Sales Commentary September sales followed a similar pattern to previous months. Sales were 21% higher than in September of 2015. But of more significance was that sales of 9900 units were more typical of a June and July than of a fall market. At the same time, listings continued to be in short supply – down 36% from a year ago. The end result is a continuing upward pressure on prices of all types of housing. The condo market mirrored the stats of the overall market – sales ahead by 30% and active listings lower by 40% against September of 2015 numbers. But what everyone is talking about is the mortgage changes introduced by the Federal Government, effective October 17. First, all insured mortgages – both high ratio and conventional will have to be qualified at the POSTED RATE (4.54%) and not the actual five year rate nearer to 2.5 ...
Toronto Market Report October-November 2016
October 20, 2016
Implications of Canada's New Mortgage Rules
October 17, 2016
On October 3rd, a firestorm hit the real estate market when the minister of finance announced two changes to mortgage rules. Last week we discussed what those mortgage rule changes where. This week we want to take a look at what the implications will be of the new mortgage rules, especially those of people having to qualify for the posted rate as opposed to the actual rate for their mortgage. Will Prices Fall? First off, with buyers having less money to purchase, will prices fall? The answer is no. In real estate, if the Sellers don't get their price, that is what the last property sold for, they just take the property off the market. They do not reduce their price. What About First Time Buyers? First time Buyers will have two choices going forward, buy smaller, not low rise but condos, or continue to rent. For those trying ...
New Mortgage Rules
October 7, 2016
On October 3rd, a firestorm hit the real estate market when the minister of finance announced two changes to mortgage rules. Closing the Loophole The first rule was to remove the principal residence exemption for non residents. But think about it, how can a non-resident have a principal residence in Canada, Impossible! But now we're closing that tax loophole and that will have little impact on the real estate market. 'Stress Test' on Insured Mortgages The Second change is more serious. Now, both high ratio and conventional mortgages insured under CMHC and two other companies must be qualified under the posted rate, and not the actual rate. Remember, for people who took out 5 year mortgages, they used to be able to qualify at the actual rate. The bad news is that the posted rate is about 2% higher than the five year rate. People then will be forced ...
State of the Union When it Comes to New Mortgage Changes
October 5, 2016
The Federal Government continues to tinker with mortgage rules that it can control in an attempt to slow down real estate markets, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto. The first change, to remove the Principal Residence Exemption, for non-residents described as closing a tax loop hole is a nothing. Revenue Canada has never defined a Principal Residence and so non-residents claimed it. Think, how can a non-residenct have a principal residence in Canada? Impossible! But that is what you get from bureaucracy. Almost all non-residents buying property in Canada never considered this a factor in buying. Neither should you when advising clients. The second change, making BOTH high ratio and conventional (under 80% loan to value) borrowers qualify under the Posted Rate instead of the fixed five year rate of their mortgage will reduce the amount of money that people can borrow. The Posted Rate is the average posted rate ...
Navigating FSBOs and Mere Postings
September 26, 2016
Since it's becoming a bit more common, this week we wanted to tackle how REALTORS® should navigate FSBOs and Mere Postings. Mere Listings are MLS Listings in which the Realtor has agreed not to provide services to the Seller other than submitting the listing to MLS, whereas FSBO stands for "For Sale By Owner." Getting Started One of the first things to consider when you get a new Buyer Client is creating two BRA (Buyer Representation Agreement) contracts, one for MLS Listings and one for Mere Postings and FSBOs. Each contract can state their own commission and this will actually create a dialogue with your buyer regarding various buying scenarios, agency relationships, buyer commission obligations and procedural and document handling. There are steps that you are going to have to follow when dealing with these types of transactions ,but first it starts with the Buyer showing interest. Different Scenario's So ...
Market Report September-October 2016
September 20, 2016
Sales Commentary August sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board were up by 23% over August of last year. But to make an even bigger statement, August sales were only 1% lower than July. Last year the August to July drop was 19%! Also August sales in 2016 are higher than for sales in any Fall month for 2015. However, there is a double edge sword. Active Listings in August were 37% lower than for the same month last year, and new listings for August were down by 1%. This can only mean continued rising prices in the short term; and if things don’t change, then for a considerably longer period. With prices for low rise housing in Toronto becoming unaffordable for many, the shift to more affordable condo housing, which we have predicted for the last two years, is now starting to snow ball! In the downtown condo market ...
Elements of Negotiations
September 9, 2016
Most of you have heard the phrase, “The one who speaks first loses.” Does this mean an equally matched negotiation results in two salespeople locked in a room staring at each other for hours on end? There is truth to silence as an ally but there is more to consider than this alone. So, what is the most important factor in negotiations? Communication can either be verbal or nonverbal. There has to be a statement of terms in any negotiation. Choice of words, pace, tone, medium and non-verbal clues such as body language all help deliver those terms. It’s important to focus on what you want to communicate and stay focused on objectives. Start by discovering, understanding and differentiating between your client’s needs versus their wants. If you are going to use technology to communicate, you must understand how to use it. Can the receiving party accommodate your method of ...
Time Saving Tips: Which Signatures are Required to Bind a Mutual Release?
September 9, 2016
It is a common misunderstanding that a Mutual Release must be signed by the Broker Manager or Broker of Record to have a binding Mutual Release and to release held funds. For a Mutual Release to be binding it only requires the signature of both the buying and selling parties. The standard OREA Form 122 confusingly has a signature section for the Broker Manager or Broker of Record which is preceded by the following preprint: "The Brokerage hereby releases all parties from any claim that the Brokerage may have had for commission or other remuneration in the above transaction, except as may be hereinbefore specifically provided." In the eyes of RECO, the transaction is between the Buyer and the Seller. Therefore, the Brokerage is obligated to release the funds should both parties mutual want out. What this means is that if you are negotiating a Mutual Release at 11:00pm, you ...
Backing out of a Deal: Conditions Are Not Escape Clauses
August 31, 2016
Many Realtors incorrectly advise their clients that a condition can be used as an escape clause. For example, there is a conditional offer on Financing between a Buyer and a Seller. The Buyer wants out of the deal. The Realtor had advised the Buyer that it shouldn’t be a problem because the clause wording states: "This Offer is conditional upon the Buyer arranging, [..]a new […]Mortgage satisfactory to the Buyer in the Buyer's sole and absolute discretion.[…]" In this scenario, the Buyer’s Realtor communicates with the Seller’s Realtor that financing fell through and submits a mutual release. On the surface, it appears that a reason is not required. However, the Seller can then take legal action if they suspect that foul play is at hand. The guiding principle in contract law is good faith. Meaning, that both parties have to reasonably make good effort to fulfill their contractual obligations. Should ...
Renting in Toronto: A Word of Advice
August 23, 2016
It's rental season in Toronto so it seems fitting to bring it up in this weeks video. 15 years ago leasing was just a small part of the overall market. Today, the market for renting condos is two times bigger than for condo sales. Now, that is good for young people who want to live downtown, but it 's bad for our industry when it is only inexperienced or new agents who represent tenants. In the past week for example, we have had two REALTORS drop off deposits on a rental condo before the offer was even accepted. So what do we do with a cheque that we receive? We deposit it of course, because we are responsible for the money. 24 hours later, when the offer isn't accepted, the potential tenant or the newbie agent wants the cheque back, but guess what, there is a five day hold. That's ...