Great investment property in East End St. John’s

May 5, 2009 · Filed Under New MLS Listings, St. John's General, St. John's Investments · Comments Off 

564 newfoundland driveJust listed 564 Newfoundland Drive. (MLS # 143103).  Great income property located next to Portugal Cove Road and Newfoundland Drive, near Marine Institute, CONA and MUN. Spacious main floor with 4 bedrooms plus a 2 bedroom in-law apartment with seperate entrance. Main floor has oak kitchen, large living room / dining room area and master bedroom with ensuite.  In-law apartment has a nice oak eat-in kitchen, spacious living room with patio door to backyard deck.  Laundry facilities in each unit. Asking price is $232,900. Call Fraser or Stephen Winters for more information.

Check out the virtual tour of 564 Newfoundland Drive.

Economy 2009: Newfoundland Real Estate Section

March 26, 2009 · Filed Under Newfoundland Economy, St. John's General · Comments Off 

The budget was outlined today for spending in Newfoundland and Labrador. $6.7 billion in spending to be exact. Here is a link to the Newfoundland Labrador budget highlights, Building on our Strong Foundation

On the real estate front, the Newfoundland Government released their take on Newfoundland housing market conditions. While most of their data is from CREA and previously discussed earlier on this blog, I thought it important to “cut and paste” the PDF of the real estate section from the Economic Research and Analysis website as it recapped and touched on a number of important areas and facts.

Housing market conditions were robust in 2008. Housing starts increased to a level not seen since the early 1990s. Residential sales activity and prices reached record levels. Other capacity indicators like rental vacancy rates are at, or remain near, historical lows. Increased housing demand stemmed from strong economic performance, low interest rates, optimism about future major projects, and household formation.

Housing Starts

During 2008, housing starts totalled 3,261 units, up 23.1% compared to 2007. This was in contrast to activity in the Maritimes and Canada, where starts declined by 7.9% and 7.6%, respectively. While urban areas account for approximately two thirds of housing starts in the province, both urban and rural areas recorded significant gains in 2008. Urban housing starts were up 22.1% to 2,229 units and rural starts were up 25.2% to 1,032 units. Total housing starts are expected to fall to 2,648 units in 2009 as the global recession and slumping housing market in the rest of Canada weakens local consumer confidence. Since 1989, housing starts have averaged 2,333 units per year. Therefore, even with the decline expected this year, housing starts will be at relatively high levels for the local industry.

Residential Sales and Prices

Residential sales activity and prices increased to record levels last year. The number of residential properties sold in the province through the Canadian Real Estate Association’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) during 2008 was 4,695, an increase of 5.0% from 4,471 in 2007.  This performance was in contrast to the national residential market. MLS® sales decreased by 17.1% in Canada and 8.9% in the Maritime provinces during 2008. According to CREA, the number of MLS® sales in the province is expected to decline by 14.8% in 2009 to 4,000.
Strong demand for housing, especially during the summer months, created a buying frenzy in 2008. The average number of active MLS® listings in the province (a measure of housing availability/supply) declined by 38.3% to 1,495 from 2,423 in 2007. Homes were being purchased as soon as they hit the market and sellers were receiving multiple offers — sometimes well above the asking price. As a result of increased demand, housing prices increased. During 2008, the average MLS® residential price was $178,477, an increase of 19.6% compared to 2007. The fourth quarter average MLS® residential price surged 27.2% over the fourth quarter in 2007, representing the only growth market in Canada.
Increased housing demand in recent years is the result of employment and income growth; household formation; low mortgage rates; and a positive business environment, facilitated in part by continued optimism surrounding a number of future major projects. In addition to these factors, industry indicated that demand for residential units was also being fuelled by expatriates living in other provinces and from residents who commute to other provinces for work purchasing property for personal use and/or investment purposes.

Rental Market
Rental vacancy rates are at or near historical lows throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Vacancy rates in urban areas have decreased from a high of 15.4% in 1997 to just 1.1% in 2008. During 2008, vacancy rates were lowest in the St. John’s CMA (0.8%) and Corner Brook CA (0.9%), followed by Grand Falls-Windsor CA (1.9%), Gander (2.6%), and Bay Roberts CA (4.0%). Although vacancy rates are low, rental prices remain the lowest in Atlantic Canada. In 2008, the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Newfoundland and Labrador was $596 compared to $635 in New Brunswick, $660 in Prince Edward Island, and $795 in Nova Scotia. It is expected that improved labour markets, positive netmigration, higher housing prices, and a lack of new rental construction will keep vacancy rates low and place upward pressure on rental prices.

Newfoundland & Labrador – One billion barrels and counting says Royal Bank’s Provincal Outlook

Here is a snippet straight from Royal Bank’s March Provincial Outlook outlining where Newfoundland & Labrador stand during this harsh global economic times.

“The Newfoundland & Labrador offshore oil industry celebrated a milestone in January with the production of its one billionth barrel of oil. This was yet another reminder of the long road traveled by energy developments off the province’s coast and their tremendous contribution to the transformation of Newfoundland & Labrador into a dynamic economy. Nonetheless, the nosedive in energy prices since last summer and declining production at the province’s maturing production wells have cut any festivities short. The real cheers might have to wait until late this year or early next when the White Rose project expansion enters into operation, giving the industry — and the provincial economy — a shot in the arm. In the meantime, decreasing oil output and lower-than expected crude prices will be a substantial drag on economic activity in the  province, and the main reason for our projected decline in real GDP in 2009 (down 1.2% following estimated growth of 1.3% last year). Further contributing  to the weakness will be an expected drop in mineral production (partly the result  of market-related downtime), as well as the recent closure of the Abitibi Bowater  newsprint mill in Grand Falls.

Despite the challenges, the mood in the province remains relatively upbeat.  Huge investment projects — including the C$2-billion hydromet nickel processing  facility in Long Harbour — are still going ahead and the provincial government recently announced a significant increase  in spending on infrastructures.

According to Statistics Canada’s P&PI survey, non-residential capital expenditures in Newfoundland & Labrador are set to increase the fastest among all provinces in 2009 (up by almost 13%). Residents who had departed the province earlier are flocking back . This stimulates demand for housing and consumer goods and services. Housing markets have been very tight until recently, and prices continue to show among the strongest year-over-year increases in the country. Home building is expected to remain relatively steady this year, with housing starts forecast to move a touch above last year’s 19-year high of 3,200 units. Such relatively robust domestic activity is expected to persist next year and be the dominant factor returning the provincial economy back into positive growth once oil production is stabilized by White Rose’s expansion.”

Consumer Confidence high in Newfoundland

January 23, 2009 · Filed Under Local St. John's, St. John's General, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

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.

Read full news article here

New Subdivision in Pleasantville

November 19, 2008 · Filed Under Local St. John's, St. John's General, St. John's Real Estate · 7 Comments 

An interesting article on the CBC website today titled: Community within a community: Housing plan pitched for Pleasantville discussing a proposal for a new subdivision with a mix of condo’s and houses.  Even more interesting are the comments left by residents of St. John’s.  Most seem dead-set against the idea.  Here’s the article below.  What are your thoughts?

A Crown corporation hopes to see a mix of houses, condos and apartments built on the site of a former U.S. military base in St. John’s, on one of the prime undeveloped areas of the city.

Canada Lands Corp. is showcasing its plans for redeveloping Pleasantville and on Wednesday night will make a formal presentation on how it hopes the site — north of Quidi Vidi Lake, and within walking distance of downtown St. John’s — can be transformed.

Project manager John Dalton said the idea behind the mixed development is to create a community within a community.

“If you get that mix, you get what you call aging in place, where someone can move in as a young couple. If they need a bigger place, they could buy a home [and] they could have children,” Dalton said.

“Then, as they become empty-nesters, they could potentially move to an apartment or a condominium, and finally, at that stage of life which we’re all heading, as you’re getting to be … needing some assistance, we’re even providing an opportunity of assisted living.”

The U.S. military developed much of the land as Fort Pepperrell, which was built during the Second World War.

Years later, the site was turned over to the Canadian government, which used part of it as Canadian Forces Station St. John’s and other parts as offices for government departments. The former Janeway children’s hospital was built there in the 1960s, but was demolished earlier this year.

Canada Lands Corp.’s plan of divesting the lands, now considered surplus, will see about 960 residential units built, including single-family and multi-unit homes and hundreds of condominiums. The plan also includes two 10-storey towers that would be built along Logy Bay Road.

Housing advocates and social agencies have long called for a greater mix of housing in the central part of St. John’s, particularly for affordable housing for low- and middle-income earners.

The plan will come under a lot of scrutiny from residents of neighbouring streets, including Alister Eaton, who lives on Ross Road.

“That’s probably the best site left in metropolitan St. John’s. I mean, I grew up here,” said Eaton, adding that the Pleasantville site has had historic attachments, including a training site for the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in 1914.

“It’s always been a sort of historic place and I think done properly it will be great.”

The plan incorporates a $101-million upgrade planned for Canadian Forces Station St. John’s, which is relocating to one corner of the land it currently occupies.

Canada Lands Corp. will make a formal presentation to area residents on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion on The Boulevard.

Basement renovations Tips

September 12, 2008 · Filed Under Energuide Info, Home Maintenance, St. John's General · Comments Off 

Although it’s the middle of September and the temperature is quite comfortable, winter will soon be here.  Fall is normally the time of year to start inside home renovations, particularly basement renovations. By making a few changes, you can create a cozy space to spend time with guests during the holidays. By adding insulation to your exterior walls, installing a sub floor, you’ll notice some big changes in both your heat bills and the condition of your property.  I personally insulated my basement last year before the winter arrived and notice a huge change.

These tips are curiosity of the Home Depot.

• Turn up the heat

Basements are the coldest areas in the home, yet with the potential of becoming the most inviting.  A fireplace will instantly add warmth to this cool area, providing direct heat into the room. There are several different styles available ranging in price range and total square footage it covers.

• If these walls could talk

New paint on walls is like an instant facelift for your basement. Painting is an effective and quick way to change the look and feel of the room – making it a more inviting place to spend time. There are also several different styles of wallpaper available at The Home Depot that will help give your basement a fresh and updated look.

• Walk this way

Keep your toes warm and toasty by installing subflooring on top of the cold basement floor. Once installed, cover it with carpet, wood, laminate or tile – whatever suits your style.

• Let there be light

Many basements have little or no available natural light, which can make the room gloomy.  Consider installing pot lights or track lighting across the ceiling.  These types of light fixtures will instantly brighten the room by giving it a warm glow.


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