Federal Government pledges more funding for affordable housing

What does it mean for the average Canadian?

Canada recently released its 2023 Fall Economic Statement, emphasizing strategies to tackle housing challenges within the country. The initiatives unveiled aim to address housing affordability, support prospective homebuyers, and stimulate the creation of more rental units.

The Canadian Mortgage Charter acknowledges the financial strain faced by variable-rate mortgage holders due to rising interest rates. To assist borrowers, financial institutions will offer relief measures, including temporary mortgage amortization extensions, waived fees, and eliminating the stress test requirement for insured mortgage holders switching lenders at renewal. Homeowners will also receive proactive communication about their financial options in advance of their mortgage renewal.

Funding for Affordable Housing is a significant focus, with billions allocated to create over 7,000 new homes by 2028. Non-profit organizations, cooperatives, and public housing providers will receive additional funds over three years through the Affordable Housing Fund. Nearly $310 million will support the Co-operative Housing Development Program.

Incentives for Apartment Builders aim to boost rental housing construction. Starting in 2025-2026, an additional $15 billion in financing will be available through the Apartment Construction Loan Program. This significant investment targets the creation of over 30,000 new homes across Canada, contributing to the goal of 101,000 new homes by 2031-2032.

Tax Measures for Short-Term Rentals seek to alleviate pressure on long-term housing availability. Stricter regulations will be enforced, including $50 million in funding to support municipal enforcement against short-term rentals. Additionally, income tax deductions for short-term rental-related expenses will be denied in regions where such rentals are banned or for operators not compliant with licensing requirements.

These comprehensive initiatives are designed to reshape the housing landscape in Canada, striving to alleviate affordability concerns and increase housing availability nationwide. For further details, the full 2023 Fall Economic Statement can be accessed here.


Navigating Canada's Inflation Landscape: Insights and Forecasts

Inflation, the economic indicator that measures the rate at which prices for goods and services rise, has been a key focal point for Canada's economic landscape. October's figures brought news of a notable decline in the country's inflation rate, marking a shift from previous months. Let's delve deeper into what these figures mean and how they might shape the economic trajectory moving forward.

Understanding the Numbers

In October, Canada witnessed a dip in its inflation rate, settling at 3.1%, a noticeable decrease from September's 3.8%. This decline was primarily attributed to the plummeting gas prices, showing a significant 7.8% drop compared to the same period last year. However, even with gas price fluctuations factored out, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) still increased by 3.6%, signaling ongoing inflationary pressures.

Factors Driving Inflation

While gas prices were the primary driver for the slowdown in inflation, other sectors continued to contribute to the upward trend. Housing costs, especially mortgage interest and rent, continued their upward trajectory, maintaining a stronghold on year-over-year price growth. In October, rent costs surged by 8.2%, showcasing an acceleration from the previous month's 7.3%. Notably, provinces like Nova Scotia witnessed double-digit rent increases, while Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec recorded yearly rent hikes of just under 10%.

Additionally, grocery prices continued their upward climb, adding to the overall inflationary pressure. Services also experienced a surge, rising by 4.6% in October, primarily attributed to increased charges in travel tours, property taxes, and other special services.

Bank of Canada's Response

The Bank of Canada, in response to the inflation surge seen in 2022, initiated a series of interest rate hikes aimed at curbing annual price growth. In June of that year, inflation soared to an alarming 8.1%, prompting aggressive actions from the central bank. However, recent announcements suggest a pause in further rate hikes, signaling a belief that the economy is slowing down sufficiently to warrant no immediate action.

Claire Fan, an economist at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), noted that the latest inflation figures may indicate a different trajectory. She stated that ongoing signs of weakening consumer spending and labor market conditions support the outlook for inflation to continue moderating in the coming quarters. Fan's prediction aligns with the belief that the Bank of Canada might have concluded its rate-hiking cycle, potentially moving towards rate cuts in the latter half of 2024.

Looking Ahead

As we approach the year-end, all eyes are on the Bank of Canada's final interest rate announcement scheduled for December 6 and the subsequent CPI data release by StatCan on December 19. These upcoming milestones will provide further insights into Canada's economic trajectory and the potential policy moves by the central bank.

Navigating inflationary pressures requires a delicate balance between spurring economic growth and ensuring stable prices. The coming months will be crucial in understanding how Canada's economic policies might evolve to address inflation while maintaining a healthy economy.

Stay tuned for updates on Canada's economic landscape as we continue to monitor these significant developments! 🇨🇦💸 #EconomicInsights #BankofCanada #InflationTrends


Real estate terminology 101

5 important terms in your purchase and sale agreement that you should know

Purchasing a home is an exhilarating yet potentially overwhelming experience, as it involves navigating a web of legal documentation, financial intricacies, and administrative procedures. Throughout this process, you're likely to encounter terminology that may seem perplexing. To help ease your journey into homeownership, we've compiled a list of five crucial terms that every prospective buyer should familiarize themselves with. Please bear in mind that the terminology and practices related to purchase and sale agreements may vary depending on your region.

Closing Date (or Completion Date): The closing date marks the official transfer of property ownership to the buyer and signifies the completion of all necessary legal and financial aspects of the transaction. Typically occurring a few days before the closing date, the buyer signs essential documents, such as the mortgage loan and property title papers, and provides the required funds for the remaining down payment and closing costs. Often, the closing date aligns with the possession date, which is when the new owner receives the keys to their new home.

Deposit: When submitting an offer, buyers include a deposit, usually a percentage of the total property purchase price. While the standard deposit amount is approximately 5% in many markets, this can vary depending on local conditions. The deposit demonstrates the buyer's genuine intention to make the purchase and is handed over to the seller's real estate brokerage upon offer acceptance. It is held in trust until the closing date and is applied to the total purchase price.

Irrevocable Date and Time: When making an offer to purchase a property, there is a limited timeframe during which the offer remains valid. This period is referred to as the irrevocable date and time. By this specific date and time, both the buyer and the seller must either accept or decline the offer; otherwise, it becomes null and void. The duration of the irrevocable period can vary depending on the urgency of the transaction and the time needed for the parties to review the offer's contents, ranging from a few hours to 48-72 hours from the time of offer submission.

Chattels and Fixtures: To determine what is included in the sale of a home, including items like curtain rods, kitchen appliances, or garage door openers, refer to the chattels and fixtures section of the purchase and sale agreement. Chattels are removable items, such as curtains, kitchen appliances, and the washer and dryer. Fixtures are permanently attached to the property, such as built-in appliances, cabinets, security systems, or built-in dishwashers. When drafting an offer, it's crucial to specify which items you want included in the sale, as it's assumed that the previous owner will take any chattels unless stated otherwise. Sellers should also clarify what items are not included in their home's listing description to avoid disputes.

Clauses and Conditions: Each purchase and sale agreement includes a set of assurances that the buyer and seller sign off on, known as clauses. These clauses are important but typically not deal-breakers if unfulfilled. For example, a clause may state that the seller must leave the property in a clean condition upon vacating or confirm that the appliances are in working order. In contrast, conditions are optional clauses that must be satisfied within a specified timeframe for the home sale to proceed. For instance, a sale can be contingent upon a professional inspection of the property within five business days of offer acceptance. It's advisable to review any unfamiliar terminology in your purchase agreement with your sales representative to ensure a smooth transaction.

These key terms are your roadmap to a smoother home-buying experience, ensuring you make informed decisions throughout the process. However, the intricacies of real estate transactions can vary from one location to another, so don't hesitate to reach out to a trusted real estate professional in your area for personalized guidance.

Now that you're equipped with this knowledge, it's time to embark on your home-buying journey with confidence. Start by reviewing your local real estate market, connecting with a qualified agent, and exploring potential properties. Remember, your dream home may be just around the corner!

If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to get in touch with us to guide you through the specifics of your unique home-buying journey. Happy house hunting!


How to winterize your lawn and garden

Many homeowners take great pride in their lush lawns and blooming flower beds, but the harsh Canadian winters can quickly undo the hard work invested in nurturing and maintaining outdoor spaces during the summer months. To ensure your backyard gets off to a good start when spring arrives, a bit of preparation before the snow arrives can make all the difference. This blog will guide you through some essential winterization tips.

Caring for Your Annuals and Perennials

When it comes to winterizing your garden beds, it's time to show some love to your plants and flowers. Start by removing any annuals, which are plants that complete their life cycle in one growing season, such as sunflowers, tomatoes, and various types of lettuce. Removing annuals will clear your beds of lingering bacteria and prevent potential pests or diseases from building up over the winter.

For your perennial plants, provide them with a healthy trim back and a final watering before the season's end. Perennials with large, dense roots can be cut and divided into smaller plants to encourage better regrowth in the spring.

Delicate plants, like succulents or potted bulbs, should be brought indoors to safeguard them from frost damage. For shrubs or plants that can't be moved inside, cover them with landscape fabric or burlap to shield them from harsh winter conditions.

Taking Care of Your Soil

Just as your plants need care, your soil also requires attention before winter sets in. Remove any weeds, dead plant debris, and buried root vegetables from your soil before the first hard frost. Spread mulch over your soil and around the base of trees to create a protective layer against frost and maintain consistent moisture and temperature levels for your plants. While cleaning up your soil, consider planting bulbs for the following spring, such as crocus, tulips, and daffodils.

Showing Your Lawn Some Tender Loving Care

Winter compacts the ground and makes it challenging for lawns to recover once the thaw arrives. Help your lawn by aerating it in the fall to loosen the soil and improve drainage. Instead of raking all the tree leaves off your lawn, leave a layer of shredded leaves on top by cutting your grass a bit longer, around two to three inches high. Mowing the leaves into tiny pieces allows your lawn's soil to absorb nutrients from the fallen debris more efficiently while still allowing light and moisture through. In low-traffic areas where your lawn is patchy and damaged, overseed in early fall for the best results in spring.

Adding a Nutrient Boost

As your garden prepares for hibernation, consider giving your outdoor greens some much-needed nourishment. If you have a compost bin, sprinkle this material on your flower beds to help them replenish their nutrients post-winter, and top up your bin with any leaves, grass clippings, or debris from your winterization clean-up. You can also provide your lawn with a final dose of sustenance using a winter grass fertilizer that contains nitrogen and potash.

Don't let all those fallen leaves end up in paper bags. Instead, add mulched leaves to your perennial flower beds and vegetable gardens as an insulating layer and a source of valuable nutrients for the soil. By following these winterization tips, you can ensure your outdoor spaces are well-prepared for the challenges of the Canadian winter, allowing them to thrive when spring arrives.


🏡 Ottawa Real Estate Update - October 2023 🍁

In October 2023, the Ottawa Real Estate market saw a total of 816 homes sold through the MLS® System, showing a slight 2.7% dip from the same month last year. 📉 Home sales for the month were 36.4% below the five-year average and 30.8% below the 10-year average, painting a picture of a slow decline in sales activity.

Year-to-date figures reveal a substantial 12.3% decline in home sales, totalling 10,700 units over the first 10 months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. 💼

📊 By the Numbers – Prices:

  • MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) indicates a benchmark price of $638,600 in October 2023, up 1.8% from the previous year.

  • Average home price in October 2023 was $660,836, a 2.9% increase from October 2022.

  • The overall HPI composite benchmark price remained nearly unchanged at $638,600, showing a modest 1.8% increase from October 2022.

🏠 Inventory & New Listings:

  • New residential listings increased by 6.6% from October 2022, with 1,895 new listings in October 2023.

  • Active residential listings surged to 3,062 units at the end of October, a notable 16.7% gain from October 2022.

  • Months of inventory slightly increased to 3.8 at the end of October 2023, up from 3.1 recorded in October 2022.

While prices are adjusting and sales are seeing a slow decline, the market remains dynamic. Buyers, take note - now is your prime time! Contact us today! 🏠💼

The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.