Northdale freezes while KW’s home market heats up: this week in real estate – March 10, 2012

DSC03452Besides Northdale neighbourhood, Mortgage rates were the big news in real estate last week (they dropped). Some statistics were released as well and they show that all is well in our local and national real estate markets.

 

Mortgage Wars Round 2: BMO with 10-year fixed rate.

This week the big banks relaunched the mortgage war. The Bank of Montreal (BMO) returned, after a two week break to the historic Canadian low rate of 2.99% for a five-year home loan, a drop of 50 basis points. BMO also rolled out a 10-year mortgage at 3.99%. Both rates are fixed (not variable) and have 25-year amortizations. This is the first time BMO has offered a 10-year fixed mortgage at such a low interest rate.

If you’re shopping for a new home, this rate should hold until the last week of March. Most banks and other lenders will pre-approve you at a guaranteed rate for 90 to 120 days. If you’re buying a house this spring, my advice would be to talk to your lender next week.

 

House prices and market preditcions

Statistics Canada said the national average price of new houses rose 0.1% in January from the previous month. In January 2010 over January 2011 prices, there was a 2.4% gain, similar to the 2.5% increase posted between December 2010 and December 2011. Average home prices rose 4.3% in 2011, but cooled considerably in the final quarter, rising just 1.1%  from the previous year.

The prediction for the next two years is that the housing market will continue to cool off and prices should remain stable. Prices will dip by about 1% this year and then rise by the same in 2013.

At the same time, because of or historically low interest rates, the number of home resales are expected to rise by .3% this year.

In Waterloo Region, sluggish condo and semi-detached homes sales pushed down overall house sales by 2.2% compared to February 2010. The number of detached homes sold however were up by 3.5%. The average price for all types of housing increased 6.8% to $307,989 from a year ago and the median price rose to $276,000 from $266,063.

I think its safe to say that with one of Canada’s strongest and diversified local economy, we’ll continue to exceed national rates of growth in the housing market.

 

Northdale – Waterloo’s troubled student neighborhood

Waterloo city council unanimously voted to stop all new development in Northdale as it reviews community concerns about the boxy apartment buildings crammed with student bedrooms and little else. The neighborhood in the past five years has become overbuilt and has not evolved in the way the Universities and the City of Waterloo had intended. The plan was to allow apartment buildings around the edges of Northdale while preserving suburban homes in the middle. The new plan calls for an end to suburban homes and front yards, to be replaced by stylish townhomes and apartments built to the edge of the street.

 

365 Business Network

The Agents of Change with our partners have started a unique and popular network group 365 Business Network. Meeting once monthly, the 365 Business Network is an extension of our community site 365 things to do in Kitchener Waterloo. One of the things that makes living in Waterloo Region great are the wonderful businesses that are here. 365 Business Network aims to be the place where we can get to know each other better and promote our businesses through building strong connections. If you do business in Kitchener Waterloo, you should check it out.

Although we haven’t even had our first meeting yet (March 27, 2012) our network has already grown to over 100 members. Join the conversation. Sign up on LinkedIn

 

Two condos, two Open Houses

122 Mansion Street, Kitchener is an executive town home located in the heart of Kitchener’s East Ward. This beautiful and spacious condo townhouse will be open to the public for viewing this Sunday 2:00-4:00pm. The Kitchener Waterloo real estate market has some great condos and this is one of them!

29-49 Cedarwoods is a well located and desirable condo close to Fairview Park Mall. It’s freshly painted and has a shiny and new engineered hardwood floor. This beautiful and spacious condo townhouse will also be open to the public for viewing this Sunday 2:00-4:00pm.

 

Links I like

The compromises first time home buyers make.

You can’t park on your Kitchener front lawn

Home ownership is getting more affordable

Why Ira Needles needs widening

Empty closets sell houses

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This week in KW real estate:

March 3

February 25

February 18 

February 11