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Ontario Stage 2 reopening breathes new life into Quinte real estate market – Canada.com

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A real estate agent disinfects a door handle with wipes during a client’s visit to a home for sale, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
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The Stage 2 reopening of Ontario has injected new life into the Quinte real estate market as agents and realtors mark an uptick in requests both from buyers and sellers with respect to their homes and properties.

While the number of home sales were down in May monthly statistics, both the prices of homes and interest by consumers remains high, said Heather Plane, president of the Quinte and District Association of Realtors.

For example, association figures showed the average price for a home rose 9.2 per cent in May to an average of $406,608 as compared to the same time last year when the average home value was deemed at $372,488.

“Business is good,” Plane said, “especially for the economy. It speaks to the confidence people have in the economy in the real estate industry itself. It has picked up.”

“Since Phase 2 opened back up, many of the realtors have absolutely picked up on their business and are working hard to make sure we’re getting the proper houses for people they can afford. We’re being cautious, we want to make sure two years, three years down the road we don’t run into the crashes we had in the past.”

Plane attributed the renewed high interest in home buying to pent-up demand by consumers who have been sheltering in place since March 17 when the Ontario government implemented its state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic declaration.

Another reason for consumer interest in Quinte, she said, is an announcement by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to stiffen its qualification points system surrounding debt-ratios to protect the housing market from defaults.

The tightened CMHC qualification measures are set to come into effect at the end of June.

“They are trying to get ahead of the tighter constraints coming on as of July 1, The CMHC is tightening their qualifications,” she said. “There are people out there who are looking and want a firm deal by that time and cut-off.”

The increase in requests from buyers are being made to local real estate firms, she said, because they know their own backyard.

“We do promote using a local realtor as a board. The realtors know the market in this area, we know what to look for in a house, wells, waters and septics,” she said.

The busier real estate market is lifting the spirits of real estate agents, she said, after a three-month hiatus as well as May statistics that showed volume of sales of residential properties fell.

“Residential unit sales for May 2020 resulted in 241 sales, down significantly from 388 sales for 2019, for a decrease of 37.9 per cent,” Plane said in an earlier report from the board.

The number of active residential listings currently sits at 737 units compared to 968 units in 2019 resulting in a reduction of 23.9 per cent.

The May 2020 monthly dollar sales for all property types was $104,315,383 reflecting a substantial decrease of 30.9 per cent below May 2019, which was $150,895,886.

The May monthly dollar sales for residential listings resulted in a similar decrease of 32.2 per cent with $97,992,483 for 2020 compared to $144,525,186 for 2019.

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Toronto real estate poses bubble risk, while Vancouver homes are overvalued, UBS says – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Toronto real estate poses bubble risk, while Vancouver homes are overvalued, UBS says

TORONTO — UBS says Toronto is one of seven world cities most at risk of a residential real estate bubble.

Toronto scored 1.96 in the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index, the third-highest score below Frankfurt and Munich, which scored 2.26 and 2.35, respectively. 

The bank’s report scores 25 cities across the world, sorting them into four tiers: bubble risk, overvalued, fair valued, and undervalued with higher scores going to locations with higher risk.

Toronto is in the bubble risk category for the third consecutive year, surpassing Hong Kong, Paris and Amsterdam. 

UBS says Vancouver real estate had dropped this year out of bubble risk territory but is still overvalued, with a score of 1.37, down from 1.92 in 2018.

Other overvalued cities in the report were New York, San Francisco and Sydney, Australia with scores less than 1, while Boston, Singapore and Dubai had fair real estate values and Chicago real estate was considered undervalued.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Beloved treehouse attracts attention of Fredericton real estate agent – CTV News Atlantic

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FREDERICTON —
The real estate market is hot, but how often would a treehouse potentially add value for house hunters?

Consider one Frederiction creation, which isn’t your average treehouse.

Linda Kerry says her son’s treehouse is the most cherished part of her current home.

“Sam’s dad, he’s a miner and he was between contracts and he’s a jack-of-all trades,” Kerry says. “Whenever I think you can’t do something, he’ll do it. So I said to him, ‘I really want a treehouse,’ and he built me a treehouse.”

It might not be Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4 or a wardrobe to Narnia, but inside it’s pretty magical.

“I don’t know how he did it,” Kerry said. “He is also a lover of trees and did it in the sense that there’s no nails in the tree itself. So he cantilevered the treehouse in itself within the limbs of the tree.”

When the home itself was listed for sale, it was the treehouse that got real estate agent Jeremy Deering most excited.

“In the winter it might be cold, it could use some insulation, as far as like an inspection would go it’s pretty well up to code,” Deering said. “It really was designed well and designed with the tree in mind. I don’t think you could get some backwoods carpenter to do this. I think someone with real skill had to do this.”

While Linda and her son Sam might not be ready to put down new roots just yet they’re happy for the memories this one gave them.

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Halifax Real Estate: A Top Canadian Market to Watch – RE/MAX News

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Before the coronavirus public health crisis devastated the Canadian economy, analysts and investors were keeping a keen eye upon trends emerging within key Canadian real estate markets, including the Halifax real estate market. For years, parts of the Maritimes suffered from economic stagnation due to high unemployment, capital outflows and a declining population. But in the months leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, many homebuyers started homing in on the East Coast.

Halifax has been a fascinating city to watch, particularly after the approval of the Centre Plan. In 2017, the municipal government gave the go-ahead to an initiative that would improve the development of Halifax’s urban core. The campaign would lead to expanded public transit, new commercial and residential buildings, new and buried utility lines, and pedestrian-friendly walkways. The efforts are expected to attract businesses and workers from across the country and around the world.

With it, of course, would come a booming real estate market. In line with the Plan’s projections, Halifax is witnessing an economic resurgence, and this could only be the beginning.

Halifax Real Estate: A Top Canadian Market to Watch

In August, the Halifax-Dartmouth housing market experienced a 20.3-per-cent year-over-year increase in residential sales, with 769 transactions reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The residential average price also surged 18.2 per cent to $372,982 in August.

Year-to-date sales activity in the region was down 1.1 per cent in August, with 4,693 homes trading hands. However, Halifax home prices have still climbed 11.6 per cent to an average of $356,687.

This is a continuation from what has been occurring in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, with homebuyers scooping up properties at a rapid rate.

Housing experts anticipate these bullish trends will persist heading into the fall. According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, the inventory shortage and increased demand will boost average housing prices in Halifax by 10 per cent during the remainder of 2020.

In Halifax and across Nova Scotia, as demand continues to blossom, industry observers are warning that supply will continue to fall, which has sparked concern among federal officials. Andy Fillmore, the Member of Parliament for Halifax and a former city planner, says that the housing shortage could soon price too many Halifax homebuyers out of the market.

“If we want to have a city that reflects the full diversity of everyone who lives in our city … we have to put in place mechanisms so that we can have the diversity of income earners … especially when it comes to folks who traditionally lived in those areas and find themselves being priced out,” said Fillmore in an interview with CBC News, adding that all three levels of government and the private sector need to devise a plan to address this problem.

With interest rates being as low as they are, developers might take advantage of the ultra-low borrowing costs and invest in new housing developments. Fillmore did also say that municipal governments can modify zoning regulations, something that could stimulate new supply. Until then, the Halifax housing market could be tighter for the next 12 months, which would translate to higher valuations. 

During this time, experts say it is also important to keep an eye on mortgage deferrals, says Kean Birch, an associate professor at York University.

“I find it worrying that housing prices are continuing to rise. The reason being that we don’t know what’s going to happen once the mortgage payment deferral ends, and the consequences actually could be dramatic across the board. And it could be highly inequitable as well,” said Birch in an interview with Halifax Today.

Is Atlantic Canada the Next Real Estate Hotspot?

Is Atlantic Canada finally catching a break? For a long time, the Maritimes had endured economic stagnation, capital flight, and a sliding population. This could be changing now, based on the latest real estate data. Housing prices are soaring, the jobs are coming back, and economic development is accelerating. In these respects, the good times are returning to Halifax, St. John’s, Charlottetown and Fredericton.

But the momentum of this upswing will hinge on what happens over the next few months. Although the consensus is that Halifax and the rest of Atlantic Canada will still record strong housing numbers, fears over the second wave of the coronavirus and general uncertainty could weigh on the real estate market as we head into the last quarter of 2020.

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