Thursday, May 27, 2010

Economic recovery fuels significant upswing in sales in Canada’s recreational property markets, says RE/MAX

79 per cent of markets report upward trending in recreational sales in 2010

Mississauga, ON (May 20, 2010) -- Serious year-over-year gains have characterized sales in most major Canadian recreational property markets this year, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The 2010 RE/MAX Recreational Property Report, highlighting sales, prices, trends and developments in close to 50 markets from coast-to-coast, found that 79 per cent of recreational areas reported an upswing in the number of properties sold during the first three months of the year. Starting prices for recreational product were also on the move, with 43 per cent posting a nominal increase. Inventory levels, with the exception of the coveted entry-level price point, were healthy and balanced market conditions prevailed in most areas.

“While sales have been strong out of the gate, the number of waterfront cottages, condominiums, and back lot properties sold in the first quarter still fall short of pre-recession levels,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “However, with peak season fast approaching, stimuli such as softer values, greater selection, and relatively low interest rates may prove difficult for recreational property buyers to resist.”

Similar conditions existed in residential housing markets across the country last spring, setting the stage for heated second, third, and fourth quarters of 2009. Affordability was top of mind then, as it is now, with many prospective purchasers cautiously venturing into the market.

“Stronger than expected economic recovery, combined with additional incentives such as rising interest rates, stricter lending criteria, and a new sales tax, have served to kick-start activity in recreational property markets from coast-to-coast,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Entry-level product is experiencing the greatest demand this year, as value-driven purchasers look to stretch their dollar as far as it will go. This is especially true in Western Canada, where values have softened considerably year-over-year, but are now starting to firm up.”

The rebound in stock portfolios and greater stability in personal finances has added fuel to the fire. Baby boomers and Generation X – aged 35 to 55 years – are working in tandem as a result, snapping up modest properties located on prime waterfront. Despite the upward pressure on starting prices, the RE/MAX Report found that one in every four recreational property markets still offers winterized, waterfront product priced below $250,000.

The most affordable starting prices were found in: Newfoundland Coast, NL ($105,000), Shediac Bay ($230,000), and South Shore/North Shore, NS ($230,000 to $240,000) in Atlantic Canada; The Laurentians ($175,000) in Quebec; Prince Edward County ($200,000 - $250,000), Elliot Lake ($215,000), Parry Sound ($219,900), East Kawarthas ($225,000), and Bancroft ($235,000) in Ontario; and South Central Cariboo ($180,000), Lake Winnipeg ($250,000), Canmore ($270,000) and Ucluelet ($499,000 for oceanfront) in Western Canada.

“Opportunities exist for savvy purchasers across the country at virtually every price point,” says Sylvain Dansereau, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Quebec. “Recreational property buyers in the mid-to-top end have a definite edge in the market, with greater purchasing power than in years past. Those in the lower end will find that there are more waterfront options available than ever before. ”

- Of the markets that experienced an increase in starting prices, half were value-priced, with winterized waterfront product available under $350,000. The remainder was typically comprised of prime, sought-after markets favoured among purchasers such as the Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe areas and the Muskoka Region.

- The most expensive recreational property markets included: Sylvan Lake, AB ($1.2 million); Vernon, BC in the North Okanagan ($1.15 million); Tofino, BC ($875,000); Cultus Lake/Harrison Lake, BC in the Fraser Valley ($800,000); Whistler, BC ($799,000) and Salt Spring Island, BC ($750,000).

- Americans have virtually fallen off the map in Canadian recreational properties. Only Shediac Bay, where recreational property values are a fraction of those in the US, continues to draw eager purchasers from the eastern seaboard of the United States.

- Bargain-priced properties in the Southern United States are still having an impact on Canadian recreational property markets, drawing some purchasers south of the border to areas such as California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida.

- Pent-up demand will continue to prop up recreational property sales in markets from coast to coast this season, as buyers who sat on the sidelines in 2008 and 2009, finally enter the market, spurred on by better prices, good affordability, and economic recovery.

RE/MAX is Canada’s leading real estate organization with over 17,500 sales associates situated throughout its more than 680 independently-owned and operated offices across the country. The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 37th year, is a global real estate system operating in 80 countries. Over 6,450 independently-owned offices engage over 92,000 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, and asset management. Source:

Retirement - Canadians Feel Retirement of Their Dreams is Not Attainable

TORONTO - 2010 — Nearly all Canadians (90 per cent) feel they will have enough income to cover their necessities in retirement but only one-in-four Canadians (25 per cent) feel they will have enough money to fulfill their retirement dreams, according to the 20th Annual RBC RRSP Poll.

The poll found that most retired Canadians (75 per cent) didn't know how much they spent in their first year of retirement, virtually unchanged from 2008 (76 per cent). Those who know how much they spent had lower costs in their first year of retirement, having spent close to $35,000, down from $51,000 in 2008. However, half of these respondents (52 per cent) said they spent more than expected, up from 46 per cent in 2008.
Rbc key to retirement poll may 2010
"How much money you'll need in retirement depends on how you'll be spending your time, with many Canadians underestimating the amount they will need," said Lee Anne Davies, head, Retirement Strategies, RBC Royal Bank. "Financial planning is more than just number crunching and your retirement is not a single phase of your life, but a series of stages. A personalized financial plan can look at options to make your nest egg last and help ensure your retirement needs and dreams are met."

When thinking about retirement, the study found that Canadians who have not retired were most worried about having enough savings (48 per cent), while only 29 per cent of retirees had this concern. Both pre-retirees and retirees are concerned about maintaining their standard of living (40 per cent). Retirees are also more likely to be worried about healthcare (33 per cent) than pre-retirees (28 per cent).

"All of these concerns are valid. Whether retired or not, your life will be somewhat unpredictable at times and you need to be ready when life throws you a curve ball. This is where having a plan can provide peace of mind - you'll know you've considered the unexpected and you've taken the steps to save for your retirement," said Davies.

These are some of the findings the RBC 20th Annual RBC Poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between October 21 and November 2, 2009. For this survey, a national sample of 1,457 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of ±2.56 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
Source: Newsroom

Marketing Your Home

If you're thinking of selling your home in the near future, you may think that all that's required is a "for sale" sign strategically placed on your front lawn -- but any real estate professional will tell you there's much more to it than that.

While a sign on your lawn is of paramount importance to the sale of your home, a well-thought-out marketing plan is also essential. Your REALTOR®, of course, is another vital component in the process, and one of the first things he/she will discuss with you is a marketing strategy designed to give your home maximum exposure.

Keep in mind that effective marketing of your home requires a lot of communication between you and your REALTOR® and there are several things you can do to make sure your home gets the best possible exposure.

Be Candid with Your REALTOR®
First of all, disclose everything you can about your property and the neighbourhood in general. This information will help your REALTOR® a great deal and he/she can choose how and when this information can be related to prospective purchasers. For example, there may be something about your home or the area you live in that you may take for granted, but that characteristic could be a major selling point for your home -- such as its close proximity to local schools and recreation facilities.

It's also wise to be candid about any potential drawbacks as well, so both you and your REALTOR® can be realistic in arriving at a suitable list price. Where possible, your REALTOR® is likely to have some suggestions as to how these problems can be improved upon.

As well, your REALTOR® may notice some serious flaws in you home or even some basic elements that are missing. They may not bother you, but could work to your detriment when it comes to selling your home. As a result, your REALTOR® is likely to make helpful, reasonable recommendations that will enable you both market your home successfully. It's important to keep an open mind and follow his/her advice.

Operating Costs
It's also a good idea to have information on hand that will give the REALTOR® an idea of the costs of running your home -- annual heating bills, along with documentation of any recent major repairs or upgrades -- such as a new roof or new wiring or plumbing. These can be very effective marketing tools.

Open House
Your REALTOR® will also tell you that an open house can be another effective marketing tool. While some homeowners are adverse to this idea, it's one you should discuss with your REALTOR® if you really want your home to receive maximum exposure to interested buyers. During an open house or prearranged showings, it's a good idea to make sure that you and any other members of your family (including pets) are absent. Many buyers are intimidated by the presence of homeowners and tend to rush through a home as a result.

Clean and Clutter-Free
Before any showing or open house, it's imperative to make sure your home is clean and uncluttered -- both inside and out. Get rid of junk (don't forget the garage) and any unpleasant odours from smoke, cooking or pets. A neat exterior is inviting and a clean and neat interior just makes good, plain marketing sense.

Consider having your home painted. It's a relatively inexpensive way to show it in its best light.

Financing and Closing
Financing is another area where you may be able to help market your home more effectively. You can make your home more attractive to some purchasers by taking back a mortgage. It's an excellent marketing tool, especially if you're trading down to a less expensive home.

Flexibility on the closing date is another important factor in the successful marketing of a home. Real problems can arise when vendors and purchasers can't agree on a closing date. Again, it's important to work with your REALTOR® and listen to suggestions. Some deals are lost simply because the vendor and purchaser can't agree on a closing date.

Stay Informed
Your REALTOR® should keep you informed by following up after each showing and providing you with a weekly update on how the marketing of your home is progressing. By the same token, if you have any questions or ideas, don't hesitate to share these with your REALTOR®.
Article Source:
*All Articles pertaining to Financial Matters are Offered by a third party unrelated to my services. Please ensure you seek-out the advice of your own financial expert. The rule of thumb is to get the advice and rates of three separate companies or professionals*