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The rental market remains tight across the GTA despite a
surge of new condos over the last five years.
The rental market remains tight across the GTA —
and especially in the highly-coveted downtown core — despite a surge of new condos over the last five years that now
account for 16 per cent of all the rental units in the region, according to the
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
While the vacancy rate for rental apartments
bumped up slightly in October over a year earlier, it still remains at one of
its lowest levels in a decade, 1.7 per cent, compared to an even lower vacancy
rate of 1.2 per cent for rental condos, the federal housing authority said
That slip year-over-year in condo vacancy rates
occurred despite the fact there was a six per cent increase in the number of
condo units up for rent in the GTA in October over a year earlier.
Condo rents continue to run about 40 per cent
higher than apartment rents, especially older apartments, notes the report.
A one-bedroom unit in the GTA now rents for an
average $1,003 a month, compared to $1,430 for a rental condo while two-bedroom
apartments average $1,170 compared to $1,586 for a rental condo.
Rents are higher in the City of Toronto: $1,010 for a one-bedroom apartment
compared to $1,456 for a condo. Two bedrooms average $1,194 and $1,602
respectively, says the report.
An estimated 33 per cent of all new condos coming
on the market across the GTA are now being rented out rather than lived in by
owners, but competition remains especially fierce in the coveted downtown core
and, increasingly, North York and Peel Region,
according to CMHC.
Yet all those new investor-owned glass-and-granite
rental condos did little to ease demand and drive up vacancy rates in older,
purpose-built apartments, which stood at just 1.4 per cent in October of 2011,
according to the annual rental market review.
“While vacancy rates increased slightly this
year, the overall average rate remained relatively low as job opportunities
improved, first-time (home) buying slowed and supply growth remained muted.
“The increase in vacancy rates can partly be
attributed to fewer young adults and immigrants entering the market, as well as
more people leaving the GTA or choosing to rent in the condo market,” said
Shaun Hildebrand, CMHC’s senior market analyst for the GTA.
Average rents increased by 2.8 per cent across
the GTA, but by 4 per cent in the City of Toronto
where the vacancy rate has slipped below one per cent.
from : http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2012/12/13/rental_vacancies_drop_despite_gta_condo_boom_report.html
Each of 2012's favorite bathrooms
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Take a look by clicking on the link
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Get fresh ideas, implement them into renovation. Be creative..!
TORONTO, January 16, 2013 – Greater Toronto REALTORS®
reported 1,469 sales through the TorontoMLS system during the first two weeks
of January 2013. This result represented an increase of 2.4 per cent over the
1,435 transactions reported during the same period in 2012.
"The New Year started off
on a positive note with residential sales slightly above last year’s levels,”
said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah. “I am cautiously
optimistic about this result. It will be important to watch sales trends
closely as we move through the first quarter to see if some of the households
who moved to the sidelines as a result of stricter lending guidelines are
starting to renew their decision to purchase a home.”
The average selling price
during the first 14 days of 2013 was by up by four per cent on a year-over-year
basis to $459,728.
the trend from 2012, the low-rise segment of the market experienced the strongest
price growth as competition between buyers remained quite strong,” said Jason
Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “The average selling price is
expected to grow in 2013, but at a slower pace as buyers benefit from more
One of the choices people have when choosing housing are condos. Condominiums are multi-family homes that people can purchase. When you buy one of these homes, you actually own the home but you do not own the entire building; you only own the inside. The outside of the home is owned by someone else and it is managed by a homeowners association.
There are two ways that homeowners associations work. One of the ways is by the owners of homes joining together as members of the association. The other way is to hire a management firm to handle all of these responsibilities. Regardless of who runs this association, the duties are still the same. The homeowners pay monthly fees to the association. This money is deposited into an account and is used to pay for exterior services and work. Some of the money is used to pay for monthly bills which include garbage removal and lawn mowing. Another portion of the money is placed in a savings account and will eventually be used for major repairs for the exteriors of the homes. The money is never used to repair the inside of the homes. The work that is needed inside is left to the owner of the home. For example, if a homeowner has a broken water pipe inside the home, the homeowner will be responsible to pay for this himself.
One of the main reasons people choose to buy condos is because of the maintenance free living options they offer. If you live in one of these homes, you will not have to complete any work outside. You may decide to plant some flowers or sweep your sidewalk, but this is it. You will never have to clean your own gutters, mow your yard or power wash your driveway. You will only be responsible for maintaining the inside of the home. This is the perfect type of living arrangement for many people. It is great for elderly people who can no longer complete outdoor work. It is also great for women that do not have the appropriate tools or equipment to complete this work. Busy people may also like this arrangement because it offers less work and worries for them. It is really an ideal situation for anyone, except for a person that loves to conduct outside work.
Condos come in many sizes and shapes. Some are first floor homes, while others might be stories high. You can buy single-floor condos or those that have multiple floors. You can also choose by the size. You can look at the square footage of a home and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms it has. All of these features are used to find the right one for each person that is interested in buying one. Keep in mind that when you purchase a condo, you will have to pay the mortgage on it and you will also have to pay a monthly homeowners association fee. That fee is important to figure in when you are getting ready to buy a new home like this.
Average Home Price Up Strongly in 2012
TORONTO, January 4, 2013 – GTA REALTORS® reported 3,690 sales through the TorontoMLS
system in December 2012 – down from 4,585 sales in December 2011. Total sales
for 2012 amounted to 85,731 – down from 89,096 transactions in 2011.
of transactions in 2012 was quite strong from a historic perspective. We saw
strong year-over-year growth in sales in the first half of the year, but this
growth was more than offset by sales declines in the second half. Stricter
mortgage lending guidelines resulted in some households postponing their
purchase of a home. In the City of Toronto,
the dip in sales was compounded by the additional Land Transfer Tax, which
buyers must pay upfront,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann
selling price in December 2012 was up by 6.5 per cent year-over-year to
$478,739. The average selling price for 2012 as a whole was up by almost seven
per cent to $497,298.
annual rates of price growth were reported through most months of 2012.
growth was strongest for low-rise homes, including singles, semis and
townhouses. Despite a dip in sales, market conditions remained tight for these
home types with substantial competition between buyers,” said TREB’s Senior
Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer
Many economists predicted a local real estate crash this
year, with prices falling by up to 25 per cent. I didn’t see that prediction
coming true and it didn’t. Nor will do I believe it will happen in 2013.
1. Homes are more affordable
In 1990, the average GTA home cost half of what it does
today. But interest rates were 12 per cent for a five-year term at the time. So
if a two- bedroom condo cost $250,000 in 1990 and you had a 20-per-cent down
payment, your monthly carrying costs, including interest, taxes and common
expenses, were about $2,500. The average rental for a two-bedroom condo at the
time was $1,100, according to the Housing New Canadians research group. So the
economics of ownership made no sense.
Today, even with a price of $500,000, if you have a
20-per-cent down payment, with current interest rates at 3 per cent, the total
monthly payment is what it was in 1990. It is still $2,500 per month, including
common expenses and taxes. But in downtown Toronto, the average rent paid for a
two-bedroom unit is now close to $2,500 per month.
Most tenants who can afford $2,500 a month or more in rent
can probably afford to buy a home now, if they have 10 per cent down payment or
2. The lesson from 2012
Toronto Real Estate Board statistics up until Nov. 30 show
82,200 units had sold in the GTA so far this year. In 2011, it was 84,900, and
in 2010 it was 81,900. The average price on Nov. 30 was 2 per cent higher than
a year ago. If anything, the market has remained very stable for the past three
3. Impact of mortgage rule changes is minor
The mortgage rule changes imposed in early July lowered
the amortization period to 25 years if you were putting less than 20 per cent
down and lowered the percentage of your income that could be used for borrowing
from 44 per cent to 39 per cent. The result was that buyers who would have
purchased in late summer or fall moved up their purchasing decision to the
spring. By fall, this meant many would-be first-time buyers were looking to
rent instead of buy. This contributed to low vacancy rates.
4. 2013 will be fine
Despite the doom and gloom, Toronto condo rental vacancy rates are 1.7
per cent. This means that for those people who cannot sell their condos, there
are plenty of renters who can cover the monthly costs.
5. Debt-to-income ratio not relevant
As our American friends like to say, “that dog won’t
hunt.” Every month we are told that because the ratio of household debt to
household income continues to rise — and is now at 164 per cent — there is a
danger of a real estate collapse.
What this really means is that the average Canadian
household has an income of $100,000 and total debt of $164,000 (of which their
real estate debt constitutes-two thirds). Again, as stated earlier, with
interest rates at 3 per cent, this is not a dangerous problem.
If interest rates were 12 per cent, as they were in 1990,
or if all your debt was on your credit cards (with interest rates averaging 18
per cent), then this would be a serious problem.
Note to readers: pay down or eliminate your credit card
debt in 2013.
Note to government: with mortgage interest rates at 3 per
cent, it is almost criminal for lenders to be able to charge 18 per cent on
consumer credit cards.
6. Interest rates may not rise until 2015
The U.S. Federal Reserve is now saying it won’t raise rates
until 2015. Our rates can’t differ much from theirs without harming our economy
with a strong dollar and slower growth.
These are all things to keep in mind in the coming year. Somebody has
been predicting a Canadian real estate market collapse for the past 12 years.
It hasn’t happened yet and won’t happen in 2013.
By Mark Weisleder | Fri Dec 21 2012 at www.moneyville.com
Bradford, Bradford West Gwillimbury
Announcing a price reduction
on Tigertail Cres in Bradford Ontario, a 3,270 sq. ft., 3 bath, 4 bdrm 2 story. Now
- Backs onto ravine.
Grand Opening: November 16th, 2012
The design of the Microsoft stores in the U.S.
incorporates many of the elements that made Apple stores a hit – gleaming wood
floors, lots of glass and products to sample. Microsoft has added big comfy
chairs and benches to the décor in the U.S. locations.
At Apple stores, customers stand at counters featuring
tethered Apple products.
Jason Dubroy, vice president, shopper marketing, DDB
Canada, said the Microsoft move isn’t surprising, given that malls still draw
crowds, including Baby Boomers, who still control about 60 per cent of all
dollars spent in Canada.
While many are savvy online shoppers, others prefer the
look, feel and service of a physical shopping environment.
But Dubroy said Microsoft is late to the game, both in
the tablets and bricks-and-mortar stores.
“They will need to be able to differentiate their
experience proposition quickly… or they won’t see the sales-per-square-foot
traction they will need to justify expansion.”
“I think a retail presence is a logical next move,” said
John Gerzema, executive chairman of BAV consulting. “Microsoft has gained a lot
of consumer momentum over the past year with popular products like Kinect (for
Xbox 360) and now, tablets.
“Among Canadians in our Brand Asset Valuator (BAV)
surveys, Apple is seen as trendier and more progressive. But Microsoft
outperforms Apple on being more trusted and caring for customers. The challenge
of course, will be to define a retail experience that stands apart from Apple.”
The Apple store design was revolutionary when it was
launched in 2001 as a spare and serene environment for customers to test-drive
Apple products. It was conceived by Ron Johnson, the man behind the bubbly
Target brand, which is set to enter Canada in 2013.
excited to this new store opening. Competition is good!
November 5th, 2012
The U.S. slid from the
top 10 most prosperous nations for the first time in a league table which
sixth in the world for the second year in a row.
fell to 12th position from 10th in the Legatum Institute’s annual prosperity
index amid increased doubts about the health of its economy and ability of
politicians. Norway, Denmark and Sweden
were declared the most prosperous in the index, published in London Monday.
With the presidential election just a week away, the research group said
the standing of the U.S.
economy has deteriorated to beneath that of 19 rivals. The report also showed
that respect for the government has fallen, fewer Americans perceive working
hard gets you ahead, while companies face higher startup costs and the export
of high-technology products is dropping.
Check out these questions and answers before making decision to walk away from the deal you made last night.
- Can a buyer sign an offer
and then walk away?
real estate contract gives a buyer 24 hours to pay the deposit, once the offer
is accepted by the seller. The buyer cannot just change their mind or they can
For example, the buyer offers $300,000 for a house which
is accepted. The buyer changes his mind and doesn’t pay the deposit and walks
away from the deal. The seller resells the property for $275,000. They can
still sue the first buyer for the difference, or $25,000.
- Is there a buyer’s remorse
period in Ontario?
If you are buying a new condominium from a builder, you
have 10 days to change your mind. You do not need a reason. This does not apply
if you buy a new house from a builder and does not apply if you are buying a
resale home or condominium. Why condos only? The clause is included in the
- Can buyers use conditional
clauses as escape hatches?
Most real estate contracts are conditional on the buyer being
able to get a mortgage and being satisfied with a home inspection. Other
conditions include being satisfied with a condominium status certificate when
buying a resale condo.
Many buyers think these conditions give them the right to
just change their minds. It is not that easy. The case law has demonstrated
that buyers must try and satisfy any condition in good faith. This means that
you need a legitimate reason why you found the home inspection report or
condominium status certificate unsatisfactory.
- Who gets the deposit when
buyers change their mind?
In most cases, the deposit is held by the seller’s real
estate brokerage, in trust. Under the law, when a deal breaks down, the
brokerage cannot pay the deposit to anyone without either a mutual release or
direction signed by both the buyer and the seller, or an order of the court. As
such, when deals do not close, if there is no agreement, the deposit can be
locked up for a long time, and the buyer will not have access to it to make an
offer on another property.
- Is there a “legal” way for a
buyer to get out of a deal?
It depends. If for example, there was a right on your
title for the City to access 20 per cent of your property for any reason, known
as an easement, and that was not disclosed to the buyer, they can usually
cancel the agreement without penalty. However, there have been other cases that
indicate if there is a problem with a city work order or title problem for
which the seller can obtain title insurance to protect the buyer, then the
buyer cannot refuse to close. A buyer can also cancel if there has been
substantial damage to the property before closing, such as a flood that was not
repaired. You can’t refuse to close if the oven is not working.
The better answer in all of these situations is to be very
careful and serious before you make any decision to buy a home. Changing your
mind later can be very expensive. Get legal advise before you make such steps.
TORONTO, September 18, 2012 – Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 2,544 transactions through the TorontoMLS system in the first 14 days of September. This result was down by 15 per cent compared to the 2,995 sales reported during the same period in 2011.
"The combination of stricter lending guidelines, rising home prices and the added upfront cost associated with the land transfer tax in the City of Toronto resulted in a slower pace of sales during the summer of 2012 compared to a year ago," said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.
The average selling price for sales during the first two weeks of September was $496,786 – representing an annual rate of increase of more the 9.5 per cent. Average selling prices were up for both low-rise and high-rise home types, including condominium apartments sold in the ‘416’ area code.
"Price growth continued to be strongest for low-rise home types during the first two weeks of September. This segment of the market has been very tight, with months of inventory remaining low from a historic perspective," said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis
The Bank of Nova Scotia has released a new forecast which tells Canadians to expect low interest rates until 2014.
In the forecast, Scotiabank economists Dov Zigler and Derek Holt estimate the economy will likely average 1.9 per cent growth this year, and 1.8 in 2013.
“At best, we’re going to see a very slow-growth environment with downside risks,” said Holt.
He went on to note that most developed countries will be in a similar position. He expects that strong growth will come from emerging economies like India, Indonesia, and China.
The report noted these factors should keep the Bank of Canada on hold at the current policy interest rate setting into 2014.
This goes against indications from Mark Carney who has signalled there may be a rate hike in the future. An article from The Canadian Press explains Holt’s argument, saying “that given that many global central bankers are easing lending conditions, any counter action from Canada will light a spark under the dollar, further weakening exports.”
Mortgages with variable
rates or fixed terms under five years typically require that you qualify at a
higher rate (called the “qualifying rate.”).
For example, if you apply
for a 2.25%, 5-year variable mortgage, the lender might make you qualify at
their posted 5-year rate (5.39% for example).
Qualifying rates are used
to ensure borrowers can handle their payments if rates go up.
In practice, lenders use
the qualifying rate to calculate your debt service ratios. Lenders then check
to ensure your debt ratios are low enough to meet their guidelines.
Here are a few things to
keep in mind:
- Your payments are typically based on the
contract rate (i.e., the regular rate you are quoted), not the qualifying
- As of April 19, 2010, all insured variable and
1- to 4-year fixed mortgages over 80% loan-to-value must be qualified
using the posted 5-year fixed rate, as published every Wednesday by the
Bank of Canada.
- Some lenders also apply the Bank of Canada
qualifying rate to uninsured mortgages, and mortgages with a loan-to-value
of 80% or less.
- Other lenders allow lower qualifying rates if
the loan-to-value is 80% or less (e.g. they use a 3-year discounted fixed
rate instead of the posted 5-year fixed rate).
Have you thought of being pre-approved before start looking for a home? It will give you many advantages. Some of them are : Knowing maximum mortgage you can afford, winning in bidding wars by having pre-approval in 'your pocket', avoiding frustration of selecting the house you cannot afford, etc.
Looking for your first home? your next home? your investment property? Call Natalie now! Full support and professional service guaranteed.
Once again, Mark Carney
and committee have left Canada’s
core interest rate
Our economy still isn’t
firing on all cylinders, says the Bank of Canada. This suggests that mortgage
holders can likely expect the 3.00% prime rate to remain
as is for a number of months.
Here were some focal
points from today’s Bank of Canada statement:
- “Global financial conditions have…deteriorated
- “Housing activity is expected to slow from
- “Canadian exports are projected to remain below
their pre-recession peak until the beginning of 2014”
- “The economy is expected to reach full capacity
in the second half of 2013”
- “To the extent that the economic expansion
continues and the current excess supply in the economy is gradually
absorbed, some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary
policy stimulus may become appropriate”
That last quote is what
the markets keyed in on. The Bank of Canada chose to retain this phrasing as a
reminder that borrowing costs could jump if inflation threats emerge. That
said, we’d likely have to see surprisingly strong economic performance for 3-4
months in a row before that happened.
Time to buy? Call Natalie Korchuk now!