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Expanding Regional Economies to Lift Home Prices in Canada’s Major Markets

Shorter than anticipated housing market correction puts Toronto back on track 

Highlights:

  • Toronto to have a shorter housing correction than seen in Vancouver
  • Tighter access to mortgage financing and eroding affordability in Vancouver and Toronto have more buyers shifting their focus to condominiums, putting upward pressure on price appreciation
  • Rising interest rates and a strong Canadian dollar support more moderate home price appreciation

TORONTO, October 12, 2017 – According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey[1] released today, home prices in Canada’s five most populated housing markets are rising at a similar, healthy pace on a quarter-over-quarter basis, the first time this has occurred in six years.

The year-over-year price change data in the Royal LePage House Price Composite is the most useful metric for determining the health of Canada’s real estate market. However, examining quarter-over-quarter movements can reveal useful short-term housing market trends. In the third quarter, home prices in the Greater Toronto Area, Greater Vancouver, Greater Montreal Area, Calgary and Ottawa all rose at rates between 1.5 and 3.5 per cent on a quarter-over-quarter basis, indicative of a much more balanced Canadian residential real estate market.

The Royal LePage National House Price Composite, compiled from proprietary property data in 53 of the nation’s largest real estate markets, showed that the price of a home in Canada increased 13.3 per cent year-over-year to $628,411 in the third quarter. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a standard two-storey home rose 13.9 per cent year-over-year to $748,049, and the median price of a bungalow grew 9.5 per cent to $525,781. During the same period, the median price of a condominium rose 15.2 per cent to $413,670.

“Uneven regional economic growth has plagued Canada for much of the past decade, a challenge most evident in the nation’s housing markets,” said Phil Soper, President and CEO, Royal LePage. “For the first time since 2011, we are seeing real estate in all five of our largest cities appreciate at a manageable, healthy clip. Canadian housing is enjoying a Goldilocks moment – not too hot, and not too cold.”

“For now, the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets have returned to earth,” continued Soper. “After a period of unsustainable price inflation and sharp market corrections, we are seeing low single digit appreciation in each. Calgary has shaken off the oil-bust blues and Montreal appears to be at the beginning of a new era of economic prosperity. Rounding out the ‘big five,’ the Ottawa market is behaving like it usually does – a picture of healthy market growth.”

Soper noted that rising interest rates and a strong Canadian dollar should help to keep a lid on major market price appreciation.

“Marginally higher borrowing costs should dampen domestic demand somewhat, and with less currency-adjusted purchasing power, foreign buyer activity is off peak levels and will likely stay that way in the near-term,” added Soper.

During the third quarter, the Greater Toronto Area saw the largest year-over-year home price increase of any major Canadian market, surging 21.7 per cent on the back of strong gains witnessed at the beginning of 2017. Meanwhile, home prices in Montreal continued to climb at a rate beyond what has been the historical norm, appreciating by 14.3 per cent when compared to the same time last year, while Ottawa grew by 7.9 per cent over the same period. When looking at the largest markets in Canada’s westernmost provinces, Calgary and Greater Vancouver inched further out of their recovery, with home prices rising 5.0 and 2.5 per cent year-over-year, respectively.

Following a very similar trend to the Vancouver housing correction of 2016, the Greater Toronto Area market experienced a sharp drop in sales volumes beginning in April 2017, which continued through much of the third quarter. With underlying employment and economic growth on solid footing, the Toronto market began to grow again in August.

Potential buyers who were previously on the sidelines taking a wait-and-see approach have now jumped back into the market after realizing prices did not drop as certain market watchers had anticipated. On the supply side, some sellers who had attempted to capitalize on an uncharacteristically strong spring have taken their homes off the market. Together, these trends have caused the region to revert to a more balanced market where supply and demand have stabilized in the majority of areas.

“A severe shortage of listings introduced unsustainable home price inflation into our two largest markets beginning in 2015,” commented Soper. “Affordability eroded rapidly, concerned policy makers reacted with measures to slow demand, and sales volumes plummeted. Market corrections were triggered in Vancouver first, and some ten months later, in Toronto.”

“Toronto home prices are much lower than those we see in Vancouver, and the overall size of the market is considerably larger,” he continued. “Waning foreign investment should impact the Toronto market less severely. We expect the correction to be shorter in comparison to what was experienced last year in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.”

According to the Royal LePage Peak Millennial Survey released in August 2017, members of the largest cohort of the millennial demographic, or “peak millennials,” are concerned about high home values in Canada’s largest urban markets and job uncertainty in other regions. Eighty-seven per cent of Canadians aged 25 to 30 believe homeownership is a good investment, yet only 57 per cent believe they will be able to afford a house within the next half decade. Consequently, though 61 per cent of peak millennial purchasers would prefer to buy a detached home, only 36 per cent believe that they will realistically be able to find a property within the market segment. This has led many of these young people to look for property in the more affordable condominium category.

“In our largest urban centres, condos are seen by many young home buyers as the last bastion of affordability,” explained Soper. “We expect single home buyers, couples or families with one child to favour condominium living. With the arrival of a second child, many young families will still follow their parents’ footsteps and head to the suburbs.”

“Regardless of where they live, the sheer number of peak millennials in Canada will shape our real estate markets over the next decade. Developers and planners will certainly respond with housing product that meets the needs of this influential cohort of real estate consumers,” added Soper.

Nationally, condominium prices increased 15.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis and have begun to appreciate faster than any other housing segment in large urban centres such as Toronto and Vancouver. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and begin a trend in other cities. The overall affordability of condominiums continues to attract first-time homebuyers and purchasers looking for attractively-priced real estate as new mortgage regulations, interest rate increases and higher home prices have effectively limited purchasing power.

Under the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, all private rental units in the province are now subject to rent control, and housing market watchers have a number of concerns regarding the impact of this legislation. Removing the ability to adjust prices by more than 2.5 per cent a year when long-term residential real estate price appreciation is approximately 5.0 per cent per year makes rental units less attractive to investors. It is likely fewer purpose-built rental projects will be launched in the near future. According to one industry report, more than 1,000 such projects have already been cancelled and vacancies have already fallen to 1.3 per cent across the GTA[2].

“Ontarians deciding between renting and buying a home are facing two tough options,” said Soper. “Purchasers trying to break into the entry-level market now face a highly competitive environment, while those waiting to buy are met with high rental prices brought on by a significant shortage of inventory.”

“There may be unintended consequences to new province-wide rent controls,” concluded Soper. “We need more family-sized units in the province’s cities; apartments with two or three bedrooms. Yet purpose-built rental projects are likely to focus on smaller bachelor or one-bedroom units, which tend to attract shorter-term tenants. The higher turn-over allows landlords to raise rates more frequently. This will put further upward pressure on the price of existing family-sized rental units.”

 

Provincial and City Summaries and Trends

Forecasters continue to raise their expectations for British Columbia’s growth, with the province poised to lead or come close to leading all provinces in GDP this year, creating new jobs and stimulating growth within the province’s residential real estate market. While the newly-elected NDP government released their first budget update, which included increases in the top marginal income tax and corporate tax rates, these hikes only put B.C. on par with other provinces, not above them. As well, the government is bolstering their already-robust social programs and infrastructure, which will allow them to entice more Canadians into the region in search of a new home.

During the third quarter of 2017, the aggregate price of a home in Greater Vancouver increased 2.5 per cent year-over-year to $1,229,133. Over the same period, the City of Vancouver saw an increase of 2.2 per cent to $1,439,652. Meanwhile, the regions of Langley, Surrey, North Vancouver, and Richmond saw third quarter price increases of 9.2 per cent, 6.3 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 1.4 per cent, to $831,283, $796,466, $1,417,226, and $1,103,064, respectively.

Alberta’s economy continues to rebound from its recession, and drilling activity has come back from last year’s levels. The price of West Texas Intermediate oil has averaged over $49 USD per barrel this year, and the Alberta government is forecasting a price of $55 USD per barrel in its 2017-18 budget. Over the past year, Alberta has added 13,000 jobs, and full-time employment has grown by 31,500. When looking to the housing market, many regions in the province have benefited from this recovery, with the aggregate price of a home in Calgary and Edmonton rising 5.0 per cent and 4.0 per cent year-over-year to $479,211 and $389,330, respectively.

The improvement in the energy sector is also helping Saskatchewan’s economy, which is experiencing an additional lift from the strengthening U.S. economy. This has been partially offset by soft commodity prices, like potash, and its unemployment rate creeping up. Over the past year, Saskatchewan lost 1,400 jobs, although the bulk of these were in part-time positions. Together, these trends slightly dampened the province’s real estate market during the third quarter of 2017, with the region witnessing modest home price declines in its largest cities. Over the quarter, the aggregate home price in Regina decreased 1.9 per cent year-over-year to an aggregate price of $327,636, while the aggregate price of a home in Saskatoon fell 2.4 per cent to $377,191.

Manitoba’s economy continues to track at the national average, but key indicators reflect a mixed picture. For the first two-thirds of the year, Manitoba’s housing starts were up by 78 per cent and urban housing starts were up by 58 per cent, with both representing the strongest gains of any province. As of September, Manitoba’s unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent, well below the national average of 6.2 per cent. On the other hand, at 3.1 per cent, Manitoba’s seasonally-adjusted retail sales gains for the first half of 2017 were less than half of the national average, and exports to the province’s largest importer, the U.S., declined by 6 per cent over the same period. Despite a mixed picture from other indicators, the housing sector is proving unambiguously strong. In the third quarter, Winnipeg’s aggregate home price rose by 5.5 per cent year-over-year to $305,413.

The economic expansion that has been powering Ontario for the past couple of years has accelerated in 2017, and some forecasters are upping their expectations for growth. This has translated into more jobs, with the September unemployment rate falling to 5.6 per cent, representing the lowest level seen in the region in 16 years. Conversely, the biggest drag on Ontario’s economy for the majority of this year has been its housing market, which has seen a decrease in sales activity on the heels of high price appreciation, the implementation of new regulations from the provincial government and the Bank of Canada’s moves to hike interest rates.

While price appreciation has recently moderated to healthier levels on a quarter-over-quarter basis, in the third quarter of 2017, home values across the Golden Horseshoe continued to show substantial year-over-year gains, thanks in part to significant price increases experienced at the beginning of the year. The aggregate price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area increased 21.7 per cent to $860,295, while the price of a home in the City of Toronto rose 21.8 per cent to $861,397. Home prices in the surrounding GTA regions saw significant year-over-year increases, with suburbs such as Richmond Hill, Oshawa, Vaughan, Markham and Oakville posting increases of 17.5 per cent, 26.8 per cent, 26.5 per cent, 22.2 per cent and 21.9 per cent to $1,288,411, $572,177, $1,099,899, $1,108,943 and $1,145,644, respectively. Regions such as Hamilton and Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge were among the province’s hot spots, with year-over-year price increases of 27.9 per cent and 28.0 per cent, to $548,521 and $483,133, respectively, while Niagara/St. Catharines and London home prices rose 20.4 per cent, and 19.8 per cent to $372,717 and $354,466, respectively over the same period.

Ottawa is turning out to be a major economic success story in 2017, given the heightened levels of hiring by the federal government. As of September, the city’s 5.8 per cent unemployment rate sits below the national average, and it appears to be one of the few cities that has shrugged off the province’s new housing rules. Over the quarter, the aggregate price of a home in Ottawa increased by 7.9 per cent year-over-year to $441,453.

Quebec is now in the midst of what economists, and the province’s Minister of Finance, refer to as a “virtuous circle.” The province’s economy has been improving over the last few years, and confidence among businesses and individuals is rising, with both choosing to spend and invest, creating jobs and further stimulating the economy. Furthermore, the region is increasingly becoming a technology centre of excellence attracting industry giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and recently, Samsung. Technology is a growing sector for employment in the region and it should positively affect demand in the real estate market over the next few years.

In the third quarter of 2017, the aggregate price of a home in the Greater Montreal Area rose 6.6 per cent to $384,055. Within the region, Montreal Centre saw the highest year-over year home price appreciation with an increase of 14.3 per cent to $511,129, and home prices in Montreal West rose by 5.4 per cent over the same period to $422,515. Year-over-year, home prices in Quebec City and Sherbrooke increased 3.1 per cent and 4.2 per cent to $300,835 and $246,660, respectively, while home prices in Trois-Rivières fell 3.3 per cent over the same period to $200,080.

As Canada heads into the final quarter of the year, all provinces appear to be growing, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, which is still decisively in the midst of a recession. Large oil projects in the province are coming to an end and provincial revenues are coming in far below expectations. At 15.1 per cent as of September Newfoundland and Labrador’s unemployment rate is more than double the national average, creating less of a demand for large purchases, like housing. In the third quarter, the aggregate price of a home in St. John’s decreased 0.8 per cent year-over-year to $326,410.

In the rest of the Atlantic provinces, economic conditions in New Brunswick are proving to be solid this year, but some forecasters feel that the province is particularly vulnerable to trade conflicts with the U.S., especially in regard to softwood lumber. Home prices in Saint John rose 3.2 per cent year-over-year to $211,294, while home prices in Fredericton and Moncton fell 1.0 per cent and 1.9 per cent to $235,572 and $177,261, respectively. Although the economic growth of Nova Scotia is likely to be well under the national average over the next few years, many are referring to Halifax as a “boom town” because of the city’s base of colleges and universities, access to affordable homes and desirable quality of life. Over the quarter, Halifax saw an aggregate home price increase of 5.5 per cent year-over-year to $320,405. Prince Edward Island has not been as affected by the drop in oil prices when compared to the other Atlantic provinces, and home prices in Charlottetown saw a year-over-year increase of 4.4 per cent to $234,990.

Aggregated regions and the Royal LePage National House Price Composite (.PDF)

 

About the Royal LePage House Price Survey

The Royal LePage House Price Survey provides information on the three most common types of housing in Canada, in 53 of the nation’s largest real estate markets. Housing values in the House Price Survey are based on the Royal LePage National House Price Composite, produced quarterly through the use of company data in addition to data and analytics from its sister company, RPS Real Property Solutions, the trusted source for residential real estate intelligence and analytics in Canada.  Commentary on housing and forecast values are provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts, based on their opinions and market knowledge.

 

About Royal LePage                                       

Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of over 17,000 real estate professionals in more than 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.

For more information visit: www.royallepage.ca.

 

For further information, please contact: 

Michael Jesus
Kaiser Lachance Communications
647-783-1807
michael.jesus@kaiserlachance.com

 


 

[1] Aggregate prices are calculated using a weighted average of the median values of all housing types collected. Data is provided by RPS Real Property Solutions.

[2] Urbanation Inc. report prepared for the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, “Ontario Rental Market Study: Measuring the Supply Gap,” September 2017

13 breakfast nooks that look good enough to eat

http://news.buzzbuzzhome.com/2017/08/13-breakfast-nooks.html

Largest Cohort of Millennials Changing Canadian Real Estate, Despite Constraints of Affordability and Mortgage Regulation

‘Peak Millennials’ (aged 25 to 30) to create strong wave of demand

National survey shows while the peak millennial dream to own property is very strong, challenges to homeownership vary across the country

TORONTO, August 17, 2017 – According to the Royal LePage Peak Millennial Survey released today, high home values in Canada’s largest urban markets and job uncertainty in other regions mean new strategies and different priorities for ‘peak millennials,[1] a term coined to describe the largest cohort of the millennial demographic and the impact of their potential purchasing power[2].

With every census metropolitan area but Fredericton and all provinces with the exception of Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland adding to their population of 25-30 year olds over the past 5 years,[3]decisions made by peak millennials will be far reaching.  With peak millennials as a group now reaching their late 20s, the number of people aged 25 to 30 is projected to increase 17 per cent in 2021 compared to 2016.[4]

“Whether they choose to buy or rent, peak millennials will inevitably shape the housing market due to their sheer volume,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “We expect demand from this demographic to put additional pressure on entry-level housing and investment properties being used to supplement the limited inventory of purpose-built rental buildings.”

Although the desire to own a home is strong among peak millennials, the challenges they face on the path to homeownership are numerous. The cross-Canada survey conducted by Leger found that 87 per cent of Canadians aged 25 to 30 believe homeownership is a good investment. Yet, while 69 per cent hope to own a home in the next five years, 57 per cent of those surveyed believe they will be able to afford one.

“Facing challenges their baby-boomer parents never encountered, peak millennials are confronted with significant obstacles that vary depending on where they live,” remarked Soper. “While finding employment in our largest urban markets, Toronto and Vancouver, is relatively easy compared to other areas of Canada, buyers face limited inventory and high home values in these regions. Where prices are more affordable, job markets can be more uncertain.”

Often renting or choosing to live at home can be part of a smart saving strategy for future home buyers. Thirty-five per cent of peak millennials surveyed already own a home, while another 50 per cent are renting and a further 14 per cent are living with their parents.

“The pent up demand for housing from millennials is enormous, with only a third of this large demographic currently owning a property and an overwhelming majority desiring to be homeowners,” added Soper.

When looking to purchase a property, 75 per cent of peak millennials surveyed would look to use their personal savings for a down payment, with 37 per cent seeking out alternative means of funding as well, like financial support from their families (25 per cent).

Though 61 per cent of peak millennial respondents across Canada would prefer to buy a detached home, only 36 per cent believe that they will realistically be able to find a property within this market segment. Consequently, many within this age range have adjusted their expectations and have become increasingly open to other property types, provided that they are move-in ready. Over half (52 per cent) of those surveyed would look to the suburbs when purchasing a property, especially when it comes time to raise a family (59 per cent), as the supply of new developments and spacious residences are more abundant in these areas. In addition, 61 per cent stated that they would be willing to move to another city or suburb where property is more affordable.

“While peak millennials are becoming increasingly inventive in their quest for homeownership, careful attention to urban planning could help to alleviate some of their constraints,” said Soper. “By focusing on vertical living, and developing larger, affordable condominiums in urban markets, supply limitations would ease, providing long-term, appealing solutions to young buyers in search of affordable property.”

In addition to high home values, peak millennials also face increasingly stringent mortgage stress test regulations, which push potential buyers to the sidelines, electing to either remain in the rental market to save up enough money for a down payment, or move to more affordable regions.

When asked, 64 per cent of peak millennials currently believe that homes in their area are unaffordable, with a significant proportion of respondents in both British Columbia (83 per cent) and Ontario (72 per cent) asserting that prices are simply too high. Of those that do not believe they will be able to own a home in the next five years, 69 per cent stated that they cannot afford a home in their region or the type of home they want, while roughly a quarter (24 per cent) are unable to qualify for a mortgage.

“Even in our two affordability-challenged provinces, millennials who are prioritizing homeownership can find affordable alternatives to our two largest housing markets according to our Royal LePage National House Price Composite,” said Soper. “In British Columbia, a home in Langley, Kelowna, or Victoria is approximately half the price of a home in Vancouver. In Ontario, cities such as Ottawa, London, and Hamilton offer an affordable alternative to Toronto.”

In total, nearly half (49 per cent) of the peak millennials surveyed believed that the federal government’s new mortgage regulations have impacted the types of property that they can afford, effectively pushing them into highly competitive, lower-priced market segments.

When looking for a home, 53 per cent of peak millennial purchasers across Canada are willing to spend up to $350,000, which would typically buy them a 2.5 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom property nationwide, with 1,272 square feet of living space.[5] Yet, with 58 per cent of respondents having a annual household income of less than $69,000, and only 34 per cent currently tracking to have a sufficient down payment of over 20 per cent to qualify for a mortgage in this price range, the actual logistics of homeownership can be quite difficult.


https://www.royallepage.ca/realestate/news/largest-cohort-of-millennials-changing-canadian-real-estate-despite-constraints-of-affordability-and-mortgage-regulation/#.WZWU7VF96M9?platform=hootsuite

The Importance of Photography When Selling

King Henry VIII famously beheaded the man responsible for a poor picture of his future bride. Fortunately, none of your condo photos are going to lead to anything that extreme. However, poor pictures will have negative consequences. Fewer buyers will come to see your unit. Skilled photography is particularly important in condos. A picture taken at a
wrong angle can easily make your unit seem small or otherwise unattractive. You may have a spectacular view out your main windows, but that can be difficult to pick up with some cameras. Then there’s the property itself. You may need pictures that bring the property’s best features to life for buyers. The fact is, condo photography for listing purposes is a hard-won skill. You
really need to know what you’re doing. Fortunately, there are proven best practices for real estate photography of condos. So, if you want some tips and ideas, give us a call. We specialize in this property and know how to make these units look their very best in listing photos.

Related Files

Rivermill_Village_Community_Market_Report,_LIndsay,_Ontario_Condominiums..pdf

Rivermill_Village_Community_Market_Report,_LIndsay,_Ontario_Condominiums..pdf

JUNE 14, 2017 HOME PRICES UP A RECORD 2.2% IN MAY

http://a11576.actonservice.com/acton/rif/11576/s-0064-1706/-/l-000f:261f/l-000f/showPreparedMessage?sid=TV2:FLoWGl1wq

Canada’s two largest real estate markets head in opposite directions

 

Summer 2017 | Volume 15, Issue 3

 
 
 

Canada’s two largest real estate markets head in opposite directions

 
 
 

According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey, Canada’s residential real estate market saw substantial price growth in the first quarter of 2017. While the majority of Canadian housing markets posted modest gains, price appreciation across much of Ontario significantly outpaced the rest of the country. Meanwhile, the pace of home price appreciation in Greater Vancouver was noticeably lower than the historic highs witnessed in 2016, and for the first time since 2013, home values for the region as a whole declined on a quarterly basis.

In the first quarter of 2017, the price of a home in Canada increased 12.6 per cent year-over-year to $574,575. When broken out by housing type, the price of a two-storey home rose 13.9 per cent year-over-year to $681,728, and the price of a bungalow climbed 10.9 per cent to $490,018. During the same period, the price of a condominium increased 8.9 per cent to $373,768.

“For the first time in several years, real estate markets in Vancouver and Toronto are headed in opposite directions,” said Phil Soper, President and CEO, Royal LePage. “The Vancouver market stalled, as confused consumers took to the sidelines after a series of uncoordinated moves by all three levels of government. With its housing shortage becoming more acute, Toronto easily stepped forward to assume the title of Canada’s most overheated real estate market.”

Significant home price appreciation, causedby market dynamics similar to those that have driven housing activity in the Greater Toronto Area, is being seen across the entire “Golden Horseshoe” region of south-central Ontario, and as far away as Windsor and London in southwestern Ontario. In fact, the torrid pace of home price appreciation in much of Ontario contributed almost half of the national aggregate home price increase in the first quarter, with the rest of Canada appreciating by a healthy, but much lower, 6.4 per cent year-over-year when excluding all Ontario-based regions.

“The overall Canadian market is healthier in 2017 than it has been in years, yet the downside risks are greater too,” concluded Soper. “Our economy, which has recovered nicely from the 2014 oil crisis, is sadly dependent on moves by an unpredictable U.S. federal government and can be swayed by unforeseen global events, such as fallout from Europe’s restructuring. Still, housing activity is strong and prices are rising at a healthy mid-single-digit rate across the land. The trend in Alberta, Quebec and Atlantic Canada is particularly encouraging. Our concerns with the state of Canadian real estate begin and end in Toronto and Vancouver.”

 
 

Looking for a cottage in the sky?

By Tom Irwin, Royal Lepage FRANK Real Estate

Woke up to a spectacular view of Kempenfelt Bay this morning from the 13th floor of Nautica Condo Building in Barrie.

 

Nautica's luxurious twin towers boasts 301 residences & all with water views. Exciting waterfront living offering a wide spectrum of special events & entertainment throughout the year that you can participate in or enjoy from your very own balcony. Even better, it's just a short stroll down the boardwalk to downtown with great dining & shopping experiences. Steps from the beach too!

 

Looking for a cottage in the sky?

http://nauticacommunity.ca

 

 

Call me for a tour.

 

Tom Irwin Direct: 705-328-5424



 

Insights: Real Estate in Ontario

Average House Price

The provincial average price for homes sold in July 2016 was a record $517,831, rising 13.9% from a year earlier.

https://www.orea.com/Buyers-and-Sellers/Insights

Buyers’ Checklist



Buying a home is a big decision – whether it’s your first home or a vacation home. To help you make smart decisions, it’s important to think with your head and not your heart. The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) shares their tips for being home smart when you’re in the market to buy.

Do your homework. Get informed about the buying process, before it begins, to save time, hassle and money.

Shop around. Don’t be tempted to hire the first real estate professional you meet. Make sure the fit is right, check their references and visit the RECO website to confirm their registration.

Get it in writing. If your real estate professional offers you rebates or incentives, they should provide the details in writing.

Understand what you’re signing. Before you sign a buyer representation agreement, make sure you know what it means, how long it will be in effect and what the different clauses mean. Ask questions and seek independent legal advice if you’d like a second opinion.

Keep budget in mind:
•Remember to include legal fees, land transfer tax, mortgage insurance and utility hookups in your total cost.
•Know the costs of a home inspection and home appraisal or survey.
•Moving costs can vary based on volume, distance and whether you hire a professional mover. Have wiggle room in your budget to cover the cost.


 Protect yourself. Make your offer conditional on mortgage financing, a home inspection, the sale of your existing home, and/or other factors that are important to you. These conditions provide you important protection as a buyer.

Check what’s inside the walls. Ask your real estate professional to look into the age and condition of the home’s systems, such as the plumbing and electrical. Find out if proper permits were pulled for any renovations. Consider a home inspection to further examine the home and don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Be specific. Make your offer as detailed as possible. Outline what will be included with the sale (e.g., appliances and light fixtures) and be clear if certain renovations need to be completed, based on the home inspection.

Plan ahead. If you encounter a bidding war, enter with a strategy. Set ground rules in advance about what you want from a home, what you’re willing to spend and what conditions must be met. Once your rules are set, stick to them. When there are competing offers it can be tempting to waive your conditions (such as a home inspection). Think twice before doing this.

Expect the unexpected. Does your closing date on your new home align with when you need to move out of your existing home? Have a contingency plan in place in case the dates don’t match up.

A registered real estate professional can help you navigate the many steps and decisions involved in the home buying process. 
 
 

HEY TORONTO HOME OWNERS … Up Here!

How many deals today will offer you twice as much for half the cost?
Are you tired of the concrete jungle?
Is bumper-to-bumper exhaust getting up our nose?
Thinking of downsizing to keep more of your pennies?
Tired of living in a tiny box with a garden the size
of a postage stamp?
Do you want to pay off that hovering monthly mortgage?
Are you retired and looking for more quality living?
If you answered yes to these questions you have a great option and an even greater opportunity – and timing isn’t going to get any better.
Today’s Toronto homes are demanding exorbitant price tags. $500,000+ for a small 700 square foot SEMI!
If you’re a late boomer or retiree looking to downsize costs and upgrade size and quality of living – get in your car right now, pop in your favorite CD and enjoy a stunningly beautiful landscaped 1.2 hour drive beyond the big city border to the City of Kawartha Lakes. If you would like an in-town escort, call me in advance and I’ll proudly show you clean air, green space, easy maneuverable streets, friendly communities and beautiful homes that will provide you twice the space, for half the cost.
And…I’ll also add another element of ease for you if you wish. You’re ultimately going to fall in love with the area and want to take it further. I can also arrange for one of my trusted, long serving, professional Royal Lepage Realtor cohorts in Toronto make an appointment with you, at your convenience to discuss market value on your current home and put everything in perspective for you. In the meantime, I’ll be watching the market for you. Your Casita in Paradise awaits.

Check out the our search by map page and see how you can bank some money and start Liv'n it Up!


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Power of Sale Properties. Sweet Deals?

~~Power of Sale Properties... Sweet Deals?

Everyone wants a sweet deal. And if I could head up all my ads with the words Power of Sale or Fixer-Upper my phone would ring off the hook. But contrary to what most people think, a listing being sold under power of sale does not necessarily guarantee you a bargain.

The web is full of sites flaunting power of sales, it’s like people are being potty-trained to believe in give away prices. Many of these advertisements come out of the U. S. and are not pertinent to here in Canada. Canada’s laws are much stricter when it comes to the power of sale procedure.

I have found most Buyers to have unrealistic expectations about the eventual sale price of a power of sale. Another overlooked issue for Buyers is the exposure to risk such a purchase represents.

I’m not saying some of these properties can’t represent a sweet deal,  just not always. I have seen power of sales that have sold for more than what I thought was market value just because the Buyers perceived them to be a deal.

With a normal real estate sale it’s the owner of the property who sells to a Buyer. In a sale by power of sale it is not the owner who is selling the property but rather the lender. This is how the lender remedies a default on payments of the mortgage by the homeowner. This legal right to sell by the lender to try to recover losses using the power of sale clause contained in the mortgage is subject to very strict rules. The lender can only retrieve what is entitled and if there is a surplus, then the owner will benefit.

Definition of Power of Sale: A clause commonly inserted into a mortgage and deed of trust that grants the creditor or trustee the right and authority, upon default in the payment of debt, to advertise and sell the property through any means at it’s disposal, usually through MLS in Ontario or at public auction, without resorting to a court for authorization to do so.

The lender has an obligation to sell the property for the fair market value. So if the owner can prove the lender sold the property for less than the value of the property the owner may sue the lender. This is why lenders are cautious when selling power of sales.

What are some of the downsides to buying power of sales you need to be aware of? The Seller will for instance give no warranties with respect to the state of the property or even the ownership of any chattels on the property; No assurances that the appliances work or that the property contains any hazardous conditions. The reality is that your buying a property “as is”, and the Seller will have certain schedules to be attached to the offer to handle the many complexities.

So potential Buyers need to be aware of specific exclusions of fixtures, possible rights of redemption of the registered owner, GST, lack of warranties and other legal matters. There can also be deterioration of the subject property from the time it takes to bring it to the market such as water damage, vandalism, etc.

I showed a lovely large and stately home a few weeks ago and noticed most of the light fixtures were missing. Now to replace these fixtures and do the home justice it will cost thousands of dollars.

If you are a savvy Buyer and do your homework you can sometimes find a sweet deal but from my experience, a lot of the time the price is not that different from what it would be if the owner was selling the property.

When buying a power of sale, I would recommend that you make offers conditional upon a Lawyers approval and find an experience Realtor.

I had an offer on a Power of Sale here in Lindsay a few weeks ago. The property had been on the market less than a month. A few hours after I registered my offer, and wouldn’t you know it, a second offer is registered by another Broker. Both offers are presented to the Seller (a bank in this case) and it ends up my offer gets signed back to the Buyers for more money. My Buyers were not prepared to pay the price on the counter offer from the bank and they decided to counter again with a bit more money and quicker closing date. The other Broker’s Buyers had the opportunity to re submit another offer as well, and so they did. Turns out neither offer was accepted. The Seller decided the property had not been on the market long enough to warrant a lower price.

You see the lender can’t just dump this property for reasons I mentioned above. The lender has had appraisals and these are used as guidelines for price. That doesn’t mean the appraisals are always correct though. Obviously these two Buyers thought otherwise, or perhaps they had unrealistic expectations going in. Sometimes a lot has to do with timing. It is also possible that a power of sale can be priced too high.

If the property has not sold in the next month the Seller may reduce it. Will these Buyers still be around if the property is still on the market? Will it be reduced enough to meet their desired price? Could the market fall further and these Buyers offer less than they had originally offered? Only the market knows. One thing for sure…. it’s an interesting business!

I will be keeping a list of Power of Sales in the Kawarthas area if anyone is interested. Max and I currently have 3 Power of Sales on the market.
 

Regards,

Tom