Canadian GDP Growth – Q3 – November 30, 2011

Canadian economic growth rebounded strongly in the third quarter of 2011 following a slight contraction in Q2.  Real GDP data released this morning showed that the economy grew a robust 3.5 per cent last quarter, propelled higher by surging exports. However, domestic demand moderated as consumers and businesses reigned in spending.

Our forecast is for economic growth to slow in the fourth quarter and through much of 2012, likely to an average rate of between 1.5 and 2.5 per cent. Slow growth in Canada and uncertainty in the global economy will keep inflation steady and allow the Bank of Canada to hold off on rate hikes through much of next year, with the potential for moderate tightening near the end of 2012.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani

Canadian Retail Sales – November 22, 2011

Canadian retail sales jumped 1.0 per cent in September, the fifth increase in the last six months and the largest increase since November 2010. The increase in sales was broad based with 9 out of 11 sectors reporting higher sales. The strong performance in retail sales was driven by the motor-vehicle and parts industry which rose 2.8 per cent from August. Excluding auto-related sales, retail sales were up 0.5 per cent. Retail sales in BC increased 0.2 per cent month-over-month or 2.6 per cent over September 2010. Provincial retail sales grew at a slightly faster pace in September, but are still running at a much lower rate compared to historical average. We anticipate that a combination of high debt burdens and weak full-time employment growth is likely to keep retail spending relatively low through the end of the year and into 2012.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani

Home Sales Climb Higher Outside Vancouver

Vancouver, BC – November 15, 2011. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential unit sales in the province rose 6.5 per cent to 5,865 units in October compared to the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price was up 2.6 per cent to $535,695 last month compared to October 2010.

“BC home sales rose three per cent in October compared to September on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “While consumer demand in Vancouver edged lower last month on a year-overyear basis, strong increases were recorded in the Fraser Valley, Kamloops, Kootenay, the North and on Vancouver Island.”

“Total active residential listings in the province declined by 3,360 units in October from September. However, active listings were up 6.9 per cent from October 2011,” added Muir. “Market conditions remained slightly in favour of home buyers last month.”

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 16.8 per cent to $38 billion, compared to the same period last year. Residential unit sales increased 3.5 per cent to 66,922 units, while the average MLS® residential price rose 12.9 per cent to $566,925 over the same period.

For more information, please contact me. 

For the complete news release, including detailed statistics, follow this link: BCREA_2011-10.pdf

Population Highlights: Second Quarter 2011

The estimated population of British Columbia totalled 4,573,321 persons as of July 1st, 2011, for an increase of 0.96 percent over the preceding twelve months. The national population grew at a slightly faster rate (+1.04%) and compared to the other provinces BC had the sixth strongest growth rate. Among the provinces P.E.I. had the strongest growth rate at 1.72% followed by Alberta at 1.57%. Newfoundland and Labrador observed a 0.14% percent loss over the last twelve months. 

The Last Twelve Months: July 2010 to July 2011 

BC’s population grew by 43,647 persons over the twelve month period ending July 1, 2011. Migration is typically the largest contributor to BC’s population growth and since July 1, 2010, about three-quarters of the population gain could be attributed to this component. The remaining 28% was due to natural increase (births minus deaths). 

The Second Quarter of 2011 

During the second quarter of 2011, the population grew by an estimated 12,281 persons (+0.27%). Net international migration (+9,525) accounted for the largest part of the growth followed by natural increase (births minus deaths) of 3,502. On an interprovincial basis, BC recorded a net loss of 746 persons to other provinces and territories in the second quarter. Over this period, 14,939 persons moved to BC while 15,685 persons left BC for other Canadian jurisdictions. 





5 Ways To Make The Home Hunting Process Easier

Shopping for a new home can be intimidating. With so many things to do and think about, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some good tips for making the home hunting process a lot easier and less stressful. 

1. Get your mortgage arranged in advance.

You don’t want to find the ideal home on the market, only to face problems arranging a suitable mortgage. You might end up losing the opportunity. So make mortgage arrangements in advance by getting “pre-approved”. Then you can shop for a new home with confidence. 

2. Clearly define the kind of home you want, and the neighborhood you want to live in.

You can’t view every home that’s on the market. If you try, you’ll burn yourself out! So write down a clear description of the kind of home you want. How many bedrooms? Big kitchen? Renovated?

And don’t forget the neighborhood. Upscale? Close to downtown? Lots of trees and parks? Urban and close to shopping and theatres? With this information, a good REALTOR® can quickly create a shortlist of properties that meet your criteria. 

3. Take good notes.

After viewing a few homes, you may easily start to forget the details. Was it property #1 that had the large Elm tree in the backyard? Or was that property #4? If you take good notes, you’ll be able to make decisions later on about which homes to shortlist. 

4. Take care of yourself. (And your family.)

Eat right. Pace yourself. Don’t try to view too many homes in one evening or Saturday afternoon. 

5. Get help.

A good REALTOR® can make the home shopping process go quickly and smoothly. Want more ideas for finding the perfect home? Call today! 


“Location. Location. Location.” You’ve probably heard that phrase before. It simply means that where your home is located is just as important as the features of the property itself. 

Location affects market value. But it also affects your lifestyle. Here are some personal questions to ask yourself when shopping for a new home. 

1. Do you want to live in the busy part of a city? A quieter sub-division? A small town?

2. How close do you need to be to work? Are main highways easy to get to? Is public transit readily available? 

3. If you have children, are there good schools nearby? If not, is busing conveniently available? 

4. What amenities do you want nearby? Safe walking areas? Local parks? A shopping mall? A golf course?

5. Do you want to be near family and friends?