From chocolate eggs to fruit-filled pie to carrot cake, we've curated a list of delicious festive desserts that'll make the perfect ending (or beginning?) to your Easter celebrations.
CHOCOLATE CREAM EGGS
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Image by: Joe Kim By: Eryn Chesney
Pay tribute to the classic childhood tradition of the Easter egg hunt by feathering your nest with these delicate handmade confections. They’re pretty, perfectly sweet and straight from the Easter Bunny’s basket.
Image by: Maya Visnyei / Prop styling: Ann Marie Favot / Food styling: Claire Stubbs By: Claire Stubbs
Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, this flavourful dessert made with sweet figs and toasted almonds provides a delicious melt-in-your-mouth experience with every bite. This Easter: Have your cake and eat it, too.
Image by: Lisa Warninger By: Kir Jensen with Danielle Centoni
Notice how raspberry is the first word in the title? That’s because this tart recipe is all about the fruit. Yes, there’s a rich tart dough made with egg yolk and cream. And yes, it’s slathered with an amazing filling of vanilla browned butter and crème fraîche. But the filling is more of a flavourful base to support and contrast with all the bright fruit.
Generate excitement from the whole table by presenting this impressive rhubarb frangipane tart at the end of the meal. Its creamy almond filling is fragrant and complex, and we love the idea of using in-season rhubarb for something other than a pie. The good news for you is that, with only 10 ingredients, it's actually an easy-to-achieve dessert that looks like the work of a masterful pastry chef.
If your idea of the perfect dessert is an old-fashioned freshly-baked fruit pie cooling on the windowsill, its fragrant aroma drifting on the warm breeze, this free-form modern version, with its berries and smooth lemony cream, could be your new favourite.
During the winter thaw, indoor upkeep is as important as prepping your garden for spring. Freshen rooms, remove allergens, and brighten the look of these five areas:
Windows and treatments: While cleaning glass, wipe grime from sills and frames. Take this opportunity to wash drapes and remove dust from blinds.
HVAC vents: Thoroughly vacuum and dust these areas. If anyone in your household has severe allergies or asthma, consider hiring a professional duct cleaning service to remove buildup that can encourage mould growth and dust mites.
Furniture and walls: Wipe down walls and use a small brush to clean accent areas where dirt hides. Spot clean hard-to-reach places and previously unseen splatters, crayon markings, and grease marks.
Carpets and upholstery: Floor coverings need regular attention from your vacuum – sweep up “dust bunnies” and cobwebs from every corner and mop any exposed flooring. Carefully apply sprays or cleaning products to remove stains (after testing in an inconspicuous area). It may also be time for a thorough shampooing – rent a professional machine to sanitize the padding underneath and remove moisture.
Ceiling Fans: Dust blades before turning them on – otherwise, you might undo all the work you’ve done cleaning the rest of the room! Unseen allergy irritants and mould can reduce a home’s value. Make an annual date to “detail” your house; you’ll keep it in prime condition for years to come.
If you are looking to open up a small space to give it a feel that is bigger than it’s footprint, these tested tips are for you. They work in any room and within any budget.
Use light colours on the walls to create a sense of openness and space. White is an excellent choice but you won’t sacrifice much of the illusion by selecting a light colour, if that is your preference. Conversely, dark or heavily saturated colours close in a room, giving it a smaller, cozy feel.
Create the illusion of more space with a mirror or two. Adding a large mirror, whether it is floor to ceiling or a framed piece over a couch or table, is highly effective.
Swap out curtains for hidden blinds and say good-bye to your rug. Elements that break up the space will make the room seem smaller. This is especially true of longer curtains. Those vertical lines shorten the appearance of your wall. An exception is if your curtains are an exact match to the paint colour, such as white on white walls or if you select more sheer material that allows the eye to see past the fabric.
When it comes to furniture, less is more. If a room feels crowded with furniture, you notice the lack of space. It is worth removing a chair that doesn’t get used to improve the look of your room.
Choose apartment-sized furniture. With consistent and growing demand from condo living, there are excellent options to choose from at a variety of price points. You don’t need a supersized couch to feel comfy.
Choose furniture that allows for the eye to see as much of the space behind the piece as possible. If it works for your décor, consider a glass coffee or dining table. Try to avoid chairs where material covers the legs of the chair. Clear resin is a great choice if the room has a contemporary design.
Following these tips are the best way to make any space seem larger and there is no need to sacrifice on style. Have fun decorating!
Your home is your sanctuary; a safe and calm-inducing place you can retreat to at the end of the day. Did you know that our physical environment can affect our mental state? A cluttered countertop can make us feel uneasy and a collection of mismatched shoes at the entrance can change our mood when we walk in the door.
That’s why, in order to have a clear mind, we must start with a clear space. Here are eight ways to improve the organization of your place and create proper flow throughout your home, free of physical (and mental) barriers.
Out of sight, out of mind… Declutter countertops in your kitchen and bathroom. Keep everyday items neatly stored in organizing containers behind closed doors or in drawers and fight the urge to place decorative items in every square inch of free space. Hallways are high-traffic zones that should always be free of clutter.
Keep the path clear… Think about your route through a room and through the house. You should be able to move naturally and freely through your space without obstacles blocking the most common pathway. Consider placing your couch and other large furniture against the wall to avoid breaking up the room.
In smaller spaces, consider tables (coffee, dining) that are round or oval in shape to promote good flow, instead of square or rectangular with hard sharp edges.
The size of your furniture should be directly proportional to the room it’s in. And don’t forget about its purpose: a dining table must also take into account the size and number of chairs around it. People should be able to comfortably get in and out of their chairs, and there should still be room to walk around the table when everyone is seated.
Let air flow through and around heavy furniture. Avoid piling boxes and storage containers underneath beds and dressers. They look messy and attract dust. Instead, hide them away in a closet with a closed door.
Create fluidity from one room to the next. Paint using a similar colour palette throughout the house. For a pop of colour or texture, add decorative accent pillows or artwork; items that can be removed or replaced at any time.
Let the light in… Avoid blocking windows at all costs, even partially. Natural light and fresh air can help to create a calm and welcoming atmosphere. Keep doorways clear as well. You should be able to fully open and close a door without bumping into any furniture.
Consider using an air purifier in your kitchen to remove food odours, or a diffuser in your bedroom or den. If using essential oils in a diffuser, choose light, refreshing scents that do not overwhelm the space.
How to maximize one of the most underrated rooms in your home
A laundry room – if you are fortunate enough to have a designated room – is one of the most underrated and important spaces in any home. Your guests may not see it and it might not be a deal-breaker for potential buyers in the future, but you are likely to spend several hours (at least…) each week in the laundry room. That means, while it doesn’t have to be fancy, it does need to be functional, clean and easy to navigate.
Here are some tips to help make your laundry room easier and more enjoyable to use:
Make sure your appliances are the right size and in the correct location for your space. The layout of your laundry room will revolve around the washer and dryer, so consider carefully where and how you place these machines. Of course, the water and power supplies will be a big factor. If you have room to stack your laundry machines, this can open up a lot of floor space. If not, place them side-by-side so you can use the top as a work space. Tight on space? Many retailers sell condo-sized machines that even fit in a closet. The maximum load size is smaller, but they take up much less space.
Storage and organization are key. You will need cabinets and/or shelves to keep your laundry detergent, household cleaning supplies and extra towels and linens. The laundry room likely also doubles as your broom closet. If you don’t have enough space to install a tall cabinet for your broom, mop and ironing board, consider hanging wall hooks behind the door to avoid having these items strewn messily on the floor. Remember to make room for larger items like laundry baskets and buckets, likely on or under a floating shelf.
A work surface where you can sort and fold laundry can be very helpful. Even in a small space, a countertop can be installed on top of your side-by-side washer and dryer. And, if you prefer to hang-dry your laundry, you may want to install a clothing rod for hangers or a drying rack that folds up to the wall.
A deep sink or tub is a super handy addition to any laundry room. And, with a couple of cabinets below, it’s a great place to store cleaning supplies and smaller appliances, like an iron or steamer.
Consider swapping out a traditional door for a pocket door. If you have the option to install a pocket door, it can free up wall space inside the laundry room and improve your freedom of movement within it.
Choose materials that are durable, as well as easy to clean and maintain. For countertops, choose a non-porous stone like quartz that will not easily damage with heat or chemicals. For cabinet doors, melamine is durable and cost-effective. Select a panel with flat finish that is easy to wipe clean. For flooring, ceramic and porcelain tiles are easiest to clean, however vinyl flooring is less expensive and is also water-resistant.
Brighten up the space. Paint the walls a crisp white or a bright blue or yellow to make your laundry room feel larger. You might not have windows to let natural light into the room, so install bright task lighting overhead.
Classic European inspired 5 bedroom, 4 bath executive home located in the prestigious “The Uplands” neighbourhood in Anmore.
Experience stunning mountain views in a private rural lot, just a short drive for the city.
Perfect for entertaining, with a dream kitchen complete with solid wood cabinets, SS appliances, granite countertops & expansive kitchen island. Family room French doors open to massive outdoor deck with 2 gas hookups.
Rest easy in the large primary bedroom complete with gas fireplace, walk in closet, shower & soaker tub. Property boosts in ground sprinklers, aircon, custom blinds & beautiful wooden floors.
Walkout basement has suite potential with plumbing & electrical in wall+private balcony, 2 bedrooms, & rec room.
Don’t miss out on this perfect balance of natural & elegance.
March 28, 2023 – According to Royal LePage, the aggregate price of a single-family home in Canada’s recreational regions is forecast to decrease 4.5 per cent in 2023 to $592,005, compared to 2022, as activity in the market wanes. This is due to reduced demand as a result of economic uncertainty and a lack of available housing stock, which has helped to keep prices stable. Despite a modest decrease expected this year, the national aggregate price would remain more than 32 per cent above 2020 levels, after two years of double-digit price gains in the country’s recreational real estate market.
With the exception of Alberta, which is expected to see a 0.5 per cent increase, all of Canada’s provincial recreational markets are forecast to see a decrease in single-family home prices in 2023. The province of Quebec is forecasting the greatest price depreciation, at -8.0 per cent.
In 2022, the aggregate price of a single-family home in Canada’s recreational property regions increased 11.7 per cent year-over-year to $619,900. This follows year-over-year price gains of 26.6 per cent in 2021. When broken out by housing type, the aggregate price of a single-family waterfront property increased 9.5 per cent year-over-year to $736,900 in 2022, and the aggregate price of a condominium rose 16.6 per cent to $432,000 during the same period.
“After two years of relentless year-round competition, Canada’s recreational property markets have slowed and returned to traditional seasonal sales patterns,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “While interest rate hikes have less of an impact on the recreational market than homes in urban settings, because families typically put more money down and borrow less, general consumer inflation combined with a severe lack of inventory has dampened sales activity. Buyers who are active in today’s market appear willing to wait for the right property – a sharp contrast to what we experienced during the pandemic.”
While low inventory poses a challenge for buyers looking for that special cabin or lakeside cottage, the coinciding contraction in demand has resulted in a return to more normal market conditions.
Return to balance: Supply and demand decline in recreational regions
According to a survey of more than 200 Royal LePage recreational real estate professionals across the country, 57 per cent of respondents reported less inventory this year, compared to last year. At the same time, 51 per cent of respondents said they have witnessed less demand for recreational properties in their region, compared to this time last year. When compared to typical pre-pandemic levels, 65 per cent of recreational property experts nationally reported less inventory, while a majority reported similar (38%) or more (38%) demand.
“Recreational homebuyers tend to purchase for leisure and life-enriching purposes. Call it a want versus a need,” added Soper. “Unlike many city buyers who may need to acquire a principal residence quickly, secondary home purchasers often have the benefit of time to find the right property for their specific needs.”
Nationally, 28 per cent of recreational property experts surveyed said that the trend of homeowners moving back to urban or suburban communities after relocating to their region full-time during the pandemic is somewhat common; 56 per cent of experts reported this trend was not common in their market. Atlantic Canada, a pandemic relocation hotspot, recorded the highest percentage of experts who said the return to urban or suburban areas is somewhat common in their region, at 46 per cent.
“During the pandemic, with offices closed and people working from home, Canadians discovered that a recreational property could double as a principal residence, complete with capital gains exempt status,” added Soper. “With high-speed internet now readily available in many rural markets, families flocked to recreational regions to put extra space between themselves and their neighbours and to take advantage of nature; particularly when cultural and sporting venues, shops and restaurants in cities were closed. Many urban businesses now require employees to be in the office at least a few days a week, making long commutes challenging. For many, living in cottage country full-time has lost its romantic shine, meaning we are back to viewing the cottage, cabin and chalet as a weekend and summer escape from urban living.”
In 2022, the aggregate price of a single-family home in the East Coast’s recreational property market increased 17.2 per cent year-over-year to $279,900, compared to 2021. During the same period, the aggregate price of a single-family waterfront property increased 9.1 per cent to $388,500, while the aggregate price of a condominium increased 18.6 per cent to $345,000.
According to a Royal LePage survey of recreational property experts, 62 per cent of respondents in Atlantic Canada reported less inventory this year compared to last year, and 69 per cent reported less inventory compared to typical pre-pandemic levels. Demand for recreational properties in the region has also decreased significantly. Forty-six per cent reported less demand this year than last year.
“Parties on both sides of the transaction are waiting for a better deal – recreational buyers are sitting on the sidelines waiting for more inventory to become available, while sellers are holding out for higher offers and competitive bids. But, the multiple-offer scenarios and homes selling over-asking are not as common today as they were during the pandemic boom,” said Corey Huskilson, sales representative, Royal LePage Atlantic in South Shore, Nova Scotia. “As we enter the spring market, I expect activity to pick up but prices to stay stable, as supply and demand remain relatively balanced.”
During the pandemic, Canadians from all across the country who were forced to work remotely flocked to Atlantic Canada for the opportunity to enjoy the Maritime lifestyle and own a home at a much more affordable price point than in major cities. According to the survey, 46 per cent of recreational property experts in Atlantic Canada said that the trend of homeowners moving back to urban or suburban communities after relocating to their region full-time during the pandemic was somewhat common; an additional 8 per cent said it was very common. Meanwhile, an equal number of respondents (46%) said that this trend was not common in their area.
“The majority of recreational property buyers in Avalon Peninsula are either looking for a retirement property, or are locals moving back from other parts of the country who want a secondary property to enjoy in their downtime,” said Tim Crosbie, broker and owner, Royal LePage Property Consultants in St. John’s, Newfoundland. “Home prices have risen here over the past year, as have interest rates, which has given some buyers reason to halt their purchase plans. While most secondary homebuyers looking in the region are motivated to find a property that fits their specific needs, they are prepared to wait for the right home to fall within their financial reach.”
Crosbie noted that the reduced buyer demand is a result of higher interest rates, and that a reduction in borrowing costs would likely encourage more purchasers back into the buying pool.
The aggregate price of a single-family home in Atlantic Canada’s recreational regions is forecast to decrease a modest 3.0 per cent in 2023 to $271,503.
In 2022, the aggregate price of a single-family home in Quebec’s recreational property market increased 16.1 per cent year-over-year to $373,400, compared to 2021. During the same period, the aggregate price of a single-family waterfront property increased 17.3 per cent to $480,200, and the aggregate price of a condominium increased 22.3 per cent to $341,900.
According to a Royal LePage survey of recreational property experts, 53 per cent of respondents in the province of Quebec reported less inventory this year compared to last year, and 79 per cent reported less inventory compared to typical pre-pandemic levels. Demand for recreational properties in the region has also decreased significantly. Seventy-six per cent reported less demand this year compared to last year, and 35 per cent reported less demand than a typical pre-pandemic year.
“We are in a two-speed market with sharply contrasting scenarios,” said Éric Léger, chartered real estate broker, Royal LePage Humania. “On one hand, the inventory of properties for sale is steadily increasing and so is the number of motivated sellers willing to lower their asking price. But on the other hand, we’re seeing multiple-offer scenarios with properties that are ideally located, well-maintained and listed at a fair price,” he continued. “It can be challenging for consumers to stay on top of the market trends because we’re still in a transition. Over the next few months, owners of secondary homes in the region may need to rethink their priorities as their mortgages come up for renewal at substantially higher interest rates.”
Léger noted that the spring market in the area may be less buoyant this year because of current economic uncertainty. However, demand in the lower price ranges will remain strong.
According to the survey, 26 per cent of recreational property experts in Quebec said that they have witnessed a slight increase in buyers who intend to use their recreational property for rental purposes in their region compared to last year, while 18 per cent of respondents reported a significant increase in this trend.
“The real estate market in the Eastern Townships today is vastly different from what we saw during the past three years,” said Véronique Boucher, residential real estate broker, Royal LePage Au Sommet. “Buyers are more patient; they’re negotiating and they’re taking time to carefully assess their needs and their financial capacity before taking the plunge. Conditional offers to purchase, which were practically unheard of during the pandemic real estate boom, made a big comeback in the latter half of 2022, a sign of a much more balanced and fair market.
The aggregate price of a single-family home in Quebec’s recreational regions is forecast to decrease 8.0 per cent in 2023 to $343,528.
In 2022, the aggregate price of a single-family home in Ontario’s recreational property market increased 7.3 per cent year-over-year to $634,800, compared to 2021. During the same period, the aggregate price of a single-family waterfront property increased 8.9 per cent to $1,006,600, while the aggregate price of a condominium increased 15.1 per cent to $510,900.
According to a Royal LePage survey of recreational property experts, 61 per cent of respondents in Ontario reported less inventory this year compared to last year, and 59 per cent reported less inventory compared to typical pre-pandemic levels. Demand for recreational properties in the region has also decreased significantly. Fifty-two per cent reported less demand this year compared to last year, however 39 per cent said demand was higher than a typical pre-pandemic year.
“After two years of historically high pandemic-driven sales, activity in the recreational market came to a comparative standstill in the last half of 2022. Rising interest rates, buyer fatigue, and lack of inventory all played a role,” said John O’Rourke, broker, Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka. “Early signs this spring point to a more balanced market where inventory levels and sales are trending in line with historical norms. Traditional cottage buyers – end users that plan on enjoying their property – are still engaged and seem eager to jump back into a market in which they are not competing with the investment-focused buyer; a prominent player during the pandemic boom.”
According to the survey, 35 per cent of recreational property experts in Ontario said that the trend of homeowners moving back to urban or suburban communities after relocating to their region full-time during the pandemic was somewhat common. Forty-nine per cent of respondents said this trend was not common in their area.
“Buying a recreational property is like a marathon, not a sprint. Secondary homebuyers in Rideau Lakes have the luxury of time and are looking for a very specific lifestyle property. A shortage of recreational homes makes this process even more difficult,” said Pauline Aunger, broker of record, Royal LePage Advantage Real Estate. “Due to the high demand for renovation services, recreational buyers today are looking for a move-in ready property that requires less work. This includes high-speed internet and good cell service for those who want peace of mind or the option to work remotely. As we head into the spring months, we are expecting market activity to pick up, although not at the levels experienced over the last two years.”
While home prices in a select few recreational markets in Ontario, including the ever-popular Southern Georgian Bay area, may increase marginally over the next year, a decline in activity overall is expected to dampen price growth.
The aggregate price of a single-family home in Ontario’s recreational regions is forecast to decrease 5.0 per cent in 2023 to $603,060.
In 2022, the aggregate price of a single-family home in the Prairie provinces’ recreational property market increased 6.0 per cent year-over-year to $271,300, compared to 2021. During the same period, the aggregate price of a single-family waterfront property increased 5.6 per cent to $507,000.
According to a Royal LePage survey of recreational property experts, 56 per cent of respondents in the Prairies reported less inventory this year compared to last year, and more than three quarters (78%) of respondents said that demand levels are comparable to last year.
“Business is faring as usual in our recreational markets. Demand and inventory are proportional to one another, creating balanced market conditions. Reduced supply has kept recreational property prices buoyant,” said Lou Doderai, broker and owner, Royal LePage Icon Realty, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. “The North Central recreation areas are only a couple hours drive from two of the province’s major urban areas, meaning many of our buyers are locals looking for secondary residences that provide an escape for the weekend. Although higher interest rates have halted some purchasers’ decisions to buy a property – at least temporarily – I expect we’ll see a modest pick up in market activity once the warmer weather arrives.”
According to the survey, 44 per cent of recreational property experts in the Prairies said that they have witnessed a significant increase in buyers who intend to use their recreational properties for rental purposes in their region, compared to last year. An additional 33 per cent of respondents reported a slight increase in this trend.
“The recreational market in Lac du Bonnet is the healthiest it’s been in 15 years. The pandemic caused more Manitoba buyers to purchase recreational properties in-province as opposed to south of the border; a level of demand that has caused the average days on market to shrink considerably,” said Rolf Hitzer, broker and owner, Royal LePage Top Producers Real Estate, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “More than ever, buyers crave a getaway to the countryside, a desire that was intensified by the pandemic and increased demand for all-season properties. As market conditions continue to normalize, I expect to see an active, but not overheated, spring and summer recreational buying season.”
The aggregate price of a single-family home in the Prairies’ recreational regions is forecast to decrease a modest 3.0 per cent in 2023 to $263,161, as sidelined buyers remain cautious amid evolving economic conditions.
In 2022, the aggregate price of a single-family home in Alberta’s recreational property market increased 13.3 per cent year-over-year to $1,165,500, compared to 2021. During the same period, the aggregate price of a single-family waterfront property decreased 5.0 per cent to $641,900, while the aggregate price of a condominium increased 17.7 per cent to $646,000. As a large and popular recreational destination, Canmore’s real estate market has a significant impact on prices in Alberta, with its proximity to Banff National Park and luxury properties.
According to a Royal LePage survey of recreational property experts, 59 per cent of respondents in Alberta reported less inventory this year compared to last year, and 71 per cent reported less inventory compared to typical pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, demand for recreational properties in the region has remained stable. Thirty-five per cent of respondents reported similar demand this year compared to last year, and an additional 35 per cent reported more demand.
“Buyer demand for recreational properties in Canmore continues to be driven by retirees and Albertans living in the surrounding cities, as well as residents from Ontario and Quebec. As Canmore attracts many cash buyers, higher interest rates have had little impact on this market, a factor that has kept prices stable,” said Brad Hawker, associate broker, Royal LePage Solutions. “Low supply continues to be a challenge, an issue that has been underscored by the lack of new construction projects. This has caused many buyer hopefuls to sit on the sidelines, waiting for their ideal property to become available.”
According to the survey, 65 per cent of recreational property experts in Alberta said that the trend of homeowners moving back to urban or suburban communities after relocating to their region full-time during the pandemic was not common, another factor contributing to the supply shortage.
“We are experiencing a lack of turnover in the Wabamun Lake and Lac Ste. Anne markets. Coveted recreational homes, especially those on the water, are more likely to be passed down through the generations, a trend that is exacerbating the region’s low level of supply,” said Tom Shearer, broker, Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate. “Those shopping for a recreational home are often locals from nearby cities who already have a personal connection to the area and are looking for a retreat to enjoy with family on the weekends and in the summer months. Unlike a primary residence, most buyers shopping for a vacation home can afford to wait for the perfect property to present itself.”
The aggregate price of a single-family home in Alberta’s recreational regions is forecast to increase modestly by 0.5 per cent in 2023 to $1,171,328. This is the only region in Canada forecasting price growth over the next year.
In 2022, the aggregate price of a single-family home in British Columbia’s recreational property market increased 12.9 per cent year-over-year to $1,071,300, compared to 2021. During the same period, the aggregate price of a single-family waterfront property increased 5.6 per cent to $1,065,000, while the aggregate price of a condominium increased 14.3 per cent to $441,400.
According to a Royal LePage survey of recreational property experts, 49 per cent of respondents in British Columbia reported less inventory this year compared to last year, and 71 per cent reported less inventory compared to typical pre-pandemic levels. Demand for recreational properties in the region has also decreased significantly. Forty-nine per cent reported less demand this year compared to last year.
“Like many recreational markets across the country, Pemberton and Whistler continue to experience low inventory. Come springtime, I anticipate that supply levels will rise as more sellers move into the market, but I don’t expect there to be a huge wave of relief,” said Frank Ingham, associate broker, Royal LePage Sussex. “Many buyers continue to wait on the sidelines for prices to fall or for borrowing costs to become more affordable, especially those purchasers who are buying for their retirement or for their adult children to enjoy. This trend is creating more pent-up demand on the sidelines, and is causing properties to stay on the market twice as long as last year. However, as the spring market gains momentum, I expect more homes that have been sitting on the shelves will start to move into the hands of buyers.”
According to the survey, 54 per cent of recreational property experts in British Columbia said that the trend of homeowners moving back to urban or suburban communities after relocating to their region full-time during the pandemic was not common, a factor contributing to the supply shortage.
The aggregate price of a single-family home in British Columbia’s recreational regions is forecast to decrease a modest 2.0 per cent in 2023 to $1,049,874, as moderate activity is expected while buyers wait for more product to come onto the market.
About the Royal LePage Recreational Property Report
The Royal LePage Recreational Property Report compiles insights, data and forecasts from 50 markets. Median price data was compiled and analyzed by Royal LePage for the period between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022, and January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Data was sourced through local brokerages and boards in each of the surveyed regions. Royal LePage’s aggregate home price is based on a weighted model using median prices. Data availability is based on a transactional threshold and whether regional data is available using the report’s standard housing types. Aggregate prices may change from previous reports due to a change in the number of participating regions.
About the Royal LePage Recreational Property Advisor Survey
A national online survey of 202 brokers and sales representatives serving buyers and sellers in Canada’s recreational property regions. The survey was conducted between March 1, 2023 and March 18, 2023.
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 approximately 20,000 real estate professionals in over 670 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, which has been dedicated to supporting women’s shelters and domestic violence prevention programs for 25 years. 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.
In the colder winter months, we tend to spend a lot of time indoors. Looking at the same walls over and over again can seem stagnant and stale, so why not add a splash of new colour to your interiors to freshen things up?
North America’s top paint companies have once again released their colour choices of the year; hues that will define interior design, décor and marketing trends for 2023.
Here are the 2023 colours of the year from some of the most influential paint brands:
Taking cues from nature and the red family, Pantone’s Viva Magenta is said to stir feelings of power, strength and unrestrained self-expression. This vibrant pink-red is a statement colour that is inspired by the natural dye cochineal, and is a stark contrast to the company’s cool-toned 2022 colour of the year, Very Peri.
This muted aqua tone offers an eye-popping statement colour to add to an accent wall or ceiling. Glidden’s Vining Ivy couples nicely with deep wood tones and off-white cabinets or trim, making it a good pick for kitchens and living rooms.
Blank Canvas by Behr could be the perfect neutral to match with similar cozy colours. A light, warm beige, Behr’s 2023 colour of the year is compatible with navies, forest greens and greys in any room, whether it’s a relaxing primary bedroom or a welcoming front entryway.
Self-described as a “soulful-yet-subtle hue,” Redend Point by Sherwin-Williams brings a touch of earth-like ambience into your interiors. Expressing an aura of intrigue, calmness and minimalism, this soft brown shade pairs well with other warm variations of cream, red and green.
Similar to a coral but with a subtle pink undertone, Benjamin Moore’s Raspberry Blush is described as a charismatic colour. This orange-red could be the perfect paint choice for anyone looking to make their walls, wainscotting, or perhaps just a powder room, feel upbeat and optimistic.
When it comes to selling your home, making a positive first impression on a potential buyer is a crucial part of the process.
Many sellers opt to stage their home – either through professional services or their own efforts – to make their space look more appealing to buyers, both in-person and online. Staging is a popular real estate marketing strategy that is effective at attracting purchaser interest, garnering offers at higher prices and selling homes quicker.
If you’re preparing to list your property on the market soon, here are the dos and don’ts of staging your home for sale.
DO – Depersonalize your space
Buyers want to visualize themselves living in their potential new home, a fantasy that can be hard to conceptualize in a space that is decked out with the seller’s belongings.
To help buyers build an attachment to a property, it’s important to depersonalize. This means removing any family photos, collectables, diplomas and other personal items. Consider depersonalizing your walls and furniture too. Busy accent walls, bold wallpaper and quirky fixtures speak to the specific tastes of the owner. Softening your home with neutral colours and fabrics can help make a potential buyer feel more at home.
However, it’s important not to strip your space completely of personality. When staging, stick with basic accent pieces, such as a vase of flowers or simple throw pillows, to liven up the room.
DON’T – Overlook unfavourable smells
When buyers enter your home, they aren’t just judging your property with their eyes. All senses are engaged, including smell.
Unappealing odours due to mould, pets and garbage can quickly turn off a potential purchaser, so be sure to tackle them before you welcome any showings. Take out the trash and scoop the litter box regularly. If the smell of mildew is present, give your showers and tubs a thorough clean, and schedule a visit from a contractor to rule out any mould-spawning water leaks.
Don’t fill the room with artificial air fresheners either – add subtle natural scents such as fresh linen, baked goods or potted herbs to entice the senses.
DO – Improve the lighting
Dark interiors can make spaces feel cramped and uninviting, so introduce an abundance of light into your home.
When staging for photographs or showings, open all of the blinds and drapes, and remove obstructions away from windows to let in as much natural light as possible. You can also boost the amount of lighting in the home with a layered approach. In addition to ceiling lights, use a mix of floor lamps, wall sconces, undermount lighting and table lamps to brighten your space for potential purchasers.
DON’T – Forget about curb appeal
Buyers can easily make a snap judgement about your property from the minute they arrive on the street, so get things off to a good start from the get-go by staging your home’s exterior too.
Begin with a simple clean up, like mowing the grass, power washing the siding and walkways, and freeing the lawn and eavestroughs of any fallen leaves or branches. Be sure to repair any broken porch lights or wonky house numbers. Complete your property’s refreshed façade with a clean doormat and some inviting potted plants or hanging baskets on the front porch. And, don’t underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint on the front door!
DO – Rearrange your furniture
It is possible to have too much furniture – overstuffed rooms can give the illusion that there is a lack of spaciousness. When staging your home for sale, don’t be afraid to put some items in storage or swap furniture out to achieve an appealing layout that buyer’s can easily walk through. If space permits, pull furniture away from the walls to allow for more movement and reduce any dead space in the centre of the room.
More than a quarter of Canadians who put their home purchase plans on hold over the last year say they will resume their search this spring
Climbing interest rates have given many Canadian homebuyers reason to pause their purchase plans over the last year. Nearly one quarter of Canadians (24%) were in the market for a new home this past year, and 63% of them say they postponed their plans due to rising rates, according to a recent Royal LePage survey, conducted by Maru/Blue.1 Now, with the Bank of Canada placing a hold on the overnight lending rate for the first time since March of 2022, many homebuyers intend to resume their purchasing plans once again. Of those who say they postponed their plans, 62% now intend to return to the market.
The survey found that more than a quarter (26%) of Canadians who put their home purchase plans on hold over the last year due to rising interest rates will resume their search this spring, following the Bank of Canada’s announcement last week to hold the overnight lending rate at 4.5%. Meanwhile, more than one third (36%) say they plan to move forward with their buying intentions, but will wait for the central bank to maintain the current rate for several consecutive months. Some 25% of those who postponed their home buying goals stated that they do not intend to resume their plans in the near future.
“Eight times a year, the Bank of Canada announces changes to its key interest rate, and for eight consecutive meetings, they aggressively raised rates in an effort to tame runaway inflation. On March 8th, 2023 they did nothing and doing nothing was a very big deal,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “Based on our just-completed national survey, this was the signal that many Canadians were waiting for – an indication that it was safe to wade back into the housing market to search for the family home they so desperately want or need.”
Of the Canadians who stated that their home buying plans were postponed on account of the increased cost of borrowing, 65% report that higher interest rates have greatly reduced the value of home they can afford. Meanwhile, 28% of respondents say rates have somewhat reduced this value. Of those who chose to postpone their home purchase plans, two-thirds (67%) are between the ages of 18 and 34.
For those Canadians who intend to jump back into the housing market, many are gravitating towards a fixed rate mortgage, which can shelter homeowners from fluctuating interest rates. More than half (53%) say they would choose a four- or five-year fixed rate mortgage, and 17% say they would choose a short-term fixed-rate mortgage (1-3 years). Some 16% of respondents say they would opt for a variable rate mortgage.
“The Bank of Canada has indicated that it believes the rate hikes completed over the past twelve months are working their way through the economy, and that inflation should fall to three per cent by mid-year,” continued Soper. “While stating that they believe this period of rising rates is behind us, the bank qualified the statement, stating that if needed, it will increase rates again in the future. That said, it is unlikely we will see another period of back-to-back rate hikes in the near future.
“In recent weeks, well-priced properties in some popular neighbourhoods with low inventory have already seen multiple offers,” added Soper. “We anticipate that signs of stable economic conditions will lead to a more normalized spring market.”
Despite more pronounced economic challenges south of the border, Canada’s economy has remained stable throughout this period of correction. In the wake of the collapse of two U.S. banks, industry regulators are taking a cautiously optimistic approach, noting that while no bank is immune, Canadian financial institutions – even smaller ones – are more resilient to increased interest rates due to the strict federal regulations imposed upon them, as evidenced during the 2008 financial crisis when the Canadian housing market and its banking sector performed better than the U.S.
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As for what that means for mortgage lending, Shaun Cathcart, Senior Economist at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), predicts primary-based mortgage payments will continue to rise dramatically until the Bank of Canada (BoC) reaches its terminal rate.
Variable rate mortgages will hit their ‘trigger rate’
“The ‘terminal rate’ as it’s called, meaning where they’re expected to stop, has gone from 3.5% (they’re at 3.25% now) on the overnight rate back in the spring to closer to 4.5% now,” writes Cathcart. As such, those carrying variable rate mortgages are now facing their “trigger rates,” meaning those borrowers will face higher monthly payments if interest rates remain high.
In December 2022, Canada’s inflation rate fell 0.6% from the previous month to 6.3% which will certainly inform the BoC’s next interest rate decision scheduled for January 25, 2023. If more hikes happen this year, variable rate mortgage carriers will not only find themselves with high monthly payments to cope with, but those payments are likely to cover more interest and less of the loan’s principal amount, translating to a longer payback period overall.
Meanwhile, data from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) forecasts the average Canadian variable mortgage rate will rise to 6.35% in the first half of 2023, decreasing “only slightly” to 6.1% in Q3 2023 and 5.85% in Q4 2023.
Fixed rate mortgages ‘not safe for the next five years’
At present, variable rate mortgages have higher monthly payments than fixed rate mortgage payments. However, Cathcart cautions “those with fixed rate mortgages are not safe for the next five years.”
He continues, “[fixed rate mortgages] come up for renewal every day. People paying attention are rightfully worried. People who have not been paying attention could be in for some serious sticker shock.”
According to data from Ratehub, the five-year fixed rate in 2018 was 2.94%. At the end of 2022, it had increased to 4.54%. For a $400,000 mortgage on a 25-year term, this would mean monthly payments increased from $1,881 to $2,223.
Predicting where rates are heading in 2023 will continue to be a challenge given the uncertainty of the economy and real estate market, which will leave fixed-rate carriers to speculate where the market might be headed and whether it’s more prudent to lock in a short- or long-term fixed rate.
New borrowers may bite the bullet… or find themselves priced out
Substantial rate hikes are most likely behind Canadians, and consumers have had some time to adjust their spending and home buying budgets accordingly. If prospective buyers return to the market, things could heat up once again as low inventory continues to be an issue across Canada.
Of course, depending on the Bank of Canada’s next moves, things could go another way. The high cost of borrowing could also keep prospective buyers on the sidelines, which could serve to lower demand, curb competition, and soften Canadian housing markets. It’s truly too soon to tell.
In any case, Canada’s population is rapidly growing and housing demand isn’t going anywhere. Instead, demand will likely be absorbed in the rental market, according to Cathcart.
“In that sense, this is a continuation of the same story—those who got into the market early are unlikely to be affected by rapidly rising rates and are also unlikely to see the value of their properties decline all that much from the peak. Meanwhile, those who bought recently at elevated prices, and those in the rental market, may be in for a tougher ride over the next few years.”
If you’re thinking of buying or selling this year, be sure to work with a local REALTOR® to get their professional expertise on what’s going on in the market where you live (or might like to), and what your best options are.
Feel more confident in the kitchen, get your meals made more quickly and be a more organized hostess with these easy tips.
With a place for everything and everything in its place, an organized kitchen just feels more beautiful. Here, we present genius storage solutions from Remodelista: The Organized Home for the most-used room in your house.
1. THINK LIKE A SHOPPER.
In retail parlance, it’s called merchandising: the art of arranging goods so they’re easy to access and visually appealing. Here are six principles from Sam Hamilton, kitchen designer and owner of March, a couture kitchen boutique in San Francisco. Apply them to your kitchen, and you’ll have a much more “shoppable” space.
Use shallow pantry storage. The items that are visible are the ones you’ll use (just as with the retail mantra, “What you can see is what sells”). So line up your goods in the front, and make use of risers in the back. When installing storage, measure accordingly: “You don’t want shelves that hold more than two rows of cans,” advises Sam. “Anything deeper, and things get lost in the void.”
Create zones. Just as retailers group goods by theme, you should set up areas in your kitchen for food prep, coffee making and so on. Cluster culinary essentials on trays to anchor them.
Consider proximity. Daily dishware belongs on the shelves closest to your sink and dishwasher, for ease of loading and unloading.
Leave yourself elbow room at the sink. Keep your work area as clear as a checkout counter. Ask yourself, What do I use here all the time? Relocate the rest.
Conquer drawer space by dividing it. Size up what you’re stowing and create compartments accordingly so that nothing is free-floating or jumbled. You can buy ready-made drawer inserts from big-box or storage stores.
Look up, look down. In stores, plenty of inventory is kept on hand but out of sight. The same rule applies in kitchens: Deep corner cabinets work well as appliance garages. And high cabinets are ideal for storing occasionally used tableware. For access to these spots, keep a stepstool or a rolling ladder handy.
2. BE PREPARED FOR AN INSTANT COCKTAIL PARTY.
You’re more likely to throw an impromptu drinks or dinner party when your tabletop elements are kept at the ready in one place. A kitchen or dining area drawer is especially useful for this kit. Pro tip: Store the items on trays so you can lift them out for quick delivery to the table – and then use the trays for serving.
The Essentials: Bar tools (corkscrew, bottle opener, jigger and mixing spoon); tapers and tea lights; matches; ice bucket; glasses; trays.
Also Cconsider: Ready-for-the-table flatware sets in pockets (pouches sized for a fork, spoon and knife make setting the table a fait accompli); cloth napkins rolled in napkin rings.
3. PRETTY THE PANTRY.
A jumble of assorted packaging – cereal boxes; sacks of flour and sugar; plastic bags of dried beans and pasta – makes it impossible to use your cabinets efficiently. Take a moment to decant your pantry essentials before loading them onto shelves (buy in bulk when possible), and you’ll gain space, order and a much prettier overall picture.
Designer Michaela Scherrer created open storage in her own kitchen by removing old cabinet doors she didn’t like. A decanting devotee, she stocks her shelves with a harmonious mix of Weck glass canning jars for dry goods, stacked tins for herbs and spices and cardboard boxes to fill with tea.
4. THINK LIKE A CHEF.
In a professional kitchen, space is almost always at a premium, so tools need to be easy to grab and work counters have to be kept clear. So who better to look to for culinary storage tricks than Dana Cowin, former longtime editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine. Here are five organizing tips she learned on the job.
Adhere to the French notion of mise en place (everything in its place). In a chef’s kitchen, the spoons never migrate. The pans are always where they were the last time you used them. “Think Julia Child and her pegboard for pots,” says Dana.
Keep everything visible and within arm’s reach. Hang pots and pans from S hooks, suspend utensils from a rail and store knives in a rack (so they don’t overlap and become dull). According to Dana, “Chefs would abolish most drawers if they could.
Pare down. Because of cost and space restrictions, chefs limit themselves to only the most necessary equipment.
Buy staples in bulk and repackage them in smaller easy-to-store tubs. Yes, even chefs advocate decanting, especially for ingredients like flour, sugar and cornmeal. And there’s no lugging required: In their new containers, these staples should be lined up and readily accessible, whether on a shelf or tucked away in a drawer.
Shop at restaurant-supply stores. These are great places to buy things for the home, such as cutting boards, white plates and stainless steel pot racks. The goods are well priced and made for heavy use.