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Media release from VREB
April Property Sales in Victoria Continue to Exceed Expectations

A total of 1,286 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this April, an increase of 53 per cent compared to the 840 properties sold in the same month last year.
Inventory levels remain lower than the previous year, with 2,594 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of April, 34 per cent fewer than the 3,945 active listings at the end of April 2015.
"We continue to see extraordinary interest in the Victoria and area housing market. Likely this is because the trends we reviewed last month continue - lowmortgage rates, higher employment numbers, diversity of properties for sale and of course the growing international awareness that Victoria is an amazing place to live," notes Mike Nugent, 2016 President of the Board. "The vast majority of Victoria buyers are from within the local Victoria marketplace. Last year 70.5 per cent of buyers were from Victoria, and this year in the first quarter we see 72.5 per cent of buyers from the area. We've also tracked a slight increase in Lower Mainland buyers. Reports from the first quarter of 2016 show that 8.2 per cent of buyers are from the Lower Mainland, and last year we counted 7.4 per cent.  It's also noteworthy that we've seen a decrease in buyers from Alberta (last year we saw 5.7 per cent, this quarter we saw 3.9 per cent), a small increase in buyers from the US (from 0.8 per cent to 1 per cent) and an increase in buyers from Asia (from 0.7 per cent to 0.8 per cent this quarter)."
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in April, 2015 was $581,700. The benchmark value for the same home in April 2016 has increased by 17.7 per cent to $684,900.
"If you are shopping for a home right now, there is a good chance that if you're looking in a higher demand area (Victoria core, Saanich, Oak Bay) you may find yourself in a multiple offer situation when you go to purchase. This is because there are more buyers than homes for sale and so the market is more competitive than we've seen in years past," adds Nugent. "As a consumer it may pay to get creative, consider types of property and locations you may have not originally identified. For example, condos and townhomes may be a great alternative for first time buyers. Some locations in the Victoria area are under slightly less pricing pressure, for example properties in the West Shore or Esquimalt area are close to amenities, share the same amazing weather as other nearby neighbourhoods. Working with a REALTOR® to create a purchase strategy will put you ahead of the game, and ensure you end up with the right property for you."

For immediate release

BC Housing Demand Forecast to be Strongest Since 2007
BCREA 2015 Second Quarter Housing Forecast

Vancouver, BC – June 1, 2015. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2015 Second Quarter Housing Forecast today.

“More robust economic growth, strong consumer confidence and rock-bottom mortgage interest rates are expected to push housing demand this year to its highest level since 2007,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.  

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in British Columbia are forecast to rise 2.4 per cent to 86,050 units this year and a further 3.9 per cent to 89,400 units in 2016. The ten-year average is 82,100 unit sales. A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.  

The average MLS® residential sales price is forecast to rise 4.5 per cent to $594,000 this year, with most of the upward pressure being exhibited on the South Coast. Elevated consumer demand is expected to be partially offset by resale inventories and additions to the housing stock in 2016. As a result, the average MLS® residential sales price is forecast to increase by 2.4 per cent to $608,500 next year.

- 30 -

To view the full BCREA Housing Forecast Update, click here.

For more information, please contact:

Cameron Muir Damian Stathonikos
Chief Economist Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Direct: 604.742.2780 Direct: 604.742.2793
Mobile: 778.229.1884 Mobile: 778.990.1320
Email: Email:

BC Home Sales Post Strongest March in Eight Years

Vancouver, BC – April 16, 2015. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 9,101 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in March, up 37.6 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $5.8 billion, an increase of 57.1 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $641,799, up 14.1 per cent from the same month last year.

"BC home sales climbed significantly in March," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "More homes traded hands last month than any March since 2007. On a seasonally adjusted basis, March posted the most home sales of any month since December of 2009."

"Rock bottom interest rates and rising consumer confidence have strengthened housing markets in most regions of the province, added Muir. "Many board areas are now exhibiting sellers' market conditions with home prices advancing well above the overall rate of inflation."

During the first quarter, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 33.2 per cent to $12.7 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up 22.5 per cent to 20,139 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 8.7 per cent at $630,435.



Call me with any real estate questions and if you are thinking of Selling, ask me about my incentive program!

My  Best,


BC Home Sales Start 2015 in Positive Territory

Vancouver, BC – February 13, 2015The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,377 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, up 3.1 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $2.6 billion, an increase of 8.3 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $593,155, up 5.0 per cent from the same month last year.


“Last month was the strongest January for BC home sales in five years,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, consumer demand did edge down from December on a seasonally adjusted basis."

Low mortgage interest rates, strong population growth and improving labour market conditions are underpinning housing demand in the province. However, weakening economic conditions in Alberta are limiting home sales in the Okanagan, Kootenay and BC Northern market areas.

MLS® residential sales in British Columbia are forecast to rise 2.4 per cent to 86,050 units this year and a further 3.9 per cent to 89,400 units in 2016. The ten-year average is 82,100 unit sales. A record 106,300 MLS® residential sales were recorded in 2005.


For more information, please contact: 

Cameron Muir Damian Stathonikos
Chief Economist Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Direct: 604.742.2780 Direct: 604.742.2793
Mobile: 778.229.1884 Mobile: 778.990.1320
Email: Email:

Subject: How to lower your home heating costs!


   How to lower your home heating costs!

With heating costs on the rise, just about every homeowner is looking for ways to reduce his or her energy bill.  Below are six tips to save you money while keeping you warm - and many of them won't cost you a dime.

  Tackle the obvious
Move the furniture that blocks heating vents and always be sure to change your furnace filter every couple of months, as a clogged filter will decrease efficiency. Close the damper on your fireplace when it is not in use, as heat will escape up the chimney. 

Look for leaks


On average, drafts cost $350 a year in increased heating bills. So go for a walk around your home with a candle.  If the flame flickers or goes out around windows, doors or electrical outlets, you have an obvious leak. Plug them with weather stripping, caulk or expandable foam.                

Rise to the occasion


It is important to ensure that the attic is completely insulated, as this could increase your heating bill by 15%. A poorly sealed kitchen and bathroom vent hole, will suck the heat up and push cold air into the home.





Homes that are more than 25 years old, have inferior or no insulation in the walls. A simple fix is to cut small holes in the walls and blow insulation in. This service costs $2000 on average, depending on the size of the home. The savings, on your energy bill, will be approximately $150 per year. 



Subject: How does the principal residence exemption work?

                                                                How does the principal residence exemption work?                                                           

The principal residence exemption can save you boatloads of money when you sell a residence that you live in. In Canada, the CRA, allows you to claim any property you "ordinarily inhabit"  as a principal residence-be it a house, cottage, or condominium.


What are some of the caveats?

Spouses can only claim one principal residence between them and the exemption is limited to the dwelling and half of a hector (1.24 acres).


What about those who own multiple properties? 

The great news is that you can claim the property with the highest accrued gain as your principal residence for any given period.  So, if you have a cottage and a home in different areas and you are selling both, you can claim the gain on the property that has increased most in value.


Click the link below for CRA website for further info!





For immediate release

Strongest May for Home Sales Since 2007

Vancouver, BC – June 13, 2014 The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 8,729 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, up 13.9 per cent from May 2013. Total sales dollar volume was $4.9 billion, an increase of 20.6 per cent compared to a year ago. The average MLS® residential price in the province rose to $565,233, up 5.8 per cent from the same month last year.

“Consumer demand was noticeably stronger last month, with unit sales posting their highest level for the month of May since 2007,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Rock bottom mortgage rates are inducing many would-be home buyers to enter the market this spring.”

“With most BC markets now in balanced conditions, home prices are up in nine of 11 board areas,” added Muir.

During the first five months of the year, BC residential sales dollar volume was up nearly 26 per cent to $18.8 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales were up almost 17 per cent to 32,894 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 7.7 per cent at $571,648.


For more information, please contact: 

Cameron Muir Damian Stathonikos
Chief Economist Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Direct: 604.742.2780 Direct: 604.742.2793
Mobile: 778.229.1884 Mobile: 778.990.1320
Email: Email:

Mixed bag for real estate

First-time homebuyers got some relief in the budget, with an increase to the threshold for property transfer tax relief for first-time buyers to $475,000.

The new threshold means first-time homebuyers will also get partial transfer tax relief up to $500,000.

De Jong acknowledged the thresholds were set at a time when property values were very different.

It is estimated 1,700 individuals will benefit, with possible savings of up to $7,500 per purchase.

Meanwhile, the threshold for the phase out of the Home Owner Grant is lowered to $1.1 million.

For properties valued above the threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value in excess of the threshold.

It is expected at least 93.8 per cent of homeowners will still be eligible for the grant, down from at least 95 per cent when the threshold was originally set.


Home Warranty Insurance Checklist

Buying a new home? Use this checklist to ensure you are informed about the home warranty insurance coverage and take the right steps to maintain your coverage. 

  • Learn what the home warranty insurance policy covers, including expiry dates.
  • Learn the name of the warranty provider.
  • Place the sticker listing the warranty provider and coverage expiry dates on the electrical box.
  • Store a copy of the policy and any additional builder or manufacturer warranties in a safe place.
  • For new homes, complete a walk-through with the builder before taking possession. On the form, note any incomplete or deficient work in writing and set a reasonable date for repairs to be completed.
  • Receive a maintenance manual or maintenance instructions from the builder or warranty provider, learn what to do to maintain the home (to protect coverage), and perform the required maintenance.
  • For resale homes, find out the nature and extent of any existing warranty insurance, and obtain the policy and maintenance documents from the owner or warranty provider.
  • Before each expiry date, inspect the home to identify any problems in areas still covered by the warranty.
  • If you need to make a claim not otherwise taken care of by your builder, be sure to send details in writing to your warranty provider prior to the expiry of coverage.
  • Take reasonable steps to minimize further damage to the home from a potential defect.
  • Keep copies of all correspondence related to the policy.
  • For owner-built homes, obtain a copy of the Owner Builder Disclosure Notice and learn what protection is provided by the statutory warranty.

 Additional checklist items for strata properties:

  • Learn what is covered by the policies on both the unit and common property.
  • Report any problems with the unit in writing to the warranty provider, and report any problems with common property to the strata council and/or the building manager.
  • For units in a building with building envelope repairs, find out if the repairs were covered by the common property warranty insurance, and, if so, how much time is left on the policy.

To learn more about home warranty insurance, download the Guide to Home Warranty Insurance in British Columbia free from


Home Improvements


Besides doing regular maintenance and repairing your home, you might want to consider renovating or making improvements. These changes will not only make the home more pleasant for you to live in, they may also increase its value.


How Much is Just Right


If you plan to stay in the home for a long time, then it is good to do everything you can think of in terms of renovating. If you are planning on selling the home, make sure that the changes do not make your home worth a lot more than the other homes around you.  The value of your home is closely related to the value of the other homes in your area.


Over time, some renovations can pay for themselves especially if they result in lower energy bills, higher resale value or greater enjoyment in the home.


Some Things to Keep in Mind


Here are some points you want to consider when planning for renovations;


  • Ask yourself, “How appealing will this change be to someone buying the home?” Someone buying your home can make personalized changes easily and inexpensively with paint. Flooring, cabinets and counter tops have a longer life – make choices that will appeal to others.


  • Think about getting your home energy-rated. Visit Natural Resources Canada at to find information on current energy programs.


  • Updated the bathrooms and kitchen in an older home can increase its resale value. Changing the flooring, if needed, can also make a good return on your investment.


  • Landscaping is super important. The curb appeal created by the right planting can improve the appearance and value of the home. Garden centers and landscaping companies are a good start to get ideas and speak with a professional.


  • Updating the exterior paint, installing a new roof, resurfacing the sidewalks and driveway, adding an attractive mailbox, and installing a new front door can make your home more appealing.



These are just a few ideas for you to consider if you are thinking of selling your home.  Getting the most from the sale of your home is contingent on you presenting the home in the most appealing way.


If you have any questions or comments, call me to discuss at 250.884.3980




Greater Victoria home assessment values slip again



JANUARY 2, 2014 07:54 AM

The assessed value of a home in Greater Victoria has dropped as much a five per cent compared to the previous year.  Photograph by: ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist


Most owners of single-family and strata-titled homes in Greater Victoria will see their property assessments slide by two to five per cent this year.

It follows a similar drop of between two and six per cent in assessments the previous year.

The latest assessments reflect changes in the market between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, said Reuben Danakody, assessor for the capital region for B.C. Assessment. Assessments reflect the estimated market value of a home as of July 1 of the previous year. That means your 2014 assessment shows what appraisers figured it was worth in mid-2013.

Slumping assessments mean the region’s roll value has declined to $88.8 billion this year from $90.5 billion the previous year. Close to $743 million in this year’s value is due to subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

Assessment notices are going out this week to more than 145,000 properties in Greater Victoria and the southern Gulf Islands.

Notices were in the mail on Tuesday and will arrive any day. To compare property values online, go to It’s free.

Assessments residential

>> PDF: Top 100 assessments in Greater Victoria

>> PDF: Top 10 assessments by jurisdiction

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Assessed values for standard homes in every area of the captial region and for the southern Gulf Islands decreased this year over last.

The largest percentage decrease was in Metchosin, which is down by 10.8 per cent to $536,000 for a standard home from $601,000 last year.

North Saanich saw the next largest percentage decline, at 5.8 per cent. A standard home moved to $681,000 from $723,000.

The highest assessed value for a standard home in Greater Victoria is in the east part of Saanich, in the area falling within School District 63, at $683,000.

And the lowest assessed value for a standard home in the capital region is in the area called Victoria rural, at $296,000, which includes the Malahat, Otter Point, and Sherringham/Port Renfrew.

Meanwhile, commercial property values increased from two to six per cent.

“The strength of the commercial property market is being driven by longer-term investor confidence and the entry of new and major tenants into the local market,” a B.C. Assessment statement said.

Assessed values do not necessarily reflect the market value of a particular property.

In November’s statistics released by the Victoria Real Estate Board, the benchmark value for a typical single-family house in Greater Victoria was $482,300. The benchmark condominium for the region was $280,600.

B.C. Assessment appraisers take into account factors such as the age of the home, its condition, location, size and whether there is a view. It also factors in local services as well as current sales values.

When checking your assessment, bear in mind that it is generally intended to reflect its market value as of July 1, 2013.

Property owners who feel that their assessment does not reflect that or see incorrect information on their notice should contact B.C. Assessment as soon as possible in January, Danakody said.

The Capital Region Assessment office is at 102-3350 Douglas St. During January, office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Property owners can contact B.C. Assessment toll free at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322) or online by clicking “connect” at

“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a notice of complaint [Appeal] by Jan. 31, for an independent review by a property assessment review panel,” Danakody said.

Property assessment review panels are independent of B.C. Assessment. Panel members are appointed annually by the province, and meet between February 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

Assessment facts

  • Total number of properties on the 2014 roll is 1,954,445, an approximate 1 per cent increase from 2013.
  • Total value of real estate on the 2014 roll is $1,141,848,449,910, a 1.35 per cent increase from 2013.
  • Total amount of non-market change, such as new construction and development: approximately $17.54 billion, an increase of 5.38 per cent from the 2013 roll of $16.64 billion.
  • In B.C., approx. 87.7 per cent of all properties are classified with some residential component. This equates to more than $864 billion of the value on the total provincial roll.
  • More than 98 per cent of property owners accept their property assessment without proceeding to a formal, independent review of their assessment.
  • Assessments are the estimate of a property's market value as of July 1, 2013 and physical condition as of October 31, 2013. This common valuation date ensures there is an equitable property assessment base for property taxation.
  • Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property. When estimating a property's market value, B.C, Assessment's professional appraisers analyze current sales in the area, as well as considering other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view and location.
  • Real estate sales determine a property's value which is reported annually by B.C. Assessment. Local governments and other taxing authorities are responsible for property taxation and, after determining their own budget needs this spring, will calculate property tax rates based on the assessment roll for their jurisdiction.
  • B.C. Assessment's assessment roll provides the foundation for local and provincial taxing authorities to raise more than $6.2 billion in property taxes each year. This revenue funds the many community services provided by local governments around the province, including the public school system.
  • B.C. Assessment's website provides a listing of property assessments and sales to help property owners understand their property's market value and provide comparable sales information. Go to and click on the e-valueBC link. Copies of neighbourhood assessments are also available at local area offices and most municipal halls and government agent's offices across the province

- See more at:


2013 Real Estate Market Activity Expected to Carry into New Year 

VICTORIA BC - Victoria's real estate market ended 2013 with some momentum after a weak first quarter.

Total MLS® sales in December 2013 were 355, a 25% increase over December 2012 when 283 units sold. Annually, total units sold increased by 4%, with 5,998 in 2013 compared to 5,747 in 2012.

The overall MLS® HPI single-family home benchmark price for Greater Victoria was $479,500 in December 2013, compared to of $495,400 in December 2012, a decrease of 3.2%.


"Bear in mind that prices vary from area to area," says Tim Ayres, 2014 President of the Victoria Real Estate Board. "I'm optimistic about the next year. Buyers who were on the sidelines are now out shopping. Savvy buyers need to know that there are some good deals in certain areas, and interest rates are not expected to increase in the near future."


At the regional level, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home in the Core municipalities was $542,800, a decrease of 1.1 per cent over the previous month and a 2.4 per cent decrease over December 2012. In Westshore, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home was $404,200, an increase of 0.1 per cent over November 2013 and 3.6 per cent decrease over December 2012. The MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home on the Peninsula was $499,900 for December, a decrease of 1.6 per cent over the previous month and a 4.1 per cent decrease year-over-year.


There were 3,554 active listings at the end of December, a 9% decrease over December 2012, which Ayres notes contributes to stronger market conditions.


There were 92 condominium sales in December 2013, compared to 99 in November 2013 and 65 in December 2012. The overall MLS® HPI benchmark price of $278,600 was down 1.2% from December 2012. There were 32 townhome sales in December 2013, compared to 49 in November 2013 and 30 in December 2012. The overall MLS® HPI benchmark price of $392,500 was down 0.5% from December 2012.


Total Waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 10, also 10 in December 2012
Total Non-waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold: 178, down 32 sales from December 2012
Single Family Dwellings sold over $1 million: 13 (2 over $2 million)


At the heart of the MLS® HPI is the concept of the "benchmark" home, a notional home that has the most common features of a typical home in a given area. The benchmark home is not meant to represent any actual house, condo or townhouse, but merely provides an identical example to track market changes. There are separate benchmark houses, condos and townhouses in each distinct area of the Greater Victoria region, enabling price tracking of very distinct markets.


For more information on MLS®HPI benchmark prices and index values for November, visit Those requiring specific information on property values in their area should contact a REALTOR®. The Victoria Real Estate Board has 1,227 Members.


    • Wishing You and Your Family Happy Holidays!
Hi, I wanted to take this time to convey my sincere best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.

May your hearts be full of love, laughter, light and may you each experience the true joy of Christmas.

From my family to yours, the best of the season and a prosperous New Year! 

#193-1581H,Hillside Ave, v8t2c1, Victoria, Canada
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7 Remarkable Numbers From Canada’s Housing Market


No doubt real estate has been the saviour of the Canadian economy. Mostly thanks to all of those condo towers and housing developments, the country escaped the worst of the Great Recession.

Since the housing bull market began 20 years ago, the industry has posted some truly incredible figures. Here are the top seven most remarkable numbers from the nation’s real estate market.

1. 150% price increase

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average house in Canada sold for $152,378 in 1998. Today, the mean house price has ballooned to $379,725. This represents a 150% price appreciation over that time frame — one of the best performances in the industry’s history.

2. 7.8x income

As you might expect, real estate prices have handily outpaced incomes. Over the past 15 years, the average full-time salary has increased at a 2.5% annual clip, versus house prices that have grown at a 6.3% annual pace.

Historically, financial advisors recommended spending no more than three times your income on a house. This advice now seems hilariously out of date. Today, the typical Canadian pays 7.8 times their salary to purchase a home.

3. 163% of disposable income

How did this happen? Canadians have opened their wallets and taken on record amounts of debt. According to Statistics Canada, household debt-to-disposable income hit a record 163% this year. That’s approaching the peak levels where the U.S. and the U.K. topped out when their housing bubbles burst.

4. 27 times rent

This debt binge has produced some eye-popping valuations. Today, Canadian real estate is priced at 27 times annual rental income. In certain cities, the figures are even more outstanding. In Toronto, the average home sells for 37 times average rental income. In Vancouver, it’s 60 times annual rents!

This is well outside historical averages. Over the past 50 years, Canadian real estate nationwide traded between 15 to 20 times rental income. According to a recent report from the OECD, the nation’s housing market is about 60% overvalued based on long-term price-to-rent averages.

5. 4.23% dividend yield

High valuations aren’t limited to the residential housing market. In a desperate bid for yield, investors have turned to real estate investment trusts, or REITs, to generate income. This spring, the yield on the iShares REIT Index Fund (TSX: XRE) hit a record low of 4.23%. This is notable because the index historically has yielded between 7% and 8%.

6. 53,000 units

In the Greater Toronto Area there are 171 condo developments and more than 53,000 condo units under construction. That’s twice the rate of New York City — an area with three times as many inhabitants.

7. 13.5% of jobs

A booming real estate market has fundamentally reshaped the country’s economy. Today, residential construction now accounts for 7.9% of Canadian gross domestic product. That’s the highest since 1987.

Today, 13.5% of all jobs in Canada are linked to the construction industry — the highest proportion in 40 years. Compare that to the United States, where only 5.8% of jobs are related to construction.

The Foolish bottom line

It’s hard to argue that the numbers coming out of the Canadian real estate industry are ominous. Much of its impressive performance has only been made possible through ample quantities of cheap debt.

By Robert Baillieul - November 26, 2013



This article is a great informative read and has some very important points for us to consider. 


Subject: How to get a $42,500 Rebate for your New Home or Reno's!

How to get a $42,500 Rebate for your New Home or Reno's!


Reno Rebates!   

  Important Information. 
You might be surprised to know that your home may qualify for a rebate of up to $42,500.

This rebate must be claimed within two years of your new home, owner built home or substantial renovation. This rebate is the portion of the PST embedded in the HST.
What qualifies the home for the rebate? 
Any home that had been purchased between July 1, 2010 and March 31, 2013.
What type of homes qualify?  
Any new home or condo or completion of an owner-built home or a major renovation (90% or more of the home).

Where do I go to find out more?
Click this link and it will take you the Revenue Canada's Website.      

 How To Get More Money When You Sell!      

  Home Sales up in Victoria!  
When it comes to selling your home,  here are three considerations that you need to take into account.  

1.  It is important to get a feel of what else in the  area that is comparable to your property. It is essential that you know the price, features, and lack of or additional aspects to the homes.  It doesn't matter how good I am at selling your home if your price is $20,000 above the comps, all else being equal.      

2. Your home is only as good as the Buyer sees it. Hence, you will want to stage each room for it's intended purpose and leave only the essential pieces in the room.  Declutter and depersonalize the home and present the property in a palatable manner.      
3.  The front of the home is the first thing the prospective Buyer will see, unless they creep in through the back door. You will therefore want to maintain a clean well kept yard and exterior to the home.   The front door is especially important as this is where guests will come first and therefore it is important to present a well designed portal into the home.  Just as important as the front door is the front entrance area where guests will take off their shoes.  Spend the extra money on a new front door and some tile in the entrance way as this will pay off.
Next Newsletter will be touching on the HPI (Home Price Index).   

  The best compliment you can give me is in the form of a referral!I will treat your family and friends like they are my own and provide the professional service they deserve.     

  Visit my Website and Blog to stay updated!


A couple of situations I have come across are in regards to septic issues on a duplex (side-by-side dwelling) property as well as additions to a duplex.

In regards to the septic issue, even if one side uses the septic and the other side of the duplex is tied into the municipal sewer system; if the septic needs to be replaced the cost is spread evenly to both sides of the duplex. It is important to have the bylaws looked over and changed to reflect who pays for what in the case of repair.

In regards to additions, you will want to have the unit entitlement changed should one side of the duplex add an addition. If the bylaws are not amended, if the roof needs repairing, both owners are paying half of the bill. The unit entitlement, on Form V or Form 1, depending on the age of the building.

Steps to changing bylaw and unit entitlement
- obtaining a unanimous resolution to change the habitable area and unit entitlement;
- creating a new Schedule of Unit Entitlement in accordance with the unanimous resolution;
- making an application to the Land Title Office to amend the unit entitlement, which requires the submission of the following documents:
-the new Schedule of Unit Entitlement:

Hope this helps! Always consult a lawyer for professional advice and this article is merely my opinion.


November 1, 2013          


Strong October Kicks off Fourth Quarter Real Estate Sales in Greater Victoria


VICTORIA, BC–Greater Victoria continued to experience strong home sales during the month of October, reports the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB). According to the Board’s MLS® System, 512 properties sold compared to 373 in October 2012, an increase of 37.27 per cent. There were 4,322 active listings.


“While we are all very pleased with the October results, we are tempering our enthusiasm,” says Shelley Mann, Board President. “After a slow market for the last half of 2012, we are still climbing back to previous annual sales numbers.”


Today, the VREB and joins the Canadian Real Estate Association and ten major real estate markets in Canada by adopting a new approach to the reporting of trends in residential property prices. Instead of relying on average and median sale prices which are subject to fluctuation, the Board moved to a new system called the MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI). The methodology used by MLS® HPI has been endorsed by Statistics Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Bank of Canada, Finance Canada and Central 1 Credit Union.


At the heart of the MLS® HPI is the concept of the "benchmark" home, a notional home comprising the most common attributes of typical homes in a given area. Through the analysis of ten years of VREB MLS® sales data, MLS® HPI has defined benchmark homes for Greater Victoria as a whole as well as for each of our regions, districts and neighbourhoods. In each of these areas, MLS® HPI has defined a benchmark home for each category: single family homes, townhouses and condo apartments. Each month, VREB MLS® sales data will be fed into the MLS® HPI to calculate and track changes in the prices of our benchmark homes. 


Benchmark prices are generally lower than corresponding medians and averages.  MLS® HPI estimates the values of our typical homes, whereas medians and averages merely reflect the overall selling prices of the particular mix of homes that sold in a given month.


In a manner similar to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), MLS® HPI maintains a running index of the percentage change in benchmark prices.  Like the CPI, the MLS® HPI assigns an index value of 100 to the benchmark prices at its starting point: January 2005.  By tracking both benchmark prices and index values each month, MLS® HPI will provide a much clearer picture of real estate market trends in Greater Victoria. 


“Past reporting of averages and medians showed flat pricing across the Board’s trading area but MLS® HPI indicates a moderate decline in prices in many markets over the last year,” Mann says. “Benchmark prices are flat month-over-month, and we will be watching very carefully to see where pricing goes.


“With average and median prices, it was often difficult to gauge whether prices of typical homes were rising or falling, but the HPI provides us with exactly this type of information,” she says.


For October 2013, the benchmark price for the Greater Victoria single family benchmark home was $485,400 and its corresponding MLS® HPI index value was 137.2.  (This represents a 37.2 per cent increase since January 2005, when the index was 100). This benchmark price increased 0.15 per cent over the past month and decreased 3.18 per cent over the last year.


At the regional level, the benchmark price for the single family benchmark home in the Core municipalities was $547,800, a decrease of 0.56 per cent over the previous month and a 2.66 per cent decrease over October 2012. In Westshore, the benchmark price for the single family benchmark home was $410,600, a decrease of 0.37 per cent over September 2013 and 4.37 per cent decrease over October 2012. The benchmark price for the single family benchmark home on the Peninsula was $508,700 for September, an increase of 1.22 per cent over the previous month and a 3.56 per cent decrease year-over-year.


There were a total of 274 single family homes sold in September, an increase of 29 per cent over September 2012. September also saw the reporting of 126 condominium sales and 51 townhouse sales in Greater Victoria. Benchmark prices for the Greater Victoria condominium benchmark home and for the Greater Victoria townhouse benchmark home for September $283,100 and $393,100 respectively.


Total Waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold:                      17, up 2 over October 2012

Total Non-waterfront Single Family Dwellings sold:           257, up 62 over October 2012

Single Family Dwellings sold over $1 million:                          16 (1 over $2 million)


For more information on MLS®HPI benchmark prices and index values for September, visit Those requiring specific information on property values in their area should contact a REALTOR®. The Victoria Real Estate Board has 1,224 Members.




Bank of Canada Interest Rate Decision - October 23, 2013

The Bank of Canada left its target for the overnight rate unchanged at 1 per cent this morning. In its accompanying statement, the Bank highlighted that uncertain global and domestic conditions are delaying a forecast pick-up in exports and business investment, leaving the level of economic activity lower than what the Bank had been expecting. The Bank is forecasting growth of 1.6 per cent in 2013, and has trimmed its outlook on growth in 2014 from 2.6 per cent to 2.3 per cent. Interestingly, the Bank also noted that persistently below target inflation are of increasing importance, normally an argument for a cut in the overnight rate. However, the risk of exacerbating already elevated household debt is weighing heavily on the Bank's interest rate decisions.

Low inflation, higher long-term interest rates and the Bank's downward revisions to its economic forecast virtually rule out any movement in the overnight rate in the short term. Like the Bank, we anticipate a rebound in economic growth in 2014 that will bump inflation back onto a path back to its 2 per cent target by 2015. Rising inflation will likely necessitate a tightening of interest rates, but not until late next year at the earliest.



Fall Home Maintenance Tips!

Your Home!


Get to Know Your Home

Your home is made up of components that work togethe. These include mechanical systems and the building envelope:

Mechanical Systems


Air Conditioning

The Building Envelope

Windows, doors


Where do you start!

Home Maintenance is an important aspect of owning a home and most jobs around the house can be done inexpensively and quickly.


Drainage- The standard way of grading a lot is to have the lot sloped so that the water drains to the front. Make sure you have no clutter along the sides of the house as the water may be prevented from running away from the house; thus, seeping into the basement. If the lot slopes into the house, at certain points, be vigilant in regards to the water ingress.

Electric - You will want to have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) plugs installed outdoors, if you don't already, as this will prevent shock in most cases. You can trip each breaker in the panel to test the circuit. *Caution - Turn off the power and lockout, so no one else can turn it on, before commencing with electrical work*

Garden - Trim down the roses and deciduous trees. Tie down any lattice etc. so that the wind causes no damage.

Gutters/Drain Spouts - The major reason for having these is to protect the foundation. Any down spouts that are not functioning properly should be replaced so that water can run away from the house. It is advisable to extend the down spout a few feet away from the house also.

Heater/Furnace - Step one is to put a filter in. The filter is most likely dirty from use over the summer. A new filter will help the furnace operate more efficiently and also clean up the air in the home. Vacuum the outside of the furnace and around it when changing the filter to prevent dust backups. Check that the forced air system works in all rooms by a check of the vents. Crack the heater and if it doesn't warm up, you will want to have the thermocouple tested. The heat exchanger should be checked also. You are looking to make sure that no gas is entering the clean air circulating in the home.

Paint -Paint protects the surface beneath it from water damage. Check over the outside of your home and if there are any areas that require painting, have them painted.

Roofs –Check the roof before the rainy season gets into full swing. *Caution: Do not get on top of the roof to check it.* You can check the roof from inside the attic, again using caution. On a sunny day, go into the attic and look up, if you see light coming through it leaks. If there are water stains on the beams, then it leaks. Look at the sheathing for signs of water damage. Call a professional roofer if you notice any of these signs.

Water Heater/Tank –The supply of hot water to the home is controlled by the water tank. The tank can be electric, gas powered, oil burner, solar etc…. Are there any leaks, water spots around the tank? This could indicate a rusted out heater that needs to be replaced. Check the temperature value by quickly opening and closing it. Water should run through it and drain down the drain hole. If it doesn’t open, have a plumber check it out. You can drain the tank through the drain stem at the bottom of the tank. Connect a hose to the drain stem, making sure to have the other end of the house outside, and open the value. *Caution – Beware of the hot water coming out of the tank.*

Weather Stripping -Be sure to check around the doors and windows for functioning weather stripping. Heating bills are expensive enough without trying to heat the outdoors, so fix any areas that require it.


This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, however, it will aide you in the upkeep of your property.

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If you have any real estate questions or comments, call me at 250.884.3980. or email me!




#193-1581H,Hillside Ave, v8t2c1, Victoria, Canada
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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.