I have sold a property at 140 20449 66TH AVE in Langley.
This 3 bedroom/2 bathroom 1466 sqft townhome at Natures Landing has it all!!! Well laid out with an open floor plan that offers plenty of light throughout. Features include cozy gas fireplace, laminate hardwood floors, dark walnut/espressokitchen cabinets, stainless steel appliances, private fenced backyard on the main level right off the kitchen, TWO car garage and views of Mount Baker from the master bedroom. Situated on the end of the complex gives this home added privacy while still being near the playground. School, transit and shopping are all nearby and this complex is VERY family friendly. Dont miss this one!
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"Leith Wheeler is one of Canada's leading Investment Groups. They are who I have trusted with my investments for the past several years. Mike Job has generously offered the his opinion below.

As always, please feel free to send me your comments."

Canadian Housing Bubble?
Contributed by Micheal Job

At Leith Wheeler, we are value investors that are keenly concerned about the valuation of assets. But as stock and bond investors why would we bother looking at the real estate market? In short, because it is an important factor in the economy and can have a large, indirect impact on other asset prices.

To conduct our analysis on the Canadian real estate market, we looked at 40 years of housing fundamentals in 21 OECD countries to see how house prices interacted with inflation, household incomes and rents. Over the sample period 1970-2012, prices went up most of the time. However, we concluded that in the long run, prices go up primarily because incomes and rents go up, mostly due to inflation.

When we used a combination of price-to-rent and price-to-income ratios to analyze the Canadian real estate market, our straightforward conclusion was that Canadian housing needs to unwind about 30% from the current valuation ratios. That’s not the same thing as prices crashing by 30%! Importantly, if rents and incomes continue to go up, prices may not need to drop that much. In fact, annual growth in income and rents of 3% would deflate half of the valuation bubble over seven years. It is also conceivable that we don’t revert all the way back down. A modest price decline coupled with gains in rents and incomes, called a soft landing, is exactly what the central bank and federal government is aiming for. However, watch out for weaker inflation or income gains, particularly as the economy adjusts to slower housing activity, as they represent the primary threats to a soft landing.

In conclusion, a housing bubble is hard to define, but we see it in Canada right now. However this doesn’t have to mean financial disaster is around the corner. In fact, our research indicates that housing is almost always either inflating or deflating and while it is a very important factor for the economy, as most Canadian homeowners know, moderate price changes are not the end of the world.

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I have sold a property at 1028 Barclay ST in Vancouver.

LUXURIOUS home at the Patina by Concert. Stunning 578 sq ft 1 bedroom/1 bath, den + LARGE balcony and 1 parking . Very central location in the heart of downtown, with YMCA right in the complex, shopping, theaters, restaurants, IGA - between corporate district, English Bay and Stanley Park. This home sports the highest quality of finishings and workmanship. Granite counter tops, Leibherr and Miele appliances, Italian ceramic, in floor bathroom heating, A/C, roller blinds, recessed lighting, latest wiring for advanced telecom. Bike room, concierge service, gym, boardroom, social suite opens to beautiful rooftop garden and patios. Optional housekeeping service available. Don't miss this one!

Available April 1st, 2013.

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"Mr. Horner has been a client for many years. At times I've questioned the timing of his real estate decisions... sometimes with a raised eye brow but he has an impressive score card and I am grateful for his insight. He has been gracious enough to contribute. I hope you find his thoughts as useful as I have!

I look forward to your comments and input!"

Economy/Economic Thoughts
Contributed by Mr. Horner

Recreational Property

BC Recreational property underwent a major transition in 2008. The value of waterfront (salt or fresh) along with other recreational venues basically collapsed. I saw my own waterfront property (which we have owned for ten years), triple in value then drop down to a number above what we invested but not a lot more considering ten years has gone by. The increase in the Canadian dollar along with the incredible drop in US property values made properties in the sunny south of the US available for pocket change relative to BC. This is not going to change soon, however, the recovery of the US housing market, the realities many are learning of property ownership and risk in the US, aging boomers needing greater access to our low cost medical system (and facing increasing fees for insurance) and perhaps a weakening Canadian economy and dollar will shift the focus home…….eventually. So now may be a good time to invest in the BC recreational property market, but no need to rush, this is a decade long value recovery. We have passed the bottom of this market but it is still very much a buyers’ market in this area and recovery will be slow.


The Economy

While US companies are reporting good earnings this season I am still very cautious about the overall global economy. I believe we are in for continuing instability. Europe, while currently quiet, is still a major financial mess with overspending on farm subsidies, early pensions, unaffordable social programs and fat government bureaucracies. While we usually think of Greece when talking of these issues Greece is not the only problem, it is widespread. So Europe is going to underperform and the rest of the world will suffer with them. The emerging nations depend on the western consumers to support their massive growth plans, until they develop their own middle class they could be a bubble in waiting. Canada is dependent on global growth to fuel our natural resources exports so we are on shaky ground as well. So I think we are still in for a rocky and uncertain ride. I continue to be cautious, invest in good companies that make real things and pay dividends and have a lot in fixed income and preferred shares, again in good companies/institutions with a long future.


Vancouver Housing

Clearly the buzz has come off Vancouver but I still think this market will do nothing but go up in the long term. The place to be, I believe, is the lower mainland “inside the bridges” and Vancouver in particular. Our reputation as a great place to live, multiculturalism, closeness to growing Asian wealth and natural beauty will sustain us pretty much regardless of the long term global economic trends. There will be ups and downs but the trend will be up over the decade. Why “inside the bridges” , well I believe the future holds nothing but increasing tolls, fees on cars, transit costs, fuel costs and traffic congestion. All of these factors will increase the cost of living outside of Vancouver so property values in the city will maintain and grow. Increased population density that will be driven by these factors as the cost of land rises will maintain Vancouver as the social, cultural and business center of the region which will, in turn, help keep values intact and growing.

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