All posts for the month September, 2016

Real Estate Lawyer(s) in Toronto are warning of foreign buyer tax.

Published September 26, 2016 by Real Estate Leads



Much of Toronto’s real estate is owned by foreign owners.

Ontario has, for decades, welcomed foreign investment money. So some Toronto real estate lawyers are warning that the introduction of a tax on foreign home-buyers would in effect be putting dents into their pocketbooks. Therefore, having a diminishing trickling effect on the general economy.

After Vancouver put into effect a direct 15% foreign ownership tax, August 2nd, 2016 many people in the loop believe it is a only a matter of time before the surcharge would come into effect in the Greater Toronto Area. However, in a statement made in mid-September Ontario’s finance minister, Charles Sousa, explained away that there are no plans “at the moment” to implement a similar tax in Toronto. Could this be a tactic to appease some members of the legal and real estate lobby?

Sousa said in a recent written statement: “Our government will continue monitoring the housing market in both Ontario and B.C. over the course of the next few months to see the impacts of the recent decision by the government of B.C.”

The article linked here explains the excess tax on foreign buyers and why it is a bad idea all around. There are better solutions (see post August 2nd, 2016.) “CHINA-GATE HOME PRICE-INFLATION REAL ESTATE SOLUTION IDEA FOR ALL CANADIANS

Sales in Vancouver have in fact dropped about 26% this August as the new tax hammer struck the anvil – relative to August 2015; so the new tax was obviously a major factor. Inversely, prices in Vancouver continued to rise with the benchmark price for all residential properties climbing 31% from a year ago to $933K. The solution we proposed above would create a super hot sales market however. Please read the idea explained in the China-estate article linked directly above.

Previously some industry observers, have raised their voices concerning Vancouver’s new 15% tax on foreign buyers. Steering investors into Toronto – thereby driving up prices in a market that is already scorching. So the solution to that seems to be the implementation of the same bad idea as in Vancouver – the 15% tax excess.

Seemingly nobody in government is able or willing to think ‘outside the box’ or at least fully debate the merits of the idea expressed in our previous China-estate article.

Instead milk-toast arguments have surfaced. Toronto Mayor John Tory said he would continue to give the same “non-answer” that he has parroted for months on the tax: that he is not yet sure the foreign buyer phenomenon in BC is a problem in the GTA. He said: “I know there’s a problem with affordability … and as yet, there’s no one that’s reached any conclusions or given me any advice that there’s an identifiable problem that we can attach a solution to.” Will he again say the same at the September 30th “Affordable Housing Summit” in Toronto?

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) also parroted the mayor’s statements, by stating that it is “too early” to support or nullify the idea of a tax on foreign homebuyers; again, with limited parameters “yay or nay” on implementing a similar tax to Vancouver’s (together with its associated loopholes). To obfuscate matters more Jason Mercer, the director of market analysis with TREB said: “I don’t think there’s enough information there to make the hard and fast conclusion that we have seen a carry over of would be foreign buyers from Vancouver into the Toronto market. … The provincial government and the housing industry isn’t in a position to create policy on foreign buyers, because no one tracks the amount of foreign buyers purchasing homes in Toronto.” However, his statement is not true: in the last federal budget, $500,000 was allocated to address the “data gap” on the amount of foreign activity in Canada’s housing market.

Not fully understanding a proper solution to the issue, the heads of two prominent real estate associations in Ontario, the presidents of the Toronto Real Estate Board & the Ontario Real Estate Association, are lobbying government leaders not to follow B.C.’s lead with a tax on foreign home buyers. Their warning comes as the Vancouver housing market shows signs of cooling; ironically it was the stated goal of the tax.

Of the total number of Vancouver property transactions: the proportion of foreign purchasers who closed their deals to buy homes in the greater Vancouver area was .9% between Aug. 2 and Aug. 31. That was way way down from 13.2% in 7 weeks leading up to August 2nd; according to data based on land-title registrations.

Please consider the win-win-win idea and solution for Real Estate Agents, the new generation of Canadian Citizens Foreign Buyers, and also for the foreign buyers in our previous post:

This is the best “outside of the box” idea we have come up with yet. If you have additional ideas for or in replacement of this idea/proposal, please let us know at Real Estate Leads dot ca. We always love hearing from all Real Estate Agents and also our fellow concerned Canadian citizens.


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Toronto sales on the Up & Up after BC’s implementation of Foreign Buyer tax.

Published September 19, 2016 by Real Estate Leads


A sales migration after-effect of BC’s new land transfer tax is already being seen in the numbers. Toronto Home sales apparently are soaring in wake of B.C.’s unruly “Foreign Buyer Tax”.

The Toronto area’s real estate industry agencies are reporting new month of August records for home sales together with a 17.2% increase in the average sale price. Toronto agents racked up a record setting 9,813 sales this past August 2016; 23.5% more than in August 2015. The only other factor was that last month’s volume was assisted by two additional working days.

The average price for Toronto homes that sold, for all variations of property details, was $710,440. The average price for “detached homes” in the city of Toronto itself went up 18.3% from a year ago to per cent to $1,200,000.

Industry observers in BC have previously voiced concerns that Vancouver’s new 15% tax on foreign buyers would send investors to Toronto and also perhaps secondly Montreal – driving up prices in Toronto’s market, which is already molten lava hot.

Comparatively, homes sales in Vancouver fell 26% in August from a year ago. The introduction of the tax was implemented on Aug. 2, so the tide obviously shifted fast.

Despite the unruly new tax legislation, and its’ still hidden loopholes, prices in Vancouver have continued to rise despite the drop in the number of sales. The benchmark price for all Vancouver residential properties rose 34% from a year ago to $933K.

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More Real Estate Prospecting Tips For Agents

Published September 12, 2016 by Real Estate Leads


Prospecting is something that real estate agents often procrastinate or avoid entirely. However, every lead you can accrue is a potential payday.

Below are some general tips to help you with your prospecting:

Following up is crucial

Here are some prospecting statistics:

* About half of agents never completely follow up with a prospect

* About a quarter of agents make a second contact and then stop

* About 1/8th of agents make up to 3 contacts and then stop

* Agents make more than 3 contacts 1/10th of the time.

Also here are some key facts:

* About 2% of sales are actually made on the 1st contact

* 3% on the 2nd

* 5% on the 3rd

* 10% are make on the 4th contact with an average lead.

Focus on quality rather than quantity

Forget thinking about how many people you can possibly speak to in an hour. Rather, focus more about how well you speak with each person that you are talking to. Build rapport and seek to understand the person on the phone; rather than seeking to be understood. Understand where each person is coming from. Ask for specific contact information, not for permission. Try to never say “Can I have your phone number?”. It is not a very good idea. Instead say something like “Jane/John, what is the best phone number to reach you on? Home or cell?” Take this approach in general, try to avoid handing them an ‘out’.

A Persistent Mindset

An approximate sales average is 1 sale out of 14 typical leads, which can be discouraging to some agents; however, this is a numbers business.

Your mindset should be that of owning and managing a business. Forge your mindset to be persistent now – because 80% of sales are made between the 5th to 12th contact!

There are a handful of common reasons why agents wind up giving up on prospective clients. The most important one usually is the fact that most agents haven’t really formulated a plan. Your strategy should include: scripts, a good value proposition, commitment, and keeping record of your activity so that you can learn from mistakes. 9 out of 10 agents typically don’t track. Tracking results is necessary in order to achieve maximum real estate success.

Focus on appointments

In Real estate sales prospecting can defined at the point of making first contact with a new lead. Exchanging emails counts too in this day and age – however hold in mind that you can’t sell a house until at least the point that you have had a verbal conversation with a prospective buyer and an appointment as well.

The one most obvious common denominator of top producers in real estate is that the top dogs work nearly every day to get that next appointment. Prospecting is part of their daily routine.

Also, there is absolutely no point in being nervous on the phone. When you are building rapport, it is like you are talking to a friend while offering them help and assistance.

Rehearse your scripts

One way to get feedback on your calls it to record them on your phone. There are various call recording apps available for iPhones of Androids. However, for the sake of privacy, those calls should be for your ears only. Then a good time to listen is when you are driving. You can listen like a 3rd party bystander. This will help you iron out your script and avoid pitfalls in the future. Investing time into formulating 2-3 good scripts will help you say the right things, and just at the right time. Record your script into your phone too, trying to get it delivered as smooth as possible. In a week’s time, you will have your script memorized entirely.


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Will Montreal be a new real estate market hotspot in 2017?

Published September 5, 2016 by Real Estate Leads

As a result of the new tax, that came into effect early August, on foreign buyers in Vancouver, many real estate agents have predicted a spillover effect into other Canadian markets.

As can be seen from result of the next tax, there has been a recent slide on Vancouver home sales:

REL- VancouverAugustHousingSlide

It is speculative, but it is still not clear if Montreal, presumed by many to be the next hotspot in the lowering tide of Vancouver’s market, will experience such an effect. Where, if anywhere else, will the Chinese investors move to?

The market in Montreal is still nothing compared to what’s been happening in Vancouver & Toronto.

The new 15% tax, which took effect 3 weeks ago, was put forth by the BC government, with the apparent on the surface intention of improving home affordability conditions for native and resident Canadians who wish to purchase a home in Vancouver, with still about the highest home average prices in such a major city, per square foot, in North America. A similar new taxation event appears to be on the horizon in Toronto.

The Finance Minister of Ontario, Charles Sousa, recently said that he is closely examining the possibility of a similar tax in Toronto to also address the East coast city’s similar rise in home prices over the past couple of years. Real Estate agents have also argued that the new foreign buyers tax in Vancouver could entice them to look into investments in other cities; such as Toronto – and Montreal.

Until such a similar Toronto tax is imposed, Toronto and potentially other markets like Montreal, will start to become more attractive, because of the lower price tags. A close eye will be kept on the Montreal market, to see if any market radar activity is induced by foreign investors. Montreal hasn’t yet been visibly targeted by foreign buyers.

This past month, in an August 2016 report, the CMHC stated the quantity of foreign investors within Montreal is rather small and mostly concentrated in condominiums downtown. The report boiled down that about 1.4% of condominiums in the Montreal region were currently owned by foreigners; but the number is nearly 5% downtown. In Montreal, residents of the US & France accounted for the majority of foreign buyers; with China and Saudi Arabia accounting for less than 14% of them all.

It is indeed difficult to forecast whether the Vancouver tax will change the status-quo much in Montreal. So far in Montreal, foreign real estate buyers have operated on a much smaller scale – most of them being “mom & pop investors” and people from France who have found for a more affordable lifestyle in Montreal.

Estimated average home prices for July 2016: Montreal: $311K, Vancouver: $918K, Toronto: $648K

Montreal will likely not be on the hit-list for a foreign-real estate tax for at least the next decade – but Montreal agents may start experiencing greener pastures soon.


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