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Posts tagged ‘policy’

Are Sooke’s Seaview Trailer Park Residents Still In Peril?

Sooke Harbour

Sooke Harbour

Since I first posted about the plight of the residents of the Seaview Mobile Home Park in Sooke, I’ve had quite the response from residents of the park and observers of the situation. I even had a comment the other day that was so defamatory that I was afraid to post it and I deleted it. Libel and slander are not why I started a blog.

It’s understandable – this is human drama in the purest form. A disadvantaged group of tenants at the mercy of a landlord. These struggles have gone on for centuries and always cause emotions to run high. I am honoured that the residents are choosing my blog as a forum to express their comments, and I thank the two residents of the park that have taken the time to e-mail me to update the situation.

Ever since I wrote last week about Sooke Council passing the mobile home park resident protection bylaw, I wondered how it would affect Seaview, since they were given the eviction notice before the bylaw was passed. I feared that if the eviction notice was lawful, the residents would be forced to leave.

I got an e-mail yesterday from a resident of the park who informed me that the residents are disputing the eviction on the grounds that it was illegally served. This person further stated that even if the eviction notice is valid, that the landlord will have to relocate or buy up the units at fair market value. It would appear then that the District of Sooke’s new policy will apply to the residents, which is some good news.

I will keep updating as I get more information.

Your comments are always appreciated, and can be left below this post or by clicking on the big red comment link.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Moral Dilemma

I missed a Horrible MLS Photo yesterday. I had a bit of thinking to do on the future of this part of my blog.

On Friday, I had a call from a member of our real estate board who had noticed one of his pictures on the blog last week. He wasn’t upset about the fact that his photo had ended up on my blog, but was more concerned that I was skating on thin ice by pointing out the inadequacies of other members’ photography skills, which could be construed as discrediting another member, which isn’t allowed under our code of ethics.

I explained that I never ever mention the name of the REALTOR®, the address or even the MLS® number of the subject photo. In fact, I rarely even know these things myself; I usually just scan the photos section of the listing without looking at such details.

Often, the photos are from out of the area or are e-mailed to me by readers.

And the whole point of this exercise (other than entertaining you, the reader), is to encourage real estate agents to get better at what we do. I’ve even posted some of my own photos before.

This agent that called was concerned that I was poking fun at other agents in our area, which is inappropriate, especially now that I’ve been elected as a director for our real estate board. It really struck me when he told me that he had in fact voted for me. I felt like a complete jerk.

So I had a bit of a dilemma on my hands. On the one hand, I don’t feel I’m doing anything wrong. Usually my comments are more helpful tips on how to make the photo better rather than biting remarks ridiculing the agent that took the photo (whose identity is never revealed). On the other hand, I do have a duty to respect and represent the agents who elected me to sit on the board for the next two years, and I feel I’m held to a higher standard in that regard.

What I’ve decided is that I’ll continue the Horrible MLS Photo Of The Day. However, I will no longer use pictures from the Victoria Real Estate Board, and wherever possible, I’ll search for them outside the province. I will also begin to accept reader submissions from outside our trading area. I will also make sure that my comments about the photos, if any, will be constructive in nature and not demeaning.

And my policy stands as it always has, that if you’ve found one of your photos on this blog and want it removed, simply let me know and I’ll take it down.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke’s Seaview Mobile Home Park Protected by Sooke Council

Sooke Municipal Hall

Sooke Municipal Hall

An updated on the situation I posted about last week:

Last night, at the Sooke Council Chambers, the owners of the not-so-mobile homes in Sooke’s Seaview Trailer Park breathed a sigh of relief as Sooke Council unanimously passed the proposed policy on mobile home park redevelopments.

The policy protects mobile home owners by requiring the owner of the park to either compensate the owners for the fair market value of their homes or relocate the home to another pad before redevelopment will be permitted.

The Council also gave a legal opinion that the eviction notice served to the owners was in fact illegal (probably due to the fact that it stated that all municipal approvals were in place for redevelopment, which was untrue).

One park resident has been in e-mail contact with me and tells me that the owners have a court date in November to challenge the eviction notice. Stay tuned for updates.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Bank Of Canada Cuts Interest Rate – Mar 4, 2008

UPDATE: APR 22, 2008 RATE ANNOUNCEMENT

Key rate cut by 1/2 per cent

Citing deepening woes in the U.S. economy that could further affect the Canadian and world economies, the Bank of Canada has slashed its key overnight lending rate by one-half per cent to 3 1/2 per cent. The Bank says that further economic stimulus would likely be required in the near term to keep inflation at the target of two per cent per year over the medium term. This should result in a reduction in mortgage rates by financial institutions.

On another note, Canada’s economy performed pretty much as expected through the four quarters of 2007, finishing above its capacity for that year.

The Bank of Canada Press Release:

Bank of Canada lowers overnight rate target by 1/2 percentage point to 3 1/2 per cent

OTTAWA – The Bank of Canada today announced that it is lowering its target for the overnight rate by one-half of one percentage point to 3 1/2 per cent. The operating band for the overnight rate is correspondingly lowered, and the Bank Rate is now 3 3/4 per cent.

Information received since the January Monetary Policy Report Update (MPRU) indicates that economic growth in Canada through the four quarters of 2007 was broadly in line with expectations. Domestic demand has remained buoyant, as rising commodity prices and high employment have continued to support income growth. Canada’s net exports weakened further in the fourth quarter, reflecting the slowing U.S. economy and the impact of the past appreciation of the Canadian dollar. Overall, the Canadian economy remained above its production capacity at year-end. Core and total CPI inflation – at 1.4 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively, in January – have also been consistent with the Bank’s expectations.

At the same time, there are clear signs that the U.S. economy is likely to experience a deeper and more prolonged slowdown than had been projected in January. This stems from further weakening in the residential housing market, which is adversely affecting other sectors of the U.S. economy and contributing to further tightening in credit conditions. The deterioration in economic and financial conditions in the United States can be expected to have significant spillover effects on the global economy. These developments suggest that important downside risks to Canada’s economic outlook that were identified in the MPRU are materializing and, in some respects, intensifying.

The Bank now judges that the balance of risks around its January projection for inflation has clearly shifted to the downside, and, as a result, the Bank is lowering the target for the overnight rate. Further monetary stimulus is likely to be required in the near term to keep aggregate supply and demand in balance and to achieve the 2 per cent inflation target over the medium term.

The Bank will publish a new projection for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, in the Monetary Policy Report on 24 April 2008.

Information note:

The Bank of Canada’s next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is 22 April 2008.

See all posts about interest rates here.

Tim Ayres


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Bank Of Canada Cuts Interest Rate – Jan 22, 2008

As expected, Bank of Canada cuts the key lending rate by 1/4 per cent.

The Bank of Canada this morning announced its expected 1/4% cut in Canada’s mortgage-rate Money-money-money-monnnnnaaaaay!setting overnight lending rate. The anticipated move is made to ensure that the Canadian economy continues to grow, despite continuing struggles in the world economy dealing with the fallout of the credit crisis brought on by the housing meltdown in the United States. Borrowers in Canada can expect their lending institutions to lower their mortgage rates in the coming weeks, and variable rate mortgages should decrease as well.

There was a highly-sensationalized story reported last week that the major banks may not follow the Bank Of Canada’s monetary policy and would instead keep rates where they are, thereby increasing profitability in the wake of tightening credit availability. This is unlikely, and was denied by the major banks the following day. All it would take would be one institution to offer the lower rate, and competition being what it is, the other banks would be forced into line.

This is good news for homeowners and potential buyers. The outlook for inflation is below the 2% target rate, and is expected to stay this way until the end of 2009. The increased competition in retail sales brought on by price cuts due to the high Canadian dollar has slowed inflation to the point where it will be below 1.5% by mid year. To stimulate aggregate demand (overall spending in the economy) to return inflation to the target 2%, the Bank will likely continue to adjust downward the interest rate over the coming year.

With housing price growth expected to cool this year, and interest rates remaining stable or lowering, the erosion of housing affordability we have witnessed over the past few years should slow somewhat.

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

The US Federal Reserve, in charge of setting monetary policy for our southern cousins, has meanwhile slashed rates 3/4%, the biggest cut in 23 years in an effort to ward off the threat of a U.S. recession.

Tim Ayres

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