HIGH DEMAND AND LOW SUPPLY CONTINUED TO CHARACTERIZE VANCOUVER’S AND TORONTO’S HOUSING MARKETS THROUGHOUT 2016 AS COMPETITION FROM BUYERS FOR LIMITED INVENTORY OF SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES PUSHED PRICES HIGHER.


The average residential sale price increased 13 per cent in Greater Vancouver to approximately $1,020,300 and rose 17 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to an estimated $725,857. Although demand remains high in both urban centres, limited inventory in the freehold market, the new 15 per cent foreign-buyer tax in Vancouver and the recent tightening of mortgage rules by the federal government are expected to soften market activity in the short term. In 2017, RE/MAX estimates average residential sale price will increase by two and eight per cent in Greater Vancouver and the GTA respectively.


Regional markets in close proximity to Canada’s highest-price cities continued to experience steady interest from local move-up buyers and buyers from these cities (“move-over” buyers) who are looking to find a balance between affordability and square footage. This year there were considerable year-over-year average price increases in Barrie (16 per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (20 per cent), the Fraser Valley (20 per cent) and Kelowna (14 per cent).


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SURREY, BC – September housing sales in the Fraser Valley continued to slow throughout September, dropping below the ten-year sales average for the month for the first time this year.


The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,305 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September, a decrease of 24.4 per cent compared to the 1,727 sales in September of last year, and a 23 per cent decrease compared to the 1,694 sales in August 2016.


“What we’re experiencing is an environment where the summer sizzle has ceased, and demand is producing numbers in-line with what we’ve seen historically. It seems dramatic, as would anything else that wasn’t the incredible, continuous uptick we’ve seen for the last eighteen months,” said Charles Wiebe, Board President.


Despite receiving the lowest amount of new listings for the region in seven months, the total active inventory for the Fraser Valley was 6,422 listings in September, the highest level since October 2015’s 6,535 active listings. Active inventory increased by 5.2 per cent month-over-month, but still decreased 9.8 per cent when compared to September 2015.


The Board received 2,709 new listings in September, a 4.6 per cent decrease from August 2016, and a 9.2 per cent increase compared to September 2015’s 2,481 new listings.


“The level of available inventory is rising as we had hoped, and homes are taking a bit longer to sell than they have throughout the year. It’s encouraging, and gives buyers a bit more room to navigate the market more comfortably,” explained Wiebe. “At 20 per cent, our sales to active listings ratio has moved towards a more normalized state.”

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in September 2016 was 27 days, compared to 17 days in June 2016.


“When comparing with August, benchmark prices in September have remained flat, signalling a shift in market dynamics towards a balanced market. However, when stacked against last year at this time, prices are up significantly.”

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in September was $879,200, an increase of 37.5 per cent compared to September 2015 when it was $639,500.


The benchmark price of Fraser Valley townhomes in September was set at $419,500, an increase of 35.8 per cent compared to September 2015’s benchmark price of $308,900. Similarly, the benchmark price for an apartment in the Fraser Valley increased 26.5 per cent year-over-year, from $226,133 in September 2015 to $249,800 in September of this year.


Full package:
http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/Package201609.pdf

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SURREY, BC – While sales in August remained above the ten-year average for the month historically, the number of transactions processed in the Fraser Valley continued to decrease following this year’s bustling spring.


The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 1,694 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in August, a decrease of 2.3 per cent compared to the 1,734 sales in August 2015, and a 13.7 per cent decrease compared to the 1,962 transactions processed in July 2016.


“The numbers here aren’t alarming; they’re expected, and what we’re used to seeing around this time. Homebuyers should be encouraged that sales have slowed, giving inventory a chance to build back up and competition within the market to cool down,” said Board President Charles Wiebe.


The Board received 2,840 new listings in August, an increase of 15.6 per cent compared to August of last year, and a 12 per cent decrease from July 2016. The total active inventory for August was 6,102, down 17.6 per cent from last year’s 7,407 active listings but up 1.5 per cent from July.


“With sales activity moderating to more normal levels, we’re beginning to see prices follow-suit, and even drop for certain housing types in some of ourcommunities. Regardless, this is still a challenging and volatile market. Talk to your REALTOR® who can help you understand what’s happening right now and what you can realistically achieve as a seller or buyer.”


Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in August 2016 was 20 days, compared to 32 days in August 2015.


The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in August was $888,600, an increase of 41.2 per cent compared to August 2015 when it was $629,400.


In August, the benchmark price of townhouses was $418,400, an increase of 36.4 per cent compared to $306,700 in August of 2015. The benchmark price of apartments also increased year-over-year by 29.7 per cent, going from $191,900 in August 2015 to $248,800 in August 2016.


Full package:
http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/Package201608.pdf

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Next to a major kitchen renovation, replacing appliances is the most expensive way to upgrade the space. So if you’re purchasing a new refrigerator, stove or dishwasher in order to make your home more attractive to buyers, you want to make wise purchasing decisions.


The most important consideration is how the appliances will look in the kitchen. Ideally, they should match in colour and style. They should also be the right size for the space. The last thing you want is a fridge that’s so large it dominates the room, or a stove that’s a completely different style and looks out-of-place.


Appearance is important, but so are the features. Buyers viewing your home will scrutinize the appliances. They’ll notice if the fridge has a cold water and ice dispenser. They’ll ask if the dishwasher has noise-reduction features. Double ovens and quick-heating burners (which are now available on electric stoves) will also get a buyer’s attention. Power consumption is also a big issue these days. Increasingly, buyers are interested in the energy efficient features of a home — appliances included.


So, as your REALTOR® I would point out appliances with energy-saving features, such as a dishwasher with a slow-run cycle that saves power. Kitchen appliances may seem minor compared to the overall appeal of your property, but they do make a difference. Purchase wisely!

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SURREY, BC – Consistent with the preceding two months, June saw a record-setting number of sales for the month historically, but continued easing off since this year’s sales peak in March.

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 2,864 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June, an increase of 18.7 per cent compared to June 2015. The previous record for sales processed in a June was set in 2005 at 2,517. However, when compared to May 2016, sales dipped 1.5 per cent.

With 1,281 sales of single family detached homes, demand for greater space and land remained consistent. However, nearly matching that was the combined total of June’s 656 townhome sales and 604 apartment sales, a rare feat for the Fraser Valley region.

“Demand for Fraser Valley homes grips the market, tightly. Still, we are seeing a slight leveling-off that while not drastic, is giving both buyers and sellers a bit more room to maneuver,” said Charles Wiebe, President of the Board.

The Board received 3,705 new listings in June, an increase of 11.7 per cent compared to June of last year, and a 0.8 per cent increase from May 2016. The total active inventory for June was 5,612, down 30.8 per cent from last year’s 8,105 active listings at this time.

Across Fraser Valley, the average number of days to sell a single family detached home in June 2016 was 17 days, compared to 35 days in June 2015.

"Simply put, to meet demand, we need even more listings. More than half of our active inventory consists of new listings that came on to the MLS® in June; our market is truly in the hands of hopeful sellers,” added Wiebe.

“If you're a struggling buyer, or someone thinking of selling but on-the-fence, talk to a REALTOR® and find your best path through this complex environment.”

The MLS® HPI benchmark price of a Fraser Valley single family detached home in June was $861,600, an increase of 41.3 per cent compared to June 2015 when it was $609,900.

In June, the benchmark price of townhouses was $387,100, an increase of 27.9 per cent compared to $302,600 in June 2015. The benchmark price of apartments also increased year-over-year by 20.8 per cent, going from $191,900 in June 2015 to $231,900 in June 2016.

 

Full package:
http://www.fvreb.bc.ca/statistics/Package%20201606.pdf

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You’ve seen fire extinguishers in commercial environments, such as schools, stores and workplaces. Does it make sense to have one in your home?

According to the experts, yes. In fact, a fire extinguisher can quickly put out a blaze that would otherwise quickly grow out of control.

There are several types of fire extinguishers that are made especially for residential use. That means they put out the most common fires that occur in the home (Class A, B & K fires), and they are easy to handle and use.

Since most residential fires happen in the kitchen, that’s the best place to keep your extinguisher. Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is and how to use it. Keep in mind that a home fire extinguisher is meant for small fires that are easy to put out, such as a pan of vegetable oil igniting on the stove. If you find you can’t control the blaze within a few seconds with the extinguisher, get everyone out of the home and call the fire department. Also, never attempt to fight a major fire yourself.

Leave that to the professionals

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Setting the right list price for a home is a mystery for many sellers.

How do you begin to determine what buyers are likely to pay for your property? After all, no two homes are exactly alike. Yet, setting the right price is crucial.

You need to avoid the two price “tipping points” that, if crossed, can cause you a lot of problems.

The first tipping point is a price that’s low enough for buyers to begin thinking something is wrong. They wonder, “Why is your price so low? What are you not telling us about your property?” But that’s not even the worst problem with this tipping point. If you do get offers at that low price, you’ll have a bigger issue – leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

The other tipping point is setting your price so high it discourages buyers from giving your listing a second look. When your price is that high, you’ll get few enquiries and even fewer people coming to see your property. Of course, you can lower your price later, if necessary. But experience shows that reduced prices make potential buyers skeptical. Most sellers who price high in the hopes of getting a windfall actually end up selling for much less than they would have if they had priced their properties correctly in the first place.

So what’s the right price to list your property? The answer is somewhere inbetween those two tipping points.

 

Call today and I will help you determine the right price for your property.

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 If you see a haze of condensation on your window, should you be concerned? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on a number of factors. First of all, an occasional build-up of condensation is normal and often the result of fluctuating humidity in the home. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. If you’re using a humidifier, try adjusting the levels. If the humidity is being generated naturally, try placing a dehumidifier nearby. Also, remove any plants and firewood from the area, as they can release a surprising volume of moisture into the air. Do you see moisture in between the panes of glass that make up the window? If so, that means the seal has failed and moisture has crept in. Double and triple pane windows often contain a gas (argon, for example) that boosts the insulating qualities of the window. When the seal fails, the gas disappears, making the glass colder and often allowing condensation to creep in. Eventually, you’ll want to get it replaced. If you see moisture build-up anywhere on the frame of the window, particularly at the joints, that could be a sign of water leaking through. That’s an issue you should get checked out immediately by a window contractor.

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 Next to a major kitchen renovation, replacing appliances is the most expensive way to upgrade the space. So if you’re purchasing a new refrigerator, stove or dishwasher in order to make your home more attractive to buyers, you want to make wise purchasing decisions.

The most important consideration is how the appliances will look in the kitchen. Ideally, they should match in colour and style. They should also be the right size for the space. The last thing you want is a fridge that’s so large it dominates the room, or a stove that’s a completely different style and looks out-of-place.

Appearance is important, but so are the features. Buyers viewing your home will scrutinize the appliances. They’ll notice if the fridge has a cold water and ice dispenser. They’ll ask if the dishwasher has noise-reduction features. Double ovens and quick-heating burners (which are now available on electric stoves) will also get a buyer’s attention. Power consumption is also a big issue these days. Increasingly, buyers are interested in the energy efficient features of a home — appliances included.

So, as your REALTOR® I would point out appliances with energy-saving features, such as a dishwasher with a slow-run cycle that saves power. Kitchen appliances may seem minor compared to the overall appeal of your property, but they do make a difference. Purchase wisely!

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 When is the best time to meet with a REALTOR® like me?

 

Chances are, you would say, “When I’m thinking of buying or selling a home.” You’d be right, of course! However, there are many other good reasons to meet with me.

Here are just a few:

• You want a professional opinion as to the current value of your property, so you know what it would likely sell for in today’s market.

• You notice a home listed for sale in a desirable neighbourhood, and you’re interested in learning more — even if you’re unsure you want to make a move.

• You’re thinking of moving within the next couple of years, and you want to find a REALTOR® like me, that you can get to know and trust.

• You want some recommendations for preparing your home for sale and especially determining what repairs and other work needs to be done.

• You want an honest assessment as to the state of the local market, and the best time for you to buy or sell.

• You have real estate-related questions and you want to talk to an expert who knows the local market well and can provide you with answers.

As you can see, there’s a lot of value you can get from talking to me as your REALTOR®. Call today.

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 No one wants to deal with a burglary. It can be a difficult subject talk about but just how canyou reduce the chances of one happening?

 

Fortunately, burglaries are a well-studied phenomenon — especially by law enforcement. These studies have identified specific things you can do to cut the risk dramatically.

 

Here are some ideas:

• 34% of home break-ins occur through the front door. Experts recommend investing in a door with a top-quality locking mechanism. (The best are those that lock at three points of contact.)

• 50% of burglars will be deterred if your home has some sort of video monitoring system. A thief doesn’t want his face on YouTube!

• Unfortunately, signs and window stickers warning of an alarm system do not deter thieves. However, 62% of burglars will immediately run away when an alarm goes off. Always turn on your alarm system when you’re not home!

• 22% of burglaries occur through a sliding glass door or patio door. Make sure it’s locked and also use a solid metal jammer.

• Some thieves use frequency scanners to gain access to garages. Police recommend changing your remote entry code regularly and putting blinds or curtains on garage windows so thieves can’t see (and be tempted by) any valuables inside.

 

As you can see, there are many simple things you can do to reduce your chances of a burglary dramatically. The effort is worth it.

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Three Things to Consider Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy.

 

In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make reality TV shows about it!

 

So if you’re considering whether to move or improve, here are three things to consider.

 

1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property? If you’re tired of a small kitchen, for example, it might not be possible, given the layout, to make it any bigger. On the other hand, if you’re craving a spacious rec room with a cosy fireplace then a renovation could make that happen. Of course, there are some things you may want that aren’t specific to your house, such as an easier commute or nearby park. Those are features you may only be able to get by moving.

 

2. How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home? It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart decision. This is where a good REALTOR® can help. Keep in mind that renovations have a habit of costing more than you originally anticipate. As mentioned earlier, the final result should be a home you want to stay in for quite some time.

 

3. Beware of compromising versus settling. Whichever decision you make — renovate or sell — you can expect to have to make at least some compromises. That’s normal. For example, consider adding an extension to your house. That’s a major renovation. Is it the ideal way to get the extra room you want? Do the benefits of renovating outweigh the benefits of finding a new larger home designed to include the space you need?

 

Yes, it’s a tough decision. If you’re in the midst of making it, call me today, to get the facts you need to make the best choice for you

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More fires start in the kitchen than in any other room. Those fires can be expensive; since even a minor incident, with no injuries, can result in significant damage.

 

That’s why it’s important to keep up with the latest in fire prevention.

 

The most recent research tells us:

• Never leave cooking food unattended. Doing so is the number one cause of kitchen fires.

• Make sure cooking appliances, especially deep fryers, are safety certified by the appropriate government agency.

• When using oil in a frying pan, always heat slowly at no more than a medium heat setting.

• Always turn off stove burners and other cooking appliances immediately after cooking.

• Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Use baking soda or a fire extinguisher.

• Never remove or cover up a smoke detector due to nuisance alarms. The one alarm that isn’t a nuisance may save your life.

 

Finally, experts say that if you can’t put out a fire immediately, get everyone out of the home and call emergency services.

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As you’re probably aware, the list price you set for your property has an impact on how quickly it sells — and how much you earn on the sale. What you may not realize is just how significant an impact it has.

Consider the following examples.

 

Example 1: You price your property well above its current market value. As a result, many buyers don’t bother to see it because it’s outside of their price range. Those who do see it are confused by the high price tag, (and may even be suspicious.) They may wonder, “What’s going on?” In this scenario, the home will likely languish on the market for weeks or even months. You might even have to lower the price dramatically to reignite interest.

Example 2: You price your property just a couple of percentage points lower than what is necessary to gain the interest of qualified buyers. That might not seem like much of a problem. How much can a couple of percentage points matter?

 

Those points matter a lot. On a $400,000 property, pricing your home just 2% lower than necessary could cost you $8,000 on the sale. That’s a serious amount of money!

 

Whether A Seller's or Buyer's market pricing your home RIGHT means having the RIGHT information.

 

Fortunately, a good REALTOR® knows how to set the right price. Call me today.

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 Do you ever wonder how most people find the homes they eventually buy? You might imagine them driving by a “For Sale” sign or seeing a home for sale in the newspaper and then calling to enquire.

 

Of course, many buyers find out about listed properties that way. But, according to research by the National Association of Realtors, there are many other — sometimes surprising — ways buyers find their next dream home.

 

For example:

• 88% of buyers find a home with the help of a real estate agent.

• 90% of buyers search online as part of the home buying process. (Such as viewing a property’s profile on the agent’s website.)

• 69% of buyers searching for a home using Google, use a specific local term, such as “White Rock homes for sale”.

• 29-46% of buyers attend an Open House as part of their home hunting activities.

 

Overall, the research shows that buyers are using a multitude of ways — combining online and offline methods — to find homes. What does all this mean to you? If means that if you’re preparing your home for sale, you need to ensure your marketing plan takes into account all the ways buyers are finding properties — so you can be sure that they will find yours.

 

Looking for a REALTOR® who knows how to market your home for maximum exposure? Call me today.

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Keeping Houseplants Alive when You’re Away

 

When you’re out-of-town, there are plenty of kennels and other facilities that will mind your dog or cat. In fact, the pet-care business is booming! However, the same options aren’t available for your houseplants. So what do you do? First, keep in mind that plants can go for several days or even a couple of weeks without water. This frequently happens in their natural habitats. So if you’re gone for just a few days, your flora will probably be fine.

 

Flowering plants tend to need the most water. Give them an extra dose just before you leave. Also, make sure they are in indirect, rather than direct sunlight. That will help them conserve water. If you’re going to be away for a week or more, consider one of the several products on the market that water plants automatically. Many of these allow you to adjust how much water each plant gets — and when. You’ll find plenty of do-it-yourself instructions for making your own automatic waterer on the internet, from plastic cups with tiny holes in the bottom to upside-down bottles with wicks. These might work, but you’ll want to test them first.

 

Of course, your best option might be to have a friend or trusted neighbour take care of the plants for you. Just be sure to give them clear instructions. Your houseplants will thank you.

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What Home Inspectors See that You Can’t

 

When you make an offer on a home, it’s a smart idea to have a professional home inspector check it out from top to bottom. This inspection will ensure that the property doesn’t have any unexpected “issues”. After all, you don’t want to buy a home only to discover that the roof needs to be replaced, immediately, for thousands of dollars.

 

That being said, you might question whether you really need to invest the few hundred dollars it costs for a professional home inspection. “The home we want to buy looks like it’s in very good shape,” you might be thinking. “I can’t see anything wrong with it.” However, a professional home inspector can see things you can’t.

 

When you view a property that’s on the market, you might be able to notice obvious issues, like a crack in the foundation or a dripping faucet. If you’re experienced with home maintenance, you might even notice roofing tiles that look like they’re overdue for replacement. But you won’t pick up all the issues a home inspector can. A home inspector will, for example, use a special device to check for moisture build-up in the washrooms – which can be an indication of mould. He or she will also inspect wiring to make sure everything is safe and compliant with the building code. That’s not all. Like a determined detective, a home inspector will investigate the property’s structure, electrical and plumbing systems, insulation, and other components — and then report the findings to you.

 

In the end, a professional home inspection gives you peace-of-mind and protects your investment. So getting one is highly recommended — even for recently built homes. I can recommend a trusted home inspector for you. Looking for more ideas on making smart decisions when buying a home? Call me.

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Should You “High Ball” Your Listing Price?

 

One of the most important decisions you make when selling your home is setting the listing price. That can be tricky. After all, if you price your property too low, you leave money on the table — perhaps thousands of dollars. On the other hand, if you price your home too high, many buyers won’t even bother to see it, believing it is too expensive.

 

Even with that reality, there are some sellers who contemplate setting a high listing price in the hopes of a windfall. They want some unsuspecting buyer to fall in love with the home and buy it — even though it’s overpriced.

 

That rarely, if ever, happens.

 

Instead, the listing often languishes on the market because its listing price is conspicuously much higher than its market value.

 

Think about it. If two similar homes, side-by-side, are for sale, and one is priced $40,000 higher than the other, wouldn’t you wonder what was going on? That’s exactly what the market thinks. “Why is that home priced so high?”

 

Of course, many buyers, who might otherwise be interested in the property, won’t even consider seeing it, simply because it’s outside their price range.

 

It gets worse. When an overpriced home sits on the market with no offers for several weeks, the price will often need to be adjusted down. That helps the situation a little. However, you’ve lost the excitement created by a “new listing.” Yours is now an old listing struggling to get attention.

 

There’s a better way…

 

Setting your list price at or near the market value is much more likely to generate interest from qualified buyers and maximize how much you make on your home.

 

That market value may even be higher than you think!

 

Interested in finding out how much? Call today.

 

 

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Being Safe about Chemicals in Your Home

 

You would have to visit your local pharmacy or science lab to rival the number of potentially dangerous chemicals in the average home. You likely store everything from fertilizers and acidic cleaners to gasoline and corrosive drain openers.

 

Obviously, it makes sense to ensure that everyone in your home uses and stores such items safely.

 

For example, laundry detergent packs – which have become popular recently – are attractive to children. Keep them locked and out of sight. You should do the same with all laundry products. Even exposure to fabric softener pads can cause skin irritation to a child.

 

Always read and follow the labels on household chemical products. Use and store them as directed.

 

Keep corrosives, such as harsh cleaners and drain openers, separate from other chemicals and in a place where, should they leak, they will cause minimal or no damage.

 

Also, never put a chemical in anything other than its original container. You don’t want to take the chance that paint thinner stored in an old water bottle, for example, is mistaken for water!

 

Finally, make sure you have the phone number to your local Poison Control Center in a handy place, such as your fridge door. (You can find a list of numbers at www.CAPCC.ca in Canada and www.AAPCC.org in the U.S.)

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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.