Category: "Misc. Stuff"

Price Spillover

January 25th, 2017

We seem to have added a new term to the ever-growing language of Real Estate Jargon. According to my colleagues in Toronto, the average price of a detached home in Toronto was up over 23% last year from the year before and the rising demand for single family homes is driving people into outlying areas. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) describes "Price Spillover" as the result.

What's effectively happening is nearby centres (like Hamilton, Guelph, Barrie and Whitby, Oshawa and Peterborough) are seeing a greater demand for single family homes and that demand is bringing prices in those areas up. As more people move into those areas, the GTA expands. In turn, the residents of those areas who have been enjoying a quieter life are now moving further afield and increasing the demand for single family homes in towns and villages outside of those centres.

We are beginning to see the effects of this in cottage country.

From Haliburton and Bancroft, for instance... it's just slightly over an hour to cities like Belleville and Peterborough... and just a couple of hours from Ottawa and Toronto... and it's not an hour spent in gridlock on the 401. In simpler terms, prices in cottage country are reflecting the influx of immigrants into the Ottawa and Toronto markets- they call it "Price Spillover" and they expect it to continue for foreseeable.

International Citizens Buying Up Toronto

January 12th, 2017

There is a lot of talk in the industry about foreign investors buying up prime property in Toronto, forcing local people out of the market and there's no end in sight. Facing similar issues, British Columbia responded to frustrated Vancouverites by increasing taxes by 15% on properties owned by international citizens. This drove the overseas buyers to Toronto.

Foreign based newspapers are encouraging investors to buy in Toronto because the market is hot and expected to continue on its upward trajectory for quite some time. While salaries are generally higher in the city, entry level and junior positioned staff are being forced out to the suburbs because rents are increasing, putting a strain on public transit, too. Suburban prices are being nudged over the top and more and more people are looking at longer commutes and less disposable income.

While there is no formal data collected, due to privacy legislation, the Toronto Real Estate folks estimate about 5% of properties were purchased by international citizens. That number is expected to climb.

Some in the industry believe that buyers from around the Middle East, China and India are particularly interested in luxury homes and condominiums in the downtown core and many of these properties are left empty- which has a negative impact on the local economy. Others argue that it is mostly immigrant families moving to the city and they are looking to purchase a family home and that blaming foreign investors is not going to help the situation.

Generations from Bancroft to Barry's Bay

January 5th, 2017

For the most part, I think of myself as having very deep roots in Canada, particularly Ontario & Quebec. I can trace my ancestry back into the late 1500s, early 1600s in North America. In fact, I have an Aboriginal ancestor or tow, way back there. Also, somewhere, in the early French Canadian part of my tree, Fabian's mother and I have a connection.

Fabian is related to Maynooth's own Fitzgerald Family, through his mother and to Wilno's Polish community, through his father. His most recent immigrant ancestor arrived in the early 1800s. I have one grandparent who emigrated to Canada, from England, in the 1930's. My grandfather was only sixteen when he ventured to Canada on a merchant vessel, arriving in Owen Sound where he met my grandmother.

Through this grandmother, whose UE Loyalist ancestors first rooted in the Quinte area, I have ties to the Bancroft area in the 1800s. Through the voyageurs and first nations peoples, I have ties much earlier than that.

A keen, amateur genealogist, frequent readers of my blog know that I most enjoy anecdotal information. I scour old news reports, diaries and other documentation looking for bits and pieces. I know, only too well, that even official documents are fraught with errors, for a myriad of reasons... and sometimes, it's simply a case of poor memory.

Today, I am thinking of my grandfather. Born January 7, 1912 in Edgehill, Lancashire, England. For years, he celebrated his birthday on January 28th. I think we discovered the error sometime in the 1970s.

Predicting the 2017 Ontario Real Estate Market

December 21st, 2016

* Ontario markets are expected to stay strong
* Sales in 2017 may fall slightly short of sales in 2016 only because of a shortage of inventory (properties available for sale)
* Prices on most property will show a modest increase in price (due the shortage of property available for sale)
* The weakening dollar and political climate south of the boarder will attract some increase in U.S. buyers
* Mortgage rates may experience a slow rise
* Buyers should expect longer waiting times for mortgage approvals as lenders will be more cautiously scrutinizing properties
* Housing sales should spike this spring, due to the rotten weather expected this winter but there will be a slightly slower market with fewer multiple offer situations
* The demand for rental properties will be higher
* Properties outside of large city centres will be more popular
* There will be an increase in demand for multiple unit properties

It is interesting to note that a recent report from a Toronto credit consortium suggests that homeowners have enjoyed a steady increase in appreciated value on their property, so even if there was a crash in the market, current owners would readily weather the storm- that is, provided they have a stable household income.

Bancroft: You Belong Here #ComeWanderBancroft

December 7th, 2016

Some time ago, Bancroft adopted the tag line "You belong here" and I've often thought that it was a huge concept, somehow made simple by using six letters. Belong. To "belong" is to fit in a specified place or environment and a sense of belonging means feeling accepted as a member or part.

Feeling that you belong is one of the most important human needs- right up there, with food & shelter. They say that a sense of belonging enhances your health and happiness.... that there's comfort in knowing you aren't alone.

What's really creepy is the flip side to this concept. I know of some people who create a sense of belonging by excluding others. Kind of- there have to be people who don't belong so that you know the ones who do?

In Maslow's Hierarchy, belonging rests right in the middle- a higher need than the basics: food, sleep, shelter and safety and a lower need than esteem and self-actualization. The idea is that belonging is an evolutionary driver, that human beings are wired to form tribes. There's a sequence to forming the tribe, too. First the person has to be acknowledged, then approved and then accepted. With further approval they gain respect and esteem and then, as their status grows, they gain power and control.

In the 70s, Bowlby developed his Attachment Theory to describe the effects of how we attach ourselves to others, creating bonds to satisfy our need for belonging. Most people build three to five main affiliations- their family, their work, their hobby, the country in which they live etc.

The interesting thing is that studies have shown that while we like to have the majority share our opinion, we prefer to be in the minority when it comes to preference. In other words, there's tension between our shared identity and our individual identity- we want to belong but we want to be special. We're also genuinely afraid of being ostracized by the groups to which we affiliate. The threat of expulsion being as strong as the promise of inclusion.

Beyond all of the psycho-babble, Stats Canada reports that a strong or somewhat strong sense of community belonging is strongest among 2 different groups of people- those living in rural environments and those with higher household incomes. Stats Canada also says the likelihood of feeling a strong sense of community was slightly higher in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia than in Canada as a whole. On that basis, there's obviously some validity to Bancroft's proclamation.

Now, the "wander" hash tag is an Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization brand that's kind of nice, because it invites people to check us out for themselves. & there's no doubt you will find a group of like-minded people, within the eclectic community that is known as Bancroft.


Thinking of my late father today. I would be remiss not to mention that it is Pearl Harbour Day.