Friday, December 15, 2017

You Were Asking: Co-Housing


Co-housing or co-living has been around for years, but, the concept is emerging in our neighbourhoods more prevalently in response to our long wait lists for retirement residences. Originating in Denmark in the 60’s, the premise is a shared home, shared workload within that home and shared skill set.  

Take a traditional family home and turn it into a co-housing dwelling is certainly attractive to like-minded seniors who love living in their own residence but don’t want the upkeep and general overhead that the large family home carries. The benefits of this type of living are numerous.  The sharing and caring concept is turned into an economically beneficial solution to those considering a downsize.  

The shared kitchen helps in a more balanced and healthy eating plan for those who normally would have, say, a bowl of cereal or soup for dinner.  The social isolation many seniors start to experience as winter sets in, is one of the most dramatic benefits.  A family room becomes a shared space for everyone in the home to relax and socialize.  It’s been estimated that co-housing not only removes the burden off the system, it allows seniors 8-10 additional years living on their own. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

November Statistics and a look back to last year..

If you watch trend most sources are projecting a steady and balanced market through the Spring rather than a return to what was brewing this same time last year. The truth is in the numbers as we watch the Fall market near it’s completion November brought us some tell tale signs that speak to that balanced market.

First up, in Burlington we saw a rise in not only the number of listings on the market and a 12% increase in the average sale price over last month. The trend of homes remaining on the market for 30+ days seems to continue through this fall market with an average of 34 days across the City. Although we don’t have the statistics to show the number or extent of price reductions you may have noted, we can calculate the average sale to price ratio for both original list price and for price at time of sale… 98.1% average for list price at time of sale but 96.9% price ratio as compared to the original list price. This should give you an indication there is still a bit of price confusion from Sellers and Buyers are continuing to be selective of how and where they spend their dollars.

In Hamilton, a similar story is playing out. An increase in new listings from 311 in October to 642 in November maintain a steady Hamilton housing market with 435 sales in the last month and a 2% average price increase from October. Again, longer days on market (at 35 on average) point to a balanced market ahead as this same time last year saw early signs of what was to come with 22 days on the market on average in November 2016.  Sales data will show the price to list ratio at 97.8% and original list price at 96.5%.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

You Were Asking: TREB Loses Competition Tribunal Appeal

TREB Loses Competition Tribunal Appeal
Just this month the Toronto Real Estate Board lost its appeal against the Competition Board with regards to the advertising of sales information on its virtual web site  One of our primary focuses as realtors is the dissecting of information we provide to our clients and as such, it really is important to focus on the power of information and the educational benefits on ‘reading’ a market and its data.  

TREB does focus on the protection of consumer information, which, while is important, the Competition Bureau’s argument is based on allowing consumers the freedom of gaining their own information and analysing it to make an informed decision when buying and selling in a current market.  Sounds pretty fair, I’d say.  

We, as realtors, provide the information when counselling our clients.  A general consumer seeking out information on their own does that now anyhow.  From the realtor’s perspective, it is in the educational framework where that information gets misconstrued.  Case in point this past market.  We had many consumers attempting to ‘read’ the market trend, which is very difficult to do.  

When you are in the trenches, you have a certain read on your own industry.  That is why you are trained to do what you do and remunerated.  A mechanic is relied upon for not only his/her training, but, also the years of work experience.  This is not to say the public should not have access to the information, I believe, they should, but, having had many consumers try to tell us what the market is doing over the years, I beg to differ that simply by having the information, the average consumer will know exactly what it means in terms of reading the current market and making a planned purchase.  

Saturday, November 4, 2017

October Market Statistics

October came and went in a flash... who can believe it's already November?! An interesting month in both regions with a few surprising statistics to reflect upon.  Let's start in Burlington where October brought us a small decrease in the average sale price. This may or may not surprise some of you watching the market with more reductions and lowering sale ratios (which are back to a very normal 98%). The interesting statistic this month seems to be the amount of properties listed and sold... comparatively to September we've seen the numbers drop from 465 listed to just 164 in those 31 days. With 102 sales, down from 169 previously, we can note a significant change from the same time last year where we saw 274 sales in the same timeframe.  What can we take from this? Putting into perspective what the previous Fall Market lead into (a more than nutty Spring Market) I think it's safe to say we have come to our senses and Buyers and Sellers are becoming more savvy, informed and cautious.


Now taking a look to Hamilton, there's been a positive upswing in the average sale price and Seller's are likely happy to note the average days on the market has decreased to a reasonable 26 day average.  A similar story unfolded across the region with a significant decrease in the properties listed with 401 less listings than September brought.  Again, it begs the question, are we setting up for another problem with supply and demand? The numbers seem to be saying a different story with fewer sales.. only 189 sales in the last month, again, down from 339 in September and 509 from the same time in 2016. Recent legislation surrounding lending rules and focus on Real Estate Regulation have all been fallout from Spring which have clearly contributed to the changing real estate landscape.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

You Were Asking: But, I have been approved!

'But, I have been approved'!!

Well, unless you have been under a rock, you are well aware of our recent spring market and all the Wild West bidding wars that went on.  Now the true test.  Are all those sales closing?  Nope.  Why?  ‘But, I have been approved!!’ we are hearing buyers scream.  

Yes, YOU HAVE, but, the house you bid way over on HAS NOT.   So, now, 60 days after you ‘won’, you’re now looking at losing.  Throughout the market we heard, ‘I won!’ over and over again, but, really?  What did you win?  Honestly, we told our buyers to wait it out.  If you sold and bought in that market, well, it tends to have been a wash as long as you were dealing with the same location.  Selling high and buying low meant you had to sell in one of those key bidding war locales and buying in a lesser demand area.  But, that also means knowing both markets.  Knowing that you are bidding well over what the traditional home value is in its given CONDITION AND LOCATION are the factors that cannot be overlooked.  

‘Be responsible’ we, as realtors,  shouted.  ‘Be aware’.  Can you make up the difference of the bank’s appraisal value and what you paid if your bank assesses the home and it doesn’t hold up to what you paid?  Many, many buyers dropped their financing conditions on the basis that they were approved for a certain amount of money.  However, were you warned that the house may not appraise at that value?  Beating a dead horse here, yeah, I get it but if you knew just how many times we tried to ensure a buyer understood.  

Now, guess what is happening?  House does not appraise = financing is NOT approved = buyer defaults on close = seller must relist home = buyer gets sued = undue stress on EVERYONE.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Make it a No-Spend Weekend!

Whether you’re saving to buy your first home or, dreaming of tackling a major home improvement we know it can sometimes be hard to scrounge up the funds.  Here’s some fun ideas for a no-spend weekend…  save a little extra to go towards your savings goals!

Friday, October 13, 2017

We've Rounded Up The Best Places To Pick The Perfect Pumpkin!

Looking for a great weekend activity? Love and explore where you live and make memories all at the same time in some of the areas best places to pick your fall pumpkin.  Maybe you're looking to stay close to home or a scenic country drive adds to the excitement of the day. Drink hot apple ciders, partake in some locally baked goods and even take the time to enjoy the beautiful changes of the escarpment this time of year.  Whatever your reason, make sure to check out some of these (not-so) hidden gems this season.

Chudleigh’s Farm
9528 Regional Road 25
Milton, ON

Springridge Farm
7256 Bell School Line
Milton, ON

Stonehaven Farm Market
7388 Guelph Line
Milton, ON

Hutchinson Farm
6202 Walkers Line 
Burlington, ON 

Frootogo Orchards
573 Parkside Drive
Waterdown, ON

Hanes Corn Maze
1001 ON-5 
Dundas, ON

Dyment’s Pumpkin Patch
416 Fallsview Rd E
Dundas, ON

Puddicombe Farms
1468 Hamilton Regional Rd 8
Stoney Creek, ON