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More than just storage: Basement ideas for better living

Basements are often an afterthought. Sometimes they’re dismissed as simply storage space – where your furnace and water heater are located, along with bins of clothes you’ll never wear again. If this is your mindset, you’re missing out on some great opportunities to reimagine this space.

See your basement with a fresh perspective. Here are a few ways that you can optimize your basement for a better living experience:

Personal gym
Forget paying for a membership. By investing in a few pieces of quality gym equipment, you can bring your workout home. It’s not always easy to stay motivated, but having easy access to your treadmill at home could be one less excuse to skip your run, especially on those cold days. And with a home gym, you can make exercise time a part of your family’s routine.

If you have children, you know how quickly their toys can take over a room. By making the basement (or part of it) a dedicated play area, you can keep the clutter out of sight downstairs while giving the kids plenty of room for imaginative games and activities. Add a fresh coat of paint, a few whimsical decals and the toys of course, and you’ll have a playroom that dreams are made of.

Home theatre
With so many movies available on streaming platforms, trips to the cinema have become rare. But, you can recreate the experience at home with a large screen, projector, and theatre-style armchairs. For those with smaller basements, a quality flatscreen TV and a comfortable couch with lots of pillows can be just as enjoyable for family movie nights or entertaining friends.

For all the book lovers out there, imagine having a special place to read, with all the paperbacks you’ve collected over the years at your fingertips. Whether it’s a few bookshelves and some comfy seating, or custom built-ins that showcase your collection in a creative way – a library is a wonderful addition to any home. Coordinating rugs, throws, and cushions can give this space a luxe yet cozy feel. It’s the perfect place to get lost in a good book!

Home office
Maybe the kitchen table isn’t cutting it. For some, working from home is now part of the regular routine but many still don’t have a dedicated home office. A well-designed workspace with an ergonomic desk and chair can not only increase your productivity and help motivate you to check off your daily to-dos faster, it can reduce the physical stress that your body endures during long stretches of sedentary activity. And the best part is, you don’t have to clear away your work day each time you sit down for a meal.

Basements are a blank canvas; extra square footage to play with and room to try something new. So, however you decide to use this part of your home, choose something you love and make the space your own!


Decorate your home with ease this fall

Fall is a beautiful time of year. As the leaves change colour, pumpkin patches open, and people enjoy spiced lattes and sweater weather, it’s only fitting to add a little fall flair to your home as well. And, seasonal décor doesn’t have to be difficult or break the bank. 

Just in time for the Thanksgiving long weekend, here are some simple tips to warm up your home and a touch of autumn to your style:  

Warm up your front entrance

Adorn the front of your home with fall-inspired welcome mats, wooden crates, and squash in various shapes and sizes. The beauty of fall is that there is no symmetry needed. Scatter different sized boxes, fall signs and a mix of small and large decorative pumpkins (real or fake). Hang a fall wreath made of twigs, and add a brown, orange or burgundy ribbon for a pop of colour. 

Decorate your dining space

Beautify your home indoors with orange and earthy tones. Add a table runner, some coloured napkins on the table, and coordinating candles in the scents of the season. You can elevate your seasonal look with small squashes and gourds as centerpieces. And, don’t be afraid to bring the outside in… Design your own table arrangement with twigs, leaves and pine cones you collect. 

Add a cookie and coffee station

Nothing says fall like warm beverages and treats while enjoying the crisp air! Impress your guests with a coffee and tea station. Set up cups, specialty teas displayed in a glass bottle, hot coffee and flavoured syrups in a section of your dining room or kitchen. Use risers or wooden trays to give the display some complexity. Add a cookie jar or cake stand with some fall goodies such as butter tarts, chocolate chip cookies, or brownies. You can also have a seasonal fruit basket with apples and pears. 

Make it cozy

Celebrate fall with comfort by adding aromatic autumn candles… Think cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin spice scents. Light them in the evenings for ambiance. Add fall-themed throw cushions, and add an earthy-toned warm blanket on your couch (check out Pinterest for inspiration on how to arrange pillows and blankets).

These simple tricks can elevate your home decor and make it feel as warm as your pumpkin or apple pie this season!


2022 national home price forecast reduced to end year slightly below 2021 levels, following quarterly declines across Canada in Q3

Canadian home prices are projected to end the year modestly lower than where they were during the final months of 2021, undoing the price growth seen earlier this year. Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Canada will decrease 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the same quarter last year, due to a continued softening of home prices in a majority of markets across the country in the third quarter (94% of regions in the report).

“September did not bring the typical seasonal lift in the number of homes trading hands in this country, a clear indication that our housing market continues to adjust to higher borrowing costs,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage. “Home prices follow sales volume trends, which means we will see further softening in the final months of the year. Our revised outlook has national prices at just below where we ended 2021, erasing the gains made in the first quarter of 2022.” 

According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey, the aggregate price of a home in Canada increased 3.3% year-over-year to $774,900 in the third quarter of 2022. However, on a quarterly basis, that figure decreased 4.9%; the second consecutive quarterly decline recorded. When broken out by housing type, the national median price of a single-family detached home rose 2.0% year-over-year to $806,100, while the median price of a condominium increased 6.1% year-over-year to $566,100.

With so many would-be buyers waiting on the sidelines, sales activity has weakened across the country.

“While sales volumes are well off the pandemic-fueled peak, many buyers remain active in today’s market. Some are motivated to transact before their locked-in mortgage pre-approval rates expire. Others are encouraged by a rare drop in home prices, the lack of bidding wars and the ability to include conditions in purchase offers,” added Soper. “At the first indication that interest rates have ended their climb and home prices have stabilized, I would expect a sharp increase in those entering the market as the need for housing has not diminished one bit. And regrettably, Canada continues to suffer from a severe shortage of housing supply.”

Read Royal LePage’s third quarter release for national and regional insights. 

Third quarter press release highlights:

  • National aggregate home price for the final quarter of the year forecast at -0.5% 
  • National aggregate home price increased 3.3% year-over-year in third quarter of 2022; decreased 4.9% quarter-over-quarter
  • Prices remain well above pre-pandemic levels; Canada’s national aggregate home price increased 25.4% in Q3 over the same quarter in 2020, and 21.5% over the same quarter in 2019 
  • 58 of the report’s 62 regional markets posted quarterly aggregate home price declines in Q3
  • Prices decline on a quarterly basis in Greater Montreal Area for the first time in more than five years as market activity drops, following trend set in greater regions of Toronto and Vancouver in Q2
  • Major markets in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies show modest quarterly price declines in Q3; Calgary and Edmonton markets faring better than other major cities

Fall Porch Décor Updates
Fall is now here and it’s time to update porch décor from cheugy to chic! ✨

This year we’re thinking tonal, monochromatic elegance. These front porch decorating ideas will surely pique your interest by emphasizing the effortless aesthetic of Canadian contemporary design.


Metro Vancouver saw more home sellers and fewer buyers in September

Metro Vancouver saw more home sellers and fewer buyers in September

Home sellers were more active in Metro Vancouver’s housing market in September while home buyer demand remained below the region’s long-term averages. 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 1,687 in September 2022, a 46.4 per cent decrease from the 3,149 sales recorded in September 2021, and a 9.8 per cent decrease from the 1,870 homes sold in August 2022. 

Last month’s sales were 35.7 per cent below the 10-year September sales average. 

“With the Bank of Canada and other central banks around the globe hiking rates in an effort to stamp out inflation, the cost to borrow funds has risen substantially over a short period,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV director, economics and data analytics. “This has resulted in a more challenging environment for borrowers looking to purchase a home, and home sales across the region have dropped accordingly.” 

There were 4,229 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in September 2022. This represents an 18.2 per cent decrease compared to the 5,171 homes listed in September 2021 and a 27.1 per cent increase compared to August 2022 when 3,328 homes were listed. 

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,971, an eight per cent increase compared to September 2021 (9,236) and a 3.2 per cent increase compared to August 2022 (9,662). 

“With fewer homes selling and new listings continuing to come to market, inventory is beginning to accumulate, providing buyers with more selection compared to last year,” Lis said. “With more supply and less demand within this market cycle, residential home prices have edged down in the region over the last six months.” 

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for September 2022 is 16.9 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 12.4 per cent for detached homes, 18.4 per cent for townhomes, and 20.9 per cent for apartments. 

Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months. 

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,155,300. This represents a 3.9 per cent increase over September 2021, an 8.5 per cent decline over the past six months, and a 2.1 per cent decline compared to August 2022.

Sales of detached homes in September 2022 reached 525, a 44.7 per cent decrease from the 950 detached sales recorded in September 2021. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,906,400. This represents a 3.8 per cent increase from September 2021 and a 2.4 per cent decrease compared to August 2022. 

Sales of apartment homes reached 888 in September 2022, a 45.2 per cent decrease compared to the 1,621 sales in September 2021. The benchmark price of an apartment home is $728,500. This represents a 6.2% per cent increase from September 2021 and a 1.6 per cent decrease compared to August 2022. 

Attached home sales in September 2022 totalled 274, a 52.6 per cent decrease compared to the 578 sales in September 2021. The benchmark price of an attached home is $1,048,900. This represents a 9.1 per cent increase from September 2021 and a 1.9 per cent decrease compared to August 2022. 

Download the September 2022 stats package.


Home Buying Blog
How has the increased cost of living impacted Canadians' homebuying plans this year?

With interest rates continuing to increase and inflation reaching a decades high, younger Canadians have been especially affected.

Read our latest blog post to learn how many Canadians have been forced to deprioritize their plans to buy a home.
Reciprocity Logo The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR), 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 GVR, 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 GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB.