|MLS® Home Price Index Benchmark Price|
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Frank Steinhausen, Broker
RE/MAX Rouge River Realty Ltd., Brokerage
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In its 2016 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Ontario committed to increasing the land transfer tax (LTT) rebate for first-time home buyers from $2,000 to $4,000. The new LTT rebate will help more young families achieve their dreams of home ownership.
“Finding an affordable home has become a struggle for thousands of young couples,” said Ray Ferris, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). “This tax break will reduce a first-time buyer’s closing costs and help them save more for their down payment.” According to research prepared by Altus Group Economics for OREA, an improved LTT rebate will create 5,000 jobs and $268 million in economic spinoffs. Research shows that home ownership contributes to families becoming happier and healthier, and enjoying improvements in their children’s school performance.
“Home ownership changes you for the better,” said OREA CEO Designate, Tim Hudak. “It builds strong communities and stable neighborhoods. A tax break for first-time buyers will give a lot of young families the leg up they need to get into home ownership.”
“Premier Wynne and Minister Sousa deserve credit for taking positive steps to address affordability,” said Hudak. “It’s encouraging news for that young couple looking to get into the market. We look forward to continuing to work with the government to improve affordability by looking at other issues impacting prices, like supply.”
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It all depends on the reason for the build up.
Assuming you have traditional double-pane glass in your windows, there are a few things to look for if you notice moisture.
Often, moisture at the bottom of the windows is simply caused by too much humidity in your indoor air. If that’s the case, simply adjust your humidifier.
If the moisture is on the exterior of the window, typically there’s also no problem with the window itself. It may have rained recently or the outside humidity may have spiked causing the accumulation. Generally, there’s no reason for concern.
However, if the moisture is in between the two panes of glass, the seal has broken and surrounding air – along with its water content – has made its way in. This disrupts the thermal barrier of the window, reducing its energy efficiency. In fact, the glass might feel noticeably colder than your other windows on chilly days. In that case, you’ll need to replace the pane.
Similarly, if the moisture is coming in through only one spot — the bottom right corner, for example — then you might have a leak. If you have a wood frame or sill, you may also notice a growing water stain. It’s important to get leaks fixed quickly. There may be water damage occurring within the frame that you cannot see.
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When you’re about to sell your home, it may be disheartening to see so many other properties for sale in your neighbourhood. You may be thinking, “That’s a lot of competition! Will our property get noticed?”
Fortunately, there are many proven strategies for standing out in a sea of For Sale signs.
First of all, keep in mind that many home purchasers come from the REALTOR’S personal network of buyers who want to move into your area. So, choosing the right REALTOR® is crucial.
Second, remember that when there are other properties for sale on your street, curb appeal becomes even more important. There are many simple things you can do to make your property look great to those driving around looking at homes. Make sure your property looks as picture perfect as possible.
In a competitive market, it’s also more important than ever to highlight features of your home that are unique and enticing. If, for example, you have a large backyard deck and brand new hardwood flooring, make sure these are mentioned prominently on the feature sheet.
Finally, be as flexible as you can be when scheduling viewings and open houses. Don’t forget that other listed properties in your neighbourhood draw in buyers, who may notice your home. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to view a property and then scout the neighbourhood. So, you want buyers to be able to see your home on short notice and at a convenient time for them. If there are several other nearby properties for sale, it means things are hot from a real estate point of view. You want to roll out the red carpet to buyers.
Looking for help selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call today!
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Durham Region Association of REALTORS® (DRAR) President Sandra O’Donohue reported 1,090 residential transactions in September 2016, a 10 per cent increase from the same time last year. “The balance between supply and demand for homes is very tight,” stated O’Donohue. There were 1,556 new listings in September 2016 compared to 1,488 in September 2015.
“Durham Region has seen substantial growth in prices and sales demonstrating strong demand,” added O’Donohue. The average selling price in Durham reached $555,054 last month. In comparison, the average selling price was $438,462 during the same period last year; a 26 per cent increase.
Homes have continued to sell quickly in an average of 12 days compared to 18 days last year. “When navigating through the market, whether it’s hot or not, it’s always important to enlist the services of a qualified professional,” says O’Donohue. “Durham REALTORS® work where you live, providing immediate value comprehension when purchasing or selling a home.”
Finance Minister Bill Morneau recently announced that the federal government is taking steps to ease emerging risks in Canada’s housing market with new measures to slow foreign purchasing and tighten eligibility rules on prospective borrowers.
“We are encouraged that the federal government has taken a restrained approach as recommended by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA),” said O’Donohue. “Our members are supportive of rules being followed and efforts to ensure that the same tax rules apply to everyone.”
“Durham Region Association of REALTORS® will continue our government relations outreach by meeting with local elected MPs and MPPs to express our members’ views with the objective of emphasizing how housing markets differ throughout the province,” said O’Donohue.
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September 26th, 2016 Categories: Decor
A pantry is the ideal nook for storing extra food and other items ordinarily crammed into the kitchen. It’s also a nice design feature, as it harkens back to the days of country kitchens with spacious pantries.
You might be thinking, “That’s nice, but our home doesn’t have a pantry.”
- Add shelves to the laundry room. If you have the space, this is the ideal place to create a mini-pantry.
- Purchase a portable pantry. There are many available on the market. Some are even disguised as cabinets you’d expect to see in living and dining rooms.
- Purchase a movable pantry. These units are on wheels and can slide in and out of the kitchen with ease. Some are short enough to slide conveniently under a kitchen table.
- Make use of an unused closet. These are rare in most homes, but if you have a closet that isn’t being used, it can easily be converted into a pantry.
As you can see, there are plenty of options available. You don’t necessarily need to build an extra room!
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When considering which of two or more competing offers to accept for your home, there is no doubt price plays a huge role. After all, if Offer #1 is $10,000 higher than Offer #2, that’s an enticing difference that puts thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.
However, price isn’t the only thing you should think about when comparing multiple offers. There are other factors you need to consider as well.
For example, what conditions are in the offer? If Offer #1 is conditional upon the buyer selling his current property for a specific amount, then what if that doesn’t happen? You could end up with an offer that dies and be forced to list your home all over again.
In that circumstance, accepting the lower offer may be your best move.
There’s also financing to consider. Most buyers will attach a certificate from their mortgage lender to show that they can afford the home and will likely secure financing with little difficulty. If you get an offer where the ability of the buyer to get financing is in doubt, that’s a red flag.
The closing date is another important factor. Offer #1 might propose a closing date that’s perfect for you, while Offer #2 is four weeks later. If you’ve already purchased another home, you might require a month of bridge financing if you accept Offer #2. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but the costs and additional hassle are factors you should consider.
As you can see, assessing competing offers isn’t as easy as it looks. Fortunately, as your REALTOR®, we will guide you toward making the right decision.
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The real estate market seems to have other ideas:
Durham Region Association of REALTORS® (DRAR) President Sandra O’Donohue reported 1,132 residential transactions in August 2016, a 15 per cent increase from the same time last year. “Transaction levels are a true indicator for housing market health,” stated O’Donohue. There were 1,288 new listings in August 2016 compared to 1,328 in August 2015.
“We’re seeing continued increases in home prices over the summer months,” added O’Donohue. The average selling price in Durham reached $541,863 last month. In comparison, the average selling price was $446,311 during the same period last year; a 22 per cent increase. Homes have continued to sell quickly in an average of 13 days compared to 18 days last year. “Durham Region continues to be an appealing market for home buyers because of its strong economy and quality education, healthcare and social services within arms-reach,” says O’Donohue.
Following the introduction of a tax on foreign buyers in B.C., Vancouver home sales have dropped for the month of August while Toronto home sales topped records. “It’s too soon to tell if Durham Region will be affected,” said O’Donohue. “There are a lot of factors to consider when exploring buyer profiles: are the buyers moving into Durham Region for the first time? Were they considering moving here before?”
To build a better buyer profile, Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is planning to survey its members this fall on transactions over the last year. “By the end of the year, we’ll at least be able to give a better sense of what share of buying activities is attributable to foreign buyers versus domestic households,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
While prices in Toronto continue to soar, “waiting for home prices to fall in the Durham Region might not be the best idea,” advises O’Donohue. “If you can afford to purchase a home, it might be time to jump in.”
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Real estate is local. The variation to the real estate market across the country is the same as the variation in trends across the GTA. Call us to find out what is happening in your neighbourhood.
- National home sales fell 1.3% from June to July.
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 2.9% below July 2015.
- The number of newly listed homes rose 1.2% from June to July.
- The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 14.3% year-over-year in July.
- The national average sale price climbed 9.9% in July from one year ago; net of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Greater Vancouver, it advanced 7% year-over-year.
The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems fell by 1.3 percent month-over-month in July 2016. With similar monthly declines having been posted in May and June, national sales activity in July came in 3.9 percent below the record set in April 2016.
Sales activity was down from the previous month in slightly more than half of all markets in July, led by Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Transactions in these two markets peaked in February of this year, and have since then dropped by 21.5 and 28.8 percent respectively. Accordingly, much of the national sales decline in recent months reflects slowing activity in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.
“National sales and price trends continue to be heavily influenced by a handful of places in Ontario and British Columbia and mask significant variations in local housing market trends and conditions across Canada,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales, listing and price trends where you live or might like to in the future.”
“Home sales continued to trend lower while price gains further accelerated in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This suggests that sales are being reined in by a lack of inventory and a further deterioration in affordability. The new 15 per cent property transfer tax on Metro Vancouver home purchases by foreign buyers took effect on August 2nd, so it will take some time before the effect of the new tax on sales and prices can be observed. That said, the new tax will do little in the short term to increase the supply of homes.”
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was down 2.9 percent year-over-year (y-o-y) in July 2016, marking the first y-o-y decline since January 2015 and the largest since April 2013. In line with softening activity in the Lower Mainland, y-o-y increases have been losing momentum since February 2016. Sales were down from levels one year earlier in about 60 percent of all Canadian markets, led by Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Calgary and Edmonton.
The number of newly listed homes rose by 1.2 percent in July 2016 compared to June. While new supply climbed in fewer than half of all local markets, increases in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Greater Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton outweighed declines in smaller markets.
With sales down and new listings up, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 61.6 percent in July 2016 – its second monthly decline following its peak of 65.3 percent in May. A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.
The ratio was above 60 percent in about half of all local housing markets in July, virtually all of which continue to be located in British Columbia, in and around the Greater Toronto Area and across Southwestern Ontario.
The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
There were 4.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of July 2016. This is unchanged from readings in each of the previous two months and continues to indicate a tight balance between supply and demand for homes.
The number of months of inventory has trended lower since early 2015, reflecting increasingly tighter housing markets in B.C. and Ontario. It currently sits near or below two months in a number of local markets in British Columbia and in and around the GTA. Indeed, some regions in the GTA are down to just a couple of weeks of inventory.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 14.3 percent y-o-y in July 2016, the biggest gain since November 2006.
For the sixth consecutive month, y-o-y price growth accelerated for all Benchmark property types tracked by the index.
Two-storey single family home prices continued to post the biggest y-o-y gain (+15.9 percent), followed by townhouse/row units (+15.3 percent), one-storey single family homes (+14.3 percent), and apartment units (+11.1 percent).
While prices in 9 of the 11 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI posted y-o-y gains in July, increases continue to vary widely among housing markets.
Greater Vancouver (+32.6 percent) and the Fraser Valley (+37.6 percent) posted the largest y-o-y gains by a wide margin, followed by Greater Toronto (+16.7 percent), Victoria (+17.5 percent) and Vancouver Island (+11.6 percent). By contrast, prices were down -4.2 percent and -1.5 percent y-o-y in Calgary and Saskatoon respectively.
Home prices rose modestly in Regina (+2.7 percent y-o-y), Greater Montreal (+1.8 percent y-o-y) and Ottawa (+1.1 percent y-o-y). Greater Moncton recorded its largest y-o-y home price increase (+8.4 percent) among an unbroken string of gains posted every month over the past year.
The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides a the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.
The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in July 2016 was $480,743, up 9.9 percent y-o-y.
If these two housing markets are excluded from calculations, the average price is a more modest $365,033 and the gain is trimmed to 7.0 percenty-o-y.
Even then, this reflects a tug of war between strong average price gains in housing markets around the GTA and in British Columbia versus flat or declining average prices elsewhere in Canada. The average price for Canada net of sales in British Columbia and Ontario in July 2016 edged down 0.2 percent y-o-y to $310,905. The year-over-year percentage change in the national average price excluding B.C. and Ontario sales has now been in negative territory for 20 consecutive months.
1 All figures in this release except price measures are seasonally adjusted unless otherwise noted. Removing normal seasonal variations enables meaningful analysis of monthly changes and fundamental trends.
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Durham Region Association of REALTORS® (DRAR) President Sandra O’Donohue reported 1,200 residential transactions in July 2016, a slight increase from the same time last year. “The market has kept a steady pace into mid-summer,” stated O’Donohue. There were 1,459 new listings in July 2016 compared to 1,511 in July 2015.
“The prices of homes have continued to increase,” added O’Donohue. The average selling price in Durham reached $547,496 last month. In comparison, the average selling price was $448,048 during the same period last year; a 22 per cent increase. Homes have continued to sell quickly in an average of 12 days compared to 18 days last year. “Competition is intense in Durham Region,” says O’Donohue.
With listing shortages common in the Greater Toronto Area and Durham Region, British Columbia’s verdict to impose a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers have driven worry in Ontario. “I welcome what [B.C.] is putting forward,” says Ontario’s Finance Minister, Charles Sousa. “We’re certainly looking at whatever options can be made available.”
While the new tax may drive some purchasers to Ontario in the short-term, Sousa explains it is important to consider how similar policies could have repercussions to other parts of Ontario that aren’t experiencing the same extreme pricing.
“There could be a ripple effect to the Durham Region if we see an influx of foreign buyers in Toronto,” explains O’Donohue. “Durham Region is an affordable area within arm’s reach, that’s appealing for anyone looking to avoid the higher Toronto prices.”
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Figuring out how much time you should spend viewing properties for sale is a little like asking, “How long should I spend trying on shoes?”
The answer seems obvious: As long as it takes to make a decision!
Buying a home is significantly more complex than purchasing shoes – and the stakes are higher too! You need to make sure you have all the information necessary to confidently make the best decision.
There are basically three stages to viewing a property:
When you view a home on a macro basis, you’re looking at it from an overall perspective. For example, you may do a general walk-through to get a first impression and determine if the property has the basic features you need, such as the number of bedrooms and the size of the backyard.
Macro viewing is often the fastest stage in the viewing process and can sometimes take just a few minutes. If you like what you see, then it’s onto the micro stage. At this stage you take a closer look at the details of the property. You might, for example, spend extra time in the master bedroom imagining how your furniture would look and fit.
The micro stage takes longer simply because the home is now on your shortlist. You’re interested and are considering making an offer.
Finally, the professional stage involves getting a qualified home inspector to go over the property with a fine tooth comb. That typically occurs after you’ve made an offer.
As your REALTOR®, we will guide you through a viewing so you’ll know what to look for and can make a smart, informed decision. Call today.
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