Tag Archives: Corinne Dezsi Sells Homes

How will RBC’s mortgage rate hike impact the Canadian housing market?

canadian-home-winterPhoto: Maëlick/Flickr

Even if Canada’s other big banks follow RBC’s recent mortgage rate increases — which came into effect today — with similar hikes of their own, it won’t have a substantial effect on the housing market, says one economist.

“I would suggest [the impact] would be marginal at best,” says Brian DePratto, an economist with TD Bank, in an interview.

“We’re still talking about extremely, extremely low interest rates by any historic precedent,” he adds. “Whether it’s 10 or 15 basis points here or there, I don’t see this as having any kind of major impact.”

RBC’s hikes are across several mortgage types, including two, three, four, and five-year fixed-rate mortgages, the rates for which increased 10 basis points, as well as five-year variable mortgages, which rose 15 basis points.

A consumer with a five-year fixed-rate mortgage on a home costing $456,186 — the most recent average Canadian home price, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association — will end up paying about $23 per month more, or $276 annually, now, the Toronto Star reports, as a result of the new rate of 3.04 per cent for these mortgages.

In an emailed statement to BuzzBuzzHome News, Erica Nielsen, RBC’s vice president of home equity financing, listed the reasons for the bank’s adjustments.

“The changes we’ve made to our residential mortgage rates reflect a number of factors (beyond the bond yield) including changes in market conditions driving increased short term funding costs and long term / wholesale funding costs,” she wrote.

Mortgage rates generally follow Canadian bond yields, says DePratto, the TD economist. “You kind of build your bonds out of mortgages within the mortgage market, so ultimately those mortgages become bonds,” he says.

“So when that market moves, people who are building those products, they need to reflect pricing that’s in line with those market moves.”

But these lending-rate changes come at a time when bond yields are dropping. DePratto says a recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) move is a major factor for some mortgage rates not reflecting lower bond yields.

“There’s always unique pricing issues, but I think one of the core things are the changes to CMHC rules around securitization — so additional fees for mortgages coming out of CMHC,” he says, referring to changes CMHC detailed last month alongside increasing the minimum down payments on some mortgages.

“That’s sort of being wrapped into that overall price in a sense.”

The 5 Most Expensive Real Estate Markets In Canada

The Booming Canadian Real Estate Market

The Canadian real estate market has seen tremendous growth recently, and 2015 was an active year, particularly in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The average price of a home in Canada surpassed $450,000 as of mid-2015, and many analysts expect these figures to remain steady in 2016.

So what are the hottest and most expensive real estate markets in Canada right now?

1. Vancouver

Vancouver is one of not just Canada’s, but also the world’s most expensive areas to buy a home. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported the average cost of a detached house in Metro Vancouver was $1.2 million, representing a 22 percent increase from 2014. In 2015, Vancouver saw an increase in residential sales of 46% above the 10-year average, and the supply of housing remains low, so prices are likely to continue going up.

2. Toronto

2015 was a record-breaking year for Toronto real estate. The Toronto Real Estate Board says there were nearly 5,000 residential sales handled by their members in December, which is the second-highest December ever listed. The average selling price for all types of homes, including condos, was $622,217, which was nearly 10% higher than 2014. Real estate demand is particularly high around the downtown and central area of the city, which is where buyers and renters flock to enjoy a bustling theater, dining and entertainment scene.

photo Alina Ku-Ku via Shutterstock

photo Alina Ku-Ku via Shutterstock

3. Montreal

Montreal’s real estate may look like a bargain compared to Vancouver and Toronto, but it’s still ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world. Montreal’s real estate prices are about $100,000 less than the national average for Canada, and the average price was around $340,000 in the city last year.

4. Calgary

According to the Calgary Sun, Calgary has seen pretty steep declines in housing, with sales numbers falling 26% from 2014, based on statistics released by the Calgary Real Estate Board. There was a decrease in home sales of nearly 7,000 units in 2015 as compared to 2014, and every month in 2015 there was a decline in sales over the previous year. Much of this decreased activity was the result of falling oil prices, yet despite these dismal numbers, Calgary remains one of the most expensive markets in Canada. The average price of a home for sale in Calgary in December was $462,786, although that number ticked down a bit in January to $434,744.

5. Victoria

Victoria has an average home price of more than $421,000, and compared to Calgary, Victoria has an incredibly strong market. With property assessments looming for homeowners, it’s anticipated most residents will see appreciation values of two to eight percent thanks to the city’s strong market. Home sales are particularly high in single family neighborhoods seen as the most desirable including Oak Boak, Caboro Bay, and North Saanich. According to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Victoria is the second least affordable city in all of Canada.

The Future of Home Prices in Canada

While some areas, particularly Calgary, may see falling real estate prices, most of the other major cities in the country are experiencing significant growth. Buyers and residents often worry they’re being priced out of the market, as housing prices top all records, and this uptick in home prices is leading Canadians to consider renting rather than buying.


Record-breaking year for GTA home sales capped off by second-best December ever

row-houses-torontoPhoto: Steve Harris/Flickr

By November, 2015 was already a record-setting year for home sales in the Greater Toronto Area, and activity remained strong in the final month of the year with December transactions hitting the second-highest level ever tracked for that month.

Last month, 4,945 GTA existing homes changed hands, pushing the 2015 year-end total of sales recorded through the MLS system to 101,299, well above the previous record of 93,193 set in 2007, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

Last year’s sales tally represents a 9.2 per cent increase over 2014, which the board calls “substantial.” Meanwhile, there was a considerable boost in sales across all major housing types — detached, semi-detached, townhouse, and condo apartment.

The greatest annual sales increase was in the condo-apartment sector. Some 24,731 units of this type sold, good enough for a 12.9 per cent increase over 2014’s sales. Townhomes, including both freehold and condo units, followed as 15,834 of these units changed hands, 9.3 per cent more than the year before.

Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, tells BuzzBuzzHome News the percentage jump in condo apartment sales is a matter of limited inventory options for consumers.

“On the low-rise side of the market generally speaking you’re seeing sales are stronger than inventory growth,” he says. “Obviously on a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood basis that could be different but on the aggregate for the GTA, that’s certainly what’s the trend.”

However, when it comes to overall sales volume, detached homes were in front. Sales of this housing type were up 8.2 per cent in 2015 to a total of 48,657 homes. Meanwhile, semi-detached sales ticked up 5.4 per cent to 10,217 homes.

For all housing types in the GTA last year, the average sale price rose 9.8 per cent to $622,217. Limited low-rise inventory, particularly in the 416, was largely responsible for this increase, although TREB notes “condominium apartment price growth was generally well-above the rate of inflation.”

Year-over-year home sales climbed 11.9 in December, and the greatest activity increase was seen in the townhouse sector. Sales of this housing type were up 18.4 per cent over a 12-month period.

Detached homes remained the costliest in December, with the average price for one in the GTA reaching $825,470, up 11.9 per cent from a year ago, while condo apartments were most affordable going for an average of $378,249.

The market for detached homes got even more expensive in the 416 last month, as the average sale price hit $1,039,638. In November 2015 it was $1,018,621.

Although 2015 is the best year on record for home sales, Mark Maclean, TREB’s president outlined in a statement how previous years could have been further dwarfed.

“If the market had benefitted from more listings, the 2015 sales total would have been greater,” he points out. “As it stands, we begin 2016 with a substantial amount of pent-up demand.”

Oshawa is included as one of the best cities for property investment in Canada

These are the best cities for property investment in Canada

9 Kitchen Design Trends to Absolutely Avoid

While some kitchen trends might appeal to you, they may not appeal to others — homebuyers, in particular.

Are you considering making some kitchen improvements? Or investing in an entire kitchen remodel? If so, make sure that you invest your money carefully. While some kitchen trends might appeal to you, they may not appeal to others — homebuyers, in particular. Here are some kitchen trends we suggest avoiding:

#1 Mixing metals

Never mix metals in your kitchen. Go all bronze, all copper or all stainless steel, but don’t put them arbitrarily together. This may look a little too eclectic for the average homebuyer, and you don’t want to have to replace hardware or fixtures.

#2 Creating your own counters

You might think that creating your own concrete counters will save you money, but it could actually do more harm than good. Instead, hire a professional. Or, look into alternatives like granite, quartz and other solid surface materials, which are also long lasting and visually appealing.

#3 Imitation open shelving

Open shelving is really big right now — everything’s in open view. But simply taking the doors off of your cabinets isn’t going to cut it. In fact, it looks amateur and will make buyers wonder why it was done. If you really want open shelving, install actual open shelving. Or, go with glass-door cabinets.

#4 Using “fake wood” in the kitchen

Cabinet door materials like particleboard and vinyl and wood veneer may seem cost-effective, but they often look cheap and detract from the overall value of your kitchen as a result. Plus, these “fake wood” materials can sometimes come with more maintenance and repairs than you want to deal with. When it comes to your kitchen cabinets, invest in the best materials possible.

#5 Going for an industrial look

The Industrial look — stainless steel counters, exposed ducting and bulbs, and metal shelves or cabinets — is on its way out. Unless you’re living in a loft, skip the exposed Edison bulbs and aluminum shelving and opt instead for lively materials that feel cozy and welcoming. If you need style ideas for your kitchen, talk to an experienced kitchen designer.

#6 Hiding your appliances

Specially created cabinets or “garages” take up a lot of counter space. Instead of wasting money on this, just store the moveable appliances in cabinets or cut down on how many you have. Keep the ones you use most often on the counter, but make sure it doesn’t look cluttered.

#7 Creating kitchen nooks

In the old days, kitchens nooks were dedicated to telephones, pull-down desks and other items. Nowadays, most people don’t use landlines — and most don’t want a desk in the kitchen either. If you have a nook, think about removing it. And certainly don’t add one;  it will only take up space that could be used more effectively.

#8 Diversifying appliance colors

Every year, appliance companies release products in trending colors. Don’t put stock in these. Instead, stick with reliable stainless steel — or go with black or white. And, when it’s time to sell, you won’t have to spend additional money refinishing or replacing the appliances.

#9 Wasting island space

A purposeful island is the perfect complement to a large kitchen. But if the island doesn’t have a strict purpose, it may serve only to obstruct the flow of the room. Make sure your island has a  clear purpose. Add a sink, a stove or counter space — whatever works best for the space and your budget.

The Top 2 Home Improvement Projects Buyers Want, And How to Do It On a Budget

Sellers that are on a budget, or are crunched for time, may not be able to make a lot of updates to their home prior to listing. We look at the top two home improvement projects buyers want by ROI, and how to implement them on a budget.
It’s no secret that updates to a home increase its value on the real estate market. However, choosing the right home improvement projects can be a challenge if you are short on time and/or money. Fortunately, the National Association of Realtors reports that smaller updates that improve the overall look of the home can be more effective than large scale renovations.

We’ve rounded up the top two projects buyers want — and how to implement them on a budget.

1. The Kitchen

While it may be true that kitchens sell homes, you don’t need to spend a fortune on creating a space that buyers are eager to call their own. In fact, Remodeling Magazine, in their 2015 Cost vs. Value report indicates that a minor kitchen remodel has a nearly 12 percent higher payback than a major renovation, providing an average 79.3 percent return on investment.


At the lower end of the scale, simply repainting the walls and replacing cabinet hardware can be an effective face lift if you are crunched for time. However, if you have solid wood cabinets, painting them can also go a long way to modernizing your kitchen space. Choose a neutral color such as white or off-white to brighten up even the most dated of kitchens and create welcoming space. New hinges and hardware can set off the update and make a real impact.

For damaged or laminated kitchens, sometimes replacing the doors can take your kitchen to a whole new level. Many big box stores carry an array of stock cabinet doors that can give your kitchen new life for a fraction of the cost of complete replacement.

Countertops and Backsplash

Countertops see a lot of action and can be one of the most worn out aspects of a kitchen. Replacing counter tops with a comparable looking laminate can significantly improve the desirability of your home and provide a fresh, clean look. Existing natural stone countertops that have lost their luster can also be rebuffed and re-coated by a professional to revive their natural beauty.

If your kitchen lacks a backsplash, this can be one of the easiest do-it-yourself home improvement projects to add value. Tile, bead board paneling, even tin tiles can be added for maximum impact.

Improve Functionality

Every buyer wants a kitchen that works. Easy fixes can include adding interior organizers to drawers, installing a lazy Susan or pull out shelves to pantry cupboards. Even replacing a single bowl sink with a double bowl, if space allows, and topping off with a fresh, new faucet will make a positive impact.

2. Entryway

While it may be surprising, replacing your front door with a new steel door tops nearly every list of home improvement projects, and for good reason. The ROI on this simple upgrade can soar as high as 101 percent, making it a no-brainer.

A new entry door increases curb appeal and makes your home shine in real estate photos. Aside from the increased security and energy savings a steel door offers, buyers will receive a positive first impression that will set the tone for how they view the remainder of your home.

The Bottom Line

A tight timeline or budget shouldn’t get in the way of ensuring you get the most from the sale of your home, and choosing strategic home improvement projects will ensure your effort is rewarded. Just remember that upgrades don’t need to be premium quality for the best return — they just need to make sense for your home.

Image Source: Flickr/Emily May

Open House CANCELLED…Property Sold

Click Here for Tour: 382 Simcoe Street North


This one of a kind home that was built in 1915, is elegantly appointed for entertaining.  You have multiple entrances to this home. When you enter from the main front door you are surrounded by prestige and elegance! This gracious foyer features hardwood floors.

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From the front foyer to your left you walk through custom double French cut glass doors to formal living room with gas fireplace. This room has large windows facing east and south. Attached to this room is the sunroom with walk-out to a covered porch. From sunroom there an entrance to the front hallway. Straight ahead is your custom designed kitchen, on your left is the sunken family room with pocket door and both rooms done in travertine tile flooring.

Beside the kitchen, just before the main staircase you will notice a smaller door. This door leads to a separate staircase to a private bedroom with an entrance to the 2nd floor.

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IMG_7049The formal dining room is located to the right of the front door and faces east for morning sunlight. It is enhanced by double custom built French cut glass doors, wood panelling, plus a swing door with easy access to hallway leading to another kitchen entrance. Polished hardwood floors will accent your oriental rugs. You will notice the built in cabinets with plenty of shelves to showcase your china.  Thru the swinging door, at the end of the hallway there is a 2 pc bath and entrance to carport.  It also leads to another room with pantry, office, entrance to back yard, kitchen and staircase to lower level.

The lower level has been renovated to accommodate sunken 1L7A9245recreation room with above grade windows, children’s play room, dark room or private study plus laundry room and lots of storage areas.


The upper level features library with windows facing east, west  1L7A9220 1L7A9218

and north, natural wood panelling, Tin ceiling and hardwood flooring. You have renovated 4pc bath, master suite with sitting area and 3pc ensuite, lots of storage and closets, and 3 large bedrooms. The upper level is complete 8’9” ceilings and quarter sawn hardwood flooring.

The 2nd floor of this turn-of-the-century home offers  4 large IMG_7042 (hi-res)     IMG_7046 IMG_7032Bedrooms, 2 renovated baths, hardwood flooring, high ceilings and lots of storage plus library with French doors, wood panelling on the walls and windows facing North, East and West.

Check-out the rear yard. You will notice no neighbours behind, a spacious Hot Tub, double detached garage with cedar doors plus a storage shed at the back. Also an 8’ x 8’ cedar gazebo with slate flooring plus plenty of yard available for a pool & lots of parking. 

This home backs and sides onto Alexander Park, is within walking distance to the Oshawa Golf Course, the hospital and a short bus ride to the University and easy access to 401 and future 407.

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