Tuesday, 15 December 2015

First-Time Home Buyers Take Financially Fit, Well-Informed Approach

First-time homebuyers are doing their homework and making responsible financial decisions entering Canada's housing market, according to a new study released by Genworth Canada.  The 2015 Genworth Canada – First-Time Homeownership Study shows that the typical first-time homebuyer is well-educated, employed, consulting with mortgage industry professionals and purchasing a home within financial reach.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Is it time to sell your rental property? Or time to buy another?

According to Statistics Canada, 69 per cent of Canadians own homes, so most of us have reason to worry about the fate of the housing market.
One in 20 Canadians own rental real estate according to the Financial Industry Research Monitor. An Altus Group study shows that for households earning more than $100,000 per year, rental real estate ownership is twice that of the general population – about 10 per cent.
So the question is: buy or sell?


The supply and demand dynamics appear good on the surface for Canadian rental properties. Vacancy rates are below two per cent for cities like Toronto and Vancouver, according to CMHC. Rising real estate prices have likely helped to buoy demand for rentals, with price increases well in excess of the salary increases for average families in recent years. Some of those average families are now opting to rent instead of buy and that bodes well for landlords given that vacancies are often the biggest risk with a rental property.
Millennials are clearly helping to drive rental demand. Home ownership is unreasonable in many Canadian centres, so rental properties – particularly condos suitable for a single person or young couples – have got to benefit.


The Bank of Canada has expressed concerns over potential real estate corrections in certain cities, specifically singling out Toronto. “The adverse impact of the oil price shock in Alberta and continued robust price growth in Toronto . . . suggest[s] a risk of a correction,” said the Bank.

Source:  Financial Post - Mortgages and Real Estate

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Can Home Staging Really Win Over Buyers?

Home staging can influence buyers’ perceptions of a home and even motivate them to pay more, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2015 Profile of Home Staging, a survey of more than 2,300 REALTORS® representing buyers and sellers.

Source: http://www.realtor.org/reports/2015-profile-of-home-staging

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Study suggests first-timers fueling market

According to a new survey by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), it seems that those responsible for keeping the housing market alive right now are actually the first-time homebuyers.

Even with the housing market prices currently at an all-time high, those purchasing a home for the first time are making up 45 per cent of the 620,000 homes sold over the past two-plus years in Canada.

The latest CAAMP consumer survey report released revealed that, even though 18 per cent of down payments are still being loaned to buyers (usually from parents), 53 per cent are using money that they themselves or their co-buyers have saved.

Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Canada housing agency softens outlook for starts for 2015, 2016

OTTAWA, - Canada's federal housing agency gave a cooler outlook for housing starts this year and next, saying that lower oil prices are contributing to differences across the country's regional markets.
In addition, with the inventory of completed but unabsorbed homes above the historical average, the pace of new construction is expected to moderate over the next couple of years, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said in a report.
Canada avoided the worst of the global financial crisis and its housing market has accelerated in the years since, helped by low interest rates. While some have raised the possibility the sector is due for a painful correction, policymakers still foresee a soft-landing on the national level.
The CMHC forecast that housing starts will range between 166,540 and 188,580 units in 2015, with a point forecast, or most likely outcome, of 181,618.
For 2016, CMHC expects a range of 162,840 to 190,830 starts, with a point forecast of 181,800, below the previous point forecast of 185,100.
"Lower oil prices are contributing to disparities between provincial housing markets," Bob Dugan, the CMHC's chief economist, said in a statement.
A slowdown in housing starts and resales in oil-sensitive provinces such as Alberta will be partly offset by increased activity in other provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia, which should benefit from cheaper energy prices, a weaker Canadian dollar and low mortgage rates, Dugan said.
The CMHC upped its price forecast for existing home sales compared with three months ago, predicting a price range between C$402,139 ($326,835.99) and C$439,589 in 2015, with a point forecast of C$422,129. That is modestly higher than the point forecast of C$414,200 was given in February.
Next year's point forecast was also raised slightly, to C$428,325 from the previous C$420,900. Still, with the recent decline in the price of oil, a major export for Canada, there is more downside risk to the forecast than upside, CMHC said.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Importance of Proper Duct-Cleaning

Regular dryer and duct-cleaning, by trained professionals with proper equipment and in accordance with industry standards, is critical to reducing the risk of dryer fires. The Ontario Fire Marshall suggests that, depending upon usage, the two to three-year mark is the point at which lint build-up in the dryer cabinet and exhaust system becomes significant and can pose safety risks, while also increasing energy consumption.

Source: http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/371604/real+estate/Monthy+Tips+February+2015

Installation of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 now mandates the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all residential buildings that have (i) a fuel burning appliance; (ii) a fireplace; or (iii) a storage garage (i.e. parking garage). If a building has six (6) or more residential suites, carbon monoxide detectors must be installed by October 15, 2015. For buildings with less the six (6) residential units, the date for compliance was April 15, 2015.
The following requirements apply to the installation of carbon monoxide detectors:
  1. For suites with a fuel-burning appliance or a fireplace, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed adjacent to each bedroom in the suite;
  2. If a fuel-burning appliance associated with building services is installed in a building but not within a residential suite, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed adjacent to each bedroom in each suite that has a common wall or a common floor or ceiling assembly with the service room or area where the appliance is installed.
  3. If the building has a garage, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed adjacent to each bedroom in each suite that has a common wall or common floor/ceiling assembly with the garage.
 Source: http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/371604/real+estate/Monthy+Tips+February+2015

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Canada Consumer Confidence Touches 3-Month High on Real Estate

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index rose to 56.2, the highest since January according to the Nanos poll. The 38.5 percent of people expecting higher local home prices was the most this year.
Increasing confidence signals the economy is starting to adjust from last year’s plunge in crude oil prices, which should begin to have positive effects rather than negative in the second half, according to Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.
The survey showed 34 percent of those asked said the economy will weaken in the next six months. The share of respondents who say they’re worse off in terms of their personal finances compared with a year earlier rose to 26.2 percent, the most since September. Those who feel at least somewhat insecure about their jobs was 13.2 percent, compared with a 12-month average of 11.9 percent.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-27/canada-consumer-confidence-touches-3-month-high-on-real-estate

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Bank of Canada holds the interest rates

Bank of Canada just announced that will keep holding the rate at 0.75% due to low rate of  inflation of 1% reflecting the drop in costumer energy prices.
"Real GDP growth is projected to rebound in the second quarter and subsequently strengthen to average about 2.5% on a quarterly basis until the middle of 2016. The Bank expects real GDP growth of 1.9% in 2015, 2.5% in 2016 and 2% in 2017.”

Source:  http://www.calgarysun.com/2015/04/17/bank-of-canada-holds-the-line-on-interest-rates

Saturday, 21 March 2015

First-time home buyers’ most common mistakes

Buying your first home can be an exciting experience -- but it can also be complex, confusing and time-consuming. Here are some common traps first-time home buyers fall into that you should avoid:

You're Not Sure How Much You Can Really Afford

"How much can I borrow?" is not the same as "How much should I borrow?" The mortgage that you qualify for isn't necessarily the amount you can actually afford. Bear in mind that homeownership brings extra expenses such as utilities, homeowners insurance, property taxes and maintenance and repair costs. Factor those into your monthly budget to find out how much home you can comfortably afford without becoming "house poor."

Overlooking Extra Costs

Your mortgage isn't the only cost to consider when purchasing a home. You'll also have to be ready at the outset to cover closing costs -- potentially including loan origination fees, appraisal and home inspection costs -- as well as moving costs and any necessary repairs you'll need to make when you take possession of the home.

Make sure you have a budget that can cover several thousand dollars of extra expenses related to home buying.

Not Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Before you even start looking at houses, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. This carries two benefits: First, you'll know the price range for a home you can realistically purchase, and second, many realtors won't even let you put a bid on a house until you've completed this step.

Getting Too Emotional

It's easy to fall in love with a home at first sight, but don't let that initial emotional reaction cloud your judgment. Look beyond the aspects you adore and ask yourself if the entire house is the right fit for you -- is it large enough, is the layout workable, is it in the right neighborhood, will you have to make any costly renovations?

Not Getting a Home Inspection

Without a home inspection, you could be purchasing a money trap without even knowing it. Home inspections shine a light on potentially pricey (and dangerous) issues with a home and can save you from getting in way over your head.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Occupancy Standards

The Condominium Act allows condominiums to limit the number of people who can occupy a unit in a corporation. To do this the standard must be set by by-law. It is recommended that any buildings near educational institutions should include such provisions in their by-laws as doing so provides the corporation with the ability to control the numbers of people living in a unit. The current maximum provided in these by-laws is two persons per sleeping room as set out in the Ontario Building Code.  There are two ways to deal with overcrowded units.

First, is when the overcrowding is a result of people occupying the unit who are not family related members, for example a group of students. One student signs the lease for a two bedroom unit and 5 extra students then move in.  With an occupancy standard by-law, the corporation can seek the removal of the two extra people.

Second, if the overcrowding is as a result of children or extra family members occupying the unit, then the Human Rights Code family status provision will not allow the enforcement of the occupancy by-law provision, but the corporation can levy a surcharge against the unit.