March Madness! YEG Market Update



 Dear Friends,

The sounds and smells of spring are just around the corner — March 20 and spring will have sprung once again.

We are all familiar with the idea of spring-cleaning but why not take it one step further with spring-fixing.

Spring is a great season to tackle some home-improvement projects. We’ve got some suggestions of projects to tackle that will not only improve the aesthetics of your home, but will also increase the value without breaking the bank.

Also in this month’s newsletter, we’ve included the latest market report and some news explainers to keep you up to date on all that is going on.

Although the weather might not seem quite warm enough to want to leave home just yet, we’ve got a list of events that will encourage you to get out and explore the city.

If you, your friends or family are looking to buy or sell real estate please keep me in mind. I am happy to answer any questions and look forward to guiding you on housing search.
The Romeo Initiative (March 1 – 11)
Based on a true story about an East German spy, this production is half romantic comedy and half spy thriller.
International Women’s Day Celebration and Screening (March 8)
Screening of Embrace, a film about body positivity and empowerment, in celebration of International Women’s Day
Snowshoe and stargaze (March 10)
Trek in the snow and gaze at the stars from Elk Island National Park, all in the safety and fun of a guided tour.
SkirtsAfire Festival (March 8 – 11)
This women-focused arts festival spans four days and showcases work from all the different disciplines.
Lindi Ortega (March 16)
Canadian Country Music Award winner, she has worked with musicians like k.d. lang and Carrie Underwood before. Her raw vocal power and roots rhythm is not to miss.
Northern Lights Folk Club (March 24)
Featuring singer, songwriter and guitarist Roy Forbes.
Anneke’s Antique Sale (March 30 – 31)
More than 130 collections of antiques and old glories from vintage jewellery to furniture are for sale.

This month, for the first time since 2001, a NDP government delivered a budget to British Columbians for the coming year.

The name of the game in the new budget is affordability — huge investments were promised in everything from childcare to healthcare to housing. 

With pledges of money, though, comes a need to generate revenue to fund it. With that came a plethora of new regulations and taxes in the property market, outlined the budget

The main take-aways for real estate in B.C. are:

1. Speculation Tax
This new annual tax will apply to foreign and domestic property owners who are not residents of B.C.

Some exemptions may be made for principal residences or long-term rental properties but it will include properties that are left vacant.

The tax will be introduced this fall and apply initially apply to homes in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and some other capital regional districts like Victoria, Nanaimo, and Kelowna.

It will start at tax rate of 0.5 per cent of the assessed value in 2018 and increase to 2 per cent of assessed value next year.

2. Enhanced Foreign Buyers Tax
Starting this month, the previously-introduced foreign buyers tax will be increased from 15 per cent to 20 per cent. It will extend to other areas across the province and no longer cover just Metro Vancouver.

3. Property Transfer Tax on Homes Above $3M
An additional 2 per cent property transfer tax will be applied to homes above $3 million, on top of the previous transfer taxes.

4. Pre-sale Condos
The government will be cracking down on the pre-sale condo market, requiring developers to collect and report comprehensive information and building build a database on pre-sale condo assignments.

5. First Time Buyer Program
Details have not been finalized but the previous home partnership loan that matched first-time buyers with down payments up to 5 per cent will be replaced with a different program to support the development of affordable housing options.

6.  Affordable Housing
The province promised $6 billion over the next decade to build 114,000 affordable homes units including modular, student and social housing.

1. Doors and Windows
The cost of a new door is almost entirely recouped when it comes to selling and greatly improves both look and security. A steel door costs an average of $1,162 and would recoup nearly 97 per cent of that cost, according to a survey by Cost vs. Value Report.

The same is true for windows. Dual pane windows in particular are popular and, in addition to improving attractiveness, can cut heating costs in the winter.

2. Landscaping
With warmer weather come fresh flowers and plenty of yard work. “Curb appeal” is hugely important when it comes to selling. Use your garden’s size and dimensions to your advantage — cutting back overgrown bushes and planting a delicate perimeter of flowers can do wonders for a small garden. Even for large gardens though, don’t overcrowd it.

3. Kitchen Remodel
This is a costlier upgrade than some of the others but one that will spike your home’s value. Kitchens are one of the rooms that can most obviously date a house and one of the biggest selling points for a prospective buyer.

If major renovations are not on your to-do list, consider smaller upgrades: new appliances, a fresh coat of paint on the cupboards or more storage space.

4. Bathroom Remodel
Similar to the kitchen, bathroom remodelling is an extremely valuable project albeit it can be costly. New fixtures, shelving and shower head are easy additions that can quickly improve the look. Fresh paint and fixing any water-stained marks are also must-dos.

5. Paint and Other Small Tasks
Small hardware changes – burnt out light bulbs, broken cabinet fixtures, squeaky cupboards and leaks are all little fixes that don’t take long but make all the difference.

A fresh coat of paint, particularly in a neutral colour like cream or pale yellow, can immediately brighten a room and make a home appear much more current.
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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.