Real Estate News from Thom Gallagher March 2011   

Searching for your dream home's supposed to be fun but it's an emotional process that can sometimes become overwhelming.  Our first article offers some great advice on how to prepare for your house hunting adventure.

We also discuss a few common grammatical errors that catch even the brightest of people off guard as well as some simple tips on how to increase your dishwasher's performance.

Thanks for checking out our newsletter.  Let us know if you have any comments regarding the articles or real estate in general.  Your feedback's always greatly appreciated!


In this issue...
Canadian Resale Housing Market Shows Further Improvement in January 
National resale housing activity climbed further in January 2011, according to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Seasonally adjusted national home sales activity rose 4.5% in January 2011 compared to the previous month, reaching the highest level since April 2010.  Led by Vancouver and Toronto, seasonally adjusted sales activity posted monthly gains in more than half of all local Canadian markets in January.  National sales activity has improved steadily since last summer, and now stands almost 25% above the low point reached in July 2010.
We anticipated the recent announcement of tighter mortgage regulations, which will come into effect this March, would pull forward sales activity into the first quarter of 2011, particularly in some of Canada’s more expensive housing markets,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist.  “The sharp rise in sales activity in Toronto following the announcement provides early evidence confirming this,” said Klump.
It will take some time before the longer term impact of the latest mortgage regulations on the housing market can be known,” said Georges Pahud, CREA’s President.  “For that reason, further action shouldn’t be taken until the impact can be measured.  In the meantime, if last year can be used as any guide, sales activity may heat up further as we get closer to the date on which tighter mortgage regulations come into effect, especially in some of Canada’s pricier markets.  That said, local housing market trends often diverge from national trends so buyers and sellers should consult their local REALTOR® to understand how the market is shaping up where they live.”
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) national sales activity via the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) Systems of Canadian real estate Boards came in 6.6% below levels in January 2010.  This was the smallest year-over-year decline since May 2010.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) new listings on Canadian MLS® Systems normally post their biggest month-over-month increase in January.  January 2011 was no exception, marking the first time since 2007 that new listings more than doubled in January compared to the previous month.  As a result, seasonally adjusted new listings rose 3.9% from December levels, the largest monthly gain since March 2010.
Sales activity has been on the rise and prices have been stable since last autumn, so CREA had been expecting potential sellers who shied away from the market last summer to begin listing their properties in early 2011.  Because sales activity and new supply rose in tandem in January, the national resale housing market remained balanced.  The national sales-to-new listings ratio, a measure of market balance, stood at 55.7% in January 2011 which is little changed from the previous two months.  Just over half of local markets in Canada were in balanced market territory in January.
The number of months of inventory represents the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity and is another measure of the balance between housing supply and demand.  The seasonally adjusted number of months of inventory stood at 5.5 months at the end of January on a national basis.  This is the lowest level since last March.
About two-thirds of local markets recorded year-over-year gains in average price in January 2011.  The national average price for homes sold in January 2011 was $343,675.  While this is little changed compared to the previous three months, it represents an increase of 4.5% compared to January 2010.
Much of the year-over-year gain in January 2011 resulted from a jump in the number of multi-million dollar home sales in  a couple of areas in Greater Vancouver, the effects of which were amplified at the local, provincial and national levels by the fact that actual monthly volumes for sales activity are low in January compared to other months.

Finding Your Dream Home, the Easy Way 
House hunting is an exciting adventure but if you’re not properly prepared, it can become very aggravating.  Here are some things to consider before you start your search:

  1. Finance Forward - Get pre-qualified so you’re able to determine how much you can afford.  Figure out how much you’ll need for expenses such as legal fees and taxes.

  2. Know Your Needs - Make a list of the features your new home must have.  Think about how long you plan on living in the home and whether or not it has to be in move-in condition.

  3. Location, Location, Location - Determine whether the location of your home's more important than the home itself.  Investigate different areas to determine what amenities are available as well as the location of schools.

  4. The Bold & the Beautiful - Don’t be put off by the orange shag carpet or floral wallpaper.  On the other hand, don’t be wowed by their amazing furniture.  The key is to visualize the home with your own tastes.

  5. Old vs. New - Older homes have lots of character and enjoy prime locations but they're less efficient and require more maintenance.  Newer homes on the other hand are designed with functionality in mind but they’re often located in unestablished areas with ongoing construction.

  6. Get out There! - Get acquainted with the market by viewing listings that match your criteria.  Being familiar with a variety of different homes in different areas means you’ll be able to act quickly and with confidence when your dream home finally comes along.

House hunting can be a daunting task if you're not properly prepared.  To make things easier, let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll arrange to have listings which match your criteria automatically sent to you as soon as they hit the market!  You won't have to worry about missing out on the perfect home.  Just sit back, relax and enjoy the process!

Grammar 101 -- How to Spell Them Words Write 
People are more likely to text, email or message you than they are to pick up a phone.  As a result, grammatical errors run rampant.  Spell checkers are great but they don’t usually tell us if we're using the correct word.  Here are few common errors to be aware of:

  1. It's vs. Its - It's is the contraction of "it is" (ie. “It’s such a nice day”).  Its is the possessive form of it (ie. “Everything in its place”).

  2. You're vs. Your - You're is the contraction of "you are" (ie. “You’re such a lucky person”).  Your is a possessive pronoun (ie. “That’s your bus”).

  3. Compliment vs. Complement - You’ll compliment your friend’s new home if you like it.  If you like the way her drapes match the carpet, you'll tell her they complement each other perfectly.

Grammatical errors happen to the best of us.  Its impotent to get this stuff write cause if you donut, your gonna look re-diculous.  Stay tuned for more grammatical tips next month.  In the meantime, you can always check out if you're ever in doubt.

* yes, I know I spelt some of them words wrong -- it was unpurposeful :)

Washing the Dishwasher 
Despite the fact they're continuously in cleaning mode, dishwashers get extremely dirty.  Here are some easy tips that'll help keep your dishwasher in tip-top shape:

  • Clean the filter each month to get rid of caked on food and other debris.

  • Run the kitchen tap until the water’s hot just before putting the dishwasher on.

  • Run a cup of vinegar through your dishwasher to clean things up.  It's inexpensive and biodegradable.

Your dishwasher needs to be properly taken care of in order for it to perform at its best.  If you follow these tips, your dishwasher will last longer and your dishes will sparkle!

PS Let me help you, or someone you know, achieve your residential or investment real estate goals. You bring the vision and I help you get it done. Call me today at (416)524-6530 to discuss your plans or visit my web site to start your search. I look forward to wowing you with top notch service. 

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.