Sunday, December 9, 2007

Real Estate 2008 - What's In & What's Out.

This has been another excellent year for housing sales throughout the Collingwood and surrounding region. The resale residential housing market has performed extremely well wherein 2007 will see total sales well in excess of $500 million. In addition one need only look around at the myriad of new home developments to realize the multitude of choices today's Buyers have. Whether you are a potential Buyer or Seller in 2008, it's important to understand the predictions for "what's in" and "what's out" in 2008. Below is a summary of some of the key factors that are forecasted to impact residential real estate in the coming year.

"What's In"
1-Despite strong sales, housing inventories are swelling. Buyers have lots of choices and are looking for "perceived value" reflected in homes that are in pristine condition with updated kitchens and baths.
2-Master bedrooms have become the home's in-house getaway. Bedroom TV's are being replaced by computers, sumpuous baths are a must and added bedroom amenities include serving bars, wine coolers and more.
3-Dedicated pet owners are demanding in-house showers for their dogs which are replacing the kitchen sink and laundry tub as the pet wash station of choice.
4-Outdoor living spaces and taking on an indoor feel with interior fabrics and finishes, heated floors, kitchen areas, fireplaces and more.
5-Green building is in as homeowners increasingly demand the use of recycled materials, alternate heating/cooling systems and other features that will save our planet including off-grid home solutions such as solar, windmills and other hybrid home energy options.
6-Non-smoking Home Owners Associations are demanding and implementing laws whereby smoke-free homes and common areas will reduce one's ability to smoke even in their own homes.

"What's Out"
1-A more informal living style is in as the traditional living room has been replaced by the "great" room which creates an open space for living, cooking and eating thus allowing family members and friends to congregate in various activities.
2-Home size matters less as square footage is taking a backseat to Buyers that are looking for more quality and less quantity.
3-Buyers in 2008 will have a preference for established, proven neighbourhoods versus those off the beaten path as a way to ensure a positive return on their investment with resale values perceived better in tried-and-true locations.
4-Excessive ceiling heights. Buyers prefer ceiling heights in the 9' to 11' foot range. Ceilings that soar two stories are useless energy wasters unless the installation of a loft is possible.
5-With the booming housing market slowing, double digit home appreciation is out in most areas and will be replaced with more moderate increases or prices increases may in fact remain flat.
6-"Order-taking" real estate agents. With a glut of agents in virtually every market, licensed real estate professionals must adapt to the changing demands of today's real estate consumer. We must leverage every available technology in order to provide relevent and timely information when and how consumers want it. Real estate agents must deliver a variety of services and information first before they can expect to capture the business of today's consumer.

These are but a few of the issues that will shape the real estate market in 2008 and beyond. Whether you are a Buyer, Seller or a real estate Agent, these and other factors will continue to impact the residential housing market as we know it in the year ahead.

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.