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All posts for the month December, 2016

Toronto Homebuyers Continuing to Eye Detached Homes Despite Challenging Market

Published December 19, 2016 by Real Estate Leads

capture1It will come as a surprise to no one that the average price of a detached home in Toronto these days is hovering around 1.3 million. Despite that figure, the Ontario Real Estate Association Index that came out last Tuesday indicates that nearly one out of every 2 prospective buyers expects to be purchasing one in the near future. 22% of index respondents said they foresee themselves purchasing a detached home in 2017, and while that number is down from 26% at this time last year, it continues to be a surprising number for a city that is the 2nd least affordable in the country (after Vancouver).

The online Ipsos survey of 1,003 Ontario residents for OREA was conducted between Oct. 27 and 31 and is considered accurate within 3.5 per cent 19 times out of 20.

“People are optimistic about the housing market in 2017. We actually see an increase in people who are looking to buy and an increase in the number looking to sell a home,” said OREA CEO Tim Hudak, mentioning further that the index is based on research conducted twice a year by Ipsos Reid to gauge Ontarian’s perceptions of the real estate market and the economy.

This optimism may be tempered somewhat by governmental changes, however. This is particularly true regarding changes to mortgages, in particular more rigorous qualification requirements and insurance regulations, but other factors contribute as well. “There is a sentiment too among first-time home buyers that some will be forced to put off a decision or look at a smaller-valued home because of the recent changes on mortgage insurance and the stress test,” Hudak added.

He then proceeded to give praise to the Liberal government for doubling the first-time buyer rebate on the provincial land transfer tax to $4,000 on homes up to $300,000, which will clearly be beneficial for buyers. “We’re hopeful the city will match that instead of clawing it back. I remain optimistic about that,” said Hudak, who also applauded the idea that Toronto could raise some badly needed revenue by harmonizing its land transfer charge.

19 percent of index respondents were in the market for a condo too, and as vigorous as the market has been in 2016 we now see half of Toronto area residents say they expect it will be even stronger next year. 52 per cent of Torontonian respondents see the current residential real estate market being favourable, which puts them10 index points up from last year’s survey and residents in the 905-area communities came in at an even better 57 per cent.

Buyer and seller predictive stats

18%

Toronto area residents who indicated their plan to purchase a home in the next two years — up from 15% last year. That compares to 14% of Ontarians who stated their likelihood of buying in the next two years — a seven index point increase from this time in 2015.

19%

Toronto area respondents who plan to sell a home in the next two years, up from 14% last year.

82%

Proven prospective homebuyers in Ontario who believe in the strength of their local economy. 76% of those likely to sell their homes say the same.

45%

First-time buyers in the Province who say it’s increasingly challenging to save for a 20% down payment to meet the government’s more rigorous mortgage requirements.

20%

First-time buyers who say they have no choice but to postpone their purchase because of the new lending rules.

34%

First-time buyers who are now looking for a less expensive home in the same city as an alternative.

Ipsos for the Ontario Real Estate Association Ontario Home Ownership Index

 

Follow That Line – Condo Development Tails Expanded Rapid Transit Infrastructure

Published December 12, 2016 by Real Estate Leads

Follow That Line – Condo Development Tails Expanded Rapid Transit InfrastructureThat the numbers of condominiums and other types of shared-complex homes being sold in major metropolitan cities in Canada dwarf those for detached homes will come as a surprise to no one in the industry. Cities like Vancouver and Toronto are growing upwards rather than expanding outwards simply out of necessity and in response to the ever-growing demand for housing there and in surrounding satellite cities.

What is likely less understood is the fact that developers are keenly aware of the value prospective homebuyers will place on having a rapid transit station nearby their homes. That’s also a direct reflection of the trend whereby increasing numbers of young professionals (see qualified buyers) have been priced out of the metro market and are looking to buy in the suburbs and commute into town on weekdays.

Thankfully, more and more of these individuals and couples are realizing that driving to work every day is no end of a headache, and they’d really much rather prefer to commute via transit. Who wants to have to walk a block or two or more in the rain to get to the subway station? Having it right next door to your home or reasonably close by is vastly preferable for these folks.

So what does this mean for real estate agents in these cities?

The Evergreen Boom

Look no further than what’s happening in the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam. Translink, the city’s independent Transit authority, has recently expanded its Skytrain system to include the new Evergreen extension, which now connects the easternmost part of Burnaby with Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Port Coquitlam.

Just as soon as the extension was announced in 2013, developers began securing property along the line for development. Just up the road from the Lougheed Station departure point for the Evergreen line, a major condo development began at the corner of North Rd and Como Lake Rd, and since then the same has occurred at a number of different locations in all three of those municipalities.

The similarity between each of them? They are ALL within immediate or reasonable walking distance of one of the Evergreen Line Transit Stations.

It’s certain that in many of these cases agencies representing builders had the foresight to identify properties where homeowners could be convinced to sell their properties, and thus enable the builder to acquire the land they’d need to build the development. That wasn’t the case with the project mentioned above (it was built on the site of the old Como Lake Safeway) but you can be sure it did apply to some of the more than 5 different developments that have sprouted up explicitly because of the development of the Evergreen Line.

Density, Demand – And Delivery!

Yes, this trend itself isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, and home sellers near transit hubs in Toronto and Calgary will probably say that aspect of their location was a big plu$ for them too. But in the new world reality of exploding city population densities and the resultant demand for housing it’s one that might be worth taking into greater account and factoring into the way you tailor your marketing and lead generation efforts.

A good many of your clients see living outside of Metro as a necessity, and they see a whole lot of value of being delivered to and from work with maximum convenience. Quite natural really!

Supercharging ALL of your lead generation efforts is made easy with Real Estate Leads. Get qualified leads for prospective buyers and sellers sent to YOU exclusively with your protected area through us. Contact us to learn more.

Recapping November in the Canadian Real Estate World

Published December 7, 2016 by Real Estate Leads
Recapping November in the Canadian Real Estate World

Canada High Resolution Real Estate Concept

2016 is drawing to a close. While we’re all eagerly looking forward to a less-hectic pace during the holiday season, the real estate market across the country isn’t pausing in the slightest. November has featured markets in big cities continuing to stay hot – especially in Toronto – along with several new rules, taxes and stats that are definitely worth taking note of.

Let’s get right to November’s top real estate headlines.

Shady Agent Practices Exposed via the CBC

Some of you may have seen the expose shown on CBC’s Marketplace where it highlighted the way some agents are ‘double ending’ a deal. If you didn’t, you may very well have heard about it as it certainly reflects badly on our profession. Journalists sporting hidden cameras posed as prospective homebuyers, and caught six real estate agents making promises – such as revealing other buyers’ offers and guaranteeing the home sale – in exchange for representing them as well as the seller. Now, most provinces have regulations here, where a realtor must provide both ends of a transaction to all parties in writing.

Not doing so is highly unethical, and since the broadcast aired there has been strong condemnation from both the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) and the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).

We’ll add to this that such practice is also extremely detrimental for the seller as well. When a realtor is contractually engaged to represent seller clients, you’re expected to do everything in your power to represent their best interests. Failing to do so is one thing, but choosing not to do so in the interest of leveraging on your own behalf is extremely poor practice and reflects very badly on the individual – as it should!

Bravo CBC and Marketplace, please take further initiative if you feel it’s warranted here. Maintaining integrity and trust in this business is of paramount importance, and we ALL have much to lose without it.

Suburban Swells

The trend of homebuyers being priced out of metro-city real estate doesn’t need any introduction to folks in Vancouver and Toronto, and Calgary to a lesser extent. Accordingly, these folks are moving to the suburbs in droves. Let’s take Toronto for example; according to Toronto Real Estate Board, the areas around Toronto saw the greatest sales and price growth in October, with some cities in the 905 area code seeing as much as a 40% increase. The 6,053 homes sold in the 905 dwarfed the 3,715 that were sold in the 416 area code. Buyers who’ve had their sights set on the detached home dream are realizing it’s only doable if you get out of the metro area – suburban single-family house sales were up a whopping 13.4%. Oppositely, Toronto detached home demand rose only 1.5% last month with the lacking supply overruling the constant demand. South Simcoe County seems to be the newest hotspot, which saw the greatest year-over-year growth at 25.38% for all home types. York was next with 24.48%.

Vancouver City Council Finally Passes Empty Home Tax

In a move that was grossly overdue considering how the infusion of foreign capital into Vancouver’s housing market has been very detrimental for people who actually live in the city, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson introduced new legislation that will go into effect January 1, 2017.

Absentee homeowners (a disturbingly common trend in Vancouver) now need to pay 1% of their home’s total value, and will face steep fines – potentially daily – if they are dishonest about whether the home is occupied or not. The hope is that it will cut back on purchases made by out-of-country investors who don’t intend to dwell in their homes. Then, this should improve the supply of rental housing from the nearly non-existent vacancy rate of 0.6% to a far-better 3.5%.

According to a city-commissioned study, there are 10,800 homes sitting empty, with an additional 10,000 not fully used by their owners. The 2011 Census conducted by the Federal Government also found more than 22,000 homes in Vancouver are sitting empty.

This is a smart and responsible move by Vancouver city council. Housing is not a commodity, and it should never be regarded as such

BC – A Seller’s Market No More

In related news, the 15% foreign investor tax as well as new restrictive mortgage rules (also implemented in an effort to level the playing field for local homebuyers) have led to sales dropping in the Province. Sales in BC fell by 16.7% year over year, with just 7,272 homes changing hands. The dollar volume of sold units also plunged by 24.2%, with an average price of $606,787 – a 9.1% decline.

Short-term pain for long-term gain? Very likely.

Good News for Ontario First-Time Buyer

First-time homebuyers are often overwhelmed with just how much is required of them, so the news that the Ontario Government has announced measures that will reduce the extensive and often shocking costs that these people are subject to when closing their home purchases.

The land transfer tax rebate will be doubled to $4,000 from $2,000 for first-timers as of January 1. The minimum threshold for the tax has also been raised – those buying homes priced up to $368,000 will avoid the tax altogether (from the previous $277,500). For a first-time buyer putting the minimum 5% down, an extra $2,000 will almost certainly be a huge advantage for them, often enabling them to make a larger down payment and thus reducing the amount of CMHC mortgage default insurance they will be required to pay.

New National Housing Plan Taking Shape

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has bee hard at work over the better part of this year, and after releasing its ‘Let’s Talk Housing Report’ – which included thousands of consultation with experts across different related industries within housing across Canada – it find the top issues facing Canadian real estate and housing is the need to bring awareness to the housing needs of Canada’s most vulnerable. In addition to these findings, the federal government also announced a 5-year plan to improve affordable rental housing, with $2.5 billion earmarked for building 10,000 units throughout the country.

Renting Not as Daunting as Before

CMHC’s Fall Rental Report indicates that while rental vacancy rates rose in several markets – even being dangerously high in Alberta – they are still incredibly tight for folks in Vancouver and Toronto who are looking to rent a home. Vacancies rose to 0.7% in the west coast city, and to 1.3% in Toronto, but prices rose with them– Increases of 5.7% to rent a two-bedroom unit in Vancouver, and 3.1% to rent in Toronto arrived at the same time.

Please continue to visit us here and to stay up to date on what’s happening in the world of real estate in Canada, and if you’d like to have an online real estate lead generator working for you then you’re in the right place as well. With Real Estate Leads, you can receive generated qualified leads that will put you in touch with legit prospective buyer and sellers in YOUR area, and you’ll receive them exclusively. Sound good? check us out at www.realestateleads.ca