Tuesday, 26 November 2013

REALTORS® play a key role bridging the gap between the emotional and the practical financial considerations

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and REALTORS® discuss homebuyers’ financial literacy
Toronto, ON – November 26, 2013 – Earlier today, REALTORS® hosted Lucie Tedesco, Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) at a roundtable to discuss Canadian homebuyers’ financial literacy.
Enhancing Canadians’ financial literacy is a priority shared by the federal government and REALTORS®. Today’s roundtable with the Commissioner allowed representatives from The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) to share research and experiences with homebuyers’ financial preparedness with representatives from FCAC.
“The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is committed to helping Canadians make responsible financial decisions,” stated Lucie Tedesco, Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. “Our collaboration with REALTORS® does just that, by providing information that helps consumers better understand the costs of buying a home.”
A 2012 Nanos Research1 study, commissioned by CREA, found that more than 63% of respondents indicated a “major need” for more information about the financial details of buying a home.  That figure rose to over 70% when considering respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 only. Further, 86% believed that Canadians would benefit from a toolkit that would help them better understand the financial aspects relative to the purchase of a home2.
“Buying a home is an intensely personal – and sometimes emotional – decision.  REALTORS® play a key role bridging the gap between the emotional and the practical financial considerations,” said Laura Leyser, President of CREA. “By providing Canadians with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible home buying decisions, financial literacy contributes to the long-term stability of the housing market”
As a result, FCAC and CREA joined efforts in 2012 to develop and launch the Homebuyers’ Road Map, providing first-time homebuyers the tools needed to make a responsible financial decision about one of the largest purchases they will make in their lifetimes.
“REALTORS® are on the front lines of financial literacy every day, helping potential buyers understand the financial implications of home ownership,” said Phil Dorner, President of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “Canadians, particularly younger buyers, crave information about the financial details of buying a home.”
One year after the official launch of the Homebuyers’ Road Map, representatives from the real estate profession met with FCAC to share feedback from those who work closest with buyers and sellers, in order to amplify the efforts undertaken to date.
“The Homebuyers’ Road Map arms REALTORS® with an educational resource to help Canadians make responsible decisions about one of the largest purchases most will ever make – buying or selling real estate,” shared Dianne Usher, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.
The Homebuyers’ Road Map is available online at http://crea.ca/sites/default/files/Homebuyers_Road_Map_EN.pdf.

Friday, 22 November 2013

A balanced and stable real estate market is a crucial pillar of a strong economy

       
Remarks by Gary Simonsen, CEO of The Canadian Real Estate Association
House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance
Ottawa, Ontario November 19th, 2013
Speaking Notes – Check against delivery.
Good morning and thank you Mr. Chair. On behalf of our over 100,000 REALTOR® members, I would like to thank the committee for the invitation.
Like MPs, our members’ work connects them to the community. And similarly, our goal is to make communities across Canada better, safer and stronger.
Our recommendations carefully consider the fiscal limits of the current economic environment and can be implemented at little or no net cost, while delivering economic spin-off benefits and creating jobs. A balanced and stable real estate market is a crucial pillar of a strong economy. This year, resale housing transactions will generate an estimated $22.3 billion in consumer spin-off spending and create more than 175,000 jobs.
Buying a home is the largest financial decision most Canadians will make in their lives. Increasing their financial understanding about this purchase is a crucial component of long-term housing market stability. This is why we have taken an active interest in financial literacy and collaborated with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada on the Homebuyers’ Road Map.
One of the most important government measures that supports responsible home ownership is the Home Buyers’ Plan. According to a recent Nanos Research survey, 65.5% of Canadians believe the Home Buyers’ Plan is valuable tool for Canadians interested in buying a home.
The Plan allows homebuyers to borrow up to $25,000 from their RRSP for a down payment. Since its implementation in 1992, the Plan has made homeownership a more affordable reality for over 2.6 million Canadians.
Unfortunately, inflation is slowly eroding the Plan’s purchasing power. A homebuyer today is receiving $1,600 less value from the Plan than a homebuyer in 2009. By 2015, this loss in value will hit almost $2,500. This is why we are asking for the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit to be indexed in $2,500 increments to the Consumer Price Index. Over time, this will maintain – not increase – the Plan’s buying power.
Importantly, there is no cost associated with this recommendation until 2016, at which time the cost would be $7.5 million.
We also share the view that vulnerable Canadians should be supported with the Home Buyers’ Plan. Allowing its use after job relocation, the death of a spouse, a marital breakdown or to accommodate an elderly family member would help individuals maintain homeownership through significant life changes by easing affordability concerns. This responds to a need we have heard expressed at this table during our last pre-budget consultation appearance and by our members. This proposal meets that need by allowing Canadians to borrow from their own savings rather than depend on government funding.
Finally, to encourage community reinvestment, small investors should be allowed to defer recapture of previously claimed depreciation (technically known as Capital Cost Allowance recapture) on income properties – a benefit similar to one large developers already enjoy.
Allowing this deferral for those who choose to reinvest proceeds of sale into a new building would unleash a chain reaction of economic, environmental and community renewal benefits.
Third-party costing research demonstrates the net cost of this proposal is only $12 million in the first year, and would be net revenue positive in year two, since Capital Gains Tax will be collected on the increased value of any properties using this deferral.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Tight commerical inventory levels

Tight commercial inventory levels impede sales activity in most major Canadian real estate markets, says RE/MAX

October, 29, 2013
Mississauga, ON (October 29, 2013) – While unprecedented levels of demand have been reported for commercial real estate in key Canadian markets this year, a shortage of available product continues to hamper sales activity virtually across the board, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.
Commercial Investor Reports
British Columbia
Greater Vanvouver
Alberta Edmonton
Calgary
Saskatchewan Regina
Manitoba Winnipeg
Nova Scotia Halifax  
Newfoundland and Labrador St. John's
The 2013 RE/MAX Commercial Investor Report, highlighting trends and developments in 11 major centres across Canada, found that commercial inventory remained scarce during the first half of the year, particularly in the multi-unit residential, industrial, and retail sectors.  Sales softened in 73 per cent of markets examined between January and June 2013 in response to dwindling supply.  Hamilton-Burlington, St. John's and Calgary bucked the trend, reporting a 15 per cent, 10 per cent and eight per cent increase respectively in the number of commercial units sold.   Dollar volumes have declined in tandem, with the exception of the Greater Toronto Area—where RealNet reports volume is up almost 28 per cent over last year's levels to $7.7 billion—Hamilton-Burlington and Winnipeg.  Despite some pullback by large institutional investors (REITs and pension funds), smaller investors and end users have been particularly active, fuelling demand for industrial product, multi-unit residential product—on both a large and small scale basis—and retail storefront.
"There's a lot of money chasing a limited supply of commercial product, be it multi-unit residential, industrial, or retail storefront," says Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President, Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.  "In some areas of the country, we're seeing unsolicited offers on product not available for sale—often well above market value.  Demand has placed serious upward pressure on price in most markets and contributed to lower cap rates across all asset classes.  Looking forward, little is expected to change heading into 2014, which makes inventory the ultimate wildcard in commercial performance." 
The report identified two major drivers responsible for the upswing in demand for commercial properties—the combination of historically low interest rates and relatively solid economic performance.  Over the past two quarters, Gross Domestic Product has risen on a national basis by 2.2 and 1.7 per cent respectively.  The Bank of Canada is expecting third quarter performance to hover between two and 2.5 per cent.  That's translated into renewed confidence from a business perspective and provided the catalyst necessary to renew market activity.
"Risk aversion appears to be behind the thrust for commercial product, with owner-operators now investing in themselves," says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada.  "Rather than pay rising office, industrial or residential rental rates, end users are competing against small and large investors for prime commercial buildings.  The trend is especially evident in terms of demand for industrial real estate where a limited supply of product has generated the lofty prices now attached to that sector."
Tight market conditions were noted for industrial product in 91 per cent of markets (10/11) examined in the RE/MAX report.  Owner-operators were exceptionally active in major centres, with most seeking out buildings under 10,000 sq. ft.  Strong demand fueled price increases across the board, with the most pronounced appreciation occurring in Regina, where the price per acre of industrial land almost doubled between 2008 and 2013.
The report also found that the market for retail product, including storefront, strip plazas, and malls, continued to be characterized by solid demand, with close to 82 per cent of major centres (9/11) noting an upswing in activity.  Supply was of particular concern in trendy, urban cores.  Strong retail expansion—underway in centres across the country—supports ongoing demand, given the influx of American and international brands to the Canadian marketplace.  Their presence has increased competition, along with the desire for increased visibility and a stronger footprint in the marketplace.  Ongoing residential construction has also provided a boost, giving rise to a growing number of box stores, power centres, outlets and strip plazas in newer communities throughout the nation.
Multi-unit residential remained a perennial favourite, with virtually all markets reporting consistent demand.  End users were also extremely active, enticed by the opportunity to live in their investment, while at the same time securing a steady income stream.  The appeal of this segment was universal in nature.  From small to mid-market purchasers, right up to large institutional investors, buyers were keen to get a piece of this segment.  However, inventory proved particularly elusive.  The lack of new rental construction in many markets has created a bottleneck in demand versus sales, and the stark reality is few owners are listing existing product.
"Those with commercial holdings have sent a clear message," says Sandhu.  "They're essentially saying, 'we have a good thing going, and we're not willing to part with it.'  For love or for money, owners are holding firm and it's creating a real challenge in the marketplace.  A serious portion of commercial sales are exclusive—that's been the case for years—but as demand has risen, it's made navigating the market increasingly difficult, especially for those with a lighter portfolio.  Yet, buyers remain undaunted.  In what many have traditionally considered a 'big fish' game, more and more individuals are making the foray into the market—a reflection of confidence, climate and a new investor mindset." 
While most segments of the market remain fairly vibrant, the report found that inventory has been quietly building in Canada's office segment.  New construction and, in some cases, consolidation of space among existing tenants has resulted in rising vacancy rates.  While values have held relatively firm so far this year, some softening of lease rates is possible should the current trend continue.  Land sales—especially on the residential end—have also trended downward in 2013, in tandem with housing starts which are off last year's pace by 15 per cent.  Although major players continue to step up to the plate to secure favourable positioning down the road, some developers have clearly scaled back.
"On the whole, Canada's commercial market is quite sound," notes Ash.  "The majority of investors—both local and those from abroad—seem intent on long-term holds which, despite the supply issue, always bodes well for stability.  Our major centres are redefining themselves through revitalization and exciting new projects, and we're raising our profile in the process.  Population growth and increased density will absolutely necessitate further evolution and place greater pressure on commercial product down the road.  Future prospects, combined with current market realities—such as weak returns in other investment classes—have all but made commercial real estate a darling among investors."
RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 19,000 sales associates located in 750 independently-owned and operated offices nationwide.  The RE/MAX network, now in its 40th year, is a global real estate system operating in more than 90 countries, with over 6,300 independently-owned offices and more than 89,500 member sales associates.  RE/MAX associates lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, and asset management.  For more information, visit: www.remax.ca

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Are you still renting? Thinking of buying? Which is better?


Renting vs. Buying, which is better?

One thing is for sure; we all know that we need a roof over our head. In most people’s case they end up having to pay either Rent for this roof or a Mortgage payment, unless of course you have a rich family that can offer you FREE or Reduced Rent. The point is, we ALL have to pay for a roof over our heads.

Real Estate has always been considered a Long-Term Investment. The real question you need to ask yourself; do I really want to pay RENT for the rest of my life? Generally, a home makes financial sense if you are going to live in it for at least three, four, or preferably five years. When you buy you need to take into consideration the costs involved in buying and selling a home, from appraisal fees and home inspection to real estate commissions, all must be taken into consideration.

When people lose money in the real estate market it is usually because they did not own it long enough, they sold to quickly. This usually means within the first 3 years of the purchase. You cannot depend on making any real profit in real estate in the first 3 years. In fact, the market may fall after you buy your home. However, also keep in mind; the longer you own your property, history has shown us, you can be sure it will have increased in value when you come to sell.

Real estate has proven to be one of the most stable long-term investments there is. It is your guarantee of retirement security. Overall, it is far better to own your own home than rent. Not only for the pride of ownership but because it is your only long-term hedge against inflation. With rental rates increase constantly, there is no guarantee you will be able to afford them as the years go by.

Give us a call and let us help you make home ownership possible!

Kevin & Faye Kitzman
Sales Representatives
Remax Real Estate Centres
519-577-0603

Friday, 20 September 2013

Are you House Rich and Cash Poor?

According to Statistics Canada, about one-quarter of Canadians are spending too much on housing costs. “Too much” is defined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as 30% or more of household income. Are you house rich and cash poor?

 

With time winding down to get in on some of the best mortgage rates in Canadian history, consumers pulled the trigger on purchases and in the process seemed to have turned around the housing market.
First off, it’s important to understand what CMHC’s “household income” refers to in order to measure if you are over or under the suggested 30% threshold. They define household income as pre-tax household income, which is a questionable metric due to our tax code.
We have a graduated tax system in Canada where every taxpayer files their own tax return, so there can be a big difference in after-tax income between two households with identical household incomes. A household where two people are earning $50,000 each in Ontario, for example, has after-tax income of about $75,840. A household where one person is earning $100,000 – the same gross income as the $50,000 times 2 household – has only $69,841 of after-tax income. That’s a difference of about 8%, so not immaterial.
What are “housing costs”? According to CMHC, these costs include rent and utilities for renters. For homeowners, included are mortgage payments, property taxes, condo fees and utilities.
Several factors are ignored by the 30% rule of thumb. What if a couple has two cars and they drive long distances to work, so transportation costs are higher than a couple with no cars? What if they have kids? They’re not cheap either.
With young couples, they’re often wondering if they can afford their dream home – without breaking the bank. Taking on a bigger house and a bigger mortgage can limit other things which may or may not be important. Retirement savings might need to be scaled back, but what about living for today? Big mortgage payments might make a family think twice about a vacation they might otherwise enjoy (or need).


Not surprisingly, a lot of Baby Boomers are considering a downsize of their home. In some cases, it’s because people have more house than they need once the kids grow up and move out. In others, it’s because they live in an expensive city like Vancouver and a move outside the city can help pad retirement savings.
Either way, young or old, upsize or downsize, housing costs represent a large component of household spending and a large proportion of household net worth. It’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of moving up or cashing out.
One thing I always emphasize is that rules of thumb need to be taken with a grain of salt. They can be quite deceiving and lead people to make imprudent decisions. Just because a bank approves you for a mortgage, it doesn’t mean you’re wise to take it on. And just because CMHC suggests a 30% target for your housing costs as a proportion of your household income, it doesn’t necessarily constitute sound personal financial planning – especially when today’s interest rates and the resulting mortgage payments are artificially low.
*Source Jason Heath- Financial Post

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Fall Cleaning Checklist- Inside and Outside your Home.

Fall Cleaning Checklist

As leaves start to fly, revisit your spring cleaning list and add a few seasonal extras to prepare your house for the winter.


Inside Your House

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Outside Your House

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Thursday, 15 August 2013

Are you worried about the housing market?

Worried about the housing market? Five strategies for peace of mind Add to ...

 
Here are five strategies that can help you keep your peace of mind amid the uncertainty over the direction of the housing market.
1. Plan to live in your home for at least 10 years.
Housing forecasts range from a soft landing to a hard decline – and then there are the dreamers who believe prices won’t ever stop rising. What all these views have in common is that they target the near to medium term. If you’re planning to stay put in your current home for 10 years, you have a good chance seeing the market recover from any declines to come and begin the next up-leg. Warning: The Toronto market took a few more years than that to get back to its 1989 price peak. Then, however, it took off like a rocket.
Here’s another good reason to live in a house for at least a decade. No matter what happens in housing, it’s unlikely that prices will rise as they did in the past 10 years. You’ll have to build equity the old fashioned way – by living in your house and paying your mortgage.
2. Make lump-sum mortgage prepayments.
Money you use to pay down a mortgage goes directly against your outstanding balance, which means it increases your equity and lowers your total interest cost. Adding to your equity is an important benefit at a time when the market value of your home could decline.
Don’t feel discouraged if you lack the money for a big prepayment, say $1,000 or more. Most lenders allow “double-up payments,” which means you can add as much as a whole extra payment in any month you want. Some will lenders allow a payment as small as $100. Still considering what to do with your tax refund? Put it right into your mortgage.
3. Save for a 20-per-cent down payment.
Tough to do, no question. The average Toronto home cost $526,335 in April – a down payment of 5 per cent would run you $26,317, while 20 per cent would cost a massive $105,267. The average national price was $380,588 in April, so a 20-per-cent down payment would come to $76,118.
One benefit of the 20-per-cent down payment is that you start your home ownership experience with a serious chunk of equity. If you go in at 5 per cent, a few bad months for the real estate market could leave you owing more than the market value of your home. One more benefit of a down payment of 20 per cent or more is that you save the cost of mortgage default insurance. The insurance premium is generally added to the amount you borrow, which means you pay interest on it.
4. Take a 10-year mortgage.
It’s unlikely, though not impossible, that a 10-year mortgage at 3.69 per cent will turn out to be the lowest-cost option in terms of interest cost. Five year mortgages can be had for 2.79 per cent today, while a good one-year rate is 2.4 to 2.6 per cent. So why use a 10-year mortgage? To wall yourself off from the market for a full decade. If the economy surges and rates rise, you’re covered. Same goes if the housing market tanks and lenders get nervous about their mortgage portfolios.
I wrote about something called renewal risk in a recent column you can check out here. Basically, it refers to the risk that a lender stressed by falling house prices might want to requalify you at renewal time to ensure your income and debt levels are in balance with what you owe. If not, you might not get a tip-top mortgage rate discount, or in an absolute worst-case scenario, have your renewal declined. (Let’s be clear that you’re only at risk if you made a down payment of 20 per cent or more on your home, which means mortgage default insurance wasn’t required.)
Lenders now leave clients alone as long as they’re making their payments on time, and some say renewal risk is way overblown. But if you have any worries about losing your job or having your hours cut back, a 10-year mortgage buys you some privacy. You won’t have to talk to a lender until 2023.
5. Rent
Yes, it’s tough to find decent digs in big cities, where monthly rents are high and units are scarce. But in Toronto, at least, a projected decline in the condo market would be good news for renters.
A serene outlook on housing comes from being prepared for all outcomes, from a soft landing to a sharp decline. Prepare your mind, and your mortgage.

 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The best kept secrets for Getting your house sold!

10 Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

Tricks of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home.

Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.Selling Secret #9: Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy. Selling Secret #8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable. Selling Secret #7: Play the agent field
A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold.Selling Secret #6: Conceal the critters
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.
Selling Secret #5: Don’t over-upgrade
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.Selling Secret #3: The kitchen comes first
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen. Selling Secret #2: Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be "show-ready" at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever *Source HGTV 
Kevin & Faye Kitzman
Sales Representatives
Remax Real Estate Centre
Direct : 519-577-0603
 
 
Faye Kitzman
Mortgage Agent
Mortgage Intelligence
519-588-0141
M08003930

Monday, 15 July 2013

Canadian Home sales improve in June- according to statistics released by CREA

Canadian home sales improve in June               
Ottawa, ON, July 15, 2013 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales rose in June 2013, building on gains recorded over the previous three months. 
Highlights:
  • National home sales rose 3.3% from May to June.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 0.6% below levels in June 2012.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.5% from May to June.
  • The Canadian housing market has tightened but remains in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price rose 4.8% on a year-over-year basis in June.
  • The MLS® HPI rose 2.3% year-over-year in June.
The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of real estate Boards and Associations and other cooperative listing systems in Canada rose 3.3 per cent on a month-over-month basis in June 2013. This marks the fourth consecutive monthly increase, with activity now running 11 per cent above where it stood in February.
Home sales improved in two-thirds of all local markets in June, including almost all large urban markets. The biggest gains were reported in Victoria, Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Montreal.
“For the second month in a row, sales improved in the majority of local markets,” said CREA President Laura Leyser. “Whether those gains reflect temporary factors or a fundamental improvement after a slow start to the year really depends on where you are. Your REALTOR® is your best resource for understanding what’s driving the local housing market where you live or might like to.”
“Increases in mortgage interest rates likely prompted some buyers with pre-approved mortgages to jump off the sidelines and into the market in June, particularly in larger, more expensive urban markets where affordability is strained,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “We have seen this happen before. If fixed mortgage rates continue holding where they are or edge slightly higher, sales may ebb over the summer and early autumn, with slightly higher borrowing costs picking up where the finance minister left off last year to keep the housing market in check.”
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 0.6 per cent below levels reported in June 2012. When compared to year-ago levels, the number of local markets was split evenly between those with year-over-year declines and those that posted gains in June. Greater Toronto and Montreal remain below year-ago levels, although their declines continue to shrink. Meanwhile, sales in Greater Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton were up compared to last June.
chart of interest01 (E)Some 240,068 homes have traded hands across the country so far this year. That stands 6.9 per cent below levels in the first half of 2012, when mortgage rules and guidelines had not yet been tightened. While the gap between sales this year and last year is expected to diminish, annual sales are still expected to fall short of last year’s total.
The number of newly listed homes edged down 0.5 per cent on a month-over-month basis in June. New listings rose in a number of Canada’s most active markets including Greater Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, and Quebec City. This was offset by a decline in new listings in a number of other large urban centres including the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Greater Toronto, London & St. Thomas, Montreal and Fredericton.
With sales activity up and new listings down, the national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 53.8 per cent in June from 51.8 per cent in May, but remains firmly rooted in balanced market territory where it has been since early 2010. Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 to 60 per cent, two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in June.
The number of months of inventory is another important measure of balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
The number of months of inventory also indicates that Canada’s housing market remains balanced. There were 6.1 months of inventory at the end of June 2013, down slightly from 6.3 months at the end of May.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in June 2013 was $386,585, an increase of 4.8 per cent from the same month last year.
“Just as declines in the national average price at this time last year reflected a drop in sales activity in some of Canada’s most expensive housing markets, much of the increase in the national average price in May and June can be attributed to recovering demand in those same markets, particularly Greater Vancouver,” Klump said. “A better gauge of what’s going on with prices is the MLS® Home Price Index, which is not affected by changes in the mix of sales the way the average price is. The index shows year-over-year price growth stabilizing at a rate barely ahead of inflation.”
natl_chart_of_interest03_hi-res_enThe Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose 2.3 per cent compared to June 2012. Year-over-year growth in the MLS® HPI had been slowing since late 2011, but has held steady near its current rate for four months. Year-over-year price growth picked up for two-storey single family homes (+3.0 per cent) but slowed for all other Benchmark property types tracked by the index. Prices for one-storey single family homes were up 3.1 per cent yea-rover-year in June, followed by townhouse/row units (+1.6 per cent), and apartment units (+0.4 per cent).
Year-over-year price growth in the MLS® HPI was mixed across the markets tracked by the index.
- 30 -
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national MLS® sales information from the previous month.
CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.
MLS® is a co-operative marketing system used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 106,000 REALTORS® working through more than 90 real estate Boards and Associations.
Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.


Kevin & Faye Kitzman

Sales Representatives

Remax Real Estate Centre

Direct : 519-577-0603



 


 

Faye Kitzman

Mortgage Agent

Mortgage Intelligence

519-588-0141


M08003930

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Using a Professional Real Estate Agent has its benefits.

Your real estate agent can find what may be hidden

Advice about the home, neighbourhood just a few things they offer

   
 
You are entitled to be your own real estate agent, but using a professional has benefits.

You are entitled to be your own real estate agent, but using a professional has benefits.
   
Q: I walked through an open house and would like to make an offer on the place.
I am not currently working with a real estate agent. Do I have to use the seller’s representative, or can I represent myself?
A: As a home buyer who has not signed a representation or service agreement (a contract between a buyer and a brokerage), you have three options: work with the seller’s representative, seek out a different real estate professional to work with, or represent yourself.
The benefits of working with a registered real estate professional include knowledge, experience, accountability and the availability of consumer deposit protection.
Your registered real estate professional will be able to provide guidance and advice about the condition of the home, share information about the neighbourhood, help in the negotiation process and navigate you through the legal paperwork.
Additionally, they may guide you to other properties that are even better suited to your needs than the original home you saw.
In a typical real estate transaction where both the buyer and the seller have representation, the seller pays the commission to both the listing real estate brokerage and the buyer’s real estate brokerage. In most instances, there is no additional cost to the buyer.
If you choose to be represented by the same real estate professional as the seller, both you and the seller will need to provide written consent for that scenario.
Joseph Richer is registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He is in charge of the administration and enforcement of all rules that govern real estate professionals in Ontario. You can find more tips at reco.on.ca, follow on Twitter @RECOhelps or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RECOhelps .

Friday, 28 June 2013

Why you should hire The Kitzman Team as YOUR REALTOR®?

Q: Why should I hire a REALTOR®?
You're trusting a REALTOR® with your most valuable possession, your home. REALTORS® take this responsibility very seriously. Here's what we promise you:
  1. Your REALTOR® is a trained professional

    REALTORS® take extensive pre-licensing courses in order to obtain credentials for practicing in real estate.
  2. Your REALTOR® is continuously trained

    REALTORS® keep pace with the times by taking continuing education courses to upgrade their knowledge on a broad range of real estate related issues in order to be able to continue to provide consumers with current advice.
  3. Your REALTOR® does everything by the book

    A REALTOR® must be registered under provincial laws that govern exactly how real estate can and cannot be traded. These regulations are your legal guarantee of professional behavior.
  4. Your REALTOR® is an ethical businessperson

    REALTORS® must adhere to the extensive Code of Ethics of the Canadian Real Estate Association. Several provinces have additional codes of ethics governing real estate professionals. Your interests must always be put first.
  5. Opportunity for recourse

    Should you have concerns about the professional behavior of a REALTOR®, provincial regulators and your local real estate board or association take these matters very seriously and work quickly to resolve any issues.
  6. Your REALTOR® has access to a local Board's MLS® System

    A Board's MLS® system is the single most powerful tool for buying and selling a home. Your REALTOR® can provide you with exclusive features of the Board's MLS® System, such as immediate notification when new properties are listed. You don't have to wait for it to be posted on a web site.

Kevin & Faye Kitzman

Sales Representatives

Remax Real Estate Centre

Direct : 519-577-0603



 


 

Faye Kitzman

Mortgage Agent

Mortgage Intelligence

519-588-0141


M08003930

Friday, 21 June 2013

Canadian home sales climb higher...

Canadian home sales climb higher in May
Ottawa, ON, June 17, 2013 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales improved in May 2013, building on gains recorded in the previous two months.
Highlights:
  • National home sales rose 3.6% from April to May.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 2.6% below levels in May 2012.
  • The number of newly listed homes was up 1.9% from April to May.
  • The Canadian housing market remains firmly in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price rose 3.7% on a year-over-year basis in May.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 2.3% year-over-year in May.
chart of interest01 (E)The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of real estate Boards and Associations and other cooperative listing systems in Canada rose 3.6 per cent on a month-over-month basis in May 2013, its largest monthly gain in almost two and a half years.
The increase lifted national activity almost to where it had been just before new mortgage rules came into force last summer, marking the first noteworthy increase in the past nine months.
Home sales improved in two-thirds of all local markets in May. This list encompasses almost all large urban markets including Greater Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Greater Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax-Dartmouth.
“While sales improved in sync among the vast majority of local markets in May, the fact remains that all real estate is local,” said CREA President Laura Leyser. “Your REALTOR® is your best resource for understanding how the housing market is shaping up where you live or might like to.”
“Until recently, mixed sales trends across the country taken together had resulted consistently in a stable national trend,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The difference in May was that sales improved in so many markets at the same time.”
“The pop in Canada’s resale housing numbers adds one more to a series of upbeat economic indicators that exceeded expectations in recent weeks. It’s important not to put too much stock in one month’s worth of data, but taken together with other recently published economic gauges, Canadian resale housing market results provide further evidence of the widely anticipated firming trend for Canadian economy.”
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity came in 2.6 per cent below levels reported in May 2012, with transactions down on a year-over-year basis in about 60 per cent of local markets.
The number of newly listed homes rose 1.9 per cent month-over-month in May. New listings were up in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by a rebound in non-CMA regions in Quebec, as well as by gains in the Fraser Valley, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Greater Toronto.
With a larger increase in sales than new listings, the national sales-to-new listings ratio rose to 51.4 per cent in May compared to 50.6 per cent in April. This measure has remained firmly rooted in balanced market territory since early 2010 and has held within short reach of 50 per cent since August 2011. Based on a sales-to-new listings ratio of between 40 to 60 per cent, two-thirds of all local markets were in balanced market territory in May.
The number of months of inventory is another important measure of balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.
Nationally, there were 6.4 months of inventory at the end of May 2013. This indicates that the national housing market firmed slightly compared to a reading of 6.6 months at the end of April. Provinces where the number of months of inventory declined include British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in May 2013 was $388,910, an increase of 3.7 per cent from the same month last year.
For almost two years now, declining sales activity in Greater Vancouver has exerted a downward pull on the national average sale price. May 2013 marks a departure from that trend, with activity in Greater Vancouver having boosted the national average price for the first time since August 2011.
The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) is not affected by changes in the mix of sales the way that average price is. For that reason, it provides the best gauge of Canadian home price trends.
This month, Ottawa joins the HPI. With this addition, the index now includes data from 8 real estate boards (Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Greater Toronto, Greater Montreal and now Ottawa), representing approximately 50% of all Canadian resale housing activity.
The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose 2.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in May, up marginally compared to the 2.2 per cent increase reported in April. While this interrupted the string of diminishing year-over-year gains posted over the past eleven months, it was still the slowest rate of price growth in more than two years with the exception of slightly lower readings in March and April 2013.
Year-over-year price growth advanced for all Benchmark property types tracked by the index. Price gains remained strongest for single family homes (+2.8 per cent), followed by townhouse/row units (+1.9 per cent), and apartment units (+1.1 per cent).
natl_chart_of_interest03_hi-res_enYear-over-year price growth in the MLS® HPI was mixed across the markets tracked by the index.
- 30 -
PLEASE NOTE: The information contained in this news release combines both major market and national MLS® sales information from the previous month.
CREA cautions that average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate actual prices in centres comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas. Statistical information contained in this report includes all housing types.
MLS® is a co-operative marketing system used only by Canada’s real estate Boards to ensure maximum exposure of properties listed for sale.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations, representing more than 106,000 REALTORS® working through more than 90 real estate Boards and Associations.
Further information can be found at http://crea.ca/statistics.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Determing " Your" offer price.

Determining Your Offer Price
When you prepare an offer to purchase a home, you already know the seller’s asking price. But what price are you going to offer and how do you come up with that figure?
Determining your offer price is a three-step process.
First, you look at recent sales of similar properties to come up with a price range. Then, you analyze additional data, such as the condition of the home, improvements made to the property, current market conditions, and the circumstances of the seller. This will help you settle on a price you think would be fair to pay for the home. Finally, depending on your negotiating style, you adjust your "fair" price and come up with what you want to put in your offer.
Comparable Sales
The first step in determining the price you are willing to offer is to look at the recent sales of similar homes. These are called "comparable sales." Comparable sales are recent sales of homes that compare closely to the one you are looking to purchase. Specifically, you want to compare prices of homes that are similar in square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage space, lot size, and type of construction.
If the home you are interested in is part of a tract of homes, then you will most likely find some exact model matches to compare against one another.
There are three main sources of information on comparable sales, all of which are easily accessed by a real estate agent. It is somewhat more difficult for the general public to access this data, and in some cases impossible. Two of the most obvious information sources are the public record and the Multiple Listing Service.

Comparable Sales in the Public Record
The most accessible source of information on comparable sales is the public record. When someone buys a home the property is deeded from the seller to the buyer. In most circumstances, this deed is recorded at the local county recorder’s office. They combine sales data with information already known about the property so they can assess property taxes correctly.
Provided there have been no additions to the property, the information available from the public record is usually correct regarding sales price, square footage, and numbers of rooms. This makes it easy to use the public record as a source of data for comparable sale information.
Accessing the data is another matter, at least for the general public. Realtors can generally look up this information through title insurance companies. The title companies either compile the data directly from the county recorder’s office or purchase if from other companies.
One problem with the public record is that it tends to run at least six to eight weeks behind. Add another four to six weeks for the typical escrow period and you can see the data is not current. The most current information is the most valuable.

Comparable Sales in the Multiple Listing Service
Most of the public is aware that the Multiple Listing Service is a private resource where Realtors list properties available for sale. Recently, the public has been able to access some of that information on such sites as Realtor.com, MSN HomeAdvisor, and others.
Once a property is sold and the transaction has closed, the selling price is posted to the listing in the Multiple Listing Service. Over time, it has become a huge database on past sales, containing much more information on individual homes than can be gleaned from the public record. This information is only available to real estate agents who are members of the local Multiple Listing Service.
Your agent will provide you with this data to help determine your offer price.

Comparable Sales – Pending Transactions
The most valuable information would be the most current, of course. A sale last week has more validity in helping you determine a purchase price than a sale from six months ago. The problem is that there is no actual record of the sales price until the transaction is completed. The information is not available in the public record because no deed has yet been recorded.
Neither is the information available in the Multiple Listing Service. Once a property is sold, it becomes a "pending sale" and all pricing information is removed from the listing. Prices are not posted until it becomes a "closed sale." This protects the seller in case the transaction falls apart and the property is placed back on the market. It would give an unfair advantage to future potential buyers if they already knew what price the seller had been willing to accept in the past.
However, if a Realtor has a reason to know the sales price, they can usually find out through professional courtesy. Also, some real estate brokerages post sales information on a transaction board in their office.
Conclusions
Gathering and analyzing information from comparable sales helps to establish the range of prices you should consider when making an offer to buy a home. More weight should be given to the most recent sales, but even so, you need to do a bit more analysis before setting upon the price you will offer. That is because you also need to consider the condition of the property, improvements, the current market, and the circumstances behind the seller’s decision to sell.

Source* realestateabc.com


Kevin & Faye Kitzman

Sales Representatives

Remax Real Estate Centre

Direct : 519-577-0603



 


 

Faye Kitzman

Mortgage Agent

Mortgage Intelligence

519-588-0141


M08003930