January 4, 2014
Metro Vancouver housing market characterized by modest home sale and price increases in 2013
The Greater Vancouver housing market maintained a consistent balance between demand and supply throughout 2013.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that total sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2013 reached 28,524, a 14 per cent increase from the 25,032 sales recorded in 2012, and an 11.9 per cent decrease from the 32,390 residential sales in 2011.
“Home sales quietly improved last year compared to 2012, although the volume of activity didn’t compare to some of the record-breaking years we experienced over the last decade,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said.
Last year’s home sale total ranks as the third lowest annual total for the region in the last ten years, according to the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®).
The number of residential properties listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver declined 6.2 per cent in 2013 to 54,742 compared to the 58,379 properties listed in 2012. Looking back further, last year’s total represents an 8.1 per cent decline compared to the 59,539 residential properties listed for sale in 2011. Last year’s listing count is on par with the 10 year average.
“It was a year of stability for the Greater Vancouver housing market,” Wyant, said. “Balanced conditions allowed home prices in the region to remain steady, with just a modest increase over the last 12 months.”
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $603,400. This represents a 2.1 per cent increase compared to December 2012.
Read more: http://www.rebgv.org/news-statistics/metro-vancouver-housing-market-characterized-modest-home-sale-and-price-increases
January 2, 2014
Vancouver to make accessibility for seniors, disabled a priority in new house construction
The City of Vancouver is planning a new building bylaw that, for the first time in Canada, will require all new homes to be adaptable for seniors and people with disabilities.
The city wants all new single-family, townhouse and laneway homes to meet minimum accessibility standards.
Mandatory features could include wider doors, hallways and stairs, lever handles on all doors and plumbing fixtures, and electrical receptacles higher on walls.
The city is also doing an 18-month study of the feasibility of insisting new homes have at least one exterior doorway with direct access to the ground without stairs.
The changes, if adopted by council next week, would come into effect in March 2014.
They are part of a much wider revision of the city’s building bylaw that is supposed to reduce red tape, standardize unwritten building practices already used by builders, and set more ambitious goals for fire safety, energy conservation and sustainability.
Many amendments to Vancouver’s building bylaw in recent years have been aimed at multi-unit condominium, rental and commercial buildings. But in a report going to city council next week, chief building inspector Will Johnston said it’s time new single-family homes, townhouses, secondary suites and even stacked townhouses be made adaptable for seniors and those with mobility issues. The proposed changes would include construction methods that would allow for easy and less-costly retrofitting to allow people to age in their homes.
December 18, 2013
Nine Common Selling Mistakes
Selling your home? Don’t let avoidable mistakes cut into your profits. Most people don’t sell homes for a living. The right real estate agent is a vital piece in the selling puzzle but ultimately it’s your home and your profit or your loss. Don’t let these common sellers mistakes diminish your profits.
Mistake #1 -- Setting the Wrong Price for Your Property
Every seller obviously wants to get the most money for his or her home. Ironically, the best way to do this is not to list your home at an excessively high price. A high listing price will cause some prospective buyers to lose interest before even seeing your property. Also, it may lead other buyers to expect more than what you have to offer. As a result, overpriced properties tend to take an unusually long time to sell, and they end up being sold at a lower price.
Mistake #2 -- Mistaking Re-finance Appraisals for the Market Value
Unfortunately, a re-finance appraisal may have been stated at an untruthfully high price. Often, lenders estimate the value of your property to be higher than it actually is in order to encourage re-financing. The market value of your home could actually be lower. Your best bet is to ask your realtor for the most recent information regarding property sales in your neighbourhood. This will give you an up-to-date and factually accurate estimate of your property value.
Mistake #3 -- Failing to "Showcase"
In spite of how frequently this mistake is addressed and how simple it is to avoid, its prevalence is still widespread. When attempting to sell your home to prospective buyers, do not forget to make your home look as pleasant as possible. Make necessary repairs. Clean. Make sure everything functions and looks presentable. A poorly kept home in need of repairs will surely lower the selling price of your property and will even turn away some buyers.
Read more: http://canadarealtynews.com/nl_preview.asp?a=&id=57893&cid=1177&agent=nprealtor
November 26, 2013
Seven tips for successful house hunting
Everyone's dream home is just the right size, in the perfect neighbourhood, with exactly the features and amenities they had in mind. In reality, every home'even a brand-new one'will have flaws. The question is, are they reasonable issues or signs of an impending disaster?
Defining a job as 'manageable' often comes down to a buyer's budget; just because a problem is standard doesn't mean you can afford to fix it right away. 'It's common for a house to need a new roof or siding. The roof is more critical because it keeps the weather out, while the siding is more of a cosmetic issue,' says Blaine Swan, owner of Goodeye Inspections in Truro, N.S. Asphalt-shingle roofs last about 25 years, and replacing one starts at $5,000, with costs rising according to roof area.
Some issues are smaller than they appear. Mark Benerowski, who owns The Inspection Consultant Inc. in Toronto, says first-time buyers are often disappointed when, during the preclosing inspection, a brand-new home in a housing development doesn't look exactly like the model suite they had seen. He'll remind them that many minor problems'like an imperfect finish on a staircase'are covered by a provincially regulated new-homes warranty and easily fixed within 30 days of their move-in.
Anything that could be a safety issue is worth looking into. Investigating a home's electrical system, for example, is crucial. Insurance companies don't like knob-and-tube wiring (found in homes dating back about 50 years), which they label a fire hazard. The system must often be upgraded within 30 days of closing in order to get insurance, and it's a messy job that starts at about $5,000 per storey. Also problematic are homes from six or more decades ago that have only 60-amp electrical service, which isn't enough to support today's appliances. 'That means new masks, new wiring and a new electrical meter and panel,' says Swan. 'It 'can get very expensive.'
Read more: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/readers-digest/gallery/seven-tips-for-successful-house-hunting-1
November 19, 2013
Whistler Blackcomb 2 New Lifts Opening This Winter
You’re going to love the new Crystal Ridge Express with its terminal location along the Blackcomb Glacier Road ski-out. Not only does it give you the freedom to lap the entire Crystal Zone by allowing you to bypass the Excelerator Express Chair, it also gives you faster access to the Horstman Glacier, Blackcomb Glacier and Spanky’s Ladder.
And at Whistler Mountain’s Harmony Zone, get set for quicker uploads to its stunning array of powder-filled bowls, steeps and cruisers.
“This lift expansion clearly demonstrates our commitment to continuously enhance the skiing and riding experience on both mountains,” says Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Each zone the new lifts will service are unique and much-loved by Whistler locals and destination guests alike. The capital we are investing to enhance our already amazing experiences will make Whistler Blackcomb even better.”
Construction on the lifts will begin this spring and will continue through the summer and fall with an expected opening at the beginning of the 2013.2014 winter season.
While you’ve all been distracted by our early opening, we’ve been putting the final touches on our two new lifts so that when the snow is ready, they’ll be spinning!
Both lifts are completely built and are really starting to look the part with a little white around them!
Read more: http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/the-mountain/new-lifts/index.aspx
November 12, 2013
14 low-tech ways to keep your house warm over the winter
There's growing concern about price rises from British energy companies. Here are cheap ways to save money when heating your house.
Householders are regularly being advised to install double glazing, thorough insulation and overhaul their inefficient heating system. But apart from those often expensive tactics, what can be done cheaply and quickly to keep your house warm?
1. Use tin foil. One way to prevent unnecessary heat loss from radiators, particularly on those attached to external walls, is to use heat reflective aluminium foil behind the radiator. This prevents heat disappearing through the wall by reflecting it back into the room, says Sophie Neuburg, energy campaigner for charity Friends of the Earth. Foil specially designed for the purpose can be bought for under £10. "You can even use good quality kitchen foil," says Carl Brennand, assistant manager of website Moneymagpie, although it's generally not as effective.
2. Thick curtains are one of the main ways to protect your house from losing heat through the windows. Curtains with a thermal lining are a relatively cheap option, says Brennand. "The thicker the better," adds Archna Luthra, consumer analyst at moneysavingexpert.com. If you don't want to splash out on new curtains you can line them yourself with materials like cheap fleece, says Brennand. "You can even use PVC shower curtains," he suggests. And it's not just windows that can have curtains. Placing a curtain in front of doors to the outside adds another layer of protection. And it doesn't even need to be a curtain. "My gran used to have an old rug that she used to pin up over the back of the front door," says interior designer Claire Potter.
3. But let the sunlight in during the day. It's important to try to use as much natural - and free - heat (in the form of sunlight) as possible. Window shades and curtains should be kept open during the day, advise Age UK. Closing your curtains as soon as dusk falls will maximise your house's potential to retain that heat.
4. Double glazing is heat-efficient but it's relatively costly. If you can't afford it, why not fake it? "There's a special film that you can put across [single-glazed] windows" that can imitate the same effect, albeit to a lesser degree, says Neuburg. You can attach the film to the window frame using double-sided tape and then fix it using a hairdryer, she says. There's a downside. You won't be able to open your windows without breaking the seal. But a pack to cover a medium-sized house would be about £15, estimates Potter, so it could just be redone from time to time. Potter, who has no heating system in her house, says one batch of film has lasted about two or three years as she has small windows. Alternatively, self-adhesive foam strips can help seal any gaps in the edges of windows. Metal or plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached cost a bit more but will last longer as a result, according to the Energy Saving Trust. These can also be used as draught excluders around the hinges and frames of doors.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24757144
November 4, 2013
Canadians recognize Remembrance Day, originally called Armistice Day, every 11 November at 11 a.m. It marks the end of hostilities during the First World War and an opportunity to recall all those who have served in the nation's defence.
Armistice Day was inaugurated in 1919 throughout much of the British Empire, but on the second Monday in November. In 1921, the Canadian Parliament passed an Armistice Day bill to observe ceremonies on the first Monday in the week of 11 November, but this combined the event with the Thanksgiving Day holiday. For much of the 1920s, Canadians observed the date with little public demonstration. Veterans and their families gathered in churches and around local memorials, but observances involved few other Canadians.
In 1928, some prominent citizens, many of them veterans, pushed for greater recognition and to separate the remembrance of wartime sacrifice from the Thanksgiving holiday. In 1931, the federal government decreed that the newly named Remembrance Day would be observed on 11 November and moved Thanksgiving Day to a different date. Remembrance Day would emphasize the memory of fallen soldiers instead of the political and military events leading to victory in the First World War.
Remembrance Day rejuvenated interest in recalling the war and military sacrifice, attracting thousands to ceremonies in cities large and small across the country. It remained a day to honour the fallen, but traditional services also witnessed occasional calls to remember the horror of war and to embrace peace. Remembrance Day ceremonies were usually held at community cenotaphs and war memorials, or sometimes at schools or in other public places. Two minutes of silence, the playing of the Last Post, the recitation of In Flanders Fields, and the wearing of poppies quickly became associated with the ceremony.
Read more: http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/guerre/remembrance-day-e.aspx
October 28, 2013
How to Choose a Home Inspector
The offer is written, and of course it says “subject to inspection,” right? That’s a common contingency written into most real estate offers and sales contracts. So it’s time to get it done and the yellow pages are full of possibilities. How do you know which one to choose? Here are 10 tips for choosing a good inspector and completing the inspection process successfully.
- Check credentials. Make sure the inspector is either licensed by your state or is a member of a recognized professional organization that has published standards of practice, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI). Even if the inspector is recommended by a fellow Realtor, you should still request this information. Some of the professional association web sites let you put in your zip code and see a list of inspectors in your area. You may also be able to check these sites, or the Better Business Bureau, to see if any complaints have been filed against an inspector.
- Check the web site. Yes, a professional inspector will have a professional-looking web site. It will be friendly, easy to navigate, and provide you with lots of useful information, including a sample report (see below.) It will not have any pages that are incomplete or that say “under construction,” which is equivalent to “I’m either new in business or I can’t be bothered taking time to be a good communicator.” The phone number and other contact information should be prominently displayed, and the inspector should be reachable on your first try.
- Don’t be a bargain hunter. Inspectors all look at the same things, right? Not necessarily. And beware of any inspector who hands you a boiler plate list or a printed manual of what should be covered in a home inspection. You can find the same information online or buy the manual yourself at the nearest big box home improvement store. They are inspecting your house and you want the inspection custom made for you. Every inspector is different and comes with specialties or strong points and probably some weak points too. You may save yourself a couple of bucks by choosing the cheapest inspector but that could cost you $1,000 or more in missed problems. Usually, the best inspectors are not the cheapest. If you want to save money, possibly thousands, then don’t choose the cheapest inspector.
Read more: http://www.winningagent.com/how-to-choose-a-home-inspector/
October 22, 2013
Buying a Home in the Winter
It's snowing outside and the temperature is dipping down into the teens. You snuggle on the couch with an electric blanket. The pantry is stocked with non-perishables. You're determined not to leave the house until the spring sun turns up, though you're not sure how you would explain that to your boss come Monday morning.
Then you start fantasizing about buying a house. You've heard rumors that a buyer's market prevails in winter. Are the considerations strong enough to pull you off of the sofa?
Spring and summer are the most active real estate months
Most real-estate transactions take place in the spring and summer for a number of practical reasons: Pleasant weather conditions encourage people to leave their own homes to view prospective new houses. Moreover, homes tend to look their best in these two seasons, with the trees and flowers in bloom. Families with school-aged children prefer moving during school summer vacation, and lastly, moving on a warm summer day avoids the mess and hassle that may be caused by a snowy day.
During the winter, a buyer's market generally prevails
Since the spring and summer are the most active real estate months, many home sellers wait until these seasons to list their homes. Though there are fewer home sellers who list their homes in the winter, they often have reasons why they can't wait until the spring or summer to sell their homes, such as job relocation.
The fewer number of home sellers and the deadlines that these home sellers face can work to the home buyer's advantage. However on the other hand it does limit your choices. Though this may seem to be a fault, the smaller selection can save you a lot of time. Do you really want to traipse through fifty houses in search of your new home? It may be simpler to view the handful of homes for sale in the winter and choose the one that best suits your needs.
October 14, 2013
How to Remove Water Stains From Granite
Beautiful and practical, granite has earned its place as the countertop of choice in many modern kitchens and bathrooms. The patterns and colors available for this natural surface are as alluring as the names its varieties are known by: Uba Tuba Butterfly, Golden Santa Cecilia, Manhattan Green, Blue Eyes and more. The natural stone is hard and extremely durable, but its porous surface should be sealed during installation to keep stains or oils from being absorbed.
Keeping your granite clean and sparkling usually requires little more than wiping off crumbs and spills with a damp cloth. But sometimes, even with the best of care, accidents can happen. What can you do if a stubborn water stain appears that won't go away with a simple rubdown?
Water stains are one of the most common sources of stains on granite countertops, and they generally occur in two forms. The first -- and easiest to clean -- is a simple water stain that forms around the bottom of a glass or other container that sits on the countertop for too long or water droplets that do not evaporate quickly. The second type of water stain is caused by hard water (that is, water with a high mineral content) that sits on the counter, dries and leaves a deposit, often resulting in bothersome circles that build up around the faucets.
If you find your beautiful granite marred by either one of these types of stains, don't worry. A few simple ingredients from your pantry or a solution from your hardware store can help. Read on and learn how you can clean water stains from your granite quickly and easily.
Read more: http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-remove-water-stains-from-granite.htm
October 10, 2013
Thanksgiving Day in Canada
What do people do?
Many people have a day off work on the second Monday of October. They often use the three-day Thanksgiving weekend to visit family or friends who live far away, or to receive them in their own homes. Many people also prepare a special meal to eat at some point during the long weekend. Traditionally, this included roast turkey and seasonal produce, such as pumpkin, corn ears and pecan nuts. Now, the meal may consist of other foods, particularly if the family is of non-European descent.
The Thanksgiving weekend is also a popular time to take a short autumn vacation. This may be the last chance in a while for some people to use cottages or holiday homes before winter sets in. Other popular activities include: outdoor breaks to admire the spectacular colors of the Canadian autumn; hiking; and fishing. Fans of the teams in the Canadian Football League may spend part of the weekend watching the Thanksgiving Day Classic matches.
Thanksgiving Day is national public holiday in Canada. Many people have the day off work and all schools and post offices are closed. Many stores and other businesses and organizations are also closed. Public transport services may run to a reduced timetable or may not run at all.
The native peoples of the Americas held ceremonies and festivals to celebrate the completion and bounty of the harvest long before European explorers and settlers arrived in what is now Canada. Early European thanksgivings were held to give thanks for some special fortune. An early example is the ceremony the explorer Martin Frobisher held in 1578 after he had survived the long journey in his quest to find a northern passage from Europe to Asia.
Many thanksgivings were held following noteworthy events during the 18th century. Refugees fleeing the civil war in the United States brought the custom of an annual thanksgiving festival to Canada. From 1879, Thanksgiving Day was held every year but the date varied and there was a special theme each year. The theme was the "Blessings of an abundant harvest" for many years. However, Queen Victoria's golden and diamond jubilees and King Edward VII's coronation formed the theme in later years.
Read more: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/canada/thanksgiving-day
October 2, 2013
Sale and listing activity continues to follow historical averages
Home buyer and seller activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market continues to far outpace 2012, yet is in line with the region’s 10-year averages.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,483 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September 2013. This represents a 63.8 per cent increase compared to the 1,516 sales recorded in September 2012, and a 1.2 per cent decline compared to the 2,514 sales in August 2013.
Last month’s sales were 1 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month, while new listings for the month were 3.5 per cent below the 10-year average.
“While sales are up considerably from last year, it’s important to note that September 2012 sales were among the lowest we’ve seen in nearly three decades,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV said. “Home sale and listing activity this September were in line with the 10-year average for the month.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,030 in September. This represents a 5.5 per cent decline compared to the 5,321 new listings reported in September 2012 and a 20.2 per cent increase compared to the 4,186 new listings in August of this year.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 16,115, a 12.2 per cent decrease compared to September 2012 and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to August 2013.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 15.4 per cent in Greater Vancouver.
“It’s important to remember that stronger sales activity does not necessarily equate to rising home prices. In fact, home prices have not fluctuated much in our market this year,” Wyant said.
Read more: http://www.rebgv.org/monthly-reports?month=September&year=2013
October 1, 2013
World Music Day
On October 01, 2013 World Music Day, also known as The Fête de la Musique is celebrated. The music festival is observed annually and this idea was first broached by American musician Joel Cohen: In the 1970s he spent two seasons as a producer of musical radio programs for the French National Radio (France Musique), where he originated the concept of an all-day musical celebration on the days of the solstice. The idea was taken up by French Music and Dance director Maurice Fleuret for Minister of Culture Jack Lang in 1981 and first took place in 1982 in Paris.
The World Music Days purpose is to promote music in two ways: Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in the streets. The slogan Faites de la musique (make music), a homophone of Fête de la Musique, is used to promote this goal. On the other side, many free concerts are organized, making all genres of music accessible to the public. Two of the caveats to being sanctioned by the official Fête de la Musique organization in Paris are that all concerts must be free to the public, and all performers donate their time for free.
Read more: http://www.cute-calendar.com/event/world-music-day/9662-world.html
September 27, 2013
Home Warranty Insurance on New Homes
Homes built by Licensed Residential Builders are covered by mandatory, third-party home warranty insurance. As a minimum, this coverage includes 2 years on labour and materials (some limits apply), 5 years on the building envelope and 10 years on structure. It's the strongest construction defect insurance in Canada. Some homes have home warranty insurance that exceeds this minimum requirement. The HPO's Guide to Home Warranty Insurance in British Columbia provides owners and prospective homebuyers with information about home warranty insurance in B.C.
The warranty is attached to the home, not to the owner of the home, and remains in effect upon the re-sale of the home until the coverage expires.
Strata-titled homes have two policies of home warranty insurance, one on the home and another on the common property. When the coverage of a new strata-titled home commences, it is possible that the coverage on the related common property has already commenced or expired. Coverage on the common property of strata-titled buildings starts when the first unit in the building is occupied or sold.
Read more: http://www.hpo.bc.ca/homeowners
September 22, 2013
First Day of Fall 2013: The Autumnal Equinox
The Autumnal Equinox
The word equinox comes from the Latin words for "equal night." The fall and spring equinoxes are the only days of the year in which the Sun crosses the celestial equator.
From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights (i.e., hours of daylight decline).
Questions and Answers About Fall
Question: Why aren't there exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness on the fall equinox?
Answer: On the equinoxes, the very center of the Sun sets just 12 hours after it rises. But the day begins when the upper edge of the Sun reaches the horizon (which happens a bit before the center rises), and it doesn't end until the entire Sun has set. Not only that, but the Sun is actually visible when it is below the horizon, as Earth's atmosphere refracts the Sun's rays and bends them in an arc over the horizon. According to our former astronomer, George Greenstein, "If the Sun were to shrink to a starlike point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have 'equal nights.'"
Question: The autumn leaves seems to be hanging on longer than usual in my neck of the woods. Is this an indication of winter weather to come?
Answer: There's an old weather proverb that states, "If autumn leaves are slow to fall, prepare for a cold winter." Or perhaps you just haven't had the kind of wind or rain needed to shake the leaves loose from their branches. But look on the bright side—you get to look at the beautiful autumn foliage for a little bit longer!
Signs of Fall
In many regions of North America, the landscape silently explodes with vibrant colors of red, yellow, and orange. The leaves begin to drop off the trees, providing endless hours of jumping into leaf piles for kids and raking them back up for parents! Baseball season hits the homestretch, while football season is just warming up. Temperatures begin to drop, nights begin to get longer, and all the woodland critters are storing up for the long haul of winter.
Read more: http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-fall-autumnal-equinox
September 15, 2013
2013 Terry Fox Run: Port Coquitlam and Beyond
September is here and the kids are back at school. This means that the Terry Fox run isn’t far away. For those of us in the Tri-Cities, it’s a chance to celebrate a great Canadian and a true hometown hero. If you’d like to learn more about Terry head to the Terry Fox Library in his hometown of Port Coquitlam. There is a quiet sitting area in the library that is surrounded by photos of Terry Fox where you can enjoy your read.
Every year the world remembers Terry Fox and the battle he lost but bravely fought. In Canada Terry Fox Runs raise money for cancer research every September, a month that Terry chose because this is the month when he had to stop his run across Canada to fight the cancer that eventually took his life. This means it’s the month when we had to take over and start running for him. This year it is on Sunday, September 15, 2013, and there are four runs happening in the Tri-Cities.
No Entry Fee. No Minimum Donation.
The Terry Fox Foundation is a grassroots organization, an independent entity from other cancer organizations. The over 9000 Terry Fox Runs they organize each year are put on 100% by volunteers. There is no entry fee required, no minimum pledge, no sponsorship and it is non-competitive. According to the Terry Fox Foundation, Terry wanted everyone to be able to participate and support the run, whether or not they could afford an entry fee, and whether or not they were great runners.
Read more: http://www.thev3h.com/2013/09/2013-terry-fox-run-port-coquitlam-and-beyond/
September 12, 2013
As the days become shorter and the temperatures dip lower, it's time to bring some warmth back into your home. Learn how to bring the beauty of fall into your home using our helpful tips, clever tricks, and simple do-it-yourself projects. Whether you're in the market for a festive fall centerpiece, a splendid fall door decoration, a seasonal wall display, or anything in between, we're sure to have an array of quick do-it-yourself projects and easy updates to help you infuse your home with the colors and textures of fall. We'll show you how to transform natural elements such as pumpkins, gourds, leaves, and more into festive and fun arrangements that will add warmth to any room in your home -- regardless of the chill in the air outside. We've also gathered a collection of our favorite do-it-yourself autumn party decorations and accessories to ensure your next gathering is filled with the sights of fall without breaking the bank! Finally, check out our favorite fall color schemes to learn how easy it is to fill your home with autumn's brilliant reds, oranges, yellows, and browns year-round.
Read more: http://www.bhg.com/decorating/seasonal/fall/
September 7, 2013
The B.C. provincial government has introduced new regulations making depreciation reports mandatory for strata corporations in B.C. Strata corporations of less than 5 units will be exempt from the requirements, plus a strata corporation may consider exempting itself by passing a 3/4 vote resolution. Changes to the Form B, Information Certificate were also introduced.
Read more: http://www.choa.bc.ca/updates.html#depreciation
September 4, 2013
Summer housing market remains active in Greater Vancouver
August activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market finished well above last year’s pace and slightly below the 10-year average for the month.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,514 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August 2013. This represents a 52.5 per cent increase compared to the 1,649 sales recorded in August 2012, and a 14.7 per cent decline compared to the 2,946 sales in July 2013.
Last month’s sales were 4.6 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.
“We’ve seen a healthy amount of demand in the marketplace this summer compared to the number of homes listed for sale,” Sandra Wyant, REBGV president said. “The market today is much stronger than we saw last year and is consistent with our long-term averages for this time of year.”
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 4,186 in August. This represents a 3.5 per cent increase compared to the 4,044 new listings reported in August 2012 and a 13.8 per cent decline from the 4,854 new listings in July of this year.
The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Greater Vancouver is 16,027, which is an 8.8 per cent decrease compared to August 2012 and a 3.6 per cent decline from July 2013.
The sales-to-active-listings ratio currently sits at 15.7 per cent in Greater Vancouver. This ratio remains consistent with balanced market conditions.
“People entering the market should not confuse stronger sales activity with rising prices. Home prices have been quite stable and consistent for much of this year,” Wyant said.
Read more: http://www.rebgv.org/monthly-reports?month=August&year=2013
September 4, 2013
Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent
The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.
The global economy continues to expand broadly as expected, but its dynamic has moderated. In the United States, the process of normalization of long-term interest rates has begun in the context of stronger private domestic demand. Recent data, however, point to slightly less momentum overall than anticipated. In Europe, there are early signs of a recovery, and Japan’s situation remains promising. In a number of emerging market economies, financial volatility has increased, adding uncertainty to growth prospects, although China continues to grow at a solid pace. Commodity prices have been relatively stable, with geopolitical stresses putting some upward pressure on global oil prices.
Uncertain global economic conditions appear to be delaying the anticipated rotation of demand in Canada towards exports and investment. While the housing sector has been slightly stronger than anticipated, household credit growth has continued to slow and mortgage interest rates are higher, pointing to a continued constructive evolution of household imbalances. Looking through the choppiness of the recent data, the level of Canada’s GDP is largely consistent with the Bank’s July forecast. The output gap is expected to begin to narrow in 2014.
Read more: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/2013/09/publications/press-releases/fad-press-release-2013-09-04/