Cowichan…A Day in the Life

I deal with lots of clients thinking of moving here to the Cowichan Valley from all over Canada.  It is no mystery why so many first time visitors to The Cowichan stay to enjoy its four distinct but gentle seasons, the award winning wines, the plentiful farm gate fare, freshly caught seafood and a range of cuisines in its many restaurants and pubs. As Canadian poet Linda Crosfield wrote "You know you're safe here, meandering through the seasons, home at last, there's nowhere else to go." Four distinct but temperate seasons, vineyards, a "fresh food" philosophy, a thriving arts community and abundant business opportunities - The Cowichan promises the very best of the good life.   … [Read more...]

Stable Housing Market for Vancouver Island

VIREB MLS Sales Stats for March 2013 Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data for March released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island was down six percent compared to last year, while average sale prices remained virtually unchanged. The average price of a single family home sold within the VIREB region in March was $319,912 which is nearly identical to the March 2012 average price of $319,661. The number of housing units reported sold last month were down compared to a year ago. In March 2012 there were 298 single family homes sold, in comparison 281 unit sales were recorded in March 2013. “We've experienced increased levels of month over month activity through the first quarter of 2013 which should translate into increased unit sales as we move into the Spring,” explained VIREB President Gary Gray “With stable pricing, reasonably strong inventory levels and historically low mortgage rates, buyers are … [Read more...]

Interest rates are going nowhere fast

Greg Klump, CREA 13/03/2013   Interest rates are going nowhere fast Canadian interest rates will remain stuck at their current unusually low levels throughout 2013. I’ve been saying as much since early 2012 and feel more than a little vindicated by the Bank of Canada’s policy interest rate announcement on January 23rd, 2013, when it said interest rate hikes are “less imminent than previously anticipated.” The Bank of Canada acknowledges that Canadian economic growth slowed more abruptly in the second half of 2012 than it had previously anticipated. It also recognizes softer than expected inflation, a moderating housing sector, and a marked slowdown in growth for household debt. In setting interest rates, the Bank’s goal is to hold consumer price inflation at a target rate of two per cent (plus or minus one per cent). To achieve that goal, it raises interest rates to slow the economy and quell inflation (and lowers them to fuel economic growth and prevent inflation … [Read more...]

BC Home Sales Remain Subdued but Stable

BC Home Sales Remain Subdued but Stable Vancouver, BC – February 18, 2013. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 3,410 residential sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC during January, up 1.8 per cent from December on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis, but down 13.6 per cent compared to January 2012. Similarly, total sales volume increased 3.8 per cent SA, but declined 16 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $514,134, up 3.2 percent from December, however, down 2.7 per cent from a year ago. "Despite a modest uptick in consumer demand last month, home sales have remained relatively stable at a noticeably lower level since last August,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Continuing low mortgage interest rates combined with an easing back of home prices in some areas is expected to trend home sales higher during the spring and summer months." “The … [Read more...]

Canadian Housing Starts and Labour Force Survey

Canadian Housing Starts and Labour Force Survey - February 8, 2013 Housing Starts Canadian housing starts registered 160,577 units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in January, down from nearly 200,000 (SAAR) in December. Year-over-year, housing starts were 24 per cent lower in January. New home construction in BC urban centres rose nearly 8 per cent month-over-month in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 21,856 units. However, on a year-over-year basis, total starts were 19 per cent lower than January 2012. Single-detached starts were 8 per cent higher over last year, while multiples fell 27 per cent compared to January 2012. Looking at census metropolitan areas (CMA) in BC, Vancouver CMA starts fell 20 per cent year-over-year in January. Single-detached starts were 19 per cent higher than last year, while multiples were almost 30 per cent lower. New home construction in the Abbotsford CMA was up 25 per cent compared to January 2012. Housing starts in … [Read more...]