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Victoria & Vancouver Island Real Estate Blog

Friday, November 16, 2012 Much of the financial news we are hearing is about the US fiscal cliff. Canada has one of it's own as well. CMHC. As of June 30, 2012, at $576 billion, CMHC was creeping closer to their own $600 billion mortgage insurance in force fiscal cliff. This is what CMHC has to say about mortgage insurance in force limit CMHC Insurance Policies in Force Limit Under the National Housing Act (NHA), the total of outstanding insured amounts of all insured loans may not exceed $600 billion. CMHC's total insurance-in-force, which represents the risk exposure of the CMHC mortgage loan insurance activity, increased to approximately $576 billion as of June 30, 2012, approximately 2 per cent higher than total insurance-in-force in December 2011.

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We are thrilled to announce that The Neal Estate Team Bear 'Jingle Bear' won the prestigiousFirst Place-Best Dressed Award!Thanks for making this event such a great success! Each year this event runs over the holiday season to raise money for children and youth in need and their families on Vancouver Island. Please help support a great cause and check out our Bear and other Sponsors Bears at the Hotel Grand Pacific from November 19, 2012 to January 3, 2013. Vote for your favorite bear for a chance to win when they are raffled off to a new home in the New Year.    

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Kelowna, BC (November 14, 2012) -- Canadian real estate markets demonstrated remarkable resilience in 2012—with home sales up or on par in 65 per cent of major centres—despite considerable headwinds in terms of tighter financing and economic uncertainty abroad. The trend is expected to continue, with home-buying activity propped-up by low interest rates and an improved economic picture in 2013, according to a report released today by RE/MAX. The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2013 examined trends and developments in 26 major markets across the country. The report found that the number of homes sold is expected to match or exceed 2011 levels in 65 per cent of markets (17/26) in 2012, led by strong activity in Western Canada, including Calgary (up 13.5 per

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Suzanne Sharma / November 13, 2012 Four years into a recession being touted as the worst since the ’30s, the U.S. housing sector is giving markets something to smile about. Between August and September 2012, housing starts leapt 15% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000, the biggest surge since July 2008. Read: Slow and steady U.S. hops over Canada And it’s likely groundbreakings could increase another 25% in 2013, predicts Kermit Baker, senior research fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. Before you get too excited, though, realize home construction’s still a long way off the 1.6 million unit average highs it’s seen for the last three decades. Still, it’s among the first positive signs of a real economic recovery. And,

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VREB Launches Safety App to Protect REALTORS® Today VREB launched the Guardly safety app to help our Members create a safer working environment.Guardly’s mobile application for smartphones allows members to instantly connect with managers, colleagues, family and 9-1-1 when faced with safety concerns. Guardly’s technology leverages alert notifications, call conferencing of up to 15 contacts, real-time location tracking and instant messaging to provide members with peace of mind, wherever your job takes you. And it only takes 5 minutes to set up. Whether you are meeting a new client or hosting an open house, feel safe in knowing that Guardly is always there to protect you. Guardly and VREB put safety first! View a video here to see how it works, or download

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Ron’s candid thoughts on today’s market in Victoria Last month I wrote commenting on the Victoria Real Estate Board News Release saying that in my opinion gives a sugar coated outlook of reality. I also said that it’s not all doom and gloom, that it’s an excellent time to buy, especially to trade up! This month is a repeat! The first sentence of the VREB report claims that “prices held steady” which is simply untrue. We are commonly seeing sales reported in some cases substantially below their tax assessed values and recent independent appraised values. We are seeing properties sell for less than they were purchased for in the last few years. We are in a Buyer’s market with a substantial oversupply relative to buyer’s activity. Last month’s ratio of sold…
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REALTOR Ron Neal, left, and developer Glen Wilson at the cleared site of the proposed Midtown Parkproject.
Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist

A Saanich property once labelled a neighbourhood embarrassment is being cleaned up for a new five-storey condominium building.

An excavator started work this week moving ground on the 42-unit wood-frame condo project with underground parking on a pie-shaped parcel at Cloverdale Avenue and Inverness Road. The project is expected to transform the site, which has been an irritant to nearby residents for years. Neighbours had complained to Saanich city hall about boarded-up, derelict houses, which attracted squatters, on overgrown lots. One house had been burned out in a fire. In 2005, a local

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Ron’s candid thoughts on today’s market in Victoria: Following is our Victoria Real Estate Board News Release which in my opinion gives a sugar coated outlook of reality. The market is anything but steady with sales numbers down significantly and prices too, driven down buy distressed sellers competing for the few predatory buyers who are seizing the opportunity. Statistics are misleading and the 64 average days on market does not include the prior listings of the same properties or those that have not sold. By my estimate the average days on market is closer to 180 days including just the successful sales. Furthermore, the average sale price reported as 96% of list is based on the final listing price, not reflecting the original price or prior listing…
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The total value of monthly home sales through the Greater Victoria Real Estate Board dropped below $200 million in September for the first time since January. At the same time, the number of sales and the average price for a single-family house also declined.Greater Victoria's results reflect what's been happening across the province, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association, which noted the dollar volume of B.C. homes decreased 25.4 per cent to $2.6 billion in August compared with the same month last year.Consumer demand also weakened in August and tighter mortgage rules in July affected the "already tentative market," the association said. Between January and August, home sales in B.C. declined by 17.5 per cent to $26.2 billion, compared to the

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U.S. existing home sales increased more than expected in August
  • Existing home sales in the US jumped 7.8% to 4.82 million annualized units in August 2012. Market expectations were for a modest increase to 4.56 million in the month.
  • The median price of existing homes jumped 9.5% on a year-over-year basis as the share of distressed property sales declined.
  • Homes available for sales rose by 2.9%; however, this was exceeded by the faster pace of sales leading the months’ supply of unsold homes to fall to 6.1 from 6.4 in the previous month.
  • Existing home sales were up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis in August and are up 7.4% year to date. The overall improvement in the pace of sales, firming prices, shrinking housing inventories, and decreasing
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