November 2011

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2289 Linfield Drive Aberdeen Kamloops HouseStunning open concept home located right beside elementary school. Main floor has a spacious living area including large living room with built in entertainment center & a gourmet kitchen with granite counters. Hardwood flooring & tile throughout including around the tub surround. Comes with high efficient furnace, humidifier & wired for security. High quality finishing throughout & 9 ft ceilings on both floors. Fully landscaped with underground sprinklers. This home is a must see!

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2285 Linfield Drive Aberdeen Kamloops for SaleThis stunning home has a dramatic entrance w/18 ft ceiling. Oversized living room has vaulted ceilings and large windows. Master bedroom ensuite has 2 sinks and separate tiled shower and soaker tub. Fully finished basement w/2 bedrooms. High quality finishing including granite counters, h/w floors and tile around tub on main floor. Incl high efficient furnace, humidifier, wired for alarm and satellite. 9 ft ceilings on both floors. Comes fully landscaped with u/g sprinklers. This home is a must see!

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This article appeared on Realty Biz News on November 28th, 2011 and was written by Travis J. Hampton.

Kamloops Home For SaleHomes in Canada became a bit more affordable in the third quarter of 2011, according to a new report by RBC. Most parts of Canada saw a decrease in housing costs, with Vancouver being the one exception.

The index RBC uses calculates the affordability of housing at a given time. The lower the index, the more affordable homes are expected to be. In the third quarter of 2011, the amount of pre-tax household income a family would need to pay for home ownership went down across much of Canada. In Vancouver, however, home prices continued to be extremely high in wealthier neighborhoods.

The increase in affordability can be attributed to many factors, including the economic crisis in Europe, which has kept interest rates low. Experts at RBC expect prices to level off sometime next year, and those few places where prices increased (Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa) will also start to see some stability in their home affordability.

“Housing affordability levels are quite good in most parts of Canada and will pose little threat to overall housing demand,” said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist.

The affordability index takes into account a number of factors beyond just the sticker price. It includes actual mortgage payments, utilities, and property taxes. It then formulates an affordability reading percentage, which indicates the amount of pre-tax monthly household it would take to cover those home ownership expenses. While Toronto and Montreal have an index of 52.1% and 40.9% respectively, Vancouver’s index is 90.6%.

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This article appeared on the Globe and Mail on November 24th, 2011 and was written by Michael Babad.

A new study of global housing markets by The Economist warns that markets in Canada and some other countries still appear “uncomfortably overvalued.” Indeed, the magazine calls it downright frothy in its latest update of house prices indicators.

Overall, the report shows prices falling in eight of 16 countries studied in terms of a price-to-income ratio, which measures affordability, and a price-to-rent ratio.

By averaging the two readings, The Economist warns that prices are overvalued by 25 per cent or more in Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, New Zealand, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden and the ever-unfortunate Spain.

Here’s a really troubling bit: For Canada, Australia, Belgium and France, housing “looks more overvalued than it was in America at the peak of its bubble.”

The magazine notes that some economists dismiss its measures, citing the fact that lower interest rates – Canada is such an example – can justify fatter prices because they allow heftier mortgages. The magazine responds to that just as Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and others have: It will not always be thus, and rates will inevitably rise.

Here’s another warning, also along the lines of what we’ve been told for months now: “Australia, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden all have even higher household-debt burdens in relation to income than America did at the peak of its bubble.”

Canadian housing markets have been cooling down, and many forecasters project a continued softening, though not a crash.

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This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on November 24th, 2011 and was written by Jeremy Deutsch.

Tobiano Golf Resort Kamloops Real EstateIt’s been nearly five months since Tobiano resort went into receivership, but there are still no takers for the financially struggling development.

The resort was put on the market in September, with a deadline for offers by the end of that month, but there were no significant bids.

Douglas Chivers, a representative with the Bowra Group, which was appointed receiver of Tobiano by the court, said despite the lack of interest, the resort will continue to run business as usual.

“We intend to continue to develop the resort and sell off the lots and the other properties and see what interest can be generated,” he said, adding the award-winning golf course will be open next season.

Chivers said it isn’t a surprise interest in the resort has been minimal given the current real-estate market, noting several other troubled developments in Interior have also received little attention from buyers.

Word of the resort’s financial woes broke in June, after the real-estate side of the resort and golf course was ordered into receivership by a B.C. Supreme Court.

Pagebrook Inc. and Kamlands Holdings Ltd., companies owned by developer Mike Grenier, owe the Bank of Montreal debts totalling roughly $26 million.

In August, a representative with the Jim Pattison Group, which owns a 13-acre parcel of land within Tobiano, where it hopes to one day build townhomes, told KTW it’s unlikely such a project will get started any time soon.

Since the summer, the receiver has managed to sell five lots at Tobiano and continues work on trying to get some form of a marina in place.

The financial downfall of the resort was in part blamed on the inability by the developer to secure funding to build a marina.

Chivers said the Bowra Group has no intention to stop marketing Tobiano, but said getting some type of building activity at the resort is key to a sale.

“The more activity up there, the more people come to it, the more attractive it is,” he said.

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Kamloops Real Estate 660 Sandstone Place Westsyde Gorgeous quality built two bedroom and den rancher. This amazing home has elegant vaulted ceilings throughout and a beautiful grand entry. The master bedroom has a walk-in closet, fireplace and magnificent 6 piece ensuite with his and her sinks, double soaker tub and large double shower. Other features in this amazing home include a beautifully redone kitchen, spacious living room, multi zone speaker system including speakers on patio and in garage, central vac, intercom system, birch hardwood floors and ceramic tiling throughout, wet bar and den/sitting room. Extras include underground sprinklers, private yard professionally landscaped for privacy with covered patios off both kitchen and master bedroom, double garage, golf cart garage/shop, storage shed, hot water hook up outside for washing vehicles, natural gas hook up for BBQ, new roof, hot water on demand and newer heat pump. Home is very energy efficient.

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This article appeared in the Kamloops Daily News on November 15th, 2011.

Over the past two decades, Westsyde residents watched with melancholy resignation as stores closed at their mall and buildings fell into disrepair.

On Tuesday evening they greeted Overwaitea Food Group’s plans for redevelopment of Westsyde Mall with cheers and clapping. The company unveiled plans to a meeting of about 150 enthusiastic residents gathered at the Hamlets at Westsyde, who are clamouring for new life in the tired mall.

Tom Munro, vice-president of real estate and store development with Overwaitea Food Group, told the meeting the firm expects to start with demolition and construction in April next year. The existing store will be temporarily cut in half to allow shopping to continue while rebuilding on the same footprint is underway.

Refurbishment of Cooper’s Foods is at the heart of the project. Overwaitea Food Group purchased the grocery chain developed in Kamloops more than a decade ago. The Westsyde location is the final Cooper’s Foods to be updated with a look now familiar at other stores.

The proposed redeveloped store is about 25,000 square feet, the same size as current location.

The company is also actively seeking other tenants for what today is a half-empty mall that hasn’t been updated for decades. “We’d love to have a Tim Hortons and we’re working on that,” Munro said to applause. Other targets are a pharmacy, McDonalds Restaurant or Dairy Queen. A bank or credit union will also be sought, but Munro added “it isn’t likely.”

Residents said they were glad to see the investment. “I’m happy,” declared Herb Tarzwell, who has lived in the community for 17 years. “The previous owners never really looked after it. They hadn’t done any maintenance. It will be nice.”

Steve Delaney, a director of the local residents’ association, said the redevelopment is long overdue. “I’ve been here since 1975 and it’s deteriorated ever since,” he said. “We had a bank, a drug store… but everything moved up top to Aberdeen.”

Another resident, Patty Messmer, called the current mall “pretty sad.” “This is a big community out here. If this (current mall) is what represents Westsyde, it’s pathetic.”

Current tenants include Cooper’s Foods, a government liquor store, Home Hardware outlet, a hair salon and Chinese food restaurant. A number of storefronts are empty.

While Messmer said she’s pleased to see the plans, she worries about some current businesses. Munro acknowledged some tenants don’t have leases and are operating month-to-month. “I hope they don’t get priced out,” she said.

Munro declined to place a cost on the redevelopment. The current mall is about 60,000 square feet and will eventually, through a number of phases, be redeveloped to about the same size.

Delaney said he hopes the upgraded mall and new tenants will keep more residents shopping at home. “If it’s only $4 more here, it’s still cheaper to pay it than to drive into the city to get it.”

Purchase of the mall by the company comes after it failed to get an agreement on a nearby piece of land owned by Ron Cooper, whose family started Cooper’s Foods. Cooper and the company remain business partners at other locations.

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This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on November 17th, 2011 and was written by Jeremy Deutsch.

Kamloops Real Estate Aberdeen ViewA little piece of Scotland will soon be coming to the Tournament Capital.

City council has unanimously approved a set of rezoning applications for a large residential development at the end of Bentall Drive in upper Aberdeen.

The developer, DA Taylor Holdings, is planning to turn a 34-hectare parcel of land into a 500- to 800-single and multi-family-unit development centred around a mixed-use commercial Scottish-themed neighbourhood village called Edinburgh Heights.

Though some residents at the public hearing on Tuesday night (Nov. 15) expressed concerns over traffic, parking and the types of commercial businesses being considered, council appeared enthusiastic about the project.

Mayor Peter Milobar said the development is much more comprehensive then what was first proposed a few years ago, adding concerns around traffic will be alleviated.

He said the development will be unique and offer a different product to the housing market in Kamloops.

“A bit of variety is always a good thing in the marketplace,” Milobar said.

Coun. Pat Wallace said she liked the densification of the project and the opportunity to have a “European mini-city” within Kamloops.

She is also confident the developer will resolve the traffic and parking issues to most residents’ satisfaction.

Jeremy Cooke, project director with DA Taylor Holdings, said the next step is to finish road work at the east end of Bentall Drive, which could begin in spring 2012, and complete the master plan for the property.

He noted the entire project could take 10 to 15 years to complete.

Cooke said the intention is to build a people-oriented community that not only has good looking buildings, but is also functional.

“It’s turning it into a village where people can actually live day-to-day,” he said.

“Kamloops needs something like this right now — a walking, living community.”

The developer had worked with the city for more than a year to have the project comply with Aberdeen Neighbourhood Plan.

In 2007, DA Taylor Holdings announced plans to develop a 400-acre parcel of land into Edinburgh Heights, which would resemble a village in the Scottish countryside.

The vision included pockets of houses dotting the hillside, separated by open plains, English-style lampposts, narrow, windy streets and low brick walls lining the sidewalks.

Council of the day was cool to the plan, in part due to concerns the project didn’t have enough high-density units.

The new plan adds more density to the development on the eastern benches of Bentall Drive, while scrapping what would have been two-acre parcels of land.

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Open houses will be held in Brocklehurst, South Kamloops and Westsyde on Saturday, November 19th and Sunday, November 20th, 2011.

510 Lorne St South Kamloops Condo Apartment Saturday, November 19th, 2011: 12:30-1:30: 201-510 Lorne Street, South Kamloops, $249,900

Immaculate 2 bedroom, 2 full bathroom condo in the Plaza Suites at the Station in South Kamloops. The main living area is very open and spacious. This home has recently been painted and new flooring has been installed. more

602-629 Lansdowne Downtown Kamloops Condo For SaleSaturday, November 19th, 2011: 2:00-3:00: 602-629 Lansdowne Street, South Kamloops, $214,000

Great downtown condo in prime location. North East facing top floor 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom unit with open concept living. Beautiful 180 degree views of river, downtown and mountains. more

80-1655 Ord covered brocklehurst kamloops HouseSunday, November 20th, 2011: 11:00-12:00: 80-1655 Ord Road, Brocklehurst $126,000

Immaculate 11 year old home with open concept living. Vaulted ceilings, new interior doors, updated countertops & tile backsplash in kitchen. The bedrooms are very large & spacious with oversize closets. more

2181 Perryville Pl Westsyde Kamloops HomeSunday, November 20th, 2011: 12:30-1:30: 2181 Perryville Place, Westsyde, $329,900

Immaculate Westsyde home with river views…numerous updates include furnace, hot water tank, central A/C, flooring, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, patio, most windows, external doors, paint, mouldings, more.

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Kamloops Home 92-7545 Dallas Dr Gateway Estates

Spotless home in popular Dallas bare land strata complex with low monthly fees of $60. Spacious doublewide floor plan with 3 large bedrooms, 2 full 4 piece bathrooms. Open floor plan from kitchen, dining room and living room. Many recent upgrades totalling $50,000 include light fixtures, electrical/switch plates, all appliances, patio door, patios (2) redone, landscaping, new blinds, fresh paint and central air conditioning. Three access doors to the home, tons of parking for more than 3 vehicles, RV parking in the strata, fully fenced private yard and easy access to the Highway and transportation. Well appointed home with nice mountain views.

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This article came from CIBC Economics, was written on the 15th of November 2011 by Benjamin Tal.

House prices in Canada rose by 5.5% (year-over-year) in October following a 6.5% increase in September. This is the slowest pace of price appreciation since January.

Importantly, there is hardly any gap between the performance of the weighted price index and the un-weighted index, suggesting that the average price is not biased due to abnormal activity in large urban centres such as Toronto or Vancouver (Chart 1).

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During the first ten months of the year sales were up by almost 2% vs. the same period last year, while new listings were hardly changed.

By province, the largest increase was in Saskatchewan, followed by Ontario (Chart 2). Note that the pace of house price acceleration in British Columbia is softening.

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Mortgages outstanding are now rising by 7% (year-over-year), while the mortgage arrears rate has stabilized at close to 0.4%.

A glance at Chart 3 suggests that the market appears to be balanced from a supply/ demand perspective. But we also know that this balance can change very quickly.

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The decelerating pace of increase in home valuation is a positive development. At this rate house prices will stop rising by the 2nd quarter of next year and that’s exactly what we need to see in order to achieve an orderly return to equilibrium.

Our assessment is that relative to rent, income and demographics, house prices in Canada are over-shooting. But the fact that prices are overvalued today does not necessarily mean that they will crash tomorrow. After all, a violent market correction needs a trigger such as the sub-prime crisis, which ignited the US real estate meltdown, or abnormally high interest rates as was the case during the 1991 property crash in Canada. That is not on the horizon this time around. The Bank of Canada is very clear about its intention to move slowly, with the first rate hike not expected before late 2012. As well, any objective assessment of the quality of the existing mortgage portfolio in Canada reveals a relatively balanced mortgage market with a small segment of marginal borrowers.

Accordingly, while we do not see house prices crashing, we do believe that the housing market in Canada will stagnate in the coming year or two. Further out, the most likely scenario is that the eventual increase in interest rates will lead to a modest decline in prices (probably in the magnitude of 10%). But given relatively modest rate hikes and the current balanced affordability position, the more significant adjustment will be in housing market fundamentals that are likely to catch up with prices in the coming years — paving the way for a healthier housing market later in the decade.

Indeed a flattening in house prices in the next year or so is a necessary condition for such a soft lending scenario. If the pace of house price increases accelerates during that period, then twelve months from now the likelihood of a violent price correction will be higher than it is now.

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This article appeared on the Canadian Real Estate Magazine site and was written by the Editorial Team.

City of Kamloops View Real Estate Kirsten MasonCanadian Real Estate Magazine takes a look at the investment opportunities in Kamloops.

Set in the Thompson Nicola Valley in the south central interior of British Columbia, Kamloops is a transportation hub with a diverse economy.

Five major arterial highways converge on Kamloops, as well as two train companies and an airport. It’s also home to Thompson Rivers University, serves as a regional medical centre, and has promoted itself as the tournament capital of Canada for its hosting of various sports events.

Additionally, there’s a pulp mill, clean water, a resurgent mining industry, strong tourism, and lots of sunshine. There is a lot going on in the Kamloops economy, and that’s helped minimize risk for investors.

Market trends

Housing prices have slipped between 10%-25% since peaking in 2008, but sales have started to pick up again, says Trudy Montgomery, associate broker with Re/Max Real Estate in Kamloops.

The drop was influenced by the global economy, she said, but Kamloops has avoided anything like a real estate bubble.

“We’re hoping it’s showing that this market will never do what the Lower Mainland market has done where it will bubble up,” Montgomery says. “This isn’t that kind of market.”

Elton Ash, regional executive vice president for Re/Max of Western Canada, says Kamloops is more balanced than the nearby Okanagan region in terms of price.

There’s less of an oversupply in condominiums as seen in Kelowna, and Kamloops has a lower ceiling on its luxury home market. The median residential price for a house in Kamloops in February was $333,800, according to the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association. The largest share of sales, 36 total, occurred in a $280,000 to $319,999 range.

There were 25 sales under $200,000 and just seven over $480,000. Investors have benefited from a strong rental market, backed by especially by the student population. “There’s a huge rental demand because it’s a university town and also because there are lots of jobs here,” says Montgomery.

The favourite for investors are duplexes and triplexes, but they are in short supply and there’s little room left to build in the city. Another option is a house with a basement, says Montgomery, often selling for $320,000 to $400,000. Monthly rents can be $1,200 or $1,300 for the upstairs, and $900 or $1,000 for basements, she says.

“Even if (basement units) are unauthorized, it’s a very common thing because there’s very little accommodation,” says Montgomery.

Economics

Mining has returned as a major industry to Kamloops recently, highlighted by Highland Valley Copper, operating the largest copper mine in Canada. The nearby mines had been closed for years, says Montgomery.

“Just in a year, the mining industry got very solid,” she says. “That’s provided jobs and spurred on the economy.” Additionally, the Domtar pulp mill has provided steady employment, and environmental measures have kept the air pollution to a minimum.

Infrastructure improvements

One of the largest and most unique draws of Kamloops’ economy is its push to be a sports centre. Montgomery says the city recently built “Softball City” with 10 fields, as well as three rugby pitches.

Some $50 million has been invested in new and renovated sports facilities to host tournaments and training camps. It’s boosted the tourism industry, especially in hotels, and introduced Kamloops to an increasing audience.

Hiking trails and biking trails also attract residents looking for an active lifestyle. Since opening in 2005, the city’s new water treatment plant has also been attracting visitors from afar, as it’s the largest operating facility in North America to use membrane treatment.

The resulting clean water has also been a draw to new residents, fixing a previous problem with water issues.

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Vancouver, BC – November 15, 2011. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential unit sales in the province rose 6.5 per cent to 5,865 units in October compared to the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price was up 2.6 per cent to $535,695 last month compared to October 2010.

MLS Residential Sales BC October 2011

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“BC home sales rose three per cent in October compared to September on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “While consumer demand in Vancouver edged lower last month on a year-overyear basis, strong increases were recorded in the Fraser Valley, Kamloops, Kootenay, the North and on Vancouver Island.”

“Total active residential listings in the province declined by 3,360 units in October from September. However, active listings were up 6.9 per cent from October 2011,” added Muir. “Market conditions remained slightly in favour of home buyers last month.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 16.8 per cent to $38 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales increased 3.5 per cent to 66,922 units, while the average MLS® residential price rose 12.9 per cent to $566,925 over the same period.

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This article appeared in the Kamloops Daily News on November 8th, 2011 and was written by Cam Fortems.

Kamloops City Real Estate Homes For saleKamloops is poised to be one of B.C.’s best real estate markets in the next five years, according to a report released Tuesday by a Greater Vancouver-based firm.

Real Estate Investment Network placed Kamloops No. 3 in its list of top 10 markets. That’s up one place from a similar survey two years ago.

Investment network president Don Campbell said job growth, prices and the city’s status as a transportation hub are all important to the ranking.

Nudging out Kamloops are Surrey at the top, followed by Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows.

The report, titled Top B.C. Investment Towns 2011, comes the same week Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) forecasted a slight increase in prices and sales volumes here in 2012.

“It’s definitely not overpriced especially on what’s coming for growth,” said Campbell, who authored the report.

“Your income is already above the provincial average and the average age is below the average — two very good signs.”

Using City of Kamloops figures, the report predicts Kamloops population will reach 100,000 in seven years.

“With the population expected to hit 100,000 by 2018 it will take concerned effort for the City of Kamloops to provide enough housing stock to keep up with demand,” the report said.

The report also said prices here are one-third lower on average than comparable housing in the Lower Mainland.

The report factored in “as a potential” opening of the proposed Ajax copper mine within the five-year time frame of the forecast and the stimulus that would bring to the housing market.

The report is aimed at investors and homeowners. The company does not sell real estate.

Campbell said investors are still able to make money purchasing condominiums and townhouse units and renting them out in Kamloops and other communities.

The report also factors in a potential 1.25 per cent increase in mortgage rates within the next two years.

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927 13th Street Brocklehurst KamloopsCentrally located Brocklehurst home with 2 bedrooms and 1 full bathroom on a private lot. Updates include furnace (5 years), HW tank, 100 amp service, windows, roof and some parts of the bathroom. Fully fenced yard with large garden and numerous fruit trees. Great starter home or investment property. Lots of parking for many vehicles or an RV.

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

13-931 Gleneagles Dr Sahali Kamloops TownhouseSaturday, November 12th, 2011: 11:00-12:30: 13-931 Gleneagles Drive, Sahali, $259,900

This spacious 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom level entry Sahali townhouse is located in one of the most desirable complexes. There are no rentals allowed and pets with restrictions (1 dog/2 cats). more

1560 Summit Sahali Kamloops Condo ApartmentSaturday, November 12th, 2011: 1:00-2:30: 105-1560 Summit Drive, Sahali, $145,900

Completely updated one bedroom, one bathroom condo in Sahali. Great unit for an investor or first time home buyer. This home is move in ready. Recent updates include the kitchen, bathroom, flooring & paint. more

58-1697 Greenfield Glenwood Townhouses BrocklehurstSunday, November 13th, 2011: 11:00-12:30: 58-1697 Greenfield Avenue, Brocklehurst, $209,000

Court order sale. Centrally located Brock townhouse with 3 bedrooms, and 2 full bathrooms. Updated kitchen, bathrooms, some new vinyl windows, large storage area, private yard.

1846 Grouse Crt Batchelor Heights Kamloops HouseSunday, November 13th, 2011: 1:00-2:30: 1846 Grouse Court, Batchelor Heights, $484,900

Beautiful level entry Batchelor Heights rancher with a large, bright 1 bedroom inlaw suite with separate laundry. Hardwood flooring, and tile throughout the home. 3 bedrooms on the main floor with 2 full bathrooms, more.

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This article appeared on CBC.ca on November 9th, 2011.

Bank of Canada Kamloops Real Estate Mortgage Interest RatesTwo economists predict the Bank of Canada will slash its benchmark interest rate from its current level of one per cent next year.

Bank of America economist Sheryl King said Wednesday she expects that the central bank will cut the rate to 0.25 per cent by early next year.

King, head of Canada economics at Bank of America’s offices in Toronto, cited the strains from Europe’s debt crisis.

And David Madani, Canadian economist at Capital Economics, predicted the bank will lower its rate to 0.5 per cent next year, perhaps in April or June.

Madani said the bank would act amid “rising fears about the outlook for the global economy and falling inflationary pressures.”

He predicted that commodity prices would fall “sharply” next year and “somewhat further” in 2013 because of weak global demand, that a downturn in the U.S. would result in a drop in exports to Canada’s main trading partner and that housing prices here would slump.

On October 25, the bank announced for the ninth consecutive time that it was holding the rate at one per cent, where it has been since September 2010.

Madani also estimated Ottawa will take even longer to eliminate its $33 billion budget deficit.

Just yesterday, the government said it expected the budget would not come into balance for a year longer than its estimate in the spring.

It now expects the deficit to be gone by 2015.

The two economists’ predictions came the same day as interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is downplaying the potential impact of Europe’s economic crisis on Canada.

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This article appeared on CBC.ca on November 9th, 2011.

About 12 per cent of Canadian mortgage holders would be challenged if their rate went up by less than one percentage point, a report from the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals found Wednesday.

CAAMP is a national agency that represents 12,300 people who work somewhere in the mortgage industry.

Some 650,000 out of 5.8 million Canadians who have some sort of mortgage would be at risk if their rate went up by as little as less than one percentage point, the agency said in its annual report Wednesday.

Many of those people are on fixed-rate mortgages, and the agency says by the time their mortgages are due for renewal, their financial capacity will have increased and the amount of mortgage debt will be reduced. Indeed, the group’s annual report paints a picture of a mortgage market in gradual recovery from the recession. All in all, there’s a “gradually falling rate” of people falling behind on their mortgages, the report notes.

But the report also says as many as 175,000 Canadian homeowners — as much as two per cent of the market — may owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth on the market.

On the other side of the ledger, the report found there are 2.85 million Canadian homeowners who are debt-free on their homes — meaning, they owe nothing on their homes either in terms of a mortgage or home-equity line of credit. And 94 per cent of Canadian homeowners own at least 10 per cent of the equity in their homes, the report finds. Within that, more than three-quarters (78 per cent) own more than 25 per cent of their homes.

But about 75,000 Canadian homeowners own less than 10 per cent of their homes. That figure represents less than two per cent of mortgage holders, but those are the people who could be susceptible to a modest pullback in home prices, as has happened in large parts of Europe and the United States in recent years.

For much of the past year, the Bank of Canada, federal government officials and private sector economists have warned Canadians to get their finances in order and reduce their debt loads ahead of higher interest rates to come.

“While the forecasts for the economy, housing market, and mortgage market are encouraging, there is, as always, uncertainty about the outlook,” the report warns.

And to be sure, the picture of Canada’s housing market painted in the CAAMP report looks significantly better than the picture in the United States. A report from real estate data firm Zillow released Tuesday found that 28.6 per cent of U.S. homeowners are underwater — meaning, they owe more on their mortgages than their homes would be worth if they sold them.

Nonetheless, the CAAMP report says a “sizable minority” of Canadian homeowners would be unable to withstand even a one percentage point rise in their mortgage. Although 60 per cent of Canadians are in fixed rate mortgages (the average rate was at 3.92 per cent in 2011, a drop from 4.22 per cent a year earlier) the budgets for a number of homeowners are squeezed enough that they would be in trouble if their rates went up by that comparatively small amount.

“A vast majority of mortgage holders has considerable capacity to afford rises in mortgage interest rates,” the report stated. CAAMP estimates that the typical mortgage-holder could withstand an increase of about $750 a month without succumbing.
Canadians owe a collective $982 billion of debt on their homes, and the report estimates that there are about 13.6 million occupied dwellings in Canada.

Within that, about 9.55 million are owner-occupied, including about 5.80 million with mortgages and 3.75 million without mortgages.

Across all homeowners, the average amount owed on a mortgage is $90,000 and the average home-equity line of credit is $12,000.

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Vancouver, BC – November 8, 2011. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2011 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast today.

MLS Residential Sales Fourth Quarter 2011

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BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to rise 3.2 per cent from 74,640 units in 2010 to 77,000 units this year, increasing a further 3.9 per cent to 80,000 units in 2012.

“Low mortgage interest rates are expected to persist through 2012 keeping affordability on an even keel,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, headwinds on the economic front will constrain consumer demand over the next year to below the ten-year average of 87,600 units.” A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.

“Moderate consumer demand combined with larger inventories of homes for sale means BC housing markets will experience little upward pressure on home prices through 2012,” added Muir. The average MLS® residential price in the province is estimated to rise 11.8 per cent to $564,600 this year, and is forecast to decline 2.5 per cent to $550,500 in 2012.

 

This Saturday, November 5th and Sunday, November 6th, 2011 open houses will be held in Brocklehurst and Westsyde, Kamloops.

2181 Perryville Pl Westsyde Kamloops HomeSaturday, November 5th, 2011: 1:00-2:30: 2181 Perryville Place, Westsyde, $339,900

Immaculate Westsyde home with river views…numerous updates include furnace, hot water tank, central A/C, flooring, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, patio, most windows, external doors, paint, mouldings, more.

Kamloops Townhouse 58-1697 Greenfield Glenwood BrocklehurstSunday, November 6th, 2011: 1:00-3:00: 58-1697 Greenfield Avenue, Brocklehurst, $209,000

Court order sale. Centrally located Brock townhouse with 3 bedrooms, and 2 full bathrooms. Updated kitchen, bathrooms, some new vinyl windows, large storage area, private yard.

Click here to view more pictures of this home.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

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