April 20, 2020 Update

Another regular update on changes in local market due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As I talked about last week, sales volume continues to decline as expected and shows the local Real Estate industry and market is doing what it can to flatten the curve.

Guelph Real Estate Sales Representative, Michael Bennett, talks about the impacts of Covid-19 as reflected in local statistics and sales information.

March 2020 shows an increase in Guelph home values.

Many Realtors like myself look at statistics to help us value and market properties. These stats are the same ones we look at to gauge the individual markets we represent. A community like Guelph can often show different trends from those in Toronto or even Waterloo Region. So, to provide a more intensely local look at Guelph real estate, the information below focuses on Guelph.

At the beginning of each month, the Home Price Index gets updated to reflect sales written in the months previous. This along with some other stats that we have access to gives us an indication of how to price a property relative to what the market is doing. It also allows us to understand where the market might be going in the future.

So, here are the facts as I see them, from data made available to me as a member of the Canadian and Ontario Real Estate Associations.

As I’ve mentioned previously, we came into this with very strong demand and a continuation of low inventory numbers. This trend continued early in March and has helped the average single-family home in Guelph rise by about 1.8%. Apartments, townhouses and single-family homes all saw increases in value in March. April is going to be hard to predict, but I suspect we’ll see modest changes if any in Value.

The statistic that should show the most variance from normal activity throughout this global pandemic is Sales Volume. March 2020 showed a very modest increase in sales activity with only 9 more transactions than February. Comparatively, March 2019 had 55 more transactions than the month prior. I expect April 2020 will show a decline in the number of monthly transactions compared to normal years. This isn’t a bad thing, this means that my colleagues and consumers are doing what we are being asked to do, STAY HOME.

There are many more statistics that I have access to, however, these are the two that I felt would most indicate what is happening right now, and what to expect moving into April. As always, I can be reached at 519-820-6979 or michaelbennett@royallepage.ca. If you would like to chat real estate, statistics or otherwise, please just reach out.

Cheesy Downtown Guelph Gem!

Every once in a while, a store opens that makes the city, and in this case a neighbourhood so much better and more cultured. Tomme Cheese Shop in Downtown Guelph does just that. A cheese shop, after all, has to provide some culture, right?

Yesterday I picked up my first of 3 Cheese of the Month boxes from Tomme and enjoyed it along with some other appetizers with friends. A quick stop was made easy by parking in the new Wilson Street parking garage and walking across the street. My mystery package was in a nice box secured with a piece of stylish string, presentation reminiscent of traditional retailing.

Those who know me, know that I love cheese, even a simple grilled cheese sandwich. So, as I opened the box of cheese, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning opening the big gift. This was a Christmas Gift after all. Inside, individually wrapped was 3 kinds of cheese, a Chutney, and cue cards describing each cheese along with pairing notes.

Without ruining the surprise for others, all 3 of the cheeses were delicious along with the Chutney and I recommend you check out Tomme Cheese Shop soon. After all, everything tastes better with cheese, and downtown Guelph is better with Tomme Cheese Shop. Thank you Beverly-Ann, it was an awesome Christmas Present. I can’t wait until next month.

We Get Outside In Guelph

One of our guests stops to read an interpretive sign while Gayle Labuz of Sometimes Eventful leads an informative hike through the trails in Pine Ridge Neighbourhood.
Michael Bennett loves Guelph and it’s outdoor spaces

We’ve all heard that getting outside is important for our mental and physical fitness. Have you considered that there is another benefit to getting outside which we don’t often hear about? A stroll around our neighbourhood, a wander along urban paths or a hike on a rural trail on the outskirts of town can do wonders to strengthen your knowledge and connection to our community.

Time spent outside can take you along pathways through historical parts of our city that were (and still are) critical to giving Guelph it’s unique personality. You can also experience an almost hidden wilderness where plants and animals flourish just steps away from our busy roads, our schools and our very urban homes. 

Preservation Park is a well-known natural oasis in the city. But did you also know the south-end communities of Pineridge, Westminster Woods and Clairfields have a connected network of trails and greenways?  Known as the Westminister Woods Subdivision Wetlands, the trail system was designed to be a storm water management area and to preserve some sensitive conservation lands. These outdoor spaces provide a flourishing habitat for flora and fauna that are as much a part of the community as any of the humans and domestic pets living in the suburban neighbourhoods. The trails allow urban hikers to walk for hours, leading them around a kettle lake and through wetland and forest. Remnants of pioneer fences and stone walls can be found just off the trails. And if you are very fortunate and walking the trail at the right time of year, you may be able to pick luscious raspberries from long-abandoned vines or possibly spot a deer. 

Last summer Michael and a group of friends and colleagues spent an hour on a portion of the Westminister Woods Subdivision Wetlands trail and experienced an incredible taste of the urban wildlife living there. Birds were singing, frogs were croaking and the breeze rustled the leaves of the tree canopy.  It was interesting to see how a modern subdivision used the natural environment for both practical reasons and recreation for the people living in the city.

In Guelph, we are fortunate to have access to the Westminister Woods trail, in addition to over 1000 hectares of parks and open space; more than 70 km of trails and paths, two rivers and Guelph Lake which is maintained by Grand River Conservation Authority. We also have the renowned University of Guelph Arboretum offering an incredible natural space to anyone looking for a place to get a taste of nature. Ranging from maintained, stroller and wheelchair friendly pathways to wilder trails left almost in their natural state, there is get-outside option for everyone in this town.
Helpful links:

Official City of Guelph Trails

The Arboreteum, University of Guelph

Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA)

Sometimes Eventful Outdoors Blog

Village by the Arboretum – Guelph



The Village by the Arboretum is a quiet neighbourhood nestled off Stone Road in Guelph’s South end. Neat and tidy homes rest along tree-lined streets in this tranquil part of our city. What really stands out in this pretty neighbourhood though, is the presence of community. More than a quaint name for a neighbourhood, “The Village” lives up to that title for the people who live there.

This is a very caring community, where we all look after each other and help each other out, even with simple things like making soup or take out the garbage for a neighbour.

one resident told us recently.

Developed specifically for the needs of Guelph’s 55+ citizens, The Village welcomed its first homeowners 25 years ago. It is a carefully planned community offering single family homes, townhomes and condominiums with amenities to meet the needs of its residents. A medical centre, spa and general store also call The Village home. Most notable is a community centre that is a hub for an impressive number of clubs and activities.

While buildings, trees and streets make-up the bones of a community, we all know that the heart of that community is made by those who live there. We chatted with a few of the people we’ve helped purchase homes in The Village to find out how they feel about their neighbourhood and why they chose to live in this special part of Guelph.

We chose the village for two main reasons: To be closer to our grandchildren and for the multitude of activities that the Arboretum offers, of which we have taken advantage of. We have been welcomed with open arms in the condos and at the recreational activities.

a happy, active couple shared with us.

The Village offers an array of activities for residents to join, covering the arts, fitness, sport and games as well as quieter leisure activities like a book club and bible study group. Social get-togethers are planned regularly, but quiet enjoyment is also always welcome in the library or café.

“We are so happy and contented here. In the few months since we moved in, we’ve already made some great friends and enjoyed social times at the Village Center. We go swimming at the indoor pool and enjoy walking on the many pathways and routes available,” commented one couple who recently moved to The Village. “Rarely do you go out through the “Village” without bumping into at least one or two people with a cheery “good morning” or “lovely day”.

Everyone we know who lives there, agree that The Village by the Arboretum is a special gem for seniors in our lively city. We love to show it off to people who are considering a move to a community suited to retirement living. Give us a call to find out more about owning a home in The Village within the city.

Student Rentals


If you have a University or college student in your family, or you’re planning on your kids moving on to post-secondary education, you already know there are a lot of costs beyond tuition. Budgets need to be considered for food, books, entertainment and the big one…. housing.
Whether a student stays on campus or off, a university or college education can cost thousands by the time they are celebrating graduation.  One way to offset that cost is to purchase a home for your student and rent the extra rooms to a few of their friends or classmates.
There are a number of advantages to owning the house your child lives in during school:

  • The other tenants are able to offset many of the costs of carrying the home.
  • The house can be sold once the kids are done school, with the possibility of making a profit.
  • The money you budget for student housing can stay in your bank account.
  • You have some control over who your child’s housemates will be.

In addition to the financial benefits of owning your student’s house, your child may also learn some valuable life lessons in maintaining a property, budgeting for repairs and emergencies and being responsible for a home while still “under your watch”.

Owning your child’s home-away-from-home is appealing. But you do need to do your research as there are differences between owning your own home and just renting a house. Each municipality has its own bylaws around student investment properties. And condominiums, which are popular for student homes, also may have rules and restrictions.

Local Realtors in University and College towns can be your best resource for learning about the municipal rules and the best areas for student housing. The last thing you want as a parent and a real estate investor is to purchase a house and then find out that the rules restrict student rentals.

Michael Bennett has knowledge of the regulations and bylaws related to student housing. And, with helpful contacts regarding property management, maintenance, and repair, can guide you in the right direction. If you’d like to learn about owning a student rental property, we’d love to chat with you more about this great opportunity for you and your student.