Will the real estate market and prices remain stable in 2012?

Some interesting predictions from a new poll of Canadian financial strategists and analysts. Get out your crystal ball and get ready to play “Guess where the market is going!” http://cravecanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/vancouver.jpg As a REALTOR® I get asked almost on a daily basis what the market will do next. Unfortunately this is anyone’s guess. Of  the poll respondents, only 60% of these experts would even attempt a guess at the price forecasting.

The referenced article shares what might be on the horizon. If we do see a small drop in prices I don’t expect much in the way of a major market adjustment. Sure, people who bought with a very minimal down payment and are in a variable rate mortgage could feel the pinch but for the most part Canadian banks are conservative and don’t lend money easily.

Stay tuned here for updates on he market situation and for predictions on where the market is headed. Not from me directly of course, I gave up guessing long ago.

Do your homework and enlist the services of a well-recommended REALTOR® before undertaking a property search to best protect yourself.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.
Feel free to comment here or contact me directly.

How to Improve Housing Options in Metro Vancouver

First post of 2012 so it seems fitting to start with a list of ideas on how to increase housing options. This article appeared recently in the Vancouver Sun and the writer makes a number of useful, if perhaps optimistic, suggestions on how home ownership might be made more attainable in Metro Vancouver.

The simplest suggestion mentioned to implement would be encouraging and allowing higher density (innovative design and more compact units). This would increase opportunities for people to remain in urban areas without breaking the bank. The main hurdle here seems to be nearby neighbors who fear their property values will fall as a result of additional density being built close by.

Another idea presented relates to having municipalities reduce the charges and fees (development cost charges) they assess for granting building permits as this is a major cost. One would hope that savings here would trickle down to property buyers.

Finally, higher density developments should first be considered near good public transit and the requirements for minimum number of parking spaces per property should be abandoned in some instances.

So that’s the wish list. Do I think any of these are likely to happen any time soon? No, but dreams are healthy.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.
Feel free to comment here or contact me directly.

Surrey rated B.C.’s hottest housing investment market

See the Vancouver Sun article here:

The top towns ranked in Real Estate Investment Network report are:

No. 1: Surrey

No. 2: Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

No. 3: Kamloops

No. 4: Abbotsford

No. 5: Fort St. John

No. 6: Dawson Creek

No. 7: Kelowna

No. 8: Comox Valley

No. 9: Penticton

No. 10: Prince George

No. 11: Vancouver

Unruly condo owners – must they be tolerated?

Every condo owner’s nightmare – an owner who won’t listen to a meeting quietly or obey the rules of the meeting. 

Question: What can we do when an owner continually disrupts our condo meetings and also harasses owners after the meeting is over? Our condo meetings are getting out of control.

One solution is offered here. This is an important issue and must be dealt with promptly and swiftly for the strata council to conduct its business in a timely and efficient matter. If the strata council is intimidated, it might not be able to do its legally mandated work which could affect the running of the strata corporation. One can see how this might trickle down to would-be sellers or have an impact on potential buyers into a strata development.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.
Feel free to comment here or contact me directly.

Are Strata Fee Estimates for Strata Developments Reliable?

Ever wondered how developers set strata fees before a new strata building is even built? Good information on just that in a recent Vancouver Sun article. Developers are tasked with estimating monthly strata fees for their future development projects. It might be tempting for developers to make fees appear lower than they are actually likely to be in if gives them a leg up when courting potential buyers. Apparently this is not common practice and developers are subject to strong penalties as a disincentive to underestimating potential strata fees.

I have seen this happen on one occasion but I’m not sure if it was a case of poor accounting skills, outright deceit by the developer or a bit of both. The developer was required to make up the shortfall in the strata fees to cover the first year’s annual budget.

The best way to avoid this scenario as a buyer is to retain the services of a Realtor who can assist with the due diligence and fully investigate an offering for sale.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.
Feel free to comment here or contact me directly.