Phone: 250-212-2654 | cecile@cecileguilbault.com

 

Okanagan Residential SalesTypical for Fall Time


KELOWNA ,B.C.–November 3,2017.Residential sales posted to theMultiple Listing Service (MLS®) for the Okanagan region of Peachland to Revelstoke totaled 736 in October, comparable to last month’s 740 and just 6% 
lower than this time last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

 

“Not unusual for this time of year, October sales and new listing volumes were both slightly lower than previous months, with both indicators in the range of what we were seeing this time last year,” comments OMREB President
Tanis Read, adding " The average number of days on market rose over previous months, also typical as we head into the wintermonths."


New listings were 898 in October, compared to 1118 in September, whereas the average number of days it took to sell a home in October was 83  as compared to 78 in September and 92 this time last year.


Read notes that average price, at $526,418, was a bit of an irregularity, likely due to the mix of properties sold as compared to the previous month. October’s average price was 6% higher than September’s and up 16% over this time last year.

 

“While a lack of available homes for sale continues to be a problem and a major contributor to pricing, the good news
, at least for some parts of the region we serve, is the number of new, multi-family residences that are closing in on
completion. This, coupled, with a surge in housing starts, could mean good news in terms of availability and affordability, ”comments Read.

 

More housing supply offers benefits not only for prospective buyers but those looking to rent and even those considering selling. While a seller’s market, where there are fewer homes for sale to a larger pool of buyers, can be
attractive for those considering listing, it can also pose challenges for those same sellers when they look to find a new home at a price they can afford.


“Even within a local real estate market, conditions can differ within particular sub-regions or the various types of housing product. " says Read, encouraging buyers and sellers to consult a local real estate professional to ensure they have comprehensive data to inform their decision-making.

 

Turning to buyers of homes in the region, results compiled from monthly OMREB buyer surveys year to date (January through September,2017), indicate that first time buyers accounted for 20% of purchasers, with move-up buyers at 17%. Those moving within the region were 56%, followed by those from the Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island at 18% and Alberta at 11%. The 84-month average has first time buyers accounting for 20% of buyers and move-up buyers at 22%. Those moving within the region were 57%, followed by buyers from Alberta at 14% and Lower Mainland/Vancouver at 12%.

 

“It’s encouraging that first time buyers continue to be a strong force within the region as they estimulate the chain of housing ownership ”, says Read, noting that move-up buyers tend to rely on first time buyers to purchase their  existing homes


OMREB serves three diverse markets within the region: the Central Okanagan Zone (Peachland to Lake Country), the North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby) and the Shuswap -Revelstoke Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke).

 

DISCLAIMER: Monthly Sales statistics are based on the sales reported by real estate offices on or before the last day of the month. Sales not reported by month end and collapsed sales are reflected in the subsequent month’s
statistics.


All OMREB listings are published in the MLS® Real Estate Review and MLS® Commercial Review magazines
available at all real estate offices and various locations in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, the Shuswap and
Revelstoke areas. For comprehensive Board-wide statistical information, please visit our local public site: www.omreb.com
.

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The leaves are falling, but the sky is not! We know this year has had a lot of changes in the lending landscape, so let’s chat about what this means for you!


As you know, your variable rate mortgage, line of credit and/or student loans are all based on the Prime Rate and here is your personal update from me on the recent Bank of Canada announcement on changes to their Overnight Rate which in most cases impacts your Prime Rate.

At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday October 25, 2017, the Bank of Canada maintained their overnight rate which means no change to your interest rate. I know you may be feeling the impact of the rate changes earlier in 2017, but you can feel at ease that your rate will stay the same for now.

In the last few weeks there have been additional changes in the mortgage legislation and qualifying guidelines all in the hope of maintaining stability in the real estate market as well as ensuring home owners and those with significant debt can handle future interest rate increases. These changes will impact your plans for borrowing funds in the future – whether it is refinancing to maximize the low interest rates and equity in your home, purchasing rental properties or moving up into a bigger home? Call me now for a complimentary consultation to review your current financial situation and let’s start planning now. These legislation changes don’t come into effect until January 1, 2018, so let’s make sure we get you prepared now and ensure the changes won’t impede your future borrowing plans.

To continue with the Bank of Canada news, here is an excerpt of the announcement and what they had to say about their decision on Wednesday:

“Canada’s economic growth in the second quarter was stronger than expected, and was more broad-based across regions and sectors. Growth is expected to moderate to a more sustainable pace in the second half of 2017 and remain close to potential over the next two years, with real GDP expanding at 3.1 per cent in 2017, 2.1 per cent in 2018 and 1.5 per cent in 2019. Exports and business investment are both expected to continue to make a solid contribution to GDP growth. However, projected export growth is slightly slower than before, in part because of a stronger Canadian dollar than assumed in July. Housing and consumption are forecast to slow in light of policy changes affecting housing markets and higher interest rates. Because of high debt levels, household spending is likely more sensitive to interest rates than in the past.

The Bank estimates that the economy is operating close to its potential. However, wage and other data indicate that there is still slack in the labour market. This suggests that there could be room for more economic growth than the Bank is projecting without inflation rising materially above target. Governing Council will be cautious in making future adjustments to the policy rate. In particular, the Bank will be guided by incoming data to assess the sensitivity of the economy to interest rates, the evolution of economic capacity, and the dynamics of both wage growth and inflation.”

Based on this outlook, the Bank estimates that the economy is operating close to its full potential. But they have indicated that they will be cautious in making future increases in order to determine the impact of the adjustments earlier this year. Remember, taking advantage of these low rates is a great way to pay down your mortgage faster!

Fixed rates haven’t really changed at all since the last announcement, and are around 3.09% to 3.39% for a five-year fixed term.

Currently variable rate products are still lower than current fixed term rates, however if concern regarding impending rate increases is going to affect your monthly budget, locking in now might be a good option. Call me to book a complimentary consultation and let’s discuss your current financial situation. I’ll be in touch again for the next announcement on December 6, 2017.

I wonder if I can ask a favour, going with my theme of “Let the sun set and the leaves fall along with Canadian consumer debt with our help” if you hear a friend or family member talk about going through a financially tough time – maybe I can help with some budgeting, credit counselling and debt consolidation options for them. In either of these cases, would you mind passing my contact information on to them – this is very much appreciated.

 

Thanks!

April

 

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Update #4

 

RESTRICTIONS WILL BE PLACED ON CERTAIN LENDING ARRANGEMENTS THAT ARE DESIGNED, OR APPEAR DESIGNED TO AVOID LTV LIMITS

 

Mortgage lenders (excluding credit unions and private lenders) are prohibited from arranging with another lender: a mortgage, or a combination of a mortgage and other lending products, in any form that circumvents the institution’s maximum LTV ratio or other limits in its residential mortgage underwriting policy, or any requirements established by law. This is often referred to as “bundling” or “bundle partnership”.

What does this mean?


For example: a consumer applies for 80% LTV mortgage and the lender can only approve 65%. The lender then partners with a second lender for the additional 15%. The original lender then “bundles” the 15% LTV mortgage with the original 65% mortgage to form the complete 80% LTV loan. This is no longer permitted as per OSFI.

OSFI has implemented 3 new mortgage rule changes starting January 1, 2018

 

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Update #3

 

LENDERS WILL BE REQUIRED TO ENHANCE THEIR LOAN TO VALUE (LTV) MEASUREMENT AND LIMITS TO ENSURE RISK RESPONSIVENESS

 

Mortgage lenders (excluding credit unions and private lenders) must establish and adhere to appropriate LTV ratio limits that are reflective of risk and updated as housing markets and the economic environment evolve. We are awaiting more details on this policy from lenders. As we have new information, we will update this document.

What does this mean?


OSFI directs lenders (excluding credit unions and private lenders) to have internal risk management protocols in higher priced markets (sometimes called “hot real estate markets” like Toronto and Vancouver). This is a continuation of a policy already in place. Many mortgage lenders have been following the principles of the policy for the last 10 to 12 months.

OSFI has implemented 3 new mortgage rule changes starting January 1, 2018


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Western Investor’s annual take on the top five towns to place your real estate investments in Western Canada over the next year.



No. 1: Kelowna

The largest city – 127,800 residents – between Metro Vancouver and Calgary, Kelowna is the dominant trading center for the Okanagan Valley, B.C.’s third most populous region. Together with neighboring Vernon, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country, the greater Kelowna area has a population of 256,216, up 7.4 per cent from 2011. It also has a blossoming high-tech sector, which has rocketed in the past few years into a $1.3 billion industry that involves more than 200 companies.

With one of the most temperate climates in Canada and a fertile land base, a rich array of ski resorts, vineyards within city limits and lakeside attractions, Kelowna is a major tourism destination, as well as a beacon for new residents – many from the Vancouver area – drawn by its recreational amenities and relatively affordable housing.

Here is a clue to what is happening: more new homes were started in Kelowna this year than in any area outside of the Lower Mainland, including Greater Victoria, which has three times the population of Kelowna.

We carry a full report on the Kelowna residential and commercial real estate opportunities in the B section of this paper.

Investment play: Land assembly of detached lots near downtown, courtesy of a January zoning change that encourages higher density. Also retail property, particularly for developers of badly needed new retail space in the downtown zone.

 

No. 2: Surrey

Vancouver’s booming suburb to the southwest won’t be a suburb for much longer. Within the next decade Surrey will overtake Vancouver as B.C.’s largest city. Around 10,000 new residents move to Surrey each year, and the entire South Fraser region – which includes Langley and Abbotsford – is projected to absorb 70 per cent of the entire region’s population growth over the next 25 years.

A key point: Surrey has a higher percentage of people aged 10 to 24 than the provincial average. Surrey is also home to one in four Metro Vancouverites under the age of 19.

South Surrey-White Rock is separated by farmland from the rest of the city, and is a focus for new single-family homes and townhouse construction. Newton is the heart of Surrey’s South Asian community, while Guildford and Fleetwood are more traditionally suburban in character. Cloverdale to the west has a rural flavor on the Langley border. And then there is Surrey’s new downtown, Surrey City Centre, where the 52-storey 3 Civic Plaza hotel and condo tower completes this year, and an eight-building medical-technology office hub is under construction, along with multi-family condominium projects.

Investment play: Multi-family rental apartments and rental condominiums. Based on recent sales, the average cost per door for a Surrey rental apartment building is $171,000, at least $50,000 below the Greater Vancouver average, yet the rental vacancy rate and rental rates are similar.

 

No. 3: Saskatoon

Saskatchewan’s commercial capital entered 2017 plagued by a prolonged period of historically low commodity prices and slumping real estate. But that has changed fairly quickly. A Saskatoon economic report published by the Real Estate Investment Network said Saskatchewan’s largest city has managed to rebound from a market downturn thanks to a recovering energy market and burgeoning real estate activity.

The oil recession caused a slight, 1 per cent decrease in Saskatoon’s GDP during 2016, according to Royal Bank (RBC).

However, Saskatoon’s GDP is expected to increase 1.8 per cent in 2017 and 2.3 per cent in 2018, RBC forecasts.

The fundamentals of the city’s economy are strong. Saskatoon had Canada’s third-fastest growing population of any metropolitan center, after Edmonton and Calgary, growing 12.5 per cent between 2011 and 2016. And as the headquarters of uranium giant Cameco and PotashCorp, the city is well positioned to feel the tailwinds of the next commodity super cycle.

Investment play: Retail investments near the River Landing District, where a $300 million development is underway along the South Saskatchewan River.

 

No. 4: Calgary

Calgary continues to feel the pain of low oil prices, but 2018 will be a turnaround year for real estate in Alberta’s biggest and most-watched city.

“There is little question that Alberta’s economy has rounded the corner and the worst recession in three decades is now squarely in the rear-view mirror,” the Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB) noted in its Alberta Economic Outlook, released in August. ATB is forecasting real GDP growth of 3.2 per cent this year, followed by a still-healthy expansion of 2.1 per cent in 2018.

Altus Group reports that total commercial real estate investments in Calgary in the second half of 2017 increased 24 per cent from a year earlier to more than $1 billion.

Calgary’s industrial vacancy rate is projected to fall from the current 7 per cent to 6.1 per cent by 2018, fueled by demand for distribution space. The retail vacancy rate dropped to 2.9 per cent in the third quarter, with most of the recovery in suburban malls.

And the multi-family market is also tracking up. Bob Dhillon, founder and CEO of Mainstreet Equity Corp., Calgary’s biggest landlord who specializes in mid-level rentals, said rents appeared to have hit bottom.

“Every indicator is showing that things have bottomed and bounced off the bottom,” Dhillon said.

Investment play: Multi-family rentals and well-placed retail. In the first six months of this year, 16 of the 22 apartment buildings that sold went for an average of $114,600 per door, the lowest price of any major Canadian city.

In retail, look for opportunities in the southwest suburbs, where the retail vacancy rate is 1.7 per cent and no new space was added this year. Southwest lease rates are in a landlord-friendly range of $20 to $55 per square foot.

 

No. 5: Lethbridge

Confidence in Lethbridge’s commercial real estate market is strong, with the city recently ranked by Avison Young as Alberta’s strongest municipal economy for 2017. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ latest Top Entrepreneurial Cities Report placed Lethbridge 18th out of 121 centers.

More than 92,000 residents call Lethbridge home and the city has seen population growth of 10.8 per cent since 2011. Expansion projects are drawing new residents to the area. The City of Lethbridge has invested in the development of the Crossings, 60 acres of mixed-use land in West Lethbridge hosting large retail footprints. The city recently spent more than $41 million on construction of Phase 1 of the Crossings Leisure Complex. Phase 2 is set to be completed by 2019 and has a budget of nearly $110 million. Building permits across the city totaled nearly $1 billion over the last five years, and industrial and agricultural land in North Lethbridge is seeing a sizable piece of the action.

Investment play: While Lethbridge’s office and retail markets are currently the city’s best-performing sectors, industrial real estate may take the lead in 2018. Industrial vacancy rates rose slightly to 6.2 per cent in 2016, but the rate declined to 4.4 per cent this year and should remain relatively tight in 2018. North Lethbridge appears the best bet for both commercial and industrial investments.

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Update #2

 

CHANGE 1: QUALIFYING RATE STRESS TEST TO ALL NON INSURED MORTGAGES

 

Non insured mortgage consumers (buyers with a 20% or greater down payment) must now qualify using a new minimum qualifying rate. The minimum rate will be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada OR the lender contractual mortgage rate +2.0%.

How does this affect the mortgage consumer with a down payment of 20% or more? The biggest impact will be on the amount in which the homebuyer will be able to qualify. Previously, the homebuyer qualified at the rate offered by the lender. Now, the homebuyer must qualify at the benchmark rate which is the higher of the Bank of Canada Rate (currently 4.89%) OR the rate from the lender plus 2%. This applies to all terms, fixed and variable rates.

 

For example:

Mortgage Amount $400,000
If Contract Rate is 3.44%

 

BEFORE CHANGES


Monthly Payment $1,985.00
Minimum Income* $70,000

 

AFTER CHANGES


Benchmark Rate 5.44% (3.44% + 2%)
Monthly Payment $2,427.00
Minimum Income* $85,000

*The above is based on 35% GDS RATIO (Gross Debt Service Ratio) and a 25 year amortization.

STRESS TEST SUMMARY


UNINSURED MORTGAGES Homebuyers/owners qualify for a mortgage using the benchmark rate, which is the Bank of Canada rate (currently 4.89%) OR the lender rate +2%, whichever is greater.

 

INSURED MORTGAGES You must qualify for a mortgage at the Bank of Canada rate (currently 4.89%)

 

OSFI has implemented 3 new mortgage rule changes starting January 1, 2018

 

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Update #1

 

MORTGAGE TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

Insured Mortgage / High Ratio Mortgage = Less than 20% down payment

Non Insured Mortgage / Conventional Mortgage = 20% or greater down payment / equity

Bank of Canada Rate = the 5 year fixed posted rate (currently 4.89%)

Contract Rate = the actual rate offered by the lender to the consumer

Benchmark Rate/Qualifying Rate = Stress Test: Bank of Canada Rate OR Contract Rate +2%, whichever is greater

LTV (Loan To Value) = the size of a mortgage compared to the value of the property

OSFI has implemented 3 new mortgage rule changes starting January 1, 2018

 

The Red Door Mortgage Group - Mortgage Architects will continue to update you as new information arises on the regulatory changes announced by the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) on October 17th 2017.

We are starting with a series of 4 emails breaking down what you need to know.

 

 

APRIL DUNN

Mortgage Broker/Owner
The Red Door Mortgage Group - Mortgage Architects

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Fall is in the air and with the cooler temperatures heading our way, here are a few "to-dos" to keep you and your family, healthy, safe and warm!


1. Vacuum out your dryer vent and make sure the flaps can close fully on the exterior. You'll save your home from potential fire risk and cold air ingress.


2. Check your furnace (or have a company come by for a fall service). Make sure it turns on properly, the filter is clean and while you have that vacuum out, give it a good clean. It's best to know it works before you need actually need it.


3. Check your fireplaces. If you have a gas fireplace, clean the glass, start up the pilot and make sure everything is working before the season starts. If you have a wood burning fireplace, have someone come by and take a look at the chimney and give it a good clean.


4. Check your smoke detectors and co detectors. If you have any gas appliances in the home (furnace, hot water, fireplace, stove) you should have a co detector on each floor!

 

Compliments of 

 

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MEDIA RELEASE

 

 

For Immediate Release

 

Strong Residential Sales Despite Summer Slowdown


KELOWNA, B.C. – Aug 4th, 2017. Residential sales in the Okanagan region of Revelstoke to Peachland moderated slightly in July, with 961 sales posted to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®), down 6% from June, and just 2% fewer than July last year reports the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB).

 

“While sales activity typically slows over the summer months, with this July no exception, pricing and days on market continue to show strong demand for available housing supply,” says OMREB President and active Central Okanagan REALTOR® Tanis Read.

 

At $504,712, the average July price in the region was a mere 1% lower than June and 6% higher than this time last year, while days on market, or the average time it takes to sell a home, was 63 in July, as compared to 73 in June and 79 last year.

 

“Although these figures offer a general overview of market conditions, averages tell only part of the story and prospective buyers and sellers can benefit from consulting a real estate professional about how current conditions impact the neighbourhood or housing type of interest,” comments Read.

 

“One might be surprised at how sales and pricing within certain communities and/or housing types can run counter to general market conditions,” notes Read, adding that a REALTOR® who knows the local market can bring a level of knowledge and in-depth data analysis that can help inform decision-making.

 

Year to date, buyers of homes in the region served by OMREB were primarily those who already live in the area, at 56%, with first-time buyers accounting for 20% of the buying population, followed by moveup buyers at 17%. Buyers from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island accounted for 19%, followed by Alberta buyers at 10%, with buyers from outside Canada comprising a mere 2%, according to a monthly survey that OMREB has conducted since 2010.

 

“OMREB collects this data to inform our knowledge of the market and current trends, which, in turn, enhances our members’ service to Okanagan real estate consumers,” says Read, noting that, since survey inception, buyers have largely been those who already live in the region. While Alberta buyers were the next populous group until 2015, this group has since been displaced by buyers from the Lower

Mainland/Vancouver Island.

 

OMREB serves three diverse markets within the region: the Central Okanagan Zone (Peachland to Lake Country), the North Zone (Predator Ridge to Enderby) and the Shuswap- Revelstoke Zone (Salmon Arm to Revelstoke).

 

For detailed statistics specific to each of the three regions served by OMREB, visit www.omreb.com.

 

For more information, please contact:

Board-wide statistical information:

Tanis Read, OMREB President

tanisread@gmail.com, (250) 215-2121

 

Province-wide statistical information:

Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist, or

Brendon Ogmundson, Economist

cmuir@bcrea.bc.ca (604) 742-2780 /

bogmundson@bcrea.ca (604) 742-2796

 

Lynette Keyowski, OMREB Executive Director

lynette@omreb.com (250) 491-4560, Ext 226

 

OMREB is a member-governed not-for-profit association representing more than 1200 REALTORS® and 92 real estate offices within the southern interior region of British Columbia (Peachland to Revelstoke). The Board is dedicated to providing leadership and support to its members in their pursuit of professional excellence.

 

DISCLAIMER: Monthly Sales statistics are based on the sales reported by real estate offices on or before the last day of the month. Sales not reported by month end and collapsed sales are reflected in the subsequent month’s statistics.

 

All OMREB listings are published in the MLS® Real Estate Review and MLS® Commercial Review magazines available at all real estate offices and various locations in the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, the Shuswap and Revelstoke areas. For comprehensive Board-wide statistical information, please visit our local public site: www.omreb.com

 

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KELOWNA

 

Why Choose Kelowna!

 

 

Kelowna is in the heart of British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley, regarded as one of the most scenic regions in Canada.  People are drawn to the great four-season weather, stunning landscapes and boundless opportunities for outdoor recreation – water sports, cycling, golfing, skiing, hiking and so much more.  Rich in culture, the Okanagan hosts brilliant wine festivals, extraordinary art, music and theatre events, and offers all the dining and entertainment you would expect from one of the most vibrant regions in the B.C. Interior.

 

Geographical Crossroads and Urban Planning

 

Geographically speaking, most expats moving to Kelowna have no reason to complain. It is ideally situated for lovers of any outdoor activity you can think of. Surrounded by miraculous mountains and with the beautiful Okanagan Lake separating West Kelowna and Kelowna, Kelowna has the perfect natural commodities for winter and summer activities.

 

To see some of the most popular activities that Kelowna has to offer, take a look at Things to Do in Kelowna.

 

Beyond Kelowna’s picturesque scenery, a large part of its livability also manifest from the physical beauty and public cleanliness of the city itself. To put it simply, Kelowna is exceptionally charming. Spawning gardens, spacious public squares, niche shopping, vineyards and orchards of all sort makes everyday life in Kelowna very pleasant. All orchards and vineyards thrive within minutes from downtown making life that much enjoyable.

 

Let’s move forward to establish a bit more about Kelowna’s modern context. Settle neatly in the center of the Okanagan Valley and close to the USA border, Kelowna finds itself not only in a positon of immense natural beauty, but also at the greater cultural crossroads, where Canada meets the USA. Relatively undiscovered, Kelowna has gained a spot on the top 10 busiest airports of Canada in 2015. Kelowna airport connects to major North America cities including Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Hawaii, etc. Kelowna’s setting, thus, provides more than just a pristine natural backdrop; its location has played a deeply influential role in the city’s hybrid cultural identity as well.

 

 

 

Economic Development

 

Kelowna has shown nothing but development growth over the years. The city of Kelowna understands the important of economic development and are committed to attracting and retaining businesses, but also making decisions that benefit the community.

 

Kelowna has invested and create 1000’s of jobs by balancing investments in infrastructure for today and tomorrow. The City of Kelowna has developed a long-term infrastructure plan for improving water quality and improving infrastructure. The plan can be found at the The City of Kelowna.

 

Besides the cities investments, Kelowna has seen foreign investors taken a keen interest in real estate, mostly in commercial properties as the city offers high capitalization rates. 

 

As real estate markets, such as in Vancouver and Toronto become financially inaccessible, foreign stakeholders, such as Asian investors have been relocating their money around the Okanagan for their better yields of capitalization. Some recent purchases from Asian investors include, the former Monaco multi-family site, which sold for $6.5 million, the 125-room Lake Okanagan Resort, which ended up selling for more than $10 million, and a commercial property on Bertram Street that went for $2.4 million.

 

 

 

Regional Facts

 

Kelowna is in the core of the Okanagan Valley and is part of the Regional District of Central Okanagan which includes the areas of West Kelowna, Lake Country, and Peachland. Kelowna Is the largest community in the Central Okanagan district with a current population of 127,380 representing a percentage change of 8.6% from 2011. This compares to the national average growth of 5.9%.

 

Kelowna has a land area is 211.85 square kilometers with a population density of 601.3 persons per square kilometers. This compares to the provincial land area of 922,509.29 square kilometers with a population density of 4.8 persons per square kilometer. Kelowna has currently 57,433 private dwellings and 53,903 of the private dwellings occupied by usual residents.

 

For a more detail population and demographic census check Statistics Canada census report for 2016. 

 

Homes

 

There are various types of properties you can buy or rent in Kelowna. All types of Real estate in Kelowna has been, and continues to be, a great investment. If you bought your primary residence years ago, and have enjoyed tax-free growth since, you’ve probably made a great return on your home. Real estate is a relatively safe investment; it’s easily understood, and it’s well proven that the long-term investment of buying is preferable to renting. Below is a list of several housing types, but not limited to Kelowna.

 

    Condominiums

    Detached House

    Townhouse

    Semi-detached house

    Duplex/Triplex

 

 

Conclusion

 

Whether you want to move or visit Kelowna, remember that Kelowna offers great wine touring, restaurants, and endless outdoor recreation opportunities. The city is home to outstanding golf courses, scenic trails, and plenty of beach and water-based fun.

 

Cecile Guilbault

 

cecile@cecileguilbault.com

www.cecileguilbault.com

 

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As you know, your variable rate mortgage, line of credit and/or student loans are all based on the Prime Rate and here is your personal update from me on the recent Bank of Canada announcement on changes to their Overnight Rate which in most cases impacts your Prime Rate.

 

At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday March 1, 2017, the Bank of Canada again maintained their overnight rate which means no change to your interest rate. This is great news to start the year off as you continue to benefit from low rates.

 

Let’s not forget that this is a great time to take advantage of historical low rates and chat to a financial advisor about a Tax Free Savings Account or some RRSP contributions to trigger a potential income tax refund; you might have missed the RSP deadline for this year but it is never too late to start saving and planning for the future. If you don’t have a financial advisor, let me know and I’d be happy to recommend one to you.

 

On another note, are you carrying a balance on any lines of credit or credit cards right now where the interest rate is over 3%?   If so, this is the perfect time to chat about a potential debt consolidation or refinance – let’s start saving you unnecessary interest and get to your mortgage burning party sooner! Maybe you are planning a renovation project soon or purchasing a second home or rental property – chat to me about your options … I'd be happy to make those plans into a reality.

 

To continue with the Bank of Canada news, here is an excerpt from the announcement and what they had to say about their decision:

 

“Overall, recent data on the global and Canadian economies have been consistent with the Bank’s projection of improving growth. In Canada, recent consumption and housing indicators suggest growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 may have been slightly stronger than expected. However, exports continue to face the ongoing competitiveness challenges described in the January Monetary Policy Report. The Canadian dollar and bond yields remain near levels observed at that time. While there have been recent gains in employment, subdued growth in wages and hours worked continue to reflect persistent economic slack in Canada, in contrast to the United States.”

 

Given the mixed messages of both positive growth versus a slow down in some sectors, it is still anticipated that prime rates won’t start increasing until well into 2017 but we are being given the heads up that they will start increasing eventually. Remember, that any increase to the prime rate since 1992 has only been by 0.25% at any ONE time, so you won’t see a large significant increase all at once.

 

Fixed rates haven’t changed at all since the last announcement, and are around 2.59% to 2.89% for a five-year fixed term. Also, remember that the prime rates and fixed term rates are impacted by two different sets of economic drivers and so increases in fixed rates doesn’t always mean the same increase in prime rates and vice versa.

 

Based on this recent announcement, and the anticipation that the prime rate will still remain low for a while now, unless you feel otherwise, I’d recommend that you remain with your current variable rate product as the interest is still lower than a fixed term rate right now. However, if having a fixed payment is important to you, call me so I can calculate what your new payment would look like and also if it is suitable for you. I’ll be in touch again for the next announcement on April 12, 2017.

 

I wonder if I can ask a favour, if you hear a friend or family member talk about going thru a financially tough time – maybe I can help with some budgeting, credit counselling and debt consolidation options for them. It is also that time of year that many think about what they want to accomplish this year – if buying their first home is on the “wish list”, would you mind passing my contact information on to them – this is very much appreciated.

 

Thanks!

 

April

 

 

APRIL DUNN

Mortgage Broker/Owner

 

Office: 888-561-2679

Cell: 250-826-3543

 

The Red Door Mortgage Group - Mortgage Architects

www.reddoormortgage.com

 

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A programmable thermostat can save you money this winter


Every winter and every summer, Canadians fight tirelessly to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature. Temperature swings in both seasons mean we have to adjust our thermostats constantly, but there is a better way: smart thermostats turn down the heating and cooling of your home when you don’t need it automatically, saving you money on your utility bill. Here are the latest insights into how a programmable thermostat can help.

  • 10-15% savings on your energy bill: Installing a programmable thermostat can save you up to 15% a year on your overall power bill if you have electric heating, according to the most conservative estimates. That’s about $145 for the average Canadian.
  • There are more potential savings: Many manufacturers claim smart thermostats save their customers up to 30% of their heating and cooling costs per year. These numbers are often based on ‘factory testing,’ but using your programmable thermostat properly could yield higher-than-average savings in the long run.
  • There are rebate programs: Enbridge is just one company that has put a rebate program in place for customers who buy a smart thermostat. It’s offering a $100 rebate for homeowners who buy one before the end of the year.
  • They add to resale value: Millennials rate homes with programmable thermostats and other smart technology higher: 70% feel smart technology will make their homes more energy efficient. This could be a great selling point if you’re hoping to market your home to young families in the future.
  • ‘Vacation mode’ can save you money: Many programmable thermostats can keep your home from getting too cold while you're away on a much needed winter holiday. They adjust the indoor climate automatically depending on the temperature outdoors, avoiding unnecessarily heating your house until you return.

Four warm winter drinks your guests will love


When the weather gets cold outside, nothing will make your guests feel more at home than by serving these warm, winter cocktails. Whether you’re just having a couple friends over or throwing a full blown holiday bash, here are a few cocktails that will make you a hero of a host. All of them can be served with or without alcohol.

 

  1. Hot cider toddy Pour apple cider into a saucepan and set over medium-high. Bring to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes. Remove the cider from the heat and stir in ½ cup of lemon juice along with orange liqueur and brandy, if you’d like. Garnish the cider with cinnamon sticks and orange slices to finish.
  2. Warm chai toddy Boil water with a cinnamon stick, then remove from the heat and add chai and orange pekoe tea bags. Let it steep for five minutes, then remove both the cinnamon and the tea bags. Add the juice of two oranges and 1 tbsp of dark rum (optional) for each mug you pour. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and twists of orange rind.
  3. Mulled wine Heat wine with sugar, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and allspice until the mixture is warm (be sure to take it off the heat before it boils). Serve the mulled wine with slices of clementine for the ultimate flavour. Feel free to substitute the wine with apple juice for a non-alcoholic option.
  4. Mexican hot chocolate Bring milk to a simmer on the stove, then whisk in chocolate, cocoa, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Bring the mixture to a boil and keep whisking until it’s slightly thick and smooth. Add coffee liqueur, if you’d like, and serve with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick. Yum!

Flying this winter?


Pack these essentials in case you get delayed

 

December really can be the ‘perfect storm’ for anyone travelling by air. Snow storms, combined with very high passenger numbers mean delays are a reality for anyone criss-crossing this vast country. Here are some ‘must pack’ items to help get you through. Make sure to tuck them in your carry-on and not in your checked bag:

  • A comfortable change of clothes, including socks, underwear, and a jacket
  • An iPod/MP3 player and its charger, books, and magazines to pass the time
  • A list of contacts, including phone numbers for your airline and travel agent
  • Snacks/granola bars and water (you’ll have to buy a bottle after security)
  • A travel toothbrush, travel toothpaste, wet wipes, kleenex, and a comb

These items should provide some much-needed comfort if you’re stuck in an airport for a few hours. If you’re delayed for longer, you’ll want to scout out a place to have a hot shower or even get a hotel room in the airport until things get moving again. Bon voyage!

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Be aware so you can prepare when buying your home

 

Changing the Locks: One of the first things you’ll want to do after closing is to change all exterior door locks for security. It’s the only way to ensure only you can access your new house, and not the previous tenants too. To save money, you can change the locks yourself or you can call a locksmith to do the job.

 

 

 

Cleaning Costs: You’ll have to clean your old home and your new home at moving time. Whether you hire a professional cleaner to do this or do it yourself, the cost of materials can really add up. While most sellers will do a thorough clean of their home before handing it over, there is nothing forcing them to make sure your new home is spotless.

 

 

Decorating Costs: When budgeting, consider ‘must-do’ redecorating and renovations. Repainting, replacing light fixtures, refinishing hardwood floors or redoing carpets can all affect your comfort level in your new home, but they can also be expensive projects. Prioritize what needs to be done right after closing, and what can wait.

 

 

Appliances: If your new home doesn’t come with appliances and you don’t have your own, you will have to buy them after closing. A fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave can all add up, so make sure you're aware of the costs before you move in. Some appliances, like those that need to be hooked up to a water line, may come with installation charges too.

 

 

Tools and Equipment: Many new homeowners don’t have tools and equipment, like snow shovels. When you no longer have a landlord to call for maintenance and repairs, you have to do them yourself or call a repairman. Tools can be an expensive initial purchase, but learning to maintain your home with the right equipment will save you money in the long term.

 

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A Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage, allows qualified purchasers to borrow up to 20% of the post renovation value of a home, even with as little as 5% down. Here's the five easy steps for the home of your dreams.

 

1. Obtain a mortgage pre-approval to determine your maximum approval amount. 


2. You must find a house and have a general idea of what renovations need to be done as well as the cost of the renovations. The purchase price plus the renovation cost cannot exceed your maximum approval amount.


3. Once your offer is accepted, provide the accepted offer, as well as the quotes for the work to be done to me. I will have the lender approve the mortgage with the cost of the renovations included in the mortgage.


4. Once you take possession of your home, you can begin the renovations. The Lender will instruct the Solicitor to hold the additional Renovation funds, until the lender confirms the works has been completed. Once the renovations are completed let me know so I can arrange an inspection to verify the work is completed as per the quotes that were provided. 


5. The lender will receive the inspection report from the appraiser, and validate that the work has been completed in a good manner and as per the quotes provided. They will instruct the lawyer that they are able to release the funds to you, to pay the contractor.

 

 

 

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Mortgage Industry Update


Bank of Canada Maintained Their Rate - At 10:00 am EST, Wednesday October 19th, the Bank of Canada maintained their overnight rate which in essence means no change to the interest rate on your variable rate mortgage, line of credit and/or student loans..

 

Next Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement - December 7, 2016

 

New Mortgage Qualification Rules - The new Mortgage qualification benchmark rate has been implemented as of October 17th 2016. The change is for insured mortgages going forward from this date. Any insured mortgage will be qualified at the benchmark rate of 4.64% and no longer at the lower discounted rate for terms 5 years and over.

 

TD Bank Raises Mortgage Rates - As of November 1st 2016 TD Bank created a new mortgage Prime Rate of 2.85%. This change will only effect those in variable rate mortgages. So far TD Bank is the only major bank to do this, only time will tell if other banks will as follow.

 

Compliments of

April Dunn

Mortgage Broker/Owner
THE RED DOOR MORTGAGE GROUP - MORTGAGE ARCHITECTS
888-561-2679
april.dunn@mtgarc.ca
www.reddoormortgage.com

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People always ask me when is the best time to list my property for sale? The winter months can be very good as there are fewer properties on the market available to a buyer. November and December of 2015 have proven to be very busy in the Okanagan and we are looking forward to this carrying over into January with the low interest rates investors and first time home buyers are seeing opportunity.

 

In the Okanagan November of 2015 Single Family Home sales were up in volume 5% over 2014 with 13% less inventory.

 

I am here for questions and wanting to hear from you...

 

Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year ahead.

 

Cecile

 

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