Milton ON

August 2020 Market Statistics

August 2020 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release August Stats

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President Lisa Patel announced that the strong rebound

in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales continued with a record result for the month of August. GTA REALTORS® reported 10,775 residential sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in August 2020 – up by 40.3 per cent compared to August 2019.

Sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions. It should be noted that the low-rise market segments, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses, were the drivers of sales growth. Condominium apartment sales were up on an annual basis for the second straight month but to a lesser degree.

“Increased demand for ownership housing has been based on improving economic conditions, in terms of monthly GDP growth and job creation, and the continuation of very low borrowing costs. In addition, fewer households have chosen to go on vacation as a result of COVID-19 and instead have remained in the GTA and been active in the housing market, satisfying pent-up demand from the spring,” said Ms. Patel.

Both the number of new listings entered into TRREB’s MLS® System during the month and the number of active listings at the end of the August 2020 were up on a year-over-year basis. While new listings were up strongly for all home types, growth in new condominium apartment listings far outstripped growth in the other market segments.

“Generally speaking, market conditions remained very tight in the GTA resale market in August. Competition between buyers was especially strong for low-rise home types, leading to robust annual rates of price growth. However, with growth in condominium apartment listings well-outstripping condo sales growth, condo market conditions were comparatively more balanced, which was reflected in a slower pace of price growth in that segment,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 11.1 per cent in August 2020 compared to August 2019. Over the same period, the overall average selling price was up by 20.1 per cent to $951,404. Annual detached and semi-detached sales growth was stronger in the comparatively more-expensive City of Toronto compared to the surrounding GTA regions, which helps explain why growth in the overall average selling price outstripped growth in the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 11.2 %

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 5.3 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 15.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 2.7 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 13.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +2.7 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 15.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +12.1 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 17.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 13.8%

Brampton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 14.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 3.4%

Toronto Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 12.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 12.6 %

Posted by Christine Pecharich
Move-Up vs. Second Home: Which One Is Right For You?

Move-Up vs. Second Home: Which One Is Right For You?

The pandemic has changed the way many of us live, work, and attend school—and those changes have impacted our priorities when it comes to choosing a home.

According to a recent survey by The Harris Poll, 75% of respondents who have begun working remotely would like to continue doing so—and 66% would consider moving if they no longer had to commute as often. Some of the top reasons were to gain a dedicated office space (31%), a larger home (30%), and more rooms overall (29%).1

And now that virtual school has become a reality for many families, that need for additional space has only intensified. A growing number of buyers are choosing homes further from town as they seek out more room and less congestion. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly 40% of urban dwellers had considered leaving the city because of the COVID-19 outbreak.2

But not everyone is permanently sold on suburban or rural life. Instead, some are choosing to purchase a second home as a co-primary residence or frequent getaway. Without the requirements of a five-day commute, many homeowners feel less tethered to their primary residence and are eager for a change of scenery after spending so much time at home.

If you’re feeling cramped in your current space, you’ve probably considered a move. But what type of home would suit you best: a move-up home or a second home? Let’s explore each option to help you determine which one is right for you.

WHY CHOOSE A MOVE-UP HOME?

A move-up home is typically a larger or nicer home. It’s a great choice for families or individuals who simply need more space, a better location, or want features their current home doesn’t offer—like an inground pool, a different floor plan, or a dedicated home office.

Most move-up buyers choose to sell their current home and use the proceeds as a down payment on their next one. If you’re struggling with a lack of functional or outdoor space in your current home, a move-up home can greatly improve your everyday life. And with mortgage rates at their lowest level in history, you may be surprised how much home you can afford to buy without increasing your monthly payment.3,4

To learn more about mortgage rates, contact us for a free copy of our recent report!
Lowest Mortgage Rates in History: What It Means for Homeowners and Buyers”

One major benefit of choosing a move-up home is that you can typically afford a nicer place if you spend your entire budget on one property. However, if you’re longing for that vacation vibe, a second home may be a better choice for you.

WHY CHOOSE A SECOND HOME?

Once reserved for the ultra-wealthy, second homes have become more mainstream. Home sales are surging in many resort and bedroom communities as city dwellers search for a place to escape the crowds and quarantine in comfort.5 And with air travel on hold for many families, some are channeling their vacation budgets into vacation homes that can be utilized throughout the year.

A second home can also be a good option if you’re preparing for retirement. By purchasing your retirement home now, you can lock in a low interest rate, start paying down the mortgage, and begin enjoying the perks of retirement living while you’re still fit and active. Plus, it’s easier to qualify for a mortgage while you’re employed, although you may be charged a slightly higher interest rate than on a primary home loan.6

One advantage of choosing a second home is that you can offset a portion of the costs—and in some cases turn a profit—by renting it out on a platform like Airbnb or Vrbo. However, be sure to consult with a real estate professional or rental management company to get a realistic sense of the property’s true income potential.

WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME?

You may read this and think: I’d really like both a move-up home AND a second home! But if you’re dealing with a limited budget (aren’t we all?), you’ll probably need to make a choice. These three tactics can help you decide which option is right for you.

1. Determine Your Time and Financial Budget

You may meet the bank’s qualifications to purchase a home, but do you have the time, energy, and financial resources to maintain it? This is an important question to ask yourself, no matter what type of home you choose.

Most buyers realize that a second home will mean double mortgages, utilities, taxes, and insurance. But consider all the extra time and expense that goes into maintaining two properties. Two lawns to mow. Two houses to clean. Two sets of systems and appliances that can malfunction. Second homes aren’t always a vacation. Make sure you’re prepared for the labor and carrying costs that go into maintaining another residence.

Of course, some move-up homes require more work than a second home. For example, if your move-up option is a major fixer-upper, you’ll probably invest more energy and capital than you would on a small vacation condo by the beach. Have an honest discussion about how much time and money you want to spend on your new property. Would a move-up home or a second home be a better fit given your parameters?

        2. Rank Your Priorities

 If you’re still undecided, make a wish list of the characteristics you’d like in your new home. Then rank each item from

most to least important. This exercise can help you determine your “must-have” features—and which ones you may need to sacrifice or delay. Here’s a sample to help you get started:

 

# FEATURE
  Dedicated home office
  Extra bedroom
  Pool
  Walk to the beach
  Big backyard
  Close to friends and family
  Short commute to the office
  Investment potential

      3. Explore Your Options

Once you’ve determined your parameters and priorities, it’s time to begin your home search.
If you’re still not sure whether a move-up home or a second home is right for you, we can help.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss your options and help you assess the pros and cons of each, given your unique circumstances.

We can also send you property listings for both move-up homes and second homes within your budget so you can better envision each scenario. Sometimes, viewing listings of homes that meet your criteria can make the decision clear.

LET’S GET MOVING

Whether you’re ready to make a move or need help weighing your options, we’d love to help. We can determine your current home’s value and show you local properties that fit within your budget. Or, if your heart is set on a second home in another market, we can refer you to an agent in your dream locale. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation!

 

 

Sources:
1. Zillow –
https://www.zillow.com/research/coronavirus-remote-work-suburbs-27046/
2. The Harris Poll –

Should you flee your city? Almost 40% have considered it during the pandemic


3. MarketWatch –
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mortgage-rates-keeping-falling-so-will-they-finally-drop-to-0-2020-08-13
4. Toronto Star –
https://www.thestar.com/business/2020/08/07/you-can-get-a-fixed-rate-as-low-as-184-per-cent-which-is-unbelievable-low-mortgage-rates-driving-up-home-prices.html
5. Kiplinger –
https://www.kiplinger.com/real-estate/buying-a-home/601091/timely-reasons-to-buy-a-vacation-home
6. The Press-Enterprise –

5 tips on when should you buy a retirement house (hint: before you quit work)

Posted by Christine Pecharich
Lowest Mortgage Rates in History: What It Means for Homeowners and Buyers

Lowest Mortgage Rates in History: What It Means for Homeowners and Buyers

The interest rate on Canada’s most popular mortgage, the five-year fixed rate, has fallen to its lowest level in history. In early June, HSBC made headlines when it began offering Canadians a five-year fixed-rate mortgage below 2%. Multiple brokers followed suit, and some are now advertising even lower rates.1 And while many Canadians have rushed to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity, others question the hype. Are today’s mortgage rates really a bargain?

While discounted five-year fixed mortgage rates have hovered between 2% and 4% for the past decade, they haven’t always been so low.2 For a period of 18 years, from 1973 to 1991, the posted five-year mortgage rate never fell below 10%. At the time, the Bank of Canada was hiking interest rates to try to stem a rising tide of inflation. It’s hard to imagine now, but the five-year fixed rate peaked at over 21% in 1981.3 Fortunately for home buyers, inflation began to normalize soon after, sending mortgage rates on a downward trajectory that has helped make homeownership more affordable for millions of Canadians.

So what’s causing today’s five-year fixed rates to sink to unprecedented lows? Economic uncertainty.

Fixed mortgage rates move in sync with the yield offered on government-backed bonds.4 As the coronavirus pandemic continues to dampen the economy and inject volatility into the stock market, a growing number of investors are shifting their money into low-risk bonds. This increased demand has driven bond yields—and mortgage rates—down.1

Quantitative easing measures taken by the Bank of Canada are also helping to bring down mortgage rates. The federal bank dropped its overnight lending rate to .25%, and it continues to inject billions of dollars into the economy, giving financial institutions the confidence and ability to continue lending.1

 HOW LOW COULD MORTGAGE RATES GO?

No one can say with certainty how low mortgage rates will fall or when they will rise again. But the Bank of Canada has signalled its commitment to keeping the policy rate at its effective lower bound of .25% for the foreseeable future, and many economists expect it to remain there through 2022.4

The real estate technology firm Mortgage Sandbox compiled forecast data from Bank of Montreal, Central 1, Desjardins, National Bank, Royal Bank, Scotiabank, and TD Bank. According to their analysis, the consensus was that the fixed 5-year mortgage rate will rise modestly over the next two years, averaging between 2.3% and 2.88%.5

While forecasts may differ, many experts agree: Those who wait to take advantage of these unprecedented rates could miss out on the deal of a lifetime. Positive news about a vaccine or a faster-than-expected economic recovery could send rates back up to pre-pandemic levels.

  SHOULD I CONSIDER BREAKING MY CURRENT MORTGAGE?

If you have a variable rate or recently renewed your mortgage, you may already be enjoying the benefits of falling interest rates. But if you’re locked into a higher fixed-rate mortgage for the next several years, you’re probably wondering if it’s a good idea to refinance.

Reduced interest rates can save homeowners a bundle on both monthly payments and interest over the term of a mortgage. The chart below illustrates the potential savings when you decrease your mortgage rate by just one percentage point. When it comes to refinancing, the bigger the spread, the greater the potential savings.

 Estimated Monthly Payment On 5-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

25-Year Amortization 

Loan Amount 3.5% 2.5% Monthly Savings Interest Savings Over 5 Years
$100,000 $499 $448 $51 $4,720
$200,000 $999 $896 $103 $9,441
$300,000 $1498 $1,344 $154 $14,161
$400,000 $1,997 $1,792 $205 $18,881
$500,000 $2,496 $2,240 $256 $23,601

Of course, you’ll need to factor in prepayment penalties and any fees associated with your new mortgage. In some cases, these can cost as much as 4% of the mortgage amount.6 You can use an online refinance calculator to estimate your potential savings, or we’d be happy to connect you with a mortgage professional in our network who can help you decide if refinancing is a good option for you.

 HOW DO LOW MORTGAGE RATES BENEFIT HOME BUYERS?

We’ve already shown how low rates can save you money on your mortgage payments. But if you can meet the mortgage stress-test requirements,* they can also give a boost to your budget by increasing your purchasing power.

For example, imagine you have a budget of $1,500 to put toward your monthly mortgage payment. If you take out a 5-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.0% amortized over 25 years, you can afford a loan of $285,000.

Now let’s assume the mortgage rate falls to 3.0%. At that rate, you can afford to borrow $317,000 while still keeping the same $1,500 monthly payment. That’s a budget increase of $32,000!

If the rate falls even further to 2.0%, you can afford to borrow $354,000 and still pay the same $1,500 each month. That’s $69,000 over your original budget! All because the interest rate fell by two percentage points. If you’ve been priced out of the market before, today’s low rates may put you in a better position to afford your dream home.

On the other hand, rising mortgages rates will erode your purchasing power. Wait to buy, and you may have to settle for a smaller home in a less-desirable neighbourhood. So if you’re planning to move, don’t miss out on the phenomenal discount you can get with today’s historically-low rates.

(*This scenario assumes you can meet the current mortgage stress-test requirements.)

 HOW CAN I SECURE THE BEST AVAILABLE MORTGAGE RATE?

The best mortgage rates are typically reserved for only highly-qualified borrowers. So what steps can you take to secure the lowest possible rate?

    1. Consider a Variable-Rate Mortgage

 If you’re looking for the lowest rate possible, and you don’t mind the added risk, a five-year variable mortgage may be right for you. Even though the prime rate has held steady at 2.45% since April 10, lenders are gradually increasing their discount rates.1 And interest rates are expected to remain low at least through next year.

    2. Opt for a Closed Mortgage

 Closed mortgages usually come with hefty penalties if you opt to prepay or refinance your mortgage before the term ends. However, they offer lower interest rates than convertible or open mortgages. It’s important to note that not all closed mortgages are created equal. Before you commit, make sure you understand exactly how much you’ll be expected to pay should you need to break your mortgage mid-term.

    3. Give Your Credit Score a Boost

You may have heard that the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has raised its minimum credit score requirement from 600 to 680. And while there are plenty of banks willing to lend to borrowers with a lower score, their best rates go to those with excellent credit. Unfortunately, there’s no fast fix for bad credit, but you can take steps to give your score a boost before you apply for a loan:7

  • Dispute inaccuracies on your credit report.
  • Pay off debt, or spread it across multiple credit facilities.
  • Charge small amounts and then quickly pay off any dormant credit cards.
  • To lower your utilization rate, pay your credit card bill before the statement date

     4. Make a Large Down Payment

 You may be surprised to learn that the lowest advertised rates often go to insured borrowers who put down less than 20%. That’s because these “high-ratio borrowers” must pay for mortgage default insurance, which protects the lender from any financial loss. So while “conventional borrowers” who make a down payment of 20% may be charged a slightly higher interest rate, their total borrowing costs are lower because they don’t have to pay for mortgage default insurance.8 A down payment larger than 20% can bring down borrowing costs even further.

    5. Shop Around

 Rates, terms, and fees can vary widely amongst lenders, so do your homework. If you’re renewing an existing mortgage, start with your current lender. Then contact several others to find out which one is willing to offer you the best overall deal. But be sure to complete the process within 45 days—or else the credit inquiries by multiple mortgage companies could have a negative impact on your credit score.9

READY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE LOWEST MORTGAGE RATES IN HISTORY?

 

 

Mortgage rates have never been this low. Don’t miss out on your chance to lock in a great rate on a new home or refinance your existing mortgage. Either way, we can help.

 

We’d be happy to connect you with the most trusted mortgage professionals in our network. And if you’re ready to start shopping for a new home, we’d love to assist you with your search—all at no cost to you! Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult a financial professional for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

Sources:

  1. Canadian Mortgage Trends –
    https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2020/06/mortgage-rates-keep-setting-new-record-lows/
  2. Rate Hub –
    https://www.ratehub.ca/5-year-fixed-mortgage-rate-history
  3. The Globe and Mail –
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/the-market/remember-when-what-have-we-learned-from-80s-interest-rates/article24398735/
  4. Canadian Mortgage Trends –
    https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2020/07/bank-of-canada-hints-at-no-interest-rate-hikes-until-2023/
  5. Mortgage Sandbox –
    https://www.mortgagesandbox.com/mortgage-interest-rate-forecast
  6. Financial Post –
    https://business.financialpost.com/moneywise/with-mortgage-rates-bottomed-out-its-time-for-homeowners-to-take-advantage
  7. Canadian Mortgage Trends –
    https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2020/02/five-tips-increase-credit-score-quickly/
  8. Integrated Mortgage Planners –
    https://www.integratedmortgageplanners.com/blog/first-time-home-buyers/canadian-mortgage-rates-explained-why-a-smaller-down-payment-comes-with-a-lower-mortgage-rate-tuesday-morning-interest-rate-update-may-23-2017/
  9. Equifax –
    https://www.consumer.equifax.ca/personal/education/credit-report/understanding-hard-inquiries-on-credit-report/

Posted by Christine Pecharich
July 2020 Market Statistics

July 2020 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release July 2020 Stats

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Lisa Patel announces that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 11,081 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in July 2020 – a 29.5 per cent increase over July 2019 and a new record for the month of July. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up by 49.5 per cent compared to June 2020.

Year-over-year sales growth was driven by low-rise home types, particularly in the regions surrounding the City of Toronto. However, condominium apartment sales were also up on an annual basis, including in Toronto. Total new listings were also up strongly on a year-over-year basis by 24.7 per cent, but this annual growth rate was less than that of sales, which means market conditions tightened on average compared to July 2019. In addition, active listings at the end of July were down by 16.3 per cent.

“Sales activity was extremely strong for the first full month of summer. Normally we would see sales dip in July relative to June as more households take vacation, especially with children out of school. This year, however, was different with pent-up demand from the COVID-19-related lull in April and May being satisfied in the summer, as economic recovery takes firmer hold, including the Stage 3 re-opening. In addition, fewer people are travelling, which has likely translated into more transactions and listings,” said Ms. Patel.

The July 2020 MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 10 per cent compared to July 2019. The overall average selling price was up by 16.9 per cent year-over-year to $943,710. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was up by 5.5 per cent compared to June 2020.

Price growth was strongest for low-rise home types, notably within the City of Toronto. Despite more balanced market conditions in the condominium apartment market segment, year-over-year price growth remained in the high single digits.

“Competition between buyers continued to increase in many segments of the GTA ownership housing market in July, which fuelled a further acceleration in year-over-year price growth in July compared to June. On top of this, we also experienced stronger sales growth in the more-expensive detached market segment, which helps explain why annual growth in the overall average selling price was stronger than growth for the MLS® HPI Composite benchmark,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

 

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 9.9%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 11.3 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 13.9%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 11.2 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 13.5%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 2.9%

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 13.5%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +5.2 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 14%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 37.7%

Brampton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 13.5%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 10.6%

Toronto Central Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 10.1%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 17.1 %

City of GUELPH on
Single Family Average Sale Price $ 721,325 up by 15.2%
Number of Sales 135 up by 4.7%

Posted by Christine Pecharich
20 Ways to Save Money and Stretch Your Household Budget

20 Ways to Save Money and Stretch Your Household Budget

These days, it seems like everyone’s looking for ways to cut costs and stretch their income further. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your household expenses without making radical changes to your standard of living. When combined, these small adjustments can add up to significant savings each month.

Here are 20 things you can start doing today to lower your bills, secure better deals, and begin working toward your financial goals.

1. Refinance Your Mortgage – For prime borrowers, mortgage rates are at or near historic lows. Depending on your current mortgage rate and the terms you choose, refinancing could save you a sizable amount on your monthly payments. There are fees and closing costs associated with refinancing, so you’ll need to talk to your lender to find out if refinancing is a good option for you.

2. Evaluate Your Insurance Policies – If it’s been a while since you priced home or auto insurance, it may be worthwhile to do some comparison shopping. Get quotes from at least three insurers or independent agents. Try bundling your policies to see if there’s a discount. And inquire about raising your deductible, which should lower your premium.(1)

3. Bundle Cable, Phone, and Internet – You can also save money by bundling your cable, phone, and internet services together. Shop around to see who is willing to give you the best deal. If switching is too much of a hassle, ask your current provider to match or beat their competitor’s offer.

4. Better Yet, Cut the Cord on Cable – In many cases, you can save even more if you cancel your cable subscription altogether. An antenna should give you access to the major stations, and many of your favorite shows are probably available on-demand through a less expensive streaming service subscription.

5. Revisit Your Wireless Plan – You can often save by switching from a big brand to an independent, low-cost carrier. If that’s not feasible, ask your current provider for a better deal or consider downgrading to a cheaper plan.

6. Adjust Your Thermostat – Turning your thermostat up or down a few degrees can have a noticeable impact on your monthly heating and cooling costs. To maximize efficiency, change your filters regularly, and make sure your windows and doors are well insulated.

7. Use Less Hot Water – After heating and cooling, hot water accounts for the second largest energy expense in most homes.(2) To cut back, repair any leaks or dripping faucets, install low-flow fixtures, only run your dishwasher when full, and wash clothes in cold water when possible.

8. Lower Overall Water Consumption – To decrease your water usage, take shorter showers, and turn off the sink while you brush your teeth and wash your hands. If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, retrofit your current one with a toilet tank bank or fill cycle diverter. And irrigate your lawn in the morning or evening to minimize evaporation.(3)

9. Conserve Electricity – Save electricity by shutting off your computer at night and installing energy-efficient LED light bulbs. You can minimize standby or “vampire” power drain by utilizing power strips and unplugging idle appliances.(4)

10. Purchase a Home Warranty – While there is an upfront cost, a home warranty can provide some protection and peace of mind when it comes to unexpected home repair costs. Most plans provide coverage for major systems (like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC) and appliances (such as your dishwasher, stove, or refrigerator).

11. Outsource Less – From lawn care to grocery shopping to minor home repairs, we pay people to do a lot of things our parents and grandparents did themselves. To save money, try cutting back on the frequency of these services or taking some of them on yourself.

12. Prepare Your Own Meals – It costs nearly five times more to have a meal delivered than it does to cook it at home.(5) And home cooking doesn’t just save money; it’s healthier, cuts down on calorie consumption, and can offer a fun activity for families to do together.

13. Plan Your Menu in Advance – Meal planning is deciding before you shop what you and your family will eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It can help you lower your overall food bill, eliminate waste, and minimize impulse purchases. When possible, buy produce that is in season, and utilize nutrient-rich but inexpensive protein sources like eggs, beans, ground turkey, and canned tuna.

14. Plant a Garden – You can save even more on produce by growing it yourself. If you have space in your yard, start-up costs are relatively minimal. Gardening can be a rewarding and enjoyable (not to mention delicious) hobby for the whole family. And it could save you around $600 per year at the grocery store!6

15. Review Memberships and Subscriptions – Are you paying for services and subscriptions you no longer need, want, or can utilize? Determine if there are any that you should suspend or cancel.

16. Give Homemade Gifts – Who wouldn’t appreciate a scratch birthday cake or tin of cookies? And if you enjoy crafting, Pinterest and Instagram are full of inspiring ideas. Show your recipient how much you care with a homemade gift from the heart.

17. Minimize Your Debt Payments – The best way to reduce a debt payment is to pay down the balance. But if that’s not an option right now, try to negotiate a better interest rate. If you have a good credit score, you may be able to qualify for a balance transfer to a 0% or low-interest rate credit card. Keep in mind, the rate may expire after a certain period—so be sure to read the fine print.

18. Get a Cash-back Credit Card – If you regularly pay your credit card balance in full, a cash-back credit card can be a good way to earn a little money back each month. However, they often come with high-interest rates and fees if you carry a balance. Commit to only using it for purchases you can afford.

19. Ask for Deals and Discounts – It may feel awkward at first, but becoming a master haggler can save you a lot of money. Many companies are willing to negotiate under the right circumstances. Always inquire about special promotions or incentives. See if they are able to price match (or beat) their competitors. And if an item is slightly defective or nearing its expiration date, ask for a discount.

20. Track Your Household Budget – One of the most effective ways to reduce household expenses is to set a budget—and stick to it. A budget can help you see where your money is going and identify areas where you can cut back. By setting reasonable limits, you’ll be able to reach your financial goals faster.

Want more help getting a handle on your finances? Use the budget worksheet below to track income and expenses—and start working towards your financial goals today! Please reach out to me for a downloadable version.

HOUSEHOLD BUDGET WORKSHEET

  Expected Actual Difference
HOUSING
Mortgage/taxes/insurance or Rent
Utilities (electricity, water, gas, trash)
Phone, internet, cable
Home maintenance and repairs
FOOD
Groceries
Restaurants
TRANSPORTATION
Car payment/insurance
Gas, maintenance, repairs
OTHER
Health insurance
Clothing and personal care
Childcare
Entertainment
Gifts and charitable contributions
Savings, retirement, college fund
INCOME
Salary/wages
Tips and other
MONTHLY TOTALS
Total Actual Income
Total Actual Expenses
ADDITIONAL SAVINGS

WE’RE HERE TO HELP
We would love to help you meet your financial goals. Whether you want to refinance your mortgage, save up for a down payment, or simply find lower-cost alternatives for home repairs, maintenance, or utilities, we are happy to provide our insights and referrals. And if you have plans to buy or sell a home this year, we can discuss the steps you should be taking to financially prepare. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult a financial professional for advice regarding your individual needs.

Sources:

1. Insurance Information Institute –
https://www.iii.org/article/twelve-ways-to-lower-your-homeowners-insurance-costs
2. Department of Energy –
https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/water-heating/reduce-hot-water-use-energy-savings
3. Money Crashers –
https://www.moneycrashers.com/ways-conserve-water/
4. Harvard University –
https://green.harvard.edu/tools-resources/poster/top-5-steps-reduce-your-energy-consumption
5. Forbes –
https://www.forbes.com/sites/priceonomics/2018/07/10/heres-how-much-money-do-you-save-by-cooking-at-home/#2c53b2f35e54
6. Money –
https://money.com/gardening-grocery-savings/

Posted by Christine Pecharich
March 2020 Market Statistics

March 2020 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release March 2020 Stats

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,012 home sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in March 2020 – up by 12.3 per cent compared to 7,132 sales reported in March 2019.

However, despite a strong increase in sales for March 2020 as a whole, there was a clear break in market activity between the pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 periods. For the purposes of this release, the start of the post-COVID-19 period was the week beginning Sunday, March 15.

  • The overall March sales result was clearly driven by the first two weeks of the month. There were 4,643 sales reported in the pre-COVID-19 period, accounting for 58 per cent of total transactions and representing a 49 per cent increase compared to the first 14 days of March 2019.
  • There were 3,369 sales reported during the post-COVID-period – down by 15.9 per cent compared to the same period in March 2019.

For March as a whole, new listings were up by three per cent year-over-year to 14,424. However, similar to sales, new listings dropped on a year-over-year basis during the second half of the month (beginning March 15) by 18.4 per cent.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark price was up by 11.1 per cent year-over-year in March 2020. The average selling price for March 2020 as a whole was $902,680 – up 14.5 per cent compared to March 2019. The average selling price for sales reported between March 15 and March 31, was $862,563 – down from the first half of March 2020, but still up by 10.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 12.1%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +9.5 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 12.4 %

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 27.2 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 16.1 %

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 16.2 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 17.0 %

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 32.2 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 17.9 %

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +16.1 %

Posted by Christine Pecharich
February 2020 Market Statistics

February 2020 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release February 2020 Stats

In line with the forecast contained in the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s recently released Market Year in Review and Outlook Report, TREB President Michael Collins announced a very strong year-over-year sales and price growth in February 2020.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,256 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2020, representing a 45.6 per cent increase compared to a 10-year sales low in February 2019. However, February 2020 sales were still below the 2017 record result. Year-over-year sales growth, for the GTA as a whole, was strongest for ground-oriented home types.

After preliminary seasonal adjustment, February 2020 sales also exhibited positive momentum, up by 14.8 per cent compared to January 2020.

New listings amounted to 10,613 in February 2020, a 7.9 per cent increase compared to February 2019. This moderate annual growth rate was much smaller than that reported for sales, which means market conditions tightened considerably over the past year.

As market conditions tightened over the past year, competition between buyers has clearly increased. This resulted in a further acceleration in year-over-year price growth in February. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 10.2 per cent. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by 16.7 per cent to $910,290. Double-digit average price growth was experienced for most major market segments, including detached houses and condominium apartments.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 8.5%

Number of Sales over this time last year: +9.2 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 13.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +54.7 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 20.9%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +18.5 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 18.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +50.5 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 19.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +23.8 %

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville
January 2020 Market Statistics

January 2020 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release January 2020 Stats

TRREB President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,581 home sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in January 2020 – up by 15.4 per cent compared to January 2019. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up by 4.8 per cent compared to December 2019.

“We started 2020 where 2019 left off, with very strong growth in the number of sales up against a continued dip in the number of new and available listings. Tighter market conditions compared to a year ago resulted in much stronger growth in average selling prices. Steady population growth, low unemployment and low borrowing costs continued to underpin substantial competition between buyers in all major market segments,” said Mr. Collins.

The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price was up by 8.7 per cent compared to January 2019 – the highest annual rate of growth for the Benchmark since October 2017. The condominium apartment market segment continued to lead the way in terms of MLS HPI® price growth, but all home types experienced price growth above seven per cent when considering the TRREB market area as a whole. The average selling price in January was up by 12.3 per cent, driven by the detached and condominium apartment segments in the City of Toronto.

“A key difference in the price growth story in January 2020 compared to January 2019 was in the low-rise market segments, particularly with regard to detached houses. A year seems to have made a big difference. It is clear that many buyers who were on the sidelines due to the OSFI stress test are moving back into the market, driving very strong year-over-year sales growth in the detached segment. Strong sales up against a constrained supply continues to result in an accelerating rate of price growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 3.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 12.0 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 5.2 %

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 17.0 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 16.2 %

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 0.8 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 8.0 %

Number of Sales over this time last year: + 45 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 10.9 %

Number of Sales over this time last year: + 13.7 %

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville
DECEMBER MARKET STATISTICS

DECEMBER MARKET STATISTICS

GTA REALTORS® Release December and Annual 2019 Stats

January 7, 2020 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Michael Collins reported that December 2019 residential sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System by Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® were up by 17.4 per cent year-over-year to 4,399. Total sales for calendar year 2019 amounted to 87,825 – up by 12.6 per cent compared to the decade low 78,015 sales reported in 2018. On an annual basis, 2019 sales were in line with the median annual sales result for the past decade.

“We certainly saw a recovery in sales activity in 2019, particularly in the second half of the year. As anticipated, many home buyers who were initially on the sidelines moved back into the market place starting in the spring. Buyer confidence was buoyed by a strong regional economy and declining contract mortgage rates over the course of the year,” said Mr. Collins.

While sales were up in 2019, the number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System was down by 2.4 per cent year-over-year. For the past decade, annual new listings have been largely in a holding pattern between 150,000 and 160,000, despite the upward trend in home prices over the same period.

“Over the last ten years, TREB has been drawing attention to the housing supply issue in the GTA. Increasingly, policy makers, research groups of varying scope and other interested parties have acknowledged that the lack of a diverse supply of ownership and rental housing continues to hamper housing affordability in the GTA. Taking 2019 as an example, we experienced a strong sales increase up against a decline in supply. Tighter market conditions translated into accelerating price growth. Expect further acceleration in 2020 if there is no relief on the supply front,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 7.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in December 2019. From June 2019 onward, the annual growth rate in the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark accelerated. The average selling price in December 2019 was $837,788 – up almost 12 per cent year-over-year. For calendar year 2019, the average selling price was $819,319 – up by four per cent compared to $787,856 in 2018.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 5.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 17.5 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 0.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 7 %

 

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 2.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 8.1 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 3.8%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 17.3 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 7.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 12.0 %

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville
AUGUST 2019 MARKET STATISTICS

AUGUST 2019 MARKET STATISTICS

GTA REALTORS® Release August 2019 Stats

September 5, 2019 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,711 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2019. This result represented a 13.4 per cent increase compared to 6,797 sales reported in August 2018. On a monthover- month basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales were up by 0.8 per cent.

GTA-wide sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major market segments, with annual rates of sales growth strongest for low-rise home types including detached houses. This reflects the fact that demand for more expensive home types was very low in 2018 and has rebounded to a certain degree in 2019, albeit not back to the record levels experienced in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

Market conditions also became tighter in August 2019 compared to a year ago because, while sales were up year-over-year, new listings were down by three per cent over the same time period to 11,789. Year-to-date, growth in sales has well outstripped growth in new listings. This is why overall active listings counted at the end of August were down by more than 11 per cent compared to August 2018.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for August 2019 was up by 4.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis. The average selling price, at $792,611 in August 2019, was up by 3.6 per cent year-over-year. Both the MLS® HPI benchmark prices and average selling prices were up on an annual basis for major market segments. The condominium apartment segment continued to lead the way in terms of price growth, followed by higher density low-rise home types and finally detached houses.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 4.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 21.4%

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 0%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 4.3%

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + .8%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 11.2%

Halton Hills (Georgetown) Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 3.0%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 15.3%

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 9.3%

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich