March 2011

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Barnhartvale Kamloops Real Estate 1198 Clearview Dr Large Barnhartvale home with over 2,600 square feet of living space and has 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. There is an kidney shape in-ground pool, hot tub, in-ground sprinklers and large, private yard. Recent updates include: roof, furnace, heat pump, hot water tank, flooring and more. There is a small workshop in the carport. Daylight walk out basement, bright sunroom off of the livingroom/diningroom area and two fireplaces. One fireplace has a new high efficient wood burning stove. The master bedroom is spacious and has a 2 piece ensuite which could be converted into a 3 piece. Tons of potential in this home. Some notice for showings appreciated.

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This article appeared on the Globe and Mail on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 and was written by David Berman.

David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff, remains a contrarian voice on the U.S. economic recovery, and he is also sticking to his argument that Canada is in pretty good shape – and that includes the country’s housing market.

That market has taken a few knocks recently, even attracting derision from the foreign press. The Wall Street Journal ran an article on Tuesday arguing that Canadian home prices are on a fresh tear, even as income growth lags record-high debt levels.

“All that has raised worry at the country’s central bank, which repeatedly has warned about rising debt levels, and among some economists, who say the market is ripe for a correction – maybe a steep one,” the Wall Street Journal noted.

However, Mr. Rosenberg counters these observations. Yes, debt levels are a concern but he notes that homebuilders have shown some discipline in cutting back production, to an extent that didn’t exist in the United States at the peak of its housing market. In Canada, single-family housing starts have fallen 20 per cent from year-ago levels.

“As such there is no evidence of any meaningful supply-demand imbalance that should undercut real estate valuation,” Mr. Rosenberg said in a note to clients.

“We see no reason why the Bank of Canada should be aggressive in raising rates, and at the same time, the demographics in favour of real estate are actually quite constructive, notably the influence from Canada’s business immigration platform. Note that in 2009, net international immigration to Canada surged 13 per cent. So not only is the country acting as a magnet for international capital inflow, but Canada is also being increasingly viewed as a stable place to do business and a desirable area to live.”

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Savona House For Sale 7071 Watson Rd. E Bright and spacious 3 bedroom home on 10,000 sq foot lot with lake views. Over 1,500 square feet of living space, 1 wired workshop, 2 storage sheds and fully fenced yard. Many recent updates include hot water tank, flooring, bathroom, paint, baseboards and more. Lots of parking for your vehicles, RV and toys. Fruit trees in the back yard and covered patio. Nice clean Savona home close to recreation.

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On Saturday, March 26th and Sunday, March 27th, 2011 the open houses will be held in Aberdeen, Barnhartvale, Batchelor Heights and North Kamloops.

5-930 Stagecoach Drive Batchelor Heights For Sale

Saturday, March 26th, 2011: 1:00-3:00: 5-930 Stagecoach Drive, Batchelor Heights $334,900

Stunning three bedroom and den townhome with TONS of custom upgrades. Located in the desirable Ridge at Saddleback development and perfect for first time home buyer or retiree. Many of the upgrades include.. more

451 Alexander Ave North Kamloops Open House

Sunday, March 27th, 2011: 11:30-12:30: 451 Alexander Avenue, North Kamloops, $239,900

Cute North Kamloops home close to shopping, park & transportation. Some updates done such as flooring & bathroom sink. Pool has new liner & pump in 2010. 70 amp service. Room for a detached workshop. more

2249 Linfield west highlands aberdeen real estate new development home

Sunday, March 27th, 2011: 11:30-1:00: 2249 Linfield Drive, Aberdeen, $429,900

This brand new view home is located in Aberdeen’s newest subdivision Aberdeen Highlands. It is located right beside a golf course and elementary school. more

 

Kamloops home for sale 26-1555 Howe Road

Sunday, March 27th, 2011: 1:30-3:00: 26-1555 Howe Road, Aberdeen Glen Village, $189,900

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. more

Barnhartvale Kamloops Real Estate 4744 Uplands Drive

Sunday, March 27th, 2011: 1:00-3:00: 4744 Uplands Drive, Barnhartvale $399,900

Beautiful 180 degree views from many of the rooms of this 4 year old home. Spacious floor plan with 4 bedroom plus a den with 3 full 4 piece bathrooms. Located in cul-de-sac in a quiet area of Barnhartvale. more.

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This article appeared on The Record on March 19, 2011 and was written by Steve Rennie and Mary Gazze (The Canadian Press).

Canada’s annual inflation rate fell slightly in February, giving the Bank of Canada room to keep interest rates low over the next few months, economists say.

Statistics Canada said Friday its consumer price index edged down one-tenth of a point to 2.2 per cent in February, with rising energy and gas prices keeping inflation just above the Bank of Canada’s ideal two per cent target.

The core inflation rate, which excludes volatile items such as gas and food, fell to 0.9 per cent — its lowest level since the government started keeping records in 1984. Economists had predicted an annual core rate of 1.1 per cent and annual inflation to remain at the January level of 2.3 per cent.

It all means the country’s central bank might take its time when it comes to raising interest rates, said CIBC World Markets economist Emanuella Enenajor.

“These (inflation) numbers certainly make it less likely that a May rate hike could happen, we do have to admit,” she said.

“Such a soft core number suggests there’s less pressure for the Bank of Canada to really start hiking rates aggressively so it gives it a little more leeway.”

She said CIBC is for now sticking with its prediction that Canadians will see rates go above the current one per cent in May and that they will end up at two per cent by the end of the year.

Canada’s economic growth surpassed expectations in the last half of 2010 and the Bank of Canada may want to get ahead of any resulting spike in prices by raising interest rates and cooling lending conditions, she said.

Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets said he believes the central is likely to stick with lower rates for the short term.

“Both headline and core inflation have eased since the start of the year, at least partly thanks to the lofty loonie,” he wrote in a note to investors, pointing out that Canada’s core inflation rate is lower than that of the U.S. and rest of the world.

“This is set to reverse next month, as Canada gets with the global program, but the low starting point is very favourable. Suffice it to say that this keeps the pressure well off the Bank of Canada to get back in tightening mode any time soon.”

Enenajor said the March inflation rate will likely depend on oil price movement during the rest of the month.

“However, expect both the annual headline and core rate to move higher in March on a year-on-year basis,” she said.

Prices were higher in February in six of the eight major categories tracked by the agency, but items like women’s clothing, footwear and travel tours cost less than a year earlier.

On a month-to-month basis, consumer goods were 0.3 per cent more expensive last month than in January, mostly due to higher energy and gasoline prices. Canadians paid 10.6 per cent more for energy during the year leading up to February, after posting a nine per cent increase in January.

Gas prices soared 15.7 per cent last month, on top of the already recorded 13 per cent increase in the 12 months leading up to January.

On a regional basis, Nova Scotia remained the province with the highest inflation rate at 3.4 per cent. Many people in that province use oil and other fuel to heat their homes.

Alberta continued to enjoy the most stable prices, with an inflation rate of 1.2 per cent.

Drivers in every province except Manitoba faced double-digit price increases for gasoline on a year-over-year basis. The price at the pumps was up 15.7 per cent from a year earlier.

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Juniper Heights Ridge Kamloops Home For Sale  2247 Omineca Dr Immaculate doesn’t even describe this Juniper Heights home. Beautiful hardwood flooring throughout the main floor that has 3 spacious bedrooms, 1 full bath and a 2 piece master Ensuite. Recent updates include: flooring throughout the home, bathrooms, kitchen countertops, a/c & furnace 2004, HW tank 2008, roof 12 years, painted throughout, light fixtures plus much more. The large private yard is fully landscaped and fenced, has a covered patio off of the kitchen, and a second patio with storage shed or children’s play house. There is a spacious heated 2 car garage with an extra storage room. The basement is fully finished with a large guest bedroom a cozy rec room with fire place, laundry room and lots of storage space. All appliances and window coverings are included. Some furniture also negotiable.

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Brocklehurst Kamloops Real Estate 7-1655 Ord Road Completely renovated inside and out. There isn’t a single thing left to update in this spacious 1,100 sq foot home. There are 2 bedrooms and a den and 2 full four piece bathrooms. All the updates include: roof, furnace, HW tank, windows, a/c, gutters, siding, flooring, kitchen, bathrooms w/ heated tile, paint, gas fireplace in master, new deck (10X12), external and internal doors, mouldings, drywall, ceilings, natural gas bbq hook up, landscaping, and so much more. 12X12 detached workshop with the potential to be wired. The large master suite has a ensuite and walk in closet. The floor plan is spacious and open. This home sits on a large lot that backs on to a park. Recently appraised at $124,000. This park signs a site lease and pets allowed with restrictions.

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Have you been wondering about the status of the Mission Hill development on Summit Drive and West Victoria Street? Here is an article published by the Kamloops Daily News. It was written by Cam Fortems on March 11th, 2011.

Kamloops developer Mike Rink has a July deadline to come up with millions in new financing to complete Mission Hill or the project will fall into the lender’s hands.

But that lender, Harbour Mortgage, may loan the money itself — keeping Rink out of bankruptcy and in control of his debt-ridden real estate empire.

The information is contained in court documents as part of a Companies Creditors Arrangement Act process. Rink’s New Future Group of companies was granted protection from creditors last year in a bid to restructure more than $100 million worth of debt.

An independent analysis found only two projects, Westbeach in the Shuswap and another resort project in Nelson, have prospects for making a profit. The others, including Mission Hill, will not be able to pay back all creditors even if they are completed.

Rink, as well as his lawyer, Chris Ramsay, could not be reached for comment Friday.

David McMillan, a city lawyer acting for contractors on another Rink project, said a creditors meeting is scheduled for March 16. A vote on the plan is structured so major lenders have weight. “This says to lien claimants we’re holding out the remote possibility of you getting paid versus certainty you won’t get paid —  you pick.”

If the plan proceeds, Rink will get more financing to complete at least Mission Hill’s first building, now about 75 per cent complete. Liens will be cancelled and promissory notes that expire in three years will be issued. If there is money from real estate sales after all lenders are paid, promissory notes will then be honoured. “This allows the principals to carry on without the stigma of bankruptcy,” said McMillan. “If these proposals are passed it will allow people like Mike Rink to stave off bankruptcy.”

One of those contractors, Barb Gorrill, owner of Falcann Septic, said she doesn’t know if the company will ever receive the $7,000 owed to it. Rink owes more than $2.5 million alone to small contractors, who are unsecured and will be paid last, if at all. “We’ve done work for Mike before,” she said. “We knew going in the risk. (But) we’ve always gotten paid.” Gorrill said the loss hurts the small business but she said Rink, like any developer, had to take on risk. “Without guys willing to take risk, how would these developments ever get done?”

If financing is in place the Mission Hill building should be back under construction this summer. “It all depends if your view of the world is optimistic or not,” McMillan said of prospects that lenders and contractors will be paid. “For people who put time and labour and materials into it, they’re powerless to affect the outcome.”

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Saturday March 19th & Sunday March 20th, 2011. Open houses will be held in Aberdeen and Batchelor Heights.

Kamloops BC Real Estate MLS Listing 1189 Howe Rd Aberdeen Sunday, March 20th, 2011: 11:30-12:30: 1189 Howe Road, Aberdeen, $309,900

This Aberdeen doll house has had numerous updates over the past couple years. All the flooring (porcelain tile and laminate) and windows were recently replaced, new hot water tank and it has a fresh coat of paint throughout. more

Batchelor Heights Kamloops 2080 Saddleback Drive Sunday, March 20th, 2011: 1:00-3:00: 2080 Saddleback Drive, Batchelor Heights $486,500

Spacious two-storey home with a beautiful view. 4 full bedrooms with 3 full bathrooms (potential for 7 bedrooms, 4 baths). The daylight walk out basement has a finished rec room, games, concrete slab patio. more

2249 Linfield west highlands aberdeen real estate new development homeSaturday, March 19th, 2011: 1:00-3:00: 2249 Linfield Drive, Aberdeen, $429,900

This brand new view home is located in Aberdeen’s newest subdivision Aberdeen Highlands. It is located right beside a golf course and elementary school. more

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This article appeared on the CBC.ca on March 15th, 2011 and was written by Dave Simms.

The Canadian real estate market continued its slowdown in February, with the number of homes sold declining 1.6 per cent compared to the previous month and dropping 5.9 per cent from a year ago.

The sales drop was the smallest year-over-year decline in nine months, the Canadian Real Estate Association said, but it underscores the market returning to a more balanced level from the highs it experienced through the early part of 2010.

“Most local housing markets in Canada are well balanced, but there are still a number of buyers’ and sellers’ markets,” CREA president George Pahud said Tuesday.

Price gains, however, are anything but balanced. The national average rose 8.8 per cent year-over-year to $365,192 in February. The average price has been skewed higher nationally and in British Columbia recently by a record number of multimillion-dollar sales in a couple of areas in and around Vancouver, said CREA’s senior economist, Gregory Klump.

“When you take Vancouver out of the equation, the year-over-year increase in the national average price drops to 3.4 per cent,” Klump said.

Listings rose 1.5 per cent from the previous month, building on the 4.3 per cent gain in January. The rise is consistent with CREA’s expectation that many sellers, who shied away from listing their home last summer when the national housing market softened, would put their homes for sale early in 2011, now that they’re confident better prices have returned.
Sales activity eased in almost two-thirds of all local markets from the previous month, enough to offset monthly increases in major markets like Vancouver and Calgary.

Inventory, a key real estate metric that measures the number of months it would take to sell the entire housing stock at the current sales pace, stood at 5.7 months at the end of February on a national basis. This is little changed from the 5.5 months reported in January, when it reached the lowest level since last April.

New mortgage rules announced by the Finance Department in January and set to begin Friday will make the maximum payback period 30 years — resulting in somewhat higher regular payments than with the 35-year amortization that has been the choice of about 30 per cent of home buyers.

The rule changes will increase the monthly payment on a $300,000 mortgage at four per cent interest by $105, but will also reduce total interest paid by $42,288 over the life of a mortgage because it’s repaid five years sooner.

CREA expects the rules will begin to put a lid on prices starting next month, as less buyers will be able to come up with the shorter terms and higher monthly payments they bring.

“National average price gains may recede after tighter mortgage regulations take effect in March,” Klump said.

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The British Columbia Real Estate Association released it’s latest report on the B.C. housing market on March 14th, 2011.

MLS Residential Sales BC 2011
Click to enlarge

Vancouver, BC – March 14, 2011. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province climbed 5 per cent in February from January 2011, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Compared to February of 2010, MLS® residential unit sales increased 8 per cent to 6,410 units. The average MLS® residential price rose 18 per cent to $587,571 in February compared to the same month last year.

“The surge in consumer demand in Metro Vancouver continues to propel the provincial statistics higher,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Elevated sales activity in Vancouver’s pricier communities has pushed average home prices higher than market conditions would suggest.” Compared to February 2010, the average MLS® residential price in Vancouver has climbed more than 19 per cent, whereas the Benchmark or typical home price has increased a more modest 4 per cent.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 15 per cent $6.03 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales remained relatively unchanged, albeit down by 0.3 per cent to 10,547 units. The average MLS® residential price climbed 15.6 per cent to $572,121 over the same period.

On Saturday, March 12th and Sunday March 13th, 2011 open houses will be held in Batchelor Heights and Brocklehurst.

Open House 2080 Saddleback Drive Batchelor Heights KamloopsSaturday, March 12th and Sunday, March 13th, 2011: 1:00-3:00: 2080 Saddleback Drive, Batchelor Heights $494,900

Spacious two-storey home with a beautiful view. 4 full bedrooms with 3 full bathrooms (potential for 7 bedrooms, 4 baths). The daylight walk out basement has a finished rec room, games, concrete slab patio. more

Open House 867 Lolo Street Brocklehurst Kamloops BC Real Estate Saturday, March 12th, 2011: 1:30-3:00: 867 Lolo Street, Brocklehurst, $369,900

Beautifully updated modern Santa Fe style Brock home in a cul-de-sac. 1 bedroom inlaw suite, basement could be a 2 bedroom. Recent updates include kitchen, all appliances, bathrooms, flooring, all windows, roof 5 years old, furnace, hot water tank, electrical, plumbing. more

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Rayleigh Kamloops BC Real Estate 257 Montego road Immaculately maintained & updated 4-level split in Rayleigh – located on a quiet street far from the train & very close to school & transportation. Many recent updates: windows 2006, 96% efficiency furnace 2006, hot water tank 2010, roof 10 years, A/C unit 2003, paint (inside & out), bathrooms, flooring & more. Large 0.35 acre lot with room for a dream shop. Oversize single car garage with 10×10 door on both ends. Drive thru access to back yard. 220 in garage. Sun room/den on main floor adds to the spacious feel of this home. There are 4 skylights making this home very bright. The attic has powered fans for air circulation. The yard has numerous fruit trees, garden beds, sun deck, powered storage shed, 2 septic fields & gardens edged by concrete. Water levy paid in full. Don’t miss out on this great home!

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Batchelor Heights Kamloops 2080 Saddleback Drive

Sellers transferred & motivated to sell. Spacious two-storey home with a beautiful view. 4 full bedrooms with 3 full bathrooms (potential for 7 bedrooms, 4 baths). The daylight walk out basement has a finished rec room, games, concrete slab patio, 3 framed bedrooms & has suite potential. There is roughed in plumbing for a large bathroom. Lots of potential in this basement. Top 40 custom kitchen with built in china cabinet/pantry in dining area. Walnut hardwood floors. Low maintenance landscaping with in-ground sprinklers. This home comes with all stainless steel appliances, custom window coverings & a 52″ TV (1.5 years old). The master bedroom is on the main floor making this home perfect for retirees. Vaulted ceiling, large gourmet kitchen, tons of natural light & beautifully finished. Built in vac, security system, central A/C & RV parking. No HST! You can’t buy a brand new home for this price.

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This article was posted by the Business Spectator on March 2nd, 2011. This article first appeared on the MacroBusiness website on March 2nd, 2011.

Canada and Australia have a lot in common. Both economies are commodity exporters. Both countries have experienced similar rates of immigration. Both countries largely dodged the global recession that has recently shocked the developed world. And both are said to have world-beating banking systems, with Canada’s ranked as the strongest and Australia’s ranked third strongest in the world by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.

As in Australia, there is also widespread debate about whether Canada is experiencing a speculative housing bubble or asset inflation based upon sound fundamentals.

Canadian-Housing-Key-Charts

Click to enlarge

Canadian home values have risen strongly relative to incomes and rents over the past ten years on the back of sharply rising debt levels. The key charts pertaining to the Canadian housing market are below, taken from Capital Economics’ recent Canadian housing and economic updates.

The house price growth of Canada’s major cities compared to Australia’s capital cities is shown below (chart courtesy of World Housing Bubble, here and here).

Australia-Canada-House-Price-Comparison

Click to enlarge

As you can see, there are some striking similarities between the two countries’ housing markets. First, the two mineral rich cities of Perth and Calgary experienced their own unique house price booms during the 2006/07 commodities bubble. Second, both countries’ governments and central banks were highly successful in reflating their respective housing markets after brief falls during the onset of the global recession.

In Australia’s case, the housing market was reflated by a combination of significantly reduced interest rates, the temporary increase in the first home owners’ grant, cash handouts to households, and the temporary relaxation of foreign ownership rules.

Canada’s central bank and government also provided significant stimulus to the housing market. In addition to the Bank of Canada lowering interest rates to record lows (click to view chart), the government significantly loosened mortgage eligibility criteria, culminating in the introduction of the zero-deposit, 40-year mortgage in 2007. Further, the amount that Canadians could borrow was increased, with many individuals in 2009 being granted loans in the $C500,000 to $C800,000 range, provided their household income ranged from $C110,000 to $C170,000.

Finally, in an effort to support the housing market in 2008 (when affordability fell sharply and the economy stalled), the Canadian government directed the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation – the government-owned guarantor of high loan-to-value-ratio mortgages (explained here) – to approve as many high-risk borrowers as possible in order to keep credit flowing. As a result, the approval rate for these risky loans went from 33 per cent in 2007 to 42 per cent in 2008. By mid-2007, the average Canadian home buyer who took out a mortgage had only 6 per cent equity in their home, suggesting the risk of negative equity is high even if there is only a moderate correction.

The Canadian government has since raised the mortgage eligibility criteria. In October 2008, it discontinued the zero down, 40-year mortgage, reverting back to the 5 per cent down, 35-year mortgage requirement that was in place prior to the global recession. Then, last month, the Canadian government announced that it would reduce the maximum amortisation period for mortgages to 30 years from March, adding around $100 in extra loan repayments to the average mortgage. The government also reduced the maximum amount that Canadians could borrow against the value of their homes – called a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) – from 90 per cent to 85 per cent.

Bubble trouble

Last week, Capital Economics released its Canada Economic Outlook Report (Q1 2010), which predicts sharp falls in Canadian house prices, household deleveraging, and anaemic economic growth into the future.

The report warns that Canadians’ belief that their economy is somehow invincible after emerging from the crisis relatively unscathed is “disconcerting” as house prices lose touch with fundamentals.

“Relative to incomes, our calculations suggest that Canadian housing is now just under 40 per cent over-valued, which is about the same level of excess that the US market reached before it collapsed. We have pencilled in a 25 per cent cumulative decline in house prices over three years, mirroring what happened south of the border.

“The biggest downside risk is that an adverse feedback loop could develop, as it did in the US, with rapidly falling house prices leading to a contraction in both output and employment, which puts even more downward pressure on house prices.”

Capital Economics also warns that the government-owned CMHC could be exposed to significant losses should house prices fall significantly.

“According to our reading of CMHC financial statements, insured mortgages and securitised mortgage guarantees total an amount close to $C800 billion. The total equity of CMHC is $C10 billion.

“If house prices collapse further than we predict, say by 35 per cent, with a default rate of 10 per cent and average home equity of 10 per cent, then the potential capital loss amounts to $C20 billion.

“Even if we assume that half of this amount is eventually recovered, that still leaves an expected loss of around $C10 billion. Under the same assumptions, the 25 per cent decline in house prices that we expect over the next few years would still result in a considerable loss of around $C6 billion.”

Only a year ago, the mainstream view in Canada was that the housing market was bullet-proof and that a US-style meltdown was highly improbable. Now sentiment appears to have changed following a collapse of sales, a build-up of inventory, and three consecutive months of price falls between September and November (December recorded a 0.3 per cent rise).

Will Canada be the next housing market to fall? Watch this space.

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Central 1 Credit Union released their latest market report on March 2nd, 2011. Click on the charts to enlarge

VANCOUVER —BC Residential Forecast Median Price 2011-2013 Home sales in British Columbia will rise about 7 per cent in 2011 and the median price will set a new record of $402,000, according to the latest B.C. Housing Forecast 2011-2013, released today by Central 1 Credit Union.

Total home sales will rise to 95,500 units, rebounding from a 10.5 per cent drop in 2010 as both resale and new home sales will increase. Sales will increase another 2 per cent in 2012 and a healthy 15 per cent in 2013. “Even after those gains, sales will be below the levels we saw from 2002 to 2007,” said Central 1 economist Bryan Yu. “Low, but rising, interest rates and tighter mortgage insurance rules will restrict sales for the next few years.”

BC Residential Forecast Transaction Activity New Resale This year, sales will be stronger in the first few months as buyers move to beat the tougher mortgage insurance rules that take effect on March 18. “Metro Vancouver will observe the strongest uptick in early-year activity, given the higher proportion of local buyers and higher prices in those areas,” added Yu. During the three-year forecast period, home sales are expected to be strongest in the Metro Vancouver area and in Northern B.C.

Despite tightened mortgage insurance rules and modest increases in mortgage rates, stable levels of net in-migration and improved economic conditions will bolster sales in Metro Vancouver. The economy in the north will continue to benefit from strong commodity markets and trade-related activity, which will keep housing activity on an upward trend through the forecast horizon.

BC Residential Forecast Indexed Median Price AnnualThe weak links in B.C.’s housing market will remain areas with a high exposure to external recreational and retiree buyer demand. Housing markets in the Okanagan, the Kootenays and parts of Vancouver Island will continue to see weaker demand conditions in 2011 as mortgage rates rise and buyers remain hesitant to make discretionary and luxury purchases. These markets will observe significant rebounds in 2012 and 2013 as buyers take advantage of lower prices and retiree and recreational demand strengthens on improved economic conditions.

Following flat activity in 2011, housing sales in the Thompson-Okanagan region are forecast to rise 8 per cent in 2012 while the Kootenays will see 10 per cent growth. Both markets are forecast to record more than 20 per cent gains in sales in 2013.

BC Residential Forecast MLS Sales to active Listings Monthly RatioThis year, posted five-year fixed-term mortgage rates will range from an average of 5.4 per cent in the first quarter to 5.9 per cent in the fourth quarter. The average rate is projected to rise to 6.65 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For full report click here

This article appeared on CTV.ca Friday, March 4th, 2011.

The Canadian housing market could be headed for trouble if there is no moderation in prices in the months ahead, the Bank of Montreal says in a new report.

Housing prices are currently about 10 per cent above what they were before the recession, which was already an all-time record.

The bank says housing prices are rising faster than personal incomes, a worrisome trend which is making the market less stable.

Bank of Montreal economist Sal Guatieri says that a nationwide correction is unlikely, but would be possible if the price-to-income trend doesn’t change, or if interest rates spike.

At the moment, the risk is not the same in every housing market in Canada, with some provinces seeing more extreme conditions than others.

The most concerning scenario is in Saskatchewan where the price-to-income ratio is 39 per cent above historic norms, followed by Newfoundland at 34 per cent; British Columbia and Manitoba, with each at 31 per cent; and Quebec at 29 per cent above normal levels.

In Canada’s largest province, Ontario, this same ratio sits only 10 per cent above historic levels, which suggests its housing market may be overvalued, but is not in danger of collapse.

The good news is that the bank expects household incomes to grow faster than housing prices in the future, which would make a major correction unlikely.

The Bank of Montreal says that tougher mortgage rules and higher interest rates should help stabilize housing prices and cool down sales.

The report is the latest warning about rising housing prices and the risks they pose to the Canadian economy. A February report from Capital Economics warned an existing housing bubble was set to burst, a potential collapse that could be triggered by rising interest rates. The economics consulting firm predicted that housing prices could fall 25-35 per cent over the next three years as interest rates increase.

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On Sunday March 6th, 2011 we will be holding an open house in Brocklehurst.

Brocklehurst Kamloops BC Real Estate 867 Lolo Street

Sunday, March 6th, 2011: 1:30-3:00: 867 Lolo Street, Brocklehurst, $369,900

Beautifully updated modern Santa Fe style Brock home in a cul-de-sac. 1 bedroom inlaw suite, basement could be a 2 bedroom. Recent updates include kitchen, all appliances, bathrooms, flooring, all windows, roof 5 years old, furnace, hot water tank, electrical, plumbing, paint inside & out, internal & external doors, soffits, gutters, landscaping – new patios (3), pond with waterfall & so much more. more

Click here to view more pictures of this home.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

The Kamloops and District Real Estate Association has released the latest statistics for February 2011. Click on the image below to enlarge.

Comparative analysis by property type February 2011

Kamloops Real Estate Comparative Analysis by Property Type February 2011

MLS Activity February 2011 Kamloops Real Estate Statistics

Kamloops Real Estate MLS Activity February 2011

Sales by subarea February 2011 Kamloops Real Estate Statistics

Kamloops Real Estate Sales by Subarea February 2011

This article appeared on Reuters on March 1st, 2011 and was written by Randall Palmer and Louise Egan.

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada left its key interest rate unchanged at 1 percent on Tuesday and gave no signal it plans to raise rates soon, spurring traders to scale back rate-hike bets and to knock the Canadian dollar off a three-year high.

The central bank repeated the exact language on rates that it used in its January rate announcement, saying that while considerable monetary stimulus remains in place “any further reduction in monetary policy stimulus would need to be carefully considered”.

It said the Canadian recovery was moving a bit faster than it expected and hailed a budding recovery in net exports. But it cautioned that the export sector “continues to face considerable challenges from the cumulative effects of the persistent strength in the Canadian dollar and Canada’s poor relative productivity performance”.

Investors hoping for a hint that recent strong economic data would prompt the bank to resume rate hikes at its next decision date on April 12 were disappointed. The Canadian dollar weakened against the U.S. currency following the stay-the-course statement. “On balance, it suggests no imminent rate move,” said Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada.

It also raised more doubts about whether the bank would move on rates at either its April 12 or May 31 policy-announcement dates.

Most analysts polled by Reuters last week predicted the bank would resume rate hikes in the first half of the year, with May 31 being the most likely date for the next move. Markets “perhaps got ahead of themselves in their expectations for first-half rate hikes,” said Jacqui Douglas of TD Securities.

Canada was the first of the major industrialized countries to start lifting rates from emergency lows last year, raising borrowing costs three times between June and September. The bank then moved to the sidelines, saying it needed more evidence the U.S. and global recoveries were gaining traction.

After fourth-quarter economic growth came in stronger than expected at 3.3 percent and the U.S. economy showed signs of strength, many economists expected the Bank of Canada to signal plans to resume tightening monetary policy in coming months.

“Nothing much new here,” said Avery Shenfeld, economist at CIBC World Markets, of the bank’s statement. “Therefore, perhaps not really as hawkish as some might have been expecting.”

Overnight index swaps, which trade based on expectations for the key central bank rate, showed traders pricing in less of a chance of rate hikes at upcoming Bank of Canada announcements. Investors see a 92.20 percent probability rates will stay on hold April 12, up from 86.49 percent before the statement, according to a Thomson Reuters calculation.

The Canadian dollar retreated to as low as C$0.9756 to the U.S. dollar, or $1.0250, after the bank’s announcement from C$0.9714, or $1.0294, just before. Money market rates and bond yields fell slightly.

The central bank said the global economic recovery was proceeding broadly in line with its January projection and the recovery in Canada was slightly faster than expected.

It remained sanguine about prices even though it added a reference to the Libya crisis by flagging “geopolitical events” that could push commodity prices higher.

Canada has so far been relatively immune to price pressures with annual inflation of 2.4 percent in January and a core rate of 1.4 percent.    “Underlying pressures affecting prices remain subdued, reflecting the considerable slack in the economy,” the bank said.

There is more evidence that the engines of growth in Canada are shifting to exports and business investment from consumer spending and fiscal stimulus, it said.

Household debt is less of a concern than it had been in past months. Consumer spending remains strong but is easing to levels more in line with incomes, the bank said.

In addition to the tentative export recovery, business investment is picking up speed, it added, helped by low borrowing costs and the need to compete.

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