Itis interesting to note that Maclean's Magazine has once again listest Halton Region as one of the safest places to live in Canada.
While it is true that crime rates are often a result of social and economic factors beyond the control of the authorities; I believe that the Halton Regional Police Service should be celebrated for doing a great job!
Just look at how the crime figures have dramatically decreased over the past 5-7 years; a clear sign that programs put in place to deter crime are working...
This also maybe a sign that the parents in Halton Region are doing a great job! Most parents in Halton are raising good children, that are becoming great adults, and honourable law-abiding citizens.
GO Transit announced yesterday that rail service will be expanding to the Kitchener-Waterllo market, with added stops in Acton and Guelph (extending the Georgetown line). This move helps to connect Halton Hills residents to other employment markets, and surely helps to make Georgetown and Acton an even better place to live!
The following press release was published:
GO Transit is expanding train service to Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Acton
TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2010 /CNW/ - GO Transit will be expanding rail service on the Georgetown line to Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Acton, with service scheduled to begin by the end of 2011.
"We are pleased to be offering GO train service to Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Acton," said GO Transit President Gary McNeil. "In partnership with the Province of Ontario and these regional municipalities, we can encourage existing commuters to leave their cars behind and use transit. This is also good news for existing Georgetown and Brampton customers who will have improved service as a result of this expansion."
To begin offering train service by the end of next year, GO will be constructing new infrastructure - a storage facility in Kitchener and ticketing service at new stations in Acton, Guelph and Kitchener, as well as bringing an additional 54 new route-kilometres into to the system. This infrastructure will support two morning and two evening trains.
"This $18 million investment in expanded transit will ensure that the residents of Guelph, Acton, Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas have more transit options when they travel between these communities or into the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)," said Metrolinx President and CEO Bruce McCuaig. "We appreciate the continued support from the Province of Ontario to deliver Metrolinx's important mandate to provide transit solutions."
An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the expansion of train service from Georgetown to Kitchener-Waterloo was completed in 2009 and approved by the Minister of the Environment in January 2010.
GO Transit is the Province of Ontario's regional public transit service linking Toronto with the surrounding regions of the GTHA. GO carries over 55 million passengers a year in an extensive network of train and bus services that spans over 10,000 square kilometres. GO Transit is a division of Metrolinx, the regional transportation authority for the GTHA.
Distress Sales resulting from Power of Sales or Foreclosures often present a great opportunity to get a fantastic deal on a home. However, it's not so simple to find these deals, because they are usually not advertised in the paper and will often sell fairly quickly.
To remedy this situation, I am offering a new FREE s...ervice which will provide you with the most up-to-date list of Power of Sale/Foreclosure listings in the price range and area that interests you.
Simply follow this link to a new section of my website... The information comes with no obligation, just keep me in mind for all your real estate needs.
There seems to be a lot of specualtion about interest rates and where they are going over the last few weeks... If you are currently on a variable rate mortgage, I would strongly consider calling your mortgage advisor and asking them about their opinion on locking-in today!
Rates seem to be going as low as 3.69% for a 5-Year FIXED rate mortgage... Which means no worrying about your rate (or what your mortgage payment will be) for 5 years!
Nonpartisan public policy think tank organization J.D.Howe Institute issued a press release this week from their Monetary Policy Council.
The policy group is largely made up of economist academics and bankers; who all recommended that interest rates should start to rise sharply, starting in July of this year. Where the rate will end up is up to the Federal Government and the Bank of Canada, but if the council has it's way, we will see an increase of 50 basis points in July (from .25% to .75%), and further increases every few months until mid-2011, to a target rate of 2%.
Once again, if you are interested in buying a home this year - I advise you to strongly consider buying before July! Avoid the increased closing costs that will come with the HST implemenation, and avoid the risk of increased interest rates (which are almost certainly coming as well).
"We're taking proactive, prudent, measured, and cautious steps today - to help prevent a housing bubble"; these were the words spoken by Jim Flaherty, Canadian Finance Minister on February - words many expected to hear (including this very BLOG at the end of 2009). The steps however were less far-reaching than many anticipated.
The goals of the Finance Minister were to help cool down the rapidly rising housing prices across the country, and to help prevent the subprime crash our American neighbours experienced in 2008. Following the minister's comments, the banks weighed in - and in interviews given by Patricia Croft, RBC Chief Economist, and Derek Holt, VP Economics at Scotia Capital, both seemed to agree that the government's move was a good one (although Ms.Croft believed it came about 6 months too late). While sceptics (and many pure capitalists) argued that the government should leave the business of policy setting to the private industry; Derek Dunphy REALTOR from Johnson Associates Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage believes that the government should play a role in ensuring that Canadians can obtain affordable home ownership.
So, what were the steps taken? In broad terms, the steps were all subtle changes to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) policies:
1. Mortgage applicants will minimally need to qualify for a five-year fixed rate mortgage (even if they end up choosing a lower term or variable rate mortgage).
2. When refinancing a mortgage, the amount Canadians can withdraw from the equity of their home has been lowered to 90% (from the current rate of 95%).
3. A 20% down payment will be required for non-owner-occupied properties. Meaning investors will not qualify for high-ratio mortgages.
The immediate impact will be felt by many first-time buyers who will need an estimated $9200 more a year in income to qualify for an average priced house in the Greater Toronto Area (based on a house costing $337,000).
These changes come into effect April 19, 2010 - and that will likely cause some short term stimulation to sales, perhaps causing buyers that were planning late spring and summer purchases to act sooner.
Does your REALTOR understand the evolving market? If you are planning on buying or selling real estate, call Derek Dunphy, Salesperson with Johnson Associates Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage at (905)877-8233, or email Derek@CallDerek.ca.
The real estate market, as expected and predicted right here on this BLOG is really starting to heat-up!
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, whose SRATUS MLS system covers the entire Greater Toronto Area, recording a strong sales month in January. The statistics can be seen by visiting the CallDerek.ca website. http://CallDerek.ca
It's worth noting that the Johnson Associates Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage office recorded January sales that were roughly double January of last year. Once again outperforming all other offices in Georgetown Ontario.
To sell your home quickly and profitably contact Derek Dunphy, Sales Reprentative at Johnson Associates Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage. Email: Derek@CallDerek.ca
It seems that most Ontarians aren’t too concerned about the implementation of HST in Ontario this coming summer (the new tax goes into effect July 1st, 2010). On the surface it really doesn’t seem to be too impactful; we go from paying 5% GST and 8% PST, to paying 13% HST.
Perhaps the only people that should be concerned are some bureaucrats that collect taxes – it seems like we can now eliminate one of the old GST or PST collection offices. There is certainly going to be some efficiency realized through the harmonization, but there will undoubtedly also be some cash-flow negative results for Ontarians too.
HST now applies to areas that were previously PST exempt, which will now, among other things, increase the amount it costs to buy a home. Some fees which were previously PST exempt for home buyers include:
o Legal Fees
o Mortgage Insurance Premiums
o Home Inspection Fees
o Real Estate Fees
o Moving Fees
o Title Insurance
What does this all mean to the average home buyer? A report by the Ontario Real Estate Association has estimated that someone buying a home for $360,000, will now pay an extra $1749 to $2325 (the variance comes from the variance in professional fees in the marketplace).
It remains to be seen if the effects of the HST will make a significant impact on home sales, but my feeling is that it will. The effect of the HST, coupled with changes proposed in CDN mortgages (see my blog from a couple weeks back), will almost certainly slow the real estate market down – in particular for first time home buyers.
It has been said that there are only two things certain in life: Death and Taxes. Well, this tax will not be the death of us, but it will slow us down a bit. My advice to you, if you are planning to buy a home this year: Buy soon and complete the purchase before July 1st. By buying this spring you will not only save on the increased HST fees, but you will lower your risk of getting a higher interest rate on your mortgage (rates seem to have nowhere to go buy up).
If you are thinking about buying or selling your home, call Derek Dunphy, Sales Representative at Johnson Associates Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage. Phone (905)877-5165, email Derek@CallDerek.ca, or contact through the website: http://CallDerek.ca.
Well 2009 is now behind us - and it is certainly worth noting that December of 09 was a great month for real estate!
The Market Watch Report (which is available each month on my website, in the "Latest Market Statistics" section) shows that December sales were resilient...
In our office here in Georgetown, sales were more than "resilient" - they were stellar. December transactions and sales were up almost 300% over last year - we set a record in our brokerage for December sales.
The first half of 2010 also promises to be busy (according to most economists' predictions). With HST being implemented in Ontario starting July 1, 2010, and interest rates almost certainly set to increase around the same time (according to the Bank of Canada); there are a lot of folks looking to buy before buying a house gets a lot more expensive!
Thinking about moving? Call me, I can help.
REALTOR, Sales Representative
Johnson Associates Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage
Market Watch Report can be viewed at: http://www.callderek.ca/pdfMarketWatch/2009_12.pdf
I can hear my visitors asking... "OK Derek, I ready to start shopping for a house, but don't you have a convenient form that will help me take notes about each house?"
The answer of course is YES I DO! Just look in the Buyers' Section of my website.