Sunday, October 23, 2016

OCTOBER 2016 TORONTO MID MONTH SALES REPORT

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,460 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System during the first 14 days of October 2016. This result represented a 15.5 per cent increase compared to the first two weeks of October 2015. Similar to September, the strongest annual rate of sales growth for the TREB market area as a whole was recorded for the condominium apartment segment. While the market is tight for condo apartments, there is comparatively more inventory available, which has allowed for stronger growth in sales compared to the low-rise market segments. The number of new listings was also up on a year-over-year basis during the first two weeks of October, but by a much lesser annual rate compared to sales. This means that, on the whole, the market continued to tighten with more competition between buyers. Intense competition between buyers in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA continued to underpin double-digit annual gains in average selling prices. Due to the persistent lack of inventory, low-rise market segments experienced the strongest rates of price growth. However, it is important to point out that the condominium apartment market, particularly in the City of Toronto, also experienced year-overyear price growth in excess of 10 per cent. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Great Article from the Globe and Mail about recent goverment and mortgage changes introduced and my take on it

The federal government is throwing some cold water on Canada’s overheated housing market, hoping to keep Canadians out of unaffordable debt and slow down foreign investment in Toronto and Vancouver’s real-estate markets. Here’s a guide on what has happened so far, what it means and what’s next

What’s changing?

On Monday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a major shakeup of Canada’s mortgage and foreign-ownership rules for real estate to take effect this fall. There are four big changes involved

1. Expanding stress tests to all insured mortgages, not just high-ratio mortgages in which the buyer has put down less than 20 per cent of the purchase price. This may make it harder for some buyers to get insured mortgages, even if they make a larger down payment, because it ends a two-tier system where some mortgages were weighed differently against the buyer’s income to see whether the mortgage is affordable.

2. Closing a tax loophole that some foreign buyers have used to claim exemptions in capital-gains tax for selling properties that they falsely claim as their primary residences. Now, home buyers must file taxes in Canada, as a resident, the same year they buy a home, before they can later claim the principal residence exemption on any gains for that year.

3.Launching consultations to see if banks can take on added lending risks, which would lighten Ottawa’s obligations to pay for insured mortgages in the event of a housing crash – but could also lead to higher mortgage rates. (Here’s David Berman’s analysis, for subscribers, on how bankers feel about this.)

4.Changing the restrictions on portfolio insurance, a type of bulk insurance for mortgages with down payments of 20 per cent or more.


Why are they doing this?

To crack down on foreign real-estate speculation: Investigations by The Globe and Mail over the past year have also shed light on how local and foreign buyers have been flipping Vancouver-area homes for profit, buying and selling properties in the names of relatives or corporations and collecting tax windfalls in the process. In B.C., fears of wealthy foreign buyers inflating Vancouver’s sky-high housing prices have led to tougher restrictions on how the market is regulated and taxed provincially (more on this below); now Ottawa is hoping to close the federal tax loopholes too, a move met with cautious optimism on Monday by the B.C. government.

To keep Canadians out of debt: Mr. Morneau hopes that applying the same stress test to all high-ratio mortgages will make prospective home buyers think twice about taking on more debt than they can pay for. “We want to ensure that we have measures in place to help them to take on risks that they can afford, especially in the situation where mortgage rates go up or their family income goes down,” Mr. Morneau said in an interview with The Globe.

To keep Ottawa off the hook: The federal government currently assumes the full cost of insured mortgages in the event of defaults. Mr. Morneau’s changes would mean Ottawa would pay less, and banks might pay more – costs that the banks might pass on to homeowners by raising rates. The changes to low-ratio mortgage insurance would put the government in less risk in markets with lots of residential mortgages worth $1-million or more, such as Vancouver and Toronto.

What have provinces been doing?

B.C. Premier Christy Clark speaks in Vancouver on June 29, 2016.
The federal government is part of a task force along with the B.C. and Ontario governments that is looking at housing prices in the Toronto and Vancouver areas. Here’s what those provinces have been up to in their own jurisdictions:
British Columbia: This summer, Premier Christy Clark’s government began more rigorous tracking of home buyers’ nationalities and instituted a 15-per-cent tax on home purchases in Metro Vancouver that involve foreigners. The number of foreign-involved transactions plummeted once the tax took effect on Aug. 2; more Vancouver housing numbers released on Tuesday showed a further drop in property sales in September.

Ontario: Premier Kathleen Wynne says the province needs more information about the factors behind Toronto’s red-hot real estate market before adopting a foreign-buyer tax like B.C.’s.

What else has Ottawa already done?

The federal government’s most recent measures come after years of fine-tuning Canada’s housing laws in the aftermath of the 2008-09 financial crisis. Here’s what Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government and the Harper Conservatives before it have already done so far:
Feb. 15, 2016: The minimum down payment for new government-backed insured mortgages increases from 5 per cent to 10 per cent for the portion of a house price over $500,000.

July 9, 2012: The maximum amortization period for new government-backed insured mortgages drops to 25 years from 30 years. Ottawa lowers the maximum amount Canadians can borrow when refinancing to 80 per cent from 85 per cent and stops offering insurance on mortgages for homes worth more than $1-million, instead requiring borrowers for such homes to make a minimum down payment of 20 per cent.

April 18, 2011: Ottawa withdraws government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes, such as home equity lines of credit.
March 18, 2011: The maximum amortization period for government-backed insured mortgages is cut to 30 years from 35 years and the maximum amount Canadians can borrow in refinancing their mortgages is reduced to 85 per cent from 90 per cent of the value of their homes.

April 19, 2010: Ottawa introduces a requirement that all borrowers meet the standards for a five-year fixed rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term. The government also lowers the maximum amount Canadians can withdraw in refinancing their mortgages to 90 per cent from 95 per cent of the value of their homes and requires a minimum down payment of 20 per cent for government-backed mortgage insurance on non-owner-occupied properties bought for speculation.

Oct. 15, 2008: The maximum amortization period for new government-backed mortgages is fixed at 35 years and a requirement for a minimum down payment of 5 per cent is introduced. Ottawa also establishes a consistent minimum credit-score requirement and introduces new loan documentation standards.

What happens next?

Here are some important dates to watch out for as the changes come into effect:
  • Oct. 17: The new stress-test rules come into effect for borrowers.
  • Nov. 30: The new rules for low-ratio mortgages come into effect.
  • April 30: For most Canadians, this is the deadline day for filing taxes. The new housing rules affect when you have to declare the sale of your home to the government.
The above comments and info provided by the Globe and Mail

Will this actually work?

I guess that remains to be seen in the coming months. My take on this is that Ottawa has been pressured recently to do something about rising house prices and has acted prematurely before assessing the risks and consequences on the economy. I get that rising house prices are a concern. They are a concern for me and my business as well. But rising house prices are a direct outcome of a continued low interest rate policy and a supply and demand issue in the Toronto markets. If Ottawa is concerned about cooling off the market why not address these two factors directly. Why not give builders and developers incentives to build more homes? Why not make it easier to sever large lots in the city and create more homes within the city boundaries? Why not make it easier to change commercially zoned properties which have large parcels of land in order to make them residential sub divisions in order to create more housing within the city? Why not look at the Bank of Canadas interest policy and make changes on that front? 

Instead Ottawa throws a monkey wrench into the equation which of course is driven by a tax revenue generating policy on foreign investors as well as making it harder for first time buyers to qualify for a mortgage which allows them to buy a home. In today's market first time buyers are already having a difficult time getting into the market. Why make it harder by promoting a policy that makes it even harder for them to get a mortgage which can service the average price of a home in the city? Why not concentrate on providing a policy which will allow more homes to be available to them. After all home buying is what has been driving our economy in a positive direction for years. 

With regards to Foreign investment I do agree that it may be a good idea to put some pressure on that segment and try and cool off foreign investors from paying high prices and driving up house prices but be cautious because if they decide its not a good place to buy they will buy elsewhere and promote other economies instead of ours. A slight increase in costs to foreign investors makes sense but lets use the tax dollars that comes in from that in order to provide a grant to first time buyers who are local or provide incentives to  builders to build more homes in order to alleviate the supply issue. Why not use tax revenue to help other Canadians  who need it? After all it will help our economy. 

In terms of whats coming ahead I have already heard a number of lenders are tightening their lending guidelines and making it harder to get financing on rental properties and making it harder to refinance by introducing new fees on refinances. They are also going to become more prudent on reviewing insured mortgages. This is what ultimately will effect the market. If Lenders tighten up and the flow of lending slows then in my experience this may effect a buyers choice and ability to purchase a property. By lenders making it more difficult to borrow, the outcome to sales I am sure will show. It will be interesting to see how the sales reports go in the next few months. My guess is that it will be really busy in the next few months as buyers and sellers are jumping to act quickly and things will cool in the coming months. If you are a seller who is looking to sell and downgrade or looking to sell your property and rent, now may be a good time to do so and time the market on your next purchase.

Let's see how the next couple of months of sales go. If you are interested in keeping up with sales reports feel welcome to visit my website at www.iListTorontoHomes.com and subscribe to my newsletter. 

For any questions on the market feel welcome to call me at 416-856-5408 or email me ataprasoulis@gmail.com

Thursday, October 6, 2016


The Toronto Real Estate Board announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,902 sales through TREB's MLS® System in September 2016. This result was up by 21.5 per cent compared to September 2015. 



For the region as a whole, strong annual rates of sales growth were experienced for all major home types. The pace of detached sales growth was slower in the City of Toronto and the number of semi-detached sales was down compared to last year. In both cases, the year-overyear dip in new listings was likely the issue.

The Toronto market continues to see strong demand for ownership housing up against a short supply of listings in the Greater Toronto Area in September. The sustained lack of inventory in many neighbourhoods across the GTA continued to underpin high rates of price growth for all home types.
Both the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark and the average selling price for all home types combined were up strongly on a year-over-year basis in September. The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark grew by 18 per cent compared to September 2015. The average selling price was up by 20.4 per cent to $755,755. The average selling price can be influenced by changes in both market conditions and the mix of homes sold.

The Toronto Real Estate Board will be closely monitoring how the recent changes to Federal mortgage lending guidelines and capital gains tax exemption rules impact the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area. While these changes are pointed at the demand for ownership housing, it is important to note that much of the upward pressure on home prices in the GTA has been based on the declining inventory of homes available for sale, not the fact that we see an increase in foreign investment recently. The changes being made to the mortgage guidelines may have a larger effect on sales and price growth as opposed to the capital gains tax exemption on foreign owners. We are already seeing some lenders adjusting their lending guidelines on non owner occupied property purchases. Lenders tightening up may have a negative effect on sales as if it becomes more difficult to borrow this will be a factor for purchasers. 

If you have questions on the Toronto market feel welcome to call or email me at 416-901-8777 or aprasoulis@gmail.com.

For the full Toronto Real Estate Report visit: 

























































Federal Announcement - Housing Market Measures

Canada's Finance Minister, The Hon. Bill Morneau, has announced measures related to the housing market.
Specifically, the government announced the following:
  • Measures intended to enhance fairness by closing a tax loophole that the government believes is being exploited by foreign buyers.
  • Measures to address long-term housing affordability. A mortgage rate stress test will now be applied to all new mortgages that are insured. The new test is intended to ensure that home buyers can realistically afford to pay their mortgages should interest rates rise.
Additional details are available at the Finance Department's website here.
 
CREA has indicated that it is encouraged that the government has taken a restrained approach, in line with what CREA has recommended. CREA noted that "other instruments at the federal government's disposal are far blunter and would potentially damage markets which are not on their radar screen or are, in fact, struggling."
CREA will continue to meet with the government as this file evolves with a goal to underscore that Canada is made up of many housing markets, not only those in large cities, and that current and future efforts must reflect that reality.
TREB is closely monitoring this issue and working to ensure that all levels of government make informed decisions on options, if any, for market interventions.
 
For Questions on this announcement and how it may effect the Toronto market feel welcome to call or email me at 416-901-8777 or aprasoulis@gmail.com
- See more at: http://www.ilisttorontohomes.com/Federal-Announcement---Housing-Market-Measures#sthash.8vrq7Vzf.dpuf

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Toronto East Wexford Area Home Just Listed! 



Large Detached Brick Home On A Premium Size Lot In The Desirable Wexford Area! Close To Good Schools, Parks, Ttc, 401, 404 & All Amenities. Features Of This Home Include Large Principal Rooms & Large Bedrooms, Three Baths, A Good Size Kitchen With A Walk Out To The Yard, A Finished Basement With A Walk Out Which Could Easily Be Converted Into An Apartment For X-Tra Income. Also Features Oversized Windows, High Ceilings In Basement, A Studio Space On 2nd Floor
The Exterior Features A Huge Lot With Private Drive & Lots Of Parking,A Double Car Brick Garage, A Lovely Yard & Gardens. Great Home For The Growing Family! Schools In Area Include Wexford C.I, Buchanan P.S., St. Kevin C.S.

See more at: http://www.ilisttorontohomes.com/4a_read.php?ltl=6870670#sthash.I2U4Vm8V.dpuf

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Toronto West Condo For Rent!

Have any friends looking for a great condo apartment to rent in the West end! Check this one out. Great building in a great location!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Excellent Toronto East Commercial Retail User or Investment Opportunity

Just Listed this Excellent Commercial Retail Investment Opportunity on Busy Kingston Rd. Former TD Bank Building. Solid Building with Large Lot and lots of parking in the rear. Great For Retail Business User or Investor. Across the street from a High School and in a busy Retail area. Call or msg me for more info. Wont last long!




Condos surge in the GTA

Condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area surged 21.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to a year earlier. The Toronto Real Estate Board says that there were 5,974 sales through the MLS during the first three months of this year with around 70 per cent taking place in the city of Toronto.

The pace of demand was reflective of the important entry point to the market that condo apartments offer: “Recent polling undertaken for TREB by Ipsos suggested that approximately half of home purchases made in the GTA this year would be accounted for by first-time buyers.”

With the annual increase in listings down 1.7 per cent, there was an average selling price increase of 8.1 per cent to $393,589.

“While the condominium apartment market segment remains the best supplied in the GTA, market conditions have tightened considerably since the first quarter of 2015. Not surprisingly, the pace of year-over-year price growth has accelerated over the same period of time,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

New detached homes in GTA break $1 million milestone

The average price of a newly-built single-family detached home in the Greater Toronto Area has exceeded $1 million for the first time. Figures from the Building Industry and Land Development Association reveal that the milestone was reached as of the end of March with prices up from $861,848 a year earlier.

The 21 per cent year-over-year surge has been driven by strong demand in the GTA which has not been met by supply. This, BILD CEO Bryan Tuckey says, is due to government intensification policies and a lack of suitable land.

"The demand for detached homes is far outpacing supply as the GTA's population continues to grow," said Tuckey. "Our region has record-low levels of new detached homes available for sale, which drives up prices and reduces housing choice for consumers."

In March, 905 new detached homes sold and inventory was at just 1,634. The building industry is meeting provincial requirements for townhouses and condos but Tuckey says there is strong demand for detached homes.

"New low-rise homes are being purchased faster than they can be brought to market," Tuckey said. "As long as demand for low-rise homes continues to outpace supply, we will continue to see rapid price growth."

Prices for all low-rise homes, including townhouses, semi-detached and detached, also set a new record in March - $849,312. High-rise homes averaged $459,231. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Improving affordability in 60 per cent of housing markets

Housing affordability improved in the first quarter of 2016 in 6 out of 10 markets analyzed for a report from National Bank. Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau saw the greatest improvements but the national figure, showing the proportion of income needed for mortgage payments on a median-priced home, edged 0.1 per cent higher. Nationally homeowners would need to spend 31 per cent of their income on mortgage payments.

The rise was driven by the increasing prices in Vancouver and Toronto while Calgary saw affordability increase as prices fell. Homeowners in the city would require 28.2 per cent of their income for a mortgage on a median-priced home; a year earlier the figure was above 30 per cent. Montreal also saw increased affordability as prices were broadly flat while mortgage costs declined. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

BC sales boom to new record for March

Sales of homes in British Columbia were up 38 per cent in March compared to a year earlier to hit a record 12,500 units sold through the MLS and it’s not just Vancouver that’s booming.

"Housing demand has never been stronger in the province," said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. "Most large population centres of the province are now experiencing record levels of housing demand."

However, listings are well behind demand with many parts of the province reporting their lowest inventory in a decade.

Year-to-date figures show a 70.1 per cent rise in sales in dollar terms to $21.59 billion with the average MLS price up 22.2 per cent to $770,408. Sales are up 39.2 per cent to 28,028 units. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Condo investment sector remains stable – CMHC

The latest study by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. uncovered that the condo investment sector remained stable in the first quarter of 2016, amid record-breaking transaction volumes in the country’s most active markets during the same period.

According to the CMHC, a main driver of the phenomenon is the growing number of condo investors that purchase multiple properties to eventually profit from the leading markets’ high-end prices and rental income. The proportion of investors in Toronto and Vancouver who have purchased at least two additional units apart from their own condos shot up by almost 13 per cent from 2014.

As reported by The Globe and Mail, the CMHC survey—which looked into more than 42,000 owners in Toronto and Vancouver—found that fully 25 per cent of condo investors own at least two units, and nearly 10 per cent said that they have ownership of three or more units.

Meanwhile, around 50 per cent of condo investors in the two cities said that their investment units were for rental income purposes. Over half of condo investors carry mortgages on their investment units, the survey added.

These developments came in the wake of the massively increased number of housing starts in both metropolitan areas, which the CMHC report attributed to an intensified demand for condos and apartments. Vancouver starts grew on a year-over-year basis from 13,400 to 37,000; Toronto starts doubled to 43,000 during the same period.

Building permits up 15.5 per cent in February

Statistics Canada says that municipalities issued building permits worth $7.4 billion in February, a rise of 15.5 per cent from January.

Residential permits were up 5 per cent to $4.2 billion with single-family dwellings up 9.6 per cent to $2.4 billion. Non-residential permits were up by a third to $3.2 billion.

Alberta led the gains with commercial sector permits. For residential it was Ontario that saw the largest gains, for single-family homes. 


source: Mortgagebrokersnews.ca

Friday, April 1, 2016

Scarborough Town Centre Condo Just Listed!

Hot new listing! 1+1 bedroom Scarborough Town centre condo! Great location just steps from town centre, subway,401 and all amenities. Great for first time buyer. Excellent facilities in building. Offered at $258,000. Call or msg me for info.




Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hot New Commercial Retail Listing on busy Sheppard Ave W. near Allen Rd. Great location! Main floor retail in a condo building. High density location. 1748 Square Feet which can be divided into two units. Good Space For Professional Office,Medical Office,Pharmacy,Retail Store,Hair Salon & More. Clean Unit With Good Visibility. Flexible Lease Terms With Good Rental Rate And Option To Renew. Call or msg me for more info. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hot New Condo Listing Located in Prime East York Area near Broadview and Danforth. Over 1000 Sq ft with 1+1 bdrms. Call or msg me for info.



ListRealEstate Hot New Weekly Market Pick!
Great Wexford Bungalow under 600k. Priced to move quickly! 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, finished basement with separate entrance. Call or msg me for more info


Saturday, March 19, 2016

March 2016 Toronto Real Estate News

The real estate market in Toronto continues to perform well and surprises all the analysts again. In February 2016 there were 7,621 transactions reported. This result represents a 21.1 per cent increase in sales compared to February 2015. The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System was also up on a year over-year basis, but by a lesser 8.2 per cent. The fact that the annual rate of sales growth outstripped the annual rate of new listings growth shows a tightening of market conditions compared to last year. Even after accounting for the leap year day, sales were above the previous record for February set back in 2010. Sales were up strongly from the 15th day of the month onward as well, despite the new federal mortgage lending guidelines coming into effect that require at least a 10 per cent down payment on the portion of purchase prices between $500,000 and $1,000,000. Seller’s market conditions continued throughout the GTA in February. Strong competition between buyers resulted in a healthy growth in selling prices. The average selling price was up by 14.9 per cent annually to $685,278. Recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos suggested that GTA households will remain upbeat about purchasing a home in 2016. Early sales results for January and February certainly support this view. With strong sales up against a constrained supply of listings, home prices continued to trend strongly upward. In 2016 I expect for the average price in Toronto to increase between 7% to 10% depending on the location. The market now is a strong sellers market as the supply of inventory is still limited. In the coming weeks and months we expect more listings to come on the market and more selection of homes for buyers. With it being a very competitive you absolutely need to ensure you have a strong experienced Realtor representing you. A Realtor who knows the pulse of the market and knows how to play the real estate game. Otherwise as a buyer you will have a very difficult time buying. For sellers, if you are planning a move this year now is a great time to look at preparing your home and getting it on the market. 

As always if you are planning a move and would like to discuss your goals feel welcome to call me at 416-856-5408 or email me at aprasoulis@gmail.com. Have a great March! 

Click below to see the Toronto Real Estate Board Market Watch Video

- See more at: http://www.ilisttorontohomes.com/March-2016-Real-Estate-Report#sthash.wcrbWg9s.dpuf

Friday, November 1, 2013

What to Look For When Hiring A Realtor

Many consumers do not know what to look for when they begin their search for a Realtor. Here are some of the key things to look for:

Large or Small Company? - Some consumers will automatically assume calling a Realtor from a large company is the best option. This is not necessarily the case.  Although it's important to have a Realtor who is with a reputable company representing you, the size of the company does not always play a role. Most Realtors are using the Toronto Real Estate Board's MLS system to market their listings.  All Realtors that are part of the Toronto Real Estate Board co-operate with each other on sales, so all Realtors have access to all the listings and all the property information whether they are with a large company or small company. Sometimes the smaller companies with less volume actually have more time to service clients and offer more personalized service as opposed to larger companies which have many clients to service and could get bogged down.

Time and Expertise - One of the most important factors when choosing a Realtor is to choose a Realtor that has the time to service your needs as well as the experience to make the process go smoothly. A full time Realtor is usually the best choice.  A full time Realtor is more active in the marketplace and is on top of the pulse of the market. A full time Realtor will also be available for you all the time and can provide valuable resources such as lawyers, home inspectors, and contractors which can assist you with your move. There are many part-time agents in the industry that sell real estate as a hobby so be very cautious in order to ensure your Realtor has the time and expertise to represent you effectively.

Personal Connection - You should interview your potential Realtor carefully and get to know the Realtor you are looking to choose. Make sure you can trust your Realtor and you feel comfortable talking to them. It is important to be open with your Realtor and be able to tell them exactly what your thoughts and needs are.  Buying or selling a home can be an emotional experience so you want to ensure you have the right connection with your Realtor.

Location, Location - If you are looking to purchase or sell a home in a particular neighborhood, a great option is to find a Realtor who is local and specializes in that area.  Although with technology these days Realtors are becoming well versed in handling a wider demographical area, it still helps to find someone who has a consistent presence in a particular neighbourhood and knows the area you are interested in.  They will generally have the right market insight and knowledge that you need.

The right tech tools - The Internet is a huge marketing tool these days, and if your agent does not have an up-to-date website, a smart phone, or a social media presence, chances are they could be missing out on potential networking opportunities, business, and vital information. Ask how your Realtor stays on top of the market and clients' needs.

After Closing/Follow Up - After you have bought or sold your home with your new Realtor and the deal has closed, issues and items that need to be addressed after the closing can occur.  A good Realtor will have a follow up program in place to ensure that you are happy with the service and there are no issues after the move has taken place.  A good Realtor will also keep in touch with you and continue a relationship with you after the deal on your new property has closed.  





 

Bank of Canada Releases Monetary Policy Report on October 23, 2013


  • The global economy is expected to expand modestly in 2013. However, its near-term dynamic has changed and the composition of growth is now slightly less favourable for Canada.
  • The U.S. economy is softer than expected. But as fiscal headwinds dissipate and household deleveraging ends, growth should accelerate through 2014 and 2015.
  • Overall, the global economy is projected to grow by 2.8 per cent in 2013 and accelerate to 3.4 per cent in 2014 and 3.6 per cent in 2015.
  • In Canada, uncertain global and domestic economic conditions are delaying the pick-up in exports and business investment. This leaves the level of economic activity lower than the Bank had been expecting.
  • While household spending remains solid, slower growth of household credit and higher mortgage interest rates point to a gradual unwinding of household imbalances.
  • The Bank expects that a better balance between domestic and foreign demand will be achieved over time and that growth will become more self-sustaining. But this will take longer than previously projected.
  • Real GDP growth is projected to increase from 1.6 per cent this year to 2.3 per cent next year and 2.6 per cent in 2015. The Bank expects that the economy will return gradually to full production capacity, around the end of 2015.
  • Inflation in Canada has remained low in recent months, reflecting the significant slack in the economy, heightened competition in the retail sector, and other sector-specific factors.
  • With larger and more persistent excess supply in the economy, both total CPI and core inflation are expected to return more gradually to 2 per cent, around the end of 2015.
  • The outlook for inflation is subject to several risks emanating from both the external important that we are not just aware of these risks, but that we also take them on board as we consider the appropriate course for monetary policy.
  • We have identified two important external risks. An upside risk to inflation in Canada that emanates from the external environment is the risk of more-robust economic growth than projected in the advanced economies. Greater global demand would in turn translate into higher exports for Canada and rising commodity prices, which would support higher incomes and spending.
  • A second important external risk is a more protracted and difficult euro-area recovery. Since Canada’s direct trade links to the euro area are limited, the effects would be felt mainly through confidence and financial channels, as well as through indirect trade links.
  • We have also identified three important domestic risks.
  • First, there is a possibility that, for a given projection for global growth, exports could be even weaker than assumed. This is a risk that could materialize if competitiveness challenges were greater than anticipated and would result in an even larger loss of market share.
  • Second, there is a risk on the upside that, as confidence returns, domestic momentum builds faster than expected. Once the recovery in foreign demand becomes more solidly entrenched, and with domestic demand continuing to grow at a moderate pace, business sentiment could improve rapidly.
  • The third important domestic risk remains a disorderly unwinding of household sector imbalances, which are still elevated. The continued slowing in household credit and the rise in mortgage interest rates point to a gradual unwinding of household imbalances, but recent data suggest some risk of renewed momentum in the housing market.
  • Although the Bank considers the risks around its projected inflation path to be balanced, the fact that inflation has been persistently below target means that downside risks to inflation assume increasing importance. However, the Bank must also take into consideration the risk of exacerbating already-elevated household imbalances.
  • Weighing these considerations, the Bank judges that the substantial monetary policy stimulus currently in place remains appropriate and today decided to maintain the target for the overnight rate at 1 per cent.

 

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

GTA REALTORS® Release Condo Report


October 16, 2013 -- Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,307 condominium apartment transactions through the TorontoMLS system in the third quarter of 2013. This result was up by 18 per cent in comparison to 4,498 condominium apartment sales reported for the third quarter of 2012. In the City of Toronto, which accounted for 72 per cent of condominium apartment transactions, sales were up by 19.5 per cent.

“The Echo Generation wants to live close to where they work and play. It makes sense that they have turned to condominium apartments as they have moved into home ownership. Many condominium apartments in the GTA are characterized by their proximity to a diversity of employment, transportation and leisure alternatives,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

“A growing number of buyers have restarted their search for a condominium apartment since the summer. Despite the onset of stricter lending guidelines, buyers have found that home ownership remains affordable,” continued Ms. Usher.

The average selling price for condominium apartments in the third quarter of 2013 was $340,069 – up almost two per cent in comparison to the average of $333,846 in the third quarter of 2012.

“We experienced a moderate annual rate of increase in the average condo price. However, while condo sales were up, listings were down in the third quarter. If this trend continues, it could point to increased competition between condo buyers and an uptick in the pace of price growth moving forward,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

5 Things to consider when buying a resale home

The decision to buy a resale home is one of the most important ones your family will ever make. In order to be properly protected, here are 5 things to consider:
 
1. What information is the seller providing in advance?
Sellers used to provide property disclosure statements, telling buyers in advance about the condition of their homes and disclosing problems. Lawyers told them not to do this anymore, because of the potential for lawsuits. Some sellers are now conducting home inspections by a professional home inspection company before they list the property for sale and are giving a copy of the report to any buyer. This has proven to be a benefit to a seller, since they can correct any deficiencies noted by the inspector so they do not have to negotiate with the buyer later after the buyer conducts their own home inspection. Some sellers are also providing home history reports, which can be obtained from homeverified.com or Iverify.com which indicate whether the home has been the subject of an insurance claim for water, fire, flood or sewage backup, and whether the home was ever listed as a grow house or meth lab. The more information a buyer has in advance, the more informed their purchase decision. Still, even with this information, buyers should complete their own home inspection before committing to any purchase.
 
2. Ask the seller hard questions
Ask the sellers or their agent if they have had basement flooding problems, or mould or roof leaks, even if the leaks have been repaired, or any other adverse neighbourhood conditions, whether it is a suicide or murder in the home, or a half way house down the street. Watch how they answer. Sellers are required to respond truthfully to these questions if you ask them directly. If the seller refuses to answer or acts suspiciously, then you need to discuss this with your home inspector and your real estate agent and either adjust your purchase offer or walk away.
 
3. Check with the neighbours
During your home inspection, or before you put an offer in the first place, walk around the neighbourhood and ask the neighbours about the house you are interested and the neighbourhood itself.
 
4. Include the right additional clauses
Make sure that everything you expect to receive on closing is included in your offer. This includes mirrors, closet organizers, window coverings and TV brackets. Ask for 2 complete sets of keys, to get into the home and garage, especially if it is a condominium unit.
 
5. Make sure you can afford it
Get qualified in advance by a professional mortgage broker or your bank so that you know how much you can safely borrow. Make sure your lender will complete their appraisal of the property before you waive any financing condition. Be careful about getting caught up in a bidding war, because if your lender thinks you paid too much, they will not lend you what you may be expecting.
By following these tips, you should be better protected the next time you buy a home.