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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 chuck 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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Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,519 in January 2016, an increase of 31.7 per cent from the 1,913 sales recorded in January 2015 and a 10.9 per cent decline compared to December 2015 when 2,827 home sales occurred.
Last month’s sales were 46 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the second highest January on record.

“Fundamental economics are driving today’s market. Home buyer demand is at near record heights and home seller supply is as low as we’ve seen in many years,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,442 in January 2016. This represents a 6.2 per cent decline compared to the 4,737 units listed in January 2015 and a 119.8 per cent increase compared to December 2015 when 2,021 properties were listed.

“The MLS® is the most powerful real estate marketing system in the country. If you’re thinking of selling, it’s important to talk with your REALTOR® about putting your home on the MLS® system to ensure your property gets maximum exposure,” McLeod said.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 6,635, a 38.6 per cent decline compared to January 2015 (10,811) and a 10.1 per cent increase compared to December 2015 (6,024).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for January 2016 is 38 per cent. This is indicative of a seller’s market.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

Sales of detached properties in January 2016 reached 1,047, an increase of 34.1 per cent from the 781 detached sales recorded in January 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 27.9 per cent from January 2015 to $1,293,700.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,096 in January 2016, an increase of 35.5 per cent compared to the 809 sales in January 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 19.4 per cent from January 2015 to $456,600.
Attached property sales in January 2016 totalled 376, an increase of 16.4 per cent compared to the 323 sales in January 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 16.4 per cent from January 2015 to $563,700.

 

SOURCE < REBGV

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Other than the weather, 2016 has not been particularly kind to Canada.

The Loonie is the lowest it has been in 15 years, a barrel of gas is trading for less than $30 and Canada's National Men's Junior hockey team didn't even reach the semi-finals! Compare these factors against the rising U.S. greenback and you get one gloomy economic forecast. However, there is one section of our economy that seems to be unaffected, as the real estate market is showing little signs of slowing down on a national level.

Despite the troubling forecast, don't expect any price breaks in Canada's real estate market for 2016. TREB is predicting an increase in the average price of a home to rise by nearly 10 per cent, a number skewed by big markets where demand outweighs supply like the GTA.

 

The Canadian housing market is coming off a truly remarkable run, and RentSeeker is here to help you prepare for the road ahead. These will be some of the biggest factors affecting the housing market in 2016 and must be considered by anyone who is currently in or thinking about entering it.

 

Oil Prices


Oil prices have hit lows we haven't seen in decades as the price of a barrel plummeted more than 60 per cent since June of 2014. Currently trading for less than $29 a barrel, the 'bottom of the barrel' seems more like an endless pit.

Certain oil producing countries and companies have flooded the market with a surplus of supply, driving down the cost of crude. As a result it's been a downhill slide for the Canadian energy sector that plays a huge role in the national economy.

The oil, gas and mining sector accounts for more than a quarter of the national GDP and many workers have been laid off as Canadian oil production has come screeching to a halt.

When the energy sector is in good shape, so is real estate, particularly in Western Canada. However, the market in British Columbia is soaring as house prices in Vancouver continue to skyrocket, although Alberta is definitely taking a hit after experiencing numerous years of growth.

 

The Low Loonie


The Canadian dollar is worth less than 70 cents U.S., a rate we haven't seen since 2003 -- a time before Netflix and when most people didn't have Internet access on their cell phone.

Furthermore, our currency has lost more value against the U.S. than other major currency, including the Pound or Yen, leading some economists to state that we're flirting with recession.

Depending on where you live in Canada, these overwhelming numbers will have a drastic affect on the housing market in your area. At this point, many economists believe the worst is still yet to come, and that may be tough to believe for those living in Western Canada.

Many companies in Canada are suffering from increased expenses and people are loosing jobs. The Toronto Star has shut down its printing plant, and Goodwill shut down 16 stores in Ontario -- two examples of companies that have experienced hard times and are cutting jobs.

When Canadians lose jobs, the real estate market suffers. We will see how the low Loonie affects the unemployment rate and which provinces will be hit the hardest.

 

Borrowing Costs


Mortgage rates can't get much lower! The low, low Loonie and price of oil have been major contributors to muted borrowing costs for Canadians. Mortgage rates are extremely affordable, making it easier than ever for many new home-buyers (despite the modest increase in a minimum down payment for properties over $500,000), especially in smaller markets outside the Big Three (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal).

This CBC article states that "many economists predict Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will be forced to lower the interest rate yet again because low crude prices are cutting into Canada's economic growth."

As long as borrowing money is cheap, real estate prices won't be. For those who are priced out of the housing market, while rents have also risen across the country, it is the only option for many. Apartment finders like RentSeeker.ca and classifieds like Craigslist and Kijiji are a good place to search for those looking for an apartment to rent across the country.

 

Foreign Investment


Foreign investment in the Canadian real estate market has always been a double-edged sword. For those who own property, increased foreign investment has been welcomed as they have seen their own property value increase. However, for the majority of Canadians who rent, foreign investment means increased real estate prices that were already unaffordable.

Many people who have lived in Vancouver for years are being driven out of the city due to over inflated real estate costs, and locals are demanding government intervention. A prime example of the double-edged sword, Dirk Meissner of the Canadian Press pointed out that the B.C. Finance Ministry could lose $1 billion in real estate sales and nearly 4,000 construction jobs if the government intervenes to minimize foreign investment activity.

For better or for worse, foreign investment is a major factor, and a low Canadian dollar makes foreign investment very attractive. Don't expect a decrease for in-demand cities like Vancouver, despite a gloomy economic outlook.

Our new prime minister inherited a difficult situation on the economic and political front, and the Liberal Party has a tough road ahead. The Liberals have traditionally not been a "finance first" organization, and the current economic situation is one of the worse we have experienced in decades.

Rona Ambrose has clearly stated her concerns that a "very new and untested" Liberal Government isn't prepared to deal with the future, but let's hope she's wrong.

Despite the rocky start to 2016, our real estate market isn't showing signs of slowing down. We'll just have to wait and see how things turn out.

 

SOURCE < HuffingtonPost

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The Number 1 deciding factor in how much interest you pay to a lender is Mortgage Term Selection. Let me explain why…

 

Looking for and comparing rates online is easy but what's not so easy is finding mortgage term comparisons. The term of a mortgage is often overlooked by focusing more on mortgage rates. It will truly pay to get the right advice from your mortgage advisor depending on your individual circumstances which term to take but more importantly how much interest and/or penalties you could possibly pay or avoid depending on what mortgage term you take. So to get the term right the first time is very important.
 
To paraphrase a recent article by Canadian Mortgage Trends; If you pick a closed mortgage with the wrong term you're stuck with that rate until maturity unless you pay a penalty to break it. If you choose a "no frills" mortgage to get the lowest possible rate but with more restrictions you're often barred from breaking that term for any reason except if you sell your property.
 
Mortgage rates fall into 1 of 2 groups: Long term and short term. Choosing between these terms is not about predicting rates. It’s more about identifying risks and estimating the probabilities of these risks adversely impacting you.
If you are trying to decide which term is best for you, your mortgage advisor should conduct a discovery meeting. They should ask you lots of questions in order to help you make, not only, an honest assessment of your current financial position but also your future plans.
Here are some of the reasons you would want to consider 1 of the 2 groups:
A long-term mortgage makes sense if:
  • A 25- to 30-per-cent-plus payment increase would cause you financial stress. (That’s the payment hike that a short-term borrower might face if rates rise as economists project.) 
  • Your “emergency fund” covers less than six months of living expenses 
  • You have minimal equity and net worth 
  • There’s a chance your earnings could drop due to job instability, a highly variable income, upcoming retirement, an educational leave, an extended care leave, etc. 
  • You’re heavily invested in long-term fixed income, which creates more risk to your “personal balance sheet” if you’ve also got a short mortgage term and rates surge 
  • You want greater certainty when projecting cash flow on an income property 
A short-term mortgage may be the way to go if:
  • You expect to pay off large chunks of your mortgage or sell your home within the next three years 
  • You have a short remaining amortization (e.g. 5-6 years or less) 
  • Your credit is subpar and you need a non-prime mortgage just long enough to rehabilitate your credit so you can qualify with a prime lender 
  • You need to refinance in coming years to access your equity for a life event, education, investment purposes, business use, etc 
  • You strongly believe that rates won’t rise in any meaningful way over the next 12 months, you can afford to be wrong, you’ve found a short-term rate that’s far lower than long-term rates, and you can make higher-than-required payments. 
Here's some more in depth examples pulled directly from the article by Canadian Mortgage Trends:
 
"Let’s suppose you’ve decided a long-term mortgage is right for you. The next question is: Which one?
The answer changes as rates change and at this very minute, it’s almost too close to call. The five-year fixed (currently around 3.24 per cent) and the 10-year fixed (currently 3.89 per cent) are running neck and neck in terms of value.
Assuming you have a 25-year amortization and make payments as if you had a 10-year fixed term, a five-year mortgage will save you $3,259 in the first 60 months, for every $100,000 of mortgage.
By comparison, a 10-year term saves you interest if five-year fixed rates rise more than 1.60 percentage points in five years.
What are the odds of rates climbing 1.60 percentage points? Well, if you believe Bank of Canada warnings and economic forecasts, you shouldn’t bet against it. In the last three interest rate cycles, five-year rates have climbed an average of 2.46 percentage points, albeit for a short time only. So if your financial footing isn’t as stable as you’d like, the 10-year is probably worth the extra “insurance” cost for the peace of mind.
I’ve excluded the comparable math on four- and seven-year mortgages because their pricing simply isn’t good enough at the moment.
If you’ve examined your financial position and found that you’re better suited to a shorter term, the best value currently is a three-year fixed. That is based on the hypothetical assumption that rates will increase moderately starting late this year or early 2013. It also assumes you won’t need to discharge your mortgage early.
You can find three-year mortgages rates today for less than you’d pay with most variable rates and it gives you three years of rate protection.
After three years, you can renew into the best value at the time. You could then choose a variable mortgage, if variable-rate discounts improve – as some people are predicting.
The options laid out above are a glimpse at how a mortgage planner might determine your ideal term. There are, of course, countless other criteria and lots of exceptions."
 
Tony
 
Tony Marchigiano310-328 West Hastings Street
Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC
 
cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
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A syndicate of Chinese investors seeks to turn one of Vancouver’s last protected industrial sites, the iconic Molson Coors factory, into “a great sea view apartment development” according to investment documents.

In November 2015, Molson Coors confirmed to Postmedia News the sale of its three-hectare site at the foot of Burrard Bridge to a mystery buyer, for an undisclosed price. Postmedia reported that the sale wouldn’t close until early 2016 and experts estimated the price could have been about $190 million.

Property documents still connect the site to Molson Inc. The site is zoned industrial and protected in that usage by Metro Vancouver’s board and Vancouver city planners, Vancouver’s assistant planning director Kent Munro told The Province on Wednesday.

Munro said the city doesn’t know who the Molson site buyer is and “no one has come in and talked to us.”

Both the city and Metro Vancouver see the site as important for long-term industrial job creation.

Munro said Metro Vancouver would have to approve a residential rezoning before Vancouver council did the same through a public hearing.

“Last year Molson spoke to us before they tried to sell it, about (rezoning) potential, and we gave the same answer,” Munro said.

“It’s in Metro Vancouver’s regional context statement, and the City ... don’t have any plans to change it.”

A spokesman said Mayor Gregor Robertson has not received “any new applications” for the Molson site.

But in online advertisements at vansky.com, a Chinese-language site for investors in the Lower Mainland, Sun Commercial Real Estate apparently announces residential plans for the lands with an ad that includes pictures of the brewery site.

“Sun Commercial real estate brewery project recruit shareholders, 330,000 feet of great sea view apartment development,” says an English translation of Sun Commercial’s materials. The plan says small investors are required to contribute $150,000 and “VIP customers” must invest $100 million. However the VIP contribution is already “full,” documents say.

The plan is “zero risk, high return,” the translated Sun Commercial document says, and “existing brewery investment project in full swing ... almost nearing completion.”

Property, corporate and online documents researched by The Province link Sun Commercial and related numbered companies to Richmond investor Kevin Sun, Vancouver realtor Denise She and vice-president Julia Lau, a former Vancouver realtor.

The company says it brings large and small investors together through “crowdfunding” for projects with massive returns. The Province called vansky.com about the Sun Commercial investor recruitment for the Molson site plan and was directed to call Sun Commercial’s offices.

The Province called Sun Commercial and asked if Kevin Sun, Julia Lau or other individuals could speak to the plan. A message placed through a receptionist was not immediately returned.

Lawrence Lim, president of Mayfair Commercial R.E. in Richmond, has represented Kevin Sun and Denise She in previous deals, including a Coquitlam golf course purchase.

Lim appeared surprised that The Province was aware of Sun Commercial’s Molson site plans, but when told of online documents, he confirmed a deal. “I’m aware of the deal but I can’t comment on it,” Lim said. “There is a twist.”

In one deal advertised online, Sun Commercial reported buying a Cambie property across from Oakridge for $19 million in July 2013 and selling it for $26 million in October 2013, after holding it for just three months. Kevin Sun is director of Qiji, one of the companies connected to the deal in legal documents.

Another Sun Commercial project researched by The Province, a Metrotown land assembly, involves investors including Julia Lau and Mailin Chen.

Mailin Chen is the newly rich construction tycoon from China who made headlines last year with his purchases of a number of Metro Vancouver homes including a Point Grey mansion for $50-million.

 

SOURCE<The Province

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Most people may know that as a first time home buyer you have to ability to withdraw up to 25K out of your RRSP for a down payment on a home without any tax implications. You do, however, have to pay it back into your RRSP otherwise there will be tax implications. It will become part of your taxable income just like any other withdrawal from your RRSP if you don't pay it back. As of 2011 only about 1/2 of people are paying it back into their RRSP. The implications of this result in less savings and compounding interest/growth over the long term and more personal income taxes to be paid. 
 
You don't have to pay it back all at once. If you purchased a home this year and used the RRSP home buyers withdrawal you would have the rest of this year + 2 more full years grace period before having to put back in your RRSP. At that point you have 15 years to pay it back. Statistics also show the average RRSP home owner's withdrawal is about 10K. This amount over 15 years is about $666 a year or $55/month which should be a doable amount to repay. I would advise to set up an automatic payment every month so it just happens and you don't even have to think about it. Do more than the minimum if you can then when tax time comes you or your accountant just allocate the portion due for the repayment of your Home Buyers withdrawal and the rest will be regular contributions which will then be tax deductible.
 
As always, if you have any questions regarding this topic or anything else home or finance related please give me a call.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tony

 

Tony Marchigiano310-328 West Hastings Street
Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC
 
cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
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It’s been a historic week on the Chinese stock market, with investors taking a beating in Shanghai.

But the pain has been shared around the world, as markets everywhere have shed value.

 

“Global markets lost a combined 2.6 trillion dollars worth of value. It is the worst start to the new trading year in two decades,” said Robert Levy, a financial analyst at Border Gold Corp.

 

With the Chinese economy faltering, people with wealth to protect are moving it. According to economists, some of that money is landing in Canada.

 

“Canadian housing in a world context is essentially on sale right now,” says Derek Holt, VP of Economics at Scotiabank. He says a 70 cent Canadian dollar is bringing investors into Vancouver’s housing market

 

“Chinese buyers have always had an affinity for Canadian real estate and they are going to continue to buy Canadian housing.”

 

Foreign capital reserves in china are down 120 billion dollars last month alone, and the number going up every month as the government deals with weaker than expected growth, propping up a currency that is drastically overvalued.  

 

According to UBC economist Michael Devereux, some are predicting growth targets in China will shrink to three to four per cent – but if the bottom drops out of the Chinese economy, the influx of cash to Canada could go even higher.

 

“Then all bets are off,” says Devereux.

 

“We will see large amounts of people trying to get out why they still can.”

 

SOURCE< GlobalNews


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A recent article featured in the Globe and Mail discussed the importance of having a “stellar” credit rating when wanting approval for mortgage financing. Although, your credit history is very important in the approval process it’s not everything and there are definitely lenders with specific mortgage programs to help people who might not have “stellar” credit ratings.
 
The article below which details, among other things, the breakdown of the importance of such things as making payments on time and balances owing on existing credit.
 

When you begin shopping around for a mortgage the importance of your credit history and score becomes evident.

Your credit score is an important item that will determine what interest your mortgage agent will be able to offer you. It should be a priority because it can save you thousands of dollars. If you take care of your credit, your credit will take care of you! Whether you have had credit for a long time or are completely new and just beginning, the reality is that you will have to at some time or another prove that you are a low enough risk for lenders to lend to.

If you are just beginning to build credit a good way is by using a credit card.

 

What is a credit report?

A credit report is a quick look into your credit history. If you have taken a loan or used a credit card you will have a credit history. Financial institutions, trust companies, credit companies and grantors that give you credit may send information about whether or not you make your payments on time to a credit-reporting agency/bureau.

Credit bureaus collect information about you and how long it takes you to pay back money you have borrowed. This is is called your credit history.

Credit lenders rely on a credit bureau to analyze an applicant’s current and past credit history in order to determine the likelihood of future repayment. This provides a fairly accurate indication of future repayment trends.

The two most popular credit bureau agencies operating in Canada are Equifax and Transunion. You can request your credit report by mail for free but your score is not included. If you request your credit report online a fee is charged and your credit score is included.

You are the only person who can see your credit report. No one else can access the information in your report unless you allow it. Generally you would allow credit checks to organizations you are applying to for credit. Usually you sign documentation allowing them to do so.

 

What’s in your credit report?

Personal information such as:
• your name
• current and previous addresses
• S.I.N., phone number
• date of birth
• previous employer/s

Financial information such as:
• credit cards
• lines of credit
• loans and mortgages
• bankruptcies, court judgements and backed secured loans which are considered public records and debt that was referred to a collection agency for payment.

A list of credit report inquiries: You, your lender, or any other authorized agent is also included which is usually used to determine if you are a credit seeker: someone who applies for a lot of credit.

 

How are you rated?

The credit agency describes your credit history by rating it. A scale of 1 to 9 is used with 1 meaning that you pay your bills within 30 days and 9 meaning you have bad debt, never pay your bills, have been placed for collection or claimed bankruptcy.

In front of the number there is a letter. The letter stands for the type of credit you are using. R means you have revolving credit such as a credit card, O means you have open credit such as a line of credit and I means you credit has been given on an instalment basis.

Your credit score is a numerical representation of the your current and past credit. It can range between 300 representing the lowest and 900 representing the best rating.

The breakdown that is used to determine your credit score is the following:

35 per cent – Payment history
30 per cent – Amounts owed
15 per cent – Length of credit history
10 per cent – New credit
10 per cent – Types of credit

If you contact Equifax or Transunion and find that the information on your credit report is incorrect, you may request that a correction be made. You will have to contact the institution that reported the activity and submit documentation proving financial resolution has been made to the credit bureau and they will remove it. Good luck! Equifax Canada Credit Bureau, Tel: 1-800-465-7166, Fax: 514-355-8502. TransUnion Canada Credit Bureau, Tel: 1-866-525-0262 (except in Quebec), Tel: 1-877-713-3393 (Quebec residents)

 

TOP TIPS ON KEEPING A GOOD CREDIT SCORE

1.) Make your payments in the correct amount on or before the due date! This will have a positive effect on your credit score. Missing or late payments and judgements, bankruptcies, collections or other public records will have an unfavourable impact on a credit score.

2.) Keep your balance considerably lower than the available credit limit provided. If you have several accounts with high balances relative to your available credit, this may indicate that you are relying greatly on credit to meet your daily needs.

3.) Multiple credit inquiries can lower your credit score, so reduce the number of credit applications you make.

4.) Always maintain a credit history. You can use a credit card to build a good history.

5.) The best mix of credit is a combination of a store credit card and a major credit card such as a VISA or MasterCard. It is important not to have too many credit cards or store cards as that may negatively impact a credit score.

 

SOURCE< TheGlobeAndMail

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RBC is set to raise interest rates today, Friday, Jan. 8th, 2016. Could this be the end of rock bottom mortgage rates or just another false alarm? And could other banks and mortgage lenders follow? Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. There are numerous reasons why RBC is raising their interest rates including the most popular 5 year fixed up to 3.04%
 
As a mortgage broker, I can still have access to a 5 year fixed at 2.64% with better options to pay down your mortgage and penalties, if ever faced with one, 1000's of dollars less than at the big banks.
 
See the full article attached from Globe & Mail for the reasons why rates are going up:
 
As always if you have any home financing related question feel free to call me at 604 505 7109 or email me tony@mawest.ca anytime.
 
Sincerely,
 
Tony
 
Tony Marchigiano 310-328 West Hastings Street
Mortgage Broker Vancouver, BC
tony@mawest.ca mawest.ca

cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666

Royal Bank of Canada is set to raise rates on several of its mortgages, the latest in a series of changes to the mortgage industry that could help cool the housing market this year.

Starting Friday, the bank said it planned to increase rates on fixed mortgages of between two and five years by 10 basis points. (A basis point is 1/100th of a percentage point.) RBC’s five-year variable rate will increase by 15 basis points.

The move reflects RBC’s discounted rate specials given to customers who qualify, and pushes its five-year fixed rate up to 3.04 per cent. No other major Canadian banks announced matching rate increases on Tuesday, although lenders often closely follow each other in changing mortgage rates.

RBC’s move comes amid sweeping changes by federal regulators last month to curb soaring home prices in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, including hikes to minimum down payment rules, higher costs to lenders who securitize and sell their federally insured mortgages and a proposal by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to require banks to hold more capital against some mortgages.

In an e-mailed statement Sean Amato-Gauci, RBC’s senior vice-president of home equity financing, said rate increases weren’t a response to the recent federal rules changes, but “reflect a number of factors (beyond the bond yield), including changes in market conditions driving increased short-term funding costs and long term/wholesale funding costs.”

Funding costs to mortgage lenders have increased in recent months amid intense competition for deposits and from investors who have started demanding greater risk premiums for bank debt.

But the recent regulatory changes, which have yet to take effect, are also putting pressure on banks, said Robert McLister, a mortgage planner at intelliMortgage Inc. and founder of RateSpy.com. “To a certain extent lenders are pricing that in, in advance,” he said. “These are real behind-the-scenes factors that are inflating lenders’ funding costs.”

 

SOURCE < TheGlobeAndMail
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In a year when the number of homes listed for sale was below historical averages, actual home sales in Metro Vancouver set a new record.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that 2015 home sales were the highest annual total in REBGV history. This was powered early in the year by four straight months with more than 4,000 sales a month from March to June, another first for REBGV.


Sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2015 reached 42,326, a 27.8 per cent increase from the 33,116 sales recorded in 2014, and a 48.4 per cent increase over the 28,524 residential sales in 2013.


The total number of homes listed for sale on the MLS® in 2015 ranked fifth in the last ten years, while the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) saw double-digit year-over-year price increases.


The number of residential properties listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in 2015 reached 57,249. This is an increase of 2.1 per cent compared to the 56,066 properties listed in 2014 and an increase of 4.6 per cent compared to the 54,742 properties listed in 2013.


With sales-to-active-listings ratios above 25 per cent for 11 months in 2015, the Metro Vancouver market experienced seller’s market conditions for much of the year.


"Home buyers were active and motivated throughout 2015 despite the pressure on supply of homes on the market," Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. "Housing markets typically experience quieter periods within a calendar year, but that wasn't the case in Metro Vancouver last year."


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ends the year at $760,900. This represents an 18.9 per cent increase compared to December 2014.

     

“We often hear economists say that seller’s market conditions put upward pressure on home prices,” McLeod said. “That was certainly the case in 2015, with price increases ranging from 14 to 24 per cent depending on property type.” 

     

December summary
Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,827 in December 2015, an increase of 33.6 per cent from the 2,116 sales recorded in December 2014 and a 19.8 per cent decline compared to November 2015 when 3,524 home sales occurred.


New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,021 in December 2015. This represents a 7 per cent increase compared to the 1,888 units listed in December 2014 and a 40.4 per cent decline compared to November 2015 when 3,392 properties were listed.


The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 6,024, a 41.6 per cent decline compared to December 2014 and a 25.6 per cent decrease compared to November 2015.


Sales of detached properties in December 2015 reached 1,136, an increase of 36.4 per cent from the 833 detached sales recorded in December 2014. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 24.3 per cent from December 2014 to $1,248,600.


Sales of apartment properties reached 1,225 in December 2015, an increase of 34.3 per cent compared to the 912 sales in December 2014.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 14 per cent from December 2014 to $436,200.


Attached property sales in December 2015 totalled 466, an increase of 25.6 per cent compared to the 371 sales in December 2014. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 13.6 per cent from December 2014 to $543,700.

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Get inspired by these front porches in Guelph, Ontario that are fully dressed for the festive season.

 
 

The house-proud citizens of historic Guelph, Ont., go all the way when it comes to holiday decorating. Canadian Living travelled to the Royal City to search out fabulous outdoor decor—and to collect tips to help you stretch your budget when decking out your own front porch. Look out: From nature-inspired vignettes to fun, sparkling displays, the Christmas curb appeal on these streets may bring on spontaneous carol singing!

1. Seasonal symmetry
Tasteful and traditional are the words to describe the front entrance of David Woodcock and Christine de Boer's century home. Two cast-iron urns blend in with the brickwork, so Christine looks for texture to make the planters pop: "I like pine, variegated boxwood and incense cedar," she says. Branches sprayed silver add sparkle while apple-green accents look fresh against the sable-colour door.




2. Green tidings

Liz Hales and Mike Marcolongo's holiday decor is an ode to recycling and reusing. For 10 years, they've set out the same four cast-iron planters, filling them with seasonal greens, boughs and branches. And that eye-catcher of a wreath on their front door? "It's made from recycled tires, if you can believe it," says Liz. "We found the wreath on a day trip to Tamworth, Ont., where there are a lot of artists' studios, and fell in love. It's the one thing people always ask us about."

Wreath
, bon-eco.com.




3. Warm welcome

Silvery-white branches beckon from a pair of dramatic modern planters and draw the eye up to a matching wreath on the front door of this cheery yellow-brick house. An abundance of fresh greens adorned with shimmering purple bows balances the scale and grandeur of the porch overhang.




4. Branching out

Twenty years ago, Mike and Leslie Hayes built this trellis from lilac trunks and grapevines to create shade at the entrance to their 1870s cottage. Come holiday time, the structure goes from practical to pretty with a wintry canopy of Douglas fir. "Our tradition is to cut the branches from the bottom of our Christmas tree and arrange them on the top of the trellis with white lights," says Leslie. An ornamental cranberry wreath puts an exclamation point on the natural motif.




5. Santa's workshop

Wayne and Jennifer Parlee love to stop traffic—foot traffic, that is—with their winter-wonderland display. "Lots of children walk past our house on the way to school, the library or the museum," says Jennifer. The two trees are the embodiment of St. Nick himself, from the heads at the tops to the metallic red boots at the bases. A pair of well-loved figure skates makes a unique focal point.




6. Merry minimalism

"My wife, Jodi, went through a purple era," says Dave Van Dam of the doors on the couple's circa 1881 limestone house. When your doors are this bold, a festive flourish is all that's needed, so the couple designed a pair of wreaths in earthy tones to complement the colour. "The combination of the dried hydrangea and magnolia leaves against the purple is elegant and unique," he says.

Camelot CC-4 paint
, benjaminmoore.ca.




7. Singular sensation

Sometimes, just one well-chosen detail makes the perfect seasonal statement. Here, on the porch of this Victorian beauty, a single red-berry wreath wishes passersby a happy holiday while allowing the home's other irresistible elements to shine, such as the Corinthian column, the gold transom house number and pretty copper wind chimes.



8. Natural selection

A walk in the woods is all it takes for Megan Downey and Jordan Zukowski to create the holiday planters that flank the entrance to their 1800s-era home. "I cut all the greenery myself, depending on what we find," says Megan. This year, it's birch topped with a few ornaments to emphasize the red door. We love how the streamlined vessels play up the 20-foot-high archway but don't compete with its ornate detailing.




9. Century charm

With its stone façade and red door, this 160-year-old home already has off-the-charts holiday curb appeal, so homeowner Jen Hearn put a new spin on the expected red-and-green scheme. "The decorative silver balls and light-green shades of the wreath add a more modern look," she says. Patina also plays a part in this postcard-worthy vignette, thanks to a timeworn cast-iron urn and child's chair. 

Wreath, homesense.ca; Behr Cherry Tart UL 110-18 paint, homedepot.ca.




10. Festive finds

The first decor elements you notice about this stately stoop—apart from the vibrant azure door—are the unusual urns; the homeowner bought them 12 years ago at a local garden centre's going-out-of-business sale. "Our home has a lot of straight lines, so I thought the curved planters would create balance," she says. And, indeed, they do—with some assistance from two arrangements of cedar, white pine, birch and dogwood branches. The faux berry wreath is another bargain find, proving that holiday curb appeal doesn't have to be costly.




11. Bright idea

When you've already got a bright-green door, decorating is a breeze; just hang a garland and—presto—instant seasonal cheer. "With our busy schedules, we need to keep it simple," says Tim LeBlanc of the no-fuss approach he and his wife, Anne, chose for their 1960s-era home. The red stars and green door make for a classic Christmas colour palette.

Vine Green 2034-20 paint
, benjaminmoore.ca.




12. Artistic licence

"I'm a painter, so I love colour and unusual things," says Aggie McCormack. Her whimsical front porch features a lime-green fabric wreath topped with magenta ornaments on a navy door. "I was drawn to this colour combo because it's energetic and fun." Bird wind chimes grace the porch year-round and happily blend right in with Aggie's holiday decor.




For more holiday decor inspiration, visit our Homemade Holiday guide.

This story was originally part of "Welcome The Holidays" in the December 2015 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

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Changes to Minimum Down Payment & U.S. Federal Bank Increases Prime Rate


The federal government announced additional changes to the down payment required when financing the purchase of a home. Starting in February next year, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will require a 10% down payment on the portion of the sales price over $500,000. The 5% down payment requirement remains for purchases below $500,000 and homes valued at over $1,000,000 dollars still require a minimum down payment of 20%. So if you are buying a property below $500,000 or over $1,000,000 there’s no change to the required down payment.


So why change? According to a quote by our new Finance Minister Bill Morneau, “We recognize that, specifically in the Toronto and Vancouver markets, we have seen house prices that have been elevated and we want to make sure that we create an environment that protects the people buying homes so they have sufficient equity in their home.”

I guess time will tell if this new change will have any effect on prices in Vancouver and Toronto since job creation remains above the Canadian average and immigration contributes greatly to the strong values in those markets.


On another note, the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in nine years by 25 basis points to a range of 0.25% - 0.50% ending a historic era of nearly 0% interest rates. The Fed’s era of record-low rates was aimed at driving an economic recovery following the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Buying real estate is one of the best long term investments anyone can make. It is crucial to understand all the options and opportunities when it comes to your mortgage and how any changes can affect you. 


I’m here to help people save money and make informed decisions in regards to their current and future mortgage needs. Call or email me today.


Regards,

Tony Marchigiano, 
Mortgage Consultant
Mortgage Alliance Meridian Pacific Mortgages


(604) 505-7109 
tmarchigiano@mortgagealliance.com
http://www.mortgagealliance.com/TonyMarchigiano

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Zero-Emission Green Buildings

 

There’s a super-energy-efficient 85-unit apartment building being built the corner of Skeena and East Hastings streets. On its website, 8th Avenue Development Group describes the rental project as the “largest passive house building” in Canada.

 

The description is bound to confuse those who wonder how a multifamily complex could ever be characterized as a “house”.

 

In fact, the term passive house comes from the German word Passivhaus and does not refer exclusively to single-family homes.

 

It’s a voluntary standard for achieving outstanding energy efficiency in all buildings, including institutional and commercial structures. It has caught on in Europe and is undergoing serious scrutiny by officials in Vancouver.

Sean Pander, manager of the city’s green-building program, enthusiastically discussed the concept in an interview with the Georgia Straight at Vancouver City Hall.

 

“We are looking to encourage passive house,” Pander said. “We have been doing some research of best practices around the globe. We’re really quite interested in the approach that they took in Brussels.”

Buildings are a major source of greenhouse gases

The City of Vancouver has reported that a majority of greenhouse-gas emissions within its boundaries come from buildings, mostly through the use of natural gas and electricity. And Pander suggested that buildings constructed with the passive-house standard have 75 to 90 percent lower emissions than traditional buildings.

Pander noted that in the Belgian capital, municipal officials didn’t demand a prescriptive approach. Instead, Brussels offered incentives.

 

According to Pander, tradespeople, builders, and architects there all told him the same story: once they understood the passive-house standard, they paid more attention to details, like insulating around areas to avoid heat loss.

“They took most of those lessons and just changed how they did things,” Pander said.

Across B.C., buildings account for 11 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions, according to a report by the provincial climate leadership team.

 

The document cited Brussels—which went “from amongst the worst in Europe to amongst the best over an eight-year period”—to suggest that B.C. could reduce emissions in this sector by 50 percent by 2030.

“Our recommendations would see increasing use of wood products and a rapid transition to buildings that are energy efficient enough to be able to meet most of their energy needs with on-site renewable energy (e.g., equivalent to net zero ready or Passive House standards),” the report noted.

 

The call for more wood construction was echoed by Pander, so long as it meets fire- and seismic-safety standards. “Wood is a great carbon-capture technology,” he said.

Passive house saves massive amounts of energy

The six-storey building at 388 Skeena Street has been designed with five storeys of wood, which reduces heat leakage. The structure’s design, building envelope, high-quality windows, and heat-recovery system also help achieve that objective.

 

This likely won’t be the last multifamily rental building developed to the passive-house standard.

Pander revealed that his staff are preparing a report for council early next year. It will outline how to achieve an audacious goal in the Greenest City Action Plan: requiring that all buildings constructed from 2020 onward be “carbon neutral in operations”.

 

Pander emphasized that “carbon neutral in operations” does not account for greenhouse-gas emissions in the production of building materials or the construction process. Those add up to 15 to 20 percent of overall emissions, with the remainder occurring during the operation of the building over its lifetime. “That’s primarily the use of natural gas,” he said. “Electricity is largely renewable in B.C.”

 

One way to reduce natural-gas consumption will be if the downtown Vancouver district-heating company Creative Energy follows through on its objective of switching its fuel stock from natural gas to a renewable source.

Creative Energy, which is controlled by developer Ian Gillespie, provides heat to more than 210 buildings, including B.C. Place Stadium and St. Paul’s Hospital.

 

On December 8, the B.C. Utilities Commission granted Creative Energy a certificate of public convenience to allow a district-energy system for Northeast False Creek.

 

However, the B.C. Utilities Commission denied its application for a neighbourhood energy agreement with the City of Vancouver. This arrangement would have given the company an exclusive franchise to supply district heating in Northeast False Creek and Chinatown.

 

 The Pembina Institute's Karen Tam Wu says that promoting green buildings yields economic dividends.

Pander said that it’s still possible to achieve carbon neutrality in operations of new buildings even if Creative Energy didn't achieve its objective of switching to more sustainable fuel source. But he noted that this would likely change the economics and the time frame for this to occur.

 

He also acknowledged that not all new buildings will be zero-emission in 2020. As a result, the city will likely consider the use of carbon offsets as a bridging strategy. Ordinarily, that can involve planting trees or doing something else to capture or reduce carbon emissions.

 

“To continue to maximize the benefits, we’ll be looking at offsets within the city boundaries,” Pander said.

Greenest City Action Plan has financial implications

The action plan aims to reduce 2020 energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions in existing buildings to 20 percent below 2007 levels. One of the cochairs of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Team, environmental lawyer David Boyd, included a chapter on green buildings in his recent book, The Optimistic Environmentalist: Progressing Towards a Greener Future.

 

He pointed out that the average Canadian home uses 170 kilowatt-hours of energy per square metre per year for heating and cooling. Boyd reported that a passive-house certified home can use a maximum of 15 kilowatt-hours of energy per square metre per year for these purposes.

 

“A 90 percent reduction in energy use takes a tremendous amount of pressure off the environment—reducing air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and harm to biodiversity, while maximizing the homeowner’s savings,” Boyd wrote.

Pander acknowledged that green initiatives might increase construction costs by two to five percent, but suggested that this is more than offset in operating savings over the building’s lifetime. “In the zero-emissions new building plan that we’re developing, we’re also going to start looking at financing tools.”

LEED tracks far more than energy consumption

Traditionally, the building industry has relied on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system to assess building sustainability. Pander, however, said that LEED’s broad checklist isn’t as effective as passive house in promoting energy efficiency. That’s because LEED enables builders to collect points for such things as access to transit, indoor air quality, and proximity to a good cycling network.

 

“LEED was largely for air-conditioned climates, commercial buildings, office buildings, malls, and that sort of thing,” Pander said. “We don’t have an air-conditioning-dominated climate.”

 

Pander emphasized that passive house differs from “passive design”, which has no “controlled definition”. To clarify this point, Pander said that passive design involves applying principles such as maintaining effective insulation or orienting the building to make the best use of sunshine. Placing an awning over a window, for example, might enable a home to capture the winter sun while reflecting back heat in the summer when the sun is higher in the sky.

 

Another aspect of passive design is interrupting “thermal bridges” that enable heat to escape. According to Pander, concrete balconies on high-rises act like “big radiator fins” that pull heat out of a unit. Even metal studs can conduct heat, which can be addressed by adding insulation in the construction process.

 

“Passive house is actually an international standard for energy efficiency, whereas passive design is the approach,” Pander said.

 

Mayor Gregor Robertson—in an interview before he left for the COP21 climate summit in Paris­—told the Straight that mayors want to promote an international standard for the transparent reporting of greenhouse-gas emissions. “We’re already close to 100 percent electricity—renewable electricity—from B.C. Hydro,” he said. “But we burn lots of natural gas to heat our homes.”

 

He pointed out that the city has direct tools, including its own building code, to reduce emissions from buildings. So will developers receive additional density for adding solar panels on the roof?

 

“We’re looking at streamlining the approvals and creating incentives for renewables, solar in particular,” the mayor responded. “We want to be supporting the entrepreneurial efforts to demonstrate new technology.”

Pembina Institute likes approach of City of Vancouver

The director of the Pembina Institute’s buildings and urban solutions program, Karen Tam Wu, told the Straight by phone that there are more than 10,000 green buildings in B.C. They range from century-old homes to the state-of-the-art Telus Garden office tower to a prison in the Okanagan.

Because Vancouver is a hub for commercial and institutional structures, it has a disproportionate number of green buildings. In part, that’s because it’s governed by the Vancouver Charter, which enables it to adopt a higher standard than other municipalities.

 

She added that the province can learn from Vancouver putting forth “aggressive measures” to achieve its vision of becoming the world’s greenest city by 2020.

 

Tam Wu said she is particularly impressed that the city is considering incorporating passive house for new buildings. In Brussels, she noted, 3,000 buildings have come online under this standard, and it’s been the catalyst for the rise of domestic producers of green-building products.

 

“As the marketplace is receiving signals about what the demand is—and if there are government incentives to encourage research and development—the manufacturing supply side will catch up,” Tam Wu predicted.

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Housing Demand Remains Strong Despite Diminishing Supply

Home sales reached near record levels in November even as home listings began the traditional year-end decline.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 3,524 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November 2015. This represents a 40.1 per cent increase compared to the 2,516 sales recorded in November 2014, and a 3.3 per cent decrease compared to the 3,646 sales in October 2015.

 

Last month’s sales were 46.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the second highest November on record for residential property sales.

 

“November is typically one of the quietest months of the year in our housing market, but not this year,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “The ratio of sales to home’s available for sale reached 44 per cent in November, which is the highest it’s been in our market in nine years.”

 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 3,392 in November. This represents a 12.5 per cent increase compared to the 3,016 new listings reported in November 2014.

 

The total number of properties listed for sale on the real estate board’s MLS® is 8,096, a 35 per cent decline compared to November 2014 and a 15.4 per cent decline compared to October 2015.

 

“Demand remains strong and there are housing options at different price points throughout the region,” McLeod said. “It’s important to work with your REALTOR® to understand your options before you embark on your home buying journey.” 

 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $752,500. This represents a 17.8 per cent increase compared to November 2014.

 

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in November was 43.5 per cent. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio declines below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches 20 per cent, or higher, in a particular community for a sustained period of time. 

 

Sales of detached properties in November 2015 reached 1,335, an increase of 31.9 per cent from the 1,012 detached sales recorded in November 2014, and a 44.2 per cent increase from the 926 units sold in November 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 22.6 per cent from November 2014 to $1,226,300. 

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,553 in November 2015, an increase of 47.6 per cent compared to the 1,052 sales in November 2014, and an increase of 60.3 per cent compared to the 969 sales in November 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 14 per cent from November 2014 to $435,000. 

 

Attached property sales in November 2015 totalled 636, an increase of 40.7 per cent compared to the 452 sales in November 2014, and a 49.3 per cent increase from the 426 attached properties sold in November 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 11.3 per cent between November 2014 and 2015 to $536,600.

*Editor’s Note:  Areas covered by 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, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.


Click here to download the full stats package.

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Ron Burnett likes to say how Emily Carr “kicks above its weight.”

 

It may sound like uncommon talk from a president of an art school. Yet, Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver is a key focal point for one of British Columbia’s strongest and fastest growing sectors, its creative industries.

 

And now, with Emily Carr’s move in 2017 from Granville Island to a new campus a few kilometres away in the False Creek Flats neighbourhood, lying just south by southeast of the downtown, a short walk from the Olympic Village, the art university is being proclaimed a catalyst for a commercial real estate development boom.

“It’s going to be a catalyst for further development, not only on this site, but I believe in and around the area,” said Anita Molaro, assistant director of planning for the City of Vancouver.

The Equinox Gallery is among the first occupants of the False Creek Flats site at the new Emily Carr. (Great Northern Way Trust)
 

The site, which is still barren and industrial looking, has nevertheless already attracted small technology businesses and a new home for Equinox Gallery, a sprawling, new fine-arts space. Emily Carr’s new building, which will be sheathed in white cladding and stand four storeys high, is expected to be ready to move into by the summer of 2017, with classes starting that fall.

 

The campus will sit on land operated as the Great Northern Way Trust for Emily Carr, but also for the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. All four schools were given the land as a partial donation in 2001, by the previous owner Finning International Inc. The company, which distributes Caterpillar machinery, gave an 80-per-cent interest in the land. The four schools paid for the remaining 20 per cent with a mortgage, now paid for by the sale of additional land on the site.

The Centre of Digital Media near the pending Emily Carr is home to a master's program in digital media.

All four are also involved in a master’s program in digital media, at the Centre of Digital Media building, which is already up and running and a few steps away from the Emily Carr building under construction.

 

“The vision for Great Northern Way has always been for a broadly based, collaborative campus, not only including the academic institutions, but also including the cultural sector, the non-profits, the industry if industry is interested, and government if government is interested,” said Emily Carr’s Dr. Burnett.

 

“So, the idea has always been a very holistic one. How can this be used to best further the aims of postsecondary education in a partnership manner with each other? Which is important for the Lower Mainland,” Dr. Burnett added, “because I think institutions should collaborate, but also to open up potential partnerships with the creative sector, with design companies, with the non-profit sector.”

Artist renderings of the south facade of Emily Carr University's new campus in Vancouver.(Diamond Schmitt Architects)

More than just a new campus for the small arts university, which has a little fewer than 2,000 full-time students and another 2,000 or so part-timers and continuing education students, the new building has from conception been seen as a magnet for other new development aimed at the creative and tech industries – industries that have been underserved by commercial real estate, some argue.

 

One of the latest announcements is a set of three buildings adjacent to the university, with retail and office space, by local developer PCI Developments Corp.

 

“We see great change coming to this area,” said PCI president Andrew Grant. “So, Emily Carr is certainly a catalyst.” (That word again.) The larger of PCI’s three buildings, immediately opposite the entrance of Emily Carr, is expected to be completed at the same time as the art university.

 

“Our office market in Vancouver runs the gamut. So, as much as there are a number of opportunities for tenants downtown, this is really a very different space. And it’s more gathering together like-minded businesses,” Mr. Grant said.

 

Many of those will be tech and gaming companies, some of which already occupy an old, renovated Finning industrial building. More are expected to relocate from Gastown, which has a degree of historic chicness and relatively cheap space, but the offices tend to be cramped.

 

“So there’s an inability for organizations in the animation and visual-effects space to get better quality, larger-scale space, and to scale up. So we’re seeing more interest from those sorts of organizations here, partly as a result of their traditional location in Gastown just not working for them like it used to,” said Matthew Carter, president of the Great Northern Way Trust.

Artist renderings of the north facade of Emily Carr University's new campus in Vancouver. (Emily Carr University)

The Emily Carr development will also act as a connection between the Olympic Village residential community and the northern end of False Creek Flats where, for instance, the new St. Paul’s Hospital will be built. The entire area is also an extension of the hip Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood.

 

A great deal of hope, however, rests on Vancouver’s metro operator TransLink extending the SkyTrain’s Millennium Line, with a new station to be built on the site. A great deal of design planning has already gone into a proposed extension, but funding has yet to be identified.

 

But does all of this mean that Emily Carr will be going high tech, losing some of the rustic charm and close quarters of its old campus on Granville Island?

 

“No, I wouldn’t say that,” Dr. Burnett said. Despite all the talk of high tech and the futuristic, Kalzip white cladding that will cover the building, Dr. Burnett emphasized that the new campus is all about allowing more cross-fertilization between arts disciplines, old and new. “The range that is here [on Granville Island] will be there [on Great Northern Way],” he said.

 

Emily Carr does not plan to continue any classes on Granville Island once it moves in 2017. It does hope, though, to maintain a student gallery or some small space on the Island. Its Granville Island landlords have said they would like that, because for all its newness, Vancouver doesn’t easily forget its neighbourhood heritages.

 

Emily Carr’s move will dramatically change its new neighbourhood, but a sense of place and neighbourhood identity change slowly. It had that on Granville Island. It needs to recapture that at Great Northern Way.

 

Just ask anyone at Simon Fraser University. It houses its school for the contemporary arts at the site of the old Woodward’s department store in Gastown. But history couldn’t be demolished, and it’s now called SFU Woodward’s.

 

 

Full Article; THE GLOBE AND MAIL>

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Why Using a Mortgage Broker Over Your Bank Could Benefit You

 

According to the 2015 Maritz Consumer survey, Canadians clearly stated that the counsel they received from a mortgage broker exceeded their expectation compared to dealing with banks. In today's mortgage environment it's critical to not only access the lender options that are available only through mortgage brokers but also learn strategies and techniques that will make it easier to manage your mortgage if and when interest rates rise. It could save thousands of dollars in interest and undue stress. Receiving solid advice around your largest debt is critical to your long term financial security.

Your home is still the safest way over the long term to build up considerable equity tax free as the proceeds from your principal residence is exempt from tax which is a significant advantage over other investments. This is why owning your own home is considered a cornerstone of a long term financial plan.

When reviewing your financial situation, buying a home or investment property, it’s definitely the right time for real advice. Let me show you what a difference a mortgage broker can make. Call or email me today.

 

Regards,

Tony Marchigiano, 
Mortgage Consultant
Mortgage Alliance Meridian Pacific Mortgages


(604) 505-7109 
tmarchigiano@mortgagealliance.com
http://www.mortgagealliance.com/TonyMarchigianoTony Marchigiano1-155 Water Street

 

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First Time Home Buyer Habits Revealed Thru Latest CMHC Survey

In a recent survey by CMHC (Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation) it revealed a number of interesting buying habits of first time home buyers; they include:

1. Over 50% use a mortgage broker for advise and set up of financing.
2. Over two third's use social media an online tools to help make their decision. 
3. They have some fears and need help in navigating thru all the choices on the market.
4. They're satisfied with the advise and help they receive 80% of the time.

I specialize in helping 1st time home buyers as I really love educating them on all their choices; what to look out for, good and bad. I also love working with them because I see myself in them. I remember purchasing my first place and, although, a very exciting time it can also be a very stressful one. I'm here to help first time home buyers to get the financing they need but also to make the process as stress free as possible. 

Click on the link for the full CMHC Survey of 1st time home buyers for a more in depth look:

Tony


Tony Marchigiano1-155 Water Street
Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC
 
cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666


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The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in *Metro Vancouver reached 3,646 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2015. This represents a 19.3 per cent increase compared to the 3,057 sales recorded in October 2014, and a 9 per cent increase compared to the 3,345 sales in September 2015.

Last month’s sales were 36.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“Home sales are more than one-third above what’s typical for this time of year yet the supply of homes for sale is the lowest we’ve seen in five years,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “This activity has created favourable market conditions for anyone considering selling their home today.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,126 in October. This represents an 8 per cent decline compared to the 4,487 new listings reported in October 2014.

The total number of properties listed for sale on the real estate board’s MLS® is 9,569, a 30 per cent decline compared to October 2014 and an 11.4 per cent decline compared to September 2015.

This is the lowest active listing total in Metro Vancouver since December 2010.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $736,000. This represents a 15.3 per cent increase compared to October 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in October was 38.1 per cent. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio declines below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches 20 per cent, or higher, in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

Sales of detached properties in October 2015 reached 1,437, an increase of 13.1 per cent from the 1,271 detached sales recorded in October 2014, and a 34.7 per cent increase from the 1,067 units sold in October 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 20.1 per cent from October 2014 to $1,197,600.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,543 in October 2015, an increase of 21.7 per cent compared to the 1,268 sales in October 2014, and an increase of 40.5 per cent compared to the 1,098 sales in October 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 11.4 per cent from October 2014 to $425,800.

Attached property sales in October 2015 totalled 666, an increase of 28.6 per cent compared to the 518 sales in October 2014, and a 34.3 per cent increase from the 496 attached properties sold in October 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 9.3 per cent between October 2014 and 2015 to $526,700.

- See more at: http://www.rebgv.org/news-statistics/metro-vancouver-home-buyers-push-october-sales-above-long-term#sthash.rsWt6QKA.dpuf

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in *Metro Vancouver reached 3,646 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2015. This represents a 19.3 per cent increase compared to the 3,057 sales recorded in October 2014, and a 9 per cent increase compared to the 3,345 sales in September 2015.

Last month’s sales were 36.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“Home sales are more than one-third above what’s typical for this time of year yet the supply of homes for sale is the lowest we’ve seen in five years,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “This activity has created favourable market conditions for anyone considering selling their home today.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,126 in October. This represents an 8 per cent decline compared to the 4,487 new listings reported in October 2014.

The total number of properties listed for sale on the real estate board’s MLS® is 9,569, a 30 per cent decline compared to October 2014 and an 11.4 per cent decline compared to September 2015.

This is the lowest active listing total in Metro Vancouver since December 2010.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $736,000. This represents a 15.3 per cent increase compared to October 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in October was 38.1 per cent. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio declines below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches 20 per cent, or higher, in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

Sales of detached properties in October 2015 reached 1,437, an increase of 13.1 per cent from the 1,271 detached sales recorded in October 2014, and a 34.7 per cent increase from the 1,067 units sold in October 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 20.1 per cent from October 2014 to $1,197,600.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,543 in October 2015, an increase of 21.7 per cent compared to the 1,268 sales in October 2014, and an increase of 40.5 per cent compared to the 1,098 sales in October 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 11.4 per cent from October 2014 to $425,800.

Attached property sales in October 2015 totalled 666, an increase of 28.6 per cent compared to the 518 sales in October 2014, and a 34.3 per cent increase from the 496 attached properties sold in October 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 9.3 per cent between October 2014 and 2015 to $526,700.

- See more at: http://www.rebgv.org/news-statistics/metro-vancouver-home-buyers-push-october-sales-above-long-term#sthash.rsWt6QKA.dpuf

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in *Metro Vancouver reached 3,646 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2015. This represents a 19.3 per cent increase compared to the 3,057 sales recorded in October 2014, and a 9 per cent increase compared to the 3,345 sales in September 2015.

 

Last month’s sales were 36.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“Home sales are more than one-third above what’s typical for this time of year yet the supply of homes for sale is the lowest we’ve seen in five years,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “This activity has created favourable market conditions for anyone considering selling their home today.”

 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,126 in October. This represents an 8 per cent decline compared to the 4,487 new listings reported in October 2014.

 

The total number of properties listed for sale on the real estate board’s MLS® is 9,569, a 30 per cent decline compared to October 2014 and an 11.4 per cent decline compared to September 2015.

 

This is the lowest active listing total in Metro Vancouver since December 2010.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $736,000. This represents a 15.3 per cent increase compared to October 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in October was 38.1 per cent. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio declines below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches 20 per cent, or higher, in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

 

Sales of detached properties in October 2015 reached 1,437, an increase of 13.1 per cent from the 1,271 detached sales recorded in October 2014, and a 34.7 per cent increase from the 1,067 units sold in October 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 20.1 per cent from October 2014 to $1,197,600.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,543 in October 2015, an increase of 21.7 per cent compared to the 1,268 sales in October 2014, and an increase of 40.5 per cent compared to the 1,098 sales in October 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 11.4 per cent from October 2014 to $425,800.

 

Attached property sales in October 2015 totalled 666, an increase of 28.6 per cent compared to the 518 sales in October 2014, and a 34.3 per cent increase from the 496 attached properties sold in October 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 9.3 per cent between October 2014 and 2015 to $526,700.

 

- See more at: http://www.rebgv.org/news-statistics/metro-vancouver-home-buyers-push-october-sales-above-long-term#sthash.rsWt6QKA.dpuf

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in *Metro Vancouver reached 3,646 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October 2015. This represents a 19.3 per cent increase compared to the 3,057 sales recorded in October 2014, and a 9 per cent increase compared to the 3,345 sales in September 2015.

Last month’s sales were 36.2 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“Home sales are more than one-third above what’s typical for this time of year yet the supply of homes for sale is the lowest we’ve seen in five years,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “This activity has created favourable market conditions for anyone considering selling their home today.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,126 in October. This represents an 8 per cent decline compared to the 4,487 new listings reported in October 2014.

The total number of properties listed for sale on the real estate board’s MLS® is 9,569, a 30 per cent decline compared to October 2014 and an 11.4 per cent decline compared to September 2015.

This is the lowest active listing total in Metro Vancouver since December 2010.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $736,000. This represents a 15.3 per cent increase compared to October 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in October was 38.1 per cent. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio declines below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches 20 per cent, or higher, in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

Sales of detached properties in October 2015 reached 1,437, an increase of 13.1 per cent from the 1,271 detached sales recorded in October 2014, and a 34.7 per cent increase from the 1,067 units sold in October 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 20.1 per cent from October 2014 to $1,197,600.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,543 in October 2015, an increase of 21.7 per cent compared to the 1,268 sales in October 2014, and an increase of 40.5 per cent compared to the 1,098 sales in October 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 11.4 per cent from October 2014 to $425,800.

Attached property sales in October 2015 totalled 666, an increase of 28.6 per cent compared to the 518 sales in October 2014, and a 34.3 per cent increase from the 496 attached properties sold in October 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 9.3 per cent between October 2014 and 2015 to $526,700.

- See more at: http://www.rebgv.org/news-statistics/metro-vancouver-home-buyers-push-october-sales-above-long-term#sthash.rsWt6QKA.dpuf

 

 

REBGV October 2015 Stats

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12-Storey Residential Tower in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

 

Community organizers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside will go to battle this week over plans for a gleaming 12-storey rental building in the impoverished neighbourhood.

 

Wall Financial Corp. has proposed a 172-unit rental development at 288 East Hastings St.

The lot at the intersection of Gore Street, home to a half-dozen small businesses, was bought last year from Fan Tower Inc. for $5 million.

 

It sits in the Oppenheimer District, where new zoning rules require 60 per cent of units to be social housing and the remainder secured market rentals.

 

Architect Endall Elliot Associates’ design would bring 104 units of non-market rental units to the neighbourhood, all micro-suites averaging 255 square feet in size.

The building’s six top floors would be market rentals ranging from 360 square-foot studios to 840 square-foot two-bedroom units.

 

But the Carnegie Community Action Project fears the development would only push low-income residents out of the neighbourhood and gentrify the area.

 

CCAP will be attending a community open house to discuss the proposal this Thursday.

CCAP’s Jean Swanson, a veteran housing activist, said a requirement for only one-third of the non-market units to be rented at the $375 shelter rate — equating to 20 per cent of the overall number of units — does little to help all those struggling on a $610 welfare cheque.

 

“They aren’t good enough because what we desperately need in the Downtown Eastside is housing for homeless people and housing for people who live in the SROs,” Swanson said.

“Last year there were 836 homeless people counted in the Downtown Eastside. It’s the highest count ever. We’re in a crisis.”

 

She said similar developments in the past have helped raise nearby land values, taxes, rents and hotel rates.

With SROs being “gentrified,” the shuttering of temporary housing at 1335 Howe St. and virtually no new buildings opening, Swanson said she expects Vancouver’s homelessness situation to spike next year.

King-mong Chan, an organizer with the Chinatown Concern Group, said the development will hurt the “essence” and heritage of Chinatown.

 

“Traditionally, it’s served working-class Chinese people, but now with the development and the gentrification, it’s changing to a more trendy kind of neighbourhood similar to Yaletown,” he said.

“This development will continue to drive this change.”

 

Chan said there’s “anger” with how the building would force several shops catering to the Chinese community to close, including a barber, a bakery and a barbecue meat shop.

 

Bruno Wall, president of Wall Financial Corp., said he sees the proposed development as a “win-win” for the community, providing much-needed rental units that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

Wall said its non-market rental rates would be up to the housing operator, who hasn’t yet been confirmed. He expects the operator to maximize the number of units that are shelter rate — but such a decision would be “a function of the economics of the whole project,” he said.

 

“The reality is, we’re creating both non-market and rental housing that didn’t exist. It’s not like we’re tearing down an SRO where you might lose 20 or 30 units. This is all brand new inventory,” Wall said.

Asked about the businesses closing, Wall said one has already relocated and he’s given the others more time to make plans before they’ll have to vacate at the end of the year.

 

The firm is working closely with the city and is in negotiations with B.C. Housing to provide design and financial support with the project, Wall said.

 

“I see this project as delivering top-quality housing at shelter rates,” he said.

 

“I don’t see this as gentrification, I see this as adding new housing opportunities and a variety of housing opportunities.”

 

Before the developer’s application can be accepted, it must go to the city’s Development Permit Board for review in January.

 

The community open house will be held Thursday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Chinese Cultural Centre at 50 East Pender St.

 

neagland@theprovince.com

twitter.com/nickeagland

 

Source - The Province>

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THE LATEST SURPRISING STATS FOR RRSP HOME BUYERS REPAYMENT & HOW IT'S AFFECTING BORROWERS SAVINGS AND PERSONAL TAXES


Most people may know that as a first time home buyer you have to ability to withdraw up to 25K out of your RRSP for a down payment on a home without any tax implications. You do, however, have to pay it back into your RRSP otherwise there will be tax implications. It will become part of your taxable income just like any other withdrawal from your RRSP if you don't pay it back. As of 2011 only about 1/2 of people are paying it back into their RRSP. The implications of this result in less savings and compounding interest/growth over the long term and more personal income taxes to be paid. 

 

You don't have to pay it back all at once. If you purchased a home this year and used the RRSP home buyers withdrawal you would have the rest of this year + 2 more full years grace period before having to put back in your RRSP. At that point you have 15 years to pay it back. Statistics also show the average RRSP home owner's withdrawal is about 10K. This amount over 15 years is about $666 a year or $55/month which should be a doable amount to repay. I would advise to set up an automatic payment every month so it just happens and you don't even have to think about it. Do more than the minimum if you can then when tax time comes you or your accountant just allocate the portion due for the repayment of your Home Buyers withdrawal and the rest will be regular contributions which will then be tax deductible.

 

As always, if you have any questions regarding this topic or anything else home or finance related please give me a call.

 

Sincerely,

 

Tony

 

Tony Marchigiano                      1-155 Water Street

Mortgage Broker                        Vancouver, BC

tony@mawest.ca                        mawest.ca

 

cell: 604 505 7109

fax: 604 909 4666




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