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Canadian real estate prices remain strong. This is in large part due to a low interest rate environment that not only affects borrowers but investors as well. With low deposit interest rates in Canada, US and Europe, investors are looking for appreciating assets to invest in.

Canada with its diverse stable economy is a desirable place for all sorts of investments and real estate has been the choice for many looking to acquire assets that appreciate.

Meanwhile, the Federal and Provincial governments have been trying to slow down the pace at which home prices have been increasing without any noticeable success and with some unintended consequences. The demand just seems to outweigh the supply which could be for years to come in this low interest rate environment.

Now, maybe more than ever, houses are considered more than a place to live but a true financial investment and having the right financing in place is crucial to the long term performance of your investment.  As your Mortgage Professional, I can provide strategies that can help you save thousands in interest costs as well as show you how to use the equity in your home to further your financial goals.

Call or email me today.


Tony Marchigiano, 
Mortgage Consultant
Mortgage Alliance Meridian Pacific Mortgages

(604) 505-7109

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Broadway station, Commercial Drive and Hastings Street all see significant bumps to density limits.

Several pockets of East Vancouver are now ripe for redevelopment, thanks to Vancouver city council’s July 28 approval of the Grandview- Woodland Community Plan (GWCP), which provides direction for future rezonings in the area bounded by East Broadway, Clark Drive, Nanaimo Street and Burrard Inlet.


The plan significantly increases development potential for several areas, including:

•near the corner of Commercial Drive and Venables Street;

•around the Broadway and Commercial Drive SkyTrain station; and

•the strip of East Hastings Street east of Clark Drive.

The plan has drawn strong opposition from many residents, who created the No Tower Coalition and protested against the 12-storey tower that the Kettle Society and Boffo Properties are proposing to build at the corner of Commercial Drive and Venables Street.

The coalition posted an open letter, castigating council for using what it called a “bait and switch” tactic.

That is because, in addition to approving the GWCP, council separately voted to leave open the possibility that, at a future rezoning, it could vote to allow the Kettle Boffo building to rise 12 storeys, instead of the nine-storey limit that the coalition had wanted and had believed council had agreed to. Current zoning on the site is for up to four storeys.


The tallest tower in the neighbourhood, however, is likely to be twice the height of the 12-storey Kettle Boffo tower.

The GWCP raised the maximum height limit to 24 storeys for sites around the East Broadway and Commercial Drive SkyTrain station.

That includes Crombie REIT’s 2.4-acre property, which has a single-level Safeway grocery store and a large single-level parking lot.

“There were higher buildings proposed a few years ago for that [Safeway] site – up to 36 storeys,” Kent Munro, who is the city planning department’s assistant director for midtown, told Business in Vancouver. “That caused a big backlash in the neighbourhood and was part of the reason that we spent another two years on the community plan.”

Munro believes the widespread consensus in the neighbourhood was that the land around the transit hub should be significantly denser than the four-to-five storey limit for redevelopment in the area.

“We had surprisingly little pushback or negative response to it,” he said.


When Crombie REIT representatives spoke to council, they hinted at a possible desire for redevelopment and to assure everyone that the intent would be to keep a grocery store on the site, Munro said.

No one from the company has yet filed an application to rezone the site to be what the GWCP now allows.

A final area that has significantly increased redevelopment potential is the stretch of East Hastings Street that moves up a hill east of Clark Drive.


The GWCP sets out that the tallest towers in that stretch will be 18 storeys. That matches height limits on East Hastings Street west of Clark Drive that were set out in the Downtown Eastside Community Plan that council approved in 2014.

“As you go eastward and up the hill, the towers will step down until, eventually, when you get up near Victoria Drive, it’s back down to six storeys and it will merge back into the Hastings Sunrise shopping area,” Munro said.

Heightened density potential for that strip could spark property sales in a way similar to what happened after council approved the West End Community Plan (WECP) in 2013.


SOURCE > BusinessInVancouver

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According to a recent survey by Bank of Montreal Canadians top financial priority is debt reduction. 30% of Canadians say it's their #1 priority. A mortgage is definitely your highest debt but usually has the best rate so if you have any other debts like credit card, line of credit or auto loan you would, most likely, want to pay those off first. When it comes to your mortgage, depending on your mortgage lender/bank, you should have several different options to pay that sucker off sooner rather than later. As a mortgage advisor I can also help you determine what you need to do in order to pay off your mortgage by a certain date or year. I can also produce several scenarios along with amortization charts in order to help you. Feel free to reach out to me anytime for advice around this or any other kind of home financing questions you may have.

Here's the full article by on Canadians top priority; paying down debt!:


"The top priority of 1 in 3 Canadians is to reduce or eliminate debt according to a new poll by BMO.


The lenders wealth management division also revealed that investing and tax efficiency (24 per cent); saving more (23 per cent); budgeting (14 per cent); and spending on personal needs or goals (4 per cent) were the other main priorities.


Priorities change depending on life stages though with Boomers more likely to want to tackle their debt than Millennials (who want to save more).


A number of events were identified among respondents as barriers to saving more or invest. These include stock market losses, failed business ventures, divorce/separation and financial loss on a property sale."


Tony Marchigiano 310-328 West Hastings Street
Mortgage Broker Vancouver, BC

cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666


SOURCE > MortgageBrokerNews

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Renewing Your Mortgage - How it Works


Renewing your mortgage, especially if it's your first time, can be a little confusing. Your mortgage advisor should be giving you the advice you need in order to make the best decision for your current and future needs. To start this process consider the following steps to make a smooth and educated decision that is right for you:


Step 1 : Start thinking about your needs and goals.

If you're close to renewal, now is a great time to review your financial goals and your plans for the future. You might want to consider the following types of questions:

Has your financial situation changed since your last renewal?

Are you planning any home renovations or will you need additional funds?

Will you be moving within the next year?

Do you prefer fixed or variable rates, or are you unsure?

Your Mortgage Advisor should be asking you all of the above questions. If they're not or you want to determine some of this on your own try the following RBC tool for help choosing the right options:


 Which Type of Mortgage is Right for Me


Step 2 : Consider renewing early!

Some lending institutions will give you the ability to renew earlier than the maturity date. RBC allows you to do this up to 120 days out from your renewal/maturity date so you have ample time to discuss your current mortgage needs. If you renew early, you'll be able to lock in at current interest rates even sooner - which could save you thousands of dollars in interest if rates rise before your renewal date.


Step 3 : Review your mortgage renewal document!

Most lending institutions will send you a renewal letter in the mail. Review this document in detail. Ensure you are being offered competitive rates and home flexible home financing solutions then book an appointment with your advisor to discuss your current needs and future plans to ensure you are going into the right mortgage term and financing solution for your individual needs.



It can be that simple!


Tony Marchigiano310-328 West Hastings Street
Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC
cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666

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Metro Vancouver* homes sales resembled more typical levels in July.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 3,226 in July 2016, a decrease of 18.9 per cent from the 3,978 sales recorded in July 2015 and a decrease of 26.7 per cent compared to June 2016 when 4,400 homes sold.

This is the first time since January that home sales in the region have registered below 4,000 in a month.

“After several months of record-breaking sales activity, home buyer demand returned to more historically normal levels in July,” Dan Morrison, REBGV president said.

Last month’s sales were 6.5 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“Home sale activity showed some moderating signs in late June and this carried into July,” Morrison said. “We’ll wait and watch over the next few months to see if this marks the return of more normal market trends.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,241 in July 2016. This represents a 2.5 per cent increase compared to the 5,112 units listed in July 2015 and a 10.8 per cent decrease compared to June 2016 when 5,875 properties were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 8,351, a 27.4 per cent decline compared to July 2015 (11,505) and a 6.9 per cent increase compared to June 2016 (7,812).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for July 2016 is 38.6 per cent. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $930,400. This represents a 32.6 per cent increase compared to July 2015.

Sales of detached properties in July 2016 reached 1,077, a decrease of 30.9 per cent from the 1,559 detached sales recorded in July 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 38 per cent from July 2015 to $1,578,300.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,602 in July 2016, a decrease of 7.3 per cent compared to the 1,729 sales in July 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 27.4 per cent from July 2015 to $510,600.

Attached property sales in July 2016 totalled 547, a decrease of 20.7 per cent compared to the 690 sales in July 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 29.4 per cent from July 2015 to $669,000.

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These Unexpected Home Decor Upgrades Are Simple Ways To Make You Feel Happier At Home

Because every room in your house should makes you feel good.



Everyone knows putting up a large mirror or adding a backsplash can help upgrade a space, but there's so much more you can do to turn your house into the home you've always dreamed of.


Some simple changes to decor can take your place from ordinary to Instagram-worthy. But wanting a space that looks good in pics isn't the only reason you should take out your toolbox. Every room in your house should be a place that makes you feel happy. So, if there's a space that needs a little home improvement magic to get you there, it's worth putting a little elbow grease into.


From housing tranquil spaces for meditation, to bold statement pieces that act as conversation starters, some simple redecorating can turn your home into a space where your creativity and flow can be nurtured.


Here are some unexpected home decor changes you can implement to make your place the space you deserve:


  1. Paint your front door.


Front doors often get overlooked, but they set the tone for what your guests can expect once they walk through the threshold. Make that tone a bold choice. Love the color yellow? Grace your front door with a fresh coat. Not only will it give your guests something to talk about while they wait for you to unlock the door, but it could actually boost your mood. According to a study from Vrije University in Amsterdam, adults reported feeling happier around the colors yellow and green.


  1. Hang up empty frames.


We know what you're thinking, but hear us out. Frames may have been made to be filled, but hanging them with nothing inside is even more eye-catching. They'll be statement pieces in your space that are bound to begin conversations with guests. Experiment with different texture, color and size options to find the frames that fit for you.


  1. Upgrade your shower head.


Chances are you haven't thought much about this piece in your home, but this swap won't just improve your showers. Replacing your shower head with something a little more luxurious can take your bath from tacky to transcendent. You use it every day, so you might as well splurge a little.


Having a shower head you love might make you want to take some extra time in the water, and use it as a space for meditation and contemplation. In fact, one study showed that "72 percent of people experience new ideas in the shower." You might just have eureka moment you've been waiting for thanks to your new shower head.


  1. Change your doorknobs.


This is such a quick and easy fix that often gets overlooked. If you're starting to get bored of a space in your home, remember that small details can make a big difference. You can add a pop of color to dreary furniture by adding vibrant knobs. Seriously, these little pieces of hardware will instantly add some personality to a piece of furniture you were getting sick of. Don't stop at a dresser or kitchen cabinet. Change them on interior and exterior doors, too.


  1. Pot some plants.


Add some life to your space — literally. Houseplants will help to liven up a room, making it brighter. They may even add a little tranquility to your hectic household. In fact, studies have shown that being around plants at home helped people to concentrate better. 


Not only is there a huge variety of beautiful plants, but there are tons of different ways to display them. From minimal hanging planters to massive self-watering pots, you're bound to find an option you love.


  1. Wallpaper a ceiling.


When it comes to improving your home, you may want to look up. Ceilings are too often an area of untapped potential. Wallpaper an unexpected color, intriguing texture, or beautiful pattern on the ceiling of a space you want to improve. The result can make a ceiling look higher or give the room more of an intimate feel depending on the wallpaper you choose.



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Shigeru Ban lines up his first project in Canada: A hybrid timber tower with luxury apartments


Renowned Tokyo-based architect Shigeru Ban has joined forces with Vancouver-based developers PortLiving to design a hybrid timber tower filled with luxury condos in the Coal Harbor district of Vancouver. The scheme will take up one of the last plots still available an area already home to many high-end apartments.


Ban, who won the Pritzker Prize in 2014, is known for his humanitarian architecture work as well as his use of sustainable materials and construction methods. The development in Vancouver will be known as the Terrace House and the building is due to follow in the footsteps of the architect’s previous work. While this project will be Ban’s tallest residential project and his first in Canada, the Terrace House will—according to press release from PortLiving—also be the world’s tallest hybrid timber structure when complete. However, its exact height and dates for the project have yet been released.


Using locally-sourced timber from BC Wood, the development hopes to achieve a minimal carbon foot-print while also setting a “new standard for luxury urban development, sustainability, and engineering innovation.”


“We are honoured to be working with Shigeru Ban and his team to bring a visionary design and new landmark to the City of Vancouver,” said Macario (Tobi) Reyes, founder and CEO of PortLiving in a press release. “We are extremely excited by Shigeru Ban’s decision to bring his craft to the Pacific Northwest, where we expect he will be embraced for his environmentally-sustainable approach, creative integration of outdoor living, and his leadership in innovation.”


“Shigeru Ban Architects welcomes this chance to design our first building in Canada. It is an opportunity to embrace the natural beauty of the surroundings and to capture inspiring views,” said Dean Maltz, Partner at Shigeru Ban Architects USA.


Further details of the project are due to be released later in the year. Stay tuned.


SOURCE > The Architects Newspaper

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The Bank of Canada has just recently announced at its rate setting meeting on July 13th that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at ½ percent. This is good news as this interest rate affects the interest on your variable rate mortgage, new mortgages and even loans. The Bank of Canada stated “ the fundamentals remain in place for a pickup in growth in the economy sometime down the line” even though the Bank does have some short term concerns with slowness in some sectors of the Canadian economy as well as the impact that Brexit (U.K. decision to leave the European Union) will have.


The appetite for owning real estate in Canada continues to be strong. Royal LePage recently stated that the average home price across Canada climbed 9.2 per cent during the second quarter of this year and predicted continued appreciation of home prices for the second half of 2016 and into 2017. Meanwhile the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is concerned about the pace at which home prices across Canada and in particular larger cities are increasing and have issued a four page letter to financial institutions outlining the regulator expectation in ensuring lenders exercise prudent underwriting practices.


It matters now more than ever to use a mortgage professional like myself as your advocate. I have in-depth knowledge and expertise that will ensure that borrowers have the right mortgage that makes sense today and tomorrow. I can provide the flexibility and options that will empower you to take advantage of opportunities down the road. Having access to the greatest number of lenders allows me to deliver the best solution. Contact me today.




Tony Marchigiano,

Mortgage Consultant

Mortgage Alliance Meridian Pacific Mortgages

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The Bank of Canada met this week to make a decision on whether to lower rates or keep the key lending rate where it is. They decided to keep it where it is for now. Their key lending rate is .50% Banks and mortgage lenders are usually 2% above this but the last two times the B of C lowered the rate they did not match it; they only dropped it by a portion of each .25% drop.


Another article in the Globe & Mail this week said we could see low interest rates for the remainder of our lives. There were many reasons for this; too many to mention here but below is an article from, which gives the reasons why the B of C decided to keep rates at the current low:


Bank of Canada Rate Decision by Penelope Graham for


Pressures from global volatility and slow growth in the wake of the Brexit haven’t deterred the Bank of Canada from its current monetary policy; the central bank has opted to maintain the overnight lending rate at 0.5%. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 0.75%, and the Deposit Rate is .25%.


While it was widely expected that the B of C would hold status quo on rates, there was some speculation that a rate cut was in order due to Alberta’s massive forest fires and the resulting impact on oil production. Flames forced many oil sands projects to shutter, cutting production by an estimated 40% - a gap of 1 – 2 million barrels per day – and costing GDP and estimated $985 million.


“In Canada, the quarterly pattern of growth has been uneven. Real GDP grew by 2.4% in the first quarter but is estimated to have contracted by 1% in the second quarter, pulled down by volatile trade flows, uneven consumer spending, and the Alberta wildfires,” states the B of C’s release. “A pick-up to 3 ½% is expected in the third quarter as oil production resumes and rebuilding begins in Fort McMurray.”

While the B of C’s projections remain close to those presented in April’s Monetary Policy Report, it is reporting a revised forecast due to weaker business investment outlook, and a lower profile for exports as a result of weaker US investment spending.


Real GDP is expected to grow by 1.3% in 2016, 2.2% in 2017, and 2.1% in 2018, as the Liberals make good on their promise to amp up infrastructure spending and investment.


“The Bank projects above-potential growth from the second half of 2016, lifted by rising US demand and supported by accommodative monetary and financial conditions,” it states. “Federal infrastructure spending and other fiscal measures announced in the March budget will also contribute to growth.”


The B of C adds that consumer spending will also get a boost from the Canada Child Benefit.


While the market volatility following the Brexit has led other nations’ central banks to loosen monetary policy, Poloz has stated that Canada’s lenders are resilient enough to withstand any fall out. However, it emphasizes hot housing markets are a main contributor to downside risks facing the economy.


“Overall, the risks to the profile for inflation are roughly balanced, although the implications of the Brexit vote are highly uncertain and difficult to forecast. At the same time, financial vulnerabilities are elevated and rising, particularly in the greater Vancouver and Toronto areas. The Bank’s Governing Council judges that the overall balance of risks remains within the zone for which the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate, and the target for the overnight rate remains at ½%.”



Tony Marchigiano                            310-328 West Hastings Street

Mortgage Broker                             Vancouver, BC                  


cell: 604 505 7109

fax: 604 909 4666

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The end of another month means one thing in real estate-mad Vancouver: word that housing prices have hit another jaw-dropping high. But behind the figures for June are some statistics that could suggest the market is finally slowing down.

While the benchmark price for typical single-family homes rose to $1.56 million, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the number of sales of those houses dropped by about 19 per cent. In east Vancouver, detached home sales declined by 26 per cent, and on the west side, by 36 per cent.

Those declines come even as the number of listings rose. In the first six months of 2015, there were 72 sales for every 100 listings in east Vancouver. A year later, that dropped to 59 sales for every 100 listings. Similar changes were experienced in Burnaby, Richmond, South Delta and New Westminster. 

Academics are reluctant to make predictions without a few more months of data, but a pair of UBC business professors say that the signs for a possible slowdown are evident.

“Declining sales matching with rising listings is exactly the type of first thing we start to see when markets start to change,” said Tsur Somerville. “We see sales changes, volume changes before we see price changes.”

His colleague Tom Davidoff agreed, but he pointed out the Bank of Canada’s prediction last month of a possible “correction” to the nation’s housing market could have spooked some buyers. 

Still, there were already suggestions this spring from the Canadian Real Estate Association that the market may have “topped off” after a dip in sales in April.

There’s no hint in the numbers of prices cooling off so far, but there is scattered anecdotal evidence of homeowners dropping their asking price after they fail to get the desired offers. Ian Tang of Oakwyn Realty noted that in one extreme example, the list price of an east Vancouver home was recently cut by about $400,000.

“There are other instances where properties have been up for $1.2 million or $1.3 million, which seems reasonable in comparison to what’s been happening, but then they drop it (by) $100,000,” he said.

Fewer buyers are viewing listings now than in the past eight months or so, Tang added. Although that’s typical for the summer months, it does mark a change from 2015.

“Last year, we didn’t see a lull at all,” he said. “I was kind of expecting it to happen this year as well, but I think prices got to the point … that most people are kind of fatigued with the whole buying process.”

A small handful of investors are ready to call Vancouver’s housing market a bubble that’s about to burst. American short-seller Marc Cohodes told the Province a year ago that he was already making targeted bets against some alternative mortgage lenders.

Here in Vancouver, investor David LePoidevin of the LePoidevin Group says he is “nibbling” at shorting the real estate market by focusing on a handful of lenders.

He blames spiralling prices on three factors: low interest rates, foreign investment from China, and consumer behaviour based on the assumption that rising prices are a permanent trend.

“When you combine all three of those, it’s your classic bubble,” he said. “Right now, the numbers are so outstretched … that once it begins to turn, it could get nasty.”

LePoidevin has been predicting a bubble for years, but he believes he previously underestimated the effect of foreign money on the market.

“We might be getting to see the beginning of the money fleeing China slowing to a trickle,” he said. “The Chinese government are tripling their efforts to stop the flow.”

If he had to gamble on it, LePoidevin said he’d bet that the market has passed its peak, and said his company has responded by avoiding investments in Canadian real estate and preferring to work in the U.S. dollar, anticipating a heavy toll on the Canadian dollar.


SOURCE > TheProvince

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The world was caught off guard recently when Britain voted to leave the EU. It sent stock markets plunging for a few days and has created some uncertainty in the world. Stock markets have since recovered but what are some of the medium to longer term effects. Well when there's uncertainty people tend to hold off on making risky decisions or big purchases. But also because of uncertainty the consensus now is for rates to stay low even longer. Current forecasts are for them to possibly start rising in 2018; before Brexit is was 2017. The 5 year fixed rate has already dropped to a fresh historical low and is now below 2.5% Low rates could possibly spur even more activity, especially in the Vancouver & Toronto markets but only time will tell.


The chaos that ensued in stock markets in the aftermath of the U.K. electorate’s “leave” vote on its Brexit referendum Thursday (June 23) has left global finance reeling, and Canadian real estate will not emerge from the tumult unscathed, according to a market observer.
In a June 24 client note, Dominion Lending Centres chief economist Dr. Sherry Cooper said that the uncertainty stemming from the U.K.’s departure from the European Union—evident in the sharp declines experienced by the commodity sector and the 30-year lows suffered by the pound sterling—will definitely make itself felt across the Atlantic.
“[While] this is not good for our economy, the negative impact will be relatively muted. Nevertheless, financial turmoil and uncertainty will continue for some time, which is never good for confidence and therefore, risk-taking and spending,” Cooper wrote.
Companies and organizations that have business in the U.K. were caught flat-footed by the unprecedented vote, and this goes double for Canadians who have assets in the U.K. and the EU, Cooper warned.
“Hedge funds and other investors around the world that have been caught on the wrong side of this trade are scrambling, which likely portends a sell off in risky assets for at least a couple of days,” Cooper explained.
“Even with all of this, investors should not panic sell this environment. It is a buying opportunity for longer-term investors. At the same time, do not try to time markets. No one can pick the bottom and market timing never works. Canadians who have some dry powder should consider buying their favourite stocks as they are sideswiped by the British vote,” she added.
The pressing problem would be lower interest rates, Cooper stated, which in turn would ensure that the country’s housing markets would remain especially active.
“The Canadian dollar is actually holding up quite well right now, although Canadian bank stocks are taking a hit, down just over 2 percent as of this writing. Only about 4 percent of Canadian trade is with Europe and only roughly 3 percent with Britain,” the economist concluded. “If anything, continued very low interest rates could further boost already hot Toronto and Vancouver housing markets.”

Tony Marchigiano310-328 West Hastings Street

Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC


cell: 604 505 7109

fax: 604 909 4666

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Home buyers remain active across Metro Vancouver

Home buyers continue to compete for homes listed for sale across the Metro Vancouver housing market. 

Residential property sales in the region totalled 4,400 in June 2016, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the 4,375 sales recorded in June 2015 and a decrease of 7.7 per cent compared to May 2016 when 4,769 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 28.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the highest selling June on record.

"While we're starting to see more properties coming onto the market in recent months, the imbalance between supply and demand continues to influence market conditions," Dan Morrison REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,875 in June 2016. This represents an increase of 1.2 per cent compared to the 5,803 units listed in June 2015 and a 6.6 per cent decrease compared to May 2016 when 6,289 properties were listed.

“Since March, we’ve seen more homes listed for sale in our market than in any other four-month period this decade,” Morrison said.  

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,812, a 35.9 per cent decline compared to June 2015 (12,181) and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to May 2016 (7,726).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for June 2016 is 56.3 per cent. While clearly indicative of a seller’s market, this is the lowest this measure has been since February.

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.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $917,800. This represents a 32.1 per cent increase compared to June 2015.

Sales of detached properties in June 2016 reached 1,562, a decrease of 18.6 per cent from the 1,920 detached sales recorded in June 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 38.7 per cent from June 2015 to $1,561,500.

Sales of apartment properties reached 2,108 in June 2016, an increase of 18.8 per cent compared to the 1,774 sales in June 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 25.3 per cent from June 2015 to $501,100.

Attached property sales in June 2016 totalled 730, an increase of 7.2 per cent compared to the 681 sales in June 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 28.1 per cent from June 2015 to $656,900.

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The real estate sector is losing the privilege of policing itself in B.C., the provincial government announced Wednesday.

Premier Christy Clark said the province is taking over regulatory responsibilities in a bid to better serve consumers and increase public confidence in the industry.

“The point of regulation is to protect people,” Clark said.

“The real estate sector has had 10 years to get it right on self-regulation and they haven’t.”

The rule-making authority currently held by the industry-controlled Real Estate Council of B.C. will be passed on to a newly established superintendent of real estate, Clark added.

A job posting for that position has already been posted.

The announcement followed one day after the release of a damning report prepared by an independent advisory group, which made 28 recommendations aimed at improving oversight and protections in the sector.

Clark said the government will be taking “immediate action” to implement all of those measures.

Among them is a call to hike the maximum fine for individual misconduct from $10,000 to a whopping $250,000, and the maximum fine for brokerages from $20,000 to $500,000.

The report also calls for banning real estate agents from representing sellers and buyers on the same contract, to ensure the best interests of all clients are properly considered.

“Protecting consumers is vitally important, especially in this market where everything’s moving so quickly and people are telling us that they feel taken advantage of, that there are shady practices,” Clark said.

A confidential whistleblower line for people to make complaints – another measure called for in the report – will be set up as well, the government said.

The Opposition NDP welcomed Wednesday’s announcement, but said the province is still only addressing a small symptom of the larger problem of affordability.

Leader John Horgan called on Clark to launch an integrated task force to investigate money laundering, fraud and tax evasion in real estate transactions.

“Let’s get back to the root cause here and that is speculative investment money coming from offshore and distorting the marketplace,” Horgan said. “There’s no shortage of evidence that there’s a problem here, the only challenge is will the premier step up and address it?”

The B.C. government said it’s already working to deal with affordability, through measures implemented during the last budget and by pushing for more housing supply.



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Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recently released its 2016 Mortgage Consumer Survey. The survey consisted of over 3000 Canadians who had undertaken a mortgage transaction in the last 12 months.  Results show that 62% of respondents had renewed their mortgage in the last 12 months while only 18% refinanced their existing mortgage and 20% purchased a home.

Six or even nine months prior to your renewal date is the ideal time to start examining your options. This is the time to consider the money that could be saved by consolidating your existing debts, discuss strategies that will pay your mortgage off faster and save thousands, or what your home may be worth with some new renovations. It might even make sense for you to use the new money for investments outside your home.

Since Mortgage Professionals like myself have the expertise and resources at hand to make all the opportunities available to you, it is no surprise that CMHC reported that the use of mortgage brokers for the purpose of refinances and renewals has increased. According to the survey, mortgage brokers are also the professionals of choice for first time homebuyers.

With so many products and options only available through mortgage brokers, combined with the expertise that comes with being dedicated only to mortgages, it makes financial sense to use the services of a mortgage professional like myself.

Even if your mortgage is not coming up for renewal anytime soon, I’m available to answer any questions about your current mortgage or your new mortgage. If you or someone you know need knowledgeable professional mortgage services please call or email me. 


Tony Marchigiano, 
Mortgage Consultant
Mortgage Alliance Meridian Pacific Mortgages

(604) 505-7109

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Professional interior designer Leslie Hart-Davidson from HDD Studios showcases the latest home decor trends.


Multi-Functional Finish

D.L.Couch featured a fabulous new product called Arriero, a 100% cork product that serves double duty as both wallcovering and upholstery.  The acrylic top coat makes it suitable for both wipeable dining chair fabric and durable wallpaper for high-traffic areas!


Pantone Color of the Year

Rose Quartz, the pink part of Pantone's color of the year, is showing up in quite a bit of upholstery and accents for home decor.  Linen, velvet and brushed canvas are all popular types of sofa& chair fabrics to sport the light pink look.  Drapery and toss pillows are popping with the pale tone as well.


Backsplash Drama

Two different trends are emerging for kitchen backsplash tiles:  the Joanna Gaines camp and the Property Brothers vibe.  Joanna Gaines from HGTV's Fixer Upper program promotes a rustic, farmhouse-style look with subway tile.  The stamped Mediterranea 4"x8" tile from Virginia Tile is a new way to bring old features to a remodel.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, Drew and Jonathan from HGTV's Property Brothers promote a sleek look with either colored glass tile or stainless steel.  Using the subway-shaped tiles in a vertical stack rather than the traditional brick-laid pattern adds a more updated feel.


Gold, Baby!

Table legs, faucets, light fixtures, accessories, picture frames:  you name it, gold is on it this season.  Does this mean that you can forget about updating all of the shiny brass hardware in your 80's or 90's new construction home?  No, but you can be that the higher-end gold and pink finishes shown in furniture stores and catalogs will have you singing the soundtrack from Sixteen Candles.



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More & more Millennials are getting help from from the Bank of Mom & Dad to purchase their first home but just where is the money coming from? Well, a bigger & bigger portion of those gifted funds are coming from money received from a reverse mortgage done on the parents property. Reverse mortgage used to be a dirty word but rates and fees to set up this kind of financing have got better & better over the years. The most you can borrow is 40 to 50% & even in the most conservative calculations of home value increases one would still have plenty of equity remaining when they pass away.

More and more parents are wanting to see their adult children reap the benefits of an inheritance before they pass away.

See the full article below from

"Young Canadians are increasingly receiving help from their parents in order to become first-time buyers in Vancouver and Toronto.

A study by lender HomEquity Bank shows that parents are keen to find out about reverse mortgages to release equity in order to give their kids a downpayment.

"Ten years ago, this topic rarely came up as most seniors were more concerned with remaining self-sufficient. And, first-time homebuyers were purchasing houses on their own. That's changed. Up to 30 per cent of my clients aged 60+ now want to discuss to what degree they can help their adult children financially," explains Rona Birenbaum, financial planner and founder, Caring for Clients.

HomEquity says that by using a zero-rate mortgage registered in the home, the parents’ funds are protected and they can later choose to cancel the mortgage with the funds considered as a gift."

If you have any questions about Reverse or CHIP mortgages please feel free to reach out to me as I am a designated mortgage broker for this type of financing at Home Equity Bank.



Tony Marchigiano310-328 West Hastings Street

Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC


cell: 604 505 7109

fax: 604 909 4666

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Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling on the federal and provincial governments to intervene with measures to cool off the region’s scorching real estate market.

The frenzied sales activity within Vancouver’s city limits has spilled into the suburbs over the past three years. Record-high prices have been set across the Lower Mainland, including properties in the Fraser Valley.

“These trends are not sustainable and we need to be wide awake to the risks they pose to the stability of our economy, let alone the impact they have in pushing local residents, especially young people, families and seniors, out of our neighbourhoods,” Mr. Robertson said in a statement on Sunday.

He reiterated his call for the provincial government to introduce a speculation tax to discourage houses from being flipped by investors for short-term gains.

Mr. Robertson had raised the idea of such a tax in May, 2015, when housing critics at a Vancouver rally sought to draw more attention to the lack of affordable accommodation, especially for millennials. On Sunday, he said the chorus is growing louder about the impact of soaring real estate prices in the region.

“While adding more housing supply is crucial, it is not an affordability solution on its own,” Mr. Robertson said.

“With unregulated, speculative global capital flowing into Metro Vancouver’s real estate, we are seeing housing prices completely disconnected from local incomes. First and foremost, housing needs to be for homes, not just treated as a commodity.”

Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets Inc., said last month that while it is unclear how extensive foreign investment is within the Vancouver region’s housing market, it makes sense to implement a speculation tax, notably on overseas buyers who engage in flipping.

Data from BC Assessment from Jan. 1, 2014, to early 2016, shows a general flipping rate of 5.6 per cent of the single-family detached properties surveyed within the City of Vancouver. But some observers say that rate understates the impact on prices because in a rising market, three or four homes flipped in a neighbourhood will influence the value of similar properties listed in that area.

The mayor also suggests B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal government implement a luxury tax on high-end sales.

“I urge the provincial and federal governments to heed the warnings from the financial sector and implement clear measures to rein in the excesses of Vancouver’s housing market,” Mr. Robertson, who has been lobbying Ottawa to invest money to create more affordable housing, said.

There have been red flags raised recently by the banking industry about consumer debt levels. Some bankers have urged Ottawa to raise minimum requirements for down payments.

Generation Squeeze, a lobby group formed to represent the views of Canadians in their 40s and younger, complains that the federal and B.C. governments have resisted calls to move aggressively to dampen the Vancouver area’s housing scene.

The B.C. government has said there are undesirable consequences to intervening, especially the potential reduction in value of properties held by existing homeowners.

Josh Gordon, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy, is among the industry observers who argue that foreign demand is the main driver of the residential housing boom in the Vancouver region, especially an influx of buyers from China acquiring detached houses.

But Dan Morrison, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, said last week that the thriving economy and job growth amid limited listings were key factors behind unprecedented sales activity recently.

Over the past three years, the median price for detached houses sold on Vancouver’s west side has jumped 68 per cent to $3.53-million and surged 72 per cent to $1.56-million on the city’s east side.

The benchmark price for detached properties sold in Greater Vancouver hit a record $1.51-million in May, an increase of 37 per cent from the same month in 2015.

The benchmark is a representation of the typical house in an area, excluding the most expensive transactions.

Within the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, which includes sprawling Surrey, the benchmark price for detached homes has surged 38 per cent to $834,200 over the past year.


SOURCE < TheGlobeAndMail

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The 2016 CMHC consumer survey has been released (attached). The survey is a great way to find out the performance of the brokerage industry, identify new trends and consumer perception, and make sure we as a company are investing in the right resources to help grow your business.

Here are some notable stats from the report:

Gathering Mortgage Information:

  • Using Mobile Devices increased to 27% in 2016
  • Using Social Media increased to 29% in 2016. 38% of those are First Time Buyers
  • Using Social Media is much higher among Broker clients (52%) versus lender clients (17%)

Mortgage broker share is trending upwards for Renewals (now at 26%) and Refinances (now at 38%)


  • Providing advice on mortgage strategies can lead to 85% likelihood of new business
  • Mortgage consumers are looking for a variety of useful information post closing including mortgage/financial strategies, investment opportunities, and more.
  • Only 54% of clients using a broker are contacted post closing!
Tony Marchigiano310-328 West Hastings Street
Mortgage BrokerVancouver, BC
cell: 604 505 7109
fax: 604 909 4666
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Eighty per cent of British Columbians want those who leave homes empty to be taxed. A poll by Insights West shows that there is growing anger at politicians with 76 per cent saying the provincial government needs to take action, although all levels of government are blamed.

In 2014, 72 per cent of BC residents wanted taxes for vacant properties but as home prices have soared, support for action has grown. All age groups are in favour of taxation but the would-be first-time buyers in the millennial generation are most adamant that action is needed with 89 per cent supporting a vacant-homes tax.

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage.

SOURCE < CanadianRealEstateMagazine

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Metro Vancouver* homes continue to sell at an unprecedented rate in communities across the region.

Residential property sales on the region's Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) totalled 4,769 in May 2016, an increase of 17.6 per cent from the 4,056 sales recorded in May 2015 and a decrease of 0.3 per cent compared to April 2016 when 4,781 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 35.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the highest sales total on record for May.

"Home sellers are becoming more active in recent months, although that activity is being outpaced by home buyer demand today," Dan Morrison, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 6,289 in May 2016. This represents an increase of 11.5 per cent compared to the 5,641 units listed in May 2015 and a 2.6 per cent increase compared to April 2016 when 6,127 properties were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,726, a 37.3 per cent decline compared to May 2015 (12,336) and a 2.3 per cent increase compared to April 2016 (7,550).

"Economic and job growth in Metro Vancouver is out performing most regions in the country. This is helping to underpin today’s activity," Morrison said.

The sales-to-active listings ratio for May 2016 is 61.7 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.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $889,100. This represents a 29.7 per cent increase compared to May 2015.

Sales of detached properties in May 2016 reached 1,865, an increase of 8.2 per cent from the 1,723 detached sales recorded in May 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 36.9 per cent from May 2015 to $1,513,800.

Sales of apartment properties reached 2,150 in May 2016, an increase of 34.4 per cent compared to the 1,600 sales in May 2015. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 22.3 per cent from May 2015 to $485,000.

Attached property sales in May 2016 totalled 754, an increase of 2.9 per cent compared to the 733 sales in May 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 24.9 per cent from May 2015 to $632,400.


Source < REBGV

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