Buyers were on the hunt for houses in March -
Buyers favoured houses in the suburbs and condos in pricier urban communities in March, according to sales results released Wednesday for the Lower Mainland’s main property markets. March sales showed an improvement from a year ago, but transactions continued to trend below their 10-year average, according to the reports.

Barbara Yaffe: Rising cost of Vancouver houses means it may be worthwhile to rent -
VANCOUVER — Renting a place may be the last, best real estate bargain in Vancouver, and a majority of the city’s residents are taking full advantage. With unaffordable house prices in the region getting all the attention, it’s easy to forget that 52 per cent of Vancouverites rent.

The ‘bank of mom and dad’: Advice on helping children with that first home purchase -
BMO Bank of Montreal found that up to 40 per cent of their first-time buyers expect some family help to get on the property ladder. Vancouver Sun reporter Derrick Penner sought some expert advice on how parents can approach the situation.

League Assets faces potential $370-million insolvency -
Dan Robison, a commercial driver from Coquitlam, made a modest investment with League Assets Corp. in 2009 because it looked like a growing company that had garnered much respect within Victoria’s business community. He thought about putting in more, but decided to invest just $15,000 in one type of League-related shares that were lower risk, “to test them out.” He and his wife kept the rest of their savings spread around.

Twisty new downtown Vancouver tower designed to inspire -
A new 52-storey, curving, cantilevered residential tower near the Granville Street Bridge is intended to be much more than a landmark building for the city, according to developer Ian Gillespie. The president of Westbank Projects says Vancouver House will not only be a distinctive addition to the city’s skyline, it will also engage people closer to the ground.

Vancouver home sales up 30 per cent in January from year before -
Home sales in the Vancouver region for January were 30.3 per cent higher from the same month a year ago.

Home prices 10-per-cent over-valued based on rate expectations, TD estimates -
TORONTO — Canadian home prices are likely about 10-per-cent over-valued given expectations for rising interest rates, TD Bank said in a report Monday.

Vancouver No. 2 city in world for unaffordable homes -
SYDNEY, Australia — Hong Kong, Vancouver and Honolulu have the least affordable housing markets across nine nations in the Demographia International Housing Affordability survey.

BMO, Scotiabank join RBC in reducing a number of mortgage rates -
TORONTO — At least two more big Canadian banks have joined Royal Bank in quietly reducing some of their mortgage rates.

Edmonton's skinny homes the latest big idea in housing (with video) -
Skinny sells when it comes to lattes and jeans, but will Edmontonians buy skinny houses? Local developer Doug Kelly believes so, having just listed two of Edmonton’s first wave of “skinny homes” on Friday.

Metro Vancouver housing market expected to remain stable in 2014 -
The years of wild swings in Lower Mainland’s real estate markets should be behind the region in 2014 as 2013’s rebound in sales settles down into relatively stable conditions, according to local economists.

Kitimat increases highest in 2014 B.C. property assessments -
With more buyers calling on Kitimat’s real estate office than sellers and little new construction, it’s no surprise British Columbia’s new boom town is the leading northern resource community to see its 2014 property assessments skyrocket. On average, the assessed value of single-family homes in Kitimat shot up 26.7 per cent, according to BC Assessment valuations released Thursday, to hit $228,000 from $180,000 a year ago.

Laneway houses continue to soar in popularity in Vancouver -
The city of Vancouver says demand for laneway houses continues to grow, with 348 permits to build the rental dwellings issued in 2013.

Ian Mulgrew: New wills and estates law brings sweeping change to B.C. -
The Wills, Estates and Succession Act passed by the B.C. legislature on Sept. 24, 2009 finally comes into force in the New Year and it’s a sweeping change. After March 31, the new law brings together and updates various statutes with the twin aims of providing greater certainty for individuals who leave a will and simplifying the process for those responsible for distributing an estate.

Is there a link between oil pipelines and property values? -
A new activist group wants to get in on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline debate and has started with a warning that oil spills and pipeline ruptures can devalue property, according to a report issued by the organization that calls itself Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED). The group claims it is not opposed to pipeline development, according to a spokeswoman, but its members feel that potential risks from the Trans Mountain pipeline’s expansion have not been discussed well enough.

Century-old Chilliwack home on the market for $0 -- with a catch -
A beautiful 100-year-old heritage home in Chilliwack has just gone on the market.

Many in B.C. would refuse to buy home near oil pipeline: poll -
OTTAWA — Most British Columbians say they’d be concerned about buying a home near an oil pipeline, according to a new poll. And a sizable minority — 43 per cent — said they wouldn’t even consider such a purchase due to those concerns, according to the Angus Reid online survey commissioned by New Democratic Party MP Kennedy Stewart.

Metro Vancouver communities struggle to find ways to make densification gentler -
Vancouver is wrestling with the issue of housing affordability at the same time as it struggles with a need for more public transportation and how to pay for it. While the city is regularly named as one of the least affordable in the world, it is also often named one of the most livable cities.

UDI/FortisBC Housing Affordability Index: Affordability improves slightly in Metro -
The third quarter of 2013 saw a slight improvement in housing affordability in Metro Vancouver, due to slight drops in interest rates at some banks and a small rise in household income, statistical analysis provided to The Vancouver Sun shows. The rise in household income was reported in the Statistics Canada National Household Survey 2011, which provides 2010 incomes. The UDI/FortisBC Housing Affordability Index was previously using 2006 figures, which were the most recent available.

Canadian real estate market is not in a bubble, Poloz says -
Canada's housing market is not in a bubble and not likely to suffer a sudden and sharp correction in prices unless there is another major global shock to the economy, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said Wednesday.

Barbara Yaffe: Metro Vancouver feels growing pains amid office boom -
Have you noticed that Vancouver-area condo units lately are being built smaller?

In the city, single-family homes are a dying breed -
When Ben Taddei, president of Vancouver’s Bluetree Homes got into the housing development business in the early 90s single family was king.

New home construction could be a ‘real grind’ for Metro Vancouver in 2014 -
The new home industry can expect 2014 to be a “real grind” as impending municipal elections in Metro Vancouver could slow down the rate of approval for new housing projects, Vancouver real estate guru Michael Ferreira said Thursday. Ferreira warned a meeting of the Urban Development Institute to expect “to see more of this,” and he showed a slide of a protest signs that can be seen around Marpole in South Vancouver saying “Stop Marpole Rezoning.”

Barbara Yaffe: Real estate investors spark northern boom -
Don’t care for the dilapidated hovel your $250,000 might buy you in Vancouver? Well then, look up, look way up. That’s what Dave and Lisa Richardson did. The couple, who own a home with a rental suite in North Van, purchased both units in a duplex in Dawson Creek in 2012, for investment purposes.

B.C. condo owners want better municipal oversight of temporary occupancy permits -
A B.C. condo owners association will petition municipalities to adopt a new measure to ensure owners don’t get caught with incomplete occupancy permits that can undermine their ability to sell. The change is a simple one: it would require municipalities to notify strata corporations within the first year of occupancy whether the permit is complete, says Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condo Home Owners Association of B.C.

Sunny condo market report raises hackles among critics -
If you are sitting the sidelines hoping for the condo market to crash, the Conference Board of Canada says you'll have to wait

B.C.'s priciest residential properties costing over $20 million (with photos) -
Most of British Columbia's most expensive mansions dot Westside Vancouver and West Vancouver, but a new map shows there are also pockets of pricey homes throughout the southeast of the province.

Mortgage rate hikes put the squeeze on homebuyers -
Those looking to gain a foothold in Metro Vancouver’s already pricey housing market are facing another hurdle as key financial institutions across the country move to hike mortgage rates. On Thursday, five-year fixed mortgage rates edged near the four-per-cent range at many financial institutions after hovering near the three-per-cent mark for months. RBC posted its five-year rate at 3.89 per cent, while BMO and Scotiabank offered 3.79 per cent and CIBC 3.69 per cent.

B.C. home sales hot in July, highest number in eight years: BC Real Estate Association -
Home sales in B.C. soared last month, the highest number for the month of July in eight years, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association.

National housing numbers boosted by strong Vancouver sales: CREA -
OTTAWA - Homes were selling at a brisk pace in Vancouver and Toronto last month, while the national average price continued to rise, suggesting Canada's real estate industry has returned to "average levels" after a decline that began last summer.

Vancouver okays $200-million environmentally sustainable office tower -
A $200 million tower project billed as one of the most environmentally sustainable office buildings in Canada has been given the go-ahead for construction in Vancouver.

With home boom winding down, is housing market on death watch? -
OTTAWA - Canada's much-watched housing market is sending out mixed signals these days — even for analysts.

Office moves deal Surrey a big increase in office vacancies -
Surrey’s bid to develop its central core into Metro Vancouver’s second major office district has hit a short-term snag as recent corporate moves have driven up its office vacancy rate, according to a commercial realtor’s report. One move, which saw the RCMP relocate its offices from several leased locations to a new, purpose-built E Division headquarters in Surrey’s Green Timbers neighbourhood, left behind about 60,000 square feet of empty space, according to the report from Avison Young.

Metro Vancouver developers ease off on land purchases -
Metro Vancouver developers slowed down on purchasing new land for residential housing projects over the first several months of 2013, but that was less notable than the big increase in land purchases over the same period a year ago, according to a new report. Commercial real estate research firm RealNet recorded $329 million worth of commercial land sales in Metro Vancouver over the first four months of 2013, which was down 30 per cent from the $472 million made by developers over the same period of 2012, which was a high point for the region.

July hottest month for home sales in Vancouver -
July's record sunshine didn't hurt home sales in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver's region. In fact, July was the hottest real estate month of the year so far, the board says.

Single-family home values will survive baby boomer sell-off, economists say -
It’s a question that can create severe anxiety disorder among baby boomers: Who will buy their single-family homes when they decide to downsize into smaller units? Pessimists feel baby boomers could soon flood the market with detached homes as health and financial issues force them to sell, creating an oversupply situation that forces prices down.

Metro Vancouver resale real estate market makes gains -
The average price of a home in Vancouver is once again rising as the Metro and Fraser Valley housing markets recorded some gains in sales volumes last month.

Mayor Gregor Robertson's home sells for $1.95 million -
Mayor Gregor Robertson’s family home has sold for the $1.95 million asking price, his office confirmed Friday.

Vancouver mayor’s $1.95-million home up for sale -
Mayor Gregor Robertson is selling his $1.95-million home near Douglas Park and moving to Kitsilano — to a new property on the proposed Point Grey bicycle route. That means the mayor won’t be voting on issues relating to the project, according to a written statement from Robertson’s office on Wednesday.

Lagging home sales point to a Metro Vancouver real estate market in transition -
After the first six months, call Metro Vancouver’s housing market a market in transition. Housing starts in the region are running behind 2012 levels as builders adjust to lower sales levels and higher inventories, but recent months have shown an uptick in construction.