The provincial government announced changes on September 13 intended to address rising strata insurance costs that have affected strata owners throughout the province.

Here’s a summary of the changes:

  • Effective immediately, referral fees to strata property managers from strata insurance transactions are prohibited.
  • Effective November 1, strata insurers and agents must provide 30 days advance notice to strata corporations if they intend to not renew an insurance policy or make material changes to the policy.
  • Strata insurance agents will also be required to disclose their commission amount, or a reasonable estimate, to strata corporations. Failing to meet these requirements can result in penalties of up to $25,000 for an individual or $50,000 for a corporation.

Click here to read the government’s announcement.

These changes follow the BC Financial Services Authority’s June report that found strata premiums have risen by approximately 40 per cent across the province year-over-year and deductibles have risen as well, sometimes with triple-digit increases.

We’ll share more analysis on these changes in future communications.

Other articles on this issue

Strata insurance – where are we at?

Government steps in to address rising insurance costs for strata owners

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.
https://www.rebgv.ca/content/rebgv/en/Guidelines-Rules-and-Legislation/REALTOR-Essentials/Property-Research/stratas/provincial-government-changes-strata-insurance-regulations.html

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Meditation has many health benefits and is a highly effective way to relieve stress and maintain a healthier lifestyle. With practice, meditation becomes more of an easy habit to maintain and more of an effective one as well, given that it builds resilience to stress over time.

Here is a basic process to get you started from the verywellmind website:

Step 1: Get Into a Comfortable Position.

Choose where and how you’ll sit. Many people like to sit in a comfortable chair while others prefer to sit cross-legged on the ground. You want to be able to completely relax while still staying awake, which is easier to do if your back is straight. A straight back will also prevent soreness during longer meditations.

Step 2: Gently close your eyes.

Become aware of your breath, attuning to the sensation of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe. Feel your belly rise and fall as air enters your nostrils and leaves your mouth. Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different.

Step 3: Put your thoughts aside.

While you can’t control your thoughts, you can control how much power they have over you. This doesn’t mean you should ignore or suppress them, but simply remain calm, note them, and then use your breathing to bring you back to the moment. Learning to do this during your meditation practice can help you to let things go in the rest of your life as well.

Step 4: Keep going.

That’s it, really! Keep putting aside any thoughts that may pop into your mind. The quiet spaces between thoughts will become longer and more frequent the longer you practice.

A Few Tips to Help You Get Started:

• Set goals for personal growth and give yourself time to learn.
• Begin with five minutes and use a timer to avoid watching the clock.
• Try different techniques until you find yours.

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Titan, the largest moon of the ringed planet Saturn, is moving out. Not just that, but the large moon is escaping at a faster speed than anyone previously realized. CNN reports that Titan is moving away from Saturn at a rate of four inches per year—100 times faster than previously thought. Other moons in the solar system also migrate, but at a slower rate. Earth’s moon, for example, is pulling away some 1.5 inches per year.

Titan, larger than the planet Mercury, orbits Saturn at a distance of 759,000 miles. Titan is the only moon known to have a considerable atmosphere and, aside from Earth, is the only planetary body in the solar system with liquid rivers and lakes on the surface.

Titan will be visited by a NASA probe, Dragonfly, in 2034. The drone will fly through the moon’s thick atmosphere and visit an impact crater formed tens of thousands of years ago, where scientists believe they might find ingredients for life.

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I have sold a property at 7445 West Boulevard in Vancouver.
Great location! steps to the Arbutus corridor. This beautiful 2012 custom built 5 bdrm home in the desirable S.W Marine area. 40 x 120 lot, 4753 SF. Sunny west facing backyard w/detached dbl garage & 1 open parking. Very bright and spacious 3472 sf home features top quality & detailing throughout, open floor plan, 3 bedrooms upstairs with 2 in the basement. Gourmet chef's kitchen featuring Wolf 6 burner gas stove, Miele top of the line S/S appliances. Sundeck off family room that overlooks the neighborhood. Dble garage in lane w/extra open parking. Possible legal suite with its private entrance, kitchen and laundry, ideal mortgage helper or a B&B. Close to the finest schools and parks, McKechnie, Magee & UBC. Crofton House, St George's.
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Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.1% in August year-over-year, matching last month's increase. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose by 0.6%. Prices rose in five of eight components year-over-year with notable increases in food, shelter, and personal care, while prices continued to fall for transportation, clothing and footwear, and recreation. The Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation rose by 0.1 percentage points, averaging 1.7% in August.

Regionally, the CPI was positive in five provinces. In BC, CPI rose by 0.2% in August year-over-year, matching last month's increase. Prices continued to rise for alcohol/tobacco/cannabis, food, shelter, household furnishings, and personal care. The increase in personal care was mainly due to higher prices for haircuts. In contrast, downward price pressures were ongoing in recreation, gas, transportation, and clothing and footwear.

As some provinces begin to re-visit containment measures seen earlier in the pandemic, inflation is expected to continue to be weak. In this environment, the Bank of Canada will keep interest rates low.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Vancouver, BC – September, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 10,172 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August 2020, an increase of 42.8 per cent from August 2019. The average MLS® residential price in BC was $771,309, a 12.7 per cent increase from $684,093 recorded the previous year. Total sales dollar volume in August was $7.8 billion, a 61.1 per cent increase over 2019.

“Very strong provincial home sales continued in August,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “While pent-up demand from the spring is driving much of the increase, we anticipate a sustained strong level of sales through the fall.”

Total provincial active listings are still down more than 10 per cent year-over-year, with some markets even more under-supplied as the pandemic continues to keep listings low. As a result, prices are sharply rising around the province.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was up 15.8 per cent to $40.4 billion, compared with the same period in 2019. Residential unit sales were up 4.9 per cent to 53,336 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 10.4 per cent to $757,504.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Parrots can do more than mimic words. At least one of them can beat humans in a classic memory game. 

The LiveScience website reports that an African gray parrot named Griffin defeated 21 Harvard students in the so-called 'shell game'. The game involves placing an object underneath one of three plastic cups, which are then moved quickly around. The goal is to keep track of which cup the object is under.

In the experiment, Griffin beat the 21 undergraduates in 12 of 14 games. Researchers note that he may not be average for a parrot, though. He’s 22 years old, and has been the subject of numerous cognitive and communication studies since the age of seven and a half weeks. His owner, a Harvard psychologist, has also taught him how to pronounce about 30 words and understand at least 40, including the names of colors.

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I have sold a property at 909 7708 ALDERBRIDGE WAY in Richmond.
BRIGHT & SPACIOUS original owner South & South East Exposure 3 bed/2 bath corner unit w/ private outlook to tranquil courtyard. The perfect floor plan w/ contemporary high-end finishes designed by award-winning Portico Design. Polished stone countertops, modern cabinetry, S/S appliances, 5 burner gascooktop, upgraded wide plank laminate throughout & gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows. Air-Conditioning & Heat Pump system to keep you warm & cool throughout the seasons. Boasting large square living, dining & adjoining balcony overlooking the roof gardens. This solid CONCRETE building has incredible amenities: pool, hot tub, fitness centre, yoga studio, children's playground, lounge & games room. Remaining 2-5-10 warranty. 2 Storage lockers & 1 parking incl. Close to Richmond Oval, shopping, Canada Line & Hospital.
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A group of students who had recently graduated were invited to afternoon tea by their college department head, a favorite professor who most students enjoyed in their final year. Not everyone invited could make it and some chose to stay home, but there were still about ten graduates gathered in the comfortable living room.

Within minutes, conversation turned to the stress everyone was feeling about work and life since graduation, with everyone talking about what, if anything, they were doing these days.

The professor rang a small bell to gather everyone’s attention, then directed them through to his large dining room. The main table held several small trays of desserts and delicate snacks alongside a massive buffet with hot tea, cream and sugar, and an assortment of cups and mugs that the professor had collected over the years— some delicate porcelain with a saucer, some vintage glass, and some plain pottery mugs.

When everyone was finally seated at the table, the professor observed: “I see you have all chosen the nicer looking cups.

He smiled and looked around the table and switched to his beloved classroom voice.

“While it’s normal for you to want only the best, that’s also the source of your stress. What you really wanted was tea, not the cup, but you still went for the best cups, and some of you are even eyeing each other’s cup!

If life is the tea, then jobs, money and status in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life.

Don’t let the cups drive you. Enjoy the tea.”

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Vancouver, BC – Septemeber 9, 2020. The British Columbia Real Estate Association’s (BCREA) latest Market Intelligence report, The Unusual World of Pandemic Economics, points to uneven job losses across sectors, an increase in many households’ rate of savings, swift government aid, a tighter-than-ever housing supply and low interest rates as the drivers behind BC’s recent housing market highs.

“The COVID-19 recession has battered many sectors of the BC economy. However, looking at recent data in the housing market, it would be difficult to tell there was a recession at all,” says BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “In a typical recession, we would see falling demand and rising supply, but this recession is anything but typical.”

Previous BCREA forecasts anticipated housing prices would return to the pre-COVID-19 baseline in early 2021. However, a surge of pent-up demand into an undersupplied market has prices at pre-COVID-19 levels well ahead of schedule.

“Pandemic economics are proving to be very unusual. Many of the trends we are seeing are without precedent and significant uncertainty remains, but we are cautiously optimistic that this housing recovery will continue,” notes Ogmundson.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

To read the full report, click here.

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