Coming to a strata near you!

The province of British Columbia has announced changes to the Strata Property Act that are at diverse degrees of coming into affect including:

  • Dispute resolution
  • Changes to improve accountability
  • Rentals permitted within Strata Corporations

New regulations under the Strata Property Act that improve accountability in strata corporations have been introduced that will support the more than one million strata property owners and residents in the province.

The new rules were developed after extensive consultations with the strata community including strata lot owners, strata associations, legal experts and professionals. The consultation also included an online public survey in February 2011 that attracted over 1,800 participants, many of whom provided additional comments that helped refine the final regulations.

The majority of new housing starts in recent years have been stratas. Strata properties already make up more than half of the taxable properties in a dozen British Columbia municipalities. The prevalence of stratas will continue to grow as the province’s population expands and urban densification increases.

The Strata Property Act and regulations are used directly on a regular basis by members of the public. Regulations with respect to audited financial statements are expected to be introduced next year.

A guide to the new regulations will be published early in 2012 to give strata owners and corporations an opportunity to learn more about the new rules before they are required to comply.

Further information is available at: http://www.housing.gov.bc.ca/strata/regs

For help with these new regulations and how they affect you if you are looking to buy or a sell a strata property, call the Cardas Mugridge Group at 604-259-0595.

Canadian housing starts stronger than expected in March

Housing starts rose 5.0% in March 2012 to an annualized pace of 215,600. This result represents the fastest pace of new home construction since October 2008.

  • The increase reflected strong gains in urban multiples and rural starts, which were up by 8.3% and 11.9%, respectively. Urban single-unit starts fell by 2.4% in the month to provide some offset.
  • Gains were led by Ontario (30.3%), with the Prairies and Atlantic Canada also posting gains (6.4% and 2.7%, respectively).
  • New home construction in Canada was robust during the first quarter of 2012, with housing starts up an annualized 17.7% from the final quarter of last year and the quarterly pace of activity representing its highest level since the third quarter of 2008. At least part of the recent strength in starts likely reflected the effect of the warmer than usual winter temperatures that brought construction activity forward. Thus, we expect some modest payback in the coming months, with housing starts expected to moderate to an average of 188,000 for the remainder of 2012.

Housing starts surge

Canadian housing starts rose 5.0% in March 2012 to an annualized pace of 215,600 units from 205,300 in February (revised upward from the previously reported 201,100). The level of starts in March was the highest since October 2008 and was stronger than market expectations for a reading of 200,000. The higher level of housing starts in March reflected a large 8.3% jump in the urban multiples component to 124,100 annualized units, while rural starts surged 11.9% to 23,500 to reverse the previous month’s 11.4% drop. Urban single-unit housing starts provided a partial offset by falling 2.4% to 68,000 annualized units.

Urban starts surged by 30.3% in Ontario thereby reflecting a 50.4% jump in the multiples component (single starts fell 2.8%). The level of multiple-unit starts in Ontario was the second highest on record dating back to 1990. Gains were also seen in the Prairies (6.4%) and Atlantic Canada (2.7%) as strong increases in urban multiple-unit starts more than offset declines in the singles component. Urban starts fell 16.3% in Quebec partially reversing the previous month’s outsized 48.2% gain, while British Columbia’s urban centres saw activity fall to its lowest level since March of last year by being down 27.7% in the month.

New home construction in Canada was robust during the first quarter of 2012, with housing starts up an annualized 17.7% from the final quarter of last year and the quarterly pace of activity representing its highest level since the third quarter of 2008. At least part of the recent strength in starts likely reflects the effect of the warmer than usual winter temperatures that brought construction activity forward. Thus, we expect some modest payback in the coming months, with housing starts expected to moderate to an average of 188,000 for the remainder of 2012.

New home sales in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

If you are looking to buy a new home, contact the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Real Estate experts at the Cardas-Mugridge Real Estate Group. Realtors Kris Mugridge or Mark Cardas can help you get into the home of your dreams.

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WEST IS BEST!!! This 2625 sq ft, 4 bdrm, 3 bath west side beauty is an entertainer’s dream! This home sits on a big landscaped 8179 sq ft lot with grape arbours covering built-in benches around the in-ground kidney-shaped saltwater pool with rock waterfall & fiber optic lights! There’s also a hot tub, wet bar with gas hookup & change/washroom! The inside has been completely renovated from top to bottom and includes a massive games room with pool table, bar and vaulted ceilings! For the car buff there is a double garage in the back and a single garage in the front! This family home is walking distance to all levels of schools, shopping & transportation! Summer is just around the corner so come look for yourself and fall in love!! Only $589,900!!!! Call for details

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WELCOME HOME!! This 2 bedroom upper unit has been transformed into a show home!! Everything has been upgraded and renovated! New hardwood floors, carpet in bedrooms, slate tile in bathrooms and laundry, designer paint, kitchen fully redone with stainless steel appliances! This quiet unit comes with front and rear sundecks with mountain views, insuite laundry and additional parking is available. Central location, walk to everything, very well self-managed complex with low, low strata fees! Don’t let this one pass you by! Move in and enjoy!!!! ONLY 224,900!!

Greater Vancouver housing market trends near long-term averages as spring market approaches

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver February 2012 Stats

greater vancouver real estateCloser alignment between home buyer and seller activity helped bring greater balance to the Greater Vancouver housing market in February.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,545 on the MLS® system in February 2012. This represents a 61.4 per cent increase compared to the 1,577 sales recorded in January 2012, a decline of 17.8 per cent compared to the 3,097 sales in February 2011 and a 2.9 per cent increase from the 2,473 home sales in February 2010.

February sales in Greater Vancouver were the third lowest February total in the region since 2002, though only 151 sales below the 10-year average.

“With a sales-to-active-listings ratio of over 18 per cent, we see fairly balanced conditions in our marketplace as we move into the traditionally busier spring season,” Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver totalled 5,552 in February 2012. This represents a 2.5 per cent decline compared to February 2011 when 5,693 properties were listed, and a 3.5 per cent decline compared to January 2012 when 5,756 homes were added to the MLS® in Greater Vancouver.

Last month’s new listing count was the second highest February total in Greater Vancouver since 1996.

At 14,055, the total number of residential property listings on the MLS® increased 12 per cent in February compared to last month and increased 17.9 per cent from this time last year.

“Region-wide we’ve seen relative stability in home prices over the last six months, but it’s important to do your homework and consult your REALTOR® because pricing can vary considerably depending on the neighbourhood and property type,” Setticasi said.

The MLS® HPI benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver currently sits at $670,900, up 6 per cent compared to February 2011 and an increase of 0.9 per cent compared to January 2012. The benchmark price for all residential properties in the Lower Mainland is $601,300, an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to February 2011.

Sales of detached properties on the MLS® in February 2012 reached 1,101, a decline of 21.5 per cent from the 1,402 detached sales recorded in February 2011, and a 12 per cent increase from the 983 units sold in February 2010. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 10.5 per cent from February 2011 to $1,042,900.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,020 in February 2012, a decline of 15.4 per cent compared to the 1,206 sales in February 2011, and a decrease of 5 per cent compared to the 1,074 sales in February 2010. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 2.8 per cent from February 2011 to $373,300.

Townhome property sales in February 2012 totalled 424, a decline of 13.3 per cent compared to the 489 sales in February 2011, and a 1.9 per cent increase from the 416 townhome properties sold in February 2010. The benchmark price of a townhome unit increased 0.7 per cent between February 2011 and 2012 to $472,800.

If you are looking to buy or sell real estate, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge Realtor Kris Mugridge can help you. Contact Kris Mugridge to get him working for you.