Archive for the ‘New Developments’ Category

New secondary vacation or recreational homes in BC qualify for rebate

Monday, May 28th, 2012

My real estate column in the Vancouver Sun featured property sales in Kelowna, and Sun Peaks.

Vancouver Sun May 26th, 2012

15-5040 Valley Drive, Sun Peaks

Type: Four-bedroom, four-bathroom half duplex
Size: 2,515 sq. ft.
B.C. Assessment, 2012: $618,000
Listed for: $649,000
Sold for: $635,000
Sold on: March 31
Days on market: 295
Listing agent: Liz Forster at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
Buyer’s agent: Jill Cavanagh at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

The big sell: At the same time the B.C. government increased the new housing rebate threshold to $850,000, it introduced the same limit for purchasers of new secondary vacation or recreational homes outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital Regional districts. This means buyers of new homes priced up to $850,000 will be eligible to claim a provincial grant of up to $42,500. This has injected new-found enthusiasm into B.C.’s new recreational properties in areas such as Sun Peaks. This newly built ski in/ski out half duplex comes fully furnished and features a bright open living area with rock-faced fireplace, hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless-steel Viking appliances. There is a family room, a master suite with walk-in closet and a spa-like ensuite with soaker tub, rain shower and double sinks. There is a large double garage and three private patios. The home can also be rented out on a nightly basis.

2525 Selkirk Drive, Kelowna

Type: Four-bedroom, three-bathroom detached
Size: 3,190 sq. ft.
B.C. Assessment, 2012: $594,000
Listed for: $619,900
Sold for: $612,500
Sold on: April 18
Days on market: 27
Listing agent: Krista Suchar at Macdonald Realty Kelowna
Buyer’s agent: Tim Stanfield at RE/MAX Kelowna

The big sell: This home was built in 2007 in Kelowna’s Dilworth Mountain neighbourhood. Among its selling features: the unobstructed dramatic views of the Glenmore Valley below. The custom-designed rancher sits on almost a quarter-acre property and has detailed finishings throughout that include granite countertops, hardwood and slate floors, recessed and pendant lighting, stainless-steel appliances and vaulted ceilings. The open-concept floor plan has two bedrooms on the main floor — including the master with full ensuite bathroom — alongside the living room and kitchen. The basement has two further bedrooms, a spacious family room, a den area and an additional bathroom. There is an extensive bank of floor-to-ceiling windows and a large balcony to maximize the panoramic vistas. The landscaped garden contains an underground sprinkler system and a covered patio area that provides shade.

For the full story, please click on Real estate sales in Sun Peaks and Kelowna.

Compiled by Nicola Way of and

Realtors – send your recent sales to
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Prices for new homes in Metro Vancouver remain constant

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Metro Vancouver new home prices remained flat in September, while edging up slightly year-over-year, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

The federal agency said prices of new homes in Metro Vancouver remained the same compared to August, but rose 0.1 per cent from September 2010 to September 2011.

In Victoria, new home prices were also flat in September compared to August, but dropped 1.6 per cent year-over-year.

Nationally, new home prices edged up 0.2 per cent from August to September and 2.3 per cent from September 2010 to September 2011.

Nationally, the price increase followed a 0.1-per-cent gain in August and was the sixth straight monthly increase in the new housing index.

Economists had expected prices to rise by between 0.1 and 0.2 per cent in September.

The Toronto and Oshawa, Ont. region — accounting for 27 per cent of the index — recorded a gain of 0.3 per cent from August to September. The smaller Winnipeg region had the largest percentage increase at 1.4, and Halifax gained 0.7 per cent.

“In Winnipeg, price increases were primarily the result of higher material and labour costs as well as higher land values,” Statistics Canada said. “Builders in Halifax cited higher material and labour costs as the main reason for their price increases.”

Prices were higher in eight of the 21 metropolitan regions surveyed, while five declined and eight were flat.

Among the regions posting declines, the biggest drop from August to September was in the New Brunswick area encompassing Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton, where the index declined 0.3 per cent. The Edmonton area was also down 0.3 per cent.

“Some builders in Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton cited slower market conditions as the primary reason for their price decreases, while a few builders in Edmonton moved to new development areas with lower priced lots,” the agency said.

On a year-over-year basis, prices were up 2.3 per cent in September, in line with 12-month increases in July and August.

The biggest 12-month gains in September were in Winnipeg, up 5.5 per cent, and the Toronto and Oshawa region, up 5.4 per cent.

On Tuesday, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported housing starts were down 1.1 per cent to an annualized rate of 207,600 units. That compared to 208,800 the month before, revised up from the previously reported 205,900.

Meanwhile, data last week showed construction intention weakened in September, as the value of building permits declined for the third straight month.

StatsCan said permit values fell 4.9 per cent to $5.6 billion during the month.

Source: Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun

Canada’s housing market shows its strength

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Canada’s banks, which emerged from the financial crisis mostly unscathed, stole the spotlight as they were recognized as the world’s strongest, but there’s a good argument to be made that our real estate market deserves some glory, too.

Consider: for the better part of a decade house prices have been on the rise — apart from a brief decline in early 2009 — in most major cities across the country. If you zoom in on certain regions like Calgary or, say, Ontario cities like Windsor that have been hit by troubles in the auto industry, the curve gets a bit bumpy, but on a national basis Canadian real estate looks pretty good. Compared to the rest of the world, it’s a bastion of stability.

The U.S. market is a basket case. Since 2006 prices have tumbled more than 30% across the country and even now distressed sales account for more than one-third of total transactions, according to Moody’s.

In Europe the numbers are even more dramatic. In Spain, prices almost doubled between 2000 and 2006 but over the past three years they’ve fallen as much as 25% in some regions. House prices in Ireland have fallen below the level they were at in 2003, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, the U.K. market has been treading water since 2010 with some economists calling for a steep decline as the troubled economy begins to bite.

The Canadian housing market “is like the fountain of youth,” said one analyst. Rising real estate values, he explained, have helped drive consumer spending and provided fuel for the home building industry, a major source of jobs. According to the CMHC, residential development represents about 20% of the domestic economy.

Importantly, residential mortgages are the biggest single asset on bank balance sheets. When the global meltdown that started in 2008 began to threaten the banks in this country, the federal government stepped in by buying up billions of dollars of mortgages from lenders while the CMHC boosted its securitization program. The move effectively moved the risk of default from the banks to the government, providing banks with incentive to increase mortgage lending. Which they did.

But by boosting the level of securitization the government provided a buffer between the housing market and the banks, allowing them to benefit from rising prices but at the same time protecting them from potential losses in the event of a correction.

The good news is that at least for the moment a correction does not appear to be in the cards.

“The housing market is quite healthy,” said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at the CMHC. “Despite the financial uncertainty in global markets, economic fundamentals remain supportive of the housing market in Canada.”

Indeed, according to Capital Economics, things are about to heat up again. Growth in housing investment “appears to have re-accelerated again in the third [quarter],” the research group said in a recent note, adding that overall residential investment could get a boost for at least one or two more quarters and possibly more.

Source: John Greenwood, Financial Post

Trump Tower Toronto condo assignment for sale in the heart of downtown Toronto

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Just listed on is a condo assignment in the Trump International Hotel & Tower development. This downtown Toronto condo is situated in the pinnacle of luxury in the heart of Toronto’s Financial district. Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto will soar 60 stories above Bay Street and the suites features stone flooring and wood-finished walls, marble flooring in the bathroom, and European design.

This hotel unit can be part of the Trump Toronto hotel rental program generating significant monthly cashflow. With assignment of this contract there are numerous savings and rebates available to the purchaser:

* Price below retail – $50,000 below developer’s price

* HST exemption – $96,000 savings

* Toronto Land Transfer Tax exemption – $15,000 savings

*GST Rebate – $15,700

*Total Savings: $176,700

There is a tremendous amount of equity given to the purchaser of this assignment.

Individuals and corporations can purchase a luxury hotel suite for personal or business use right in the heart of downtown Toronto. Owners can occupy their suite as much or as little as desired, pleasuring in complete access to every amenity. Upon departure, owners’ personal effects will be secured before their suite is made available to future hotel guests.

In addition, owners will receive revenue with each purchased room night while enjoying the tax benefits associated with ownership. They may sell or transfer ownership at any time.

Please follow this link, Trump Tower Toronto condo assignment for sale, to view the property’s details and to contact the seller directly.

Pre-sale assignments are back ! Business in Vancouver report

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Though housing markets are on the upswing and presales back in force, the assignment trade is starting to stage a comeback – but with nowhere near the strength it had in 2006, according to an article in this week’s Business in Vancouver publication, written by Peter Mitham.

“For those that persevered and bought on the basis of a floor plan and show suite, the investment rewards were sweet, with news of presale units appreciating in the range of 50% to 100%,” said Nicola Way, manager of the online listings site

But inquiries from realtors looking to list assignments have increased in the past quarter in tandem with the uptick in markets. They’re up 30%, according to Way, with listings on rising 20% over the same period.

“Assignments become more attractive as price points increase,” she said. “With the BCREA posting the highest level of sales in six years for the month of October, and the average Metro Vancouver house price up 15% compared to October 2008, all of this spells good news for assignment listings as they can be more competitively pitched against rising prices.”

Construction Increase for the 17th Straight Quarter

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

In an article in today’s Vancouver Sun, Derrick Penner informed us that builders and developers piled another $3.3 billion worth of planned large construction projects onto British Columbia’s Major Projects Inventory between June and the end of September, increasing the list to a total of $135.1 billion.

There are now 843 projects on the list, which is compiled quarterly by the Ministry of Economic Development, with approximately 417 projects already under construction in B.C..  This is the 17th straight quarter that the inventory has increased.

Minister of Economic Development, Colin Hansen, said the inventory “is the best indicator of real, tangible [economic] activity for the years ahead”.  He added that the size and time span of the inventory offers hope for the B.C. economy after the 2010 Olympics.

Manley McLachlan, president of the B.C. Construction Association, said the breadth of work available on the project lists is comforting.  However there are challenges ahead, notably the recruitment of new workers and the rising dollar value which reflects the inflating construction costs as demand for buildings – and not just in B.C. – drives up the prices for materials such as steel and concrete as well as labour.

Assignment market is hot in the Lower Mainland

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

The art of buying and selling a condo before it is even built – otherwise known as ‘flipping’ or assignments – has rocketed in recent years, particularly in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

Where such sales were unheard of a few years ago and were limited to a few Realtors in the know, the huge hike in apartment developments has spawned a new breed of investor looking to snap up a pre-sale from developers and then flip it before the completion date.

Responding to a significant rise in the phenomenon called ‘assignment sales’,, was established in 2004 to advertise an increasing number of assignment listings.

An assignment sale goes like this: Unlike a regular apartment purchase where the physical property is bought at the time of sale, the seller (‘assignor’) transfers to the buyer (‘assignee’) the obligations and contractual rights to the apartment before the completion of the building. Upon completion, the assignee gains the title deeds from the building’s developer. And in times of a rising property market, it is often possible to achieve a significant profit even before a brick has been laid, through an assignment sale.

“There’s a definite niche for these types of sales – and buyers who have missed out on pre-sales need a forum where they can search for property assignment sales in the building or areas of their choice,” says Nicola Way, founder of

“Indeed I started the company because I missed out on buying a condo in a desirable tower and could not find anywhere to look for a possible assignment sale. With cranes dominating our city skyline and demand continuing to outstrip supply, an assignment purchase may be the only way to get your hands on a hot property in a sought-after area.”

Key considerations in the success of an assignment sale are location, accessibility, amenities and the opportunity to own a brand-new apartment.

Indeed there are buyers who often purchase numerous units within the same development all for the purpose of assigning.

The practice is not without risks: There is no guarantee that as the building nears completion, the price of the property will have increased.

Also, there is no guarantee either that the building will have ‘sold out’ before completion, thus making it harder to sell an assignment sale as it is virtually impossible to compete with a unit still available at a pre-sale price.

There is also the issue of potential buyers needing to find the necessary funds upfront as payment for the contract transfer. These include the replacement of the deposit that the original purchaser paid to the developer (typically 25 per cent of the purchase price) plus the ‘lift’ or profit in the price from original purchase price to new assignment price.

Initially, many Realtors were reluctant to represent assignments as, for the most part, developers did not allow such listings on – which has always been Realtors’ main advertising vehicle. But with the advent of specialist sites such as, Realtors are now equipping themselves with knowledge of assignment transactions.


Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

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