The study, conducted by U.S. News in partnership with Y&R’s BAV and Wharton, broke 80 countries’ overall rankings down by identifying a “set of 65 country attributes – terms that can be used to describe a country and that are also relevant to the success of a modern nation.”
Canada offers the best quality of life
Each of those 65 attributes was then placed into one of nine subcategories that included:
Adventure (3.24 percent): friendly, fun, pleasant climate, scenic, sexy
Citizenship (16.95 percent): cares about human rights, cares about the environment, gender equality, progressive, religious freedom, respects property rights, trustworthy, well-distributed political power
Cultural Influence (12.93 percent): culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, modern, prestigious, trendy.
Entrepreneurship (17.42 percent): connected to the rest of the world, educated population, entrepreneurial, innovative, provides easy access to capital, skilled labor force, technological expertise, transparent business
practices, well-developed infrastructure, well-developed legal framework
Heritage (3.17 percent): culturally accessible, has a rich history, has great food, many cultural attractions.
Movers (10.00 percent): different, distinctive, dynamic, unique
Open for Business (11.99 percent): bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, corrupt, favorable tax environment, transparent government practices.
Power (7.42 percent): a leader, economically influential, politically influential, strong international alliances, strong military
Quality of Life (16.89 percent): a good job market, affordable, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system, well-developed public health system.
When the inaugural list of the world’s best countries was released last year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Canada was also named the #1 country in the world for Quality of Life, the study’s third most heavily weighted category.
In 2017, Canada beat out Sweden, Denmark, Australia, and Norway who all finished in the Quality of Life top 5.
Canada ranked 2nd best country in the world in 2017
Canada ranked as the 6th happiest country in the world
Canada ranked #1 place to go in 2017 by New York Times
Our overall ranking of #2 best country in the world in 2017 came from these rankings in the nine subcategories, including that coveted #1 spot in Quality of Life:
Here are the 25 best countries for Quality of Life in 2017
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
- United Arab Emirates
- South Korea
Open House event highlights ‘booming’ real-estate market in Montreal | Montreal Gazette
The baby boomers are doing it again. The generation whose sheer numbers brought us sprawling suburbs, minivans and shopping malls is older now and retiring from their jobs. But boomers are still a force to be reckoned with, at least when it comes to real estate.
For example this year, for the first time in its 21-year history, the Spring Open House will include rental properties designed for seniors.
Fastest growing real estate
The fastest growing segment in the real-estate market is new homes for aging boomers. Among the most active developers in this category is Batimo, with one project opening this weekend in Boisbriand (149 units) and another starting construction this summer in Pointe-Claire (220 units). Each is entirely designed for the 55+ age group. But if you ever meet Mario Daigle, vice-president of Batimo, just remember: Don’t call it a “retirement home”!
“Our buildings are for seniors who are still active,” Daigle said. “They organize their own activities. There is a gym, a pool, a nice restaurant and even a business centre. They want a lot of amenities and convenience, but they don’t want to live in something that looks or feels like a hospital.
“They have owned their own home and no longer want the trouble of running a property,” Daigle adds. “They’re ready to move back into rental. They want to travel and enjoy the money they saved.”
It makes so much sense you wonder why the trend is new in the Montreal region. “It’s only three to five years since the first of these large projects opened here,” says Jacques Beaulieu, organizer of the Open House event. A quick check with Statistics Canada explains the new interest. Look at the demographic shift of households in Quebec by age:
From 2016-2021, the percentage of 55-74 year olds will increase by 1.9%
The percentage of those age 75 and older will increase 3.5%.
Daigle’s confidence in the rental market is backed up by a 2016 CMHC report, which states “Older households, many of whom are returning to the rental market, make up the population segment that will post the strongest growth.”
Rent begins at $1,000/month for a one-bedroom unit at the Batimo building. About 10 per cent of the units are available for sale, “for those still interested in investing,” Daigle said.
Green space and openness
Of course, not all seniors want to rent or live in a high rise. Those with deeper pockets might be drawn to Ambiance Plein Sud, which is also part of the Open House event. It’s right on the Longueuil golf course Parcours Du Cerf, and while few of the residents actually play golf, “they like the green space and openness — not like downtown,” says Nicholas Metsos, President of Groupe Classique.
The company has a lot of experience designing for discerning boomers. The first seniors’ exclusive building went up in 2001, with 90 suites. Now there are six phases and 400 units of middle to high-end properties. “Seniors want an indoor private garage and a private entrance, plus big elevators and big windows.” Metsos describes his clients as confident investors. “Even as they age, they believe that a good home is a safe investment.”
Phase 6 is 65 per cent occupied. Property prices range between $300,000 and $750,000.
The elusive affordable home
There is going to be one heck of a house-warming party in Ahunstic this July. That’s when 189 families and individuals move in to a new development at the corner of L’Acadie and Henri Bourassa Blvds. Cité Signature is one of those rare finds: an “affordable” new home. Units range in price from $139,000 (1 bedroom) to $270,000 (3 bedrooms). (City of Montreal guidelines dictate which properties can be promoted as “affordable” and thus qualify for subsidies.)
“But it’s not just about the price,” says Marc Araish, the project’s director of operations. “It’s a quality build. Hardwood floors, quartz counters, balconies and indoor parking. There’s even a rooftop terrace with barbecues and a hot tub. You don’t often find these features at this price point,” he says.
Indeed, comparable units in Griffintown, for example, cost considerably more, because the land costs more. So “affordable” means … not building downtown.
And there are other incentives. “In a new build, buyers usually have to put five to 10 per cent (of the cost) up front. Not here,” says Araish. “We ask for $2,500 up front, then monthly payments which are more manageable for our clients.”
There’s one more bonus, for first-time homebuyers with children. The City pays the “welcome tax,” an incentive to keep families on the island.
That’s a lot of math, but it adds up to a lot of people finally able to buy their first home.
The project is 85 per cent sold.
Quebec style on display
One of the highlights of Open House events in recent years has been the participation of Quebec furniture designers and makers. Jean-Claude Poitras, Quebec’s best-known multi-discipline artist and designer has made it his mission to develop a “Quebec style” for furniture. “We have always had great craftsmanship. It is part of our heritage,“ says Poitras. “But we lacked design and an identifiable style. As recently as 2015 at these Open House events, there was not a single piece of Quebec furniture displayed.”
Now, under Poitras’s guidance, the Quebec furniture industry is winning major prizes and earning new respect. And this year at the Open House, there is a lot of fine Quebec designed and manufactured furniture in the four model suites.
Visit one or more of the suites. Poitras has identified 19 pieces he loves. You can vote for your favourite piece of Quebec furniture. Prizes include $5,000 worth of furniture, and a set of GE appliances worth $5,000. People can also vote for their favourite model suite design and be eligible to win two airplane tickets to Paris.
The Montréal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) saw an annualised 10% increase in residential sales last month as 5,159 of the said properties exchanged hands, according to figures from the Greater Montréal Real Estate Board (GMREB). This marked the most active moth of March since 2012.
“Some first-time buyers purchased their home a bit sooner, wanting to get in before the cost of mortgage loan insurance increased on March 17,” said Daniel Dagenais, president of the GMREB Board of Directors. “This may have slightly inflated the results for March, but the sustained increase in sales in the higher price ranges shows that it is mostly experienced buyers who are setting the tone,” he added.
All of the CMA’s main areas logged an increase in March sales:
- Vaudreuil-Soulanges: +16%
- North Shore: +15%
- Island of Montréal: +9%
- Laval: +7%
- South Shore: +6%
Condominium sales (1,651 transactions) saw the highest annualised increasing (15%) among property categories. More singles family homes were sold (3,080 transactions), but this translated to a 9% increase.
Sales of plexes declined 3%, with just 425 transactions.
“Across the Montréal CMA, the median price of single-family homes stood at $305,000 in March 2017, a 6 per cent increase compared to one year earlier,” said the GMREB. “As for condominiums, the increase was 5 per cent, to reach a median price of $243,232. In contrast, the median price of plexes decreased slightly (-3 per cent) to reach $456,000.”
The number of residential properties in the Montréal CMA listed on the real estate brokers’ Centris system (30,285) decreased by 14%. Market conditions favour sellers for single-family homes, buyers for condominiums, and are balanced for plexes.à
Hiring a mortgage broker comes with numerous benefits whether you plan to refinance your current loan or purchase a new house. As a matter of fact, you will have to decide whether to hire a mortgage broker or work directly with a lender. Usually, a broker is referred to as someone who connects the buyer with the seller. They work hard to ensure that they find the best loan package for their clients. Therefore, they work as intermediaries and in most cases, they do everything to ensure that their clients get good value for their money or the fee cost.
Benefits of a mortgage broker
First of all, mortgage brokers are considered as the best choice by lenders. The reason behind this is because they have carried out numerous transactions with various banks hence they have most of their contacts. For example, banks in Montreal also need genuine people making them to have more trust with mortgage brokers Montreal. Therefore, unless you get yourself a good mortgage broker, then you should take note that you are limited to a few banks or lenders. Also, to ensure that your broker is reliable for the loan that you are seeking, make a point of checking their job history just to ensure that they can connect you with the best lenders. Your broker should also be able to access services offered at a discount that you cannot access on your own.
Another advantage of using mortgage brokers is that they offer better flexibility of execution as compared to when you approach the process by yourself. Unlike direct lenders, you will not get locked in one process of getting your mortgage because they offer you much control when it comes to the closing process. In order to overcome credit issues, get the potential for most paper work or leniency and flexibility for closing times, your broker can act as a liaison between you and your bank or lender. By doing this, your broker can easily get you the loan that perfectly meets your needs.
The other benefit of using a broker in Montreal is that their rates are relatively lower. They can go as far as getting you the best package in the city that cannot be easily accessed by the public or you as an individual. They have many contacts and good connections with many lenders and even special programs. The Mortgage Rate Montreal Canada will also let you benefit from his or her services without a large initial cash outlay by frequently pricing their fees into the final closing costs or into the loan’s interest rate.
Hire a mortgage broker
When you hire a mortgage broker, you will also get access to extra services. The reason for this is because many mortgage brokers often offer more than what they are entitled to do for their clients. For example, some of them will help you with some basic credit issues or repair in case you request for their assistance. Also, most of them will always stand by your side in ensuring that you successfully get through the application process to the closing.
Are you a first time home buyer? You should know that in addition to providing numerous financial benefits, buying a home will help improve your quality, stability and security of life. Not only do homeowners enjoy more freedom, they also have a strong feeling of pride, as well as peace of mind. It’s definitely a worthwhile investment!
A Home Well-Adapted to you
First and foremost, to buy a property means living in a home that suits your taste and fits your lifestyle. Is your family growing? Do you want a backyard, basement, playroom, dedicated for your children? The purchase of a home can help you benefit from these extra spaces and is also a good long-term investment. Also revenue properties such as duplex and triplexes offer additional income.
Building Capital in your Home
To buy a home is a bit like making long-term savings. Instead of paying rent to a landlord, your monthly mortgage payments are used to finance your assets and build capital that you will recover once you have finished paying.
Unleash your creativity and decorate your home as you wish. By renovating your home, you will increase the property value. Moreover, you are your own landlord.
Did you know that when you buy a property, you must have money set aside to cover start-up costs? Such as your down-payment, property inspection, costs and 1.5% of the property closing costs. After property purchase transaction, additional savings set aside may help unforeseen expenses.
These expenses should not be taken lightly and all mortgage lenders will even check that you have these funds available before granting you a loan. Mortgage loans are calculated based on the value of your property and, therefore, cannot be used to pay these additional costs.
Here is a list of common start-up costs: – Property Inspection – Property Evaluation (Appraisal) *Subject to lenders condition* – Provincial tax (9%) on the Mortgage Insurance premium – Notary fees – Adjustment costs determined by the notary (Heating, Municipal & School Taxes, Equipment rental contract, etc.) – Property Transfer Tax (Welcome Tax) – Moving expenses
You’ve decided to sell your home? To ensure that the transaction goes smoothly, you’ll need a variety of documents at different stages of the process.
Here’s a list of documents to have on hand when selling your home: – Certificate of Location – Pyrite, vermiculite, iron ochre tests, etc., in certain regions – Bills for renovations to the home – The declaration of co-ownership, if applicable – The rental lease or leases in the case of a rental revenue property – Municipal and School taxes – Monthly cost for electricity
A real estate transaction is a complicated and detailed process that requires solid knowledge of the real estate market and a skilful talent for negotiation. Why not use a real estate broker to take care of all the details for you?
When selling your home, your real estate broker will conduct a thorough analysis of the market in your neighbourhood, and will determine an accurate selling price. And by using the power of the Centris / Realtor system, your broker will give the home exceptional visibility to the more than 15,000 brokers who are members of a real estate board.
Think about it. To sell your home, you must be available seven days a week to conduct showings. Your real estate broker can take care of everything: responding to requests for information, managing telephone calls and showings, marketing your home to potential buyers, etc.
Once a promise to purchase has been submitted, it’s time for negotiations. In all real estate transactions, it’s fundamental that you have an experienced negotiator on your side and real estate brokers are truly experts in the field! They can help guide you through financing, qualifying buyers, sale conditions, building inspections, and all other legal aspects.
Brokers can also be intermediaries in your dealings with the many people involved in the sale of your home. Their large networks of contacts range from building inspectors to notaries, and from financial institutions to mortgage brokers. Brokers are a one-stop shop for all these services, and their involvement guarantees you the legal protection offered by the Real Estate Brokerage Act.