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Posts tagged ‘Canada’

Population of Sooke Now 11,435 – Growth of 18% Since 2006

The data from the 2011 Canadian Census was released this week, and, not surprisingly, the greater Victoria region continues to grow. Also not surprisingly, growth tended to centre on areas with available land for new houses to be built. Read more

Bank Of Canada Raises Interest Rate to 0.5% At June 2010 Meeting

Only one direction to go!

This morning at its June 1, 2010 meeting, the Bank of Canada raised its key overnight lending rate (the rate at which it lends funds to chartered banks) one-quarter per cent (25 basis points) to 0.5%, its first rate hike in almost three years.

What can we expect? Banks will be increasing their prime lending rates. This is the rate upon which variable-rate mortgages are based, as well as other borrowing products such as personal loans, and some credit cards. The quarter-per cent hike translates into about $12 more per $100,000 of borrowed funds.

One thing to consider if you’re going to be renewing your mortgage or taking out a new mortgage when you buy, is that the lender discount from prime rate has been increasing (best I’ve heard is prime -0.6% lately), which may help make up for this first rate hike. Talk to an experienced mortgage broker and see what your options are.

The Bank of Canada’s move to increase rates comes amid a shaky worldwide recovery and only time will tell if more rate hikes will be necessary.

Bottom line: don’t panic. Rates are still historically low and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. Mortgage rates have been on a generally downward trend for about 30 years.

The full Bank of Canada news release can be found here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Bank Of Canada Cuts Interest Rate to 0.25% At April 2009 Meeting

Snip!

Snip!

To the surprise of many analysts, this morning at its April 21, 2009 meeting, the Bank of Canada cut its key overnight lending rate (the rate at which it lends funds to chartered banks) another half-percent to 0.25%, continuing the trend of historic low rates in an effort to stimulate the economy. Since December 2007, the Bank has trimmed 4.25% off its overnight lending rate, which has had the effect of lowering mortgage rates (especially variable rate mortgages).

Two of Canada’s chartered banks were quick to match the rate cut, trimming prime to 2.25% – a good sign that credit is available and our banks are ready to lend. This should translate into lower variable-rate mortgage products in the coming weeks. If you’re already on a variable-rate mortgage tied to the prime rate, then you’ll get a letter from your financial institution soon, advising you of the change. If you’re lucky enough to have a prime rate -0.85% mortgage, this means that with bank prime being at 2.25%, you’ll be paying a paltry 1.40% on your variable rate mortgage. That’s almost free.

The Bank predicts that fiscal and financial stimulus measures initiated by governments and central banks worldwide have been slower than expected to take hold, and will be holding the 0.25% rate until the end of the second quarter of 2010, barring unforeseen circumstances. All this means that recovery of our economy is going to take longer, starting late next year, with the economy reaching full capacity in 2011.

The full Bank of Canada news release can be found here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Bank Of Canada Cuts Interest Rate to 0.5% At March 2009 Meeting

Scissors

Big scissors for a big job!

UPDATE: CLICK FOR THE APRIL 21st, 2009 INTEREST RATE ANNOUNCEMENT

This morning at its March 3, 2009 meeting, the Bank of Canada cut its key overnight lending rate (the rate at which it lends funds to chartered banks) another half-percent to 0.5%, continuing the trend of historic low rates in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Canada’s big five banks were quick to match the rate cut, trimming prime to 2.5% – a good sign that credit is available and our banks are ready to lend. This should translate into lower variable-rate mortgage products in the coming weeks. If you’re already on a variable-rate mortgage tied to the prime rate, then you’ll get a letter from your financial institution soon, advising you of the change. If you’re lucky enough to have a prime rate -0.85% mortgage, this means that with bank prime being at 2.5%, you’ll be paying a paltry 1.65% on your variable rate mortgage. That’s almost free.

The Bank predicts that fiscal and financial stimulus measures should start to take hold later this year and into next to help the economy recover, and hints that rates will remain at this level or may decrease further until excess supply in the economy is taken up.

The full Bank of Canada news release can be found here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Is The Election Campaign All About Branding and Buzzwords? [Video]

As a REALTOR®, I’m always taking notice of how other businesses market and brand themselves. I get inspiration for ideas from other people and businesses all the time. One thing I’ve noticed is that politicians in our current Federal election campaign have been all about branding and marketing their campaigns, rather than telling us what they’ll do for us if elected. What do you think?

Here’s a quick video I shot of Conservative candidate Troy Desouza in his heavily-branded car. He even waved for the camera!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Politicians Aren’t Professional Enough To Be REALTORS® [Video]

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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CMHC Says No More 40-Year Mortgages In Canada

Tightening of restrictions also eliminates zero-down-payment mortgages.CMHC

Yesterday, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced that it was pulling the plug on 40-year amortization periods for mortgages, stating that it will no longer provide its government-backed insurance for these products. Consumers will also have to come up with minimum 5 per cent down payment when making a purchase, too.

My take? Other than the 5% down payment requirement, this doesn’t really change much. You can still get a 35-year amortization on your new mortgage. The change in monthly payment between 35 and 40 years is negligible. On a $300,000 mortgage at 5.5%, this amounts to a $64/mo difference.

Also, the CMHC isn’t the only source for mortgage default insurance. The two major private insurers, Genworth and AIG haven’t yet stated what they will do in response to this announcement. It’s interesting that the CMHC was the first to introduce the 40-year amortization and zero-down; the private entitites following suit, and now they’ve reversed their earlier decision.

Overall, I think this is a step in the right direction, though. Canada’s lending practices have always been a little on the conservative side, and this is a step back to that ideology.

If you are a buyer who needs a 40-year zero-down mortgage, you can still take advantage of your pre-approval or get pre-approved before October 15, 2008, when the new rules take effect – you should probably start looking for your home now. If you currently have a 40-year mortgage, not to worry, as this only applies to new mortgages after October 15.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Victoria BC MLS® Real Estate Statistics – June 2008

Nothing to comment on these numbers, but view the Sooke real estate statistics for June here.

Courtesy VREB:

Sales Soften, Prices Remain Stable

July 2, 2008

Sales of homes and other properties in the Greater Victoria area softened last month though prices continue to remain stable. Victoria Real Estate Board President, Tony Joe, notes that the modest decline in sales from May to June followed a similar pattern to last year. “There was a total of 723 sales of homes and other properties in June through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) compared to the 770 sales in May. Although sales last month were down substantially compared to the 949 sales in June of last year, it is important to remember that 2007 was an exceptional year for the local real estate market.”

Joe notes that prices remain stable. The overall average price of single family homes in Greater Victoria last month was $580,104; the six-month average was $600,740 though the median was considerably lower at $538,000. “There will always be month-to-month fluctuations in prices, but when we consider that the six month average in January was just over $586,000 we see that prices have remained remarkably stable this year,” said Joe.

The number of properties available for sale continued to increase last month rising to 4,513 – a 27 % increase compared to June last year. “With more properties from which to choose, buyers clearly feel less pressure to make a quick decision, though sellers who price their homes realistically can still expect strong interest,” said Joe.

The average price of all condominiums sold in June was $319,943; the average for the last six months was $330,992. The median was again lower at $295,000. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $431,992; the six month average was $432,152. The median price was $399,500.

MLS® sales last month included 395 single family homes, 180 condominiums, 81 townhomes and 23 manufactured homes.

Summary Report and Graphs

Monthly Sales Summary
Average Selling Price Graphs
Active Listings, New Listings and Sales Graphs

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Victoria BC MLS® Real Estate Statistics – May 2008

No surprises here, inventory up, sales are down.

More evidence of balance in the real estate market (although with the number of new listings, I’m not sure just how ‘balanced’ it is!) was revealed today with the release of the Victoria Real Estate Board‘s May MLS® statistics.

Despite a 25% increase in listings available for sale over the same time a year ago, prices seem to be remaining stable. 18There were virtually the same number of sales this month as last, but 193 less than May of 2007. Despite that, the average and six-month averages of condos, townhomes, and single family detached homes remain virtually the same.

What does it all mean? The number of properties available for sale has been increasing steadily all year. However, buyers are still out there, and it’s still common to see well-priced properties get snapped up very quickly. What is important, as I’ve said time and time again, is good marketing. With so much to choose from, buyers will very quickly skim over properties with horrible photos, bad write ups, or worse still, none of the above.

Below is the full Victoria Real Estate Board news release, with graphs.

More Choices Now Available for Home Buyers

June 2, 2008
With a return to a balanced real estate market, home buyers in the Victoria area now have a much larger pool of properties from which to choose. The number of properties available for sale increased to 4,332 in June – a 25 % increase over the same month a year ago and the highest level since June 1998.

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Tony Joe, notes that despite this increase, prices and sales remain stable although the number of sales is down compared to a year ago. “There was a total of 770 sales of homes and other properties in May through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), virtually unchanged from the 768 sales in April but down from the 963 sales in May of last year.” Joe noted that a significant number of new properties came on the market last month: “There were 1,850 new listings in May – the highest number for a single month in over 18-years”. Joe added that 24 sales over $1 million had an impact on the overall average price of single family homes in Greater Victoria which last month was $601,897; the six-month average was $606,985 though median was considerably lower at $545,000. There were also three sales on the Gulf Islands of over $1 million.

The average price of all condominiums sold in May was $336,157; the average for the last six months was $333,208. The median was again lower at $295,500. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $435,058; the six month average was $433,854. The median price was $394,900.

MLS® sales last month included 470 single family homes, 168 condominiums, 71 townhomes and 25 manufactured homes.

Summary Report and Graphs

Monthly Sales Summary
Average Selling Price Graphs
Active Listings, New Listings and Sales Graphs

Courtesy Victoria Real Estate Board

Tim Ayres

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Victoria BC MLS® Real Estate Statistics – April 2008

Greetings, search engine visitors! For April Statistics, released today, June 2, 2008, click here!

As choices increase and buyers decrease, pressure is on to price it right!

There is still fuel in the fire of the Victoria and Sooke real estate market, but decidedly less from a year ago. The April statistics were released today, and despite an all-time record high average price for single-family detached houses of $630,295 (caused by a relatively high number of sales of $1M+ homes), the trend is to increased inventory and fewer buyers.

There were 17 per cent more properties available for sale last month compared to the same month a year ago, and 768 sales, compared to 898. Sales were up from March, which had 707 sales.

There is still robust market action on moderately priced and lower priced properties, and the key is good marketing and good pricing. Still, sellers can expect to have to wait longer than in recent years in most cases as buyers consider the increased inventory. Make sure your photographs look good! Below is the statistics release from the Victoria Real Estate Board and their graphs.

Real Estate Sales Moderate – Prices Remain Stable

May 1, 2008Sales of homes and other properties in the Victoria area moderated in April with a total of 768 sales through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), up from 707 sales in March but down from the 898 sales in the same month a year ago. Overall prices remain steady but 28 sales of over $1 million, including two sales in Oak Bay of over $2 million, pushed the average price of single family homes to a new record high.

Victoria Real Estate Board President, Tony Joe, notes that the number of properties available for sale continues to increase. “In April, there were 3,859 properties available for sale – a 17 per cent increase over the 3,305 properties on the market in April of 2007. This increase in inventory coupled with a moderation in the number of sales offers further indication of a more balanced market that offers stability for both buyers and sellers.”

Joe added that despite the record high average price for single family homes, overall prices remained steady last month. “The relatively large number of high-priced sales had a substantial impact on the average price of single family homes in Greater Victoria, pushing this figure to a new record high of $630,295 but it is important to note that the median or mid-range price was substantially lower at $558,000.” Joe noted that nearly 28% of single family homes last month sold for under $475,000.

The average price of all condominiums sold in April was $325,975; the average for the last six months was $328,915. The median was again lower at $294,900. The average price of all townhomes sold last month was $420,658; the six month average was $440,364. The median price was $407,450.

MLS® sales last month included 395 single family homes, 235 condominiums, 80 townhomes and 20 manufactured homes.

Summary Report and Graphs

Monthly Sales Summary
Average Selling Price Graphs
Active Listings, New Listings and Sales Graphs

Courtesy Victoria Real Estate Board

Tim Ayres


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