Thursday, December 30, 2010
Occasionally, claims are reported to the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance Corporation (REEOIC) involving complaints by buyers against licensees which might not have been made if those buyers had bought title insurance.
Title insurance is an insurance policy provided by title insurance companies that protects residential or commercial property owners and/or their lenders against losses related to a property's title or ownership.
While each title insurer may offer slightly different coverage, some of the coverage provided by title insurance companies includes: coverage for unknown title defects; survey errors and errors in public records; losses related to improvements made without the requisite building permits (unless made by you); existing liens against the property's title for unpaid debts by the previous owner (utilities, taxes, mortgages or condominium charges registered against the property); real estate fraud and forgery; invalidity of mortgages; and encroachment and unregistered easement issues.
Title insurance will generally not cover known title defects, environmental hazards, native land claims, matters created, allowed or agreed to by the insured, or matters known to the insured but not disclosed to the title insurer prior to closing (e.g. matters identified in a building inspection).
Title insurance is usually purchased by a buyer at the time of purchase, although it may be purchased anytime after. The insurance cost, generally a one time fee or premium, is usually determined by the property's value and depends upon the chosen provider.
The advantage to licensees of buyers purchasing title insurance is that it shifts liability from the licensee to the title insurer. Consider this scenario: an elderly seller owns a piece of property in a rural area for many years. After obtaining a variance from the governing authority, the seller constructs outbuildings which encroach upon the adjacent property. No record is kept of the variance by the approving authority.
Years later, when selling the property, the seller completes the Property Disclosure Statement indicating that he is unaware of any unregistered encroachments. The buyer discovers the encroachment after purchasing the property and incurs a loss in rectifying the issue. A buyer with title insurance would likely be indemnified by the title insurer for any proven loss associated with the violation. A buyer without title insurance would likely sue the seller and licensees involved in the sale to recover losses associated with the undisclosed encroachment.
Here are examples of recent claims paid out to BC homeowners by a major title insurer:
source: Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance Corporation
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Homebuyers and sellers less active in July
Categories:Amalia Liapis,condos,Houses,market trends,price index,Prices,Real Estate,townhomes,Vancouver
August 10, 2010 – Home sales activity in Greater Vancouver was quieter last month than most Julys over the past decade, with residential sales, prices, and the number of homes listed for sale trending downward in recent months.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that the number of residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 2,255 in July 2010. This represents a 45.2 per cent decline from the 4,114 sales in July 2009, the highest selling July ever recorded, and a 24.1 per cent decline compared to June 2010. Looking back further, last month’s residential sales represent a 3.7 per cent increase over the 2,174 residential sales in July 2008, a 41.8 per cent decline compared to July 2007’s 3,873 sales, and a 17.5 per cent decline compared to July 2006’s 2,732 sales.
With the pace of home sales and listings easing off in our market, we’ve begun to see a levelling of home prices from the record highs seen in the spring, creating greater affordability. Activity in today’s marketplace is clearly trending in favour of purchaser in most areas of buying. The number of properties listed for sale on the market has been trending downward since spring, with 4,138 new listings in July compared to April’s peak of 7,648. New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver declined 17.9 per cent in July 2010 compared to July 2009, when 5,041 properties were listed for sale.
At 16,431, the total number of property listings in July declined 6.5 per cent compared to last month and increased 33 per cent compared to July 2009. It’s currently taking home sellers who work with a Realtor on average, 45 days to sell their property, which is a historically healthy timeframe. Since spring, housing prices have decreased 2.8 per cent compared to the all-time high reached in April when the residential benchmark price was $593,419. Over the last 12 months, the Housing Price Index benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver increased 9.1 per cent to $577,074 in July 2010 from $528,821 in July 2009.
Sales of detached properties in July 2010 reached 908, a decrease of 43.7 per cent from the 1,614 detached sales recorded in July 2009 and a 9.8 per cent increase from the 827 units sold in July 2008. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 11.5 per cent from July 2009 to $793,193. Sales of apartment properties reached 979 in July 2010, a decline of 42.7 per cent compared to the 1,708 sales in July 2009 and an increase of 1.3 per cent compared to the 966 sales in July 2008. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 6.2 per cent from July 2009 to $387,879.
Attached (town home) property sales in July 2010 totalled 368, a decline of 53.5 per cent compared to the 792 sales in July 2009 and a 3.4 per cent decline from the 381 attached properties sold in July 2008. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 8.6 per cent between July 2009 and 2010 to $490,995.
Even within the slowest times in the market I continue to observe properties that show well, are priced on the mark continue to command top dollar and yes, multi offers!!
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