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Posts tagged ‘listings’

SOLD! – Gorgeous Acreage And 4 Bedroom House For Sale In Sooke – 3750 Otter Point Road

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SOLD! MLS® 318314 – $399,900

A place to get away from it all and raise your family in peace and serenity. This awesome faux-Tudor style 4 bedroom, 2100 sqft home sits on an absolutely lovely 1.26 acres of lush forest that has been selectively logged to open it up to the south-east sunlight. Read more

SOLD! Sooke House For Sale – 1900 sqft 3 bedroom 3 bath on 2 levels – 6696 Acreman Place

 SOLD! $349,900

Wow – so much house for such a great price! This immaculate, 2003-built family home boasts 1900 sqft of well-laid-out family living space. Set on a quiet cul-de-sac, the home is just steps away from elementary and middle schools, and convenient walking distance from Sooke village, shopping, trails, parks, and more.

Read more

Realtor.ca Now Sucks Even Less!

I had posted about a month or so ago about how the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) had listened to consumers and REALTORS® nationwide and made some much needed improvements to its much-maligned REALTOR.ca experience.

Last Thursday, additional improvements were rolled out to REALTOR.ca which should improve the user experience even more.

A new Gallery View display will show up to 12 photos of the property (assuming there are that many on the listing) over the interactive map display. Look for the button at the upper right of the map page.

Thumbnail View display will provide 12 property photos at a time with the property description and links to other features like virtual tours or other multimedia. The button to enable this feature is also located in the upper right of the map page.

Unless you’re using Safari on a Mac, you’ll notice that the “save search” function has been moved to a more prominent place on the page, making it easier to find and use to save your favourite searches. Safari users will notice this enhancement at a later date.

Searching by MLS® number should also work better.

Firefox 3 users should also notice that the site works better for them.

Last but not least, searching by neighbourhood name should also be getting better. This was a great frustration for many users used to searching on MLS.ca by clicking on the MLS district name (for example Victoria-Fairfield or Sooke-Whiffen Spit). A reminder from CREA that if you’re searching a specific area by name and don’t get the expected results, send them an e-mail at helpdesk@crea.ca with the details and they will follow up to make sure it gets added to the database.

As always, if you’re having trouble with REALTOR.ca, contact me at 250-885-0512 or using the previous link and I’ll help you set up a real estate search on my client portal which will e-mail you new listings and price changes that match your criteria. With so many listings on the market, a REALTOR® can really help narrow it down to find the place that’s right for you.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Think Realtor.ca Sucks? It Will Get Better Soon

Actual Users, Maude and Bill

Actual Users, Maude and Bill

Since the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) replaced the much-loved MLS.ca with the (so far) much-maligned REALTOR.ca last month, they’ve had nothing but complaints from everyone who uses it (consumers) and everyone who benefits from it (REALTORS® in Canada).

I can understand the domain name switch. Since its inception, MLS.ca has never been all that clear that it is a service provided by REALTORS® in Canada, and the switch to REALTOR.ca takes care of that. And I do believe it was time for a technology update – MLS.ca was pretty old-school.

But it worked, and it was simple. CREA threw the baby out with the bathwater on this one.

Yesterday, I noticed an update on our REALTOR® intranet, which outlined a few changes that will take place later this month, which should help to improve the overall user experience.

Users may have noticed that there is a limit on how far you can zoom into the interactive map. You can zoom only so far, and then it sort of bounces back to the limited zoom level. Effective November 20th, this restriction will be removed. This should help alleviate the “500 property” warning because you will be able to zoom down to reduce the number of properties displayed on the map. The map will also stop “yo-yo-ing”  as users reach the zoom limit and it snaps back to a wider view.

A big complaint has been the clunky way that neighbourhoods are handled. CREA assumed everyone would enjoy zooming down into the specific neighbourhood that they were interested in. This is in contrast to the old static MLS.ca maps where you could drill down to the specific MLS zones set up by the various real estate boards. For example, you could click BC–> Vancouver Island/Smaller Islands –> Victoria–> Sooke–> Broom Hill to see all the listings in that MLS zone. The Realtor.ca experience so far has been limited. The site was launched before many of these neighbourhoods could be defined in the database. So when somebody searched for Broom Hill, they might get the actual geographical feature rather than the MLS zone of the same name – clearly a problem. CREA has identified and added some 3500 of these areas since October 2nd, and will continue to add more as the local real estate boards provide the data. The Victoria Real Estate Board has been on this since day one and many of our MLS sub-areas are already in the CREA database. This is probably the largest issue with the site, and it will get better.

The issue of limited/no compatibility with non-Internet Explorer web browsers (Firefox, Safari, etc) is also being worked on. Thank-you, CREA, for no longer excluding some 47% of browser market share 😉

2008 IE7 IE6 Chrome FireFox Moz Safari O
October 26.9% 20.2% 3.0% 44.0% 0.4% 2.8% 2.2%
September 26.3% 22.3% 3.1% 42.6% 0.5% 2.7% 2.0%

There have also been complaints that photos are too small (I agree!), thumbnail information that pops up when you mouse over a property on the map is insufficient (probably), and that the listings are just too hard to find. There are changes that are being tested to address these issues as well.

Specifically in our marketplace, one of the problems has been that too many listings have appeared in the “not mapped” column which makes them extremely hard to find. This was caused by our previous MLS back-end software, which had an antiquated procedure for placing properties on a map. Also, the default data setting was to not supply an address to MLS.ca. With our new MLS system, the default is reversed, and all of the old listings were automatically mapped by address and postal code as they were imported into the new database, so that should solve most of the problem.

We want REALTOR.ca to work. Believe me. CREA spends millions of our (the REALTORS®) dollars to create and operate that site for the benefit of consumers. Canada is lucky to have it. There is no equivalent in the U.S., where MLS data is sometimes split across different websites for one city, let alone the entire country like we have here. I believe that once the bugs are worked out, REALTOR.ca will be far superior to MLS.ca

Questions? Comments? Post them below (or click through to the post if you’re reading this in a reader).

If you’re still having trouble with REALTOR.ca or would like more detailed information than it provides,  I can set up a private client portal for you to view the Sooke or Victoria MLS listings. Give me a call any time at 250-885-0512, fill in my buyer’s form, or shoot me an e-mail at Tim@TimAyres.ca. My services are available to buyers at no cost.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
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Sooke Real Estate Under $300,000

First Time Buyer? Investor? Looking to stop renting?

There are currently 21 properties as of today (October 20th, 2008) for sale in Sooke under $300,000. And we’re not talking tiny, cramped condos or bachelor pads. The type of properties available for this price range varies from spacious condos and townhouses in waterfront complexes in the Sasseenos area, a small acreage in the Otter Point area, half duplexes in the town core, and even some under-construction brand-new townhouses. The best buy might be the 0.39 acre parcel on Church Road which will be ripe for redevelopment in the future. There are also lots of mobile/manufactured homes in Sooke for between $75,000 – $200,000.

Sooke MLS Real Estate Listings under $300,000

The link above is updated live, so feel free to bookmark it! If you have any questions about how you can get into your own home for under $300,000, give me a call at 250-885-0512 or send me an e-mail to Tim@TimAyres.ca

For your information, a $300,000 property would cost you approximately $1400 per month if you put 5% down and took out a 30-year mortgage, according to RBC’s mortgage calculator, based on a rate of 5.0%. I know several excellent mortgage brokers who can get you pre-qualified with the best rates, saving you thousands of dollars in interest.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or get free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

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

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged!
Just use the form or link below this post.

You can bookmark this post using the button below,
or get free updates using the big buttons on the sidebar!

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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