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Victoria & Vancouver Island Real Estate Blog

Victoria & Vancouver Island Real Estate Blog

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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TARA PERKINS - REAL ESTATE REPORTER The Globe and Mail Published Monday, Dec. 17 2012 The market for home sales is chilling further after months of decline – and it’s putting Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on the hot seat. New data show sales deteriorating in November, and the association that represents Canadian realtors says sales will fall, not rise, this year and next. Mr. Flaherty, who sought to cool the market this summer by tightening mortgage insurance rules, says his actions are only one part of the story and that Canadians are voluntarily curbing their appetites for mortgage debt. Union members and supporters march to the Michigan State Capitol building to protest against right-to-work legislation in Lansing, Michigan December 11, 2012. The…
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Ron's Candid Thoughts on Today's Market in Victoria Last month I wrote that we are commonly seeing sales reported in some cases substantially below their taxed assessed values and recent independent appraised values. This month The Victoria Real Estate Board reported Median prices were increased 1% on single family homes. Reality is that sales are off dramatically from this time last year mostly due to the mortgage rule changes (legislated and internal bank policies) which have significantly reduced amounts Buyers are able to borrow for both new mortgages and to refinance. Especially hard hit are the high ratio first time buyers. There is more pressure than ever on those in any distress who “need to sell”. It still is a great time to buy for those who…
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100% organic and pesticide free local Christmas trees - Courtesy of Sparton Acres Farm, Ron Neal's home

Apartment to hotel lobby sizes, many varieties, U-cut, we-cut or live Pick any tree for minimum only $40 minimum donation, 100% proceeds to BC Children's Hospital Foundation or charity of your choice Lots of flexibility for timing, please contact us before coming to avoid dissappointment, email or call 250.213.8788 for appointment DELIVERY AVAILABLE IN GREATER VICTORIA

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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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