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Real estate still cruising in the stratosphere | – The Voice of Pelham

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Think housing prices in Pelham might abate just a smidgin in 2022? Think again.

The number of homes on the market may be down from last year, but the prices are up. Way up.

A house recently offered for sale in Fonthill, listed below $900,000, sold for $1.2 million.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data indicates that 16 homes were sold in Pelham in January 2021 at an average price of $844,000. In January of 2022, 13 sold at an average price of $1.074 million, a jump of 27 percent.

Across Niagara, house sales were down ten percent this January compared to January last year, but the average selling price skyrocketed by 33 percent to $749,000.

Niagara Association of Realtors (NAR) president Doug Rempel, of Bosley Real Estate in Niagara on the Lake, represents NAR’s 1400 members. He laughs when he reads pronouncements from media pundits who suggest that a housing bubble is about to burst.

“Nothing could be farther from reality,” said Rempel. “2021 surpassed our expectations, and there are solid indications that we should be optimistic and confident about sales in 2022.”

Interest rates on mortgages, one of the best influencers of real estate sales, are projected to stay historically low, even if they rise slightly in the second and third quarters of 2022. The supply of homes on the market may continue to wane, but Niagara remains an attractive retirement option for buyers from the GTA and other parts of the province where housing is more expensive. And with low supply and high demand, Rempel thinks that prices will continue their upward trend, reaching possibly a ten percent increase from 2021. The pandemic caused some homeowners to delay stepping into the market, but as winter fades, many realtors expect to see growth in supply, he said.

“I think that we’re going to see much more multi-generational living in the future,” said Rempel. “It’s nothing new, because historically that was the pioneer experience, and practised by many new arrivals to the country. Baby Boomers, who traditionally have downsized as they age, are choosing to renovate the homes, making room for either family members or caregivers. Millennials are starting families and preferring home ownership over rentals, and are competing for a much reduced pool of properties.”

Millennials are starting families and preferring home ownership over rentals, and are competing for a much reduced pool of properties

Housing affordability has been at crisis levels for the past couple years, prompting Ontario Premier Doug Ford to appoint a task force to deal with the issue. A boost in the supply of homes is part of the solution, and the government has proclaimed that it is committed to building 1.5 million new homes over the next ten years.

Another potential panacea is to relax certain municipal zoning rules in urban neighbourhoods, which currently ban anything but single-family homes. Though this approach helps municipalities reach provincial density targets, it prompts pushback from many residents who feel that the move would negatively affect the character of their residential area.

Last fall, Prime Minister and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, in full election mode, said that his party would ban blind-bidding on home sales, a practise that some believe drives up prices. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) immediately fired back at the proposal, arguing that a ban would infringe on the rights of sellers, and that housing prices are driven fundamentally by supply and demand.

Pelham has the second highest overall housing prices in the region, topped only by Niagara-on-the-Lake. It comes as no surprise to Rempel, who sees Pelham as a very desirable community.

“I remember many years ago, friends who worked in customer services in the aviation industry said that a whole group of Air Canada pilots and support staff had discovered Fonthill, and had established something of a new-resident beachhead,” said Rempel. “My wife and I came to visit, and really enjoyed the ambiance.”

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Worry, buyer's remorse high as real estate market slowdown materializes – Ottawa Business Journal

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A wave of buyer’s remorse is taking shape in several heated real estate markets, after housing prices started dropping and the number of sales slowed over the last two months.

Realtors and lawyers in Toronto and Vancouver say they have noticed buyers looking at what options they have to get out of a purchase and sellers hoping to ensure one goes through because conditions have shifted dramatically from the previous highs and frenzied pace.

The country experienced a 25.7 per cent drop in the number of homes sold over the last year and a 3.8 per cent slide in housing prices between March and April, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday. The average home price last month totalled $741,517.

Such numbers have prompted some sellers to explore lawsuits to ensure transactions move forward and other purchasers to worry about the value of pre-sale properties they bought years ago but have yet to take possession of.

“With today’s real estate prices, there’s really no option but to go all in and if you’re going all in, and then suddenly you’re realizing that perhaps you made a bad bet and there’s a way out of that bet, you’re going to do whatever you can to get out,” said Mark Morris, a Toronto real estate lawyer.

In recent weeks, he has seen nine cases where buyers want to back out of deals but on Monday alone was approached by three sellers keen to use legal channels to keep purchasers from walking away.

Morris doesn’t call the encounters a trend because it’s unclear how many other lawyers are seeing the same spate, but three queries in a day is his new record. He used to see one case of that nature every few months.

“Purchasers are looking at the existing crisis, and in the best of times, they feel they overpaid, but now they have objective proof that they’ve done so because markets have started to pummel and fall and really shows no signs of slowing down,” said Morris.

“Many of those buyers are faced with the option of moving forward or upping and walking.”

People get “spooked” every time the market turns and explore what they can do about deals they signed, but few end up walking away because it’s hard to get out of such transactions, said Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage.

He thinks the exception to this pattern came in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and people wanting out of transactions had so many unknowns on their side.

Most buyers trying to end a deal this year won’t be successful because there is no legal way out, but such cases are also impractical for sellers, Morris said.

“Is a seller really willing to pursue a buyer that has no assets? Is the seller really going to go through three years of courts only to find that they have a judgment that can’t be pursued?” he pondered. “Are they really ready to put up the amount of money that it will take to pursue this to the ends of the earth if they’re able to resell? Perhaps not.”

In cases where the buyer has put money into a seller’s trust account, that money can only be released with a court action, the closing of the deal or a mutual agreement not to pursue the sale, said Morris. He’s seen buyers agree to give the seller the money, if the seller mutually agrees to end the deal.

If a deal ends, brokers can sue for their lost commission but not many explore this avenue because it’s “not a good look” to take legal action against a client, who might still turn to you when they try to sell the home from the failed transaction again, said Morris.

While Tirajeh Mazaheri hasn’t seen legal action in Vancouver, the Coldwell Banker Prestige Realty agent has seen buyer’s remorse and worry crop up among investors who purchased pre-construction homes a few years ago but have yet to take possession of them.

“A lot of those people are thinking, ‘Is the market going to be able to justify this price or keep up with the price I paid and can I get this money back if I want to sell in a year?'” she said.

The people who purchased in early rounds of pre-construction sales for a building are already ahead of the curve, but those who bought later will have to wait longer to break even or make a profit, she said.

Even though worry is at a high, Mazaheri and Soper agree the markets do rebound and homes are still a valuable investment.

“Anyone who bought a home in 2021 in this country, if they bought anywhere near market price, their home is going to be worth more in 2021,” said Soper.

“Will it be worth more one year from now? That’s harder to predict ? but even a year from now the likelihood of that home being worth less than it is today is smaller.”

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Vancouver real estate: 'Plush' new build for $7.5M | CTV News – CTV News Vancouver

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It’s new, it’s near the beach and it costs millions more than the benchmark for the area.

A newly built home for sale in Vancouver is listed at $7.5 million.

The sellers of the house on West 12th Avenue are asking more than $5 million more than the current benchmark in its neighbourhood of Point Grey.

They say it’s somewhat of a rarity for the tony region of the city, but it’s priced higher than some of the neighbouring homes because it’s brand new, and because of its features.

According to those behind the listing, the four-bedroom home has a total floor space of 4,189 square feet over two storeys and a basement.

It has a 564-square-foot rooftop deck with city, water and mountain views, the listing from realtor Faith Wilson with Christie’s International Real Estate says.

The home has “luxurious, high-end finishes, including a spa ensuite richly appointed in calacatta stone.”

It has a “spa-inspired dry sauna” on the ground floor, and its recreation and media rooms each have wet bars.

The grounds are landscaped and there’s a three-car garage past its gated entry.

The kitchen is described as “gourmet,” and the family room “boasts coffered ceilings (and an) exquisite waterfall Caesar stone cooking centre.”

Its future buyer would find themselves in walking distance of Jericho and Spanish Banks beaches.

Its property taxes are not for the faint of heart at an estimated $13,962. That estimate, however, is from 2020, before the new house was built.

Recent reports suggest Vancouver’s luxury real estate market is seeing a decrease in sales, but prices continue to climb.

The price is far out of reach for many, including most of those who live in the area.

Still, according to census data for the area, more than one-quarter of Point Grey residents have a total household income in the highest category – $200,000 and over.

The median for households of two or more people is $135,680, much higher than in many Vancouver neighbourhoods.

A quarter of those who live in the area work in “professional, scientific and technical services,” and nearly a quarter are in educational services, the data from Statistics Canada suggests.

Three-quarters of adults have at least some level of university education, from a bachelor’s degree to a doctorate.

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Canmore real estate developments back on after tribunal ruling | CTV News – CTV News Calgary

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A contentious proposed real estate development in Canmore got new life Tuesday.

One year ago, Canmore town council rejected the Smith Creek development and decided the Three Sisters Village proposal needed significant changes.

Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd., the project developer, appealed the decision to a municipal tribunal, and Tuesday the town was ordered to allow the projects to proceed.

Conservation groups fought the proposal, saying it didn’t provide enough space for wildlife to travel through the valley.

“Unless overturned, this decision will cause harm to the lands, and wildlife movement and habitat of an important part of the Yellowstone to Yukon region,” said a statement issued by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative on Twitter. “Keeping these lands connected and intact is in the best interest of Albertans now and into the future. Connectivity provides the best chance for some of our most cherished and threatened wildlife to thrive.”

There was no word from the Town of Canmore on whether it will appeal the decision.

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