New York City’s reputation as one of Earth’s most expensive—and daunting—real estate markets is well-earned, thank you very much: $1.8 million studio apartments? Check. Full-cash offers everywhere you look? Check. Freakishly competitive open houses? You bet. Welcome to the big time—with the prices and killer views to match. It’s little wonder that housing is top of mind for just about all of the nearly 8.4 million folks who call the Center of the Universe home.
Everyone, it seems, is angling to hit the NYC trifecta: a decent space in a good neighborhood at an affordable price. That’s why it’s so important to get a handle of what’s going to be the next big neighborhood, before it explodes in popularity and prices get out of reach.
To find out which neighborhoods in this bellwether, nationally scrutinized market are seeing the biggest price climbs—and the biggest falls—we teamed up with real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller, co-founder of Miller Samuel. He compared the median home sale prices in all of New York City’s neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs in 2017 and 2018. We included only the neighborhoods with at least 25 sales in both years.
What we found is a city going through churn, much of it due to the flurry of luxury development in some areas that traditionally have had older—and more affordable—homes. Prices go up, an area gets saturated, the luxury stock sells out, then prices go back down. Rinse and repeat. Meanwhile, the megadevelopment causes people to search out nearby areas that might be cheaper.
It’s the NYC circle of life, and it’s accelerating.
“Developers have left no stone unturned and developed wherever they could,” says Miller. “They went everywhere there was an opportunity. And that caused a lot of price fluctuations, especially in more modestly priced neighborhoods that saw a lot of new, high-end development introduced.”
But New York City hasn’t been immune to national trends. The overall market is slowing throughout all of its five boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and “can’t-get-no-respect” Staten Island. The city has been particularly affected by the national tax changes that make it more expensive to own a home in pricier parts of the country, says Miller.
More fun still: This month, New York state’s new mansion tax went into effect, upping the amount of taxes on properties $2 million and up. Sales had been down earlier in the year, but the prospect of giving more to Uncle Sam resulted in a rush of higher-priced home sales. Going forward, the number of sales is expected to fall back down again. Phew … Dramamine, please.
High price tags are pushing many New Yorkers farther out into cheaper communities such as the Bronx, which doesn’t have the hipster cred or water views of Brooklyn. But dollars can stretch way further there.
“A large shift or decline [in a New York neighborhood] is generally not a reflection of weakness,” says Miller. “It’s more of a reflection of … now it’s back to business.”
So which neighborhoods are seeing the largest real estate price spikes? And which expensive communities are getting (a bit) more affordable?
Annual median price increase: 122.7% Median 2018 home price: $612,500
When folks think of the Bronx, the mix of grand Tudors, Georgian Revival estates, and midcentury modern homes and lovely winding streets in suburban Fieldston are rarely what come to mind. Homeowners in this privately owned enclave of tony Riverdale pay property taxes and fees to their property owners association, which maintains the streets and sewers and pays for its own security patrol.
Prices are surging because word has gotten out: Buyers are increasingly drawn to its seductive combo of urban and suburban living. The historically designated community is near top private schools, which include the Horace Mann School and Riverdale Country School. It’s also only steps away from the Hudson River and the 28-acre green oasis of Wave Hill Public Gardens in the northwest swath of the Bronx.
“In Fieldston, you are part of the city but you have the real suburban feeling,” says Chintan Trivedi, a licensed real estate broker with Re/Max In the City. “Here you’re getting a real home, a backyard and a private community.
“For a good house with a larger backyard, a complete renovation, and maybe a pool, you can expect to pay $1.5 million to $2.5 million,” he says. But there are six-bedroom homes listed in the $1 million range. Just tryto get that in Manhattan. (Spoiler: You can’t!)
Annual median price increase: 41.2% Median 2018 home price: $275,000
Just south of Fieldston are the middle-class communities of Kingsbridge and University Heights, where buyers can score deals for a fraction of the price. But the lack of homes for sale and little turnover are causing prices to heat up. And investors are buying up whatever lots and houses they can for new development or rehabbing.
“The Bronx is the new Queens in the sense that there’s been an expansion of demand moving out from Manhattan as consumers search for affordability,” says Miller.
The neighborhood’s become popular with 20- and 30-somethings looking for a reasonably priced community with an urban vibe. Hilly Kingsbridge is filled with century-old, single-family houses and midrise co-op and apartment buildings as well as plenty of shopping, parks, and public transit.
These buyers “are[part of] the new generation that’s learning that real estate should be part of their planning,” says Trivedi. “They want to feel like they’re in Manhattan—a place where they can still go right downstairs and get a smoothie.”
Annual median price increase: 38.7% Median 2018 home price: $1,535,000
Over the past couple of decades, lower Manhattan’s East Village has shed its image as a sketchy, open-air drug market to become a sought-after place known for lively bars, great restaurants, and a defiantly boho vibe—as well as a slew of new, high-priced developments, causing prices to jump. They’re going up everywhere you look.
Annual median price increase: 36.1% Median 2018 home price: $1,226,750
Like the East Village, Prospect Heights has been rapidly gentrifying. Professionals, families, and a few stray hipsters are drawn to its charming rows of stunningly restored early 19th-century, multistory brownstones on tree-lined streets. The neighborhood is near several main subway lines and in close proximity to the 526-acre Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It also borders Barclays Center, home to the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets (and soon the team’s new dynamic duo, superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving).
In recent years, Prospect Heights has become popular with folks priced out of neighboring Park Slope, a community long popular with upper-middle-class families. They gravitate to the brownstones as well as the new high-rises and the used bookstore, artisanal bakeries, and constant stream of new restaurants.
Not surprisingly, the Prospect Heights neighborhood has attracted a slew of developers putting up luxury condo and apartment buildings wherever they can. Those high-end housing developments are skewing the neighborhood’s median prices up to new heights.
This isn’t the kind of place where you’ll find buzzed-about restaurants—you’re more likely to stumble upon a dollar store than a bougie boutique. It’s a more down-to-earth community, populated by old-school Brooklynites, hipsters, as well as Pakistani, Orthodox and Hasidic Jew, Mexican, Chinese, and Latin American immigrant groups.
Annual median price increase: -40.7% Median 2018 home price: $915,500
Once grim downtown Brooklyn has been booming in recent years. It’s become home to a slew of glassy, luxury high-rises. So why are prices in such a vibrant area plummeting?
Well, now there’s a glut of new construction, giving buyers more negotiating power as buildings compete against one another to lure residents. Plus, builders are putting up towers with some smaller, less expensive units. But in NYC, less expensive is relative. Buyers might save themselves a couple hundred thousand on a million-plus-dollar condo.
But many of the condos here, some designed by famous architects, come with just about every amenity imaginable, including sun decks, hot tubs, dog runs, saltwater pools, and even music studios. This two-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom abode in a 57-floor building is going for $2,040,000.
Some believe developers overshot their market.
“Developers there created a mountain of homogenous product,” says agent Blumstein with the Corcoran Group. Buildings in the area “were built on the thought that people are demanding amenities. But the old-school, prewar neighborhood vibe is what’s in.”
Annual median price increase: -39.3% Median 2018 home price: $3,200,000
Even many lifelong New Yorkers have never heard of the Civic Center neighborhood in lower Manhattan. The tiny community encompasses City Hall and courthouses as well as some high-rise co-op, condo, and apartment buildings. It’s just west of ultradesirable Tribeca, where prices are sky-high, and just below Chinatown, guaranteeing plenty of good Asian eats.
Prices are down because the wave of development has pretty much played itself out, says Miller. Many of the older brick and limestone, midrise office buildings had been gut-rehabbed and turned into pricey condos. That led to a spike in prices. Now that those units have been bought, the real estate for sale is a mix of lower- and higher-end properties.
It’s “run its course,” says Miller of the wave of development in Civic Center.
Annual median price increase: -30.2% Median 2018 home price: $450,000
Like Civic Center, Javits Center as a neighborhood isn’t very well-known—but that’s likely to change. Named for the sprawling convention center on the west side of Manhattan where the community is located, it’s wedged between trendy Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea and abuts Hudson Yards.
Even nonlocals have probably heard of Hudson Yards, Manhattan’s newest neighborhood, built on a formerly desolate stretch of disused train tracks. It’s a glam (and critics say overly generic) development of ultrahigh-priced condo and rental towers overlooking the Hudson River, complete with its own weird tourist attraction, the beehive-like Vessel. The Javits Center’s proximity to this buzzy development will likely have an impact on sales with prices shooting up.
But in the meantime, prices fell because there simply isn’t much of the first wave of luxury real estate left on the market. Now what’s selling is less expensive, older condos.
That’s likely to change as sales heat up in Hudson Yards.
“Sales [in Hudson Yards] will help to increase values in the surrounding area,” says New York real estate agent Matt Crouteau. The place “was designed so people don’t have to leave.” Ever.
Annual median price increase: -30% Median 2018 home price: $997,500
Just south of the Civic Center is the Financial District, home to Wall Street and the World Trade Center on the tip of Manhattan. Like all of the other neighborhoods on this list, FiDi (as it’s called) experienced a spike in development, then a market saturation.
“It’s not that prices are collapsing,” says Miller. “The early wave of high-end new development drove prices higher. … After that activity cooled, the prices for the neighborhood are less than what they were.”
But there are still plenty of new units to choose from, including this three-bedroom, four-bathroom condo going for $5,300,000. The unit features granite countertops, a waterfall island, high ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. On the lower side of the spectrum, buyers can snag this studio with plenty of closet space for $480,000.
The neighborhood is home to a few cobblestone streets, giving it an old-world charm, as well as the South Street Seaport, a tourist fave.
Annual median price increase: -29.6% Median 2018 home price: $1,550,000
Thank the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway line for prices falling in the upper portion of the Upper East Side, from about 96th to 110th streets. Developers flooded the neighborhood putting up buildings near the new train extension, which opened in 2017 after being discussed, planned, and replanned for nearly a century. They believed—rightly so—that this least fashionable part of the Upper East Side would become far more desirable thanks to its close proximity to the new train line.
“That’s essentially East Harlem, which has benefited from a significant amount of new development,” says Miller. Now development is mostly over and there’s fewer sales.
“You’re not seeing the same amount of high-end [sales], because there’s not as much new housing being introduced,” he explains.
The Upper East Side/East Harlem now has a mix of sleek towers, brownstones, low-rise brick buildings and townhomes, and apartment and public housing developments. This new one-bedroom, one-bath condo clocking in at just 609 square feet, which is near the new subway line, is on the market for $786,161.
Seven years after the U.S. housing market bottomed in February 2012, the market has staged a dramatic recovery. U.S. housing prices are now about 11 percent higher than their 2006 peak, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index data.
While that surge in home prices is great for homeowners, it’s made it difficult for homebuyers, particularly younger buyers in large cities where the real estate market is hottest.
To make matters worse, rising interest rates have pushed mortgage rates higher than they’ve been in years, creating yet another obstacle for buyers. HSH.com recently compiled a list of the most- and least-affordable U.S. metro housing markets. The list incorporates median housing prices, interest, taxes and insurance payments and is ranked by the salary a homebuyer would need to afford the average home in each market.
On a national level, the salary needed to comfortably afford a home is $61,453, according to HSH.com. That estimate is based on an average mortgage rate of 4.9 percent on a median home price of $257,600. That average home price is up 3.95 percent from a year ago. The average monthly mortgage payment is around $1,433.
Least Affordable Markets
Of course, some markets are much pricier than the national average. The following are the top five most expensive housing markets:
San Jose, California
Median home price: $1.25 million
Year-over-year change: -1.5 percent
Monthly payment: $5,946
Salary required: $254,835
San Francisco, California
Median home price: $952,200
Year-over-year change: +3.5 percent
Monthly payment: $4,642
Salary required: $198,978
San Diego, California
Median home price: $626,000
Year-over-year change: +2.6 percent
Monthly payment: $3,071
Salary required: $131,640
Los Angeles, California
Median home price: $576,100
Year-over-year change: +4.1 percent
Monthly payment: $2,873
Salary required: $123,156
Median home price: $460,300
Year-over-year change: +2.6 percent
Monthly payment: $2,491
Salary required: $106,789
Most Affordable Markets
If these numbers are enough to make the average American earner dizzy, there are also plenty of metro housing markets around the country that are much more affordable. The following are the five most affordable cities to buy a house, according to HSH.com:
Median home price: $141,625
Year-over-year change: +4.9 percent
Monthly payment: $878
Salary required: $36,659
Median home price: $150,100
Year-over-year change: +6.9 percent
Monthly payment: $943
Salary required: $40,437
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Median home price: $161,000
Year-over-year change: +5.3 percent
Monthly payment: $964
Salary required: $41,335
Median home price: $174,000
Year-over-year change: +4.3 percent
Monthly payment: $966
Salary required: $41,400
Median home price: $185,200
Year-over-year change: +7.4 percent
Monthly payment: $986
Salary required: $42,288
Millennials Getting Burned
In addition to paying higher prices for homes, a recent survey by Bankrate suggests that millennials are being too hasty about jumping into the market. One in three millennials under the age of 35 own a home, but 63 percent of those young homeowners admitted to having regrets about the home they purchased.
The biggest source of buyer’s remorse for millennial homeowners is underestimating the amount of hidden costs associated with owning a home. Insurance costs, property taxes and closing costs can add up to between 2 and 5 percent of the total value of the home, but many buyers don’t consider these fees when shopping for homes.
Homeowners should also set aside at least 1 percent of the value of the home each year for repairs and maintenance, according to HGTV.
In addition to paying too much, nearly 1-in-5 (18 percent) of millennial homeowners regret not buying a larger house.
Although Canadians and Americans share the same continent, live across from one another on the world’s longest undefended border and speak, mainly, the same language, there is one undeniable geographical advantage that the United States possesses in abundance: year-round warm weather locales.
This has led many Canadians to think about buying a property in a U.S. hot spot.
The bad news for those buying now includes the precipitous dive in the loonie compared with the U.S. greenback and a rise in home prices in the United States since the market bottom of 2010-11.
With affordability tilting away from Canadian buyers of U.S. property, it has made the traditional all-cash purchase (the way four-fifths of Canadians have paid in the past) less attractive and made taking out a mortgage to finance a purchase a much more desirable option, says Alain Forget, director of sales and business development with RBC Bank, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada.
“It is not a great time for Canadians to pay cash for a U.S. home,” says Mr. Forget, who is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“In the past, many Canadians have used cash to buy their U.S. home. However that means using the equity in your Canadian home, cashing out investments or using your savings. With any of these options you’ll have to exchange your Canadian dollars for U.S. dollars, significantly reducing the cash you have to buy your U.S. home.”
Obtaining financing for a purchase with a mortgage means that buyers are not exchanging weak loonies for expensive greenbacks. Mortgages are also attractive given the low interest-rate environment and a Canadian dollar that will remain weak “at least through 2017.”
For Canadians seeking a mortgage in the United States, there are a number of key differences to consider.
– It takes longer. It can take just a few days to apply for and obtain a mortgage in Canada. In the United States, it might take 45 to 60 days to complete the process.
– More documents are required. Getting a U.S. mortgage requires different documentation than in Canada because of different regulatory requirements. For most U.S. mortgages, more than 10 documents are required compared to less than five in Canada, according to RBC.
– There are more fees. Buyers can expect to pay 3 to 5 per cent in fees because of third-party expenses such as property appraisal, titles and certain insurance requirements.
– Interest is calculated differently. U.S. fixed-rate mortgages are compounded monthly whereas in Canada they can be compounded semi-annually for a fixed-rate mortgage and monthly or at the payment frequency for a variable-rate mortgage.
– Down payments are bigger. A down payment of at least 20 per cent of the value of the home is now the U.S. standard. It can fluctuate, however, based on whether the home is a primary residence, second home or an investment property.
– Amortization is longer. Now extinct in Canada, the 30-year mortgage is alive and well in the United States, with the option of locking in rates over that span, a situation all but unheard of in Canada.
“U.S. mortgage products provide much longer rate terms including up to 30 years at very low rates,” says Miles Zimbaluk, director of business development with Canada to Arizona, an organization that helps Canadians who are visiting or living in the Southwest state.
“In Canada, you can obtain a 25-year term rate but rates are much higher, persuading people to nearly always choose one- to five-year term rates.”
He notes that the Canadian buyers are in the main getting younger, which means that more of them are likely to be seeking mortgages rather than putting down cash for purchases.
“We still see a lot of retiree snowbirds buying in Arizona but we are also seeing a lot of younger buyers,” says the mortgage broker, whose company assists Canadian buyers to get in touch with realtors, mortgage lenders and brokers.
“Many are buying vacation homes younger in life either as an investment to take advantage of the still lower priced U.S. real estate, or because they can use the property today and work remotely and enjoy more time abroad before retirement.”
Calgary-based executive Evelyn Studer, who owns three properties in Phoenix, paid cash in every case, although for her most recent purchase, she was turned down for a U.S. mortgage because it was a rental property. “But I could get a mortgage or home equity line of credit on the one house I will be using” as her residence in that state.
So she obtained a U.S. home equity line of credit, which she used to build a pool and make other improvements to her property.
“That was actually a very simple process and not much different than getting a home equity line of credit here in Canada. They just needed a letter of guarantee from my company regarding my present employment amount and title, my last two years tax returns and some financial information on my assets and liabilities.”
Source: Globe and Mail PAUL BRENT Special to The Globe and Mail Published Friday, Mar. 18, 2016
Real estate averages 27 per cent of the investments of the ultra wealthy. (Sheldon Kralstein/Getty Images)
With markets roiling in 2016 and commodities lingering in low-price limbo, the holdings of high-net-worth investors can serve as indicators of where the rest of us might consider parking our nest eggs. It turns out that a good chunk of wealthy peoples’ investments is in real estate.
“Real estate is generally accepted as an alternative investment [by high-net-worth investors],” says Simon Jochlin, portfolio analytics associate at StennerZohny Investment Partners, part of Richardson GMP in Vancouver.
“It has the characteristics of an inflation hedge: yield, leverage and cap gains. It does well in upwardly trending markets, it pays you to wait during market corrections and typically it lags equities in market declines – it buys you time to assess the market.”
While the definition of high net worth can be flexible, in Canada and the United States it is generally considered to be someone who has at least $1-million in investable assets.
Thane Stenner, StennerZohny’s director of wealth management and portfolio manager, says a good way for determining what the wealthy do with their investments is to look at reports from Tiger 21, an ultra-high-net-worth peer-to-peer network for North American investors who have a minimum of $10-million to invest and want to manage their capital carefully.
Every quarter the network surveys its members, who number about 400 members across Canada and the United States. Some of the participants are billionaires, and most have a keen eye for business, Mr. Stenner says.
Though the Tiger 21’s Asset Allocation Report for the fourth quarter of 2015 found that its members were becoming cautious about Canadian real estate, they still on average put 27 per cent of their investment into real estate, the largest portion of their allocations. The next largest were public equities (23 per cent) and private equity (22 per cent) with smaller percentages going to hedge funds, fixed income, commodities, foreign currencies, cash and miscellaneous investments.
The real estate portion declined by 1 percentage point from the previous quarter. “While this is the lowest we have seen this year, it is at the same level observed in the fourth quarter of last year, which consequently was the high of 2014,” the report said.
“Real estate is very popular and one of the reasons, in my opinion, is that investors can actually see and touch their investment,” says Darren Coleman, senior vice-president and portfolio manager at Raymond James Ltd. in Toronto.
In his experience, real-estate investors, wealthy or otherwise, seem to behave with more logic than those who focus on markets. “For example, if you own a rental condo, and the one across the hall goes on sale for 30 per cent less than you think it’s worth, you wouldn’t automatically put yours on the market and sell, too, because you think there is a problem. Indeed, you may actually buy the other condo,” he says.
“And yet when a stock drops on the market, instead of thinking of buying more, most people automatically become fearful and think they should sell.”
Real estate also allows for considerable leverage, Mr. Coleman adds: “Banks love to lend against it. Over time, this lets you own a property with a much smaller investment than if you had to buy all of it at once.”
At the same time, Mr. Jochlin says there are disadvantages to real estate that investors should beware of. Property is not particularly liquid, so if you need to sell you could be stuck for a while.
“It’s also sensitive to interest rates and risks from project development,” he says. There are administrative and maintenance costs, and an investor who buys commercial rental property will be exposed to the ups and downs of the entire economy – look at Calgary’s glut of unleased office space, for example.
“Timing is key. You do not want to chase the performance of a hot real estate market,” Mr. Jochlin says.
“Buying at highs will significantly reduce your overall return on investment. You want to buy in very depressed markets at a discount. In other words, look toward relative multiples, as you would an equity.”
As to how one goes about investing in real estate, Mr. Jochlin says it depends. The factors to consider include determining whether your investment objective is short- or longer-term, your liquidity requirements, your targeted return and whether you have any experience as a real estate manager.
“Sophisticated high-net-worth investors have a family office, and thus a specialist to manage their real estate assets,” he says.
How the rich buy real estate
The wealthy don’t necessarily buy and sell real estate the same way ordinary investors do, says Mr. Stenner. Ordinary people buy something and hope that when they sell it they’ll get a better price. Meanwhile, they like to do things like live on the property or rent it out, whether it is residential or commercial. If it is vacant land they might build something. Not always so for high-net-worth (HNW) investors, Mr. Stenner says. While everyone who invests hopes their investment will rise, Mr. Stenner says that in real estate, HNW people tend to fall into four categories:
“The real estate developer is looking for substantial returns from individual/basket real estate projects, typically 30-50 per cent IRRs [internal rates of return],” Mr. Stenner says. Developers are highly experienced investors who often take big risks, looking at a raw, undeveloped property and envisioning what it could look like with, say, a shopping mall or office tower. This requires lots of access to capital and a strong stomach, as there can be huge delays and setbacks.
“These HNW investors typically look for a stable, secure yield, tax-preferred in nature and structure if possible, with modest capital growth potential,” Mr. Stenner says. They take the same businesslike approach to property as the developer-types, but they’re more conservative, focusing on cash flow and long-term profit as opposed to getting money out after a development is complete. Often they’re building a legacy that they hope to pass down through generations. Mr. Stenner says lower net worth people can emulate income investors, for example, through REITs that are based on apartment buildings.
These HNW investors tend to look for more short-term higher risk, higher return “asymmetric” payoffs. Income from the investment or project is secondary — they’re in it for the quick buck. Often they see real estate in contrarian terms – investments to look at when the market is low and to sell on the way up, rather than hold. After 2008, many HNW investors bought up depressed-price housing in the U.S. Sunbelt. The sizzling Vancouver and Toronto markets might be the opposite of what they’re looking for right now; commercial property in the stagnant Canadian economy that can be purchased for low-trading loonies right now might be more interesting.
This refers to HNW investors who lend capital to developers or opportunistic investors, for a fixed return, plus as much asset coverage from the property as possible. They fund mortgages, invest in real estate financing pools or put money into companies involved in this type of investment. “Because wealthier investors tend to have more liquidity, this also creates more optionality to deploy capital in various ways, while using the real estate as collateral or protection,” Mr. Stenner says.
Being a lender is a way to diversify. In addition, money lent in this way puts the lender high up in the creditor line if something goes wrong. If things go right, it generates income as the mortgage is paid back to the HNW investors or the funds they buy into.
Source: DAVID ISRAELSON Special to The Globe and Mail Published Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016
Want to buy an affordable rental property? HomeUnion, an online real estate investment management firm, has just released its latest list of the top 10 U.S. markets for affordable rental properties.
“Like any other investment, the focus for SFR investors should be on long-term rate of return, and each of the markets on this list has favorable rental yields, low-cost entry points and solid, long-term economic fundamentals,” said HomeUnion CEO Don Ganguly. “Natrually, macro-economic factors such as low homeownership rates are quite favorable for SFR investing, but real estate is still all about location and finding accessible markets that have low entry points, like Cincinnati and Birmingham, or high gross rental yields, like Milwaukee.”
To create the list, HomeUnion looked at non-owner occupied properties and considered a combination of year-over-year job growth, median prices of investment properties, housing affordability and gross rental yield.
Charlotte, N.C., topped the list. It had the highest job growth of any of HomeUnion’s top 10 city, and the third-best job-growth rate of the top 55 U.S. metro areas.
There is a passage from the Bible appearing in Ecclesiastes, “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.”
That may be true everywhere except for those Canadians owning real estate in the United States, because the IRS won’t forget you and will track down their estates beyond the grave to collect its tax.
“If at your death you own U.S. real estate, you will be subject to a U.S. estate tax,” says Robert E. Ward, J.D., LL.M., of Ward Chisholm P.C., whose expertise in the nuances and differences in the U.S. real estate market and how it is taxed has saved thousands for Canadian investors over the years.
U.S. estate tax is different in many respects from Canada’s deemed disposition at death tax, says Ward.
“Two of the most important differences are, first – the rates at which U.S. estate taxes are imposed: federal rates range from 18 per cent to 40 per cent, plus the state in which the property is located may also impose a state estate tax. Second, U.S. estate taxes are assessed on the entire fair market value of the property,” he says.
In contrast, Canada’s deemed disposition at death tax only taxes the gain that would be realized if the property were sold.
Another difference that many Canadian property investors in the U.S. trip up on is believing that they can leave those properties to their spouse, and avoid paying taxes at death – as is the law here in Canada.
Only in some cases will a bequest to a spouse avoid U.S. estate tax. “Unless your spouse is a US citizen, you pay,” Ward says.
There are strategies to avoid paying U.S. estate taxes, but that requires some strategic planning ahead of time. As Ward observes, “In order for that planning to be successful, it must be undertaken before the American property is purchased”
Do you have questions? Would further assistance be helpful? Consultations regarding U.S. tax planning for real estate investments typically are C$1,200. However, through special arrangement with Canadian Real Estate Wealth you can benefit from a one-hour consultation with one of Ward Chisholm’s experienced tax lawyers for only C$600. Please call 301-986-2200301-986-2200 and let the receptionist know that you saw this special offer on the CREW website and would like to arrange a consultation.
Source: Canadian Real Estate Wealth September 15, 2015
DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2014
How much money do you need to make in order to afford a home?
Using data from the National Association of REALTORS®, mortgage site HSH.com pinpointed the minimum salary required to pay for the principal loan amount, interest, taxes, and insurance payments on a median-priced home in some of the largest metro areas in the country.
Nationwide, buyers would need to earn about $51,247 to afford a median-priced home of $217,300, assuming a 20 percent down payment and a 4.37 percent interest rate, according to HSH.com.
However, the minimum income needed to afford a home in specific areas can be much higher. Here are the five metros of the 27 HSH.com analyzed where buyers would need to have the highest salaries to afford a median-priced home there:
Salary needed: $145,351
Median home price: $744,400
Monthly payment (PITI): $3,392
Salary needed: $101,683
Median home price: $517,800
Monthly payment (PITI): $2,373
Salary needed: $96,514
Median home price: $481,900
Monthly payment (PITI): $2,252
New York City
Salary needed: $92,271
Median home price: $410,800
Monthly payment (PITI): $2,153
Salary needed: $84,476
Median home price: $399,900
Monthly payment (PITI): $1,971
On the other hand, these are the metros that would require the least amount of salary to purchase a median-priced home there:
Salary needed: $32,373
Median home price: $136,700
Monthly payment (PITI): $755
Salary needed: $33,909
Median home price: $129,900
Monthly payment (PITI): $791
Salary needed: $35,732
Median home price: $145,000
Monthly payment (PITI): $834
Salary needed: $35,765
Median home price: $149,000
Monthly payment (PITI): $835
Salary needed: $35,800
Median home price: $150,200
Monthly payment (PITI): $835