All posts by Amie Ferris

New Year Begins with Lack of Homes for Sale

The number of Norfolk County house sales declined by 40% while the average price increased by 31.48% to $400,253.00 year-over-year for the month of January.

New listings also dropped by 15.19% causing continued low inventory levels while properties continued to sell quickly – – – 18.46% faster than January 2017.
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In Simcoe, the average sale price climbed from $246,749.00 to $288,190.00, an increase of 16.75%. There were 28.57% less properties offered for sale in the town of Simcoe in January compared to the same month a year ago.
 
Port Dover which has experienced significant price appreciation in recent years saw an average price increase of less than 1% in January in a year-over-year comparison.  At the same time, the number of sales were down by nearly 72% and new listings were also down by over 44%.  
 
The minor Port Dover average home price increase may be a result of changing Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home prices.  Many Port Dover home buyers are relocating from the GTA to Port Dover.  
 
Toronto area home prices dropped 4.1% year over year declining to $736,783 on average in January.  Sales and prices in the Toronto region are expected to climb again in the latter half of the year as the market shakes off the dampening effect of the Ontario Liberal government’s Fair Housing Plan of last April, including a foreign buyers tax.
 
Delhi once again saw some huge fluctuations in year over year activity.  The average price skyrocketed by 49.96% to $336,200, properties sold 23.81% faster, while listings dropped by 25%.  This can be attributed to Delhi’s relative affordability in comparison to other Norfolk communities. 
 
Waterford, Turkey Point and Long Point only combined for 4 total sales in 2018 up from 2017 with 1 total sale between the 3 communities.
 
If you are considering selling this winter, the market conditions remain a seller’s market.  Low inventory, high demand, reduced listings and quick sales are all favourable conditions for selling.  Don’t let the winter snow and cold keep you from listing this winter. Contact us to discuss specific market conditions for your home, and a plan to get you where you want to go, on time!

Major Banks Hike Interest Rates

First it was the new “mortgage stress test” and now it’s increased mortgage rates.  Several banks increased their mortgage rates this past Friday, with the rest expected to follow suit.

RBC, TD Bank and CIBC increased their mortgage lending rates with Scotiabank following shortly thereafter.

RBC, TD and Scotiabank increased their 5 year fixed mortgage rates to 5.14% with TD noting this is the first time rates have breached 5% since 2014.  CIBC increased their rate to 4.99%.

Mortgage Rates Increase

Gregory Klump, Chief Economist for the Canadian Real Estate Association says “If enough banks raise their rates by the same amount, it will raise the benchmark rate for stress tests.”  He added “That would definitely have a marginal impact on how much mortgage people can qualify.”

What does all of this mean for home buyers?  Right now it means higher interest rates for mortgages, but no change to the “stress test,” yet.

Uninsured mortgages (those with 20% down or more) must prove they can make payments of greater than 2 points higher than their contracted mortgage rate OR the benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada.

Insured mortgages (those with 5-19.99% down) must pass the stress test and qualify at the benchmark rate.

Currently the Bank of Canada benchmark rate is 4.99%.

Economist are predicting that the Bank of Canada will increase their key interest rate by 0.25% to 1.25% causing banks to increase their prime lending rates.  This will push variable mortgage rates and other loans such as home equity lines of credit up. Additional, economist expect gradual pace of tightening interest rates over the next two years, of about 25 bps every six months.

For more information about today’s mortgage rules and rates contact your mortgage specialist.   We will continue to monitor and keep you posted on any rate increases or changes to the “stress test” benchmark rate.

2017 Norfolk County Real Estate Market Review

Bidding wars, bully offers and properties selling for tens of thousands of dollars over asking price were the new “norm” throughout 2017.

The overall market statistics for 2017 across Norfolk County look like this…

2017 Norfolk County Year In Review

To summarize, the number of sales were down (by 6.65%), properties took 37.31% less time to sell and prices increased by 18.93%!  In 2016, the average sale price for residential homes across Norfolk County was reported at $290,622.  In 2017, that price increased by over $55,000 to $345,636.

Our team at Erie’s Edge took a deep dive into the some more localized markets across the County.  Let’s have a look…

SIMCOE

Simcoe’s average sale price in 2017 increased by 10.71% to $312,247;  up from $282,049 in 2016. In 2016, the average days on market was 77, whereas in 2017 the average house took only 37 days to sell meaning that properties sold 51.95% faster.  In 2017, there were 290 sales reported on the local MLS® system, compared to 341 in 2016, a decrease of 14.96%.

PORT DOVER

The highest average sale price across Norfolk County was reached last year in Port Dover.  The average price of $399,392 blew away the 2016 average of $339,078 by 17.79%.  Properties also sold faster in Port Dover in 2017, but took more time to sell than Simcoe, Waterford, and Delhi.  In 2017, properties sold 25% faster, with an average of 45 days on market (vs. 60 days in 2016).  Sales also declined, but only by 6.94% from 173 in 2016 to 161 in 2017.

LONG POINT

2017 saw very low inventory in Long Point, which resulted in 54.55% less cottage sales over 2016 (10 vs. 22).  Demand remained high and properties were flying off the beach.  In 2017, the average days on market for a cottage in Long Point was 26 days vs. 106 days in 2016, meaning properties sold 75.47% faster than the previous year.  Low inventory and high demand caused prices to rise by 35.69% over 2016.  The average sale price climbed to $437,005 in 2017 from $322,047 the year prior.

TURKEY POINT

Once again the 2017 cottage market proved to be strong in Norfolk County.  The number of sales in Turkey Point decreased by 14.29%;  from 35 in 2016 to 30 in 2017.  Demand remained high which caused prices to increase by 5.85% from an average of $313,754 in 2016 to $332,094 in 2017.  Properties also sold 61.11% faster, with an average days on market of 49 vs. 126 in 2016.

PORT ROWAN

Port Rowan, Delhi and Waterford were the three markets in Norfolk County that actually saw an increase in the number of sales in 2017.  Port Rowan sales climbed from 41 in 2016 to 48 in 2017, a 17.07% increase.  Like all other markets across Norfolk, these three areas showed increased values and decreased days on market.  The average price in Port Rowan reached $326,592, a 16.43% increase over the 2016 average of $280,495.  Houses sold 21.74% faster in 2017 with an average days on market of 54 vs. 69 the year prior.

WATERFORD

In 2017, Waterford realized an increase in average price by 14.65% to $350,636;  up over $305,830 in 2016, as well as an increase in the number of sales from 91 to 97 – a 6.59% increase.  Once again, properties sold quickly with a drop in the average days on market of 41.38%, from 58 days in 2016 to 34 in 2017.

DELHI

The Delhi market proved to be one of the strongest Norfolk County markets in 2017.  The average sale price increase was the second highest, only beat out by Long Point (a more recreational market).  Houses also sold faster by 34%, decreasing from 50 days in 2016 to 33 days in 2017.  The average sale price skyrocketed by 24.94% to $291,725 over the 2016 average of $233,494.  The number of sales climbed by 25.58% to 108 over 86 the year prior, the largest increase experienced in any community in Norfolk County.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR 2018?

Real estate was a major topic of conversation throughout 2017 and will continue to dominate the headlines in 2018.

New rules on mortgage lending took effect on January 1 and will result in a major decrease in affordability for responsible homebuyers.  We first wrote about the yet another “stress test” being applied to mortgages in October which you can read here.

Stress tests are based on the notion that interest rates are set to rise, and there’s reason to believe that’s likely to come true.  After almost a decade, the Bank of Canada increased its benchmark interest rate two times last year.

With a provincial election scheduled to be held on or before June 7 of this year, housing affordability will no doubt be on everyone’s minds and will be a critical platform of the campaign.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell and have questions about the local real estate market, we can be contacted at 519.586.7922 or stop by our office at 1019 Bay Street, Port Rowan.  All of our contact information is also available on our website at www.EriesEdge.com.

Fall Maintenance for Your Home

 

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1. Make Exterior Repairs

Mice need only a tiny gap to be able to sneak into your house and raid your pantry and with colder weather coming, all of the little critters out there will be looking for warm places to make a home.  Fill small holes and cover any large gaps with heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors.

2. Clean the Eavestrough

After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary.  Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams.  Replace old or damaged gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards.

3. Inspect the Roof

Make sure the roof is in good shape.  Inspect for missing and loose shingles. “Ice, rain, and woe combined with rapidly changing temperatures and humidity wreak havoc on roofs,” says Jay Butch, Director, Contractor programs for CertainTeed Roofing. “Your roof is your first defence in protecting your home.  It’s better to proactively deal with repairs in the fall than to discover a leaky roof during a snowstorm.

4. Ready the Heating System

Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating contractor.  Heating systems will use fuel more efficiently, last longer, and have fewer problems if properly serviced.  Get your wood stove and fireplace in working order.  Gary Webster, Creative Director of Travis Industries, suggests that you examine your wood stove or fireplace insert’s door gasket for a tight seal.

5. Reverse Ceiling Fans

Change the direction of you ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.  Clean your humidifiers regularly during the heating season.  Bacteria and spores can develop in a dirty water tank resulting in unclean moisture misting out into your room.

6. Cover Air Conditioners

Vacuum internal part of air conditioners.  Remove units from windows or wrap the outside box with an approved tarp or plastic air conditioner cover to prevent rusting of vital parts.

7. Clean Yard Equipment

Prepare your yard equipment for storage.  This includes draining fuel from all gas-operated equipment such as lawn mowers, leave blowers, and chain saws. Check to see that all of your snow equipment is up and running before the first flurry falls.  Organize your snow clearing gear.  When snow arrives you’ll want to have shovels, roof rakes, and snow blowers where you can get to them.

8. Prepare Deck for Winter

Clean porch and deck furniture, and look for any needed repairs.  Cover and store outdoor furniture and barbecues in a protected area.  Make sure all soil is emptied from pots and planters. Dirt left in clay pots will freeze and cause the pots to crack.

9. Shut Off Outside Taps and Store Hoses

Protect your outdoor taps from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to them before the weather dips below freezing.  Drain hoses and store them indoors.

10. Clean Dryer Vents

Lint buildup in in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire.  Cool, dry weather increases static electricity, which can ignite lint that has built up, so now is a key time to get that lint out.  You can hire a duct cleaning specialist to clean the vents for you, or clean the vent yourself.  If you do it yourself:

  • Unplug your dryer
  • Shut off the gas if you have a gas dryer
  • Pull the dryer slightly away from the wall
  • Loosen the clamp holding the hose
  • Use a vacuum attachment or lint brush made for dryer hoses to clean out the hose and behind the dryer
  • Replace the hose, gently move the dryer to the wall (without crushing the hose) and plug it in.

FALL MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

 

We’re Proud of Our Team!

Five Erie’s Edge REALTORS® have been awarded both the ABR® and SRSsm accreditations.

“I’m proud of our team of REALTORS®”

Rachel Larose, Greg Mitchell, Krystal West, and Amie & Ray Ferris committed to going beyond registration education and exemplify a commitment to professional development and strong business ethics.

To earn the  Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation requires successful completion of a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on a buyer representation specialty, both in addition to submitting documentation verifying professional experience. 

The Seller Representative Specialist (SRSsm) means our REALTORS® join an elite group of real estate professionals  around the world who have earned the SRSsm designation.  All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in seller representation, pass a comprehensive exam and subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

Erie’s Edge Real Estate Ltd.’s Broker of Record Ray Ferris said “I’m proud of our team of REALTORS® who are committed to advancing professionalism in the real estate industry by investing in ongoing education to stay current in our profession.”

“Real estate transactions are growing increasingly complex,” remarked Ferris.

“Changes in the real estate business and the real estate market require a dedication to a higher level of knowledge.  Our REALTORS® take that responsibility very seriously as demonstrated by their return to the classroom.”

Designations are an excellent way for consumers, investors and employees to identify commitment and experienced real estate professionals.

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Abandoned Boat Returned to Shore

Eight days after the unknown owner of the sunken boat in Long Point Bay hadn’t attempted any recovery efforts, Long Point resident and owner of The Old Cut Boat Livery decided it was time for a little less talk and a lot more action.

Ray Ferris Sr. quietly located the sunken blue boat and towed it to shallow water where he attempted to turn the vessel upright in an effort to empty her of water and tow her to shore.  Unable to flip the boat over himself, Ferris tied it to ‘the Willow tree’ and returned to shore.

Ferris called his life long friends Guy, Terry & Jerry Hazen to assist with the recovery mission.  When Guy asked Ray where he towed the boat he said “I tied it to ’The Willow tree’ … a whereabouts and sort of lingo that only locals would identify with.

A crowd sourcing attempt to raise $9,200 to recover the sunken boat was created on GoFundMe.com by an unidentified individual.  Ferris and the Hazen brothers don’t expect any compensation or kudos for their efforts.

When suggestions were made that the four men should receive any funds collected from the Go Fund Me page, Ferris said “I’ve been pulling boats out of the bay all my life and I’ve never taken any money for it.”

In keeping with their humble “aw-shucks” personalities, Ferris and the Hazen brothers declined to be interviewed on camera for CTV News.

Guy Hazen quipped “It’s all in a day’s work on Long Point Bay”.

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Long Point sales numbers down 50% while average price climbs 52%

The mad competition for Long Point cottages, which saw many sell for more than asking price amid competing offers, is expected to continue due to a significant lack of availability.

As a result of the unprecedented low supply of properties offered for sale at Long Point, only seven sales have been reported on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) year-to-date in comparison to fourteen sales during the same time only a year prior.

The decreasing number of listings combined with strong buyer demand have driven Long Point prices up by an incredible 52% compared to last year.

Long Point Market Summer 2017

Continued high real estate prices in Ontario cities in the Golden Greater Horseshoe area and Southwestern Ontario have led to a large number of retirees and baby boomers nearing retirement to sell their homes and put their equity they received for the sale into the purchase of a recreational property.  This has in turn contributed to price appreciation in Long Point and other vacation home communities.

If you’re thinking of selling your Long Point property and would like to talk about the current real estate market, we can be contacted at 519.586.7922 or stop by our office at 1019 Bay Street, Port Rowan.  All of our contact information is also available on our website at www.LongPointBeach.com

Norfolk County Food Trucks are Serving it Up!

Food Trucks are popping up around Norfolk County and lucky for us, they are serving up some delicious and creative items. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite, craving a sweet treat, or need something to nibble on while you enjoy a glass of local wine or brew, Norfolk food trucks are serving it.

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We took a quick poll to find out what your favourite local food trucks are! Here were your top picks:

The Little Cheesecake Company (Simcoe)
They aren’t just serving little cheesecakes, they are serving mouth-watering, luxurious little cheesecakes. Each week you can find the “featured flavours” menu on their Facebook page, often including Classic NY Style and rich Vanilla or Chocolate with Salted Caramel. Every decadent recipe is handmade with fresh ingredients. Did I mention the indulgent pies, tarts, layer cakes and brownies they have available? Locals are raving about these tasty treats and we just can’t get enough.Untitled design (43)
Bev’s Chip Wagon (Simcoe)
Bev’s is a Norfolk #classic! There is always a line up for the locally famous fresh cut fries. She takes it up a notch with her poutine, smothered in mozzarella cheese and generously covered in flavourful gravy. If you have yet to try Bev’s Chip Wagon, you can find their truck in Simcoe and it will be worth the visit.Untitled design (1)

Murphy’s Chip Wagon (Port Dover)
Speaking of classics, Murphy’s is a family favourite in Port Dover.  Owner/Operator Ralph Murphy is a Dover native and knows just how his customers like things. A fresh basket of fries and tender chicken strips from the iconic bright yellow food truck is a summer staple for most locals. Of course, the crispy battered fish sandwich with creamy coleslaw is always a good choice, it’s Port Dover after all.

David’s On Tour (Burning Kiln Winery)
Their gourmet menu, inspired by an eat local and eat fresh philosophy, is offering eloquent pairings with Burning Kiln’s wine and drink menu. In true Norfolk style, you can enjoy a warm summer afternoon sitting on the patio with a crisp glass of Burning Kiln’s Cureman’s Chardonnay accompanied by walnut crusted french brie chunks with red pepper jelly and crustini from David’s On Tour. With an abundance of unique creations to offer, both locals and tourists are making repeat visits to this County gem.

First Mate’s (Long Point)
New to cast a line, and getting lots of bites! We were lucky to find an empty picnic table when we stopped by to try their Local Lake Erie Yellow Perch Taco filled with a tangy coleslaw, and spicy sauce nestled in a soft corn tortilla, it was delicious! We’ll definitely be heading back to try their local Smoked Pulled Pork and poutine with a cup of freshly squeezed lemonade.Untitled design (2)

Indulge (Long Point Eco-Adventures)
Indulge’s menu creations are ever-changing and always drool-worthy. This truck is a definite must try for all you foodies out there.  From grilled brisket wraps loaded with tzatziki, fresh veggies and cheese, to gourmet burgers with bacon, white cheddar, pickled red onion salad and BBQ aioli, to Israeli Cous Cous salad with fresh veggies, citrus dressing topped with pea sprouts. Is your mouth watering yet? With a new menu each week, often including vegetarian options and fresh local ingredients, Indulge’s recipe mastermind, Shelli, will keep you coming back.Untitled design (3)

Shaka Bean (on location)
It’s not too often you’ll find a VW Microbus serving Barista Style Coffee, Pearl Sugar Waffles and Gourmet Grilled Cheese sandwiches. Shaka Bean is adventuring around the County pleasing customers with smooth pour over coffee brewed with peace and love. You can usually find the vintage 70’s Volkswagen at the Waterford Farmers Market on Wednesdays serving up good food and good vibes.Untitled design (4)

Park Street Pops (Port Dover)
Park Street Pops puts a fantastically unique twist on a favourite summer treat. They are using fresh, local fruits and ingredients to hand make tasty frozen popsicles for the lucky browsers on Park street in Port Dover. And it’s not just fruity flavours, they are pleasing the masses with tastes from Strawberry Lemonade to Chocolate Peanut Butter.Untitled design (5)

Cravings (on location)
Cravings Food Truck is often on the move offering some great eats at local farmers markets and special events. They are earning rave reviews for their exceptional service. Customers just can’t say enough about how  friendly and courteous the owners Matt and Christina are. Of course, their locally sourced menu is getting great reviews too.  Visitors are loving the chicken sandwiches and addictive side dishes. I’ll take an order of pickle chips please!Untitled design (6)

Tacos Mexico Food Truck (Simcoe)
A taste of Mexico, in Norfolk County! A heaping, spicy taste covered in fresh homemade salsa that is! We missed this truck on our original blog post but we had to add it after their customer’s brought it to our attention and we checked out their rave reviews. Perfectly seasoned with fresh toppings, Tacos Mexico is serving up an array of Mexican dishes filled with the Mexican style meat of your choice.  We cannot wait to visit (we actually can’t believe we haven’t yet)!Untitled design (44)

There you have it, the best food trucks in Norfolk County! Serving locally sourced, Norfolk inspired, crowd-pleasing dishes. Let us know if we missed your favourite. Which ones will you be visiting this summer?