Glen Abbey Real Estate Update
So what was the recent history of housing conditions in Oakville, Ontario?
Let us not forget where the Canadian economy was in the fall of 2008 as the sharpest recession in memory hit Canadians coast to coast. Fortunately we are now in the midst of a solid economic and housing recovery. Low interest rates and housing affordability make this an optimistic time for consumers contemplating a home purchase. Ontarians were even more optimistic than the Canadian average consumer. Most consumers are aware the rising interest rates from here seem imminent.
Summer of 2013
Although the groundhogs were wrong this year, the snow finally melted by around mid-March and the home buyers were out again in full force.
Especially the lower and mid-priced homes are being snapped up, in some cases with bidding wars and homes selling in a matter of days after listing.
In Feb. 2013, the average home price in Oakville was up again about 5% year over year at $697,000 according to the Oakville, Milton real estate board.
Summer of 2012
Things are still going well in the Oakville real estate market with the average home price from June 2012 being $691,337. CREA revises the Ontario outlook upwards despite the rumblings in the market over the last 3 years calling for a correction.
Those that panicked lost out on appreciation over the last several years and the market is not showing any signs of letting up despite calls for the contrary, although it is stabilizing. (Of course, if anyone could predict the financial markets or housing prices with complete certainty, they would most likely not need to be in a job where you have to predict the future... )
Accoding to CREA's June 2012 report, "National resale housing activity is now forecast to reach 475,800 units in 2012, up 3.8 per cent from 2011. Sales for 2013 are now forecast to decline by 1.1 per cent to 470,200 units." CREA had previously forecast sales in 2012 and 2013 that were roughly on par with the 10-year average for annual activity. The updated forecast now predicts activity slightly above the long term average.
Spring of 2012
Rates still remain low and housing continues to grow around the GTA. If anything, this spring is shaping up to be another good housing market year and should hopefully continue so as long as rates remain near record lows.
Bronte Creek remains one of the newest and most desirable locations in North Oakville with properties being snatched up close to when they are put on the market.
Inventory remains low on the 2 desirable high end streets: Bingley Crescent and Ribble with almost no homes available.
With the current construction of the New Oakville Hospital scheduled to open in 2014, homes in this area will continue to be in strong demand.
Southern Ontario's housing market had a little lower sales in 2011 but the average price has increased. The Ontario housing market remains steady and is expected to stay stable through 2013 with a general upward trend in home prices.
Annual sales are forecast to reach over 190,000 units this year, which in terms of numbers is a decline of about 2.3 per cent over 2010. In 2012 and 2013, sales are forecast to increase to 198,000 and 200,000 units respectively.
The latest hiccup may have been caused by tightend mortgage regulation effectively pricing some out of homes they otherwise would have qualified for and purchased.
Housing will remain affordable over the near term keeping the wind in the housing market sails in Southern Ontario.
Housing price gains will continue at a measured pace with some projections of around 5% from 2010. More moderate gains in the mid 3% range are expected to follow in 2012 and 2013, but these predictions do not entail any type of doomsday scenary being bantered about on the internet as Canada has already shown its true financial colours when the banks came under intense scrutiny in 2008 and Canadian banks and the Canadian financial system passed with flying colours, ultimately rewarded with a much stronger dollar.
The Bank of Canada has been hesitant to raise rates quickly, although rates are inching up. The resale market in Glen Abbey and Oakville remains robust and homes are selling in all price categories.
New construction has resumed, especially for townhouses such as those being built in the new Bronte Creek development west of Bronte Road. The roadways throughout Oakville are being upgraded during the nice weather season. The QEW construction is proceeding well with new lanes opening soon. Even the section of Upper Middle Road between Third Line and Bronte is looking promising, although there is still the matter of the unbuilt bridge there that will need tending to before the roadway is complete.
In any case, growth in this region is positive. The construction for the New Hospital on Dundas near Third Line will commence in 2011.
Interest rates are poised to rise again as the Bank of Canada signalled rate hikes coming soon as of April 22, 2010. Inflation is rising and now is a great time to lock in low rates before they go up. You can lock in rates for 90 days or longer while shopping for a home. A local mortgage broker in Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga can help. One such local team of mortgage agents for your Ontario Mortgage is the Mortgage Medics.
Housing is moving in a robust Spring market. New developments have increased in value such as the Bronte Creek development West of Bronte Road. This is one of the new, sought after prime locations in Oakville. A new elementary school is also scheduled for completion in the Summer there. The development is on the old Richview Golf course and borders the Bronte Creek Provincial Park.
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A glowing housing report was recently issued along with a statement that the recession in Canada will end some time this quarter and that positive growth rates are projected by the Bank of Canada for the next quarters. It seems at least Canada has reached the turning point and concluded the worldwide event with a mild recession. This has also stabilized housing prices and there is a sweet spot between low interest rates and low home prices that buyers are capitalizing on. Non-desperate sellers especially in the higher priced homes have simply removed their homes from the market and are awaiting better selling conditions which should materialize over the coming quarters.
It is still a buyers market but low and medium priced homes are selling well and things look like they are starting to improve. Only the high end homes are still lingering on the market, but the economy is expected to improve over the next quarter or two.
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, "Ontario residential construction activity will face headwinds in the short term, but will advance beyond 2010." Soft labour market conditions and the recent more balanced housing conditions in the less expensive home resale market will create further competition for the new home market.
As the economic growth in Ontario gains traction beyone 2012, expect stronger demand for housing. Higher immigration combined with the echo boom effect will support household formation and will add to demand further. Ontario new home construction will rise beyond the 2010 period.
After edging higher in 2008, Ontario new home construction will slow reaching 51,325 units in 2009. The Ontario economy does have strong ties to the U.S. economy, so as things begin to improve in the states, our province will also feel the benefits and housing demand should pick up again.
Resales: Ontario existing home sales will decline reaching 144,200 units in 2009. A gradual recovery in Ontario labour markets combined with lower carrying costs will help boost existing home sales to 150,100 units in 2010.
Prices: More accommodating conditions for buyers suggests Ontario existing home prices will decline by 5.0 percent in 2009 and 3.6 percent in 2010. So although prices will come in a bit more they are moderating and the rate of price decline is slowing. Compared to the rest of the world despite the gloomy world economic conditions, our province has fared extraordinarily well and will be positioned to take part in the eventual economic recovery
If you are selling your home, it pays to prepare the home to look it's best before showing it and to work with a knowledgeable real estate agent who can guide you through the entire process and increase your home's visibility on the market.
If you are interested in buying a home, there are some great opportunities in this relatively underpriced environment especially if you are buying a Canadian home with foreign currency for an extra "Canadian Dollar Bonus" (although the Canadian Dollar has shown recent signs of strength again especially vis-a-vis the US Greenback). As prices have softened over the last year or two, and with interest rates at record lows it seems to be a great time to invest in a primary home in Ontario. A great buyers agent can help you see the most appropriate homes for your budget and taste and keep you informed on local housing conditions.