Great Family Event in Ajax – Trailfest 2015

Ajax Trailfest 2015

WHEN:    Sunday, May 31, 2015
WHERE:  Arbour Park, 55 Harwood Ave South, Ajax


There are 3 ways for families to participate:

  1. Approx. 38 km Ride with the Mayor.
    Registration at 9 a.m. | Ride starts at 9:30 a.m. * Some biking experience recommended
  2. Approx. 17.5 km Tour d’Ajax
    Registration at 9 a.m. | Ride starts at 9:45 a.m. * Great for single riders or families
  3. Family Walk & Stroll (approx. 3.5 km)
    Registration at 9:30 a.m. | Starts at 10 a.m. * A walk for the whole family


Trailfest Activities

  • Minor bike repairs at 8 a.m. Hosted by Northern Cycle
  • FREE BBQ* for registered participants
  • Bike decorating station for children
  • FREE Trailfest giveaways
  • Family yoga & stretch warm down at 11:30 a.m. and 12 p


For more information, route map and registration visit www.ajax.ca/trailfest!

Search Homes for Sale in Durham Region

Randy Miller
Broker of Record
Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby
905-430-1800
randy@randymiller.ca
www.randymiller.ca

CMHC: Housing Market Activity Outlook for 2015 and 2016

housing market outlook

According to the CMHC, housing markets are expected to remain stable for the rest of the year, and starts are expected to moderate in 2015 and 2016.

“Lower oil prices are contributing to disparities between provincial housing markets. A slowdown in housing starts and resale transactions in oil-producing provinces such as Alberta will be partly offset by increased housing market activity in other provinces, such as Ontario and British Columbia, which benefit from the positive impacts of declining energy prices, a lower Canadian dollar and continued low mortgage rates,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist for CMHC, in the news release.

The average price for a home sold through the MLS system is forecast to fall between $402,139 and $439,589 in 2015, with a point forecast of $422,129. Looking ahead to 2016, the average MLS price is expected to range between $398,191 and $457,200, with a point forecast of $428,325.

Canada-wide, home sales via the MLS system are believed to range between 437,100 and 494,500 units for 2015, with a point forecast of 475,400 units. In 2016, sales are to expected to range from 424,500 units to 491,300 units, with a point forecast of 469,000 units.

Housing starts are expected to decline by 4.1 per cent – and range between 166,540 and 188,580 units — in 2015. Prices, meanwhile, are expected to increase by 3.4 per cent.

As for the near future, housing starts are expected to range between 162,840 and 190,830 in 2016.

In Ontario, all eyes are on the GTA housing market, which continues to see strong sale and price growth.

Demand for existing homes in the GTA is expected to remain strong. The CMHC is also forecasting stronger interest in higher density dwellings and conversely, an uptick in home rentals over ownership.

“An improving economy will be more supportive of the Ontario housing market in 2015 than it has been in the recent past,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario Regional Economist. “However, as mortgage carrying costs continue to grow, particularly for single family homes, demand will increasingly shift to more affordable housing.”

Source: CMHC.ca

If you want to learn more about the local housing market of Whitby, Brooklin or other areas within Durham Region, contact me! 

Randy Miller
Broker of Record
Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby
905-430-1800
randy@randymiller.ca
www.randymiller.ca

Randy Miller, Royal Heritage Realty, Whitby Homes for Sale

New EXCLUSIVE Commercial Listing in Ajax

15 Harwood Avenue South, Ajax, ON

15 Harwood South Ajax Randy Miller

$ 2,550,000

  • Prime North Ajax location
  • Quality built commercial plaza. Construction: Steel beam with concrete block and brick exterior
  • CAP rate of 6 %
  • This plaza is fully occupied with stable tenants, only one space is unoccupied!

15 Harwood South Ajax Randy Miller

Building Size: 12,000 square feet in total, 2 stories
Lot Size: 100 x 218 feet
Built: 1986

If you want to see this listing or want to get more information about it, visit my website or contact me!

Randy Miller
Broker of Record

Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby

905-239-4800
randy@randymiller.ca
http://www.randymiller.ca

Randy Miller, Royal Heritage Realty, Whitby Homes for Sale

Don’t get faked out by negative financial headlines

negative financial headlines

Canadian mortgages in arrears (homeowners who have gone 3 or more consecutive months without making a payment) have been and are extremely low.   They are historically less than 0.5% (actually Canada’s current average sits at 0.29%, Ontario sits at 0.18%, with Alberta at 0.27%!) Even through the most recent couple of ‘financial crises’, there was no blip in this number.   

This is a tiny fraction of the US statistic; however, common opinion leads us to believe otherwise.   There are a number of fundamental differences between the two countries’   banking and mortgage lending systems.   One difference is that most mortgages in the US are ‘non-recourse’, meaning you can walk away from your house and owe nothing beyond that asset’s worth.   In Canada, you are liable for the entire debt, and this is a great incentive to do everything possible to make that mortgage payment.    

Canadian mortgage lenders are prudent; their goal is not be stuck with a property. Banks are not in the property ownership and management business, so it is in their best interest to make sure borrowers can make their mortgage payments.  Mortgage default insurance facilitates lenders to make more risk-based decisions, opening up the mortgage lending market to more consumers (including rental property, which is always viewed as more risky since it is assumed an owner will pay for their own housing first before covering the payment on a home they do not reside in). If a consumer falls into temporary financial hardship, there are assistance programs available from the mortgage insurers, with the goal of avoiding a default and lender having to take over the property.

Canadians with mortgages have significant equity in their home, averaging about 74% of the home’s value.   In addition to that, a 2014 survey found that 16% of mortgage holders have   increased their mortgage payments, and 16% made an additional lump sum payment in the last year. From the headlines, you would think an epidemic has swept across our country with low-equity home ownership being the norm.   

Canadians, in general, are conservative with their money and the statistics show many are sitting on a healthy amount of wealth.  Naturally, there is the demographic at the beginning stages of their home ownership journey who have lower equity.   However, there a many mortgage regulations in place designed to qualify these applicants accordingly, along with mandatory mortgage default insurance for those with low down payments.   

There is much discussion today about how hard it is for first time homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage, due to these regulations which have become increasingly more strict, so it is plausible the government may realize the effects of their decisions and loosen up the reins in order to maintain balance in the housing market and economy.

Another statistic demonstrating that Canadians, overall, are conservative with their money is that 60% of Canadians pay off their credit card balance in full each month, avoiding credit card and interest payments altogether.   The truth is, no matter how many rules and regulations are implemented,   there will always be financially irresponsible people.   The headlines like to focus on this group, and regulatory decisions appear to be swayed by these sentiments, lumping everyone into the same category, including savvy real estate investors who understand how to manage debt responsibly.   

In conclusion, headlines are designed to sell.    Not everything is perfect and positive all the time, but it certainly isn’t the constant doom and gloom we read about.   The messages in the headlines are often inconsistent; one day something is up, and the next day it is down.   A savvy investor knows to look beyond the headlines, not get swept up emotionally, dig deeper, filter out the irrelevant chatter and figure out what really applies to them.
(Reference sources: Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, Canada Bankers Association, Bank of Canada)

If you are planning to buy a house in Whitby or Brooklin or other areas within Durham Region, contact me. I can help you with the buying process and refer you to a mortgage specialist that can explain the products and help you choose the right mortgage product. Let me help you every step of the way!

Randy Miller
Broker of Record

Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby

905-430-1800
randy@randymiller.ca
http://www.randymiller.ca

Randy Miller, Royal Heritage Realty, Whitby Homes for Sale

Pan Am Games Torch Comes To Whitby, ON

Pan Am Games Whitby

On Monday, June 8, the Pan Am Torch will make its way through Whitby. Pick your cheering spot along the torch route or attend a Torch Stop at the Town of Whitby Municipal Offices at 10:30 a.m. The Community Celebration event at Brooklin Community Centre and Library begins at 10:00 a.m. with the torch arriving at 11:45 a.m. Enjoy entertainment, sports and activities, displays and refreshments. Plan to arrive early to get a good spot!

Torch Relay Route

The Toronto 2015 Torch Relay for the Pan Am Games will feature 3,000 torchbearers who will carry the Pan Am flame along its 41-day journey and share the Pan Am spirit in more than 130 communities. Deeply rooted in history and tradition, the Pan Am flame will be lit in May 2015 in a traditional ceremony in Teotihuacan, Mexico, before it travels to Canada. The torch relay will start in Canada on May 30, 2015, and will make its final stop on July 10, 2015, at the Opening Ceremony of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.

Pan Am Games will be the largest international multi-sport event held in Canada. This year the following sports make their debut in the roster of games: golf, women’s rugby sevens, canoe/kayak slalom, women’s baseball and the return of men’s softball (Pan Am Games); wheelchair rugby, women competing in sitting volleyball and the return of football 7-a-side (Parapan Am Games). Click here for the Torch Route!

Pan Am Games in Durham Region

Durham Region’s Pan Am and Parapan Am events

Ajax – Audley Recreation Complex – Baseball and softball
Oshawa – General Motors Centre – Boxing and weightlifting
Whitby – Abilities Centre – Boccia and judo (Parapan Am)

Whitby and the Pan Am Games

Whitby is proud to be a Host Municipality for the Parapan Am Sports of Boccia and Judo which will take place in the state-of-the-art and fully accessible Abilities Centre.

The Town of Ajax to the west and the City of Oshawa to the east are also proud hosts of the Games. Ajax has the priviledge of being the premier baseball and softball venue located at the ARC. Oshawa will host boxing and weightlifting at the Oshawa Sports Centre.

Games Stats:

  • About 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials
  • More than 40 venues
  • Games footprint that stretches across the Greater Golden Horseshoe—from Welland to Oshawa to Minden Hills
  • 51 sports (36 Pan Am and15 Parapan events)
  • 41 Pan American countries
  • 20,000 volunteers
  • 250,000 tourists

Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games: http://www.toronto2015.org/

Randy Miller
Broker of Record

Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby

905-430-1800
randy@randymiller.ca
www.randymiller.ca

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CREA: Canadian home sales up again in April

Canadian home sales up

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the average sale price for an existing home in Canada rose 9.5 per cent, year-over-year, to $448,862 in April. Excluding the two major cities, Vancouver and Toronto, the increase was much more modest at 3.4 per cent to $339,893.

The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose 2.3 per cent in April 2015 compared to March. This marks the third consecutive month-over-month increase and raises national activity back to where it was during most of the second half of last year.

April sales were up from the previous month in two-thirds of all local markets, led by the Greater Toronto Area, the surrounding Golden Horseshoe region, and Montreal.

“In recent years, the seasonal pattern for home sales and listings has become amplified in places where listings are in short supply relative to demand,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “This particularly stands out in and around Toronto. Sellers there have increasingly delayed listing their home until spring. Once listed, it sells fairly quickly. Sales over the year as a whole in Southern Ontario are likely being constrained to some degree by a short supply of single family homes. However, the busy spring home buying and selling season has become that much busier as a result of sellers waiting until winter has faded before listing.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in April stood 10.0 per cent above levels reported in April 2014. This marks just the third time ever that sales during the month of April topped 50,000 transactions.

Sales were up on a year-over-year basis in about 70 per cent of all local markets, led by activity in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Greater Toronto, and Montreal. Of the 18 local markets that set new records for the month of April, all but two are in Southern Ontario.

The number of newly listed homes was virtually unchanged (+0.1 per cent) in April compared to March. Below the surface, new supply rose in almost two thirds of all local markets, led by a big rebound in Halifax-Dartmouth following a sharp drop in March. This was offset by declines in Greater Vancouver, Victoria, and the Okanagan Region, as well as by a continuing pullback in new supply in Calgary. New listings in Calgary have dropped by one-third from their multi-year high at the end of last year to their current multi-year low.

The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 55.3 per cent in April, up from 50.4 per cent three months earlier as the ratio has steadily risen along with sales so far this year.

A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings above and below this range indicating sellers’ and buyers’ markets respectively. The ratio was within this range in the majority of local housing markets in April.

The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

There were 5.9 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of April 2015, down from 6.1 months in March and 6.5 months at the end of January when it reached the highest level in nearly two years. While the sales-to-new listings ratio and months of inventory measures of market balance indicate that the housing market has tightened on a national basis over the past few months, both measures remain firmly entrenched in balanced market territory.

The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 4.97 per cent on a year-over-year basis in April, on par with the 4.95 per cent year-over-year gain recorded in March.

Year-over-year price growth accelerated in April for apartment units and two-storey single family homes, while decelerating for townhouse/row units and one-storey single family homes.

Single family home sales continue to post the biggest year-over-year price gains (+5.84 per cent), led by two-storey single family homes (+6.89 per cent). By comparison, the rise in selling prices was more modest for one-storey single family homes (+4.20 per cent), townhouse/row units (+3.87 per cent), and apartment units (+2.60 per cent).

Full article & statistics: Click HERE!

Source: CREA.ca

To learn more about local real estate market conditions in Whitby, Brooklin, Ajax, Pickering, Oshawa, Courtice and Bowmanville, please contact me.

homes for sale Durham Region

Randy Miller
Broker of Record

Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby

905-430-1800
randy@randymiller.ca
www.randymiller.ca

Randymillerlogo

Housing Market Watch: GTA and Durham Region – April 2015

May 5, 2015. Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 11,303 sales in April 2015.  This represented a 17 per cent increase in comparison to April 2014.  While sales increased strongly on a year-over-year basis, new listings were up over the same period by a more moderate five per cent.

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Mr. Etherington said that the record April result clearly pointed to the fact that a growing number of GTA households view ownership housing as a high quality long-term investment. First-time buyers and existing homeowners remain very active in today’s market.

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The overall average selling price was up by 10 per cent year-over-year to $635,932.  The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark, which estimates the price of a benchmark home with the same attributes from one period to the next, was up by 8.4 per cent over the same period.  The fact that average price growth outpaced growth for the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark, suggests that a greater share of higher-end homes changed hands this year compared to last.

Price growth in the GTA was strongest for low-rise home types.  However, the better supplied condominium apartment segment also remained healthy with price growth above the rate of inflation.

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“Demand for ownership housing was very high relative to the number of homes available for sale in April.  This situation is not expected to change markedly as we move through the remainder of 2015.  Until we experience a sustained period in which listings grow at a faster pace than sales, annual rates of home price growth will remain strong,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

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Housing market getting hot throughout Durham Region

Durham Region Association of REALTORS® (DRAR) President Sandra O’Donohue reported 1,315 residential transactions in April 2015. This is an increase of 16.4 per cent from 1,130 in April of last year. In addition to a greater number of sales, there are also more homes listed. Durham saw 1,816 new listings enter the market in April 2015 compared to 1,709 in April 2014.

The average selling price in the Durham Region reached $440,151 last month, a 12.5 per cent increase compared to $391,351 in the same period last year. “Buyers are still seeing the value of home ownership,” explained O’Donohue, “ and low interest rates continue to be a factor in determining affordability”.

Avg Home Selling Price Durham Region 

Homes in Durham are selling in an average of 15 days. “Homes are being listed for more than they were last year and are selling an average of 2 days sooner” reported O’Donohue.

“The housing market continues to gain momentum and we expect this trend to continue into the later months of summer,” stated O’Donohue. “We are seeing evidence of the importance of home ownership and the benefit of investing in the Durham Region”.

If you are looking for a house in Durham Region or are already a homeowner and wish to move to a new house in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Brooklin, Oshawa, Courtice or Bowmanville, please contact me for more information.

Having sold real estate in Whitby and the Durham Region for over 20 years, I can help you with both – the buying and selling process. 

Search Homes for Sale in Durham Region

Randy Miller
Broker of Record
Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby

905-430-1800
randy@randymiller.ca
www.randymiller.ca

Randy Miller, Royal Heritage Realty, Whitby Homes for Sale

Gourmet Food Truck Frenzy is coming to Whitby on Mother’s Day Weekend

Gourmet Food Truck Frenzy

When: Sat. May 9, 2015 (11 am – 9 pm), Sun. May 10, 2015 (11 am – 6 pm)
Where: Iroquois Park Grounds, 500 Victoria St. W., Whitby, ON

Take your tastebuds for a ride and enjoy the creative twists on traditional and international favourites like poutine, pasta, and pizza.  This year there will be 25 food trucks – that’s 10 more than last year! There will be food, craft breweries, Ontario wines, entertainment and a family friendly zone.

Savour the food at The Rotary Club of Whitby’s 2nd annual Gourmet Food Truck Frenzy, held in the parking lot of the Iroqouis Park Arena.

The Rotary Club of Whitby, strives to change lives. Proceeds for the event will change lives and support programs in Durham Region. So bring your family and friends and eat with purpose.

Free parking is available immediately beside the event at the Whitby GO Station Parking lot. There are approximately 3,000 parking spaces available.

For more information visit http://www.foodfrenzywhitby.ca!

Randy Miller
Broker of Record
Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby
905-430-1800
randy@randymiller.ca
www.randymiller.ca

Randy Miller, Royal Heritage Realty, Whitby Homes for Sale

No risk of ‘bubble,’ Poloz says of Canada’s bloated housing market

Housing Bubble

 According to The Globe and Mail the Bank of Canada’s top brass assured a parliamentary committee that Canada’s bloated housing market has not become a risky asset bubble, despite the central bank’s own calculation that house prices nationwide are roughly 20 per cent overvalued.

“We don’t believe we’re in a bubble,” Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said in testimony Tuesday to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. He said Canada’s long-running boom in the housing market hasn’t been underpinned by the kind of rampant speculative buying that is the hallmark of an asset bubble.

“Our housing construction has stayed very much in line with our estimates of demographic demand,” he said. “There’s no excess.”

This despite the central bank’s own estimate, published last December in its Financial System Review, that Canada’s housing market is overpriced by between 10 and 30 per cent.

Mr. Poloz indicated that he believes the overvaluation is not a symptom of runaway prices and widespread investor speculation, but rather of ongoing strength in consumer demand spurred by historically low interest rates – rates that were cut by the central bank in order to keep consumer demand buoyant to support Canada’s economy during the Great Recession.

“This is one of the by-products of what we’ve been through. It’s not something that happened simply by itself,” he said. “It would be very unusual to have that and not have a degree of overvaluation.”

Mr. Poloz added that the overvaluation doesn’t necessarily mean the market is in need of a 10-to-30-per-cent downturn to bring it back into balance. He said that rising incomes as the economy gains momentum could help close the affordability gap, without a sharp drop in home values.

“We believe that as the fundamentals catch up with it, it will be sustained,” he said.

Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins added that the central bank still believes Canada’s overall housing market is “headed for a soft landing,” despite the sudden oil-shock upheaval that threatens considerable instability in Alberta’s until-recently booming housing sector.

“We’re not expecting whatever transpires in Alberta to create spillovers that, from a financial stability standpoint, would be worrisome for the rest of Canada.”

Mr. Poloz also defended the Bank of Canada’s surprise cut of its key interest rate in January, which critics fear may exacerbate Canadian households’ already hyper-extended mortgage and debt loads.

“On the surface, lower interest rates would be expected to promote more borrowing, which would increase this vulnerability,” he said in his opening statement to the committee. “However, in the near term, lower borrowing rates will actually mitigate this risk, by reducing payments for mortgage holders and giving us more economic growth and employment gains.”

“We believe that the best contribution the Bank can make to lowering financial stability risks through time is to help the economy return to full capacity and stable inflation sooner, rather than later.”

Mr. Poloz added that he believes the January rate cut, which reduced the bank’s key rate to 0.75 per cent from 1.00 per cent, is doing its job in helping the Canadian economy weather the effects of the oil shock – although he admitted that the evidence of the cut’s impact “is thin at this stage.”

“The evidence we have at present would be primarily in the export sector,” he said, where the resulting decline in the Canadian dollar has been boosting exporters’ Canadian-dollar cash flow and improving their price competitiveness in export markets.

Source:  Bank of Canada’s Poloz dispels speculation of housing bubble by DAVID PARKINSON, The Globe and Mail

For more insight into the housing market within Durham Region, the Whitby real estate market, or the Brooklin real estate market, contact me. If you are an existing homeowner and are thinking about a, move, I can tell you what your house or condo is worth in today’s marketplace.

Search Whitby Homes for Sale

Randy Miller
Broker of Record

Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby

905-430-1800
randy@randymiller.ca
www.randymiller.ca

Randy Miller, Royal Heritage Realty, Whitby Homes for Sale

Mortgage News April 2015

Mortgage News Canada

Bank of Canada holds mortgage rate steady

The Bank of Canada has decided to hold the rate steady. Variable rate mortgages remain unchanged. 2015 could be status quo for the rate,  Bank of Canada now estimates economy reaching and remaining at full capacity around the end of 2016.  

CMHC and mortgage insurers increase rate premium

In early April 2015, CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) announced effective June 1, 2015, the mortgage loan insurance premiums for homebuyers with less than a 10% down payment will increase by approximately 15% . The remaining two private insurers, Genworth and Canada Guaranty, followed suit with the same announcement.   This affects owner-occupied homebuyers, a vast majority being first time homebuyers.  Rental property is not affected by this announcement, as the required down payment is above the 10% threshold (minimum 20%).  

The mortgage insurance premium is added to the mortgage.  The immediate effect is a modest increase in monthly payment, approximately $7 more per month (based 5% down payment on $350K purchase price, 2.79%,  25 year amortization).  The more significant impact is the additional premium increases the mortgage, by approximately $1575 in the example previously mentioned.  

This is yet another rule that hits mostly first time homebuyers ready to enter the market.  Over the last several years, mortgage rules have tightened up, shutting out more prospective homebuyers.  Conservative lending is important to maintain stability, however if too many consumers are shut out, the pendulum may swing a little bit the other way.  For now, these are the new rules, plan accordingly and assume insurers will maintain their conservative approach.

As a consequence of the rule change, there will be a large influx of homebuyers purchasing and submitting application before the June 1st deadline. This happened in prior years when CMHC made a rule change. This means everyone applying for mortgages will be affected due to the large volumes presented to lenders and the insurers.  Take note, and provide yourself enough time for processing financing and also check with your lawyer to make sure they can accommodate your closing date.

If you are planning to buy a house in Whitby, Brooklin or other areas within Durham Region, contact me. I can help you with the buying process and refer you to a mortgage specialist that can explain the products and help you choose the right mortgage product.

Search Homes for Sale in Durham Region

Randy Miller
Broker of Record
Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby

905-430-1800
randy@randymiller.ca
www.randymiller.ca

Randy Miller, Royal Heritage Realty, Whitby Homes for Sale