Early Christmas gift, LRT neighbourhoods and door-knockers. This is the Marshall report

Up 5% by Christmas

According to TD Economics, low interest rates and high demand will push house prices up 5-6% by the end of the year. Will it never end?

I read the real estate news every day. I read it from all kinds of sources. From the trusted and true new outlets like the Economist magazine and the Globe and Mail to the raving realtor blogs and other axe-grinders of dubious merit. Most everyone says that Canadian home prices are overvalued. They are overvalued to the tune of 10-25%. Many pundits and regular people are predicting a crash, a bubble popping. Some are even hoping for it. They’ll get to laugh and say, “I told you so”. They’ll get to finally pick up a three-bedroom suburban back-split for a song (and a little gig). Or so they wish.

Here in KW I can attest. Sales are fast. Prices are high. Inventory is low. Bidding wars are common. It is a tough year to be a home buyer and a good year to be a home seller. For me, I’ve been busier than a three legged cat in a sand box. But that is not the point.

The point is, the overall real estate market is hot and is predicted to stay hot till the end of the year.

The other point is, the soft landing we were suppose to get did not come to Waterloo Region. Other markets maybe have cooled, but here, not, and other places not as well. Put another way, if you own a home, you’re richer than you think. If you don’t, you are losing more ground every day.


What will the area around an LRT station look like?

I’ve taken a keen interest in the LRT since it was first announced way back in 2002. I’m happy that finally “the train has left the station” and we are already seeing work being preformed and stops sign-posted. People in Kitchener Waterloo are finally realizing that the LRT is on the way and are considering how it will affect our lives. Now that the LRT is almost here, the city is looking at what intensification will really look like around station areas.

LRT station areas are being defined as “within 800 meters of a station”. What does 800 metre look like?

Like this –>

It surprises me that so many people are so unaware of the changes to come. If you were to leave Kitchener Waterloo today and come back in ten years, you will not recognize the change.

I know this firsthand as I’ve already lived this once. We lived in Taiwan for most of the 1990s. When I left Taipei Taiwan in 1993 to live down island in Taichung, Taipei’s MRT was nearing completion (but not yet opened). When we returned, in 1998, there were several lines covering hundreds of miles of the city and suburbs. Our little LRT in our twin city of 350,000 will have the same kind of impact.


Aggressive door knocking

Last week I wrote about how great it is now that the anti spam law went into effect and I had all those businesses that had added me to their email marketing list, email me one last time to ask permission. One last time indeed – permission was not granted.

Of course we have the do not call list. It’s been in effect for about five years. I don’t have a land line anymore but I think it worked the way it was suppose to.

What’s next?

We need a do not ring my door bell law. Two Kitchener men were charged with solicitation last week after reports of aggressive sales people going door to door. They were aggressively selling a furnace related product.


Speaking of landlines

ScatsCan reports that the number of Canadian homes without landline telephones is up to 21%. That’s up from 13% in 2010. Frankly I thought it would be higher but I guess a lot of us are unwilling to cut the cord. Younger household are more likely not to have a traditional telephone.

Also noted: 83% of Canadian Households have at least one cellphone.

I love stuff like this. We are living through an information and communication revolution.


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