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Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary is looking for Summer Naturalist Assistants to connect with nature and children to help create a welcoming, safe and fun learning environment where you and the children will discover the many living things that call the Sanctuary home.
Contact jdawson@swanlake.bc.ca or 250-479-0211 ext 1010.

Threshold Housing Society is looking for help to garden and pick-up/drop-off donations.
If you are interested email assist@thresholdhousing.ca today!

Dragon Boat Festival is seeking a team of volunteers for this year’s Victoria International Dragon Boat Festival (Aug. 9-11).
Go to victoriadragonboat.com to complete your application or contact volunteer coordinator Brittany Nostadt at brittanyn@fgpaddle.com. Phone: 778-432-3472.

Saanich Peninsula Hospital needs Volunteer Activities Assistants to help staff with activities offered to the extended care residents such as bingo, yoga, gardening, outings and crafts, and to provide companionship to residents who will benefit from extra attention.
Contact: Lindsay Meissner 250-652-7519.

Saanich Strawberry Festival needs a Strawberry and Ice Cream Server on Sunday, July 7. You will be helping a crew of 30 serve more than 3,000 servings in under two hours, so be prepared for a great deal of scooping and serving. Volunteers get to enjoy some free strawberries and ice cream at shift’s end.
More information on this and other positions contact: Gaileen Flaman 250-475-5502.

Victoria Cool Aid Society is looking for volunteers to help in their day services area to hand out hygiene supplies and towels, make coffee, sign folks in and out of showers and assist in the clothing donation room.
Contact: Michelle Latour 250-383-1951 Ext. 4.

 

The Stress Test is Here to Stay

Evan Siddall, chief executive officer of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has become a passionate defender of the tougher mortgage qualification rule because he felt no one else was publicly standing up to support the federal program against criticisms from groups working in the real estate sector. He claims Canada would need a “calamity” in the housing market to warrant adjusting the mortgage stress test, which is helping affordability.

Reference: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-easing-the-mortgage-stress-test-would-increase-debt-bump-housing

 

More Details for First-Time Home Buyer Federal Incentive

The new federal incentive for some first-time home buyers, for which CMHC would provide up to $1.25 billion in interest-free loans over three years, will launch in September.

First-time home buyers taking advantage of the incentive to supplement their down payment will share any increase in value with the government when the house sells. They will have an option to buy out the government earlier if they choose. They would have to repay the government after a maximum of 25 years if the house is not sold.

 

Will CMHC Insure mortgages beyond 25 year?

Not Likely.

When asked by an audience member for his views on the prospect of extending amortization terms on CMHC-insured mortgages beyond 25 years, to 30 or even 50 years, Mr. Siddall, chief executive officer of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. responded bluntly: “If you extend amortization, you’re increasing demand and increasing debt. So, you know my answer: I think it’s dumb,” he said, adding, “Fifty years is dumber than 30.”

Reference: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-easing-the-mortgage-stress-test-would-increase-debt-bump-housing

 

Want to Volunteer for a Meaningful Organization?

Put your professionalism and enthusiasm for a better world to work by volunteering for one of these organizations. They’re looking for help, and they need people like you to keep doing what they do best!



The Victoria Stroke Recovery Association provides weekly programming and activities that are designed for stroke survivors and their caregivers. They are looking for a treasurer and secretary who would be required to attend their weekly Friday meetings.
Contact: Karol Sanderson 250-383-4865.

Victoria Women’s Transition House Society is seeking board members. Successful candidates will bring knowledge and experience to the board in one or more of the following areas: governance and fiduciary oversight, legal practice, policing and law enforcement, outreach and advocacy, strategic thinking and business planning, building and nurturing relationships.
For more information contact: Heidi Gayleard board@vwth.bc.ca

The Victoria Brain Injury Society is looking for enthusiastic and compassionate people to assist with their Thursday night yoga group and their Thursday afternoon art group. If interested, go to vbis.ca/volunteer-opportunities to fill out an application form.
Further inquiries can be directed to volunteer@vbis.ca

YMCA-YWCA Vancouver Island is looking for a Volunteer Group Fitness Instructor — Senior Strength Downtown Victoria YMCA-YWCA. The volunteer designs, modifies, and instructs safe, effective and appropriate fitness programs to meet the needs of members, community and special populations in a group fitness setting.
For more information or to apply contact: hr@vancouverislandy.ca

Victoria Symphony’s behind-the-scenes production for Victoria Symphony Splash. The production team makes sure everything on site is set up and taken down, from carrying folding tables, to setting up tents, to bringing food to the barge.
For more information on this and other volunteer opportunities contact: Meg Monteith 250-412-1983.

Vancouver Island Local History Society needs a Garden volunteer for Gardens at Point Ellice House. Volunteers are central to operations at Point Ellice House Museum and Gardens. Volunteers create memorable experiences for visitors to this special place. At the direction of head gardener, volunteers assist with care and maintenance of the gardens/grounds.
Contact: Kelly Black 250-380-6506 or Volunteer@PointElliceHouse.com

Royal Jubilee Hospital is looking for musical entertainment —- piano, flute, guitar, etc. Do you play an instrument? Would you like to interact with patients in a healthcare setting, while practising your instrument? VIHA is looking for volunteers who will play relaxing music on the nursing units. The goal of this new program is to enhance patient care and patient experience.
Interested? Contact Ming.Deng@VIHA.CA

Indigenous Perspectives Society wants volunteers for National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, on the traditional lands of the Teechamitsa Family, the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nations. Volunteers can register online.
For more information contact: Michele Oatman 250-391-0007, ext. 221.

 

Victoria is an Excellent Place to Purchase Real Estate

MoneySense ranked the top 35 cities to buy real estate in Canada for 2019, and Victoria BC came in at 4th place. That’s no surprise to those of us who live here!

Their criteria included value and affordability, momentum of price appreciation over other communities, and the expert insight of Realtors® who reported on living desirability.

This is a link to their resulting statistics. https://www.moneysense.ca/spend/real-estate/35-top-canadian-cities-to-buy-real-estate-2019

 

Housing for Seniors

Nineteen per cent of B.C.’s population is 65 years old or older, according to CMHC. That number is expected to increase by 600,000 to 25 per cent by 2036. The rapid growth in the numbers of our elders has made it vital for housing to be built to accommodate them.

So, it is a good sign that for the first time in seven years, the vacancy rate for seniors’ housing has improved compared with the previous year. On the Island, the vacancy rate for standard spaces improved to five per cent from 3.3 per cent in 2018. Greater Victoria’s rate improved to 6.3 per cent from 3.5 per cent.

(Photo: Victoria's skyline. Photograph By DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST)
Read the full Times Colonist article: https://www.timescolonist.com/business/b-c-seniors-housing-vacancy-rate-rises-1.23843892

 

It's Vital to Price Your Home Accurately

In today’s market with prices falling slightly, but demand high, it’s important to have an expert Realtor® help you to properly price your home right from the start.

Homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes may eventually have to drop the price.

When potential buyers see the price drop and/or the length of time the home has been on the market, it leaves them wondering if the price drop was caused by something wrong with the house. Nothing is wrong; The price was just too high.

Call me to receive an assessment of the value of your home before you list.

 

Quick Review of Benchmark Prices in Greater Victoria

The year-over-year benchmark price of a single-family home in Victoria's core dipped 2.9 per cent to $860,800 in May 2019. A year ago, that price was $886,200. Benchmark prices for single-family homes in other parts of the Capital Region were also down slightly.

In Greater Victoria, the benchmark dropped to $756,000 from $758,800 a year ago. On the Saanich Peninsula, the price dropped to $791,1000 from $808,900 in 2018. Only the West Shore saw an increase in the benchmark price of single-family homes, rising to $637,300 from $627,100 in May 2018. The benchmark price for a condo in the Victoria core increased slightly from $506,100 in May 2018 to $519,300 in May 2019.

 

Canadian Housing’s Soft Landing


Some economists say Canada's housing market may now have hit bottom after the slowdown engineered by policy makers. Many believe these policies appear to have done the trick, with a soft landing rather than a crash.

The latest Canadian Real Estate Association report shows sales on the upswing in April for a second consecutive month.
Royal Bank of Canada senior economist Robert Hogue said, "The 3.6-per-cent month-over-month advance isn’t an ‘all-clear’ signal for the market but strongly suggests that the cyclical bottom has been reached.”

So, what comes next?
This is the stated opinion of Andres Carbacho-Burgos, lead housing economist at Moody's Analytics, which is the sister company of the credit rating agency: "With the direct and indirect effects of monetary tightening, house price appreciation will slow down in 2020, turn briefly negative in 2021, and only recover in the following years.”



Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/briefing/article-hitting-market-bottom-a-five-year-forecast-for-house-prices-in-3/?fbclid=IwAR24IPWE3yJzNP26RdQgYppVh1MqtL5T6_tK5FXqvIm-vN2k6bA3n971nG4