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5 Tips for Selling Your Home This Spring

The Spring housing market is here! The start of the new season brings sunshine, flowers, and an overly competitive market for home buyers and sellers. If you’re looking to put your home up for sale, you’ll want to have all of your bases covered to capture the attention of buyers and secure the best possible offer. Here are 5 simple tips to sell your home this spring! Do a thorough cleaning of your home A clean house will always give off a better impression to people touring your home. Dust off all surfaces, lamps, and furniture to give your home that extra sparkle. Next, remove any clutter throughout your home. This could include cleaning off the kitchen counters or tidying up the kids’ toys. If you don’t have the space to put something away, it never hurts to donate it to a non-profit organization. Check for winter damage The snow …
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Tracy Valko Nominated as RBC Woman of Influence

We are thrilled to announce Tracy Valko has been nominated as an RBC Canadian Woman of Influence! RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards is the premier national awards program for celebrating the acheivements of the most successful in this inspiring group.  For 29 years, the awards have shone a spotlight on Canada’s most accomplished and impactful women who have demonstrated excellence – from economic growth to social change, from global reach, across multiple sectors. For more information about the awards or to nominate someone please visit RBC Women of Influence. Learn More    

Support Local on St Patrick’s Day

While people may be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day a bit differently this year, there are still ways that you can support local businesses in a safe manner. Here are some great local restaurants to order from for today’s festivities! McCabe’s Irish Pub and Grill Kitchener (519) 743-3400 mccabeskitchener.com Waterloo (226) 647-5321 mccabeswaterloo.com “Irish pubs in downtown Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo where you can enjoy some traditional Irish grub and yummy pub fair. McCabe’s is the perfect mix between Irish tradition and local flair with a friendly atmosphere and always a warm bar stool. During the day it’s more laid-back, ideal for grabbing lunch and caffeine fixes.” Malt and Barley Public House (519) 745-6460 maltandbarley.ca “There’s no better way to celebrate Paddy’s Day than with a 3-course meal from your local pub! Order a 3-course Irish feature that includes mulligatawny soup, lamb stew, Irish car bomb puddin’ & more! Plus, there …
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Housing Continued to Surge in February

Click here for the full article by Dr Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist at Dominion Lending Centres. Today the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) released statistics showing national home sales hit another all-time high in February 2021. Canadian home sales increased a whopping 6.6% month-on-month (m-o-m), building on the largest winter housing boom in history. On a year-over-year (y-o-y) basis, existing home sales surged an amazing 39.2%. As the chart below shows, February’s activity blew out all previous records for the month.  The seasonally adjusted activity was running at an annualized pace of 783,636 units in February. CREA’s revised forecast for 2021 is in the neighbourhood of 700,000 home sales. Strong demand notwithstanding, sales may be hard-pressed to maintain current activity levels in the traditionally busier spring months absent a surge of much-needed new supply. However, that could materialize as current COVID restrictions are increasingly eased and the weather starts to improve. The month-over-month …
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Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate at 0.25%

The Bank of Canada announced today that the overnight rate of 0.25% will hold. The Bank rate and deposit rate will hold at 0.50% and 0.25% respectively. The overnight rate is the interest rate at which major financial institutions borrow and lend money amongst themselves. The lower the overnight rate is, the less expensive it is for Canadian consumers to borrow money. Canada’s economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, exemplified by a GDP growth of 9.6% in the final quarter of 2020. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021 is also expected to be positive, contradicting early forecasts in January. Consumers and businesses adapting to current restrictions and the continued surge of the housing market are key contributors to the recovery of the economy. While the economy has improved, there still remains economic slack given the uncertainty of the virus and the journey to economic growth. The …
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March Home Checklist

The start of a new month always comes with a list of to-dos. As Spring is right around the corner, there are a few things you might want to check up on around the house. To prepare your property for the new season, check out our March Home checklist! Check your walkways, driveway, and roof for winter damage Once winter has passed and the snow has melted, check key areas around the exterior of your house for winter damage. It is important to do routine maintenance checkups like this to avoid long-term damage and more expensive repairs down the road. Get ready for tax time The tax-filing deadline in Canada isn’t until April 30, but getting everything organized this month will make things a lot less stressful. Go through your paperwork, update your files, and gather all of your important documents in one place. Spring clean your mirrors and surfaces …
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February 2021 Produces Record Numbers in the KW Housing Market

The Kitchener-Waterloo housing market broke records in February 2021. The month saw a total of 597 residential properties sold through MLS, up 27.8% from February 2020. “Competition for homes continued to be extremely intense in February, leading to a record-breaking number of home sales for the month,” says Nicole Pohl, President of KWAR. “We continued to see dramatic increases in the average price in February due to the persistent and fierce competition for homes in our region combined with short supply.” Residential properties sold in February 2021 included 337 detached homes (up 23.9% from February 2020), 101 apartment-style condominium units (up 57.8%), 47 semi-detached (up 46.9%) and 112 townhomes (up 13.1%). The average price of a home in Kitchener-Waterloo was $752,289 in February 2021, up 32.9% from February 2020. The month came with a significant milestone as the average price of a detached home was over $900K for the first …
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Strong Canadian Economic Growth in Q4 and January

This morning’s Stats Canada release showed that economic growth in the final quarter of last year was a surprisingly strong 9.6% (annualized). The surge in growth in January was even more interesting, estimated at a 0.5% (not annualized) pace. If these numbers pan out, it means that Canada did not suffer a contraction during the second wave and ensuing lockdown. The January figure is noteworthy in that retail sales plunged as nonessential stores were closed in key parts of the country as we faced surging numbers of COVID cases. The strength came from resources, housing and government spending and the mild weather likely helped. At its last meeting in January, the Bank of Canada (BoC) estimated that Q4 growth would come in at 4.8% (half the actual 9.6% pace) and that there would be a net contraction in Q1 of this year. The strength in Q4 emanated from very hot …
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Market Interest Rates are Rising Almost Everywhere

Longer-Term Yields are Rising Despite Central Bank Inaction While central banks hold overnight rates at record lows, anchoring short-term interest rates and the prime rate, mid-to-long-term government yields have been rising since early this month. As the chart below shows, the 5-year Government of Canada bond, upon which mortgage rates are generally tethered, are currently at 0.69%, up 27 basis points since January 29th. This is the highest 5-year yield since late-March 2020.  Canadian bond yields have increased more than in the US, perhaps due to the surge in commodity prices, most notably oil, which has climbed 16.9% in just the past month, taking the year-to-date gain to 27%.Growing government debt arising from fiscal measures to cushion the blow of the pandemic and stimulate the economy has set the stage for higher government bond yields in much of the developed world. Inflation concerns are mounting. In a rare move, yesterday Statistics Canada revised …
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Kitchener is The 8th Most Expensive City for Rent in Canada

Image via Padmapper According to a recent study by Padmapper, Kitchener is one of the most expensive cities to rent in Canada. The report shows that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Kitchener is $1,390, positioning them at 8th place in the nation. For a two-bedroom apartment, the average rate of rent is $1,670. This is up two positions from a previous report which shows that rent is increasing at a rate of 5.3% every year. Kitchener comes in just ahead of Hamilton and Montreal on the list. Rounding out the top three is Burnaby, Toronto, and Vancouver. For the full report from Padmapper, click here.

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