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Canadian home buyers continue to catch their breath:

According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey1 and Market Survey Forecast released today, year-over-year home prices made modest gains in many regions across Canada in the third quarter of 2018. The national trend was largely influenced by price appreciation in Greater Vancouver, while property in the Greater Toronto Area experienced continued year-over-year price declines, with modest gains in value when compared to the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the Greater Montreal Area saw the highest year-over-year home price appreciation rate of the three largest Canadian metropolitan areas studied.

The Royal LePage National House Price Composite, compiled from proprietary property data in 63 of the nation’s largest real estate markets, showed that the price of a home in Canada increased 2.2 per cent year-over-year to $625,499 in the third quarter of 2018. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a two-storey home rose 1.4 per cent year-over-year to $736,337, while the median price of a bungalow climbed 1.5 per cent to $519,886. Condominiums continued to see the highest rate of appreciation nationally when compared to the detached segment, rising 6.7 per cent year-over-year to $441,240.

Looking ahead, Royal LePage is projecting a further uptick in home price appreciation in the fourth quarter, forecasting a 1.5 per cent increase in the aggregate price of a home in Canada over the next three months.

“Positive economic fundamentals, supported by a new agreement on trade, should bolster consumer confidence across Canada and stoke demand in the nation’s real estate market,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “Dangerously overheated regions have cooled considerably this year, while home prices have remained remarkably resilient. This is the soft landing that policy makers were hoping for.”

After more than a year of intense negotiations, the federal government reached an agreement with the U.S. and Mexico on regional trade. Widely seen as a good outcome for the Canadian economy, the USMCA is expected to be signed into law before year end. “More confident that their jobs are secure, the new USMCA agreement has removed a widespread veil of uncertainty that was acting as a drag on large purchase decisions,” said Soper. “On the other hand, the trade deal paves the way for the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates. Overall, this is a positive development for housing industries on both sides of the border.”

To view the chart with aggregated regions and markets visit www.royallepage.ca/houseprices For more information see www.royallepage.ca/mediaroom 1 Aggregate prices are calculated using a weighted average of the median values of all housing types collected. Data is provided by RPS Real Property Solutions.

Tips for the perfect winter open house

During the winter months, it may be hard to ready your home for an open house, but these tips can help buyers see past the snow and dream big.

1 Access to your front door must be easy. Clear all snow and ice from the driveway, front walk, porch and any paths around the house and backyard.

2 Decide how to manage coats and boots so as not to distract from your entryway’s first impression. Put out a freshly washed or new rug and keep a spare tucked away, as a backup.

3 Fill your home with bright and warm light, creating a cozy contrast to the cold outside.

4 Find the perfect temperature. Keep in mind the door is going to open and close throughout the day.

5 Showcase summer photos. If you have a photo of your backyard in full bloom, blow up a copy and display it by the backdoor.

6 Create a welcoming and relaxing first impression with light aromas. Brew coffee, warm a pie in the oven or light a mild-scented candle. The rule is to keep fragrances very light to not overwhelm scent-sensitive buyers.

7 Resist the holidays. Holiday decorations act as clutter hiding your home’s potential, and nothing can make a room look smaller than a Christmas tree and gift-wrapped boxes. If you cannot resist, a small ornament on the hearth or another small nod to the holiday your family celebrates can add charm without taking over.

Is your entryway winter-ready?

Winter boots, coats, hats and mittens can create chaos when you first walk through the door, but with the right design plan, this area can be clutter-free. Not only will the space look tidy, you will save time and reduce stress when everything is dry and at your fingertips. 

Less water inside starts outside: Leave a rough mat outside to brush off snow and another mat inside where boots can dry.

Air circulation: While it’s tempting to create storage with doors to hide bulky coats, you need air flow to dry garments and boots. Hooks are much more effective than cramming coats into a closet.

Well-designed and sturdy hardware: Heavy coats that stay up the first time require a good hook. Since hooks are relatively inexpensive, don’t worry about saving a few dollars. 

A place for everything: No matter the size of your space, everything should fit neatly. If you have children in your family, assign each person a space. Extra winter gear can be passed along or donated.

Protect your floors: It’s inevitable that even the best mat will leak or overflow. If you are putting in new flooring, you might want to consider waterproof materials such as tiles. Another option is to use a large rug that covers most of the space and fits nicely under the mat. 

Detoxify your home with plants

Lady Palm Naturally resistant to insects and durable, this plant can grow 14 feet if given room. Highly adaptable to most indoor environments, this plant is a good choice for a beginner.

Bamboo Palm Scoring high in its ability to remove formaldehyde and benzene, two commonly found toxins in the home, bamboo palms are a perfect choice for a room that is bright and sunny.

Areca Palm This plant can grow over 10 feet tall and emits water vapour, a bonus for dry homes.

Rubber Plant If a room in your house gets a little cold, this may be the best plant for you. Tolerating temperatures as low as 5 degrees, rubber plants can also be placed in areas with low sunlight. Be sure to wear gloves when you are pruning, as the sap can irritate your skin.