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James Metcalfe's Real Estate Market Update 10,11


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  • 1. MarketNewsJAMES METCALFE’S REAL ESTATE UPDATE OCTOBER 2011 SEPTEMBER RESALE MARKET STAYS STRONGGreater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,658 sales through While sales have been strong especially in recent months, thethe TorontoMLS® system in September 2011, continuing the market continues to experience a shortage of listings, whichstrong momentum of the past several months. The growth has resulted in more competition between home buyers.rate versus September 2010 was a whopping 25% and, on a Buyers also have enjoyed rising incomes combined withyear-to-date basis (January thru September), sales growth now the aforementioned low interest rates. These factors havestands at 2.6 percent versus the first nine months of 2010. conspired to push the average price of a resale home in theThe fragile state of the global economic recovery has clearly GTA to $465,369 - which is up almost by 10% versus thebenefitted the market by propagating our exceptionally low September 2010 average price of $425,757. The total numberinterest rate environment. The Bank of Canada is now solidly of active listings on the market stood at 18,808 at the endcommitted to maintaining low rates well into 2012 (good news of September, which was down by 8% versus the Septemberfor variable mortgage rates) while the continued migration 2010 month-end figure of 20,334. It took 27 days on averageof stocks into bonds will keep bond yields very low as well to sell a resale home in September, which was 6 days fewer(good news for fixed mortgage rates). than the 33 days it took to sell a home in September 2010. GTA RESALE HOME SALES (UNITS SOLD) - SEPTEMBER GTA RESALE HOME SALES (AVERAGE PRICE) - SEPTEMBER 2008 2008 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 $300,000 $350,000 $400,000 $450,000 James Metcalfe BROKER 416-931-4161 Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. Johnston & Daniel Division, Brokerage 477 Mount Pleasant Rd., Toronto, ON M4S 2L9 PAGE 1
  • 2. Smoking in condominiumsCondoCornerAs the debate about smoking heats up across the country, it seems the Tribunal made the following statement:to be getting close to the boiling point in some condominium If the Kabatoff’s are able to establish that they havecorporations. In the condominium setting, balancing the rights disabilities that are exacerbated by secondhandor privileges of all residents is often a difficult task. In the case of smoke, their complaint that [the condo corp.] failedsmoking, it seems there is never an easy answer. The issues related to to accommodate their disabilities could amount tosmoking may slowly be coming into sharper focus. discrimination under the Code.Changes in provincial legislation which occurred in 2006 had This is a strong statement. In essence, the statement suggests thatthe effect of prohibiting smoking of tobacco in any enclosed if human rights issues are raised, there could be a possibility that acommon area of a condominium. So, for example, it was clear that condominium corporation could be forced to become “smoke free”condominium corporations were now required to have smoke-free – both on the common elements, and in the units!hallways, party rooms and lobbies. NOTE: As noted briefly above, this case has not been argued on itsIt has also been our view that the application of this legislation in merits. Furthermore, there is some indication that it may not reach aconjunction with general condominium law principles permits a full hearing, as settlement discussions are underway.condominium corporation to prohibit smoking on all common Where do we go from here? If a condominium wants to becomeelements (including the exclusive use common element areas and entirely smoke-free (by banning smoking in the units), theother outdoor areas) by passing a rule. condominium may consider the following:The issue which has remained in question is: Can the corporation 1. Amending the Declaration (with the consent of the owners ofprohibit smoking in the units as well? A recent decision of the at least 80% of the units); orBritish Columbia Human Rights Tribunal [Kabatoff v. Strata Corp. 2. Passing a Rule.NW 2767, 2009 BCFRT 344] may shed some light on this issue, In our view, a Declaration amendment would very likely be valid andand could have national implications. The Kabatoffs have lived in enforceable. However, the validity of such a rule is questionable.their condominium unit for many years. The Kabatoffs suffer from [The Courts have not yet considered such a Rule.] In either caserespiratory illnesses and allergies, both of which are exasperated by (Declaration or Rule), we are inclined to feel that existing smokerscigarette smoke. Recently, a new owner moved into a neighbouring would have to be grandfathered. [Yes, smokers have rights too!]unit. The new owner smokes. The Kabatoffs attempted, withoutsuccess, to have the condominium corporation resolve the issue Furthermore, the Kabatoff case tells us that condominium corporations– essentially by forcing the neighbouring owner to either stop MIGHT have a duty to take some measures (to control smoke insmoking, or alternatively to stop all smoke transfer from the unit. units) in cases where smoke is shown to be causing a disturbance orBecause they were unable to resolve the issue with the Board of harm to any residents. We might even see new legislation or CourtDirectors, the Kabatoffs commenced a Human Rights Application. decisions that may impose duties on condominium corporations inThe Corporation sought to have the Application dismissed. these cases.The decision of the Human Rights tribunal dealt with whether This article was contributed by Nancy Houle. Nancy practices condominium lawor not the case should be dismissed. A full hearing on the “merits” with the law firm Nelligan O’Brien Payne. Please visit them at Nancyof the case has not yet occurred. However, at this initial hearing, is a partner in the firm. PAGE 2
  • 3. Most common causes of high heating bills HouseThe exact cause of high home heating bills and uncomfortable drafts Smart in the ceilings or walls. Depending on the current insulationare unique to specific conditions in each home, however one or more levels in your home, retrofitting your ceilings/walls with moreof the following factors are generally at play. insulation may be an option to reduce heat loss from your home and heating bills.1. Older, inefficient heating equipment. An older, conventional natural gas or oil fired furnace commonly operates at efficiencies 3. Air leakage through gaps in the building’s thermal on the order of 65-70%. In general, this means that for every envelope. A building that has a poorly sealed thermal envelope dollar you are spending on heating, approximately 30-35 cents (i.e., inadequately trimmed or caulked/sealed windows, doors, is going up your chimney to heat the great outdoors. Newer, attic hatches, plumb vents, foundation sills, etc.) can rapidly high efficiency systems are often 90% (or more) efficient, which leak warm air out of and cold air into the building, dropping results in less than 10 cents of each dollar being wasted. On the house temperature quickly in winter months and therefore this basis, an upgrade from a conventional furnace to a high requiring the heating system to run longer and more often. efficiency furnace could reduce heating fuel usage and costs By properly sealing the thermal envelope of leaky buildings, by 20-30%. significant energy cost reductions can often be achieved.2. Low insulation levels in the walls and ceilings. Heat flows 4. Continuous furnace blower fan operation. If the house from the inside of your home to the outside during colder is heated by a forced air central heating system, the drafty months. The barrier between the interior heated portion of conditions may be caused by continuous furnace blower your home and the outside or unheated portions of your home operation. The blower is a large fan located in the base of the (i.e., most attics and garages) is called a “thermal envelope”. furnace that circulates air in a home. You can check if continuous The more insulation you have in your walls and ceilings blower operation is the source of the drafty conditions by feeling (thermal envelope), the slower the rate of heat loss from the for an intermittent cool breeze at heat registers in your home. house. Insulation levels within the thermal envelope are often If a cool breeze is noted, attempt to adjust the fan setting on measured by R-value. An R-value is simply a measure of thermal your thermostat from “manual” to “automatic” mode. If your resistance. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance thermostat is older and not equipped with these settings, a to heat transfer. Current R-values required by building codes similar switch may be located at the main panel of your furnace. in Canada are on the order of R-32 for ceilings and R-19 for If neither of these switches are present, consider consulting a walls, although this varies significantly with the location of the heating contractor to discuss possible options to reduce the home. A typical house built 30 years ago often had an R-15 drafty conditions and improve comfort in your home. ceiling insulation level and R-10 wall insulation level. Houses This article was contributed by Amerispec Canada, a leading Canadian home built before 1940 often had very little or no insulation installed inspection company. Visit them online at PAGE 3
  • 4. TO MY VALUED FRIENDS AND CLIENTS One of the most often asked questions we receive as One interesting way to look at it is that the relatively small REALTORS® has to do with the importance of professional investment in home staging will generally always be less than home staging toward the sale of a resale home. Many sellers the first price reduction on a home that is not sold within the wonder aloud if the end result will be worth the expense first few weeks. involved. Of course, there are many other factors at work toward a Categorically, professional home staging is almost always successful resale other than home staging. Among some of well worth the expense, which is oftentimes a rather modest the major ones are pricing, marketing and negotiating skill. amount in the overall scheme of things. It is well known that Having said this, professional home staging should always be a professionally staged home will typically sell for more money seriously considered in the mix. and in less time than a comparable home which is not staged. As mentioned on Page 1, the low interest rate environment In fact, according to one Canadian study involving 2,772 for both variable and fixed mortgages appear to be with us staged and non-staged homes, staged homes outperformed for the foreseeable future. So expect home buyer demand to non-staged homes by 4.7% in price (6.3% over list versus continue to be strong in the months ahead! 1.6% over list) and took 17 fewer days to sell (13.9 days versus 30.9 days). On a $500,000 home, this price differential As usual, your client referrals are both highly valued and much translates to well over $20,000. That’s quite a bit of change! appreciated. Until next time, take care! PEARLS OF WISDOM “So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.’” - Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer. “With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market.” - Business Week, August 2, 1968. “YOUR REFERRALS ARE SINCERELY APPRECIATED! THANK YOU!” James Metcalfe BROKER 416-931-4161 Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. Johnston & Daniel Division, Brokerage 477 Mount Pleasant Rd., Toronto, ON M4S 2L9In accordance with PIPEDA, to be removed from this mailing list please e-mail or phone this request to the REALTOR ® Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract with a broker. Theinformation and opinions contained in this newsletter are obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but their accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The publishers assume no responsibility for errors and omissions or for damages resultingfrom using the published information. This newsletter is provided with the understanding that it does not render legal, accounting or other professional advice. Statistics are courtesy of the Toronto Real Estate Board. Copyright © 2011Mission Response Inc. 416.236.0543 All Rights Reserved. D191 PAGE 4