RE/MAX St. John’s Housing Market Outlook 2014

December 11, 2013 · Filed Under Remax Newfoundland, Remax Reports · Comments Off 

Affordability, low interest rates, and sound economic fundamentals were the primary factors contributing to ongoing healthy home buying activity in St. John’s in 2013. These favourable underpinnings supported relatively steady demand, despite a further upswing in inventory levels. As a result, home sales in St. John’s are expected to finish the year at 3,650 units—in line with traditional levels, though off the 2012 pace by just under six per cent. While momentum has eased, average price continues to make considerable gains, propped up, in part, by new home sales and strength in the upper-end segment. By year end, average price is forecast to reach $302,500, advancing six per cent over 2012’s record of $285,529. First-time buyers led the charge once again in 2013, seeking out single-family homes and bungalows priced between $200,000 and $300,000 throughout the city and its suburbs. Activity in this segment proved brisk, while the mid-range (priced over $350,000) experienced some softening, given a greater supply of inventory and a reduced sense of urgency.

Stjohnshouseprice

Newfoundland’s economic engine fired on all cylinders in 2013, leading the nation and driving GDP growth ahead by six per cent, as crude oil production rose and conditions improved for large-scale mining projects. While growth is expected to return to more modest levels in 2014, several major developments will serve to prop up confidence and demand in both the resale and new home sectors. These include: ramped-up work at both Muskrat Falls/Lower Churchill and the Hebron Offshore Oil Field, supporting further employment growth; a strengthening natural resources sector, marked by the completion of the Long Harbour nickel-processing facility and subsequent upswing in production; as well as increased production at the Direct Shipping iron-ore project and the Iron-Ore Company of Canada’s Phase II Expansion.  Conversely, the enthusiasm of those at the entry-level price points has been re-invigorated, as buyers impacted by tightened lending restrictions last year made their return to the market in a more positive position in many respects. The upper-end segment also proved quite vibrant, as St. John’s thriving oil and gas sector continued to support high-level jobs. Actual sales over $650,000 have posted double-digit growth, and even when adjusted for year-over-year price appreciation, the momentum has held steady with 2012’s respectable performance. 

Overall, Newfoundland & Labrador should see unemployment contract in 2014, falling to 11.5 per cent. Strong gains in earnings continue to support buying intentions—a significant factor behind the highest provincial homeownership rate in Canada at 77.5 per cent (2011 Census). St. John’s, in particular, remains an attractive draw. The city recorded a 5.5 per cent increase in its population from 2006 to 2011. Significant announcements continue to improve the region’s prospects—from the proposed underground mine expansion at Voisey’s Bay to the extension to White Rose, as well as promising exploration discoveries that serve to boost confidence in the area’s long term potential. There’s no question the outlook is bright. In the interim, Newfoundland is expected to post a more tepid economic gain of 1.4 per cent in 2014, on the heels of 2013’s enviable advance. 

Stjohns house sales

Next year, buyers and sellers in St. John’s and surrounding areas should see similar conditions to those in place at year end. An oversupply of product will place greater consequence on setting fair value, as buyers become increasingly sensitive to pricing. Purchasers will need to be realistic in their pursuits, however, as most homes continue to realize 98 per cent of list price. Unprecedented inventory of new homes will necessitate a gradual correction in prices in that segment, if absorption rates are to improve. Condominium sales are forecast to ease in 2014, as the market approaches saturation. Many new projects have been delayed, re-worked or cancelled, as builders on the multi-unit side take pause. Investors were active over the past 12 months and will continue to seek out promising opportunities. The upper end of the market is anticipated to remain stable. Regardless of price point, market conditions will underscore the timeless adage ‘location, location, location,’ as sought-after pockets post better-than-average activity. Multiple offers, for example, were still evident on well priced product in Churchill Square and Paradise, where the Outer Ring Road has driven tremendous growth. Areas around the University will also prove buoyant as the student population continues to rise, while ongoing revitalization in the downtown core bolsters its appeal. Absorption should improve moving in to the second half of 2014, although buyer’s market conditions will persist through year end. Sales are expected to remain on par at 3,650 units, while average price rises five per cent to $317,600. 

(Source: http://remaxoa.com/13/PR/HMO/REMAXHousingMarketOutlook2014.FNL.pdf)

 

First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit

March 24, 2010 · Filed Under First Time Buyers · Comments Off 

What is the home buyers’ tax credit (HBTC)?

The HBTC is a non-refundable tax credit, based on an amount of $5,000, for certain home buyers that acquire a qualifying home after January 27, 2009.  This means the actual closing must be after this date.

The HBTC is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2009) by $5,000. For 2009, the credit will be $750.

Beginning with the 2009 personal income tax return, line 369 is incorporated into the Schedule 1, Federal Tax to allow you to claim the credit in the year in which you acquired the qualifying home.

Who is eligible for the HBTC?

Taken directly from the Canada Revenue website

You will qualify for the HBTC if:

  • you or your spouse or common-law partner acquired a qualifying home; and
  • you did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years.

If you are a person with a disability or are buying a house for a related person with a disability, you do not have to be a first-time home buyer.  However, the home must be acquired to enable the person with the disability to live in a more accessible dwelling or in an environment better suited to the personal needs and care of that person.

What is a qualifying home?

A qualifying home is a housing unit located in Canada acquired after January 27, 2009. This includes existing homes and those being constructed. Single-family homes, semi‑detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings all qualify.  A share in a co‑operative housing corporation that entitles you to possess, and gives you an equity interest in, a housing unit located in Canada also qualifies. However, a share that only provides you with a right to tenancy in the housing unit does not qualify.

Also, you must intend to occupy the home or you must intend that the related person with a disability occupy the home as a principal place of residence no later than one year after it is acquired.

If I buy a house, can my spouse or common-law partner claim the HBTC?

Either one of you can claim the credit or you can share the credit. However, the total of your combined claims cannot exceed $750.

My friend and I intend to jointly purchase a home, and we both meet the conditions for the HBTC. Can we both claim the credit?

Either one of you can claim the credit or you can share the credit. However, the total of your combined claims cannot exceed $750.

New Listing in Pleasantville near Quidi Vidi Lake – 3 Arnold’s Loop

3arnolds

**SOLD**Fraser and Stephen Winters just listed an extremely well looked after property located in Pleasantville, in the east end  St. John’s.  Three bedrooms, 1 and a half bathrooms. Hardwood floors throughout most of the home.  Property is heated with an electric hot water radiation system providing very low monthly heating bills.  Located within walking distance to Quidi Vidi Lake (walking trails) and downtown St. John’s.  The Metro Bus passes right in front of the property. Front and rear garden well maintained.  Ideal home as an investment property or for a first time buyer.  Asking price is $169,900.

New listing near Memorial University – 113 Prowse Ave

September 11, 2009 · Filed Under New MLS Listings, St. John's Investments, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

113 prowse aveFraser and Stephen Winters just listed 113 Prowse Ave. This is a nice little three bedroom, two story home within walking distance to the taxation center and Memorial University (MUN) and in close proximity to the Avalon Mall. Most of the main floor is hardwood floors.  Family room with propane fireplace and french doors leading to formal dining room.  Property is fully fenced and has lots of privacy in the mature back yard.  Could make for a great investment property in St. John’s or as a starter home for the first time buyer. Asking price is $174,900