Archive for February, 2003

Home owning costs are set to soar again

Thursday, February 27th, 2003

Paul Luke

B.C., already Canada’s most expensive province in which to own a home, is about to get even costlier, RBC Economics says.

B.C. homeowners paid an average of 39.7 per cent of pre-tax household income at the end of last year to keep a roof over their heads, Royal Bank economists said yesterday.

This amounts to $1,564 a month to service the costs of owning an average detached bungalow, the bank said in its latest housing affordability index.

The national average was $1,248.

The percentage of household income needed to own a house in B.C. rose to 39.7 per cent in the last quarter of 2002 from 38.9 per cent a year earlier.

“Owning a home in B.C. continues to be the most expensive in Canada with the steady increase in average housing prices and slow household-income growth responsible for the recent erosion in affordability,” RBC economist Carl Gomez said. “To uphold housing demand throughout 2003 at these high levels, incomes and job growth will need to improve in order to offset the expected increases to borrowing costs and house prices.”

Home ownership in B.C. will get costlier during the first quarter of this year as monthly payments rise to $1,597, the bank said. That compares with an expected Canadian average of $1,288.

Vancouver remained Canada’s most expensive city in which to own a home at the end of 2002, with an affordability index of 47.7 per cent. This compares with 39.1 per cent for Torontoand 30.7 per cent for Montreal.

The average Canadian index is expected to rise to 32.7 per cent in the first quarter, climbing to 33.4 per cent later in the year.

The higher the index, the harder it is to afford a house. Monthly ownership costs include mortgage payments, utilities and taxes.

On the bright side, housing remains an engine of economic growth for B.C., the bank said.

© Copyright 2003 The Province

Vancouver Tops in Housing Cost

Thursday, February 27th, 2003


Proposed skateboard park at Quebec & Union

Wednesday, February 26th, 2003


465 Condos & 9 Movie Screens at Burrard & Smithe

Wednesday, February 19th, 2003


Record high home Prices in January

Tuesday, February 18th, 2003


The average price of a home sold by MLS realtors in 25 major markets across the country set a record for January, the Canadian Real Estate Association said yesterday.

Fuelled by new sales highs in Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, the average price rose to $207,378, up 9.8 per cent from January 2002.

Greater Vancouver also experienced strong results over the month, with the average price up 12.1 per cent, to $312,828.

The area also posted an increase of 4.4 per cent over the previous year in new listings for January, with 3,980.

Across the country, however, the number of homes sold in January this year fell to 17,552, a decrease of 13.3 per cent from the 20,236 sold last year in January,it said.

The average prices in Calgary (up 10.4 per cent), Toronto (up 7.0 per cent) and Montreal (up 15.6 per cent) were $208,999, $281,292 and $150,511, respectively.

“Resale housing activity is still going strong,” Pierre Beauchamp, CEO of the association, said in a statement.

© Copyright  2003 The Province

Convention Centre site goes to the government

Tuesday, February 18th, 2003


Mortgage coming up for renewal?

Tuesday, February 18th, 2003


Important Changes to the Property Transfer Tax

Tuesday, February 18th, 2003

The Provincial Government budget announced Tuesday contains changes to the


The major change is with respect to the maximum fair market value of the
property, which was set at $275,000.00 for properties in the Greater
Vancouver Regional District. Effective February 19, 2003 (yesterday), a
property with a fair market value of up to $25,000.00 more will be eligible
for a proportionate amount of the exemption.

For complete details, go to: and pick Property
Taxation Branch from the listing on the right hand side. From here select
Property Transfer Tax from the listings in the center. You will now see the
page with the heading “Changes Introduced in 2003 Provincial Budget”. In
this article you will notice a reference to “Bulletin 04”. If you click on
Bulletin 04 (Adobe Format), you should be able to view the 13 pages of
detailed information on the First Time Home Buyers’ Program.

We are preparing a detailed memorandum summarizing all the changes which
will be added to our website next week. We will let you know when that page
is ready.

Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me by
phone or email.

Tony Spagnuolo
Direct Phone: 604-949-7306
Email: [email protected]

“the leaders in residential real estate”

Office Phone: 604-461-2024
Office Fax: 604-461-8976
Office Email: [email protected]


Changes to Property Transfer Tax First Time Homebuyers Exemption

Effective February 19, 2003 the
PPT Exemption rules have been amended.

In order for your clients to obtain the FULL exemption the purchase price must not exceed


in the GVRD, Fraser Valley and Capital Region Districts.

A PARTIAL exemption is now available for homes between $275,000 and $300,000.


Purchase Price of $285,000
PTT previously would have been $3,700 is now reduced to $1,480


Please review the bulletin from the
Ministry of Provincial Revenue at

or for further information please call

George Sandor


Choosing a good alarm company

Wednesday, February 12th, 2003


New-house prices across the country up by 4.1 per cent in 2002

Wednesday, February 12th, 2003


OTTAWA (CP) – The asking price for new houses across the country rose by 4.1 per cent last year, the highest annual average increase in more than 13 years, says Statistics Canada.

An annual average is calculated by adding increases for each month of the year compared with the same month a year earlier and dividing by 12. In December alone, prices rose by 0.3 per cent from November, “capping off a strong year of growth in new-house prices,” the agency said Wednesday.

December 2002 prices compared with December 2001 were 5.1 per cent higher, the highest 12-month increase in more than 12 years.

“Monthly rises occurred in 12 of the 21 urban centres surveyed, with the largest increases in St. Catharines-Niagara at 0.9 per cent and Calgary at 0.8 per cent. Higher material and labour costs were the main sources of this growth.”

December prices rose 0.4 per cent in Hamilton, partly the result of higher land values. In London, Ont., Sudbury-Thunder Bay, Edmonton and Victoria, the index increased 0.3 per cent on a month-to-month basis. The index was up 0.2 per cent in St. John’s, Nfld., Ottawa-Gatineau and Toronto, and up 0.1 per cent in Saint John, N.B.,-MonctonFredericton and Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario.

“For the second time in a row, Edmonton led . . . with the largest year-over-year increase for new home prices – 9.3 per cent,” the agency said. “Montreal was second with an increase of 8.3 per cent, and Quebec and Ottawa-Gatineau both went up 8.0 per cent on a 12-month basis. There were no annual decreases.

On an annual average basis, notable turnarounds included Victoria, up 3.6 per cent, and Vancouver, up 2.5 per cent.

Ottawa, which a year earlier had a strong increase in annual average prices of 11.6 per cent, saw this growth fall back to 7.7 per cent.

“However, this is still the largest increase among the cities surveyed in 2002.”

Edmonton, which came in second, had a significant jump in the annual average of 7.2 per cent compared with 2001 at 1.6 per cent. “At the bottom of the pack were Charlottetown and Windsor, Ont., with minor increases of 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.”

© Copyright  2003 The Canadian Press