The News Keeps Getting Better…

The Bank of Canada cut its key interest rate to the lowest point in history on Tuesday. Why?

“The outlook for the global economy has deteriorated since the bank’s December interest rate announcement, with the intensifying financial crisis spilling over into real economic activity,” the bank said in its gloomiest statement yet.

As a result, the dollar plunged to the 78-cent level. It’s now expected inflation will soon be less than zero – which, of course, isn’t inflation any more. It’s deflation. Geez, was it only six months ago economists were saying that was impossible?

On Tuesday Bell said it would dump 1,500 workers, Bank of America sliced 4,000 and stock market traders drove markets hundreds of points lower as they watched the spectacle in Washington and worried about the global banking system.

On Monday came word real estate sales in Toronto have crashed by 50% this month. Last week Nortel went chips up. On the weekend the US bailed out its big banks once again. On Monday Britain did the same – after the mighty Royal Bank of Scotland announced a stunning $41-billion loss. Only a matter of time now before the UK nationalizes its banks. Then Washington.

Last week the Vancouver Sun stated that “B.C. to lose more than 42,000 jobs in ’09” and the Province wrote “Office vacancies on the rise. There will be a crisis of confidence in the big markets”

However, Royal LePage did predict that housing values will fall 3% this year but price and activity gains are anticipated in some provinces. Hopefully they are right, all the job losses, business failures and economic uncertainty will definitely affect the the market, but 3% is much easier to take than other predictions I have seen out there.

Kamloops is not immune to layoffs, as Highland Valley Copper recently announced it would lay off 70 regular employee positions and 14 full time contract positions. Highland Valley currently employs over 1,000 people. Recently Teck Cominco announced it will lay off 1,400 workers globally. The Vancouver-based miner said the move is part of a broader strategy to cut costs, and is expected to save the company about $85-million.

If these were normal times, any one of these events would freak people out. But, this is a developing crisis, so our media puts a positive spin on it or ignores it outright, as do many citizens. I meet property owners who need to sell their homes believing this is a minor blip in the real estate and global markets. Sometimes we need to look at the larger picture because ignorance is not bliss.

The media is overwhelmed with this Obama euphoria.  I am not trying to take anything away from this historic event, but to believe one man will be able to reverse the damage done to the world economy over the past decade would be presumptuous.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I like to live in reality and prepare for what is coming instead of being surprised once it arrives.  I hope I am wrong, but too many facts lead me to believe otherwise.

A Sign Of The Times? Vancouver Real Estate Liquidation

A condo developer in Vancouver who built a number of condominium projects all over the Lower Mainland is liquidating 375 properties at 20%-40% off of assessed value. This recent development is definitely a sign of the times. You have to ask yourself – why are they selling these units at such a discount? Why? Because maybe they see the storm on the horizon. If you owned these units would you discount them if you expected sales prices and activity to increase?

What do you think? Any opinions out there?

Here is the article by CBC…

A Vancouver real estate developer is making an unprecedented move to offer a liquidation sale of $350 million worth of its condominiums throughout the Lower Mainland.

The marketing strategy by Onni Group of Companies is aimed at selling off hundreds of condos in its inventory.

About 375 unsold condominiums in cities such as Richmond and New Westminster will be offered at 20 to 40 per cent off, a real estate insider told CBC News.

It is not known whether the big discounts are based on prices when the condos were completed or current market values. Onni was to hold a media event Thursday to announce details.

Onni’s marketing tool might nudge some reluctant home buyers off the fence, said Tim Silk, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s business school.

“If you see the units being priced below comparable units, then you might see people jump in,” Silk said Wednesday. “But there’s still that hesitation of, ‘Have we reached bottom?’ ”

Home prices in the Vancouver real estate market dropped almost 11 per cent between December 2007 and the end of 2008, according to a special price index updated earlier this month by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

And the number of homes sold in 2008 fell more than 35 per cent from 2007 sales of more than 38,000 homes.

Link to CBC Article.

B.C. Assessment Information and How It Affects Your Property.

For the 2009 Property Assessment Roll only, BC Assessment will be providing property owners with the market value of properties as of both July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008. The lower of these two values will become the 2009 assessed value for most properties.

On November 27, 2008, the provincial government passed the Economic Incentive and Stabilization Statutes Amendment Act (Bill 45), which provides special valuation rules for the purpose of the 2009 tax year only. Part 3 of Bill 45 provides that properties valued at market value will, on the 2009 assessment roll, be valued at the actual value calculated using either a July 1, 2007 or July 1, 2008 valuation date, whichever is lower. This initiative is part of the B.C. Government’s economic strategy to provide stability and predictability to British Columbians in response to the downturn in the real estate market which began mid-2008

About 94 per cent of property owners in British Columbia will see an identical or lower assessed value on their 2009 notice compared to 2008. Eighty-two per cent of BC’s 1.85 million properties will reflect last year’s assessed value. Another 12 per cent of properties will be assessed at July 1, 2008 values because that value is lower than July 1, 2007. The remaining six percent have undergone changes that are described online.

If you were wondering if your property taxes were decreasing this is not necessarily the case. BC Assessment does not have a direct role in setting property taxes. Taxing authorities (municipalities, regional districts) set their tax rates for property taxes based on their budget requirements.

For further information or questions about your property assessment visit BC Assessment online here.

Featured Property Of The Week: 419 Opal Drive, Logan Lake, B.C.

Logan Lake is a small community 60 km outside of Kamloops and 47 km from Merritt just off of the Coquihalla Highway. Logan Lake sits at an elevation of 1067m (3500 ft.) In the summer enjoy warm days and cool nights. There are a lot of outdoors activities to enjoy in the warmer months such as hiking, golfing and dirt biking. During the winter months expect a fair amount of snow (average 4 feet) and a lot of sunshine; excellent for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Traditionally a company town, Logan Lake has developed into a dynamic, growing community.The current population of Logan Lake is estimated around 2300.

419 Opal Drive is located within one block of the city centre. The recreation centre, schools and shopping are right at it’s doorstep. This four bedroom home has three bedrooms on the main floor. It has a very open floor plan, newer kitchen and updated bathroom with a deep soaker tub. There is over 1,000 square feet of living space on the main floor. The basement has one large bedroom and a den. There is also a three piece bathroom, laundry room and ample storage. The extra long single car garage has room for a shop or storage.

This Logan Lake home is a great family home, with a lot of yard space for the kids to play and a large deck for summer barbecues. This home is listed at $229,900. To view the slide show click HERE.

Front Of Logan Lake HomeLogan Lake Home Living RoomLogan Lake Home KitchenLogan Lake Home DiningLogan Lake Home: Back Yard

East Barriere Lake Real Estate Information

For up to date Barriere, Kamloops and surrounding area homes for sale click here.

East Barriere Lake West End BayEast Barriere Lake is located less than an hour north east of Kamloops. This lake is one of the last undeveloped lakes in the interior of British Columbia. East Barriere Lake is clean, full of fish and uncrowded. It is a beautiful lake that boasts a variety of activities year round. It’s shallow bay and warm waters make water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, kayaking, swimming, canoeing and fishing very popular activities in the warmer months. The shores are sandy, surrounded by beautiful scenery to hike for hours makes this lake an undiscovered gem. For those who love to fish, East Barriere has plenty of rainbow trout. There are 100’s of kilometers of logging roads and off road trails for dirt biking and ATV’s in the spring, summer and fall. There are many winter activities to enjoy such as snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating on the lake and sledding.

East Barriere’s elevation is only 2,100 feet above sea level. The Max. depth of the lake is 302 feet with a mean depth of 156 feet. East Barriere Lake is approximately 10 Km long. The average summer water temperatures are between 75 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Shuswap Highlands is a residential/recreational area on East Barriere lake where the lots are freehold parcels all belonging to a strata. Water and sewer system included in the strata. Telephone, internet & hydro are available to this area bringing the convenience of city life to the outdoors.  There are a variety of homes located both on the lake shore and set back from the water. There are a lot of log homes custom cabins in this area. There is a shared sandy beach at the foot of the lake, as well as a boat launch, grassy recreational area and boat moorage. The access road to the development is plowed in the winter making it easier for property owners to access their homes.

The Sands is a leasehold area of East Barriere Lake. The Sands is directly beside Shuswap highlands (to the east) and covers a large part of the southern shoreline of the lake. There are many private beaches and beautiful log homes along this stretch.

Currently there are a number of properties for sale on East Barriere lake. There is a prime building lot that is located in the Shuswap Highlands. It sits at the foot of the popular South East bay of the lake and has beautiful views up the stretch of the lake. There is direct access to the shared beach and the boat moorage is seconds away. This lot is the only lot available in Shuswap Highlands. Properties with newer cabins on them in this development go anywhere from $450,000 +.

There are also eight waterfront building lots, and 19 water view sites. These properties are priced from $125,000 to $250,000. Roads, water and sewer are in for these properties. These properties are located on the north side of the lake.

To get more information about these properties on East Barriere lake or any other lake front properties click here.

East Barriere Lake

East Barriere Lake

Wakeboarding on East Barriere Lake

Wakeboarding on East Barriere Lake

East Barriere Looking East

East Barriere Lake looking East

Shuswap Highlands @ East Barriere Lake

Moorage at Shuswap Highlands @ East Barriere Lake

East Barriere Lake Wilderness

Surrounding Wilderness at East Barriere Lake

East Barriere Lake Looking East

View of the frozen lake in January looking North East

East Barriere Lake in January

Looking towards the West bay of East Barriere Lake (The Sands & Shuswap Highlands)

Canadian Foreclosure Info Takes Some Digging

Kamloops and area home listings including judicial sales and foreclosed properties click here.

FORECLOSURE SIGNI found this article below that details foreclosures in B.C. We really have seen very little foreclosure action in the Kamloops housing market. It has been announced recently that B.C. is not immune to this recession and job losses, the drop in property values and the amount of debt carried by individuals is increasing. This extra pressure on individuals and  families will definitely cause those who are highly leveraged to sell either on their own to prevent a foreclosure (where the lender will force the sale) or the lender will foreclose on the property. It is expected that we will see more foreclosures in Kamloops in the months to come, but nothing like we have seen in the U.S. due to many factors that are different with our lending system here in Canada.  Read more below…

Media reports from the United States routinely list a litany of horrors about the number of foreclosures. According to an August 4 New York Times report, 8.41 percent of subprime-mortgage loans from 2005 were in arrears by 90 days or more or in foreclosure in the month of June. Of subprime-mortgage loans from 2007, 16.6 percent were delinquent, according to the report.

This is creating huge problems for U.S. real-estate lenders, who have to put properties in foreclosure and then find a buyer in a market that is already glutted with distress sales.

Fortunately, in B.C. there haven’t been nearly as many foreclosures, which are legal processes in court to extinguish all rights, title, and interest in an owner’s property so that it can be sold to pay a lien against it.

According to the Canadian Bankers Association, just 0.15 percent of B.C. residential mortgages were in arrears in April, the latest month for which figures are available. This is quite low when compared with other months dating back to 1990. The percentage of mortgages in arrears peaked in May 1999 at 0.66 percent—more than four times the most recent figure.

Vancouver real-estate educator and foreclosure researcher Kap Hiroti told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview that he expects the number of B.C. foreclosures to increase—but only because the numbers are so low. He noted that some high-risk borrowers who’ve previously relied on alternative-financing companies are finding themselves in trouble because those lenders have abandoned the market.

“What that means is that you’ve got people who’ve got a mortgage one or two years ago,” Hiroti said. “They’re coming up for renewal, and that company cannot renew because they pulled out of the market. Usually, they’re very highly leveraged loans.”

Those cases, however, are the exception to the current market norm here. Hiroti pointed out another difference between the U.S. and Canada when it comes to foreclosures: south of the border, information is readily available. In Canada, it’s much more difficult to find data on properties that are about to enter foreclosure proceedings.

ForeclosureList.ca, a Web site owned by Hiroti, does the legwork in digging up information on foreclosures. He explained that a foreclosure typically begins when a lender issues a demand letter to a property owner seeking repayment of a debt. If the borrower doesn’t respond appropriately, the next step is for the lender to file a legal document called a petition in B.C. Supreme Court.

The petition lays out the particulars, and normally asks for a court order quashing the owner’s rights, title, and interest in a property. At this point, the owner has a chance to file a response, which sets the legal wheels in motion. Prior to any judicial rulings, the owner still has control over the property and can usually sell it without obtaining permission from the lender.

Hiroti said his company compiles information from these petitions and distributes it for $99 per month to subscribers, most of whom are real-estate investors. He estimated that there are approximately 20 foreclosure petitions filed in B.C. Supreme Court each week. Doing this research isn’t cheap. In B.C., it costs $8 to research a court file and $1 per page to photocopy documents.

Ordinarily, a judge or a master of the B.C. Supreme Court will issue a decree nisi, which may require owners to pay down the debt within six months. Hiroti said the next step is for a judge or a master to issue an order for the conduct of sale. “That’s where they actually bring a realtor onboard,” he commented.

The agent has to list the property for market value on the Multiple Listing Service. Once an offer is made, the court must approve the sale. It can be a time-consuming process, which is why Hiroti thinks it’s useful for investors to find out about foreclosures much earlier in the process.

So can a buyer get a better deal by approaching a property owner who has just received a petition? “It’s a good question,” Hiroti responded. “There is the potential.”

Article from: LINK

An RRSP Can Help A First Time Home Buyer

HomeA federal program is in place to assist first time home buyers with the purchase of a home. Under the federal government’s Home Buyer’s Plan, you can use up to $20,000 in RRSP savings ($40,000 for a couple) to finance a down payment on a first home. You are then required to repay your RRSP over 15 years.

You have to ensure that the RRSP funds have been deposited for at least 90 days. You will also have to sign an agreement to buy a new or resale home. Buyers have to qualify the  home purchase.

Depending upon your situation, it might be to your advantage to access savings through the Home Buyers’ Plan. For example, if you had already saved $20,000 for a down payment – and assuming you still had enough “contribution room” in your RRSP for a contribution of that amount you could move your savings into a registered investment at least 90 days before your closing date. Then you could withdraw the money through the Home Buyers’ Plan.

Your $20,000 RRSP would then count as a deduction for the year. You could also use any tax refund you receive to repay RRSP or other home buying expenses.

Many home buyers looking to purchase a home in Kamloops are trying to find ways to ensure they have an adequate down payment. First time home buyers can definitely put this technique to use. Ensure, prior to making any major financial decisions, to check with your financial advisor, lawyer or tax specialist. These professionals can determine whether this strategy is practical for your financial situation.

Home Buying / Hunting Tips

For up to date Kamloops and surrounding area home listings click here.

You have established your budget. You have been pre-approved for a mortgage. You have contacted a REALTOR to assist you with the purchase of a home. Now the fun, and evaluation begins. You will probably be looking at a few homes before you decide on the perfect one for your family. Before you decide to purchase that home you have absolutely fallen in love with, be sure to be objective in your decision. On appearance alone, the fireplace, the new flooring, paint job and new carpeting create a warm and inviting feeling. Yet, is the home really that perfect? Take a deep breath. Take some time to think about the bigger picture of the home in terms of your needs. Carefully consider whether this home offers the features that will last beyond the first impression. Here are some essential factors to consider:

* Location is a significant factor in your choice of home. An established community, with a good reputation, a low crime rate and well-maintained homes, maintains home values. A garbage dump, industrious buildings disposing bad odours and major freeways surrounding your neighborhood are unattractive and disruptive to a peaceful lifestyle. Many communities within Kamloops have positive and negative aspects about each and every one of them. Ensure you are informed about every area that you are interested in.

* Also consider availability and cost of access to public transportation, major roads and highways. This is especially important when considering properties outside of Kamloops.

* Also consider the condition of public areas such as streets, sidewalks, parks and recreational facilities.

* Public services should also be established including street cleaning, snow removal, garbage collection, and emergency services.

* You will also want efficient access to medical services including hospitals, doctors and dentists.

* Be sure that schools and related school services are also within easy access.

* Recreational, shopping and entertainment needs should also be considered.

Buying a home is a big job and there are many things to consider. With the Kamloops real estate market being a lot slower, buyers have more time to make an informed decision on a purchase. Before making an offer on a home take the time to look over the home carefully and really consider the floor plan and how your furniture will fit. Ensure your Realtor shows you the comparable homes on the market in your chosen area. Remember, often homes look much better in person than they do in pictures on the MLS.

1 220 221 222 223 224 225