Archive for October, 2011

Evergreen Line Will Proceed

Metro Vancouver mayors have voted in favour of a transit plan that includes expanded services and the Evergreen Line.

“A positive vote means the Evergreen Line will proceed.” – Minister Lekstrom

The provincial government is committing $583 million to funding the Evergreen Line. Translink will provide $400 million and the federal government will contribute $417 million.  The Evergreen Line will relieve congestion, improve air quality and link Port Moody and Coquitlam to the SkyTrain system.  Over 8,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created during construction.

Home Sales Edge Higher in September, BCREA

Vancouver, BC – – September 14, 2011. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential unit sales in the province rose 8.8 per cent to 5995 units in September compared to the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price increased 6 per cent to $523,568 last month compared to September 2010.

“MLS® home sales edged up 3 per cent in September compared to August on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Housing demand last month was bolstered by persistent low mortgage interest rates and a surge in employment.”

“Despite a modest gain in unit sales, total active residential listings in the province remained elevated in September,” added Muir. A total of 55,616 homes were listed on the MLS® in the province at the end of September.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 17.5 per cent to $34.8 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales increased 3.2 per cent to 61,127 units, while the average MLS® residential price rose 13.9 per cent to $569,922 over the same period.

For the complete news release, including detailed statistics, follow this link:

DIY – Do it yourself??

Many homeowners these days are willing to get their hands dirty with home improvement projects in the hopes of saving money – especially with the fabulous free courses being run by many home improvement superstores on an ongoing basis.

But although some projects can be tackled by homeowners, the do-it-yourself (DIY) route isn’t always the most economical – or safest, for that matter.

It’s often difficult to determine if a project entails more than you can realistically handle. Most people tend to gauge the complexity of a project by doing research online, as some DIY websites grade a project’s difficulty. But you should also look at the tools that are required for the job. If you come across complex tools you know little about, it may be best to call in an expert.

If you’re unsure about your ability to correctly finish a project, get an expert opinion before proceeding. Sometimes, you may end up spending more money to repair a bungled DIY job than if you had hired someone to do it right from the onset of the project.

Following are some examples of when you may want to consider turning to a pro:


Quick tips for boosting credit..

Planning ahead to ensure your credit is healthy before applying for a mortgage can translate into a better mortgage rate and product – which can save you significant money throughout the term of your mortgage.

Following are five steps you can use to help attain a speedy credit score boost:

1) Pay down credit cards. The number one way to increase your credit score is to pay down your credit cards. Revolving credit like credit cards seems to have a more significant impact on credit scores than car loans, lines of credit, and so on.

2) Limit the use of credit cards. Racking up a large amount and then paying it off in monthly instalments can hurt your credit score. If there is a balance at the end of the month, this affects your score – credit formulas don’t take into account the fact that you may have paid the balance off the next month.

3) Check credit limits. If your lender is slower at reporting monthly transactions, this can have a significant impact on how other lenders may view your file. Ensure everything’s up to date as old bills that have been paid can come back to haunt you. Your best bet is to pay your balances down or off before your statement periods close.

4) Keep old cards. Older credit is better credit. If you stop using older credit cards, the issuers may stop updating your accounts. As such, the cards can lose their weight in the credit formula and, therefore, may not be as valuable – even though you have had the cards for a long time. You should use these cards periodically and then pay them off.

5) Don’t let mistakes build up. You should always dispute any mistakes or situations that may harm your score. If, for instance, a cell phone bill is incorrect and the company will not amend it, you can dispute this by making the credit bureau aware of the situation.


REBGV Newsflash, September Statistics Videocast

REBGV Stats, September 2011

Vancouver, BC – October 4, 2011. Consistent increases in property listings and fewer home sales over the summer months has helped move the Greater Vancouver housing market into the upper end of a buyers’ market.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) reached 2,246 in September, a 1.2 per cent increase compared to the 2,220 sales in September 2010. Those sales also rank as the third lowest total for September over the last 10 years.

“There’s more competition amongst home sellers in today’s market, providing more options for prospective buyers,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said.”Buyers now have more properties to choose from and more time to make decisions compared to the spring season.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,680 in September, the third highest volume for September in 17 years. This represents a 20.1 per cent increase compared to September 2010 when 4,731 properties were listed for sale on the MLS® and a 21.2 per cent increase compared to the 4,685 new listings reported in August 2011.

The number of properties listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® system has increased each month since the beginning of the year. At 16,085, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 4.6 per cent in September compared to August 2011 and rose 4.4 per cent compared to this time last year.

“Our sales-to-active-listing ratio currently sits at 14 per cent, which is the lowest it’s been this year. Generally analysts say that a buyer’s market takes shape when the ratio dips to about 12 to 14%, or lower, for a sustained period of time,” Setticasi said.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 8.8 per cent to $627,994 in September 2011 from $577,174 in September 2010.

Since reaching a peak in June of $630,921, the benchmark price for all residential properties in the region has declined 0.5 per cent.

Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in September 2011 reached 957, an increase of 10.5 per cent from the 866 detached sales recorded in September 2010, and a 32.8 per cent decrease from the 1,423 units sold in September 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 13.4 per cent from September 2010 to $896,701.

Sales of apartment properties reached 922 in September 2011, a 5 per cent decrease compared to the 971 sales in September 2010, and a decrease of 38.1 per cent compared to the 1,489 sales in September 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 4.4 per cent from September 2010 to $405,569.

Attached property sales in September 2011 totalled 367, a 4.2 per cent decrease compared to the 383 sales in September 2010, and a 43.3 per cent decrease from the 647 attached properties sold in September 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 5.4 per cent between September 2010 and 2011 to $516,697.