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GTA, Ontario, Canada
Experienced Realtor (2012, 2013, 2014 And 2015 Recipient Of The Prestigious RE/MAX PLATINUM CLUB AWARD For Sales Greater Than 10 Million Annually) in Durham Region And The GTA, #1 Team 2014 & 2015 Whitby Office. "THE JACKIE GOODLET TEAM" has extensive knowledge which includes selling resale homes, new build homes & condo's since 1989. With over 25 years experience and exceptional negotiating skills we are confident we can save you time and money on all your real estate endeavours. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Monday, June 26, 2017

New foreign buyer stats revealed

Foreign buyers are showing increasing interest in the Montreal market, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The foreign buyer segment showed strong growth in 2016, which has continued into 2017, with 235 foreign buyers recorded in Montreal from January to April of this year.

That represents a nearly 40% year-over-year increase for the same period a year prior.

Despite the growing overseas interest, foreign buyers still account for a very small portion of Montreal’s real estate sales.

“Although the number of foreign buyers has continued to increase in the Montréal area since the beginning of 2017, purchases by foreign buyers represent only about 2% of all transactions in the residential market,” Francis Cortellino, principal market analyst, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said.

Chinese buyers, in particular, showed great interest in Montreal real estate this year, according to CMHC, which published the report based on the Government of Quebec land register data.

They now represent 17% of all foreign buyers in Montreal’s residential housing market, up from 10% a year ago.

“From January to April, 2017, 40 percent of Chinese buyers opted for single-family homes compared with 28 percent for U.S. buyers and 17 percent for buyers from France,” CMHC said in its report. “Buyers from China also more often chose homes in the municipalities of the Island of Montréal surrounding the city of Montréal than buyers from the U.S. or France.”

The growing interest could be related to Vancouver and Toronto’s implementation of respective 15% sales taxes on overseas buyers within their markets, which could force foreign interest elsewhere.

It remains to be seen whether or not Montreal follows suit; but with a mere 2% market share being bought by foreign buyers, their influence on the market doesn’t appear to be significant.

CREW

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Housing plan to drive listings spike

A high number of home owners in the Greater Toronto Area say they are likely to list their house for sale over the next year.

According to a Toronto Real Estate Board, a total of 30% of current owners are either “very likely” (12%) or “somewhat likely” (18%) to list their house over the next 12 months.

Of those planning to potentially list their homes, 15% cited Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan as the primary reason for selling in the next year.

That doesn’t mean there will be an excess of listings, according to TREB.

“The Ipsos survey results suggest that many households plan to list their home for sale over the next year. We have certainly reported an increase in listings,” Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, said. “However, it is interesting to note that almost 80 per cent of these households will be purchasing another home. This means that these households are not exiting the home ownership market, but, instead, changing the type or location of home they will own.”

The survey also found potential first-time homebuyers are pumping the brakes on their home search. The May survey found 40% of likely buyers would be first-timers – that was down from 53% in the fall survey.

“It makes sense that some first-time buyers have decided to at least temporarily put their decision to purchase a home on hold,” Mercer said. “First-time buyers are more flexible, and can take a wait and see approach. They could also re-enter the market quickly once they make the decision to purchase.”

Despite the recent dip in sales, TREB remains confident the market will rebound.

“While we have certainly experienced a dip in sales and an increase in listings over the past two months, the Ipsos survey results suggest that there are still many consumers considering the purchase of a home over the next year,” TREB President Larry Cerqua said. This could reflect the fact that new policies, like those contained in the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, can have an initial psychological impact before long-term impacts become clear.”

Still, the survey found 10% of households said they don’t plan on buying due to the Fair Housing Plan.

MBN

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Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

A third of Toronto homeowners want to sell

Thirty per cent of Toronto home owners are planning to list their homes for sale in the next year, new research from Toronto Real Estate Board shows.

At its regional economic summit in the city last Friday, TREB revealed findings from a survey by Ipsos which shows that 12 per cent of Toronto homeowners are ‘very likely’ to list in the next 12 months while a further 18 per cent are ‘somewhat likely’.

“We have certainly reported an increase in listings. However, it is interesting to note that almost 80 per cent of these households will be purchasing another home. This means that these households are not exiting the home ownership market, but, instead, changing the type or location of home they will own,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

The research also found that 35 per cent of potential home buyers are looking to do so in the next year but the share of first-time buyers has dropped from 53 per cent in a similar poll last fall to 40 per cent in May.

“It makes sense that some first-time buyers have decided to at least temporarily put their decision to purchase a home on hold. First-time buyers are more flexible, and can take a wait and see approach. They could also re-enter the market quickly once they make the decision to purchase,” continued Mercer.

TREB president Larry Cerqua added that the dip in sales and increase in listings could be the psychological impact of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan; 15 per cent of sellers who plan to list cited the policy as their reason.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

New low-rise home sales in the GTA slumped 76 per cent last month

The market for newly-built low-rise homes in the Greater Toronto Area collapsed in May compared to a year earlier.

Altus Group figures show a 76 per cent drop year-over-year with 545 sales, 68 per cent below the 10-year average. There was also a 12 per cent drop for new high-rise homes to 3,357 sales but this was up 61 per cent from the 10-year average.

Overall, there were 3,902 newly-built homes in the GTA in May, down 36 per cent year-over-year but 4 per cent above the 10-year average.

Year-to-date sales showed activity for high-rise units with 17,200 sales, up 58 per cent from a year earlier and 99 per cent above the 10-year average. Low-rise remained subdued at 5,614 sales, down 42 per cent from the same period of 2016 and 24 per cent below the 10-year average.

Overall year-to-date sales were 22,814, up 11 per cent year-over-year and exceeding the 10-year average by 42 per cent.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Proximity to subways a major factor in Toronto prices—report

Property prices and proximity to the busiest stations of the Toronto subway system appear to be correlated.

The study results were provided in three maps outlining average property prices near TTC subway stations across the city.

Among the most significant findings for bargain hunters are properties along the eastern end of the Scarborough line, with homes near the Ellesmere and Scarborough Centre stations being the most affordable (averaging at $587,431 and $575,581, respectively).

These areas are the only ones in Toronto that offer homes for below $700,000, however. More characteristic of the overheated market is the $1.5 to $2 million asking price in uptown Toronto, with properties near the York Mills ($2,451,612) and Lawrence ($2,709,023) stations on the Yonge-University line being particularly extreme examples of the trend.

Earlier this year, Fortress Real Developments SVP of market research and analytics Ben Myers argued that the most effective step that the city and provincial governments can take to improve affordability in the Greater Toronto Area would be to spend more on the region’s transit options.

Myers explained that the cheaper transport costs stemming from an improved transit network will make lower-priced homes in the GTA’s out-of-the-way locales more viable choices for would-be buyers—thus alleviating overcrowding pressures in the inner city.

“I’ve always pointed to additional transit spending,” Myers stated. “There’s a lot of areas now that wouldn’t be viewed as the neighbourhood that people want to live in and part of that is…[these areas] just can’t get access to good jobs.”

“If we could add additional subway lines, if we could add more transit, if we could do more service on the GO lines and quicker access to move people throughout the Greater Toronto Area — I think that’s one of the key things, to allow people from different markets to move around and access those jobs,” Myers added. “People want access to good jobs. So the easiest way to do that is just to move people quickly.”

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Ontarians, Baby Boomers snapping up Quebec’s cottages

Ontarians fleeing the red-hot Toronto housing market along with downsizing Baby Boomers are taking the opportunity to acquire properties in the relatively affordable purchasing environment of Quebec, according to data from the 2017 Royal LePage Canadian Recreational Housing Report released earlier this week.

The aggregate price of a recreational property in Quebec saw an annual increase to $318 700 in May 2017, with the growth “attributable in part to lower inventory levels as well as to an increasing number of Baby Boomers electing residence in recreational markets in the province, planning for retirement,” Royal LePage explained.

Among the province’s strongest attractions are its economic fundamentals and the current state of the loonie.

“The Mont-Tremblant and Charlevoix regions saw an increase in buyers from Toronto, possibly a result of the staggering rise in property prices in Ontario that has crossed well beyond the major centres,” Royal LePage Humania agency owner François Léger explained. “Our American neighbours have also shown interest in the Quebec region because of the weak Canadian dollar, affordable prices and Canada’s calm social climate.”

And unlike most of Canada, which is characterized by a majority Generation X (36 to 51 years old) buying population, Baby Boomers (52 to 70 years old) represented the primary clientele of the Quebec recreational property market.

“It is common knowledge that Quebec has a considerable proportion of Baby Boomers, and the majority have left or will soon leave the labour market. Our survey revealed that this clientele purchases recreational properties for the purpose of making them their primary residence upon retirement,” Léger added.

“Life stage, including within one demographic cohort, is a strong driver of recreational property transactions. Our assessment shows that depending on whether the buyers or sellers are in the first or last wave of the Baby Boomer generation, they are either looking to buy a recreational property for their retirement, or to sell their property in order to downsize, reduce maintenance and capitalize on their investment.”

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Expectations vs. reality: The state of single-family homes in Toronto

In a recent survey on the preferences of prospective home buyers, the Toronto Region Board of Trade (TRBOT) found that the actual state of starter housing in the city is radically different from what these buyers are expecting.

Fully 69 per cent of the respondents—most of which are young professionals—indicated a preference for houses with at least 3 bedrooms, while 81 per cent do not want condo. This is in stark contrast to the proportion of mid-rise and high-rise housing units built between 2011 and 2016 (83 per cent).

Toronto’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat noted that these aspiring home owners dreams’ will run aground on the harsh reality of the decline of the single-family home, now cripplingly expensive in a market suffused with foreign investment.

“They are now competing with global capital. They are in entry-level positions making entry-level salaries, sometimes working more than one job and they are competing with capital from around the city that wants the same housing that they do,” Keesmaat said, as quoted by the Toronto Star.

The trend is showing no signs of stopping, and Keesmaat herself is already raising her children on the expectation that they will establish their own families in apartments.

“If they choose to stay in the city those are the odds — that they’ll raise their family very differently from how they were raised, just as I’m raising my family very differently from how I was raised,” she explained.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Association provides feedback on bank regulation

The Canadian Mortgage Broker Association is petitioning the government to hold bank mortgage specialists to the same regulatory standards as mortgage brokers.

“The CMBA urges the government to take action to ensure that bank mortgage brokers comply with certain provincial consumer protection statutes that govern areas of exclusive provincial jurisdiction, such as mortgage broker licensing,” Samantha Gale, executive director of CMBA, wrote in a letter to the Standing Committee on Finance. “Mortgage broker licensing statutes provide detailed, well considered and essential consumer protection requirements in the absence of any similar federal requirements.

“It makes sense to put the bank mortgage broker on the same level playing field as other provincially licensed mortgage brokers to ensure that robust consumer protection rules are effective and enforceable against the entire mortgage brokering industry.”

The Standing Committee is currently reviewing consumer protection and oversight at schedule I banks across the country.

In the letter sent to the Committee – which was shared with MortgageBrokerNews.ca – Gale mentions a regulatory gap in federal and provincial regulations that allows bankers to operate as a broker without having to adhere to the regulatory requirements of brokering.

“A ... poignant example of a regulatory gap with banks can be found with the concept of bank mortgage brokers – the ones who negotiate mortgage arrangements for borrowers, not with the bank itself, but with other third-party lenders,” Gale wrote.

She cited a 2011 article by mortgage broker Steven Garganis about one example of a bank operating as a broker.

“Back in the early 2000s, RBC created the Alternative Mortgage Solutions (AMS). This department would take declined mortgage applications and broker them to secondary Lenders like Home Trust, Equitable Trust and other institutional Lenders or Private Lenders,” Garganis wrote. “The intention was to retain as much client business as possible while also generating a new source of revenue.”

Gale argued: “Some of these deals truly befuddle borrowers who walk into a bank expecting to get a conventional bank mortgage, and instead end up with a private mortgage with an unfamiliar lender and sizeable broker fees.

“Bank brokers do not provide borrowers with conflict of interest disclosures which explainswho the bank broker represents or how and how much the bank broker gets paid.

The regulatory double-standard has long frustrated brokers.

New Brunswick recently implemented a regulation that requires brokers to obtain a special license from the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCSC) as of April 1.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Debt-loving Canadians face unprecedented risks: report

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has warned that Canadian households could reach new levels of financial vulnerability, as they are expected to take on more debt in spite of a long-anticipated rate increase.

According to a new report from the PBO, household indebtedness hit 174% in the first quarter of 2017, reported CBC News. In other words, Canadian households owed $174 for every $100 in disposable income they made.

The indebtedness ratio had spiked over 2002 to 2011 before plateauing at around 170% in early 2015. It has since started rising again, with PBO forecasting a ratio of 180% by the end of 2018. In that case, Canadian households will be more vulnerable to economic shocks like unemployment or interest-rate hikes.

Another measure of indebtedness is the average amount owed by Canadian households in principal-and-interest payments on debt. In the first quarter of this year, that number was $14.20 for every $100 in disposable income, according to the PBO. It’s forecast to hit $16.30 for every $100 by the end of 2021.

“Despite a projected rise in interest rates, we expect household indebtedness to increase due to continued gains in real house prices and elevated levels of consumer confidence,” the PBO said in its report.

With the Bank of Canada showing an increasing willingness to raise interest rates to “normal” levels, Canadian households will face even greater challenges in servicing their debt.

“Based on PBO's projection, the financial vulnerability of the average Canadian household would rise to levels beyond historical experience,” the report said.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Buffett bet boosts Canadian financials

Warren Buffett’s lifeline to Home Capital Group Inc. is boosting shares of alternative lenders and banks across Canada.

The S&P/TSX financials index gained as much as 0.9 percent in Toronto on Thursday, with some lenders hitting their highest levels since before the Home Capital downturn intensified April 19. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Wednesday agreed to buy a 38 percent stake and provide a C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) credit line to backstop the embattled Toronto-based lender.

Mortgage insurer Genworth MI Canada Inc. added as much as 14.4 percent, its biggest intraday gain ever, and touched C$38.07, the highest since March 16. First National Financial Corp. rose as much as 4.7 percent to C$27.46, the highest since March 3. Street Capital Group Inc. and Equitable Group Inc. rose as much as 12 percent.

Rising financial shares, which account for some 34 percent of the S&P/TSX Composite Index, pushed the benchmark gauge up 0.8 percent.

"By injecting confidence in Home Capital, you’re effectively spreading around confidence virtually everywhere," said Ross Healy, a Home Capital shareholder and chairman of Toronto-based Strategic Analysis Corp. "It’s in Buffett’s best interest to make sure the earnings bounce back and bounce back quickly."

Fears that a run on deposits at Home Capital would spread to the broader financial sector had weighed on Canadian stocks, with the financials index losing 3.9 percent from April 19, when regulators first made public the allegations, to its bottom on May 17.

This, combined with broader fears about overheating housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver, pressured bank stocks, said Michael Sprung, president of Toronto-based Sprung Investment Management, another Home Capital shareholder.

"I don’t think that’s gone away yet but I do think this puts a vote of confidence in for the Canadian financial system, a fairly considerable vote of confidence," Sprung said in a phone interview. "I think the banks have pulled back to the point where they are looking attractive."

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Increase in foreign buyers in Montreal but impact is low says CMHC

The proportion of foreign home buyers in the Montreal area is increasing but remains low according to a new CMHC report.

Despite a year-over-year jump of almost 40 per cent in the first 4 months of 2017, the total number of foreign buyers was just 235.

“Although the number of foreign buyers has continued to increase in the Montréal area since the beginning of 2017, purchases by foreign buyers represent only about 2 per cent of all transactions in the residential market.”

commented Francis Cortellino, Principal Market Analyst, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Chinese buyers increased their share of foreign buyers in Montreal to around 17 per cent of the total compared to 10 per cent a year earlier and they are more likely to buy single-family homes (40 per cent) compared to American (28 per cent) or French (17 per cent) buyers.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Expenses outpacing income driving debt for many

More than half of Canadians who have taken on additional debt in the past three years have done so to cope with expenses rising faster than their income.

A survey by Equifax shows that 63 per cent said they were not comfortable with their levels of debt, which has risen to an average $22,125. Total household debt rose to $1.729 trillion including mortgages in the first quarter of 2017, up 6.9 per cent year-over-year.

The credit bureau says that inquiries have risen 3.6 per cent year-over-year with younger Canadians increasing their debt while seniors have cut back.

"Seniors were accumulating more debt last year, but this appears to be in check again. Younger generations continue to have the biggest year-over-year increases in terms of debt," said Regina Malina, Senior Director of Data & Analytics at Equifax Canada.

Delinquencies continue to show regional divergence with Ontario, Quebec and BC all showing lower levels of 90+ day delinquencies (down 6.1, 5.6 and 5.6 per cent respectively). Newfoundland saw the largest rise, up 23.8 per cent.

Saskatchewan (up 18.9 per cent) and Alberta (up 13.8 per cent) increased but by lower degrees than the last few quarters.

"Overall, despite increasing debt numbers, more monthly payments are being made on time and there are fewer bankruptcies," explained Malina. "At the same time consumers are seeking credit again after several quarters of slowing down, driven by activity in Ontario and Eastern provinces. Borrowing activity is also expanding more in these two regions but people in Newfoundland are having more difficulty making timely payments than in the other provinces."

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Fitch warns of “steep correction” risk for Toronto, Vancouver

Fitch Ratings has issued another warning of vulnerability in the two hottest Canadian housing markets.

It says that “unsustainable home prices and record high household leverage” make Toronto and Vancouver’s housing markets increasingly vulnerable to a “steep price correction.”

On a positive note, Fitch says that there will is not the risk to the financial system that was seen during the US housing crisis, due to the stability of Canada’s financial structure.

"Canadian banks are subject to rigorous oversight and regulations requiring prudent mortgage lending and underwriting standards," said Fitch Director Kate Lin. "What's more, credit quality for Canadian mortgage loans remains strong unlike the drift towards weak borrower and loan quality that we saw a decade ago in the U.S."

Non-prime mortgage lending in Canada is around 10 per cent of the market share, Lin added, compared to 50 per cent in the US at the peak of the crisis and the Canadian government has been taking steps to mitigate the risk in the housing market.

Canada is unlikely to mirror the declines and fallout experienced during the U.S. housing crisis due to major differences in the housing and mortgage finance systems," Lin said.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Canadian lender heads South

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will operate newly acquired PrivateBank under the CIBC banner rather than as a standalone entity, and the Chicago-based lender will ultimately be a platform for further U.S. expansion, Chief Executive Officer Victor Dodig said.

“When we come together, we’ll operate under a more unified brand," Dodig, 52, said in an interview at CIBC’s Toronto headquarters. “Over time, we’ll put all the right pieces together with respect to brand perspective, but the CIBC brand would be that lead brand."

CIBC on Friday completed its $5 billion acquisition of PrivateBancorp Inc., the holding company of PrivateBank. Larry Richman, who ran the Chicago lender for the past decade, becomes CIBC’s group head of the U.S. region and CEO of PrivateBank.

Canada’s fifth-largest lender by assets plans to start rebranding PrivateBank in the fourth quarter. The firm’s last U.S. acquisition, the January 2014 takeover of Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management, was renamed CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management in February. By comparison, Royal Bank of Canada has allowed City National Bank to operate independently since buying the California lender in 2015.

CIBC will spend the first two years focusing on internal growth at PrivateBank, though Dodig said he sees the potential for some “tuck-in wealth acquisitions.” After that, capital outlays or takeovers will be needed to reach longer-term goals of having the U.S. banking business contribute 25 percent of total earnings, he said.

‘Cultural Fit’

“As opportunities are identified with the leadership team, we will look to make those investments," Dodig said. “But it’s got to make sense for our shareholders. There’s got to be a great cultural fit."

The PrivateBancorp takeover -- the largest in CIBC’s 150-year history -- gives the lender a commercial and private banking presence in Chicago and 11 additional U.S. markets. The firm, with $20.4 billion in assets as of March, serves mostly middle-market companies, business owners and wealthy families in the U.S. Midwest.

Richman said his goal is “to build a best-in-class commercial and wealth-management bank.” He aims to expand the bank’s offerings, including private-banking services to Atlantic Trust clients and capital markets capabilities to PrivateBank customers. CIBC’s financial strength and credit ratings should help increase deposits, he said in a telephone interview from Chicago.

“These are natural growth opportunities that really represent client needs that we’re now able to fulfill over time that we didn’t have on our own,” Richman said. “We have the ability -- together -- to expand our business and expand our client relationships."

‘Next Chapter’

Richman, 65, was the former CEO of LaSalle Bank, the Chicago-based lender ABN Amro Holding NV sold to Bank of America Corp. in October 2007. He left a month after the handover to become PrivateBancorp’s CEO, joining more than two dozen of his colleagues who switched following the $21 billion takeover. Under his tenure, PrivateBancorp increased assets more than fourfold and more than doubled the number of employees, ultimately catching CIBC’s attention when it started hunting for a U.S. commercial bank to buy.

“We call this the start of the next chapter," Richman said of CIBC’s ownership. “We’re going to come together as one team, and we’re very excited about that.”

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Subway stations appear to have an influence in Toronto prices—study

Property prices and proximity to the busiest stations of the Toronto subway system appear to be correlated, according to a just-released report by brokerage firm TheRedPin.

The study results were provided in three maps outlining average property prices near TTC subway stations across the city.

Characteristic of the overheated market is the $1.5 to $2 million asking price in uptown Toronto, with properties near the York Mills ($2,451,612) and Lawrence ($2,709,023) stations on the Yonge-University line being particularly extreme examples of the trend.

Bargain hunters should be assured, however, as among the study’s most significant findings are properties along the eastern end of the Scarborough line, with homes near the Ellesmere and Scarborough Centre stations being the most affordable (averaging at $587,431 and $575,581, respectively). These areas are the only ones in Toronto that offer homes for an average of below $700,000.

Earlier this year, Fortress Real Developments SVP of market research and analytics Ben Myers argued that the most effective step that the city and provincial governments can take to improve affordability in the Greater Toronto Area would be to spend more on the region’s transit options.

Myers explained that the cheaper transport costs stemming from an improved transit network will make lower-priced homes in the GTA’s out-of-the-way locales more viable choices for would-be buyers—thus alleviating overcrowding pressures in the inner city.

“I’ve always pointed to additional transit spending,” Myers stated. “There’s a lot of areas now that wouldn’t be viewed as the neighbourhood that people want to live in and part of that is…[these areas] just can’t get access to good jobs.”

“If we could add additional subway lines, if we could add more transit, if we could do more service on the GO lines and quicker access to move people throughout the Greater Toronto Area — I think that’s one of the key things, to allow people from different markets to move around and access those jobs,” Myers added. “People want access to good jobs. So the easiest way to do that is just to move people quickly.”

CREW

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Top-heavy housing market stokes fears of instability

The U.S. housing market is looking a little top-heavy these days.

Beneath a steady May existing home-sales number that helped put to rest fears that the busy selling season had perhaps hit a lull, the lingering supply issues haunting the industry could be making the market less stable as it continues to limit entry for lower-end buyers.

Purchases of the previously owned homes that make up more than 90% of the market held at a solid pace last month, in spite of inventories that are troublingly low, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. The supply of homes for sale inched up to 4.2 months from 4.1 months, while remaining below the five months that the group considers a tight market.

The supply that is being added to the market has been lopsided, with more affordable homes getting short shrift as builders play to the luxury market. This has coincided with more sales on the high end, while bargain buyers have fewer choices – a potentially destabilizing trend.

With fewer options on the lower end, first-time buyers have been slow to enter the market even with mortgage rates that have held near record lows. The share of existing-home purchases made by debut buyers in May was 33%, little changed from 30% a year ago even as economists gauge whether the sweeping millennial cohort will put renting behind them.

The key to evening out market participants is wage growth. Average hourly earnings, while showing spotty signs of pickup, are still running at barely half the pace of home-price growth, which is accelerating faster. Detailed property-value figures for April will come Tuesday from S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller.

MPA

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Major market seems poised for growth

International and home-grown developers are targeting the already popular market.

Developers are showing increasing interest in Brampton’s downtown core, according to the city.

“Available land is only one of the reasons that downtown Brampton is now so attractive to business and investors,” Anthony Wong, Manager of the Central Area, said. “We are seeing major public investments in healthcare, education and amenities like Riverwalk.”

Brampton is already a popular and well-performing market, and with the increasing interest from developers it seems poised for even more growth.

The average price for a home in the city sold for $733,590 in May – that was up 31.7% from $557,009 a year ago.

Opening this month is the $530 million Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness.

The city plans to build a sprawling health and sciences community around the centre, which will both create jobs and a surely spur further residential development and, indeed, interest from real estate investors.

Atlas Healthcare chose Brampton because it believes it’s an up-and-coming market.

City of Brampton Expeditor Paul Aldunate helped facilitate the building of the centre. He fills a newly created role that aims to work across all sectors and facilitate the cooperation of municipal services and the business community.

“We needed to find out the needs of this community and what the shortcomings were in order to better service the City of Brampton,” Domenic Trotta of Atlas Healthcare, said. “Through Paul’s role, he was able to bring this information to us, to help us better understand how our new medical centre can make up for these drawbacks, and play a role in providing better healthcare for Brampton.”

CREW

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CMHC releases updated foreign buyer stats

Foreign buyers are showing increasing interest in the Montreal market, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The foreign buyer segment showed strong growth in 2016, which has continued into 2017, with 235 foreign buyers recorded in Montreal from January to April of this year.

That represents a nearly 40% year-over-year increase for the same period a year prior.

Despite the growing overseas interest, foreign buyers still account for a very small portion of Montreal’s real estate sales.

“Although the number of foreign buyers has continued to increase in the Montréal area since the beginning of 2017, purchases by foreign buyers represent only about 2% of all transactions in the residential market,” Francis Cortellino, principal market analyst, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said.

Chinese buyers, in particular, showed great interest in Montreal real estate this year, according to CMHC, which published the report based on the Government of Quebec land register data.

They now represent 17% of all foreign buyers -- which, as mentioned, make up 2% of total transactions -- in Montreal’s residential housing market, up from 10% a year ago.

“From January to April, 2017, 40 percent of Chinese buyers opted for single-family homes compared with 28 percent for U.S. buyers and 17 percent for buyers from France,” CMHC said in its report. “Buyers from China also more often chose homes in the municipalities of the Island of Montréal surrounding the city of Montréal than buyers from the U.S. or France.”

The growing interest could be related to Vancouver and Toronto’s implementation of respective 15% sales taxes on overseas buyers within their markets, which could force foreign interest elsewhere.

It remains to be seen whether or not Montreal follows suit; but with a mere 2% market share being bought by foreign buyers, their influence on the market doesn’t appear to be significant.

MBN

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sales of Ontario vacation properties stay strong

The cooling that has recently become apparent in Toronto-area home sales isn’t expected to make its way into cottage country this summer, according to Royal LePage’s annual Recreational Housing Report.

In fact, sales and prices are up in many Ontario resort areas, and will likely stay that way. This is because the typical cottage buyer tends to have deeper pockets than the average consumer shopping for a primary residence, according to Kevin Somers, vice president of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

“[Cottage buyers are] less reactive to changes in the primary residential markets but just as responsive to the forces of supply and demand,” Somers said.

The company’s annual report is based on a May survey of 51 Canadian agents and brokers, 63% of whom reported an uptick in prices and sales of such properties this spring.

This trend is expected to continue because the inventory is tight and the consumers who’re shopping aren’t first-time buyers. Instead, they’re homeowners who’re investing their equity in vacation properties.

The Royal LePage report puts the average Ontario cottage price at $413,000. This is an aggregate of all categories, ranging from resort condos to waterfront properties on lakes, rivers, and islands, as well as wooded areas with no access to water.

However, Somers said vacation properties vary considerably in prices.

In Ontario, Muskoka is still the costliest place to purchase a cottage, with an average price this spring of $1.5m.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

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9 in 10 Canadians want affordable housing solution

An overwhelming majority of Canadians say finding a solution to affordable housing issues is important.

A survey by Habitat for Humanity across Canada and the US found that 9 in 10 believe that answers to homeownership barriers are required especially as home prices continue to escalate.

The poll reveals that 84 per cent of Canadian respondents believe that housing costs will go up in the next five years, greater than the 72 per cent of Americans who said the same.

"In many ways, housing is an invisible crisis. There are still too many families without access to safe, secure and affordable housing," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "This survey highlights the value all of us place on a decent place to call home and underscores the critical need to increase access to affordable housing.

Around 80 per cent of all respondents said that having affordable, stable housing contributes to public health, community safety, economic growth and education.

MBN

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Supply isn’t meeting demand for housing in Vancouver

It’s easy to conclude that there must be enough condos for people to buy if one counts the number of cranes juxtaposed against the Vancouver skyline.

However, May statistics from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) indicate that the housing supply isn’t keeping up with demand.

In the Lower Mainland, the ratio of home sales to active listings was more than 50% in May.

According to Cameron Muir, BCREA’s chief economist, a ratio of 12% to 20% is considered balanced. “When the ratio is above 20 per cent over a period of time, there’s upward pressure on prices … The challenge is meeting a strong demand,” he said.

According to REW.ca, condos were the hottest commodity in May. The sales-to-active-listings ratio for condo-apartment units, which was 82.2% at the end of April, has risen to 94.6%. For townhomes, the sales-to-active-listings ratio is a more modest 76.1%.

“Demand for condominiums and townhomes is driving today’s activity,” said Jill Oudil, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV). “First-time buyers and people looking to downsize from their single-family homes are both competing for these two types of housing.”

Who is buying real estate?

While foreign buyers are clearly putting pressure on the city’s housing supply, “we’re also seeing a significant number of intra-provincial migrants,” Muir said. “The BC economy is doing well. Cities attract young people because cities are where the jobs are. Millennials like to live in cities…. Yes, there are more affordable regions but the availability of jobs at 100 Mile House is not as high.”

While the media tends to focus on stories of people leaving Vancouver because of high housing costs, there’s always been a “bleeding out” of Vancouver’s population, according to Muir.

“Growth areas are Langley and Surrey, which are the same size as Vancouver. You may be able to buy a condo there for $300,000 but those prices are also increasing. We’ve seen a significant ramping up on prices — 30 per cent year over year,” Muir said.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!

Warren Buffet's company buys into Home Capital

TORONTO _ Home Capital Group Inc. (TSX:HCG) says American investment firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has agreed to indirectly acquire $400 million of its common shares in a private placement and provide a new $2 billion line of credit to its subsidiary, Home Trust Company.

Berkshire, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Columbia Insurance Company, has agreed to make an initial investment of $153.2 million to purchase just over 16 million common shares, which represents an equity stake of approximate 19.99 per cent in Home Trust.

Each common share will be issued at $9.55 per common share, which equals a 15 per cent discount to the five-day volume-weighted average price of the shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange as of June 13 when Bershire Hathaway, the firm led by famous American investor Warren Buffett, made its final proposal to the company.

Home Capital, a Toronto-based alternative mortgage company, says while the sale of the shares requires TSX approval, it does not need the blessing of shareholders and is expected to close on June 29.

The company also says Columbia Insurance has agreed to make an additional investment of $246.7 million to acquire almost 24 million common shares through a private placement.

Together, the investments represent an almost 39 per cent equity stake in Home Capital, although Berkshire has agreed that it will only cast votes based on 25 per cent of the shares it will hold.

The additional investment will be subject to a shareholder vote expected to take place in September and approval by the federal government along with other customary closing conditions. Home Capital says its board is recommending shareholders vote in favour of it.

``Berkshire's investment in Home Capital is a strong vote of confidence in the fundamental, long-term value of our business,'' said Brenda Eprile, chairwoman of the Home Capital board.

``We are pleased to partner with such a renowned institution in a transaction that we believe will reward all our investors for their patience and loyalty by enhancing the value of Home Capital over time.''

``Home Capital's strong assets, its ability to originate and underwrite well-performing mortgages, and its leading position in a growing market sector make this a very attractive investment,'' added Buffett.

The Berksire Hathaway agreement comes a day after Home Capital Group said it was selling $1.2 billion in mortgage assets to KingSett Capital, a private equity firm focused on real estate, as it looks to regain its footing following a flood of customer withdrawals from their savings accounts.

The KingSett deal will allow Home Capital to reduce its debt, after taking on an emergency $2-billion line of credit on costly terms from the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.

Home Capital has been in a cash crunch since April when customers started withdrawing their savings, which the company uses to fund its mortgage lending, following allegations by the Ontario Securities Commission.

The securities watchdog had accused the company of misleading investors in its disclosures surrounding a scandal involving falsified loan applications.

Home Capital agreed to settle both the OSC matter and a class-action lawsuit filed by investors last week.

MBN

We hope you are finding our Blog informative and enjoyable to read while keeping you up to date with the ever changing real estate market.

Please feel free to contact me via Direct/Text or e-mail at any time and my team will be pleased to assist you, family members and friends with all your real estate needs. Referrals are always welcome!