Tag Archives: CMHC

Lazy Days of Summer… Creating a Balanced Barrie Housing Market

July 13, 2012


This is a guest post by Caroline Doherty of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty.  Information provided courtesy of CMHC.


Summer is now in full force. With the increase in temperatures be sure to hydrate regularly and stay cool. Remember not to leave children and/or pets in your vehicle unattended.

You may think that with this heat no one would be interested in buying/selling real estate but you’d be wrong. Local real estate has been going through many changes so far this year. Due to the strengthening US recovery our local employment has been greatly impacted. Stronger employment and income growth will provide support for our housing demand by 2013.

The increase in buyers coming from Toronto explains the decrease in choice and supply in the Barrie resale market. A widening gap between prices in Barrie and Toronto gave buyers in the GTA an incentive to consider the Barrie market.

Stronger new listings growth in the back half of 2011 will push total new listings higher in 2012 from the final tally in 2011.

Given the strong sales and easing listings in the first quarter of 2012, the sales-to–new listing ratio indicated the market had tightened to the point that conditions were favoring sellers. By the second quarter conditions were easing and, on average, the market will be in balance in 2012. In 2013, conditions will ease slightly, but the market will remain balanced.

The average price of an existing home in Barrie will come in higher in 2012 compared to 2011 due to increased demand and compositional effects in the early part of the year. In 2013, cooling demand and more supply will lead to slower price growth than in 2012.

Low mortgage rates make single family dwellings more attractive. On average, single starts will be up nearly eight percent in 2012 but then fall back somewhat in 2013.

Land constraints and demand for more affordable housing options will support growth in starts of higher-density housing types. Apartment starts were unusually high in 2011 and will fall back from that level. However, in both 2012 and 2013 they will be well above the average of the previous ten years.

The average price has been trending up at a rate of over three percent since 2010. This pace will slow over the course of 2012 and into 2013. Most of the increase will be due to rising costs, particularly the price of land.

I hope that you have found this informative… stay tuned for more!

Guest Authors

BarrieRealEstateTalk.ca occasionally features guest posts from a variety of real estate professionals around Simcoe County. This is one of those posts (check out the top of the article to find out who contributed this article!).

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Protecting Your Investment

June 1, 2012


This is a guest post by Caroline Doherty of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty.


Barrie Real Estate is at a prime. We are in what you would call a “Sellers Market.”  This means, any of you out there thinking of selling… Carpe diem! (Latin for “seize the day”)

Warm weather always creates a buzz for buyers and this year is no exception. Curb appeal can go a long way, but it’s all about the things you don’t see when protecting your investment.

For most of us our home will be the largest investment we make in a lifetime. Why not take care of it the best you can in order to get the most return when it comes time to sell. Regular maintenance is the easiest and best way to look after your home; keeping you and your loves ones happy, healthy & safe.

While most maintenance is seasonal, there are some things you should do on a regular basis (Courtesy of CMHC):

  • Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris.
  • Check and clean range hood filters on a monthly basis.
  • Test ground fault circuit interrupter(s) on electrical outlets monthly by pushing the test button, which should then cause the reset button to pop up.
  • If there are young children in the house, make sure electrical outlets are equipped with safety plugs.
  • Regularly check the house for safety hazards, such as a loose handrail, lifting or buckling flooring, inoperative smoke detectors, and so on.

Click here for a great list of Seasonal Maintenance Tips.  Remember, if you are not that way inclined you could always hire a professional to do it for you.

Guest Authors

BarrieRealEstateTalk.ca occasionally features guest posts from a variety of real estate professionals around Simcoe County. This is one of those posts (check out the top of the article to find out who contributed this article!).

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Residential Rentals Scarce in Barrie

April 7, 2012


Before most of us become homeowners, we rent apartments or sometimes houses. More often than not, however, many people are renting someone’s basement. As most people in Barrie know, the vast majority of basement (or “second suite”) units are technically not legal. In fact, there are only 676 registered second suites in the city. We all know the actual numbers are way higher.

Right now, CMHC is predicting an even lower than originally expected vacancy rate  at 1.5%, and it continues to drop as the number of bedrooms increases, like a 0% vacancy rate for 3 bedroom units. In comparison to other Ontario cities, Barrie has the lowest vacancy rate for 2- and 3- or more bedrooms.

Over the past several years, it is clear that there is a lot of construction happening in Barrie, but it’s mostly homes and condos. In fact, only 2 apartment buildings were constructed in 2011 (from CMHC report). Many residents seem to be against building rentals for some reason, but that only means people have to rely on those unregistered suites.

The unfortunate reality is that Barrie’s vacancy rate has been well below Ontario’s average for 20 years with the exception of 2008-2010. The good news is that our rental rates have remained within a few dollars of the Ontario average, but are generally $100-$150 above the national average. In 2011, the average cost for a rental in Barrie (registered, mind you!) was $1000.

We need to start attracting builders in Barrie to construct apartment buildings for rent. Especially considering our student population (recall my article on Student Housing in Barrie) is already having difficulty finding appropriate accommodation. And if/when the university is built in Barrie, think about all those students, professors and staff who will need a place to live. We also need to encourage the city to increase registered second suites. It will increase the tax revenue, and make those units a safer place to live for those tenants.


Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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Accessible Housing

November 8, 2011


This is probably a topic you won’t think about until you or someone in your family needs accessible housing. Walkers, canes, wheelchairs, and scooters can be difficult to manoeuver in the best of situations, however once you get in a house it can be extremely confining. This frustration can be a great burden and stressor on you and your family; so, you may ask, are there any solutions to this problem?

Renovations can be very costly, and sometimes it won’t make sense to stay in your current home. If you’ve recently had to adjust your life to accommodate a disability, moving may be the last thing you want to do. There are some easy fixes to help your home life become a bit easier.

Simply getting into your home could be an important issue to address quickly, and a ramp just may be the answer. If you’re having any sort of difficulty navigating stairs, this should be a priority for you. Although they generally take up a lot of space, however constructing an appropriate slope for your needs is very important; you don’t want to fall if you’re walking up and down, and you certainly don’t want your wheelchair to get out of control. There are several online resources to get a template to build a ramp if you have family or friends who can do it for you, or you can hire a contractor for the job.

Another easy fix within your home can be in the bathroom. Getting into the bathtub or onto the toilet can be very difficult and often times embarrassing if you require help. Installing grab bars around these areas can be a great solution – and a cost-effective one! – to this problem. Your independence can be improved or achieved with these small additions in your home.

An extremely important safety issue for any home is fire safety. When you have a mobility problem, this must be planned down to every detail to ensure nobody in your home will fall victim to potential fire hazards. You need to make sure everyone can hear a fire alarm from anywhere in the home, and maybe even install extra fire alarms in your house to ensure this will not be an issue. Does your fire safety plan allow you to exit the home independently if something should happen? Creating extra plans from different areas of your home is a great idea for this situation. You can even let your local fire department know that someone in your home has mobility difficulties so they can be prepared ahead of time should an emergency service be required at your house.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)has several online and print documents that can help you learn and plan to renovate your current home or design a new one to allow for accessible living. If you ever need any further information, contact some local government or not-for-profit agencies to help you plan, and even pay for, any renovations you may need. You may be surprised at what some charities are able to provide you, so don’t let any option pass you by.

Having a mobility problem does not mean you can’t stay in your own home. Sometimes small additions to your house can make all the difference. If you’re building your dream home, consider planning for the future. Maybe paying a little extra for wider hallways and larger bathrooms and kitchens will pay off in the end so you can live comfortably. The future is uncertain, so it’s best to think of all possibilities for your best life!


Laura Keller of Century 21 B.J. Roth Realty is a real estate agent with a business philosophy of nurturing relationships with her clients. She will walk you through the process of buying, selling, or investing step-by-step so there are no surprises at the end of your transaction.

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Mortgage Monday Myths: You Can’t Get a Mortgage If You’re Self-Employed

September 12, 2011


There are approaching 3 million self-employed people in Canada – that’s almost 10% of the country! But obviously, with around 70% of Canadians owning their own home, there has to be a way for those of us that are self-employed to obtain a mortgage, right?

Mortgage Monday Myth #2: Self-employed = no mortgage.

It’s true that not every bank and lender make it particularly easy for self-employed individuals (usually referred to as BFS – business-for-self – in this industry for some reason or another) to qualify for a mortgage, but with a growing segment of the Canadian population becoming self-employed, it’s a lot easier than it used to be. In fact, in most cases, it’s pretty straight forward. Sometimes lenders may request a little extra documentation (like income tax statements, notice of assessments from previous tax years, etc) or have you provide some proof that you’re actually self-employed and have been for at least 2 years (like incorporation papers, HST number, etc). Lenders will typically be a little more strict with your credit history (usually no bankruptcies or foreclosures), but as long as your credit history is pretty clean, there should be no problems.

In fact, CMHC (the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) recently opened the door to more self-employed homebuyers in Canada by making it a lot easier to obtain mortgage loan insurance required for hi-ratio mortgages (mortgages with less than 20% equity) with a program called “Self-Employed Simplified.”

“Self-Employed Simplified, will make it easier for certain self-employed borrowers to obtain mortgage loan insurance and, as a result, benefit from competitive interest rates. This product enhancement will help self-employed borrowers and commissioned salespersons to obtain a CMHC-insured mortgage, much like borrowers who receive a salary or hourly wage from an employer.”
~ Pierre Serré – CMHC’s Vice-President

While there may be a couple of extra hoops you need to jump through, you can bet if CMHC will insure the mortgage, there are lenders who will lend the money – you’ll just need to be prepared to get some additional documentation together (your mortgage broker will let you know what the lender will require) and prove you’re actually self-employed with some income. It may seem like a little more work, but a good mortgage broker will walk you through it every step of the way.


Myth Busted: You can get a mortgage if you’re self-employed.


Tim is a mortgage agent in Barrie who specializes in helping first-time home buyers. He works with a variety of lenders and can help customize a mortgage with the best rates & options that fit the needs of each customer.

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