The real estate market in 2014 has seen a consistent increase in sales each month over last year, with March sales up 20% over March 2013. We are moving towards a balanced market with a 17% sales to active listing ratio. Properly priced and well presented properties are seeing multiple offers in popular neighbourhoods.
Great news for first time home buyers! On February 18th the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) exemption threshold was increased from $425,000 to $475,000 for first time buyers. A partial exemption also applies to properties under $500,000, up from a previous $450,000. The Property Transfer Tax is in addition to your down payment and can not be added into your mortgage. With the rise in the PTT exemption threshold first time buyers can save up to $7,500. These savings will help buyers increase down payments, complete renovations, and offset other costs related to their home purchase. Almost 40% of all current listings in the Greater Victoria area are below the PTT partial exemption threshold for first time buyers. Interest rates are also down again, making it a great time for first time home buyers to enter the market!
Spring Checklist to Ready Your Home for Summer
1) Spring cleaning...It's time to go through your home and get rid of the clutter, try to fill a bag from each room to donate or sell!
2) Bring colours and life into your home with fresh potted plants on your mantel, flowers in your kitchen, and some scented candles for that finishing touch. Then swap out the towels and bedding for fresh new colours, bold picks and patterns will "perk" up your home for the summer!
3) Clean your windows on the inside and out, allowing the sunshine and natural light to flow through. Don't forget to wash, scrub, and pressure wash the exterior of the house, deck, and driveway to get rid of the dirt that accumulated over the winter.
4) Bring out the lawn mower to tune up, get the grill fired up, and stock up all the fuels to make sure your outdoor equipment is ready for the summer.
5) Lastly bring your outdoor furniture out of storage, give it a good clean, and buy anything else you need to enjoy your patio!
The UnitedNOW! Council is hosting our 6th annual "Volunteering with Benefits" on Thursday, April 17th from 6:00-8:30pm at the Strathcona. The event features a silent auction where attendees bid with their time instead of money, helping our goal to increase volunteerism and awareness in the community. Tickets are available to purchase here.
On May 7th the Young Entrepreneurs Society is hosting our 5th annual Fashion Fights Cancer at Moxie's Grill and Bar. The "culture clash" inspired show will feature local models and stores, as well as a live DJ, silent auction and casino. A red carpet evening with both VIP and standard tickets available, please contact me if you are interested in attending!