I just stumbled upon a Realtor in Vancouver – Kye Grace on Twitter that just completed hosting a 72 hour open house. Talk about being creative and thinking outside the box. To add to his off-the-wall marketing he broadcasted and recorded the event live on the internet. Dubbed “Kye TV” Personally I think this was a great way to promote his million dollar 2700 sqft loft. Awesome idea Kye!
Check out the time lapsed video he created on YouTube
VOCM.COM reports that Newfoundland is leading the way in consumer confidence.
This province has been bucking the trend in consumer confidence. In fact, a researcher says consumer confidence in Newfoundland and Labrador is possibly the highest in the western world. Corporate Research Associates CEO Don Mills says it will take a lot to shake that. Mills says this province leads the country in consumer confidence and continues to enjoy a high level of satisfaction with government. He says we’re in a unique situation, as the rest of the country deals with layoffs and downsizing. He says if there are a lot of people coming back from Alberta, it could make a difference. Mills says CRA will be going back into the field for research next month. Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy says the continued confidence will help the province pull through.
Some of the highlights of the report are:
- Great news for people with investment properties and rentals – “Increased economic activity and job opportunities throughout 2008 have pushed residential apartment vacancy rates to less than 1 percent. Rental rates increased an average of 5 percent; however, remain below levels sufficient to warrant new construction. With no significant supply entering the market in over 25 years further rent increases are imminent.”
- In referring to 2 – 6 unit properties - “Prices continue to strengthen with much of the activity driven by out-of province investors anticipating growth from enhanced employment and economic spin-off. This trend is expected to continue through 2009.”
- “There is an increasing trend towards investors purchasing older apartment buildings and converting them to condominiums. Higher priced condominiums are expected to grow in demand with the aging population in the greater St. John’s region.”
- Water taxes in St. John’s will increase by $80 per unit in 2009 to a rate of $520 per year.
An interesting point they mention is to have the assessed value of your home reviewed. With the big jumps in prices last year and the upcoming assessment for property tax for 2010, tax payers can expect to pay more property taxes.
The key questions to ask are as follows:
- Is the value assigned to my property above market value as of January 1, 2008?
- Is the value assigned fair when compared to similar properties?
Very important especially in the market we saw last year. I know I will be paying particularly close attention to mine. Remember, you only have 30 days to appeal when you receive your assessment. Make sure you call Kirkland Balsom & Associates and have your assessment reviewed.
The St. John’s Newfoundland MLS listings numbers where down for the 4th quarter of 2008. However there was a noticeable increase in price. MLS sales fell 9% to 1,203 units compared to 2007’s record fourth quarter sales of 1,326 units. The average St. John’s MLS price surged 27% to $193,529 compared to $152,160 during the fourth quarter of 2007, representing the only growth market in Canada. October, November and December MLS sales were 549, 373 and 281, respectively.
The Sellers market we saw for most of 2008 weakened during the 4th quarter, bringing us back into a balanced real estate market. Sales to active listings ratio fell to 21% in December, but averaged 26% during Q4 versus 21% the fourth quarter of 2007. New MLS listings increased 11% in the fourth quarter and when combined with the 9% decline in sales, total active listings began to stabilize. There were 1,463 new residential listings during the fourth quarter compared to 1,320 during Q4 of 2007, an increase of 11%. Active listings averaged 1,528 from October to December 2008 versus 2,067 during the fourth quarter of last year.
** SOLD ** Just like new two-storey, three bedroom home in Sunset Gardens, Paradise. Eat-in kitchen with door leading to padio deck. Hardwood throughout most of main floor. Master bedroom has three piece ensuite and walk-in closet. Main floor half bathroom. This property has rear yard access. Undeveloped full sized basement with lots of potential.
Asking price: $229,900
Call Fraser & Stephen Winters for more information.
The stats have been tallied and once again RE/MAX is leading the way in market share for St. John’s and surrounding areas. Over 40% of the real estate business in St. John’s is being transacted with RE/MAX Realtors and the RE/MAX branding.
As reported back in July for the first two quarters in 2008 for St. John’s real estate market update, RE/MAX has been consistantly hovering near 40%. In fact for over 5 years I’ve seen RE/MAX going from the mid thirties and up.
In 12 days the government is set to release the details of the budget and is expected to deliver up to $30-billion in stimulus to soften an economic downturn. Among the items on the agenda is the potential to offer a tax credit for home renovations.
Still in the infant stages they are toying with this idea and whether to offer a tax credit for home renovation in general, or merely for retrofits and upgrades that increase energy efficiency.
A few of the negative drawbacks we can expect to see for a national program such as this reno tax credit is that they are typically difficult to administer, hard to monitor and susceptible to fraud.
Personally I thought this would be accepted with open arms, but after reading some of the comments left on the Globe and Mail article opinions are quite mixed.
Read the full article in the Globe And Mail – Plan offers tax credit for home renovations
News release from Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Urban housing starts posted solid growth during the month of December, according to preliminary data1 released today by Canada Mortgage
and Housing Corporation (CMHC). December’s total housing starts posted 55 per cent growth, with 202 starts recorded throughout the St. John’s area versus 130 in December of 2007. An additional 24 housing starts were recorded in other urban areas across the province for a total of 226 provincial starts, an increase of 44 per cent. For the year, urban housing starts totaled 2,229 throughout the province, up 22 per cent. Within the St. John’s region, starts reached a 33-year high of 1,863 in 2008, a 26 per cent gain over the 1,480 starts posted in 2007.
“Urban housing starts ended the year with considerable growth and were consistent with CMHC’s new home construction expectations for 2008,” said Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. “Residential construction activity within the St. John’s metro area reached a 33-year high in 2008, with solid economic and demographic fundamentals creating unprecedented buyer demand and price growth throughout the year,” added Janes. For Canada’s urban centres, total housing starts decreased six per cent with 10,487 recorded in December compared to 11,157 during December of 2007. Single-detached starts fell 29 per cent to 4,335, while multiple starts of 6,152 represent a 22 per cent increase from a year ago. Throughout Atlantic Canada, there were 574 urban housing starts posted versus 651 the previous December, a decline of 12 per cent.
Business News Network (bnn.ca) had an interview this morning with Phil Soper, President and CEO of Royal Lepage Real Estate Services discussing the Canadian Real Estate Outlook for 2009.
Historically low interest rates, stable local economies and increasing affordability should support Canada’s residential real estate market during transitioning period.
He stressed that we will see a correction in 2009 and not a crash like we are seeing in the US. Nationally the real estate market peaked in the 4th quarter of 2007 so we are 4 quarters into the “correction” already.
His prediction is a 3% decrease nationally with higher decreases in the bigger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver which will see 4% and 9% declines respectively. Halifax is expected to remain relatively flat with a 1% gain. (Side note: the St. John’s real estate market was not mentioned)
He basically went on to say that the first quarter will be a difficult quarter but will recover in the second half of ’09. I feel that this will be the trend with the Newfoundland market as well.
Mortgage rates are still at all time lows and he pointed out that most buyers are not overly concerned with the “sticker price” on a property but are more concerned with the monthly mortgage payments.
December is typically a slower month for real estate and the stats for this month show it. Christmas, and the preparation for Christmas takes up most of the month. For the most part, the buying and selling of homes is left to those that have no choice but to keep the house hunting active.
This month, Newfoundland’s Real Estate MLS housing price break down is showing a whopping 18% decrease in sales while listings this month show an increase of 16%. Year to date, listings are up slightly by 3% and sales up 7% compared to this time last year.
Total # of New MLS Listings [Dec] = 357
Total # of Sales [Dec] = 312
Number of Active Listings in the NLAR MLS System = 2065
Here is a break down by area for the month of December
St. John’s Real Estate: Listings = 73 Sales = 5 Sales/Listings Ratio = 7%
Average Sale Price: $202,896
Mount Pearl Real Estate: Listings = 11 Sales = 0% Sales/Listings Ratio = 0%
Average Sale Price: no sales for this month so $190,662 is YTD
Paradise Real Estate: Listings =29 Sales = 2 Sales/Listings Ratio =7%
Average Sale Price: $273,850
East Extern Real Estate: Listings = 14 Sales = 3 Sales/Listings Ratio = 21%
Average Sale Price: $225,674
Conception Bay Real Estate: Listings = 15 Sales = 1 Sales/Listings Ratio = 7%
Average Sale Price: $201,814
The yard to date sales/listings ratio is 54%