Jan. 29, 2010

Virtual networks and real estate

A short time ago someone I know said to me "If you are not on Facebook, you fundamentally don't even exist." I am now beginning to believe those who say it. Social network sites give you an awarenes into what your friends and work mates are doing. It is just about unachievable to keep in communication otherwise.

Still, staying informed about the life of your friends and acquaintances surely is not the only purpose of such websites. Another point of social websites is promoting yourself and bringing in business especially if you are a real estate agent. The times when a billboard or a little advertisement in a newspaper was enough for propagation of one's work or business are long disappeared and they will not come back. The way to the future is now the internet and computers. On-line, (what a coincidence) you can come across lots of articles with instructions and working tips on how to use the phenomenon of social networking.

For older people who were not brought up with computers, it's tough to get used to operating computers and to find their way round websites. Youngsters go on computers from a young age, so are fluent with them, while we, from the older generation, are taking a while to work things out. Regardless of the issue we still have a go. Those ideas, I venture, are not just felt by me, but by many realtors out there.

After working all day its not surprising we come home tired, so it's hard to sum up the energy to find interesting things to talk about on blogs or make posts on social websites such as facebook and twitter. Our daily routine now involves just that sort of input. Settling down now means going on-line to get our social networking chore done. Is there members of the public out there that are fascinated in our posts? Do people, other than fellow realtors, actually look at the articles we write? I think we will never know for sure, will we?

Personally because the reports are of interest to me, I do peruse and look at the websites of my fellow real estate associates. But who knows whether their features also attract ordinary people (I don't mean this in a negative way, of course), the job of whom is not involved with real estate at all. By reading colleagues blogs and posts, it doesn't matter how often I get together with them, I am always up to date with their lives. So I may not have spoken to someone for a long time, but I can honestly say I have learnt alot about them, and this is thanks to social networking. What a awesome thing social networking is.

In my professional life I sell Toronto condos, and I consider social networking to be one of the key ways of success. Hopefully this short article was of any help for you!

Jan. 20, 2010

Global Property Market Recovering

The world housing market is continuing in its recovery, the newest Global Real Estate Trends report by Scotia Economics claims. Canadian market is in a good condition and in couple of other states, signs of recovery of the real estate market are visible too.

In 2009, the approximate number of MLS home sales 465,000 - increase of seven percent from a year before. The number of new homes last year, however, decreased from 2008. It was approximately 146,000 in 2009 and 211,000 in 2008. There was an increase in home prices, though - up to $315,000 over the year.

Canada is actually the leader in the property price increases. In the third quarter of 2009, average home prices rose by 11 percent. "Canada still leads the pack among the markets we track. " Adrienne Warren, Senior Economist of Scotia Economics said. "Inflation-adjusted average home prices in the July to September period were up 11 percent from the same quarter a year ago, a dramatic turnaround from the 10 percent yearly decline recorded in the opening months of 2009. " Warren further noted. There is no need to be worried about the rising prices in the country, according to Scotia Economics, though. As they claim, prices in the country rose mainly due to basic demand-supply factors and they should stabilize in the near future.

In Australia, the average home prices are in positive territory again, as they increased by 5 percent from third quarter of 2008 to third quarter of 2009. However, in the US, average home prices decreased by 6 percent in the third quarter of 2009 from the same period in 2008. That still is a pretty good result, if we consider that there was a fourteen percent decline in first quarter of 2009 from the year before. In European countries it's diverse: the situation in the UK is almost like the situation in the US. And in France we can see stabilizing of prices. "A shortage of homes for sale, alongside strengthening housing demand, is contributing to the firming in prices in a number of countries, including Canada, Australia and the UK." said Warren.

Good, good. Expected, too, after all the recent positive news about economic recovery. Great to hear once again that Canada belongs to countries doing just fine. If we compare our results with those of the US, we are pretty good. And frankly, I do feel quite proud.

Jan. 13, 2010

Property Investment Remain Popular in Canada

With the start of new year, more Canadians are primarily focusing on paying down their debts, a poll conducted for Manulife Financial in December 2009 claims. This outcome came after three quarters of increases of interest in investment.

The priority to pay down debts has gotten to its highest level in 5 years in December. Taking care of their consumer credit is now the main priority of 28 percent of 1000 polled Canadians. It was 20 percent two years ago and 24 percent last year. Paying down one's own mortgage is the second top priority. 14 percent of respondents share this opinion, in comparison with 11 percent from a year ago. The thrid most common answer of Canadians was that they are saving for retirement, 11 percent of Canadians are of this opinion - last year it was 14 percent.

Concerning overall financial state of Canadians, 46 percent of respondents think their financial situation is better now than it was 5 years ago. Last year, the number of Canadians who share this view was 5 percent higher and it was 14 percent higher two years ago. 28 percent of polled Canadians believe that their financial situation 5 years back was just the same as it is today, and 25 percent of Canadians consider their current situation to be worse than it was in late 2004.

As for Manulife Sentiment Index, after three quarterly gains in a row, it has decreased in December from 3 months earlier by 7 points to +18. The main focus of the index are the feelings of Canadians about investing in few categories.

It is mainly based on these categories:
-Investing in their homes is the top choice of Canadians. Still, in December 2009, the index for investing in property has declined by 5 points, to +52.
-Investment in real estate decreased by 13 points in December, after quite a few gains this year. Its level, +27 is still higher than it was last year, when it actually went to the negative territory.
-The current level of balanced funds is +16, and they increased by 2 points.
-Cash and fixed income investments decreased by 8 points to + 10 in December.
-The current level of equities is -5, as they have decreased by 6 points.

I'm quite pleased to see Canadians still find investing in their homes this important. And it is also great to know that our country has responsible citizens, the top priority of whom is paying their debt. I'm quite curious whether the repeated warnings by the Bank of Canada's representatives has influenced it somehow.