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

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