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This Uxbridge home is perfect for anyone with a love for the outdoors: Home of the Week

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UXBRIDGE

Location: 6100 Conc. 3 Rd.,

Hwy. 47 and Conc. 3 Rd.

Asking price: $2,960,000

Size: about 3,700 sq. ft., plus about 1,000 sq. ft. basement

Lot: about 25 acres, two-car built-in garage, private drive

Taxes: $5,479 (2018)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 4

This upgraded, 2-1/2-storey family home sits on a hill overlooking 25 scenic acres and uses a bridge to access the main entrance.

Highlights of the house include a living room with vaulted ceiling, a second floor wraparound deck and a three-season Muskoka room.

“This home is set up to enjoy the seasons. We love sitting in the Muskoka room when it is raining or taking a walk in our own private, park-like yard,” says homeowner Cheryl Brown. “In the winter, we go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing right out the back door. Every season brings new interactions with wildlife, including seeing deer and owls.

“Uxbridge is an artistic community, offering the full, farm-to-table experience, while still easily being able to go see a play or have dinner,” Brown adds.

The home is steps to a park and close to a golf club. Downtown Uxbridge is less than 10 minutes away where there are schools, shopping, businesses, a library and restaurants. Also nearby are a recreation centre with an arena, a hospital and two ski resorts. Toronto is about an hour’s drive away.

Features of the master bedroom include a hardwood floor, walk-in closet, five-piece ensuite and walkout to a deck.
Features of the master bedroom include a hardwood floor, walk-in closet, five-piece ensuite and walkout to a deck.  (YorkDurham360)

“The home features upgrades … such as a master bedroom five-piece ensuite and high-end stainless steel appliances in a contemporary kitchen,” says listing agent Gerald Lawrence. “The 25-acre parcel includes private trails amongst the mix of tree types that allows for the benefit of a large reduction in taxes as per the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program.”

The front of the home features a stone and Cape Code-style wood façade. It is approached by wide stone steps that lead to a wooden bridge and the front double-glass door entrance.

The front glass doors open to the second-floor foyer with a hardwood floor, two sets of double closets and a stairway leading up to the loft level and down to the main floor.

The spacious living room has a partially vaulted ceiling, a wood fireplace with a floor-to-ceiling stone surround and sliding glass door walkout to a back deck.

The formal dining room has a hardwood floor and big windows.
The formal dining room has a hardwood floor and big windows.  (YorkDurham360)

The formal dining room is outfitted with a hardwood floor, a chandelier-style light, pot lights and windows.

Highlights of the large kitchen — with an adjoining breakfast room — include a porcelain tile floor, quartz counters, built-in stainless steel appliances, floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, a pantry and a large island with cabinets and drawers.

On the other side of the foyer, the master bedroom is equipped with a hardwood floor, a walk-in closet, a sliding-glass door walkout to a deck and a five-piece ensuite.

A second bedroom has a hardwood floor, pot lights, a double closet and a picture window. Completing this floor is another three-piece bathroom.

With a separate entrance and foyer, the fully above-grade main level includes the family room with a wood-burning fireplace with stone, floor-to-ceiling surround, a hardwood floor, pot lights and walkout to the Muskoka room.

Up in the third-floor loft, the den features a vaulted ceiling and hardwood floor.
Up in the third-floor loft, the den features a vaulted ceiling and hardwood floor.  (YorkDurham360)

The Muskoka room has pine-board panelling, three walls of windows, a laminate floor, two ceiling fans and a walkout to a covered patio and backyard.

On this level are two more bedrooms with hardwood floors. As well, there’s a four-piece bathroom, a powder room, a pantry and a laundry room with direct access to the garage.

The third-floor den contains a vaulted ceiling, pot lights, a hardwood floor and two windows.

The basement has a workshop and a large sliding glass door walkout to a covered concrete patio.

To have a look at this property contact listing agent Gerald Lawrence, Coldwell Banker RMR Real Estate, Brokerage, 416-556-0238; GeraldLawrence.com.

Home of the Week is written by freelance contributor Allison Harness, a Toronto-based real estate writer. Although we try to provide the most up-to-date information available, we cannot guarantee features as listed. Please contact the realtor. To make a submission to Home of the Week, email soldhome@rogers.com.

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New pandemic protocols will change Quebec’s real estate business

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Quebec real estate brokers got some good news Monday when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

For the husband and wife real estate duo of Daniel Arsenault and Jennifer Smith of Royal Lepage Village in Pointe-Claire, it means they’ll be able to once again visit a potential client at their home, albeit two metres apart.

But it’s not completely business as usual as new pandemic protocols must be observed in the buying and selling of properties.

The traditional practice of holding open houses, in which properties for sale are showcased to the general public, will undergo tweaks.

“For example, if a family of five visits a home, only one person at a time is allowed inside,” Arsenault noted. “Given proper social distancing and limited numbers of people in a house at any time, proper sanitation, we’re pretty well back to business.”

In the new normal, virtual tours, or online visual tours of properties, will likely grow in popularity among both buyers and sellers looking to reduce person-to-person contact.

“We were doing it already, but more people will probably do it (now) is drone photography and 3-D virtual tours and floor plans,” Arsenault said. “That will become more of the norm because we want to make sure the people are qualified before visiting.

“In real estate, as in any sales business, you should qualify to lead. Now it’s much more so the case. We need to qualify that the buyers are financially prepared, that they’ve worked for a bit to decide what locations they want to go to.”

The onus on prospective buyers will be to filter info such as location, proximity to transportation lines and schools.

“So it’s a much more detailed analysis or qualification prior to committing to a visit,” Arsenault said.

Montreal’s red-hot real estate market has chilled like the rest of the economy since the city went into COVID-19 lockdown in mid-March. 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.

“(The pandemic) is going to affect economy in ways we can’t even imagine,” Arsenault said. “Where there were 10 buyers before, now there might be five, so supply and demand might force prices down a bit.”

Arsenault said homes under $500,000 will likely remain attractive in a sagging economy.

“The low end of the market, in good locations, is insulated from (a downturn) … because if you’re in a bigger house and you need to downsize you’re going to go to the lower end. It’s more frugal.

“On the other hand, houses in a fringe location or are outliers in terms of size … is going to be a challenge. In other words, the house that was harder to sell before will be harder to sell now.”

Arsenault speculates that other factors, such as the type of housing and proximity to others, could affect the real estate market going forward.

“If you’re an elder person and planning to go into a retirement home, you’re holding off for now,” he said. “We have clients who are doing exactly that.”

Arsenault said the Montreal condominium market could also take a hit if buyers start looking for single-family homes with backyards and more space between neighbours.

“If people were on the fence, this will be a catalyst,” he said.

But other factors, such as proximity to medical services, must also be weighed if people move farther away from the city.

“We’re going to see fear of proximity,” Arsenault said. “No matter what the government is telling them, there is going to be a vast portion of the population that is going to be afraid to be around other people.

“Historically, after every major economic crisis, one of the trends was more people moving into smaller properties closer to major cities. So reduce your financial footprint.

“And now we have both happening at the same time. We have the financial crisis but we also have fear of proximity.”

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What Will Happen to the Real Estate Market in Calgary?

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The City of Calgary has been weathering its own storm, long before the COVID-19 public health crisis roared into the spotlight. The city is heavily reliant upon the energy sector, and as a result, the local economy has been suffering from the fallout of sinking oil prices. Investment levels have been weak within the city, and Calgary’s construction sector has been dealing with a downturn of its own.

On the flip side, 2020 brought a promise of change for Calgary. The city’s GDP was expected to expand by 2.4% over the next three years as the energy sector started to show signs of stabilization. There was hope that this economic boost would help to lift demand within the city’s housing market, which has struggled with a surplus of real estate inventory. According to Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) statistics, there was a year-over-year increase in sales of 4.35% in the first quarter of 2020, setting the Calgary housing market up for the best first quarter in years!

Unsurprisingly, the spread and implications of the COVID-19 crisis has derailed some of this optimism. The Calgary housing market has had to forfeit the gains it had made earlier in the year as many realtors, buyers, and sellers have had no choice but to press pause and stay home. Below, we dive into how the pandemic has impacted the Calgary real estate market, and what we can expect to see in the months to come.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Calgary Real Estate Market

In early March of 2020, Calgary businesses and residents adjusted to a new normal amid social distancing measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. While the real estate industry, deemed an essential service, was continuing to operate, REALTORS® were forced to pivot, forgoing open houses for virtual home tours and 3D 360-degree imagery.

The full impact of these measures and business closures were most felt by the Calgary economy and real estate market over the month of April. Overall home sales plummeted almost 63%, new listings were down 54%, and the average price of a Calgary home fell more than 8%. These trends were mirrored in the communities surrounding Calgary; over April only 60 sales were reported in Airdrie, and 17 homes were sold in Okotoks.

Amid an environment of business closures, social isolation and depressed consumer confidence, it comes as so surprise that demand within the market is falling, and that sales activity is on the decline. Chief economist for the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) Ann-Marie Lurie commented in the CREB market update for April: “Demand is also falling faster than supply. This is keeping the market in buyers’ territory and weighing on prices.”

In April of 2019, the average price of a home was $460,953 – by the end of April 2020, the average home price was sitting at $422,655. The steepest price plunge has been seen in homes priced over $600,000.

Reignited demand in the Calgary market will help to re-balance the market and flatten the curve in terms of dropping real estate prices. The question remains as to when those waiting out the pandemic will feel safe enough, and financially ready to return to the market.

Calgary’s Return to Business-as-Usual

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has already announced a multi-stage rollout for the province to emerge from its COVID-19 lockdown, with some businesses given the green-light to open as early as May 14th. The success of this plan, Kenny comments, will depend on the capacity of Albertans to continue to heed rules put forth by public health officials, including limiting public gatherings of over 15 people.

With the local economy and daily life within Calgary already on the path to recovery this month, there is much hope that by summer, there will be enough of a climb in demand within the housing market to start reversing some of the dips caused by the public health crisis.

Hope for the Calgary Real Estate Market

Mid-way through April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government would be pledging $1.7 billion to clean up orphan wells across the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. As well as providing environmental relief, this move will bring a much-needed boost to the struggling prairie provinces.

Effective immediately, this incentive will help to provide thousands of jobs within the receiving provinces, also helping large corporations (some of the region’s main employers) avoid bankruptcy in the midst of the public health crisis and the plummeting oil prices. With this investment helping to maintain 5,200 jobs in Alberta, there is optimism that this will also provide a modest boost for real estate within the province’s major markets, including Calgary.

Prior to the outbreak, despite its high unemployment rate, the city of Calgary continued to grow in population, attracting residents from other areas of Alberta. As the city maintains its reputation as one of Canada’s top 10 affordable real estate markets, it will continue to pull homebuyers in, who will be even more keen to take advantage of low prices and low interest rates post-crisis.

Other financial incentives and programs introduced since the onset of COVID-19 will also help to soften the economic blow to homeowners in Calgary. Mortgage deferral programs will also prevent spikes in new listings which can further imbalance the market during periods of high unemployment. With listings declining proportionately with sales over the second quarter, says Lurie, this will make the market less competitive for those selling their homes in Calgary. “Given the nature of this crisis, the situation is evolving rapidly. If additional government policies and programs are enacted, it could help soften the economic burden faced by Albertans”, Lurie says.

While so much uncertainty remains regarding the economic, political, and real estate climate within Calgary, hope and a spirit of resilience remains strong.

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Edmonton’s real estate market looks to bounce back after sales drop due to COVID-19

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As much of Alberta tries to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Edmonton’s real estate sector is among the industries hoping to bounce back.

After facing a major decline in home sales in April, many realtors say they are looking forward to a relaunch of their own.

“Mid-March we got that announcement that everybody needed to stay and work from home and that sort of dropped off, and then we really saw the effects of that impact happening in March in April,” Jennifer Lucas, chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, said.

Buyers and sellers started expressing safety fears about touring homes. In the latest report released by the Realtors Association of Edmonton, sales of single-family homes were over 55 per cent in April, compared to the same period last year.

The average sale price of single family homes is $410,200 — a drop of just over 4.14 per cent from last year.

With no exact timeline for a market rebound, there has been some indication that things are changing.

“We’re starting to see now that the government has introduced their phase-in plan for the economy, that people are starting to feel comfortable with the protocols we’ve put in place… they’re starting to get their houses back on the market and we’re getting a lot more calls from buyers to start looking at houses,” Lucas said.

“There’s no question this last week, week-and-a-half we’ve had tons of conversations with buyers and sellers that are definitely looking to get going,” realtor Ryan Boser with Sarasota Realty said.

While many realtors switched to virtual showings and assessments during heightened COVID-19 restrictions, they said making such a large transaction could benefit from a more personal approach.

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