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June 2, 2017

The London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) announced a total of 1,539 homes were sold in May, an increase of 33.4% over the same period last year. This represents the best results ever for May, and the highest monthly home sales total ever recorded, since LSTAR began tracking data in 1978*.

“We’re experiencing a very strong marketplace, with the fifth consecutive month of record sales,” said Jim Smith, LSTAR President. “REALTORS® are still seeing multiple offer scenarios and interest from outside the region. When you factor in the region’s low unemployment rate and continued job growth, the economy is firing on all cylinders. This year, year-to-date home sales are already 27% ahead of 2016.”

In May, a total of 1,209 detached homes were sold, an increase of 28.6% over the previous year, while there were 330 condominium sales, up 54.2% from 2016. The average sales price across London and St. Thomas was $344,815 down 0.6% from the previous month. The average year-to-date sales price was $330,890 up 18.6% from the 2016 average home price of $279,057.

“We understand the City and local home builders are working closely to bring more permit ready residential lots in the second half of the year, which contributes a tremendous boost to the economy,” Smith said. “The news of high-speed rail is also encouraging, and this may be a huge factor toward a future building boom in home construction.”

In May, there were 1,985 listings, up 15.5% from the same time in 2016. The year-to-date sales are outpacing last year by 27.0%, with a total of 5,307 homes sold.

St. Thomas also had a very healthy May, with a total of 115 homes sold, down 0.9% from the same time last year. The average home price in St. Thomas was $259,491 down 4.0% from the previous month.

The best-selling house style in May continues to be the two-storey, followed by the bungalow and ranch. The average price for a detached home in May was $372,163 down 0.1% from the previous month, while the average price for a condominium was $244,619 down 1.4% from the previous month.

According to a research report**, 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. “Based on the historic sales we saw in May, that translates into creating potentially over 500 jobs and positioning us to potentially generate more than $81 million back into the local economy,” Smith said. “With the summer season, many homeowners are looking to add value to their homes through renovating and landscaping projects as well, igniting lots of activity for area merchants and small businesses, helping to further grow the economy.”

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May 2, 2017

The London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) announced another record month for residential sales in April, with a total of 1,220 homes sold, an increase of 14.2% over the same period last year. This represents the best results ever for April, since LSTAR began tracking sales data in 1978.

“Since the beginning of the year, every month has achieved record sales. After the first four months, we’re about 25 percent ahead in home sales compared to 2016,” said Jim Smith, LSTAR President. “It just shows how desirable the region is, when you consider affordability, accessibility and lifestyle. London and St. Thomas have so many features that make them attractive destinations to live, work, raise families and retire. We’ve got farm-to-table restaurants, London Knights hockey, big-name concerts and culture, such as the North American Railway Hall of Fame and the Grand Theatre.”

In April, a total of 971 detached homes were sold, an increase of 11.7% over the previous year, while there were 249 condominium sales, up 25.1% from 2016. The average sales price was $347,062 up 5.4% from the previous month. The average year-to-date sales price was $325,286 up 16.6% from 2016 average home price of $279,057.

“With this robust marketplace, it’s a fantastic time to get in touch with a REALTOR®,” Smith said. “With an increase in multiple offer situations, interest from outside of London and St. Thomas, and the regulatory requirements, a REALTOR® can help you manage the process every step of the way.”

St. Thomas also had a very healthy April, with a total of 97 homes sold, up 12.8% from the same time last year. The average home price in St. Thomas was $270,439 up 9.3% from the previous month.

The best-selling house style in April continues to be the two-storey, followed by the bungalow and ranch. The average price for a detached home in April was $372,461, up 4.7% from the previous month, while the average price for a condominium was $248,020 up 14.5% from the previous month.

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. “Based on the record sales in April, that translates into creating potentially over 400 jobs and positioning us to potentially generate $64 million back into the local economy for London and St. Thomas,” Smith said.

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As a Buyer, You Don’t Pay The Realtor’s Commission

So many first time buyers wonder, “do you have to pay a real estate agent if you are buying a home?” For some, the thought of having to shell out extra cash when they are already doing all they can to save for their down payment is enough to make them walk away from the entire process before they even get going. Many are surprised to find out that the answer is actually no. A home buyer does not pay their agent, rather the agent earns their commission from the seller side of the transaction.

Need help finding an agent? Connect with Earl Taylor

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As a result of its annual review of its insurance products and capital requirements, CMHC is increasing its mortgage loan insurance premiums for homeowner and 1- 4 unit rental properties to reflect its increased capital targets.
CMHC’s capital management framework is consistent with international practices and Canadian guidelines for mortgage insurers. Higher capital targets are consistent with Canadian and international industry trends and make the financial system more stable and resilient. As CMHC mortgage insurance is backed by taxpayers, capital holdings reduce Canadian taxpayers’ exposure to the housing market, and contribute to the long term stability of the financial system.
For the average Canadian homebuyer requiring CMHC-insured financing, the higher premium will result in an increase of approximately $5 to their monthly mortgage payment. This is not expected to have a material impact on the housing market. Effective May 1, 2014, the premiums will increase by 15%, on average.

The premiums** and premium surcharges will be as follows:
Standard Premiums Loan-to-Value Ratio Total Loan Amount Increase to Loan Amount
Up to and including 65% 0.50% 0.60%
Up to and including 75% 0.65% 0.75%
Up to and including 80% 1.00% 1.25%
Up to and including 85% 1.75% 1.80%
Up to and including 90% 2.00% 2.40%
Up to and including 95% 2.75% 3.15%
90.01% to 95% – Non-Traditional Down Payment 2.90% 3.35%

Self-Employed Borrowers without Third Party Validation of Income Loan-to-Value Ratio Total Loan Amount Increase to Loan Amount
Up to and including 65% 0.90% 1.75%
Up to and including 75% 1.15% 3.00%
Up to and including 80% 1.90% 4.45%
Up to and including 85% 3.35%* 6.35%
Up to and including 90% 5.45%* 8.05%

*Rental Loans (1–4 Units) Loan-to-Value Ratio Total Loan Amount Increase to Loan Amount
Up to and including 65% 1.45% 3.15%
Up to and including 75% 2.00% 3.45%
Up to and including 80% 2.90% 4.30%
Note: Premiums shown with “*” do not apply for Refinance transactions.
**For purchase/new construction loan applications, the premium rate is applied to the Total Loan Amount. For portability and refinance loan applications, the premium is the lesser of the premium rate applied to the Increase to Loan Amount; or the premium rate applied to the Total Loan Amount.
Premium Surcharges Extended Amortization Surcharge (for each 5 year period beyond 25 years) 0.25% Blended Amortization Surcharge 0.60% Conversion surcharge for self-employed borrowers without traditional documentation to support income verification 1.75%
CMHC’s new premium rates will be effective for new mortgage loan insurance requests submitted on or after May 1, 2014. The current mortgage loan insurance premiums will apply for applications submitted to CMHC prior to May 1, 2014, regardless of the closing date. As is normal practice, complete borrower and property details must be submitted to CMHC when requesting mortgage loan insurance.
CMHC reviews its premiums on an annual basis and has adjusted them several times since being commercialized in 1998. Adjustments have included both increases and decreases to the premiums. Going forward, CMHC plans to announce decisions on premiums in the first quarter of each year.
To help you respond to consumer inquiries, CMHC has information available on the new premiums at http://www.cmhc.ca

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The purpose of Mortgage Insurance is to provide your loved ones with a way to pay for the mortgage if something were to happen to you, the home owner.
When buying a home, there are 2 ways to protect you and your family – through your bank when you apply for a mortgage or through an insurance broker. Purchasing your coverage through an independent Insurance Broker will insure you get the very best price available and your policy is fully underwritten at the time of application. You will know up front that you are covered. Basically it’s a life insurance policy based on the amount of your mortgage. When you apply for insurance through a bank the underwriting is not done until the time of claim, which could mean that if you get sick or injured at any time prior to a claim you can be deemed NOT eligible for a pay-out even though you have been paying your premiums. Why would you take a risk like this?
The other benefit in purchasing your mortgage insurance through a Broker, is that the total original amount of the policy, not just the mortgage balance, is paid out directly 100% to your beneficiary and they can decide what to do with the insurance money. The bank insurance simply pays the bank for the amount owing.

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When buying a home, your lawyer will talk to you about buying a Title Insurance policy. Your next question is going to be WHY?
A Title Insurance policy offers you many benefits such as:
1. It eliminates the need for an up-to-date survey, real property report or building location certificate (“the survey”), while covering you against defects that might have been revealed once obtained.
2. It covers you against errors in surveys and other official public records or documents related to your property such as registry / land titles office, local municipal offices and tax departments.
3. It protects you in the event of encroachments onto a neighbouring property, zoning infractions, contravention of subdivision, development and other agreements.
4. It may reduce your closing costs by eliminating some disbursements your lawyer might otherwise have to incur.
Your lawyer can obtain a Title Insurance policy on your behalf prior to the closing date. Once a policy is issued and you take title or ownership to the property, your Title Insurance Company that holds the Policy assumes the risk for all covered problems, protecting your right to the property as long as you own it.
So when your lawyer mentions Title Insurance Policy – say YES!

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Real Estate market remains strong in St Thomas

March 2013 came in and went out like a lion but St. Thomas weathered the storms of March much better than London. In St Thomas, 50 homes sold in March 2013, the same number as last March. This follows a brisk start to the year with sales up 5% in January 2013 and up 38.9% in February over the same months of 2012.
Year-to-Date sales are up 12.8% in St. Thomas, while the average price for a home Year-to-Date stands at $198,548, up 3.6% from the year before.
Active listings for March are down 1.7% over March 2012 and down only 3.8% Year-to-Date over last year.

The Spring Market was off to a slow start in London in March with 612 home sales, down 20.5% over 2012. New listings were also down 9.4% overall, while inventory – the number of active listings at the end of the month, were down 7.2%.

Compliments of Earl Taylor- Broker
Coldwell Banker at Success Realty

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