March 1, 2023

What Is Going To Happen With The Market?

I hear a lot of people saying the market is going to continue to go down, and I hear a lot of people saying they don’t have a crystal ball and cannot predict what is going to happen. What I can tell you from my over 25 years in the mortgage and real estate industry is that Vancouver Island is its own little micro-economy. Inventory is still very low, rental properties are hard to find and buyers from out East (the rest of the country) are tired of the long, cold winter.

Here are 3 scenarios I see could happen.

  1. The increase in interest rates brings inflation back down.(Baseline)

  2. Inflation is sticky and doesn’t go back down as predicted (Persistent Inflation)

  3. Inflation drops optimistically and rates start dropping sooner than expected.(Optimistic)


Which of these do you think is going to happen?

I was recently on a call with Brendon Ogmundson, Chief Economist for BC Real Estate Association and we covered these 3 scenarios:

Source: Brendon Ogmundson, Chief Economist for BC Real Estate Association


What I can say in each of these scenarios is that prices are going to rise again. Worst case scenario we have prices dropping for a few more months. That’s it. Vancouver just reported that the City had a strong February.  I am not sure what the news outlets are going to say about that!  

Last year properties were selling in the Comox Valley at 105.79% above list price, this year they are selling at 98.60% of the  list price (Vancouver Island Real Estate Board). This is not desperate selling. This is properly priced homes for the market we are in. Pricing your home properly is key to selling your home. 

Real Estate is a long term investment. It is not about timing the market, it is about TIME IN the marketI am still fighting for my buyers, in multiple offer situations. I am still working with my sellers to get the best offer possible. The market is active and spring is going to be busy. If you are serious about buying or selling, get prepared for GO TIME!

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 1, 2023

Inflation, where is it going?

I was sitting at a table today and we started talking about the inflation rate. Both of my tablemates felt interest rates were going to head up to 20% again as they did in the 80s. I want to give you my professional opinion on this interesting outlook and why I believe this will not happen. 


Inflation: a persistent rise in the average level of prices over time.

Consumer Price Index: tracks how much the average Canadian household spends, and how that changes over time.


The Bank of Canada has limited resources to curb inflation so they raise or lower interest rates to increase or decrease inflation. Their preferred range for inflation is between 1% and 3% with a target of 2% increase in inflation each year.


Why are we experiencing inflationary pressures right now? 

  1. COVID - COVID created huge government payouts to its citizens to ease the burden of not being able to work. Although this may have seemed like a good idea at the time and people were certainly in need, printing boatloads of money has had repercussions. People have more income to spend on goods and services.

  2. SUPPLY CHAIN - we heard continually that the supply chain issue was temporary, but it is not temporary. There is a huge imbalance in the economy today. Employees cannot find permanent work and employers can’t find employees. Locally we have seen airport lineups, ferries cancelled, restaurant sections not being available, shortened hours at offices due to lack of staff. Potential employees want permanent full-time, stable employment where they are treated respectfully and paid well.

  3. UKRAINE AND RUSSIA - I personally did not realise how much of Canada's supply of grain, oil seed and corn came from Ukraine. This sudden drop in exports and the Russian EU battle for energy has rocked our market. The biggest challenge for Canada with this is that we really have very little control over the outcome of someone else's challenges.


Base-Line Effects in CPI

That being said, there are some items within our CPI that are not as they appear. For example, the CPI is based on a year over year change and 2020-2021 were COVID years. We are basing 2022 price increases over a 2021 benchmark - challenging to do when how people shopped and travelled dramatically changed. The CPI is based on the percentage of increase from 2022 to 2021. As an example, hotel rooms cost more in 2022 than 2021 because for the most part we weren't travelling. 


Substitution, new products, quality changes and online retailers have a large impact on the CPI. How do you compare a laptop purchased in 1995 to one purchased in 2022. The two experiences are completely different. Online shopping has exploded in the last couple of years and online shopping tends to be cheaper.  


What you need to know:

When the CPI comes down, it tends to come down fast. This is the CPI index for Canada (blue line) and BC (yellow line) for the past 62 years. 

Source: Statscan Consumer Price Index. (Link below)

Another wrinkle in time is that the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) is looking at the bank underwriting guidelines for mortgages with a report due out in April of 2023. Here is what I know from past experience with OSFI. The mortgage underwriting guidelines WILL get tighter. OSFI hates the amount of debt that consumers carry. OSFI did not like the low interest rate environment and the amount of mortgage lending happening in Canada by banks over the past 10 years. Therefore, OSFI will do its best to ensure that the Canadian Banking System remains stable at any cost. 


If you are looking at buying a home and are at your maximum ratios, things are going to get even harder to qualify for after April of this year. It also appears it will become much more difficult to purchase an investment property as OSFI is really focusing on income to loan value. 

Once rates drop again, housing prices will increase as there will be more demand. 

Consider taking a short term 1 year mortgage and ride the interest rate wave down.

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 1, 2023

Federal Foreign Buyer's Policy

Effective January 1, 2023 foreign citizens will not be allowed to buy a residential property in Canada except in certain areas (Whistler for example) or if you are one of the following:


(a) a temporary resident within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act who satisfies prescribed conditions;

(b) a protected person within the meaning of subsection 95(2) of that Act;.

(c) an individual who is a non-Canadian and who purchases residential property in Canada with their spouse or common-law partner if the spouse or common law-partner is a Canadian citizen, person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act, permanent resident or person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b); or

(d) a person of a prescribed class of persons.

This is certainly an interesting move by a Government who has a mandate to allow 1,440,000 new immigrants into Canada by 2025 and is fully aware there is a rental shortage. 


I am still waiting to learn what a “prescribed class of person” is. I am sure there will be many exceptions to the rule and we will learn more in December. The good thing is that anyone who has made a purchase contract prior to December 31, 2022 will be protected. 


With this new mandate and very low vacancy rates, this will be a great opportunity to purchase a rental property. If this is something that interests you, please reach out and we can discuss options that could work for you.

Dec. 1, 2022

Rescission Period

AKA The least the government could do and still save face.

This new policy essentially protects Buyers who got in way over their head in making a really bad emotionally charged decision. Basically, for three days after an offer is written a Buyer can cancel the transaction with no reason and pay a 0.25% cancellation fee. That is $250 per $100,000 in purchase price. So a $750,000 purchase would incur a $1875 penalty. 


How will this affect you? 


As a Seller, for the first three business days you will sit on pins and needles waiting for the time to pass. This does not include the day of the acceptance, weekends or holidays, so the rescission period could technically be 5-6 days depending on when the offer was accepted by all parties.


As a Buyer you will likely be required to give an immediate deposit for the amount of the 0.25% penalty to show good faith and cover the possible rescission fee.


Where does this get tricky for everybody?


Suppose that you as the Buyer have made an offer subject to obtaining financing. Right away your mortgage broker then tells you that you cannot get the financing required. You have to cancel the contract because of the financing condition but you don't want to pay the rescission fee because you have a valid reason for cancelling.

Do you wait for the rescission period to end before advising the Seller? So far the legal advice is to wait so there is no confusion between cancelling for no reason and cancelling because a condition cannot be fulfilled.  This is bad for the seller because they have their property tied up for up to a week in a deal that is going to collapse. Hopefully there will be some better clarification on cancellation for no reason and cancelling because a condition cannot be fulfilled. 


This law was brought into play due the the last two years of unconditional offers. We will all have to have time to get accustomed to this new policy before the market goes crazy again (and it will). History does tend to repeat itself.

Nov. 1, 2022


Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and second leading cause in smokers.

This smelless gas comes out of the ground and into our homes. Luckily on Vancouver Island we have very low radon gas emissions.  On the map below green is good! Green shows less than 1% have radon gas at a dangerous level. The rest of BC is notso lucky. That is one more advantage to living on the rock!


Recently the Government of Canada sent out a postcard discusing the dangers of radon gas and suggested purchasing a test kit for your home.
I ordered our test kit through the BC Lung Association (link here), paid $29.99 for the kit, $12.00 for shipping and $5.04 tax for a total of $47.03.  It arrived in 5 days and now we are setting up the test kit in the crawl space where it will sit, undisturbed for three months. Once the necessary time has ellapsed, we will pack it up and send it off to be analysed. I should be able to share the results of our test in the March or April newsletter. 

I spoke with a local home inspector, James Robinson, of Wave Home Inspection Ltd. He used to live in Calgary, which has a lot of Radon, and he advised that if there is a dangerous amount of Radon it is quite easy to remediate and make your home safe. That made me feel better. 

Regardless, I will update you when I get my results, and if you live outside the green area on the map, I recommend that you order a Radon test. Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Canada. Let’s do what we can to change this statistic.

Sept. 2, 2022

Car Loan vs. Mortgage Payment

I recently saw a TikTok in which the interviewer asked people how much their car payment was. All of the payments were between $1000 and $2000/month and many of those were amortized over 7 years. Here is the thing, every $500 in debt payment is roughly equal to  $100,000 in mortgage money. That’s right, a $1,500 truck payment is worth $300,000 in mortgage money. Whoa wait.... then what about rent? Yup, same thing. $1,500 in rent is worth another $300,000. Between the truck payment and rent that is $600,000 worth of mortgage money which is most likely available to you if you have a down payment.

I often hear people say "I will never be able to own a home", but in reality most just don't know HOW they will ever be able to own a home. I want to provide you a realistic step by step plan to start preparing for how you can own a home.

1. Realize that your first home IS NOT your forever home. It is a steppingstone to get you into the
market. If all you can afford is a $250,000 condo, then buy a $250,000 condo. In a few years, when the timing feels right, either sell or refinance and purchase another home.

2. Make sure your debt is UNDER CONTROL. The best way I have found to do this is to take three months of your last bank and credit card statements and take a good hard look at the income received and spending you have done. This allows you to see where you may be over spending and where you can cut back.

3. Understand how credit scores work and if you have damaged credit start fixing it right away. We all go through good times and bad times. Credit IS REPAIRABLE. It takes time, commitment and dedication, like all good things in life do. Don’t miss any more payments, even if you can only pay the minimum amount, ensure you are paying your credit cards and bills on time.

4. See a MORTGAGE BROKER and identify if you have a weakness, whether that be credit, downpayment, income, and work to STRENGTHEN YOUR POSITION.

5. Have automatic savings go into a separate account or TFSA. Even if it is $25/pay period to start, try that. If you don’t miss the money, make it $50/pay period, and gradually up it from there. Try to save $100, then $1000, then $2500. Make goals for yourself, having this financial cushion will make you feel great.

6. Don’t try and “BEAT” the market, this just delays your start. The real estate market goes up and down. Get in and get going. You need 5% down payment to buy a place. If you buy a $250,000 condo that is $12,500 down payment. You can borrow from an RRSP, withdraw savings or TFSA, get a gift from parents, sell an asset... maybe that TRUCK.

Home ownership provides housing and financial security. What if you started today?
There is a 2 bed, 1 bath $309,000 condo on the market in Courtenay right now. You need $15,450 down payment and your monthly payment will be approximately $1650/month.

There is a $200,000 1 bed 1 bath condo on the market in Courtenay right now. That is $10,000 down payment and your monthly payment will be $1050/month.

I got the idea for this article here: What is your Car payment TikTok Dealer Celebrates High Monthly
Payments on TikTok (

Aug. 1, 2022

Headlines Capture Attention

The more “The Sky is Falling” headlines there are in the news the better the readership. The challenge for readers is that often there is no factual data or analytical perspective in these articles. Here is a recent article in Better Dwelling about how drastically home prices are dropping.

More Canadians See Real Estate Prices Falling As Market Psychology Shifts: BMO - Better Dwelling

Quote: Vancouver the market price dropped last month by $28,500.

Fact: The average selling price went from $2,029,100 to $2,000,600.

Perspective: This drop is less than 1.5%. If prices went up 1.5% this would not be news. Dropping 1.5%
really isn’t news either, hence throwing in the big numbers. 

In the Financial Post recently there was an article about how people will feel pressure with an interest rate increase.

What a Bank of Canada 0.75% rate hike would mean for mortgages | Financial Post

Quote: About a quarter of the Canadians who took part in the accountancy firm’s quarterly survey said
they are not financially prepared to deal with an interest rate increase of one percentage point

Fact: According to the Bank of Canada Financial System review about 35% of Canadians in a home are
home owners with a mortgage. Of that 35%, only 10% have a Variable Rate Mortgage. Of that 10% of
Variable Rate Mortgage holders only 2% have a mortgage payment that changes when the Prime Rates

Perspective: There is no reason to panic over interest rates. We have been at historical lows for over ten years. People who purchased homes and refinanced their homes had to qualify at in inflated rate to be protected in instances just like this.


Source: Financial System Review—2022 - Bank of Canada
Some analysts/journalists do a good job of providing fact based research to support their opinions as in this article by the Schwab Centre for Financial Research.

Does Market Timing Work? | Charles Schwab

Quote: The best time to buy a house is 10 years ago, then next best time is today

Fact: Real Estate is the fastest wealth builder in Canada. Over the long term Real Estate wins. Getting into the market, even at a high time, wins out over not getting in the market and waiting for the market to

Perspective: Financial and emotional security from owning a home is second to none. Timing the
market is a fool’s game. Get in when you can, sooner than later. Start building equity today because the
sooner you buy a home the sooner you will pay it off.
Posted in Market Updates
June 3, 2022


Are you looking for an expert in getting a house ready and selling a home after a loved one has passed away? I am here to co-ordinate and manage the liquidation of the estate.

This process is time consuming, potentially expensive, and emotionally draining. I am here to help, and I can take a substantial amount of that burden off your plate. How? Working closely with you and your family we create a strategy and execute the plan. Once everyone has gone through the home I will co-ordinate the sale, donating and disposing of household items, get handy people in to do minor repairs, professional clean, market and sell the home. 

If major repairs need to be done, we can discuss the risk/reward of doing those repairs. I work with your lawyer to ensure you are protected every step of the way.

My goal is to ensure you and your family are disposing of the assets of the estate in a transparent environment where questions and concerns can be asked and answered. Communication, honesty, respect, and trust are my promises to you. I will keep you informed the entire time so you may make decisions quickly and confidently. 

My marketing is highly visible and gains a lot of traction on various social media and advertising platforms. I market and advertise appropriately to ensure the maximum exposure for both the sale of household items as well as the property. Every situation is unique.

If you are the executor/administrator of an estate, please reach out and we can discuss your needs. Save time, money and stress with one call.

May 2, 2022

What's Happening to Mortgage Rates?

When COVID hit, the Bank of Canada dropped Prime Rate very quickly and started a fast and furious process of Quantitative Easing. This was to ensure that banks and other financial institutions have access to inexpensive funds to ensure a strong, secure economy. Back in 2008, during the US Sub-Prime and the Global Financial Crisis the Bank of Canada was slow to assist in ensuring financial institutions had access to funds. They kept the Prime Rate the same at first and actually restricted lender access to government backed insurance funds for their mortgage back securities.


It was quickly apparent that the Bank of Canada did not want to make the same mistake again, especially as the federal government was creating programs for home owners to skip mortgage payments, and ensure people had incomes when we were all asked to stay home.


All good things must come to an end, and what is coming to an end is Quantitative Easing. We are now moving into a tightening phase. Rates will increase, less money will be available to guarantee mortgage backed securities and the government will be hesitant to do anything to push the values of housing any hire than it already is. This will undoubtedly have an affect on the market. 


Does that mean the market it going to crash?


The market is not going to crash. The sky is not falling. We are moving back into a balanced market. A market where there is 60-90 days of inventory, versus next to no inventory.  Buyers will be able to get inspections, sellers will be able to find a new home and put subject to sale of their existing home. People will be able to relax a little bit.


Are prices going to drop?

On Vancouver Island, I would suggest not likely.

Vancouver Island is arguably the best place to live in Canada. Even though it has rained for the past six months straight, it is still a very desirable place to live for a lot of people. With limited new construction, prices on the island are going to remain stable. 


What is going to happen to rates?

Desjardin Bank is expecting POSTED rates to increase to 7% by this winter or next spring. Fixed rates offered on mortgages are always discounted by 1%-2% off of posted rates. Prime rate is also expected to go up another 0.50% -1%. So yes, rates are going to go up. 


What does that mean to you?

If you are a Buyer, and need a mortgage, it means that you will qualify for less money. If I was looking to buy in this market I would be joined at the hip with my mortgage broker. I would ensure that my mortgage broker is up to date with my most recent paystub, tax returns and anything else they require. I would ask that they keep my rate hold current and updated. 


If you are a Seller in this market, you should price properly. Not just some random price you think you should get because everyone else is making tons of money. Perception and reality are rarely the same. Overpriced houses don’t sell. Well priced houses sell. Buyers are wise, educated and informed about the market. Price your home based on facts like recent sales data and ensure that your Realtor has a stellar marketing plan. Just throwing a house on the MLS and expecting it to sell on its own is not in your best interest. You best interest is to give the house maximum exposure, putting its best foot forward, at a great price!


April 4, 2022

Where There's a Will

This month I have come across several different scenarios on properties where someone has passed away and I wish to share some of these stories. 

  1. Passing away with no will. This is the most challenging situation because so many things can happen. These are the two situations I have seen this month alone with no will. Case 1. No one wanted to be the administrator of the will as the entire family lived overseas and had no real connection with the deceased. There was also a mortgage on the property which would had to be paid while going through the probate process. Result: The house fell into major disrepair including squatters and vermin living in the house. Eventually the bank foreclosed on the property. Case 2. A family member was designated an administrator (which took over a year to grant), probate fees, property taxes had to be paid out of pocket. The house sat vacant for over a year waiting for permission to be granted to the Administrator for the estate resulting in wear and tear on the property including critters getting in to the house and it is now less marketable. 

  2. Passing away with a will and then not taking any action.  The deceased passed away in 2008 and no action was taken on the property. Now the remaining person on title wishes to sell the property but the property must go through probate as the seller was not on as a joint tenant. They thought they were joint tenants, and now that so much time has passed, collecting the paperwork has become very challenging. As well, Will and Estate law has changed several times since 2008.

  3. Passing away and willing all the possessions to charity.  This person had no heirs and wished to sell their property and leave everything to charity. The executor still must get the house cleaned out and ready to sell. The charities need to be informed and the house and household goods liquidated. 

  4. Passing away with a will, family moves quickly to ensure that probate is granted. The house is cleaned, painted and new carpet put in. The house sells quickly, for more than asking.  

I have been advised by different lawyers about the length of time for a will to go through the court process and for probate to be granted. I have been advised anywhere between two and eight months if there is a will. My advice is to shop around and find a lawyer who can process the will more quickly, to ensure the house does not sit vacant for long. The longer a property sits vacant, the more challenging it is to get ready to sell. Houses don’t like to be empty.

Wills and estates - Province of British Columbia (

So spend the money and get your will in place. It is what protects your assets and will save your family, friends and neighbours a lot of grief.