Feb
22
2017
Posted by Brian Lamb Marketing and Associates

January 2017 picked up where 2016 left off with sales up over this time last year, and well above the five-year average, while the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home types.

Home ownership continues to be a great investment and remains very important to the majority of Canadian households. As we move through 2017, we expect the demand for ownership housing to remain strong, including demand from first-time buyers who, according to a recent Ipsos survey, could account for more than half of transactions this year. However, many of these would-be buyers will have problems finding a home that meets their needs in a market with very little inventory.

British Columbia  – BC home sales post record year

Vancouver, January 13, 2017. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 112,209 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS® in 2016, an increase of 9.5% from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was a record $77.6 billion, up 18.8% from 2015. The average MLS® residential price in the province climbed 8.6% to $691,144 on an annual basis in 2016.

 "Broad-based consumer demand driven by strong economic conditions, employment growth, consumer confidence, and an expanding population base pushed home sales to record levels in many BC regions last year," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "However, home sales have fallen back from their lofty peaks early last year." The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales activity was approximately 92,000 units in December.

A total of 4,721 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS® in December, down 28.4% from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $3.1 billion last month, a decline of 33.1% compared to the same month the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $654,699 in December, a 6.6% decline from December 2015.

Jan
13
2017
Posted by Brian Lamb Marketing and Associates

No matter what is said in the history books about 2016, it proved overall to be a great year for real estate in Canada.

Escalating prices caused by low supply and strong home buyer demand brought more attention to the market than ever before. As prices rose in the first half of the year, public debate waged about what was fuelling demand and what should be done to stop it. This led to multiple government interventions into the market. The long-term effects of these actions won’t be fully understood for some time.

Ontario – Record Sales in 2016

Toronto, January 5, 2017 – Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Larry Cerqua announced that 2016 was a second consecutive record year for home sales. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 113,133 home sales through TREB's MLS® System – up by 11.8% compared to 2015. The calendar year 2016 result included 5,338 sales in December – an annual increase of 8.6%.

The strongest annual rate of sales growth in 2016 was experienced for condominium apartments followed by detached homes.

"A relatively strong regional economy, low unemployment and very low borrowing costs kept the demand for ownership housing strong in the GTA, as the region's population continued to grow in 2016," said Mr. Cerqua.

The annual rate of growth for the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System Home Price Index (HPI) in the TREB market area accelerated throughout 2016 – from 10.7% in January 2016 to 21% in December 2016. The overall average selling price for calendar year 2016 was $729,922 – up 17.3% compared to 2015. The pace of the annual rate of growth for the average selling price also picked up throughout the year, including a climb of 20% in December.

"Price growth accelerated throughout 2016 as the supply of listings remained very constrained. Active listings at the end of December were at their lowest point in a decade-and-a-half. Total new listings for 2016 were down by almost 4.0%. In 2016, we saw policy changes and policy debates pointed at the demand side of the market. If we want to see a sustained moderation in the pace of price growth, what we really need is more policy focus on issues impacting the lack of homes available for sale," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.

Ottawa, January 5, 2017 – Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 715 residential properties in December through the Board’s MLS® System, compared with 703 in December 2015, an increase of 1.7%. The five-year average for December sales is 656. The total number of residential and condo units sold through the Board’s MLS® System throughout all of 2016 was 15,537, compared with 14,653 in 2015, an increase of 6.0%.

Separately, residential and condo unit sales each outperformed the 2015 numbers.
“No matter what is said in the history books about 2016, it proved overall to be a great year for Ottawa real estate,” says Rick Eisert, 2017 President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.
“While prices remained fairly flat over the course of the year, the unit sales recorded in five separate months were the highest on record, including December. The spring market picked up early in April with strong sales and this trend continued well into the fall. The monthly unit sale performance in 2016 was often bolstered by a strengthened condo market which recorded increases over 2015 for much of the year.”

December’s sales included 165 in the condominium property class, and 550 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

“The listing inventory for both residential and condos trended lower all year, however units sold trended higher most months, outpacing 2015 by a fair margin,” says Eisert. “Cumulative days on market increased to 123 days in December, while the average for the year stayed steady at 91 days. Average residential sale prices remained virtually unchanged over last year, however we are seeing an increase in December compared to 2015, which could be a result of a higher concentration of properties sold in the $500,000 and up range.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in December in the Ottawa area was $420,750, an increase of 8.7% over December 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $262,698, an increase of 4.9% over December 2015.

The year-to-date numbers for average residential sale price in 2016 was $397,778, an increase of 1.5% over 2015. While the average condominium sale price was $260,982, an increase of 0.4% over 2015. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

“Looking at the whole year, the two most active price points in the residential market were $300,000 to $399,999 and then $200,000-$299,999, accounting for 54.6% of the market. While the condominium market was most active in the $150,000 to $249,999 price range, accounting for 55.4% of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales in 2016, OREB Members have assisted clients with renting 3,053 properties, the sale of 19 farms units, and the sale of 340 commercial properties.”

British Columbia – Home Sales Post Record Year

Vancouver, January 13, 2017 – The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 112,209 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2016, an increase of 9.5% from the previous year. Total sales dollar volume was a record $77.6 billion, up 18.8% from 2015. The average MLS® residential price in the province climbed 8.6% to $691,144 on an annual basis in 2016.

"Broad-based consumer demand driven by strong economic conditions, employment growth, consumer confidence, and an expanding population base pushed home sales to record levels in many BC regions last year," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "However, home sales have fallen back from their lofty peaks early last year." The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales activity was approximately 92,000 units in December.

A total of 4,721 residential unit sales were recorded by the MLS® in December, down 28.4% from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $3.1 billion last month, a decline of 33.1% compared to the same month the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $654,699 in December, a 6.6% decline from December 2015.

Jan
3
2017
Posted by Brian Lamb Marketing and Associates

Home is where health begins. From carpets and wall colours to window shades and overhead lighting, your home can play a role in how much you weigh, your mood, and even your cancer risk. It's important to eliminate toxins, pollutants and other health risks from your home. There are many small changes that you can do to make your home healthier and improve your mood. The following recommendations can be implemented immediately and won't cost you anything.

1. Keep Pollutants Outside
With every step you make outside your home, your shoes come in contact with all kinds of toxins (oil, gasoline, pesticides, cleaning chemicals, dirt and more). Leave those pollutants outside.
Make it a habit to take your shoes off as soon as you walk in the door of your home. Place a chair or bench near the door and place a shoe basket or shelf near it to make it easier for your family and visitors to take off their shoes by the door. This will cut down the amount of dirt and allergens brought into your home.

2. Use Natural Cleansers
Commercial cleansers may make cleaning easier, but they may also contain carcinogenic ingredients, respiratory irritants and even pesticides. Try safer cleansers such as a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean tubs and toilets, salt to scrub kitchen sinks and borax for laundry.

Once you try cleaning with non-toxic cleaners you'll find it hard to believe you ever used harsh chemicals. Not only do they work just as well, they smell better, don't make you dizzy and don't pose a health risk.

3. Clean Smarter and More Often
The greatest health risk for children at home comes from the dust that gets on their hands from crawling on the floor and touching dust-covered surfaces, exposing them to dust mites, mould and pet dander, all of which can trigger allergies and asthma attacks.

To keep dust to a minimum, dust every few days with a slightly damp cloth, to prevent the dust from returning to the air. Avoid furnishings that trap dust, such as drapes, carpeting, throw pillows and stuffed animals. Wash curtains and slip covers regularly in hot water.

Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter, and use it twice a week. If you are building a new home consider a central vacuum system that vents outside. This will help remove dust and debris from settling back into your home.

4. Breathe Fresh Air
Fresh air saturated with oxygen is essential for healthy indoor living. A properly ventilated home will also help release humidity that may build up, condense and cause bacteria, dust mites and mould.
Whenever possible, open the windows to allow old air out and fresh air in. In colder or humid months, use a mechanical ventilation system to help keep indoor air fresh, dry and comfortable.

It's very important to ventilate areas of your home that may have increased air pollutants such as the basement, laundry room and workshop. Glues, paints, solvents, laundry detergents and even just dirty clothes can all cause unwanted air pollution. Keep all of these stored properly in a well ventilated area.

5. Stop Smoking
Take the smoke-free pledge. Don't smoke in your home or let visitors do so. Small children are most vulnerable to the health risks of second-hand smoke such as allergies and respiratory disease. If you must smoke, go outside. Moving to another room or opening a window is not enough to protect your children.

6. Drink Clean Water
Clean water is essential for good health. If your water comes from a municipal supply it is tested regularly by the water authority. If you have a private drinking water well, test it periodically.
On the way to our taps, water can pick up asbestos from old concrete pipes, rust, lead particles and dirt. The glass of water you take from the tap has had a long eventful journey but it is clean enough to drink. However, it could be cleaner and better for you if you use a good in-house water filtering system.

In order to keep your water filter functioning effectively, it is important to change the filter cartridges on a regular basis.
 
7. Inspire Healthy Eating Habits
Keep a bowl of fresh fruit and vegetables on your kitchen counter to encourage healthy eating and cut down on bad snacking habits.

Fresh fruit is best for you and your kids. Choose different colours to give you the widest variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body needs. Choose whole fruit over fruit juice. Often juice has lots of added sugar and preserving chemicals. Whole fruit has more fibre and will leave you feeling more satisfied.

8. Give Your House a Mood Boost
Research shows that a naturally lit home will help ease blues, insomnia and may even boost concentration. Whenever possible open the curtains and allow sunlight in. Equip your home with broad-spectrum light bulbs that closely resemble daylight. Research also shows that good lighting helps prevent overeating.

Keep a bright bunch of flowers in the living room. A vase of vibrant flowers along with green plants help generate a positive mood around the house and helps reduce stress, fatigue and illness. Indoor green plants also help reduce carbon monoxide.
Cut down on heavy and loud music. Play soft, classical or country background music to create an easy atmosphere to help you unwind.

9. Encourage Family Activities
Reduce the use of TV in your home and encourage family activities. Excessive TV watching has been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Place a Chess or board game in your living room. Playing board games familiarizes young children with letters and numbers, builds hand-eye coordination and encourages kids of all ages to interact with others. Board games can be a stepping stone for discussion about almost anything. Strategy games like Chess or Monopoly provide opportunities to talk about not only the game itself, but how it applies to the real world, real problems, etc. and most importantly helps build family bonds.

The choices we all make on a day-to-day basis can make a huge impact on living a healthy lifestyle. With just a little forethought and initiative, we can make our homes healthier and happier for all family members.

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