Guelph Real Estate News from MICHELLE IVY November 2017   

Having your home broken into is a traumatic experience that you definitely want to avoid so this month's article shares some tips on how to increase your home's security.

There are also some great feng shui ideas to help you create a harmonious home environment as well as a few tips on how to build a more close-knit community.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!


In this issue...
Guelph Real Estate Market Update 
Guelph home sales continue to rebound in October.

According to statistics provided by the MLS® System of the Guelph and District Association of REALTORS®, home sales numbered 271 units in October 2017.  This was down 9.1% from the record October last year.

That said, October 2017 sales were effectively tied with the same month in the years 2013-2015 for the second best month of October ever after 2016, so it was a historically strong showing.

On a year-to-date basis, home sales totalled 2,985 units over the first ten months of the year.  This was a 7.8% decline from the October year-to-date record set in 2016.

“While home sales are still running below last year’s record levels, they have improved markedly over the last three months,” said Kim Hannah, President of the Guelph and District Association of REALTORS®.  “When you look at the sales data adjusted for seasonality, activity has rebounded by about 33% since July.”

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), tracks price trends far more accurately than is possible using average or median price measures.  The overall MLS® HPI for Guelph and District rose 13.2% in October 2017 compared to the same month in 2016.  This was a slower rate of growth compared to the previous eight months.

Single-family home prices were up 12.1% year-over-year in October.  By comparison, townhouse prices rose 14% from last October and apartment unit prices climbed 22.1% compared to a year earlier.

The average price of homes sold in October 2017 was up 12.3% from levels in October 2016.  The year-to-date average price was up 21.4% from the first ten months of 2016.

The dollar volume of residential sales in October 2017 was $139 million, up 2.1% from the same month in 2016.
New residential listings numbered 354 units in October, rising 18.4% on a year-over-year basis.

There were just 486 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of October 2017, up 42.5% from a year earlier but still below the same time in all other years on record.

There were just 1.8 months of inventory at the end of October 2017, up from 1.1 months a year earlier but still well below the long-term average for this time of year of about five months.  The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

Sales of all types of properties in the Guelph region numbered 283 units in October, down 8.4% from a year earlier.  The total value of all properties sold in October 2017 was $148.9 million, up 4% on a year-over-year basis.

Smart Home Security Made Simple 
A fully secure home will provide you with peace of mind.

Whether you’re at home sleeping or away on vacation, it’s important to know that your home is secure.  A secure home is also much more attractive to potential buyers when it comes time to sell.

Smart lighting, remote locks and wireless cameras can all make your home safer; however, the issue of cyber criminals hacking into smart home systems is a valid concern so homeowners shouldn’t forget about the basics.

Eliminate potential hiding spots by trimming down bushes that are around your windows and doors.  Most thieves are opportunists who see an open door or window and decide to take a chance and see what they can make off with.

Next, install strike plates on your doors to help protect the deadbolt from crowbars or kick attacks.  Thieves want to get into your home as quickly as possible so if one forceful kick doesn't work, they’ll likely turn and run.

Windows are also popular break in points so install heavy sash or keyed locks.  Installing an eyebolt in window corners also prevents the window from being opened from the outside.  Glass block windows are an excellent choice as they look attractive, can't be opened and are extremely difficult to break.

Give the impression your home is lived in while you're away on vacation by installing a dusk-to-dawn porch light.  Although technology allows you to control blinds and lights right from your smartphone, you'll still need to find someone to rake your leaves as there isn’t an app for that yet!

When it comes to home security, paying attention to the little things can often make a huge difference so take time to "case the joint" and list all the security failures that burglars would appreciate.  Potential buyers will prefer a secure home as it's one less thing for them to worry about so you may as well do it sooner than later so that you can enjoy the benefits as well.

The Feng Shui Way 
Creating good feng shui around your home is easier than you think!

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that helps achieve a harmonious living environment in order to promote happiness and prosperity.  Here are a few ideas to enhance the energy flow around your home:

  1. Think Outside the Nest - Birds bring great energy so add a few feeders and a bird bath in your backyard.

  2. The Right Path - Place a few plants and wind chimes on your porch and make sure the path to your front door is unobstructed.

  3. Fire & Ice - Essential oils, crystals, candles and water features such as fountains and fish bowls will bring calm and balance into your home.

  4. Mirror, Mirror - The strategic placement of mirrors helps improve feng shui by drawing more sunlight into otherwise murky rooms and by expanding narrow areas such as hallways.

  5. De-clutter - Clearing your home of clutter will introduce a smoother flow of energy.  Clutter is a sign of trapped energy so be ruthless and get rid of everything you don’t need.

Feng shui emphasizes that our physical surroundings have an impact on our emotional well-being so it’s important to be aware of how we arrange our space.  Buyers often feel certain vibes when they enter a home so a "harmonious feel" could be the difference between a quick sale and one that drags on.

Building a Better Community 
Getting to know the people living around you offers plenty of benefits!

Research shows that there are many physical and mental health benefits to enjoying a sense of belonging.  Here are a few ideas to help you build community spirit:

  1. Rags to Riches - Organize a garage sale or clothing swap in your ‘hood.  It’s also a great way to get rid of clutter!

  2. Clean Green - Coordinate a park clean-up and then enjoy drinks and snacks that will hopefully be donated by a local business.

  3. Book Smart - Build a “Little Library” at your local park or on your front lawn and enjoy watching people gather to exchange books.

Getting to know people who live close by will really improve your quality of life and foster a sense of belonging.  Social media can also help build a safe, connected, friendly place to live by providing a platform to share events and ideas.

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