Archive for February, 2012

Home Sales Rise Outside Lower Mainland, BCREA

Vancouver, BC – – February 15, 2012. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that the dollar volume of homes sold through Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC dipped 7.6 per cent to $2.1 billion in January compared to the same month last year. A total of 3,976 homes traded hands on the MLS® over the same period, down 3.9 per cent. The average MLS® residential price was 3.8 per cent lower at $527,219 compared to January 2011.

“Increased market activity outside the Lower Mainland in January was offset by fewer sales in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. MLS® Residential sales rose 7 per cent to 1,620 units outside the Lower Mainland, while declining 10 per cent to 2,356 units in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

“While provincial sales activity was down in January from year ago levels, consumer demand has posted modest improvement since last fall, driven by low mortgage interest rates and gradually improving economic conditions,” added Muir.

For the complete news release, including detailed statistics, click here.

BCREA represents 11 member real estate boards and their approximately 18,000 REALTORS® on all provincial issues, providing an extensive communications network, standard forms, economic research and analysis, government relations, applied practice courses and continuing professional education (cpe).

Selling Your Home With Soho Properties

We recognize that there is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy for selling homes. Every property is unique and must be marketed accordingly. That’s why we’ve devised a project-based approach to real estate marketing that ensures no unique selling feature is overlooked, no sales opportunity is missed, and no detail is forgotten.


1.0 – Initial Meeting

This is how we begin the process and realize we’re the right fit. You’ll provide a tour of your home and point out key features and details that initially sold you on the property.

2.0 – Paperwork

Upon conducting a thorough market analysis, which includes the review of recent comparable active and sold homes, we’ll see trends that will allow us to properly price your home. We will then complete the necessary paperwork to get your listing market ready.

3.0 – Marketing

We understand how to captivate a targeted demographic through multiple marketing channels and this fully integrated approach allocates investment across all elements to give you a competitive advantage. Click here for details on our marketing program.

4.0 – Showings

Once your listing goes live on MLS we’ll begin to show your home to prospective buyers. Our job is to maximize value for you the homeowner and may require several showings to find the right buyer who is willing to purchase your home at maximum price the market will allow for. 


REBGV Newsflash, January Stats Videocast

Steps To Buying a Home With Soho Properties

Buying a home can be one of the largest financial investments you’ll make in your lifetime. This is why it’s important to work with a REALTOR® that you’re comfortable and confident with as you would any other business partnership. We understand that every buyer has their own individual needs. Whether it be for investment, your first time buying, or moving up the property ladder, we’ve developed a unique program to deliver based on your needs.


1.0 – Initial Meeting

Before working with a client, we encourage a face-to-face meeting. This meeting provides you an opportunity to ask questions. As well, this gives us an opportunity to set realistic expectations prior to engaging in a buyer agency relationship.

2.0 – Mortgage

This pre-approval is usually good for 90 days or more. This will set your maximum mortgage amount and interest rate, so you can set your budget before house hunting. It also let’s the seller know you are serious about buying a home and protects you from interest rate increases while we look for your new home.

3.0 – Email Search

We create a custom search query based on your needs. This search will extract all current listings on MLS to your Inbox. You will now have priority access to and receive new listings via email prior to them going live on the public MLS domain.

4.0 – House Tour

We’ll narrow the search to a few properties based on your needs and view these properties together. We may find your next home in the first try or may require another outing.  Nonetheless we are working on your behalf to find that home which meets your parameters and on budget.


REBGV Newsflash, January 2012

VANCOUVER, BC – February 6, 2012. Greater Vancouver home sellers were more active than buyers in January and overall home prices, according to the new MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI), continued to experience more stability and less fluctuation compared to the beginning of 2011.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 1,577 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January 2012. This represents a 4.9 per cent decrease compared to the 1,658 sales recorded in December 2011, a decrease of 13.3 per cent compared to the 1,819 sales in January 2011 and an 18 per cent decline from the 1,923 home sales in January 2010.

January sales in Greater Vancouver were the second lowest January total in the region since 2002, though only 146 sales below the 10-year average.

“We’re seeing trends emerge in our market that favour buyers, such as increased selection and more stability in pricing compared to this time last year,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said. “Last month’s activity tells us that competition amongst home buyers was reduced in January, which means that individuals looking to purchase a home had more time to do their homework, consult with their REALTOR®, and make a decision.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,756 in January. This represents a 19.9 per cent increase compared to the 4,801 new listings reported in January 2011, and a 253.3 per cent increase compared to the 1,629 new listings reported in December 2011.

Last month’s new listing count was the highest January total in Greater Vancouver since 1995.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the Greater Vancouver MLS® is 12,544, a 12.5 per cent increase compared to December 2011 and an increase of 20.2 per cent compared to January 2011.


Hiring a great contractor

Most Canadians who renovate their home will rely on a contractor to get the work done. Here are some strategies for making sure you’re on the same page as your contractor, from hiring through to project completion:

Try to find a contractor with whom you’re comfortable communicating

You should be able to ask questions and get answers you understand. Asking around is a good start – get references from friends or find people who have had similar work done to their homes, and see who had good experiences with their contractors.

Be on guard for fly-by-night outfits

Steer clear of contractors who make extremely low-ball or limited time offers, request payment in cash, pressure you to sign a contract right when it’s presented, or ask for a large percentage of the project as a down payment.

Know what you want

Too many people sign on with a contractor to have a particular job done, but in the middle of the project realize that they want something else. Such indecision can wreak havoc with a contractor’s plans, perhaps causing them to undo some work, and can derail your budget.


2012 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update, BCREA

Vancouver, BC –- January 27, 2012. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2012 First Quarter Housing Forecast Update today. 

BC Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales are forecast to increase 2.1 per cent from 76,817 units in 2011 to 78,400 units this year, increasing a further 2.7 per cent to 80,500 units in 2013. The 15-year average is 79,000 unit sales. A record 106,310 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.

“While European sovereign debt concerns and a sluggish US economy will continue to impact consumer confidence, strong demand in the bond market is expected to keep mortgage interest rates at or near record lows for most of 2012,” added Muir.

Home prices in most BC markets are forecast to experience little change over the next 24 months as the supply of homes for sale more closely matches consumer demand. The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to edge down 2.2 per cent to $548,500 this year and remain relatively unchanged in 2013, albeit increasing 0.8 per cent to $553,000.

To view the full BCREA Housing Forecast Update, click here.