Friday, January 18, 2019

Buyers Were Asking: The Goldilocks Phase

The Goldilocks Phase

For a lot of reasons, buying a home at any stage comes with its challenges and it’s hard to know what’s right without seeing a little of everything. We typically see buyers go through what we like to call the ‘goldilocks phase’. Yes, I’m sure you know the story of the doe eyed blondie who breaks into the home of the three bears. No, no! We’re not suggesting taking a few homes out for a test drive with its unsuspecting owners out of town, but, more mimicking her experience.  

Goldie, upon entering the home had a few different adventures… some hot, some cold and some just right.  A little tired from her travels she opted to rest her weary feet and came across three chairs. It took our fair haired friend a seat in the BIG chair and the chair that was just far too little until she was able to find the chair that was just right. Looking at the chairs she likely knew the big chair would be too big, or that steaming porridge too hot but, couldn’t help indulge anyways. 

We’ve talked a lot over the years about the home purchasing process… you set out on one journey with your list of must haves and needs and somewhere along the way you end up compromising or changing that initial list. Starting to see the parallel? A lot of buyers actually believe it’s a waste of time or, don’t want to bother their Realtor by seeing a home that is far too big or far too small for their needs. The reality is most buyers need to see it to believe it, otherwise they will be left pining over the home that they never saw and seemingly slipped away.

Alternatively, that’s when the “ah-ha!” moment actually occurs… that one home when they finally humour their Realtor and relent to see that too small home, where, they actually discover the size is more fitting to their needs. 

The moral of the storey? Take a page out of Goldilocks’ book to find what’s just right for you.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Market Conditions and Spring Forecast

This fall brought us a statistically slower but steady market through to the holidays. Average days on the market has risen to its highest point in the last two years in both Burlington and Hamilton but average sale price has rivalled that of the summer market in both areas as well. Pricing sharp has ensured a successful sale for sellers, particularly in Hamilton with a 99% price to sale ratio throughout most of the market.  With buyers still out in full force well into December there were still many transactions to close out the end of the year. As we look ahead to Spring, we can anticipate much of what we saw this same time last year… an influx of more homes on the market and buyers, now returning to their daily routines, will quickly get back into their search as well as a new group of buyers to add into the mix. Last year we saw a late start, edging almost into March before some real numbers started to tip the scales. This year, time will tell but all signs point to a prosperous balanced market.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

You Were Asking: The Measure App

The Measure App

If you have a smart phone or tablet you’ve likely noticed the recent addition of a standard measuring app. This handy feature can actually prove functional in various aspects of the home purchase and sale process. If you’ve ever ventured to open it up and play around you’ve likely noticed it’s a little tricky at first but after some exploration and some trial and error the measurements can actually be pretty accurate and furthermore are easy to save as photographic evidence directly in your device, making it accessible wherever you are! 

How many times have you gone out to the store with that paper rambling in your purse or pocket of window measurements only to find it’s been misplaced, ruined or now impossible to read? Measuring key pieces of furniture within your home can help you in the home buying process for the couple who must find the adequate space for their antique and irreplaceable king sized bed suite. Measure allows you in real time while you’re viewing the property, to determine if that home (or more specifically, its master bedroom) is a viable option. 

Think of your further visit after you purchased. Planning on installing shutters? Perhaps eyeing a new sofa or replacing the appliances. Same logic applies… you can even take a photo virtually placing the measurements directly on the space and leaving you with an easy visual not only to take away with you but easily shared with contractor or designer. 

As a seller, you could use this to your marketing advantage, boasting about the size of the yard with its ability to fit a 15’ x 30’ pool! The practical uses are abundant and as many as your imagination can come up with. Next time you venture out on a showing, you may just want to give this app a try!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

November Stats! Is the Christmas season upon us?

'Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...' can you hear that?  We are most definitely approaching the Christmas Season.  November stats have been released and overall for the RAHB Board, number of sales are down 17.1%. In Burlington, number of sales have dropped by 53, for a change of -25% since October, whereas this same time last year we actually saw an increase over October to November.  For Hamilton, number of sales have dropped by 66, for a change of -17% since October with the same as Burlington being true last year... sales were up, quit dramatically for Hamilton. 

Last year, this downward trend continued through December and into January for both Cities.  It wasn't until February that we started to see things, albeit slowly, start to creep back up.  The 2017 Spring Market was upon us as of March!  I'm going to hazard a guess that the same may be true for 2018, moving into 2019. 

For Burlington, the 35 area (Headon Forest / Millcroft etc) held the largest percentage of overall sales at 26%.  However it was the Alton Community and South-East Burlington (Roseland included), that each had average sales up over $1.3 million for their combined 13 sales.  

In Hamilton Centre, we found one neighbhourhood reporting 102% list to sale price ratio, so numbers were still strong there with average days on the market below the overall average at just 25 days. 

Typically, the market slows over the holiday season! Everyone is just preoccupied with the busy-ness of the season.  The positive, if the Buyers are out there looking, they are likely fairly serious about their search... showing their commitment.  We normally advise the Spring market for real estate will commence mid- to late January.  If it follows the same trend as last year, we might see a slightly later start to the Spring market for 2019... perhaps a slower start given that sales were still on the rise last November and didn't see the decline until December.  For now, Buyers and Sellers alike, enjoy the lull and brace yourselves for what's to come in the new year!

We're posting the stats on our website monthly... have a look at Monthly Statistics.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

You Were Asking: Mobility Hubs

Mobility Hubs

On Tuesday October 16th the J M Edwards Team attended the Open Forum meeting hosted by the Realtors Association of Hamilton Burlington to inform its members on the proposed planning and development of the four Mobility Hubs scattered around Burlington, ON. For those who don’t know, the mobility hubs are areas designated by the City, centred around our three GO Stations and downtown transit hub. 

The area surrounding these key areas actually attributes to about 5% of Burlington’s future growth so, in reviewing the plans for our City in these next 20 years, the mobility hubs have become a key component of our future planning.

These plans, now released by the City, are developed in three stages…

Phase 1: Research, public consultation, establishing land use and concept draft
Phase 2 / Current Stage: Area specific plans released, public consultation 
Phase 3: Tools and strategies of implementation

The biggest concern, particularly in the downtown areas, are what can we expect from each of these plans.  First and foremost, there are many objectives that comprise the overall plan. Everything from intensification, a varied transportation network, environmental conservation, employment opportunity, cultural heritage and more. The overriding objective is to create complete and well rounded ‘neighbourhoods’ within each hub.

Each zone is assessed separately based on the needs and existing infrastructure. Here are some highlights and proposals discussed in each of the area plans…

  • Generally, height minimums have been increased to 12-17 stories
  • Proposed park at the end of John St, with future development and land use changes
  • Area of highest density will be at Prospect/Brant where building heights will range from 17-25 stories
  • Given the traffic and lack of parking downtown, the idea is to create a walkable neighbourhood, particularly those closest to the Burlington GO station
  • Encouraging builders to limit the parking available to encourage a lifestyle change… downsize square footage and number of vehicles 
  • Largest transition from otherwise industrial/commercial area into a more well rounded neighbourhood
  • High density would be upwards of 30 stories, keeping in line with current/proposed development
  • Area of preservation along Plains Rd E, protecting the character of longstanding Burlington businesses
  • Many new parks and green spaces as well as addition of a bike path 
  • Road expansion of Masonry Ct to provide a walkable and accessible neighbourhood
Burlington GO:
  • High intensity directly surrounding the station itself
  • Added mix of mid residential 
  • 4+ new Parks
Appleby GO:
  • Largest mobility hub in the City
  • North of the rail line will remain as employment lands
  • Expect an emergence of 30+ story condos along the rail line on the south side, similar to Burlington GO area
  • Sub areas surrounding the rail line to be medium density, along the same lines as the mid level buildings and townhomes already established
To view the plans in full visit the City’s website to see what this future development means for your current neighbourhood or your own future plans living within the City.

Photo Source: City of Burlington

You Were Asking: Legal Marijuana & Real Estate

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Weekly Stats: Realtors Association of Hamilton Burlington

Our Real Estate Board, The Realtors Association of Hamilton Burlington (RAHB) has begun reporting WEEKLY stats!  To expand on our monthly stat reporting currently found on our website, you'll find a weekly addition to your profile.

This will help us all to keep a closer eye on the changes as we evolve through our changing Real Estate markets. October 7th-13th for Hamilton Burlington, attached... our starting point! 

Note that the average sale price for Burlington for the month of September was $773,258... our weekly average is down to $719,400 as of current stats.  The opposite is true for Hamilton, with average sale price for the month of September having been $414,831... our weekly average is up to $492,001.

1) Data are RAHB Matrix including non member inter-board listings.
2) Hamilton area:  Region = Hamilton 
3) Burlington area:  Municipality = Burlington and Halton Hills 
4) Sale price >= CAD 40,000