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Lackluster 2011 Canada housing market seen

Posted by James Osmar | Posted in Real Estate Articles | Posted on 23-12-2010

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's housing market may have a lackluster year ahead as demand will be spurred by low interest rates but could be capped by moderate job and wage growth, Scotia Economics said on Thursday.

The economics unit of Canada's third-largest bank said in its year-endGlobal Real Estate Trends report that Canada's housing market has been one of the better performing, yet volatile, markets among advanced nations this year.

"We are neither overtly optimistic nor pessimistic regarding the outlook for 2011," said senior economist Adrienne Warren.

"The bigger risk likely awaits 2012 when more significant interest rate increases, combined with record high home prices, will notably strain affordability."

Sales of existing homes in Canada rose for a fourth straight month in November. That reinforced market sentiment that stability is returning to the sector after it cooled earlier this year from the red-hot levels of 2009.

The housing sector has avoided two extreme bubble-and-crash scenarios over the past three years when resale prices dropped sharply in 2008, then quickly rebounded as low mortgage rates and lower prices supported the turnaround.

Warren expects the Bank of Canada will maintain interest rates at historically low levels, currently at 1 percent, well into next year, given global economic uncertainty and subdued inflation.

Low interest rates may be an "extremely powerful inducement" that could attract both first-time buyers and those looking to upgrade their dwellings, resulting in a "decent" level of sales, said Warren.

But demand may be tempered by more moderate employment and income growth next year. Public-sector hiring in 2011 is not expected to repeat its job creation from the past year as government restraint efforts take hold.

Globally, Scotiabank expects prospective buyers may move to the sidelines next year despite attractive borrowing costs, as purchase incentives expire in many markets and slow job growth may weigh on confidence

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Real-time listing prices in these areas of the U.S. are dropping, and experts expect them to fall further this year

Posted by James Osmar | Posted in Real Estate Articles | Posted on 05-02-2010

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New U.S

Year-over-year home listing prices have dropped precipitously in nine cities, according to Altos Research, a Mountain View, Calif.-based housing real estate research firm, and they're not all cities you might expect. Some had appeared to escape the housing bust but are now showing cracks. Others were hit hard by the Wall Street collapse and still more are facing drained demand in the luxury home market. Since Altos tracks asking prices, housing price trends tend to show up months earlier than they do in other widely respected price indexes. Click to see where trouble might be ahead.

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Are you Fit to Sell?

Posted by James Osmar | Posted in Real Estate Articles | Posted on 19-02-2009

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New RE/MAX program helps Canadian homeowners secure the value of their biggest investment.
Mississauga, Ontario (February 19, 2009) – As home sellers across the country adjust to new market
realities, RE/MAX is set to launch Fit to Sell, an innovative new program designed to secure home
equity in uncertain times.

“The stark reality is that more than 2,000 properties are listed for sale every day in Canada,”
explains Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic
Canada, “yet only a quarter of them will be sold. With the creation of Fit to Sell, RE/MAX is
intent on helping Canadians get the most out of their biggest investment – their home.”
RE/MAX has enlisted the help of popular staging expert Carla Woolnough, host of the DVD series
‘How to Stage your own Home’ and owner of Nex-Step Design, to develop Fit to Sell. The program
encourages existing homeowners to increase their stake in the home-selling process by working with
their real estate professional to bring their home to the market. Fit to Sell ultimately rewards their
participation by maximizing sale price and minimizing on-market time.

“Sellers are no longer in the driver’s seat but there’s also no reason for them to take a back seat,”
explains Polzler. “We know that location, price, and condition are the three major factors that come
into play when selling a home – and while location and price are clearly choices made by the buyer at
the onset, condition is the one factor that a seller can influence. Sellers who make the right moves in
preparing their home for sale can maximize their housing potential and ultimately improve their bottom
line. After all, there are still buyers in the market and they are looking for quality product.”

RE/MAX and Carla Woolnough, the national spokesperson for RE/MAX Fit to Sell, have created a
checklist of the top 10 priorities for preparing a property for sale, ranging from air quality to furniture
placement and lighting. The checklist and tips can also be found on www.fittosell.ca

“By following these simple and inexpensive tips, homeowners across the country can secure top dollar
for their properties,’ says Carla. “All it takes is a little upfront planning and some advice from your
RE/MAX sales professional.”

The official launch of RE/MAX Fit to Sell will co-incide with the opening of the National Home Show,
presented by RE/MAX, at the Direct Energy Centre on February 20 through to March 1. RE/MAX will
be presenting tips for consumers, with four scheduled appearances by Carla during the 10-day event.
RE/MAX is Canada’s leading real estate organization with over 18,000 sales associates situated
throughout its more than 670 independently-owned and operated offices across the country. The
RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 36th year, is a global real estate system operating in more than
70 countries. Over 7,000 independently-owned offices engage more than 100,000 member sales
associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while
providing real estate services in resident, commercial, referral, and asset management. For more
information, visit: www.remax.ca

For more information, please contact:
Christine Martysiewicz, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada, 905.542.2400
Eva Blay, Point Blank Communications, 416.781.3911

Home renovations can influence the resale value of your home
As the residential housing market becomes increasingly competitive, more and more homeowners
are investing in renovation before listing their home for sale.

The recent introduction of the Federal Government’s new $2.5 billion Home Renovation Tax
Credit (HRTC) program will now provide Canadians with added incentive. The program allows
for a 15 per cent tax credit on eligible renovation expenditures such as work performed or goods
purchased between January 27, 2009 and February 1, 2010. A credit of up to $1,350 per
household can be claimed for the 2009 tax year on renovations including upgrades to bathrooms
and kitchens, the installation of new flooring or carpeting, and replacing a furnace.

By utilizing the new program to make necessary upgrades, homeowners can maximize the value
of their properties. A recent RE/MAX survey found that the most value-added upgrades for
today’s purchasers include: