All posts for the month October, 2016

CMHC’s risk rating for national housing market set to “strong” for the first time ever.

Published October 31, 2016 by Real Estate Leads

There is mounting evidence of risk in Canada’s real estate markets as home prices have climbed faster by to key related factors: population growth and income increases; a report by Canada’s Mortgage and Housing Corp, CHMC recently has shown. The report covers national housing market as a whole and 15 regional markets.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. increased its risk rating for the national housing market on this past week to “strong”, from a moderate rating that it published in July.

“We now see strong evidence of problematic conditions overall nationally,” wrote Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “This is fueled by overvaluation… meaning house prices remain higher than the level of personal disposable income, population growth and other fundamentals would support. This overvaluation coupled with evidence of overbuilding in some centres means that growth in house prices will slow and housing starts are expected to moderate in 2017 and 2018.” he went on to say.

CHMC also said it now sees moderate evidence of increased price acceleration; which occurs when home prices go up at a faster pace and and also a possible sign of speculation.

They are also predicting that home sales and new housing starts will decline next year, before stabilizing in 2018. The agency’s CEO Evan Siddall said earlier this month that “the housing agency would raise its risk rating to strong for the first time ever”.

Vancouver’s 15% foreign-buyer sales tax ( which began in May 2016 ) caused alot of people to think that most of those buyers would be steered into Toronto’s market. To what degree that has happened is now being evidenced; and the result is more distributed than previously thought. CMHC said there is strong evidence of problematic conditions in: Vancouver, Toronto and Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina. However: Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Quebec City show moderate evidence of such conditions, the agency said.

CHMC’s housing market assessment is intended to be an ‘early warning system’ to inform Canadians about problematic conditions that have developed and spread about the country’s real estate markets.

For more information and key comments from the CHMC, see this Globe and Mail article:

Thank you for reading the blog – where we intend on supplying you not just with fresh leads daily, but other helpful information weekly for active Canadian Real Estate agents.

Helpful Articles for Both New and Experienced Real Estate Agents

Published October 24, 2016 by Real Estate Leads


Over the years, Real Estate Leads has produced and published some great content for both new and experienced real estate agents. Our blog has grown by about 100 articles; both “tips” articles and general news.

In this special article, listed here in reverse-chronological order, are some of the best articles aimed at helping agents maximize their success.

By reading over the titles that interest you, you will surely find a dozen or more tips, out of the hundreds presented in the list of articles below, that will benefit you uniquely.

Lead Conversion – 6 steps to boost your real estate career:


Referral Magic:


The Sweet 16 of Real Estate Tips:


The Basic Foundation of your Future Success:


Tips of producing your social networking personal profile:


4 Tips for Timely Responses to Prospect and Client Emails

Tips for Building Client Retention and Referrals:


Real Estate Email Template Ideas:


Some More Agents Tips from the field for consideration in your career:


Advice 101 on showing a home:


Some good listing presentation tips:


Profit more through helping foster a partnership between loan professionals and yourself:


General local area blog topic ideas for real estate agents:

8 methods to attract more buyers to your listings:


35 ideas for enhanced agent marketing:


Verbal bloopers that new agents should never say:


Phone Tips 4 agents:


Experienced agents admits their best tips:


Producing compelling and persuasive tweets for your real estate business:


Wonderful current apps for real estate agents:


Turning leads into conversations:


Summary of great tips real estate agents:


The makings of a viral real estate video:


The big benefits of proper lead cultivation:


The best real deal estate agent prospecting tips:


More real estate prospecting tips for agents:


Dealing with brokers – How to sell yourself:


Best Wishes in your Real Estate Career from Real Estate

How the New Housing Rules are Affecting the Purchasing Power of your Clients

Published October 12, 2016 by Real Estate Leads


How much house can your client afford? It looks like less under new rules unveiled earlier this week by the federal Liberal government.

On Oct. 17, all insured new homebuyers must “stress test” their ability to carry their mortgage payments. This is based on whichever is greater: the negotiated rate in their mortgage contract -or- the Bank of Canada’s five-year fixed rate.

Currently BoC’s posted rate is about 4.6% – about two points greater than many discounted rates.
The purpose of mortgage insurance is to protect lenders in the event of default. As mortgage insurance is required when homebuyers make a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price.

The expanded “stress tests” will aim to ensure that home buyers could still afford their mortgage payments if interest rates climb higher., an online personal-finance resource, published calculations as to what buyers at 3 different income levels should be now able to afford under the new and outgoing rules.

For each scenario, certain assumptions have been made:

* Each buyer has saved $40,000 for the down payment.

* Under the outgoing rules, calculations are based on a five-year fixed mortgage rate of 2.17 per cent amortized over 25 years

* Under the new rules, calculations are based on a five-year fixed mortgage rate of 4.6% (the Bank of Canada’s posted rate) amortized over 25 years

* Monthly property taxes of $400 and monthly heating costs of $200

Scenario No. 1

Annual household income (pretax): $50,000
The maximum purchase price this buyer can qualify for:
· Outgoing rules: $277,434
· New rules: $222,617

Scenario No. 2

Annual household income (pretax): $100,000
The maximum purchase price this buyer can qualify for:
· Outgoing rules: $650,000
· New rules: $512,133
Under the soon-to-expire rules, this buyer’s maximum purchase price is dictated by the minimum down payment that’s required.

Federal rules stipulate that home buyers must put down at least five per cent on the first $500,000 of the home’s purchase price and 10 per cent on the remaining balance. (Homes priced at $1-million and up require a 20-per-cent down payment.)

Thus, with $40,000 saved up, under the current rules, this buyer can put down the minimum on a $650,000 home, and earns enough to afford the subsequent mortgage payments and other housing costs.
But when asked to qualify at a steeper mortgage rate, this buyer’s spending power is diminished by nearly $140,000.

Scenario No. 3

Annual household income (pretax): $150,000
The maximum purchase price this buyer can qualify for:
· Outgoing rules: $650,000
· New rules: $650,000

In this scenario, the buyer is not affected by the new rules. What the buyer can afford is limited by down-payment rules, rather than the debt-to-service ratio.

Instead, let’s assume the buyer has $80,000 for the down payment.

The maximum purchase price this buyer can qualify for:
· Outgoing rules: $999,999
· New rules: $841,649

Notes: These calculations do not take monthly condo fees into account, which would reduce affordability. Nor do they account for other debt obligations that home buyers may have.

Mortgage changes to impact investors

There are now fewer options for rental properties.

In the wake of new mortgage rules, some mortgage lenders are pulling mortgage programs for rentals.

One of the first was Merix/Lendwise, which announced a change to its offering Tuesday – a day after recent housing rules were put into place.

In a note to brokers, the lender said it would no longer be accepting rental applications.

First National, another major lender, has made similar changes to its offering.

“(First National) have temporarily suspended their conventional rental program and their Alt-A program, which is part of the business for self-program,” Ernie Stapleton, a representative for First National, told CREW. “As the dust settles, I think First National will re-evaluate their programs in the context of the new rules to see what can be offered.”

And it isn’t just rental properties that are being impacted.

Another lender, MCAP, will soon charge a 15 basis point surcharge for all new refinances beginning November 30, 2016.

These sorts of lender updates are the result of the government’s recent changes to low-ratio mortgage insurance requirements.

Effective November 30, all mortgages originated by lenders who use portfolio insurance – which includes all monoline lenders – must meet the following criteria:
· Maximum amortization of 25 years
· Maximum property price below $1 million
· A property must be owner occupied

The full scope of the changes can be viewed online here.

Questions about about Please see our Real Estate Leads FAQ.

Dealing with Brokers; How to Sell Yourself

Published October 3, 2016 by Real Estate Leads


There are advantages and disadvantages to working for a broker, or being independent. Working for a brokerage, essentially makes you an employee. If you have been attracted to the profession because it gives you ultimate freedom, then perhaps this would not be ideal arrangement. However, working for an agency provides some enticing benefits and camaraderie.

If you work as an employee of a real estate brokerage, you are still responsible for your business. So when looking to fill an empty position with a new candidate, brokers look for a motivation, self-discipline & determination.

Present yourself as being focused

Real estate agencies are busy workplaces. Brokers manage organization, efficiency, and value. Demonstrate that you will fit right in. How? Emphasize your efficient time management skills, your sharp focus, and personal initiative. Describe situations where you have been an expert task juggler, skilled with constant motion, and eager to manage more prospects and tasks.

Clearly Communicate

Brokers desire staff who have excellent communication skills; those that can quickly explain the differences an intricacies of properties; while being able to tactfully and skillfully negotiate between all the parties involved in a transaction. Communication skills also extend to marketing. In short, an agent candidate needs to prove that they are not only able to sell real estate – but are also skilled at selling themselves and the brokerage/brand.

Four Major Ways to Positively Sell Yourself

Here are major ways to sell yourself – when you are interviewing at a brokerage:

A. Positiveness

Present yourself as having a positive attitude; focusing on performance capability and goals. Steer clear of complaining about former bosses or other previous working situations. If necessarily, tell them how you made the most of your time there. If you have to address something negative, it is best to keep it short & sweet. A good rule of thumb is that “less is more” when the unpleasant topics surface; avoid elaborating on undesirable details. Spin matters as positively as you can. If you quit your job, rephrase it as “looking for a better opportunity” or “I feel I need more of a challenge.” If you were fired, best to simply state “it wasn’t the right fit” and move to change the topic.

B. Be Specific

It is not enough to say that you are the best candidate. You have to prove it by stressing your skills and experience. When launching into generalized talking points, like “I work well with others” or “I take initiative,” be prepared to elaborate on your claims with concrete examples. Tell stories, prepare anecdotes, anything to bolster your assertions and stand out from other candidates.

C. Show Them You’re the Solution

Any company looking to hire new employees is hoping that they can find individuals able to provide a solution to a new or longstanding issue. When it comes to real estate, most brokerages and offices want agents who can contribute to lead generation and making sales. Prepare yourself by becoming familiar with the market in your area, taking special note of any areas that are underserved or not being exploited effectively. Arm yourself with details and strategies to present a compelling pitch as to why you should be their top choice!

Come up with a few standard replies or statements that quickly and succinctly summarize your skills, experience and ambition. Try to prepare a catchy soundbite or memorable phrase using industry terms and action words. Begin by listing some of your greatest accomplishments in either the workplace or while in school, and find a way to show how these successes make you stand apart. Once you have a set “story” about yourself, you can easily answer pointed questions and elaborate on the content of your resume.

D. Keep an Eye on Body Language

Nonverbal language can communicate a lot about your frame of mind and confidence level, so pay attention to how you present yourself. Make sure your posture is on point, sit up straight and don’t fidget. It’s also important to maintain eye contact while answering questions, and your handshake should be firm, but not overly aggressive.

Your “Curb Appeal”

Curb appeal is common in real estate descriptor. Your listings show present its freshest face in order to charm potential buyers. “Curb appeal” also applies to you. Presenting a clean, professional, and likable character helps you connect with clients, create a rapport with colleagues, and referral sources.

Above all else, always do your best to try to remain calm, cool, and collected. Highlight your personality by being authentic/genuine and enthusiastic.

Research the brokerage. Remember you are interviewing them too. Stay focused on the task at hand throughout the entire interview. Brokers are looking for someone who is the right fit: along with experience, skills, temperament and an eager willingness to work.

Brokers love a track record of success. To succeed the easiest, thicken your wallet with Real Estate Leads.

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