The BC Government has announced a 15% tax on buying properties for non-residents in Vancouver effective August 1st. The big question is, will this new tax curb property prices in Vancouver? No. The problem is still a lack of supply and non-residents represent only a small minority of buyers. Here is what it will do! First, it's a tax grab for the BC Government that will not offend voters. Secondly, it's a public relations win. It looks like the government is doing something even if it is doing nothing. Will this new tax come to Ontario? They are already studying it and my guess is 'yes'. Just because it's an easy tax grab that won't affect voters and it looks like they are being proactive. What the Ontario Liberals need to do is to encourage more housing to be built. Now that takes some planning. Want to stay up to date ...
How Will Vancouver's New Foreign Home-Buyers Tax Affect the Real Estate Market?
July 29, 2016
July-August 2016 Market Report
July 19, 2016
Sales Commentary June sales mark the halfway point of the calendar year but in terms of sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board, it usually represents 54% of the year’s sales. That means we will hit 111,000 sales in 2016 versus 101,000 in 2015 which was the previous record. If you recall, all of the bank economists were calling for lower sales this year while our Brokerage was forecasting another record year in 2016! But to keep everything in perspective, sales per 100,000 people are lower today than in 2007. In other words, the increase in sales has been caused by population growth and not by people selling (read flipping) properties. In terms of the condo market, sales figures are more balanced throughout the year. Usually 51% of the year’s sales occur in the first six months of the year. That is because this market is dominated by one and ...
What You Should Know about Witnessing a Signature
June 29, 2016
Witnessing a signature can sometimes be a problem with newer agents and first time buyers who don't understand the significance. Every contract and amendment provides for a witness signature. What happens if there is no witness? Only a person present to see the signing can witness. You cannot witness after the fact. Does not having a witness invalidate a contract? No, it is still valid. If you have no witness a signee may argue that they never signed a document, this is rare and usually someone will compare all the signatures. So don't worry about a witness signature. It is nice to have but not necessary. Just think about electronic signatures, the wave of the future. There is no witness there, just computer proof through an IP address. Want to stay up to date on our monthly market reports? Subscribe
Market Report June-July 2016
June 20, 2016
Sales Commentary Toronto real estate recorded another record sales month in May, just like April and March. Sales on TREB were 12,870 units and 10.6% higher than May of last year. May sales were 6.6% higher than April and some experts are arguing that on a ‘seasonally adjusted’ basis that the market is slowing. The reality is that the spring market this year started in mid-February and last year it did not start until April. Of course the market is slowing. The number of ‘new’ listings in May was down 6.4% from May of last year and the ‘active’ listing count is 30% lower than last year. So what would you expect? With less product to sell and tired agents, there will be a slowdown of some sort. But we can tell you that buyer interest has not slowed! In terms of the downtown condo market, sales in May ...
Toronto Real Estate Bubble
June 15, 2016
Everyone is talking about real estate bubble in the Toronto real estate market. The trouble is, no one knows what a bubble is. The formal definition is three years of double digit price increases. For houses, we've experienced two years in a row. For condos, this is the biggest year yet, but it is only 8%. Previously, we've averaged just 3-5% per year for condos. Why do experts focus on this? The concern is that incomes will not grow this fast, so no one can afford these higher prices, and those who own will default on their mortgages. Right now we have a shortage of listings for sale. The only way for a price correction is if a lot of properties are dumped on the market. That would be if owners are foced to sell because of mortgage problems. However, did you know that the mortgage arrears number for Ontario ...
What Can Buyers Learn from the Urbancorp Collapse?
May 24, 2016
This week we want to comment on the failure of Urbancorp as a significant condo developer in Toronto and it being forced into Receivership. Some think this is the start of a condo correction. The reality is the opposite. Urbancorp never had a good reputation in the real estate community. Their demise means that there will be even less available condo product, which will only tighten the real estate market. We feel sorry for buyers who have construction problems, and lengthy delays in getting title to their property. The lesson to be learned is obvious. Even in a bull stock market, there are shares that hit lows and companies that go bankrupt. That’s why people use stock brokers. In real estate the same is true. Buyers need to deal with experienced agents who know all the builders and all the projects. When buyers go to a sales centre on their ...
Market Report May/June 2016
May 17, 2016
Sales Commentary Record breaking sales continued through April on the Toronto Real Estate Board. Sales topped the 12,000 unit mark and were ahead by 7% over 2015. Condo sales were ahead by 17% but detached and semi-detached sales in Toronto were actually lower by 4% and 11% respectively. TREB’s House Price Index shows that detached housing is higher by 13% over this time last year. By comparison, condos are higher by 6%. We are witnessing multiple offers, not just for low rise, but for condos and leases across the spectrum. Governments are pointing the finger at those supposed foreign buyers for causing unprecedented price increases. The reality is a lack of listings. ‘New’ listings for April were 10% lower than for April of last year and ‘active’ listings in total are 27% lower than this time last year. We keep telling people that the double land transfer tax has discouraged ...
Working with a Realtor: Client V.S. Customer
May 10, 2016
Every time you meet an agent today you have to sign a Working with a Realtor brochure, and then you have to choose whether you want to receive Customer or Client service. Many Buyers choose Customer Service. They want to be a free agent with no commitment to any one Realtor. So what’s the problem? Client and Customer Definitions Client: "A 'client' relationship creates the highest form of obligation for a REALTOR® to a consumer. The brokerage must protect the interests of the client and do what is best for the client. A brokerage must strive for the benefit of the client and must not disclose a client's confidential information to others. The brokerage must also make reasonable efforts to determine any material facts relating to the transaction and would be of interest to the client and must inform the client of those facts." Customer: A buyer or seller may ...
The Competition Bureau Ruling
May 6, 2016
Many of you already know that the Courts found in favour of the Competition Bureau in a limited fashion against TREB. What does the Competition Bureau ruling mean for the public and for Realtors? The simple answer is not much! Let me explain. The Competition Bureau wants TREB to provide sold information to the public through VOWs (virtual office websites). They already exist without sold information and many agents have them. Currently ‘solds’ are reported when a deal goes firm. With the Competition Bureau Order, you will probably find that ‘solds’ will now be reported on the closing date and not when the deal goes firm. So what does sold information do for a Buyer? Nothing. They can only buy what is for sale. And Buyers have had access to these listings for sale for years. So these Buyers will continue to need Realtors to find the right property and to ...
Part-Time Real Estate Agents
May 2, 2016
Part Time Real Estate Agents, they exist in our industry but how do we define them? Most people think that part-time real estate agents are those with a second job. Not me, I judge an agent on their production and time commitments. I expect someone to invest at least 40 hours a week in the business. We have agents who have another job but still spend 40 hours a week on real estate. Then, there are agents who do not have another job but only spend about 20 hours a week on real estate, and they only do a few deals each year. Those are the agents I would call part-time agents.You can tell who they are because they have a spouse who makes a lot of money, they inherited family money, or they retired with a big pension. In most jobs you retire and leave. In real estate ...