Choose from fireplaces inside or out

Lake Tahoe, California, has had an incredible amount of snow this winter, so there’s no better time to buy if you’ve been thinking of scoring a ski home. And if you’re more interested in a contemporary take on mountain architecture, consider something like this five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home in the new Clear Creek Tahoe community.

Located on the eastern slope of the Carson Range—about 20 minutes from Incline Village and skiing at Heavenly—Clear Creek Tahoe consists of 2,136 acres surrounded by national forest and is part of a growing trend of year-round mountain resort communities. Amenities include a Coore & Crenshaw golf course, access to a lake and ski house on Lake Tahoe, and a family-friendly pool and tennis center.

The custom 3,650-square-foot home is built with the outdoors in mind. A spacious great room includes the kitchen, living room, and dining room, all with views to the forest beyond. Giant windows soar to the wood ceilings, and a long horizontal fireplace works as a central gathering place. An overhanging roof provides a covered patio area, and an outdoor fireplace off of the dining room aids in indoor/outdoor living. Bedrooms, including a bunk room for kids, offer more views and an additional deck off of a flex room.

Love the modern mountain aesthetic? 266 Redding Way is on the market now for $3,195,000.

Soaring ceilings and a chic fireplace take center stage in the main living room.

The kitchen and dining room offer access to covered patio outside.

An outdoor fireplace and large patio look mighty inviting.

Bedrooms feature large windows to take advantage of the forest views.

A kids room boasts built-in bunks to accommodate families.

An upstairs deck takes advantage of the overhanging roofs.

Choose from fireplaces inside or out

Lake Tahoe, California, has had an incredible amount of snow this winter, so there’s no better time to buy if you’ve been thinking of scoring a ski home. And if you’re more interested in a contemporary take on mountain architecture, consider something like this five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath home in the new Clear Creek Tahoe community.

Located on the eastern slope of the Carson Range—about 20 minutes from Incline Village and skiing at Heavenly—Clear Creek Tahoe consists of 2,136 acres surrounded by national forest and is part of a growing trend of year-round mountain resort communities. Amenities include a Coore & Crenshaw golf course, access to a lake and ski house on Lake Tahoe, and a family-friendly pool and tennis center.

The custom 3,650-square-foot home is built with the outdoors in mind. A spacious great room includes the kitchen, living room, and dining room, all with views to the forest beyond. Giant windows soar to the wood ceilings, and a long horizontal fireplace works as a central gathering place. An overhanging roof provides a covered patio area, and an outdoor fireplace off of the dining room aids in indoor/outdoor living. Bedrooms, including a bunk room for kids, offer more views and an additional deck off of a flex room.

Love the modern mountain aesthetic? 266 Redding Way is on the market now for $3,195,000.

Soaring ceilings and a chic fireplace take center stage in the main living room.

The kitchen and dining room offer access to covered patio outside.

An outdoor fireplace and large patio look mighty inviting.

Bedrooms feature large windows to take advantage of the forest views.

A kids room boasts built-in bunks to accommodate families.

An upstairs deck takes advantage of the overhanging roofs.

Valuable Post

The deep freeze in the Canadian housing markets continues. The latest housing market stats show that housing sales and prices in January were lower than the ones recorded a year earlier.

A retrospective view of the housing markets raises significant concerns. The impact of stringent mortgage regulations appears to be longer lasting than was initially expected.

In January 2018, housing sales declined after stricter mortgage regulations, including a stress test, were enacted. The January 2019 numbers are the first piece of evidence suggesting that housing market slowdown is deeper rooted than a direct and immediate reaction to policy interventions.

The sustained slowdown in housing markets presents at least two alternatives to the government. The first alternative is to maintain the status quo and do nothing. The second alternative is to rethink the policy interventions made in the recent past and see if there is any new evidence that warrants a change in policy.

The decline in housing sales in January 2018 was expected. A whole host of new regulations designed to tighten  mortgage lending became effective on the first day of January last year. Sales in December 2017 were higher than usual as households rushed to close deals to avoid being subject to stricter mortgage regulations a month later.

When January 2018 sales were 14.5 per cent lower than the month before, there was no surprise, and the decline was attributed to the new stress test. Similarly, year-over-year sales were down 2.4 per cent from January 2017.

The January 2019 sales figures are more disturbing. Compared to the year before, sales last month were down by four per cent. In fact, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) revealed that sales in January 2019 have been the weakest since 2015.

In addition to sales, housing prices have also softened. The average house price across Canada was $455,000, 5.5 per cent lower than the same time last year.

The January 2019 statistics offer the first opportunity to compare the annual change in housing market dynamics after the stress test came into effect. The decline in last month above and beyond what was observed a year ago is indicative of the fact that the markets are not merely reacting to new regulations, but the markets have embraced a more systematic response that is characterized by fewer transactions and lower prices.

The weakness in housing markets also affects mortgage lending, a business The Big Five banks continue to dominate in Canada. The continued slowdown in housing sales may have influenced banks’ mortgage portfolios — the first signs of such an effect could soon be visible when the banks release their updated earnings report in the coming days.

The past few weeks have witnessed diverse voices both questioning and supporting the efficacy of the more stringent mortgage regulations. Some believe that stress tests are working fine. Phil Soper, CEO of Royal Lepage, thinks that the stress tests are needed “for the longer term health of the economy.”

Others believe that the stress tests have adversely impacted homebuyers who are either unable to buy at all or are forced to consume less adequate shelter space than they would have afforded in the absence of stress tests.

After reviewing the sustained decline in housing sales, Dave Wilkes, President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), believes that the stress test “has overshot its target.”

BILD has advanced two proposals for the feds to contemplate. First, to consider lowering the stress test threshold that requires borrowers to qualify at 200 basis points above the contracted rate. As the interest rates have been revised upwards since the stress test was implemented, there is merit in reviewing the threshold.

Housing trade groups are also advocating to reintroduce the 30-year amortization for CMHC insured mortgages, which was available until July 2012.

First-time homebuyers are likely to benefit more from these changes. The ability to stretch the amortization period to 30 years lowers the monthly payment and allows many to participate in homebuying who would otherwise be forced to rent at a time when rental vacancy rates are at historic lows in large urban housing markets.

Critics of the 30-year mortgage point out its two obvious shortcomings. First, borrowers end up paying considerably more in interest. Second, longer amortization periods contribute to house price inflation.

Good public policy should be responsive and rooted in evidence. Recent housing market data indicates that the impact of tighter mortgage regulations has been longer lasting than what most housing experts expected. A course correction might be a prudent way forward.

Murtaza Haider is an associate professor at Ryerson University. Stephen Moranis is a real estate industry veteran. They can be reached at www.hmbulletin.com.

loving the post

After Remine announced it had raised $30 million, rumors began to swirl that MLS executives were among the firm’s undisclosed private investors.

New products and styles of fixtures and hardware were showcased at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), the industry’s biggest event, held in Las Vegas from Feb. 19 to 21, 2019. We noticed an expansion of offerings in gold finishes as well as in matte black finishes,