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Investing in real estate? The best appreciating cities in Ontario.

A new report from independent research think-tank Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) ranked Ontario’s largest metropolitan areas in terms of real estate market performance and suitability for investment over the next 5 years.

In terms of growth, diversity, and fundamental strength, Ottawa came out on top of the wide-ranging survey, which looked at multiple factors including economic health, employment numbers, GDP and population growth, housing prices and overall affordability, rent and vacancy rates, and several others.

REIN ranked the following cities in order of their housing market strength and potential performance over the next half-decade:

  1. Ottawa
  2. Kitchener -Waterloo-Cambridge
  3. Hamilton
  4. Barrie
  5. Brampton
  6. Durham Region
  7. Toronto
  8. Kingston
  9. Orillia
  10. Grimsby and St. Catharines

REIN also cited the following cities as honourable mentions, in no particular order:

  • Milton
  • Niagara Region
  • London
  • Thunder Bay
  • Vaughan
  • Chatham
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The best appreciating condos in North York, Toronto

Despite the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and the resultant sales activity declines across all home types in Toronto and the surrounding areas, the city’s condos continue to magnetize demand – which has led to record price growth levels.

The latest study by Canadian real estate portal Zoocasa analyzed the performance of Toronto’s condominium segment, which has seen values increase by 10.7% year-over-year in February 2018 (up to $570,275).

“Expect stronger price growth to continue in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium apartment segments,” Toronto Real Estate Board director of market analysis Jason Mercer said, noting that upward pressure on high-rise homes is just getting started. “Listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability.”

In particular, the city’s North York section has seen units increase in price anywhere between 38% and 69% over the last year. The Zoocasa study looked at over 140 buildings in the former borough, and ranked the buildings which experienced the largest price growth between 2016 and 2017.

Rank 10: Meridian in 15 Greenview Ave.
2016 – 2017 change: 38%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $776
Rank 9: Maple Creek Condominiums in 10 Martha Eaton Way
2016 – 2017 change: 39%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $244
Rank 8: Pulse I in 5500 Yonge St.
2016 – 2017 change: 40%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $725
Rank 7: Pulse II in 5508 Yonge St.
2016 – 2017 change: 41%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $733
Rank 6: Cosmo Residences in 35 Bales Ave.
2016 – 2017 change: 42%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $741
Rank 5: Meridian II in 25 Greenview Ave.
2016 – 2017 change: 42%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $763
Rank 4: Spectrum Condos in 28 Harrison Garden Blvd.
2016 – 2017 change: 42%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $639
Rank 3: The Broadway in 153 Beecroft Rd.
2016 – 2017 change: 46%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $701
Rank 2: Royal Arms in 5418 Yonge St.
2016 – 2017 change: 48%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $614
Rank 1: High Point Condos in 3300 Don Mills Rd.
2016 – 2017 change: 69%
2017 price/sq. ft.: $413
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National home sales plunge 14.5% amid Toronto strain

Canadian home sales plunged the most in a decade last month, driven by fewer transactions in a Toronto market squeezed by tougher mortgage lending rules and higher interest rates.

Sales fell 14.5% nationwide from December and were down 26.6% in Toronto, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday from Ottawa. The national decline was the biggest since 2008 and Toronto’s was the biggest since 1989, according to historical CREA data.

The housing market is cooling off from heady price gains of 30 percent in Toronto after policy makers stepped in with measures including a foreign buyer tax. The January decline comes after a record December, when buyers rushed into the market before a new federal mortgage lending stress test came into force. The Bank of Canada raised its trend-setting interest rate last month for the third time since July.

“The piling on of yet more mortgage rule changes that took effect starting New Year’s Day has created home buyer uncertainty and confusion,” CREA President Andrew Peck said in a statement. Some of January’s decline reflected buyers accelerating their purchase plans in December, the group said.

The weakness didn’t show up in prices, with the nationwide benchmark index up 0.3% on the month. Prices were little changed in Toronto. The unadjusted average sales price across Canada of $481,562 was up 2.3% from a year earlier.

Sales fell in about three-quarters of housing markets across the country. The number of new homes listed for sale dropped by 21.6% from December to January to the lowest since 2009, CREA said.

The realtor group has predicted sales will weaken by about 5% this year.

On top of the new mortgage stress test, the Bank of Canada may raise interest rates twice more this year, futures trading suggests. Those moves are the first time some younger buyers have experienced any major rise in debt servicing costs, and Governor Stephen Poloz has said household finances remain a key vulnerability.

Copyright Bloomberg News

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Toronto Real Estate market poised for a robust in 2018

The strength exhibited by the GTA real estate market in 2017 is poised to continue seamlessly into this year, according to the latest report from commercial real estate services provider Altus Group Limited.

In the firm’s 2018 GTA Flash Report, Altus outline the key trends that industry players in Toronto should look out for in the coming months.

Chief among these is the growing prominence of shared work spaces in office properties.

“The trend of renting workstations within a larger office space will grow in the GTA as low vacancy rates lead to higher rents. Look for this segment to grow not just in the downtown market, but throughout the GTA, as employers look to accommodate staff pushed further out in search of more affordable housing options,” Altus stated.

Demand for industrial space will remain strong, since online and traditional retailers will continue seeking warehouse space “to support their e-commerce business strategies.”

“Retailers will continue to shrink their brick and mortar footprint and traditional retail space will continue to evolve as retail centres focus on consumer experiences, especially food themes, to draw in traffic.”

On the residential side, land sales are projected to enjoy a strong 2018, with the caveat of greater uncertainty due to higher prices and recent policy changes.

“High-demand areas are likely to remain expensive, which could push some developers to seek more affordable options outside traditional core areas.”

New condominium apartment sales volume will likely remain elevated this year, Altus added.

“However, surpassing 2017 levels will be a challenge. While investor interest continues to be strong, some end user buyers who have been looking to the new condominium apartment sector for more affordable homes are now starting to be priced out of this segment as well,” the report explained.

“Some modest increase in new single-family sales is possible, however sales in this segment will continue to be challenged by lack of available product, in particular options that are affordable to a broader range of buyers.”

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How Do I Find The Right Home Buyers Insurance?

This question comes up frequently when purchasers are buying a new or resale home. In real estate Homeowner Insurance is necessary when purchasing a home in Canada.

Buying a home is the largest investment that people generally purchase in their lives, so it is important to learn how to protect your investment through Home Insurance.

Discussing various forms of Home Insurance such as Basic or Non Perils Insurance, Comprehensive Insurance or A Broad Insurance Policy can often seem overwhelming when researching it on your own , so it is often best to use a Mortgage Insurance Agent or Broker.

Mortgage Lenders typically insist on fire insurance coverage that is equal to the loan amount or building value, whichever is less. It is important to explore a policy that has fire insurance on the building and its contents with personal liability coverage.

Many forms of coverage can be relatively inexpensive and offer protection, for example Mortgage Life Insurance. Mortgage Insurance protects your family and beneficiaries. Other forms like Disability Insurance and Job Loss Mortgage Insurance which covers payments where required in the event of the loss of a job.

At Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd. we offer an in house Mortgage Lending Department called CENTUM Mortgage Professionals Corps. that is legally and professionally qualified to give you advice on home insurance. Our Mortgage Insurance Agents or Brokers are happy to assist you with your Homeowner Insurance questions.

Be sure that when you sit down with your Mortgage Agent or Broker you discuss what Home Insurance is right for you and your family. It is also very important to determine what the different forms of insurance cover and don’t cover in terms of protection towards your home or assets. Your Agent or Broker will help you to understand every aspect of your policy and help to guide you towards products that will best suit your needs and the needs of your family for Home Insurance and appropriate protection.

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Get Your Home Ready For Buyers During Winter Months


Keep the Exterior Neat

When preparing for the exterior of your home in winter months remember that the snow outside can be an obstacle for people coming in to see your home. Make sure that your front driveway and walkway are shoveled and scraped to prevent ice from forming. If a potential buyer sees a walkway covered in snow and ice, they may not want to see your home.


 

Make Sure There Are No Traces of ‘Pet Mess’

In the winter it can be hard to keep your pet from dragging the outside in with them. Make sure that they are not tracking wet, slushy footprints all over your homes’ flooring. Make sure any towels that are used to wipe pets off are put away as smells can be off-putting or offensive.


Temperature of Your Home Comfortable

When a buyer comes into your home during the winter they will be dressed for the colder temperatures outside, not the temperature inside your home. When setting the temperature, make sure that it is not too hot to be wearing warm clothing. A potential buyer may not decide to remove their coat.  Also remember that it can take a while to heat a house, so set the thermostat to come on a few hours before showings.


 

Brighten Up Your Home Buyers Visit

In winter months there is a lot less natural daylight due to the sun setting earlier. There is a higher chance that buyers will be coming in to view your home when it is dark outside.

Make sure that lights are turned on inside and outside of your home. It is also a good idea to make sure that light bulbs and fixtures are dusted before showing your home.


Create a Cosy Feeling Indoors and Outdoors

With the holidays around the corner you can make your home more appealing to a buyer by creating a cosy atmosphere. Try hanging a wreath on your door or setting out some candles or small tasteful decorations.


Protect Your Floors From the Elements

When viewing your home a buyer could be bringing in slush and mud on their shoes or boots. Make sure top protect your flooring. Use a mat at the front entrance both inside and outside that won’t let water through. Place a sign at the front entrance asking to please remove shoes. Offering a rubber shoe mat can create a sense of organization with a lot of practicality.


Show Homebuyers What Their Potential Home Will Look Like in the Summer

To remind buyers that your home isn’t always buried in a few feet of snow, place pictures around your home of the outdoors in the summer. If you have a pool or a garden this tip will make sure they know how amazing it will look in the summer.