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There’s an old saying that ‘the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location'. But what makes one community more desirable than another? Often, it’s the visible aspects of the neighbourhood such as pride of ownership in well maintained houses and clean, tree-lined streets. Sometimes it’s the intangibles: a look or feeling you get while driving down a street. When you’re house hunting, it’s important to remember that when you buy a home you’re also buying the neighbourhood.
Your home is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make. So, it’s wise to buy in an area that is stable and has a good reputation. A community’s reputation is based on many factors, including close proximity to a thriving economic centre. Look for good schools and easy access to public facilities such as libraries, parks and recreation centres. Also consider commute time: how long will it take you to get to work? Remember not to make that decision based on how long it takes to make the drive to view the house, but actually during rush hour. Are you the type of person who doesn’t mind an hour’s drive each way to work? Or do you prefer to take public transit?
Before you purchase a home, it’s a good idea to check with the planning and zoning departments at city hall for proposed developments in the area. If you’re looking for a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle, you’ll want to know if there’s a proposed shopping mall going in at the corner. Or could there be an office tower slated to back up against your backyard?
The resale potential of the neighbourhood is important too. THE RALPH TELEP TEAM can create a report for you, showing the properties listed and sold in the area, and discuss the potential for appreciation in property values.
Try to get a sense of the community before you move in. Make several trips to the area you’re considering. Visit on different days of the week at different times of the day and night. Do you like what you see? Do you feel comfortable? Talk to residents—they are a wealth of knowledge about the area amenities and the community spirit. Read a few issues of the local newspaper to get up to date on current initiatives and developments. You might even want to visit the local library or community center to get an overview of what’s going on in the area.
You can rely on THE RALPH TELEP TEAM to be a fountain of information too. Then, when it comes time to buy your first house, you’ll choose a community where you’ll feel right at home.
Call THE RALPH TELEP TEAM anytime at 604-467-9300
REBGV reports increased housing demand in February
Demand for detached homes continues to be strong across Greater Vancouver, with particularly high sales volumes occurring in Richmond and Vancouver Westside.
For the past two months, the number of properties listed for sale and those sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Greater Vancouver outpaced the 10-year average in both categories. From a historical perspective, February’s 3,097 home sales outpace the 2,742 home-sale average recorded in the region over the last ten years.
“We saw an increase in demand across our region last month as more buyers entered the market in advance of the spring season,” said Jake Moldowan, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). “The intensity of this activity varied between communities. Our statistics tell us that single detached homes in Richmond and the west side of Vancouver remain the most sought after properties in our marketplace.”
Between November 2010 and February 2011, the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price of a detached home in Richmond increased $190,739 to $1,099,679; in Vancouver West, detached home prices increased $222,185 to $1,850,072. In comparison, detached home prices across the region increased $51,762 between November 2010 and February 2011 to $848,645.
“To effectively analyse real estate statistics for the purpose of buying or selling a home, it’s critical to focus on your neighbourhood of choice because, like we see today, conditions and prices can fluctuate significantly within the same city or municipality,” Moldowan said.
Looking across the region, the REBGV reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver reached 3,097 on the MLS® in February 2011. This represents a 70.3 per cent increase compared to the 1,819 sales recorded in January 2011, an increase of 25.2 per cent compared to the 2,473 sales in February 2010 and a 109.3 per cent increase from the 1,480 home sales in February 2009.
New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,693 in February 2011. This represents a 23.6 per cent increase compared to February 2010 when 4,606 properties were listed, and an 18.6 per cent increase compared to January 2011 when 4,801 homes were added to the MLS® in Greater Vancouver.
“With a sizeable increase in the number of properties coming onto the market for sale, there’s a good selection out there for buyers to choose from,” Moldowan said.
At, 11,925, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 14.2 per cent in February compared to last month and increased 5 per cent from this time last year.
Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in February 2011 reached 1,402, an increase of 42.6 per cent from the 983 detached sales recorded in February 2010, and a 138.9 per cent increase from the 587 units sold in February 2009. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 6 per cent from February 2010 to $848,645.
Sales of apartment properties reached 1,206 in February 2011, a 12.3 per cent increase compared to the 1,074 sales in February 2010, and an increase of 85.5 per cent compared to the 650 sales in February 2009. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 2.2 per cent from February 2010 to $399,397.
Attached property sales in February 2011 totalled 489, a 17.5 per cent increase compared to the 416 sales in February 2010, and a 101.2 per cent increase from the 243 attached properties sold in February 2009. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 2.3 per cent between February 2010 and 2011 to $507,118.
In today’s marketplace, Canadian consumers are constantly being inundated with advertising claims from a number of real estate brands, many of which sound very similar from one company to the next. The consumer is left wondering whether there really is a difference between real estate organizations.
That was a key reason why Coldwell Banker developed Ultimate Service. It all starts with listening. Every client and every transaction is different. Only by listening to the you and truly understanding your needs, can we deliver a value proposition that will meet your needs.
There are three distinct steps to the Ultimate Service marketing process:
- First, we listen to YOU. This ensures we understand YOUR goals & needs
- Second, TOGETHER, we develop a customized service plan to meet YOUR needs
- And finally, we give YOU an opportunity to evaluate our service in the form of a customer satisfaction survey
These satisfaction surveys benefit our clients in two ways. First it provides valuable feedback which allows us to continually evaluate and refine our service. Only by constantly improving can we ensure that our service stays ahead of our clients’ expectations.
But there’s another way that our survey benefits you – it offers you a proven track record of our performance.
Through our continued service, The RALPH TELEP TEAM is a proud member of the Ultimate Service program. Why? Because it’s based on what our clients have to say about the service experience delivered to them by THE RALPH TELEP TEAM.
When you choose THE RALPH TELEP TEAM, to assist you in buying or selling, you don’t have to take our word for it that we provide outstanding service – just ask our clients!
There's been a lot of media attention about the U.S. real estate market recently, leaving some Canadians uncertain about buying vacation or retirement property south of the border. While every transation is different, Canadians should be aware that overall prospects for long-term appreciation in U.S. property values are good, provided you're prepared to stay with the home for a while. In today's challenging market, this is generally not a good time for 'quick flip' strategies.
Some markets in the U.S. have experienced significant depreciation in home values in last few years. This market adjustment - combined with a strong Canadian dollar at near, or even surpassing par with the U.S. dollar - have resulted in prices not seen by Canadian homebuyers in many years.
'Snowbird' destinations such as Florida or Arizona represent huge markets, so every type of property, house style and price range is available to choose from. There are numerous expamples of 3 bedroom single family homes in sunshine destinations selling at close to $100,000. Here in Canada, people are paying 3 times that for a summer cottage.
Unlike the Canadian market, foreclosures are readily available in many U.S. markets. Foreclosures can offer great prices, but buyers should be caustious about these properties. Sales are typically 'as is' and not warranted against hidden defects and sometimes such homes have not been well maintained. Also, since property values have declined significantly in some markets, the fact that a property is a foreclosure does not necessarily translate into a blow market price.
If you're thinking of buying in the U.S. call us and we'll put you in touch with an experienced REALTOR south of the border who can work with you to find a home that fits all your personal needs.
Sales expected to rebound in 2012; prices continue to rise.
There are good things on the horizon for the Canadian real estate market. AT least, so say the latest industry forecasts, which have just been revised upward. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has just boosted its 2011 national forecast for MLS® sales. What’s more CREA has now also issued a very positive forecast for 2012.
The new forecast, represents an upward revision to CREA’s earlier national forecast for 2011. CREA sites recent improvements in economic outlook, along with further expected improvement in consumer confidence as reasons for the upward forecast.
There’s good news for homeowners and home sellers too, as property values are expected to continue their upward climb, although at a much more moderate pace. According to CREA, the national average home price is expected to rise 1.3% in both 2011 and 2012. The average price is expected to rise modestly in most provinces, reflecting the continuation of a healthy balance between supply of, and demand for, homes listed for sale.
Of course, this is just an overview of the national picture. Home prices vary dramatically between communities and within neighbourhoods. For a more detailed look at what home sales are doing in your neighbourhood call us any time at 604-467-9300. THE RALPH TELEP TEAM