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James Metcalfe's May Real Estate Update

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Resale volume sees a slight increase in April. This month learn about a new research tool and how to design a kitchen. Also, as always the ever popular pearls of wisdom return.

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James Metcalfe's May Real Estate Update

  1. 1. 1 for more detailed GTA statistics: 416-931-4161 James Metcalfe BROKER | REAL ESTATE UPDATE Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. Johnston & Daniel Division, Brokerage 477 Mount Pleasant Rd., Toronto, ON M4S 2L9 MAY 2013 After experiencing double-digit volume declines in both February and March, the month of April witnessed a modest 2% decline in sales (9,811 transactions versus 10,021 in April 2012). The strengthening volume trend indicates that some households who put their buying plans on hold following the July 2012 introduction of stricter mortgage lending guidelines are now once again wading into the market. This augurs well for a strengthening of home ownership demand during the second half of 2013. Volume performance was uniform by market segment: single-detached homes (-2%), semi-detached homes (-1%), townhomes (-2%) and condo apartments (-3%). The condo apartment performance is particularly encouraging given the recent softness in that segment and its importance to the vital first-time buyer group. The average price of a resale home in the GTA in April was $526,335 - which represented a 2% increase versus the April 2012 average price of $515,888.This represents a new high water mark for the GTA resale market, with the previous all-time high price of $519,879 having occurred in March 2013. Modest price growth occurred across all key market segments: single-detached homes (+1%), semi-detached homes (+3%), townhomes (+3%) and condo apartments (+3%). The condo apartment segment within the City of Toronto recorded a 6% price increase versus last year, and was the major driver of overall price growth in April. This, once again, is a very encouraging sign for the market as a whole and could mean that price growth in the back half of 2013 may be stronger than previously forecast. GTA AVERAGE RESALE PRICE 8 9 10 11 12 GTA Resale Home Sales APRFEB JUN OCT DECAUG 201320122011 $400,000 $540,000 $420,000 $440,000 $460,000 $480,000 $500,000 $520,000 GTA RESALE HOME SALES 8 9 10 11 12 sale Home Sales APRFEB JUN OCT DECAUG 3,000 1,500 4,500 6,000 7,500 9,000 10,500 12,000 201320122011
  2. 2. A new type of home history report is now available on the market, and it has the potential to become an industry standard in every residential house transaction. The report, compiled by HomeVerified (, a company based in London, is available for homes in every major municipality in Canada. Distribution and sales of the reports are being handled by  Teranet, the company which owns and operates Ontario’s electronic land registration and title search services on behalf of the province of Ontario. A typical home history report will include the following information: • The home’s insurance claims history for current and prior owners. • The insurance claims record for the neighbourhood. • Local school rankings. • Local demographics and amenities, such as banks, coffee shops, transit and shopping. • Contact information for politicians, including the mayor, MPs, MPPs, and municipal councillors. • Any history of a grow-op in the house or condominium unit, showing results from a Canada-wide search for marijuana grow-ops. The grow-op registry may be the most valuable component of the home history report for home buyers. HomeVerified’s comprehensive database has been assembled from countless Freedom of Information requests made to police forces across the country. (Disclosure by some police forces has not been as complete as hoped for, but the database includes all addresses that are currently available.) The HomeVerified report may well eventually being used for every Canadian mortgage and refinance application by those lenders who do not compile their own database of grow-op properties. Alex Weiner, owner of HomeVerified, started this venture because “we were amazed that anyone conducting their due diligence when buying a car could obtain a vehicle history report with insurance claims and other information, but there was no report for a resale home, which is usually the single largest purchase most Canadians ever make.” A sample report is available on the company’s website at The insurance claim portion of the report is assembled from a database of 8 million insurance company records. Each report will disclose whether the home has been the subject of a claim for water or fire damage, burglary or theft, windstorm or hail, vandalism or malicious acts, glass breakage, building collapse or any other type of damage. The HomeVerified report is available to real estate agents, lawyers, banks and other Teranet subscribers for $39.95. Homeowners and non-Teranet subscribers can buy the reports for $69.95, plus HST. This article was contributed by Bob Aaron, a Toronto-based real estate lawyer. Please visit him at NEW RESEARCH TOOL INVALUABLE TO HOME BUYERS 2 HOUSE SMART
  3. 3. t HOWTO DESIGN A KITCHEN 3 When designing a kitchen, you need to take into consideration the architecture of the house. There has to be integration between the architecture of the house and the interior design to create harmony. Relatively neutral monochromatic colours work well because  they act to unify a house. Good design requires harmony and unity.  Whether doing traditional or contemporary, everyone loves a classic white kitchen with some glass fronted cabinets. Open shelving, a pantry or a coffee station can add some visual interest. Colour trends start on the runways in Paris and trickle down to interior design. Therefore a neutral kitchen allows you to accessorize with your favourite or current colours.  This allows you to personalize your kitchen or change things up according to seasons or holidays. As you begin to design your kitchen you should spend time in discovery.  Trying to understand all that is important in your life. These are the questions that you should ask yourself to help you understand your own particular needs and also to help you avoid problems. Suggestions For Kitchens What are your general preferences? 1. Do you like everything to be put away - or do you prefer open shelves? 2. Would you like an eat-in kitchen, either a table or stools at an island? 3. Would you like to be able to close off the kitchen after cooking? 4. Do you want your guests nearby when you are cooking? 5. Would a TV or computer station be integrated in your kitchen? 6. Do you need multiple workstations? Sinks  1. Do you need more than one sink? 2. What sink depth and size works for you? 3. Would a sprayer be useful for cleaning? 4. Do you need water filtration or soap dispenser built in? Appliances 1. What do you prefer; gas, electric or a combination? 2. Do you need a microwave? 3. If you entertain often do you need more than one oven or dishwasher? 4. Would you need a wine refrigerator or a kids’ drawer for snacks? 5. How about a coffee or tea station? Storage 1. Do you need a pantry for extra storage? 2. How do you buy your food, do you need extra freezer space. Countertops and Backsplash  1. Always view the full slab when choosing stone 2. Backsplash is installed last, make sure that it blends with your countertop and that grout lines are tight. 3. Remember that all stone needs to be sealed. Paint  1. Paint for kitchens should be very durable and washable (Benjamin Moore- Aura is a good choice). Renovating a kitchen is an expensive endeavour, and a lot of decisions have to be made. This checklist should make it easier for you to plan your kitchen. The most often asked question is “what style should my cabinets be?” The answer is simple in a perfect world; your garden, the facade of your house and the interior should all correspond, creating harmony and unity. This article was contributed by Andrea Gray, a Toronto based interior designer. Please visit her at TRENDY CORNER
  4. 4. 4 James Metcalfe BROKER 416-931-4161 | In 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. The information 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 resulting from 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 © 2013 Mission Response Inc. 416.236.0543 All Rights Reserved. K0191 “YOUR REFERRALS ARE SINCERELY APPRECIATED! THANK YOU!” Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. Johnston & Daniel Division, Brokerage 477 Mount Pleasant Rd., Toronto, ON M4S 2L9 GTA Res With summer on the horizon, now may be a good time to make sure that your air conditioning system is in good working condition. Here are a few suggestions: • Inspect, and clean/replace the blower fan filter (usually located in the return air duct at the furnace). You should actually be doing this every 2 months, or as recommended by the manufacturer; • Vacuum or brush clean the outdoor coil to keep it clear of dirt, leaves, and grass clippings. The coil can be carefully cleaned with a garden hose after debris is vacuumed off; • Both the blower fan and outdoor fan should be cleaned and lubricated where applicable, following manufacturer’s instructions; and • If there is a humidifier damper, make sure it is closed for the summer to reduce the unnecessary addition of moisture-laden air to the home. If, after completing these suggestions your air conditioner is performing poorly, you should hire a qualified contractor to undertake a more thorough servicing, such as checking the refrigerant level or making electrical or mechanical checks and adjustments. As with all mechanical equipment, regular servicing by a qualified contractor in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications is recommended. Also if you are considering purchasing a new air conditioner, look for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) for the unit. A high SEER indicates a more energy efficient air conditioner. New air conditioners sold in Canada have SEERs ranging from 10 to 17, with 17 being the most energy efficient and 10 being the least. As usual, your client referrals are both highly valued and much appreciated. Until next time, take care! “If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.” – Johnny Carson “If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?” – Lily Tomlin “What’s another word for Thesaurus?” – Steven Wright “She got her looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon.” – Groucho Marx