Recycle, Reduce, Redecorate.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture for store credit, I love this idea!!

Time to handle some obligatory objections…

#1 They’ll only give you pennies on the dollar:
– Of course they will, this is your used furniture we’re talking about!
– Ikea is obviously aiming at those of us who were going to chuck our old furniture in the dumpster. For those of you who were already going to thrift, hand-down or donate – do that! This is not a better or mandatory option – this is just giving consumers more reasons to think before they dump, and maybe even help #maketheworldabetterplace

#2 Now you have to lug your butt (and furniture) all the way back to Ikea:
– Let’s face it, if you were going to toss that old dresser then you were going to have to lug it out of your room and down to the dump. And if you planned to replace it, a trip back to Ikea was already in store for your future. Why not do it and also earn little store credit!

So let’s pass this info along and help our fellow consumer earn a little buck while not completely trashing the planet as we style our homes!

Economic Drivers of Real Estate in Vancouver – DELOITTE

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Real estate market overview and current challenges

October, 2016
Stepping into 2017

Come join me as we learn from Jennifer Podmore-Russell of Deloitte, and her take on where is Vancouver’s real estate marketing heading as we step into 2017. This presentation brought to us courtesy of Wealthminds!

Click here for the full presentation.

I’ve also highlighted below some notable changes in our market which may affect you! Give us a call at (604) 629-7515 or fill out the form below if you’d like to learn more.

Changes in the market – BC’s Foreign Buyer Property Transfer Tax

On July 25, 2016, the BC government introduced legislative changes directed at BC’s residential housing market. The key changes include the introduction of an additional 15% property transfer tax (PTT), effective August 2, 2016, on transfers of residential properties within the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) to foreign entities or taxable trustees

Government Responses – Preventative Measures for a “Healthy, Competitive and Stable Housing Market”

Legislation release on October 3, 2016 included a “Mortgage rate stress test” for all insured borrowers and closing loopholes for the Principal Residence Exemption.

Beaten to the Shadow Punch

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Stop… in the name housing affordability and supply!!

I seem to have a lot of Christy Clark showing up in my blog feed these days. Today’s announcement, is that the province aims to implement rules that require the Seller’s consent for any assignment plus any profits made from assignments returned to the home-owner.  The announcement comes one day after NDP Leader John Horgan introduced two bills in the legislature in response to so-called shadow flipping and empty homes.

So what do you think? Is this likely to succeed? Will it in fact have any affect on the real issue which is housing affordability and supply?

Province to address “shadow flipping” abuse in real estate transactions

Premier Christy Clark has announced British Columbia is taking further action on realtor conduct, conflict of interest and housing affordability.

In the coming weeks, government will put new rules in place to prevent the potentially predatory practice of real estate contract assignment ─ so-called “shadow flipping.”

Government looks forward to the Real Estate Council’s independent advisory group recommendations on licensee conduct and potential conflict of interest, such as dual agency representation where one licensee acts for both the seller and buyer in a transaction.

Finance Minister Michael de Jong and Deputy Premier Rich Coleman will meet with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to discuss collaborative steps governments can take to further improve affordability in Vancouver.

Read the Premier’s full Press Release here

Want to learn more?:

Metro Vancouver home buyers set a record pace in February

Last month was the highest selling February on record for the Metro Vancouver housing market.

Residential property sales in the region totalled 4,172 in February 2016, an increase of 36.3 per cent from the 3,061 sales recorded in February 2015 and an increase of 65.6 per cent compared to January 2016 when 2,519 home sales occurred.

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Last month’s sales were 56.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and ranks as the highest February sales total on record.

“We’re in a competitive, fast-moving market cycle that favours home sellers,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “Sustained home buyer competition is keeping upward pressure on home prices across the region.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,812 in February 2016. This represents an increase of 7.1 per cent compared to the 5,425 units listed in February 2015 and a 30.8 per cent increase compared to January 2016 when 4,442 properties were listed.

“We’re beginning to see home listings increase as we head toward the spring market, however, additional supply is still needed to meet today’s demand,” McLeod said.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,299, a 38.7 per cent decline compared to February 2015 (11,898) and a 10 per cent increase compared to January 2016 (6,635).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for February 2016 is 57.2 per cent. This is indicative of a seller’s market.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $795,500. This represents a 22.2 per cent increase compared to February 2015.

Sales of detached properties in February 2016 reached 1,778, an increase of 37.2 per cent from the 1,296 detached sales recorded in February 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 27 per cent from February 2015 to $1,305,600.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,790 in February 2016, an increase of 43.9 per cent compared to the 1,244 sales in February 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 17.7 per cent from February 2015 to $454,600.

Attached property sales in February 2016 totalled 604, an increase of 15.9 per cent compared to the 521 sales in February 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 17 per cent from February 2015 to $569,600.

BC’s New PTT (Property Transfer Tax)

The new rules on BC’s Property Transfer Tax have been released with the potential to save up to $13,000 for some, and rate increases for others. The goal of the province’s 2016 budget to help put home ownership within the reach of more people, but you can weigh in – does BC’s New PTT achieve its stated goals?

Highlights

  • Exemption for buyers of new homes that priced at up to $750,000;
  • PTT increase to 3% from 2% for properties valued at more than $2 million;
  • Requirement that property buyers self-report their nationality when they register their property.

Let’s go back and recognize the PTT as a major source of BC’s revenue, Vancouver accounting for nearly one-quarter of the government’s $1.15-billion windfall from B.C.’s property transfer tax in the past fiscal year.

The property transfer tax was introduced in 1987 as a “luxury tax,” however thresholds have not changed since then, meaning it has turned into a revenue generator for the province.

Top 5 House Hunting Trips

Just Sold! 3493 David

We have just sold one of the best SOUTH view HOMES on Burke Mountain. If you missed this great opportunity – email me below to find out about other similar homes in your neighbourhood that are coming up for sale! Find the Full Listing information here.

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Place for your family and more.

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Stunning VIEWS. Master bedroom retreats with spa-inspired Ensuites. Built by MOSAIC.

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Upgraded appliances, a master-planned community to be complete with play space, green space and shopping village. Massive kitchen islands, spacious laundry rooms, double-door ensuite bathrooms, walk-out backyards, mud rooms for gear, window lounges, closet space to spare. No CARPET AT ALL. Located in Quite side of David Ave.

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Empty homes not the issue in Vancouver, Urban Futures think-tank says

A THINK-TANK THAT looks into demographic and economic issues has had enough of some of the talk around unoccupied homes in Vancouver.

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Noting that “with recent headlines speculating on the share of the City’[s] unoccupied housing stock ranging between 25 and 50 percent”, Urban Futures thinks it might be helpful to give out again its previous report on vacant dwellings in Canada.

Reblogged from The Georgia Straight | Carlito Pablo

In a media release today (September 26) providing a link to the paper “Much Ado About Nothing: What the Census data say, and don’t say, about foreign & temporary residents and unoccupied dwellings”, Urban Futures states that “discussions around this issue have suffered from, at best, misrepresentation of the available data to consider the issue”.

“At worst they are further entrenching misconceptions about housing occupancy in the region,” the group adds.

The Urban Futures study notes that an average of 4.8 percent of dwelling units in 33 major metropolitan areas across Canada was unoccupied during the 2011 census.

“With a 5.4 percent level of unoccupied units, the Vancouver CMA [census metropolitan area] was above the CMA average, but the difference was slight compared to other CMAs, such as the Victoria (7.5 percent), London and Windsor (6.9 percent), St. Catherines/Niagara and Sherbrooke (both at 6.8 percent) regions,” the paper states.

Zeroing in on apartments, Metro Vancouver had 6.2 percent vacant, which is “below the 7.0 percent average for all 33 of the CMAs in Canada”.

“The average of 5.4 percent of all private dwellings in the Vancouver CMA being unoccupied at the time of the Census represented underlying levels of 3.2 percent of the single detached stock, 6.2 percent of apartments, and 6.8 percent of attached ground oriented units. Single detached units accounted for 20 percent of the unoccupied units in the region on Census day, perhaps reflective of 2011’s active real estate sales market,” the paper notes.

It goes on: “Within the Vancouver region, with an overall average of 6.2 percent, unoccupied apartments accounted for a slightly above average share in the City of Vancouver (6.7 percent) and West Vancouver (6.9 percent), and well above average shares in Pitt Meadows (8.7 percent), Surrey (9.2 percent), and in the UBC/UEL area (10.1 percent). The spatial pattern of unoccupied apartment units throughout the region is driven by a wide range of factors, from the prominence of student populations within each municipality to sales activity.”

The authors note that there are no census data on foreign ownership or investment in housing.

Their conclusion: “There are significant housing issues in this region—the levels of occupancy by foreign and/or temporary residents and level of unoccupied units are not among them.”

Last year, the Straight spoke with one of the authors of the report, economist Ryan Berlin, who said at that time: “We were just trying to reframe the debate in terms of the actual numbers and in terms of the definitions.”

Read original article and more here…

Real-estate analyst says Lower Mainland elections could influence housing prices

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DON CAMPBELL LIKES to say that he doesn’t sell real estate. “I’m just a researcher,” insists the author of several books on property investing.

Campbell also likes to say that because he’s not selling property, he can be counted on to offer an unbiased perspective. He’s the founding partner of the Real Estate Investment Network, a Langley-based company that provides market analysis to clients.

Reached by the Georgia Straight on his cellphone for an interview about the fall municipal elections, he was forthcoming about which cities he’s watching.

Reblogged from The Georgia Straight | Carlito Pablo

Surrey is number one on his shortlist of three. According to Campbell, B.C.’s second-largest municipality has been “excellent” on a number of fronts. One is the development of its town centres. Another is the protection of farmland. Third is its ability to provide more affordable housing than Vancouver.

“And now that Dianne Watts is no longer going to be the mayor and heading up that focus, it’s going to be very interesting to see (a) who gets in next, and (b) what their policies are,” Campbell said. “They need to keep very similar policies that they’ve got now. They’re growing at such a rapid rate that if they start changing policy now, they’ll get caught in a lot of problems.”

Earlier this year, REIN released its latest report on the top B.C. towns in which to invest in real estate, and Surrey topped the list.

Former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum and councillor Linda Hepner have announced that they’re running for the city’s top post. Councillor Barinder Rasode is widely expected to join the fray.

Campbell said that he’s also looking at what happens in Abbotsford. In REIN’s latest report on the top towns in B.C. for real-estate investment, Abbotsford placed third after Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, which came second.

Underscoring that he’s not siding with anyone in particular, Campbell said that he’d like to see that the next Abbotsford council “understands that the Surrey model is a sustainable model”. Another concern he has regarding Abbotsford is the need for the municipality to attract jobs.

Vancouver is third on Campbell’s list of cities to watch. “The next mayor, whether it’s the current one or a different one, is really going to have to tap into us being that high-tech hub, and attracting that millennial-aged, well-paid employee because they can, you know, afford to live in Vancouver.”

Asked about New Westminster, Campbell admitted that he’s not familiar with its politics.

But there’s one thing he has observed about the Royal City: “What they need is a new economic-development focus that right now hasn’t been communicated very well.”

Campbell explained that while the city has transit and jobs, it “seems to have missed the majority of the real-estate demand curve that you saw in Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby, [and] Coquitlam”.

It’s mostly “reputational”, according to Campbell, pointing out that New Westminster needs a brand that is attractive to young people and families.

“What it needs is a new message by the city put out to the world of, ‘Hi, we’re New Westminster, here are our positives,’ and a new, young, fresh mayor might do that,” Campbell said.

He emphasized that he doesn’t know much about Jonathan Cote, a young councillor who declared in June that he wants to become the next mayor. Incumbent four-term mayor Wayne Wright hasn’t announced his plans. According to Campbell, “The mayor is just one of many moving parts in a city’s reputation.”

Campbell also mentioned one other thing in connection with civic elections: the impact on real estate of decisions made by mayors and councils on public transportation. According to him, every time a new rapid-transit system like the Evergreen Line in the Tri-Cities area is developed, demand for real estate shoots up along its corridor.

Surrey council has been pushing for a three-pronged, street-level light-rail system that would connect Surrey Centre with Guildford, Newton, and Langley. For its part, Vancouver wants a subway along Broadway to UBC.

Read original article here

Yaletown properties assessments reduced

THE PROPERTY ASSESSMENT Appeal Board has approved a joint recommendation from Bosa Development (Pacific Point) Inc. and B.C. Assessment’s area assessor for the Vancouver Sea to Sky Region to reduce the valuations on nine addresses on the northwest edge of Yaletown.

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Reblogged from The Georgia Straight | Charlie Smith

In 2013, Bosa Development completed the Pacific Point project at the corner of Homer and Pacific streets.

For 425, 427, and 429 Pacific Street, there were reductions of 6.7 percent, 17.8 percent, and 15.8 percent, respectively.

These three properties were initially assessed at $900,500. As a result of the agreement, the three sites are now valued at $790,000.

Six other addresses in the 1300 block of Homer experienced a collective drop in assessment from $2.5 million to $2.3 million. For these six sites, the average reduction was seven percent.

In each instance, the value of the land was reduced but the value of the “improvement” (i.e., the building) remained the same. This indicates that under certain circumstances, B.C. Assessment may be prepared to make adjustments on its assessments of land in the downtown core.

Lower assessed values translate into lower property taxes. That’s because municipal and school levies are based on B.C. Assessment’s valuations.

The head of Bosa Development, Nat Bosa, was in the news late last month after he and his wife bought the famed 106-year-old Empress Hotel in Victoria. The Bosas purchased the 477-room hotel from Ivanhoé Cambridge for an undisclosed price.

The Empress Hotel was designed by architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury. His fame increased after he was murdered in England in 1935 by his wife’s lover.

In addition to designing the Empress Hotel, Rattenbury was the architect of the neighbouring parliament buildings in Victoria and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Read the original article and more here.