30 Jun

Wading through today’s soft real estate market


Posted by: Alisa Aragon-Lloyd

New Home Condo Guide, May 2019 issue, I, Alisa Aragon was interviewed by Stephanie MacDonald. Here is the article, it has some useful tips that maybe helpful.

Next Home New Home + Condo Guide sat down with mortgage specialist Alisa Aragon to hear her views on today’s real estate market.

New Home + Condo Guide: We’ve been hearing how the real estate market is depressed, but is the news all doom and gloom?

Alisa Aragon: Well, we just have to deal with whatever comes our way, don’t we? The Bank of Canada acknowledged that the slowdown in the economy was a bit more than they expected, and that the new “stress test” has had the effect of softening the real estate market, so they decided to not raise the interest rate. That’s one thing. This is still a buyers’ market, and I have seen a lot of my clients taking this opportunity to move up from a condo to a town home, or into a house. Sure, you will be selling lower, but you will also be buying at a lower price as well, and most people have built up equity they can use towards their next home.

NHCG: What about for first-time buyers?

AA: The new mortgage rules have definitely made it more difficult for first-time buyers to get into the market. Some people have access to lending from their parents or getting an “early inheritance” to make up a down payment, but that doesn’t change the fact that Vancouver is still very expensive. A few of my clients have chosen to invest in properties in the interior of the province, rent them out, and continue to rent in Vancouver, building equity out of town. With an investment property, you need at least a 20 per cent down payment, but the properties cost a lot less, so it can be an affordable option.

NHCG: What kind of mortgage makes sense now?

AA: It is going to be different for everyone. I do tell people that the interest rate is not necessarily the most important thing. When I bought my first condo years ago, I signed for the mortgage, got the rate that was advertised, but when I sold the condo to buy a house, I had to pay huge penalties. So, in some cases, the terms of the mortgage are more important than the interest rate.

Alisa Aragon has a mortgage license from the University of British Columbia. In 2017, she started Bridgestone Financing Pros. She is also on the board of directors of the Home builders Association of Vancouver (HAVAN).

by Stephanie MacDonald.

Link to the article: Click Here, pg. 54

15 Jun

Another Strong Employment Report Signals Rebound In Canadian Economy


Posted by: Alisa Aragon-Lloyd

It appears that the Bank of Canada’s optimism that the Canadian economy’s growth will pick up in the third and fourth quarters of this year is well founded. Not only was the employment report very robust for two consecutive months, but the jobless rate has fallen to its lowest level since at least 1976.

Also, Canada’s trade deficit, reported today, hit a six-month low in April, as exports continue to rebound from a recent slump. Consumer spending and business investment are also making a big comeback. Household spending has accelerated, despite concerns over bloated debt loads, assisted by easing rates on loans, substantial jobs gains, stabilizing housing markets and improving financial markets.

The Bank of Canada forecasts that growth will accelerate to an annualized 1.3% in the second quarter–following the meagre 0.4% expansion in Q1–and pick up further in the second half of this year, before accelerating back to above 2% growth by 2020. This comeback begs the question–why were markets expecting a rate cut by the bank in December? That expectation may well change after this morning’s Statistics Canada releases. Of course, one caveat remains, which is the uncertainty surrounding a trade war with China and Mexico. If the trade situation were to worsen, Canada’s economy would undoubtedly be sideswiped.

Canadian employment rose by 27,700 in May, bring the number of jobs created over the past year to a whopping 453,100. The jobless rate plunged to 5.4%, from 5.7% in April, the lowest in data going back to 1976. Economists had been forecasting employment to rise by only 5,000 last month after Canada recorded a record gain of 106,500 in April. The loonie jumped on the news.

The composition of the job gain was particularly heartening, as the rise was all in full-time employment. On the other hand, jobs by those who are self-employed increased by 61,500–the gig economy is alive and well.

The most substantial job gains were in Ontario and BC.

Wage growth continued to be strong in May as pay gains for permanent workers sere steady at 2.6%.

In direct contrast, the US jobs report, also released today, was weaker than expected. US payrolls and wage gains cooled as Trump’s trade war weighed on the economy. US employers added the fewest workers in three months, and wage gains eased, suggesting broader economic weakness and boosting expectations for a Federal Reserve interest-rate cut as President Donald Trump’s trade policies weigh on growth


Dr. Sherry Cooper
Chief Economist, Dominion Lending Centres

3 Jun

Property taxes are due on Tuesday, July 2nd


Posted by: Alisa Aragon-Lloyd


Please remember to apply for the BC Homeowners Grant if you are eligible. To apply for the grant, you have to complete the application sent with your tax bill and return to local municipality. In most municipalities, you are able to apply for the Home Owner Grant online. It is as simple as visiting your municipality’s website and look for the link to apply for your Home Owner Grant. You will need your Folio number and access code that can be found in your property tax notice.

If your lender is collecting the property taxes for you, you are still required to apply for the grant. Your municipality will charge you by a 5% penalty if you don’t pay your property taxes or claim the grant by July 2nd, 2019.

If you have any questions or need to find out information on the amount of money that has been collected by your lender to pay towards your property taxes, please contact your lender directly or feel free to contact me and we will be more than pleased to help.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.

— Alisa Aragon, Financing Expert