Posted on: November 01, 2020
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in the ground.

What is Radon?

Members have expressed radon as a concern that all homeowners need to know about, particularly during the winter season.

What is Radon?
Radon is a tasteless, odourless and invisible radioactive gas that results from decaying uranium, and is a leading cause of lung cancer.

What happens?
Radon filters up from the ground and into the air. It can enter buildings through openings where the buildings contact the ground. In the outdoors, radon is diluted to low levels. Inside buildings, however, radon can build up to harmful, concentrated levels.

What are the health risks?
Breathing increased levels of radon increases a person’s chance of developing lung cancer. In fact, Radon is linked to 16% of lung cancer deaths. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

How does Radon enter a house?
Because radon is a gas, it can move freely through the soil enabling it to escape to the atmosphere or seep into buildings. When radon escapes from the bedrock into the outdoor air, it is diluted to such low concentrations that it poses a negligible threat to health. However, if a building is built over bedrock or soil that contains uranium, radon gas can be released into the building through cracks in foundation walls and in floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes and support posts, floor drains and sumps, cavities inside walls, and the water supplies. When radon is confined to enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces, it can accumulate to high levels. Radon levels are generally highest in basements and crawl spaces because these areas are nearest to the source and are usually poorly ventilated.

How does Radon enter a house?
Because radon is a gas, it can move freely through the soil enabling it to escape to the atmosphere or seep into buildings. When radon escapes from the bedrock into the outdoor air, it is diluted to such low concentrations that it poses a negligible threat to health. However, if a building is built over bedrock or soil that contains uranium, radon gas can be released into the building through cracks in foundation walls and in floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes and support posts, floor drains and sumps, cavities inside walls, and the water supplies. When radon is confined to enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces, it can accumulate to high levels. Radon levels are generally highest in basements and crawl spaces because these areas are nearest to the source and are usually poorly ventilated.

What can you do?
No building is radon free. The good news when it comes to radon is it’s a solvable problem. Even if you fall in love with a home that hasn’t had a radon test or the results are high, a radon mitigation device can be installed to vent radon gas outside the home from the basement. By hiring a C-NRPP certified Radon Measurement Professional to measure radon levels in the air, or doing the tests yourself, you are taking the first steps of preventing lung cancer in your family or occupants of the building. Mitigation costs vary, but are often not more than $2,000-$3,000. Hire a Certified Radon Technician to install the device to ensure it’s done properly.

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Posted on: November 02, 2020
Read this month's statistics summary and media release.

Residential Unit Sales up 26.34% compared to October 2019.

 
Edmonton, November 2, 2020: Total residential unit sales in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) real estate market for October 2020 increased 26.34% compared to October 2019 and decreased 0.21% from September 2020. The number of new residential listings is up year over year, increasing 14.75% from October 2019. New residential listings are down month over month, decreasing 7.43% from September 2020. Overall inventory in the Edmonton CMA fell 12.10% from October of last year and decreased 3.88% from September 2020.
For the month of October, single family home unit sales are up 38.02% from October 2019 and decreased 5.89% from September 2020 at 1,118. Condo unit sales increased 2.37% from October 2019 and decreased 13.28% from September 2020.
All residential average prices are up to $382,060, a 7.97% increase from October 2019, and up 1.50% from September 2020. Single family homes sold for an average of $442,854, a 5.05% year-over-year increase from October 2019, and a 0.72% increase from September 2020. Condominiums sold for an average of $231,608, a 1.67% increase year-over-year, and prices are down 1.34% compared to September 2020. Duplex prices increased 2.34% from October 2019, selling at $336,314, which was a 1.23% decrease from September 2020.
“The Edmonton market has seen an increase in year-over-year unit sales, compared to a slight decrease in month-to-month sales,” says REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Jennifer Lucas. “There have also been more sales of single-family homes, condos and duplexes compared to October of last year, while we’ve seen stable or decreasing month over month sales in all markets, which is typical for this time of year. We’re pleased to see year-over-year increases in pricing across all markets, with single family home pricing up 5.05%, duplexes up 2.34%, and condos up 1.67%.”
Single family homes averaged 47 days on the market, a thirteen-day decrease from last year. Condos decreased to an average of 58 days on the market, an eighteen-day decrease from last year, while duplexes averaged 50 days on market, a thirteen-day decrease compared to October 2019. Overall, all residential listings averaged 50 days on market, decreasing by 15 days on market year-over-year and three days compared to the previous month.
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Calgary, AB – Driven by year-over-year improvements in almost all regions, October sales activity rose to 4,535 units. While this reflects an eight per cent growth compared to last year, October 2018 sales were some of the weakest levels recorded since 2014. Overall year-to-date sales remain comparable to last year and over ten per cent below long-term averages.

“Given the current economic climate it is not a surprise that resale housing demand remains slow,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, AREA Chief Economist. “However, there have been some reductions in inventory as the amount of product coming onto the market is also slowing, helping push the market toward more balanced conditions. If these trends continue it should eventually support more stability in housing prices.”

Year-to-date, there has been an eight per cent decline in new listings, and an average four per cent reduction in inventory levels. The months of supply remains elevated based on historical standards placing downward pressure on prices.

There has also been a shift in some regional housing markets where the sales growth has been limited to the lower priced product in the market. This is consistent with our expectations, given the shift in the employment market and wages throughout most regions of the province.


Regional Breakdown

Calgary Region
For the fourth consecutive month, sales activity in the Calgary area improved over previous year’s levels and was enough to push year-to-date sales nearly two per cent higher than last year’s levels. However, it is also important to note that last year activity was one of the weakest recorded in nearly two decades.

There has also been a shift in where improvements are coming from. Improvements measured in terms of reductions in oversupply have been limited to the under $500,000 market, while higher priced product continues to struggle with slowing sales and rising supply. The general oversupply in the market combined with the shift to lower priced product is weighing on prices which remain well below last year’s levels.

Edmonton Region
Driven by improvements in the lower price ranges, October sales activity improved by over 10 per cent compared to last year. While the improvement in sales has helped contribute to the reduction in inventory levels, overall sales for the year remain comparable to last year and are still below what is considered the norm for the city.

At the same time, new listings continue to ease. The rise in sales and reduction in new listings has helped support a reduction in inventory levels and help shift the market toward more balanced conditions. However, the market continues to favour the buyer, and this is still placing some downward pressure on prices.

Central Alberta
For the first time all year, sales activity improved over the previous year thanks to gains in the lower price ranges. However, October’s improving sales were not enough to offset earlier losses as year-to-date sales activity have eased by eight per cent.

Year-to-date sales declines were also met with a pullback in new listings. This has helped reduce inventory levels and the months of supply. Nonetheless, the months of supply remains above 11 months, ensuring the market continues to favour the buyer. The persistent buyer market conditions are weighing on prices which have eased compared to last year.

Fort McMurray
With no change in the economic climate in the province, it is not a surprise that there is no significant change in the housing market in an area that reflects the health of the oil sands market.

While conditions are not as bad as the 2015-2018 period, slow sales combined with rising new listings has it made it difficult to see any substantial changes in inventory levels or prevent further declines in prices. Year-to-date prices have eased by five per cent, making the total downward adjustment in prices since 2014 amount to nearly 40 per cent.

Grande Prairie
Inventories continue to remain near historical highs, as monthly sales were not high enough to offset the number of new listings still coming onto the market. While sales have eased so far this year, they have generally remained in line with long term averages for the area.

Elevated inventories compared to sales pushed the months of supply up to over eight months. With conditions favouring the buyer, prices have remained relatively flat compared to last year. Sales eased across each price range except for homes priced between $400,000 and $499,999.

Lethbridge
Further improvements in sales this month pushed year-to-date sales to 2,187 units, nearly two per cent higher than last year. At the same time new listings also rose, keeping inventories elevated compared to last year. However, given the sales activity for the second month in a row, the months of supply has eased compared to the previous year and sits below longer-term trends for this time of year.

While earlier in the year this market was demonstrating some signs of buyer’s conditions, as of late, conditions have improved into more balanced territory and prices continue to improve over last year’s levels. The recent rise in prices could also be related to some shifts in distribution

Medicine Hat
Sales activity in the region have remained relatively stable compared to last year. However, further gains in new listings have caused some gains in inventory levels and slightly higher levels of months of inventory.

Despite some early signs of oversupply, year-to-date prices have remained one per cent higher than last year’s levels. This could also be related to the slight increase in sales for product priced above $300,000.

Alberta West
Year-to-date sales activity in the region has eased due to a pullback in homes priced below $400,000. Meanwhile, sales activity has improved for homes priced over $500,000. This is likely a reflection of the diversity throughout the region with some areas facing economic challenges more than others.

Regionwide inventories remained comparable to the previous year. However, prices have recorded gains of over six per cent. This is likely a reflection of the rise in activity for the higher priced product likely located around the Canmore area versus the Hinton area.

Lloydminster
Year-to-date sales activity rose slightly above last year’s levels but remain below historical norms. At the same time, new listings continue to ease, helping inventories generally trend down this year. However, the persistent oversupply has continued to weigh on prices which have eased by around six per cent so far this year.

South Central Alberta
Trends in the area remain consistent with last month. Further improvements in sales were met with a decline in new listings resulting in easing inventories. However, like last month the market continues to favour the buyer and prices are edging down.

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Edmonton’s recent recession is likely the culprit as the overall residential property assessments released Tuesday sank for the second year in a row.

Although the value of single-family detached houses rose by 0.6 per, the total for all residential locations dropped by 0.2 per cent compared to 2017, city assessment and taxation branch manager Rod Risling said.

The results were pulled down by lower values for condominiums, townhouses, duplexes and other homes, city figures show.

This followed a total 2.7 per cent decline in 2016, which Risling said is the first time he has seen a consecutive decrease.

 

“Disposable income has an impact on real estate values. Unemployment in the last few years has been higher than it was,” he told a news conference at City Hall.

“Obviously, it has an impact on the residential market.”

The typical detached Edmonton home was worth $399,500 on the annual assessment day last July 1, up from about $360,000 a decade ago, but down from the record $408,000 set in 2016.

The citys most expensive neighbourhood was southwest Hays Ridge, where the average home was worth $953,000.

The owners of homes with essentially unchanged values will likely pay the 3.2 per cent city tax hike council approved in December, although the final tax rate wont be set until May.

Properties that went up in value more than average face a larger tax increase and taxes should go down at locations where values dropped.

Property assessment notices were mailed Tuesday. Owners have until March 12 to complain through 311 or file a formal appeal.

Houses in a handful of older upscale neighbourhoods near the river valley had the biggest gains, led by a 9.6 per cent jump in assessments in Windsor Park and 8.9 per cent increase in Quesnell Heights.

The biggest drop was in sparsely populated Rural North East Horse Hill, where values shrank 9.1 per cent.

The type of property that saw the biggest increase was apartments, on average up 7.4 per cent or about $8 a month for each suite in a typical building, Risling said.

What we think is happening is certainly some of the other (types of) investment properties are not so great  theres been some coverage in the media about office buildings, he said.

We believe some of those investors are moving to multi-family inventory.

Darcy Torhjelm, chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, said the busy downtown market might be helping push up apartment prices, although hes not specialized in this field.

He doesnt expect much change in Edmonton housing prices in the near future.

Theyve pretty much levelled out. Im not predicting a huge increase or decrease over the next year, he said.

Our preliminary look at it indicates 2018 will be very similar to 2017. Prices will stabilize. Theres still good inventory levels, but sellers will be able to sell their properties.

gkent@postmedia.com

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TORONTO — Christine Davies and her husband were in their east-end Toronto home for about six years before deciding to pull the trigger on a massive renovation.

With two young children and a house "literally falling apart," Davies says, the couple needed an upgrade but didn't want to move up in the city's pumped-up real estate market — where home prices have increased by about 25 per cent over the last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

"Finding the house we have in Toronto, a free-standing home with a private driveway — that would be very difficult to find at an affordable price," says the 45-year-old health data analyst. "It's just more cost-effective to renovate."

But that's not to say gutting her home and building a two-storey addition hasn't been without stress, she adds, including the additional cost and inconvenience of renting another house to live in during the eight-month process.

A recent poll for CIBC indicated that as many as 56 per cent of Canadians embarking on renovations are choosing to stay in place instead of selling their home and buying another — for reasons ranging from wanting to make a space that better fits their needs to increasing the value of their homes.

However, the survey also suggested that homeowners starting renovations worry about household disruptions, project delays and overspending — despite the fact that 61 per cent of people planning to renovate admit they don't have a detailed budget.

CIBC says homeowners should do their research first by seeking expert advice from a realtor, a trusted contractor and a financial planner before embarking on any major projects to determine which options will fit their needs and budget.

Knowing if you will live through your renovation or move out is another key consideration and so is understanding what you can and can't do on your own.

"Be clear about the goals and limits of your project as well as the costs before you head over to the hardware store or pick up your toolbox," warns Scott Wambolt, senior vice-president of retail and business banking at CIBC.

"While DIY can add up to some cost savings, it could end up costing you more if you don't know what you're doing."

To keep her costs in check, Davies says she and her husband hired a fixed-rate contractor, whose price for the work includes all labour, materials, sub-contractor labour, equipment and other expenses.

"So if the scope of anything changes he lets us know ahead of time and we make decisions about whether we want to go with those changes or not," she says.

Dan Brewer, president of the Appraisal Institute of Canada, says homeowners doing renovations also need to consider whether the project is being done to increase the enjoyment of the property or to increase its value — or both.

In terms of renovations with the highest return on investment, "the biggest bang for your buck is bathrooms and kitchens," says Brewer, provided that the quality of materials and workmanship is consistent with the area you live in.

Less expensive renos that also pay you back include updating decor such as lighting and plumbing fixtures, or replacing or refinishing worn flooring — and even something as simple as a fresh coat of paint.

However, renovations that increase the enjoyment of your space — such as basement finishing, landscaping or adding a sun room — won't necessarily increase the value to your home, Brewer says.

CIBC's online survey was conducted from May 10-14 among 2,068 Angus Reid Forum panellists who are Canadian adult homeowners.

The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

 

Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.

David Hodges, The Canadian Press

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If you want to sell your home for more money, these are the colors you should paint your walls

Madeline Stone
Business InsiderJune 1, 2017

 

light blue bathroom
 
light blue bathroom

(Artazum / Shutterstock.com) 
When it comes time to sell your home, you might consider making some changes to make it more appealing to buyers. 

According to a new analysis by Zillow, paint color should definitely be a change you consider. 

After analyzing more than 32,000 listing photos of homes that have sold across the US, Zillow came up with a list of the colors that performed the best.

For example, homes that are painted "greige," a shade somewhere between light gray and beige, tended to sell for $3,496 more than similar homes in brown or tan. 

"Color can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos," Svenja Gudell, Zillow's chief economist, said in a press release. "Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray, not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space. Incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well as the color complements white countertops and cabinets, a growing trend in both rooms."

Here are Zillow's findings on what colors to choose (and which to avoid): 

Kitchens: 

  • Blue (light blue to soft gray-blue): home sold for $1,809 more on average
  • Yellow (straw yellow to marigold): home sold for $820 less on average

Bathrooms: 

  •  Blue/purple (light powder blue to periwinkle): home sold for $5,440 more on average
  • White/no color (off-white or eggshell white): home sold for $4,035 less on average

Bedrooms: 

blue bedroom
 
blue bedroom

(Dimasik_sh / Shutterstock.com) 

  • Blue (light cerulean to cadet blue): home sold for $1,856 more on average
  • Pink (light pink, to antique rose; often found in kids rooms): home sold for $208 lesson average

Dining Room: 

  • Blue (slate blue to pale gray blue; navy blue also found in dining rooms with white shiplap): home sold for $1,926 more on average
  • Red (brick red, terracotta, or copper red): home sold for $2,031 less on average

Living Room:

  • Brown (light beige, pale taupe, oatmeal): home sold for $1,809 more on average
  • Blue (pastel gray, pale silver to light blue, periwinkle): home sold for $820 less on average

Home Exterior:

  • Gray/brown (greige — mix of gray and beige): home sold for $1,526 more on average
  • Brown (medium brown, taupe, or stucco): home sold for $1,970 less on average

Front Door:

  • Gray/blue (navy blue to dark gray or charcoal): home sold for $1,514 more on average 
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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.