Blog by Kevin Wong

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10 Ways to Plan Ahead for a New Home Purchase

January 31st, 2011
1) Know your bottom line…
before you begin looking at homes. This means more than just knowing what price you are willing to pay. Consider the distance you are willing to commute to work, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you require and what you need in terms of local community facilities. If you have children, the proximity to schools and parks will likely also be a consideration.B ...

Tips on Buying a Old House

January 31st, 2011

Charm, Character, and Potential Money Pit

For some buyers, it’s hard not to fall in love with the special charm and character that old houses offer such as gabled roofs, hardwood floors, crown moldings, and more. Old homes can also be attractive as affordable fixer-uppers with features such as distinctive architecture and Old World craftsmanship rarely found in newer homes. These homes ...

BC Building Permits Drop in Value for November, Starts Rise in December

January 26th, 2011

According to BC Stats, the value of building permits issued by BC municipalities dropped sharply (-43.4%, seasonally adjusted) in November, following a 7.2% boost in October. Residential permits tumbled (-51.0%), eroding all of the previous month’s (+4.9%) gain. The value of non-residential permits also fell (-27.1%), halting two consecutive months of increases. Kelowna (-23.7%) and Vanc ...

BCREA Reports Record Home Prices for 2010

January 26th, 2011

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province declined 12 per cent to 74,640 units in 2010. The annual average MLS® residential price rose 8.5 per cent to a record $505,178 in 2010.

"Tighter credit conditions and expended pent-up demand curbed home sales during the first half of 2010,” said Cameron Mu ...

Laneway Housing

January 23rd, 2011
Laneway Housing is a term adopted by the City of Vancouver and refers to secondary residential accommodation which faces into a back laneway, and essentially occupies the footprint previously zoned only for a garage. Laneway Housing was identified as a solution to the city’s housing and environmental challenges, during its intensive “EcoDensity” study which took place over the past two y ...

Bank of Canada Maintains Key Rate at 1%

January 18th, 2011
The Bank of Canada kept its target for the overnight rate at one per cent for the third consecutive meeting on January 18th, 2011. Correspondingly, the Bank rate remained at 1.25 per cent and the deposit rate remains at 0.75 per cent.

The Bank said that the global economic recovery was proceeding at a somewhat faster than expected pace, but noted that risks remain elevated. ...

Bank of Canada Upgrades Expectation of Canadian Economic Growth

January 18th, 2011
Data Release: Bank of Canada upgrades expectation of Canadian economic growth, cites stronger U.S.,
global economic outlook

• The Bank of Canada upgraded its global and Canadian economic growth outlook since October in their
latest Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The BoC now expects real GDP growth to be 2.4% in 2011 and 2.8%
in 2012, up from 2.3% and 2.6%, respectively.
• Very little has changed re ...

Mortgage Rule Changes

January 18th, 2011
The purchasing power of homebuyers in Canada has taken a step back due to the latest announcement by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty of the Federal Government to combat rising concerns regarding increased household debt. Here are the following changes:

1) Maximum amortization period on government-backed mortgages is reduced from 35 to 30 years.  The change in the amortization period will onl ...

National Resale Housing Market Solid in December

January 14th, 2011
National resale housing activity in December 2010 was slightly above average for the month of December, according to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards was down 14.4 per cent on a year-over-year basis in December ...

RBC Reports: Canada—down but not out!

January 12th, 2011
In their January 2011 Financial Markets Monthly, RBC reported that although the news on Canada’s economy soured mid-year 2010 with real GDP expanding at a 1.0% annualized pace in the third quarter, fourth-quarter 2010 reports fared slightly better. Not enough to support their original 2.9% forecast, RBC accordingly shaved their forecast to 2.3% as Canadian consumers scaled back late in t ...
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