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BC Real Estate: 'You can't burst a bubble that wasn't there'
By Frank Luba, The Province

Sagging home sales and flat ­prices have prompted speculation that the “housing bubble” might be about to burst — a prospect that immediately catches the attention of British Columbians.

But there is no housing bubble, according to Tsur Somerville, director of the University of B.C.’s Centre for Urban Economics in the Sauder School of Business.

“You can’t burst a bubble that wasn’t there,” said Somerville. “But you can have prices above where they should be and it not be a ­bubble.

“A bubble isn’t just defined by high prices,” he said.

Somerville identified a housing “bubble” as conditions akin to what was happening in 2007.

“It didn’t matter what the condo looked like or what it’s going to look like or who was building it, people were lined up around the block and snapping it up,” he said. “They were saying, ‘I’ll take 12, please.’ That’s more of a bubble environment.”

While it might not be a bursting bubble, what is going on in the Vancouver area right now is not exactly normal, either.

The Booming Toronto Condo Market

Author: Robert Wilk

Home buyers will definitely research and inspect numerous properties before they settle for their dream home. In most cases you have real estate agents to help you find suitableTorontocondos for sale and advise you about its pros and cons. This is necessary, but it is also indispensable to do your homework.

Market Trends of Toronto Condos

The year 2012 has been good forTorontocondos as the sales have been rising moderately and the listings too have been growing. Buyers are now having a wide choice to select from the condo market. The TREB reported a 16% rise in sales in February of this year. The mean selling price has seen an upward trend due to competition among buyers. Although the price growth continues to be strong, the mean selling price is said to be reasonable from the point of view of mortgage lending, so much so that an average household can afford to purchase a good condo.

Advantages of Buying Toronto Condos

Torontois becoming very popular for its condos. In fact, the options forTorontocondos are so many, that it is definitely not difficult to find a good one within your budget.

  • One of the biggest benefits of buying aTorontocondo is its affordability. There are so many types available, that you get one in the locality of your choice, the features and price range that you expect.
  • There has been an unprecedented growth in the number ofTorontocondos for sale. You are sure to get a good price after a few years. Renting it is also a lucrative option.
  • Most condos are located in the heart of the city which makes it convenient and cheap to reach your office or go shopping.
  • Toronto condos have all the amenities such as a serviced gym, swimming pool, tennis court, community rooms etc.
  • By buying a presale condo, you can save money when it appreciates a few years later.
  • Condo living is fun as there are several families living in one building which normally forms an association that organizes get-togethers.
  • It is safer to live in a condo than a townhouse as there is 24-hour security.

Buying a Condo in Toronto

If you are planning to purchase a home inToronto, there are numerousTorontocondos for sale which your real estate agent will show you. Buying a condo home is a sound investment as the current trend projects a sure appreciation.

The process of buying becomes simpler if you have clear information about the market trends, the financial and legal aspects, inspections etc. First time buyers have some advantages, as the government has assistance programs which you should be aware of. It is also important to hire a good real estate agent who can help you see Toronto condos for sale. The agent can also help you with the offer to purchase and negotiate a settlement.

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About the Author

Robert J Wilk is an expert author and has written many articles on Toronto New Condos, Toronto Condos and Downtown Toronto Condos for Sale.

No Easy Solution for Affordable Vancouver Housing


Finding reasonably priced housing in Vancouver is not just limited to the city's less fortunate dwellers. With the city awash in a wave of ultra-high home prices, Mayor Gregor Robertson's latest initiative is to find ways for the middle class to live in one of Canada's priciest markets.

McGregor developed a task force to investigate opportunities to develop housing that is more affordable for the majority of Vancouver's residents.

A recent study from a local architecture company indicated that only 191 Vancouver homes had a value of under $500,000, but 40 percent of the city's dwellings were valued in the $1 million-and-over range. Currently, the benchmark rate for a residence in West Vancouver tops $2 million. The east side is more affordable - for some - with a comparable benchmark of a little more than $863,000.

Although experts from divergent backgrounds have delved into the housing debate, there is no consensus and no clear answer. The city owns many parcels of land that could be used for housing. It could build a number of categories of homes that would be priced at around 20 percent under market value. However, the recipients of such housing are subject to a lot of discussion.

Many communities, Vancouver included, cite essential service providers such as nurses, teachers, police personnel and firefighters as people who are worthy of reduced housing prices. Their necessity in any city needs to be balanced against their sturdy pensions and job benefits. Other middle-class residents do not have the strength of unions behind them, and might warrant consideration for reasonably priced homes.

Rezoning may be another option. Currently, the city does not permit the stacking of row houses and town homes. Giving a bit more flexibility in this home category might allow more people to live in these dwellings. However, town homes are expensive to begin with, with some units selling for around $800,000.

Co-op housing experienced a vogue during the 1970s, and there are still some vestiges of it in the city. For people with the upfront capital, it can be a viable option. The problem is that there are few middle-class individuals or families that can pay full price for a co-op unit.

The arguments for and against subsidized housing will continue for a long time, while home prices in Vancouver will continue to escalate. While a solution for the city's mid-level residents would be welcome, it may not arrive any time soon.

Barry MacGee - Arbutus Property Agent

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Why Vancouver Canada Real Estate is a Best Option to Make Some Investment

Author: Shane Kruger

Real estate agents, Canadian citizens and foreign investors interested in the Canadian property market are all in agreement - as Canada becomes a more desirable place to live year on year so property investment in Vancouver Canada real estate becomes a more attractive prospect year on year.

Furthermore, because property in Canada is high quality, plentiful, incredibly affordable and easy to purchase, real estate in Canada is good value across the board.

If you need more proof, consider comparing what you can still buy for your real estate dollar in Canada to what you can currently purchase in the UK, the US, France or Spain for example.

You'll quickly realise that the strong Canadian dollar (CAD) has not damaged the real estate market in Canada in the slightest. In fact, as the Canadian economy strengthens and more people move to the country, the demand for property will continue to rise which in turn will push up the value of any property investment.

And you simply still get more in Canada than you can elsewhere because property in Canada is less expensive overall - land is less expensive, the cost of living is lower, the standard of living is high...

This all adds up to the fact that non Canadian resident buyers are likely to be in an enviable position when it comes to investing in real estate, chances are they can afford a far higher quality purchase that they can 'back home' and they don't have to become resident to buy in Canada if they don't want to.

Add the fact that overcrowding is never going to be an issue in Canada as there are 30 million people sharing 38 million square miles of land, and the fact that Canada has a wealth of diverse property available in many stunning locations country-wide to fuel the imagination and satisfy the desires of even the hardest to please purchaser, and you'll quickly realise why Canada remains such an attractive prospect for so many people.

And by remaining non resident you can benefit further from the property market - you don't have to go through the rigmarole of applying for immigration acceptance, and yet you can still benefit from all Canada has to offer for up to 6 months of every year - you are even free to open a Canadian bank account, buy a car or land there for example.

Alternatively, you can join the ranks of foreigners choosing to immigrate to Canada including the 3.3 million Brits who have chosen to make Canada home permanently already. Canada is actually the third most popular place to emigrate to from the UK and more and more British citizens are being attracted to this land of opportunity, space and freedom.

This means that as Canada becomes more attractive as a destination of choice, property there will be more in demand which in turn will allow real estate prices to continue to rise making any property investment a good bet!

Whether you're considering property in Canada from a non resident, investment stand point, with a view to letting it out before cashing in your investment in X number of years, or you're thinking of purchasing a second home in an enviable location - or you'd like to go the whole hog and up sticks and emigrate to Canada, you will find the buying process a relatively easy and hassle free affair which can only add even more value.

Bureaucratically speaking the whole purchase process is often a lot less tricky than 'back home' - especially if you come from red tape rich Europe - and it takes a fraction of the time to complete the property sale process in Canada than in certain other countries where escrow periods are applied to real estate purchases.

And if you would like some cold, hard facts about past performance of the Canadian property market, an average single family home in the Vancouver area sold for CAD 13,500 in 1961, CAD 48,000 in 1974, CAD 120,000 in 1982 rising to around CAD 475,000 today.

It's true what they say - where people want to live, property values will always continue to rise...and more and more people are choosing to live in Canada making Vancouver Canada real estate good value for property investors!

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Real Estate Investing In Canada

Author: Gen Wright

Investing in real estate in Canada is not the easiest endeavour unless you are a seasoned investor experienced with Canadian real estate market.  Even then, one of the most common mistakes of real estate investors and professionals alike is basing their choices on national reports about the position of the national real estate market.  Nation averages with regards to sales, prices, and changes make little sense when considering real estate decisions in Canada.  Instead, trends in a city or town are a much more effective method of determining the value of real estate property.

Canada is a very large country with its provinces separated by vast areas of land.  As such, trends in Vancouver real estate market are not comparable to trends in Halifax, and real estate investors in Canada need to bear in mind the economic differences between cities when purchasing investment properties.  For example, the average house price in Calgary in 2011 is up 0.1% from the same period in 2010; whereas, the average house price in Montreal grew by more than 7% compared to 2010.  As one can observe, investment opportunities across cities are not nearly equal.

Indeed, effective investors in today's Canadian real estate market are more likely to obtain information about properties and sales in specific regions.  In addition to understanding market trends, investors should also carefully consider other key economic factors.  GDP growth, job growth, and population growth all have a significant impact on the real estate market in a given region.  Subsequently, investors can see that Vancouver continues to benefit from strong growth in the real estate market.  Perhaps due to the influx of investment for the Olympics, coupled with strong growth in population, Vancouver real estate market weathered the 2008 economic storm quite well.  The question is then: does this make Vancouver an ideal investment place?

Prices are obviously a major factor.  Vancouver and Toronto are generally regarded as the most expensive real estate markets in Canada, but also the markets that have benefited from the most consistent growth.  Meanwhile, smaller markets like Windsor, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon provide excellent opportunities for affordable investment, but these markets remain less attractive because of less robust economic growth.

Furthermore, relying on past trends to predict the future of a particular Canadian real estate segment can prove to be a dangerous endeavour.  While market changes provide some valuable information, it is more benefit to forecast the economic outlook of a particular region.  After all, job growth and increased GDP means citizens have more money to spend.  This excess capital translates to better real estate investment opportunities. 

So what have we learned about the investing in Canadian real estate?  First and foremost, there is no common denominator for investing across Canada.  Real estate markets differ drastically in various cities, and investors need to do their research based on the region.  Secondly, future success cannot be determined by past trends. Instead, investors should study current economic factors to predict the future success of Canadian real estate markets. 

For more information on Real Estate Investment in Canada please contact Canada real estate investing company Platinum Properties Group.

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Vancouver Real Estate Breaks Ground for Chinese Immigrants

Author: Nico Kurniawan

Canada is a beautiful country with plenty of mountains, rivers, lakes, streams and land for everyone to enjoy. However, what keeps immigrants coming to Canada is the medical program offered and the chance to own some of the world's most beautiful real estate. They want to own their own dream home and some of the finest cities such as Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Alberta and Toronto offers exclusive access to prime real estate. At this very moment the Canadian real estate avenues are offering some juicy housing and luxury properties. So why the wait then? The housing prices are a bit steep for those who are cash strapped and after the bailout from the Chinese during the cool down economy. Many foreign investors are tapped out for disposable cash.This has not stopped the flow of immigrants looking for suitable housing. Canada has been the choice of many immigrants that flocking out their home countries to find a new life elsewhere. What will this do to interest rates? The rates will go up no matter how many buyers or sellers there are on the market. The government regulations that are due this spring have made it a bit more difficult for new buyers to take on a large mortgage. The minor setbacks of the house prices and the mortgage restructure will only pin down some new buyers. Immigrants have access to special programs to help them purchase and maintain a suitable house.With the ups and downs of the real estate market across Canada, immigrants must find different banks to place their hope into. The banks breed different terms, when it comes to mortgages and the brokers insure a safe return from the investment in regards to employment and credit levels. The real estate programs offered varies from bank to bank, but immigrants enjoy a special deal when it comes to finding a new home. Their loans are compatible with current laws and moods of the interest rates and they gain access to choices on their fees. This means that they can purchase new homes in Vancouver or Toronto, depending on the real estate conditions and availability.Even with the slight turbulence in the economy, housing and government interference, most residents are enjoying the beauty that lies within the real estate of their country. Immigrants will face setbacks before things settle down but in the mean time, this is a golden time to buy up luxury properties in Vancouver BC and other parts of Canada.Find real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and other realty people here !

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About the Author: - Source for New Condos and New Homes for sale and research on New Home and Condo Builders in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg.

Which Vancouver Neighborhood is Right for You?

Author: George Miller

Vancouver has consistently been rated the best place to live in all of Canada; according to the Economist, Vancouver is also the best city in the world to call home! Organizations other than the Economist have also rated Vancouver one of the most spectacular places to visit and reside. It is no wonder that finding a Vancouver real estate agent is such an easy task.

If you are wondering what constitutes being one of the best places to live, you will find those answers in such factors as general well-being and healthcare, the education system, housing and income stability, overall environment, climate and entertainment. No matter what you are looking for, Vancouver has it.

Vancouver is an overwhelmingly beautiful place; green in all natural aspects. There are healthy and thriving parks within city boundaries that encourage and protect the growth and wildness of nature. Even the neighborhoods are enveloped by trees that outdate most everything else. Vancouver does not lack natural water sources and does not want for fresh rain. The city is surrounded by the salt water of the ocean and the fresh water of surrounding rivers and lakes. The temperature is perfect; the sun shines bright and the warm weather is not so overbearing that it chokes the cool air. In Vancouver, the trees and plants stay a gorgeous green and provide an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere no matter where you live within.

Aside from the beauty of the landscape provided by the natural environment, Vancouver has a feeling of community that instills pride and positivity throughout its residents. Canadians hold in high regard an idea of multicultural existence as one community, which has attracted a variety of nationalities for years. Vancouver communities embrace traditions and cultures from all over the world and set an example for all others. The language that is spoken most predominantly is English, however families and international residents keep their cultures and languages alive. Another outstanding benefit to living in such a cultured community is the variety of delicious foods that are abounding! Throughout this community is a sense of closeness and a connection to one another on a level experienced very little anywhere else.

In Vancouver, there is never a lack of entertainment. You can take a day and experience everything that Vancouver has to offer, from water sports to land activities, from hiking to biking. You can experience live entertainment such as theatre productions, music and art galleries, professional sporting events; all without ever leaving the city!

Coal Harbour Real Estate
One of Vancouver's large communities, Coal Harbour, is made up of 23 acres of waterfront luxury living. There are several marinas in the area, supporting pleasure and water-related activities close to home. The area is home to Stanley Park and Vancouver's Rowing Club; this location allows people looking for Coal Harbour homes for sale access to all the parks and trails that defines Coal Harbour's outdoors activities.

Coal Harbour was the first residential neighborhood to be constructed along the Burrard Inlet; planned and built in the late 1990's. This beautiful area boasts incredible views of the North Shore mountains and the Lions Gate Bridge. Coal Harbour was built in very close proximity to the Business District of Vancouver, and many residents take advantage of such convenience. Within Coal Harbour, there is an 8-acre park on the water, playgrounds and outside activities for children, a community center and fine dining. There is also float plane service and a heliport, making travel easier and always within reach.

False Creek Real Estate
When searching for False Creek homes for sale, allow the beauty of the neighborhoods to make your decision. False Creek is a quaint neighborhood with a high standard of living; like Coal Harbour real estate options, False Creek boasts the scenery and the convenience that keep people interested in residence there. False Creek is an inlet from English Bay and the neighborhood has quick access to several major bridges that make downtown commute less of an endeavor. 96% of people residing in False Creek would recommend the neighborhood to others who were thinking about relocating; not many other neighborhoods could say that. Residents have very high regards for the parks, the seawall and especially the community center, making False Creek one of the best neighborhoods to be a part of in Vancouver.

Mount Pleasant Real Estate
For those that are searching for either East Mount Pleasant homes for sale or West Mount Pleasant homes for sale, consider the history and accomodations that Mount Pleasant, as a whole, can offer. It is a centrally located community inside Vancouver that was once considered a community of the working class. Today, Mount Pleasant is one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods within Vancouver and has a lot to offer its residents. It is a diverse community, made up largely by young adults between the ages of 25 and 35. Most of these families do not have children and are first time buyers and/or business professionals. Mount Pleasant is a good mixture of homes, both old and new, businesses, industries, and schools.

Mount Pleasant started with a few breweries; other business began to gain attention in the area and homes followed suit not long after. A street car line was the addition that really made Mount Pleasant an attractive community to potential residents. Mount Pleasant became Vancouver's first real suburb and City Hall was built inside the area in 1936, still a large part of what makes the community so recognizable.

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Preparing to Buy A Home in Langley, White Rock and Surrey

Author: Andrew Szalontai

If you've gone through the process of buying before, chances are you  don't know as much about the home buying process as you think you do. Even if you have previously purchased a home, your knowledge could use a little brushing up. Being prepared for buying a home is the best thing you can do to ensure a smooth real estate transaction.
You don't have to spend weeks or months learning the process of buying a home in Langley, White Rock and Surrey.  Neither do you have to attend expensive seminars or purchase manuals or books. Much of what you need to learn about buying a home you can learn from the comfort of your own home using the Internet. The  most important thing is that you do some work to become familiar with  buying a home before you attempt to complete a transaction.
Before you even think about contacting a real estate agent, you need to first define your reason for buying a home. It's  easy to come up with the cliché reasons for buying a home, but the  "American Dream" simply isn't reason enough to spend the money you are  about to spend on a home. When you can clearly articulate your reason for buying a home, the shopping process is a lot easier.
Take a hard look at your finances. This is one part of the preparation that should not be neglected. Because buying a home is such a large financial undertaking, it is imperative that you understand what your budget looks like. You need to be able to afford the monthly mortgage payment. Before that you need to qualify for a mortgage. Even after you have purchased the home you should have some breathing room in your budget.
Educate yourself on the mortgage process. There are many different kinds of mortgages available. Find out what these are and from where you can get them. A  satisfactory mortgage is just as important as the home that you are  using the mortgage for. If you would a great online resource for all of  your real estate questions including information on mortgages Free Real  Estate Advice .com is a fantastic asset.
Know how much you can afford to pay for a mortgage. By  looking at your monthly income and expenditures, you can use the amount  left over to determine the amount you can afford to pay for a mortgage.
Develop a list of needs and wants for your home in Langley, White Rock and Surrey. Recognize that the two are not one and the same. A need is something that you require from a home. You cannot live without it. A want is something you desire in your home. Making this distinction is essential in the final home you purchase and the amount of money you spend on it.
The preparation you put into buying a home will have a major effect on your home shopping experience. Take the steps necessary to make sure I, Andrew Szalontai, can help you find the perfect home for your needs and wants.
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It's a Seller's Market in Victoria, BC, Real Estate... If the Price Is Right

Author: imhoffvictoria

So far this year the Canadian housing market in general and the Victoria, BC, real estate market in particular remain healthy. Despite recent deregulation in the Canadian real estate industry, there are still many safeguards in place to protect consumers. Interest rates are low, making many people are eager to buy before rates go back up again, and demand outstrips supply in many areas, both points good news for sellers. Still, proper pricing is needed for a speedy sale.

Right now, people are buying. In recent quarters, the Bank of Canada has cut key interest rates, and, as a result, the interest rates for a five-year mortgage have fallen from around 7.5% at the beginning of 2008 to about 5.4% and sometimes lower. In addition, capital gains on a primary residence remain tax free.

Speculation also has it that the housing market is at or near the top of a cycle with respect to the ratio of home prices to incomes. But, in general, there are currently more buyers than homes to satisfy the demand.

So, in this seller's market, the temptation is to over-price. The common misconceptions is that you can set your asking price obviously too high and then make buyers happy by dropping the price later. The flaw in this strategy is that it will prevent your house from being shown to a good many qualified buyers. And if it stays on the market for a long period, you may incur unexpected expenses and then have drop the price dramatically, even below the market value, to make a quick sale. The critical time is the first month the house is listed. After that, it generates less interest and is still competing with properly priced homes.

If your price hasn't resulted in multiple showings during the first month of listing, then it's probably priced too high-and you've missed your best window of opportunity. In addition, realtors aren't willing to waste potential buyers' time on over-priced houses. A more competitive pricing will, obviously, attract more offers, and, owing to human nature, the fact of those offers will attract even more offers. You just don't want your house to wind up stranded on the market.

The trick, then, in our case, is determining the baseline price for comparable Victoria, BC, real estate. And only a qualified Victoria, BC, realtor can help you do this. Even though the current market is a seller's market, professional guidance is a must in order to avoid the pitfalls of aver-pricing.

The main tool for arriving at a competitive price for your home is the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This is a report provided by real estate professionals that lists the prices of similar properties in the area, both those that are up for sale and those that have sold recently. And when it comes to Victoria, BC, real estate, this is something that Mark Imhoff thoroughly understands.

Here's how Imhoff, of the Mark Imhoff group, explains it: "I will help you price your home competitively to attract qualified buyers. The way I do this is by generating a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) report, which will show you a range of prices being paid for homes in your area." Then, Imhoff enters your home in the Multiple Listing Services database so that other agents have immediate access to your property information.

It may be a seller's market, but it still pays to engage the services of a Victoria, BC, realtor to find the best price for your home and to get exposure to the maximum number of qualified buyers.

Dive in and see what the city has to offer you! Contact Mark Imhoff an expert in the Victoria BC realtor market who can guide you through the diversity of victoria bc real estate and the homes that match your needs and lifestyle.

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Housing starts in Vancouver increased by 10.5% in September 2010 over August 2010 according to the CMHC.

Urban housing starts in British Columbia increased from 24,900 units in August 2010 to 26,500 units in September 2010, an increase of 6.4% according to the CMHC.

Builders in Greater Vancouver:

Aquinlini Group
Aragon Properties Ltd.
Balboa Land Investments
BC Star Development Corp
Bosa Development Corporation
Bucci Developments
Canada Lands Company
Charter Pacific Developments
Concord Pacific
Domani Homes
Emar Canada
Equitas Dev.
Falcon Homes
Fifth Avenue
Foxridge Homes
Henderson Developments
Hungerford Group
Ledingham McAllister
Liberty Homes
Mackenzie Properties
Marathon Homes
Morningstar Homes
Mosaic Homes
Parklane Homes
Pinnacle International
Portrait Homes
Quadra Properties
Qualico Homes
Quantum Properties
Vesta Properties
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