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Your Guide to Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces are a backyard staple for many homeowners. Not only are they functional, providing a source of heat and light while allowing you to make the most out of your outdoor living space, but they can also increase the appeal of your home while creating an atmosphere that reflects your individuality. Plus, who doesn’t want a spot in their own backyard to make s’mores whenever you want? 

That said, installing an outdoor fireplace isn’t as straightforward as lighting a match. What type to choose, what fuel source to use, and where you place it are all questions requiring careful consideration.

Not to mention, local bylaws and codes must be strictly adhered to, which present challenges of their own. But a quick Google search of your area or even provincial regulations will let you know if there’s a burn ban in place or structural requirement you’ll need to meet before breaking out the kindling. When it comes to lighting a fire, some municipalities require a simple burn permit which can be registered with a phone call.

If everything’s a go, there’s no better time than now to ignite the outdoor space of your dreams. Read on to find which solution works best for you.

The four types of outdoor fireplaces

All fireplaces fall into three categories: wood-burning, gas-burning (natural gas, propane, or kerosene), or electric—and within those categories are four main types:

  1. Fire pits (rings, bowls, and built-in patio pits);
  2. fireplaces and heaters;
  3. chimeneas; and
  4. patio torches.

Just like selecting an indoor fireplace, it all comes down to function, features, and performance—each with its own application, advantages, and disadvantages. 

To choose the right type for your space, ask yourself what’s most important to you and the space you’re working with? Do you value fashion over function? Do you want a fireplace that will give off plenty of heat, or will serve as the multi-purpose lawn decoration?  Is finding an environmentally responsible alternative more important than the general ambiance? Maybe you want the best of both worlds! Explore the pros and cons of each type below: 

Fire pits: rings, bowls, and patio pits

If you close your eyes and picture a fire pit, what pops into your head? It’s likely a traditional fire ring of rocks circling a shallow pit. Some modern pits can be quite lavish with mortared limestone surrounds, proper drainage systems, and even include fire glass.

Fire rings and their pits are quite permanent and would require some landscaping to relocate. Bowls, on the other hand, come in different shapes, sizes, and materials and are placed on the ground or a stand for easy transportation.

Patio fire pits can be integrated into your patio, such as fire tables that give the outdoor dining experience a bit of ambiance, with the fire pit as the table’s centrepiece. 

Pros

  • An easy DIY project: fire rings are inexpensive, easy to build, and are a great project to complete over the weekend with the family.
  • Easy to move: depending on the model, fire bowls are an efficient and portable option.
  • A premium fire pit: built-in patio fire pits are unrivalled when it comes to quality, aesthetics, and customization.

Cons

  • They send a bad smoke signal: fire bowls and rings fueled by wood produce wood smoke, a known pollutant.
  • There are safety concerns: fire rings have an open flame with uncontained sparks that present potential dangers.
  • Costly renovations can be involved: built-in patio fire pits require pricey renovations and custom craftsmanship.

Fireplaces 

Outdoor fireplaces can include various designs and features such as cottage-style chimneys, bronze inlaying, and detailed stonework. If you want to give wood-burning a rest, gas-burning and electric-powered models are also available.

Pros

  • It’s the real experience: outdoor fireplaces bring the heat with the sound and smell of burning wood.
  • Provides you with an economical choice: less expensive than custom fire rings and built-in patio pits.

Cons

  • Watch out for safety risks and pollutants: wood smoke from a fireplace creates pollution, while flames and sparks increase risk.
  • Naturally inauthentic: outdoor fireplaces fueled by natural gas or electricity lack an authentic, wood-burning fire.
  • Placement is limited to outlets: natural gas and electric fireplaces or heaters are less portable than those fueled by wood or propane.

Patio heaters

Patio heaters are traditionally fueled by gas or electricity, and their lightweight construction offers more portability than a classic outdoor fireplace. Propane standing floor lamps are common styles, and patio heaters come in a variety of sizes to suit your desired space.. 

Pros

  • You’re given superior temperature control: patio heaters allow you to control the heat similar to a thermostat.
  • They’re environmentally friendly: since they aren’t fueled by wood, heaters are a greener alternative and safer to operate.
  • Provides you with an economical choice: less expensive than custom fire rings and built-in patio pits.

Cons

  • Patio heaters have a small warmth radius and can be toppled by a gust of wind.
  • You aren’t able to cook with them: cooking with a patio heater is virtually impossible and is not recommended.

Chimineas

Chimeneas are centuries old and combine function with fashion. Decorative wood-burning chimineas are shaped like a wide-bottom vase with integrated chimneys, and they’re historically made from fired clay.

Pros

  • They’re easy to ignite: a chimenea is conducive to lighting a fire as its shape funnels oxygen to feed the flames. 
  • You control the smoke: the built-in chimney stack directs smoke up and away from the chimenea and out of your eyes.
  • They offer you optimal heat output: like fireplaces and fire pits, chimeneas generate a lot of warmth by burning wood. 

Cons

  • You must be picky about placement: chimeneas are freestanding and require a level surface to increase safety.
  • They require lots of upkeep: the body of a chimenea is an enclosed bowl that fills with ash quickly, and the chimney needs routine cleaning if used often.
  • There’s little drainage: water fills the belly of a chimenea if it’s left uncovered when not being used.

Patio torches

Patio torches, aka Tiki torches, are an economical way to light up your outdoor space while creating an inviting, tropical atmosphere. Originating from ancient Polynesia, torches are popular with homeowners wanting a relaxed island vibe in their own backyard.

Pros

  • They’re rustic or modern: patio torches made from bamboo offer a traditional look, while copper provides a more contemporary aesthetic.
  • Offers you a clean-burning alternative: being fueled by kerosene or natural gas, torches are environmentally friendly.
  • You won’t be bothered by the bugs: some tiki torches include natural oils such as citronella to deter mosquitos and other unfriendly insects.

Cons

  • They don’t provide much heat: patio torches don’t produce much warmth, which limits their effectiveness on cool nights.
  • There’s an open flame: the single, open flame is susceptible to being blown out by the wind and proves difficult to keep lit on rainy evenings.
  • They’re easy to tip: torches fall over easily in the wind and are a safety concern around children.

When to dig a pit and where to place a heater

The outdoor space you’re working with will help you decide which fireplace you can install. If you want to bring the heat to your deck or porch, a patio heater or gas-burning fireplace is a great go-to option. If it’s a semi-enclosed space, the limited heat-radius won’t be as noticeable. 

If you want to crank up the heat in wide, open spaces, look to wood-burning fireplaces, pits, and chimeneas. Give them plenty of room to breathe, however. These options should be kept 10 to 20-feet away from walls and combustibles, plants and trees. They’re not recommended for enclosed decks or gazebos.

To play up the ambiance of your space or to decorate for special occasions patio torches are a great option, weather permitting. They’re perfect for lining walkways or outlining the perimeter of your deck, but they can also be used beneath an awning or slatted patio roof. For safety, be aware of the flame and make sure there’s plenty of airflow.

How you fuel your outdoor fireplace also determines which type you choose. Those that need an electrical outlet or natural gas line are not easily moved, while propane-fueled and wood-burning options provide more flexibility.

Now that you’ve narrowed done your fireplace, why not add a little flavour to your outdoor space? Here’s what you need to know about choosing the perfect grill!

Fireplace safety, bylaws, and codes

Smokey Bear charged us with the responsibility of preventing forest fires and holds true for your outdoor fireplace, too.

Here are a few safety considerations to bear in mind:

  • Don’t leave a burning fire unattended: stay within sight of your fireplace and completely extinguish it before heading inside.
  • Be prepared for an emergency: it’s wise to have buckets of water, sand, a fire extinguisher, or a hose nearby in case disaster strikes.    
  • Pay attention to the weather: high winds can knock over lamp-style patio heaters and tiki torches, while periods of drought will turn sparks into fires (always check with your local fire department or municipality to see if there is a burn ban in place for this reason.)
  • Choose hardwoods versus softwoods: seasoned hardwood burns more consistently to limit sparks from popping unpredictably.
  • Use tinder, not gasoline: lighting a fire with gas is extremely dangerous and is always to be avoided.
  • Keep it ventilated: gas-burning fireplaces and heaters emit carbon monoxide, which is deadly in small, enclosed areas.
  • Bigger isn’t better: the larger the fire, the less predictable it becomes making it harder to control.

Ultimately, your local bylaws and zoning codes have the final say in what type of outdoor fireplace you choose. Each province or territory has a different process, so be sure to check your local government’s website or your local fire department for regulations and recommendations.

For instance, firepits and wood-burning fireplaces are more acceptable in rural neighbourhoods, but if you live in the city, you’re likely limited to gas-burning models in covered bowls. If you live in a condo or townhouse, there’s a good chance outdoor fireplaces are prohibited altogether—check with your building management. If the warm smell of wood smoke is something you crave or an elegant patio with a built-in fireplace is what you’re looking for in a new home, make sure you talk with your REALTOR®  about the dos and don’ts in your new neighbourhood.

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How to Make Happy Hour Even Happier This Summer

Now that summer has arrived, it’s time to get serious about happy hour. Cocktails are synonymous with freedom, holidays, love and celebration (and sometimes headaches). Introduce your bubble to a few sophisticated upgrades and elevate your patio status from Jell-o shooters! It takes little investment beyond a few choice bottles, reusable straws, a shaker and blender. Premium snacks and a solid playlist help too!

There will always be cocktail classics to lean on, but why not expand your in-house drinks list? Here’s your happy hour homework assignment for the summer:

two basil bee sting cocktails Image : Jules Torti

 The Basil Bee Sting

There’s a buzz around this drink for good reason! It’s like drinking a glass of air conditioning! You can also pat yourself on the back for supporting the local bee population. Casablanca basil seed drinks are a fun juice alternative and come in the following flavours: lychee, mango, pineapple, pomegranate and rose. Try them all! (*But maybe not all at once.)

  • 5 oz basil seed drink
  • 2 oz reposado tequila
  • 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz local honey

Add basil seed drink, tequila, lemon juice and honey to a shaker. Add ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain. 

Recline.

As we continue to navigate the different phases of the pandemic and shifting social and business restrictions, why not set up a home bar? For makeshift cocktail stations and permanent closed-concept solutions, begin your bar blueprint research here

love at first sight cocktailImage credit: Signe Langford, Signe’s Kitchen

Love at First Sight 

Whether you are shaken or stirred, this is one drink you won’t soon forget. Created by cookbook author and Harrowsmith food editor, Signe Langford, Love at First Sight is a sweet treat and likely, the start of a long love affair!

  • 2 oz coconut rum
  • 2 oz amber rum
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 cup dark chocolate milk (soy, almond, or dairy)
  • 4 cubes of ice
  • Tiny pinch of Mediterranean sea salt to garnish (optional)
  • Chocolate-covered mint candy, notched for the glass

Blend both rums, milk, ice and whiz until smooth and frothy.

Pour into two tall glasses and add a tiny pinch of sea salt to the top, if desired.

suit and tie cocktailImage via Corby Spirit and Wine

Suit & Tie

Summer does have a few rules that should be obeyed. No shirt, no shoes, no service doesn’t apply here though–a Suit & Tie is required! Spiced rum is a versatile mix often ignored until the winter season. However, it can kick up blender drinks and legends like the Dark and Stormy (spiced rum and ginger beer) and Cuba Libre (rum and cola). But, let’s dress things up a little with this riff from Corby Spirit and Wine.

  • ½ oz vermouth
  • 1/8 oz Italian bitter liqueur
  • 1 ½ oz spiced rum
  • Ice cubes

Add a few ice cubes to an old-fashioned glass. Combine spiced rum with vermouth and Italian bitter liqueur. Stir and garnish with orange zest or blood orange slice and a sour cherry.

grapefruit margarita cocktailImage via The Diplomat Boutique Hotel

Grapefruit Margarita

Sarah DeRuiter and Neil Haapamaki, owners and founders of The Diplomat Boutique Hotel in Mérida, Mexico, know how to blend a dose of OMG and SPF without blinking. The Toronto ex-pats are well-versed in all things tequila and have curated a slick custom cocktail list infused with local fruits, spices and herbs from their garden. Take an instant DIY vacation to Mexico and ease into the tropical chill of The Diplomat’s signature Grapefruit Margarita.

  • 1 part fresh-squeezed grapefruit
  • 1 part Triple Sec (not Cointreau)
  • 2 parts mezcal or tequila
  • Splash of simple syrup
  • Ice cubes

Rim a highball glass with a blend of chili, salt, and lime (or Tajin). Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Garnish glass with a grapefruit and lime slice, add ice to the glass, pour and serve.

Salud!

grown up milkshake cocktailImage via Flickr,  @new1mproved

Grown-up milkshake

Take to the shade with a book, bamboo straw and a frosty shake! Spike your milkshake with your favourite spirit by following this simple (but not strict) base recipe that serves two.

  • 1 pint of ice cream
  • 8 oz milk  (cashew, almond, coconut, soy, chocolate, dairy)
  • 5 oz of booze (bourbon, vodka or dark rum–any spirit will do)

Blend ingredients on high for a couple of minutes. Add more ice cream for a thicker shake or thin with milk (or booze). 

Here are a few tried and true combinations to experiment with:

The James Joyce: Replace milk in this recipe with Guinness and blend vanilla ice cream with Baileys Salted Caramel. Any coffee-flavoured ice cream will marry well. Drizzle with chocolate syrup or garnish with crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans for a chocolate lover’s total meltdown.

Summer Crush: Replace milk with Orange Crush soda and add vodka. Try Chapman’s Orange Pineapple or Tiger Tail ice cream for an all-Canadian flavour twist.

Back to Your Roots: Replace milk with root beer and add vodka for a root beer float with personality!

Key Lime Pie in a Glass: Add lime vodka and rim glass with crushed graham crackers. What’s better than a pie that you can drink?

For an online cocktail “class” that you won’t want to skip,  check out the pandemic-inspired series Amy Schumer Learns to Cook on the Food Network. Summer school has never been so fun! Best of luck to all of you on your bar exam! 

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Backyard Chickens: How to Get Started with Urban Farming

Chickens are playful, pretty and if properly cared for, could be the perfect pet that supplies fresh eggs for you and your family. You might be surprised to learn you don’t need to live on a farm to raise chickens—some municipalities allow residents to raise chickens right in their own backyard. But while the prospect of fresh eggs is exciting, there’s a lot to consider before hosting a hen party in your backyard. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started with help from Toronto-based urban farmer Sandra Grilo

close up of hen in a hen houseImage via Michael T Photography & Design Inc.

Check your chicken bylaws 

Raising chickens can be a fun and fulfilling experience for you and your family, but it’s important to research the local rules and learn about how to keep hens happy and healthy before jumping into urban farming.  

“The first thing you’ll want to do is check with your municipal bylaw office to be sure you can legally have hens in your backyard,” says Grilo. Where chickens are allowed, you’ll need to follow the regulations which could include applying for a permit and passing an inspection by a bylaw officer. 

Grilo also recommends checking in with your neighbours before building a coop (the promise of a few fresh eggs doesn’t hurt). 

Letting neighbours know of your plans is a nice thing to do and could avoid issues later on,” says Grilo. 

rooster in a chicken coopImage via Michael T Photography & Design Inc.

Chicken care 101 

Like any pet, chickens need to be fed, cleaned up after (“Chickens made a lot of poop!” says Grilo) and cared for if they get sick. Daily must-dos include providing food and clean water, tidying the coop, collecting eggs, letting your hens out in the morning and locking up the coop at night. 

“Creating a system and routine that works for you will be key. It takes me 10 minutes in the morning and evening to take care of my hens,” says Grilo who also does a more thorough cleaning of the coop (about an hour’s work) on the weekend, replaces the bedding once a month and does a full cleanout and scrub down of the coop once per season. 

In addition to cleaning, ensuring hens have enough food and water is another daily chore. 

“People are always shocked to find out that chickens eat everything! Food will be the largest expense, but a manageable one thanks to the fact that chickens are happy to eat every fresh scrap from your kitchen,” explains Grilo. In addition to scraps, Grilo says a 25 kg bag of feed (costs range between $20 to $35 per bag) will feed four or five chickens for about a month. 

It’s also a good idea to research what to do if a chicken dies (areas that allow urban chickens will provide information) and to find a local vet who offers poultry care so you’re ready in case of illness.

chicken coop on a farmImage via Michael T Photography & Design Inc.

Setting up the coop

Once you’ve confirmed chickens are welcome in your ‘hood and learned about daily care requirements, the next thing you’ll need to do is build a coop. The coop keeps your hens safe from weather, predators and pests. Cost for a coop ranges from about $200 for a DIY coop to up to $1,000 or more for a store-bought or custom coop with landscaping.

“A typical chicken coop can be made with basic materials like wood, metal mesh, and hardware like hinges and latches. The approximate cost to build a coop yourself would be around $200,” says Grilo. For a pre-built coop, Grilo says there are plenty of options available for purchase online from Canadian retailers or hardware stores like Home Hardware or Home Depot

To ensure your chickens are safe from predators like hawks, raccoons, rats and dogs, you might need to add safety measures like door locks (Grilo says racoons can open latches) and buried mesh or chicken wire to stop predators from digging their way into the coop.

You’ll also need to get bedding, a water dispenser and a water heater to prevent freezing in the winter (depending where you live). Grilo uses flax straw bedding, which she says is inexpensive and helps control smells. Other options include straw, sand, pinewood and peat moss. Bedding, feed and other accessories can be found at hardware stores  or your local farm supply store. 

hands holding fresh grown eggs Image via Michael T Photography & Design Inc.

Where to buy chickens

Your coop is ready to go and you’ve gathered all the necessary supplies. Next, it’s time to buy some chickens. 

“The best place to source chickens is directly from other farmers. Join Facebook groups for your area specifically for chickens or poultry,” says Grilo. Another option is to search on Kijiji or contact a nearby chicken farm or hatchery and ask for advice. 

Grilo recommends starting out with pullets (teenage hens) or hens. Chicks require extra care and you might not be able to tell if the chick is a rooster or a hen right away, which could be a problem in areas that only allow hens. 

While raising chickens comes with a few more challenges than a typical pet, Grilo says chickens are smart, social and remarkable animals that make it all worth it. 

“What I’ve come to realize is that despite the challenges, having backyard chickens is still one of the most rewarding adventures my family and I have taken on. The past 15 years have taught us so much about these amazing little friends, and I hope more people get to experience the joys of backyard chickens,” says Grilo

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Shelter eNewsletter
Summer 2020
Helping women and children rebuild their lives after violence.
Message from our Executive Director
 
I hope this email finds you and your loved ones in good physical and mental health. This has been a year like no other. Much has changed in terms of our day-to-day lives. We've been restricted in terms of our ability to interact with others, be spontaneous in our movements, and in how we carry out our work. In many respects, our lives have moved online, behind closed doors. But what hasn't changed, thankfully, is our humanity in times of need. 
 
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, it was heart-warming to hear from so many of our supporters asking what they could do for their local women’s shelters. Always thinking of how they can help others and serve their communities, our supporters have shown us once again how committed they are to making sure home is a safe place for everyone.
 
In the early days of the pandemic, we heard from many women's shelters across the country that the demand for their services had increased. The stress and volatility of "lockdown" meant that abuse was occurring more frequently and the violence was getting more severe. Women's shelters had to rapidly adapt how they deliver services, all while doing so in the context of reduced budgets due to cancelled fundraising events. You'll read more in this issue about how women's shelters have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and how Royal LePage Shelter Foundation supporters have stepped up to help. 
 
On a personal note, I wanted to let you know of another transition taking place. After nine and a half years, I will be stepping down as Executive Director of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. I can't say enough about how proud I am of the incredible impact this organization has had on countless women's and children's lives, with your support. I know that everything I have learned will help me in my new role to continue to make a positive impact in communities across the country. I am confident that with the strong Royal LePage Shelter Foundation team and our dedicated supporters, the foundation will continue to flourish. Thank you to everyone who I have met over the past decade. You have inspired me. It's been my privilege and honour to work alongside you to create safer homes and communities.
 
With gratitude,
 
Shanan Spencer-Brown
 
Giving back during COVID-19
Royal LePage professionals raise over $125,000 in response to pandemic 
 
Article Image
Since 1998, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation has been dedicated to helping women and children seeking safety due to domestic violence. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, our supporters once again gave generously of their time and resources, raising over $125,000 for the foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.
 
While this crisis has affected us all, women and children experiencing abuse face unique challenges. When our supporters learned that the severity of domestic violence was increasing, that many shelters needed to rent additional space to meet social distancing guidelines, and that children staying in shelters needed supplies and support to keep up with their classmates, they jumped into action.
 
Online fundraising challenges, virtual events and social media campaigns have taken place across Canada, with Royal LePage professionals hosting and performing live concerts; cutting their own hair and shaving their beards; organizing online game nights and fitness classes; offering gifts and households goods; sewing masks; and partnering with local businesses to provide unique offerings – all in exchange for donations to the cause.
 
Numerous collections were also taken up by Royal LePage brokerages and agents, with some promoting matching gift opportunities to their clients which doubled the impact of their generosity. When Royal LePage’s National Garage Sale for Shelter was unable to proceed for the first time in twelve years, our agents and brokers answered the call to make modest “Garage Sale sized” donations in order to help replace this lost revenue.  In addition, Royal LePagers organized donations of essential supplies to their local women’s shelters, including toilet paper, hand sanitizer and cloth masks.
 
Coming together during this crisis shows how we can all make a difference. We're very grateful for the continued support of our many Shelter "champions". 
COVID-19 Pandemic - Issues and Insights 
This public health crisis has affected all Canadians and has presented unique challenges for women experiencing domestic violence and the heroes helping them find safety. Below is a summary of what we’ve heard from our shelter partners in communities across the country. 
 
Article ImageThe COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives  and businesses upside down and almost overnight our worlds have become a great deal smaller as we practice physical distancing. While all this change can feel unsettling, what most of us know for certain is that we are safe in our own homes and with the people who live there. 
 
Unfortunately, home is not a safe place for everyone. Each night, thousands of Canadian women and children stay in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence and, on average, every 6 days in this country a woman is killed by her current or former intimate partner. 
 
Increased violence and abuse
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic created a “perfect storm” for domestic violence to increase. Physical distancing means some women have been in the presence of their abusers 24/7 when stress and worry have been at an all-time high. In some cases, job loss and economic uncertainty created even more volatile circumstances at home. Public settings like libraries and community centres - where women and children might go to be away from an abuser - have been closed for months on end and visiting family or friends wasn't permitted. Over the past few months, women have had fewer opportunities to be away from the person harming them.  
 
There are also fewer ways out of these dangerous situations. During the early days of the pandemic, some shelters reported that their hotlines were going quiet. This was very concerning because it meant women couldn’t safely call to get help. Where once a woman could call a crisis line while her partner was at work, now women are making these life-saving calls while their abuser sleeps in the next room. This is especially dangerous as a woman being abused is at the greatest risk of being killed when her plan to leave is revealed and her abuser realizes they've lost control. 
 
How shelters have adjusted 
Shelters are committed to maintaining their lifesaving front-line services; however, the way they must now operate has been highly disruptive to “normal” life in the shelter. Distancing measures are in place within shelters, which means women and their children spend more time in their rooms, and have scheduled use of communal spaces like kitchens and TV rooms, which are now being cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectant. At some shelters, new residents must self-isolate for 14 days in their room or are being moved to hotels (at significant cost) to meet social distancing guidelines. While not ideal, support groups and community-based programming has moved online and some shelters have been able to offer text support to women in the community.   
 
Keeping a "household" full of children occupied who are unable to access community programs has also presented a challenge for mothers in the shelter and the staff supporting them. Helping children who are used to interacting freely with one another understand why they can no longer play together has been especially difficult. 
 
To reduce the spread of the virus, most shelters are not accepting donations of gently used items like clothing, toys or household goods. This means they must buy everything they need, which can be incredibly costly. 
 
Lastly, shelters have grappled with staffing challenges. Without access to sufficient personal protective equipment, workers have been worried for their health and the health of the families they serve. Some shelter staff must travel on public transportation and have their own child care issues or family responsibilities that make it more difficult to work during this time. Paying overtime to those staff willing and able to work has represented yet another significant and unexpected expense for our shelter partners. 
 
Why financial support is important
All women’s shelters must fundraise to meet their operating costs, some as much as 50% of their annual budget. The additional costs associated with COVID-19 combined with the cancellation of hundreds of fundraising events and the concern that longstanding donors will need to pause their support for economic reasons means that many shelters are projecting budget deficits for 2020 and beyond. While most shelters have been eligible for approximately $32,000 in emergency funding from the federal government, many if not all, will still suffer incredible financial repercussions. 
 
Bottom line? Our shelters are worried and with good reason. Our support is essential now more than ever. Please see below for more information about how you can help. Together, we can ensure that women and children fleeing violence continue to find safe shelter and the support they need to rebuild their lives throughout this crisis and beyond.   
How can you help?
There are several ways to make a difference for your local women's shelter during this difficult time.
 
Make a donation at rlp.ca/donate to our Emergency COVID-19 fundraising campaign. As always, 100% of your donation will go to our shelter partners to help them weather this storm. Share on social media that you've made a donation and encourage others to do the same.
 
Send a note of appreciation or encouragement to your local shelter staff and, if you are able, enclose a gift card to help them buy essential goods or special items for the women and children they serve. This is also a great activity for your kids! Mailing addresses for most shelters can be found on their website (find your local shelter at sheltersafe.ca).
 
Plan a fundraising event! If you have a fundraising idea or virtual event in mind, please reach out to us at shelterfoundation@royallepage.ca.
 
Shelter Award Winners
Shelter Awards recognize those who have made an outstanding contribution to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Nominated by their peers, below are the 2019 winners who were honoured at  provincial awards events in early 2020.
 
Philanthropists of the Year 
Angie Peters & John Krol, Royal LePage The Realty Group (pictured below with Shanan Spencer-Brown and Royal LePage president and CEO, Phil Soper) 
 
 
Provincial Individual/Team Winners 
Alberta: Manson Kelly & Associates (Team)
British Columbia: Gary BornModern Real Estate Team (Team)
East Coast: Tina Miller
Manitoba: Danielle Margolis 
Ontario: Linda MurphyPaula Mitchell Group (Team)
Quebec: Mark Broady; Royal LePage Excellence Golf Tournament Committee (Team)
Saskatchewan: Colette Gates and Lyndon Neher, Co-Chairs, 2019 Royal LePage Saskatoon Charity Golf Tournament for Shelter (Team)
 
Provincial Brokerage Winners 
Alberta: Royal LePage Benchmark
British Columbia: Royal LePage Access Real Estate
East Coast: Royal LePage Atlantic
 
Congratulations to our winners and thanks to all who sent in nominations!
 
Supporting a friend who may be experiencing violence
 
Signal for Help
 
 
The Signal for Help initiative was launched by the our partner, the Canadian Women’s Foundation, in response to COVID-19. If you see someone use the Signal for Help, check in with the person safely to find out what they need and want you to do.
 
Sheltersafe.ca 
 
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If you’re concerned about a friend or family member who may be experiencing domestic violence, visit sheltersafe.ca to find the crisis line for a women’s shelter in your community. The experts you'll speak to can best advise on potential next steps and critical safety planning. 
 
Staying consistently in touch with a woman who is being abused in self-isolation is also very important. Avoid referencing the abuse in any text messages or emails you exchange as these may be monitored by the abuser. It is recommended to ask general questions like "How are you?" over email/text and yes/no questions over the phone like "Would you like me to call a shelter for you?"
 
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local emergency services. 
Thank you to our National Sponsors!
Helping to bring safety and hope to families across the country
 
The Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is fortunate to be supported by generous individuals and businesses that are committed to helping women and children live free from violence.
 
We would like to make special mention of our National Sponsors who have 
supported us for many years. They help make our national events, including the National Garage Sale for Shelter, possible. While we have not been able to be together in person this year, we are deeply grateful for their loyalty and the trust they place in us to help create safer homes and communities. 
 
 
Join us on a "trip" to the Sahara Desert 
 
Article Image
We may not be able to travel at the moment, but we hope you'll go on a trip with us back to Morocco! We're delighted to share the videos from our Sahara Desert Challenge for Shelter trek that took place last November. We hope the videos give you a sense of this epic adventure, the fierce determination of our trekkers, and the strong bonds that were built over the course of hiking 100 km across this vast desert in 5 days. 

We remain deeply grateful for the generosity of all those who donated to the Sahara Desert Challenge for Shelter. Together, we raised more than $1.1 million to help women and children find safety from abuse and to fund programs that prevent domestic violence before it starts.

Click here to review a list of the four groups to help you identify the video that features a trekker you know!
 
 
 
Learn more at rlp.ca/shelter
 
Contact our team
Shanan Spencer-BrownExecutive Director
Evgenia VolodarskiVP Finance and Treasurer
Carly NeillFundraising and Communications Coordinator 
Boitumelo Jones, Donations Processing Coordinator
 
You are receiving this email because you made a donation to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Charitable Registration No. 88253 1304 RR0001 
 
©2020 Royal LePage Shelter Foundation  
Photo credits: Artem Kovale on UnsplashKaspars Misins on Pexels; Alexander Dummer on Unsplash
 
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Balance expected to return to market in second half of the year

  • Two-storey house prices outpace condos as home-bound Canadians place premium on space
  • Ontario posts Canada’s highest home price increases, with Mississauga in top spot at 13.5% year-over-year
  • Royal LePage revises Canadian home price forecast upwards to 2.3% by year end 2020, as low rates and pent-up demand face limited housing supply


TORONTO, July 9, 2020 –According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today, the aggregate[1] price of a home in Canada increased 6.8 per cent year-over-year to $673,072, in the second quarter. Once provinces allowed regular real estate activity to resume, demand surged in many markets. Inventory levels, already constrained pre-pandemic, have failed to keep pace.


“Home prices shot up in the second quarter as a crush of buyers entered the market, attracted by extremely low interest rates and the perception of bargains to-be-had,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage. “Across Ontario and Quebec in particular, the demand for housing outpaced the growth in supply, especially in the early weeks post-lockdown. The surge in the number of first-time buyers was felt acutely, as these housing consumers soaked up supply without contributing to it.”


Soper continued, “We are now seeing sellers return to the market in key supply-constrained regions in numbers sufficient to meet demand. Home buyers should enjoy more reasonable conditions with stable prices and improved selection in the second half of the year.”


The Royal LePage National House Price Composite is compiled from proprietary property data in 64 of the nation’s largest real estate markets. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home rose 8.0 per cent year-over-year to $794,392, while the median price of a bungalow increased 3.9 per cent to $550,289. The median price of a condominium increased 5.3 per cent year-over-year to $503,983.


“COVID-19 shaped the real estate market during the second quarter in every possible way,” said Soper. “As consumers and Realtors®[2] complied with April’s shelter-at-home directives and only urgent housing needs were serviced, sales volumes plummeted to one-third of normal in our largest cities. As the reality of extended and potentially permanent work-from-home employment sunk in, people pondered both the location and size of their homes. Simply put, larger homes in smaller communities have become more fashionable. As competition for these properties heats up, bidding wars are more common in what were our quieter cities and towns.”


Across Canada, the 11 regions to post the highest year-over-year gains in median home price were in Ontario. In order, Mississauga (13.5%), Windsor (12.2%), Markham (11.9%), Ottawa (11.7%), Niagara/St.Catharines (11.3%), London (10.5%), Brampton (10.4%), Toronto (10.2%)/Greater Toronto Area (10.0%), Guelph (9.9%), Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge (9.8%), and Milton (9.7%).


Immigration


Immigration has been disrupted by pandemic travel restrictions, with the impact to real estate markets varying across regions and housing segments. Royal LePage’s 2019 Newcomer study showed that upon arriving in Canada, only 15 per cent of newcomers purchase their first home. The average time period after which newcomers will purchase a property is three years after arriving in Canada.[3]


“Our research shows that many of the newcomers to our nation who intended to buy a home this year have already been living in Canada for three or more years,” said Soper. “A short-term drop in the number of new immigrants and international students will not directly impact home sales in the current year, as most newcomers will rent their first home. We may feel the impact of fewer new Canadians in our residential investment market with less demand for rental units. Mitigating the impact of this trend is a surge in first-time buyer interest. Some landlords may choose to sell to eager millennial families if rental demand softens.”


Lengthy Economic Recovery and Revised Royal LePage Forecast


As home sellers return to the market, inventory levels are expected to rise, relieving the acute upward pressure on home prices that characterized the supply-constrained second quarter of 2020. Uncertainty clouds Canada’s real estate outlook as a lengthy recovery for the Canadian and world economies is expected. The negative impact on home prices should be muted by the balanced nature of Canadian housing, as chronic housing supply shortages offset dampened medium-term demand.


Royal LePage has revised its forecast slightly upward, with the national aggregate price expected to end 2020 up 2.3 per cent to $663,000 in the fourth quarter compared the same period in 2019.


REGIONAL SUMMARIES 


Greater Toronto Area


Pent-up demand coupled with a lack of supply in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) resulted in significant price appreciation in the second quarter. The aggregate price of a home in the GTA increased 10.0 per cent year-over-year to $899,001 in the second quarter of 2020. When broken down by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home increased 10.7 per cent year-over-year to $1,050,323 and the price of a bungalow rose 6.4 per cent year-over-year to $852,260. During the same period, condominiums in the region continued to see strong price appreciation, with the median price rising 9.3 per cent year-over-year to $599,235.


“Prior to the market disruption caused by the pandemic, the GTA was on track for double-digit price growth in 2020. While the first half of the second quarter saw market activity severely curtained, as soon as the market woke up in late May, sales quickly accelerated,” said Kevin Somers, chief operating officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Limited. “However, with listings not keeping pace and buyer competition high, we are again seeing double-digit price appreciation in the region.”


Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area will increase 4.0 per cent to $882,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year.


“While buyer demand outstripping inventory has been typical of the Toronto market, the return of buyers before sellers in the second half of the quarter amplified price growth,” said Somers. “Sellers are now returning and while buyers should not expect bargains, they may find the second half of the year more reasonable for inventory and price appreciation.” 


Greater Montreal Area 


The Greater Montreal Area aggregate home price rose 7.7 per cent year-over-year to $449,996, in the second quarter of 2020.


With the resumption of real estate brokerage activities on May 11, after being shut down for more than a month, all property categories in the region saw significant price appreciation. The jump in appreciation was largely due to substantial pent-up demand from buyers who had to put their activity on hold during the shut down.


Looking at prices by property type, the median price of a standard two-storey home in the Greater Montreal Area saw a strong increase of 8.7 per cent this quarter, compared to the second quarter of 2019, reaching $566,874. The median price of a bungalow rose 7.2 per cent year-over-year to $351,015, during the same period. Despite an increase of new listings in June, the median price of a condominium increased by 5.6 per cent year-over-year to $351,889.


“While we were experiencing unprecedented demand for real estate prior to the pandemic, the suspension of transactions during the lockdown has widened the gap between supply and demand,” said Dominic St-Pierre, vice president and general manager, Royal LePage for the Quebec region. “In my 18-year career, I have never seen such a tight ratio between the number of active listings and sales, reaching a new high in this sellers market, despite the fact that the Montreal region has been hit the hardest by the pandemic and lockdown in Canada.”


As a result, Royal LePage is forecasting the aggregate price of a home in the Greater Montreal Area will increase 3.5 per cent to $452,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year.


Greater Vancouver


The aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver increased 1.9 per cent year-over-year to $1,109,069 in the second quarter of 2020. Broken out by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home in Greater Vancouver increased 3.7 per cent year-over-year to $1,455,027 in the second quarter. During the same period, the median price of a condominium in the region remained relatively flat, decreasing 0.4 per cent year-over-year to $638,242, while the median price of a bungalow decreased 1.1 per cent to $1,189,692.


“The Greater Vancouver real estate market is continuing its recovery that began in 2019. While the pandemic caused a significant disruption in early spring sales, continued low inventory has maintained prices,” said Randy Ryalls, general manager, Royal LePage Sterling Realty.


Real estate in the city of Vancouver posted healthy year-over-year gains in the second quarter. The median price of a two-story home rose 7.6 per cent to $2,088,932 compared to the same period in the previous year. During the second quarter, the median price of a bungalow rose 2.6 per cent year-over-year to $1,434,738, while the median price of a condominium decreased 2.0 per cent to $738,128.


“Stronger price appreciation for two-storey homes compared to condominiums reflects buyers’ preference for larger properties and less shared areas, a trend that has evolved as a result of the pandemic,” said Ryalls. “This has opened up excellent opportunities for those seeking city-centre condos.”


Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver will increase modestly by 0.5 per cent to $1,087,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year. 


Ottawa 


Ottawa’s aggregate home price rose significantly during the second quarter, rising 11.7 per cent year-over-year to $527,290. The median price of a standard two-storey home increased 10.6 per cent year-over-year to $552,429, while the median price of a bungalow saw a strong 14.4 per cent year-over-year increase to $538,409. During the same period, the median price of a condominium saw an increase of 14.5 per cent year-over-year to $370,425.


“Buyers have returned more quickly to the market than sellers resulting in fewer listings, increased competition and double-digit price gains over last year,” said Jason Ralph, managing partner, Royal LePage Team Realty. “The good news is that the number of listings is starting to grow and buyers can expect to have more selection in the second half of the year. However, Ottawa is expected to remain a seller’s market.”


Ralph added that Ottawa remains an attractive city to first-time buyers, especially those from the Greater Toronto Area. The city-centre remains the most popular choice, but towns within a reasonable drive to Ottawa such as Carp and even as far as Arnprior are attracting more interest.


Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Ottawa will increase 4.0 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 to $514,000 compared to the same quarter last year. 


Calgary 


The aggregate price of a home in Calgary remained relatively flat year-over-year, decreasing 0.2 per cent to $465,273 in the second quarter of 2020. Broken out by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home increased 1.1 per cent year-over-year to $509,918, while the median price of a bungalow remained relatively flat, decreasing 0.1 per cent year-over-year to $488,838. Due to high inventory in the condominium segment, the median price of a condominium decreased 9.7 per cent year-over-year to $252,308.


“While sales are down year-to-date, activity in June was comparable with last year. Buyers have returned to the market more quickly than sellers; inventory has not kept pace,” said Corinne Lyall, broker and owner, Royal LePage Benchmark. “With the exception of the condominium market, Calgary real estate continues to shift towards a balanced market.”


Lyall added that first-time home buyers are driving sales in the region, which has increased competition and depleted inventory for listings within the $300,000 to $500,000 price range.


Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Calgary will decrease 1.5 per cent to $463,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year. 


Edmonton 


The aggregate price of a home in Edmonton remained relatively flat, decreasing 0.6 per cent year-over-year to $371,902 in the second quarter of 2020. Broken out by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home increased 2.8 per cent year-over-year to $436,221 and the median price of a bungalow decreased 5.4 per cent to $349,676.  In the same period, the median price of a condominium decreased 7.7 per cent year-over-year to $205,005.


“Overall, Edmonton’s house prices have held their value despite the pandemic’s economic shock and resulting decline in sales,” said Tom Shearer, broker and owner, Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate. “Growing inventory of resale and new build condos has resulted in softened prices and excellent selection. Buyers are finding exactly what they are looking for.”


Shearer added that the market is being driven by young families. Houses priced under $450,000 in neighbourhoods popular with families are selling quickly.


Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Edmonton will decrease 1.0 per cent to $371,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year. 


Halifax


The aggregate price of a home in Halifax increased 2.2 per cent year-over-year to $333,954 in the second quarter. Broken out by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home increased 3.8 per cent year-over-year to $359,185. The median price of a bungalow was flat, decreasing 0.3 per cent year-over-year to $272,625, while the median price of a condominium saw a decrease of 8.3 per cent year-over-year to $296,738.


“Buyer competition is exceptionally high in downtown Halifax. Inventory is low and a good listing may last only a day or two on the market while drawing multiple offers,” said Matt Honsberger, broker and owner, Royal LePage Atlantic. “There has also been an increase in the number of exclusive transactions where the listing is sold before even making it to the market.”

Honsberger added that Nova Scotia’s rural and recreational real estate market has been very active.


“A common trend we are seeing is that buyers, after spending a lot of time home-bound and saving money, are deciding they want more from their home. They want more space. For some that means moving out of the city while others are staying in the city and upgrading,” said Honsberger.


Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Halifax will remain flat at $317,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year. 


Winnipeg 


The aggregate price of a home in Winnipeg decreased 1.4 per cent year-over-year to $302,399 in the second quarter of 2020. During the same period, the median price of a bungalow decreased 0.8 per cent year-over-year to $287,715 and the median price of a condominium decreased 4.1 per cent year-over-year to $231,036. The median price of a standard two-storey home decreased 1.5 per cent year-over-year to $330,995.


“Winnipeg’s real estate market has proven to be extremely resilient and we are seeing signs of a ‘U’ shape recovery. While COVID-19 certainly pulled the market downwards for the first half of the second quarter, June sales are higher than last year. The market is energized and consumer confidence is back,” said Michael Froese, managing partner, Royal LePage Prime Real Estate.


Froese added that year-over-year sales activity in Winnipeg’s surrounding area is outperforming the city-centre.

“Communities outside of the city are growing in popularity, leading to price appreciation gains in those areas,” said Froese. “For many, remote work started as a necessity this spring but it is growing in popularity and employer acceptance. Buyers are now looking for larger properties with home offices. With less commuting, moving away from the city-centre to more affordable properties is appealing.”


Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Winnipeg will remain flat at $311,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year. 


Regina 


The aggregate home price in Regina remained relatively flat in the second quarter, increasing 0.1 per cent year-over-year to $321,389. Broken out by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home increased 6.2 per cent year-over-year, rising to $402,716, while the median price of a bungalow decreased 3.3 per cent to $289,307. During the same period, the median price of a condominium decreased 13.0 per cent year-over-year to $194,936.

“From entry-level homes to the luxury segment, Regina’s real estate market awakened in June and is very active,” said Mike Duggleby, managing partner, Royal LePage Regina Realty. “We are seeing multiple offers and appropriately priced homes can sell within a week.”

Duggleby noted that sellers are returning to the market, which is expected to improve inventory over the summer.


“Sellers who had pulled their listing off the market and those who were not marketing their listing properly were watching the parade go by,” added Duggleby. “Seeing buyer demand grow over the quarter has encouraged sellers to come back.”


Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Regina will increase 1.0 per cent to $321,000 in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year.


Royal LePage Home Price Data and Forecasts: 


 

Royal LePage Royalty-Free Media Assets


Royal LePage’s media room contains royalty-free assets, such as images and b-roll, that are free for media use.


About the Royal LePage House Price Survey


The Royal LePage House Price Survey provides information on the three most common types of housing in Canada, in 64 of the nation’s largest real estate markets. Housing values in the Royal LePage House Price Survey are based on the Royal LePage Canadian Real Estate Market Composite, produced quarterly through the use of company data in addition to data and analytics from its sister company, RPS Real Property Solutions, the trusted source for residential real estate intelligence and analytics in Canada. Commentary on housing and forecast values are provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts, based on their opinions and market knowledge.


About Royal LePage


Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of over 18,000 real estate professionals in over 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE. For more information, please visit www.royallepage.ca.

For further information, please contact:

Stella Karami
Proof
skarami@getproof.com
(647) 884-9651


[1]Royal LePage’s aggregate home price is based on a weighted model using median prices and includes all housing types.

[2] The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

[3]Royal LePage Canada, October 2019: One in five homes purchased by Canadian newcomers

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Outdoor Living Space Ideas – For most of us here in Canada, winters can be long and harsh and those precious summer months beg us to spend as much time outside as possible. It’s not surprising that outdoor living spaces ideas continue to be an important part of our homes. Creating an outdoor space that you love to spend time in and can enjoy for as long as possible allows us to maximize our summer enjoyment and increase the equity in our homes.  Here are a few tips to help you create the perfect outdoor living space!

Photo Source: HomeSense



Start With a Plan! Every outdoor living space, from a small balcony to a large backyard, can offer a place to sit back and relax. Ask yourself what activities you’d like to incorporate into your space and then create a plan that incorporates those functions. One big mistake homeowners make is adding a single detail – like a pool or a deck – to their yard without thinking about how it will work with future landscaping plans. Even if your budget does not allow you to overhaul your entire yard this year, start by creating a plan for what you’d like to final layout to be. You can always finish your space in stages but having a plan will ensure that you don’t have to make expensive changes later on because something doesn’t fit.

Consider Care & Maintenance of your Outdoor Living Space! A beautiful outdoor living space that eats up all your free time to maintain over the summer defeats the purpose of having the space in the first place. There are plenty of options today for low-maintenance products, plants and materials that can be used to create a space that you can actually have time to just enjoy. Consult with a professional landscaper and fence/deck builder as you go to ensure you understand the maintenance requirements as you go. Some common outdoor living ideas like hot tubs and pools come with maintenance requirements so ensure you understand the time and cost that will be involved in maintaining these features before you decide to add them to your plan.

Plan to Entertain! If you like to entertain, this will be a big consideration when planning your outdoor space. You will want to include places to sit and visit, places to prepare and serve outdoor dinners and the like. This may be as simple as a deck with a BBQ, dining set and conversation area or you may want to incorporate a full outdoor kitchen with all the conveniences of the indoors right at your fingertips.

Extend Your Season! The biggest reason our outdoor season is cut short is the weather and while we can’t control the weather, we can prepare for it to ensure we can enjoy our outdoor time for longer. Things like well planned landscape lighting, a fireplace, outdoor heaters, gazebos, sunrooms and even movable walls can be incorporated into your plan, allowing you to enjoy the space on cooler evenings, on rainy days and long into the fall season.

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Planning the Perfect Staycation. With the world in a state of panic over health issues, a lot of people are rethinking their summer travel plans, or are unable to travel due to the restrictions that are currently in place and the closure of major airports.  If you’re on that list, now is the time to consider a staycation!  A staycation is a vacation that you take at home, or close to home. With a little planning, it can be just as memorable as any vacation you’ve ever had!

How can Staying Home be Fun?

There are so many options on ways to make your staycation exciting and fun for the whole family. With the multitude of new places and things to explore, there are endless possibilities for you and your family.  If you want to avoid large groups of people, there are hiking trails for you to enjoy in places you’ve never been where you can ski, snowshoe, or track on foot and find serenity in nature. If you don’t mind the crowds, you can become a tourist in an area close to you – take a drive, see new sites, immerse yourself in local activities and architecture. There are even countless options if you choose to stay at your home! Children of every age love trying new things! Cook or bake together, create games or activities, color, build puzzles, play games, read, have a family movie night, have a sand castle building contest in the sandbox – the list is never-ending. 


The key is to have a plan. It’s very easy to fall into the “stuck at home” rut of TV time and sleeping in, with the days going by in a boring blur. Instead, plan a “travel itinerary” for your staycation! Of course, leave time for rest and relaxation – but intentionally schedule specific family activities into each day to avoid falling into that rut and to ensure each day is used to build a new family memory together!

Get That Fresh Feeling

If you have been thinking about updating or changing things around in your home, now is the time! Grab some paint at a local hardware store and change the look of your home instantly. Grab some fresh linens from a nearby store or warehouse. Redecorate with different colored pictures, ornaments, accent pieces, or throw rugs. Create your own oasis now that you have the time to do so. With everything changed up, you will feel like you are on a vacation right at home and changes in the home bring calm, pride, and a sense of something new.


In Planning the Perfect Staycation, not only will you feel like you’ve accomplished something during your time at home, but you’ll also create an environment that feels fresh and new, like getting away to a hotel or a resort, but right in your own home! Every year, homeowners will use home equity or personal loans to help fund dream family vacations. With a staycation, you can use those funds to invest back into your own home with updates and changes that you’ll be able to enjoy for many months to come while also potentially increasing your home value and still making precious memories at the same time!

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Steady increases in home sale and listing activity continue in June
June 2019
2,077
Sold
June 2020
2,443
Sold
(+17.6)
 
Residential property sales in Metro Vancouver
 

Home buyers and sellers have gradually become more active in each month of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, home sale and listing activity in Metro Vancouver* returned to more historically typical levels.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,443 in June 2020, a 17.6 per cent increase from the 2,077 sales recorded in June 2019, and a 64.5 per cent increase from the 1,485 homes sold in May 2020.


Last month’s sales were 21.9 per cent below the 10-year June sales average.


"REALTORS® continue to optimize new technology tools and practices to help their clients meet their housing needs in a safe and responsible way. Over the last three months, home buyers and sellers have become more comfortable operating within the physical distancing and other safety protocols in place."
Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair
 

There were 5,787 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in June 2020. This represents a 21.8 per cent increase compared to the 4,751 homes listed in June 2019 and a 57.1 per cent increase compared to May 2020 when 3,684 homes were listed.


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 11,424, a 23.7 per cent decrease compared to June 2019 (14,968) and a 15.1 per cent increase compared to May 2020 (9,927).

“Much more of the real estate transaction is happening virtually today. Before considering an inperson showing, REALTORS® are helping potential buyers pre-screen homes more thoroughly by taking video tours, reviewing floorplans and an increased number of high-resolution images, as well as often driving through the neighborhood.” 


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for June 2020 is 21.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 19.9 per cent for detached homes, 25.2 per cent for townhomes, and 21.3 per cent for apartments.


Sales-to-active listings ratio - June 2020
Detached homes
19.9%
Townhomes
25.2%
Condominiums
21.3%
Total 21.4%

Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.


“Home prices have remained steady with minimal fluctuation over the last few months,” Gerber said. “With increasing demand, REALTORS® have begun seeing multiple offers for homes priced competitively for today’s market.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,025,300. This represents a 3.5 per cent increase over June 2019 and a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to May 2020.


Sales of detached homes in June 2020 reached 866, a 16.1 per cent increase from the 746 detached sales recorded in June 2019. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,464,200. This represents a 3.6 per cent increase from June 2019 and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to May 2020.


Sales of apartment homes reached 1,105 in June 2020, a 17.4 per cent increase compared to the 941 sales in June 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $680,800. This represents a 3.6 per cent increase from June 2019 and a 0.8 per cent decrease compared to May 2020.


Attached home sales in June 2020 totalled 472, a 21 per cent increase compared to the 390 sales in June 2019. The benchmark price of an attached home is $790,800. This represents a 2.3 per cent increase from June 2019 and a 0.2 per cent decrease compared to May 2020.



* Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler.

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VANCOUVER, BC – July 2020 –


Home buyers and sellers have gradually become more active in each month of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, home sale and listing activity in Metro Vancouver* returned to more historically typical levels.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,443 in June 2020, a 17.6 per cent increase from the 2,077 sales recorded in June 2019, and a 64.5 per cent increase from the 1,485 homes sold in May 2020.


Last month’s sales were 21.9 per cent below the 10-year June sales average.


“REALTORS® continue to optimize new technology tools and practices to help their clients meet their housing needs in a safe and responsible way,” Colette Gerber, REBGV Chair said “Over the last three months, home buyers and sellers have become more comfortable operating within the physical distancing and other safety protocols in place.”


There were 5,787 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in June 2020. This represents a 21.8 per cent increase compared to the 4,751 homes listed in June 2019 and a 57.1 per cent increase compared to May 2020 when 3,684 homes were listed.


The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 11,424, a 23.7 per cent decrease compared to June 2019 (14,968) and a 15.1 per cent increase compared to May 2020 (9,927).


“Much more of the real estate transaction is happening virtually today. Before considering an inperson showing, REALTORS® are helping potential buyers pre-screen homes more thoroughly by taking video tours, reviewing floorplans and an increased number of high-resolution images, as well as often driving through the neighborhood.”


For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for June 2020 is 21.4 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 19.9 per cent for detached homes, 25.2 per cent for townhomes, and 21.3 per cent for apartments.


Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12 per cent for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months. “Home prices have remained steady with minimal fluctuation over the last few months,”Gerber said.

“With increasing demand, REALTORS® have begun seeing multiple offers for homes priced competitively for today’s market.”


The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,025,300. This represents a 3.5 per cent increase over June 2019 and a 0.3 per cent decrease compared to May 2020.


Sales of detached homes in June 2020 reached 866, a 16.1 per cent increase from the 746 detached sales recorded in June 2019. The benchmark price for a detached home is $1,464,200. This represents a 3.6 per cent increase from June 2019 and a 0.5 per cent increase compared to May 2020.


Sales of apartment homes reached 1,105 in June 2020, a 17.4 per cent increase compared to the 941 sales in June 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $680,800. This represents a 3.6 per cent increase from June 2019 and a 0.8 per cent decrease compared to May 2020.


Attached home sales in June 2020 totalled 472, a 21 per cent increase compared to the 390 sales in June 2019. The benchmark price of an attached home is $790,800. This represents a 2.3 per cent increase from June 2019 and a 0.2 per cent decrease compared to May 2020.


Editor’s Note: Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler.


The real estate industry is a key economic driver in British Columbia. In 2019, 25,351 homes changed ownership in the Board’s area, generating $1.8 billion in economic spin-off activity and an estimated 12,910 jobs. The total dollar value of residential sales transacted through the MLS® system in Greater Vancouver totalled $25.3 billion in 2019.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is an association representing more than 14,000 REALTORS® and their companies. The Board provides a variety of member services, including the Multiple Listing Service®. For more information on real estate, statistics, and buying or selling a home, contact Marie and Kim Taverna  or visit www.rebgv.org. 

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.