Friday, June 28, 2013

Free USA investment seminar

There is a free financing properties in the USA seminar coming to Ottawa in July. Please check out the this link for details - - It focusses predominantly on Arizona, but has connections in other states as well.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Scotia report counters '30% overvalued' concerns

Flat but levelled – that is how Scotiabank is describing the first quarter of home prices in 2013.

The bank released its new Global Real Estate Trends report just days after the OECD ranked Canada as the third most overvalued market in the world. Scotia's analysis is relatively cheery by comparison.
Its report argues that Canadian house prices have "levelled out alongside the return of balanced market conditions," with inflation-adjusted prices remaining unchanged compared to the same quarter last year.

“Housing demand remains healthy, but has cooled amid tougher mortgage financing rules and slowing employment and income growth,” says report author Adrienne Warren. However, she warned that there is a further downside risk to sales and prices as this market adjustment continues.

Focusing on the Toronto market, the report says that it is correcting in the wake of affordability pressures, inventory build, changes to mortgage insurance rules and more cautious lending policies.

“Sales and construction have already shifted notably lower, and prices are beginning to level out. We expect this adjustment process to continue into mid-decade, with downside risk to prices, particularly in the condominium market where supply additions are expected to outpace underlying demand.”
The rebalancing of the Toronto market will be manageable if new construction slows and population in the GTA continues to grow.

“Low interest rates combined with an easing in prices should maintain overall affordability, though land constraints will continue to pressure the low-rise segment,” noted Warren.

Written by  Grainne Burns

$25m shot in the arm for Vancouver market

Confidence in Vancouver’s high end property market has been given a timely boost following the sale of an exclusive condo for a cool $25 million.

While still $3 million below the listed price, its secretive owners made a handsome $7.5 million profit within two and a half years.

The 6,434-square-feet condo was reportedly assessed last year for $16.9 million and before its sale was the most expensive MLS-listed condo in Vancouver, and one the highest priced in Canada.
The second most expensive condo in Vancouver is listed at $21 million in the same building. Over 20 condos in the $5 million region have sold in Vancouver since 2011, according to local real estate reports.

The record price for a nationwide condo sale is a 9,000 square feet Toronto property that sold for $28 million in 2011. Big price-tag sales in other parts of the country may be rare, but not uncommon, as witnessed by the sale of a 5,260 square feet condo in Calgary last year for $8.3 million.
The recent sell in Vancouver, managed by listing agent Malcom Hasman, has 14 rooms and takes up two levels at the top of the 45-storey luxury Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel and residential complex. The penthouse will cost the unidentified owners $68,000 a year in taxes and $4,200 a month in condo fees.

The sale is a shot in the arm for the troubled luxury real estate market on B.C.’s Lower Mainland. Still those homes are sitting on the market longer and prices, generally, have slipped from the record highs of 2012.

Written by  Grainne Burns$25m-vancouver-market

Keep calm and condo on, say investment experts

Written by  Grainne Burns

Mainstream media and critics may be reading last rites for the Canadian condominium market, but developers and buyers are showing that there is still a lot of life left in the sector.

The May statistics from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp show housing starts climbed to 200,178 in May, with a majority of this fuelled by condominium builds in urban cities.

Canada’s impending housing collapse not in sight

By Gordon Isfeld, Financial Post

The Canadian Real Estate Association, in a report Monday, also said home prices were up 3.7% in May from the same month a year earlier, to a national average of $388,910.

Read more:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Western Wing of LRT

Plans are moving forward for the Western wing of the LRT

How did we get here?

Delivering transit from Lincoln Fields to the Transitway trench has never been resolved and has relied on using the NCC’s Sir John A MacDonald Parkway for decades.

In 2012 we presented a series of options and we heard from residents that the they did not want rail on the Parkway or the Byron Linear Park.

On April 25th, 2013 we presented the City’s preferred solution and heard your feedback. We value this feedback and it has guided the changes we are announcing today.

What we heard
On April 25th, we had a 5 hour open house where we heard loud and clear many residents’ top concerns about the line:
• We are going to see trains running through our backyards
• We will be able to see Cleary Station and it will be very noisy
• We are going to lose our pathways along the Parkway
• There will now be further restrictions to access the Parkway
• There will be significant tree loss around Dominion Station
• I won’t use light rail, it is only a rapid line is for Kanata and not local residents

How we’ve responded
Working with City staff and our consultants over the last eight weeks, we’ve addressed these issues head-on with a series of changes to the design of the line:
• Residents will not be able to see any light rail vehicles from their homes as they will be buried and covered over, blending into the existing landscape
• Cleary Station will be covered with a green roof
• Cleary Station will be a gateway for pedestrians to access the network of pathways on both sides of the Parkway via a new grade separated crossing
• All pathways will be maintained and improved
• The light rail line will be extended underground for another 700 metres, eliminating the noise and visual intrusion of the train while improving the landscape and access to the adjacent Parkway lands
• Dominion station will be relocated over the existing trench and will be upgraded to a full station, improving access for Westboro, Westboro Beach and Richmond Road businesses
• The new station at Cleary gives 2900 residents in McKellar Park and Westboro with direct and under 10 minute rail service to downtown within a 5-10 minute walk of their home

What’s in it for you and your neighbours?
• New access to the rapid transit network, providing a new station at Cleary for McKellar Park and a much improved station at Dominion for Westboro, Westboro Beach and Richmond Road
• Underground service through residential areas, eliminating noise and visual pollution issues, as well as improving landscaping and maintaining river views for all
• New safer grade separated access to the pathways on both sides of the Parkway at new gateways at Dominion and Cleary stations

Where do we go from here?
On Monday, June 17th from 3 to 8 PM we will be holding a drop-in open house at City Hall where you can have a face to face conversation with myself, other Councillors and City staff about any issue related to the Western LRT extension. I hope to see you there.

On July 10, Transportation Committee will vote on the improved design and this public forum will allow you to let the committee members know your views on this new plan.

The City’s Western LRT website has more information.

I look forward to hearing from you as we move forward with this process and continue to improve the plan for our LRT in Kitchissippi communities.

Katherine Hobbs

Please click here for details

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Top-10 USA housing market Startling Changes of 2012/2013

1) Prices of “A” location lots in several markets are back to PEAK pricing

2) Some submarkets in Atlanta have gone from 220 months of lot supply (“VDL”) to near equilibrium levels, and are now headed to shortage

3) Builders are deliberately slowing sales by raising prices, in popular neighborhoods

4) Buyers are voting with their pocketbooks that 15%-20% price increases are ok (in select submarkets)

5) The expected down-sizing of homes by builders has (at least for now) gone the other way

6) Mortgage rates finally edged up

7) More than 50% of buyers in many Irvine-area projects buy with cash

8) A dozen new condo towers are being developed in Miami

9) Buyers camped out overnight at two projects in Florida to be the first in line to reserve pre-construction homes…and that was a year ago

10) Phoenix. Just, Phoenix. ‘Nuff said.

and… (Yes, my Top 10 List goes to 11)

11) Las Vegas finished-vacant single-family home supply is down to 2 months!

  Posted in National Housing Market
Posted on 06-03-2013
Written by Brad Hunter

Friday, June 7, 2013

Canada stuns with biggest job gains in 11 years - REUTERS

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's economy created a surprising 95,000 jobs in May, the biggest monthly gain in 11 years, and most were full-time positions and in the private sector, Statistics Canada said on Friday in a report showing the economy may be gaining momentum.

The stellar performance handily beat market expectations for a 15,000 gain and came after just 12,500 jobs were generated in April.

The May data brings the average monthly employment growth to 19,000 over the past six months, considered a more accurate reading because of the volatility of the labor force survey data. The jobs gain is well above the margin of error.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 7.1 percent in May from 7.2 percent.

The Canadian dollar jumped to its strongest level against the U.S. dollar since mid-May immediately after the data. The currency was trading at C$1.0186 to the greenback, or 98.17 U.S. cents, compared with C$1.0250 just before the jobs report and C$1.0260 at Thursday's North American close.

"Suffice to say, this comes as a surprise. I think that's probably one of the understatements of the year. This is one of the largest monthly increases in employment on record," said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

"It really does change the picture for the job market. Instead of being mired in a prolonged period of weakness, it looks like the underlying trend in employment is still chugging along quite nicely," he said.

The report also comes as good news for the Conservative government, which is reeling from an expenses scandal but has tried to brand itself as a strong steward of the economy and public finances.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty signaled late Thursday that he would be commenting on the jobs data later on Friday.

Some 76,700 full-time positions were added in the month and 94,600 jobs were in the private sector, Statscan said.

The construction sector did the most hiring, adding 42,700 jobs in May, followed by trade, "other services" and business, building and other support services. Sectors showing losses included manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical services.

Employment in recent months has been largely in line with tepid economic growth. But after a sluggish second half of 2012, rising exports helped revive growth in the first quarter to an annualized rate of 2.5 percent, the fastest in six quarters.

The Bank of Canada, which is expected to hold its key rate at 1 percent until late 2014, has forecast 1.8 percent growth in the second quarter and 1.5 percent growth in 2013 as a whole.

The employment statistics are based on a sample survey of representative households and are considered accurate only to within plus or minus 57,400, 19 times out of 20.

In a separate report, Statscan said the labor productivity of Canadian businesses increased 0.2 percent in the first quarter, in line with expectations.

It was the second straight quarter of weak growth following three quarters of declines.

Canada has generally fallen behind the United States on productivity measures and in the first quarter that was the case, with U.S. labor productivity growing 0.5 percent.

Canadian business output expanded 0.7 percent in the first quarter while hours worked rose at a slower 0.5 percent pace.

Labor unit costs in Canada declined 1.8 percent when measured in U.S. dollars compared with a 1.3 percent decline for American businesses.

(Additional reporting by Alex Paterson and Solarina Ho; Editing by James Dalgleish)


Enjoying the process ...

I have recently purchased real estate with the assistance of Greg Blok of Bennett Property Shop Realty. Greg’s professionalism allowed me to actually enjoy this process. His advice & expertise were invaluable in my decision making process. I would strongly recommend to anyone thinking of purchasing real estate in Ottawa to consult with Greg first.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ottawa among affordable centres

Ottawa Citizen May 23, 2013 Comment 0 OTTAWA — As any real estate ad watcher will know, Ottawa homes tend to be more affordable than homes in many other Canadian centres.

An RBC analysis offers confirmation. It pegs the affordability of a detached Ottawa bungalow at 39.1, representing the proportion of pre-tax household income required to cover home ownership costs. That compares with 82.3 in Vancouver, 53.8 in Toronto and 40.1 in Montreal. The national average is 42.5.

For two-storey homes, Ottawa’s score is 41, or less than half of Vancouver’s 87.2, and well below the national average of 48.

And for condominiums, Ottawa’s score of 27.2 again trails Vancouver (41.6) and Toronto (33.5), though it’s well above Edmonton’s 18.6. The national average for condos is 28.1.

RBC said the Ottawa measures were little changed from an analysis in late 2012.

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