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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Top Six ways to extend your ceiling heights!

Here are six ideas to help you achieve visually higher ceilings in your new condo:
1. Extend your kitchen cabinetry and backsplash to the ceiling wherever possible. Kitchen cabinets that meet the ceiling draw the eye upward, and that’s the goal throughout your entire apartment. If you can, use the same material on the backsplash as the countertop (so there’s no visual break), and also extend it to the ceiling behind the stove area and kitchen sink (if those areas don’t have cabinetry above them)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Major banks cut prime lending rate

Canada’s biggest banks are lowering their prime lending rates, nearly a week after a surprise rate cut by the Bank of Canada.
Royal Bank of Canada said Tuesday it decreased its prime lending rate to 2.85 per cent from 3 per cent.

Builder quietly cancels condo complex

Urbancorp has quietly cancelled its Kingsclub condo complex on King St. W. and plans to build three towers of rental apartments instead.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lower rates set to benefit first-time investors the most

Lower interest rates – announced by the Bank of Canada last week – will mostly benefit first-time investors and homebuyers, say experts.

Daily Market Update

RBC cuts mortgage rate, price war coming?
It was always going to happen, but while last week the big lenders were reluctant to pass on the Bank of Canada’s interest rate cut to borrowers, this week there’s talk of a price war. Royal Bank of Canada is the first of the big banks to cut mortgage rates, dropping its five-year fixed rate deal to 2.84 per cent and also cutting its other fixed products. Flexible rates are unchanged though along with other lending from the bank. Of course, these rates are the bank's published deals and brokers frequently secure better ones, but a ‘battle of the rates’ creating headlines can only help the perception that now is a great time to buy. How low those rates go is anybody’s guess, but there are already predictions of sub-two per cent mortgages.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Toronto Real Estate Sees Record Price Gap Between Condos And Houses

The price gap between Toronto-area condos and low-rise homes hit its highest point last year, say industry insiders.
The difference in price between low- and high-rise homes stood at a record high of$251,337 in 2014, said a strategic review of the Greater Toronto Area's (GTA) new home market that came out Wednesday.
The average price for a high-rise home jumped to $454,476, up four per cent from 2013. The average low-rise home, meanwhile, rose eight per cent to $705,813.

Sorry, but you just missed the cheapest real estate day of the year

On Tuesday night this week, nine bidders were vying to purchase a three-bedroom house just east of the Beaches in Toronto. At the end of the evening, the house at 123 Blantyre Ave., had sold firm for $751,528, or $151,628 above the asking price of $599,900.
The real estate agent , represented the sellers wasn’t surprised at the action, he says, after more than 100 people swarmed through the weekend open house expressing “I was expecting a lot of offers,”

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Buying a cheaper home outside Toronto may not pay off

Most home buyers say they would prefer to live in a walkable neighbourhood even if it means buying at least a slightly smaller house.
When it comes time to signing on the realtor’s dotted line, however, buyers still base their decision on the sticker price of the home, choosing a cheaper house over the higher purchase price of a cosy, walkable neighbourhood.
That was the finding of a study released earlier this year by RBC and Pembina Institute.
Now the bank and sustainability think-tank have followed that research with a report illustrating how the cost of that cheaper home shakes out if the purchaser factors in the cost of transportation in the Toronto area.
“People will often choose to drive as far as it takes to qualify for a mortgage. But once they get there, the actual costs undermine the lower cost of the house,” said Pembina’s Ontario director Cherise Burda, who co-authored, “Location matters: Factoring Location into Homebuying Decisions.”

Bank of Canada lowers target for overnight rate

For the first time in more than four years, the Bank of Canada has changed its target for the overnight rate, which may come as a surprise to real estate investors.

“The Bank of Canada today announced that it is lowering its target for the overnight rate by one-quarter of one percentage point to 3/4 per cent," the BoC wrote in an official release.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Investors must be more creative around financing

With lenders constantly changing their regulations and guidelines, investors have to find more creative ways to secure financing for new income properties, say experts.

“The big lenders are not going to be as easy as they once were,” said investor Gillian Irving. “There are always ways to get financing, but right now everyone needs to put their creative hats on.”

Dave Butler, principal broker at Butler Mortgages, added: “Since the beginning of last year, there seems to be a concerted effort by a lot of lenders to change their qualifying guidelines. This is not helping investor applications at all. We have to put on a puppet show for the banks.”

Daily Market Update

Vancouver is second most unaffordable market in the world
Vancouver has been identified as one of the most unaffordable cities in the world in a study of major property markets. The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey studies and ranks property markets in Canada, US, UK, Australia, Japan, China (Hong Kong), Singapore, Ireland and New Zealand. Its findings for this year rank Hong Kong as the most unaffordable followed by Vancouver. While it is the only Canadian city in the top 10 Victoria, Toronto, Kelowna and Fraser Valley are also listed as unaffordable. Among the most affordable in the study are the New Brunswick markets of Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton, Windsor, Ontario and Charlottetown, PEI.  Read the full report.

Toronto becoming ‘the New York of the North’
House prices in Toronto will continue to be out of the reach of many homebuyers even if there is moderation in the coming years. That’s according to a new report from TD Economics which highlights government regulations and taxation among the factors affecting affordability. The report says that the policy of pushing for high density with small units has led to an increasing shortage of townhouses and single-family homes, increasing prices. Co-author of the report, economist Diana Petramala, says that prices in the GTA mean that the area is now not far behind New York for being unaffordable.

High-end sales hit new record in Vancouver 
The number of Vancouver properties selling for $3 million or more hit a new record last year. Reports indicate that there were 842 properties in the price bracket in 2014, an increase of 31 per cent from 2013. While most of the high-end homes sold were single-family detached properties there were also many condos at higher prices. The record for homes selling above $5 million was also broken last year with 199 sales, beating 2013’s high of 148. 

If your interested in purchasing a Toronto Condo or Toronto Loft click here

Source:Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Monday, January 19, 2015

Toronto condo rentals spike 15 per cent in 2014 climbing to all-time high

It was a breakout year for GTA condo rentals, which counted 22,765 units leased through MLS in 2014, up 15 per cent from 2013. The strength of the market shouldn’t be too surprising given the strong summer and record breaking second quarter. The fourth quarter of the year also saw a boost in condo rentals, with an 11 per cent increase over the same time in 2013.

Downtown condo rentals booming, as GTA records double-digit increases

The love affair with downtown living shows no signs of easing as the number of condos renting through the MLS system hit a new record in 2014.
Some 22,765 units were leased across the GTA throughout 2014, up 15 per cent from 2013 and up 11 per cent in the fourth quarter alone. Most of the units were in the highly sought-after downtown core.
And that’s just the units rented via MLS. It doesn’t include others rented via online sites such as Kijiji and Craigslist or by word of mouth, as a record number of units came to completion across the GTA last year.
The demand was enough to keep up with that record supply coming onstream throughout 2014, which was up 10 per cent in the fourth quarter alone.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

$1 million-plus home sales surge 38 per cent in GTA

Wealthy buyers, baby boomers and foreign investors went on such a spirited real estate spending spree in 2014, they are “driving the GTA market more than ever” and making even the $1 million-plus condo a hot commodity.
The number of Toronto houses and condos that sold for over $1 million in 2014 surged by 38 per cent over 2013 as “robust consumer demand” and a shortage of listings continued to drive house prices skyward, according annual Top-Tier Real Estate Report released Wednesday by luxury realtor Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

Oil Prices Effect Canadian Market

Single-family home prices drop in almost half of cities
There was a slight drop in Canada’s house prices in December according to the latest Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index. Repeat sales of single-family homes slipped by 0.2 per cent from the month earlier. Five of the eleven cities studied saw declining prices; Halifax had the largest drop (1.9 per cent) followed by Calgary (1.1 per cent), Quebec (1.0 per cent), Montreal (0.9 per cent) and Vancouver (0.4 per cent). There were increases for Toronto (0.3 per cent), Edmonton (0.2 per cent), Hamilton (0.1 per cent) and Ottawa (0.1 per cent). Prices in Winnipeg and Victoria were unchanged. Annually there were increases in all cities except Quebec and Halifax and the national increase was 4.9 per cent.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

7 Essential Steps For Pricing Your Rental Property

Pricing a rental property is more complicated than most investors understand, especially if you want to get it right.

We've all heard stories about what a neighbour or another investor was able to rent their unit for. If they could get that rent, you should be able to get the same, right? Unfortunately, that's just not true. In fact, that type of logic can run you into some big trouble as a landlord.

No matter how intelligent and sophisticated investors can be, it's easy for many of them to forget that the real estate past does not equal the real estate future. The rental market is no exception to this rule. The rents you charged yesterday have no bearing on the rent you can expect to charge tomorrow.

Big cities like Toronto or Vancouver can experience significant fluctuations in inventory from week to week. To succeed as a landlord you need to know how to read the market and adapt your pricing accordingly. This often entails revisiting your strategy several times in a month to make sure you're staying competitive and on top of your game.

Here are the seven essential steps that I use to price rental properties so they rent quickly and for the highest dollar.

1. Think like a tenant. Successful landlords are able to put themselves into their tenants’ shoes and consider what's most important to them. Since the tenants are your customers, your capacity to attract and retain them depends on your appreciation for what they value. Thinking like your tenant will also help you to purchase the ideal real estate investment as well. 

Home Prices Expected to Rise

Forget the naysayers -- home prices are expected to rise or remain stable in most Canadian markets this year, according to an in-depth report.

“With an increased supply of inventory on the market going into the New Year, the average sale price is expected to remain stable or rise modestly in most cities in 2015,” stated its 2015 Housing Market Outlook Report.

“Montreal (1%), Quebec City (1.5%),Ottawa (1.6%) and Sudbury (1.6%) are expecting a modest rise in average residential sale price, while little change in prices is expected in Winnipeg, Saskatoonand St. John’s.”

Thursday, January 8, 2015

10 tips to find the best locations for real estate investment

I was recently asked by a real estate investor group to speak at one of their meetings. The topic of real estate is a broad one, so I asked if there was something specific they were interested in learning more about.

Not surprisingly, the topic they wanted to focus on was what to look for when finding the perfect community to invest in, i.e. what are the signs that identify the communities with the best investment potential?

I don't look at major cities. These markets are watched intensely by many in the industry who buy using different parameters and who are okay with a smaller ROI. Personally, I look at regional centers -- the smaller cities that form the hub for many outlying communities.

Condos in 2015 are going up, up, up

To make a prediction for Canada’s crazy housing market would be, well, crazy, but some agents believe it’s safe to say high-rise living will continue to post strong gains in major markets – especially for larger family-friendly units.

 “The demand is going to continue. That trend away from houses, just with the prices of housing going up dramatically, more people are happy being downtown and living the condo lifestyle.” says an agent in Toronto.

Agents expects demand for larger units – particularly those with two bedrooms or more – to increase, especially for two of Canada’s most active demographics moving up and down the property ladder.

The next big thing in condos is very small

People looking for the next trend in the condo market may need to squint: micro-condos are set to take Canada’s densely populated cities by storm.

[Micro condos] are becoming more common, just simply because of the population; as more immigrants come in, they’re more used to smaller places. Someone living in Hong Kong or India, they don’t mind smaller places.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Percentage of Toronto condos owned by foreign investors is very low, CMHC says

For the first time, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has put a number on the percentage of condos across the country owned by foreign investors, and says that number is highest in Toronto — at a mere 2.4 per cent.
Vancouver is close behind, with 2.3 per cent of its condominiums owned by people who reside outside of Canada.
The low number came as a shock to many housing observers who believe the percentage is at least twice as high, and could be much more if CMHC was able to get a handle on money funneled from overseas banks to buyers with Canadian addresses.
But CIBC World Markets deputy-chief economist Benjamin Tal says the numbers don’t come as a surprise to him. He estimates “pure foreign investment” as a small segment of the market, although slightly higher if you factor in families where the husband continues to live overseas while the wife and children live here so the kids can go to school.

How much you need to earn to buy a house in every major Canadian city

Many say property is the best investment you can make. Bursting housing bubbles and mortgage scandals aside, they’re usually right.
The price of making that investment varies widely in Canada, depending on where you live. We looked at how much you need to earn to buy a house in every major Canadian city.
To get these numbers, we consulted Adrian Williams, a Toronto mortgage broker, and used his calculator. He explained that to calculate the income required you need to know the purchase price, down payment, rate, utilities – mortgage qualifying must include a minimum of $100 a month for heating costs – and taxes.