Vancouver Island Real Estate News from Rudi Widdershoven - teamW September 2012   

Hi Paul,

Hard to believe that September is almost over, where does the time go.  The continuing summer weather has been incredible and we certainly hope that you are getting a chance to enjoy it.

We hope you were able to get some benefit, or at least awareness, from the material last month on Advance Health Care choices.

The market certainly continues to have opportunities for investment or making a move up in housing.  However I have been findng that when a buyer really starts to narrow in on what they want they find that there is very little selection that is satisfactory.

We do live in 'Paradise' - the photo on the right is a September sunset on Craig Bay.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Warmest Regards,
Rudi W.

In this issue...
Vancouver Island Housing Sales Activity Drops In August 
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island declined 21 per cent last month compared to last year, while average sale prices dipped five per cent.

“Both in Victoria and across Vancouver Island sales activity has been quite flat for the past few months, and it’s likely to continue like that for the foreseeable future.  No big changes in this trend are anticipated through to the end of the year,” explained Cameron Muir, Chief Economist with the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).  “However the interest rates continue to remain low and are anticipated to stay that while for a while.  In addition province-wide job stats have started to show growth, with part time jobs rolling into full time jobs.  The end result of this trend for the long term is increased stability in the provincial economy which ultimately leads to increased sales in the housing market.  The best prediction would be stability in the immediate and a gradual increase in sales and prices in the long term.”

“It’s a case of business as usual when it comes to selling real estate,” explained VIREB President Guy Bezeau.  “There are certainly some spikes, such as last month’s sales figures, but for the most part we just keep chugging along.  Traditionally the fall market is one of our most active ones and all indications are that this will be the case this fall. The unusual summer weather may also have played a part in the drop in activity last month as potential buyers were spending the time enjoying the last of the summer rather than house hunting.  With the return to classes, and to more normal activities, it’s likely going to be a busy fall season in terms of real estate activity.”

Comparing August 2012 to August 2011, the average sale prices across VIREB's six zones saw:  Campbell River increased eight per cent to $301,093; the Comox Valley declined five per cent to $329,008; Nanaimo’s average sales price dropped seven per cent to $341,434 from the August 2011 price of $365,592; Parksville/Qualicum prices were down eight per cent to $363,873; Port Alberni/West Coast dropped 31 per cent to $181,793; and the Cowichan Valley increased four per cent to $351,061.

How to Make Your Houseplants Lean & Green 
Houseplants are not only visually appealing but they improve our home's air quality by adding oxygen and removing toxins.  Here are some plant care tips for those of us who can barely keep an artificial plant alive.

Accidental drowning is a leading cause of plants dying.  Water your plants thoroughly but make sure there are drainage holes so excess water can escape as you don’t want your plants to be sitting in water.

Improper lighting is another reason why promising young plants become statistics.  It's important to match the lighting needs of plants with the amount of light you have to offer.  Here are a few hardy plants that can survive nearly any situation:

  1. The Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is excellent for beginners as it’s almost impossible to kill.  They're one of the easiest plants to grow and look great in hanging baskets.

  2. The Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderana) just stands in water and has been used by the Chinese for centuries in the art of feng shui to create harmony in the home.

  3. The Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior) is another foolproof plant that only requires dim light and doesn’t need much water.  What could be easier?

Houseplants are a simple and cost effective way to infuse natural, serene style into your home.  Better yet, research suggests they reduce stress and cold related illnesses and even increase our energy levels.  Go out today and outfit your home with some of nature's lean mean green machines!

Food for Thought! 
"Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time of which you have any control: now." - Denis Waitley

PS Oh by the way, I am never too busy for any of your introductions.  If you know of anyone that may benefit from my help please contact me with their name and number and let them know that I will be in touch.  I would be priveleged to assist them!

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