Oof. Houses that smell or look like pets have lived in them are just harder to sell.


Here’s how to de-dog your house before putting it on the market — and how to keep it that way while you sell.


1. Steam clean everything fabric


“Job number one is to take care of [the soft surfaces in your house],” says Melissa Maker, star of an eponymous YouTube channel and owner of a Toronto cleaning service. “They hold odors and hair like nothing else.”

This includes carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and even the drapes, she says. Pets rub against drapes, getting oils, odors, and fur on the fabric. Send curtains out for a professional cleaning.


2. Groom your pet


Get your pet groomed by a pro before you list your house. You can do it yourself, but a pro can get more hair and dander off than you can — plus, all that gunk is better off in the groomer’s drain than yours.

Brush your furry friend regularly (outside, preferably) while your house is on the market. Any hair you get off on a brush is hair that won’t end up on your sofa or in your rugs.


3. Clean tile-floor grout


Tile resists dog stains, but grout is porous and sucks them up like a sponge. “I had a cat who had an accident on a tile floor, and the pee seeped into the grout,” Maker says. Steam clean grout to lift old smells and stains. If your grout is really cruddy, hire a pro to chip out the old grout and put in new — or DIY it if you have the skills.


4. Get an air purifier tower


To you, it smells like home. But your HVAC has been circulating the same hair and dander again and again (especially in hot and cold weather when the windows are closed).

Add an air purifier tower with a HEPA filter; it pulls hair and dander out of the air before they even reach your HVAC.

Most air ducts don’t need to be cleaned, especially if you change filters regularly. But if dander and fur seem to be taking over, hire a duct-cleaning company before putting your home on the market.


5. Use enzymatic cleaners


They’re the special forces of odor busters. Enzymatic cleaners are made of beneficial bacteria that eat stains and odors. They’re formulated to stamp out a specific type of stain, so a cleanser that targets urine won’t be the same as one for vomit. “They’re cultivated for a specific mess,” Maker says. Apply them liberally to stains regardless of how old they are, before listing your house.


6. Get rid of scratch marks

Pet toenails leave telltale marks on doors and walls. For walls and doors made of synthetic materials, you’ll just need to paint over the marks. For a wooden door, a wood-filler pen can fill in the scratches. For hardwood floors, rub out small scratches with steel wool or fine sandpaper followed by mineral spirits, wood filler, and polyurethane. For major damage, refinishing the hardwood is a good investment with a stellar 100% ROI.


7. Absorb odours with charcoal

Charcoal pulls moisture and odors out of the air. You can get inconspicuous little bags of it to hang in places your pets love most. Or, just strategically stash some charcoal briquettes around the house.

Just be sure to get the ones that aren’t presoaked with lighter fluid.


8. Spot clean furniture daily


If you’re like many pet owners, trying to keep your dog off the couch completely isn’t worth the effort. Instead, cover your freshly-cleaned furniture with throws or pet covers, and wash them at least once a week. Vacuum rugs and carpets every day. Pet smells sink in fast. For quick hair removal before a showing, wipe down the couch with rubber gloves. The hair comes right off.


9. Get a sniff test

You’ve scrubbed everything, an

d you think your house smells like a dog has never set foot in the door. Get a second opinion as to whether the odors are gone, Maker says. “You may be noseblind. Ask your agent to walk through and give you an honest opinion.”

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News release

October 9, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada


The Government of Canada took immediate action to help Canadian businesses affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, from helping keep employees on the job to increasing cash flow and providing support to help pay rent.

While some parts of our economy are recovering, others continue to struggle with reduced revenues, increased costs, and uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


That is why today the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, announced the government’s intention to introduce new, targeted supports to help hard-hit businesses and other organizations experiencing a drop in revenue. The government plans to introduce legislation to provide support that would help these businesses safely get through the second wave of the virus and the winter, cover costs so they can continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery, including:


  • The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which would provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop, by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. Organizations would be able to make claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ends October 24, 2020.
  • A top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent for organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order issued by a qualifying public health authority, in addition to the 65 per cent subsidy. This follows a commitment in the Speech from the Throne to provide direct financial support to businesses temporarily shut down as a result of a local public health decision.
  • The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021, which would continue to protect jobs by helping businesses keep employees on the payroll and encouraging employers to re-hire their workers. The subsidy would remain at the current subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020. This measure is part of the government’s commitment to create over 1 million jobs and restore employment to the level it was before the pandemic.
  • An expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which would enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans—and that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic—to access an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Half of this additional financing would be forgivable if repaid by December 31, 2022. Additionally, the application deadline for CEBA is being extended to December 31, 2020. Further details, including the launch date and application process, will be announced in the coming days. An attestation of the impact of COVID-19 on the business will be required to access the additional financing.

Quotes

“Canadian businesses and workers have shown tremendous resilience in adapting to the challenges posed by the global pandemic. With the country now in the second wave of this virus, our government knows businesses and workers need continued support.  We were there to help businesses when the COVID-19 pandemic began, and we will continue to give them the support they need. As we get through this difficult situation, we will keep taking action to support our businesses, protect jobs, and keep Canadians safe and healthy.”

- The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance 

“From the very beginning of this pandemic, we spent every single day listening to business owners and responding to their urgent needs. Today’s changes are a direct result of those crucial conversations, and will help even more Canadian business owners, entrepreneurs, and workers across the country. In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to have their backs.”

- The Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Quick facts

  • The government intends to introduce legislation to implement the new rent subsidy and the wage subsidy extension in the near future.

  • Since its launch, over 3.7 million Canadians have had their jobs supported through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, with more than $41 billion paid out in subsidies as of October 4, 2020.

  • Small- and medium-sized businesses are strongly represented in sectors like tourism and transportation, which continue to be significantly affected by the virus and the measures taken to contain it.

  • As of early October, the Government of Canada has delivered over $1.8 billion in rent support, through the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. Rent assistance has helped over 130,000 small businesses, supporting 1.18 million jobs in Canada.

  • The new rent subsidy would pick up where the previous program left off, delivering direct, targeted, and accessible rent support to qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19 without the need to work through their landlords. It would provide a subsidy for eligible fixed property expenses, including rent and interest on commercial mortgages. Program parameters announced today apply until December 19, 2020, with future parameters in 2021 to be adapted and targeted as needed.

  • Launched in April, CEBA provides zero-interest, partially forgivable loans to small businesses that have experienced diminished revenues due to COVID-19 but face ongoing costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and employment costs. By assisting these businesses in covering their costs, CEBA is intended to help them resume normal business operations after COVID-19.

  • The additional CEBA loan would effectively increase CEBA loans to $60,000 from $40,000 for eligible businesses, of which a total of $20,000 would be forgiven if the balance of the loan is repaid before December 31, 2022. An attestation of the impact of COVID-19 on the business will be required to access the additional financing.

  • As of early October, over 765,000 CEBA loans have been approved, representing more than $30 billion.

Associated links

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It goes without saying that spring and summer are excellent times to put your house on the market; the weather is warm and potential home buyers are in the mood to window shop.


That said, there are also some real advantages that come with listing in the fall and winter. People are travelling less. and there’s typically less competition to contend with – among other benefits.


As we embrace the hygge and cooler weather (and brace ourselves for the winter months ahead), let’s consider what the fall and winter markets have to offer. Here are five reasons why you might want to think about selling your home sooner rather than later.


1. The Internet has no seasons



The world wide web has changed the way we shop for homes. During the colder months, people can research and view properties with the click of a button, which means there are potential home buyers actively looking at any time, no matter the season.


2. Curb appeal is a cinch



During spring and summer, buyers are looking for perfectly manicured lawns, flowers and impeccable landscaping, which can cost you a tremendous amount of time and money. By fall, however, most plants are already dormant. All you need to do is rake the leaves or make sure your snow is well shovelled before the open house. Some festive pumpkins or a seasonal, inviting wreath can also work wonders.


3. There's often less competition



Listing your home during a less popular selling season means there will be fewer new properties on the market. Less competition makes the market less crowded, providing you with a great opportunity to really make your home stand out.


4. Buyers are serious



Many buyers will choose to ease into the market in the summer, looking around to see what neighbourhoods, features and amenities will best meet their needs. And, if they haven’t purchased over the summer, by the time fall and winter comes around, the window shoppers often have a clearer idea of what they want.


5. You can enjoy spring and summer in your new home



Nobody wants to spend the warmest months of the year planning for and stressing out over a move. If you put your home on the market in the fall or winter, there’s a better chance you’ll be settled into your new home by the time spring arrives, so you can enjoy a hassle-free summer!


Planning to sell? A REALTOR® can help you get your house market-ready!


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Earlier this year, the City of Winnipeg Comprehensive Housing Assessment Report indicated that approximately 8% of dwellings in Winnipeg are in need of major repair, with the majority concentrated among older housing stock.


So it is a matter of how — not if — the City of Winnipeg is committed to making residential infill a key part of their updated OurWinnipeg and Complete Communities Direction Strategy 2.0 — a citywide secondary plan outlining the City’s 25-year vision for land use and development. In fact, the City is calling for residential infill to make up to 50% of new construction in built-up areas with the other half in new emerging communities or greenfield land.


To this end, a key direction of the new strategy is to accommodate infill development within established neighbourhoods, or what is referred to as “mature communities”. These are communities largely developed prior to the 1950s. They contain over 80,000 single-family detached homes with a median age of 73 years, which require more and more upkeep as they continue to age.  


WinnipegREALTORS® is certainly familiar with older housing stock in need of repair or replacement, having established Housing Opportunity Partnership (HOP) in the late 1990s in response to seeing Winnipeg’s West End easternmost neighbourhoods  (e.g. Spence) suffer a serious decline in the condition of their housing stock and subsequent loss of value of those homes. HOP remains active today building new infill homes on 25-foot lots where older, badly deteriorated homes were demolished.


Thanks to intervention by a number of housing advocate initiatives alongside HOP, these West End neighbourhoods have experienced positive renewal and price appreciation since then, significantly increasing City tax assessment rolls. But more needs to be done. Reinvestment in our City’s housing stock is critical to renewing Winnipeg as it grows to be a City of one million people.


Not only is infill a fiscal sustainability issue — in being more efficient to better utilize and maximize existing infrastructure and support mature neighbourhoods with all of their inherent assets and services (e.g. public transit and local businesses) — it is a matter of necessity given that current new housing starts in emerging communities will not meet the projected 160,000 people and 77,000 new dwellings required over the next 20 years.


It is also worth noting that from 1971 to 2016, mature communities decreased in population by 82,000. A compact urban form is, and will be, necessary to afford to maintain a larger City with all of its infrastructure requirements so it continues to function effectively and sustainably.


You only have to look at what is happening now with many infills being built across the City in established communities to realize there is a strong desire to live in these more centrally located parts of the City. More evidence in this regard comes from the last few months of MLS® sales activity. There has been unprecedented demand for housing on WinnipegREALTORS® MLS® in many Winnipeg established neighbourhoods.


September is not showing any let-up with continued strong demand for resale housing.


As University of Winnipeg geography professor Jino Distasio said recently to the Winnipeg Free Press,  “There’s a clear public interest in adding properties to existing neighbourhoods, since they can use previously built infrastructure and replace aging homes while also help accommodate a growing local population.”


The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has also weighed in on the importance of supporting infill development as a way to grow our City in a more cost efficient manner. The following paragraph is an excerpt from the Chamber’s submission on OurWinnipeg:


“Increasing density and making more efficient use of existing infrastructure and City services is vital to that mission. Not only will it save money (reducing the need for further tax increases), but it will lead to the creation of more dynamic urban neighbourhoods that provide new business opportunities and help attract the young talent we need to grow our economy.”


It’s time to get on with it and set in place the clarity, certainty and predictability a residential infill strategy with clear guidelines can bring for all concerned, especially the residents who live in established neighbourhoods and want to ensure the preservation of the character and local feel and context of the streets they live on.


In the proposed Complete Communities Direction Strategy 2.0, the City of Winnipeg is recommending a residential infill strategy that “will direct the location and design of residential infill development in Mature Communities through the use of planning and design guidelines”.


The Residential Infill Strategy also lists goals that it wishes to achieve. They are:

•          Provide a diversity of housing options for all residents, at all life stages, in all neighbourhoods;

•          Maintain a balanced mix of housing within each neighbourhood;

•          Distribute additional residential density amongst mature neighbourhoods;

•          Contribute to the physical renewal and revitalization of older neighbourhoods;

•          Support transit and maximize walkability;

•          Make more efficient use of existing municipal infrastructure and community facilities;

•          Increase population levels to support retention of neighbourhood schools, commercial areas and main streets (i.e. urban mixed-use corridors);

•          Respect and enhance the character of existing neighbourhoods through compatible development.


It also goes on to state that it may provide additional and more detailed locational criteria than that identified in its by-law to better respond to area-specific planning considerations.


Considerable public engagement has already occurred regarding the development of this strategy, with sessions held to show how different housing options and targeted approaches to developing infill is possible without compromising appropriate and contextual small-scale infill in a mature community.


Newly released this month are the long-awaited infill development guidelines. The Small Scale and Low-Rise Residential Development Guidelines for Mature Communities are available for review at www.winnipeg.ca


Would you like a chance to offer input? There is an online survey to fill out as the City wants to get your feedback on this considerable undertaking. The deadline to participate is October 15. Also, check out opportunities to meet project team members in person at the Cindy Klassen Recreational Complex on Wednesday, September 30. There are also Zoom webinar sessions that you can register for being held on Sunday, October 4 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, October 7 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

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Nothing beats the cool, crisp smell of autumn and all the warmth we're reminded of by those deep earthy flavours and spices. With the season shifting toward fall, here are a few easy ways to bring those fall aromas into your home: 


1. Light Autumn-scented candles


One thing we're sure of is that there's no shortage of fall-scented candles out there. Pick some up now (Bath & Body Works usually has a plethora!), make your own, or spruce up your old vanilla candles with a layer of cinnamon sticks or sprigs of rosemary.


2. Spice up your scouring powder


If you're cleaning the house anyway, why not make it smell extra nice too? Try mixing baking soda with ground dried herbs, spices and essential oils for a natural, antibacterial and sanitizing concoction.


3. Set up a simmer pot


Fill a pot with water, fruit and whole spices. Bring to a boil then simmer on low heat and prepare for a full day of aromatic awesomeness. Be sure to top up the water level while it's simmering. Try these ingredients: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise, halved apples, orange peels, apple juice, vanilla extract, evergreen/pine needles, bay leaves, lavender, mint, essential oils.


4. Bake a pumpkin pie or a pumpkin loaf


Have your pie (or loaf) and eat it too! There's nothing better than filling your home with the smell of warm baked goods fresh out of the oven. And then getting to devour such deliciousness too? Win.


5. Make your own herb and spice fire starters


Get the fire going with an added hint of herbs and spices (as if the smell of burning wood isn't awesome enough). Check out how to make these DIY fire-starters at Hello Natural.


6. Hang cute DIY rosemary wreaths in all the places


What the what? Note to self, sprigs of rosemary make the cutest wreaths and should be hung everywhere you want to catch a refreshing whiff.



7. Cozy up with a warm pumpkin spice latte


I mean, Starbucks is great and all but you kind of have to change out of your PJs, which, on a chilly fall day is pretty much the worst thing ever. Cut the calories and sugar in half by making this equally delicious version at home.


8. Make this pumpkin spice body scrub


Remember cleaning out your pantry during quarantine and finding a bunch of refined sugar you weren't sure when you bought but thought could be useful? Cue this amazing brown sugar body scrub. Mix together brown sugar and coconut oil until crumbly, then add pumpkin spice, extra cinnamon and ground cloves. At the end of your shower, exfoliate with this scrub and rinse off. You won't pick up the spices in the mixture right away but the fragrance in the shower will be phenomenal.


9. Mull over some wine


Just like a simmer pot except consumable and boozy (therefore infinitely better). Get the whole house smelling incredible as you mull your wine in spices and fruit for intense fall flavour.

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There are many great reasons why now is the right time to build a new home in Manitoba.


Mortgages remain very reasonable and carrying a mortgage continues to be easier today than ever before. In fact, it would have cost you more to carry a $200,000 mortgage in 1981 than it does to carry a $500,000 mortgage today! Also, home values in Manitoba continue to increase annually, demonstrating healthy returns on investment in each new built home.


Not only is your new home a sound financial investment, but it is also a lifestyle investment, too. By building a new home in a new neighbourhood, you are choosing new schools and community clubs for your children, new shopping centres and green spaces to explore, and opportunities to meet new people.


With an extremely low inflation rate and Manitoba’s economic diversity and stability, you are better able to financially plan your family’s future. Your investment in a newly built home is secure.


The industry Technical Research Committee consistently rates Manitoba's new homes among the most energy-efficient in Canada. Manitoba’s building practices ensure lower monthly energy bills and less impact on the environment.

Homes built today have 31.3% fewer emissions, requiring less than half the energy of older homes to heat and cool despite larger-sized rooms. Building a new home allows you to install the very best energy-efficient systems during construction. And today’s homes are built to standards that ensure a cleaner, healthier environment for new home buyers and their families. Tougher safety standards and more efficient building products mean better airflow and quality.

One of the key benefits of building a newly built home is that you can choose exactly what you want. With a newly built home, you can have everything just the way you want it. Also, newly built homes do not require the upkeep of older homes. Many are built with low or no-maintenance materials. Less maintenance means more time to enjoy your new home.


New built homes are designed for the way we live today, with open plans and large family rooms, easy flow for entertainment and space to grow.


To find the right builder, you can start by looking at builders registered with the Manitoba Home Builder’s Association (MHBA).


The MHBA is a non-profit trade association whose mandate is to provide its members, the public and all levels of government with ongoing education and information about the housing industry in Manitoba. The MHBA does this by making sure that its members are kept up-to-date on the latest developments in building technology and government regulations, enabling them to provide the public with quality service and construction.


MHBA is comprised of home builders, land developers, renovators, manufacturers, suppliers, designers, architects, engineers, financial institutions, and mortgage companies, lawyers, and public utilities who each contribute to the on-going operation and success of the housing industry in Manitoba.


All builder members of the MHBA must be a member of a third-party home warranty program and are subject to a code of ethics and a code for disciplinary action as established for the industry by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, with which the MHBA is an affiliated member.


The MHBA represents 80 years of professional excellence. Their members adhere to association-set standards, maintaining the highest level of industry knowledge and ensuring a safe job environment for all. Their members take pride in using leading technologies, products and knowledge to ensure your home will be built to meet the highest industry and government standards and legislation and will maintain a higher value over time.


For over 80 years, MHBA members have built a strong reputation as industry professionals who meet the highest standards. Most of its members have been in business 10 years or more, so you can have peace of mind knowing that their proven track records and references mean the promise of reliability. They adhere to the latest safety standards and codes to ensure building and renovating projects are handled properly by reliable industry professionals.


Since MHBA represents only top quality home builders, renovators and industry suppliers, and provides the best in member training, you can take pride knowing the MHBA building professionals working in your home are trustworthy and follow the latest design trends and cutting-edge practices using up-to-date technology. They work with a high degree of skill and professionalism and in accordance to code and within the law so you can rest assured knowing your home was built — or renovated — the right way without cutting any corners.


MHBA seminars, conferences, workshops, and programs, as well as their Master Builder and Master Renovator programs, provide the training and certification to guarantee homeowners a building professional with a fully trained team carrying the highest certifications, licenses, tickets and ultimately the highest standards in all they do.

For more information, visit homebuilders.mb.ca and check out their list of registered home builders and associated members.


— homebuilders.mb.ca

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Canadian housing market expected to remain active for the remainder of 2020 due to pent-up demand and low inventory levels, say RE/MAX brokers and agents

Canadians showing more interest in suburban and rural homes for sale, as work and life dynamics shift 

  • Canadian housing prices anticipated to increase by 4.6% in the third and fourth quarter according to RE/MAX brokers and agents. This is compared to the earlier prediction by RE/MAX brokers and agents of +3.7% at the start of the year.
  • 32% of Canadians no longer want to live in urban centres, opting for rural or suburban communities instead.
  • Canadians are almost equally split in their confidence in Canadian housing market, with 39% as confident as they were before the pandemic, and 37% slightly less confident.

Leading indicators from RE/MAX brokers and agents across the Canadian housing market point to a strong market for the remainder of 2020. According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, RE/MAX brokers suggest that the average residential sale price in Canada could increase by 4.6 per cent during the remainder of the year. This is compared to the 3.7 per cent increase that was predicted in late 2019.


The pandemic has prompted many Canadians to reassess their living situations. According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, 32 per cent of Canadians no longer want to live in large urban centres, and instead would opt for rural or suburban communities. This trend is stronger among Canadians under the age of 55 than those in the 55+ age group.


Not only are Canadians more motivated to leave cities, but changes in work and life dynamics have also shifted their needs and wants for their homes. According to the survey, 44 per cent of Canadians would like a home with more space for personal amenities, such as a pool, balcony or a large yard.


“While COVID-19 lockdowns slowed the Canadian housing market at the start of a typically busy spring market, activity bounced back by early summer in many regions, including Vancouver and Toronto,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Despite the tragic impacts of the pandemic, our optimism in the strength of Canada’s housing market has always remained, and current market activity further exemplifies this. Many homebuyers are now exploring different neighbourhoods that better suit their new lifestyles, and real estate agents are getting busier and working more with buyers from different major cities.  According to our brokers and agents across the RE/MAX network, Canada’s fall market is expected to see spring market-like activity.”

Looking ahead at the Canadian housing market

RE/MAX brokers across Canada were asked to provide an analysis on market activity during COVID-19 lockdowns, assessing how their regions have bounced back with easing restrictions. They also provided a prediction of market activity for the remainder of 2020. Unsurprisingly, most provinces experienced a slowdown in March and April, with significant drops in activity up to 70 per cent year-over-year. Prices, however, have remained stable across the country. Heading into fall, 50 per cent of RE/MAX brokers and agents surveyed anticipate a modest increase in average residential sale prices.


Western Canada Housing Market

While COVID-19 lockdowns in March and April slowed down the housing market in Western Canada, transactions in Kelowna, Saskatoon and Vancouver resumed by May, with sales in both May and June surpassing year-over-year levels. Many buyers put their plans on hold at the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns, but they returned to the market quickly to make up for lost time. Edmonton’s housing market quickly bounced back to pre-COVID levels in June, while Saskatoon experienced its busiest June in years; this momentum is anticipated to continue into the fall market, with  RE/MAX brokers and agents estimating a three-per-cent increase in average residential sale prices for the remainder of the year. Overall, brokers and agents in Western Canada say the potential buyers they are talking to are not too concerned with a potential second wave of COVID-19 impacting their real estate journey, and RE/MAX brokers are estimating steady activity to round out 2020.

Winnipeg Housing Market Outlook (Fall 2020)

While the Winnipeg housing market remained strong in the first two weeks of March, the region saw a decline in home sales between April and May due to COVID-19 lockdowns. However, activity bounced back by the end of June and into July, paving the way for recovery in the region.

With low inventory and pent-up demand, prices for both single detached homes and condominiums have increased by 5% between Q2 and the beginning of Q3. Consumer confidence remains high in the region, and prices are expected to remain stable, with a 2% increase in prices for all property types expected in Winnipeg, Manitoba for the remainder of the year.




The Winnipeg housing market is currently balanced, which is expected to prevail in 2020 as a result of reasonable prices and an ample supply of inventory. The average residential sale price expectation for Winnipeg in 2020 is +2% due to a modest increase in commercial development.


Currently, there are 4 months of inventory left and in 2020 this should remain the same. The most popular type of properties are two-story detached homes and 2020 will see a shift of more new Canadians looking for homes in Winnipeg. The condo market is primarily driven by single millennials and retirees who are looking for townhouses with two or more bedrooms.


The hottest neighbourhood in 2020 will be Amber Gates due to new development in the area, including a new school and more commercial properties. Winnipeg will see the luxury and condo markets remain steady in 2020, with move up and first-time homebuyers driving demand.


From a national perspective, RE/MAX anticipates a levelling out of the highs and lows that characterized the Canadian housing market in 2019, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, as we move into 2020. Healthy price increases are expected, with an estimated 3.7-per-cent increase in the average national residential sales price.


As more Canadians have adjusted to the mortgage stress test and older Millennials move into their peak earning years, it is anticipated that they will drive the market in 2020, particularly single Millennials and young couples. A recent Leger survey conducted by RE/MAX found that more than half (51 per cent) of Canadians are considering buying a property in the next five years, especially those under the age of 45.




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CIBC and RE/MAX INTEGRA are pleased to announce they have entered into an exclusive partnership aimed at helping Canadians in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces achieve their goals of homeownership.


Through this partnership, RE/MAX clients will benefit from CIBC’s expert advice in choosing the right mortgage to meet their unique needs.


Whether a client is buying their first home, considering upsizing or downsizing from their current home, or looking to purchase an investment property, a CIBC Mobile Mortgage Advisor can provide RE/MAX clients with the expert advice at a time and place convenient to them.


“Owning their own home is a key personal and financial goal for many Canadians,” says Tracy Best, Senior Vice President, Mobile Advice, CIBC. “Through this partnership, people living in Ontario and Atlantic Canada can benefit from the combined strength of CIBC and RE/MAX INTEGRA to help them meet their ambition of owning a home.”


Partnering with CIBC means RE/MAX INTEGRA Brokers and Agents will have access to mortgage qualifications to help their clients know what they can afford before they start searching for a suitable home.


RE/MAX clients can also access CIBC’s online resources and calculators to help them through their home-buying journey as well as advice and expertise for broader banking, investing, and financial planning needs.


“Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions people make,” says Christopher Alexander, EVP & Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario-Atlantic. “This partnership helps ensure all RE/MAX clients have access to trusted advisors to help make their home-buying decisions fit with their goals before they start their search.”

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If your finances have been impacted by Covid-19, it is important that you have a plan to spend carefully. How can you do that?


Make a budget. Adhering to a budget is an easy, proven way to ensure that you live within your means. A household budget can be the foundation of financial well-being. If you do not know where to begin, try out the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s (FCAC) budget planner. It can be found at https://itools-ioutils.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/BP-PB/budget-planner


The free interactive tool offers advice and tips to improve your financial situation. It helps you create a personalized budget and generates charts showing where your money goes. You can even compare your spending habits with those of other people in similar life situations. You can also save and update it online at any time or download an interactive spreadsheet.


Other key features of the FCAC Budget Planner allow you to:

  • Budget anywhere, anytime and online
  • Save and update your budget via a unique link
  • Earn badges and share your success stories via social media
  • Download an interactive spreadsheet that provides similar functionality to the online tool
  • Print a budget report


Once you have created your plan, stick to it and review it frequently. If you make it a habit, you are more likely to stay on track.


Review your spending. As much as possible, limit your spending to what you can afford and update your planned expenses when your situation changes. This could mean a pay increase or lower bills. Compare your planned spending against your actual spending every month to assess how you are doing. If you find over time that you are going over your projected expenses, review your budget to make it more realistic.


Plan for savings. Once you have your finances under control, it is a good idea to begin saving to build up an emergency fund, so you can be better prepared for unexpected situations or a future crisis.


Choose financial options wisely. In periods of economic uncertainty, it is very important to choose the financial services and products that best meet your needs. Compare what financial institutions have to offer and do your research to be better informed. This will help you make decisions that are right for you.


You can also use the FCAC’s bank account and credit card comparison tools to help you choose wisely. With technology, great advice and assistance are only a few keystrokes away!


— NewsCanada.com

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Square footage determines how big a home is, but painting, furnishings and decorating can affect how big a home feels. Looking to make a small space feel bigger? A few simple cosmetic changes can help.


Consider these four ways to make any small space in your home appear more, well, spacious.

1. Incorporate mirrors

Create the illusion of expansive walls with the addition of a mirror. This elegant touch can save a room from art-overload, which happens when too much pattern and colour collide in a small space. A mirror also creates depth, which is always a plus.


Best of all, mirrors reflect natural light, potentially doubling the amount of sunlight streaming into the room. That alone will make the space feel bigger.

2. Try lighter colours

Especially in small spaces, lightness means brightness. A fresh coat of light-coloured paint in a cramped room creates an inviting atmosphere by mimicking natural light. For those who enjoy brighter colours, white walls are a fresh blank canvas for other elements.


If repainting needs to stay on the to-do list, for the time being, try adding pops of light colour on décor around the room. In a small living room, for example, give the sofa a makeover with white linen throw pillows and a neutral throw blanket – or opt for other quick fixes like bright new lampshades.

3. Streamline furniture

If you’re looking to make a bigger change to a small space, reconsider the size of the current furniture. When every piece is chunky, a room tends to look crowded. A few sleek pieces of furniture will open up floor space and let you showcase larger items like an heirloom hutch or statement coffee table. Aim to make your furniture proportionate to the size of the room.


Also, don’t underestimate the impact of window accessories. Long drapes are popular for making ceilings look higher – hang them well above the window frame to show-off the full length of the wall. Sometimes, simply replacing old, heavy curtains with unobtrusive shades can make a major difference.

4. Get rid of clutter

While purging clutter around the house benefits your well-being in multiple ways, it also makes your rooms appear bigger and less stuffy. Go minimalist and simplify surfaces like walls, bookshelves and end tables, reserving those areas for a select few favourite pieces.


In the end, making a small space feel bigger is mostly about the balance between personal flair and a clean, uncluttered ambiance.



Written by Leah Curtis

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Happy Pride Month! Since the 1970s, members of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies have designated June as a time to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of the important issues still facing this community today.


Along with a number of regular Winnipeg summer celebrations, unfortunately Pride 2020 has been affected by the current state of affairs related to the pandemic - but that doesn't mean it still can't be acknowledged and celebrated in other ways! 


Firstly, we were thrilled to see RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos kicking off Pride Month with President, CEO, and Founder of NAGLREP - no, not a new Doctor Who villain, but the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals - Jeff Berger, guesting on his podcast.


On this episode of Start With a Win, Jeff discusses the main purpose of the organization, and how it can help create a safe space for real estate professionals and homebuyers in the LGBT community that allows them and their needs to be understood and accepted. He also talks about growth trends in the LGBT community, providing crucial facts and figures to educate real estate professionals about the needs and wants of these individuals and families.


"While it is impossible to duplicate the emotional experience of hearing millions cheer along Pride parade routes, our events will empower NAGLREP members to interact with friends in the real estate industry, have some fun and share their Pride in a unique way,” said Berger in a blog post on the organization’s website. “We will continue to showcase why the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Federal Fair Housing Law, promotes equality and fairness for the housing market."


Check out the episode here


In honour of this month-long celebration, here are also a few ways to you can be an inclusive neighbour, and help build an inclusive culture in your community:


1. Use inclusive language and terms


Would you describe someone as "a person who uses a wheelchair," or "a wheelchair-bound person"? Small shifts can make a big difference. 


2. Don't assume pronouns


Pronouns are used in everyday communication to take the place of people's names, and we frequently use them without even thinking about it. Often, when speaking of someone in the third person, these pronouns have a gender implied. These associations are not always accurate, and when mistaken or assumed, can send a harmful message. Using someone's correct gender pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity. If you feel it's appropriate, you may want to ask your neighbours their preferred gender pronouns. Try asking: "What pronouns do you use?" or "Can you remind me what pronouns you use?" It can feel awkward at first, but it's nowhere near as awkward as making a hurtful assumption. Making an effort is a sign you recognize and respect everyone has a unique identity.


3. Be a host


If you are interested in getting to know your neighbours on a personal level, see if there is a meetup group geared toward connecting LGBTQ+ in your community, or start one of your own!


4. Attend Pride Week Winnipeg: September 4-13, 2020


Pride Week will now be taking place the week of September 4-13; a postponement that will help ensure the utmost safety of our community members. It's a great community event and a fantastic way to connect with neighbours! Round everyone up and scout out a spot along the parade route. Check the local schedule to see what's offered in terms of family-friendly events too!


5. Show your pride at home and at work


From June 22-28, decorate your windows, balconies, office windows and front yards! Fly your rainbow flags and get creative to show your pride at home or work. While we may be celebrating the month apart, we can still show we're never alone.


RE/MAX agents serve as leaders and members of a variety of organizations that celebrate diversity, including the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals

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MIKE KNOXWith Father's Day coming up this weekend, we'll be celebrating and honouring all the fathers and grandfathers that have made a difference in our lives. 

We spoke to our agents and office staff this week to get their thoughts on fatherhood - whether they're dads themselves or reflecting on their own fathers - here are a few to look over as we look forward to Sunday:

From Agent Mike Knox:
"This year will be my first time celebrating Father’s Day. Being a father is unlike anything I imagined. I understand now what it means to cherish every moment because they grow up so fast. To daydream about his future and wonder what sort of man he’ll grow up to become. To think of all the great things he’ll experience in his life. He is my entire world, and there is no greater joy than seeing him smile, hearing him laugh and watching him learn and grow." 

"The greatest motivation to become a better man is knowing that someone looks up to you."

From IT Administrator Alex McGregor
"My dad was really great at passing on good life skills. We grew up on a farm, but he wanted me to have options later in life. He taught me everything from how to prepare my taxes to changing a spark plug on a car. I really appreciated that, and I love him to death." 


From Agent Jennifer Queen, on her husband (and fellow Realtor) Logan:  

"Logan is the father of two with a third on the way.  His favourite quote is: "The days are long, but the years are so short."
 
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If you've been considering buying a home, the time may be now. 


The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has announced changes to its coverage criteria for insured mortgages starting July 1, 2020. The changes are likely to make it more difficult for aspiring home buyers with down payments of less than 20%. 


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all sectors of Canada's economy, including real estate. Job losses, business closures, and a drop in immigration are all adversely affcting Canada's housing markets, and in order to protect future home buyers and reduce risk, CMHC is changing its underwriting policies for insured mortgages. 


At least one applicant’s credit score will need to be 680, up from the previous minimum of 600. To ensure borrowers can keep up with payments, maximum total debt service ratios will be lowered from 44 to 42. The gross debt service ratio drops from 39 to 35.


The CMHC also says “non-traditional sources of down payment that increase indebtedness will no longer be treated as equity for insurance purposes.”


In other words, buyers will no longer be able to borrow money for a down payment.


CMHC is also suspending refinancing for multi-unit mortgage insurance unless the money is being used for repairs or reinvestment in housing.


The changes are effective July 1, 2020.


“COVID-19 has exposed long-standing vulnerabilities in our financial markets, and we must act now to protect the economic futures of Canadians,” said Evan Siddall, CMHC’s President and CEO, in a release.


“These actions will protect home buyers, reduce government and taxpayer risk and support the stability of housing markets while curtailing excessive demand and unsustainable house price growth.”


If you have any questions on how this can affect you, send us a message.

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We’re all appreciative of the little things these days, aren’t we? Suddenly a roof over your head, family, food in the fridge, and a nice warm bed are all we need. As we all do our part to contain COVID-19 by going into self-quarantine, home truly is where the heart lives.


But, with the kids home, work closures and let’s face it, Netflix only has so many movies, we’re bound to get cabin fever.


That in mind, here are 10 things you can do while locked away in your place that will help pass the hours and may unlock some new passions!


  1. Read: We all have books lying around that we bought but never read. Now’s the time. There's no better way to escape reality than to dive headfirst into a good book!

  2. Reach Out: Life is usually quite busy so we lose touch with people in our lives. Now’s the time; call, text, Facetime, email. It really doesn’t matter how you reach out but the time is now to do so. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll form a new bond that will change your life.

  3. Passion Projects: What have you always wanted to learn? There’s this amazing resource called YouTube and you can learn pretty much anything with a simple search. There’s no better time than now to become the next Picasso!

  4. Clean: Don’t just wipe down surfaces; make your floors shine like they’re new. While you’re at it, eliminate the clutter and make sure you don’t end up on an episode of Hoarders.

  5. Wim Hof: Now is as good a time as any to boost your immune system. Look into Wim Hof. He’s known as the Ice Man and is considered by many to be one of the healthiest people on the planet.

  6. Speaking of Health: We all want to look and feel better so why not start working out? You don’t need weights and other equipment. With simple bodyweight exercises you can leave quarantine looking and feeling great! Don’t know where to start? Look up Chris Heria on YouTube. He’ll change your life!

  7. Gaming: It’s not for everyone but you can easily get lost in games on systems, your computer, AppleTV and your phone. Challenge random people around the world to brain-twisting games and perhaps make a new friend.

  8. There’s An App for That: And by that, we mean everything you can imagine for the most part. We can all get lost in memes so why not download 9GAG? 

  9. Learn a Language: Speaking of apps, have you checked out Duolingo? Learn language basics and when you can travel again, you’ll be communicating with the locals.

  10. And of course, while you might run out of things to watch on Netflix, there’s always Hulu, Disney+ and about 1500 other streaming services, many offer a trial about as long as you’ll be quarantined.


The fact of the matter is while we conquer this virus we can also make the best of it. Come together as a family and live your best-isolated life! You won’t regret making the most of your time.


Have an activity we didn’t cover? Let us know. We’ll add it to the list. PG suggestions only, please.


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Canadian home sales activity eases in October


Ottawa, ON, November 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales declined between September and October 2018.


Highlights:

  • National home sales fell 1.6% from September to October.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 3.7% from one year ago.
  • The number of newly listed homes eased 1.1% from September to October.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in October.
  • The national average sale price slipped by 1.5% y-o-y in October.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged back by 1.6% in October 2018. While activity is still stronger compared to the first half of 2018, it remains below monthly levels recorded from early 2014 through 2017. (Chart A)

Transactions declined in more than half of all local markets, led by Hamilton-Burlington, Montreal and Edmonton.


Although activity did improve modestly in many markets, it was offset by a decline in sales elsewhere by a factor of two.


Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 3.7% compared to October 2017 and in line with the 10-year average for the month. While sales were down y-o-y in slightly more than half of all local markets in October, lower sales in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley more than offset the rise in sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Montreal by a wide margin.


“This year’s new mortgage stress-test has lowered how much mortgage home buyers can qualify for across Canada, but its effect on sales has varied somewhat depending on location, housing type and price range,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “All real estate is local. A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiating a purchase or sale of a home during these changing times,” added Sukkau.


“National sales activity lost momentum in October,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “In part, this reflects waning activity among some urban centers in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region and the absence of an offsetting rise in sales in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Even so, the balance between sales and listings in these regions points to stable prices or modest gains. By contrast, the balance between sales and listings for housing markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland indicates a weak pricing environment for homeowners who are looking to sell.”


The number of newly listed homes edged down 1.1% between September and October, led by the GTA, Calgary and Victoria. The decline in new supply among these markets more than offset an increase in new supply in Edmonton and Greater Vancouver.


As for the balance between sales and listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio in October came in at 54.2% — close to September’s reading of 54.4% and its long-term average of 53.4%.


Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is the best way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. As a rule of thumb, measures of market balance that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.


Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in October 2018.


The number of months of inventory is another important measure for the balance between sales and the supply of listings. It represents how long it would take to liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.


There were 5.3 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of October 2018. While this remains in line with its long-term national average, the number of months of inventory is well above its long-term average in the Prairie provinces and in Newfoundland & Labrador. By contrast, Ontario and Prince Edward Island are the two provinces where the measure remains more than one standard deviation below its long-term average. In other provinces, the number of months of inventory is closer to its long-term average and suggests that sales and inventory are well balanced.


The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 2.3% y-o-y in October 2018 with similar gains posted in each of the three previous months. (Chart B)


Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y price gains in October (+7.4%), followed by townhouse/row units (+3.9%). By comparison, one-storey single-family homes posted a modest increase (+0.6%) while two-storey single-family home prices held steady.


Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. In British Columbia, home price gains have been diminishing on a y-o-y basis (Greater Vancouver: +1%; Fraser Valley: +6.8%; Victoria +8.5%; elsewhere on Vancouver Island: +11.8%).


By contrast, MLS® HPI benchmark price comparisons are improving on a y-o-y basis among housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region that are tracked by the index. Home prices were up from year-ago levels in Guelph (+9.3%), Hamilton-Burlington (+6.8%), the Niagara Region (+6.3%), the GTA (+2.6%) and Oakville-Milton (+2.2%).


While home prices in Barrie and District remain slightly below year-ago levels (-0.9%), declines there are shrinking; if current price momentum persists, home prices in December are on track to turn positive compared to December 2017.


Across the Prairies, benchmark home prices remained below year-ago levels in Calgary (-2.6%), Edmonton (-2.4%), Regina (-3.6%) and Saskatoon (-0.9%).


Home prices rose by 6.6% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by a 7.4% increase in two-storey single-family home prices), by 6.3% in Greater Montreal (led by a 9.8% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and by 4.2% in Greater Moncton (led by a 12.4% increase in townhouse/row unit prices). (Table 1)


The MLS® HPI provides the best way to gauge price trends because average price trends are strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.


The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in October 2018 was just under $496,800, down 1.5% from the same month last year.


The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in Greater Vancouver and the GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $114,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $383,000.


– 30 –


PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.


CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.


MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.


The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations. CREA works on behalf of more than 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.


Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.


For more information, please contact:
Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca


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CREA unveils redesigned REALTOR.ca website


Ottawa, ON October 18th, 2018 – The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recently launched an improved REALTOR.ca website design that features a simpler and more powerful search function, enhanced homebuyer calculators and access to highly anticipated school catchment areas.There are a host of smaller but impactful enhancements to the site navigation, REALTOR® profiles and listing details pages, all with the goal to make it easier for homebuyers to find their dream home and drive more meaningful connections with REALTORS®. The redesign, which targets desktop users, is the second phase of a multi-phase project which delivers an improved and responsive website experience for all visitors.REALTOR.ca, the No. 1 real estate website in Canada, delivers on its promise to facilitate consumers’ real estate needs with access to an average of 300,000 REALTOR® listings at any given time, promoting the value of using a REALTOR® and facilitating connections with REALTORS®. Last year alone, it had more than 264 million visits and generated over 2.6 million leads for REALTORS®.


“The improved REALTOR.ca provides consumers with access to a trusted and comprehensive source of property listings which include sought after features like neighbourhood information and tools they need to be successful in today’s marketplace,” said Barb Sukkau, president of CREA. “We help consumers connect with local REALTORS® to support them every step of the way.”


Parents have always asked their REALTORS® about nearby schools when considering a new home. REALTOR.ca now features a tool allowing parents to view properties for sale within a particular school’s catchment area.


Buying a home is the largest investment in many consumers’ lives and REALTORS®are here to make the home buying process as simple and informed as possible. Whether searching on the go or at home, REALTOR.ca listings now include improved mortgage, land transfer tax and affordability calculators to support homebuyers in their search.

REALTOR.ca now incorporates the Living Room, a REALTOR.ca blog launched earlier this year.  The blog features passionate Canadian industry experts tackling a variety of home-related topics including market trends, home improvement, market trends, neighbourhood guides, design files and unique homes.


“REALTOR.ca is owned by REALTORS®, and as such, we are committed to continuous enhancements to improve the site to ensure it remains Canadian consumers’ first choice when looking for a new home,” added Ms. Sukkau.


– 30 –


About The Canadian Real Estate Association


REALTOR.ca is operated by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations. CREA works on behalf of 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers. REALTOR.ca provides trusted, up-to-date and comprehensive property advertisements for residential, commercial and rental properties across Canada. Whether you have just started looking or you are ready to make that important purchase, REALTOR.ca connects you to valuable resources and local REALTORS® to help you find your dream property.


For additional information, please contact:


Pierre Leduc
Media Relation
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E: pleduc@crea.ca

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First-ever REALTOR.ca Hackathon yields innovative new solutions for Canadian homebuyers


Ottawa, ON, October 15, 2018 – 77 developers and programmers signed up for the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) first ever REALTOR.ca hackathon over the weekend at Ottawa’s Bayview Yards. This is one of the many initiatives CREA is undertaking to ensure the continuous improvement of Canada’s #1 real estate website, REALTOR.ca


. CREA is dedicated to finding new ways to help more Canadians achieve their dreams of home ownership.

“Amazing things can happen when talented and passionate people come together with a common goal” said Barb Sukkau, president of CREA.  “CREA hosted developers from across Canada and beyond over a weekend of designing, building and “demoing” solutions that were focused on facilitating the homebuying and selling journey.”


Attendees had the opportunity to participate in an intense 48-hour hackathon in which teams quickly moved from challenge to idea, to pitching a fully functional demo to a panel of real estate and technology-focused judges. This is the first of several hackathon challenges that CREA plans to host.


“At TD, we have a strong history of finding innovative solutions to support homebuyers on their journey to homeownership and we’re proud to be a part of the inaugural REALTOR.ca hackathon,” said Roy D’Souza, Associate Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending, TD.


The winning proposal was developed by team propGram, composed of Bahar Eghtesadi, Maryam Moafi and Reza Farahani. “We had an amazing experience and we’re so grateful for the opportunity to really dive into REALTOR.ca’s data sets”, said Bahar Eghtesadi, propGram team leader. “We’re looking forward to elaborating on our idea and optimizing it.”


Hackathon_winners_2018
Left-to-right: Michael Bourque, CEO The Canadian Real Estate Association,  propGram team members: Bahar Eghtesadi, Reza Farahani, Maryam Moafi
 

With this Hackathon, CREA demonstrated its commitment to maintaining REALTOR.ca as consumers’ first choice when looking for a new home by constantly adding the features they demand and expect. Participans were able to meet CREA management and staff, sowing the seeds for potential future business opportunities.


“The real estate industry in Canada is evolving rapidly and technology provides even more opportunities to improve the consumer experience,” said James Mabey, Chair of CREA’s Technology Committee. “We’re excited to work with the hackathon teams to help foster innovation that can benefit our members and enhance the consumer journey on REALTOR.ca.”


– 30 –


About the Canadian Real Estate Association


REALTOR.ca is owned and operated by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations. CREA works on behalf of 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.


REALTOR.ca provides trusted, up-to-date and comprehensive property advertisements for residential, commercial and rental properties across Canada. Whether you have just started looking or you are ready to make that important purchase, REALTOR.ca connects you to valuable resources and local REALTORS® to help you find your dream property.


For additional information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc
Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E: pleduc@crea.ca

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Canadian home sales activity edges lower in September


Ottawa, ON, October 15, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales edged down slightly between August and September 2018.


Highlights:

  • National home sales edged back 0.4% from August to September.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 8.9% from one year ago.
  • The number of newly listed homes rose by 3% from August to September.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in September.
  • The national average sale price edged up a slight 0.2% y-o-y in September.

National home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems eased by 0.4% in September 2018, marking the first decline since April. While sales activity is still somewhat stronger compared to the first half of this year, it remains well below most other months since 2014. (Chart A)


Sales declined from August to September in slightly more than half of all local markets, led by Vancouver Island and Edmonton, along with several markets in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) Region. Activity declines in these markets were offset by monthly gains in the Fraser Valley and Montreal.


Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 8.9% compared to September 2017.


About 70% of local markets were down on a y-o-y basis, led primarily by declines in major urban centres in British Columbia, along with Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.


“The balance between the number of home buyers and suitable homes varies depending on location, housing type and price range,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “Differences in market balance will likely come into sharper focus as interest rates rise and cause this year’s new mortgage stress-test to become even more restrictive. A professional REALTOR® is your best source for information and guidance in negotiating a purchase or sale of a home during these changing times,” said Sukkau.


The number of newly listed homes rose 3% between August and September, led by the Lower Mainland and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). More than half of all local markets posted a monthly increase in new listings, which was offset by declines in excess of 3% in more than half of the remaining local markets.


“Sales activity may get all the press but it’s the balance between that and the number of homes for sale that sets the tone for pricing environment,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “In markets with an abundant supply of homes and slower sales activity, buyers have the upper hand when it comes to negotiations over price. However, in places where buyers are keen to make a purchase but there’s a shortage of homes for sale, sellers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to price. It will be interesting to see how supply and demand

respond to rising interest rates amid this year’s new mortgage stress-test.”


With sales down slightly and new listings up, the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 54.4% in September compared to 56.2% in July and August. The long-term average for this measure of market balance is 53.4%.


Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. As a rule of thumb, measures of market balance that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.


Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about three-quarters of all local markets were in balanced market territory in September 2018.


The number of months of inventory is another important measure for the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.


There were 5.3 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of August 2018. While this is in line with the measure’s long-term average nationally, the number of months of inventory is well above its long-term average in all Prairie provinces and in Newfoundland & Labrador.


The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 2.3% y-o-y in September 2018. The increase was in line with those posted in each of the two previous months. (Chart B)


Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y price gains in September (+8.4%), followed by townhouse/row units (+4.5%). Meanwhile, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices were little changed on a y-o-y basis in September (-0.3% and -0.3% respectively).


Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. In British Columbia, home price gains are diminishing on a y-o-y basis in the Lower Mainland (Greater Vancouver (GVA): +2.2%; Fraser Valley: +8.5%). Meanwhile, prices in Victoria were up 8.7% y-o-y in September. Elsewhere on Vancouver Island they climbed 13.2%.


Among the housing markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region that are tracked by the index, home prices were up from year-ago levels in Guelph (+8%), Hamilton-Burlington (+6.1%), the Niagara Region (+5.9%), the GTA (+2%), and Oakville-Milton (+1.4%). By contrast, home prices slipped lower in Barrie and District (-3.6%).


Across the Prairies, benchmark home prices remained below year-ago levels in Calgary (-2.6%), Edmonton (-2.6%), Regina (-4.7%) and Saskatoon (-1.9%).


Home prices rose by 6.9% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by an 7.9% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 6.1% in Greater Montreal (led by a 7% increase in townhouse/row unit prices) and by 3.4% in Greater Moncton (led by a 10.3% increase in apartment unit prices). (Table 1)


The MLS® HPI provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.


The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in September 2018 was just under $487,000, little changed (+0.2%) from the same month last year.


The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $104,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just over $383,000.


– 30 –


PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month.


CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.


MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.


The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations. CREA works on behalf of more than 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.


Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.


For more information, please contact:


Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca


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Canadian home sales activity edges higher in August


Ottawa, ON, September 17, 2018 – Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show a small increase in national home sales between July and August 2018.


Highlights:

  • National home sales rose 0.9% from July to August.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 3.8% from August 2017.
  • The number of newly listed homes was unchanged from July to August.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2.5% year-over-year (y-o-y) in August.
  • The national average sale price edged up 1% y-o-y in August.


National home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up by 0.9% in August 2018, marking a fourth consecutive monthly gain. However, sales activity is still running below levels in most other months going back to early 2014.

Roughly half of all local markets recorded an increase in sales from July to August, led again by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), along with gains in Montreal and Edmonton.


Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 3.8% y-o-y in August, due mainly to declines in major urban centres in British Columbia.


“The new stress-test on mortgage applicants implemented earlier this year continues to weigh on national home sales,” said CREA President Barb Sukkau. “The degree to which the stress-test continues to sideline home buyers varies depending on location, housing type and price range. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future,” said Sukkau.


“Improving national home sales activity in recent months continues to obscure significant differences in regional trends for home sales and prices,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Moreover, recent monthly sales increases are diminishing, which suggests that the recent rebound may be starting to lose steam.”


The number of newly listed homes was unchanged between July and August, as new supply gains in the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA) and Montreal offset declines in the GTA and Winnipeg.


With sales up slightly and new listings unchanged, the national sales-to-new listings ratio edged up to 56.6% in August compared to 56.2% in July. The long-term average for this measure of market balance is 53.4%.


Considering the degree and duration to which market balance readings are above or below their long-term average is a way of gauging whether local housing market conditions favour buyers or sellers. As a rule of thumb, measures of market balance that are within one standard deviation of their long-term average are generally consistent with balanced market conditions.


Based on a comparison of the sales-to-new listings ratio with the long-term average, about two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in August 2018.


The number of months of inventory is another important measure for the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents how long it would take to liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.



There were 5.2 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of August 2018, right in line with the long-term average for the measure.


The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) was up 2.5% y-o-y in August 2018.

Apartment units posted the largest y-o-y price gains in August (+9.5%), followed by townhouse/row units (+4.3%).


Meanwhile, one-storey and two-storey single family home prices were little changed on a y-o-y basis in August (+0.4% and -0.4% respectively).


As of this release, housing market coverage for MLS® HPI now includes Hamilton-Burlington and the Niagara Region.

Trends continue to vary widely among the 17 housing markets tracked by the MLS® HPI. Home price gains are diminishing on a y-o-y basis in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (GVA: +4.1%; Fraser Valley: +10.7%). Prices in Victoria were up 8.5% y-o-y in August. Elsewhere on Vancouver Island, prices climbed 13.6%.


Among the Greater Golden Horseshoe housing markets tracked by the index, home prices were up from year-ago levels in Hamilton-Burlington (+7.2%), the Niagara Region (+6.6%), Guelph (+5.5%), the GTA (+1.4%) and Oakville-Milton (+1.2%). By contrast, home prices remained down on a y-o-y basis in Barrie and District (-2.7%).


In the Prairies, benchmark home prices remained down on a y-o-y basis in Calgary (-2.2%), Edmonton (-2.1%), Regina (-4.8%) and Saskatoon (-2.3%).


Meanwhile, home prices rose by 7.1% y-o-y in Ottawa (led by an 8.2% increase in two-storey single family home prices), by 5.9% in Greater Montreal (led by a 6.3% increase in two-storey single family home prices) and by 4.8% in Greater Moncton (led by a 7.5% increase in two-storey single family home prices). (Table 1)


The MLS® HPI provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.


The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in August 2018 was just over $475,500, up 1% from the same month last year.


The national average price is heavily skewed by sales in the GVA and GTA, two of Canada’s most active and expensive markets. Excluding these two markets from calculations cuts almost $94,000 from the national average price, trimming it to just under $382,000.


– 30 –


PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national sales information from MLS® Systems from the previous month. 


CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types. 


MLS® Systems are co-operative marketing systems used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale. 


The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations. CREA works on behalf of more than 125,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers and sellers.


Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.


For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc, Media Relations
The Canadian Real Estate Association
Tel.: 613-237-7111 or 613-884-1460
E-mail: pleduc@crea.ca

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