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March 2019
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Happy March All!

I hear that we are destined to get spring although as I glance at the window to a beautiful sunny frozen wonderland I have to wonder. At least a few more properties are coming on the market as spring approaches.

The number of new listings started in the 400's per week the first few weeks into the 500's in Feb and 658 new ones from Feb 23 to March 2 - so it's creeping up. Total new listings as of March 7 2019 is 4393 versus 4853 for the same time frame last year, so it's still a challenge for buyers for sure!  Also determining the correct price for sellers is crucial.  

Ottawa Home and Garden show runs from March 21st to 24th at the Ernst Young Centre. Click the link to save on tickets online.

Happy St. Patty's Day everyone and enjoy the month!  Any questions contact Steve or I anytime.
  
Cheers,
     Eric


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Market Report for February 2019

Home sales are still doing well in Ottawa in 2019 despite all of the polar vortexes we’ve been having! (Who even heard of Polar Vortexes a couple of years ago, and now they’re everyday occurrences?)

Condo sales in February were virtually the same as Feb 2018, but over 6% more freehold properties sold in February this year than last year! Most properties are still attracting multiple offers, so great for sellers. Very tough for buyers, because there is very low “inventory” of homes listed for sale.

It is better to compare year-over-year than month-over-month however, as temporary...  ...read more...


 

What Buyers Want In A Condo
(Robert Van Rhijn, REM online)

An interesting exploration of sales of condos in the Toronto area.  Robert wanted to know which of these condos ranked as the top 10 highest in demand, and more importantly, what common trends they share.

They aggregated three sets of data from each condo in 2018. The data is from the Toronto Real Estate Board and is featured on our website, Strata.ca. Specifically:
1) Sale to list ratio – on average, how much above list did the units sell for?
2) Days on market
3) Rate of appreciation
Points 1 and 2 carried the most weight in their rankings, as they speak more directly to the demand in each condo (or bidding wars that ensued).

If you or an investment client is interested in building a low-maintenance investment portfolio, you’re probably targeting your local condo market. My advice is that you try to look for buildings with the following three characteristics  ...read more...


 

Replace A Bathtub With A Shower?
(Tara Hunt, Realtor.ca)

This is becoming a much more common question:  would this change reduce the number of buyers and would it hurt my resale value?  Probably the majority of people prefer the convenience of a shower.

But, as this article points out, there's no one right answer.  ...read more...


 

Assistance For The 1st Time Buyer
(James Bombales, livable.com)

Whether you want to stop paying skyrocketing rental rates, start building equity, or own property that can be passed down to your children, purchasing a home is likely a long-term goal of yours. However, with rising home costs and the mortgage stress test introduced in 2018, achieving that goal can be a challenge for many Canadians. Fortunately, there are a number of programs and incentives offered by the federal government that first-time homebuyers can apply for.

1) the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) - withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSPs
2) the First-Time Home Buyers federal tax credit of up to $5,000
3) multiple programs from CMHC including reducing the down payment required; home + improvements mortgages; newcomers; self-employed; and Green Home.  (A second mortgage insurance company, Genworth, offers many such programs as well.)  ...read more...

ShowMeTheGreen.ca bills itself as "the most comprehensive website for Canadian government home renovation grants, rebates, tax credits and more". It has a great page "First Time Home Buyer Grants Ontario: Do You Know These 23 Free Money Programs?".  It also references the federal products, but includes Ontario-specific and city-specific (like Toronto) products as well.  ...read more...


 

B20: The Mortgage Stress Test of January 2018 - Friend or Foe? 
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions sounds like a department of the federal government that makes sure that the banks behave.  In reality it works in favour of the banks and justifies it's decisions as keeping the banking system in Canada "healthy".  We all want that, but if they really cared about the amount of household dept, why not review the almost usurious rates of 20%, 30% and higher that the banks charge on credit cards? Why make is more impossible for some people to shop around for a better mortgage (but they can keep with the same lender...)?  And now the banks are calling for the stress test to be applied to non-federally regulated lenders.  What a coincidence when "Mortgage growth, the bread and butter of Canadian banks, has shrunk to 17-year low"...  Private lenders, who charge higher rates, have seen business grow 50% in the Toronto area during the 2nd quarter of 2018.

Geoff Zochodne, Financial Post
A  federal banking regulator defended on Tuesday a stress test for uninsured mortgages that has been criticized for making it harder than it should be for some Canadians to own a home.

“The stress test is, quite simply, a safety buffer ” said Carolyn Rogers, assistant superintendent at OSFI.

“To date we haven’t seen any evidence that banks are taking advantage of this situation to the detriment of borrowers,” Ms. Rogers said.  An OSFI spokesperson confirmed the regulator does not have data on the renewal rates being paid by borrowers with higher debt ratios – the ones affected by the stress test.  ...read more...
Robert McLister, special to The Globe and Mail
Since Canada’s most recent mortgage stress test began a year ago, more than one in 10 potential borrowers can no longer qualify for a bank mortgage, real estate prices are falling, homes are taking longer to sell, record numbers of Canadians are turning to costly higher-risk lenders and untold numbers of mortgage renewers are now paying higher rates. 

As many as 100,000 renewers every year may be at risk of not passing the stress test, based on estimates from Mortgage Professionals Canada. And when a lender suspects you can’t qualify elsewhere, it has little incentive to offer you excellent renewal rates.  ...read more...
 
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200 Rideau Street Spectacular views from the rounded window wall up to Parliament Hill and over the Byward Market to the Gatineau Hills. 2 bedrooms & 2 full bathrooms with in-suite laundry & underground parking in the heart of the city.
COMING SOON
 

Opportunity to create your dream property on 1.63 Quiet Country Acres. A large circular drive brings you into this expansive very private - but not isolated - property. There are several structures, but all need work.
1599 Lavigne, Hammond  $150,000
 
Get ready for summer!  Enjoy the beautiful grounds and recreation facilities at this complex. Walk to so much from this affordable and comfortable ground floor apartment very near the corner of St. Laurent & Montreal Road and the Montfort Hospital.  Washer, dryer and all windows treatment are included.
COMING SOON
Your home here!
Fill out our Seller Profile Form if you're thinking of selling, or email eric@ericmanherz.com or call 613-601-6404 any time!
Copyright © 2019 Eric Manherz, All rights reserved.


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