Canada’s Real Estate Outperforms Globally: Report

This article appeared on the Vancouver Sun’s Website on December 20th, 2011 and was written by Tracy Sherlock.

Kamloops Homes For Sale SignCanada’s real estate market is strong compared to its global counterparts, but the boom has lasted longer than in most other countries and shows signs of waning, a Scotiabank report said.

“The Canadian housing market remains an outperformer among advanced nations, with real home prices up 4.8 per cent year over year in [the third quarter],” Scotiabank’s Global Real Estate Trends report said. “While the sector’s continued buoyancy is impressive, monthly data through November suggest prices have levelled off since the spring, with conditions in the majority of local markets in ‘balanced’ territory.”

The report credits “ultralow” interest rates with continuing to attract buyers, while economic uncertainty and some recent slowing in hiring are possible dampers on demand in Canada. Canada is at the top of the 10 countries included in the report. Five countries — the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Spain and (to a lesser extent) Italy — show average house prices significantly lower than their peak values, while the other five countries — Canada, Australia, France, Sweden and Switzerland — still show average prices at or near record highs.

The cycle of rising real home prices is long, lasting on average 12 years, according to the Scotiabank report.

“Italy’s boom was the shortest at eight years, while Ireland and Sweden count 15 years. Canada’s ongoing housing boom is in its 13th year,” the report states.

Canada’s house prices did not rise as steeply as those in other countries, with inflation-adjusted average home prices up 85 per cent since 1998, according to the report.

“Canada’s residential real estate boom started several years later than many of its counterparts, with the economy still feeling the effects of the deep recession of the early 1990s and weak labour markets through mid-decade,” the report says.

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Neighbourhood: Pritchard, Kamloops, B.C. Real Estate

Kamloops Acreage For SalePritchard Farmland For Sale BC KamloopsPritchard is located 30 minutes or 39 kilometers south east of the City of Kamloops. The majority of the properties in Pritchard are small to large acreages. There is one area where smaller city lots exist (approximately 0.25 acre lots) and are largely dominated by modular or manufactured homes. Pritchard is a rural area with few amenities close. There are a lot of recreational, outdoor activities that are easily accessible in Pritchard area.

 

Pritchard BC Kamloops BridgeThe Pritchard Bridge spans the South Thompson River connecting the residents of the North side of the river with the South shore and highway. The Pritchard bridge is a wooden stringer system and has an opening at it’s highest point to allow boats to pass under. The bridge was constructed in the early 1900’s and it is a single lane bridge with large pull outs so oncoming traffic can pass. The bridge will support heavier loads as it does have a concrete deck and allows for logging trucks to pass over.

Properties & Real Estate

Pritchard BC Real Estate For SaleThe area of Pritchard is located along Highway #1 East of the City of Kamloops. This area is split by the Highway, one area of Pritchard rests at the valley bottom along the South Thompson River and the other area of Pritchard stretches into the southern hills and mountains. The smaller residential lots are located at the valley bottom across the Pritchard bridge on Decamillis Road, Bostock Crescent, Gerella Road, Gore Road, Anker Road and Foort Road to name a few.

Predominantly, large acreages are found on the south side of the river off of Duck Range Road, Martin Prarie Road (main roads in this area of Pritchard) as well as Harrison Road, Schamps Road and Stark Road. Most of the acreages are located on the south side of Pritchard. There are a few medium and large sized acreages spread on the Northern side of Pritchard off of Pinantan Pritchard Road, Pinantan Road and Kamloops-Shuswap Road.

Shopping

The only shopping in this area is the Pritchard store located at the corner of the Trans Canada Highway #1 and Martin Prarie Road. Along with basic necessities the Prtichard store offers spirits and liquor as well. The closest shopping to Pritchard is Chase which is 18.5 kilometers east of Pritchard or Kamloops which is 39 kilometers west of Pritchard. There are some smaller shopping centres west of Pritchard such as the new Town Centre in Dallas (opening in 2012) that is 27.2 kilometers and shopping in Valleyview (Coopers, Shoppers Drug Mart, Dollar Store, TD, Interior Savings and other retailers) that is 34 kilometers from Pritchard.

There are local farmers that offer fresh foods in the area as well.

Schools

All school aged children are taken to school by bus. To view school information for this area click here.

Recreation

Pritchard BC Residential Real EstateThere are a number of outdoors activities to enjoy in the Pritchard area. In the summer it is easy to power boat from Pritchard, up the south Thompson River to Shuswap Lake. There are a number of fishing lakes in the area, cross country skiing, off road adventures on ATV, dirtbike or snowmobile, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking and hiking.

Click here to view properties for sale in Pritchard.

Kamloops Mortgage Info: That Low-Rate Mortgage Could Actually Cost You More

Brenda Colman Invis Kamloops Mortgage BrokerCheapest is not always best. We know that’s true when we’re shopping for anything else. But we still tend to believe that lowest rate is the one and only factor in choosing a mortgage. Most Canadian homeowners would be shocked to discover that their low-rate mortgage could actually cost them more in the long run.

Why? Because the right mortgage is about a lot more than just rate.

It’s true that even a small reduction in rate can mean interest savings over the life of your mortgage. And mortgage brokers are experts at seeking out competitive rates from a wide range of lenders. But they also look deeper. Sometimes those cut-rate mortgages come with higher fees, penalties, or restrictive terms, which could prove more costly over the long term than a slightly higher-rate mortgage with flexible terms.

One of the best ways to save interest, for example, is to use pre-payment options. If you get a quarterly bonus, a tax refund, or a seasonal income boost, then you have some excellent opportunities to slash your mortgage costs. Putting extra money against your mortgage principal could save you thousands of dollars in interest. If your cut-rate mortgage doesn’t permit pre-payments, that’s a huge missed opportunity.

Also watch for low-rate “teasers”: cut-rate mortgages with a short timeline. Sometimes a lender will offer a rate that is good for just 30 days, after which the rate will jump. If closing takes a little longer, or there’s a glitch in documentation, then you need to be prepared with a backup plan. These teasers can be stressful – and not always the best deal anyway.

An accredited independent mortgage broker will determine the features and privileges that best meet your personal situation, looking at:

·        Refinancing penalties
·        Fixed vs variable rate
·        Term
·        Pre-payment options
·        Payment flexibility
·        Restrictions
·        Fees
·        Portability
·        Assumability

Most people spend more time choosing the right car than choosing the right mortgage, although it’s likely the largest expense they’ll likely ever undertake.

Make sure you have a mortgage that is custom-built for your personal situation. Cheapest isn’t always best. And obviously the most expensive mortgage is rarely the best choice either. But the right combination of rate and features – matched to your needs – is the fastest route to mortgage freedom. It’s your mortgage broker’s job to help you with that route-planning: a map for your financial future.

Brenda Colman, AMP, Mortgage Consultant, Invis Kamloops
P. 250-318-8118  E. ac.sivninull@namlocadnerb W. www.BrendaColman.ca

Featured Property: 251 Waddington Drive, Upper Sahali, Kamloops, B.C. $375,000

Upper Sahali Kamloops BC 251 Waddington DriveLots of updates in this centrally located Sahali home with a view. Within walking distance to schools, transportation & shopping. 3 bedrooms on the main floors & 1 down. Spacious master bedroom with an ensuite. French doors off of the kitchen leading to a huge covered deck that overlooks the yard. Large, private parklike yard that is fully fenced. Deck has a gas BBQ hookup. Large rec room down with laundry. Extra long double garage 21×23. Recent upgrades include high efficiency furnace, hot water tank, insulation, new windows, roof, some upgraded flooring & paint.

Click here to view more pictures of this property.

Click here to view the video tour of this home.

To view all homes for sale in Kamloops click here.

Builders Hoping Single-Family Orders Pick Up in 2012

This article appeared on the Kamloops Daily News on December 23rd, 2011.

Kamloops New HomeMulti-family housing and home renovations kept builders busy in 2011, says the president of the Canadian Home Builders Association-Central Interior. But new house construction took a hit, a one-two punch from the global economy and uncertainty around B.C.’s Harmonized Sales Tax, Brian Hayashi said Friday.

“New homes were significantly down. We think it’s a combination of things: the bad news of the global economy. A number of realtors and homebuilders have said sales stopped when the HST vote happened,” he said.

Of course, new home sales also turned sluggish when the HST was first created, but they did pick up after about six months, he said. “This time around, we don’t know.”

His group is working on a campaign for the new year to let buyers know it’s an ideal time to purchase a new house, Hayashi said. “Costs are going down. There is no advantage in waiting for the GST/PST to come off,” he said.

While new house sales are slow — with the exception of a flurry of selling in late November — there also isn’t a lot out on the Kamloops market, he said. “The other concern is when sales do pick up, there’s going to be a shortage. And whenever there’s a shortage, prices start to go up.”

Hayashi said his company, Nexbuild, has stayed busy with commercial work and home renovations. There are also energy-savings grants that homeowners should be aware of. “We’re looking forward to things picking up in new energy retrofits, some grants and incentives out there,” he said. “The renovation market continues to be strong. The energy retrofits, people staying put and upsizing or downsizing or even just maintaining. That’s a good opportunity for local builders.”

Despite the single-family home slowdown, Kamloops’ construction demand has been fairly stable going into 2012, he said. “So I’m hoping it’ll pick up. We’re not looking at a big boom or anything, the world is going to affect us, but I would say we’re doing really well. We’re really fortunate here.”

Brian Ledoux, president of the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association, agreed with Hayashi’s observations about multi-family housing doing better than new single-family homes. “New construction and residential sales were low, just based on the way the HST rules bounced around, nobody knew what to do,” he said. “Information didn’t get out well enough for the public to understand what was happening, so they decided not to do anything.”

But used houses sold well, in fact by year’s end, the total number of homes sold was close to matching last year’s, said Ledoux. The count taken a few weeks before 2011 ended was 1,980 homes sold, compared with around 2,100 or 2,200 at the end of 2010, he said.

He knew of only one house that sold that was priced over $1 million this year, but there were several in the $700,000 to $800,000 range. Interest rates attracted first-time home buyers, he said.

House prices in Kamloops have actually been declining since 2007, but are now leveling off, said Ledoux. He predicted the housing market in 2012 will see a slow and steady increase in sales.

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Neighbourhood: Knutsford, Kamloops, B.C. Real Estate

Knutsford Kamloops BC Rolling Hills Property For SaleKnutsford is located 15 minutes south of the city of Kamloops. The Old Merritt Highway 5A runs through the Knutsford area. Some areas of Knutsford are within a five minute drive of Aberdeen Mall. Knutsford mainly consists of small to large acreages, farms and Kamloops Property MLS Knutsford River Lakeranches. There are a couple of small mobile home parks in the area as well. Knutsford is known for it’s wide open rolling hills with views for miles. Knutsford is located at a higher elevation than the city of Kamloops and tends to get a little more snow in the winter but in the summer it is not quite as hot.

The Knutsford Hall is a popular place for locals to meet for events and gatherings and has a capacity of up to 110 people. The Hall is located on Highway 5A just outside of Aberdeen.

Properties & Real Estate

The two mobile home parks in the area are Knutsford Knoll Mobile Home Park (2867 Highway 5A) and Knutsford Tent and Trailer Park (2721 Highway 5A). These parks are easily accessible from the highway.

Knutsford Farm Home Kamloops BCThe majority of Knutsford is dominated by ranches and farms. Many of the properties are located off of Long Lake Road, Highway 5A, Rose Hill Road, Goose Lake Road, Weir Road, Jackson Road, Separation Road and Edith Lake Road. There are a number of smaller roads in Knutsford that also lead to large properties. Click here to view a map of Knutsford.

The majority of the properties in Knutsford are on septic system. For water, homes are either a drilled well or have water delivered. There are a few select properties that border Aberdeen that do have city services.

There are no multi-family or townhouse developments in this area.

Click here to view properties for sale in Knutsford.

Shopping

Knutsford does not have it’s own shopping district. You will find ranches and farms that sell eggs and other products but there are not any large commercial developments.

Most areas of Knutsford are within five to 15 minutes of the Aberdeen area of Kamloops. Aberdeen has a number of stores and shops such as the Aberdeen Mall, Costco, many restaurants, and more. Knutsford is a great location for people who want to live in a country setting but also want to be close to city amenities.

Highway 5A leads directly to Highway #1 which is the main route through Kamloops making other shopping districts such as Downtown Kamloops and Valleyview very accessible.

Schools

Knutsford is serviced by school bus and students have the choice of a few schools. It will take about 15 to 30 minutes by school bus to most schools in the area. Click here for further school information.

Recreation

Knutsford Horses Kamloops BCThere are many outdoors activities to enjoy in Knutsford such as horseback riding, motor sports, hiking, boating (Stump Lake is close as well as other small fishing lakes), fishing and more. Stump Lake is the only lake in the area that allows gas powered boats, other lakes such as Edith Lake, Separation Lake, McLeod Lake and Flat Lake are only fishing Lakes.

Knutsford is also very close to the city of Kamloops and can access many city amenities like the Tournament Capital Centre and other popular activities in Kamloops.

Click here to view properties for sale in Knutsford.

B.C. Market Heads Toward Equilibrium

This article appeared on the Canadian Real Estate Magazine on December 14th, 2011.

The B.C. real estate market may finally have reached the equilibrium investors and others have long hoped for, with Multiple Listing sales in November falling only marginally from  the previous year and price growth restricting itself to a 1 per cent gain.

“After waning during the first half of the year, consumer demand has steadily increased since the summer months, bringing home sales within seven units of the November 2010 level,” said Cameron Muir, chief economist for the The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA). “BC home sales continued to gain ground in November.”

A total of 5,640 units were sold last month compared to 5,647 units in November 2010. The average MLS residential price was up 1.1 per cent to $529,140 in November compared to the same month last year.

“Low mortgage interest rates remain a key driver in the housing market, helping to maintain affordability and purchasing power,” said Muir.

But affordability on B.C.’s Lower Mainland — or rather the lack of it — has worried local investors trying to make acquisitions in markets they have inreasingly found themselves shut out of this year.

That rapid value growth continues to moderate, with a falling number of buyers able or willing to purchase at prices in some cases more than 30 per cent higher than their 2010 numbers.

Year-to-date, the dollar volume for B.C. residential sales increased 15.5 per cent to $41 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales increased 3.2 per cent to 72,632 units, and the average residential price rose 11.9 per cent to $563,991 over the same period.

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