which had been a lightning rod for criticism of the plan. Gone, too, are Las Vegas-style water fountains on the waterfront.

Both of those would require extensive infrastructure upgrades and approval from outside jurisdictions, including Port Metro Vancouver and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a city staff report notes.

 

The report does, however, leave the door open to these aspects of the original plan should future councils want to pursue them.

 

The end goal is an “animated and dynamic people place” meant to be a destination for locals and tourists year-round, as presented by destination marketing consultant Roger Brooks in 2013.

But, trepidation still exists on council about how much the scaled-back plan will cost. When it was first presented, Brooks suggested the plan would run about $30 million.

 

“We’re talking about a new public facility. It has in its broadest concept got the support of the entire council but the devil is in the details and the biggest detail is, ‘What is it going to cost?’” said Coun. Pam Bookham. “Without that information, I’m not prepared to support moving forward and doing additional work.”

Coun. Rod Clark agreed with Bookham.

 

“While it all sounds great and wonderful and it gets good press when one supports it, there’s no cost there. How am I going to make an intelligent business decision on behalf of the taxpayers when I don’t know the costs? I think we’re a little premature in giving this blessing,” he said.

 

The staff report made no mentions of slot machines or “community gambling” as a feature at the Shipyards or as a means of paying for it, though council is holding a special meeting on Monday to take feedback from the experts and the public on whether to end its ban on gambling in the city.

 

Playtime Community Gaming, whose director was a major donor to the mayor’s re-election campaign, lobbied council in 2013 to reconsider its ban and allow gambling revenues to help pay for the rest of the Shipyards project.

 

Coun. Holly Back said that it would be premature to expect fully costed options for the site until staff had the opportunity to research what was available in terms of the design, construction and technology required.

Mayor Darrell Mussatto praised staff for advancing the plan thus far.

 

VancouverSun Full Article Here >

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No Rate Cut Surprises to Report Today

Canada’s key lending rate “remains appropriate,”  said the Bank of Canada this morning. That’ll keep prime rate at 2.85% for now.

The BoC’s economic commentary today was both grim and hopeful. The economy “stalled” in the first quarter, it admitted—thanks in part to the “oil-price shock.”

Looking further down the road, however, we got more of the same brand of optimism we’ve come to expect from the Bank—i.e., that the economy will get back to “full capacity” in a few years or less. In the meantime, the Bank says our cheapened loonie and widening output gap will “offset each other,” keeping inflation near 2% on a “sustained basis.”
What does sustained mean, you ask?

Well, barring some out-of-left-field inflation catalyst, the Bank’s assessment portends little probability of rate hikes in 2015. And financial markets agree. OIS traders are pricing in a 44% chance of a rate cut by year-end, according to Bloomberg.

As a result, “interest rate relief” will continue to provide a “cash flow…buffer” for indebted consumers, said Governor Stephen Poloz in today’s press conference. That is particularly true for variable-rate mortgagors.

“On the surface, lower interest rates would be expected to promote more borrowing, which would increase this vulnerability,” Poloz noted in his prepared remarks. “However, in the near term, lower borrowing rates will actually mitigate this risk, by reducing payments for mortgage holders and giving us more economic growth and employment gains."

Tony Marchigiano
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Moving in Together Means Merging Your Interior Decor Styles

 

Moving in together is great: you have someone to share your life with -- not to mention splitting the bills! Sharing your space though? Not always so easy. When it's time to mix two styles together, here are some tips for creating a decor scheme that everyone can not only live with, but love!

 

Start with a Purge

Besides making the physical process of moving easier, starting by cutting back (especially on decorative clutter) will help make a decor merge so much smoother. So it's key to only bring your best pieces with you. If you wouldn't stick up for an item to be used or displayed, it's probably time to let it go.

Try: Taking any items you can't agree on and ranking them in order from must-stay to gotta-go. This will help reveal which items you each feel the strongest about so you can compromise where it counts.

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Hide in Plain Sight

If one of you loves a slick flat-screen and the other prefers to keep electronics hidden, try encapsulating the TV within a shelving unit, surrounded by more decorative objects. Visually the TV won't stand out like a sore thumb when turned off, but it'll still be easily accessed. (I can't help when it's time to fight over the remote, but if you browse my Yanic Simard Selected accessory collection, you'll find sleek storage boxes for tucking them away.)

Try: Using open shelving to surround the screen while keeping the TV safely anchored directly to the wall.

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A decorative storage box from Yanic Simard Selected

Colour Co-ordinate

To help two disparate colour schemes come together, choose one hue to dominate each room, and let the others become an accent. For example, if you have a blue chair and a red sofa, you can help these two fit together by repeating one shade (usually the tamer colour) in other areas to establish dominance -- in this example, try a blue paint colour, or navy cushions and accessories, to let blue become the anchor of the room.

Try: Searching on blogs and in magazines for a room with those colours together, and notice the neutrals used to connect them.

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Colour Co-ordinate Part Two

If your newly shared belongings are too colourful to form a simple two-or-three-hue palette, white, grey and light neutrals are your key to tying the look together. By mixing fresh neutrals with a playful variety of hues, you can create a look where no one colour dominates or clashes.

Try: Using a painting for inspiration of what items to feature or hide away, or even create one yourself with paint samples applied in simple stripes or wild splatters.

 

Go to a Gallery

Or, actually, bring a gallery home! Gallery walls remain a strong, fun trend, so take advantage and mix different pieces of art and objects together on one wall for an artistic statement that reflects both of your passions.

Try: Tying the pieces together with matching frames for a more streamlined look -- painting each out to a matching white or black is an easy DIY option.

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Interior by TIDG

Embrace Asymmetry

Mixing the best of two furniture worlds might result in combining some pieces that don't "match," but this can add to the beauty, interest and personality of a space by creating playful asymmetry. Anchor a grouping with a central object like a bed or sofa, and let smaller pieces like tables and lamps play against each other in eclectic styles.

Try: Two different pieces as nightstands (like a side table and a chair, or a dresser and a desk).

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Interior by TIDG

Mix Lace and Leather

To balance masculine and feminine energies (a good strategy for any space regardless), balance heavy anchor pieces like leather lounge chairs, wooden chests, and moody rugs with lighter elements like sheer curtains, sparkling lights, and pretty pillows.

 

Try: Keeping the masculine edge mostly lower to the ground, and feminine appeal up on the walls and ceiling, for a visual balance of heavy and light that our eyes automatically "get."

 

Share Control

Sometimes if styles just don't match, a good option is to give each person at least one space where one can make all the decisions. That way each of you maintains a sense of control, and not every decision turns into a total compromise where nobody is satisfied.

 

Try: Letting one person decorate the bedroom while the other styles the den or bathroom (so everyone has one calm space just the way they like it).


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Take Advantage of Lower Premiums for Mortgages

CMHC(Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation) & now Genworth have both hiked their default insurance premiums for people who only have 5% down payment. This is not happening until June 1st of this year though. So if you purchase a place this spring I would ensure the approval is given before this date. That way even if you take possession of your home after June 1st you should still be grandfathered at the old premium.
 
For more info take a read thru of the statement below as reported by MortgageNews.ca:
 
"Canada’s largest private mortgage insurer says it is matching CMHC’s increase in premiums for the highest risk loans. Genworth will increase its premiums by 15 per cent on June 1, 2015; that’s the same percentage and date as the federal agency. The new rate for a loan-to-value ratio up to 95 per cent is 3.6 per cent, up from 3.15. For a loan-to-value ratio from 90.01 to 95 per cent, but a non-traditional down payment, the new rate is rising from 3.35 per cent to 3.85 per cent."

If you have any questions please give me a call.
 
Sincerely,

Tony
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Boomers Drive Real Estate Market for Luxury Housing

 

Canada’s luxury housing market is in the midst of a striking transfer of wealth, as baby boomers trade up for bigger houses while pouring huge sums into real estate for their children.

 

“I don’t think you’ve ever had nearly as much help from one generation to the next in buying homes,” said Ross McCredie, CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, which issued a new report examining the finances and buying habits of different generations of buyers in the “luxury” market, which generally refers to the higher end of real estate markets across Canada.

Among the more surprising generational trends is that far from downsizing to smaller condos as they age, wealthy boomers are increasingly looking to upsize into luxury homes, often because they still have adult children living at home. Empty-nesters are more likely to “right-size” into bungalows and condos that are only slightly smaller than their previous home.

 

In many cases, boomers are taking on debt to buy luxury homes, despite the fact that the typical boomers buying in Canada’s high-end market earn an average of $500,000 and can easily afford to pay cash. Often they’re looking to take advantage of low interest rates to invest their home equity in vacation homes, investment properties or the stock market.

 

More often than not, that money is flowing to their children in the form of large down payments for luxury homes. For many boomers, Mr. McCredie says, the down payment is a form of succession planning, as many see the housing market as a safe and tax-free way to transfer wealth to their kids.

 

Thanks to comparatively lower incomes and fewer savings than other generations, young luxury buyers are “overwhelmingly” relying on outside support for a down payment, the report said.

 

The money isn’t always a gift. In many cases, parents might be paying $200,000 to $300,000 toward a $1-million home for their children, but are doing it in the form of loans and mortgages and are putting liens on the property as to keep their children from squandering their real estate wealth or losing their home in a break-up.

 

That generational wealth transfer is helping to drive a wedge in the first-time home buyers market. Wealthy Generation Y buyers, those under age 35, typically pay twice as much for their homes as the average first-time buyer. They can spend as much as 15 times their household income on a home purchase, thanks to help from mom and dad.

 

That gap is most dramatic in Calgary, where the typical first-time buyer spends $363,400 on a property. Young luxury buyers in the city are willing to spend anywhere from $800,000 to $1.5-million even though their incomes are modest compared to luxury buyers in other Canadian cities: averaging just $50,000 to $100,000. The typical luxury home for a young Calgary buyer is a 2,000-square-foot, four bedroom, three bathroom townhouse or duplex, even though most are young single men or childless couples.

 

Despite a helping hand from family, roughly 85 per cent of young buyers also take out a mortgage. That number was as high as 95 per cent in Toronto, where Gen Y buyers earned an average of $80,000 to $250,000 and bought homes worth $800,000 to $2-million.

 

Largely left out of the generational wealth transfer are buyers from Generation X, age 34 to 54, of whom just 35 per cent received help from family to afford a home, the report said.

 

Many Gen X buyers had parents who had lived through the twin real estate busts of the early 1980s and 1990s, when interest rates soared to double digits. They are much less willing or able to help their kids get into the housing market.

 

“I really think Gen X is very aware of that,” Mr. McCredie said. “Gen Y has never seen anything other than cheap money.”

 

Having lived through a soaring real estate market, many boomers are now worried their children will miss out on rising prices if they don’t get into the market while they’re young. “Those are the people who are literally saying to their kids: It’s important to participate in the real estate market, because if you don’t you’ll never be in this marketplace.”

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Vancouver Easter Egg Hunts

 

Celebrate Easter (April 5, 2015) with the Easter bunny, Easter egg hunts and games at Vancouver's top attractions--including the Stanley Park Miniature Train, VanDusen Botanical Garden and Grouse Mountain--and at neighbourhood community centres throughout Vancouver.

Purchase your tickets in advance! These events are very popular (and may sell out), so many require advanced registration.

 

Vancouver Easter Egg Hunts & Special Events at Vancouver Attractions

 

Easter at the Stanley Park Miniature Train
Train ride, Easter egg hunts and visits with the Easter bunny for all ages
March 28 - Sunday, March 29; Wednesday, April 1 - Monday, April 6, 2015
Tickets: $8.75 for kids 0 - 17; $3.50 for adults to ride the train

The Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt at VanDusen Botanical Garden
Easter egg hunt and visits with the Easter Bunny for kids 2 - 10
Saturday, April 4 - Sunday, April 5, 2015
Tickets: $15 per kid (with up to two parents/guardians included) for kids. This year, you can buy tickets online; do so quickly as this event is always a sell-out. 

Easter at Grouse Mountain
Easter brunch, Easter egg hunts and the Easter bunny for all ages
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Tickets: $16 for kids 5 - 12; $48 for people 12+; free for kids 4 and under (ticket prices include general admission & buffet lunch)

 

Vancouver Easter Egg Hunts, Easter Carnivals and Easter Events at Vancouver Community Centres 

Tip: These community centre events often sell out, so buy tickets early. You can search the community centre websites with the keyword "easter" to find event listings.

 

For more things to do on Easter in Vancouver: Guide to Easter in Vancouver.

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Why are Canadians Favouring Fixed Rates Over Variable by 2 to 1?

 

In a recent survey, in the market commentary of one of the lenders I work with, First National, found that even that ultra-low but, apparently, unstable interest rates have Canadians favouring fixed-rate mortgages over variable by a ratio of nearly 2-to-1.

 

The survey, conducted by Nielson, for one of the country's big banks suggests 57% of homebuyers would pick a fixed-rate mortgage over variable, desiring certainty in their payments. That's up from 48% last year and 39% in 2011.

The numbers are fairly consistent across the country meaning Toronto and Vancouver are not having a major influence on the results.

 

The survey also indicates 44% of respondents expect to see interest rates rise in the next 12 months while 42% expect no change. By comparison, the markets appear to have a stronger expectation, as rates will rise, calculating a 64% chance of an increase by the end of the year. That, however, is down from a 77% chance calculated immediately following the latest U.S. Fed announcement. The Fed is hinting that it is more prepared to look at rate increases.

 

Taking a variable rate mortgage does comes with some risk but does have the potential for interest savings. It's definitely not for everyone but worth discussing when talking about rate and mortgage term options.
 
Give me a call should you want to discuss.
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Metro Vancouver Home Buyers Out in Force in March


Demand continued to rise across Metro Vancouver's housing market in March.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 4,060 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March 2015. This represents a 53.7 per cent increase compared to the 2,641 sales recorded in March 2014, and a 32.6 per cent increase compared to the 3,061 sales in February 2015.

Last month’s sales were 26.8 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

"We're seeing strong competition amongst home buyers today. This is leading to more multiple offer situations and some upward pressure on home prices,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “For sellers, this means that it's taking less time, on average, for your home to sell if you have it priced correctly for today's market."
   
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,968 in March. This represents a 13 per cent increase compared to the 5,281 new listings reported in March 2014.
   
Last month’s new listing count was 4.7 per cent higher than the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.
   
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the REBGV MLS® is 12,376, a 14.5 per cent decline compared to March 2014 and a 4 per cent increase compared to February 2015.

“The number of homes for sale today is below what’s typical for this time of year,” McLeod said. “If you’ve been considering putting your property on the market, these market conditions indicate that now may be a good time to list.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $660,700. This represents a 7.2 per cent increase compared to March 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in March was 32.8 per cent. This is the highest that this ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since July 2007.

Sales of detached properties in March 2015 reached 1,711, an increase of 53.3 per cent from the 1,116 detached sales recorded in March 2014, and an 83.4 per cent increase from the 933 units sold in March 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 11.2 per cent from March 2014 to $1,052,800.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,627 in March 2015, an increase of 47.1 per cent compared to the 1,106 sales in March 2014, and an increase of 65.7 per cent compared to the 982 sales in March 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3.3 per cent from March 2014 to $390,200.

Attached property sales in March 2015 totalled 722, an increase of 72.3 per cent compared to the 419 sales in March 2014, and a 67.1 per cent increase from the 432 attached properties sold in March 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.9 per cent between March 2014 and 2015 to $484,900.

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Vancouver Eastside Neighbourhood Shifts from Industrial to Mixed Commercial

 

A new community radio station is set to go to air at a warehouse-turned-office and studio space in Vancouver’s Railtown in a move that the stakeholders say will give a cultural and economic boost to the gritty but emerging Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

 

Roundhouse Radio, expected to launch this summer, will be a commercial FM community talk and music station. The station’s management, which claims it will bring 30 to 40 jobs to Railtown, leased a renovated space at 704 Alexander St. for their street-level studio digs.

 

Japanese property firm KM Pacific Investments purchased the building, formerly a warehouse, two years ago and has leased more than 40 per cent of the overhauled space to Roundhouse, which will take over the entire 6,000-square-foot ground floor.

 

“We’re right among a mixed community that’s a cross-section of everything going on in Vancouver, which I think is relevant for a station that’s all about the streets, all about the city,” Roundhouse CEO Don Shafer said in an interview.

 

The station’s broadcast range will cover the city of Vancouver. Shafer said the culture and politics of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods would provide the basis for their content. “We’re counting on the community to drive a lot of the agenda on the radio station.”

 

They looked at about 40 buildings before choosing Railtown, Shafer said. “We kept coming back to [this one] because it was on the street, and I think it’s really important for a community station to have a street presence and not be isolated on the 35th floor of some tower.”

 

He said the station’s music would be about half Canadian content with a variety of genres including rock, folk, pop, world, jazz and others.

 

“We’re hoping that a lot of that Canadian content will come from the streets and from indie bands and new artists who are trying to get their start in Vancouver, B.C. and Canada,” he said.

 

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant MLA Jenny Kwan said she welcomes creative and unique businesses like Roundhouse to the neighbourhood, but she cautioned that developers of Railtown’s industrial space need to respect that problems continue to exist in the area, such as poverty and a lack of affordable housing.

 

“There are opportunities on the social side of things for economic development in terms of local hires and those components also will strengthen the local community,” said Kwan, who recently won the NDP’s federal nomination for Vancouver-East. “I know that some businesses are doing that and so and I think that is really important to take into consideration.”

 

Kwan said there is no question that gentrification is taking place in the area. “There’s a lot of tension in the neighbourhood.”

 

However, there’s a buzz in Railtown that is drawing in many new restaurants, boutiques and creative small businesses, she said. “There’s a long history of buildings in the inner East Side light industrial zones that have been very successful, while offering spaces that are flexible for artists, designers, filmmakers and small fabricators,” she said, mentioning, The Vinegar Factory, The Glass Onion and Ironworks Studios, among others.

 

“Hopefully the private sector will be able to find ways to work with the community,” she said, adding that she hopes that low-income serving businesses remain while entrepreneurs and social enterprises can continue to access space


VancouverSun>

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What is Mortgage Loan Insurance?
 
There are many costs to consider and know about when purchasing a home. Especially if it's your first one. One of those costs is Mortgage Loan Insurance. Generally speaking financial institutions offer mortgage lending up to a maximum of 80% of the value of the home or, in other words, with a 20% down payment. If you have less than 20% down payment then a 3rd party insurer has to come in to insure against the possibility of defaulting on paying the mortgage in the future. There are several providers of this insurance but the primary 2 in Canada are CMHC ( Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation) & a company called Genworth. 
 
They both have many different kinds of programs for different situations, clients and properties but generally speaking the less you have to put as a down payment the higher the premium. It's calculated on a percentage of the Purchase Price. For example if you purchased a home for 370K and put the minimum down, which is 5%, then the insurance premium you would have to pay would be around $11,000.00 A fare chunk of change to say the least. 
 
You do have some options, though, with paying this fee. You have the option of paying up front when you complete on the purchase of your property or you can add it to the mortgage proceeds. If you add to the mortgage proceeds, of course, you'll be paying interest on this amount of money as well. The benefit of doing this is that you don't have to come up with the additional money on top of saving for your down payment as well as closing costs which is a struggle for people already, especially considering the costs of home ownership here in the Lower Mainland. Generally speaking you should have about 1.5% of the Purchase Price put aside or available to you in credit facility, like a line of credit, to cover closing costs.
 
Click on the link below to check out all of CMHC's mortgage loan programs as well as the premiums associated with them:
 
 
Tony
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Real Estate Association Lowers 2015 Forecast to Reflect Lower Oil Prices


OTTAWA - The Canadian Real Estate Association is predicting that the impact of declining oil prices on consumer confidence in some provinces will push down Canadian home sales by 1.1 per cent this year, to 475,700 units countrywide.

 

CREA also estimates the national average home price will grow by two per cent to $416,200 this year, a smaller increase than last year, as Alberta's average home prices slip by an estimated 3.4 per cent this year to $387,600.

The association had previously predicted home sales would be 0.8 per cent above 2014, rising to 485,200 units, but revised its outlook downwards to reflect further deterioration in the price of oil.

 

Provinces with significant oil production will see declines in home sales. Alberta is expected to see sales activity decline by 19.3 per cent in 2015, Saskatchewan by 11.2 per cent, Manitoba by 2.2 per cent and Newfoundland by one per cent.

 

Canada's other provinces will continue to see higher sales and relatively stable or higher average sales prices, according to CREA.

 

British Columbia is projected to see the number of home sales increase by 4.9 per cent, Nova Scotia by 3.7 per cent and Quebec and New Brunswick by 2.5 per cent.

 

Ontario is expected to see a 1.9 per cent boost in sales levels from 2014, while Prince Edward Island is projected to see sales activity rise by 1.4 per cent.

 

The B.C. average home price is expected to rise 3.4 per cent this year over 2014 to $587,600 and Ontario's average price will grow 2.5 per cent to $441,900. Apart from those two provinces and Alberta, prices elsewhere are expected to be within one per cent of last year.

 

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in February were up one per cent from January as the market was divided by sharp regional differences.

 

The overall increase was led by the Vancouver and Okanagan regions in B.C. and Toronto. However, the association says sales were lower in more than half of all local markets compared with January as buyers on the Prairies stayed on the sidelines amid low oil prices.

 

Compared with a year ago, sales last month were up 2.7 per cent from February 2014. The number of newly listed homes fell 2.5 per cent in February compared to January. The national average price for a home sold in February was $431,812, up 6.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

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 Home Buyer and Seller Activity Outpaces Historical Averages in February


 

Conditions within the Metro Vancouver* housing market continued to strengthen in February as home sale and listing totals came in well above the region’s ten-year average for the month.

 

        

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,061 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February 2015. This represents a 21 per cent increase compared to the 2,530 sales recorded in February 2014, and a 60 per cent increase compared to the 1,913 sales in January 2015.

 

Last month’s sales were 20.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

 

“It’s an active and competitive marketplace today. Buyers are motivated and homes that are priced competitively are selling at a brisk pace right now,” Ray Harris, REBGV president, said.

 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,425 in February. This represents a 15.4 per cent increase compared to the 4,700 new listings reported in February 2014.

 

Last month’s new listing count was 11.8 per cent higher than the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

 

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the REBGV MLS® is 11,898, an 11.3 per cent decline compared to February 2014 and a 10.1 per cent increase compared to January 2015.

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $649,700. This represents a 6.4 per cent increase compared to February 2014.

 

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in February was 25.7 per cent. This is the highest that this ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since March 2011.

 

“We’re seeing more multiple offer situations and generally more traffic at open houses today,” Harris said. “In a market such as this, it’s important to do your homework and work with your local REALTOR® before embarking on your home buying and selling journey.”

 

Sales of detached properties in February 2015 reached 1,296, an increase of 25.6 per cent from the 1,032 detached sales recorded in February 2014, and an 84.1 per cent increase from the 704 units sold in February 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 9.7 per cent from February 2014 to $1,026,300.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,244 in February 2015, an increase of 20.5 per cent compared to the 1,032 sales in February 2014, and an increase of 63.7 per cent compared to the 760 sales in February 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3 per cent from February 2014 to $386,500.

 

Attached property sales in February 2015 totalled 521, an increase of 11.8 per cent compared to the 466 sales in February 2014, and a 56.5 per cent increase from the 333 attached properties sold in February 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.6 per cent between February 2014 and 2015 to $481,500.

 

Click here to download the complete stats package

 

- See more at: http://www.rebgv.org/monthly-reports?month=February&year=2015#sthash.TR8bQbey.dpuf

 

 

 

Home buyer and seller activity outpaces historical averages in February

Conditions within the Metro Vancouver* housing market continued to strengthen in February as home sale and listing totals came in well above the region’s ten-year average for the month.

     

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 3,061 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in February 2015. This represents a 21 per cent increase compared to the 2,530 sales recorded in February 2014, and a 60 per cent increase compared to the 1,913 sales in January 2015.

Last month’s sales were 20.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“It’s an active and competitive marketplace today. Buyers are motivated and homes that are priced competitively are selling at a brisk pace right now,” Ray Harris, REBGV president, said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,425 in February. This represents a 15.4 per cent increase compared to the 4,700 new listings reported in February 2014.

Last month’s new listing count was 11.8 per cent higher than the region’s 10-year new listing average for the month.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the REBGV MLS® is 11,898, an 11.3 per cent decline compared to February 2014 and a 10.1 per cent increase compared to January 2015.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $649,700. This represents a 6.4 per cent increase compared to February 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in February was 25.7 per cent. This is the highest that this ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since March 2011.

“We’re seeing more multiple offer situations and generally more traffic at open houses today,” Harris said. “In a market such as this, it’s important to do your homework and work with your local REALTOR® before embarking on your home buying and selling journey.”

Sales of detached properties in February 2015 reached 1,296, an increase of 25.6 per cent from the 1,032 detached sales recorded in February 2014, and an 84.1 per cent increase from the 704 units sold in February 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 9.7 per cent from February 2014 to $1,026,300.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,244 in February 2015, an increase of 20.5 per cent compared to the 1,032 sales in February 2014, and an increase of 63.7 per cent compared to the 760 sales in February 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 3 per cent from February 2014 to $386,500.

Attached property sales in February 2015 totalled 521, an increase of 11.8 per cent compared to the 466 sales in February 2014, and a 56.5 per cent increase from the 333 attached properties sold in February 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 4.6 per cent between February 2014 and 2015 to $481,500.

Click here to download the complete stats package

- See more at: http://www.rebgv.org/monthly-reports?month=February&year=2015#sthash.TR8bQbey.dpuf
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Hi everyone, its Tony here! Mortgage Broker at Mortgage Alliance West, as most of you may know I advise & broker the set up, of home financing for anyone who is purchasing, refinancing or renewing their mortgage.

Today I'd like to talk to you about a specific mortgage product. That is new to Canada or new Immigrant mortgages. I have access to lenders who will provide mortgages to people who are new to our grand Country.

Some of the requirements for this type of financing are:

1. The client cannot have lived in Canada for more than 3 to 5 years, depending on the lender.
2. They're either a permanent residence or applying to be one
3. Most times they only need 5% down payment

4. Should have some CDN credit but if they don't we could look at a U.S. credit bureau or get a letter of credit ref. from their bank in whichever country they are from.

So if you're either new to Canada or someone that may help people get settled in Canada, give me a call so I can either qualify you or tell you more about this great home financing solution!

Again, I'm Tony Marchigiano at Mortgage Alliance West! The RIGHT BROKER FOR THE RIGHT MORTGAGE!!!

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Why Using a Mortgage Broker When Interest Rates are Low Makes More $ense Than Ever


Canadians are discovering that there’s a big difference between the GBB’s (Great Big Banks) and a Mortgage Broker. A bank can only offer their individual products and with no clear definition on what the best discount and mortgage offering is. It becomes a game of haggling. The banks are looking to fit you into their products as opposed to a mortgage broker who fits you with the right mortgage offering in the Canadian marketplace.

 

The difference between going to your bank and getting a mortgage professional like me to arrange your mortgage while providing valuable counsel could easily mean thousands of dollars in savings and more importantly you could save years off your mortgage.  Let’s face it the best mortgage is the one that is paid off.

 

Lower interest rates are great news for most Canadians especially those who have mortgages and other debts. Implementing strategies that could save years off your mortgage while noticeably increasing your overall net worth, just makes sense. There is no disputing that those that take a closer look at their mortgage and debts today while interest rates are low will benefit greatly tomorrow.

 

With my expertise in all things mortgages, I can help you navigate the course that will save you thousands and increase your overall net worth faster than you probably think is possible.

Call or email me today to find out more.

 

Regards,

Tony
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It’s no secret that Vancouver is best place to live in the world. Heck, we know it, that’s why we live here! Vancouver has a lot going for it: there’s the majestic mountains, the ocean, the beaches, the parks, and the untamed wilderness at our doorstep.

But what makes Vancouver a truly great city is more than good looks and fortuitous geography. It’s the people who make this multicultural metropolis what it is today. It’s our friends, our families, our neighbours that make Vancouver the best place on Earth.

So for the 18th year in a row, Westender has asked you, the people of Vancouver, our readers, to tell us what makes this city so special. This year a record number of people took part in the online poll, proving once again that Vancouverites love their city, and they’re not afraid to say so.

Robert Mangelsdorf,
Editor

- See more at: http://www.westender.com/news/best-of-the-city/best-of-the-city-2015-the-results-are-in-1.1776018#sthash.lO89t0gV.dpuf

Best of the City 2015: The Results Are In!


It’s no secret that Vancouver is best place to live in the world. Heck, we know it, that’s why we live here! Vancouver has a lot going for it: there’s the majestic mountains, the ocean, the beaches, the parks, and the untamed wilderness at our doorstep.

 

But what makes Vancouver a truly great city is more than good looks and fortuitous geography. It’s the people who make this multicultural metropolis what it is today. It’s our friends, our families, our neighbours that make Vancouver the best place on Earth.

 

So for the 18th year in a row, Westender has asked you, the people of Vancouver, our readers, to tell us what makes this city so special. This year a record number of people took part in the online poll, proving once again that Vancouverites love their city, and they’re not afraid to say so.

Robert Mangelsdorf,
Editor - The Westender


Thanks to YOU, we made #1 in the City for 2015!


Services:


Realtor

 

1. Mike and Will Team
MikeAndWill.com



 

 

- See more at: http://www.westender.com/news/best-of-the-city/best-of-the-city-2015-results-city-wide-1.1775720#sthash.kfRAjFpC.dpuf

 

Services


Realtor

1. Mike and Will Team
MikeAndWill.com

2. Paul Toffoli
1965 West 4th Ave.
604-787-6963
Toffoli.ca

3. Aaron Jasper
AaronJasper.ca

- See more at: http://www.westender.com/news/best-of-the-city/best-of-the-city-2015-results-city-wide-1.1775720#sthash.kfRAjFpC.dpuf

Services


Realtor

1. Mike and Will Team
MikeAndWill.com

2. Paul Toffoli
1965 West 4th Ave.
604-787-6963
Toffoli.ca

3. Aaron Jasper
AaronJasper.ca

- See more at: http://www.westender.com/news/best-of-the-city/best-of-the-city-2015-results-city-wide-1.1775720#sthash.kfRAjFpC.dpuf

Services


Realtor

1. Mike and Will Team
MikeAndWill.com

2. Paul Toffoli
1965 West 4th Ave.
604-787-6963
Toffoli.ca

3. Aaron Jasper
AaronJasper.ca

- See more at: http://www.westender.com/news/best-of-the-city/best-of-the-city-2015-results-city-wide-1.1775720#sthash.kfRAjFpC.dpuf

Services


Realtor

1. Mike and Will Team
MikeAndWill.com

2. Paul Toffoli
1965 West 4th Ave.
604-787-6963
Toffoli.ca

3. Aaron Jasper
AaronJasper.ca

- See more at: http://www.westender.com/news/best-of-the-city/best-of-the-city-2015-results-city-wide-1.1775720#sthash.kfRAjFpC.dpuf

Services


Realtor

1. Mike and Will Team
MikeAndWill.com

2. Paul Toffoli
1965 West 4th Ave.
604-787-6963
Toffoli.ca

3. Aaron Jasper
AaronJasper.ca

- See more at: http://www.westender.com/news/best-of-the-city/best-of-the-city-2015-results-city-wide-1.1775720#sthash.kfRAjFpC.dpuf
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Housing Market Booming as B.C. Reaps Gain of Alberta Residents


The Vancouver region’s housing market is off to a hot start for 2015 amid forecasts that Alberta’s pain will be British Columbia’s gain.

 

The home price index (HPI) in Greater Vancouver for single-family detached homes hit a record $1,010,000 in January, jumping 8.4 per cent from the same month in 2014. The benchmark HPI, which strips out the most expensive properties, reached a new high of $641,600 last month for detached homes, condos and townhouses sold on the multiple listing service, up 5.5 per cent over the past year.

 

There were 1,913 existing properties that traded hands last month, up 8.7 per cent from January, 2014, and 14.9 per cent above the 10-year average for January sales volume, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Tuesday.

 

More B.C. residents moved to Alberta than the other way around from 2011 to 2013, but the trend began reversing in the third quarter of last year as the B.C. economy stayed steady. Lower oil prices began hurting Alberta in the second half of 2014.

 

While international migration to B.C. has been strong since the 1990s, the province saw net losses of residents to other parts of Canada in 2012 and 2013, according to BC Stats.

 

In the third quarter of 2014, B.C. reaped a net gain of 640 residents from Alberta.

Most people who move to B.C. end up settling in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Many proponents of liquefied natural gas exports have opened offices in downtown Vancouver, and if even one or two major LNG projects launch, northwest B.C. will also be attracting a good portion of workers from Alberta’s oil patch.

Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the Business Council of British Columbia, predicts that a continued influx of immigrants from overseas and low interest rates will be key drivers behind the Vancouver area’s housing market this year, with interprovincial migration providing an extra boost to population growth.

 

The lower loonie could also make Vancouver more attractive for buyers from countries such as China and the United States.

 

British Columbia posted a net gain of more than 37,000 people from other countries and nearly 7,500 residents from other provinces in the first nine months of 2014, according to preliminary data. The number of newcomers to B.C. in those first nine months has already exceeded original forecasts for the full 12 months of 2014.

 

Mr. Finlayson said that given the robust housing demand, the market will stay healthy this year in Metro Vancouver, especially for detached properties, but the question is: How high will prices go? “We’re pushing at the outer limits of conceivable pricing,” he said.

 

Detached homes on Vancouver’s west side hit a record HPI of $2,351,300 in January, up 9.6 per cent year-over-year, while the detached price on the city’s east side swelled 12.2 per cent to a new high of $974,500.

Hani Lammam, executive vice-president at Cressey Development Group, said housing affordability needs to be viewed in the context of a much wider area than Vancouver’s west side.

 

Many newcomers to Vancouver experience sticker shock, so they should broaden their search beyond detached homes and instead consider condos and townhouses in the city and the suburbs, he said.

 

“The affordability issue is front and centre,” Mr. Lammam said. “People tend to think of the west side of Vancouver, but when you look at the region as a whole, there are alternatives.” For instance, the HPI for a condo in Coquitlam reached $264,900 last month, up 2.5 per cent from January, 2014.

 

In the Fraser Valley, which includes the sprawling and less expensive Vancouver suburb of Surrey, there were 853 residential sales in January on the multiple listing service, up 10.5 per cent from 772 properties sold in the same month last year.

 

January’s HPI for Fraser Valley detached homes climbed to $571,700, up 3.5 per cent year-over-year.

The real-estate industry argues that the HPI provides a better barometer of the housing market. Adding in the high-end sales, the average price for detached properties sold was $659,522 in the Fraser Valley and $1,303,256 in Greater Vancouver.

 


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Could We See Mortgage Rates Lower Than 2% This Year?

Two banks, TD & CIBC, have now forecasted that the Bank of Canada will, again, lower the Prime lending or Benchmark rate by another .25%. If this happens and banks and lenders follow suit then we could see variable rate mortgages for less than 2% again. The last time this happened was at the beginning of the "Great Recession" about 6 year ago.
 
Will these lower rates spur the housing market even more? According to a recent article on MortgageNews.ca reporting on a recent survey by Bank of Montreal, they will indeed.
 

See the full article below...

 
"More Canadians are considering become homeowners as lower interest rates make it even more attractive. With rents higher and mortgage rates lower almost half of all those surveyed said they were thinking of getting on the property ladder in the next five years and among the younger demographic that figure was 75 per cent. The Bank of Montreal report shows that 15 per cent of those thinking of buying are doing so as a direct result of the Bank of Canada’s rate cut. The lower oil prices are also playing a part with those in Ontario and Atlantic Canada feeling particularly upbeat about finances thanks to lower gasoline prices. However for many households the survey shows a focus on cutting existing debts rather than taking on new ones."
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Reverse Mortgages - The Facts

There is confusion as to what reverse mortgages are based on information obtained perhaps 20 years ago… or US media coverage, or possibly the fact that a reverse mortgage is designed to be a long term life mortgage if the client wishes. A reverse mortgage isn't for everyone & a line of credit may be better as long as one can qualify it. If a retired person is equity rich with the value in their home but cash poor then a line of credit or a reverse mortgage are two options for obtaining money required to pay bills or too supplement monthly or annual income.
 
Let’s separate fact from fiction in the marketplace. Here's the Top 10 reverse mortgage facts provided by CHIP Home Equity Bank
 

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Condo Bargain? Surrey Micro-Suites Start at Under $94K 

 

A new condominium project has people intrigued about the low cost of owning real estate in Metro Vancouver.

 

The sales centre for the Evolve housing complex in Surrey was buzzing with potential homebuyers Saturday.

 

The condo complex will include 35 suites just 316 square feet in size with presale prices starting at $93,900. Dozens more micro-suites in the complex will also be under 400 square feet.

“I think they offer great space, great affordable space and a chance to own your own home in a very difficult marketplace in British Columbia,” said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner earlier this week.

 

Some prospective home buyers were shocked by the affordability of units in the project.

 

“I haven’t seen anything in the Lower Mainland at this price point, so it’s quite a surprise,” one said.

 

Another person said while the size of the smallest units was initially worrying, the tiny suites were designed efficiently.

 

“It will be a tight space but for a single person and even for a couple who’s out of the house most of the time I think it’s totally doable,” she said.

 

While there are currently 18 residential towers going up in Surrey Town Centre, trends in the area show more home buyers are looking outside of high-rises.

 

Last year sales of single family homes went up 19 per cent in Surrey, townhouse sales went up 13 per cent and condo sales dropped by three per cent.

 

See Video HERE>

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