Archive for the ‘Real Estate in Vancouver’ Category

Owning a Home Has Become Slightly More Affordable

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
Vancouver house for sale

According to a new report created by the Royal Bank of Canada . . .


Owning a house became slightly more affordable in Canada during the second half of 2012, but that’s mostly due to rock-bottom mortgage rates.

The sharp drop in house sales that occurred during the final six months of the year led to some small month-over-month declines in house prices in many cities. And, as sales fell, banks made further small cuts to their already-low mortgage rates. Those two factors helped to take a tiny bite out of the cost of home ownership during the final three months of the year, for the second quarter in a row.
Of course, The Bank of Montreal had to wade into the discussion, saying . . .
. . . the latest data suggests falling mortgage rates and rising incomes are offsetting the effects of high house prices in most markets.
BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri went on to say  that policy makers must . . .
“remain vigilant,” pointing to a number of major exceptions, namely the markets for detached homes in Vancouver, Toronto and Victoria, each of which are vulnerable to a significant correction if incomes fall or rates rise.
The Globe and Mail’s Michael Babad takes a look at the latest housing affordability numbers in a video titled:  Can you afford a home in Vancouver or Toronto?
Vancouver housing market video
The bottom line?  Though mortgage rates are now at the lowest they’ve ever been, this could change in an instant.  If our economy goes down for any reason, or if interest rates rise, you might be blocked out of the marketplace.

Our advice?  It’s spring. If you’ve been considering a new home purchase, now is the time to get a pre-approved mortgage, lock in your rate, and start house hunting.




Read full Financial Post article here


Is Your Insurance Policy Putting You in Jeopardy?

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Vancouver CondosAn article in the Vancouver Sun alerted us to a potential problem for many of our customers — specifically those of you who own condos.


“Some Metro Vancouver residents have been shocked to find, after a leak in their unit causes water damage to other parts of the building, that they are required to pay the entire deductible on the strata council’s insurance policy, which can amount to $100,000 or more.

Many condo owners have their own unit policy that covers a portion of the deductible on the strata corporation policy. But some are finding out the hard way their insurance covers only a fraction of the larger deductible – usually about $10,000 – or in some cases, not at all.”


Unfortunately many condo owners believe that the Strata Association’s insurance policy covers them for everything. It does not. You must have your own insurance policy to cover anything inside your condo, including your personal property, and any liability issues.


With increasing insurance costs, many Strata associations are now resorting to larger deductibles and are changing their bylaws to make individual owners responsible to pay the deductible even if they are not negligent in the cause of the damage.
Alan Rees, a longtime insurance broker at KRG says that you MUST read the rules.  It is up to you, the owner to make sure your insurance policy will cover whatever the Stara Association’s policy doesn’t cover.

The solution is to make sure your own unit insurance covers the strata deductible. Rees said he pays $20 a month for such coverage, which is worth $100,000.


If you own a condo, please read your Strata bylaws and make sure you have the necessary insurance. If you are not sure whether you are covered or not … call your Strata Manager and your Insurance Agent.  Thirty minutes of your time could save you a lot of heartache!

Is Suspect Data Driving Up Home Prices?

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Confusion over Vancouver Housing Prices

The Toronto Sun reported today that house prices may have been driven up by a national database which estimates the worth of houses across Canada.

Dubbed Emili, the automated system uses data, such as from the recent sale of nearby homes, to set values, without having an appraiser sent to the address. The potential margin of error in making these calculations could cause problems for homebuyers, homeowners and banks …

In June of this year Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced new rules to slow down the housing market.  The decrease in Vancouver house sales would indicate that his plan has worked.

However …

Statistics Canada data shows that new home prices in Canada were up 0.2% in August for a 17th straight month-on-month increase. August prices were up 2.4% from a year ago.

… so though house sales may be down, prices still appear to be going up.


If you need help making it through the maze of conflicting statistics and information, be sure to give us a call.  We’ll explain what’s happening in the mortgage market and help you get the best mortgage possible.  Justin: 604-736-1855



It’s All So Confusing

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I was on the phone with one of my customers the other day. He opened the conversation with “It’s all so confusing …”   I agree!  Any time you pick up a newspaper or listen to the television news you are bombarded with a new set of numbers.

I grabbed a Metro news today and there is another spin on the numbers:

The headline is:

New mortgage rules cited for drop in home sales

and the opening copy is:

Home sales declined 5.8 per cent across Canada from July to August, the largest month-over-month decline since June 2010, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Actual sales activity was down almost 9 per cent in August over a year earlier, “providing the first clear indication that the recent changes to mortgage regulations aimed at cooling the market are working as intended,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump Monday.

Later on in the same article, they were “spinning” the numbers once again!

While average Vancouver house price was down almost 7 per cent in August over a year ago to $725,086, it was up about 3 per cent in August over July when adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

I know it’s frustrating … but Whatcha Gonna Do?

The reality?  Houses are continuing to sell.  People are continuing to BUY.

I learned my new “Whatcha Gonna Do” philosophy from Burton Crane’s America’s Got Talent audition. Burton Crane is a 77 year old retired school teacher who claims to be the Grandfather of Rap. He performed an original rap called “Whatcha Gonna Do”.

If you haven’t seen it … it’s a great laugh.  The audience went from booing to cheering and chanting along in less than 30 seconds.

Whatcha Gonna Do

Check out the Metro Article

And if you are one of the many who are still buying  (fabulous marketplace to be in)  give Justin a call 604-736-1855






Renovation Revival

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The other day the Vancouver Sun ran an article saying that the recent Vancouver Real Estate slowdown has sparked a revival in home renovations.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s 3rd Quarter Housing Market Outlook reports that …

In B.C., spending on renovations in 2011 was $7.6 billion. Spending is expected to remain stable in 2012 and grow to $7.8 billion next year.

The Sun reports
With year-to-date resales down 18 per cent in Vancouver compared to a year ago, it’s no longer the smoking hot sellers’ market it was a year ago. In fact, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported that July sales were the lowest since 2000, with sales 31.2 per cent below the 10-year July sales average.
Vancouver Housing Market Slowdown | Averbach Mortgages
Some of the slowdown in the market place is being blamed on the New mortgage rules introduced by the federal government in July 2012.  We’re not convinced that this is responsible for the drastic drop in sales … but we do know that many of our clients are making their renovation plans and refinancing in order to take advantage of what are still amazingly low mortgage rates.
If you are considering a renovation and would like some advise on your options … please give Justin a call at  604-736-1855.


B.C. First Time New Home Buyers Bonus

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

In its 2012 Budget announced on Feb 21st, the B.C.  Government announced a temporary one-time refundable personal income tax credit worth up to $10,000.

Here are some of the facts:

  • This credit only applies to first time home buyers.
  • This is an income tax credit, not a cash rebate.
  • The tax credit is equal to 5% of the home price, with  a maximum of $10,000.
  • The tax credit is pro-rated based on your income, which means  higher income families won’t benefit ($200,000+ annual income).
  • Eligible NEW homes include: newly constructed and substantially renovated homes purchased from a builder and homes that are owner-built.
  • The tax credit is available from Feb 21, 2010 to March 31, 2013.

Take a look at the  2012 First Time Home Buyers Fact Sheet  PDF

BC first time home buyers tax credit