TeamW - Susie Mattner & Karen Hayes | Susie: 250-228-1960 Karen: 250-927-9798

TeamW

  November 2018   

Hi,

Hope everyone is doing well, we truly appreciate how many of you came out to our "Great Pumkin Event" at Susie's home. The rain kept off and it was nice to sit and chat with everybody. Chef Rudi was in charge of BBQ the hot dogs! our administrative assistant Irene served coffee and hot chocolate. It was definitely a Team W effort to put together, Rudi and I loaded 154! pumkins into the back of my husband's truck. Trish did the Costco run and Susie un-loaded the majortiy of the pumkins and put them up her driveway. Thank you to Susie and her Mom for hosting the event at their lovely  home.


Trish and Rudi are enjoying retirement but they are in the thick of renovating their home, which they are finding out is not for the faint of heart.

It's hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us! Almost just a month away to Christmas Eve! Please try not to let stress of the coming season be your focus this month. Remenber to try and donate to those less fortunate. The magic of the season is about sharing and caring for each other.  

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general. It'd be great to hear from you!
 

Your friends in Real Estate 
Susie M. & Karen H

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Reaping Returns on Repairs
Move Over Mice
Foods NOT for Fido

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Prices continue to rise despite moderating sales.

Sales of single-family homes in October were 11 per cent higher than in September but dipped by 16 per cent from October 2017.

Last month, 385 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 347 in September and 458 one year ago. The number of apartments and townhouses changing hands last month dropped by eight and 21 per cent, respectively.

This year's housing market is behaving as expected, moderating after the record-setting pace set in 2016 and 2017. Government policy-side measures introduced to cool the market, such as the mortgage stress test (Guideline B-20) and higher interest rates, are taking their toll on housing sales throughout the country.

On the positive side, the provincial economy is still doing well, and the British Columbia Real Estate Association expects housing sales to make a modest recovery during the next couple of quarters. Further, Vancouver Island has so far been somewhat immune to the effects of Guideline B-20 because the broad demographic trend in our area includes baby boomers and retirees who do not typically need mortgages.

However, an additional government policy that could reduce that insulating effect is the future speculation tax. Although it currently applies only to Nanaimo and Lantzville, the tax could discourage some potential buyers from relocating to Vancouver Island, particularly those who purchase a home well ahead of retirement.

Despite lower demand, prices in the VIREB area are still rising year over year. However, the board-wide benchmark price of a single-family home did drop slightly from September, and modest month-over-month price reductions on single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses did occur in several zones.

Decreased demand and stabilizing inventory are helping VIREB’s long-term sellers’ market evolve into one that is more balanced. Inventory of single-family homes in October was up slightly from one year ago (1,175 compared to 1,138) but down eight per cent from September. There were 322 active listings of apartments in October, up seven per cent from 2017 while the supply of townhouses rose by 28 per cent year over year. Multiple offers have slowed, and buyers are taking more of a wait-and-see approach, which means some sellers will have to curb their expectations.

“Realistically pricing your home is important in any market, but when fewer buyers are competing for a property, sellers need to be prudent when determining a sale price,” says Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President. “Overpriced homes take longer to sell, so it’s a good idea to consult a local REALTOR® who can help determine the optimal price for your property.”

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $508,200 in October, an 11 per cent increase from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) In the apartment category, the benchmark price climbed to $313,500, up 16 per cent from last year. The benchmark price of a townhouse hit $411,800 last month, up 13 per cent over October 2017.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $408,100, an increase of 14 per cent over October 2017. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $501,400, up nine per cent from last year. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $475,700, up 12 per cent from October 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose nine per cent to $548,000 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by nine per cent to $570,200. The cost of a benchmark single-family home in Port Alberni reached $300,300, up 18 per cent from one year ago.


https://www.realtorlink.ca/content/dam/realtorlink/bc/vancouver-island/statistics/graphstats/2018/10-oct/10-Oct%2018%20Parksville-Qualicum%20Graphstats.pdf

REAPING RETURNS ON REPAIRS 

Completing basic repairs before selling your home pays off.

If you plan on selling your home in the near future, you'll want to tackle any necessary repairs ahead of time as buyers will be completely turned off if your home appears to have been neglected.

Buyers also factor fix-up jobs into the purchase price, often overestimating the costs involved, so it's best to just take care of them yourself. Here are a few repairs to consider:

  1. Grimy Grout - Dirty grout is a real turn off as it looks like mold so apply new caulking to freshen up the entire area.

  2. Flooring Fixes - Flooring can totally transform the look of your home so replace any cracked floor tiles or torn carpeting and refinish scratched hardwood.


  3. Rough Roof - If your roof needs replacing, it's better to do it before you sell as buyers get so turned off by the cost and hassle that it could be a potential deal breaker.


  4. Fresh Paint - Fill in all holes and cracks in the walls before painting. Make sure to repair and paint your baseboards so they don't look beaten up compared to your fresh walls.

  5. Curb Appeal - Your home needs to make a perfect first impression so patch cracks in the driveway, caulk windows, spruce up your porch and invest in some landscaping.

  6. Dripping Faucets - A dripping tap can signal expensive plumbing repairs to buyers. It'll probably only need a new rubber washer that costs less than a dollar so get it fixed!

  7. The Kitchen is Key - Kitchens are critical and can make or break a sale. Repainting cabinets, adding new hardware or upgrading your countertop are all worthwhile investments.

Buying a home is an emotional experience so it's critical to create an incredible first impression that will make buyers want to own your home the moment they set eyes on it! Although it may initially seem like a hassle to repair a home you'll be moving out of, it'll be well worth the time and money in the end.

MOVE OVER MICE 
'Tis the season for mice who are looking for cozy winter homes!

Rather than dealing with mice who’ve already made themselves at home, try and prevent them from entering in the first place! Here are a few ways to refuse access:

  1. Fallen Fruit - Pick up any fruit that has fallen from the trees in your yard.


  2. Put a Lid On It - Store any food items including pet food and birdseed in rodent-proof containers.


  3. Tight Squeeze - Mice can fit through a hole the size of a pencil so fill any gaps around your foundation and soffits.


  4. Inside Job - Don’t forget to seal holes from the inside of your home and around any openings in your garage or shed.


  5. Controlling Climbers - Mice are great climbers and will try and access your roof by using vines, shrubs and overhanging branches. Cut these back so they're not able to get a leg up on entry points!


One or two mice can quickly turn into a full-scale invasion and once you have them, they’re very hard to get rid of. There’s nothing that’ll keep you up more at night than the sound of mice scurrying around inside your walls so take steps now before it’s too late.

FOODS NOT FOR FIDO 

We all share scraps with our pup but certain foods can be toxic.

The holiday season is almost upon us which means lots of delicious food! If your pup hides out under the table looking for scraps, it’s important to know what food you can share and what could be poisonous.

There are plenty of festive foods that Fido shouldn't be indulging in such as fat trimmings & bones, chocolate, salty snacks and sugary foods as they can cause serious issues or even death.

There are also many lesser-known foods that are harmful to dogs such as avocados, chives, leeks, garlic, dairy products, macadamia nuts, cooked bones, yeast dough, the sweetener xylitol, corn on the cob, persimmons, peaches, plums and grapes; to name just a few.

The holiday season is a time for sharing amazing meals with loved ones but not everything should be shared with the dog. Aside from fattening up Fido, certain foods can cause serious damage. If you’re ever in doubt, you can always look it up online.



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 clientcare@teamw.ca or give us a call:  


Susie:  1-250.228-1960

Karen: 1-250-927-9798 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses  "LIKE" us on Facebook

 
Read full post

The end of September real estate statistics for the Greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area have been recently released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) . Last month there seemed to be the end of the decrease in number of sales, well apparently 1 month is not a true indicator. September has seen quite a decrease, in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area were 50% less Single Family Homes sales versus September 2017. The number of listings for September was also down 23% and as a result the number of Active Listings remains virtually the unchanged (49 versus 50).


The average price of homes sold in September was 22% less that the same time for 2017, though year to date still up 3%.


However the stats are reflective of the overall area however not of some of the sub areas. As an example here are the numbers for Parksville and Nanoose Bay:


                               Parksville      Nanoose Bay

# of new listings        - 8%                  -10%

# of Sales                 -14%                  -33%

Average Sale Price   +7%                 +13%

# of Active Listings  +65%%             +78%


If you wish to discuss your particular situation please contact us at clientcare@teamw.ca






Susie & Karen








Download  or View Sept Market Stats

Read full post

The end of August real estate statistics for the Greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area have been recently released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) and indicates maybe the decline in the number of sale is behind us. In August 2018 versus August 2017 there were 6% more Single Family Homes sold (67 versus 63). This is a significant difference than a 30% decrease in July.


The average time on the market has effectively stayed the same at 23 days on average to sell. However the active inventory is significantly higher than August 2017, up 50% (198 versus 132). However the average sale price still remains stronger by 3% at $604,254.


If we look at the changes in a broader scope and compare the first 8 months of 2018 to the same period in 2017 we will find the following:
• 21% decrease in Number of sales, 464 vs 589
• 16% increase in Average sale price, $618,924 vs $532,386
• 18% increase in Median sale price, $579,000 vs $ $490,000


The market is shifting to a more balanced market and the urgency to purchase has decreased. Values are remaining fairly consistent and is no longer rising versus previous months in the year. Therefore it is critical to be price sensitive when listing your home.


If you would like further information, or wish to discuss your particular situation contact TeamW and we would be pleased to assist you.


Make it a Great Day!


Rudi, Susie and Karen



Read or Download the Market Report

Read full post


  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven August 2018   

Hi,

CHANGE is Inevitable!

We hope that everyone is well and that the summer has been as wonderful for you all as it has been for us so far.  This weather is been simply amazing!  We have been going in the ocean almost every day since the first of August! 
My only question is, how can it already be August 2018??  Time certainly marches on.

We also wanted to let you know personally that our lives are evolving to a new stage, you are going to see a different “look” for “TeamW” in the coming months.

Trish has retired as of August 1!  This is true retirement and not a leave of absence for a medical reason like last time, which is wonderful.  We have had this in our long-term planning for a while now, but we didn’t want to leave until we found someone to take over the responsibility of “TeamW” and you, our wonderful clients and friends.  We searched long & hard to find REALTORS® that we feel would be a “good fit” with our clients, and searched for someone who treated people by the “golden rule” always.  We were on the lookout for people, who are careful, caring and honest (and community minded).                          

Our primary goal is always to put you, our clients first, so we wanted to make sure we got it right.  We also wanted someone who would be around for some time (i.e. younger than we are!), and who has the energy to deal with real estate and its demands plus all the coming changes in how the business is conducted.  We needed someone with enough experience & background to know they can do the work.

We believe we have found those people in Susie Mattner and Karen Hayes, please see more about Susie and Karen below.

The other big change you will see in “TeamW” is that Rudi is also going to retire in the next couple of months.  We will both still be around as consultants and mentors for the coming year, and will be a liaison for “the girls” while the transition takes place.   We are not “going anywhere”, but after almost 30 years in Real estate, it is time to take a break and enjoy life differently.   Trish will still assist with staging consultations and input as needed.

Real Estate has been a “calling” and not just a job for many years and the biggest challenge has been finding someone who would care for our clients the way we want them cared for.  There are lots of great REALTORS® out there, however we hope that your faith in us would extend to Susie & Karen as we did not make this choice lightly.  We wanted someone that you would continue with as REALTORS® and that would earn your faith and confidence. 

We all feel "irreplaceable" but we know that isn’t true and we believe we have found a good fit for you.

Our wonderful administrative support person, Irene Holland, and our technology support person, Paul Widdershoven will continue to be part of “TeamW” and support Susie and Karen.

If you would like to meet Susie & Karen personally just let us know and we will arrange for that to happen.  Also watch for TeamW’s event in October….don't buy a pumpkin this year for Halloween as the four of us will be giving them out in late October!!

Thanks for your faith and confidence in us throughout the past 29 years! We will miss the people most of all, but we are quite sure that you will be extremely pleased with the service that Susie & Karen, the new & improved “TeamW” will give you.

Please feel free to call if you have any questions, and please keep in touch as we are not going anywhere.

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Susie & Karen
Greater Parksville Qualicum Beach Area Real Estate Market Update
Evolving Real Estate

SUSIE & KAREN 

Susie Mattner & Karen Hayes

Susie Mattner has been on the Island for 3+ years & always wanted to relocate here as she vacationed here for years with family.  She came from the South Surrey/Whiterock area of Vancouver. Susie’s background is in sales marketing & training for Wella Canada.  She was an award-winning sales & service rep  & also worked as a legal secretary. She brings all those skills to her real estate career.

Susie lives on a lovely 2 1/2  acre parcel right in Qualicum Beach with her mother (who she helps to care for) and her West Highland White Terrier and some visiting semi-resident deer.  Susie also has a 2 bedroom “Air B n B” as well.  How does the saying go? "If you want something to get done “ask a busy person”.  That's our Susie!  Susie loves decorating & has bought & sold a number of homes, done renovations and also owned a commercial piece of real estate with her brother in Vancouver. She is passionate about serving her clients by being empathetic and caring. Susie is excited about the opportunity to help you and being part of the new "TeamW"

 Karen Hayes has called Qualicum Beach home for over 25 years, after immigrating to Canada 28 years ago from England with her husband Mike. TeamW clients will be able to take advantage of her 20 plus years in banking and her favourite part of that work, which was the planning process with customers. That is a huge part of Real Estate. She is also passionate about design and has a staging designation. Karen & her family decided it's "her turn to follow her dream of becoming a REALTOR" after raising a family & supporting their dreams.   

Karen & Mike live on an acreage just north of Qualicum Beach with their dog, more semi-resident deer and a lovely swimming pool. Mike has his own business Hayes Heating. They have owned other businesses plus they have bought, sold and renovated homes as well.  Karen & Mike have 2 adult sons.  Liam who has just written the bar exam to become a lawyer and their other son Callum has his own excavating company.  Karen is very proud of both her boys! 

Karen and Susie are both excited to become the new TeamW! We will continue to work behind the scene as consultants to both the "girls" as they transition into the primary realtors of TeamW.

GREATER PARKSVILLE QUALICUM BEACH AREA REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Shift Continues.



The shift in the market certainly continues.  Certainly fewer sales and increased inventory seems to be the trend.  For Single Family Homes in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area the number of sales for July 2018 were down 30% compared to July 2017 (66 versus 94).  Number of homes for sale at the end of July is up 54% compared to July 2017 (186 versus 121) however it is interesting to note that the average number of days to sell has changed slightly, July 2018 was on average 27 days while last year was only 24.


Year to date the number of sales or the first 7 months of the year is down 25% in comparison to the same period last year (397 versus 526).  Average sale price is still higher than last year, up 17% ($621,305 versus $529,786).

 
These numbers vary within various sub-regions in the area however the numbers are considerably smaller.  Click here to access the latest graph stats.

Housing demand in the VIREB area has shifted lower so far in 2018, likely due to stricter mortgage qualification rules (Guideline B-20) for conventional borrowers and rising interest rates that are taking their toll on household purchasing power and affordability. However, because many of our buyers are retirees, who do not typically need mortgages, the VIREB market has been somewhat sheltered from the effects of Guideline B-20.

In its 2018 Second-Quarter Housing Forecast, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) anticipates that MLS® residential sales in the province will decline by nine per cent to 94,200 units this year from 103,700 in 2017.

“B.C. housing markets have benefited from the provincial economy expanding well above trend growth over the past four years,” says BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “But economic growth is expected to slow and reflect the long-term average this year.” 

On a local level, BCREA predicts that over the next several months, VIREB’s long-term sellers’ market will begin shifting towards a more balanced one. In fact, an interesting development in the VIREB area is that the market seems to be splitting into two in some communities: one that favours sellers for homes $600,000 and under, and a buyers’ market for more expensive properties. 

However, even with the high demand for lower-priced properties, sellers still need to price their homes accordingly. “Sellers need to be realistic when it comes to price,” says Kaye Broens, 2018 President-Elect.

If you would like to additional details or wish to discuss your situation contact us at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498





EVOLVING REAL ESTATE 

Evolving World of Real Estate.

We have had many changes in the Real Estate industry in B.C. since June 15 of this year.  I am sure most of you are aware that the Provincial Government, via 
the Superintendent of Real Estate has announced new rules for real estate licensees that will change the way a real estate professional can provide service to consumers. Under the new rules, real estate licensees are required to:
  • give consumers more information about commissions and fees —  in particular, how the commission is to be divided between a listing brokerage and cooperating brokerage, or when there is no cooperating brokerage, retained by the listing brokerage;
  • before working with consumers, inform them of the duties and responsibilities owed to clients and unrepresented parties;  
  • inform unrepresented consumers of the risks of dealing with a licensee who is representing another party to the transaction;
  • only work for either the buyer or the seller in a single real estate transaction. Under the new Rules, dual agency, the practice of acting on behalf of both the buyer and seller on the same trade, will be prohibited except in extremely limited circumstances.

The new rules came into effect on June 15th.
REALTORS® can no longer establish “agency relationships” with you as clients without having to explain the whole process in advance.  We have always explained the process to everyone well in advance but did not have documentation that provides proof that we have done so.  It also means that business has to be conducted a bit differently by you and by all REALTORS®.  What this means for you as a consumer is that you shouldn’t tell a REALTOR® any of your personal & confidential information without them giving you a full explanation of how the whole process works, & of course filing out the forms required.  We agree with consumer protection always, however the objective and the process are a bit cumbersome and we are working through that & learning the new process.  Unfortunately we are without a lot of guidance from the “powers that be” in government.   Ah well, such is life and we must move forward and work with it.

Because of the expanded confidentiality rules & requirements we will all need other REALTORS® to assist us with contracts and customers when we run into a “conflict of interest” as it is now prohibited to represent a buyer & seller simultaneously.  We have always put the customer first & foremost in all of our dealings, but it would appear that is not the case everywhere unfortunately.

We believe it is a classic example of the “2% rule”, which states that rules & laws are created for the 2% of the population that are rule breakers.  We believe disclosure is extremely important, as we always have, but this process is taking away your right to choose how you want to work with a REALTOR®.  We want you as consumers to be well informed and dealt with fairly & honestly, no matter what REALTOR® you are working with.  If this process makes all REALTORS®, province wide, more professional then that is a “win -win”.  There are many great, honest, hard working REALTORS® in the province, unfortunately a few bad apples are making things more complicated for everyone.  We will have trusted, licensed, real estate colleagues, who will be available to assist any of our clients who decide to pursue a property that does surface a ‘conflict of interest’ and ensure that everyone is represented fairly & impartially.

The Council has developed answers to a number of questions that real estate consumers may have about these new Rules and they can be viewed here.



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 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

Read full post

The shift in the market certainly continues.  Certainly fewer sales and increased inventory seems to be the trend.  For Single Family Homes in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area the number of sales for July 2018 were down 30% compared to July 2017 (66 versus 94).  Number of homes for sale at the end of July is up 54% compared to July 2017 (186 versus 121) however it is interesting to note that the average number of days to sell has changed slightly, July 2018 was on average 27 days while last year was only 24.

 

Year to date the number of sales or the first 7 months of the year is down 25% in comparison to the same period last year (397 versus 526).  Average sale price is still higher than last year, up 17% ($621,305 versus $529,786).

 

If you would like additional information or wish to discuss your particular situation please contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498


Download or Read Market Report


Read full post

The real estate market continues to be active however there is definitely a shift and we are heading towards more of a balanced market. Most new listings are taking longer to sell and there are definitely less sales occurring over the last number of months.


For the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area Single Family Home sales for the month of June were down 29% from June 2017. The number of new listings has not really changed, a 1% increase however the Active inventory is up 28% (177 / 138). Prices continue to be strong and are up 14% in comparison to June 2017.


If we look at the bigger picture than just one month Year to Date the numbers are as follows for Single Family Homes:

  • Sales down 22%
  • # of Listings down 1%
  • Average Sale Price is up 18%


These numbers vary within various sub-regions in the area however the numbers are considerably smaller. If you would like to additional details or wish to discuss your situation contact us at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.


Click here to Download or View Online

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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven July 2018   

Hi,

Summer! Isn’t it grand!!  We hope you are enjoying every minute! 


We are still keeping active work wise and that’s good.  We are seeing some shift in the market back to a bit more balance with homes taking a bit linger to sell, and not so much of a “frenzy” which is good for everyone.

Rudi was in New Brunswick last week for 7 days as his Mom who is 87 had a minor stroke.  She is the caregiver for Rudi’s 92 year old Dad who has vascular dementia so when she goes down we have to scramble.  We are very fortunate in that they have agreed to relocate to Parksville, so that will make life a bit easier for us when there are health related issues and hopefully with more support they can stay independent for longer.

Change is inevitable and that is true especially in Real Estate.  We are still working through all the evolving world of real estate and the changes in the Real Estate act and trying to find ways to continue to serve you well and comply with the new rules.  We have found some new referral partners in Susie Mattner & Karen Hayes and you will see them as part of our advertising and promotional material as time goes on.  We searched to find someone who would continue our standards of treating each of you like Family and we feel quite confident we have found the “right fit”.  We are confident that you will find them to be wonderful people as well as great REALTORS. 

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
How to Avoid Buyer's Remorse
There's No Place Like Home with staycation planning!
Natural Mosquito Repellents

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Home sales cool down while prices continue to rise. 

Housing demand in the VIREB area has shifted lower in the first half of 2018 as stricter mortgage qualifications for conventional borrowers and rising interest rates took their toll on household purchasing power and affordability.

It is unclear whether the June slowdown is reflective of seasonal summer market conditions or if demand-side policy changes are finally beginning to play a larger role in VIREB’s housing market.

Despite lower sales thus far in 2018, lack of inventory continues to tilt the market in favour of sellers and push prices upwards. The number of single-family homes for sale has been slowly increasing, hitting 1,336 in June, up only three per cent from May but a significant increase from the 749 properties available in January. The supply of townhouses rose by 33 per cent from one year ago, but many of the listings behind these modest inventory gains in both property types are being quickly snapped up by buyers.

In its 2018 Second-Quarter Housing Forecast, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) anticipates that MLS® residential sales in the province will decline by nine per cent to 94,200 units this year from 103,700 in 2017.

“B.C. housing markets have benefited from the provincial economy expanding well above trend growth over the past four years,” says BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “However, economic growth is expected to slow and reflect the long-term average this year.”

BCREA predicts that over the next eight months, VIREB’s long-term sellers’ market will begin shifting towards more balanced conditions. Further, the pace of price increases will slow if demand keeps declining, but it is unlikely that prices will drop until additional inventory enters the market by way of new construction or buyer appetite decreases drastically.

“For sellers, properly pricing your home remains an important factor,” says Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President. “Buyers are savvy, and overpriced homes take longer to sell. Connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market.”

On a local level the real estate market continues to be active however there is definitely a shift and we are heading towards more of a balanced market.  Most new listings are taking longer to sell and there are definitely less sales occurring over the last number of months.

For the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area Single Family Home sales for the month of June were down 29% from June 2017.  The number of new listings has not really changed, a 1% increase however the Active inventory is up 28% (177 / 138).  Prices continue to be strong and are up 14% in comparison to June 2017.

If we look at the picture larger than just one month, Year to Date the numbers are as follows for Single Family Homes:
Sales down 22%
# of Listings down 1%
Average Sale Price is up 18%

These numbers vary within various sub-regions in the area however the numbers are considerably smaller.  If you would like to additional details or wish to discuss your situation contact us at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.

HOW TO AVOID BUYER'S REMORSE 

Advanced planning & research will help you avoid buyer’s remorse.

Buying a home can be an emotional roller coaster which is why it's so easy to make a misstep especially when the market  has been so “frenzied “ Here are a few common buyer mistakes to be aware of:

  1. Not Thinking Ahead - If you’re hoping to have a different lifestyle in your new home, it pays to consider features like  parks, access to shopping, the beach, & even school zones.
  2. Buying a Home that's too Expensive - Buyers who overextend themselves often regret it later. Avoid temptation by viewing homes that are in your price range.
  3. Bad Location, Bad Location, Bad Location - Determining the location that best suits your lifestyle is critical so consider proximity to amenities & your lifestyle in general.
  4. Choosing the Wrong Home - Make a list of all the features that are essential to you. It's easy to be taken in by curb appeal, but be aware if it lacks anything that is non negotiable.
  5. Uninspected Circumstances - Just because a house looks solid doesn't mean all is well behind the scenes. Making an offer conditional on a home inspection will help eliminate any regrets.
  6. Acting too Slowly - The home you fall in love with could be gone tomorrow if you wait too long. Do your research ahead of time so you'll have the confidence to act swiftly when the time comes.
  7. Not Using an Agent - It's important to have an agent to help you make crucial decisions, negotiate the offer and explain the conditions in order to have a positive experience and avoid buyer’s remorse.

Buying a home can be an extremely emotional process so it's important to stay grounded in order to avoid errors that could cause regret. We will of course guide you through the process, its what we do! If you conduct your research ahead of time and are aware of your wants and needs you'll be able to move forward with confidence and peace of mind. If you ever have any questions about real estate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME WITH STAYCATION PLANNING! 

Exploring your local area can be just as much fun as going away!

When you go on vacation, not only do you have to pack and plan but you also have to arrange for someone to collect your mail and look after your pets.

Gas prices are taking a  toll on vacation budgets so this year, consider unwinding locally with a staycation! Here are a few ideas:

  1. Be a Tourist - Contact your local tourist board so you can plan a trip as if you were visiting your area for the very first time.

  2. Take a Hike - Check out a couple of local community trails that you’ve never been on before.  Enjoy a hike, bike ride, picnic or geocaching experience.

  3. Overnighter - Head out to an unfamiliar place an hour or so from home to experience a true getaway.  Book a night at a campground to really get into the spirit!


  4. Dine Out - Visit a few restaurants that you've been meaning to check out and research  specials such as happy hours or 2 for 1 promotions so you can plan around the deals!

  5. Kids Stuff - You can involve kids by letting them each pick a new attraction to visit. Nearby amusement parks, museums and summer festivals offer endless hours of fun.

Staying home and seeing your area through the eyes of a tourist will give you a new appreciation of where you live. Not only will you save money but you'll also reduce your carbon footprint while supporting the local economy. Best of all, you won't need a vacation after your vacation!

NATURAL MOSQUITO REPELLENTS 

A few natural alternatives for all you mosquito magnets out there!

It’s so unfair :(  Whenever the weather turns nice, we sometimes have to lather ourselves in chemicals so we don’t get chased inside by mosquitoes. We are so fortunate here to not have as many as other places but we still get the odd one and certainly inland there are more. Here are a few natural solutions to consider:

  1. Go Natural - Make homemade sprays and lotions with essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus, lavender, mint or tea tree oils.

  2. Not on My Watch - Eliminate breeding places by covering or flipping over backyard bowls, buckets, bird baths or any other spot where there’s stagnant water.

  3. Get your Garden On - Plant citronella, geranium, eucalyptus, rosemary, catnip and lavender in both your garden and in pots as they all help repel the little bloodsuckers.

  4. Gone Batty - Bats eat thousands of mosquitoes each night so attracting them to your yard by installing a few bat boxes is a great way to defend against skeeters.

It’s well worth giving some of these natural alternatives a try to avoid the nasty chemicals that come in spray cans. Don’t forget to also wear light or neutral shades as mosquitoes are attracted to people wearing dark clothing and avoid any heavy, perfumed scents.



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 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

 
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  Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven June 2018   

Hi,


Hello & Welcome to summer!!

The weather is amazing and the garden is growing like topsy so all is good in the world!

We are hosting our annual Customer appreciation event on June 27th from 3:30 to 8:00 at our house and we would love to see you if you can make it.  We are hiring a caterer this year so if you would let us know if you are coming that would be great so we can provide them with numbers in advance.  If you can't RSVP in advance feel free to drop in anyway. . . there just might not be as much food, however you can always count on a refreshment or two!  To RSVP give us a call or send an email to team@teamw.ca .

We are also in the midst of all new regulations for real estate in BC so you will see us armed with many extra pieces of paper & lots more disclosure forms for all of you to sign and acknowledge.  Its all in the name of consumer protection which we are all in favour of, but in typical government fashion it is an over-regulation (in our opinion) and we are sad that it removed the buyer or sellers right to make certain choices in how you deal with a REALTOR.  We will sort it all out but we hope everyone can be patient with us as we work through the new regime of disclosures & paperwork.  Most REALTORS are good honest decent people but unfortunately a few "bad apples" can cause everyone more difficulty in doing the job.  We only want to do what is right for our clients so hopefully, once we get the process streamlined we will be able to explain it better to everyone.  If you have any questions as always just give us a call and we will do our best to answer, you also can visit the Real Estate Council of BC for details by clicking here .

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Preparing a Home for Showing!
It Pays to Keep your financial affairs organized
De-Stress Your Home

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

There is a Shift Happening!

The 1st five months of the year have already come and gone, where did it go?  The latest statistics for real estate activity in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach is out as is the Second Quarter Housing Forecast by BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association).

 

The month of May, keep in mind only 1 month, resulted in a decrease in sales of 37% in comparison to May 2017.  When we look at the 1st 5 months of the year there has been a 21% decrease in the number of sales of Single Family Homes.  Interestingly enough the change in volume of sales varies throughout the region:  Qualicum Beach +3%, French Creek -30%, Parksville -30%, Nanoose Bay -17%.

 

With regards to average sale prices for May was up by 11% in comparison to May 2017.  The average sale price for Single Family Homes for the 1st five months of the year are up 19% versus the same time frame in 2017.  Across the region average sale prices are up though this percentage does vary from 12 to 34%, overall average sale price was $623,677.  The number of active listings at the end of May is up 20% in comparison to end of May 2017.

 

The 2nd Quarter Housing Forecast by BCREA predicts that for the Province of BC we will see a decrease of 9% in the number of sales and yet an increase in the average sale price of 5.1% which seems to be somewhat consistent with the latest local stats.  If we look at the VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) region they are predicting that overall we will see a 12.4% decrease in number of sales and yet an increase in average sale prices by 4% for Single Family Homes for all of 2018.

 

The state that two factors mitigating a slowing provincial economy for the Vancouver Island-Coast housing market are it attractiveness to both retirees and the millennial generation.

 

If you would like to discuss your particular situation or would like additional details for your specific region or style of housing contact TeamW and we would be pleased assist.

In its 2018 Second-Quarter Housing Forecast, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) anticipates that MLS® residential sales in the province will decline by nine per cent to 94,200 units this year from 103,700 in 2017.

“B.C. housing markets have benefited from the provincial economy expanding well above trend growth over the past four years,” says BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “However, economic growth is expected to slow and reflect the long-term average this year.”

Housing demand in the VIREB area shifted lower in the first four months of 2018 as stricter mortgage qualifications for conventional borrowers took their toll on household purchasing power and affordability. Other economic headwinds that could dampen demand include higher interest rates and new provincial taxes, though we are exempt from the 'Speculation Tax'.  However, the attractiveness of Vancouver Island to retirees and millennials is expected to mitigate their impact somewhat.

Despite lower sales thus far in 2018, lack of inventory continues to tilt the market somewhat in favour of sellers and push prices upwards.  The pace of these increases could slow somewhat if demand keeps declining, but it is unlikely that prices will drop significatly until additional inventory enters the market by way of new construction.

If you would like to see the statistical summary click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREPARING A HOME FOR SHOWING! 

Have your home “show ready” at a moment’s notice!

When your home’s on the market, getting ready for showings can be a real challenge but it's even harder when you share your home with little ones or pets!

The trick to selling a house with  kids or pets is to try and make it appeal to buyers who have them as well as those who don’t. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your home:

  1. Depersonalize - It's important that buyers are able to imagine themselves living in your home so clear the kids’ artwork off the fridge and take down, awards and remove dog/cat beds & smells.


  2. Play Time's Over - Keep just one small box of toys on hand and pack up the rest. Too many toys or other "stuff" looks messy and make rooms appear smaller.


  3. Clean Your Room! - Pack up stuffed animals, books and trophies in all the rooms. Any remaining items should be put out of sight instead of on the floor.


  4. Behind Closed Doors - Buyers can never get enough closet space so get rid of any clothes and shoes that are out-of-season or that your kids have outgrown. Less is always more when it comes to contents.


  5. Time to Grow Up - Buyers should be able to visualize your playroom as their rec room so get rid of clutter like arts and crafts so it’ll appear large enough for their media room or pool table.


  6. Curb Appeal - Don't leave toys, sidewalk chalk or bikes strewn outside your home as drive-by viewings can occur at any time.

  7. Ready to Go - Have your beds made & the kitchen tidy  in case you have to make a quick getaway for a last minute showing.


Selling your home is a great opportunity to declutter and by doing it now, you’ll have less to pack when it comes time to move. Showings can happen in an instant so make sure you have a system in place that enables you to vacate in a matter of minutes. Although keeping everything perfectly staged with kids or pets can be a challenge, it'll be well worth the effort!

IT PAYS TO KEEP YOUR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS ORGANIZED 

Keeping organized & getting out of debt can be tough, unless you have a plan.

Money management isn't a popular family topic but talking about it with your kids and loved ones can help them avoid a lifetime of financial woes. Here are a few of the basics:

  1. First Things First - Focus on getting things organized & paying off high interest, non-deductible debt first.


  2. Budget Crunch - List all income and fixed expenses such as house and car payments. Next, list variable expenses to see if anything can be reduced or eliminated.


  3. Consolidate - Monthly payments can likely be lowered by consolidating debt through a home equity loan as the interest rate will be much lower. Please ask us about this & we would be happy to explain it & or refer you to a banker who can help with this..


  4. Reach Out - Make sure your loved ones & or executor know where things are and create a list of bankers, investment advisors, insurance, & credit card info so if someone had to step into your role as bill payer that it wouldn't be an impossible task.  Let them know where your Power of Attorney and Will are located.

Managing money & debt may seem like a daunting task but it can help avoid a financial crisis that could devastate your credit rating and your ability to borrow money in the future at attractive rates. Unforeseen circumstances can happen to anyone at some point in their life but with a little planning, it can almost always be overcome.

DE-STRESS YOUR HOME 

Your home should be a refuge from all the stressors in your life!

Life can sometimes be stressful so ideally, your home should feel like a sanctuary for you to relax in. Here are three easy ways to de-stress your home:

  1. Meaningful Memories - Hang photos and artwork that remind you of happy times in your life. But not too much! .


  2. Mess Causes Stress - Studies show that clutter overloads our senses so take a few minutes each day to tidy & clean up.


  3. Natural Cure - Bring nature into your home with some fresh flowers or a few potted plants to help restore a sense of balance.


Life can sometimes be overwhelming but an organized and tidy home means you’ll have a relaxing space to unwind in at the end of a long day. Just a few little tweaks can make a huge difference!



PS Oh, by the way, we always appreciate your introductions. Your referrals are the highest compliment you can give us!  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 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook
 
Read full post

The 1st five months of the year have already come and gone, where did it go? The latest statistics for real estate activity in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach is out as is the Second Quarter Housing Forecast by BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association).

 

The month of May, keep in mind only 1 month, resulted in a crease in sales of 37% in comparison to May 2017. When we look at the 1st 5 months of the year there has been a 21% decrease in the number of sales of Single Family Homes. Interesting enough the change in volume of sales varies throughout the region: Qualicum Beach +3%, French Creek -30%, Parksville -305, Nanoose Bay -17%.

 

With regards to average sale prices for May was up by 11% in comparison to May 2017. The average sale price for Single Family Homes for the 1st five months of the year are up 19% versus the same time frame in 2017. Across the region average sale prices are up though this percentage does vary from 12 to 34%, overall average sale price was $623,677. The number of active listings at the end of May is up 20% in comparison to end of May 2017.

 

The 2nd Quarter Housing Forecast by BCREA predicts that for the Province of BC we will see a decrease of 9% in the number of sales and yet an increase in the average sale price of 5.1% which seems to be somewhat consistent with the latest local stats. If we look at the VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) region they are predicting that overall we will see a 12.4% decrease in number of sales and yet an increase in average sale prices by 4% for Single Family Homes.

 

The state that two factors mitigating a slowing provincial economy for the Vancouver Island-Coast housing market are it attractiveness to both retirees and the millennial generation.

 

If you would like to discuss your particular situation or would like additional details for your specific region or style of housing contact TeamW and we would be pleased assist.


Click here to View or Download

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The media has been reporting a change in the market and that there are considerably less sales of real estate this year than last year.  The statistics at the end of April certainly confirm this as in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area we have seen 15% less sales of Single Family Homes during the first 4 months of the year when compared to the same time in 2017.  However please note that sale prices remain strong and the average price of what has sold has increased by 22%.  Average sale price of homes that sold in the first 4 months is $628,294.  Interestingly enough the average number of sales in April were only down 3% compared to 2017 though the average sale price in April was $611,880 – less than the 4 month average and yet up 14% from April 2017.

 

Personally we have noted a ‘shift’ though unsure what the shift was.  However during the last couple of weeks the market has been more active and we are thinking the ‘shift’ was a pause.  This pause may have been a result of tightening mortgage rules as well as the Province’s announcement of Speculation Tax – now known not to be directly affecting the Parksville Qualicum Beach region.

 

We welcome any questions that you may have and would be pleased to discuss your situation or any questions that you may have.  Contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.


Click to Download or Read On LIne

 

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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven May 2018   

Hi,

Hello summer!!

Well, it appears we skipped spring and ran headlong straight into summer! The market has been active especially since we were removed from the areas affected by the speculation tax!  Activity has returned to our new normal with lots of sales.  Fortunately, with the slight pause, there is a bit more inventory available.  Though most well priced homes are still selling the first few weeks.

Are you one of the more than 65% of British Columbians who own your own home and share concerns about recent and proposed changes along with the negative impact they have on consumer choice?  Join myself and other advocates of consumer freedom of choice at www.TheRealBC.ca

You will all be seeing big changes in Real Estate in the next little while as the government is again regulating our industry & making sweeping changes in how we are able to serve you.  We have received new forms as of today and they will be effective June 15/2018.  Watch for more information from us soon as we sort out what this means for you our clients.  We will send out the new forms to anyone who wants them and also try to explain the implications of all the changes as we learn more, all you can count on is change!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Beware of Buyer expectations
Tips On How to Guzzle Less Gas
Freshen up Your Home Decor for summer!
VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 
Sales holding steady amid rising house prices.

The media has been reporting a change in the market and that there are considerably less sales of real estate this year than last year.  The statistics at the end of April certainly confirm this as in the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area we have seen 15% less sales of Single Family Homes during the first 4 months of the year when compared to the same time in 2017.  However please note that sale prices remain strong and the average price of what has sold has increased by 22%.  Average sale price of homes that sold in the first 4 months is $628,294.  Interestingly enough the average number of sales in April were only down 3% compared to 2017 though the average sale price in April was $611,880 – less than the 4 month average and yet up 14% from April 2017.

The number of active listings is up 11% from March however the number of sales were up 42% from March.

Personally we have noted a ‘shift’ though unsure what the shift was.  However during the last couple of weeks the market has been more active and we are thinking the ‘shift’ was a pause.  This pause may have been a result of tightening mortgage rules as well as the Province’s announcement of Speculation Tax – now known not to be directly affecting the Parksville Qualicum Beach region.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that housing sales in many B.C. jurisdictions are down compared to last year. Guideline B-20 and uncertainty surrounding new provincial taxes appear to be taking their toll on sales in some markets.

BCREA also expects the Bank of Canada to increase interest rates in the next couple of months, which introduces another risk factor into the housing market.

Janice Stromar, 2018 Past President, encourages sellers to take advantage of our current market conditions before any economic headwinds weaken demand. “Our market has favoured sellers for a long time now, but it won’t last forever,” says Stromar. “However, even in a sellers’ market, you need to price your home correctly because overpriced homes take longer to sell.”

We welcome any questions that you may have and would be pleased to discuss your situation or any questions that you may have.  Contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.

BEWARE OF BUYER EXPECTATIONS 

Address these common turn-offs so buyers don’t run for the door!

When you put your home on the market, it must appeal to a large cross-section of buyers in order to generate a frenzy of activity.

Buying a home is such an emotional decision that even a seemingly small issue can create a bad impression. Here are six of the top turn-offs you need to know:

  1. Get Out - Make yourself scarce during showings as nothing turns buyers off more than a stalking seller.

  2. Fido & Fluffy - Pets and their associated smells will put many buyers off so relocate them before showings and hide their bed, bones, toys, etc.

  3. Declutter & refresh - Buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home but most can’t look past other people's "stuff". Remember they all want an HGTV ready house so less is more!

  4. Problems Down Below - If you have a crawlspace or basement, if so investigate any signs of moisture and correct anything necessary. Perhaps even maybe painting the basement floor could be an option.

  5. Grubby Grout - It's imperative that your entire home remains thoroughly cleaned right down to the inside of your microwave. Neglected personal spaces like bathrooms will have them running for the door!

  6. Forgo the Fish Fry - It's best not to cook fish, bacon or other strong smelling foods while your home's on the market. Always air out your home by opening the windows instead of using artificial scents as some people are allergic.

When you sell your home, your goal is to get the highest price in the shortest amount of time. Sometimes the best way to do that is by focusing on the small stuff. It's definitely worth the effort and the good news is that depersonalizing, decluttering and thoroughly cleaning your home doesn't cost a fortune.

TIPS ON HOW TO GUZZLE LESS GAS 
Modifying your driving habits can save you loads at the pump!

Maximizing your vehicle's fuel efficiency will not only save you money but you'll also be doing your bit for the environment! Here are a few tips that'll pay off at the pump:

  1. Turn it Off - Don't idle as it unnecessarily wastes fuel.

  2. Take it In - Regular tune-ups will increase your car's efficiency.

  3. Check & Inflate - Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure.

  4. Slow Down - Speeding increases fuel consumption by as much as 50%!

  5. Don't Brake Down - Don't constantly jam on your brakes and then rapidly accelerate.

  6. There's an App for That! - Download an app that tracks the cheapest local gas prices.

  7. Lighten Up - Remove unnecessary items from your vehicle as extra weight reduces fuel efficiency.

The best way to save on gas is to keep your car in the driveway, so next time you climb behind the wheel, ask yourself if you can walk there instead. Just a few small changes to your driving habits such as combining errands or carpooling to work will save you a small fortune over time.

FRESHEN UP YOUR HOME DECOR FOR SUMMER! 

Transform and refresh your home now that summer is here!

Summer is a time for bringing the outdoors in and for enjoying more of this amazing place we call home! so why not bring the season's vitality into your home by making some simple decorating changes. Here are a few ideas that'll help you create a fresh warm weather feel:

  • Swap out heavy curtains for blinds or sheers.

  • Bring nature inside with a few plants or some fresh cut flowers.

  • Switch your cushion covers to lighter shades such as yellows and purples.

Celebrate summer's arrival by bringing a breath of fresh air into your home. 
Just a few simple changes and a good spring clean can reflect the season’s sunny, fresh energy!



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 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

 
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The latest real estate statistics for the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area are out and we feel that there has been an influence about what ‘was’ the proposed Speculation Tax by the Provincial Government. Please note that recently the Provincial Government has announced that the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area will not be included in the proposed Speculation Tax. Given the unknown details and who and what would be affected by the tax it appears that the market slowed down until people got more clarity.

 

In the area for the 1st three month of the year we have seen 7% less listings than the same time in 2017 and a decrease in the number of sales by 21% and 33% for the month of March. Yet average sale price for the month of March (53 sales) was $667,542 which is an increase of 28% from March 2017.

 

The active inventory at the end of March remains the same as last year at 121 single family homes.

 

For the City of Parksville sub-region the number of listings are down 30% while the number of sales were down 45% for the 1st 3 months of the year. Active inventory at the end of the month was down slightly from the end of March 2017, 31 vs 33. The average sale price in March for single family homes was up 15% from March 2017, average sale price of $527,350 vs $458,627.

 

Now that it is very clear that the Speculation Tax will not be applied to the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area we expect that the activity levels in the market will increase.

 

If you have any questions about your situation or statistics for different sub-regions in the area, or for different property style, do contact us at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498 as we would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Make it a Great Day!


Rudi & Trish


Click Here To Download Market Stats Report


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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven March 2018   

Hi,

The clocks have sprung forward and spring has sprung with many days of sunshine & temperatures between 10 & 18 degrees.  Where does the time go?


We have had the pleasure of a continuing very interesting market as well as some down time, & family time. We enjoyed a week-long "staycation". We spent 3 wonderful nights in Tofino at Long Beach Lodge Resort, & did a wonderful flight over the west coast. We experienced Twin City Brewing Company in Port Alberni and enjoyed time at home for the balance of the week.  We also had the pleasure of having a Herring Fishery opening at our door step and then a 4 night visit from our daughter-in-law & 6 year old grandson with incredible weather and two kayak outings, & some beach walks.

In a couple of weeks it will be Easter and we are looking forward to the entire family coming for a visit.  We hope that you will also enjoy some special time with friends and family over the long weekend. 

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -or any of the upcoming changes- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Change
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
For Pets Sake, Don't Soil Your Sale
Fast and Furious Decluttering

CHANGE 

"The only thing that is constant is change."  Heraclitus - greek philospher  535 to 475 BC  and even to this day he is correct.

We are seeing lots of changes in the rules for real estate transactions & taxes for real estate in B.C..  The Superintendent of Real Estate decided a need to make new rules for real estate licensees that will change the way a real estate professional can provide service to you, the consumer.   To see and follow the changes click here to see the information direct from the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.  We believe some of this is a knee-jerk reaction to a very small number of transactions.  The 2 % rule, (they create laws & rules for the 2% of bad actors that the media tends to focus on).  Some of this is good for the public and we are in favor of consumer protection, however, we find it offensive that the government thinks that you, the consumer, cannot make well-informed decisions. 

Plus the Provincial Government has decided to implement a new tax, "speculation tax", for real estate holdings other than principal residences - and yes there will be an implication to BC residents with more than one property.  It could even affect people with rental investment property, which of course will drive up rents and reduce supply.As we get to learn what the actual changes will be and what impact they may have, we will let you know.  At this time there is still lots of confusion and no clarity, even for the elected representatives.  Stay tuned as time progresses and we get some clarification on both changes.

If you have a challenge with any of the proposed changes we hope that you will let the legislators know that this is not necessarily what you want and make your voices heard. Please contact your MLAasap,  if the public doesn't voice their displeasure over this legislation the tax will go ahead.

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 
Buoyant Vancouver Island sellers’ market continues.

The statistics for market activity have been released by VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) and certainly continue to show lack of inventory and strong demand.

With regards to Single Family Homes so far this year, in comparison to same period in 2017, there have been 12% less listings and as a result 12% less sales.  The Active inventory at the end of February was 18% less than February 2018 and the Average Sales Price is up 26% ($616,128 vs $490,371).

With regards to Patio Homes there were 16% more listings (22 vs 19) and number of sales are up 13%.  Active inventory is down 10% and the Average Sales Price is up 25% ($446,218 vs $377,193) over the same time last year.  You can access the statisical summary report here

Also BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association) has released their updated Housing Forecast which is indicating that there will be 10.8% less residential sales on Vancouver Island (Malahat north) in comparison to 2017 and the average sale prices will increase by 7.6%.  Which indicates lack of supply and strong demand will continue throughout the year.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that the housing market in B.C. is still thriving due to the province’s strong economy.  However, BCREA forecasts some economic headwinds for 2018.  It appears that Guideline B-20 – also known as the mortgage stress test – lay behind December’s uptick in sales as buyers scrambled to purchase before its January 1 implementation.

Other risk factors include rising interest rates and new taxes introduced by the provincial government in the latest B.C. budget.  Broadening the scope of the Foreign Buyer Tax to include the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) will not have a significant impact on the VIREB housing market.  Only 4.4 per cent of RDN residential real estate transactions in 2017 involved foreign buyers. More troubling is the new speculation tax, which targets homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C., including those who leave their homes empty but still contribute heftily to the economy.

Kaye Broens, VIREB President-Elect, believes the speculation tax is well-intended, but the government is focusing on the wrong side of the housing equation. “Instead of increasing supply, the B.C. government is concentrating on dampening demand,” says Broens. “Vancouver Island is a popular destination for retirees, many of whom come from Alberta, and the speculation tax could discourage many of those buyers.”

“My advice to prospective sellers is to contact a REALTOR® to list their home now and not wait until spring,” says Broens. “Prices are still rising, but that cannot continue indefinitely. At some point, buyers will begin bowing out of the market due to affordability issues.”
If you wish further details or wish to discuss your current real estate situation contact us at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.

FOR PETS SAKE, DON'T SOIL YOUR SALE 

Make sure your pets don’t become a buyer’s pet peeve.

It's important to present a top-notch first impression when selling your home. If you share your home with pets though, you'll need to work extra hard to ensure it looks (and smells) its best!

Although you consider your pets part of the family, potential buyers will likely view them as a smelly nuisance. If you own pets, here are a few tips that will help when it comes time to sell your home:

  1. Deep Clean - Steam clean all carpets, rugs and couches and be sure to vacuum your home every day.

  2. Do the Doo Doo - Don't forget to clean up outside before showings as people exploring your garden will be turned off by seeing it or even worse, stepping in it.

  3. Gone to the Dogs - Most people don't want to be greeted by a barking dog when they enter a home. A whining dog in a crate is also a huge distraction so take Fido out for a walk if you're unable to make other arrangements.

  4. Creepy Critters - Some buyers may be too scared to tour a room that contains pets such as snakes,reptiles or rodents. They may even decide to leave your home altogether so try and remove any creepy creatures before putting your home on the market.

  5. Fur Real - Clean pet hair out from under the stove, tables, blinds and all crevices. Aside from its unsightly appearance, many people suffer from allergies and you don't want them sniffling and sneezing while they're viewing your home.

  6. Scratch the Surface - You're probably so used to your scratched and chewed up furniture that you don't even notice, but buyers will. Inspect your home thoroughly and repair scratched areas including window frames, doors, furniture and floors.


  7. Breathe Easy - Few smells are as offensive as those associated with animals. Buyers will be exploring the basement so make sure any litter trays are clean. Open up windows and simmer a few cinnamon sticks in water as buyers may be allergic to artificial scents.

It's also important to declutter your home before showings, so don't forget to clear away most pet beds, feeding bowls and toys from both inside and outside your home. Even animal lovers will be put off by the hair, smell and mess that pets can make so take these tips into account to ensure your furry friends don't soil your sale!

FAST AND FURIOUS DECLUTTERING 

Decluttering your home doesn’t have to take all day.


Research suggests that cluttered homes cause stress and anxiety. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start so here are 5 ways to conquer your clutter in less than 5 minutes!

  • Clutter Chaos- Grab 3 bins and walk through your home.1 is for donating to charity. 1 is for move to its "rightful spot", and 1 is for garbage.


  • The Junk Drawer - Throw out trash and then find a permanent home for everything else.

  • Medicine Cabinet - Check for expired items & dispose of them through your neighbourhood Pharmacy.


  • Tupperware Toss - Clear up space by going through your Tupperware drawer and recycle anything that doesn’t have a mate.

  • Linen closet- go through and get rid of old towels, sheets & bedding that don't match or you dont use & donate to your local SPCA.They always need bedding & sheets!

Try to always be on the lookout for items you no longer use. It will free up valuable space! Decluttering can make a huge impact on our lives because an uncluttered home will promote peace and calm plus if you decide to sell it will make the whole process easier.



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 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

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The statistics for market activity have been released by VIREB (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board) and certainly continue to show lack of inventory and strong demand.

 

With regards to Single Family Homes so far this year, in comparison to same period in 2017, there have been 12% less listings and as a result 12% less sales. The Active inventory at the end of February was 18% less than February 2018 and the Average Sales Price is up 26% ($616,128 vs $490,371).

 

With regards to Patio Homes there were 16% more listings (22 vs 19) and number of sales are up 13%. Active inventory is down 10% and the Average Sales Price is up 25% ($446,218 vs $377,193) over the same time last year.

 

Also BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association) has released their updated Housing Forecast which is indicating that there will be 10.8% less residential sales on Vancouver Island (Malahat north) in comparison to 2017 and the average sale prices will increase by 7.6%. Which indicates lack of supply and strong demand will continue throughout the year.

 

If you wish further details or wish to discuss your current real estate situation contact us at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498.

 

 

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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven February 2018   

Hi,

It's important to be aware of the latest home trends, especially if you're looking for ways to make your home more appealing to buyers. This month’s article outlines some of the popular home trends for 2018.

There's also some great advice on how to maintain your smoke alarms as well as a website that will challenge your brain and donate to charity at the same time!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Hot Home Trends for 2018
Smoke Alarm Smarts
Educate and Donate

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Home sales return to seasonal norms in January.

Coming off the busiest December on record, sales in the VIREB area returned to seasonally normal levels in January.

Last month, 290 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 327 in December and 244 one year ago.

The number of apartments changing hands in January rose by 65 per cent while townhouse sales remained static from the previous year.

Inventory of single-family homes dropped to 749 in January, a 16 per cent decrease from one year ago and a new low for the VIREB area. The supply of apartments and townhouses dipped by 19 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that the housing market in B.C. is still thriving due to the province’s strong economy. However, some economic headwinds in the form of higher interest rates and Guideline B-20 – also known as the mortgage stress test – are forecast for 2018.

BCREA expects economic growth in the province to slow this year, expanding at a respectable 2.8 per cent, but lower than we have seen in some time. Rising interest rates will erode affordability for some home buyers, and Guideline B-20 could reduce the purchasing power of conventional mortgagors by up to 20 per cent.

However, demographics in the VIREB area could temper the effect of Guideline B-20 because many of our buyers are retirees who do not usually carry mortgages. Vancouver Island communities, particularly the Parksville-Qualicum area, have some of the highest concentrations of seniors in the province.

Don McClintock, 2018 VIREB President, reports that the VIREB area remains a sellers’ market. Consumers are still highly motivated to buy a home, and multiple offers are commonplace, especially for properties in the $400,000 to $500,000 range.

He stresses that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market. 
“My advice to prospective sellers is to contact a REALTOR® to list their home now and not wait until spring,” says McClintock. “Prices are still rising, but that cannot continue indefinitely. At some point, buyers will begin bowing out of the market due to affordability issues.”

McClintock adds that new construction is underway throughout Vancouver Island, with some housing units expected to complete in 2018. This development is good news for prospective home buyers but could temper rising home prices and move the market toward more balanced conditions, which would impact sellers.

In January 2018, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area reached $471,200, up 17 per cent from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of an apartment last month rose to $288,400, up 27 per cent board-wide from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse hit $376,200, a 25 per cent increase from January 2017.

Last month, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area hit $379,600, an increase of 22 per cent from the previous January. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $463,700, up 17 per cent from last year and down slightly from December 2017.

Duncan reported a benchmark price of $418,600, an increase of 15 per cent compared to January 2017. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 19 per cent to $514,400 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 14 per cent to $519,700 from one year ago and dip slightly from December 2017. The cost of a benchmark home in Port Alberni reached $259,100, up 20 per cent from one year ago.

HOT HOME TRENDS FOR 2018 

Curious about what’s trending in homes and gardens this year?

It’s that time of year when homeowners are thinking about revamping and refreshing their space.  Here are a few of the latest trends and styles that are gaining steam:

  1. Ziggity Zag - Geometric patterns are making a comeback! It could be as simple as adding a few accent pillows or for a bolder statement, consider some patterned wallpaper.

  2. Concrete Ideas - This versatile material is becoming increasingly popular for sinks but can also be used in more unique ways such as furnishings, wallcoverings and tile.

  3. Sleep Easy - Embrace minimalist bedrooms this year with soothing neutrals and plain furniture pieces. Keeping the space simple will help you enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

  4. Full House - Multigenerational living is a major home design trend for 2018. Additional kitchens, basement renovations, and seperate entrances are just some of the ways homes are reflecting this trend.

  5. The Heart of the Home - Homeowners are injecting warmer, brighter tones on their kitchen walls and cabinets. Sinks made with materials like stone, copper, concrete or granite will also steal the spotlight in 2018.

If you're thinking about breathing some new life into your home with a new year’s makeover, be sure to take the latest trends into account during the planning stage. Hopefully these ideas have given you inspiration to inject some new style into your home!

SMOKE ALARM SMARTS 

Smoke detectors are important but they’re often overlooked.

Countless tragedies are prevented each year by smoke detectors. Here are a few tips to ensure your smoke detectors are in full working order:

  1. Test each alarm regularly by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.

  2. Blow the dust out of the alarm whenever you check or change the batteries.


  3. Don't "borrow" the batteries for the TV remote as you'll likely forget to replace them.

  4. Smoke alarms should be replaced at least every ten years to ensure proper working order.

  5. Don't install alarms near windows or doors as drafts could stop smoke from reaching the alarm system.

  6. There should be at least one alarm installed on each floor including the basement and preferably every bedroom.

Alarms can be hard wired, battery powered or preferably a combination of both. Interconnected smoke alarms are best because when one alarm goes off, they all do. If you have any questions, your local fire department will be more than happy to help.

EDUCATE AND DONATE 

Smarten up and end hunger, a few grains of rice at a time!

Next time your kids are on their devices, send them over to www.FreeRice.com where they can learn and donate at the same time!

Users answer multiple choice questions on a range of subjects including math, language, geography and science.  When a question is answered correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated via the World Food Program.

These questions aren’t just for kids; in fact, anyone can benefit from this game as you can adjust the difficulty level. The vocabulary section will definitely give you some mental stimulation so it’s a win-win!



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 

 For the latest real estate updates, including new listings, price changes and upcoming open houses follow me on  Twitter  and "LIKE" us on Facebook

 
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Well it is hard to believe that we are into February already.  2018 is certainly continuing with the trend of low supply and high demand.  In the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area for single family homes the month of January saw 9% less listings than January 2017 and 9% more sales.  As a result at the end of January the active number of listings was down 23%, only 86 versus 111 a year ago.  The average sale price for January was 20% higher than January a year ago ($606,874 versus $506,159).

 

If we look at Patio Homes (Condo) in comparison, though the volume of numbers are considerably less, the number of listings in January were up 57% and the number of sales were down by 12% yet the average sale price was up 20% ($474,129 versus $396,250).  The number of active listings at the end of the month was very similar with 9 this year versus 8 last year.

 

If you would like any additional information for various styles or locations within the area contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca or call us at 250-468-1498 and we would be pleased to supply additional details and discuss your particular situation if desired.


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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi & Trish Widdershoven January 2018   

Hi,

One of the biggest decisions house hunters have to make is whether to go old or new. This month's article will hopefully help make the decision a little easier.


There are also some tips on what to do if you hear strange noises coming from your home as well as the lowdown on geocaching which is a fun and healthy way to enjoy the great outdoors this winter!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Old or New; What's Best for You?
Things that go Bump in the Night
GeoCaching -- High Tech Hide and Seek
VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 
Home sales post the strongest December on record.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports that on a seasonally adjusted basis, the board had its busiest December on record, with 667 housing units changing hands last month.

Sales of single-family homes increased by 35 per cent from December 2016. Annually, 5,612 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System in 2017 compared to 6,059 the previous year, a decrease of seven per cent. However, this reduction reflects the market returning to more normal levels from the unprecedented sales activity generated in 2016.

Inventory of single-family homes dropped to 762 in December, the lowest recorded since VIREB began tracking inventory in 1999. The supply of apartments and townhouses dipped by 13 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. Diminishing housing supply and high consumer demand are driving rising benchmark prices of single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses in all markets.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) notes that the housing market in B.C. is thriving due to strong economic fundamentals, such as robust retail sales, job growth, and population growth. BCREA’s Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast states that the provincial economy is on track to expand by 3.8 per cent in 2017, the fourth consecutive year of three per cent or more real GDP growth. The cumulative effect has fuelled employment growth to its strongest performance in almost 20 years, with the provincial jobless rate at its lowest level in nearly a decade.

However, while provincial economic conditions appear to be on a sound footing, BCREA expects economic growth to slow in 2018, expanding at a respectable 2.8 per cent, but lower than we have seen in some time. The province’s housing market will face additional economic headwinds in 2018, with rising interest rates eroding affordability and Guideline B-20 making it harder for some buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President, notes that VIREB’S record December shows that consumers are still highly motivated to buy a home, but she encourages sellers to list their property now before mitigating economic factors have an impact on housing activity.

“My advice to prospective sellers is not to delay listing their home until the spring,” says Stromar. “The VIREB area has been a sellers’ market for a long time, but we know that it cannot continue indefinitely.”

That said, since the current VIREB market still favours sellers, connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market. “REALTORS have specialized knowledge of their communities that can help streamline the buying and selling process to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients,” says Stromar.

In December 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area reached $466,400, up 17 per cent from one year ago. (Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area.) The benchmark price of an apartment last month rose to $284,400, up 28 per cent board-wide from the previous year, while the benchmark price of a townhouse hit $370,700, a 23 per cent increase from December 2016. 

OLD OR NEW; WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU? 

There are various pros and cons with newer and older homes.

Home buyers face countless decisions when purchasing a home. One of the first things to figure out is whether you prefer a newer home or an older home.
 
Comparing newer and older homes can be tricky as it depends on individual preferences as well as family priorities. Here are a few advantages of older homes:

  1. Solid as a Rock - The craftsmanship that went into building homes years ago was usually second to none.



  2. Old World Charm - Older homes usually boast unique architectural features such as crown moulding and stained glass windows.

  3. Location - Older homes are often located in well established communities with mature trees. They're also usually close to popular downtown amenities.

  4. Outdoor Space - Older homes usually have larger lots which is important if you value your privacy or wish to possibly extend your home in the future.

Newer homes on the other hand have their own unique set of advantages. Here are just a few points to consider:

  1. Customizable - You can customize a brand new home to your own tastes with options like heated floors or granite countertops.

  2. Functional - Newer homes are laid out with functional features such as attached garages, larger storage areas and ensuite bathrooms.

  3. Low Maintenance - You're not likely to encounter any serious issues as everything's brand new. The home's exterior will also be much easier to maintain.

  4. Energy Efficient - Better windows, insulation and appliances mean newer homes are more energy efficient which translates into lower monthly utility bills.

Newer homes are usually more functional but older homes offer a level of character that new homes can't match. You may already have a good idea of what you prefer but keep an open mind as you become more familiar with the pros and cons of each. This is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make so do your research before signing on the dotted line!

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT 

Are your home’s strange sounds keeping you up at night?

Part of settling into a new home is figuring out what noises are normal. Most are nothing to worry about but some could signal a deeper issue. Here are a few that you should pay attention to:

  1. Furnace Noises - A humming noise is normal but loud pops, scraping, grinding or squealing sounds should be checked out professionally.



  2. Scratching Sounds - The dreaded sound of scratching likely means you have rodents that are making themselves at home so take notice before it gets out of hand.



  3. Running Water - Check for leaks and water damage around the home. If you can’t figure it out quickly, call a plumber as it could mean a broken pipe.

  4. Gurgling Toilet - Gurgling noises coming from the toilet could signal a blockage in the toilet or drain, a blockage in the vent stack or a main sewer drain blockage.



  5. Noisy Fridge - Some whirring and clicking is normal but if your fridge is cracking or popping, it could be a compressor or a temperature regulation issue.

You can expect to hear some noises coming from your home as the various building materials will contract and expand. Just keep an ear out for anything unusual and don’t hesitate to call a professional if in doubt!  

GEOCACHING -- HIGH TECH HIDE AND SEEK 

If your New Year’s Resolution was to get active, consider geocaching!

Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunt where a GPS app is used to locate various hidden caches. It's a great way to get active with your family while exploring the great outdoors!

Geocaches are hidden stashes that contain small treasures along with a logbook. Once you find a geocache, you replace the treasure with something of your own, log in your details and then check-in online.

Exploring hometown hiking trails takes on a whole new meaning when geocaching and the best part is it doesn't cost a cent! Instead of searching around for the remote this Sunday afternoon, head outdoors for a real life treasure hunt!




 
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2017 ended as forecasted, less sales than 2016 and yet increased average sale prices.  Overall in the greater Parksville – Qualicum Beach region reported sales for Single Family Dwellings decreased by 15% and yet average sale prices were up 9%.  Also there were 9% less listings for the year.

 

The lack of inventory continues along with high demand.  In the month of December, typically a slower time, there were 17% more sales than December 2016 and by the end of the year the active inventory was 15% less than at the end of 2016 for single family homes.

 

Keep in mind the above information is for the overall region and for single family homes.  If you would like more specific information for sub-regions within the area or for other types of property contact TeamW at team@teamw.ca or 250-468-1498 and we would be pleased to provide you with the details.

 

BCREA’s (British Columbia Real Estate Association) forecast for the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area for 2018 is that we will see approximately 8% less sales and values will continue to increase, forecasted currently at +2.6%.

 

We look forward to any comments or questions that you may have so you can make informed decisions about your personal situation.

 

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Vancouver Island Real Estate News from TeamW - Rudi & Trish Widdershoven
December 2017   

Hi,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Its hard to believe the Holiday Season is here and the year is almost over!  We thank you all for being part of our "real estate family" &  a special thank you to everyone who reached out after Rudi's fall in October, the expressions of concern & support were truly wonderful!.  2017 has been quite a year with fun family times, lots of business, Rudi's mishap, family & friend health issues and losing some very special people.  We are very grateful for where & how we get to live our lives & the amazing friends & family that we have.
 
We hope that you will spend some special time with family & friends during the Christmas & Holiday season.  We are on another family adventure, going east to visit family in Toronto & New Brunswick. This time the kids & all the grandkids are coming with us to Toronto for 4 nights of exploration & celebrating with family.  It will be busy with 25 for family dinner Saturday! We are excited!.

Thanks so much for being part of our 'real estate family", we appreciate your faith & confidence in us. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Your friends in Real Estate 
Rudi & Trish W.

In this issue...
Mortgage Changes - Act Now!
Setting the Stage for a Perfect Sale- First Impressions matter!
Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Update
Tired of Tossing and Turning?

MORTGAGE CHANGES - ACT NOW! 

Mortgage changes come into effectJanuary 1st.  Its important to give some thought to your long term plans!
 
Last month the Federal Governments Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) confirmed the implementation of a new minimum qualifying "stress test" for uninsured mortgagesGuideline B-20 now requires borrowers who have a down payment of 20% or more to qualify for mortgages at higher rates. Borrowers will have to be approved at either the five-year mortgage rate "published by the Bank of Canada", (currently 4.99%), OR the mortgage rate the federally-regulated financial institution offers + 2%, whichever is higher.

No matter how much money you put as a down payment, you will have to pass the "stress test".  The effect of the changes is signifigant, resulting in approximately a 20% decrease in affordability, or borrowing power.

This change is important to note;  If you are planning on purchasing real estate in 2018 & beyond; or If you are planning on placing financing on your current home as part of your future retirement planning process.

We believe everyone should consider having financing on their homes, even if you do not "forecast the need". Having the option in place is usually easier to do now than in the future, plus it impedes any future risk of fraud. Maybe you will use or need it for that "special holiday", a new vehicle, an unforeseen medical situation, or for extended life supplementing retirement plans. We know at least one financial institution, RBC, will give you pre-approval this month under current regulations & rates. You can qualify for 120 days to either "purchase & close" on a new property, or to place financing on your current home.

If you would like to explore this option speak to your financial advisor, or ask us team@teamw.ca as we would be pleased to explain it to you further. We can  put you in contact with a mortgage specialist. But don't delay as Dec 31is the deadline for application under the current rules!

SETTING THE STAGE FOR A PERFECT SALE- FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER! 

When you put your home on the market, our goal is the same! Sell it quickly & for top dollar. Proper staging of your home from day one will create an wonderful impression that should generate a huge buzz & quick sale!

Staging isn't as much an expense as it is an investment. Not only is your home likely to sell for a higher price but it will probably sell faster. This is important because homes that sit on the market longer tend to lose value, especially in this current market enviroment. Don"t forget Trish is an "accredited stager" & can help you with it! The process begins with cleanliness, de-cluttering, some de-personalizing & a neutral pallette. Buying a home is an emotional decision, buyers need be able to envision themselves living there. Thats why most photographs, trophies `& kids artwork need to go. Your are moviing anyway so pack it now!

Staging ensures your home is inviting to buyers by increasing functionality and the flow of rooms. Sometimes that includes removing & storing furniture so the house looks spacious. The use of lighting and other features can create a warm & cosy effect. A properly staged home usually generate more showings.

Start by cleaning up the front of the house & yard, & don’t forget the back too. Buyers can have a tough time ``visioning``. So turn your craft room back into a bedroom or transform a nook into a comfy reading spot. Great lighting creates a warm and welcoming ambience so make sure you update light fixtures, lamps & that light bulbs are working. Buyers will also look through cupboards & closets (storage space can be a factor in "downsizing") so don’t forget those areas as well. The garage matters too, but it can have some boxes etc.

A well staged home will make a great first impression and capture the hearts of homebuyers. Whether you pay a professional to stage your home or do the work yourself, staging is a worthwhile investment that will massively increase the odds of your home selling quickly and for top dollar.

VANCOUVER ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE 

Lack of inventory continues to drive our market.

The year is almost over, which seems hard to believe! Looking at the latest statistics for the greater Parksville Qualicum Beach area released by VIREB it has been an active year (though sales volumes were down from 2016 as predicted).  We did did see an increase in values as we predicted, due to lack of supply & continued strong demand.

Overall Single Family homes here has seen 8% fewer homes listed and 16% fewer sales.  However the average sale price increased by 14%.  The average "days on the market" is down by 23% to 26 days.  The overall current "active listings" November 2017 is down by 6% in comparison to November 2016.  Check out the summary report by clicking here.

Keep in mind the above numbers vary for different geographic areas. For example Parksville has seen a drop in the number of new listings by 9% and average sale price up by 10% while Fairwinds has seen an decrease of 23% in listings and a 18% increase in average sale price. If you would like more detailed information on particular geographic regions or different styles of properties contact us at team@teamw.ca .  Also none of these stats include waterfront homes as they skew the averages.

Also BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association) has released their Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast for the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board area (Malahat north). The forecast is a contined drop in the number of single family home sales at  -7.9%, and a continuing increase in average sale prices by 2.4%.  Keep in mind January 2017 they forecast a 2% increase in average sale price and we ended with  an approximate 14.5% increase.  For the full details of the Forecast please drop us a note at team@teamw.ca and we would be pleased to supply it to you.

TIRED OF TOSSING AND TURNING? 

Healthy sleep habits can greatly improve your quality of life.

If all you’re dreaming of is a good night’s sleep, you’re not alone. Lack of sleep can take a massive toll on our mental & physical health. The following tips may help you get your much needed sleep!

  1. It's a No-Glo - Hide all light no matter how faint and turn off your smartphone & computer screens at least 30 minutes before bed.

  2. Chill Out & Warm Up - Keep your bedroom temperature cool. You can wear socks to bed to help your body transfer heat even.

  3. Light Bright - Take in all the daylight you can as it changes the melatonin levels in your body which causes you to sleep better when darkness falls. Melatonin in pill form at bedtime helps some people.

  4. Keep Regular sleep Patterns - Try to go to bed & wake up about the same time daily. If you get poor sleep one night, don’t nap the next day, it will affect your internal clock. But naps as a regular thing are good for you (as long as they do`t affect your regular sleep pattern.

  5. Stay Fit - Exercising early & daily can help you sleep better. but avoid it later in the day. Instead, ease muscle tension with some light, relaxing stretches before hitting the sack.

  6. No Worries - Write a to-do list before going to bed in order stop your mind from turning. Keep a journal beside your bed just in case something pops in your head or to jot down concerns or things to remember. Then go back to sleep.

Lack of sleep can contribute to physical and emotional health problems so it's important to consistently practice positive sleep habits. The above suggestions can help you peacefully drift off to sleep each night so you'll be much more energetic and productive throughout the day. Sweet dreams!



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!
 
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TeamW - Susie Mattner & Karen Hayes
Susie:250-228-1960
Karen:250-927-9798
Office:250-248-1071
TeamW at RE/MAX First Realty
#101-897 WEST ISLAND HIGHWAY PARKSVILLE
Parksville, BC
V9P 2E9 CA