Aleya Bhaloo RE/MAX Crest Realty

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Seattle or “Emerald City” is currently the home to the headquarters of big tech companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Tableau, Zillow, Big Fish Games, and many more. All of them concentrated within Seattle, Redmond, and Bellevue. 

Cost of living in Seattle is significantly lower than San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The median home cost carries the biggest factor in difference with Seattle being $761,800, while $1,331,100 in San Francisco. Additionally, with information provided from, it highlights that it is 54% more expensive to live in San Francisco. Despite Seattle’s median annual tech income being $15,000 less than those working in Silicon Valley, it is safe to say that higher income may not offset this imbalance in cost of living.  For young and freshly graduated tech talents, these could be deciding factors when they choose where to start their career in. As a result, startups are more likely to head in the direction of where these prospective employees will be. 

In our opinion, we think that Seattle has great potential in becoming the next “Silicon Valley” with all the benefits and incentives for tech talents. We believe that the tech scene is under development with immense opportunities for growth. Along with the headquarters of Microsoft, Amazon, etc., Seattle is also the home to office branches of Facebook, Google, Adobe, and other tech companies.

What are your thoughts? Let us know.

We have an exciting VIP presale opportunity in Seattle, sign up for our mailing list to find out more!


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The streets of downtown Vancouver have been the homes of breath-taking glass buildings for many years. However, earlier this week the Vancouver City Council approval the proposal of rezoning for Landa Global Properties and Asia Standrad Americas to redevelop 1469 Alberni Street. It will be the new home of two connected residential towers with 48 and 43 storeys. These buildings will be the world’s tallest passive-house buildings yet. Currently, the Bolueta twin towers development houses in Bilboa, Spain are the tallest, being 28 and 31 storeys.

There will be a grand total of 443 homes within the two towers, including 314 market strata units and 129 market rental units, which is a replacement of the existing number of rental homes on the site. Currently, the land is occupied by apartments and office towers built in the 1970s.

For those who don’t know, passive-house buildings are “voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building's ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling”. It is projected that a “superior building envelope, insulation, and a design that optimizes solar gain and shade will reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool the towers by nearly 90%”. With these plans,the goal of the Vancouver city council’s zero emission building plan to eradicate greenhouse gas emissions in all new construction by 2030 could be successful.

The design of the buildings by New-York based Roberty AM Stern Architects and local firm MCM Partnership will resemble those in New York City and specified as “a throwback of the Formalist style, of the early-20thcentury” as stated in the application. The addition of these architectural designs will add diversity and uniqueness to downtown Vancouver, which is currently dominated by glass style buildings. The project is designed by New York-based Robert AM Stern Architects, with local firm MCM Partnership acting as the architect of record.

Similar to the current style of the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver

Similar to the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver

What are your thoughts on these New York style condos being built in Vancouver? Do you prefer aesthetic glass or the eco-friendly alternative?

We’re so excited to see how downtown Vancouver will change with all these developments going on. Let us know if you would like more details!


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We’ve recently had the pleasure of co-hosting an event with Corinne Schlinder of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). We had Julie Taylor, also from RBC, as the guest speaker. It began with a 30-minute session of networking with food and beverages. We were so pleased to meet women of various professions and ages. After brief introductions, Julie began to talk about the “Seven Financial Missteps for Women to Avoid”. So many thought-provoking and stimulating questions and personal experiences were shared!

Rather than just a presentation style event, we kept the floor open for discussion the entire time. Different people will ask different questions, that’s what we love about allowing questions to be asked at any time and we definitely encouraged everyone to do so. Sometimes we learn more based on the unique questions that pop up during the conversation!

When we planned this event, we envisioned a room full of hopeful women of all ages motivated to take control of their finances. We were so thrilled and satisfied with how this event turned out. Connect with us on Facebook or Instagram for more events like this, we hope to see you at our next one!

Food was prepared by Lavish Catering, such a lovely presentation.

Check out this fun read, lots of good information on working women in Canada:

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Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre opened its doors in 1959 and has been named one of the most profitable malls in Canada of 2017, earning $1579 of sales per square foot. It ranks second behind Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre and infront of Downtown Vancouver’s Pacific Centre. Over the past few years, there have been many talks about the redevelopment in this area. Redevelopment in the Oakridge area was finalized in the Cambie Corridor Plan, where the city of Vancouver plans to make the it the biggest growth area outside of Downtown.

Henrique Partners Architects, QuadReal Property Group, Westbank Development, and Wonderwall, a Tokyo-based interior design firm has come together to bring the redevelopment ideas to life. The innovative design is set to have 4.5 million square foot hub of retail, residential, office, parks and civic space. The ambitious group has proposed 10 towers of different heights up to 44 storeys and three mid-rise buildings. The “new” Oakridge will become the home for 6,000 residents and expected to be completed in late 2025.

We’re so excited for what’s to come in this area. With that being said, check out our Ash Street Listings below! They’re part of the Cambie Corridor Phase 3 Plan, just a walking distance from the future largest civic center outside of Downtown Vancouver. These properties are set for land assembly, with the proposal of 3 storey townhouses. 

6768 & 6788 Ash Street

6889 & 6909 Ash Street

Call us if you have any questions about the redevelopment in the Oakridge area and any inquiries on the properties for sale.

Aleya Bhaloo 604-209-4504

Tyrone Robinson 778-863-7973


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In addition to the expansion of the foreign buyers’ tax, the announcement of the 2018 BC Budget Plan also introduced a new tax.


Speculation Tax:

The tax is designed to capture foreign and domestic speculators, satellite families who live in B.C. but do not pay their share of income taxes, as well as homeowners who hold vacant property in designated urban centers.”


The speculation tax proposed by the government aims to save the housing market from becoming a stock market and to protect local residents. Since the announcement, there have been several changes but here’s what you need to know:


-       Tax applies to Metro Vancouver Regional District, Kelowna-West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, and Mission. Most islands are excluded. (Details visit HERE)

-       Exemptions:

  • Primary residences of British Columbians
  • Properties that are used as qualifying long-term rentals (at least three months)

-       Tax Rate:

  • 2018 --> 0.5% of assessed property value
  • 2019 and onwards:
    • 2% for foreign investors and satellite families
    • 1% for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who do not reside in BC
    • 0.5% for British Columbians who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents








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Celebrate Victoria Day and the long weekend (May 19-21) with some of my recommendations:  

Take a look at Yaletown’s Engine 374

This free community event celebrates Canada’s 150th anniversary and marks the 130th anniversary of Engine 374 arriving in B.C. (It’s free!)

Location: Roundhouse Mews, 181 Roundhouse Mews

Date & Time: May 21, 12PM – 3PM


While you’re at it, also check out:

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

It includes comics programming, comic creators from home and abroad, and art lessons for kids.

Location: Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews

Date & Time: May 20 and May 21, 10AM – 5PM


Take advantage of the weather and head down to Lonsdale Quay (30 minutes from Yaletown)

Shipyards Night Market

Food, art, music, entertainment and shopping. Take a look at local items from artisans and makers, live music featuring talent from around B.C., a beer garden pouring local craft beer and 35 food trucks serving locally made food.

Location: East of the Seabus and the Lonsdale Quay at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue, North Van

Date & Time: Friday nights, 5PM – 10PM


Image Source:

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The original foreign buyers tax was brought into effect on August 2nd, 2016. It was introduced by the B.C government to impose a 15% tax on foreign buyers purchasing Metro Vancouver properties. The aim for the tax was to alleviate the housing affordability crisis by driving prices up for foreign buyers to decrease demand and speculation. With Vancouver was once again placing third for being the least affordable city in the world (for the sixth consecutive year), behind Hong Kong and Sydney. Reports have stated that the prices of housing in Vancouver did cool down slightly after the original foreign buyers’ tax, but did not prove to be a permanent solution.


However, changes to the foreign buyers’ tax was made on February 21st, 2018. It is now 20% and includes areas outside of Metro Vancouver: Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Kamloops, Greater Victoria and Nanaimo Regional District. Justification for the expansion of for the tax is so that speculation is not passed onto bordering markets.





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The recent announcement of the partnership between and Juwai has just simplified the way for the Chinese to purchase a home outside of China. is a Chinese E-commerce organization, comparable to Amazon, with its headquarters located in Beijing, China. With 266.3 million active users, it is noted as one of largest business to consumer online retailers in China.


Juwai is a Chinese online portal for buyers to purchase properties that are overseas. Retrieving information from property marketers, real estate agents, and developers, they are able to connect Chinese buyers to listings all over the world. They currently have approximately 2 million active users on their platform.


Although the process is fairly simple, it is not the same as purchasing regular goods such as household items and clothing. The process requires interested buyers to make an interest payment of roughly $2,000 CAD ($10,000 RMB). Then, they are able to connect with a team of experts from Juwai to acquire further information and to proceed with the deal. In the case that the deal falls through, the interest is fully refundable.



The collaboration of these two companies will allow Chinese consumers to easily view listed properties in Canada as if these items were average everyday goods. Listings from Vancouver, dubbed as one of the best cities to live in, will be exposed to the Chinese consumers. However, with the expansion of the foreign buyers’ tax and announcement of the speculation tax by the B.C. government, it is unknown whether this partnership between and Juwai will continue to drive the sales of homes in the Greater Vancouver area.


In addition to Canada, Juwai and will also be listing properties from the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. 





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15 Beautiful Wood Accent Wall Ideas to Upgrade Your Space

May 25, 2017 by Paulina 


Create an accent wall in your room.  Think a outside the box and make a wood wall!

Wood walls add depth, texture, warmth, and most definitely an accent to any space. You can create your own DIY wood wall with a few simple tools and a bit of planning.

Check these 15 creative wood accent walls to update any room in your home.

1. Plank Wall Add a lovely plank wall to your dining room. You can do it quickly and for cheap. Choose a paint color to some of them to makethis wall so unique and so beautiful. Leave some boards natural to give it a unique look. Plank Wall via lifecraftsandwhatever

2. Create a Wood Pallet Accent Wall Drastically change the look and feel of your living room with a beautiful wood pallet accent wall. Using pallets makes this home makeover so inexpensive and easy to DIY!​ Create a Wood Pallet Accent Wall via

3. Mixed Wood Wall A wood wall can add a rustic focal point to a room. It's an easy and cheap DIY project. Mixed Wood Wall via

4. Reading Nook with Wood Plank Wall Cozy reading nook with wood plank wall. Try a full wall mural instead of the wood panels. Don't forget to create the cozy factor with our reading-inspired pillow desings!​ Reading Nook with Wood Plank Wall via

5. Bathroom Plank Wall Install a plank wall in a bathroom - Great way to add some character to an otherwise boring space!​ Bathroom Plank Wall via

6. DIY Barn Wood Herringbone Wall Add character to any room in your home with this easy DIY barn wood herringbone wall treatment. Barn Wood Herringbone Wall Check the video tutorial below: via

7. Modern Rustic Teen Room DIY Pallet Wall DIY tutorial for how-to build a pallet wall to create a rustic + warm feel to a space. Modern Rustic Teen Room DIY Pallet Wall via

8. Reclaimed Wood Fireplace DIY reclaimed wood fireplace. Reclaimed Wood Fireplace via

9. DIY Pallet Wall DIY Pallet Wall via

10. DIY Herringbone Plank Wall Learn how to upcycle an old, ugly fence into a stunning DIY plank wall in a herringbone pattern. DIY Herringbone Plank Wall via

11. Panel Bathroom Accent Wall DIY pallet or wood panel bathroom accent wall. Panel Bathroom Accent Wall via

12. Reclaimed Wood Pallet Wall Add impact to your kitchen space with this reclaimed wood accent wall. DIY Pallet Wall via

13. Bathroom Fence Picket Wall ​Bathroom fence picket wall behind toilet area. Bathroom Fence Picket Wall via ourcloverhouse

14. DIY Rustic Pallet Wall DIY Rustic Pallet Wall via

15. DIY Pallet Wall DIY wooden pallet accent wall.

DIY wooden pallet accent wall via

To see photos of these projects and more visit

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We all look forward to spring, when the weather gets warmer and the days get longer. Along with that, spring also brings… spring cleaning!

While it might not be the most exciting task, doing a really thorough clean and clear-out will leave you feeling ready for the rest of a busy year.

Use this checklist to make sure everything gets done:

1. Vacuum Cleaner – Giving your vacuum cleaner some attention before you put it to work. Replace the bag, wash the filter and clean the dust cup. When it’s ready, use the different attachments to really get into every little corner.

2. Doormats – Shake them out and beat them with a broom to get rid of all the accumulated dust and dirt that has been tramped over them through the winter.

3. Lights and ceiling fans – Clean these early so that you aren’t knocking dirt onto previously cleaned surfaces. Use the soft vacuum nozzle followed by a damp cloth. For glass or crystal light fixture, you should also use some polish.

4. Shelves – Empty and wipe down all shelves.

5. Carpets – Carpet will also have a winter’s worth of dirt in them. Either shampoo them or rent a carpet cleaner. Either way, practice somewhere out of sight to make sure you don’t accidentally spoil the carpet. Use wax paper to protect your furniture.

6. Wood, laminate or tiled floors – After giving them a good mopping, apply wax or sealer to protect your floor for the year ahead. On a side note, you should actually avoid mopping wood floors too often. Stick to every two or three months and spot-clean in between.

7. Walls, cabinets, skirting boards and other woodwork – Even if they’re not obviously dirty, dust can stick to vertical surfaces. Clean them with a sponge or cloth and dishwashing detergent in hot water. Top tip: use a separate bucket to squeeze out the dirty water from your cloth.

8. Old food – Go through your fridge, freezer and cupboards, throwing out any food that has been hanging around for too long.

9. Fridge – Empty your fridge and wipe down all the shelves.

10. Fridge coil – Built-up dust can make your fridge work overtime and eventually break down. Pull your fridge out, and vacuum all over the back of it. Then, vacuum the floor where it usually stands.

11. Oven – Chip off baked-on food, then use baking soda and white vinegar to loosen what’s left before wiping it away with a sponge.

12. Oven hood – Take out and wash the filter in hot, soapy water. Clean the rest of the hood to remove grease.

13. Microwave – Put one cup of water and a sliced lemon in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave it until the window steams up. Let things cool down and then wipe down the inside of the microwave.

14. Coffee maker – Use a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water to descale your coffee maker. “Brew” the mixture, stopping half way. Let it sit for half an hour and then finish the cycle.

15. Stainless steel appliances – Make them sparkle again with a wax-based spray.

16. Dishwasher – Make sure all leftover bits of food are removed from the dishwasher and then run a cleaning cycle with a cleanser product (two cups of vinegar will also do the trick).

17. Washing machine – Use distilled white vinegar and baking soda to clean out your machine. Remember to run another cycle afterwards to make sure everything is washed out. Lastly, wipe it dry.

18. Windows – Make sure to clean both the inside and the outside of your windows. It’s best to wash your windows on a cloudy (but not rainy) day so that the windows will dry more slowly — giving you time to wipe off the cleaner before streaks appear.

19. Mattress – Flip your mattress and vacuum the underside. Use upholstery cleaner on any stains.

20. Wardrobe and drawers – Empty and dust. As you are doing this, it’s a great time to be ruthlessly honest about which clothes you actually wear. Donate those that don’t make the cut.

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10 Cool Facts About Vancouver

Vancouver was recently ranked as the third most “livable place in the world” for its high standard of living and quality of life. While it is ranked as the 10th cleanest city in the world.

Vancouver has the 4th largest cruise ship terminal in the world.

Home to Canada’s longest pool. Measuring 137.5 meters (451 feet), it is nearly the size of three Olympic pools. This outdoor, saltwater pool is a major tourist attraction and is open year round.

Vancouver has the highest real estate prices in Canada. In 2011, the average price of a detached home was a staggering $1,204,587. Some say this is close to rivaling New York City and London.

Vancouver is the largest film production center in North America after Los Angeles and New York City.

Stanley Park, an urban oasis, is 10% larger than New York City’s Central Park. It is a staggering 1001 acres.

The Vancouver Aquarium ranks in the top 5 worldwide.

Downtown Vancouver is 65% residential. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of high-rise condominiums.

Vancouver has the mildest climate in Canada. Although, it receives on average, 1,589mm of rain per year.

Greenpeace, one of the world’s oldest and most successful environmental groups was established in Vancouver.


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BC Budget 2017: BC's First-Time Home Buyers Get a (Small) Tax Break


Having been sidelined in last year’s Budget, BC's first-time buyers will save some money on Property Transfer Tax – if buying a home priced between $475,000 and $525,000


The BC government is raising the threshold for the first-time buyer Property Transfer Tax exemption to $500,000 from $475,000, finance minister Mike de Jong announced February 21 in the 2017 Budget Announcement. The partial exemption threshold has also increased to $525,000 from $500,000.


The changes will now affect more first-time home buyers by exempting, or partially exempting, those buying between $475K and $525K, and affected buyers will save up to $8,000, which is an increase of $500 from the previous system.


The new threshold will be effective for home purchase registrations made on or after February 22, 2017.


Minister de Jong said, “This will complement other actions we have taken, such as the introduction last year of a newly built home exemption to the Property Transfer Tax [on new homes under $750,000], which has helped more than 5,500 families save an average of $7,600. In Budget 2017 we are going further.”


He added, “When you ask British Columbians about the pressures they face, many will focus on the cost of housing. The problems with housing affordability and availability aren’t easy to resolve, but there are some levers the government can use to help ease things. But… we can’t just focus on getting more people into the market without adding to supply – that’s just going to drive prices higher.


“In the coming year the government will also explore and implement opportunities to partner and invest with local governments, to ensure cities and municipalities have the capacity and incentives… needed to expedite and process approvals and permitting of housing development applications.”


The province will also continue to administer its recently launched $700 million BC HOME Partnership program, which offers first-time home buyers up to $37,500 in down-payment-matching loans, which are interest- and payment-free for the first five years.


In a press release issued moments after the announcement, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia (CHBA BC) welcomed the increase to the first-time buyer exemption threshold. It added that the organization had recommended such an increase in its pre-Budget submission, “to better reflect rising home prices.”


Neil Moody, CEO of CHBA BC, stated, “CHBA BC has advocated for changes to the outdated property transfer tax structure for many years, and this reduction in tax is positive for first-time home buyers in all areas of the province.


“It may seem like a small increase, but it represents that the program is keeping pace with rising home prices. It provides a larger threshold for first-time home buyers to purchase within and receive the tax savings.


” The Urban Development Institute also immediately offered its support to the move. President and CEO Anne McMullin said, “Increasing the Property Transfer Tax exemption threshold to $500,000 from $475,000 for first-time homebuyers’ will enable more locals and families to get onto the first rung of the property ladder.”


She added that the industry group also supports the government’s strong focus on working with local governments in 2017 and beyond to increase housing supply, which also creates more high-paying jobs in the sector.


“I know we keep hammering this point, but flooding the market with more housing options, from rowhomes and townhomes to duplexes and others, will help alleviate the pricing and demand pressures and create healthy, more affordable communities.”


A projected slowdown across the BC housing market is expected to leave the province with $483 million less revenue from its property transfer tax in 2017/18 – a 23.9 per cent drop year-over-year.


Over the following two years, the province projects revenue to fall an average of 3.9 per cent annually to reach $1.4 billion in 2019/20, compared with the more than $2 billion generated last year.


“We don’t expect the real estate market to be percolating along at the level it was last year,” said de Jong.


Certain taxes on real estate, however, are expected to generate greater revenue over the years to come. Once the current fiscal year ends, BC expects it will have earned $100 million in taxes on residential purchases made by foreign buyers in the Metro Vancouver region.


Total revenue from the province’s foreign buyers’ tax – implemented in August of last year – is expected to hit $150 million annually over the next three years: tax generated by $1 billion in residential properties purchased by foreign buyers annually through to 2019/20



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There are markets in Ontario that have been tighter than Toronto this year? It takes how long to save up for a downpayment for a Vancouver home? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this roundup of surprising facts from BuzzBuzzNews’ coverage of the Canadian housing market this year.


1. Canadian homes made more in a year on average than the people living in them as of June Your home may be just sitting there all day, but on average it’s pulling in more than you are, at least as of June 2016. By the end of that month, the average price of a Canadian dwelling had risen $50,619 in 12 months to a whopping $503,301, noted BMO Chief Economist Douglas Porter. “Average weekly [Canadian] earnings among all industries, including overtime, over the past year were $953.16. That translates into annual pay of $49,565,” wrote Porter. At this rate, “a house” may become a common answer to the childhood question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”


2. The GTA-wide average price for a detached home surpassed $1 million in September The Greater Toronto Area is a big place. It’s more than 7,124 square kilometres, in fact. The average detached home price stretching across this large swath of southern Ontario is pretty hefty, too. Standalone homes in the 416 area code, which includes downtown Toronto, have been going for an average of more than $1 million since February 2016 — with one exception, July 2015. But the whole GTA in all its sprawling glory only surpassed that level last month, when detached homes in the entire region sold for an average price of $1,013,788, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s stats for September.


3. Other Ontario markets have been tighter than Toronto this year Think Toronto real estate’s on fire? These Ontario housing markets were even tighter in April: Niagara Region and Hamilton-Burlington. In April, both markets had higher sales to new listings ratios — calculated by dividing sales with new listings for a month and expressed as percentage — than Hogtown. Niagara’s ratio was a towering 85.1 per cent while Hamilton-Burlington’s hit an impressive 81.6 per cent. Meantime, Toronto’s was 74.8 per cent. Typically, ratios between 40 and 60 per cent are considered balanced, while anything veers into seller’s market territory.


4. 13.2 per cent of Canadian real estate professionals think China’s leader is a North Korean dictator or communist revolutionary Given all the discourse on foreign buyers — and particular investors from China — and their possible role in driving up home prices in Canada’s hottest housing markets, you’d think realtors might be learning more about them. A study suggests many aren’t. Some 13.2 per cent of Canuck real estate professionals selected either Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (read: dictator) or Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong, who died more than 40 years ago, as the current Chinese leader when quizzed by Juwai, a website that helps homebuyers in China view international properties. Respondents also had some trouble identifying the Chinese flag.


5. It takes median-income earners in Vancouver roughly a decade to save for a downpayment on a home In the first quarter of this year, National Bank, Canada’s sixth largest bank, studied how long it would take median-earning Vancouver households to sock away enough cash for a minimum downpayment on a home there. The study, which assumes households will save 10 per cent of its pre-tax income, found it would take median-earning households 106.8 months — more than nine years.


6. But internationally, downtown condos were relatively cheaper in Vancouver (and Toronto) than in many other global cities Vancouver and Toronto aren’t shining examples of housing affordability, yet when looking at a number of other major cities worldwide, they compare favourably. National Bank released another report in July, this time comparing local incomes to 90-square-metre condo prices in 18 large global markets. Vancouver, where these condos were 11.3 times the average family income, was the fifth-most affordable. Toronto, where they were 9.4 times average family earnings, placed third.


7. Canadians amassed $200 billion in wealth from residential real estate in a single year From April 2015 to the end of March this year, the Canadians collectively earned wealth to the tune of $200 billion from high-flying home prices, says Adrienne Warren, a Scotiabank economist. For comparison, in the year 2000, the housing market generated $70 billion in wealth.


8. Most Toronto home sales were to first-time buyers in 2015 Earlier this year, the Toronto Real Estate Board released its 2016 GTA housing market forecast and 2015 review, including results from an Ipsos Reid poll that shed light on who, exactly, was buying homes in the area in 2015. The Ipsos Home Owners Survey, which drew responses from 1,000 GTA residents 18 and older who said they’d purchased a home in the past 12 months (as of November), suggests 53 per cent of GTA homebuyers were doing so for their first time ever in 2015.



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Are you an art lover looking for a home to display your collection?  Tired of not being able to find a home with enough wall space?  Well we are proud to announce our newest listing that offers tons of space for any collection size.  As you enter through your private entrance, you are greeted with 30 ft. ceilings with stairs that lead you to the top floor where all the entertaining space is located.  This is an ideal home for the art lover who would love to showcase their collection.

Check out the details below




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We will be hosting an Agents Open today from 10 am - 12 pm.  Feel free to bring your clients.  This one is not to be missed.  3 level Urban Home in the heart of Yaletown!  Spread out across the entire side of the building with soaring 30 ft. ceilings. in the Iliad - one of Vancouver's premiere buildings.  The home has been strategically designed with all the main living spaces on the top floor offering total peace and quiet and has been finished by the highest standards.  Hope to see you shortly!  Check out the interactive floorplan for 1247 Homer St. in the link below

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January 5, 2016

Metro Vancouver home sales set an all-time record in 2015

In a year when the number of homes listed for sale was below historical averages, actual home sales in Metro Vancouver set a new record.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that 2015 home sales were the highest annual total in REBGV history. This was powered early in the year by four straight months with more than 4,000 sales a month from March to June, another first for REBGV.

Sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in 2015 reached 42,326, a 27.8 per cent increase from the 33,116 sales recorded in 2014, and a 48.4 per cent increase over the 28,524 residential sales in 2013.

The total number of homes listed for sale on the MLS® in 2015 ranked fifth in the last ten years, while the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) saw double-digit year-over-year price increases.

The number of residential properties listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in 2015 reached 57,249. This is an increase of 2.1 per cent compared to the 56,066 properties listed in 2014 and an increase of 4.6 per cent compared to the 54,742 properties listed in 2013.

With sales-to-active-listings ratios above 25 per cent for 11 months in 2015, the Metro Vancouver market experienced seller’s market conditions for much of the year.

"Home buyers were active and motivated throughout 2015 despite the pressure on supply of homes on the market," Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. "Housing markets typically experience quieter periods within a calendar year, but that wasn't the case in Metro Vancouver last year."

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver ends the year at $760,900. This represents an 18.9 per cent increase compared to December 2014.
“We often hear economists say that seller’s market conditions put upward pressure on home prices,” McLeod said. “That was certainly the case in 2015, with price increases ranging from 14 to 24 per cent depending on property type.” 
December summary
Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,827 in December 2015, an increase of 33.6 per cent from the 2,116 sales recorded in December 2014 and a 19.8 per cent decline compared to November 2015 when 3,524 home sales occurred.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,021 in December 2015. This represents a 7 per cent increase compared to the 1,888 units listed in December 2014 and a 40.4 per cent decline compared to November 2015 when 3,392 properties were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 6,024, a 41.6 per cent decline compared to December 2014 and a 25.6 per cent decrease compared to November 2015.

Sales of detached properties in December 2015 reached 1,136, an increase of 36.4 per cent from the 833 detached sales recorded in December 2014. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 24.3 per cent from December 2014 to $1,248,600.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,225 in December 2015, an increase of 34.3 per cent compared to the 912 sales in December 2014.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 14 per cent from December 2014 to $436,200.

Attached property sales in December 2015 totalled 466, an increase of 25.6 per cent compared to the 371 sales in December 2014. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 13.6 per cent from December 2014 to $543,700

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New Down Payment Rules: Time to Exhale


Finance Minister, Bill Morneau

If you’re trying to scratch together a down payment, or you sell mortgages for a living, today’s news could have been much, much worse.

The new down payment rules Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced this morning were as benign a policy change as one could hope for. This refers, of course, to the new minimum down payment requirement, which takes effect on February 15, 2016.

For properties between $500,000 and $1 million, folks getting an insured mortgage will now need to put more down—up to an additional 2.5% of the purchase price. In other words, 5% down will be required on the first $500,000, and 10% down will be required on the next $500,000.

For a $750,000 property, that means you’d have to cough up a 33% bigger down payment (compared to today), or another $12,500. The new rule doesn’t affect properties over $1 million because they don’t qualify for high-ratio mortgage insurance anyway.

As we reported last week, it seemed clear that some sort of down payment changes were on the way. But the speculation was that Ottawa would impose a flat 7-10% down payment for properties between $500,000 and $1 million. The actual rule announced today will affect far fewer borrowers than that (Benjamin Tal estimates about 4% of buyers overall). Many folks buying in that price range will find a way to scrape up an extra $5,000 or $25,000—from mom and dad, from borrowing their down payment, from selling other assets, etc.

Of course, buyers without other resources may have to save for another one to three years to buy a higher-priced home. But the deferral of these buyers will barely put a dent in home prices, at least in cities where high-value properties and multiple offers are the norm. (Properties over $500,000 in smaller metros will be more impacted.)

The changes I’d be more concerned about, as a consumer, are the higher securitization fees and larger capital requirements for lenders. These policies were announced in tandem with the down payment tweak.

Most lenders will absolutely pass down some or all of these costs to consumers. In fact, with the rate increases of late, some speculate they already have been.

I’ve been researching all day on what that means for mortgage pricing. The potential impact looks to be in the range of 3-8 basis points for the securitization fee change (depending on the lender), and another few basis points for OSFI’s additional capital requirements. Let’s call it a total 5-10 basis-point hike in mortgage rates over time.

CMHC says “the changes in guarantee fees are not expected to have a material impact on the level of mortgage rates, which remain at historically low levels.” And it’s right. But 5-10 basis points means a well-qualified ultra-low-risk borrower will cough up another $700 to $1,400 in interest over five years on a 5-year $300,000 mortgage. And who wants to pay that?

Then again, there’s a case to be made for building the war chests of CMHC and lenders, in the highly unlikely event that home prices crash land. So at least borrowers can take solace that their hard-earned interest payments are going to a “good” cause.


Implementation details:

  • Qualified borrowers who get approved before February 15, 2016, can still buy with only 5% down. But lenders will likely set their application submission deadlines 1-2 weeks earlier.
  • People will still pay the same default insurance premiums, based on their overall loan-to-value (e.g., 3.60% of principal for a 5% to 9.99% down payment).
  • Check out these FAQs for more details.

On securitization:

  • CMHC’s intent was to raise CMB costs equally on small and large lenders alike. The increased cost amounts to roughly 40 bps for all lenders, says a source very familiar with the change.
  • The new guarantee fees reduce the attractiveness of securitizing via Canada Mortgage Bonds, relative to NHA MBS (where fees are also going up for lenders issuing over $7.5 billion worth of NHA MBS).
  • The MBS guarantee limit was raised from $80 billion to $105 billion for 2016, but it won’t create any more MBS funding or risk. The extra is just to support new requirements of the CMB program.
  • The government’s stated purpose of these fee hikes was to “encourage the development of private market funding alternatives by narrowing the funding cost difference between government-sponsored and private market funding sources.” Good luck with that. Insured mortgages, to which these fees apply, can’t be securitized outside of CMHC-sponsored channels. And no “private” CMHC-sponsored securitization markets exist (that we know of anyway).

Other effects:

  • First-time buyers were mostly spared by these new down payment regs. Their average purchase price is $293,000, well under the $500,000 threshold. 
  • Moreover, less than 1 in 10 first timers are buying $500,000+ properties to begin with.
  • Calgary could get hit the hardest (just what they need), because they have a much larger share of high-ratio mortgages, says Tal.
Source:Canadian Mortgage Trends
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CChoices, choices, choices! The 11th annual Taste of Yaletown takes place from October 15 to 29, and this year there are 26 participating restaurants, each offering one or more prix fixe menus at different price points.

taste of yaletown 2014

Since it’s sadly not possible to eat all the menus, we’re helping make your choices easier by picking some of the standout selections available this time around. You’ll find a good mix of classic neighbourhood favourites, along with some newcomers to the TOY event.

$15 and Under Menus

DD Mau

Coming in at an impressive, and economic, $12 total, the TOY menu at DD Mau offers diners an entree of  their Malaysian Chicken Curry–served with a French baguette for dipping–and your choice of tea.

Address: 1239 Pacific Boulevard
Phone: 604-684-4446

Lime & Moon Pie Company

If you’re going to open up shop in Yaletown, ahead of the annual TOY is a great time. Head to this Bowen Island-born small-batch bakery to check out their sweet offerings. It’s basically a double-header of pie goodness. For the main, enjoy a slice of their meat pie (Tourtiere) with a side of mixed greens. Then, because there’s no such thing as too much pie, enjoy a slice of one of their specialty pies for dessert.

Address: 1066 Mainland Street

$25 Menus

Urban Thai

Get three savoury courses for $25 at Urban Thai on their Taste of Yaletown menu. Kick things off with their Spicy Mango Salad (your choice of tofu or prawns), keep things warm with a soup course, then dive into your choice of three of their hearty and complex classic Thai main dishes. This much-loved and established Yaletown eatery is worth a re-visit if you haven’t been in a while.

Address: 1119 Hamilton Street
Phone: 604-408-7788

The New Oxford

Fancy a trip ’round the pub? The New Oxford’s welcoming $25 menu kicks off with your choice of soup or salad to start, followed by a main (choose from the “pubbier” Mac and Cheese or Banger sausage, or hit the west coast with their salmon entree), then satisfy your sweet tooth with dessert. Options include a classic Eton Mess, or the more seasonal Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Address: 1144 Homer Street
Phone: 604-609-0901

La Pentola (lunch)

There aren’t that many lunch options this year, but it’s always great to take a higher-end restaurant up on their prix fixe lunches, since you’ll often get to enjoy top notch eats in a more comfortable price range. Head to La Pentola and kick the meal off with a Parmesan Soufflé (a dish you don’t see often), enjoy a pasta main, end end on a sweet note with dessert.

Address: 350 Davie Street
Phone: 604-642-0557

Restaurant Table/Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: Taste of Yaletown 2015: Full list of 26 participating restaurants

$35 & Up Menus

Main course platter at Bistro Sakana during TOY 2014 (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Main course platter at Bistro Sakana during TOY 2014 (Lindsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Bistro Sakana 

Bistro Sakana has perfected the art of having a showstopping option during the annual Taste of Yaletown. No need to grapple with indecision here: A sea bream sashimi appetizer starts you off, and the main is a stunning five-item sampler platter spotlighting some of their signature bites. If that wasn’t enough, this three-course $35 menu ends on a sweet note with their green tea Matcha Tiramisu.

Address: 1123 Mainland Street
Phone: 604-633-1280

West Oak 

Choosing where to dine is just half the battle, and what’s really to love about West Oak is that their TOY menu offers multiple selections–four each for both the appetizer and the main courses. Warm up with Truffled Cauliflower soup and the Braised Lamb Shank, or keep it light with Tuna Tartar and Roasted B.C. Salmon. West Oak is a great fine dining experience, and three courses for $35 makes for a great affordable splurge-y night out.

Address: 1035 Mainland Street
Phone: 604-629-8808

Minami (Vegetarian Dinner) 

Minami has their upscale Japanese cuisine and sushi game on lock, but their $35 all-vegetarian menu is a standout option for those who need to skip the seafood (and other other meat) when they’re dining out.

Address: 1118 Mainland Street
Phone: 604-685-8080

Central City on Beatty 

Central City’s new Red Racer restaurant in Vancouver is offering up a terrific TOY option. It’s a three-course $35 meal that gets going with Burnt End Cheese Toasties, features a sirloin steak (with Brussels spouts and potatoes) for the main, and ends with a decadent brownie. What makes this one special is that the savoury courses include 5-ounce taster portions of a cider (appetizer) and beer (main), and the dessert is paired with a cocktail. Cheers to that!

Address: 871 Beatty Street
Phone: 778-379-2489

The Parlour 

Sure, it looks like the most expensive option at $45, but what’s stellar about this menu at The Parlour is that it’s designed for sharing. Two appetizers, plus one of their signature pizzas, and you’re at just over $20 a person.

Address: 1011 Hamilton Street
Phone: 604-568-3322

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