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Hi

Today, February 15th, is National Flag of Canada Day!  February 15, 1965 was the first time the current well respected Canada flag was raised on Parliament Hill, 52 years ago.  My where does time go?


Trish and I are very proud to be Canadians and therefore this past weekend we fixed 2 of our flag poles at home so we can proudly display our flags in time for the anniversary.  Earlier today I got to replace the well worn flag at the RE/MAX First Realty office with a new flag.  All is in good shape for today.

Take a moment today to think how well our flag is respected and how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful country.  Thank you Canada and all Canadians.

We look forward to celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation in July.

Warmest Regards,
Rudi & Trish W.
In this issue...
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report
Hot Home Trends for 2017
Local Census Results
Clean Up Your Digital Clutter
The Power of Lemon Aid

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report 

Inventory challenges continue to moderate sales activity.

In January 2017, 245 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 258 last January, a decrease of five per cent.

Sales were virtually unchanged from December, which saw 243 sales.  VIREB attributes this static sales activity to inventory challenges rather than insufficient demand.

Active listings of single-family homes did increase by four per cent in January to 893 from December’s 852, which typically happens at the beginning of the year, with 389 properties coming onto the market last month.  However, inventory is still down by 38 per cent from one year ago, a significant reduction from the 1,431 available properties in January 2016.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that housing demand in the VIREB area and throughout British Columbia is being driven by a provincial economy that continues to outperform the rest of Canada.  Although BCREA does expect B.C.’s economy to weaken somewhat this year, strong job and population growth will continue to have a net positive effect on the housing market.

“Although BCREA anticipates that less robust economic conditions combined with government policy constraints will slow housing demand by more than 15 per cent in 2017, unit sales should remain well above the 10-year average of 85,000,” says Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.  “Sales in the VIREB area this year will likely trend lower than in 2016, but this is merely the market returning to more normal levels from last year’s unprecedented sales activity.”

Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President, reaffirms that housing sales in the VIREB area would be much higher if there were more homes available.  “We’ve been in a sellers’ market for several months now, with buyers snapping up available properties and multiple offers a common occurrence,” says Stromar.  “But real estate is cyclical, and these conditions won’t last forever.  If you’ve been thinking of selling, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of our current market situation.”

Stromar adds that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market. REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities and are equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help you develop a winning strategy for buying or selling a home.

In January 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $400,000, up 18 per cent from one year ago.  Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 14 per cent in Duncan to 21 per cent in the Comox Valley and Nanaimo.  The benchmark price of an apartment rose 21 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increases were posted in Parksville-Qualicum (25 per cent), the Comox Valley (27 per cent) and Campbell River (28 per cent).  The townhouse market also strengthened in January, posting an 18 per cent increase board-wide and high double-digit increases in every zone, from 16 per cent in Nanaimo to 26 per cent in Parksville-Qualicum.

The January 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $311,900, an increase of 16 per cent over January 2016.  In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $400,400, up 21 per cent from 2016.  Duncan reported a benchmark price of $348,000, an increase of 14 per cent compared to January 2016. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 21 per cent to $434,100 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price rise by 18 per cent to $457,800.  The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni hit $216,100, up 16 per cent from one year ago.

Hot Home Trends for 2017 

The new year is a great time to update your living space!

It’s fun to follow the latest home and garden trends, especially if you're hoping to make your home more attractive to buyers.  Here are a few of the latest trends to look out for:

  1. Shedquarters - A “shedquarter” is a private, backyard spot that can be used as an office, artist workspace or party area.

  2. Docking Stations - Small, pull down desks can be added almost anywhere as wireless technology enables us to shift away from traditional home offices.

  3. Vintage Vanities - Putting your bathroom sink on just about anything is huge this year!  Old dressers, filing cabinets and even tree trunks can be converted into unique vanities.

  4. Laundry Love - Homeowners are giving their laundry rooms some serious love with innovative storage solutions, bright lighting and even stylish wallpaper!

  5. Foodscaping - Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are now being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.

  6. Smart Windows - Cutting edge window technology now allows our windows to be programmed according to the weather outside as well as the air quality inside.

Just like fashion, home trends can come and go so it’s important not to overcommit.  Hopefully these ideas have given you some inspiration as to what’s coming next, whether you’re thinking of selling or just simply looking to update your home.

Local Census Results 

Well the latest census numbers are out from the 2015 long form census and growth in the area is constant across the whole of the District:

Parksville                                                          12,514         + 4.5%
Qualicum Beach                                                8,943         + 2.9%
Nanoose Bay                                                      6,125         +7.9%
Area G (French Creek & North Qualicum)     7,465         +4.3%
Area F (Errington / Coombs)                            7,724         +1%
Area H (Bowser / Deep Bay)                             3,884        + 1%

The lowest growth is of course in areas where there is an abundance of ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) lands which means the land cannot be easily subdivided and generally it only allows 1 permanent dwelling per parcel.  This land is usually serviced by wells and septics which curtails growth.

Nanoose is growing partly because of Fairwinds and also because there have been a few parcels of land that have been developed in recent years that were not in the ALR.

Nanaimo now has a population of 90,504, up 8%

The entire RDN (Regional District of Nanaimo) is 155,698 which includes all of the above noted areas along with a few additional regional areas around Nanaimo.

We thought everyone would be interested in the overall population and there the areas of growth are generally.

Clean Up Your Digital Clutter 

Get a jump on spring cleaning by clearing out your digital clutter.

Paper files are often the first items we purge during a spring clean but many times we neglect our digital files.  Kick off your spring clean this year with a deep, digital cleanse:

  1. Get a Pass - Use a password manager to encrypt one master password that can be used on all websites.

  2. Address Your Apps - Uninstall apps you no longer use to clear up space and keep your phone running smoothly.

  3. Manage Mail - Unsubscribe from emails you no longer read and delete old emails or organize them into folders.

  4. Clear Cache - Regularly clear your browser history, cache and cookies in order to create more storage and speed up your browser.

  5. Back it Up - Make sure all of your important files and photos are automatically backed up to the cloud to increase storage space.

This digital cleanse applies to your computer, smartphone and all your social media accounts.  While you’re at it, you should also review your privacy settings on apps and social media platforms to make sure you’re sharing information with the right audiences.

The Power of Lemon Aid 

The lowly lemon can make quite the impact around the house!

Load up on lemons if you're searching for a powerful, environmentally friendly cleaner that can tackle virtually any household chore!  Here are just a few ways they can make your home naturally sparkle:

  • lemon juice is great at absorbing stains on countertops

  • soak carpet stains for 20 minutes then rinse and blot

  • mix lemon juice with baking soda to create a scouring paste

  • heat a bowl of water with sliced lemons in the microwave for a few minutes before wiping it down

Lemons are an excellent alternative to toxic cleansers plus they'll fill your home with a refreshing citrus scent!  A great tip for squeezing as much juice as possible from your lemons is to microwave them for 30 seconds, wait a minute, then cut and squeeze.


PS Oh by the way, we always appreciate any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from our individualised help please contact us with their name and number and let them know that we will be in touch.  We would be privileged to assist them!
 
If you would like to keep up on the market and would like automatic email notifications of new listings, sales, etc. Click here or drop us an email at team@teamw.ca or give us a call:  250-468-1498

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TeamW
Home Office:250-468-1498
Toll Free:1-(888) 243-1071
TeamW-RE/MAX First Realty
#101-897 WEST ISLAND HIGHWAY PARKSVILLE
Parksville, BC
V9P 2E9 CA