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Housing demand falters in the US as prices and interest rates rise

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Photo: Robert Clark

Since the end of 2017, the number of American prospective homebuyers has steadily fallen, according to the latest Housing Trends Report (HTR) from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

“Home price gains and rising interest rates are slowing down the housing market, particularly in high-cost areas and among first-time buyers who are more severely impacted by price increases,” NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz recently told Livabl.

Some 13 percent of American adults are planning to buy in the next year, and most (58 percent) of these prospective buyers would be first-time homeowners — mostly unchanged from previous quarters.

This was down from nearly 25 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, and down from 14 percent last quarter. Since 2017, demand has steadily fallen 11 percentage points.

Millennials (19 percent) were the most likely generational group to buy in the next 12 months, followed by Gen X (13 percent).

Unsurprisingly, most of the share of Millennials planning a home purchase are first-time home buyers (75 percent), while 48 percent of would-be Gen X buyers are attempting home ownership for the first time.

More than 40 percent of buyers in each generation are already actively searching for a home.

“These results are not surprising, given that mobility rates decline significantly with age: according to the Census Bureau’s 2017 Current Population Survey, 18 percent of those under 40 years of age moved in the previous year, compared to 9 percent of those 40 to 49 years old,” reads the report.

Of those planning a purchase, nearly half are looking at existing homes, while only about 18 percent are looking at new construction. Across the generations, about 40 percent of prospective buyers report they are looking at existing homes first for purchase.

Just over 40 percent of Millennials prefer existing homes compared to 18 percent who favor new construction.

Most buyers think home searches will get harder or stay about the same in the next year, and most believe there are fewer (or about the same) number of homes for sale now that just three months ago.

Affordability continues to be an issue for Americans of all ages — nearly 80 percent of all buyers can afford fewer than half of all the homes available in their markets. And about 80 percent of Millennials and Gen Xers can afford can afford fewer than half of all the homes available in their markets.

The national homeownership rate rose half a percentage point from last year to 64.4 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2018 as Millennials returned to the for-sale housing market, where gains in home price appreciation are starting to slowing down.

The HTR is based on the results of a poll of over 20,000 prospective American homebuyers conducted between September 25 and October 8, 2018.

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5 DIY Home Improvements for the COVID-19 Lockdown

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The global coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people around the world, to spend more time in their homes this year than they have spent in a long time. As people sit around day after day within the confines of their home, it becomes easier to notice all the areas of the house that need some work. Fortunately, everyone can now afford the extra free time to do the home renovation project they’ve been putting off for years.

Due to the on-going global health crisis, you may not be able to hire any help for your home improvement project; this means that whatever new project you plan to do around the house, whether it’s repainting the home, or installing floor heating systems, you would have to do it yourself.

Here are some do-it-yourself that you may like to try out.

Upgrade to Smart Home Appliances

It’s 2020, what better year to embrace the future by installing a range of high-tech devices that make life extra easy. For instance, with a smart thermostat, your home’s heating and cooling system can go off on their own when not needed, keeping your electricity bills lower. Other appliances that you can make smart include your lighting, home security, music and more.

Clean out your Garage

Homeserve suggests a garage cleanout as a great home improvement project for this season because cleaning out your garage provides some fresh air, the heavy lifting provides some workout and you feel an enormous sense of accomplishment when it’s done.  What’s more, the day would be far spent by the time you’re done with this project. Cleaning out your garage would require you to sweep out any dirt or debris, and get rid of other useless items that may have been stored there for a long time.

Start a Repainting Project

There’s always room for a fresh coat of paint to make everywhere look more alive, so grab a paintbrush and add some extra character to your home. The good news is that you don’t even have to go out for the paint, you can have it shipped directly to your door. Southlandremodeling suggests that if you had 2019 palette or older in your home, now is the time to embrace the latest colour hues of 2020, that show off a more contemporary style and make your home look more sophisticated.

 Build a Patio

Now is the time where every family would enjoy having a paver patio or an outdoor deck, somewhere to sit and get some fresh air when you’re tired of being cooped up inside all day. First you have to ensure that your home has enough space for a patio and that you have enough skills to handle a hammer and other tools for simple construction.

Next you order your needed materials online and get started. There is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with being able to create an outdoor space that your family can enjoy while being stuck at home.

Install some floor heating systems

Installation of floor heating systems is one of the best home improvement projects that one can get. Many people prefer to hire professionals to do these kinds of installation but if you are up for it, it’s not impossible to do this on a DIY project and get a valuable addition to your home for about half the cost.

Finally

There is no reason to continue holding out on your dream DIY home renovation projects, especially now that you have all the time in the world due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Now is the perfect time to transform your home all by yourself!

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13 Montreal Apartments For Rent That Have Breathtaking Outdoor Spaces

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With Quebec’s moving day just around the corner, many people are starting to look for a new property to rent. And, now that Montreal real estate activity is back in action, you can start trying to find the perfect space again. And, if you ask me, an apartment that comes with outdoor space is a must when living in the city.

From balconies to shared rooftop spaces, we’re all looking for a place where we can be outdoors. 

Now, more than ever, fresh air is something that we’re all craving. And, with summer coming faster than we think, finding a place with access to the outside is on so many of our checklists. 

Luckily for you, we at MTL Blog have made your job very easy and have gone through listings throughout the city to showcase some of the best rentals, all of which have outdoor spaces. 

Some of these properties offer private balconies while others have surreal rooftops you get access to. Regardless of which one you fall in love with, you’ll be sure to have a summer to remember living in any apartment on this list. 

Get ready for moving day because after looking at these properties, you’re going to be ready to pack your belongings.

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Montreal real-estate market hit hard by pandemic

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Like many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the red-hot Montreal real-estate market has suddenly chilled.

After 61 consecutive months of increases, the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area reported a 68-per-cent decrease in residential sales transactions in April 2020 compared with the year-earlier period, according to the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers.

The most recent residential real-estate market statistics for the Montreal area showed 1,890 residential sales transactions were concluded last month. Those figures are based on the real-estate brokers’ Centris provincial database.

Montreal has been hit harder than other Canadian cities by the pandemic, and the drop in sales was seen in all six main areas of the Montreal CMA.

The drop in sales applied to all three property categories. Single-family home sales fell 68 per cent (1,048 transactions): plex sales dropped 67 per cent (161 transactions); and condominium sales tumbled 69 per cent (675 transactions).

Despite the drop in sales, real-estate prices rose in the CMA. The median price of single-family homes increased by nine per cent to reach $360,000, while the median price of condominiums climbed 12 per cent to $289,900.

Compared with April 2019, the median price of plexes (two to five dwellings) increased 10 per cent to $595,000.

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