Thursday, January 29, 2009

Attention Home Buyers & Sellers!

Due to popular demand, I have scheduled another date for my Home Buying & Selling Seminar, February 17/09 7:00pm - 9:00pm.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, I recommend you check out my seminar. Andrew Young, Scotiabank and I will teach you about: Renting vs. Buying, Legalities, the Real Estate Market, Pricing Your Home, Preparing Your Home for Showing & more!

You can give me a shout at 519-642-0619 or to register your seat today.
I hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Building Code Requirement

Ontario is ensuring new homes in the province are more energy efficient with a new requirement under the Building Code.

Starting in January 2009, Ontario’s Building Code will require near full-height insulation on foundation walls in all new home construction. The basement insulation requirement is the second step in a three-phase approach to energy efficiency brought in with the introduction of the 2006 Building Code.

After 2011, further requirements will see houses with at least an EnerGuide 80 level of efficiency. EnerGuide 80 is a model energy rating system for houses developed and administered by Natural Resources Canada.

For more information on the new requirements click here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ontario November Home Starts Moderate as Expected

Real Estate Market Update

Ontario’s preliminary Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of urban home starts slowed in November to 54,700 starts, down from 78,900 units in October. While multi-family home construction, which includes semi detached, town home and apartment units, accounted for much of the decline in November activity, single detached construction also moderated.

The longer term trend for Ontario housing starts has been one of high start levels gradually edging lower from peak levels in 2003-04. However, actual urban Ontario home starts for the year are still 14 per cent higher compared to the same period in 2007.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Affordable Homeownership

I few months ago, I talked about the City of London Affordable Homeownership Assistance Program, click here to read it. There is a deadline of March 31, 2009 to expend the funding allocated to the City of London. To avoid returning any unused funds, the City of London has raised the household income limit and maximum home price under this program.

To be eligible, households must now have a gross household income of $55,000 or less and must qualify for and be pre-approved for a mortgage at a recognized financial institution. The new selling price of the home must be no higher than $140,000.

Applications are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. You must find a suitable home by the deadline March 31, 2009. However, the actual closing date of the sale may be after the date.

Time is running out, have you found your home yet?

For details on the program or an application, visit or call 519-661-2500 ext 5524

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rent Increase Guideline

The Ontario Government has set the rent increase guideline at 1.8% for 2009.

This is the maximum amount a landlord can increase rent for a current tenant, if at least 12 months have passed since the move in date. A landlord must give at least 90 days written notice to tenants before enforcing the rent increase.

This amount does not apply if you are renting to new tenants or those not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Real Estate Market in Perspective

I came across a couple more wonderful articles discussing our real estate market.

Average housing prices have been, and continue, to decrease nationally as Canadian home prices adjust to the market. Again, we won't be seeing a crisis here as our neighbours to the South have been experiencing.

The London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) cite the average price of homes sold in December dipped below $200,000, compared to $206,557 same month last year. Nonetheless 2008 was a good year overall with 8,356 homes sold. This is down 11% from 2007, which was a record-breaking year for sales. 2008 sales were well within the 10-year average.

St. Thomas recorded 632 home sales for 2008, down from 867 in 2007. However home prices are holding up well, with the average price in St. Thomas for December was $187,361, compared to $172,550 same month last year.

A big factor in the London-St. Thomas market this year has been an increase in the number of listings. 3,133 listings in December, compared to 2,241 listings last year.

To learn more, click here to read "'Modest' dip, not crash, predicted for house prices".

Click here to read "Home sales, prices fall".

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Welcome back

Happy New Year
Happy New Years! The blog will be back on schedule now that the holidays are over. To kick off our new year, I found a great article in the London Free Press for those of you worried about the economy. Click here if you would like to read it. It echoes some of my previous posts.

Although London's housing market is slowing down, we have had a traditionally stable market. The housing market will remain healthy thanks to our diverse economy. It may look dismal in the U.S., but in Canada mortgage rates are good and inflation is under control.