January 2011

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This is the latest report released by the BC Real Estate Association. Click on the images to enlarge. The link to the full PDF is at the bottom of this page.

Vancouver, BC – January 13, 2011. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province declined 12 BC MLS Residential Sales 1990 to 2010per cent to 74,640 units in 2010. The annual average MLS® residential price rose 8.5 per cent to a record $505,178 in 2010.

“Tighter credit conditions and expended pent-up demand curbed home sales during the first half of 2010,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, low mortgage interest rates and improved economic conditions buoyed home sales in the latter half of the year.” MLS® residential unit sales declined 40 per cent January through July before climbing 43 per cent by the end of the year, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“The inventory of homes for sale peaked at 53,375 units in May before declining 14 per cent to 46,000 units by December,” added Muir. “The combination of fewer active listings and increased consumer demand has improved market conditions in many areas.” MLS® residential sales declined 25 per cent to 4,258 units in December from a near record level of 5,703 units in December 2009. After a 15 per cent increase in unit sales between October and November, a further 1 per cent increase was recorded in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. The average MLS® residential sales price was a record $523,990 in December, up 6 per cent from December 2009.

Click on the images to enlarge.

December 2010 Residential Average Price

December 2010 Average Residential Price

December 2010 BC Residential MLS

December 2010 BC Residential MLS

2010 Year To Date BC Residential MLS

2010 Year To Date BC Residential MLS


home for sale Kamloops 26-1555 Howe Road Spacious three bedroom home in Aberdeen with one full bathroom. Recent updates include roof, all windows, hot water tank, paint, kitchen appliances and more. The rec room could easily be converted to a fourth bedroom or office. There is a small fenced yard and covered parking. Located in a quiet area of Aberdeen surrounded by trees. Within steps of a park for the kids to play. You own your own land and pay a low bare land strata fee of only $76 per month.

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This article appeared on CTV News on Monday, January 17, 2011.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced new rules for Canadian mortgages on Monday that he said will “protect the stability of the economy.” Flaherty’s announcement comes on the heels of a recent warning from the Bank of Canada that Canadians’ domestic debt burden is the highest on record.

The Monday announcement included three new rules for the mortgage industry:

  • Mortgage amortization periods will be reduced from 35 years to 30 years.
  • The maximum amount Canadians can borrow to refinance their mortgages will be lowered from 90 per cent to 85 per cent of the value of their homes.
  • The government will withdraw its insurance backing on lines of credit secured on homes, such as home equity lines of credit.

“Taxpayers should not bear any risk related to consumer debt products unrelated to house purchases. Those risks should be managed by the financial institutions that originate and offer these practices,” Flaherty said Monday.

The new restrictions are intended to ensure that Canadian don’t slip into unmanageable debt, which could throw the economic recovery off the rails, he said. “Today’s measures are about our government continuing to protect the stability of the economy by ensuring lenders’ practices are sustainable, which will in turn ensure Canadian families have increasingly secure and sustainable home ownership.” “This will also help increase the savings of Canadian families, savings of tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a mortgage.”

BNN’s Michael Kane said Flaherty is clearly concerned that Canada’s low lending rates have inspired people to borrow more than they would normally. “What he is saying, and he reiterated this two or three times, is we see Canadians borrowing to the max at record low interest rates, and what he is afraid of is that when interest rates to start to rise…then you can get into a dangerous situation where you can’t pay down your mortgage,” Kane told CTV’s Canada AM.

The Bank of Canada announced earlier this month that Canadians’ domestic debt burdens had hit the highest levels on record. The bank said the ratio of household debt to disposable income has reached 147 per cent. Canadian household debt is now at $1.4 trillion, while mortgage delay payments have increased by 50 per cent. The International Monetary Fund recently warned that household debt is the number one risk to the Canadian economy.


This article is written by Jeremy Deutsch and appeared in the Friday, January 14th, 2011 edition of the Kamloops This Week.

Kamloops Real Estate Loma Bella The condo-unit owner at the centre of a building-code dispute between the city and a strata is applauding the move by council to slap the entire building with a notice to warn potential buyers.

Richard McElroy, the owner of a unit in the Loma Bella condo units in Sahali, said he’s been battling with various groups, including National Home Warranty, builder Mike Rink and his own strata, to get a settlement problem with his unit fixed.

He said the decision by city council should help put pressure on all the interested parties to fix the problem. “Finally, some sunlight and some wisdom,” McElroy told KTW. “Council in their wisdom has put us all in the same boat now as a strata.”

City council decided to put notices — referred to as Section 57 — against all 16 units in the development, due to outstanding building-code violations and to reduce the potential liability against the city.

The notice, which is filed with the Kamloops Land Title Office and is meant to warn potential purchasers of the problems, can be lifted once the repairs are complete.

The saga began after settlement issues on McElroy’s unit were discovered in 2007. What has followed is a legal mess around who is responsible for the repairs, which finally culminated in the city moving to put the notice on the strata at the end of last year.

A representative of Loma Bella’s strata appeared in front of city council on Tuesday, Jan. 11, asking for another 30 days to deal with the issue. The strata rep suggested it wasn’t fair for the entire building to get a notice when only one unit is involved. But council wasn’t convinced.

Mayor Peter Milobar argued the issue has been ongoing for years and an extra month isn’t going to get the problem solved, noting there hasn’t been much agreement between the sides involved. He said council too often hears from people who buy property with a problem, and then complain they weren’t alerted by the city before the purchase. “We know there is a problem. We know it needs to be repaired,” Milobar said. “My concern is that future purchasers know that there is a potential liability there for them.”

He also suggested the easiest way to ensure the repairs are done is to make sure everyone is aware of the violation and have a vested interest in a resolution.

As for McElroy, he said he’s felt like a hostage through this situation, noting he can’t rent or sell the unit because of the possible dangers. “It’s been really frustrating,” he said. The cost of repairs to the unit are estimated at be $100,000.

Batchelor Heights Kamloops House 1082 Saddleback Crt Sophisticated, elegant & contemporary, this newer 6 bedroom, 5 bathroom home offers you quality finishings throughout. Main floor has open plan living including expansive floor space in both living & dining areas with vaulted ceilings. Stunning gourmet kitchen with dark cabinets & large centre island. 4 bedrooms on the main level with the large master having a gorgeous river view, coffered ceiling & spa-like ensuite including a 2 person Jacuzzi tub & fully tiled shower. Luxury features abound in this home including granite countertops, crown mouldings, 3 sets of French doors with transoms, hardwood flooring, polished tile, lush carpet & high end lighting package. Lower level features a self contained suite that can be configured as a 1 or 2 bedroom. Security system, hot water on demand, heat pump, high efficiency furnace are just some of the practical aspects that ensure this home is the perfect choice for you. Backing onto greenspace with fully a large fenced yard.

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