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Retire to Margarita

Canadian real estate developer Minto Communities (owned by the Greenberg family, Canada’s 66th richest) is set to begin work this year on a US$1 billion, 6,900-home “Margaritaville”-themed retirement community in Florida. Latitude Margaritaville is a joint venture with Jimmy Buffett, the singer who originated the 1977 song about wasting away in a Mexican-themed beach resort and has since leveraged its bleak charm into a big business:

Over the years, [Jimmy] Buffett has parlayed his catchy, escapist tune into a whole ecosystem of branded beach resorts and lifestyle products. With Buffett’s Baby-Boomer audience aging faster than spongecake in the sun, a senior-oriented neighborhood like this is a shrewd business move. In the next two decades, senior housing is poised to reshape the U.S. housing market. By 2035, the number of Americans over 80 will double from 6 million to 12 million, and a full third of U.S. households will be headed by someone over 65. It’s crucial to design homes and communities suited to an older population. The margaritas are an added bonus.

Read the full article

soutce: curbed

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March 1, 2017

The London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) announced residential sales achieved its best February results ever, since LSTAR began tracking sales data in 1978. A total of 763 homes were sold in February, an increase of 17% over the same period last year.

“We experienced another strong month, with year-to-date sales also up by 19.5%” said Jim Smith, LSTAR 2017 President. “Again, we’re observing this trend of low supply and high demand, with February having a 9.8% decrease in the number of available listings, compared to this time last year. For those considering of putting their home on the market, the current conditions are very encouraging.”

In February, a total of 597 detached homes were sold, an increase of 15% over the previous year, while there were 166 condominium sales, up 24.8% from 2016. The average sales price was $307,831 up 7.9% from the previous month.

“Overall, we experienced a mild February in terms of weather, which also played in factor in helping the strong performance throughout the month,” Smith said. “And we continue to see robust activity in the condominium market, with a quarter more units sold.”

St. Thomas also had a very healthy February, with a total of 69 homes sold, up 25.5% from the same time last year. The average home price in St. Thomas was $242,028, up 25.7% from the previous month.

House Style Units Sold Average Price
2 storey 158 $436,333
Bungalow 70 $229,471
Ranch 53 $372,968
Townhouse 64 $206,166
High rise apt. condo 44 $193,576

The best-selling house style in February continues to be the two-storey, followed by the bungalow and ranch. The average price for a detached home in February was $327,754, up 4.4% from the previous month, while the average price for a condominium was $236,180, up 19.8% from the previous month.

The following table is based on data taken from the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) National MLS® Report for January 2017 (the latest statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

City Average Sale Price
Vancouver $851,384
Toronto $803,455
Fraser Valley $643,331
Victoria $611,362
Hamilton $522,978
Calgary $466,984
Kitchener-Waterloo $421,151
Ottawa $389,875
Edmonton $360,199
Niagara $346,059
Saskatoon $335,812
London St. Thomas $292,291
Canada $484,306

According to a research report1, one job is created for every three real estate transactions and approximately $53,000 in ancillary spending is generated every time a home changes hands in Ontario. “Real estate continues to be a huge driver to the local economy,” Smith said. “With the February sales, that translates into creating potentially over 250 jobs and putting us in a position to potentially generate around $40 million back into the local economy.”

For Comment: Jim Smith, 519-433-4331 , For Background: John Geha, 519-641-1400

 

I Love My Garage

Its funny when I hear people say that they bought a garage and the house came with it. I was one of these people.
I had the house, that we live in now, listed for sale – it had a 24 x 30 two car detached garage behind the house at the back corner of the lot. The owners, friends of mine, wanted to sell and move to a larger home.
But one day I had arranged to stop by to talk about our sales activity. They had not arrived home yet, the garage door was up so I pulled up a lawn chair and waited. But the more I sat there, the more I realized that this was nice – I could live here.
Well guess what, we bought the garage 17+ years ago and have been very comfortable in the house ever since.
I’ve built a few shelves to store our stuff, a shelf for the kayaks, made room to locate the tent trailer, a workbench for the fixits, a grinder to sharpen the tools, a place to do minor car repairs in comfort and even a place to pull out our lawn chairs and just relax.
I love my garage! If you don’t have one, you should get one.
P.S. As a Realtor – I sell garages… and all will probably come with a house attached! Let’s start looking today…
Earl Taylor, Broker
Coldwell Banker at Success Realty, Brokerage

Direct 519-670-9223
http://follr.me/earltaylor

WATCH: Innovation in the record-pressing business

As we’ve discussed before, vinyl records are back. Music lovers are embracing streaming apps like for the convenience, while also buying old-fashioned records for the all-around aesthetic pleasure of owning a beautiful, tactile object from their favourite artists. The renaissance of vinyl has also, it turns out, produced new innovations in the process of pressing records. Older record-pressing machines can be quite prone to errors, meaning as much as a 40% of some press runs might be recycled as duds, says Justin Blocker, chief creative officer of Hand Drawn Records. However, a manufacturer called Viryl Technologies has developed a new generation of record presses called WarmTone that, among other things, cuts that figure to around 1% and can churn out discs far faster, using less material. Here’s how it works.

Link: YouTube

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) announced another milestone for residential sales across the region, with the best January results since LSTAR began tracking sales data in 1978. A total of 574 homes were sold in January, an increase of 26.2% over last January.

“We’re off to a tremendous start this year with our best January ever,” said Jim Smith, LSTAR 2017 President. “The trend of high demand and low supply continues, with January experiencing a 12.2% decrease in the number of listings compared to the previous year. Those thinking of selling may want to consider maximizing the current market conditions.”

In January, a total of 434 detached homes were sold, an increase of 15.1 % over the previous year, while there were 140 condominium sales, up 79.5% from 2016. The average sales price was $285,418, up 0.5% from the previous month.

“We saw a huge boost in condominium sales, with almost double the number of units sold in 2017,” Smith said. “It represents very robust activity happening in the condominium market, again with less listings available compared to 2016.”

St. Thomas also had a very healthy January, with a total of 55 homes sold, up 139.1% from the same time last year. The average home price in St. Thomas was $192,474, down 28.1% from the previous month.

The best-selling house style in January continues to be the two-storey, followed by the bungalow and ranch. The average price for a detached home in January was $313,879, up 2.3% from the previous month, while the average price for a condominium was $197,190, up 2.8% from the previous month.

House Style Units Sold Average Price
2 storey 128 $407,000
Bungalow 58 $229,599
Ranch 37 $362,543
Townhouse 64 $157,469
High rise apt. condo 36 $158,775

The following chart is based on data taken from the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) National MLS® Report for December 2016 (the latest statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

According to a research report1, one job is created for every three real estate transactions and approximately $53,000 in ancillary spending is generated every time a home changes hands in Ontario. “Real estate is providing a huge boost to the local economy,” Smith said. “When we look at January, that means residential sales created 191 jobs and more than $30 million was generated into the local economy.”

Source: LSTAR

Coffee is the most popular beverage among adult Canadians—outpacing even plain tap water. So even the faint possibility of a better cup of coffee is a big deal. Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have now sequenced the entire coffee genome, meaning we may be at the cusp of a new and glorious age for java. Having the genetic code for coffee will allow researchers to determine the genetic basis of growing great coffee—which varietals work best for which climates, for example—and breeders will be able to develop delicious new strains, faster.

Link: YouTube

What makes a Lack a Lack and not, say, a Poäng? While they may be all Swedish to you and me, there’s a method to the naming of IKEA products:

Bookcases are named after professional occupations (Expedit means shop keeper) or boys’ names (The bestselling Billy bookcase is named after IKEA employee Billy Likjedhal). Outdoor furniture is named after Scandinavian islands (Äpplarö an island in the Stockholm archipelago and Västerön is in Aaland). Rugs are named after cities and towns in Denmark or Sweden (Ådum, Stockholm, Silkeborg), while bed sheets, comforters and pillowcases are named after flowers and plants. (Häxört or circaea lutetian is an herb in the primrose family).

Link: Quartz