Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Low inventory levels

Low inventory levels set stage for heated Spring market in most major Canadian centres, says RE/MAX

Active listings down in 81 per cent of markets in January

Mississauga, ON (February 24, 2010) - Lack of inventory will be the greatest challenge facing housing markets across the country this Spring, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Market Trends Report 2010, which examined real estate trends and developments in 16 markets across the country, found that unusually strong activity during one of the traditionally quietest months of the year has led to a sharp decline in active listings in 81 per cent of markets surveyed. The threat of higher interest rates, tighter lending criteria, and in British Columbia and Ontario, the introduction of the new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) have clearly served to kick-start real estate activity from coast-to-coast, prompting an unprecedented influx of purchasers. As a result, 87.5 per cent of markets posted an increase in sales in January. Average price appreciated in 81 per cent of markets surveyed.

"There have never been so many motivating factors in play at once," says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "We're in for a heated Spring market that will, in all probability, spill over into the summer months, as the window of opportunity draws to a close. The supply of homes listed for sale has been drastically reduced, housing values are once again on the upswing, and banks and governments are moving in unison toward stricter lending policies."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Prime-time parking fees scheduled for Main St. Grand Bend

This Grand Bend aerial shot from the Lake looking East shows the new Beach, Main Street ( which is undergoing a major upgrade to be ready for this Spring ) and the Harbour taken May 2009

Here's a recent article by  DEBORA VAN BRENK, THE LONDON FREE PRESS
3rd February 2010.
Fun won't be free for visitors to Grand Bend's Main St. when beach season begins in May -- paid, prime-time parking is coming to the strip.
While some merchants fear it will harm business, metered parking is one way to make sure Main St. shopping traffic circulates regularly, said Lambton Shores Mayor Gord Minielly.
"The reality is that people were parking their cars at 9 in the morning and returning (to leave town) at 5 in the afternoon," Minielly said.
Paid parking, he said, "is simply a matter of recycling people through" during the busiest times of the day.
Grand Bend is a hot destination for beach- and party-goers during summer months and it's not unusual some weekends to see solid lines of drivers cruising the strip, looking for free places to park.
The new fees for Main St. -- $2 an hour to a maximum of two hours -- apply only during business hours during the summer, Minielly noted.
"Logically, it should benefit businesses on Main St.," he said.
Eight solar-powered pay kiosks will collectively manage parking for 85 parking spaces on the street -- which is newly redesigned with sweeping curves, wider sidewalks, better lighting and pedestrian crossings. With recirculation of visitors, those 85 spots can become the equivalent of 300, town staff say.
Those who don't feed the meter or who wear out their welcome beyond the two-hour limit face a $30 fine.
Paid parking, by the day or the hour, will still be available at the beach and free municipal parking is available a few blocks away.
Debora Van Brenk is a Free Press reporter.