Real Estate in a Time of ‘Social Distancing’

Needless to say, it’s been an eventful past two weeks.  As Canada is more or less shut down while our leaders grapple with how to handle the new virus, time seems to be moving at a snail’s pace.  But while we’ve all been practicing our ‘social distancing’, the Federal Government has been busy implementing a wide range of new directives, focused primarily on mitigating the effect of this economic downturn on the day to day lives of ordinary Canadians.

On March 18th, the Prime Minister announced a broad stimulus package totaling $27 Billion, directed at small businesses and private citizens.  While the federal money targeted at small and medium sized businesses is intended, primarily, to allow companies to continue to pay rent and maintain payroll during these weeks of near-total economic shutdown,  the measures aimed at private citizens should have an immediate beneficial impact on Canadian household budgets.

Foremost among these measures are: an increase to the annual Canada Child Benefit (increased by $300 per child), a deferment on the payment of income tax (until September 1st), a powered up employment insurance program, and additional support for people who might not be able to make their mortgage payments during these uncertain times.

The measures directed at mortgage relief take effect immediately, and CMHC, working with the major Canadian banks, has moved to enact a six-month deferral on mortgage payments, in addition to offering credit relief on a case-by-case basis.

There is currently confusion regarding these measures and, specifically, what impact (if any) they will ultimately have on consumer credit scores.  There is also the matter of interest continuing to accumulate on deferred payments, should a homeowner opt to take advantage of this program.

According to an article published on the CBC’s website only yesterday:

“In effect, it’s as though the bank is loaning you the amount that you would have paid in interest during the deferral period and then charging you interest on that loan as well.” Click here for more information.

Another option will be to extend the amortization period of the mortgage, and simply make six extra payments at the end of your existing term.  However, doing so will apparently require a full credit application and could negatively affect your credit score.

In sum, these are emergency measures and have been put in place quickly to respond to an extremely dynamic situation.  The bottom line: if you’re comfortable financially and are fortunate enough to not need the deferment – don’t take it.

While these are undoubtedly uncertain times, the Waterloo Region real estate market has continued to show unmistakable signs of life.  Buyers are still active in our market, as family plans which have been in the works for months now are often not so easy to defer as a mortgage payment.  Folks who might have sold their home earlier in the year still need a place to live, and our brokerage is dedicated to servicing these needs as efficiently and professionally as possible.

According to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, real estate has been deemed an essential service to the province’s population during these uncertain times.  While Chestnut Park West has closed its physical offices in observation of the heath authority’s recommendations regarding social distancing, our Realtors and administration staff are 100% equipped to carry on with business remotely.  In fact, our entire business model from Day One has since been geared towards allowing our agents and staff to have access all necessary resources from anywhere at anytime.  We likewise stand ready to continue assisting you, our clients.

Rest assured that Chestnut Park West, while continuing to service our clients, is committed to upholding the most stringent of measures to safeguard our clients’ health and those of our Realtors.

Keep an eye on this space for updates, as the situation remains very fluid and rules and regulations are changing virtually by the hour.  I will do my utmost to bring you timely and accurate information.  For more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.  Chestnut Park West prides itself on maintaining up-to-date market knowledge and on always being available to assist!

February Stats are in!

Thank you!

Client Appreciation Event-Free Skate and Warm Drinks!

379 Glasgow Street in Westmount, Kitchener is Sold!

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The 2 1/2 story at 379 Glasgow Street has been sold.

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Restored Urban Living in Old Westmount

Experience urban living in one of Kitchener’s original modes of French Eclectic Architecture located in prime Westmount. This former Seagram home is a nexus of contemporary & classic design. Walking distance to Belmont Village, Catalyst137, Westmount Golf & Country Club with direct access to the LRT; enjoy your urban lifestyle in this distinctly renovated home. An abundance of natural light is evident through out this entire residence & the living room with coffered ceiling is one example. The modish kitchen features high-end appliances, quartz counters, an apron sink with bronze faucet, open wooden shelving, subway backsplash & patterned flooring. The formal dining room or the sun-drenched all-season sunroom makes for stylish dining without compromise and boasts views of the mature treed private yard. On the upper level, you’ll find an office w/walkout to the rear balcony. Three secondary bedrms, all with original hardwd flooring, share access to the updated yet true to its original form; 1930s bathrm with white subway-tiled walls & honeycomb floors. The master suite features a closet hall with 3 separate closets & access to the 3pc ensuite with a vintage vibe. The 3rd level loft is fully finished & offers another 3pc bath, 5th bedroom & den…perfect for overnight guests or a personal studio. Experience for yourself how a balance between the distinguished inherent qualities of French Architecture is combined with modern restorations that enhance this unique historical home.

139 Isaiah Drive in Kitchener West, Kitchener is Sold!

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The bungalow at 139 Isaiah Drive has been sold.

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Budget friendly tips for getting your house ready to list

2019 Stats are in and what a year it was!!

The average sale price of all residential properties sold in 2019 increased 9.3% to $527,718 compared to 2018. Detached homes sold for an average price of $614,743 an increase of 7.1% compared to 2018. During this same period, the average sale price for an apartment style condominium was 332,409 for an increase of 9.6%. Townhomes and semis sold for an average of $409,979 (up 10%) and $439,844 (up 11%) respectively.  Again, the lack of inventory continues to be an obstacle for Buyers which has in turn inflated sale prices.  With the ongoing growth in our Region and interest rates expected to remain low over the next year, I expect the market will remain strong in 2020.

Open House in Kitchener West, Kitchener

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We invite everyone to visit our open house at 139 Isaiah Drive on 5 Jan 2020, 02:00 PM

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