Durham Region Real Estate News from Steven Murray February 2018   
  Real Estate News

Steven Murray
Broker, SRES

Coldwell Banker R.M.R.
10 Cassels Rd. West
Brooklin, Ontario

It's important to be aware of the latest home trends, especially if you're looking for ways to make your home more appealing to buyers. This month’s article outlines some of the popular home trends for 2018.

There's also some great advice on how to maintain your smoke alarms as well as a website that will challenge your brain and donate to charity at the same time!

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...
The Durham Region Real Estate Market Update 
January sales down slighly from last month.

Durham Region Association of REALTORS® (DRAR) President Dennis Roberts reported 470 residential transactions in January 2018, a slight decrease from December 2017.

January saw an increase in listings of 954 from 711 in December. There is 30 per cent increase year-over-year from January 2017, where there were 735 listings.

“Amid the new mortgage ‘stress test’ rules for buyers that came into effect January 1st, there has been a drop in sales but an increase in listings.” stated Roberts.

January’s average selling price was $578,645, which is a stable increase from the previous month, and a minor decrease   over the same month in 2017 at $608,417. Homes were sold within an average of 30 days on market for January 2018, in comparison to 15 days in January 2017.

However, we still have strong pricing with 98 per cent Sale Price to List Price (SP/LP) and a healthy Sales to New Listing Ratio (SNLR) of 49.3 per cent, further indicating that Durham Region continues a strong, balanced market.

“The new ‘stress test’ rules require that borrowers qualify for mortgages at interest rates 2 per cent higher in order to still afford their monthly payments should interest rates rise,” said Roberts. “This was expected to moderate demand by qualifying loans more firmly, which has lowered the amount buyers can finance.”

“Our strong local economy and expected population growth will result in sustained household growth in Durham Region,” said Roberts. “Professional REALTORS® will be a vital part of this growth as 82 per cent of surveyed home buyers plan to use a REALTORS® in 2018 to guide them through their transaction.”

Hot Home Trends for 2018 
Curious about what’s trending in homes and gardens this year?

It’s that time of year when homeowners are thinking about revamping and refreshing their space.  Here are a few of the latest trends and styles that are gaining steam:

  1. Ziggity Zag - Geometric patterns are making a comeback! It could be as simple as adding a few accent pillows or for a bolder statement, consider some patterned wallpaper.

  2. Concrete Ideas - This versatile material is becoming increasingly popular for sinks but can also be used in more unique ways such as furnishings, wallcoverings and tile.

  3. Sleep Easy - Embrace minimalist bedrooms this year with soothing neutrals and plain furniture pieces. Keeping the space simple will help you enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

  4. Full House - Multigenerational living is a major home design trend for 2018. Additional kitchens, basement renovations, and seperate entrances are just some of the ways homes are reflecting this trend.

  5. The Heart of the Home - Homeowners are injecting warmer, brighter tones on their kitchen walls and cabinets. Sinks made with materials like stone, copper, concrete or granite will also steal the spotlight in 2018.

If you're thinking about breathing some new life into your home with a new year’s makeover, be sure to take the latest trends into account during the planning stage. Hopefully these ideas have given you inspiration to inject some new style into your home!

Smoke Alarm Smarts 
Smoke detectors are important but they’re often overlooked.

Countless tragedies are prevented each year by smoke detectors. Here are a few tips to ensure your smoke detectors are in full working order:

  1. Test each alarm regularly by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.

  2. Blow the dust out of the alarm whenever you check or change the batteries.

  3. Don't "borrow" the batteries for the TV remote as you'll likely forget to replace them.

  4. Smoke alarms should be replaced at least every ten years to ensure proper working order.

  5. Don't install alarms near windows or doors as drafts could stop smoke from reaching the alarm system.

  6. There should be at least one alarm installed on each floor including the basement and preferably every bedroom.

Alarms can be hard wired, battery powered or preferably a combination of both. Interconnected smoke alarms are best because when one alarm goes off, they all do. If you have any questions, your local fire department will be more than happy to help.

Educate and Donate 
Smarten up and end hunger, a few grains of rice at a time!

Next time your kids are on their devices, send them over to www.FreeRice.com where they can learn and donate at the same time!

Users answer multiple choice questions on a range of subjects including math, language, geography and science.  When a question is answered correctly, 10 grains of rice are donated via the World Food Program.

These questions aren’t just for kids; in fact, anyone can benefit from this game as you can adjust the difficulty level. The vocabulary section will definitely give you some mental stimulation so it’s a win-win!

PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes?  Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home.

                                  The referral of your friends and family
                              is the greatest compliment you can give me.
                 Feel free to pass this newsletter on to your Family and Friends. 

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.