Job and Housing Growth Predicted

A recent report from Canada’s National Housing Agency, the CMHC, opens a very interesting discussion on why our Vancouver housing market is so strong and why we expect it to continue on.

Statistically-backed reasons are given as to why our economy is improving –  currently up 3.3% this year and expected to reach a further 2.8% next year.

As well as job growth, Vancouver is still very much attracting immigration with 16000-18000 new households anticipated – all of these will naturally need homes. Of course they will be spread around all the area municipalities, but could be visualized as approximately 100 new downtown highrises with 200 new homes each.

In addition, home buying in Vancouver (at whatever the price) is still relatively affordable because the mortgage rates are anticipated to remain in the 2.7-3.7 % range in 2011 (1 year posted rate.)These are historically low mortgage rates that haven’t been seen since the 1960s!

The main points this article brings up are

• MLS®1 sales will remain stable until mid-2011, due to steady population growth and favourable mortgage rates.

• Improving economic conditions will further support job growth resulting in a moderate increase in new and resale housing sales.

• Home price appreciation will slow as the recently established balance between sales and listings continues in 2011.

• New home construction will increase modestly in 2011, approaching the ten-year average level as demand for new housing strengthens.

We include this information as education for our offshore and out of province clients who continually ask us what is going on in the Vancouver housing market, and why it is flourishing when other areas are flat.

As the local economy continues to add jobs, demand for both new and resale housing will remain firm. The Metro Vancouver economy is expected to grow at a pace slightly above the provincial economy given the more diversified local economy. CMHC is forecasting that the B.C. economy will expand by 3.3 per cent in 2010, and by a further 2.8 per cent next year.

For full details, or to discuss these issues further, please contact Nic Meyer –

Source: CMHC, Housing Market Outlook, Vancouver and Abbotsford CMAs, Fall 2010

Self help mortgage planning information from CMHC

CMHC offers useful tips to calculate what you can afford, your payment schedule calculator and how to prepare for your mortgage professional. Check out their site HERE for more info.

Planning and Managing Your Mortgage

Whether you are buying a home or refinancing an existing home, it is important to make informed housing finance decisions. Take the time to plan and review your mortgage options, terms and conditions and prepare yourself for managing your mortgage.

Mortgage affordability calculatormortgage payment calculator

Mold: A Very Serious Problem

We have experienced several tenant issues with mold, currently one of the most litigious situations that the landlord can face.  At Downtown Suites, we take mold very seriously and deal with it as promptly and efficiently as we can with recognized mold professionals.  Unfortunately, oftentimes the property has to be evacuated and this results in loss of rent and possible arbitration for health issues with the tenants.  Take it seriously!

Frequently check for evidence of mold and be cautious of any minor leaks in humid locations that can foster mold.  Be careful to ensure that ventilation outlets are opened so the basement areas can “breathe”.  One
issue we had in a very expensive town home was caused partly by the vents being closed so there was no adequate venting.

We are including a link to the extensive CMHC information page for you to review:

Fighting Mold — The Homeowners’ Guide

Understanding mold

  • Mold can be harmful or helpful — depending on where it grows.
  • Mold needs moisture to grow.
  • Mold does not grow on dry materials.
  • Mold growing inside a home can affect the occupants.
  • Occupants can learn to recognize mold.

Molds are microscopic fungi, a group of organisms which also includes mushrooms and yeasts. Fungi are highly adapted to grow and reproduce rapidly, producing spores and mycelia in the process.

You encounter mold every day. Foods spoil because of mold. Leaves decay and pieces of wood lying on the ground rot due to mold. That fuzzy black growth on wet window sills is mold. Paper or fabrics stored in a damp place get a musty smell that is due to the action of molds.

Molds can be useful to people. The drug penicillin is obtained from a specific type of mold. Some foods and beverages are made by the actions of molds. The good kinds of molds are selected and grown in a controlled fashion.

Molds are undesirable when they grow where we don’t want them, such as in homes. Over 270 species of mold have been identified as living in Canadian homes. Molds that grow inside may be different from the ones found outdoors.

What makes molds grow?

Molds will grow if we provide them with moisture and nutrients. If we keep things dry, molds do not grow.

High moisture levels can be the result of water coming in from the outside, through the floor, walls or roof; or from plumbing leaks; or moisture produced by the people living in the home, through daily activities like bathing, washing clothes or cooking. Water enters the building when there is a weakness or failure in the structure. Moisture accumulates within the home when there is not enough ventilation to expel that moisture.

Different kinds of molds grow on different materials. Certain kinds of molds like an extremely wet environment. Other kinds of molds may be growing even if no water can be seen. Dampness inside the material can be enough to allow them to grow.

Why are molds a concern?

Damage to materials is one concern. Materials get stained or discoloured, and over time they are ruined. Moldy paper and cardboard disintegrate over time. Fabrics are damaged. Continued mold growth can be indicative of moisture conditions favourable for growth of fungi that cause wood rot and structural damage.

When molds are growing inside the home, there may be health concerns. Molds release chemicals and spores.

Health experts indicate that, depending on the type of mold present in a home, the amount and degree of exposure, and the health condition of the occupant, the health effects of mold can range from being insignificant to causing allergic reactions and illness.

Pregnant women, infants, the elderly and those with health problems, such as respiratory disease or a weakened immune system, are more at risk when exposed to mold. Consult your family physician if you believe there is someone who may be at risk.

Is there a mold problem?

Molds are always found in the air outside and in all buildings. They come into the home in many ways — through open windows or doors, on clothing, pets, food or furniture. The problem starts when mold grows inside the home.

Some mold growing, for example on the window sill but not elsewhere, is not a cause of concern. You can clean the mold yourself. The presence of mold is a sign that there is too much moisture in your home — a situation which must be corrected.

Inspect the home to find the extent of the mold.   (….read more here at the CMHC site….)