How Home Buyers and Sellers Can Navigate Rates Based on the Bank of Canada’s Decisions

By Sherry MacLeod Managing Broker at Cape Breton Realty March 12, 2024 After my trip to Vegas for the Leading RE conference and hearing economists’ forecasts about the US, Canadian, and European economies, I felt compelled to share some valuable insights with you. Having lived through the era of 17 percent interest rates on mortgages, it’s intriguing to hear discussions about waiting for rates to go back down. Here is what economists were saying. Contrary to nostalgic expectations of a return to 1-2 percent rates, Dr. Marci Rossell predicts a more modest decline in interest rates before the end of the year. While this anticipated decrease will undoubtedly stimulate demand in our market, it’s essential to temper expectations and recognize that rates are unlikely to plummet to historic lows. Amidst these economic deliberations, our local housing market is experiencing a subtle shift. Inventory is gradually increasing, alleviating some of the pressure that characterized the frenzied multiple-offer scenarios during the height of the pandemic. However, this doesn’t signify a buyer’s paradise just yet. As we anticipate the convergence of declining interest rates and expanding inventory, it’s prudent to acknowledge the nuanced dynamics at play. While certain price ranges may tilt towards

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Cape Breton Realty’s Sherry MacLeod & Glenda McLarty Participate in Global Real Estate Conference

– Prestigious event attracts industry leaders from around the world. – St. Peter’s, Nova Scotia – March 5, 2024 – Sherry MacLeod, Managing Broker, and Glenda McLarty, Relocation Director with Cape Breton Realty, joined an elite group of professionals at the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Annual Conference February 27-29, 2024 at Wynn Las Vegas. The event delivered specialized learning and networking opportunities for broker owners, senior managers, and relocation professionals affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), a global network that interconnects top local and regional real estate firms across the world. The Annual Conference was part of LeadingRE Conference Week, a series of targeted events that attracted participants from 20 countries and nearly 300 cities worldwide. MacLeod and McLarty attended sessions that explored timely real estate and relocation topics, focusing on leadership, market trends, and the evolving needs of today’s real estate consumers. Keynote speakers included Sylvie di Giusto, bestselling author and expert in modern emotional intelligence; Molly Fletcher, one of the first female sports agents who has represented over 300 of sports’ biggest names; Ozan Varol, an award-winning law professor, bestselling author, and acclaimed speaker; and LeadingRE Chief Economist Dr. Marci Rossell. Featured speakers

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Luxury Home Trends for 2024

By Sherry MacLeod Managing Broker at Cape Breton Realty As I prepare to travel to Las Vegas this week to attend a Luxury Portfolio International Conference and meet Realtors from North and South America, I am reading about luxury home trends. I thought I might share my findings here. It’s interesting to see the changes from year to year. A recent study by 1stDibs, an online design marketplace, has indicated significant shifts in luxury home trends for 2024. According to the findings of the seventh-edition Interior Designer Trends Survey, there is a notable resurgence of certain areas of the home, with kitchens expected to be the most sought-after spaces for design projects, while interest in home office revamps appears to be diminishing. The report suggests a departure from recent trends, with a growing demand for design elements inspired by specific eras, such as bohemianism. Anthony Barzilay Freund, the editorial director at 1stDibs, emphasized the significance of the anticipated aesthetic shifts highlighted by interior designers, acknowledging their role in shaping style and taste. Color preferences and pattern affinity are also undergoing a transformation, as bright colors like red, yellow, and orange are falling out of favor, giving way to the rise

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Addressing the Canadian Housing Crisis: A Call to Action for 2024

By Sherry MacLeod Managing Broker of Cape Breton Realty As we reflect on the housing market of 2023, across the country, it is evident that the year was defined by unpredictability, with a surge in sales and a decline in listings and prices compared to the previous year. Looking ahead to 2024, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) anticipates sustained market activity in the first quarter and into the spring, driven by factors such as interest rates, increased demand, and limited inventory. The housing market’s unpredictability in 2023 serves as a backdrop to the persisting housing crisis in Canada, characterized by severe inventory shortages and affordability challenges. This crisis demands immediate attention and action from all levels of government. The high demand for housing, expected to grow with increasing immigration, coupled with limited inventory, underlines the urgent need for collaborative measures and policies to foster a more affordable and accessible housing market for all Canadians. In order to address the housing shortage, it is crucial for governments to acknowledge and act upon the pressing need for increased housing supply in every city, town, and neighborhood across the country. This necessitates visionary thinking and solutions, which may include reforming municipal zoning

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Some assessments are up over 50 percent in 2 years! How can that be?

By Sherry MacLeod Managing Broker of Cape Breton Realty This week, as we received our property assessments, my inbox and answering machine has been flooded with concerned friends and clients who have been with me for the past 30 years or so. I completely understand their concerns as property assessment notices arrive, especially when there are significant increases in property values, sometimes ranging from 41 to 55 percent. To provide clarity on this matter, let me explain how property values have changed in the past 2-3 years, as presented in the graph below. We will specifically focus on the Highland and Cape Breton regions and explore how property assessments work in Nova Scotia. To understand how property assessments in Nova Scotia are determined, it is important to shed light on the major increases in assessments this year. Assessments are conducted periodically using a standardized process that takes into account various factors, such as area market trends, sale prices, and property use. The graph highlights the percentage increases in average sale prices in the Highland region, which includes Antigonish, Guysborough, Richmond, and Inverness Counties. These figures reflect the trends and changes observed in property values over the past two or three

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Navigating the Winter Real Estate Market: A Guide for Buyers, Sellers, and Caretakers

By Sherry MacLeod Managing Broker of Cape Breton Realty As winter envelopes Cape Breton in its serene beauty, the real estate market adapts to the distinctive challenges and opportunities this season brings. Whether you’re a prospective buyer, a seller strategizing for a successful transaction, or overseeing vacant homes, navigating the winter market requires a thoughtful approach. Here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure a smooth real estate journey during the chilly months. For buyers, exploring potential homes during winter provides valuable insights into how properties handle snow, ice, and chilly temperatures. Strategic property visits during daylight hours offer a clearer view of the home and surroundings, checking road and driveway accessibility in unpredictable weather conditions. Considering winter inspections can uncover issues not apparent in other seasons, helping identify potential winter-related problems such as insulation or heating system efficiency. Paying close attention to heating systems, evaluating the age and condition of furnaces, fireplaces, and insulation, ensures a well-heated home for comfort during the colder months. Leveraging the season’s advantage, motivated sellers may be inclined to close deals before harsh weather sets in, prompting buyers to negotiate wisely, considering the unique circumstances of the season. For sellers and caretakers of vacant homes, maintaining

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Cape Breton Realty Presents an Unparalleled Opportunity: Cameron Island, a Hidden Gem off Marble Mountain in the Bras D’Or Lakes

By Sherry MacLeod Managing Broker of Cape Breton Realty Cape Breton Realty is thrilled to announce the availability of Cameron Island, a breathtaking paradise located off Marble Mountain in the Bras D’Or Lakes of Canada. This remarkable property spans over 80 acres, boasting an impressive 3 miles of pristine waterfront, stunning sand beaches, crystal clear water that will captivate any nature lover or adventure seeker and has a fully equipped cottage. Nestled within this idyllic island is a government-owned lighthouse, perched at the end of a picturesque point, offering a touch of history and charm to the landscape. The remaining 80 plus acres are now exclusively available for sale, providing a unique opportunity for individuals seeking a private sanctuary or developers with a vision for an extraordinary project. Adding to the allure of Cameron Island is a cozy two-bedroom home that harmoniously blends modern conveniences with off-grid living. Equipped with essential amenities such as a dishwasher, washer, dryer, and more, this cottage operates independently with solar panels and batteries, complemented by a backup generator for uninterrupted comfort and convenience. Cameron Island goes above and beyond by offering high-speed internet access through Starlink, enabling residents to stay connected while enjoying the

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