Newfoundland Dining – www.dininginfo.ca

July 25, 2008 · Filed Under Local St. John's and St. John's General · Comments Off 

With all the Newfoundland cuisine and restaurants in St. John’s and surrounding areas it’s difficult at times to know where to eat.  What if there was a website you could visit that provided you with reviews, prices ranges and best of all menus!   

dininginfo

Officially launched on July 1, 2008, the locally owned and operated website www.DiningInfo.ca caters to the Newfoundland dining community, tourists, and business travelers. It currently lists restaurants in several major centers throughout Newfoundland.  In addition, it has features on local restaurants, chef profiles, current specials and promotions, restaurants that are opening soon and much more!

Wondering where to dine tonight? Check out www.DiningInfo.ca

Homesplus Online, mls.ca or Google Search

July 24, 2008 · Filed Under St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

With the increase in photos and virtual tours for MLS listings for sale, long gone are the days where a buyer has to drive around the neighbourhood searching for a home for sale. Most buyers start their home search online months before actually contacting a Realtor to view an MLS listing.    Where do they start?  What would be the first website they visit?

The 3 big websites that pop into my mind are

Homesplus Onlinewww.homesplus.nf.net

mls.ca – now updated to realtor.ca

Google Search Engine – keywords “st. john’s real estate” or “newfoundland real estate” your choice of keywords

Of course with the last choice you have the ability to search deeper into individual Realtor websites.  This one can also lead you to sites that have nothing to do real estate at all.

What online real estate resources do you use? Homesplus Online and mls.ca are fairly similar in data…..what one do you find easier to navigate?

Newfoundland Real Estate Market Share

July 23, 2008 · Filed Under Remax Newfoundland and Remax Reports · Comments Off 

RE/MAX is once again top of the leader board for real estate market share in St. John’s and surrounding areas. Boasting slighty over 40% over all other competitors for the first half of 2008.

Newfoundland Real Estate Market Share

St. John’s Resale Market remains as Sellers Market

July 18, 2008 · Filed Under Market Trends, Real Estate Articles and St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

MLS® sales advanced 9.3 percent to 1,084 units compared to last year’s second quarter sales of 992 units.

April, May and June MLS® sales were 308, 346 and 430, respectively

Second quarter average MLS® residential house price surged 16 percent to $169,734 compared to $146,509 during the second quarter of 2007, with additional price growth expected throughout the remainder of 2008.

There were 2,243 new residential listings during the second quarter compared to 2,344 during the same period last year

With sellers conditions, active listings averaged just 1,540 from April to June versus 2,750 during the second quarter of 2007.

Sales to active listings ratio hit 26.3 percent in June and averaged 23.5 per cent during the second quarter, nearly double the 12 percent level recorded a year ago.

Sellers Market Keeps Active Listings Down

High demand for housing has driven active residential listings much lower since mid 2007, making it increasingly difficult for some REALTORS® to obtain listings

Active listings for April, May and June were 1,411, 1,573 and 1,633, respectively

New listings decreased 4.3 percent during the second quarter and are down 4.1 percent so far this year as some sellers hold out for further price appreciation.

Bank of Canada has cut rates 150 basis points (1.50 percent) since December 2007 and will remain on hold for most of 2008

Bank rate currently sits at 3.00 percent with the prime lending rate at 4.75 percent.

One and five-year fixed mortgage rates are forecast to remain within the 6.70-7.25 and 7.00-7.50 per cent range, respectively, in 2008 and 2009, while some variable rate mortgages will remain as low as 4.10 percent

What to do in St. John’s Newfoundland this weekend

July 11, 2008 · Filed Under Local St. John's and St. John's General · Comments Off 

With almost 2 weeks straight with all sushine and no fog (has to be a record) there are lots of activities in and around the St. John’s area scheduled for this weekend.

Check out the St. John’s Farmers Market Saturday at the Lions Club Chalet.  Located right behind the Remax Centre (Curling Club).  9am to 2pm.  Lots of locally grown veggies, fruits, Newfoundland arts and crafts and paintings.  They even have a Facebook Group “I support a weekly farmer’s market in downtown St. John’s

Every summer in St. John’s at Signal Hill, military drills and music from the 1800s is featured. The Signal Hill Tattoo is now up and running.  Check out the re-enactment of 18th Century military exercises with period costumes, guns and cannon fire this Saturday at the Signal Hill National Historic Site.

The Royal St. John’s Regatta is only a few weeks away.  This Saturday on Quidi Vidi Pond the Time Trials will be taking place starting at 8am.  The purpose of these Time Trials is to determine the makeup of each Regatta Day race based upon the times rowed by the crews participating in the Time Trial heats. Drop down and check out the local rowing crews and see all the hype.

The caplin are rolling! The caplin are rolling around the Avalon bringing hundreds of people to Logy Bay, Middle Cove, Outer Cove beaches.  The presence of the caplin brings with them lots of whales! Check out this quick YouTube clip titled “Caplin in Newfoundland“. If you haven’t seen this phenomenon I highly encourage it.  But hurry….they will not be around for much longer.

And of course….with this beautiful weather you can always enjoy a couple of hours chasing after a little white ball on a golf course.  Newfoundland has a lot of terrific golf courses. My personal favorite is Clovelly Golf Course in East End St. John’s, (in the Clovelly Trails Sub division). Of course you can enjoy a scenic view of St. John’s from Admirals Green in Pippy Park.   For a complete list of Newfoundland golf courses visit golfnewfoundland.ca or the Newfoundland and Labrador Golf Association.

Say Goodbye to 40 year mortgages and 100% financing

July 10, 2008 · Filed Under First Time Buyers, Mortgages, Real Estate Articles and St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

The Canadian Government is making it tougher for home buyers to obtain a mortgage and with good reason.  Starting October 15 of this year, the new rules will take effect.

We are all familiar with the  sub-prime mortgage meltdown in the States the past year but while Canada is not even close to this disaster the government still feels it necessary to secure and maintain a strong mortgage and housing market.

The changes include:

  • Cutting the maximum amortization period to 35 years from 40.
  • Requiring a minimum down payment of five per cent, whereas loans for 100 per cent of the price are possible now.
  • Establishing a requirement for a consistent minimum credit score.
  • Introducing new loan-documentation standards.

The people effected are the purchasers with less the 20% downpayment for a property as they are the people that require mortgage insurance with the purchase of real estate.

Mortgage insurance protects lenders (ie Royal Bank, Scotia Bank etc) when a borrower  (the Purchaser) defaults on the loan if the sale of the property doesn’t cover the debt.

I for one am in agreement with this change.  The zero down, 40 year mortgage that was introduced a couple years ago allowed home buyers the ability to purchase a home yet become heavily in debt.  There was a lot of buyers that entered the real estate market in Canada during this time and probably shouldn’t have.

It will be interesting to see the public’s reaction to these changes.

Read the Globe and Mail Article – Ottawa tightens mortgage rules to avoid ‘bubble’

Read the CBC News release – Ottawa tightens mortgage insurance rules

Norm Fishers Saskatoon Blog Article – Canadian Government Says, “No More 40-year Mortgage for You!”

Edmonton Real Estate Blog – No More Zero Down, 40 Year Mortgages

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