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adam Aug 11, 2008 4:27 PM

I'll gladly cut your lawn and shovel your snow for $400/month!

BrianE Aug 11, 2008 4:46 PM

St. Clair and Blakely are still selling well. Especially the smaller houses under $200g A house on Cumberland around the corner sold in 3 weeks, two others on my street sold earlier in the sping in just over a month. There's a sweet house on Blake St on for $419g I think this property is a good barometer for the strength of the market. Keep an eye on this one.

The bad times are starting to hit the upper end of the market first however. I drive by 3 houses in Ancaster everyday, 2 on Rousseux and one on Golf Links Rd. They have all been on the market since February - March. One of them is a flip job and could not have been done at a worse time. They don't seem to want to reduce their price, maybe they can't, otherwise they will take a loss on the house.

Oh! BTW, has a new site every property is now shown on a map. Very useful tool, fast and well done.

DC83 Aug 11, 2008 4:59 PM

I think you chose the right hood to move into, Brian. St Clair/Blakely is defintately hot'ish right now with the best yet to come (just wait for LRT).

Just a tip: there are ghetto ghetto ghetto condos for sale @ Main/Wentworth. $50,000 each. Mostly reno'd with some that have Washer/Drier stand-ups.

The bldg is pretty ghetto right now, but from what I hear (from one of the unit owners) is that they have been agressively evicting the old tenants and trying to replace with owners and/or decent tenants. Kind of like what most of the mid-rise mid-century apt bldgs along Main are doing (the ones across from Gage Park come to mind too).

So if anyone's willing to sit on a property for a cpl years, or if you're patient enough, buy now. If I were a lil older with an established career I would totally snag up a unit there. By 2015 it may be worth $250,000!

EDIT: My bad! They're actually $25,000!!

FairHamilton Aug 11, 2008 5:00 PM

South of Main (i.e. Blake) is where the prices really jump up, $419K is a lot of money for the neighbourhood. I'll have to take a walk along Blake and see what that buys you ;-).

There are still big houses between King & Main to the east of Sherman (Garfield, Fairholt, Barnesdale, Carrick, etc....) where you can get a large home in the $170's. For my money I think the largest appreciations (% wise) will happen in that area, as multi-unit homes are upgraded and converted back into single family homes the area will improve rapidly.

I like the new mapping feature on

Berklon Aug 11, 2008 5:15 PM

Detached homes are sitting on the market longer now. I've been tracking homes in the east end for a while and they're just sitting there. A few price reductions and still nothing. Not surprising since they're overpriced at 350-380k. 360k for an average bungalow? Come on.

raisethehammer Aug 11, 2008 5:19 PM

I know someone who just bought a nice home in the Cannon/Sherman area. They offered a few thousand more than asking price, the day before the listing went public.
Two other bidders also put in bids the same day but were only 1-2,000 over asking. Still, 3 offers over asking on a 3-bedroom home near Sherman/Cannon is pretty impressive. I think asking price was 160,000.
There's a beauty that just came up near me on Devenport. 5 bed, 2 baths. Recently reno'd on a 145 foot lot! Asking 220,000.

raisethehammer Aug 11, 2008 5:20 PM


Originally Posted by DC83 (Post 3727851)
I think you chose the right hood to move into, Brian. St Clair/Blakely is defintately hot'ish right now with the best yet to come (just wait for LRT).

Just a tip: there are ghetto ghetto ghetto condos for sale @ Main/Wentworth. $50,000 each. Mostly reno'd with some that have Washer/Drier stand-ups.

The bldg is pretty ghetto right now, but from what I hear (from one of the unit owners) is that they have been agressively evicting the old tenants and trying to replace with owners and/or decent tenants. Kind of like what most of the mid-rise mid-century apt bldgs along Main are doing (the ones across from Gage Park come to mind too).

So if anyone's willing to sit on a property for a cpl years, or if you're patient enough, buy now. If I were a lil older with an established career I would totally snag up a unit there. By 2015 it may be worth $250,000!

EDIT: My bad! They're actually $25,000!!

holy crap... $25,000!!! And WHEN we get LRT, there will certainly be a stop right at that corner.
Wow. I wish I could snag one.

DC83 Aug 11, 2008 5:40 PM

^^ In Detoit, you can get a detached home in the inner-City for $10,000-$15,000. There may be no windows or houses around you, but it's still damn cheap!

I think I'd take my chances on the Hamilton Real Estate Market tho ;)

fastcarsfreedom Aug 11, 2008 8:08 PM

DC83--there are a few houses around Detroit in that price range that are actually habitable, but they are for the most part in areas of "prairie" land, where most of the neighboring houses are long gone, where city services such as trash collection and street lighting are spotty--and where you would have to tolerate frequent property crime. On the flipside of that--a large hotel being restored downtown (Westin Book-Cadillac) sold out of it's 500,000-1,000,000 condos in the inner-city market in Detroit is bizarre. I'm pleased to hear the Hamilton market is relatively healthy--not sure how much news from our little burg here in SW Ontario makes the provincial or national news--but we have an absolutely moribund housing market--probably 2 to 3 years inventory of resale homes on the market and all new home development basically at a standstill. It's essentially the same as the U.S. market--just without the added problem of foreclosures.

raisethehammer Aug 12, 2008 1:07 AM

nah, actually I'd never heard of your town until I drove to Detroit airport this summer. I passed by just before Windsor.
Speaking of which, what a horrible border crossing...the 401 aprubtly ends and drops you onto this fast food haven like Upper James before hitting the Ambassador Bridge. Crazy.
The Detroit side has huge construction going on right now in the shadow of a 10-15 storey 'Lister Block'. Pretty brutal entrance to the D.
I think I read somewhere that it was the old central terminal sitting there empty in the sky.
I wonder why. Buffalo's is empty too.

fastcarsfreedom Aug 12, 2008 1:37 AM

An extension of the 401 is being built, to a new border crossing about 1 1/2 miles downriver of the Ambassador Bridge. The current situation of the 401 emptying onto Highway 3/Huron Church Road will be eliminated. Don't blame us--while everyone outside of Toronto has been hard-done by over the years--Windsor has been forgotten/written-off for decades--I guess the thinking when the 401 was completed in the late 1960s was "why bother"...there are residential areas all around that stretch of fast-food joints that are treated to 24 hours worth of truck traffic a few blocks from home.

The 10-15 story "Lister Block" you speak of is closer to 20 floors and is indeed the former Michigan Central Station. When Amtrak relocated it's rail service in the late 1980s it was left to go to seed--tragically, as it was an architecturally stunning beaux-arts station that was once among the busiest of it's kind. It's current situation is complicated--opportunities to revive it have come-and-gone, mostly passing by due to it's ownership by contraversial magnate Matty Maroun--who also owns the Ambassador Bridge...and who has refused to sell it or the land surrounding it. It's failure to maintain status as a transportation hub was in no small part related to the decline of rail travel, but was made worse by it's awkward geographic location, separate from the central business district of the city, in much the same way Buffalo's is.

The reconstruction of the U.S. side of the Ambassador Bridge is, for the record, the largest project ever undertaken by the Michigan Department of Transport.

As a point of clarification, my comments on the local housing market were meant to portray the situation across the Greater Windsor area, not exclusively Tecumseh.

raisethehammer Aug 12, 2008 2:33 AM

interesting stuff. yea the decline of rail seems to be the reason for both Buffalo and Detroit's terminals falling into decline. Both are removed from downtown, but both are beautiful buildings....especially Buffalo's, but that building in Detroit caught my eye from the Ambassador and made a big enough impression on me to remember it vividly despite it only being the first time I'd ever laid eyes on it. Great building. Yea, I was guessing on the floor height...kind of hard to count from the highway. lol.
STUNNING views of downtown Detroit from the bridge though. Wow. I need to visit.
Is Windsor's housing market tanking because of overflow from Detroit??

matt602 Aug 12, 2008 3:45 AM

MCS is awesome. The view was quite nice. (try to ignore the phallic art - detroit kids are bored I guess)

fastcarsfreedom Aug 12, 2008 4:37 AM

matt602--you caught a bit of history in your photo--old Tiger Stadium, which is now about 50% demolished. There is a steady vigil of cars pulling off on the I-75 Service Drive to witness the demolition--grown men choking up at the sight, remembering years gone by. A flag is flying on Detroit's famous outfield flagpole--and it does appear now that Federal appropriations will preserve the lower deck from dugout to dugout--as well as the field itself.

I love Detroit--and I find MCS the saddest building in the city--I never get used to seeing it in it's current state--even though I didn't live in the area when it was still active. It remained mostly intact well into the 1990s until Maroun's company finally gave up on having a security presence on site--so the decay/stripping has worsened. Nonetheless, buildings like that weren't built of paper--and the bones are still as solid as hell...all it would take to bring the building back to life would be money--easier said then done. As a matter of note--the tower housed offices primarily of the old New York Central Railway--which eventually disappeared into Conrail. The highest floors were never fully completed/occupied--the leasing market back then was killed by the Great Depression--and the city itself grew outward--but not in the direction of the terminal as it's builders had assumed.

As for our housing market in Windsor--it is really multiple factors. It's important to note that Michigan/Ohio/Ontario--and to an extent Wisconsin/Illinois and Indiana operate as basically a single economic unit as far as manufacturing goes--and while Hamilton and the GTA have a more diversified economy--places like Windsor are more heavily dependent on manufacturing. There have been job losses locally at Ford, GM, Chrysler and a multitude of suppliers--particularly in the tool/die/mould-making sector. Cross-border tourism has been diminished by fears of long border waits (which are rare) and the disappearance of the favorable exchange rate. Important to note that most of the job losses at Chrysler and Ford have been offset by buyouts of workers near retirement age--that has prompted many empty-nesters to list single-family homes for sale with an eye at downsizing. Others, fortunate enough to work in areas that are insulated from the ups and downs of the economy--have listed out of fear. It's really created a glut of properties on the market at a time when no one is really in the mood to buy. I'm perfectly happy in my place and I work in a field insulated from economic malaise--but it would be a great time to buy--the problem being I'd have a bitch of a time selling my place now.

Interesting to note there has been some highrise condo activity more recently--including a couple of prominent riverfront highrises that have slowly but surely sold out--and sold well enough initially to get built. There really isn't a lot of activity anywhere right now though--and a number of new housing developments that were in process are on hold--out in our end of the region there are a lot of those perfect subdivisions with sidewalks, streetlights, curbs, signs--and no houses. Alas, the lack of a foreclosure crisis makes things more managable--and will make recovery easier.

raisethehammer Aug 12, 2008 11:59 AM

awesome building.
Maybe we can send LIUNA down there to help you out. Lol.
Yea, I can't believe the stadium is coming down. Man, that's something else.
I hope Detroit comes back someday....a long road though.

SteelTown Aug 12, 2008 12:59 PM

Housing construction cools off
But locally, new townhouses and apartments power small boom

August 12, 2008
Eric Shackleton
The Canadian Press

Canada's housing market lost steam in July as the fevered pace of new home and condo construction cooled, especially in Ontario.

That follows a June where prices rose at their slowest pace in more than six years.

Canada's national economy "is flat on its back" after two straight monthly declines in employment, Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said yesterday. As a result, he said, people are "anxious and worried about the economic outlook," (and) "are not inclined to make big-ticket purchases like homes."

He also said the housing slowdown comes as a kind of payback after "unsustainably strong" building activity in past years and prices being "overly high for too long."

Helene Begin, senior economist with Desjardins Securities, said, "it is possible that poor weather conditions, particularly in central and eastern Canada, magnified the decline in construction."

Both regions have seen record amounts of rain and severe storms over the past couple of months.

Locally, apartment and condominium developments are driving a small housing boom in Hamilton.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported yesterday that total housing starts in the Grimsby-Hamilton-Burlington area were up 70 per cent in July over the same month last year. Townhouse and apartment starts drove the entire gain, rising 175 per cent while starts of single detached homes were down 4 per cent.

Seven months into the year, CMHC said total starts for 2008 are up 25 per cent with semi-detached, townhouses and apartments leading the way with an increase of 55 per cent, while single-detached starts are up only 4 per cent.

"While single-detached starts in Hamilton remain steady, townhouse and apartment starts have taken off this year," said Sarah Fong, CMHC's market analyst for Hamilton. "Preference for less expensive housing and condominium-style living by some households is the driving force behind the increase in these starts.''

Hamilton's rising market generally matches the rest of Ontario where starts are up 17 per cent from the same time last year. Compared with June, however, they were down 39 per cent in July with apartment and single-detached starts leading the slide.

The Canadian economy has been hurt by the slowdown in the United States, brought on by the worldwide credit crunch, which has savaged Canada's export-sensitive forestry and automotive industries, leading to thousands of layoff announcements.

Softening commodity prices, especially for oil, are also creating uncertainty in the marketplace.

The national economy lost 55,000 jobs in July, with Ontario and Quebec, the country's two most populous provinces and the centre of the manufacturing sector, the hardest hit. Statistics Canada said Friday the national unemployment rate improved slightly to 6.1 per cent in July, from 6.2 per cent in June, but only because many people -- especially the young -- left the workforce.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported yesterday that July's annual rate of housing starts was 186,500 units, down from 215,900 units in June.

"It was the second consecutive monthly decline, and the most significant since December last year," TD economist Pascal Gauthier said in a note to clients.

He said "the overall level of new residential construction activity recorded in July fell significantly short of expectations for a total of 210,000 starts."

While Alberta and British Columbia sidestepped the national trend in construction activity, up 23 per cent and 5 per cent respectively, "every other province recorded significant reductions in housing starts," Gauthier said.

Saskatchewan fell the most with a 56 per cent decline, "but it was Ontario's 28 per cent pullback in starts that weighed the most on national figures," he said.

The volatile multiple unit segment, including housing such as condos, "took the largest hit, mostly in Ontario as well," Gauthier said.

Urban single-unit starts posted a 7 per cent decline in July, continuing their gradual downward trend, he said.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada said in June, Western Canada's softening market slowed housing prices to their slowest pace in more than six years.

adam Aug 12, 2008 1:56 PM

Its insane how oil prices can have such a broad affect on everything. the oil barons have really got us by the... everything!

fastcarsfreedom Aug 13, 2008 5:30 AM

LIUNA has nothing on Matty Maroun, trust me RTH--a brief intro on the inner-workings of his conglomerate and you'd be thankful to have LIUNA in town.

As for a "comeback" in Detroit--well...Detroit is complicated, simply put. Despite the economic malaise, the area still has an enviable roster of Fortune 500 companies, incredible wealth, cultural and arts institutions rivalling those of larger cities and great geographic advantages. The proper City of Detroit has enormous challenges--not only 50 years of migration to the suburbs (which have depopulated the City by over half from it's peak in the early 1950s), but a city government ravaged by deep corruption, a failing public school system and entrenched mistrust between city and suburbs. It is difficult to attract/retain viable/prosperous citizens when Oakland County lies immediately north with enviable school systems, per capita incomes in the top tier in the U.S. and a government that has operated as a job/wealth creation machine for the past 40 fact Oakland County is on track to add jobs this year--which is jaw-dropping considering the painful upheavel in the regional economy.

So that's my primer. Downtown Detroit is well on it's way to coming back to life--I mean, there has been an absolute sea-change in the time I've lived in this area--it is the 'belt' of neighborhoods in the proper City of Detroit that separate downtown from the suburbs that are the deep, difficult crisis. It will take a radical shift in development/planning philosophy to really attack the issues of crime, vacancy and disenfranchisement.

Anyway...that's off topic, isn't it? Just some insight. And if you're feeling down on the HSR sometimes--remember this--the city/suburb divide in Metro Detroit is so broad that TWO seperate transit systems exist--DDOT for the city and SMART for the suburbs--two completely autonomous transit systems.

flar Sep 9, 2008 1:34 PM

Plunging property sales prompt fears

MP warns slide could signal big problems
September 09, 2008
Meredith Macleod
The Hamilton Spectator
(Sep 9, 2008)

Local real estate sales plummeted close to 20 per cent last month, but it does not signal a slip toward a housing crisis like the one in the United States, says the area realtors association.

But Halton MP Garth Turner warns real troubles are looming.

A total of 992 properties, including homes, condos, commercial sites, business properties and farms, were sold in August in the Hamilton-Burlington area.

That was a 19.6 per cent fall over sales in August 2007.

So far in 2008, sales are down 8.7 per cent over last year, while new listings are up 5.3 per cent. That certainly points to a softening market, says Ann Cosens, president of the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington.

But that was expected after a record year of sales in 2007, she says.

"This year is our second-best year, so we are still very strong."

The association projects sales will be down 6 or 7 per cent for 2008.

The average price of freehold homes grew 5.4 per cent from August 2007 to $303,818 last month. Condo prices fell less than 1 per cent to $207,387.

But the story was different in various parts of Hamilton and Burlington.

Sale prices were down on the Mountain and in Ancaster, Waterdown and Grimsby, and up in the lower city, Burlington, Dundas, Flamborough, Stoney Creek and Glanbrook.

"Business is still OK out there," says Hamilton broker Ken Gies. "This is more of a normal market."

In his brokerage, commissions have fallen about 7 per cent this year. But more telling, he says, is that Internet hits on listings have fallen about 30 per cent.

Homes are taking longer to sell, but those that are priced right do move, Gies says.

"Hamilton is a very affordable place. We're still selling homes for the price of rent. If you're down the road in Oakville, that won't happen."

But among 40 listings on the Mountain that Gies pulled to show a client yesterday were four powers of sale.

"That's very unusual. Maybe this is the beginning of something."

Broker Ray Edwards says that after 63 years in the business, he's never seen a hotter market than that of the last couple of years.

"People were almost buying before houses were listed and there were three or four offers on one house. Things have slowed a bit but there is no doom or gloom out there."

Hamilton remains one of the three or four tightest resale markets in the province, alongside London, Thunder Bay and Kitchener, says Sarah Fong, senior market analyst with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

But according to MP Turner, a former financial expert, consultant and author of The Greater Fool: The Troubled Future of Real Estate, years of skyrocketing home prices are catching up with Canadian homeowners.

Incomes have not nearly kept pace and the advent of 40-year mortgages (terminated as of Oct. 15) and zero down payments mean that many buyers are drastically house-poor, he says.

"Taking on more debt to buy more house, that doesn't go on forever."

Turner says sales and prices are collapsing and listings are exploding in many of Canada's major urban centres. There is more than a year's supply of homes on the market in most cities, he says.

"Sales in Toronto are down 15 to 20 per cent over last year, and in Vancouver they're down 70 per cent."

According to national Multiple Listing Service figures released by the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average price of a resale home was $302,298, down from $309,885 in July 2007.

Canada's real estate bust is a few years behind that of the United States, says Turner, although he doesn't expect the same kind of spectacular meltdown here that has seen record foreclosures in the U.S. and an unprecedented federal takeover of the country's two biggest mortgage lenders.

Cosens says Canadian mortgage lending practices are much more cautious than those of the U.S.

"I hear people saying that the market (in Canada) is going to crash but there are no indications of that.

"Their problems south of the border won't follow us here."

A small hike in building permit numbers for July surprised Craig Alexander, TD Bank's deputy chief economist, given the softening market.

However, he says, "I don't think (the rebound) changes the story very much ... The Canadian housing market is coming off the boil."

At the same time, though, "it is ... somewhat reassuring that it's not falling off a cliff."

It's not the same story south of the border.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said last week that more than four million American homeowners with a mortgage -- a record 9 per cent -- were either behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of June.

By contrast, according to the Canadian Banking Association, the percentage of bank mortgages in arrears (three missed payments) in this country is stable at 0.27 per cent.

flar Sep 9, 2008 1:36 PM

The title of the above article seems a little disconnected from what is discussed in the article, don't you think?

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