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Steve Ritchie
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This is a repost of an article from a year or so ago. Ever more apparent is the need for Multi-Generational, Marketable, Accessible, Net-Zero, or Off Grid Intentional Communities with homes built on a smaller scale.

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“And if the dam breaks open many years too soon

And if there is no room upon the hill

And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too

I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”
Royal Le Page CEO, Phil Soper believed that even the threat of a Trump presidency could be driving Canadian housing growth. Methinks that was a little wishful thinking from a real estate industry insider going on there! However, we (barring any more successful efforts to stop the madness) now have a potential Trump in the White House.



On the eve after the election the Canadian immigration website crashed!  There is  reason to believe that there may be some influx of qualified applicants from our neighbor to the South, even though it turns out it ain’t that easy to get to here from there.  But, this is a  potential reality, and we should also consider the wider picture of global change with climate, population trends, &  immigration. All this impacts our little Nova Scotia perspective!
In my last post we looked at the slew of condo and apartment construction in the Halifax area, and asked the question; “Where are they all coming from?” We might also ask; “Who’s paying for these buildings?”.  As we already mentioned, many of the new condo buyers and apartment dwellers are coming from within Canada, and from rural Nova Scotia (to the detriment of rural life). Certainly baby boomers are also downsizing into condos and apartments from their unnecessarily big homes, which is a demographic shift that accounts for a great deal of MLS® sales activity locally and nationally. However, in my view, Nova Scotia is remarkably well positioned in the current global situation to become at least one “shining city on the hill” in the midst of global chaos.
This was certainly part of the vision of the redoubtable and fearless Tibetan Buddhist visionary and leader, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche when he picked Nova Scotia and Halifax as the global HQ for Shambhala in the early 1980’s.  Trungpa foresaw a time of increasing global chaos and repression on a political, economic, religious, and environmental levels.  He felt that his spiritual tradition needed to take root in a place that was away from the chaotic center, but not too far away to make a difference. Nova Scotia fit the bill.
With some inspired leadership I believe that Nova Scotia & the Maritimes could become an example to the rest of the world. We will need all those extra homes and condos, but we also need to develop sustainable off-grid/energy independent, multi-generational, multi-income level communities. These will be needed to demonstrate that we can all live in a high technology society by taking care of each other without harming our environment.
This NOT being done yet…..quite. Seven Lakes Community in the Porter’s Lake area is a start in the right direction. More needs to be done to direct the developers and the politicians to make this happen. Become a part of that effort!
Steve Ritchie ABR is a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Select Realty in Halifax. He is available to assist with all your real estate needs through his MLS® enabled websites, and all other virtual and real communications platforms (voice,text, and person to person!) in the Halifax Metro area of Nova Scotia, Canada!


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Yes please!

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Map Courtesy of the fine work of the Coast Magazine!
Like a teenager who has spent WAY TOO LONG in the parent’s basement, Halifax Metro Area appears to be growing up and leaving home! His/Her parents are still not totally positive that he/she is out the door, but there is a girl/boyfriend..they are talking about finding an apartment…and have actually found a job. Maybe this is the anticipated emancipation! Is Halifax finally growing up and becoming a big adult city? Your thoughts and opinions are welcome.
According to media and other reports the BIG DAY has finally arrived. The car is packed with Mum’s set of extra dishes, and the kid is leaving! What a bitter sweet feeling it is!
Arriving  in Nova Scotia from the Denver area in 1989 I was not sure whether to laugh or cry at the Neo-Stalinist liquor regime, the hopeless ingrown snobbery of the South End, or the provincial old boyz network. Don’t get me started on CBC’ radio’s “traffic reports” giving the illusion that Halifax actually had a real BIG CITY traffic problem!
Has this changed? Yes & No & Maybe? As Frank magazine occasionally provided some comic relief poking angry holes in the clubby hypocrisy, I buckled under, got my real estate license, and started to watch the kid grow up. The thing about real estate is that it does not hold an opinion. It just IS. So what is the IS these days?
Many, many, current condo projects  (scroll down the page to an interactive map of condo projects) have and are developing both in the City core, and in the “burbs” in the last 10-15 years. West Bedford area  with natural gas is slowly spreading it’s mixed use residential footprint out between the Hammonds Plains & Kearney Lake/Larry Uteck area. From the Bedford Highway up and over the top to the 102 Highway ….a lot of new home and large rental apartment construction has occurred. Many of my clients ask me; “Where are THEY all coming from?”. My usual reply is the regular migration within Canada, and much in-migration within the Province as the outlying towns and cities in Cape Breton, and the rest of the Province are dying. People move to find employment, and that has spurred much of the development. In my next post…a theory about Halifax development that takes a more global perspective!
Steve Ritchie ABR is a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Select Realty in Halifax. He is available to assist with all your real estate needs through his MLS® enabled websites, and all other virtual and real communications platforms (voice,text, and person to person!) in the Halifax Metro area of Nova Scotia, Canada!


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Even your bankers are getting a headache over Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s new federal mortgage lending rules for home buyers.
Interviewed by CTV’s Meredith Macleod, mortgage expert Robert McLister (who writes for Canadian Mortgage Trends) said: “I don’t think this has been thought through at all,” He says the effect is that refinances, jumbo mortgages and rental business will have to be handed over by brokers and non-bank lenders to the banks. He believes that this will hurt competition and drive up mortgage rates and fees. “There was no industry consultation. Every lender I spoke to said they had no inkling this was coming. This is a big fat mistake.”
Our real estate company,  Keller Williams Select Realty of Halifax, Nova Scotia was paid a visit  today by Darren Quigley  who is a regional sales manager at Royal Bank.  He also echoed the lack of consultation that was provided to the banking sector. Speaking for the real estate sector, the Canadian Real Estate Association, CREA, was also not consulted on the proposed changes, or how they might effect house values and market activity.  Also, the desired beneficial effect of making homes more affordeable in the higher end markets might well create a larger than desired  home price depression in markets like Atlantic Canada that have not been experiencing the overheated demand of Vancouver or Toronto.  Certainly first time home buyer end of the market will be dampened considerably under the new rules, and this is a segment of the population that drives and spurs a great deal of market activity.
McLister believes that  the changes are a “solution to a problem that doesn’t exist” because only one in 357 Canadian homeowners defaults on a mortgage. “Regulators are under intense pressure to do something because home prices are climbing fast and may be over-valued in some markets. They want to avoid any kind of catastrophe on their watch,” he said.  “But the knee-jerk reaction will be so damaging, they could cause the sell-off they are trying to avoid.”
Let’s hope McLister’s opinions are not as dire as the reality! In any case, our strong recommendation to home buyers and prospective home sellers is CHECK WITH YOUR MORTGAGE LENDERS if you are in process of selling (and then re-purchasing a new home) or have been pre-qualified by a lender before these changes came into effect. They may well effect what time of home you can now afford!
Steve Ritchie ABR is a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Select Realty in Halifax. He is available to assist with your real estate needs through their MLS® enabled websites, and all other virtual and real communications platforms (voice,text, and person to person!) in the Halifax Metro area of Nova Scotia, Canada!


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        This post is an add on to my previous post about regional value disparities in Canada. Here is a further visual argument (Info source: the Economist & the Visual Capitalist) for  boomers and post boomers who own real estate in the higher priced markets, and are thinking retirement or relaxation.

Atlantic Canada is a great value, and provides the possibility to “retire your equity” from out West.  Condos come in all shapes and sizes in Halifax these days. You know who to call in Halifax, Nova Scotia to get the ball rolling!:)


Steve Ritchie ABR is a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Select Realty in Halifax. He is available to assist with all your real estate needs through his MLS® enabled websites, and all other virtual and real communications platforms (voice,text, and person to person!) in the Halifax Metro area of Nova Scotia, Canada!


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For those who have a visual bent this little graphic says it all about the disparity of home prices across Canada. Harken to the visuals all your Vancouver and Toronto-ites. Nova Scotia wants your retirement dollars! Royal Le Page CEO, Phil Soper believes that even the threat of a Trump presidency is driving Canadian housing growth! Initially I thought there was a little wishful thinking  going on there. Now I am not so sure… with the NY Times reporting a decreasing lead for Hillary every week…..who knows how the circles to the left will end up:)

 

 

 

   

Steve Ritchie ABR is a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Select Realty in Halifax. He is available to assist with all your real estate needs through his MLS® enabled websites, and all other virtual and real communications platforms (voice,text, and person to person!) in the Halifax Metro area of Nova Scotia, Canada!

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