Blog › October 2012

Condo Sales in Langley, Surrey and White Rock are Higher

While condo sales across B.C. are declining as a whole, a small pocket of the region is actively ‘moving the needle’.  Data from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board indicates that condo sales in Langley, Surrey and White Rock were higher when compared to numbers from one year ago.

This data suggests buyers are after affordability but also the amenity and space that comes with a suburban lifestyle.

What’s interesting is that Langley’s residential condo development, Waterstone, has seen an increase in sales since last year. 

“June 2012 was our busiest month to date and we have seen a steady increase since last year,” said Scott Brown of Colliers International, the marketing firm for Waterstone. 

“More than a third of our buyers are downsizers and of these purchasers, many  have raised families in Langley and Surrey and are not only looking for bigger spaces that are more than 1,000 square feet, but amenities within their community.” 

Waterstone is situated near established retail centre and offers a 15,000 square foot clubhouse. 

“Much of the feedback from purchasers has come from the fact that Waterstone offers suites large enough to downsize into as well as ample amenity space,” said Brown. 

“The development features a cosy fireside lounge with chef’s kitchen and wine bar, a party and games room, business centre area, indoor pool, steam room, whirlpool and sauna, and state-of-the-art fitness facility.”

BC Real Estate Association Housing Forecast

farser valley real estate market 2013

Don't fret or freak out, says homes veteran

Peter Simpson wants to offer reassurance to new Lower Mainland homeowners worried about the shrinking value of their houses.

Don't be dazzled or depressed by price changes. They go down, then they recover and rise over time, he says.

Simpson has seen more than a few housing cycles in his 24 years running Canada's two largest home builders' associations in Vancouver and Toronto.

Simpson, 68, retires Wednesday as CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association, the country's second largest. The Vancouver group's membership has grown to 750 from 250 when he started 19 years ago.

The Vancouver association CEO says it's natural for first-time owners to see the latest real-estate statistics and fret about shifting values.

In his early 20s, Simpson sold his Corvette convertible to help scrape together a $10,000 down payment on a $38,500 house in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough. He was earning $138 a week as a compositor at The Toronto Telegram newspaper.

"I woke up for three nights in a cold sweat wondering what the heck I had done," he says. "It worked out. It always does work out. The sun comes up the next day."

Greater Vancouver home prices will likely fall by an average of 5.9 per cent this year to $734,000, the B.C. Real Estate Association says in its latest forecast. The average price should drop by another 1.9 per cent next year.

In the Fraser Valley, prices are expected to drop 3.1 per cent this year and eke out a 0.2-per-cent increase next year, the association predicts.

Simpson believes people only hurt themselves if they become obsessed with tracking week-by-week house price changes.

"They should not consider their home and its value as a pork belly future," he says. "That causes a lot of people angst.

"Live in it, enjoy it and if you have to move somewhere else, sell it and move on."

If you must worry about something, worry about the resistance from some people to letting their neighbourhoods evolve into a mix of single and multi-family housing, Simpson says.

Densification is the key to providing affordable housing choices as the Vancouver region grows, he says.

"I have to start building more high-density housing along arterials and even up side streets in existing neighbourhoods," he says.

Single-family homeowners who oppose multi-family housing in their neighbourhood should ask themselves two questions, he says: Where will their children live who can't afford their neighbourhood?

And where will aging homeowners go when they can't climb the stairs of their current house but want to continue living nearby?

"People who want to keep their neighbourhoods exactly as they are should be careful what they wish for," he says. "They may not be able to live in their house as long as they anticipate."

Affordability, of course, is a challenge that's not unique to Vancouver. Simpson's youngest daughter, who lives in Toronto, has told him she doesn't expect to ever be able to afford a house there. "That saddens me," he says.

When Simpson says homeowners should be glad they have a roof over their heads he means it.

In a benign irony, this voice of the building sector invests a lot of time serving on committees to help people at the other end of the spectrum - the homeless.

Simpson's younger brother lived on Toronto's streets and in its flop houses for 30 years before his death in 2009.

"It's a huge challenge we all face," he says. "The challenge is not just the homeless but the people who are at risk of homelessness."


Read more:

Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement - October 23, 2012

The Bank of Canada once again opted to hold its target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent this morning. Interest rates have been held constant for over two years, the longest such period since the 1950s.  The Bank somewhat tempered its bias for higher future interest rates, including a softer statement regarding the appropriateness of a gradual withdrawal of monetary stimulus as excess supply in the economy is absorbed. In a bit of a surprise, the Bank actually raised its forecast for the growth in the Canadian economy this year to 2.2 per cent, but kept its 2013 forecast at 2.3 per cent growth. The Bank judges that at that pace of growth, the Canadian economy will return to full capacity by the end of 2013. 

It is our view that monetary policy at the Bank of Canada will continue to be constrained by external events in the global economy and household debt growth at home. While the Bank's preference for tighter policy is clear, it is difficult to make a case for higher interest rates when core inflation is below the Bank's 2 per cent target and already slow economic growth is threatened by global uncertainty. Therefore, we are forecasting that the Bank of Canada will hold its target overnight rate at 1 per cent until mid-to-late 2013 when, conditioned on an improved global economic outlook,  it may test the water with a 25 basis point rate increase.

Best BC Neighbourhoods For Real Estate Investment

Despite oscillating outlooks on B.C. real estate, 20 of the province’s neighbourhoods are included in a list of the Top 100 Canadian neighbourhoods to invest in.

Yaletown, South Surrey, Kelowna North and Victoria’s Fairfield are included in the report by Canadian Real Estate Wealth magazine.

The rankings aim to help investors identify exact locations for investors to focus on“as a hedge against short- or long-term corrections,” said a news release.

High demand in trendy Yaletown in Vancouver means favourable returns in both retail income and property value appreciation, while south Surrey – where houses average $1.1 million – was cited as a hot spot in B.C.’s second largest city.

The Okanagan, traditionally considered a retirement community, should catch the eye of investors because of record levels of students entering kindergarten as part of the changing demographics of Kelowna North, said a mortgage broker from Verico Financial Group, which helped compile the list, along with Re/Max Real Estate.

Unique character homes and tree-lined streets in Victoria’s Fairfield neighbourhood create robust rental rates for investors, says the report.

The report used “extensive industry analysis and statistics” including population, average home price, capital growth and vacancy rate. The edition will be available on newsstands on Oct. 22.

Other B.C. neighbourhoods in the top 100 report:

  • Mill Lake (Abbotsford)
  • North Burnaby
  • Chilliwack
  • Coquitlam Town Centre
  • Central Dawson Creek
  • North Delta
  • Sahali (Kamloops)
  • South Langley
  • Central East, Maple Ridge
  • Old City Quarter of Nanaimo
  • Sapperton (New Westminster)
  • Lower Lonsale (North Vancouver)
  • Northern Oxford Heights (Port Coquitlam)
  • The Bowl District (Prince George)
  • Hamilton (Richmond)
  • Gordon Head (Saanich)

Property prices and sales in Canada rise again after new mortgage rules slowed the market

Residential real estate sales picked up in 60% of local markets in Canada last month as the sector bedded down with changes to the country’s mortgage rules.

Prices also increased slightly but overall the market is subdued compared with a year ago, according to the latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

The number of sales rose 2.5% month on month, the first monthly gain since March. CREA said it helps to partially offset the 6.2% drop recorded in August when the new mortgage rules were introduced.

Sales activity increased in Greater Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Greater Toronto, and Quebec City. Calgary and Quebec City were the only two large markets where new listings eased in September, with declines of less than 2%.
Actual, not seasonally adjusted, activity however, remains down 15.1 % from the same time last year with more than half of all local markets posting declines of at least 10%.

The actual, not seasonally adjusted, national average price for homes sold in September 2012 was $355,777, up 1.1% from the same month last year.

The national average price continues to be influenced by compositional factors, most notably by fewer sales in Greater Vancouver this year compared to much stronger levels last year. The result has been a downwardly skewed national average price this year compared to an upwardly skewed average selling price last year.

Excluding Greater Vancouver, which currently accounts for less than 5%, of national activity, from the national average price calculation yields a year on year increase of 3.4%, reflecting average sale prices that rose in 70% of all local markets in September 2012.

However, CREA’s MLS Home Price Index, which is regarded as providing the best gauge of Canadian home price trends, rose 3.9% year on year in September, the fifth time in as many months that the year on year gain shrank, and marks the slowest rate of increase since May 2011.

Year on year price gains decelerated for all benchmark property types tracked by the index. The increase was strongest for one storey single family homes, up 5.7% and two storey single family homes up 5%. Prices for townhouse and apartment units continue to post more modest gains, rising 1.1% and 1.5% respectively.

The index rose fastest in Regina, up 14.2% year on year, which was the only market covered by the index in which price growth accelerated. It also climbed in Calgary by 6.5%, in Greater Toronto by 5.7%, in Greater Montreal by 2.2%, and the Fraser Valley by 2.1%. In Greater Vancouver it posted a 0.8% year on year decline in September.

REAL ESTATE | B.C. developer introduces Canada's smallest condos in Surrey

Apartments will start at 290 square feet and will cost about $650 a month

Surrey development company Tien Sher is hoping to build Canada's smallest condos - starting at just 290 square feet - if its latest project is approved.

The project, called Balance, is a four-storey building containing 56 "micro suites" that will all include five stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors and a balcony. Sixty per cent of the suites in the complex will be 305 square feet or smaller, while the largest will be a 653-square-foot, one-bedroom condo.

Charan Sethi, president of Tien Sher, said he's putting forward the proposal to create more affordable housing for people with average incomes. The complex is part of the Quattro development, which is a seven-minute walk from the Gateway SkyTrain Station on 108th Ave. Sethi said that he often has people who want to buy into the Quattro development, but who don't qualify because their income is too low.

"Real estate prices in the Lower Mainland are among the richest in North America. In cities like New York, Tokyo and Paris, they found a solution - build smaller, but build closer to amenities. We wanted to build suites that renters could afford to purchase - today," said Sethi. "With suites starting at $109,900, if you can afford the $6,000 down payment and you make a salary of $17 per hour, we have a home for you."

Sethi said monthly payments would be about $650 a month and would require an annual income of about $35,000. The suites come with an eight-foot linear kitchen, a shower instead of a bathtub to save space, and a closet that could accommodate a washer and dryer.

Similar studio suites that are 425 square feet rent for $750 to $800 a month across the street in the Quattro 3 building, Sethi said.

"There is an outcry by people making between $22,000 to $55,000 a year who do not qualify to buy a lot out there, but they want a piece of the action. They want their own home, rather than renting all their life," Sethi said.

Peter Simpson, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association, said he thinks the suites will attract first-time homebuyers, investors and maybe even some empty nesters who want to keep their toe in the Metro Vancouver real estate market.

New mortgage rules limiting amortization periods to 25 years have made it tougher for people to qualify for mortgages, and may be contributing to the real estate slowdown in Metro Vancouver over the past few months.

"That has taken a big bite out the industry because now it's even harder to qualify," Sethi said.

The project still has to pass three reviews by Surrey city council, but Sethi says he has been working with city staff and council and the project has passed its first hurdle.

"So far there has been a good response from the city," Sethi said. "It's moving forward, and it's a matter of going through the process."

Simpson said he expects other builders will be watching the Balance project closely.

"This is an idea I expect to see emulated throughout the region in the years ahead," Simpson said.

The suites do not include a parking stall, but buyers can buy one if they wish, Sethi said, adding that a co-op car will also be available in the complex.

Last year, the Burns Block building in downtown Vancouver was refitted with Canada's smallest self-contained apartments, with suites between 226 and 291 square feet. The landlord renovated the building, which had previously operated as a single-room occupancy hotel, into suites that rent for about $850 a month. The Surrey project are the smallest independently-owned suites that Sethi is aware of in Canada, and sales are expected to start in January 2013. Blog:

Read more:

Fraser Valley Listing and Sale Stats as of October 16, 2012

An interesting look at the number of listings and sales as of October 16, 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. As you can see, the number of listings is lower as expected. Some sellers are remaining on the sidelines feeling that the market is soft; however, this behaviour might not be justified. For the first 16 days of October 2011, the number of sales compared to the number of listings as a percentage was 39.6%. If we compare this to the first 16 days in October 2012, we see the ratio come in at 38%.

tuesday october 16 2012  

New Listing 525 E 12TH AV, Vancouver, BC

V977216 - 525 E 12TH AV, Vancouver, BC, CANADAView my new House for sale at 525 E 12TH AV, Vancouver and currently listed at $1,048,000.

NOT A DRIVE BY: Proud to offer an absolutely beautiful 1906 Heritage Craftsman style duplex completely renovated (inside and out) under permit! Address 525: The top two floors feature 3 bedrooms & a den, 1.5 bathrooms & gorgeous oak hardwood flooring throughout. 527: This basement, above ground unit, features: 1 bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms, insuite laundry & the potential of being a great mortgate helper. Both addresses have been meticulously renovated to stay true to its character. A list of all of the renovations & photo tour can be found at website.

New mortgage lending guidelines raise industry concerns

Some real-estate industry insiders have concerns about new mortgage lending guidelines coming in this year, documents released by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada reveal.

OSFI asked for comments on the new guidelines from banks, real-estate appraisers, mortgage insurers and mortgage brokers earlier this year. Based on the comments received, OSFI backed off on two ideas that were initially proposed - a requirement for home equity lines of credit to be amortized and a requirement that people requalify when they renew their mortgage.

But other concerns were not addressed, including that a national database that estimates the value of houses may be inaccurate. The database, an automated system dubbed Emili, is used by the nation's biggest mortgage insurer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., to set values, without having an appraiser sent to the address.

"The Emili system does not estimate a property's market value; instead it uses general parameters to determine a risk potential," one commenter wrote in the OSFI documents. "That explains why CMHC-insured loans are often granted without truly taking into account the property's market value - and therefore - the Loan to Value ratio. This poses a real danger of altering housing market data."

Rick Sieb, real estate appraiser in Vancouver, said the system could mean some home buyers pay too much.

"From our standpoint, the people who really are not served well by this system are the first-time homebuyers," Sieb said. "Before this system came in, we would do an appraisal for a purchase. The bank would only loan (based on) the value of the appraisal. A lot of times what used to happen is that the buyer would go back and renegotiate their deal. That doesn't happen now because they don't have that extra step in there."

Sieb said that in the late '80s, before Emili was introduced in 1996, one or two deals a week would either fall through or be renegotiated because an appraisal came in lower than expected.

"When it's a conventional mortgage, the bank sends out appraisers because it's their money," Sieb said, adding that sometimes they will do a full walk-through appraisal, while other times they will drive by to guarantee a certain minimum value, and other times they will look at the property tax assessment.

"It depends how much they are trying to purchase," Sieb said.

Marion Wrobell, vice-president of policy and operations for the Canadian Bankers Association, said banks make decisions on when to order a full appraisal based on different factors.

"They will choose whatever is appropriate to the circumstances," Wrobell said. "We do the same underwriting for an insured mortgage as we do for other mortgages."

Wrobell said CMHC has an incentive to make sure their valuations are accurate, because in the end they are taking the risk of insuring the mortgages.

"I don't think it's fair to suggest that there are these huge flaws with Emili." Wrobell said.

He said there is a margin of error in any valuation, including those made by personal appraisers.

"As long as there is no systematic bias to over-value (properties), from a bank's point of view, it should even out," Wrobell said.

Home prices have soared in Canada, raising concerns of a market crash, and making the housing market a key risk to the country's financial outlook.

In June, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced stricter rules on lending for high-ratio mortgages in a bid to cool the housing market. The new rules limit the maximum amortization period on such mortgages to 25 years, down from 30 years, and cap the amount that can be refinanced at 80 per cent, down from 85 per cent.

Read more:

Good Time to Sell? Our Consumer Confidence Survey

October 2, 2012

There’s no shortage of expert opinions from industry bigwigs about what the Lower Mainland real estate market is doing. So we like to check in with consumers to get their take on where the market is heading.

See the results of our September 2012 Consumer Confidence survey – and how sentiment has changed since we last got the consumer market pulse six months ago.

We asked three questions:

  • Do you think it's a good time to SELL a house condo in the next three months?
  • Do you think it's a good time to BUY a house/condo in the next three months?
  • With its high cost of living, WHY do you continue to call the Lower Mainland home?

Then we had them tell us their reasons in their own words, so we could group them together. Here’s what they had to say...

Good time to sell?

Fall a Good Time To Sell? 56% Yes. 33% No. Opinions have flipped since we asked this “good time to sell” question six months ago. Only 34% of our 550 respondents think the next 3 months will be a good time to sell a house or condo, compared to 56% of 278 respondents last March. The top three reasons given on the No side were a belief that prices are on the way down as the market corrects (37%), that sales have slowed (25%), and that it’s a buyer’s market with too many competing properties for sale (16%). 

No answers were mostly consistent across demographics, with a slight difference spurred by home ownership: 60% of home owners compared to 49.2% of renters think it’s not a good time to sell. Regionally, Richmond residents (73%) lean more strongly toward the “no sale” end of the spectrum.

In the Yes camp, taking advantage of current high prices and selling before a market correction were paramount. More renters than owners (26.7% versus 11.8%) perceive that prices are high, however.

The spontaneous answers people gave also revealed a host of other factors: 

Reasons to Buy: September 2012 Consumer Survey

Good time to buy?

Is Fall 2012 a Good Time To Buy? 46% Yes. 42% No.On the "good time to buy" question, our 550 respondents were almost evenly split, echoing the results of our March survey.

High prices coupled with a fear of home values dropping after a purchase were the largest deterrents to buying: 34% of the No side cited high prices, and 29% are anticipating prices will come down further.

On the Yes side, 28% per cent of respondents believe there was a lot to choose from on the market, 27% predicting a market correction (wanting to take advantage of lower prices), and 22% encouraged by the low interest rates. These were the also the three main reasons spurring the buying rationale in March 2012 too, though the emphasis changed.

On the question of whether this fall is a good time to buy, where respondents live plays a key role. Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, and Port Moody residents are the most optimistic about buying conditions, with 60% agreeing it's a good idea to buy a house within the next three months. In contrast, the majority (51%) of Burnaby and New Westminster residents believe the timing is wrong.

Renters are less keen on the idea of buying in the near future: 39% of renters think the next three months is a good time to buy compared to 54.4% of home owners.  

See the full list of reasons here:

Reasons to Buy in the Fall 2012

Why stay in the Lower Mainland?

Despite the region's high liveability rating, it's family first for why people choose to live in the Lower Mainland despite its high cost of living. Job ranked second (30%), followed closely by climate, scenery, and familiarity. Liveability factors such as parks, shopping, and transit ranked 7th. See the rest of the reasons given here:

Family first in the Lower Mainland in September 2012

What keeps you living in the Lower Mainland? Do you think it’s a good time to buy or sell a home in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Abbotsford/Chilliwack in the next three months? We welcome your comments!  

See the September 2012 survey here.

See the March 2012 survey here.

For current market conditions, see: Greater Vancouver statsFraser Valley statsresale condo/townhouse stats.

Daily Fraser Valley Stats - October 9, 2012

october 9 2012

A Little Information About the Upcoming White Rock By-Election

Mark Your Calendars with these Key Election Dates!

  • September 18 Nomination Period begins at 9:00 a.m.
  • September 28 Nomination Period closes at 4:00 p.m.
  • October 2 Deadline to Challenge a Nomination at 4:00 p.m.                                                                           Local Government Act 75.2 time of the delivery of the nomination documents in accordance with section73 and 4p.m. on the fourth day after the end of the nomination period
  • October 4 Election Signage is permitted to go up (Bylaw 1923)
  • October 5 Candidate can Withdraw by 4:00 p.m. (name won't appear on ballot)
  • October 16 Mail Ballots can begin to be distributed ((Bylaw 1849)
  • October 24 Advance Vote (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)  White Rock Community Centre 15154 Russell Avenue 
  • October 29 Mobile - Special Vote (9:00 a.m. to noon) Evergreen Baptist Home 1550 Oxford Street
  • October 30 Advance Vote (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) White Rock Community Centre 15154 Russell Avenue
  • November 1 Mail Ballots are no longer available to distribute (Bylaw 1849)
  • November 3 Election Day (8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.)

-WR Community Centre - 15154 Russell Avenue

- Kent Street Activity Centre - 1475 Kent Street

- Centennial Arena - 14600 North Bluff Road

  • November 7 Declaration of Election Results
  • November 12 Election Signage MUST be removed (Bylaw 1923)
  • March 5 Financial Disclosure Papers Due


Where can I vote?

Eligible voters can cast their ballot at any of the following voting locations:

Advanced Polls - Wednesday, October 24 and Tuesday, October 30, 2012:

  • White Rock Community Centre - 15154 Russell Avenue (8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.)


General Election Day - Saturday, November 3, 2012:

  • White Rock Community Centre - 15154 Russell Avenue (8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
  • Kent Street Activity Centre - 1475 Kent Street (8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
  • Centennial Arena - 14600 North Bluff Road (8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.)


Who can vote?

You can vote in a municipal election if you:

· Are 18 years of age or older on general voting day

· Are a Canadian citizen (Note: landed immigrants are not eligible to vote).

· Have lived in B.C. for at least six months immediately before voting day.

· Have lived in White Rock for at least 30 days immediately before voting day.

· Are not disqualified by law from voting.

White Rock residents who meet all these requirements can vote. You may also be eligible to vote as a non-resident property elector if you:

  • are eligible to vote as a resident elector in another municipality, regional district or school district; and
  • own property in the City of White Rock for 30 days or more before you register to vote.

Note: If you own property with someone else, only one non-resident property owner may vote.

If two or more non-resident property owners own a single piece of property, the majority of owners must designate - in writing, using Form 2-8 - one owner as the non-resident property elector for that property. If you own property along with a corporation, then none of the owners of the property are eligible to vote.

Please print Form 2-8 titled "Non Resident Property Elector Consent Form" and complete prior to bringing it with you to the voting place.

Are you registered to vote?


The City of White Rock uses the Provincial List of Voters issued by BC Elections. Ensure you are registered by calling 1-800-661-8683 or you can check if you are registered online at Registration online will take less than 5 minutes and will save you time on election day.

What identification is required in order to vote?

If a person is already registered on the voters list you will only be required to show one piece of picture ID at the time of voting. In order to receive a ballot any potential voter must make a solemn declaration noting they are eligible to vote and have not voted previously in this by-election.

If a person is not already registered on the voters list, and they are eligible to vote, the following ID requirements must be met when registering at the time of voting:

At least 2 ID documents must be shown that provide evidence of the person's identity and place of residence, at least one of which must contain the person's signature,



At least two ID documents must be shown that provide evidence of the person's identify, at least one of which must contain the person's signature, and make a solemn declaration as to the person's place of residence.

What forms of ID are acceptable?


* Canadian Passport * Birth Certificate
* BC Drivers Licence * Canadian Citizenship Card
* Certificate of Vehicle Insurance * Social Insurance Card (SIN Card)
* BC ID Card * BC Care Card or BC Gold Care Card
* Credit Cards and Debit Cards * Property Tax Notice or Utility Bill



Mail Ballot Opportunity:

Voting by Mail Ballot: A voting opportunity for electors who have a physical disability, illness or injury which affects their ability to vote by other means and for electors who expect to be absent from the Municipality on General Election Day and on all the advance voting dates.

Electors voting by mail ballot must register with the Chief Election Officer; once this is done even if their circumstance has changed they cannot vote at a voting place.

Please call 604-541-2212 to register for a mail ballot or if you have any questions on this process.

Mail Ballot Application Form: Click here

What if I need assistance with voting or require curbside voting:

If a voter has difficulty reading or writing English, they may bring a translator to assist them in the voting process. The translator must complete a solemn declaration of assistance in order to provide translation assistance.

If you are unable to enter the voting place, you may ask to receive and mark your ballot at a place located outside the voting place (curbside voting). It will be necessary for you to bring someone with you who can advise the election officials that you need help outside the voting place.

If you require help with voting, you may ask the President Election Official (PEO) in charge at the voting place to assist you. You may also bring someone with you to the voting place to help you vote. This person must make a solemn declaration to preserve the secrecy of your ballot, to mark the ballot according to your wishes and to not attempt to influence how you vote.

Qualifications to run for Local Government Office:

November 3, 2012 City of White Rock voters will elect one (1) candidate for the position of Councillor for the remainder of the 2011 - 2014 term.

To qualify as a candidate for local government office, at the time of nomination a person must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older on general voting day.
  • You must be a Canadian Citizen.
  • You must be a resident of BC for at least six months prior to the date of nomination.
  • Not disqualified by any statute or law, from being nominated, elected or holding office.

Nominees must be nominated by ten (10) electors of the City of White Rock. 

Nominees (the candidate) are not required to be residents or non-resident property owners in the City of White Rock.







Role of City Councillor - Time Commitment:


If you are elected by the 2012 by-election, you will be expected to serve the 2011 - 2014 term.

You should be aware that holding local office can be time consuming. In addition to regular meetings, Council usually have one meeting a week held on Mondays, you may also be asked to sit on special committees, boards or commissions that may also require a significant time commitment both with attending the meeting and preparing for them. 

Additional information is offered on the following Provincial website links:


Contact Us:

If you require any assistance or have any questions regarding the election process, please contact:

Fraser Valley Real Estate Market, September 2012

October 5, 2012

The Fraser Valley has started to experience the slowdown in sales that's been affecting the Greater Vancouver MLS® market since April. Fraser Valley home sales were down for the second month in September, and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board calls it a "wait and see" approach by buyers.

After a year of speculation about if and when prices will fall, it's easy to see why buyers are uneasy, even in the more affordable and moderate markets within the FVREB.

Sales and Listings

In the three major residential categories, 723 MLS® properties changed hands in September. Detached houses made up 57.3 per cent of those sales, with townhouses and apartments about even at just over 21 per cent each.

Those sales numbers were unnaturally low for September. In fact the red line we've added to the graph shows that September's sales were more typical of December, usually the slowest month of the year.

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board Sales, Listings & Active Inventory, September 2012

New residential listings were up by 9.1 per cent over August, standard for September which is usually the second-most-active selling period of the year. But the active listings remained stable, increasing by just 0.9 per cent over August.

What's Up, What's Down - At a Glance
  Sept 2012/August 2012 Sept 2012/ Sept 2011
Overall Sales -20.1% -26.4%
- Detached -20.2% -33.1%
- Townhouse -26.2% -26.2%
- Apartment -22.6% -16.3%
New Listings +9.1% -3.1%
Active Listings +0.9% +4.9%

Some segments of the market felt the sales downturn more than others, and it all depended on price.

MLS® Home Price Index & Benchmark Prices

Scott Olson, FVREB president, says, “Sales of more expensive homes — single family detached — have decreased disproportionately more than the sales of townhomes and apartments. In fact, apartment sales last month in Surrey, Langley and White Rock were higher or comparable to September of last year, keeping prices across the Fraser Valley resilient.

Fraser Valley MLS® Benchmark Prices, % Change
  Sept 2012 August 2012 Sept 2011
Detached $549,500 -0.3% +3.0%
Townhouse $300,500 -0.8%  -1.7%
Apartment $206,600 +0.2% +4.1%

Backing up what Scott Olsen says, there's an interesting disconnect between the benchmark prices and median prices in detached houses. MLS® benchmark prices are a calculation to find the price of a typical home for a specific area and home type. Median prices show the mid-point sold price of all home sales within an area, so they're a quicker indicator of what's actually happening.

Median prices for detached houses were lower than benchmark prices everywhere except South Surrey White Rock. That indicates a couple of possibilities. Either buying activity is in the less expensive end of the spectrum or sold prices are starting to come down. Or both.

In the apartment category, though, median prices were higher than benchmark in Surrey Central, Surrey North, Langley and South Surrey White Rock, indicating a healthy continuing demand for condos in those areas.

Over the last three months, prices for all three residential property types combined have decreased by 0.4 per cent while year over year they’ve increased by 2.1 per cent.

You can read the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's full breakdown of statistics here.

See also:

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market September 2012

Daily Fraser Valley Stats

Some of you might find this type of real-time data interesting. We receive these numbers each morning to give us an idea on the current market status compared to the previous month and the previous year.

friday october 5 2012

Metro Vancouver Starting to Give Up Gains

An interesting chart showing all segments of the real estate market are giving back gains. The graph does not include Surrey, North Delta or White Rock.


gvrd chart showing prices coming off