Nelson Jordaan

Cell: 604-644-6466 |

First, a mea culpa: last month, we speculated that it was likely that we would now have an NDP government. Like everyone else, we were wrong. With the Liberals' reelection, it's likely that there will not be any big surprises that will impact the housing market. Expect the status quo.

One sector that will likely benefit from having a Liberal over an NDP government is the commercial real estate market. After a strong run in the residential real estate market over the past several years, more and more people have begun asking questions about commercial real estate and its viability as an investment product. The answer to this question is that commercial real estate has proven to be a strong, stable investment, especially when compared to the recent volatility in the stock market or the infinitesimal interest rate returns being paid out by banks.

BC, in particular, has seen a disproportionate number of fortunes being made in commercial real estate (

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1) Brown stains on the ceiling. A possible indication of a past or current leak. Water travels; so don't assume that the source of the leak is directly above the stain. Water could be coming in from the roof.


2) Mildew smell in the basement. A sign that water regularly seeps into the basement.


3) Warped wood floorboards, peeling floor tile or cracked floor tiles. Warped floorboards point to water damage. If floor tile is peeling, the underlayment could have soaked, expanded and then destroyed the glue holding the floor together. Cracked ceramic tile could be a sign of water damage also.


4) Strange feeling. In the dead of winter, if a house's windows are open, with candles and incense burning and the heat blasting, there's probably a serious problem the seller is trying to hide.


5) Synthetic stucco homes. In general, these homes are expensive to maintain and need to be inspected by a synthetic stucco specialist at least once a year.


6) Cracks in the foundation....

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There has been a lot of mortgage news recently as the Big Banks fight for market share with record-low mortgage rates. Last year, we covered how BMO Bank of Montreal started the mortgage wars by offering a 2.99% 5-year fixed rate mortgage. Other lenders followed suit, matching the 2.99% rate, but generally offering only a 4-year option. After a month, RBC Royal Bank signaled the end of this war by raising its rates by 50 basis points to 3.49%. Other lenders followed RBC's lead in order to shore up their profit margins.


One year later, in preparation of the Spring Housing Market, BMO is once again offering a posted 2.99% rate while other lenders are offering a 2.89% 5-year fixed rate mortgage, much to the consternation of the Minister of Finance

As a consumer, given the current fixed and variable rates available, what should you do?

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The BC luxury home market stumbled in 2012 as sales of high-end homes fell 36% from their peak in 2011. However, even with the drop, 2012 was still the 2nd best year in history for sales of luxury homes.


439 $3-million+ homes transacted in 2012, down from a peak of 691 in 2011. However, to demonstrate how far prices in BC's real estate market have increased over the past 10 years, only 10 homes sold for over $3 million in the year 2000. Of the 439 homes that sold for over $3-million in 2012, 107 sold for over $5-million and 44 were condos or townhomes. The most expensive home sold in 2012 was by Macdonald Realty for $19.8 Million.

The majority of homes sold for over $3 million in 2012 were located in Vancouver's Westside. West Vancouver was also well represented while a disproportionate number of expensive homes sold in South Surrey/White Rock. Outside the lower mainland, Vancouver Island saw 8 $3-million+ sales while the Okanagan recorded 4.

Dan Scarrow, Vice President at Macdonald...

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.