OTTAWA, February 28, 2014 — Following the annual review of its insurance products and capital requirements, CMHC will increase its mortgage loan insurance premiums for homeowner and 1 – 4 unit rental properties effective May 1, 2014.


Who Does This Affect? 


The increase applies to mortgage loan insurance premiums for owner occupied, self-employed and 1-to-4 unit rental properties, including low-ratio refinance premiums. This does not apply to mortgages currently insured by CMHC.


CMHC’s capital management framework is consistent with international practices and Canadian guidelines for mortgage insurers. Increased capital targets are consistent with Canadian and international industry trends and makes the financial system more stable and resilient.


“The higher premiums reflect CMHC’s higher capital targets” said Steven...


First-time home buyers received welcome news in the February 2014 provincial budget.

The government has announced, effective February 19, 2014, under the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Exemption program, qualifying first-time buyers can buy a home worth up to $475,000 (previously $425,000).


The partial exemption continues and will apply to homes valued between $475,000 and $500,000.


What does it mean for the realt estate market?

More home buyers

With this change, the government estimates 1,700 additional first-time buyers will annually be eligible to save up to $7,500 in PTT when they buy their home.


The government estimates this measure will cost $8 million in lost tax revenue each year.


The Real Estate Board together with BC Real Estate Association has actively lobbied to make home ownership more affordable for first-time home buyers....


Ottawa - The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

The global economic outlook is broadly consistent with the Bank’s projection in its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR).  Global financial conditions remain stimulative, despite recent volatility. In the United States, the economic expansion is continuing at a gradual pace and private sector demand is gaining momentum. Fiscal drag in the United States over the next two years remains consistent with the Bank’s January projection, although it is likely to be more front-loaded as a result of sequestration cuts.  The recession in Europe continues. Growth in China has improved, while economic activity in some other major emerging economies is expected to benefit...


B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers' Bonus

The B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus is a one-time payment worth up to $10,000.  B.C. residents who are first-time home buyers and who purchase an eligible new home on or after February 21, 2012 and before April 1, 2013 may be eligible for this bonus. 

A first-time home buyer is an individual who has never previously owned a primary residence anywhere in the world. A primary residence is generally a house that you own, jointly or otherwise, and that you intend to live in on a permanent basis. You may have more than one place of residence, but you are considered to have only one primary residence.


  • You purchase or build an eligible new home in B.C.
  • You and your spouse or common-law law partner are first-time home buyers
  • In the case of multiple buyers of a home, each buyer is a 
    first-time home...

The Ups and Downs of B.C. Assessments


Should you appeal your BC Assessment?  Well, the numbers are out and some are up and some are down with no shortage of conflicting opinion as to what the latest property assessments all mean.  As REALTORS® we know that an assessed value determined in July of the previous year may reflect little on the current market value of a property for any number of reasons, including the property was not personally inspected by an assessor, conditions either deteriorated or improved in recent months or market conditions changed.


The Assessment Authority estimates the majority of homeowners will see a change of less than five per cent either up or down. The public can compare their assessment to others in their neighbourhood free of charge by accessing BCA’s website and its easy-to-use e-valueBC&...


Ottawa - The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

The global economic outlook is slightly weaker than the Bank had projected in its October Monetary Policy Report (MPR).  At the same time, global tail risks have diminished. The economic expansion in the United States is continuing at a gradual pace, restrained by ongoing public and private deleveraging, global weakness and uncertainty related to fiscal negotiations.  Despite a marked improvement in peripheral sovereign debt markets, Europe remains in recession, with a somewhat more protracted downturn now expected than in October. Growth in China is improving, though economic activity has slowed further in some other major emerging economies. Supported by central bank...



4 December 2012
Contact: Jeremy Harrison
613 782-8782

Ottawa -

The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.


The global economy has unfolded broadly as the Bank projected in its October Monetary Policy Report (MPR). The economic expansion in the United States is progressing at a gradual pace and is being held back by uncertainty related to the fiscal cliff. Europe remains in recession. Chinese growth appears to be stabilizing. Commodity prices have remained at elevated levels since the October MPR and global inflationary pressures are subdued in response to persistent excess capacity. Global financial conditions remain stimulative, though vulnerable to major shocks from the U.S. or Europe.


In Canada, economic...


Many homes in the Greater Vancouver area built before 1957 were originally heated with furnace oil. When natural gas became available, the oil storage tanks, which were normally located underground in backyards, were filled with sand or capped.

However, as these unused buried oil tanks start to corrode and rust, the remaining oil can leak out and flow onto the rest of the owner's property, the neighbour's property, storm sumps and waterways, resulting in contamination of soil and water. Apart from the negative financial impact on the market value of the property, the owner can face substantial legal liability under various statutes and bylaws for such contamination.

The B.C. Fire Code and bylaws of 12 municipalities (including the City of Vancouver) all essentially require that out-of-service underground oil storage tanks (USTs) be removed and that all contaminated soil must be removed and...


The country’s biggest banks were caught off guard on Wednesday night as the Department of Finance prepared to clamp down on mortgages by reducing the maximum amortization for a government-insured mortgage to 25 years from 30.


Ottawa will also limit the amount of equity that can be borrowed against a home to 80 per cent of the property’s value, down from 85 per cent.


The moves are designed to cool the housing market and limit the record levels of personal debt Canadians have amassed in recent years. Figures from Statistics Canada show the average ratio of debt-to-disposable income climbed to 152 per cent, up from 150.6 per cent at the end of 2011. A rise in interest rates or further job losses could put some households at financial risk, endangering any economic recovery.


The Bank of Canada is expected to keep interest rates low for some time because the economy...



“How will I ever afford to buy a home in Vancouver?!!”
 We are dealing in the priciest real estate in the country, that's a familiar lament we hear from our family and friends. Taking that first leap into home ownership can be a daunting prospect in a market of near record highs. Tempered only by historically low interest rates, likely nowhere is the conversion of renter to home owner more challenging than right here on the West Coast.

But thanks to new legislation recently passed in Victoria, the horizon is looking a little brighter for first time new home buyers in B.C.

The B.C. First Time New Home Buyers' Bonus is a one-time bonus payment of up to $10,000 for 1st time buyers of new homes in the province. Here are some of the qualifications needed to convert renters into owners:

  • The Buyer cannot have owned a primary residence...

Ottawa, Ontario - The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.


The outlook for global economic growth has weakened in recent weeks. Some of the risks around the European crisis are materializing and risks remain skewed to the downside. This is leading to a sharp deterioration in global financial conditions. While the U.S. economy continues to expand at a modest pace, economic activity in emerging-market economies is slowing a bit faster and a bit more broadly than had been expected. More modest global momentum and heightened financial risk aversion have reduced commodity prices.


Although economic growth in Canada was slightly slower than expected in the first quarter, underlying economic momentum appears largely consistent with e...



Did you know? Home owners can be held legally responsible for the safety of workers? 


A recent news story has indicated that Gordon Campbell was held responsible for the death of a workman who fell through his skylight. 


Unfortunately this scenario is not uncommon, people often hire contractors to work on their home while being blissfully unaware of their legal responsibilities. Home owners should know that if a worker is injured/killed while working on your roof or anywhere else on your property, you may be held legally responsible for their injuries or death. 


To avoid liability you must have a legal contract, stating who is the primary contractor (responsible for coordinating and enforcing Worksafe BC regulations with all sub-contractors). Otherwise the home owner is considered the primary contractor by default. Therefore, I strongly...


Ottawa, Ontario - The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.


The profile for global economic growth has improved since the Bank released its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Europe is expected to emerge slowly from recession in the second half of 2012, although the risks around this outlook remain high.  The profile for U.S. growth is slightly stronger, reflecting the balance of somewhat improved labour markets, financial conditions and confidence on the one hand, and emerging fiscal consolidation and ongoing household deleveraging on the other.  Economic activity in emerging-market economies is expected to moderate to a still-robust pace over the projection horizon, supported by an easing of macroeconomic policies. &nb...


Although tax season is now over for this year, please remember to keep next year's taxes in mind when you are moving this year. 

Did you know that many moving expenses can be tax deductible? It's important to keep your receipts! Students, employees and (in some cases) employed-working-at-home may be eligible to claim a portion of travel expenses, transportation costs, legal fees, fees associated with selling your residence and some incidental costs associated with the sale of your home/moving.

Please review this great article on It is a helpful guide as to the details of who is eligible and what, specifically, may be tax deductible. Please remember it is important to always consult a certified accountant for the most current Revenue Canada guidelines around this or any other possible tax exemption.

Every little bit helps!

Wateringlawn.jpgYour home's lawn and garden are one of the first things a potential buyer sees when they pull up to your property. If listing your home is on the agenda this year, now is a great time to do some landscaping maintenance. Colourful flowers, lush lawns... they take some commitment but the return is very worth it. Plus, you will get to enjoy a beautiful backyard!

As you know, I'm a big fan of supporting green alternatives. This article posted on explains the benefits of using a drip irrigation system for your lawn and garden, a great way to ensure efficient watering practices. Sprinkler irrigation systems can water at a rate of 4 litres per minute, while a drip irrigation system may release only 4 litres per hour. Now that is a green alternative!

Do you have any green gardening alternatives to share? I would love to hear them.

Happy landscaping!

The Province published an excellent Q&A article last week that I wanted to share. The Executive Director of the Condominium Homeowner's Association, Tony Gioventu, discussed rental bylaws and how they affect strata's rental restriction numbers. 

Here is the situation/question posed in the article dated April 24, 2011.

Q: Our strata has an interesting problem that relates to rental bylaws. We are 297 units in three buildings and we permit a maximum of 10 per cent rentals at any given time.

An owner wishes to rent their unit, but we currently have 35 rentals in the building.

The owner requested a hearing and demanded to know how we were keeping the rental inventory and of the 35 which were family rentals, hardship or exemptions from the original disclosure statement.

Our bylaw clearly states that all rentals shall be counted as part of the rental limitation, but the owner challenged...


Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Close the front door to not let the heat out. Take shorter showers. We all know a few quick and easy ways to conserve energy in the home. This is a great article from and BC Hydro sharing 50 ways to save energy.

We lead busy lives and probably don't realize that repairing the cracks in our fireplace and turning off the oven just a few minutes earlier can really help conserve energy.

Do you have any energy saving tips to share?

Recent power outages in North America are a reminder of how extensively we depend on electricity to function. Among other things, it provides light and heat, keeps our food cool and brings the world into our homes through our televisions and computers. As the demand for power has increased, so has the incidence of blackouts and price increases in some parts of the...


The Bank of Canada has released the following statement on Tuesday, April 12, 2011.

If you have any questions about what this means for your lending situations, please contact me and I would be happy to share more information!

12 April 2011

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent

OTTAWA –The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 1 1/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 3/4 per cent.

As anticipated in the January Monetary Policy Report (MPR), the global economic recovery is becoming more firmly entrenched and is expected to continue at a steady pace.  In the United States, growth is solidifying, although consolidation of household and ultimately government balance sheets will limit the pace of the expansion.  European growth has...

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