Thursday, 27 September 2012

BC Condo Owners - Don't be caught out by high insurance deductibles - read on!

Hi All,

If you are a condo owner and do not know what your Strata Insurance deductibles are you need to find out!

I have just read the attached article and thought I should share it.

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci
Cell 250 864 1707

Friday, 21 September 2012

Mortgage Penalties - 10 Useful Questions to ask your lender

Hi All,

I was undertaking some 'back reading' today and saw this useful article, about working out the penalties on fixed rate mortgages, from the Globe and Mail recently, and thought I would share it with you.

1. Is your fixed-rate mortgage penalty based on posted rates, bond yields or discounted rates?

The logic: Some lenders – including the Big Six banks – base penalties on posted rates, which can drastically inflate your penalty. Other lenders use bond yields, which can also cost you a small fortune, depending on bond performance. A few are even bold enough to use posted rates when calculating simple “three-month interest” penalties.

2. If I break the mortgage and stay with you, will you forgive a percentage of my penalty or apply unused prepayment privileges, to reduce my penalty?

The logic: More lenders are doing this as competition grows.

3. If not, can I make a prepayment a few weeks before breaking my mortgage to lower the balance used to calculate my penalty?

The logic: When determining a penalty, some lenders refuse to consider prepayments 30-90 days before you request discharge.

4. What term do you use to calculate the nearest comparison rate for an IRD penalty?

The logic: Some lenders use a shorter term than the nearest term, which can significantly increase your prepayment costs.

5. Can I increase my mortgage without a penalty? T

The logic: This is important if you ever upgrade your home or need additional funds.

6. If I sell my home and port my mortgage to a new property, how long can I take to close on that new property and still avoid a penalty?

The logic: Some lenders unreasonably require you to close your old and new home on the same day.

7. If I break the mortgage early, do I have to pay “reinvestment fees” on top of the penalty, or pay back any cash incentives that I’ve received?

The logic: Other things equal, why pay a reinvestment fee on top of your penalty? The latter answer is usually “yes.”

8. Can I get out of my fixed mortgage early if I pay a penalty?

The logic: Some “low frills” closed mortgages don’t let you out before maturity – no matter what – unless you sell your home.

9. Do you charge IRD penalties on your variable-rate mortgage, as opposed to the standard three-month interest?

The logic: Despite being highly unorthodox, a few lenders actually do this and it can cost you.

10. How long will you honour your IRD penalty quote?

The logic: This is relevant if you’re trying to discharge a fixed-rate mortgage while rates are dropping. Falling rates can increase your IRD penalty.

To read the full story, please view

It's quite a 'mine field', so my advice would be to contact your Mortgage Broker!

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Where did the Kelowna Real Estate Buyers Come from in August 2012 ?

September 18, 2012

The results of OMREB's AUGUST 2012 Buyers Survey are now posted!   

A total of 225 respondents participated in this survey – representing 54% of the 414 OMREB sales representatives who acted as Buyers Agents, and 39% of the 581 deals closed on behalf of Buyers in July.

As I look at the figures this month, it seems that Jim Flaherty's changes to the First Time Buyers rules are now having and impact with First Time Buyers numbers reduced from 19.9% last month to 16.2% this month. 

Buyer numbers from the Lower Mainland have also fallen, which could be a reflection of tougher Real Estate market conditions in the Vancouver area.

Property Type:
26.6% of purchases were by Move-Up Buyers
16.2% by First Time Buyers
15.3% purchasing Recreation Property  (up from 9.7% in July)*
9.9% buying Revenue/Investment Property
8.6% moving from Single Family Home to Strata Unit
6.8% moving into Retirement Home/Seniors Community (up from 3.9% in July) *
2.7% moving from Strata property to Single Family Home

* During the month of August, there was a noticeable jump in sales to Buyers of Recreation Property (15.3% compared to 9.7%) and to Purchasers of Retirement Home/Seniors Community Units (6.8% compared to 3.9%) over July.

Buyer Type (Family Dynamic):
33.0% Two Parent Family/Children (from 26.4% in July)**
24.6% Empty Nesters/Retired 
20.5% Couple without Children
11.6% Single Male
6.3% Single Female
3.6% Single Parent with Children
** In August, there was a significant increase in purchases by Two Parent Families with Children -- 33.0% compared to 26.4% in July.
Moving From:
58.7% from Within OMREB Board Area  (47.2% in July)***
19.1% from Alberta
9.8% from Lower Mainland/Vancouver Island 
4.9% from Other Areas in BC 
2.7% from Saskatchewan/Manitoba 
2.2% from Eastern Canada/Maritimes
1.3% from Outside Canada 
1.3% from NWT/Yukon (12th month reported)

*** Compared to July, there was more movement within the Board Area in August -- rising to 58.7% of purchases from 47.2% in the previous month

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707

Monday, 17 September 2012

Kelowna Real Estate reports improved Sales for August 2012, not so for other parts of BC

Hi All,

Here is the latest Homes Sales report from BCREA today. Overall it doesn't make very good reading for BC, at the moment, which seems to go against our improving economic trends.

That been said, the figures for the Central Okanagan , show our Sales and Dollar volumes up, number of listings falling and average sale prices holding steady.

To see the full report, please read below.

Vancouver, BC – September 17, 2012.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that the dollar volume of homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC declined 25.4 per cent to $2.6 billion in August compared to the same month last year. A total of 5,337 MLS® residential unit sales were recorded over the same period, down 17.9 per cent from August 2011. The average MLS® residential price was $491,145, 9.0 per cent lower than a year ago.

"Consumer demand continued to trend lower in August," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Tighter mortgage credit conditions introduced in July appear to be taking a toll on an already tentative market. However, with home sales slower than improving economic conditions suggest, a rebound may be in store before year-end."

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume declined 17.5 per cent to $26.2 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales dipped 9.1 per cent to 50,131 units, while the average MLS® residential price was 9.3 per cent lower at $521,599.

To read the full report, please click the attached link-:

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707

Friday, 14 September 2012

World Real Estate Update September 2012 from Scotiabank

Hi All,

As I usually tend to focus my Real Estate Reports on the Kelowna and British Columbia Real Estate Markets, I thought you might be interested to see how things were progressing around the rest of the World.   Attached is a link to today's Scotiabank Global Real Estate report by Adrienne Warren

Kind Regards
Trish Cenci
Tel 250 864 1707

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Kelowna Real Estate Sales Update September 2012

Hi All,

After a busy 3 months, August 2012 saw a reduction in residential real estate sales. This is quite normal, as August is traditionally a time when many people focus on holidays rather than buying a home.  

During the last week in August I certainly experienced an increase in enquiries from people thinking of buying a property in the coming couple of months, so it is highly possible that we will experience a busy September and October, particularly if the weather stays good.

  Central Okanagan Sales Figures August 2012

Aug - 12
 Jul - 12
Jun  -12
May -12
    Aug -11

As you can see numbers are well up on last year. Highlights for August - there were 18 sales last month over $1 million, and 55 of the 205 (26%) single family home sales were sales over $550,000. Compared to 52 of the 233 (22%) single family home sales in July. 

I suspect that this will be as a result of continued activity from 'out of town' buyers who were shown to be buying recreational and investment properties in last months Buyers Survey Results, for the Central Okaganan. It will be important to watch the Buyers Survey results for at least the next couple of months, to see whether the change in Mortgage Lending Rules has affected First Time Buyer Sales.

Ongoing Okaganan Housing Outlook.

I am finally starting to read more positive things about the local Real Estate Market, in the media, and it has been interesting that they have made specific mention of BC's Interior. More 'robust demand in the Interior', was the comment in  the latest BC Real Estate Association Housing Forecast, for Quarter 3, and in the Globe and Mail this week-  "The region’s established popularity with vacationers mean the values to be had now will look good well into the future." 

To Buyers - I realise this is no basis on which to form a buying decision, but you have been warned ( from various sources), that interest rates will never be better and average house prices, in the Okaganan, are likely to start to rise in 2013.

To Sellers - if  you are still thinking of selling your property this year, it isn't too late, so please feel free to give me a call and I will be happy to provide you with an up to date Market Analysis.

And Finally.. You may have noticed I have changed my website around this month. If you have any feedback of additional things you would like to see, to help you with your buying and selling decisions, please feel free to telephone or email me, as I would love to hear from you!!

Kind Regards

Trish Cenci

Tel 250 864 1707