High-end homes sales rise in Toronto, Vancouver, fall in Calgary in 2015

High-end homes sales rise in Toronto, Vancouver, fall in Calgary in 2015




TORONTO — The Canadian Press


Last updated Thursday, Jan. 07, 2016 10:32AM EST


Sales of homes worth $1-million or more heated up in Toronto and Vancouver last year as the low loonie fuelled demand from foreign buyers, a new report released Thursday says.


The report from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada says 11,112 homes worth $1-million or more were sold in the Greater Toronto Area last year – an increase of 48 per cent over 2014.


Detached homes pace Toronto real estate to record year (BNN Video)


In Vancouver, 4,578 homes over the $1-million mark were sold in 2015, up 46 per cent from the previous year.


The realtor says sales of homes worth more than $4-million grew the most – in Vancouver by 67 per cent, and in Toronto by 71 per cent.


But after years of growth, Calgary’s high-end housing market declined last year as the downturn in the oil patch hurt consumer confidence.


The Sotheby’s report says sales of homes over $1-million fell 41 per cent in Alberta’s largest city in 2015 compared with the previous year.


Elaine Hung, vice-president of marketing for Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, said low interest rates, high levels of immigration and a limited supply of homes heated up the high-end housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver.


“We had a lot of buyers who were very eager to enter the market, and they were bidding on a limited number of homes, particularly in premier neighbourhoods,” said Hung.


In many instances, that resulted in bidding wars, she said.


The luxury segment – comprised of homes worth $4-million or more – benefited from all of those factors, as well as weakness in the Canadian dollar.


“We did see increased interest from international buyers, so that was definitely a factor,” said Hung, referring to the $4-million-plus segment in Toronto and Vancouver.


In Montreal, sales of homes worth over $1-million grew by 15 per cent from a year ago.


Looking ahead to 2016, Hung predicts more of the same – continued sales growth in Toronto and Vancouver, a further slowdown in Calgary and a balanced market in Montreal.


New Listing: Lot 27 PASSAGE ISLAND (R2024618)

Lot 27 PASSAGE ISLAND, West Vancouver, Howe Sound

List Date: 2016-01-11

List Price: $205,000

WATERFRONT OPPORTUNITY! Discover Passage Island and own almost 1/3 of an acre waterfront property. Build your dream cottage … own a place to unwind from the city, but if you have to get back quickly you are only a 10 minute private boat ride from West Vancouver Yacht Club, Thunderbird Marina and Fisherman’s Cove. You feel like you are miles away, but it is also great for commuters with a boat while mooring at Thunderbird. This “Off Grid” island is the perfect retreat for you, your family and friends. The views are unbelievable! What a peaceful way to live … and very affordable. Talk to Michele today!

View Full Listing Details

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Lot 39 PASSAGE ISLAND, West Vancouver, Howe Sound

List Date: 2015-12-09

List Price: $649,999

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21st Annual Realtors Care Blanket Drive Nov 16-Nov 23, 2015

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It’s on now! From NOV 16-NOV 23 the Realtors Care Blanket Drive is in full swing! Local realtors across our North Shore communities (and Lower Mainland) are out collecting for local shelters. We are collecting: blankets, sleeping bags, tarps. warm winter clothing for all ages, new socks and underwear, coats, gloves, hats and scarves! You can drop off at my Sotheby’s office in West Vancouver at #200 235 W 15th St or any participating office. see http://www.rebgv.org/blanket-drive.  Call Michele to pick up bags!

DROP OFF LOCATIONS ON THE NORTH SHORE  FOR SAT, NOV 21 AND SUN NOV 22 from 12-4 pm  AT PARK ROYAL MALL NORTH (by the Bay) and CAPILANO MALL (by Starbucks). Come say hello to your local realtors and drop off your donations before you shop. Michele will be at Capilano Mall on Sat and Park Royal Mall  North on Sun 12-4pm. :)

Donations from the North Shore will be sorted into the different categories for the shelters at our 9th Annual Pizza Sorting Party! This year we will be having the party at FERGUSON MOVING AND STORAGE as space donated by Lorne MACINNES was offered to give more room. LONSDALE EVENT RENTALS are donating tables to sort on during the party. We also have our first sponsor for the pizza and refreshments at the party by THE MORTGAGE GROUP -EDGEMONT VILLAGE.  North Shore realtors as well as local community volunteers and family will help to sort the items and then deliver to shelters such as HARVEST PROJECT, THE LOOKOUT SOCIETY, COVENANT HOUSE and THE VANCOUVER POLICE DEPARTMENT (blankets for the Downtown Eastside).  We are so very thankful for all our sponsors for their donations!

Blankets are desperately needed for the Downtown Eastside, while warm clothing is needed for men, women and children of all ages for the shelters. All items are very much appreciated by all that receive. One bag can make a difference! Last year we collected a record breaking  406 bags on the North Shore! Let’s have another great year! :) Thank you for your support!






21st Realtors Care Blanket Drive runs Nov 16-23!!


The 21st Realtors Care Blanket Drive starts today Nov 16 and running all week until Nov 23! Donate your items such as: blankets, sleeping bags…, warm winter clothing for all ages, new socks and underwear, hats, scarves, gloves, and coats! Realtors across the lower mainland will be out collecting from our local communities and working hard to help those in need of some warmth. Please contact your local realtor for pick up or information on how you can donate. All items will be given to local shelters.

Here on the North Shore, we will be set up in Park Royal North (by the Bay) and Capilano (by Starbuck’s) on Sat Nov 21 and Sun Nov 22 from 12-4pm. Drop your donated items in bags before you start your Christmas shopping. Drop by today!

We will be donating again this year to the Harvest Project (in need of men and women’s clothing, the Lookout Society, Covenant House (teen clothing 14-24), and the Vancouver Police Department (in need of blankets that are distributed to the Downtown Eastside).

Help make a difference in your community! Contact Michele for more information or to pick up donations!












Support the REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive and help your neighbours in need

The 21st annual REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive kicks off on November 16. The program is the Lower Mainland’s largest and longest-running blanket drive.

Each year, the REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive provides warm clothing and blankets to more than 19,000 Lower Mainland residents in need.

From November 16 to 23, volunteer Realtors across the region will work with their clients to coordinate donations of blankets and warm winter clothing for those most in need. The donations are then sorted and delivered to charities in the same community in which they were collected.

“Every community in the Lower Mainland relies on donations from the program and we need the public’s support once again to ensure we can meet this year’s need,” Darcy McLeod, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president said.

Anyone with donations can drop them off at one of our 100 plus participating real estate offices. Click here for a list of participating offices.

“The need is real and your donations make a difference. We’re looking for blankets, coats, gloves and other warm winter clothing for men, women and children,” Jorda Maisey, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board president said.

Since the Blanket Drive began in 1995, the program has helped more than 275,000 people in our communities keep warm and dry during the winter months.

Click here for a video overview of how the Blanket Drive helps local charities and residents. For more information on the program, go to www.blanketdrive.ca or https://www.facebook.com/BlanketDrive

Clothing items we’re looking for:

• blankets, sleeping bags

• warm clothing – coats, jeans, pants, sweaters

• scarves, gloves, mitts, hats

• socks (new)

• underwear (new)

The REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive is a partnership between the Realtors of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board and their communities.

Contact Michele to  pick up donated items at 604-787-7231


Bank of Canada keeps their bank rate “as is”
This is great news for those with a VRM mortgage.  The last date for the Bank of Canada to change
interest rates is


Need to figure out how much your payments could be?
Click below!


Did you know?
Your cellular phone bill is now being reported on a monthly basis to the credit bureau. For those of you looking to purchase a home you will definitely want to make sure you pay this one on time.

Fall maintenance tips
from CMHC
  • Have furnace or heating system serviced by a qualified service company every two years for gas furnace, and every year for an oil furnace, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • If you have central air conditioning, make sure the drain pan under the cooling coil mounted in the furnace plenum is draining properly and is clean.
  • Lubricate circulating pump on hot water heating system.
  • Bleed air from hot water radiators.
  • Check chimneys for obstructions such as nests.
  • Vacuum electric baseboard heaters to remove dust.
  • Remove grilles on forced-air systems and vacuum inside the ducts.
  • Disconnect the power to the furnace and examine the forced-air furnace fan belt, if installed, for wear, looseness or noise; clean fan blades of any dirt buildup.
  • Turn ON gas furnace pilot light, set the thermostat to “heat” and test the furnace for proper operation.
  • Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season.
  • Check to see that the ductwork leading to and from the heat recovery ventilator is in good shape.
  • If the heat recovery ventilator has been shut off for the summer, clean the filters and the core, and pour water down the condensate drain to test it.
  • Check to see that bathroom fans and range hoods are operating properly.
  • Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms, and replace batteries.
  • Clean portable humidifier.
  • Check sump pump and line to ensure proper operation.
  • Replace window screens with storm windows.
  • Remove interior insect screens from windows to allow air from the heating system to keep condensation off window glass and to allow more free solar energy into your home.
  • Ensure windows and skylights close tightly.
  • Ensure all doors to the outside shut tightly.
  • Cover outside of air-conditioning units and shut off power.
  • Clean leaves from eaves and roof, and test downspouts to ensure proper drainage.
  • Drain and store outdoor hoses.
  • Winterize landscaping; store outdoor furniture, prepare gardens and protect young trees for winter.
To keep up to date on:
Economic news important
to your mortgage
Get a heads up when
interest rates are changing
 Current interest rates
Contact us today at:
(604) 313-3199

How will the Liberal win affect your mortgage?
With a new government in power, a new mandate will no doubt have some affect on the Canadian economy. While election platforms are typically adjusted over time, key planks in the Liberals’ platform suggest significant new directions for Canada over the next few years.
Some common issues emerged during the campaign, such as a renewed emphasis on skilled trades to address labour market mismatches across the country. Another concern is escalating home prices in high-demand markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, with the Liberals promising a review.

Here are some highlights from the Liberal’s platform and how you might be affected if you are in the market for a new home or are about to renew your mortgage.

  • The Liberals will modernize the existing Home Buyers’ Plan to allow Canadians impacted by sudden and significant life changes to buy a house without tax penalty. This will ease the burden on Canadians facing job relocation, the death of a spouse, marital breakdown, or a decision to accommodate an elderly family member.
  • The Liberals will direct the CMHC and the new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide financing to support the construction of new, affordable rental housing for middle- and low-income Canadians.
  • The Liberals are expected to increase government spending to support the economy. More spending means more debt and more debt might result in an increase in interest rates.  This will have an affect on both fixed mortgage rates and variable mortgage rates but any increases are not expected to be drastic.
  • For Tax-Free Savings Accounts, the rise in the ceiling for annual contributions from $5,500 to $10,000 as of 2015 will be reversed.
  • Personal Income Tax (PIT) brackets will be adjusted. For the middle bracket, covering taxable incomes $44,700 to $89,400 in 2015, the rate will fall from 22% to 20.5% as a new top bracket is created for taxable incomes over $200,000, raising the highest federal rate from 29% to 33%. With this new federal bracket, the combined federal-provincial top PIT rate in six provinces will be 50% or higher.
If you have any questions or concerns about your mortgage needs, please give us a call.  We are here to help!
Source:  Scotiabank and CMT

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What’s the difference between a 
Conventional (regular) mortgage
and a Collateral mortgage? 
Conventional MortgageWhen a conventional mortgage is registered, the lender issues paperwork with the exact mortgage amount and terms with the Land Titles Office (LTO) and you cannot increase the loan amount without re-registering the mortgage.  The terms of the mortgage will lay out your payment amount, payment frequency, rate of interest, amortization period and length of term.
For example, if you purchased a property for $500,000 and had a conventional mortgage of $200,000 on a 5 year term rate of 3.00% amortized over 30 years, your payment would be $841.21 per month. These details that are all registered on the mortgage with the LTO.
In the vast majority of cases, the balance on a conventional mortgage only goes down.THE GOOD: 

  • At maturity other lenders will allow you to “transfer” or “switch” your mortgage to them at no cost to you.
  • You can also have another lender approve a second mortgage (such as a Home Equity Line of Credit) and register this behind the other lenders first mortgage.
  • If you ever want to refinance the mortgage with the same lender, you must pay legal fees to get the mortgage re-registered
Collateral Mortgage
This type of mortgage is similar to a promissory note or loan agreement secured against your home. In this case, the exact loan details (term, etc.) are not registered with the Land Titles Office.  Instead, you sign an internal document with the lender which includes the repayment terms of the mortgage.  Because of this, you can make changes to the terms (such as increase the loan) without needing to have the mortgage re-registered with the Land Titles Office.
Some lenders will give you the ability to register the mortgage for a greater balance (some lenders allow up to 125% of the property value) so that in the future if you ever want to increase the mortgage (and can qualify and the property value is high enough), you can do so without re-registering the mortgage.In the above example, the lender could register a collateral mortgage for up to $625,000 ($500,000 x 125%).  However, the mortgage amount that you requested (the $200,000 / 5 yr. term rate of 3.00% / amortized over 30 years / monthly payment of $841.21) would be the amount you would be given upfront.  The remainder is accessible with the lender’s approval.

  • This does allow you to go back to the same lender and borrow more money (up to the registered limit they approved) without having to register another mortgage.
  • Lenders will not “transfer” or “switch” a collateral mortgage (transfer or switch is generally a free service offered by a new lender to move your mortgage business over).  If you want to switch lenders at a later date, most likely you will be required to pay legal fees to refinance the mortgage.
  • Lenders may also use a right under Canadian Law called “offset” to utilize a collateral mortgage to pay out any other unpaid debts you have with them.  If you have equity in your home and you have defaulted on another loan or credit card, the lender can increase your collateral mortgage and pay out this other debt.
  • If you’re wanting to refinance your mortgage to consolidate debts and/or renovate your home etc, and this lender declines to do so, you would not be able to approach another lender.
If you would like to learn more about the A, B, C’s of mortgages, please contact us!  We’re always happy to help.