Spring is synonymous with renewal, and now that the season is finally here, it’s the perfect time to try new things. Why not rearrange your living space and enhance your sense of wellbeing? One popular decor style is inspired by Feng Shui, a Chinese philosophy that has taken the west by storm and focuses on the free flow of energy, or Chi, from one room to the next.
With a few pointers from this Chinese art of living, you can create a harmonious atmosphere in your own home.
The first step in creating a restful space is clearing away clutter. Put away all the things around your home that you don’t use or are just in the way. According to Feng Shui philosophy, when positive energy is unable to flow freely, the result can be blockages, frustration and stress. So sort through, throw away or donate the things you no longer use.
Choose suitable colours
Colour has a big impact on mood, which affects the quality of the energy flowing through a space. Cool, pastel colours, such as grey, blue and green, are known as Yin colours. They invite relaxation and are the colours of choice for your bedroom, bathroom and living room. Yang colours, like yellow, orange and red, are warm and vibrant. They energize a room and are commonly used in the kitchen, rec room and front hall.
Your home’s orientation and the amount of light in each room will also affect colour choices. A Feng Shui consultant can help you choose the best colours for your interior.
Rearrange your furniture
Try to arrange your furniture to facilitate conversation, relaxation and hospitality. If you have large pieces, like a substantial sofa or wardrobe, try to place them so they don’t block the flow of energy in your living space and are not too visually overpowering.
Include natural materials
The five elements—wood, water, earth, fire and metal—can have a positive impact on your wellbeing. Use natural decor such as plants, stones, candles and fountains to create a harmonious atmosphere and bring positive energy to your space. Plants, for example, are a great way to add vitality to a room, and they improve air quality too. According to some schools of thought, stones and crystals bring stability and serenity to a space, while candles create a warm, welcoming ambiance. Fountains can contribute a tranquil and rejuvenating energy and provide a soothing soundscape.
Avoid sharp angles
Opt for soft and curved shapes in your decor, such as round or oval tables, plush cushions and soft carpets, to enhance positive energy. If you have furniture or objects with sharp angles, you can soften their appearance by covering them with fabric or adding rounded cushions or accessories.
Create a meditation space
In Feng Shui philosophy, meditation and relaxation are essential practices for calming the mind and enhancing wellbeing. The best way to accomplish this is to create a space in your home used only for meditation and relaxation. The space could be an entire room or just a quiet corner in your living room or bedroom. The key is to choose a calm, peaceful area where you can relax without distractions.
You can add decorative elements to this space to enhance relaxation and meditation, such as comfortable cushions, soft rugs, scented candles, incense and plants. You can also add items specifically designed for meditation, like a meditation cushion or bench. What’s important is to create a space that promotes relaxation and is a reflection of you.
Whether you’ve just moved to your dream apartment or you’re simply rearranging your living space, the key is to feel zen and serene in your home. For even more peace of mind, don’t forget about home insurance. If you need to make a claim, your home will be covered and your sense of serenity will be complete. Apply for an insurance policy online with just a few clicks and spend more time enjoying your Feng Shui space.
Try the Feng Shui method now and rediscover your inner peace!
Royal LePage professionals understand that a house is only a home if the people who live there feel safe.
25 years ago, Royal LePagers unanimously agreed that helping women and children find safety from domestic abuse should be where they channeled their big hearts and charitable efforts. Since its founding on August 26, 1998, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation has grown to become the largest public foundation in Canada dedicated exclusively to this important cause.
In order to fund this life-saving and life-changing work, many Royal LePagers have made generous donations from their commissions each time they've helped a client buy or sell. They have also hosted and attended local fundraising events of all shapes and sizes, hiked hundreds of kilometers as part of the ‘Challenge for Shelter’ series, purchased thousands of ‘Shelter Blooms’ tulip bulbs, and donated and bid on countless Shelter Auction items - including our very famous Faux Fur Coat!
As fundraising revenues and personal donations have grown over the past two and half decades, so too has our collective understanding of the complexities of domestic violence. Following closely the work of experts, educators, and front-line shelter workers, we now know that:
Intimate partner violence doesn’t always show up as bruises or physical injuries. Psychological, emotional and financial abuse can be just as harmful.
While violence and abuse can happen to any woman, some are at much greater risk and have less access to helpful services, including Indigenous women, Black and racialized women, 2SLGBTQIA people, young women, women with disabilities, and women living in rural or remote communities.
There are complex reasons why people stay in abusive relationships, as well as significant barriers and risks of seeking help.
Children cannot be shielded from violence in their homes – even that which takes place behind closed doors – and the impacts to their mental and physical health and development can be devastating.
A safe and secure bed in a shelter is only the first of many important steps for a woman fleeing abuse. Job training, financial literacy, affordable transitional housing, legal services, and therapy are all essential, longer-term supports that help women thrive after experiencing domestic violence.
In the face of rising rates of violence over the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing incidence of women killed each year by current or former partners, Royal LePage Shelter Foundation supporters look ahead with determination. We know that, together, we have made a difference in the lives of so many women and children. We know that with continued investment in today’s youth, the tide can be turned for many of their future dating and intimate relationships. We can envision a world where our Shelter Foundation is no longer needed because women and children are safe in their homes. And so, as we mark 25 years of progress, we look with purpose at the work that remains.
Jerry Aulenbach (front right) and guests prepare to cook a delicious Thai meal at ‘Cooking for a Cause’ in Langley, BC
Jerry Aulenbach with Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate in Edmonton, AB knows how to get creative in support of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Over a decade ago, he organized a series of tweet-ups in support of Shelter. Then, he climbed British Columbia’s famed Grouse Grind in a bacon costume in exchange for donations. Next, he criss-crossed the country for five straight winters to host skating events in all weather conditions (including -40°C in Moose Jaw) that raised more than $42,000 for domestic violence prevention. Then, there was the underground pizza party at the Royal LePage National Sales conference in Winnipeg which helped contribute to record-breaking fundraising for the Shelter Foundation.
Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, Aulenbach wanted to find a way to rebuild the connections many were craving while living by his personal motto to “never eat alone”. And so, ‘Cooking for a Cause’ was born. In total, Aulenbach hosted five hands-on, interactive cooking classes, all led by professional local chefs. Guests in New Minas learned to cook an elegant salmon en papillote, and in Victoria, the meal centered around seafood and cider. Attendees in Langley learned the ins-and-outs of Thai cuisine, those in Whitby perfected Southern fried chicken, and it was a Korean feast for participants in Toronto.
At each event, attendees separated into groups and worked on one portion of the meal which was then shared at a communal table of old and new friends, all keen to show their support for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. In total, more than $2,000 was raised, which will fund programs that help teach teens how to build healthy relationships and avoid violence in their lives.
“For me, a great food experience cannot happen without the right group of people and all of my Cooking for a Cause events delivered,” said Aulenbach. “It was very rewarding to learn new skills alongside good friends, enjoy delicious dishes, and know that our gathering was also helping support the critical work of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.”
Aulenbach looks forward to hosting more ‘Cooking for a Cause’ events in 2023. Cities are expected to include Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
Moving into a new home should be an exciting time, but without proper planning and organization, the whole experience can quickly turn into an overwhelming ordeal.
To help ease the anxieties of moving day, here’s a handy to-do list to keep you organized and on-track:
1. Plan ahead
This may seem obvious, but many people find themselves rushing to hire movers and pack their belongings in the final frantic days leading up to their big move. To avoid the stress this can cause, and to ensure moving day flows smoothly, be sure to start packing at least one month in advance. Focus on one room or closet at a time, and use this as an opportunity to purge items you no longer need. Moving into a new place means starting fresh – donate, rehome or recycle those belongings that won’t serve a purpose in your new home. Remember, the first and last days of the month are popular moving days, so don’t put off booking your professional movers in advance.
2. Optimize your packing process
For safe travels and storage, pack your belongings in durable moving boxes, ideally new or ones that have little wear-and-tear. There’s also the option to rent reusable moving crates that can be returned once your move is complete. You can even hire professional packers to do it for you! To avoid sensitive items getting wet or damaged, use plastic, sealable bags and bins to protect clothing, books and important documents. And, be sure to bubble wrap glassware and fragile items to keep them from shattering in transit.
Label each moving box with the room it belongs in (ie. kitchen, bathroom, bedroom #1). Take it a step further by numbering each box and creating a tracking document to specify which boxes should go in each room. This not only makes it easier for your movers to know where to place your items, but it also helps you to keep track of all your boxes.
4. Make those small repairs before moving in
If time allows, paint the walls, deep clean the appliances, and complete any minor repairs before moving into your new place. Unsurprisingly, it is a lot better to have a fully-functioning home before you start to unpack and assemble furniture. If this is not an option for you, consider placing all your items in the garage or basement at first, or simply in the centre of a room, to allow you a few days to clean thoroughly and complete any small jobs necessary before settling into your new space.
5. Update your services and accounts
It can take time for some utilities to get up and running. Set a reminder to take your name off your current utility bills and set up accounts for services at your new place in advance of moving in. Remember to also change the mailing address on your subscriptions, delivery services, and most importantly government and banking documents.
6. Make a plan for your first night
Moving day can be a long and tiring process, so you’ll want to plan ahead for that first night. You may not have the time or energy to set up your bedroom right away, or perhaps you are having a new mattress delivered in the coming week. Book a hotel or arrange to stay with family or friends until you are ready to sleep comfortably in your new home.
Let's face it: Unless you're a minimalist, moving is one of the biggest household tasks there is and it can be extremely overwhelming. But if you can get a head start and stay organized, you should make it through this mammoth process unscathed and ready to enjoy your new abode. Here are 21 tips to help you avoid moving day chaos.
1 GET ORGANIZED EARLY
Avoid leaving anything until the last minute. Unless you have to pack up and leave in a hurry, chances are you have between 30 and 60 days to make a plan and ensure that moving day runs smoothly. Create a countdown list and itemize everything you need to accomplish week by week.
How are you going to get from point A to point B on moving day? For shorter moves, you'll either need to assemble some very nice friends with trucks or consider renting a truck for the day. If you have a big family to move or you'll be moving a long distance, you'll want to price out moving companies.
3 KEEP YOUR MOVERS IN THE LOOP
Boxes are one thing, but when you get to the big, heavy stuff, it's important to let your movers know what to expect. "Communicate with your moving company and explain all the requirements and expectations prior to booking," advises Andrew Ludzeneks, founder and current president of iMove Canada Ltd. "Your mover has to be aware of all those minor details in order to estimate your total move time and cost, and have proper equipment available." That includes informing the company about any overweight items (i.e. a piano or fridge), access restrictions (small elevator, walk-up only, narrow driveway) and whether you’ll need help with disassembly or assembly of furniture.
4 PICK THE RIGHT TRANSPORTATION
If you're moving a short distance, you may be able to get away with making more than one trip. But if you don't have that luxury, you'll need to make sure you have the right size of truck to cart your belongings in one go. "Choosing the right size is particularly important when moving farther away, as making several trips could be a problem," says Andrew, who recommends using the following guidelines when determining the size of your truck:
• In general, the contents of bachelor and one-bedroom apartments will fit in a 16' cube truck available at your local rental company. • Two to three fully furnished bedrooms will require a 24'-26' truck to ensure your move is completed in one load. • The contents of most houses can be moved in the same 24' truck with one or two trips.
5 SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURGE
Moving is a great chance to organize your belongings and get rid of items you no longer use. If the time of year permits, hold a yard sale. Or, take the time to sort and donate gently worn clothing to Goodwill, put furniture up for sale on a site like craigslist.org, recycle old magazines and catalogues and shred old documents.
6 PUT TOGETHER A PACKING KIT
If more than one person is packing, stay organized by establishing a system. Have blank inventory sheets prepared so one person can tackle each area or room. Arm each packer with a pen, black marker, and packing materials, like newspaper, a packing tape dispenser and boxes.
7 GREEN YOUR MOVE
Moving day can generate a great deal of waste like cardboard, bubble wrap and newspaper. For items you’ll be storing even once you’ve moved in, opt for the reusable plastic bins you can purchase at stores like Home Depot or Solutions. These can be labeled to go directly into closets until you’re ready to deal with the contents. You can avoid cardboard for the rest of your belongings, too, by renting plastic bins from a company like Blue Bins Unlimited. You might also consider using older linens to wrap breakables.
8 REUSE BOXES
You may still need a few cardboard boxes to round out your moving kit. A few weeks before you start packing, grab a few each time you visit the grocery store. Keep in mind that smaller boxes are easier to carry when facing stairs and narrow pathways, says Andrew.
9 TAKE INVENTORY
This is especially necessary if you’re hiring a moving company. Having a record of your household items is useful if something goes missing. Consider keeping a spreadsheet of the contents of each box. Then, assign each box a number and all you have to do is write that number on each side (maybe with the appropriate room listed, as well).
10 LABEL EVERYTHING!
Label all sides of the box (avoid the top). Whoever is carrying in your boxes might not make sure all labels are facing one way for your easy retrieval. Try labeling each side in marker so you can easily find what you need in a stack.
11 FIND OUT YOUR CONDO RULES
Moving into a condo isn’t as easy as pulling up to the front door and loading your boxes onto an elevator. Be sure to check the moving policy before scheduling your moving day. For example, some condos don’t allow move-ins on Sunday. According to Andrew, you may need to book a service elevator and a time frame for moving in. “On most occasions, your condo will ask for a security deposit in order to book a service elevator. That can range from $100 to $500 depending on your condo rules.”
12 PACK IN THINGS YOU NEED TO PACK
You need to take your luggage with you. Why not use it as a box? The same goes for dresser drawers. You may need to remove them for transport, but if you don’t have too far to go, they can be helpful for light items. “For delicate apparel that you don't want to fold, using a portable wardrobe box is the way to go,” recommends Andrew.
13 PREPARE A MOVING DAY KIT
Keep one box aside of “essentials” that you’ll need on moving day: cleaning supplies, light bulbs, toilet paper, garbage bags, a change of clothes, your toiletry bag, etc.
14 BE READY FOR YOUR MOVERS, WHETHER HIRED OR FRIENDS
Whether you have family or professional movers showing up at your door, be ready for them when they arrive. With a moving company, unless you hire packers, be ready and packed before the crew arrives, advises Andrew. “Scrambling for boxes will delay your move and increase your cost.”
15 PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES
Find a safe place to store your valuables on moving day. Insure anything that’s valuable or breakable if you’re using a moving company. And if you’re moving a computer, do a quick backup of important files just in case something happens in transit.
16 DELAY DELIVERIES
If you’ve made some new purchases, such as a couch or dining room suite, schedule the delivery after moving day. That will help you focus your attention on moving day itself and will avoid any congestion between delivery people and the movers.
17 DON’T MISTAKE BELONGINGS FOR TRASH
Try to avoid packing things in garbage bags. Well-meaning friends or family could accidentally throw them out on moving day.
18 HOOK UP ESSENTIAL SERVICES
Make sure you understand how utility bills (gas, water, electricity) will be transferred over to you from a previous owner. Also, arrange to have your phone line, cable and Internet working if necessary.
19 FIND A PET SITTER FOR THE DAY
If you have a pet that could be traumatized by a move, arrange to have them stay somewhere during moving day. If you’re hiring movers for a long-distance move, be sure to arrange your pet’s safe transport to your new home.
20 MAKE NICE WITH YOUR NEW NEIGHBOURS
Start off on the right foot by informing your immediate neighbours that you’ll be moving in and what kind of moving vehicles you’re using. If you’re moving on a weekday, make sure your truck isn’t blocking anyone’s exit. If it’s wintertime, clear your driveway of snow and ice, says Andrew. “Make sure there’s plenty of room to park the moving truck. That’s essential on busy streets otherwise you could slow down your move … increasing your total cost.”
21 TREAT YOUR MOVERS
Whether hired movers or friends and family, be sure to have food and drinks readily available for everyone. “On a hot summer day, your crew will appreciate a cold drink,” says Andrew.
Spring has officially sprung, and with the arrival of warmer weather, now is an opportune time to give your home a post-winter deep clean. A thorough spring cleaning goes beyond everyday surfaces and tackles the nooks and crannies of your living space. It’s a great time to start fresh by purging old and underused items in your garage, closets and cabinets. It’s also the perfect opportunity to perform a maintenance checkup on major household appliances, like your washing machine, stove and fridge.
Conducting a yearly maintenance checkup is not only beneficial in extending the lifespan of your appliances, but also ensures that they will be running optimally when you need them the most. Is there anything worse than your dryer breaking down before an important job interview, or the oven giving out just as your guests are set to arrive for a dinner party, or your air conditioner malfunctioning in the dead of summer?
Here’s a maintenance checklist to help ensure your large home appliances are in top shape this spring:
Coils: To clean your coils, locate where they are on your fridge – whether they’re at the bottom or at the back of the appliance – and remove the access panel. Gently remove any debris and dirt with a vacuum or brush before replacing the panel. Cleaning your fridge coils annually can actually help to reduce your electricity bill, as dirtier coils require more time and energy to chill food.
Water filter: If your fridge has a water filter, clean or replace this every five to six months to avoid impurities and contaminants in the water.
Door seals: If the door seals are leaking or don’t seem tight enough, replacing these will ensure your refrigerator is running in an energy efficient manner.
Oven and stove maintenance
Stovetop: While it’s important to give your stovetop a regular clean, a deeper scrub down is vital for preventing overheating and potential fire hazards from baked-on food particles. For electric stovetops, wipe down the cooking surface with warm, soapy water before applying a layer of glass cooktop cleaner or baking soda paste and leaving to dry. Once fully hardened, remove the paste with a scrubber or non-abrasive tool to remove baked-on food and stains. If you have a coil stove top, carefully remove each coil by hand and wash down without fully submerging in water before reassembling. For gas cooktops, be sure to remove the grates and burner caps, and wash with hot water and soap. Carefully wipe down the surface of the stove without getting the igniters or electrical components wet.
Range hood: Oven range hood filters must be cleaned or replaced to ensure proper functioning of the appliance. You can clean your filter by letting it soak in hot water and degreasing dish soap before scrubbing off the remaining debris. Allow the filters to dry completely before reinserting.
Oven door seals: Similar to refrigerator door seals, these are required to ensure ovens can heat efficiently, and should be regularly cleaned with warm water and soap, and replaced if/when necessary.
Oven drip pans and racks: Ensure oven drip pans and racks are routinely cleaned to avoid potential fire hazards. Soak greasy items in hot water with degreasing dish soap or cleaning vinegar to remove splatters, stains and food particles.
Rust removal: Remove any visible rust from your dishwasher by running an empty cycle with a calcium, lime and rust remover solution. A water and baking soda paste or a combination of water and vinegar can also be effective against rust.
Spray/pump area: Clean around this area in the base of your dishwasher to promote seamless drainage.
Filter: Hard water and leftover food can build up in your dishwasher. Cleaning the filter will extend the life of your appliance and ensure this build-up is not continually being released onto your dishes during the cleaning cycle. To clean, simply pull the cylindrical filter from the base of your dishwasher and gently wash it with a brush under warm running water.
Washing machine maintenance
Hose lines: Prevent flooding in your home by ensuring no cracks or breakage are present in your washer’s hose lines. Perform a thorough check once per year, and replace them every five years.
Washer drum: Prevent build up in the drum of your washing machine by regularly running a cleaning cycle with a dedicated cleaner or water and bleach every few months. Using a damp rag, thoroughly wipe the rubber liner and inside of the door.
Dryer vent: In addition to clearing out your dryer’s lint trap after each load, the dryer vent should be cleaned at least once per year to clear out lint build up and to prevent fire hazards. Disconnect the dryer before pulling it away from the wall and removing the dryer duct. Use your vacuum cleaner inside and around the vent to catch leftover lint. Remember to clean the exterior vent too by removing the cover and removing any debris.
Dryer drum: Using a damp rag, clean the inside of your dryer drum, the rubber liner and the door. If necessary, soak and wash the lint trap, but ensure it is completely dry before replacing it.
Air Conditioner maintenance (outdoor unit)
Condenser unit: Spring is the best time to run maintenance on your HVAC A/C unit. The weather is warm enough to run a cooling test cycle, yet not cool enough to withstand a few days with no air conditioning if your unit requires major repairs. Begin by turning off the power and removing the winter cover from your outdoor unit. Remove the cage and pull out any leaves and debris that may have accumulated on the bottom.
Fins and fan: Using a paint brush or other long bristled brush, carefully brush away any trapped dirt and debris that may be caught in the air conditioning unit’s fins and condenser fan. If necessary, vacuum the fins to pick up fine dust. It is safe to use a garden hose to wash the inside and outside of your unit, but avoid using a pressure washer as this can damage the fins. Reassemble the unit before turning the power back on.
Filters and vents: Replace filters and clean out vents on a regular basis (every one to two months) to ensure clean air is circulating through your home.
Be sure to run through this appliance maintenance checklist every spring to keep your appliances operating safely and optimally, and save you money in the long run.
Royal LePage is updating its price forecast for 2023 following a stronger-than-expected start to the year.
In a report released Thursday, Royal LePage is forecasting home prices in Canada will increase 4.5 per cent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2023, a steep increase from the company’s December prediction that the national aggregate home price would end the year one per cent below Q4 2022.
On a quarter-over-quarter basis, Royal LePage expects prices to continue rising modestly but steadily over the next nine months.
“Coming out of a correction, it is common to underestimate the speed at which the market will turn itself around. As market activity is rebounding quicker than anticipated, we are looking ahead with a sense of cautious optimism,” noted Phil Soper, CEO, Royal LePage.
“While we do not expect huge price gains this year, some sense of normalcy is returning to the market.”
Source: Royal LePage
Canadian market begins to recover after downturn
The Royal LePage House Price Survey showed that home prices in Canada decreased by 9.2 per cent year-over-year to $778,300 in Q1 2023.
However, there has been a 2.8 per cent quarter-over-quarter increase following the Bank of Canada’s decision to pause interest rate hikes, which prompted many buyers to return to the market.
“We have turned the corner, and the housing economy is growing again; none too soon for many buyers, who have been waiting patiently for prices to bottom out,” says Soper.
The national median price of a single-family detached home fell 10.7 per cent year-over-year to $808,700, while the median price of a condominium fell 6.7 per cent year-over-year to $571,700. Quarter-over-quarter, median prices rose for these two property segments by 3.4 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.
“Sanity is slowly returning to the housing market,” added Soper. “While some buyer hopefuls will remain sidelined by a reduced capacity to borrow in this higher rate environment, our market data shows that many of those who chose to pause their search to see where prices and interest rates would land have resumed their home buying plans.”
While sales have been trending upward since the start of the year, the number of listings remains too low to satisfy demand.
Source: Royal LePage
Soper explains that the challenge now is the severe supply shortage: “We are grappling with a growing problem here that once was the burden of our largest cities but is increasingly being felt in secondary markets as well.”
He adds, “Yes, governments are adopting policies intended to address the problem, yet the pace of progress is far from encouraging. And challenges facing developers—such as the increased cost of materials and labour, and a shortage of skilled tradespeople— persist.”
The report notes the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ (OSFI) proposed changes to Canada’s mortgage stress test that would impose more restrictive access to mortgage financing in an effort to mitigate risk for major banks against potential consumer default.
However, Soper warns against tightening restrictions in an environment where rates are high and likely to fall. He believes such a move could do more harm than good, forcing families into the unregulated B-lender market.
“Despite a year of rapidly-rising interest rates, we see that the number of Canadian homeowners who have failed to meet obligations to their financial institution remains exceptionally low,” Soper says. “Our banks have managed their mortgage portfolios well, and it helps that unemployment is very low.”
B.C.’s Home Buyer Rescission Period
Royal LePage says British Columbia’s newly-implemented Home Buyer Recission Period (a cooling-off period that allows buyers to rescind an offer within three business days of fan APS being signed) has not “proven to be useful.”
“Few B.C. buyers are exercising their right to use the cooling-off period the way it was intended—to allow them an ‘out’ after a rash decision to purchase a property.
“Unfortunately, we are seeing people blatantly abusing the program by making offers on multiple homes as they shop around, locking up scant housing inventory as if clothing in a retail store. The legislation is harmful, not helpful, and should be amended or scrapped.”
The Bank of Canada’s made the decision Wednesday to maintain its overnight lending rate at 4.5 per cent and has indicated it will continue to main the rate if inflation continues to come down.
“This was the signal that so many Canadians were waiting for. The Bank of Canada’s rate hold was the green light that stability is returning to the market, and it has had a swift and significant impact on buyer demand,” said Soper.
According to a recent survey by Royal LePage, found that one in four Canadians was in the market for a new home over the last year, and rising interest rates caused 63 per cent of them to postpone their plans, but 26 per cent of those planned to resume their search this spring and another 36 per cent said they would return to the market in the near future once the central bank paused rate hikes for several consecutive months.
Read the full report from Royal LePage, including regional breakdowns, here.
The Royal LePage Home Price Update and Market Forecast was distributed to the media early this morning. The release, distributed each quarter, includes price data and insights from experts in 62 real estate markets across the country, as well as national and regional forecasts.
Vancouver, BC – April 13, 2023. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 7,118 residential unit sales were recorded in Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) systems in March 2023, a decrease of 38.3 per cent from March 2022. The average MLS® residential price in BC was 961,451 down 11.6 per cent compared to the average price of close to $1.1 million in March 2022, recorded near the market's peak. The total sales dollar volume was $6.8 billion, representing a 45.5 per cent decrease from the same time last year.
“The BC housing market is currently characterized by slow sales but also still very low levels of listings,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “Consequently, even though home sales remain about 20 per cent below normal levels for this time of year, the average home price in BC has now risen two months in a row, reaching its highest level since May 2022 as markets tighten due to a lack of supply.”
Active listings in the province are up 25 per cent compared to this time last year but have fallen for the second straight month in the wake of a modest recovery in home sales and continued weak new listings activity.
The Bank of Canada maintained its overnight rate at 4.5 per cent this morning. In the statement accompanying the decision the Bank noted that demand in Canada still exceeds supply and labour markets remain tight and that first quarter economic growth looks stronger than expected. However, the bank expects consumption growth to slow this year as households renew mortgages at higher rates and growth in exports and investment will decline as the US economy slows substantially in coming months. On inflation, the Bank expects headline CPI inflation to fall to 3 per cent in the middle of this year before declining gradually to 2 per cent by the end of 2024. However, the Bank warned getting inflation back to 2 per cent will be challenging given still high inflation expectations, elevated service sector prices and strong wage growth.
The Bank of Canada has moved to the sidelines while it judges the past year's impact of rate increases on inflation. Several factors point to inflation beginning to normalize this year. Barring a significant shift, gas prices are starting to subtract from year-over-year CPI inflation and raw materials and shipping costs should benefit from a downtrend in global commodity prices and a normalization of supply chains. The open question for the economy remains whether a recession is likely to occur this year. Given the pace and magnitude of tightening by the Bank of Canada, and signals from traditional recession warning tools like the slope of the yield curve, the recession probability remains elevated, particularly given added uncertainty stemming from failures in the US banking sector. However, growth has remained firmer than expected and the economy continues to create jobs at a robust pace. Still, high interest rates will start to drag on the broader economy this year and slower growth and significant progress on inflation should keep the Bank sidelined with the possibility of a rate cut in early 2024.
When it comes to putting money away to buy their first home, the federal government’s ‘tax-free in, tax-free out’ First Home Savings Account aims to give Canadians a helping hand.
As of April 1st, Canadians aged 18 or older who are purchasing their first home are eligible to enroll in a tax-free First Home Savings Account (FHSA). Introduced in the 2022 federal budget, the FHSA combines elements of a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), allowing users to make tax-deductible contributions and tax-free withdrawals from the account for the purposes of saving for a home.
Am I eligible for the FHSA?
In order to open an FHSA, users must be at least 18 years old and a Canadian resident. Account holders must also be a first-time homebuyer — someone who has not owned a home and lived in it during the calendar year before the account is opened, or at any time during the prior four calendar years.
An FHSA can be used for a maximum of 15 years, and stay open until December 31st in the year that the account holder turns 71 years old. Users cannot contribute to their spouse or common-law partner’s FHSA.
How much can I contribute to my FHSA?
FHSA holders can contribute an annual maximum of $8,000 into their account, with a lifetime contribution limit of $40,000. Unused contribution room can be carried over to the next year up to a maximum of $8,000. Carry-forward amounts start accumulating after the user opens the FHSA for the first time. Only the account holder can claim an income tax deduction for contributions made in a particular taxation year.
It is possible to have more than one FHSA open at a time, but the total amount that an individual can contribute to all of their FHSAs cannot exceed their annual and lifetime contribution limits. Similar to a TFSA, a 1% tax is applied on over-contributions to an FHSA for each month that the excess amount exists in the account.
What are the benefits of the FHSA?
An FHSA marries together the concepts of a TFSA and an RRSP in one account.
Contributions to an FHSA, like an RRSP, are tax-deductible. Additionally, any withdrawals made for the sake of purchasing a home are non-taxable, similar to a TFSA, including any investment growth. Users can take advantage of a series of qualified investments in their FHSA, including mutual funds and publicly-traded securities, plus government and corporate bonds. Users can also set up a self-directed FHSA to manage their own portfolio.
What happens when I want to take money out of my FHSA?
If a user wants to withdraw funds from their account, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The account holder must be a first-time homebuyer at the time a withdrawal is made. The qualifying home must be acquired (or construction must be completed) no more than 30 days prior to the withdrawal, and before October 1st of the following year, with the intention of occupying the property as their principal residence within one year after acquiring it. Be sure to read carefully the definitions of a first-time homebuyer and a qualifying home.
If you wish to transfer money out of your FHSA to another account, you can do so to another FHSA, an RRSP or a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). Be sure to close your FHSA on or before December 31st of the year following your first qualifying withdrawal, when your participation period concludes.
To learn more about the First-Home Savings Account, visit Canada.ca.
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.
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.