Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shelter taxes - can we lower them?

REALTORS® and the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) have been active in speaking out against the increasing burden of shelter taxes on British Columbians for many years.

REALTORS® and BCREA want to work with elected officials to create meaningful solutions to ensure the ongoing economic growth, job growth and quality of life for British Columbians.

BCREA recommendations to the BC Government

  • Increase the 1% Property Transfer Tax threshold from $200,000 to $525,000, with 2% applying to the remainder of the fair market value.

  • Index the 1% Property Transfer Tax threshold of $525,000 using Statistics Canada's New Housing Price Index, and make adjustments annually.

  • Index the Harmonized Sales Tax new home rebate threshold—currently set at $525,000—using the New Housing Price Index, and make adjustments annually.

Reducing these shelter taxes will enable those who have a lower/limited income to take part in the market and enjoy home ownership.

For a FREE market evaluation, please feel free to call me at 250.884.3980 or e-mail at

Arran McLellan

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Canadian Economy has "Peaked"

The Canadian economy has continued to remain strong despite the financial crisis we had. However there are some factors which now come into play which will affect the economy.

Economists predict that the strong increase of exports and business investment which is driving the growth will be limited by several factors.

  • A high Canadian dollar

  • The sluggish U.S. economy

  • Huge household debt levels - record levels

  • Government stimulus spending slowing down

As the economy reaches the midpoint of 2011, there is expected to be a slow down. The Real Estate market which has surged while in the U.S. has had a double dip, will show signs of weakness.

New Listings are expected to increase with sales expected to decrease, which will create a moderating effect on house prices by about 10% from the current levels. This is predicted to take place in the 1st quarter of 2012 through the year and stabilize in 2013.

TD projects growth to be a modest 2 - 2.5% and jobless rate to remain over 7% for the next few years.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where's Summer? Vacation property faq's...

With the weather we have been getting some are beginning to wonder if we are going to get a summer!

Tonight as you know is game 6 of the finals! Go Canucks!

Some great info for you! Home economics:

Pros and Cons of purchasing Vacation Property with friends!

As the price of real estate continues to increase, shared ownership is a great way to spread the financial burden.

  • Come to the table with an equal amount of funds

  • Put together a long term budget of principal, interest, maintenance and unexpected costs

  • Have a clearly written agreement which has been looked over by a lawyer

  • Make sure the Title is sorted out - Tenants in common or joint tenants with right to survivorship, what's the difference?

  • Cover your beneficiaries with enough life insurance to pay off the mortgage

  • Keep track of all reno spending for tax purposes

  • If one party has a mortgage on it, don't pay your half in cash, in case of default by the other party as you are liable to pay off the mortgage debt, or risk losing it.

Vinegar kills dandelions

This is a great alternative way to getting rid of the over abundance of dandelions. Try to spray when not windy as the vinegar can harm your other plants and grass. If you have dug up the dandelions you can add a couple of drops to the roots to clear them up. (Complements Postmedia News)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Market News - June 1/11

Real Estate Sales Steady in May
June 1, 2011
The number of property sales throughout Greater Victoria in May showed little change compared to April while overall prices showed some softening. A total of 572 homes and other properties sold in May through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple listing Service® (MLS®), virtually unchanged from the 574 sales in April. There were 695 sales in May of last year.
Victoria Real Estate Board President, Dennis Fimrite, noted that market activity so far this year is considerably slower than in the same period a year ago, "Sales so far this year are running nearly 21 per cent behind last year’s levels. It’s important to remember, however, that the first six months of last year were very active and sales activity subsequently slowed considerably over the summer and into the fall."
Fimrite added that the number of properties available for sale continued to increase at the end of last month which is typical for this time of year. "There is plenty of choice now on the market for buyers with 4,857 properties available for sale at the end of May - up from 4,561 properties available at the end of April. Inventory levels are currently seven per cent higher than a year ago." Fimrite noted that while overall market conditions remain balanced, it’s important for sellers to price their homes realistically to attract attention from buyers.

The average price for single-family homes sold in Greater Victoria last month was $628,462, up from $615,533 in April. The median price, however, declined slightly to $553,000 while the six-month average also declined slightly to $620,488. There were 26 single family home sales of over $1 million in May including one on the Gulf Islands. There were three sales in Oak Bay and one sale in Saanich West of over $2 million.

The overall average price for condominiums last month was $328,345, down from $353,858 in April. The average for the last six months declined to $327,757. The median price for condominiums in May declined to $294,000.

The average price of all townhomes sold last month declined to $466,845 from $480,621 in April. The median price also declined to $432,332 while the six month average rose to $447,581.
MLS® sales last month included 353 single family homes, 123 condominiums, 51 townhomes and 17 manufactured homes.

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

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cool your hot air!

The issue of being full of hot air is not what we are talking about! I am referring to the hot air in the summer that is stifling and oppressive.

There are low-cost ways, green ways to cool the mercury in your home and also in commercial buildings. Trees, shrubs, vines and vegetation are a green methods and economical to keeping the house cool.

Tress and vegetation provide shade and deflect winds which aids in keeping the temp lower. Well designed landscaping can reduce cooling costs by 20% or more according to BC Hydro.

The shading effect of trees and vegetation also reduces the amount of radiation that reaches the ground which in turn reduces the heat to surrounding buildings.

Deciduous trees are better to use, because they shade the house in the summer and let the sun through in the winter. Junipers, spruces, firs and Douglas fir are good choices for wind protection.

Incorporate some trees into your yard to provide for a cooler and healthier environment and you will be doing your part to help green the planet by creating less air conditioning which puts out greenhouse gas emissions.