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Archive for December, 2014

Canadian home sales hold steady in November

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Ottawa, ON, December 15, 2014 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales activity was unchanged on a month-over-month basis in November 2014.


  • National home sales were unchanged from October to November.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 2.7% above November 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.4% from October to November.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.2% year-over-year in November.
  • The national average sale price rose 5.7% on a year-over-year basis in November.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate

Boards and Associations was unchanged in November 2014 compared to October. As a result, activity remains much improved compared to the quiet start to the year.

November sales strengthened in half of all local housing markets, with monthly increases in Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton-Burlington, Barrie, and Windsor-Essex tempered by a monthly decline in the Greater Toronto Area.

“The Canadian housing market remains a story about how sales and prices are still running strong in some areas while others are seeing subdued levels of activity with slower price gains or modest price declines,” said CREA President Beth Crosbie. “All real estate is local and your REALTOR® remains your best source for information about how the housing market is shaping up where you currently live or might like to in the future.”

“The effect of lower oil prices on Canada’s housing markets is something of a wildcard at the moment,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “It’s not clear how far oil prices may drop or for how long they’ll stay down. How that plays out may affect the outlook for interest rates, job growth, consumer confidence, and sentiment about making major purchases.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in November stood 2.7 per cent above levels reported in the same month last year. November sales were up from year-ago levels in about half all local markets, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Calgary, and Greater Toronto.

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity for the year-to-date in November was five per cent above levels in the first 11 months of 2013. It was also slightly above (+2.4 per cent) the 10-year average for year-to-date sales.

The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.4 per cent in November compared to October. Led by Greater Toronto, new supply was down in just over half of all local markets.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 56 per cent in November. While this is marginally tighter compared to the previous three months in which it averaged 55.7 per cent, the broader trend for the ratio indicates that it has remained balanced and largely stable for the past four months.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is usually consistent with a balanced housing market, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively.

The ratio was within this range in almost 60 per cent of all local markets in November. About 60 per cent of the remaining markets posted ratios above this range, almost all of which are located in British Columbia, Alberta and Southern Ontario.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.8 months of inventory nationally at the end of November 2014. As with the sales-to-new listings ratio, the number of months of inventory has been stable for the past four months and remains well within balanced market territory.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 5.19 per cent on a year-over-year basis in November. Price gains have held steady between five and five-and-a-half per cent since the beginning of the year.

Year-over-year price growth decelerated among all property types tracked by the index in November compared to October.

Two-storey single family homes continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+6.79 per cent), followed closely by townhouse/row units (+5.63 per cent). Price growth was comparatively more modest for one-storey single family homes (+4.20 per cent) and apartment units (+3.18 per cent).

Price growth varied among housing markets tracked by the index. As in recent months,

Calgary (+8.53 per cent), Greater Toronto (+7.73 per cent), and Greater Vancouver

(+5.69 per cent) continue to post the biggest year-over-year increases. By contrast, prices in Regina declined by 3.36 per cent.

In other markets from West to East, prices were up between 1.6 and 2.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in the Fraser Valley, Victoria, and Vancouver Island, by less than one per cent in Saskatoon and Ottawa, flat in Greater Montreal, and down by less than one per cent in Greater Moncton (Table 1).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a better gauge of price trends than is possible using averages because it is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity the way that average price is.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in November 2014 was $413,649, up 5.7 per cent from the same month last year.

The national average home price continues to be raised considerably by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which are among Canada’s most active and expensive housing markets. Excluding these two markets from the calculation, the average price is a relatively more modest $331,743 and the year-over-year increase shrinks to five per cent.

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.

CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.

MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 109,000 REALTORS® working through some 90 real estate Boards and Associations.

Snowshoeing in Kamloops, fun winter activity for all ages

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Snowshoeing in Kamloops, British Columbia


Snowshoeing in Kamloops, BC


This is one of the most popular and invigorating winter activities that can be done almost anywhere. Snowshoeing in Kamloops is easy to do with a diverse number of areas to get out and explore, from quiet, snow-laden forests and open clearings to Riverside Park located in the heart of downtown Kamloops.

Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and a snack and make a day of it, or just head out for an afternoon breaking a snowy trail under gorgeous sunny skies.


Here are some recommended areas to try:

> Stake Lake: Stake Lake is located 25 minutes south of Kamloops on Lac Le Jeune Road and is a beautiful area to snowshoe with 5 snowshoe trails making up 12km of trails. Rentals of snowshoes are available for both on ($10) and off ($20) the Stake Lake trails. For information on rates, click here.

> Sun Peaks Resort: The snowshoeing trails at Sun Peaks Resort are world class. Enjoy lunch in the Village and then set out for an afternoon of exploring the beautiful resort on snowshoes.

> McConnel Lake Provincial Park: McConnel Lake is located 35km south of Kamloops (take Lac Le Jeune Exit off of HWY 5). The trail around the lake is about 4km and is great for snowshoeing!

> Lac du Bois Provincial Park: Although there are no designated trails, snowshoeing provides a way to experience this beautiful park.

> Kenna Cartwright Park: With its extensive trail system, Kenna Cartwright provides a great place to snowshoe right in town.

> Harper Mountain: Located only 20 minutes from Kamloops, Harper Mountain not only has skiing & tubing available but also has great snoeshoeing! Enjoy a 1km loop then stop in the Lodge for some hot cocoa.


Housing starts across Canada remain flat except growing momentum in B.C

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Housing starts across Canada remained flat year over year in November, although seasonally-adjusted numbers point to growing momentum in British Columbia and Quebec as developers ramp up to meet immigration demands.

“The trend essentially held steady for a third consecutive month in November,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, in releasing November numbers Monday. “This is in line with our expectations for 2014, of a stable national picture with new home building concentrated in multiple starts, particularly in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario.”

Seasonally adjusted starts in November climbed 6.5 per cent month-over-month to 195,620 units. More than half of those starts were multi-unit properties in urban centres, led largely by Ontario and Quebec, though British Columbia posted the largest gains – 26.7 per cent – from October.

t’s important to note, say analysts, that starts were flat from the year-ago period.

While reports suggested overbuilding would become a problem for Canada’s major urban centres, CMHC said more housing is needed to fill the demand created by healthy immigration.

“Ask any real estate developer in any of Canada’s major cities about the risk of overbuilding, and the first line of defense would be immigration and its critical role in supporting demand,” said Benjamin Tal, CIBC’s deputy chief economist. “It turns out that, at least for now, this claim is more valid than widely believed.”

New immigrants account for 70 per cent of the increase in Canada’s population. Half of these new immigrants are aged between 25 and 44, representing the country’s economic engine, according to CMHC’s 2014 Canadian Housing Observer.

Weekly Mortgage Rates for December 15th 2014

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

DLC Weekly Rate Minder Courtesy of Dominion Lending

Terms Bank Rates Our Rates
6 Month 4.00% 3.95%
1 YEAR 3.09% 2.69%
2 YEARS 3.04% 2.59%
3 YEARS 3.44% 2.69%
4 YEARS 3.94% 2.87%
5 YEARS 4.79% 2.89%
7 YEARS 6.04% 3.79%
10 YEARS 6.50% 4.39%
Rates are subject to change without notice. *OAC E&OE
Prime Rate is 3.00%
Variable rate mortgages from as low as Prime minus 0.65%


Comparative Statistics for Kamloops House sales(Residential Only) November to October 2014

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Comparing November 2014 to October 2014


    November 2014   October 2014   Difference
Number of New Listings       267      336      20.54% DOWN
Residential Units Sold      146      214      31.78% DOWN
Avg. Days on Market       77      73      5.48% UP
List to Sell Price Ratio      97.79%      96.95%      0.87% UP
Median Residential Price      $355,000      $360,000      1.39% DOWN
Total Monthly Sales $$      $42,443,621      $68,829,965      38.34% DOWN
Active Listings       1789      1945      8.02% DOWN



*The above information is from sources deemed reliable but it should not be relied upon without independent verification.

Comparing Kamloops House Sale Market Statistics November 2014 to November 2013

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014



Comparative Statistics for Kamloops (Residential Only)


November 2014 November 2013  Difference
Number of New Listings       267    296    9.80% DOWN
Residential Units Sold       146    154    5.19% DOWN
Avg. Days on Market         77    78    1.28% DOWN
List to Sell Price Ratio     97.79%    96.81%    1.01% UP
Median Residential Price     $355,000    $353,000    0.57% UP
Total Monthly Sales $$     $42,443,621    $47,343,330    10.35% DOWN
Active Listings    1789    1745    2.52% UP




*The above information is from sources deemed reliable but it should not be relied upon without independent verification.

House sense, great ideas for lighting, optimizing space, decorating for winter

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Autumn brings with it shorter days and colder nights which can add up to increased electric costs. Finding a way to save money, and, keep your home warm and well lit will no doubt be a priority with most homeowners. One way to save is to replace incandescent and CFL light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs are considered direct replacements for the 175-year-old incandescent bulb and the more modern, environmentally unfriendly, CFL bulb.

Here are a few reasons why LED bulbs are better.

1. Energy Efficiency. One 11.5-watt LED bulb emits as much light as a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. That means five LED bulbs still use less electricity than a single incandescent lamp.

2. Replacement. Incandescent bulbs typically have a life of no more than 1,000 hours, while LED bulbs may have 40,000 hours of life.
That is 40 times more.

3. Instant Start. CFL bulbs have a warm-up period each time you turn them on. LED bulbs turn on at full brightness.

4. Dimmable. LED products are fully dimmable and are compatable with more than 100 different dimmer switches. CFL bulbs may be dimmable but still have a flicker tendency.

5. Disposal. It is safe to place LED bulbs in the garbage, after they burn out. CFL bulbs contain mercury and must be recycled through using the correct facilities.

6. Heat. LED bulbs emit very little heat. CFLs and incandescent bulbs waste 80 to 90 per cent of their energy in heat. LED bulbs typically waste no more than 50 percent of their energy on heat and are far cooler to the touch.

Although your home reflects your personal style, trends help trigger your creativity and provide the opportunity to shake things up a little. Here are a few hot home trends:

1. Shower Spa – Seek a serene, spa-like shower environment with a curb-less design for a spacious perfect and open shower experience.

2. Open It Up – Open plan kitchens are expanding even further with glass front cabinets and open shelving units to give the feel of even more space.

3. Smart Sensors – Using Environmentally – friendly Smart Thermostats save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature based on your daily routine.

4. Back to Nature – Add value and comfort by blending indoor and outdoor living space. All-weather furniture and outdoor fireplaces are top picks.

5. U-Sockets – The smallest upgrade can make the biggest difference! U-sockets are wall plugs with two built-in USB ports that can be used to power devices such as tablets and smartphones.

The average home is shrinking now that our urban centres are getting so dense. But this should not get in the way of enjoying your small home, condo or cottage. Here are some tricks to optimize all available space.

1. Use a light, neutral palette on the walls to give your home a larger feel. Amplify natural light in your space with lighter colors. Use a second color from the same palette to break up an open space into more distinct areas.

2. Play with brighter colors in the details to avoid a bland or clinical feel. Use colorful accent pillows or artwork to add some more punch.

3. Avoid clutter to help a room appear more spacious. Keep everything tucked away while it is not in use to make your space less congested.

4. Protect it from the sun. For carpet in a sunny area, close the drapes to prevent fading.

4. Make multi-functioning furniture choices. A headboard could double as a bookcase. Furniture that has built-in storage is a plus – one more space to tuck things away.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Kamloops Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.