With the new mortgage rules and home prices rising faster than ever in Kitchener-Waterloo and beyond, first-time home buyers are feeling the pinch. With the risk of being priced out of the market, there is the additional challenge of not only carrying a larger mortgage but also coming up with the minimum 5% deposit, or ideally 20% deposit that would exclude the need for CMHC mortgage insurance fees in most cases.
But recent studies show that rising prices won’t stop buyers who are determined to start building equity as soon as they are able. In fact, half of Canadians aged 18 to 34 own homes and rent out a room or basement to help cover housing costs.
While it may be an inconvenient to share your home, getting closer to being mortgage free, and having the extra income generation may be worth the temporary sacrifice. According to a study based on 2000 participants, 12 per cent of Canadian homeowners currently rent or plan to rent out part of their home, with that amount rising to 20 per cent for 18- to 34-year-old homeowners.
Kitchener-Waterloo was characterized by strong real estate market throughout 2016 with house prices increasing by an average of 10% over home prices in 2015. A series of broken sales records combined with low inventory has had a rippling effect on everyone.
Move-up buyers in particular have enjoyed the maximization of their equity. Owners who have sold their homes in 2016 are benefiting from the substantial activity at the lower end of the market, which has allowed them to move into larger, new homes, often in the luxury $1 million+ range. While there has been some multiple-offer activity in the luxury home market, competition is remarkably less than that found below $500,000.
However, there are only a few weeks left in 2016 for buyers of luxury homes to enjoy the original land transfer rates. New mortgage policy has updated or “modernized” land transfer rates to reflect the prices of luxury homes, with purchases of homes over $2 million seeing a .5% rate increase to help accommodate the doubling of the First-Time Home Buyer land transfer rebate announced in November 2016.
“Modernized” Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rates
Home Purchase Price Tax Rate
Up to $55,000 0.5%
$55,000 to $250,000 1.0%
$250,000 to $400,000 1.5%
$400,000 to $2-million 2.0%
$2-million and over 2.5%
With plenty of focus on development in Waterloo and Kitchener for the past few decades, now it’s Cambridge’s turn to step into the technology and expansion lime-light.
The growth of multiple condominium lofts and apartments in Galt will be joined by the Gaslight District by HIP Developments. Planned as a complete community with a cobbled square, it will be centred within Grand Avenue, Fraser Street, Glebe Street and St. Andrews Street, next to the Grand River in West Galt.
The expansive project will span 2 years, with the projected result being a European look and feel housing 400 residential units, a tech hub based around Conestoga College’s tech programs such as advanced manufacturing and cyber-security, as well as restaurants, and retail.
This 100 million dollar investment will include selective demolition of portions of the Southworks Factory Outlet which currently is home to nearly 50 shops.
HIP’s other projects in the region have included 181 King in Waterloo, Trio on Belmont in Kitchener and the River Bank Lofts in Hespeler.
Where can you find a neighbourhood with stunning quality homes built within the last 15 years, active and involved residents that coordinate events, who update you on community news, and even help facilitate your say in civic issues that affect you?
Clair Hills, that’s where! This quiet community boasts beautiful homes and and a community with neighbours who care. In addition to opportunities to meet your neighbours such as the Fall Fun Fest, or Maxwell’s Uber Haus tickets, your Clair Hills Community Neighbourhood Rep will help you get acquainted with the services Clair Hills Community Association offers. They even have a The CHCA Child Care Registry to help you find quality care for your little ones!
If you’re looking for a like-minded neighbours that know the value of volunteerism, community development, and pride in having a beautiful home in a safe, clean community, you might find that Clair Hills is the perfect place to start a new chapter.
For more information on the Clair Hills Community Association and all it has to offer visit their website. We’re also here to help you understand Clair Hills as a great place to invest in your life. After all, where we live, is how we live. Contact us.