Canadian Retail Sales - January 20, 2017


Canadian retail sales inched 0.2 per cent higher in November.  Sales were higher in just 5 of 11 sub-sectors, with motor vehicle and parts dealers and building materials supplies leading the way.  E-commerce sales accounted for 3 per cent of total retail sales, the highest proportion to date in 2016.  Given today's data,  we are currently tracking fourth quarter Canadian real GDP growth at 1.5 per cent. 

In BC, retail sales were down 0.7 per cent on a monthly basis, but were 5.5 per cent higher year-over-year.  Year-to-date, retail sales in the province are up 6.5 per cent. 


The BC economy is the best in the country based on the policies of the current administration.

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January 18, 2017


The Bank of Canada announced this morning that it is holding the target for its overnight rate at 0.5 per cent. In the press release accompanying the decision, the Bank noted that uncertainty in the global outlook, particularly with regard to policies in the United States, is undiminished. The Canadian economy is forecast to grow 2.1 per cent in both 2017 and 2018, implying the Canadian economy will return to full capacity in mid-2018.  On inflation, the Bank noted that it continued to be lower than expected but should return to it 2 per cent target in coming months.

Political uncertainty in the United States will likely govern the direction of both policy rates and long-term bond yields over the next year. The interest rate on 5-year government of Canada bonds has risen to its highest point in a year, which is adding upward pressure to mortgage rates offered by Canadian lenders.  While the Canadian economy is forecast to post steady growth in 2017, overall slack in the Canadian economy remains persistent.  Without a significant uptick in economic growth, inflation will likely continue to trend at or below the Bank's 2 per cent target.  That, along with lingering uncertainty, will keep the Bank sidelined through 2017 with a chance of lowering its target rate should current downside risks to the economy become realized.


Thinking of buying or selling in 2017? Celebrating 26 years of experience in realestate and construction practises I get the home or property you really want. I’m innovative, insightful, diligent and direct. All of my clients enjoy a competitive knowledge base advantage they won’t get from anyone else so they can move forward with complete confidence. Honesty, Dedication and RESULTS! "


I'm never too busy for any of your referrals.


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Brian


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Please visit our Open House at 3658 8TH AVE W in Vancouver.
Open House on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 10:00AM - 12:00PM
Beautiful south facing, 3-bdrm & den 1/2 duplex is designed by renowned architect Michael Katz with "house-like" floor plan. Main flr consists of living, dining, den & open kitchen. 2nd flr master suite has walk-in closet & a spa like bath with skylit jetted tub. A very large 3rd flr bdrm with 3pc bath walkin closet & gas FP. Renovated kitchen is designed for serious chef with new appliances including gas range, convention oven, warming drawer & built-in wine fridge. The French doors from the living rm open to the lush garden which leads to a massive private 450 sq ft rooftop oasis. Only one minor common wall with the North half Duplex. (No monthly fees, the two homes operate independent of each other.) Steps from the Jericho Club & Broadway & 4th Ave shopping.!
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Please visit our Open House at 3658 8TH AVE W in Vancouver.
Open House on Saturday, January 21, 2017 2:00PM - 4:00PM
Beautiful south facing, 3-bdrm & den 1/2 duplex is designed by renowned architect Michael Katz with "house-like" floor plan. Main flr consists of living, dining, den & open kitchen. 2nd flr master suite has walk-in closet & a spa like bath with skylit jetted tub. A very large 3rd flr bdrm with 3pc bath walkin closet & gas FP. Renovated kitchen is designed for serious chef with new appliances including gas range, convention oven, warming drawer & built-in wine fridge. The French doors from the living rm open to the lush garden which leads to a massive private 450 sq ft rooftop oasis. Only one minor common wall with the North half Duplex. (No monthly fees, the two homes operate independent of each other.) Steps from the Jericho Club & Broadway & 4th Ave shopping.!
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January 10, 2017

 

The BC Government announced on Tuesday, January 10 that it would be raising the Home Owner Grant threshold to $1.6 million from $1.2 million. This represents a 33 per cent increase compared to last year.

 

Anyone who owns a home valued at up to $1.6 million may be eligible to receive the full home owner grant of $570, while a partial grant may be available to owners of homes above the new threshold.

 

The increase means that province-wide, 91 per cent of homes will remain below the threshold. In Metro Vancouver, that includes 83 per cent of homes. For properties assessed above the threshold, the grant will be reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value in excess of the threshold.

 

There are two types of home owner grants:

  • The basic grant can reduce residential property taxes on an owner’s principal residence by up to $570, or if the home is located in a northern and rural area, up to $770.
  • An additional grant is available to home owners 65 years of age or older, or who qualify under the persons with disabilities category, or who are the surviving spouse of a veteran who received certain war-veteran allowances. This additional grant can reduce residential property taxes on an owner’s principal residence by up to $845, or if the home is located in a northern and rural area, up to $1,045.
 
Quick Facts:
 
Decisions about the threshold are based on BC Assessment data, and are made in the context of setting priorities within a balanced budget.
Home owners who qualify for the home owner grant are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who live in British Columbia. Grants are only available for an owner’s principal residence.
  • Home owner grant thresholds in recent years:
    • 2016: $1.2 million
    • 2015: $1.1 million
    • 2014: $1.1 million (threshold lowered as a cost-savings measure)
    • 2013: $1.295 million
    • 2012: $1.285 million
    • 2011: $1.15 million
    • 2010: $1.05 million

 

Low-income home owners who would have received the additional home owner grant can apply for a low-income supplement, which replaces any reduction in the grant caused by having a property valued over the threshold. The low-income supplement is available to qualifying seniors, certain veterans or their surviving spouse and persons with disabilities.

 

Property tax deferment is another option that can help make home ownership more affordable. Property tax deferment is a low-interest loan program that allows qualifying BC home owners to use the equity in their homes to defer payment of their annual property taxes. Qualifying home owners can defer all, or a portion of, the annual property taxes on their principal residence.

 

Learn More:


For more information about home owner grants, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/reduce/home-owner-grant/under-65
or contact your municipality or the Province if your property is in a rural area.

 

For a current market evaluation on your home or investment property visit: http://brianwhite.ca/home-evaluation.html

 

if links don't connect, copy and paste to your browser.

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Thinking of a move now your 2017 assessment is up?

 

Staging tips,


1. Don't be afraid to open up spaces when ever possible in order to make your home more livable for today's lifestyle.

 

2. Scale the furniture to suit the rooms while avoiding too many small pieces, fewer large items work better.

 

3. Colour: Don't go overboard with a variety of shades, stuck to a simple colour palette for continuity.

 

4. Details make a difference. Consider adding special elements like wood beams or highlights if your going for a cottage feel or upgrade your doors.

 

5. Use recessed spotlights to highlight a few of your favorite features inside and out in the garden.

 

Get a complimentary market evaluation in 24 hours at www.brianwhite.ca

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Below are five things you should know about your property assessment and how to dispute what you think is inaccurate.

 

1 - Your property assessment is essentially an appraisal of your property's value considering changes in land value, including things such as rezoning nearby, neighbour home sales and improvements to your home or building. Assessments are set by the authority July 1st every year.

 

Whatever market changes that happened after July 1, 2016 like the impact of the 15% foreign buyers tax, will be reflected in your 2018 assessment.

 

2 – Municipalities use assessments to adjust property tax rates to account for changes in assessed values for various property classes. The concern for many homeowners is whether their assessment rose more than the average for their property class. If so, the homeowner will see a tax increase larger than the municipal’s general increase. Typically, in areas where there has been a number of older home demolished and new much larger homes were built. Homeowners whose assessments rose less than the average will get a tax break.


3 – The provincial government uses property assessments to establish eligibility for the B.C. Homeowners Grant ($570 per household offered to help defray property taxes on home that are their principal residence). The threshold value for 2016 was set at $1.2 million, above which the grant is reduced $5 per $1,00 in value. However Finance Minister Mike de Jong said that the province is reviewing the threshold considering soaring property prices and assessments.


4 – Homeowners with questions regarding their assessments can go online at B.C. Assessment’s e-valueBC site to check how their assessment compares with their neighbours and comparable property sales that would have been used in setting the value. If that doesn’t answer questions, they’re welcome to call B.C. Assessment an assessor will figure out if there are any discrepancies. The B.C. Assessment Authority always encourages people to call, sometimes it’s something that can be resolved easily or give people a better understanding of how their assessment was determined.


5 – Homeowners always have the right to formally appeal their assessments if they disagree with the result. Failing an understanding at that level, the homeowner can file an independent complaint. Those are heard by a three-member independent property assessment review panel for each community.

The deadline to appeal your assessment is January 31, 2017. Typically only one to two percent of homeowners will appeal their assessments.


Assessments on average rose from 31.4 in Vancouver to 43.3 in Surrey, personally mine went up 49%.


Get your current market evaluation in 24hours at www.brianwhite.ca

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Sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in the region reached 39,943 in 2016, a 5.6 per cent decrease from the 42,326 sales recorded in 2015, and a 20.6 per cent increase over the 33,116 residential sales in 2014.

“It was an eventful year for real estate in Metro Vancouver. Escalating prices caused by low supply and strong home buyer demand brought more attention to the market than ever before,” Dan Morrison, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) president said. "As prices rose in the first half of the year, public debate waged about what was fuelling demand and what should be done to stop it. This led to multiple government interventions into the market. The long-term effects of these actions won’t be fully understood for some time.”

 

Residential properties listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver reached 57,596 in 2016. This is an increase of 0.6 per cent compared to the 57,249 properties listed in 2015 and a 2.6 per cent increase compared to the 56,066 properties listed in 2014. “The supply of homes for sale couldn't keep up with home buyer demand for much of 2016. This allowed home sellers to raise their asking price. It wasn’t until the last half of the year that prices began to show modest declines.”

 

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ends the year at $897,600. This represents a 2.2 per cent decrease over the past six months and a 17.8 per cent increase compared to December 2015.

December summary

Residential property sales in the region totalled 1,714 in December 2016, a decrease of 39.4 per cent from the 2,827 sales recorded in December 2015 and a decrease of 22.6 per cent compared to November 2016 when 2,214 homes sold. Last month’s sales were 8.1 per cent below the 10-year sales average for the month.

 

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 1,312 in December 2016. This represents a decrease of 35.1 per cent compared to the 2,021 units listed in December 2015 and a 58.3 per cent decrease compared to November 2016 when 3,147 properties were listed.

 

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® in Metro Vancouver is 6,345, a 5.3 per cent increase compared to December 2015 (6,024) and a 24.3 per cent decrease compared to November 2016 (8,385).

 

Sales of detached properties in December 2016 reached 541, a decrease of 52.4 per cent from the 1,136 detached sales recorded in December 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,483,500. This represents an 18.6 per cent increase compared to December 2015 and a 1.8 per cent decrease compared to November 2016.

 

Sales of apartment properties reached 915 in December 2016, a decrease of 25.3 per cent compared to the 1,225 sales in December 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property is $510,300. This represents a 17.3 per cent increase compared to December 2015 and a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to November 2016.

 

Town home and duplex property sales in December 2016 totalled 258, a decrease of 44.6 per cent compared to the 466 sales in December 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $661,800. This represents a 20.4 per cent increase compared to December 2015 and a 0.8 per cent decrease compared to November 2016.

 

Get your current property evaluation within 24 hours at www.brianwhite.ca

 

Brian White

Licenced local Realtor since 1990.

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SURREY, BC – Fraser Valley real estate experienced the strongest year in its history in 2016, with record-setting numbers seen in both total MLS® transactions and overall dollar volume sold.

The Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) processed 23,974 sales in 2016, 13.6 per cent more than the 21,095 sales in 2015, and 12.6 per cent more than the previous record of 21,282 sales in 2005. The total dollar volume of MLS® sales was a record setting $16.2 billion, four billion more than the previous record set in 2015.

Of the total transactions for the year, 5,369 were townhouses sold and 5,069 were apartments, the highest each category has reached in the Board’s history.


Charles Wiebe, President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, attributes this year's extraordinary market activity to a strong provincial economy and the diverse inventory available to consumers entering the Valley. "Our region boasts a vast range of homes available at all price points, which made it a very enticing option for buyers of all types last year."


For inventory, a total of 34,768 new listings were received by the Board’s MLS® system during 2016, the second highest in the Board’s history and only 883 behind the 35,651 received in 2008.


In December the Board processed 966 sales, a decrease of 37.4 per cent compared to December of 2015, but level with the ten-year average for the month. December’s total inventory in the Fraser Valley was 3,930 active listings; 29.8 per cent fewer than were available in November 2016 and 8 per cent fewer than December 2015.

Wiebe adds, “The Fraser Valley market was consistently strong throughout 2016, and at times tremendously active.


However, at year’s end, we see sales returning to more typical levels and low overall inventory.

“Moving into 2017 and the spring market, would-be sellers are in a great position to take advantage of strong pricing and, depending on the area, a limited selection for buyers. Talk to a REALTOR® who can help you kick-off the New Year with incredible opportunity.”


HPI® Benchmark Price Activity


• Single Family Detached: At $856,700, the Benchmark price for a single family detached home in the Valley decreased 0.5 per cent compared to November 2016, and increased 27.4 per cent compared to December 2015.


• Townhomes: At $416,600, the Benchmark price for a townhouse in the Valley decreased 1.8 per cent compared to November 2016, and increased 29.5 per cent compared to December 2015.


• Apartments: At $259,000, the Benchmark price for an apartment in the Valley increased 0.2 per cent compared to November 2016, and increased 26.4 per cent compared to December 2015.


Get your current market evaluation within 24hrs at www.brianwhite.ca

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This past July, the British Columbia government unexpectedly slapped a 15% tax on any foreign national buying real estate in Metro Vancouver. This sudden move was designed to dampen the market for the steady inflow of offshore money – mainly Chinese – that has been blamed for Vancouver’s red-hot real estate market.

 

Some have speculated that Premier Christy Clark, who is running for re-election in 2017, took this measure to ease what was a growing chorus of criticism from NDP housing critic David Eby of her government’s apparent inaction in curbing an overheated housing market.

 

The tax seems to have had its desired effect: the volume of transactions since last summer has fallen dramatically, although prices remain relatively steady, with only a minor dip in the past few months. Lost equity for home owners :(

 

Vancouver is what we in the real estate trade call a “super-prime city.” Others in this category include Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Paris, Monaco, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.  These cities attract high-net-worth people who want to establish a residence. They also are places where they have confidence that their investment is safe and secure.

 

There are several key reasons investors continue to flock to these locations: the brand of the city, its reputation for safety and the rule of law, world-class services, easy access to amenities, quality of life and, finally, the prospect of capital appreciation.

 

Do I believe a 15% tax will stop Asians, and particularly Chinese, from investing in Metro Vancouver? Absolutely not. Moreover, such a tax won’t reduce the Asian thirst for an investment beachhead abroad. It’s been tried in places such as Hong Kong and Australia, and it has not slowed the inbound investment from China. The Socreds tried with the introduction of the PPT to curb the surge of Hong Kong money coming in and buying up expensive Vancouver properties.  That tax did'nt stop the Hong Kong buyer investing in Vancouver but it raised our prices and filled and continues to fill he coffers for the Government. I believe this tax will have the same affect and outcome.

 

The Chinese currency, the renminbi, continues to fall, which is fuelling fears of a bubble in China. People are looking for ways to protect their wealth, which is another reason why foreign safe havens will be in high demand well into the future. Higher taxes on foreigners won’t change that.

 

One of Vancouver’s strong attractions for the Chinese isn’t about to change – there is a deeply established and vibrant Chinese and Asian community here. According to the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, within the next 20 years Vancouver will be the city with the largest Chinese population outside of China itself.

 

Asians want to set down roots here. And that very much means buying property. People sometimes forget that Asians seek to invest overseas for more fundamental reasons than just a financial return. 


Middle-class buyers

Despite the common perception that Vancouver’s home prices have risen to stratospheric heights because of wealthy Chinese, most foreign buyers come from the new Chinese middle class. By some estimates, the new middle class in China is over 500 million people and growing fast. Even if a tiny fraction of them want to invest or live in Vancouver, that’s a huge number. Vancouver will be a preferred destination for foreign investors for many years to come.

 

Brian White (www.brianwhite.ca) has been a local realtor since 1990.

source in part by Tina Mak

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January, 2017

 

You have talked about it and decided to put your home on the market.

 

As you start checking things off your to-do list, it’s also important to pay mind of what not to do. Below are a handful of things to get you started.


Don’t over-improve.
As you ready your home for sale, you may realize you will get a great return on your investment if you make a couple of changes. Updating the appliances or replacing that cracked cabinet in the bathroom are all great ideas; however, it’s important not to over-improve, or make improvements that are hyper-specific to your tastes. For example, not everyone wants a pimped-out finished basement equipped with a wet bar and lifted stage for their rock-and-roll buds to jam out on. (Okay, everyone should want that.) What if your buyers are family-oriented and want a basement space for their kids to play in? That rock-and-roll room may look to them like a huge project to un-do. Make any needed fixes to your space, but don’t go above and beyond—you may lose money doing so. Remember rooms with water get the best return on investment, kitchens and bathrooms.


Don’t over-decorate.
Over-decorating is just as bad as over-improving. You may love the look of lace and lavender, but your potential buyer may enter your home and cringe. When prepping for sale, neutralize your decorating scheme so it’s more universally palatable.


Don’t hang around.
Your agent calls to let you know they will be bringing buyers by this afternoon. Great! You rally your whole family, Fluffy the dog included, to be waiting at the door with fresh baked cookies and big smiles. Right? Wrong. Buyers want to imagine themselves in your space, not be confronted by you in your space. Trust me when I say, it’s awkward for your potential buyer to go about judging your home while you stand in the corner smiling. Get out of the house, take the kids with you, and if you can’t leave for whatever reason, take a book and sit in the yard or on your deck, this will get you out of their way and show them how relaxing your home is.


Don’t take things personal.
Real estate is a business, but buying and selling homes is very, very emotional. However, when selling your home, try your very best not to take things personally. When a buyer lowballs you or says they will need to replace your prized vintage carpet or barn board pannelling with something “more modern,” try not to raise your hackles.

 

There is a lot of speculation as to what the market will do this coming year. We are hearing lots of varied opinions from all manner of "experts"! The key thing is to know how to react and create a positive, memorable customer experience when people view your home regardless of whether the market is hot, cold, or flat. With 26 years of experience we have the tools to help you achieve your go...als and help you move forward regardless of the market conditions.

 

If you would like to meet for a coffee and feel free to give me a call 604-961-4104 or get in touch with me via social media.

 

Cheers,

Brian

 

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