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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.

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CREA cuts 2017, 2018 forecast due to incoming tighter mortgage rules

The Canadian Real Estate Association says it has cut its home sales forecast for next year due to the impact of tighter mortgage regulations taking effect in the new year, which will erode affordability.

The association representing real estate agents across the country also downgraded projections for 2017.

It now expects national sales activity this year to decline by four per cent to 513,900 units this year due to weak activity in Ontario, after the province in April announced measures to cool the market.

However, it says the national average price of a home is still expected to rise to $510,400, up 4.2 per cent compared to 2016.

CREA is now forecasting a 5.3 per cent drop in national sales to 486,600 units next year. That new estimate shaves about 8,500 sales from its previous 2018 forecast.

The national home price is expected to slip by 1.4 per cent in 2018 to $503,100.

Still, the November figures show the number of homes sold through its MLS system rose by 3.9 per cent compared with October, led by a 16 per cent sales spike in the Greater Toronto Area.

The Canadian Press

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Toronto housing market decline in November

The Toronto housing segment is seeing a continuous drop in prices amid a widening pool of homes for sale, though there are signs the correction is beginning to lure in some new buyers.
The Toronto Real Estate Board’s benchmark home price index fell for the sixth consecutive month, down another 0.4% from October. The index has fallen 8.8% since May, the largest six-month decline in the history of data back to 2000.
Also, for the first time since 2009, the average price of a home sold in Toronto ($761,757) failed to surpass levels from a year earlier.

Toronto’s housing market, dubbed one of the riskiest housing bubble cities by UBS Group AG, has slumped over the past few months amid government rules and harsher mortgage guidelines aimed at curbing demand.
These developments have coincided with a sharp increase in supply, with new listings up 37% from a year earlier. However, the data is indicating that lower prices have begun to boost demand and fuel sales.
“We have seen an uptick in demand for ownership housing in the GTA this fall, over and above the regular seasonal trend,” TREB President Tim Syrianos said, adding new tighter mortgage qualification rules set to come into force next month may also be expediting sales. “It is also possible that the upcoming changes to mortgage lending guidelines, which come into effect in January, have prompted some households to speed up their home buying decision.”
The correction in Toronto’s housing market has been primarily in Toronto’s detached market, where average prices surpassed $1.2 million earlier this year. The price index for single family detached homes is down 12% since May. The condominium price index is little changed from record levels earlier this year.


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Bank of Canada announces interest rate.

The Bank of Canada stuck with its trend-setting interest rate Wednesday _ but it offered fresh, yet cautious, warnings to Canadians that increases are likely on the way.

The central bank has now left the rate locked at one per cent for two straight policy announcements after the strengthening economy prompted it to raise it twice in the summer.

In announcing the decision, the bank pointed to several recent positives that could support higher rates in the coming months. They included encouraging job and wage growth, sturdy business investment and the resilience of consumer spending despite higher borrowing costs and Canadians’ heavy debt loads.

On top of that, there’s increasing evidence in the economic data that the benefits from government infrastructure investments have begun to work their way through the economy, the bank said.

But on the other hand, the bank noted exports have slipped more than expected in recent months after a powerful start to the year, although it continues to predict trade growth to pick up due to rising foreign demand.

It also said the international outlook continues to face considerable uncertainty mostly because of geopolitical- and trade-related factors.
“While higher interest rates will likely be required over time, (the bank’s) governing council will continue to be cautious,” the bank said in a statement Wednesday that accompanied its decision.

It will be “guided by incoming data in assessing the economy’s sensitivity to interest rates, the evolution of economic capacity and the dynamics of both wage growth and inflation.”

The bank said inflation, a key factor in its rate decisions, has been slightly higher than anticipated and could stay that way in the short term because of temporary factors like stronger gasoline prices. Core inflation, which measures underlying inflation by omitting volatile items like gas, has continued to inch upwards.

Governor Stephen Poloz raised rates in July and September in response to an impressive economic run that began in late 2016. The hikes took back the two rate cuts he introduced in 2015 to help cushion, and stimulate, the economy from the collapse in oil prices.

From here, the bank must assess how to proceed with the interest rate while taking into consideration that Canadian households have amassed high levels of debt and the presence of still-hot housing markets in areas like Toronto and Vancouver.

Last month, the Bank of Canada flagged the steady climb of household debt and these real estate markets as the financial system’s top vulnerabilities.
The bank’s statement Wednesday said recent economic indicators have been in line with its October forecast, which projected a moderation following the country’s exceptional growth in the first half of 2017.

The document contained a few differences compared with the statement that accompanied its last rate announcement in October.

This time, the bank once again noted the unknowns over the future of trade policy, however, it did not specifically mention the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Canadian Press

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GTA REALTORS® October Stats

— Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos reported 7,118 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in October 2017. This result represented an above-average increase between September and October of almost 12 per cent, pointing to stronger fall market conditions.

On a year-over-year basis, October sales were down compared to 9,715 transactions in September 2016. Total sales reported through the first 10 months of 2017 amounted to 80,198 – down from 99,233 for the same time period in 2016.

“Every year we generally see a jump in sales between September and October. However, this year that increase was more pronounced than usual compared to the previous ten years. So, while the number of transactions was still down relative to last year’s record pace, it certainly does appear that sales momentum is picking up,” said Mr. Syrianos.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark price was up by 9.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis in October. Annual rates of price growth were strongest for townhouses and condominium apartments. The average selling price for October transactions was $780,104 – up by 2.3 per cent compared to the average of $762,691 in October 2016.

“The housing market in the GTA has been impacted by a number of policy changes at the provincial and federal levels. Similar to the track followed in the Greater Vancouver Area, it appears that the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, including the tax on foreign buyers, is starting to unwind,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.