Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Good news for BC - Commercial Leading Indicator Points to a Strong 2012

Vancouver, BC – February 28, 2012.

The BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator (CLI) rose
for the second consecutive quarter, advancing 1.1 points to an index level of 111. On a fourthquarter over fourth-quarter basis, the CLI moved 1.6 per cent higher in 2011. While this is a marked slowing from the 5.2 per cent surge in2010, the index picked up
Commercial Leading Indicator
considerable momentum in the third
and fourth quarter of the year, more
than making up for a weak first half of 2011.
The trend in the CLI turned up slightly as early softness in economic activity was smoothed out by a stronger second half of the year.  This change in trend indicates a positive economic environment for the BC commercial real estate sector in 2012.
“Improving economic data provided a strong tailwind for the CLI in the second half of 2011,” said Brendon Ogmundson, BCREA Economist. “However, growing anxiety surrounding the global economy could constrain the economic environment for commercial real estate this year.”

The full BCREA Commercial Leading Indicator index is available at


Friday, 24 February 2012

Good News for First Time Buyer in B.C. Bonus - details are announced for February 21, 2012, to March 31, 2013

Subject to approval by the legislature, the B.C. government intends to implement a temporary BC First-Time New Home Buyers’ Bonus.

Effective February 21, 2012, to March 31, 2013, the bonus is a one-time refundable personal income tax credit worth up to $10,000.

For more details please read -:


Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707

Email trishcenci@shaw.ca

Thursday, 23 February 2012

What are the Buyers Due Diligence Obligations when Buying a Property?

Hi All,

I read this really interesting article today, from the BC Real Estate Association, about the Buyer and Sellers obligations of disclosure when buying and selling a property and thought you might be interested to read it.

When selling a home it is the seller's obligation to make full and complete disclosure of all issues respecting property offered for sale. What about a buyer's obligation when purchasing property?
Most Realtors ® are familiar with the doctrine of caveat emptor or 'buyer beware.' That maxim holds that a seller has no obligation to disclose patent defects: those discoverable upon a reasonable inspection. However, a seller does have an obligation to disclose latent defects – those not discoverable upon a reasonable inspection – which make the premises dangerous or unfit for habitation.  

Courts have balanced a seller's duty to disclose certain facts and to avoid misrepresentation with the buyer's duty to protect their own interests.
Characterizing a defect as patent or latent is a question of fact requiring consideration of the defect's nature, its importance to the buyer, and the extent of the inspection and inquiry that would be reasonable in the circumstances to reveal the defect.  

In determining the applicable standard of care, the court will consider the investigative actions that a reasonably prudent buyer would take in the circumstances. The buyer's level of sophistication is relevant in determining the standard.  

Our courts consider that buyers have the primary responsibility for investigating a property they propose to purchase, and a duty to carefully review all information provided to them regarding the property. 

Consider the facts in Creswell Investments Inc. v. Pavone1: a sophisticated commercial buyer purchased a commercial strata unit that had a removable mezzanine installed without the necessary building permit. The buyer's offer was non-subject and specified that the mezzanine was included. While the seller had completed a Property Disclosure Statement (PDS), which indicated the seller was aware of alterations or additions done without a required permit and referred to the mezzanine, the buyer did not ask for the PDS and thus it was not provided.

Prior to completion, and at his request, the buyer received authorization from the seller to review the property's city file and received the contact information for the mezzanine manufacturer. The buyer did not follow up in reviewing the file or contacting the manufacturer. 

After the sale completed, the buyer discovered the mezzanine did not comply with the building code. The buyer sued the seller for failing to disclose the mezzanine's status. After dismissing the claims for misrepresentation against the seller, the ultimate issue for the court was whether the mezzanine's status constituted a latent defect, which the seller was obliged to disclose, or a patent defect. 

The court found that the mezzanine did not comply with the fire safety provisions of the building code and this was a latent defect as the premises were potentially dangerous. However, the court concluded that, as the mezzanine's status could have been discovered by a reasonable investigation by the buyer, the defect was patent.

The court held that a reasonably prudent buyer in the buyer's position would have made enquiries about the property at the time of his offer and made the agreement subject to being satisfied with the results of those enquiries. The court held that at the very least, the buyer should have requested a copy of the PDS. Had those steps been taken, the buyer would have discovered the mezzanine's status.

The decision serves as a reminder that while sellers are obliged to make full and complete disclosure of defects not readily discoverable, making the property dangerous or unfit for habitation, buyers are equally obliged to exercise due diligence in investigating properties they propose to purchase. The standard of inquiry will be that of a reasonably prudent buyer in the circumstances.
Jennifer A. Clee
B.A., LL.B.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission." BCREA makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.

I hope you found this article useful ?

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707

Email trishcenci@shaw.ca

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Role of a Mortgage Broker in Purchasing a Property By Guest Blogger April Dunn of Mortgage Alliance Homeline Mortgage

Hi All,

In these times of buyers markets and  lower interest rates, I know some of you may be thinking of purchasing a new property.

As part of that process you will be looking at how to finance that purchase.

To help you with this decision I have invited guest blogger April Dunn, a Mortgage Broker from Mortgage Alliance Homeline Mortgage to write about the role of a Mortgage Broker.

I hope you find this article useful?
I realized recently that there is still confusion around exactly what I do as mortgage broker and the services that I offer. With today’s uncertain economic climate, the record debt levels Canadians now have, and the interest rates at their lowest point in history, I am fielding more questions than ever before. I thought it would be a good time to remind you exactly what I do and why you would use my services.
Here is some information that may help you understand a little more of how I help my clients: 
I work with Canada’s leading Financial Institutions including Banks, Trust Companies, and Credit Unions. They include Scotia, Toronto Dominion, National Bank, CIBC, ING, and many others. There is a list of a few of our lending partners on my website at  www.aprildunn.com 

When you use me to find you the very best mortgage, and negotiate on your behalf, there is no cost to you. The lender pays me a fee for finding and bringing them the business. Remember, it saves them from the cost of additional employees in wages, vacations, training cost, office space and benefits. There is no cost to you, and I only earn a fee if we arrange the mortgage for you. The Fee is the same, regardless of which lender I choose, and it is not built into the rate. The rate is typically lower than if you went directly to the lender, and the process is a thousand times simpler. 

I also have lenders available that specialize in providing mortgages for clients who are self employed, contract employees, have seasonal income, have trouble proving income, or lack some of the standard documentation. I am an expert in negotiating the best rates for all Canadians, but understand that sometimes you may have challenges in your past that I can work through with you, to get you back on track. 

Many consumers think their bank will automatically give them the best rates because they have been loyal customers for many years, have multiple accounts with them, or have high account balances. Don’t fall into that trap. That kind of thinking has cost many clients thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest. 

Often clients make the time consuming mistake of going to multiple lenders themselves, attempting to negotiate the best rate. Each time a Financial Institution pulls your credit report, your credit score actually drops. Sometimes the very exercise of trying to find the most competitive mortgage rate on your own actually disqualifies you from qualifying at all, or forces you into accepting higher interest rates. 

I only pull a single credit report. I then send that report to my lenders electronically eliminating multiple inquiries. You deal with me directly through the entire process, from our very first conversation right until the mortgage process and funding is complete. 

If you, like so many other Canadians, have high interest credit card debt, department store debt, line of credit debt or other outstanding payments, now might be the ideal time to refinance your existing mortgage and consolidate it all into one simple payment, at the lowest rates of all time. This consolidation can sometimes reduce your monthly payments by more than a thousand dollars per month. I would be happy to calculate the savings for your specific situation. 

There has never been a better time in history to consolidate debt, refinance your mortgage or purchase investment properties. I will get the lenders competing for your mortgage business, so that you get incredibly competitive low rates, expert unbiased advice and fast, friendly service. 

Contact me for a complete mortgage review at your convenience, but remember, the lowest rates in history won’t last long. 

April Dunn is a Mortgage Broker who has been assisting clients to purchase, refinance or renew their mortgages for over 15 years.  April is the Managing Broker of Mortgage Alliance Homeline Mortgage, an independent franchise of the Mortgage Alliance network.  April provides a full range of residential and commercial mortgage financing for clients all over the province of British Columbia. April can be reached at 250-826-3543 or april@homelinecanada.com

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707

Email trishcenci@shaw.ca

Friday, 17 February 2012

Finance Minister Announces HST Housing Transition Measures for BC - February 2012

Hi All,

Finance Minister, Kevin Falcon, has made public his transition arrangements regarding HST in BC today, so I thought you would like to see the details.

New Housing Transitional Rules

On Feburary 17th, 2012 the Government announced the transitional rules for returning to the PST. Below you will find information as well as the detailed tax information notice on these rules.

The housing transition rules help ensure when people buy a newly constructed home under the PST, whether built entirely under the HST, entirely under the PST, or partly under HST and partly under the PST, they will all pay a consistent and equitable amount of tax. The transition rules provide certainty for new-home construction and sales, particularly during the transition period.

For newly built homes where construction begins before April 1, 2013, but ownership and possession occur after, purchasers will not pay the seven per cent provincial portion of the HST. Instead, purchasers will pay a temporary, transitional provincial tax of two per cent on the full house price. This ensures equitable treatment among purchasers and will help mitigate distortive market behaviour. Builders will receive temporary housing transition rebates to offset PST on materials to help prevent double-taxation on homebuyers.
  • Average amount of embedded sales tax in newly built homes under PST: two per cent.
  • Tax paid by purchasers on an $850,000-newly built home after HST rebate: two per cent.
  • Tax rate on a newly built home during transition: two per cent.
Kind Regards

Trish Cenci
Tel 250 864 1707
Email trishcenci@shaw.ca

Thursday, 16 February 2012

BCREA Housing Market Update Q1 BC Housing Forecast Update (Feb 2012)

Hi All,

The BC Real Estate Association has now published their latest report on the BC Real Estate Market and also gives their views on the latest Forecasts for 2012 & 2013.

Kind Regards
Trish Cenci
Tel 250 864 1707
Email trishcenci@shaw.ca

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

BCREA Reports Home Sales Rise Outside Lower Mainland

Hi All,

Thought you would like to see that there is better news from BCREA today on housing sales for January 2012.
Vancouver, BC – February 15, 2012. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that the dollar volume of homes sold through Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC dipped 7.6 per cent to $2.1 billion in January compared to the same month last year. A total of 3,976 homes traded hands on the MLS® over the same period, down 3.9 per cent. The average MLS® residential price was 3.8 per cent lower at $527,219 compared to January 2011.
“Increased market activity outside the Lower Mainland in January was offset by fewer sales in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. MLS® Residential sales rose 7 per cent to 1,620 units outside the Lower Mainland, while declining 10 per cent to 2,356 units in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
“While provincial sales activity was down in January from year ago levels, consumer demand has posted modest improvement since last fall, driven by low mortgage interest rates and gradually improving economic conditions,” added Muir.

Kind Regards 
Trish Cenci 
Tel 250 864 1707 
Email trishcenci@shaw.ca

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Kelowna Real Estate Update February 2012

Hi All,

January has traditionally been a quiet month in terms of showings and general real estate activity, in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan.

This year, however, I have seen a sharp increase in viewings on properties at all price points and much higher than normal web activity. Other agents are also reporting a similar story.

In looking at the real estate sales figures at the month end, this level of activity has not transferred into increase sales  yet, but I will not be surprised to see an increase by the end of February.

Central Okanagan Sales January 2012







 *Jan - 12






Dec -11






Nov -11






Oct -11






     Jan 11






*Accurate as at 31 Jan 2012 - may be subject to slight change.

Q1 Real Estate Forecast from BCREA

In case you missed it, the BC Real Estate Association published their Q1 Real Estate Forecast for BC last week. To read the full details please view my Blog Post http://www.trishcenci.blogspot.com/2012/01/hi-all-to-keep-you-up-to-date-with.html

For the Okanagan they are forecasting sales will be up 4.1% in 2012 & MLS® sales prices will increase by a very modest 0.6%.

News for the Quail Ridge & UBCO Area

For those of you who already know me, you will know that I have a real estate office located in the Quail Ridge area, which I share with Tanis Read.

As we have many Buyers and Sellers who are interested in Quail Ridge and UBCO, Tanis and I have just launched a new web site specifically for that area. If you have a moment, do please take a look – www.quailridgerealestate.com  and let us know what you think!

Other news from Quail Ridge – we have learnt this week that we are a step closer to receiving a new bus service to the area from September 2012.

We did write to the City of Kelowna last week and received their confirmation on this, but we will need to wait until budgeting is completed in May to know for sure.

This will be particularly good news for some of the student residents in the condos in Via Centrale and Country Club Drive, who are currently walking to school.


If you are thinking of buying real estate in the Kelowna and Central Okanagan area, now may be the time to start looking seriously.

We will start to see more inventory coming on the market as spring approaches, and pricing will have to be competitive to entice Buyers.

That being said, if sales start to increase, we will move from a ‘Buyers Market’ to a more balanced market, and that is when prices will start to firm up.

As ever, if you have any questions you would like answered, please do not hesitate to give me a call or email me.

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci
Tel 250 864 1707
Email trishcenci@shaw.ca