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Okanagan real estate board agrees with provincial call to halt open houses – Kelowna Capital News



The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) agrees with a call to halt open houses for real estate sales and rentals in B.C.

This morning, the Real Estate Council of BC called for the temporary halt of all open houses across the province Thursday (Nov. 5) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s always up to the sellers if they do want to do an open house or not, but we just strongly recommend they don’t, especially during a time when the public health officer says it would be prudent not to,” said OMREB president, Kim Heizmann, Thursday afternoon.

With the rising COVID-19 numbers, Heizmann said the OMREB believes this to be the right decision until coronavirus numbers change.

READ MORE: B.C. realtors asked to halt open houses due to spike in COVID cases

READ MORE: B.C. breaks records with 425 new COVID-19 cases; test positivity rate of 3.8%

In terms of how this new recommendation may affect the local real estate market, Heizmann anticipates it will be fairly seamless. Since the beginning of the year, realtors have been utilizing a new live-streaming tour tool, developed by and the Canadian Real Estate Association.

“I think there’s lots of ways for realtors to still utilize technology and tools in order to get the properties sold that need to be sold.”

This new recommendation by the real estate council does not prevent realtors from hosting in-person tours. Sanitizing, social distancing, masks, and ensuring everyone is healthy before a tour begins are all things realtors have been doing since March to help prevent the spread of the virus.

In the Okanagan, the real estate market is booming. In the Okanagan-Shuswap region, 70 per cent more homes sold in October of this year, compared to 2019. This is just slightly down compared to September, where 78 per cent more homes sold in September 2020, compared to 2019.

Additionally, the time it takes for homes to fly off the shelves is decreasing.

Heizmann referred to these recent market statistics as ‘shocking’, adding they haven’t seen increases like this since the 1980s.

“No one knew that COVID would have this kind of an effect on the housing market,” she said.

READ MORE: Demand continues to drive Okanagan real estate markets

READ MORE: Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues to rebound

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Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley remain a sellers' markets, say real estate groups –



Housing sales in Metro Vancouver fell almost 17 per cent in November compared to the previous month, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

But the industry group says as trends go, demand remains high, making it a sellers’ market.

REBGV’s monthly tally shows 3,064 homes sold last month across the region, compared to 3,687 in October 2020.

Compared to November 2019, sales were up 22.7 per cent.

Colette Gerber, REBGV chair, says demand from buyers has been at “near record levels” since the summer.

“This is putting upward pressure on home prices, particularly in our detached and townhome markets,” she said. 

The Sunshine Coast showed the largest increase in year-over-year sales according to the data, with Squamish and the Gulf Islands not far behind.

“The rise of work-from-home arrangements and physical distancing policies is causing some home buyers to opt for less densified areas,” said Gerber.

The total number of Metro Vancouver homes currently listed for sale is 11,118, representing a 10 per cent decrease from October 2020. 

Gerber says the current market favours sellers because demand is outstripping supply.

The Multi Listing Service home price index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver — detached homes, townhomes and apartments — is $1,044,000, a 5.8 per cent increase year-over-year and a 0.1 per cent decrease compared to October 2020. 

Benchmark prices in each of the three categories are:

  • Detached home: $1,538,900
  • Attached home: $814,800
  • Apartment: $676,500

Fraser Valley

The sales scene in the Fraser Valley is even hotter, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board. 

It describes the level of demand as “unrelenting,” even though like Metro Vancouver, November sales dropped by 8.3 per cent from October.

In total, there were  2,173 property sales, an increase of 54.7 per cent compared to November 2019.

The boards says monthly sales records were set in September, October and November compared to previous years.

“We expected November activity to moderate due to the season, but the desire for family-sized homes and their benefits continues to dominate,” said president Chris Shields.

“Since the summer, we’ve seen the strongest demand in our board’s 99 year history, specifically for single-family detached and townhomes,”

The FVREB calculates the benchmark prices for the region as:

  • Single family detached: $1,061,500
  • Townhome: $570,100
  • Apartment/condo: $435,900

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Hamilton-Burlington real estate sales slow down in November – Global News



The latest real estate statistics for Hamilton and Burlington show the market continues to cool off after a red hot summer.

The Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) says 1,233 homes were sold in November, down 24 per cent from October, but up 17 per cent compared to November of last year.

The average price for a home in the area is now $722,317, 0.11 per cent higher than last month and a 21 per cent jump from November 2019.

Realtors Association President Kathy Della-Nebbia says there are a number of reasons for the slowdown in activity, including the rising cases of coronavirus and Hamilton being placed in the province’s COVID-19 red zone, as well as the colder weather.

Read more:
Cottage prices rise as more Canadians look toward future of full-time remote work

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“What we can initially see is that the market has slowed from last month, and this is due to the colder weather, the COVID-19 cases increasing throughout the province, and Hamilton/Burlington moving to Red Zone as of November 16 where open houses are now banned,” says RAHB President Kathy Della-Nebbia. “An extremely low number of active listings at the end of each month is continuing to drive average prices higher. It’s a vicious cycle of sellers not listing their homes until they are confident they will find another home to buy.”

Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington

Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington.

Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington

RAHB says new listings were down nearly 29 per cent over October 2020 and up 16 per cent over last November.

The number of active listings available at the end of the month was 40.8 per cent lower compared to the previous year.

The number of sales of single-family properties in the RAHB market decreased in November 2020 by 3.8 per cent compared to the same month last year, the number of new listings was down 10.5 per cent over last year, and the average sale price increased by 24.4 per cent to $812,912.

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Townhouse sales activity across the entire RAHB market area increased from November 2019 by 15.2 per cent, new listings were up 19 per cent, and the townhouse average sale price increased by 17.6 per cent to $606,367.

“The activity for single-family properties was slower, and this is most likely because fewer sellers chose to list their homes during this time,” says Della-Nebbia. “We can also see that towns and apartments are still quite active, but their average price did not increase as much as single-family properties, and so this could indicate that single-family properties are still much more in demand — this would make sense during these times as we see a movement towards homes with more elbow room and outdoor space.”

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Click to play video 'How to choose between multiple offers on your real estate listing'

How to choose between multiple offers on your real estate listing

How to choose between multiple offers on your real estate listing – Nov 12, 2020

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Kudos: Richmond Hospital receives $250,000 from real estate developer – Richmond News



A Richmond and Vancouver real estate developer donated a total of $250,000 to Richmond Hospital.

Michael Ching donated $200,000 towards Richmond Hospital’s new acute care tower and partnered with South China Morning Post to donate an additional $50,000 towards Richmond Hospital Foundation’s Surgical Restart campaign.

He also donated 25,000 masks to the Vancouver Diamonds Lions Club as part of their disposable masks fundraiser for the Richmond Hospital Foundation.

“Having lived in Richmond for a decade and Richmond being home to most of my projects and work, this contribution is a thank you for the care the hospital has provided for its community over all of these years,” said Ching.

He added that new equipment and facilities are important to provide the best care to Richmond residents.

Natalie Meixner, CEO of the Richmond Hospital Foundation, said they are thankful to Ching’s donation.

“Mr. Ching’s philanthropic leadership and his partnership with South China Morning Post, is an inspiration to the community and we are very grateful for his dedication in building a better and healthier future for Richmond.”

The Richmond Hospital Foundation raised over $100 million to help fund for medical equipment, improvements in patient care services and upgraded facilities in the past 30 years.

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