Welcome to September – back to school, back to extra-curriculars, routine, and many more cars on the road than we’ve seen in a few weeks.

Real estate is traditionally very slow the last couple of weeks of August, it’s quite noticeable this year when we look at how few listings are available.  If you are, or if you know of anyone looking to sell, by all means let me know! I’d be more than happy to help.

In K-W in August:
-the average single detached sold for $572,500 in 21 days
-the average semi-detached sold for $393,100 in 15 days
-·the average freehold townhouse sold for $449,314 in 21 days
-the average condo sold for $333,072 in 30 days
– the average list price to sold price was 100.3%.

Canada’s Sudden Population ‘Boomlet’ Is Boosting Housing: BMO

Many Canadian homebuyers are sitting on the sidelines these days, wondering if the slowdown in home sales this year is a sign of lower prices ahead.

Don’t bet on it, is the message coming from Bank of Montreal economists. Canada’s population growth has accelerated, and that means upward pressure on the housing market, and potentially higher-than-expected interest rates as well.

In an analysis issued Thursday, economists Doug Porter and Robert Kavcic noted that Canada’s population passed the 37 million mark in the second quarter of this year, having grown by about 506,000 over the past year.

It’s the fastest percentage growth Canada has seen since 1991, making it the fastest-growing country in the G7. …

BMO’s Kavcic said that some — though by no means all — of the big boost to house prices in the Toronto and Vancouver areas in recent years was the result of this population boom. New home construction is at elevated levels these days, but those high levels may be appropriate given population growth, Kavcic said. And that growth will continue to prop up the housing market. …

For mortgage borrowers, the trend could have a downside. Faster population growth increases a country’s economic potential, which can lead to higher inflation, and therefore higher interest rates.

“If estimates of potential (economic growth) are lifted, it would also boost where the Bank (of Canada) would see neutral interest rates,” the BMO report said.

Simply put, don’t expect a housing bust in the near future — but don’t expect lower mortgage rates, either.

How to determine when you’ll pay more for a mortgage

Nobody wants to pay more than necessary when getting a mortgage. But more than four out of five applicants have little chance at getting Canada’s true lowest rate.

Rock-bottom rates are reserved only for mortgages that present the least risk and cost for the lender. And relatively few mortgages fall into this bucket.

Mortgages have always been priced based on the risk you present to the lender. But after 10 years of government rule tightening, that’s true today more than ever. … adds school data to listings is adding school catchment information for consumers looking at property listings on the site. The information will roll out nationally in phases, with 80 per cent of school boards in Canada available by September.

Cities where the information is now available are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa-Gatineau, Edmonton, Quebec, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, St. Catharines – Niagara, Halifax, Oshawa, Victoria, Windsor, Saskatoon and Regina. …

An additional feature allowing parents to search for a property within a particular school’s catchment area will be available later in the fall. …

Sept 5, Crime Scene Confidential, free forensic discussion at WPL; registration required;
Sept 8 International Literacy Day
Sept 8 K-W Knitters’ Fair, Kitchener Aud
Sept 9 Rosh Hashanah
Sept 10 World Suicide Prevention Day
Sept 10 Transit Talk; GRT’s New Directions, Harper Branch Library
Sept 15 Doors Open Waterloo Region,
Sept 15 21st Annual Royal Medieval Faire,
Sept 15 Belmont Village Bestival,
Sept 16 Open Streets, Uptown Waterloo
Sept 16 St Mary’s Hike for Heart
Sept 18 Yom Kippur
Sept 19 International Talk Like a Pirate Day,
Sept 21 International Day of Peace
Sept 22 Eid-Ul-Adha
Sept 22 Hobbit Day
Sept 23 Sukkut
Sept 23 Fall Equinox
Sept 23, Waterloo Region Kidney Walk ,
Sept 29, Lumen, Uptown
Sept 30 2018 Walk and Run for rare

Waterloo Region to lead development of high-def, 3D maps for a provincewide autonomous-vehicle program

Waterloo Region is one of six communities that will play a leading role in the development of autonomous-vehicle technology in this province, and Communitech is looking for someone to help guide that research locally.

The candidate will launch and oversee the Waterloo Regional Technology Development Site, part of Ontario’s $80-million Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network. …

This region will focus on the development of high-definition mapping and vehicle localization technology. Autonomous vehicles rely on sensors such as GPS, odometry and inertial sensors to estimate road position, and to help identify lane markings and road boundaries.

The goal is to make the map data as open as possible, and give private tech companies the ability to augment or improve that data set with their own expertise or information. …

Program aims to add affordable homes at a lower cost

The Region of Waterloo is encouraging homeowners to apply for funding that will help create more affordable homes at a lower cost.

Through the Secondary Suites program, homeowners can qualify for up to $25,000 in forgivable loans to create a legal apartment in their home or on their property. The unit must be rented out at below average market rent. …

An affordable unit in a new apartment building typically requires more than $100,000 in funding to create.  Funding a second unit to a single family home is a lot less expensive. Homeowners can also use funding from the program to make an existing in-law suite accessible or to make it a legal unit. …

Homeowners who apply for the program must have a property that is zoned to allow secondary suites.

Recipe of the Month – Apple Pie Cupcakes
Apple Filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Juice of half lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup  all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup chopped walnuts

1 can (12.4 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls

1 Heat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray 8 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
2 In 10-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add apples; cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons brown sugar, the cinnamon and salt. Cook 5 minutes longer or until tender. Stir in lemon juice.
3 Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix Topping ingredients with fork or hands until crumbly. Set aside.
4 Separate dough into 8 rolls. Flatten each into 4-inch round; place in muffin cup.
5 Divide Apple Filling evenly onto rolls in muffin cups. Divide Topping evenly over Filling.
6 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and tops are lightly browned. Cool slightly before removing from muffin cups. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

September Slap-stick
What did the pencil sharpener say to the pencil?    Stop going in circles and get to the point.

What’s the longest word in the dictionary?
Smiles. Because there’s a mile between the first letter and the last.

Q: What do the numbers 11, 69, and 88 all have in common?
A: The read the same right side up and upside down.

Supreme Court clears way for release of Toronto home-sale data

The Supreme Court of Canada has declined to hear an appeal from the Toronto Real Estate Board over a federal Competition Tribunal order on the restriction of home-sale data, effectively ending TREB’s years of legal wrangling with the Competition Bureau.

The Competition Bureau welcomed the court’s dismissal of TREB’s appeal and called it a “decisive victory for competition, innovation and for consumers.” Matthew Boswell, interim Commissioner of Competition, said in a statement “By removing TREB’s anti-competitive restrictions, home buyers and sellers in the GTA will now have greater access to information and innovative real estate services when making one of the most significant financial decisions of their lives.”

TREB issued a statement affirming that it would respect the top court’s decision: “The Court’s role is not to correct errors that may have been made in the courts below. Rather it grants leave only where its decision is likely to have an impact on society as a whole … The Order of the Tribunal will come into effect in 60 days time, unless it is modified.” …

City’s Love My Hood neighbourhood strategy wins national Award for Planning Excellence from the Canadian Institute of Planners,da9544ce-51f6-40d4-b88a-d8894af762bc,adf821ba-8be5-4abf-b690-736008056d1d,&newsId=24ad371a-e26a-473b-9fb7-016f01f6b107

Love My Hood, Kitchener’s first neighbourhood strategy, has been recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners with an Award for Planning Excellence in the category of New and Emerging Planning Initiatives. Honoured for its unique approach to city building, whereby residents take the lead on neighbourhood projects and the city supports them along the way, the award represents the Institute’s highest level of recognition for professional planning. …

“At the core of Love My Hood was a dedicated team of skilled volunteers who took the idea of creating the city’s first-ever neighbourhood strategy from a vague concept to reality,” said Michael May, deputy chief administrative officer at the City of Kitchener. “Our community is forever grateful for their passion and commitment to spend over 800 hours working to make Love My Hood something that is now being embraced by residents across our entire community.” …



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