Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | July 23, 2009

How Green is your House?

This summer you might be thinking about renovating your home; replacing drafty windows, buying a low or dual flush toilet, or replacing your heating system with an ENERGY STAR rated system. Now is the time to do it! There are Federal and Provincial rebates, zero-interest renovation loans, and an assistance program for low to modest income families to do just this. All you have to do is have your home evaluated, at a cost of $150 to $250, then you have 18 months to carry out the recommended renovations to be eligible for rebates of up to $6500; $5000 from the Federal Government and $1500 from the Provincial Government. In addition to the Federal and Provincial rebates you will have a permanent reduction in your energy bills every month – an average savings of 30%! Conserve NS has also made it easier to complete these renovations by pairing with local retailers to make energy efficient products easier to find as well as educate consumers on EnerGuide upgrades.

 For more information and a compete list of rebates click here: 


These rebates are not only for old, drafty homes, but are also for new homes being constructed. With the cost of installing energy efficient windows, doors, appliances, and making the appropriate energy efficient upgrades being only about 10% higher than installing standard equipment, it is much cheaper to install energy efficient equipment than it is to upgrade it in the future. Some upgrades; such as insulating your basement are not possible after the foundation is poured or the home is constructed. New homes are rated from 1 – 100 according to the EnerGuide. If a house gets a score of above 80 the $250 inspection fee will be refunded and if a score of 83 is reached the house is eligible for another $500 rebate. All homes built with energy efficient products will also have permanently reduced energy costs.

 Click here for a list of costs of upgrades and savings:


To learn more take a look at the Conserve NS Website:


All info from Conserve NS Website

Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | July 23, 2009

Morris Lake area’s home sales among Canada’s hottest

Halifax is home to one of the hottest-selling neighbourhoods in Canada, according to a survey by Century 21 Realty.

The Morris Lake area on the northeast shores of the harbour is ranked alongside High Park in Toronto, Richmond in Vancouver, and upscale North Kildonan in Winnipeg.

In the Morris Lake area, the average house price was $222,756 in April, an increase of 11 per cent from a year earlier. Those prices were up 11 per cent from the $200,041 average price in April 2008.

Century 21 Team One broker-owner David Yetman said he’s not surprised. The Morris Lake-Russell Lake West area has lots of new homes with access to natural gas, good schools, and a Link bus terminal. There are lots of mature trees and a selection of R-2000 energy-efficient homes.

“It’s been a hot area for a couple of years now. It’s like a new Colby Village. It’s got a little bit of everything,” he said. “There’s been 154 houses sold in that general area since April 1.”

When local sales are compared to the slowdown across much of Canada, he said Halifax has been a very steady market.

The majority of the hottest 21 neighbourhoods for housing prices are located in and around Toronto and Vancouver. In the very hottest neighbourhoods nationally, prices are up by 17 per cent in the past year.

Don Lawby, president of Century 21, said the survey serves as a reminder to homeowners to avoid relying on city, provincial or national averages to gauge their local neighbourhood housing markets.

Instead, sellers should monitor selling prices of similar homes in their own neighbourhoods.

Reposted from the Chronichle Herald Business Section

By STEVE PROCTOR Business Editor
Sat. Jun 13 – 4:46 AM

Find the article here


Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | April 2, 2009

It just keeps coming!


 NS Home Sales up 13% in February

The Chronicle Herald covered our press release stating that seasonally adjusted residential home sales in Nova Scotia were up 13 per cent in February compared to January. 





Reposted from an e-mail from NSAR

Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | March 25, 2009

Real Estate is Local…but this is good news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Surprise rebound for U.S. goods orders and new homes

U.S. durable goods orders and new home sales showed unexpected strength in February, according to statistics released Wednesday, as both numbers rose.



CBC News

In two reports, the U.S. Census Bureau said new orders for durable goods in February increased by 3.4 per cent from January while new home sales across the United States grew by nearly five per cent.

In both cases, the actual numbers exceeded economists’ expectations, who, in the case of new orders, were predicting a two per cent gain and, in the homes sector, were 37,000 light in their projection of housing starts.

“This is only one month’s results … but this suggests the U.S. recession is stabilizing and could be turning around,” BMO economist Michael Gregory said in a commentary.

Getting ahead of a recovery

The residential figure was particularly good news, coming in the wake of Monday’s report by the National Realtors of a 5.1 per cent jump in existing homes sales.

The American housing sector has been particularly hard hit by the global credit crunch as the recession drove down property values while the asset-backed commercial paper debacle destroyed lenders’ confidence in eventual repayment.

As a result, February’s gain in housing starts was the first since July. In addition, the Census Bureau said housing prices in the second month of the year were still 18 per cent lower from one year ago.

In response, the U.S. government has been injecting trillions of new dollars into the economy and has been trying to fashion programs to help homeowners stay in their houses.

Capital gain

Perhaps better economic news is seen in February’s new orders.

In that month, American companies received an extra $5.5 billion US in new orders for everything from cars to washing machines to fabricated metal, for a total of $165.6 billion.

That was the first rise in new orders after the previous six months in which this indicator fell.

Orders for capital goods ? those items that help businesses become more productive ? rose by 11 per cent in February. Economists often consider spending on these goods as crucial to improving a country’s competitiveness.

New computer orders rose by as much as 10 per cent, depending upon the category. And defence orders jumped by 35 per cent, or $2.6 billion, in February.

Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | March 18, 2009

From Atlantic Provinces Economic Council


Reposted with comments


This from a just received e-mail, again shows why Halifax is doing well in the economic climate, basically sheltered from the Storm!


“Non-residential construction activity is expected to be an important driver for the Atlantic economy in 2009. A recent

Statistics Canada survey predicts that growth in capital investment spending will be highest in Newfoundland and

Labrador and Nova Scotia this year. Projects that will drive growth include the Deep Panuke natural gas project

in Nova Scotia along with Newfoundland and Labrador’s White Rose expansion and the Voisey’s Bay nickel

processing facility. Activity in New Brunswick will be down due to the completion of construction on the LNG facility

and pipeline.” 








Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | March 17, 2009

Go Calgary Go!

(Partial repost from the Calgary Herald March 16th)

as I often say in all this horse@#%@ there has to be a pony somewhere…notice the Nova Scotia Numbers.

Highlights by moi!

More signs today that the residential real estate market is starting to pick up.

The Canadian Real Estate Association, in releasing its monthly MLS numbers, said housing activity in Canada was up in February from seasonally-adjusted levels the previous month.

In Calgary, combined residential sales numbered 1,392 units in February compared with 928 units in January. The average sale price last month was $370,198, up slightly from $362,143 in January. New listings for February were 3,662 units compared with 3,767 units in January.

CREA, which represents realtors, said 28,669 homes traded hands across the country on a seasonally-adjusted basis — 8.6 per cent above seasonally-adjusted levels in January, and the first monthly increase in activity since September 2008. Seasonally-adjusted activity in February also surpassed levels reported in November and December of 2008.

Monthly seasonal increases in activity were largest in British Columbia (14.4 per cent), Nova Scotia (12.7 per cent), and Alberta (11.9 per cent).

CREA also said the supply of homes for sale remains high but has been trending lower. National MLS residential new listings numbered 65,060 units in February 2009, down 10.9 per cent from the same month one year ago. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, new listings are down 11.4 per cent from their peak reached in May 2008.

The national average price for home sales was $281,972 in February, 9.2 per cent below February 2008. CREA said this is smaller than year-over-year declines observed in the past four months. It is also the first time that the year-over-year decline in the national average price has decelerated since first turning negative in July 2008.

The national average price continues to be pushed downward by lower activity in some of Canada’s more expensive housing markets and by fewer transactions in higher price ranges.

“Consumer confidence will continue to be depressed by a barrage of negative economic news in the months ahead,” said Klump. “Heightened job insecurity will keep many potential homebuyers on the sidelines. Those who are confident about their job situation will benefit from improving affordability in a number of housing markets.”

The Canadian housing market sprung to life in February, said Millan L. B. Mulraine, economics strategist with TD Securities.

“The report does offer some hope that the decline in Canadian home prices may have stabilized somewhat in February after appearing to have accelerated in the latter months of 2008. And the increase in sales is certainly a welcome development, though possibly influenced by the weather,” he said.

Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | March 15, 2009

Another Reason to Smile!

Real Estate is “Local” …what happens in Vegas…stays in Vegas, or Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto! 

While it is true that global issues can have a local impact, What is happening in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto…is not happening here.  According to CMHC (Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation) Halifax, had a net migration increase in 2008 (more people came than left) there were no net job losses in 2008.

The economy is primarily service based, not manufacturing based, oil prices are still very low, and interest rates are the lowest most people have ever seen.

And remember when the media talks about the market being “down” or prices “falling” it is usually looking at the big picture which includes the above mentioned cities, remember when the media reported a mini\mobile home selling for $310,000 in Fort McMurray, what goes up…

So if you look at our market, stable, steady increases in house prices, no big ups…which usually means no big downs.

And real estate really is local, one area of the city can experience different marketing trends than another.

Just this one man’s opinion…not reposted from anywhere other than the CMHC event (which I attended)

Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | March 13, 2009

Told you so!!!

The real estate market in the Maritimes and Atlantic Canada has been receiving more local coverage in the last few weeks.  Perhaps the media is getting tired of reporting the same old doom and gloom message that is casting a shadow nationally.  Please see below for some news you can use:


Homebuying Intentions up in Atlantic Canada

Yesterday we learned from Royal Bank of Canada that homebuying intentions in Atlantic Canada have jumped up over last year and have even surpassed 2007 levels, according to the 16th RBC Annual Homeownership Survey.  READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE.


10 Healthiest Housing Markets (Halifax-Dartmouth Ranks Second)

MSN/Sympatico Finance reported on the 10 healthiest and most struggling housing markets in Canada.  Halifax-Dartmouth was rated as the second healthiest market in Canada.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE SLIDESHOW.


What Maritime Homes are Worth 

It was did suggested that CTV interview CMHC as they are attempting to promote a realistic and positive picture.  The story reflected the message that while the market has slowed, we aren’t seeing the drop like other areas and that our prices are still strong. CLICK HERE TO VIEW (click on the word download under the description).  Thanks to NSAR (Nova Scotia Association of Realtors

Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | March 13, 2009

It’s baaaackkk “Free” Downpayment

Details as follows:
– 95% financing, 5% cash back
– Cash back can be used for downpayment
– Client required to have closing costs from own resources
– Eligible for 1-2 units, owner occupied
– The rate is 5.55%, but I don’t know if you want to just blatantly advertise it… I’d rather talk to people about it so that they understand why it’s higher than market rates… maybe you could say it is the most competitively priced cash back product in the market

Posted by: SMARTER BOLDER FASTER | November 27, 2008

BMO Mortgage “Good News”

There were preliminary indications Friday that residential mortgage rates could be drifting lower after BMO announced a “special” offer of 5.25% on its benchmark 5 year, fixed rate home loan.BMO said the new rate takes effect today and would be available to “all new and existing” customers. Its current posted rate on that product is 7.2 per cent. A spokesperson said the new rate is not subject to an expiry date. Nonetheless, mortgage rates can generally change at any time.It was unclear whether BMO’s move marked the beginning of a larger trend. Traditionally, five-year, fixed-rate mortgages are the most popular loan option for homeowners.  BMO’s announcement comes two days after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tripled the size of the federal government’s mortgage purchase program to $75 billion.

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