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Blog by Micah Verceles

Extreme Homes - Bond Style Villa

October 31st, 2013
A hideaway cool enough for a secret agent hidden high up amongst the clouds above Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Footage from the 2012 television show, "Extreme Homes".

Bank of Canada drops rate guidance, lowers growth forecast

October 30th, 2013
OTTAWA — There has been a sea change at the Bank of Canada.
No longer are policymakers setting a specific monetary course for interest rates. Instead, for the first time in 18 months, they have dropped any reference to borrowing costs eventually rising — adopting a neutral position and waiting to see which way economic winds blow.
FP1024_LendingRate_C_JR
What hasn’t changed, however, is the central bank’s bigges ...

Would You Live in a $25,000 Vancouver Micro Home?

October 29th, 2013


Micro condos are nothing new to Vancouver, but if you were given the opportunity would you live in a micro house? Check it out via VancityBuzz

Brilliant small apt fits everything

October 26th, 2013

An amazingly designed small apartment under 500 sq feet with a huge amount of storage and awesome art - Michael Pozner, former Head of Retail for American Apparel, and his architect Darrick Borowski, from Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture (www.jpda.net) re-imagined his tiny space to fit his needs.

5 key things to ask when buying a new home

October 25th, 2013
Many people will buy their first home from a builder, whether it’s a detached home, townhouse or condominium unit.
 
Click here for the five questions you need to ask when buying a new home to help avoid mistakes courtesy of The Star.

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1 per cent

October 23rd, 2013

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 is expected to expand modestly in 2013, although its near-term dynamic has changed and the composition of growth is now slightly less favourable for Canada. The U.S. ...

10 Ways to Cut Your Moving Costs

October 22nd, 2013


Moving can be a very chaotic and expensive task, one that needs to be accomplished very carefully. A move carried out in haste can bring about several unnecessary problems. Almost everyone looks for cheap movers. After all, most of us want to save on out of pocket expenses but there are several disadvantages of selecting cheap movers. There are professional moving companies, who offer compe ...

Sale and listing activity continues to follow historical averages

October 21st, 2013


Home buyer and seller activity in the Greater Vancouver housing market continues to far outpace 2012, yet is in line with the region’s 10-year averages.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,483 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September 2013. This represents a 63.8 per cent increase compared to ...

Canada’s housing market shows continued muscle as sales climb

October 18th, 2013
While the market has been gaining steam the Canadian Real Estate Association pointed out Tuesday that about 340,980 homes have traded hands so far this year, a number that remains 1.8 per cent below sales in the same period last year. (Gloria Nieto/The Globe and Mail)
The housing market’s strength continued in September, with sales of existing homes across Canada coming in 18.2 per cent higher than a year earlier.
 
The number of homes that sold last month was slightly above the 10-year average level of sales for the month of September, indicating that the market has fully bounced back from the slump that ensued in the summer of 2012 after Finance Mi ...

No Bank of Canada rate hike till 2016?

October 17th, 2013

In the span of a week, two banks have pushed back their forecasts of a Bank of Canada rate hike to 2016.
The latest one comes from Joshua Dennerlein, economist with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Mr. Dennerlein said he now predicts the Bank of Canada will hike its benchmark rate sometime in the first half of 2016, more than a year later from his earlier forecast of a hike in the fourth q ...

Two thirds of Canadian homeowners likely to renovate in the next 12 months: Scotiabank study

October 16th, 2013

Some 65% of Canadian homeowners are planning renovations in the next 12 months and expect to spend an average of $8,992 according to the recent Scotiabank Home Renovations Poll.
 
Among the provinces, homeowners in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the most likely to renovate (74%) in the next year and plan to spend the most with an average spend of $12,920. The province least likely to ren ...

Why a Mortgage Broker is Your Best Option

October 15th, 2013


Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time, shopping for a mortgage can often be confusing and even frustrating. Besides, who really has the time to research and compare mortgage lenders to ensure the best deal? Then there are all those crazy terms and acronyms – Beacon scores, LTVs, IRDs and porting – it can make your head spin! Isn’t there an easier way?
 
There is indeed, and th ...

TD Economics Data Release: Housing starts better-than-expected in September

October 14th, 2013
 
  • Canadian housing starts rose a better-than-expected 5.3% in September to 194,000 units on an annualized basis. Housing starts are a volatile indicator, so we focus on the trend level of starts. September’s increase took the 6-month moving average slightly higher to 190,000 units from 188,000 in August.
  • The increase was mainly driven by a 5.9% rebound in multi-unit construction, ...

New York City Dumpster House

October 13th, 2013

September CMHC 2013 Housing Starts in Canada

October 12th, 2013

OTTAWA, October 8, 2013 —
 Housing starts in Canada were trending at 190,492 units in September compared to 188,440 in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts.
 
“The trend in total housing starts edged up slightly in September, while remaining clos ...

7 things you need to know about the U.S. budget crisis

October 9th, 2013
 Protestors join Rev. Jesse Jackson (2nd from Right) during a march to call for an end to the federal government shutdown on October 8, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.
 (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The US government budget crisis weighed heavily on investors after President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would not negotiate with the Republicans under the threat of “economic chaos.”
 
Investors are still hopeful Congress can avert an unprecedented US government default by agreeing to lift the debt ceiling before an October 17th deadline.
 
“Any sane person obviously believes the US ...

Government of Canada Poised to Remove Low Rate Stimulus

October 7th, 2013
Interest rates in Canada have not been as low as we have seen in the past 5 years, since the Great Depression.  These historic low rates were initially the response to the global financial crisis that broke out in 2008.  Last month Canadian Banks began raising interest rates on fixed-term mortgage by small increments. This in part was due to our U.S. neighbor's consideration in removing t ...

Fighting Mortgage Fraud

October 6th, 2013

Mortgage fraud in Canada has increased by a staggering 50% in recent years, according to Equifax.

While accounting for only 13% of attempted frauds in 2011, mortgage fraud was responsible for two-thirds, or $400 million, of the estimated dollar amount of financial fraud in Canada. According to John Russo, Vice President of Equifax, that number jumped to $600 million in 2012.

First par ...

SFU Westhouse - The sustainable laneway home

October 4th, 2013


This energy-efficient, green Laneway Loft House built by Smallworks was showcased at LiveCity Yaletown, David Lam Park, one of two City of Vancouver celebration sites, during the 2010 Winter Games.

Smallworks’ founder Jake Fry joined the Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, along with representatives from SFU and the Government of Canada to officially open the doors to West House, at 1 pm ...

Bank of Canada won’t raise interest rates until 2016: Scotiabank

October 3rd, 2013

 

OTTAWA -- The Bank of Canada won't pronounce on interst rates until later this month, but Scoticabank economists are jumping the gun speculating Canadians won't have anything to worry about until 2016.

The economists say remarks by the central bank’s senior deputy governor earlier this week suggest the bank’s view is now that the economy’s spare capacity may remain into sometime in 2016.

...

Booming Vancouver housing market a matter of opinion

October 2nd, 2013


The country’s most expensive market is either red hot or still recovering. It depends on your vantage point.
 
If you compare the market to a year ago, the recovery is spectacular. September Vancouver sales climbed 63.8% from a year ago. Compare those same 2,483 September sales to a month earlier and they are down 1.2%.
 
“While sales are up considerably from last year, it’s important t ...

What a U.S. government shutdown means for Canada

October 1st, 2013
If U.S. politicians fail to resolve their differences over spending, a shutdown of non-essential government services could grind that economy into the ground — just when a sustained recovery appeared to be in reach.

OTTAWA — Once again, Canada’s economy is being overshadowed by our big neighbour.
 
Despite data on Monday showing a strong rebound in growth here, it’s the funding crisis in the United States that dominates the spotlight.
 
How the current U.S. shutdown threat compares to past ones
 
OK, gridlocked politicians we’re used to. But why padlock the Statue of Liberty?
 
You don’t see ...