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We would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to all our clients that were able to make it to the Johnson Team’s Client Appreciation Event! As well to all that contributed to the Food Drive.
We had such a great turn out and we hope you all had a great time and enjoyed The Trolls Movie. Congratulations to all the winners that won the gift cards and the gift basket! Thank you to The Basket Company who donated the beautiful gift basket.
If you're planning a renovation, you’ll want to make sure to prepare in advance as it’ll likely get a bit messy and chaotic. This month’s article offers some advice on how to plan your renovation so that things will go as smoothly as possible.
There are also some strategies on how to protect your home against carbon monoxide as well as a few tips to help you keep your 2017 New Year’s resolutions.
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!
Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 113,133 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System – up by 11.8 per cent compared to 2015.
The calendar year 2016 result included 5,338 sales in December – an annual increase of 8.6 per cent.
The strongest annual rate of sales growth in 2016 was experienced for condominium apartments followed by detached homes.
“A relatively strong regional economy, low unemployment and very low borrowing costs kept the demand for ownership housing strong in the GTA, as the region’s population continued to grow in 2016,” said Mr. Cerqua.
“It is important to point out that the strong demand that we experienced in 2016 was very much domestic in nature. TREB recently commissioned Ipsos to survey its Members with regard to the level and type of foreign buying activity within the Greater Toronto Area. The results of the Ipsos survey suggest that the level of foreign buying activity is low in the GTA. Only an estimated 4.9 per cent of GTA transactions, in which TREB Members acted on behalf of a buyer, involved a foreign purchaser. In the City of Toronto, the share of foreign buyers was five per cent,” continued Mr. Cerqua.
The methodology of the Ipsos research involved an online survey of the TREB Membership hosted on the Ipsos platform. A total of 3,518 surveys were completed between October 6 and October 21, 2016. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points 19 times out of 20. TREB will be releasing the full results of the Ipsos survey dealing with foreign buyers on January 31, 2017, in conjunction with its Market Year in Review and Outlook Report and related media event.
The annual rate of growth for the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in the TREB market area accelerated throughout 2016 – from 10.7 per cent in January 2016 to 21 per cent in December 2016. The overall average selling price for calendar year 2016 was $729,922 – up 17.3 per cent compared to 2015. The pace of the annual rate of growth for the average selling price also picked up throughout the year, including a climb of 20 per cent in December.
“Price growth accelerated throughout 2016 as the supply of listings remained very constrained. Active listings at the end of December were at their lowest point in a decade-and-a-half. Total new listings for 2016 were down by almost four per cent. In 2016, we saw policy changes and policy debates pointed at the demand side of the market. If we want to see a sustained moderation in the pace of price growth, what we really need is more policy focus on issues impacting the lack of homes available for sale,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
With continued strong rates of price growth, housing affordability is a growing concern. Unfortunately, the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee is considering an increase to the Land Transfer Tax that could see buyers of average-priced homes pay another $750 to the City, which would represent a seven per cent increase to the $11,000 that they already pay City Hall as an upfront Land Transfer Tax closing cost. This would be on top of the $12,000 that is also paid to the province. First-time buyers could end up paying $475 more, or, at best, be no better off, even though the province recently doubled their first time buyer LTT rebate.
“The last thing people need is to dish out another $750, on top of the $11,000 that they already pay City Hall. The City should be looking for ways to make housing affordability better, not worse, especially for first-time buyers who could go backwards, or at best, be no better off,” said Mr. Cerqua. “The Budget Committee should stop this proposal in its tracks and instead enhance the rebate for first-time buyers.”
A FEW WAYS TO HELP TORONTO'S HOMELESS
Homeless shelters are always in need of help during the winter.
There are over 50 organizations dedicated to helping men, women and youth. Some of the items most needed around this time of year are winter coats, socks, gloves, warm hats and hygiene items such as toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant.
The website also lists the various volunteer opportunities that are available should you wish to roll up your sleeves and help out at a shelter in person. Whatever route you decide on, it's important to remember that every little bit counts!
SURVIVING THE STRESS OF A HOME RENOVATION
A bit of planning in advance will help keep you sane during a renovation.
If you're thinking about renovating your home, you’ll want to try and consider every little detail in advance.
Careful planning will not only allow you to hold onto your sanity during the upheaval but will also ensure you get the best bang for your buck! Here are a few things to keep in mind:
No Surprises - Make sure you agree (in writing) on a completion date but keep in mind that renovations can sometimes be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.
Be Flexible - Accept from the start that you’ll be dealing with a lack of privacy along with dust, noise, mess and disorganization but remember that it’ll all be worth it in the end.
Kidding Around - Set aside some toys/games for the kids and schedule some playdates and local outings so you can escape the construction zone chaos.
Plan Ahead - Pre-prep some freezer meals for quick and easy dinners. Also, take this opportunity to donate unwanted items to charity so your newly renovated home won’t be full of clutter.
Stay in the Loop - Misunderstandings between contractors (and spouses!) are one of the biggest causes of stress during a renovation. Open communication is essential so schedule regular progress reports.
Watching your home transform into something new is a very exciting experience but it’s also a major inconvenience. The secret to making sure everything goes smoothly is to remain calm throughout the process and plan ahead for surprises. If you keep that in mind, your dream home will be a reality before you know it!
AVOIDING THE DANGERS OF CARBON MONOXIDE
This odorless gas can poison or even kill with little or no warning.
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a serious threat that affects families every day. Lower gas levels can cause headaches, fatigue and nausea while higher levels can be fatal.
Ensure exhaust gases are properly vented from the central home heating unit. It’s also important to have your furnace, chimney and vents regularly inspected by a trained professional.
You should also install a CO detector on each floor of your home. There are a variety of units available but it’s important to remember that a detector doesn't replace the need to maintain your furnace.
Most cities offer environmental services that measure indoor air quality. Prevention is key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning as this silent killer is difficult to detect so make sure your home’s properly protected.
THE TRICK TO KEEPING YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
It’s important to have realistic goals as well as a flexible attitude.
The new year inspires us to start fresh but the possibility of failure sometimes stops us from even getting started.
There are a variety of smartphone apps to help you track your goals whether they be to quit smoking, build volunteer hours or lose weight. Stride for iPhone and Resolutions for Android are both very popular options.
New Year’s resolutions don’t need to be set in stone so try to be strong yet flexible. If you start realizing your goals aren't achievable, take a few moments to modify them. Our lives are constantly changing so it’s important that our goals change as well.
Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let us do the work for you! Just visit The Johnson Team 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.