Twice each year, the Ontario Real Estate Association polls Ontario residents’ thoughts on home ownership and their local economies in the Ontario Homeownership Index.
This latest poll found that Ontario residents have experienced the largest positive increase in positive sentiment of the local real estate market and economy since 2013, when the Index began.
In the Greater Toronto Area:
59% of residents in the GTA said their real estate market is stronger than last year.
70% of residents in the GTA think their local economy is good.
63% of residents say their local residential real estate market is favourable.
59% of residents in the GTA said the real estate market in their city will be stronger in the next year.
“With significantly-improved perceptions across all markets and timeframes, it is clear to see why the index has posted its biggest gain to date,” said the vice president of Ipsos Public Affairs, Sean Simpson. “As home prices and sales figures throughout the province continue to astound, it is encouraging to see the Ontarians are feeling optimistic about economies and real estate markets, both provincially and locally. The last time Ipsos polled on Ontario real estate, perceptions of the province’s economy were more negative. Midway through 2016, the economic mood has improved considerably, and while there is undoubtedly still room for improvement, opinion has rebounded, likely carrying perceptions of the real estate market along with it.”
According to the Ontario Home Ownership Index, a survey conducted semi-annually by the Ontario Real Estate Association, more Ontarians feel that residential real estate markets are stronger now than a year ago (40 per cent vs. 33 per cent last year).
“As Toronto’s real estate market continues to make headlines, residents in the 416 believe that it has the potential to become stronger still in the next year,” said the vice president of Ipsos Public Affairs, Sean Simpson. “Regional perceptions are more aligned on the question of economic conditions. Across all regions surveyed, fewer Ontarians this year described the current state of the economy in Ontario and their city as ‘good’.”
In the GTA, the number of people who would describe the local economy as “good” has dropped from 66 per cent last year to 60 per cent this year. On a more local level, it’s dropped from 64 per cent to 56 per cent in the 416 area code, and from 68 per cent to 64 per cent in the 905 area code.
However, when asked about the next year, 46 per cent of both the 416 and 905 area codes said the city would be “stronger”, which is up from 35 per cent and 44 per cent.
By Heather Rose
Much like those debt consolidation and settlement lawyer commercials (“It’s my money and I want it now!” anyone?), advertisements for mortgage accelerator programs seem to pop up during hard times or in the middle of a gloomy economy.
Mortgage Accelerator Programs promise to help you pay off your mortgage in half the time, but despite the common misconception, they’re not the same as debt consolidation where a company pays off the bank for you and you then owe them the money instead. Mortgage Accelerator Programs are something like a combined bank account where you deposit all of your money, and it makes payments for you.
It’s not a scam at all, but it’s not really worth your time or the extra money. Why? Because you can do it yourself for free and not be trapped within a mortgage accelerating bank account. In other words, what a Mortgage Accelerator Program does for you (for a fee), you can easily accomplish on your own.
The basic principle of most Mortgage Accelerator Programs is that making payments every two weeks instead of once per month both a) slows down the accruement of interest and b) in a 52-week year, you’re making 26 mini-payments which equals one extra whole mortgage payment per year. For example, if your mortgage payment is $1,000 monthly, pay $500 biweekly instead of one lump sum of $1,000. If you do this biweekly, you’ll end up with thirteen payments of $1,000 instead of twelve.
Some lending and baking companies offer biweekly payment plans. They may offer this service completely free, but if there are charges they’ll be far less than the cost of a Mortgage Accelerator Program.
There are some things to check up on before beginning this process. The first is that the bank will be aware that you want the payments applied to the principal and not the next payment. The second thing you should be sure of is that there are no prepayment penalties on your mortgage.
Heather Rose is a Toronto based Journalist, who is a regular contributor to the Muddy York Real Estate Blog. Heather website is located at heatherroseportfolio.squarespace.com.