There was a lot of news about the housing market last week and all of it good. Well good but cautionary really.
First of all house prices are expected to keep rising this year. According to a report by Royal Lepage, Prudential Real Estate’s sister company, Canada’s housing market will continue to be strong this year, with rising property values expected in all major markets.
The report predicts that prices will rise across to country by 2.8% by the end of 2012, following stronger gains last year.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, the average price of a standard two-storey home was $375,427, up 4.2% from a year earlier. The average rate of a detached bungalow was up in 2011 by 6.1% to $344,392, while condominiums gained 3.6% to $234,680.
“Widespread calls for a major real estate correction in 2012 simply can’t be justified,” Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper said in a statement. “The industry has significant momentum entering the year, and buoyed by the stimulative effect of very low interest rates, we expect the market to continue to expand.”
In the face of historically low interest rates, our federal government remains concerned that the real estate market is getting overheated. Our government is concerned that the housing market will over-inflate and the bubble will burst. If this happens, it would have a large negative impact on our AAA rated economy. As they did last year, they are looking at ways to tighten regulations, making it harder for individuals to qualify for loans. One of these measures are aimed at self-employed individuals (like myself) and how we self-disclose what we make when applying for a loan.
In the case of condominium buyers, the government is considering a proposal that would include 100% of the condo fees as debt. This would impact the Loan to Debt Ratio of the loan applicant.
Third best economy in Canada
The CIBC released a report that showed that Waterloo Region has the third best economy in Canada. The report attributes our success to our high tech sector, irregardless of what’s happening at RIM.
Housing activity, population growth, employment, and bankruptcy statistics were some of the variable measured for the report.
Agents of Change weekend activity
We’ll be holding an open house this Sunday from 2:00-4:00pm at 49 Cedarwoods Crescent, Unit 29. It’s a quiet condo townhouse complex right behind the Fairview Park Mall. Come on out and see the house. It’s nice. Meet us. We’re nice too.