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January 2013

Found 8 blog entries for January 2013.

The Canadian penny isn’t going to disappear quietly when the Royal Canadian Mint officially begins phasing them out on February 4th. Thanks to Free The Children and RBC, the penny is being given a week long send-off. From Monday February 4 through Friday February 9, Canadians are being invited to bring in any amount of pennies in any container to any RBC branch in Canada in support of clean water projects around the world.  Make it easy for clients to drop off pennies – have a We Create Change penny bag at the CAO desk or in a central location. As the bag reaches the $25 fill line, simply remove the bag and replace it with a new one. Before sealing the bag, ensure there are no other coins (quarters, dimes etc) mixed in with the pennies.
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Stance: Slowdown, not slump Every time there’s news about a dip in Canadian housing activity it fuels frenzied speculation about an impending U.S.-style crash. While home prices in Canada are headed for a correction in the coming year or two, it would be an overstatement to liken it to the U.S. market of 2006. Canada today is very different from a pre-recession America, especially as far as borrower profiles go. Cautious optimism The extremely low mortgage delinquency rate in Canada can be considered a measure of our stability. But our southern neighbour has taught us that this sea of tranquility can turn cataclysmic overnight. In just a short 18-month period in 2007-08, the mortgage arrears rate in the U.S. surged by more than 300%. The same holds true…
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The B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus is a one-time payment worth up to $10,000. B.C. residents who are first-time home buyers and who purchase an eligible new home on or after February 21, 2012 and before April 1, 2013 may be eligible for this bonus. A first-time home buyer is an individual who has never previously owned a primary residence anywhere in the world. A primary residence is generally a house that you own, jointly or otherwise, and that you intend to live in on a permanent basis. You may have more than one place of residence, but you are considered to have only one primary residence.


You may qualify for the bonus if you meet all of the following criteria:
  • You purchase or build an eligible new
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U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly slip lower in December
  • Existing home sales in the US unexpectedly slipped by 1.0% to 4.94 million annualized units in December 2012 from a revised 4.99 million (previously reported as 5.04 million) in November. Market expectations had been for sales to rise to 5.10 million in December.
  • The drop in sales was outpaced by an 8.5% decline in the number of homes available for sale in December. With inventories falling faster than sales, the months’ supply of unsold homes declined to 4.4 from 4.8 in November. This marked the lowest months’ supply since May 2005.
  • Consistent with tightening inventories as well as a declining share of distressed property sales, the median price of existing homes jumped by 11.5% on a
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A few things you need to know when Buying or Selling US Real Estate

FIRPTA FOR SELLERS: As a Canadian selling your home, the US Government takes 10% withholding tax on any home/condo that a foreigner sells... How do I prevent 10% withholding tax?

  • File a 8288 form found at
  • Ask yourself these 3 questions: If yes to all 3 questions -- the Canadian seller MAY be exempt from paying the US Government 10% withholding tax
    • Is the condo/home I am selling under $300,000 US?
    • Is my condo/home a residential property?
    • Is the buyer of my condo/home going to occupy as a primary/secondary owner? (so, if the buyer is going to turn the home/condo into a rental -- you now just lost your exemption)

FIRPTA AS A BUYER: If you are a

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Home-price forecasts for 2013 are on the rise. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. expects U.S. home prices to rise 3.4% in its base-case estimate and up to 9.7% in its most bullish scenario of economic growth. Standard & Poor’s, which rates private-issue mortgage bonds, on Friday said it expects a 5% rise in 2013. The J.P. Morgan analysts boosted their base-case estimate from 1.5% after a convincing rise in the “net demand” for housing this year has surpassed 2 million homes for the first time since 2006, said John Sim, a strategist at the investment bank. Net demand is the pace of existing home sales minus the inventory of homes available for sale. “Net demand has picked up a lot in 2012,” said Mr. Sim. “Once you get north of the 2 million territory, you are in…
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Ron's candid thoughts:

While statistics indicate relative price stability, our experience continues to confirm that sellers in distress are competing for the relatively scarce ready, willing and able buyers. Increasingly while the average sale price shows only a few percentage points decline, what Buyers are actually getting for their money has changed significantly, particularly over the last six months since the mortgage rule changes. Having said that, I’m seeing an increasing sentiment of it being a good time to buy and on our team we experienced a flurry of activity finishing the year with a busy December even getting an offer together on Christmas Eve. Nationwide consumer sentiment seems to be generally optimistic according to reports from

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Your government is increasingly worried about you getting into the housing market, if you haven’t figured it out by now. Ottawa has made it harder for you to get credit and is trying to limit how much debt you can take on. Has the message sunk in yet? The real estate industry says yes, and points to a dramatic drop in sales over the past few months as proof new mortgage regulations have stifled the market. The lesson for consumers is to tread slowly.

It’s a reality check for a lot of buyers in the market for what they could realistically afford

Gregory Klump, chief economist at the Canadian Real Estate Association, agrees there is little doubt the government has cast its eye at the first-time buyer. “They are the ones that generally take out

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