House Prices Steady, New Development Approved

Since my last report in May, house prices in both Toronto and Cobourg have been steady although the Real Estate people will point out that prices in August 2018 were 19% higher than August 2017 (see chart below).  Inventory is below average but there is no frenzy happening like there was in the spring of 2017.  Listings and sales are relatively slow – sales are down 30% from this time last year. However, they are better than earlier in the year. In August, the average price in Toronto was $765k and the average in West Northumberland (mostly Cobourg) was $479K.  This is significantly up from 2 years ago when it was around $360K and way up from 9 years ago when it was around $225K.

Home Building

2009 to 2018 average House Prices
2009 to 2018 average House Prices

Homes are being built in Cobourg – notably expansion at New Amherst, Condos at the Legion and 22 Queen St. and high end homes at Cedar Shores on King Street West. Another development on Nickerson Drive will see 23 detached homes – more on this below. The graphic at right shows Cobourg and Toronto prices – Click to see a larger version. It clearly shows the bubble/spike last spring for both Toronto and Cobourg and the current plateau.

Nickerson Drive Development

It’s not always smooth sailing getting a development approved.  At the recent Council meeting, Cobourg’s planning department faced concerns by citizens. Because the land is narrow, the road must be narrower than usual so it’s classified as a lane and made into a “condo” that is owned jointly by the new homeowners. (It will be 17m wide instead of the usual 20m). Kelly Stewart, Nickerson Drive Ratepayers Association, said that there is already a problem with storm-water in heavy downpours so the current homeowners are concerned that drainage from their property would be the responsibility of the new people.  They feel that this has the potential for a “hostile environment”.  If the road were Town-owned, there would not be a problem.

The developer’s consultant and Cobourg’s manager of Planning, Rob Franklin, gave assurances that in fact drainage would be improved by the work planned and they did not agree that there would be a problem. Council then passed the required amendments to the Official Plan and the Zoning By-Law. The next step will be Site Plan approval so this project will come to Council once again.

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perplexed

Funny how the public can’t relate or Tie High Taxes to Municipal Debt servicing , wages and over spending

Albert

What is this gibberish?

Ripped Off

Huge property taxes in cobourg many people from living here. Northumberland COUNTY Tax is main culprit. People need to wake up and make this an election issue. Acclaimed Mayor will not help this issue.

Ken Strauss

There is sufficient guilt for everyone! For each dollar of your property taxes, about $0.57 goes to the town, $0.32 goes to the county and $0.11 goes for education.

Durka

What should they feel guilty for? Do elaborate please.

Ken Strauss

Everyone should be able to make their own choices for the allocation of their spending rather than letting Council to do it for us. For example, Cobourg’s population hasn’t changed much so why has Parks and Rec spending increased 30% over the last few years?

Cobourg Person

You are a member of the CTA, a “group of informed citizens shining a light on local government.”. How do you not already know the answer to the 30% increase?

Frenchy

That might be a rhetorical question Ken is asking, Cobourg Person. You know, like asking us if we knew the increase was (a whopping) 30% and did you and I and everyone ever wondered why the increase is so much?
Aren’t you even a little bit curious?

Pierre

We elect a town council…..we all vote or should.
The elected town council then runs the town with staff.
It’s what we elect them to do.
Ken Straus ( are you a member of CTA) doesn’t seem to get this.
I do not want the CTA to represent me. I will vote for a town council and will hold them accountable.

Frenchy

So just give them free rein for 4 years?

Pierre

The voters elect Cobourg town council to do the job.
If I have an issue, I will talk to someone on the council.

Ken Strauss

The CTA does not represent you or anyone else. We encourage everyone to know what is happening and to vote accordingly.

Do you know the rationale for the 30% increase? Please explain things so that we can all be informed citizens who will vote for the best candidates in this election.

Walter L. Luedtke

Why ask us?
Ask the Parks Department.
You don’t want information, you just want to smear Town Staff.
Don’t want to run for office, just want to smear Council and Staff from the sidelines.

Ken Strauss

Walter, why do you feel that mentioning a 30% increase in spending is a “smear”? Many dictionaries define “smear” as damaging the reputation of someone by false accusations. What part of 30% is false?

Walter L. Luedtke

“For example, Cobourg’s population hasn’t changed much so why has Parks and Rec spending increased 30% over the last few years?”
The person to ask, if you really want the information to answer your question, would be Councillor Brian Darling 289-251-2177.
The insinuation is – as always with you – that the Town has a bloated Staff and that is a smear.

Walter L. Luedtke

Hahahaha.
Let me try this on you. Mr. Strauss.
What does the Parks Department have to do with the subject matter under discussion?
And let me quote the admirable Ms Frenchy on the subject: “those who stir la merde, should be made to lick the spoon”.

Cobourg Person

I never commented that the CTA represents me. As mentioned by CTA President Lydia Smith:

“The CTA is a community organization. Our purpose is to
represent and address the major concerns and issues of taxpayers. We identify these issues and bring them to the attention of our elected officials.”

Your post suggested that the 30% increase is a major concern or an issue to taxpayers. Why has the CTA not looked into this concern? If they have, what are the results?

Frenchy

Pierre
We elect a town council…..we all vote or should.

We elect a provincial government and premier…..we all vote or should.
The elected government then runs the province with staff.
It’s what we elect them to do.
Do you agree with what our provincial government is doing in regards to invoking Chapter 33 to gut the Toronto Council in the middle of a municipal election?
Do you think we should just let Mr. Ford and his party run amok for the next four years without questioning them?

Pierre

I didn’t bring up Toronto town council at all Frenchy.
My post referring to Cobourg election.
Why would you even presume that.

Frenchy

I didn’t presume anything Pierre, I was asking questions.

I was trying to draw a parallel between you stating that once we elect a municipal council we should let them “have at it” for their term, and, should we do the same once we elect a provincial government? The obvious answer being no we shouldn’t. They should both be held to account from day one.

I either worded it wrong or you just didn’t get it. Never mind.

Rusty Brown

“Always reread what you have written to make sure
you haven’t anything out”

Brenda219

Isn’t the MCAP assessment due soon? Going to negatively affect seniors on a fixed income trying to stay in their homes/young families… Adjusting the mill rate is supposed to offset the effect. Anyone ever seen that?

Small Town Lover

Crazy high prices on water though. Over 2 million for a property on Pebble Beach and it needs renovating. Two other lakefront properties for sale in town are over a million and one of them is in need of serious renovations. Plus the incredibly high taxes! There was a time when a property on the water was approximately hundred thousand dollars more than the one across from it even if it was in bad shape. Times have changed. Our hope of buying a waterfront home in Cobourg now is just a dream unfortunately.

perplexed

yes But they are only listed Not Sold Its the High Property Taxes in Cobourg that
I have a problem with on average 30 to 40 % higher than surrounding areas never mind Toronto .
Check the Canadian Real Estate Assoc. # s that just came out over the wk. end and its shows the housing market down 3.8 % from this time last yr not as this Blog suggests .
You can make Average # s do funny things

Pierre

..MPAC sets the assessment…Cobourg council sets the mil rate as Brenda 219 says….Toronto mil rate much lower, but living north of Toronto in York region I paid the same as I do in Cobourg, for exactly the same type of property….it’s up to the town council to set the mil rate, hopefully the new council will look at doing this.

Ken Strauss

The mil rate is set at a level to cover the town’s spending. If you want lower taxes the town must spend less — don’t hire consultants, don’t hire more directors, don’t hire more staff every year, don’t build new public toilets, don’t advertise to attract tourists,…

Brenda219

The increase in house prices will automatically raise MCAP assessed value. The mill rate x Assessed value = House Tax. We need to keep a very close eye to ensure Mill Rate goes down, ensure there are no unnecessary line items added to budget and keep % tax increase low.

Pierre

Right on Brenda 219.
Something that KS doesn’t quite get……

Ken Strauss

Right on Brenda 219.
Something that KS doesn’t quite get……

Please explain so that I can “get” it.