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What Buyers Want

What Buyers Want!
Christine Rae, CSPM

What buyers want

Even though there are oodles of TV shows illustrating what buyers expect today for their money, many sellers and real estate agents are reluctant to embrace the advice of knowledgeable staging professionals. Curb appeal starts on the internet today. According to the National Association of Realtors at least 88% of buyers use the internet to search for property and a whopping 94% of millennials! What that means folks is that you must have GREAT photographs, and have them professionally done to capturethe interest of buyers or they will move on before ever stepping foot in the door. The trend for move in ready, turn key property is driven by three demographics: women, millennials and baby boomers. Paying attention to these key features can make a huge difference in selling property and securing the equity.

Half of all property buyers are under 36 yrs. old. Meaning a new generation, the Millennials are shaping the future of real estate. They leapfrog the traditional “starter home” and jump right into the higher end market by choosing larger properties with higher prices. They believe in the power of a home as a financial investment just as much as older generations do.They are also putting every cent to the purchase price of property, &they don’t have extra cash to start making renovations. Retiring boomers are also looking for turnkey properties because they want to enjoy life more than retile bathrooms!

Buyers today are not as handy as people were in past generations. They don’t see a “fixer upper” as an opportunity, they see it as a money drain and time suck. In fact, seven out of ten buyers want turn-key, move in ready so much, that they are willing to pay more money for it!

Updated: Bathrooms, Kitchens, Fixture’s and Appliances
Buyers want well-designed, eat in kitchens with plenty of organized storage. Ideally a pantry rather than endless cupboards. If there are cupboards they prefer drawers’ vs shelves. For bathrooms, the “must have” look has clean lines, with a walk-in shower and as little grout as possible. They no longer thrill to see a jetted tub, they want free standing (easier to replace if they ever want to do an update. Easy care flooring and quartz counters in both locations.

Popcorn Ceilings!
They are everywhere, but no one likes them; while few people are prepared to do the work to remove it, it can play a role in the final selling price. If the property is over $500,000 the ceilings are best smooth.

Office Space, High Speed Connectivity
More than 13 million people work from home and all signs point to this trend increasing. Technology increasingly makes us more mobile and efficient young buyers often have the option of working at home. Even though laptops, tablets and phones make work life simpler, having a dedicated space is important as it helps keep you organized, focussed and concentrating on work while at home perhaps on a Skype call, planning a presentation or simply paying bills. Homes are rapidly becoming sanctuaries, so the office space should NOT be the first room you see upon entering the property…always reminding them of work.

Technology/connectivity doesn’t just mean high speed internet anymore. A good mobile signal, wireless router means access for entertainment, information, home security, nanny cam for baby and pets and of course banking.

Open plan, good flow and use of space.
Younger buyers are more attracted to an open plan, rather than a compartmentalized layout. This has a lot to do with how they entertain. Smart layout also means plenty of outlets and located where you use items like hairdryers, shavers.

Women
Women make the majority of renovation decisions, less than 44% are interested in DIY. 50% of women say they want more green choices. 37% are more likely to pay attention to brands committed to environmental causes, 25% of all products in their shopping carts are environmentally friendly. Younger buyers are also environmentally conscious so energy efficiencies affect their life after purchase of property. These simple things can transfer buyer loyalty.

The 55-75 yr. old boomer female has seen her role change from homemaker to purchaser of security, convenience and luxury. 2017 is the year women control two thirds of all consumer wealth and they are beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in history. Estimates range between $12 to $40 TRLLION. Many boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall from both parents and husband; they make 95% of all purchasing decisions for the household. Men state it makes life easier if the woman is happy. Women’s lives are fast and full. Most work outside the home so with jobs, commuting, running errands, chauffeuring kids, tracking everyone’s stuff it isn’t surprising that women want organized storage. Open plans are fabulous but typically rob storage space because few interior walls. Great, spacious and functional closets are a high priority.

Laundry Rooms:
Are becoming coveted spaces. Filled with cupboards for organization and Energy star rated appliances these rooms need counter space, utility sink and they don’t want to see the laundry when they come in..it’s like coming home to a second job. Trouping down to the basement is a huge turn off so best locate in a closet near the bedrooms or off the kitchen is best.

Lots of natural light, well done skylights and expansive doors to bring the outdoors in. Reality TV shows have also shown how important having excellent storage spaces in the garage too. Dedicated spaces for tools, outdoor equipment and other odds/ends helps also leave room for cars! One in four people have so much stuff in the garage they can’t park a car.

Everyone agrees once you have heated floors you never go back. Bathrooms are a perfect place to start, hallways, kitchens are good seconds. The bottom line is this: when we talk trends, we are not talking most popular color; demographics are changing the way business in general is being done and real estate in particular. Not paying attention, working with stagers who are not “on trend” with what buyers want can seriously jeopardize the sale of property.

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The Remembrance Day Act

 

 

 

This is a reminder that The Remembrance Day Act specifically prohibits the selling or renting of real estate, or offering of real estate for sale or rent, during the 24-hour period of November 11 each year. Real estate firms must not be open for business on Remembrance Day.  No contracts for offering (listing), purchasing or selling, or renting should be entered into on Remembrance Day. Furthermore, because showing real estate or having an open house on that day would be considered the offering of real estate for sale, no showings or open houses should be conducted on Remembrance Day. The legislation calls for fines of up to $10,000 for a first offence and up to $50,000 for a second offence. Additionally, Article 18 of The REALTOR® Code states that the business of a REALTOR® shall be conducted in strict accordance with all statutory and regulatory requirements.

This is also a reminder that section 54(4) of The Condominium Act states that if the last day on which a cancellation right may be exercised expires on Remembrance Day, the period during which the cancellation right may be exercised is extended to include the next day after Remembrance Day. In effect, it’s an 8-day cooling off period, but only when the expiry of the cooling off period happens to land on November 11th.

The words found in the preamble of The Remembrance Day Act encourages us to pause on November 11th to “pay grateful tribute to the memory of those who have died, cherish those who have suffered grievous injury, and dedicate ourselves anew to the maintenance and furtherance of the great ideals hallowed by those sacrifices”.

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October sales fall back like daylight savings time

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=475

WINNIPEG – October sales decreased 10% from October 2016 and were off 4% from the 10-year October average. The drop in sales activity was largely predominant in the residential-detached and condominium property types selling for under $300,000.

The sales decrease in part, was the result of being up against increased sales activity in early October 2016 because home buyers then wanted to maximize their buying power before the October 17th stress test came into effect on insured mortgages. The new qualification requirement meant applicants had to qualify for the five- year fixed term Bank of Canada rate of 4.64 per cent.

October sales of 1,023 pushed year-to-date sales over 12,000 – only the second time this has happened and just 1% off last year’s record-setting pace of over 12,100 sales. Year-to-date dollar volume is the highest it has ever been at nearly $3.5 billion, up over 3% from 2016. Based on slower sales and dollar volume activity in the last two months of the year dollar volume, will not reach the $4 billion benchmark level but another annual dollar volume record will be set.

“October sales results clearly showed how government intervention in to the real estate market has affected it”, said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “The first-time buyer market for residential-detached properties has been softer this year and conversely more affordable property types such as single attached and townhouses have performed better.”

Both single-attached and townhouse sales this year are well ahead of 2016 with percentage increases of 10% and 23% respectively. Residential-detached sales are down 2% for the first 10 months.

One offsetting factor to mitigate a higher percentage decline in residential-detached sales in 2017 compared to last year, as a result of tougher mortgage qualification requirements, is a stronger move-up market.

Two examples back this point up. In October the southwest MLS® zone which had an average residential-detached sale price of over $400,000 saw sales increase this October while all the other more affordably priced MLS® zones ,including the rural MLS® areas outside Winnipeg, were either seeing fewer sales or flat in residential-detached sales activity.

Another example of stronger move- up activity this year is the significant difference in million dollar plus sales compared to the previous three years. For the first ten months there have been 45 sales in total, 40 residential-detached sales and 5 condominium sales. This compares to a total of 27 in 2016 and 20 in both 2015 and 2014.

“Our market may experience move-up sales activity than normal until the end of 2017 given that The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) just approved a new stress test on federally regulated mortgage lenders with respect to insured mortgages commencing January 1, 2018,” Sonnichsen said. “Similar to last year’s higher qualification requirement on insured mortgages which has heavily impacted first-time buyers, this new guideline will affect move-up buyers more and will limit their ability to qualify for higher-priced homes. They must meet the minimum qualifying rate for an uninsured mortgage which is the higher of either the five-year Bank of Canada rate or one that is 2 percentage points higher than their contractual mortgage rate.”

Helping some Manitobans feel confident about advancing their buying decision now before this new stress test kicks in is the recent good news of job gains for Manitoba. Statistics Canada reported the Manitoba economy added 4,000 new jobs in October and as a result had its unemployment rate drop to 5.2 per cent, second only to British Columbia at 4.9 per cent.

Further, October 2017 MLS® sales activity reported prevalent condominium sales in the under $200,000 price range. These sales represented 44% of total condo sales. In comparison sales under $200,000 for the residential-detached property type were 16%.

“Whatever price range you are looking to buy in, you need to be calling a REALTOR®- a market expert who will help you navigate the ever changing real estate environment and real estate financing” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.

Since 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® has assisted its members in achieving high levels of excellence in organized real estate by providing superior tools and services that enhance and build a vibrant real estate industry. Representing over 1,900 REALTORS® and other industry related professions active in the Winnipeg metropolitan area, WinnipegREALTORS® promotes the value of a REALTOR® and organized real estate. WinnipegREALTORS® provides its members with essential market information, professional development sessions, networking opportunities, marketing products, an effective industry voice and strong leadership to further their professional success.

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

For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854

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Economic benefits of home sales and purchases

October 27, 2017 : http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/Article/?sysid=3116

by Peter Squire

On average, each MLS® systems home sale in Canada generated $61,600 in ancillary spending, according to an impact study by the Altus Group.

The study on home sales and purchases covered the period from 2014 to 2016.

The Altus Group also did a study on government revenues related to MLS® systems home sales and purchases, which showed that $11.1 billion is collected each year in taxes at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

Historically low interest rates, combined with steady economic and employment growth, resulted in the economic impact of housing transactions increasing over the previous study, according to the Altus Group.

Not all markets across the country experienced similar activity. A case in point is the decline in oil prices negatively impacting sales activity in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Conversely, Ontario and British Columbia performed exceptionally well, with significantly higher home sales.

The average home sale result of $61,600 in ancillary spending included spending by purchasers on items other than the actual home and land, and expenditures by owners in preparation of selling their home. Total ancillary spending averaged $31.1 billion annually, a major contribution to the Canadian economy. This total was based on an average of 504,538 homes changing hands annually from 2014 to 2016. These sales also created 220,065 direct and indirect jobs annually across Canada.

In breaking down ancillary spending, next to all the professional services, the highest generator of spending came from renovations. Professional services represented $22,125 of the $61,600 total amount generated, while renovations generated $17,975. Still having a high impact were furniture and appliances at $8,200.

Interestingly, when you break out expenditures generated by the average housing transaction in the Prairies, renovations was slightly higher than professional services at $18,850. Furniture and appliance expenditures were also higher than the national average at $9,550.

Given the older housing stock in Manitoba, relative to Saskatchewan and, especially, Alberta, the difference in Manitoba is likely greater for renovations over professional services.

This is a good news story, not only for the economy and job creation, but for renewing and extending the shelf life of older housing stock. With the increase in Manitoba’s population, and expectations for this trend to continue for years to come, meeting the new and existing need for proper housing accommodation is critical.

New housing starts are not enough to meet the increased demand in Manitoba. And, of course, many first-time buyers can only afford and qualify for an older home.

The average annual spin-off benefit of MLS® activity is broken down by provinces. For Manitoba, it represents $741 million or $52,500 per transaction. This activity translates to 6,300 direct and indirect jobs created in Manitoba.

As a group, finance, insurance and real estate made up the largest share of jobs generated across the country, with construction a very close second. Trades and professional services have an equal percentage share in third place.

Manitoba had the second highest proportion of total indirect jobs created. A number of these jobs were created in manufacturing and other service sectors.

Spending on retail goods and services, as well as professional services, generated an average of $2.3 billion in federal and provincial sales taxes, as well as $3.1 billion in land transfer tax revenues each year.

Direct and indirect jobs created by MLS® sales produced $2.2 billion in federal and provincial income taxes and $746 million in payroll taxes.

By far, the biggest share of revenue generated for municipal governments came from the sale of newly-built homes on MLS® systems. The total was $1.1 billion and included municipal fees, levies and taxes, encompassing a broad cross-section of municipal infrastructure charges and land dedication fees.

The estimated total amount of government revenue generated by the MLS® system housing transactions in Manitoba was $212.8 million.

 

© WinnipegREALTORS®. All rights reserved. MLS®, Multiple Listing Service®, and all related graphics are trademarks of The Canadian Real Estate Association. REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and all related graphics are trademarks of REALTOR® Canada Inc. a corporation owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association and the National Association of REALTORS®.
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Condominium ownership: is it right for you?

Buying a condo may be the right move for you if you answer ‘yes’ to most of the following:

  • I like the fact that a condominium is an “instant community” and my neighbours won’t be far away.
  • I want to participate in the running of the community with other condominium owners.
  • I don’t want the hassle of shovelling snow, cutting grass, and other outdoor chores.
  • I’ll use some of the condominium’s amenities.
  • I understand that I will pay monthly fees for maintenance and repair of the condominium and will budget accordingly.
  • I know there may be restrictions on the number of occupants in my unit, pets, noise, parking, etc.
  • I’ll read through the condominium’s documents before I buy so there’ll be no surprises.
  • I understand that a board of directors can make decisions on my behalf.

Provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Read the complete Condominium Buyer’s Guide.

 

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WinnipegREALTORS® has highest third quarter sales on record

September 2017 Press Release: http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=472

WINNIPEG – September sales of close to 1,200 processed through WinnipegREALTORS® MLS® System closed off the third quarter with a record total of 3,916 sales, just ahead of the previous best third quarter in 2016.

September sales of 1,193 were down less than 2% from September 2016, the highest level of sales for the month of September in WinnipegREALTORS® 114-year history. The impressive third quarter sales activity moves total MLS® sales to just 11 sales shy of 11,000, the new benchmark sales level established in 2016 for the first three quarters.
“Our sales activity this year has kept pace with record-setting sales in 2016” said Blair Sonnichsen. “Our more affordably-priced housing options in our local real estate market have been instrumental in enabling buyers to successfully conclude a purchase this year.”
One of those options includes purchasing a property outside Winnipeg as the outlying rural municipalities have experienced growth in total market share over the past few years.  In September alone rural residential-detached sales represented 28% of total sales.
This year-to – date breakdown chart of all residential-detached sales in Winnipeg and the rural municipalities shows the latter represents 26% of total sales. Steinbach is the most active MLS® area of all MLS® areas WinnipegREALTORS® tracks every year with 365 sales in the first nine months.
“Our capital region has been growing at a more rapid pace than the City of Winnipeg and that is being reflected in our residential-detached sales,” Sonnichsen said.
When it comes to condominium sales Winnipeg is far more dominant compared to outside the city and Osborne Village remains the premier MLS® area with 132 sales. Of note this year is the emergence of the downtown in second place with 92 sales -14 of them occurred in September.
Backing up WinnipegREALTORS® contention that real estate is more affordable than in most other major markets across the country was the recent release of RBC’s Housing Affordability Measures 2017 second quarter report. In stating housing markets such as ones in the Toronto area are eroding Canada’s affordability to its worst level since 1990, it shines a light on Winnipeg saying its “neutral affordability conditions continue to support brisk housing activity. Home resales in the area are on pace to equal, if not surpass, last year’s record high”. It goes on to say Winnipeg’s housing affordability is “very close to its long-run average”.
“REALTORS® are well informed market experts who can show you all the affordable housing options which exist in Winnipeg and the capital region,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.
Going into the fourth quarter listing supply remains balanced overall however there are differences within WinnipegREALTORS® market region and between the various property types.
The most active price range for residential-detached sales in September was from $250,000 to $299,999, 22% of total sales. 55% of all residential-detached sales in September were priced under $300,000. The highest priced residential-detached property sold was $1,451,000 while the lowest was $22,000.
Condominium sales activity was most active in the $150,000 to $199,999 price range at 27% of total sales. 77% of all condominiums in September sold for under $300,000. The highest condo sales price was $560,000. The lowest-priced one was $49,500.
Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing just over 1,900 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market. Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854.
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Art from the Attic

Don’t miss Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg’s giant art sale on Sunday, September 24 from 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM at the Norwood Community Centre, 87 Walmer Street. FREE ADMISSION!

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Doing More From For Sale to Sold!

It’s 8:00 AM on a Friday morning, and where do I find myself? Relaxing with a cup of tea and checking Facebook updates? Not this Realtor®! I’m at one of my listings over-seeing some electrical updates. Thank you Cory of G.E.C. Group Electrical Contractors for coming out to help.

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Upper end market a high point in August

Read the entire August Press Release from WinnipegREALTORS® here.

What stood out in August was the performance of the higher end of the market where residential-detached sales above $500,000 were up 32% over August 2016 and 7 sales eclipsed 1 million dollars in value. There were some other high end commercial sales with a motor inn and apartment complex each selling for over $1 million.

“August demonstrated demand and confidence in our local market remains strong by virtue of the strength of the upper end market,” said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “It also showed the higher stress test requirement on insured mortgages is preventing a number of buyers from achieving their dream of homeownership and in some instances keeping existing owners from making their next step to another home.”

He added,” With this week’s Bank of Canada interest rate increase to 1% and the federal government considering placing a new stress test on uninsured mortgages, it will make purchasing a home even more difficult for buyers.”

Simply put, the new stress test on uninsured mortgages will require low-risk borrowers to be approved at two percent above the rate offered to them by their lender.

“You need to be talking to your REALTOR® about the options available to you in our local real estate market, “said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “REALTORS® know the market and what alternative property types may be possible if your first choice is not attainable.”

 

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