Back To The Age Of The Folk Song

Back to the Age of the Folk Song

We don’t expect too many flowers to be blooming in the first few months of the year, but the Peter, Paul and Mary anthem could be reworked to ask the question…where have all the sales gone?…. on our Northshore. Why are we down so much from this time last year? Is it a time for panic? A time to be born, a time to die, a time to reap, a time to sow, a time to refrain from…. OK, OK I’ll refrain from refraining.

Why is the inventory (properties for sale) rising around us? …. And yet, the biggest concern of all of you who read this is clearly – what about those poor Realtors, trying to put bread on the table ??! Sorry folk, just a little facetious play for sympathy; I know that is not the big issue here (sob, sob!)

Seriously though, what is the issue and what the cause? Philosophically speaking the drop in sales reflects one major concern of the buying (or non-buying) public – confidence. Confidence in what? – you may ask. Largely, a confidence in the value of our real estate at the present time and specifically the unknown of what it will be tomorrow, next month or April, May and beyond. This represents the last dying moments of a down-cycle that started demand and therefore prices, flagging about nine months ago (late 2nd quarter 2012). It is these dying moments that are the clarion call to the wannabe home owners that NOW and for possibly the next month or so, represents the BEST opportunities for acquiring that home, that you will see for the full duration of the next cycle. Count on it! The best deal that a buyer can (with the help of an experienced Realtor) possibly negotiate.

My apologies to those who may find my message too evangelical but it is tough not to be somewhat passionate about the opportunities you truly believe in.

Again, visit my website to see and “hear” the new developments.  I continue my commitment to keep you… – the “go to” site for North Shore Real Estate analysis and jumping-off point for FULL market listing information.

Join those wishing to get the e-mail version of the “update” and SnapStats  – send a request to; phone (604) 988-7368 or visit and you’ll be added.

March 2013 Numbers

Now we turn to the ‘Year to Date’ figures for 2013. We now have 2 months figures 2013 vs. 2012 (1/6th of a year is better than the 1/12th we had last month!)  .  North Van detached homes sold down 20% from last year, attached (t/homes) down 14% and apartments down by 30% from 2012. Detached average prices up 1% and inventory now up by 47%. Average prices down 6% (t/hse) and no change for (apts). Inventory (t/hse) 20% higher than Feb 28th 2012 and (apt) down from the same date by 9%. Remember that numbers here reflect only the activity in 2 months and these minimal figures should not be used to yet define a serious trend.

In West Van, detached number of sales for 2013 has dropped by 35% from 2012.  Average price of what has sold is unchanged and inventory up 27% over Feb 28th 2012. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold 2013 are down 54% from 2012 at 6 vs. 13 units. Active listings are up year over year from Feb 28th 2012 by 52% (52 vs. 34).  Apartments reflect 18 sold in 2013 vs. 27 by Feb 28th 2012; with average price up 23% from Feb 28th 2012 and active listings up 28% from Feb 28th 2012. Again the sample size is too small for meaningful analysis.

Overall North Shore demand picked up a little (over the last 2/3 months of 2012) with overall inventory generally climbing since Jan 1st 2012. With this few actual sales to compare we are far more prone to anomalies e.g. possibly fewer “luxury units” selling in these lower demand times.  I continue using average YTD prices which will become more meaningful as we get more months’ stats to compare.

The ‘SnapStats’ (what price ranges are selling and which are not) is being extremely well received. I am now forwarding the past 12 month trend for not only N and W/Van but including ALL available metro neighbourhoods, as many were requesting. If any locations are not of interest, please ignore those areas.


North Shore Real Estate Radio

On an ongoing basis I pledge both my continued personalized service and a commitment to my reduced  business ecological “footprint”. A significant part is the radio (podcast) library which I’m continually creating.

All North Vancouver Real Estate “Updates”, reports and information articles, checklists etc. will be archived on my website and available for download or desktop listening 24/7. You can access the information you seek when the spirit moves and not when someone pushes yet another flyer into your mailbox. I am most excited about these developments. Input as to the topics for “programming” you feel would be of interest is strongly sought. Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call me 604 988-7368 and 1-800-665-1455.

Click on the “Podcast” Icon in the top right of this article to listen now.

North Vancouver Real Estate



Providing this information for you and for you to share with family and friends

The top 20 grants and rebates for home buyers and owners


1 Home Buyers’ Plan

Qualifying home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 (couples can withdraw up to $50,000) from their RRSPs for a down payment. Home buyers who have repaid their RRSP may be eligible to use the program a second time.

CanadaRevenueAgency Enter ‘Home Buyers’ Plan’ in the search box. 1.800.959.8287

2 GST Rebate on New Homes

New home buyers can apply for a rebate of the federal portion of the HST (the 5% GST) if the purchase price is $350,000 or less. The rebate is equal to 36% of the GST to a maximum rebate of $6,300. There is a proportional GST rebate for new homes costing between $350,000 and $450,000. At $450,000 and above the rebate is nil.

Canada Revenue Agency Enter ‘RC4028’ in the search box. 1.800.959.8287

 3 BC Property Transfer Tax

(PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Program

Qualifying first-time buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the remainder of the purchase price of a home priced up to $425,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced up to $450,000. At $450,000 and above the rebate is nil.

BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue 1.250.387.0604

4 First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)

This federal non-refundable income tax credit is for qualifying buyers of detached, attached, apartment condominiums, mobile homes or shares in a cooperative housing corporation. The calculation: multiply the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2011) x $5,000. For the 2012 tax year, the maximum credit is $750. Canada Revenue Agency Enter ‘First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit’ in the search box. 1.800.959.8281

5 B C Home Owner Grant

Reduces property taxes for home owners with an assessed value of up to $1,295,000. The basic grant gives home owners:

– a maximum reduction of $570 in property taxes on principal residences in the Capital, Greater

Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts;

– an additional grant of $200 to rural homeowners elsewhere in the province; and

– an additional grant of $275 to seniors aged 65+, those who are permanently disabled and war

veterans of certain wars.

BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue or call your municipal tax office.

6 BC Property Tax Deferment Programs

Property Tax Deferment Program for Seniors. Qualifying home owners aged 55+ may be eligible to defer property taxes.

Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program.  Qualifying low- income home owners may be eligible to defer property taxes.

Property Tax Deferment Program for Families with Children.

Qualifying low-income home owners who financially support children under age 18 may be eligible to defer property taxes. BC Ministry of Small Business and Revenue

7 Canada Mortgage and Housing Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program Grants

This federal program provides financial aid to qualifying low-income home owners to repair sub-standard housing. Eligible repairs include heating, structural, electrical, plumbing and fire safety. Grants are available for seniors, persons with disabilities, owners of rental properties and owners creating secondary and garden suites.  1.800.668.2642 | 604.873.7408

8 Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI)

A program jointly sponsored by the provincial and federal governments provides up to $20,000 to help eligible low-income seniors and disabled home owners and landlords to finance modifications to their homes to make them accessible and safer.

BC Housing

604.646.7055 | 1.800.407.7757 extension 7055

9 CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance Premium Refund

Provides home buyers with CMHC mortgage insurance, a 10% premium refund and possible extended amortization without surcharge when buyers purchase an energy efficient home or make energy saving renovations. 604.731.5733

10 Energy Saving Mortgages

Financial institutions offer a range of mortgages to home buyers and owners who make their homes more energy efficient. For example, home owners who have a home energy audit within 90 days of receiving an RBC Energy Saver™ Mortgage may qualify for a rebate of $300 to their RBC account.  1.800.769.2511

11 Low Interest Renovation Loans

Financial institutions offer ‘green’ loans for home owners making energy efficient upgrades. Vancity’s Bright Ideas personal loan offers home owners up to $20,000 at prime + 1% for up to 10 years for ‘green’ renovations. RBC’s Energy Saver loan offers 1% off the interest rate for a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000 or a $100 rebate on a home energy audit on a fixed rate installment loan over $5,000. For information visit your financial institution. and ;

12 BC Residential Energy Credit

Home owners and residential landlords buying heating fuel receive a BC government point-of-sale rebate on utility bills equal to the provincial component of the HST.  1.877.388.4440

13 BC Hydro Appliance Rebates

Mail-in rebates for purchasers of ENERGY STAR clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers or freezers. 1.800.224.9376

14 BC Hydro Fridge Buy-Back Program

This ongoing program rebates BC Hydro customers $30 to turn in spare fridges in working condition. 604.881.4357

15 BC Hydro Windows Rebate Program

Receive rebates or tax savings when you buy ENERGY STAR high-performance windows.

16 FortisBC Rebate Program

A range of rebates for home owners include a $75 rebate for upgrading to an ENERGY STAR clothes washer, a $300 fireplace rebate, $500 off water heaters and $1,000 for switching to natural gas.. ; 1.888.224.2710

17 FortisBC Rebate Program for Businesses

For commercial buildings, provides a rebate of up to $60,000 for the purchase of an energy efficient boiler, up to $15,000 for the purchase of a high-efficiency water heater and receive funding towards a new construction energy study.  1.888.477.0777

18 City of Vancouver Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Subsidy Program

The City of Vancouver provides a subsidy of 50% of the cost of a rain barrel for Vancouver residents. With the subsidy the barrel costs $75. There is also a backyard composter for $25.



19 Local Government Water Conservation Incentives

Your municipality may provide grants and incentives to residents to help save water. For example, the City of Coquitlam offers residents a $100 rebate and the City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, and District of West Vancouver offer a $50 rebate when residents install a low-flush toilet. Visit your municipality’s website and enter ‘toilet rebate’ to see if there is a program.

20 Local Government Water Meter Programs

Your municipality may provide a program for voluntary water metering, so that you pay only for the amount of water that you use. Delta, Richmond and Surrey have programs and other municipalities may soon follow. Visit your municipality’s website and enter ‘water meter’ to find out if there is a program.

Excerpt from an Article contributed by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.