It’s not too early to buy or sell your home

And we are off to the races!

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 667 residential properties in January through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 598 in January 2016, an increase of 11.5 per cent. The five-year average for January sales is 614.

“The year is off to a great start, with sales up over this time last year, and well above the five-year average,” remarks Rick Eisert, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Residential-class resales supported this increase, with a 16.6 per cent growth over January 2016. The number of properties listed in January has doubled the amount listed in December, which is very typical of sellers getting a jump start on the spring selling season.”

January’s sales included 119 in the condominium property class, and 548 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

“While the numbers indicate a positive trend for Ottawa as a whole, we emphasize that all real estate is local, and prices and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood,” explains Eisert. “We encourage buyers and sellers to talk to a REALTOR® for more information about the housing market outlook where they live, or want to live.”

“In the residential market the most active price point was the $300,000 to $399,999 range for the month of January, accounting for 35.2 per cent of the market. The condominium market was most active in the $150,000 to $249,999 price range, accounting for 58.7 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 201 properties in January.”*

Locally, January was also a busy month – although more so in Carleton Place than in Almonte. CP saw a 12.5% increase in sales from 2016 to 2017, with 9 homes being sold compared to 8 last year. The average sales price is down by 10.2% – $298,346 in 2017 compared to $332,150 in 2016.  There were no sales in Almonte in January – so that just means February will be an amazing month!

If you are thinking of buying or selling in 2017, it’s not too early to start a conversation.  Give me a call – let’s have coffee and chat!

** The preceding information was taken from the Ottawa Real Estate Board website .

Not to early to buy or sell our home.

It is a great time to start thinking of buying or seeling your home.

Did you sell your house last year? Here’s what you need to know.

What you need to know if you SOLD your home last year… (or if you will ever sell your home in the future!)

There are two changes that were made to Ontario’s real estate policies in 2016 which will affect the market in 2017 – and this is the perfect time of year to remind you about those.

Beginning January 1st, 2017, first-time homebuyers are now eligible to receive a refund of up to $4000 from the land transfer tax rebate (twice the previous refund of $2000 for new homebuyers). The increase in this rebate was designed to encourage more young people to make their first big purchase by reducing their closing costs and help them save money for their down payment.

You can read more about the First-time Homebuyer’s Land Transfer Rebate on the Ministry of Revenue Bulletin.

The second big change for 2017 comes from the Canada Revenue Agency, and affects something that many Canadians know little about: taxation on primary residences.

Most home sellers know that the gains of their sale are protected from taxation by the Primary Residence Exemption (PRE). Other properties, however, like vacation homes, or investment properties, are not primary residences, and therefore are not exempt. The CRA will soon make reporting every sale of a primary residence on your tax forms mandatory, whether you owe taxes on the property or not. A key thing to note is that foreign investors in Canadian real estate will now be forced to abide by Canadian tax rules, as will Canadians who often dodged paying tax on their primary residences in the past. (The sale of primary residences is NOT subject to tax; however, some individuals have attempt to have more than 1 primary residence at a time – a cottage? An investment property financed as if it is owner-occupied, etc.)

Starting with the 2016 tax year, (generally filed in April 2017), you will be required to report basic information (date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition and description of the property) on your income tax and benefit return when you sell your principal residence to claim the full principal residence exemption.  This change was designed to prevent foreign investors from “cheating the tax system”., as well as catching individuals who have made a practice of flipping houses.

Did you sell your house last year? Here is what you need to know.

Did you sell your house last year? Here is what you need to know.

New Mortgage Rules on October 17th, 2016

New Mortgage Rules… again…

Anticipated changes to the mortgage rules were announced and released by the Ministry of Finance office.

Effective October 17th, 2016, borrowers who take out insured mortgages that are fixed-rate loans of five years or longer will be subject to a more stringent “stress test”. Currently borrowers who take a five year insured mortgage (less than 20 percent down payment) qualify for their mortgage based on the actual rate they receive. Under the new rule the mortgage amount that a borrower qualifies for will be based on the Bank of Canada’s posted 5 year rate which is currently 4.64%. The actual mortgage payment of course will still be based on the rate received from the lender.  This will result in most Canadians qualifying for a far less mortgage amount then they had anticipated.

Another change is that effective this tax year, any financial gain from selling your primary residence must be reported at tax time to Canada Revenue Agency. Any financial gain (capital gains) from the selling of your home will still be tax-free.  This change is intended to prevent foreign buyers who buy and sell homes from claiming a primary residence tax exemption for which they are not entitled.  The government claims that foreign investors are flipping homes in Canada and falsely claiming the primary residence exemption.

As new information is produced, I’ll include it in future ezines.  Don’t be afraid to discuss these changes with either your Accountant or Mortgage Broker.

New rules taking place on October 17th, 2016

New rules taking place on October 17th, 2016