Spring is Right Around the Corner

February 2nd, 2017

The market hasn't slowed down one bit. We've got beautiful snow and the winter enthusiasts have kept us hopping. With the spring market just around the corner, it's still a great time to look at property-especially acreages, before the leaves entirely obscure your views.

It's a good idea to do your homework early and be ready to make an offer on a property that meets your criteria as things are moving fast. Bidding wars are becoming a little more common here, but not like in the cities and we certainly respect people who don't want to get caught up in that sort of hectic negotiation.

It's important to carefully consider your investment... particularly in areas where you aren't hooked up to municipal water and sewer.

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.