Tag Archives: million dollar homes

Why the wealthy are heavily focused on real estate

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Real estate averages 27 per cent of the investments of the ultra wealthy.

SHELDON KRALSTEIN/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

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:

Developers

“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.

Income Investors

“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.

Opportunists

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.

Lenders

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.

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Canada’s Top 25 Best Places to Live in 2018

25. Whitby, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 103
Population: 136,657
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Household Income: $101,792
Average Household Net Worth: $817,453
Property Tax: 11.1%
Total Days Above 20°C: 100
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 3,251
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 81
See more stats about Whitby, Ont. here.


24. New Tecumseth, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 170
Population: 36,745
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Household Income: $96,041
Average Household Net Worth: $755,965
Property Tax: 20.5%
Total Days Above 20°C: 122
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 2,906
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 95
See more stats about New Tecumseth, Ont. here.


23. Newmarket, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 56
Population: 90,908
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Household Income: $95,636
Average Household Net Worth: $947,429
Property Tax: 16.1%
Total Days Above 20°C: 107
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 2,749
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 95
See more stats about Newmarket, Ont. here.


22. Bonnyville No. 87, Alta.

Rank in 2017: 228
Population: 14,658
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Median Household Income: $103,652
Average Household Net Worth: $789,157
Property Tax: 94.0%
Total Days Above 20°C: 86
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 4,899
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 93
See more stats about Bonnyville No. 87, Alta. here.


21. The Nation, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 123
Population: 13,275
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Median Household Income: $88,088
Average Household Net Worth: $478,620
Property Tax: 54.9%
Total Days Above 20°C: 113
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 2,186
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 142
See more stats about The Nation, Ont. here.


20. Whistler, B.C.

Rank in 2017: 84
Population: 13,193
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Median Household Income: $86,423
Average Household Net Worth: $1,460,422
Property Tax: 98.6%
Total Days Above 20°C: 83
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 14,137
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 159
See more stats about Whistler, B.C. here.


19. St. Albert, Alta.

Rank in 2017: 7
Population: 70,874
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
Median Household Income: $123,948
Average Household Net Worth: $900,192
Property Tax: 66.3%
Total Days Above 20°C: 84
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 5,313
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 129
See more stats about St. Albert, Alta. here.


18. King, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 68
Population: 26,697
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Household Income: $110,816
Average Household Net Worth: $2,655,435
Property Tax: 18.1%
Total Days Above 20°C: 114
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 2,749
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 95
See more stats about King, Ont. here.


17. Lévis, Que.

Rank in 2017: 9
Population: 147,403
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Median Household Income: $79,323
Average Household Net Worth: $387,146
Property Tax: 65.1%
Total Days Above 20°C: 94
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 2,784
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 106
See more stats about Lévis, Que. here.


16. Toronto, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 129
Population: 2,933,262
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Household Income: $55,945
Average Household Net Worth: $906,663
Property Tax: 66.0%
Total Days Above 20°C: 117
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 3,847
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 75
See more stats about Toronto, Ont. here.


15. Fort St. John, B.C.

Rank in 2017: 160
Population: 21,251
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Household Income: $106,327
Average Household Net Worth: $440,481
Property Tax: 99.5%
Total Days Above 20°C: 64
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 14,000
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 104
See more stats about Fort St. John, B.C. here.


14. Saugeen Shores, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 17
Population: 14,109
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Median Household Income: $105,210
Average Household Net Worth: $777,845
Property Tax: 14.2%
Total Days Above 20°C: 110
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 5,113
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 107
See more stats about Saugeen Shores, Ont. here.


13. Mont-Royal, Que.

Rank in 2017: 8
Population: 21,172
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Household Income: $145,853
Average Household Net Worth: $2,392,238
Property Tax: 1.4%
Total Days Above 20°C: 117
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 4,594
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 124
See more stats about Mont-Royal, Que. here.


12. Red Deer, Alta.

Rank in 2017: 330
Population: 107,564
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Median Household Income: $90,844
Average Household Net Worth: $628,900
Property Tax: 86.7%
Total Days Above 20°C: 83
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 19,460
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 99
See more stats about Red Deer, Alta. here.


11. Camrose, Alta.

Rank in 2017: 216
Population: 19,488
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Median Household Income: $61,873
Average Household Net Worth: $519,846
Property Tax: 74.9%
Total Days Above 20°C: 83
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 9,520
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 99
See more stats about Camrose, Alta. here.


10. Halton Hills, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 24
Population: 65,782
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Household Income: $108,410
Average Household Net Worth: $1,190,923
Property Tax: 24.3%
Total Days Above 20°C: 120
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 2,133
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 91
See more stats about Halton Hills, Ont. here.


9. Saint-Lambert, Que.

Rank in 2017: 55
Population: 22,432
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Median Household Income: $83,626
Average Household Net Worth: $881,272
Property Tax: 12.5%
Total Days Above 20°C: 118
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 3,724
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 96
See more stats about Saint-Lambert, Que. here.


8. Westmount, Que.

Rank in 2017: 52
Population: 21,083
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Median Household Income: $117,755
Average Household Net Worth: $3,953,205
Property Tax: 8.9%
Total Days Above 20°C: 117
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 4,594
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 124
See more stats about Westmount, Que. here.


7. Canmore, Alta.

Rank in 2017: 29
Population: 14,930
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Median Household Income: $75,848
Average Household Net Worth: $1,478,315
Property Tax: 99.0%
Total Days Above 20°C: 64
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 7,482
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 138
See more stats about Canmore, Alta. here.


6. Milton, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 151
Population: 120,556
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Household Income: $111,875
Average Household Net Worth: $1,129,276
Property Tax: 67.7%
Total Days Above 20°C: 120
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 2,133
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 91
See more stats about Milton, Ont. here.


5. Lacombe, Alta.

Rank in 2017: 299
Population: 13,906
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Median Household Income: $97,800
Average Household Net Worth: $754,291
Property Tax: 76.6%
Total Days Above 20°C: 81
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 7,932
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 99
See more stats about Lacombe, Alta. here.


4. Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Que.

Rank in 2017: 6
Population: 27,171
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Median Household Income: $96,757
Average Household Net Worth: $864,221
Property Tax: 18.8%
Total Days Above 20°C: 118
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 3,724
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 96
See more stats about Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Que. here.


3. Russell Township, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 21
Population: 17,155
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Median Household Income: $112,644
Average Household Net Worth: $509,564
Property Tax: 50.1%
Total Days Above 20°C: 78
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 2,540
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 142
See more stats about Russell Township, Ont. here.


2. Ottawa, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 1
Population: 999,183
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Median Household Income: $93,975
Average Household Net Worth: $695,242
Property Tax: 39.3%
Total Days Above 20°C: 117
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 3,782
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 142
See more stats about Ottawa, Ont. here.


1. Oakville, Ont.

Rank in 2017: 15
Population: 209,039
Estimated Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Household Income: $112,207
Average Household Net Worth: $1,742,036
Property Tax: 21.4%
Total Days Above 20°C: 107
Crime Rate Per 100,000:* 2,133
Family Doctors Per 100,000:* 91
See more stats about Oakville, Ont. here.

Tagged , , ,
mississauga, Uncategorized

Here’s a Look at Mississauga’s Hottest Neighbourhoods

It’s no secret that it’s expensive to live in Mississauga. Recent data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) indicates that, as of December 2017, detached houses were running buyers approximately $910,216 (up from the high 800s in November and down from the $1 million mark they hit in winter 2017).

And while the market could cool or stabilize in 2018 due to the Ontario government’s Fair Housing Plan and the OSFI stress test (a test that some say could disqualify up to 10 per cent of prospective buyers from the market), the fact remains that Mississauga is a desirable city to call home—and therefore a costly one.

But while the city might contain housing that’s (unfortunately) too costly for many residents (hence the city’s affordable housing plan), it’s still attracting buyers.

Zolo, a tech-powered brokerage company, has some interesting stats about the Mississauga market and what neighbourhoods are the most highly sought after.

The stats point out the obvious—home prices are, generally speaking, getting higher and higher every year. According to Zolo, the asking price of homes for sale in Mississauga has increased 11.09 per cent since January last year. Also, the number of homes for sale has increased 75.28 per cent.

According to Zolo’s current data, the median asking price for a detached low-rise is $1.1 million. Other home types are also expensive, with sellers asking about $660,000 for a townhome and $429,000 for a condo

While those prices are indeed high, they’re not terribly surprising. Bordering Canada’s biggest and arguably most economically and culturally successful (sorry, Vancouver and Montreal) city, Mississauga has a lot to offer. Besides proximity to Toronto, Mississauga offers a low unemployment rate (nine per cent, according to Zolo) and a slew of ambitious development projects (the LRT and Inspiration Lakeview and Port Credit initiatives, to name a few).

As for now, the median listing price of a home (and this is all home types combined) sits at $585,000. The median selling price is only a little below asking at $570,000—so sellers are, on average, walking away with enviable profits.

In Mississauga, homes typically sell in less than a month (again, this is all home types combined).

And while homes are expensive, they’re not Toronto expensive.

“There was a time when you could buy a house in Mississauga for just under $100,000. That’s no longer the case,” Zolo writes. “Still, buyers know there are good deals in this western GTA city, with most properties selling for significantly less than surrounding areas. But to grab a piece of Mississauga’s real estate, you need to act fast.

So, which neighbourhoods are the best to invest in?

According to Zolo, the city’s top five neighbourhoods are Streetsville (#1), Applewood (#2), City Centre (#3), Port Credit (#4) and Lakeview (#5).

As for why, the neighbourhoods—beyond being well-known—are hot, Zolo’s data suggests the homes are selling quickly (25-36 per cent are selling within 10 days or less) and for more than asking price (11 to 17 per cent).

Another interesting fact is that, as of now (and this could change), Mississauga remains a city of homeowners.

According to Zolo’s data, 25 per cent of residents rent while 75 per cent own their homes. While rental rates are increasing, the data suggests that—at this stage, least—renting is still cheaper than owning. According to Zolo, renters pay an average of $1,062 a month while homeowners pay about $1,519.

So while it’s impossible to say where house prices will stand in 2018, it’s hard to dispute the fact that Mississauga is—and will remain—a popular (and likely expensive) city to call home.

All images courtesy of Zolo

Source: Insauga – by Ashley Newport on January 10, 2018

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#mortgagesmadesimple, first time buyers, Hi-Ratio Mortgages, millennial buyers, million dollar homes, mortgage qualification, Uncategorized, variable rate mortgages

Canadian housing bear warns proposed mortgage rule changes may close the Bank of Mom and Dad

A former MP and popular finance blogger is warning a federal watchdog’s proposed changes to the mortgage qualification process could have a dire impact on housing markets across Canada.

Garth Turner, whose Greater Fool blog has ruffled more than a few feathers, suggests a move to “stress test” all uninsured mortgages, rather than just insured mortgages with downpayments of less than 20 per cent, will curb demand considerably.

“It’s been seven years since we’ve had consistently rising interest rates and we’ve never had this kind of stress test before,” Turner tells BuzzBuzzNews.

“I just can’t in honesty tell people, that ‘Oh, you know, go to Cambridge or Montreal or Halifax or Edmonton for a bargain property because I think properties are going to be feeling a downward tug,” he continues.

SEE ALSO: The Bank of Mom and Dad: the ways Toronto parents help theirs kids buy homes

Last month, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions published a draft of its reworked Guide B-20 — Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures, which included the broader stress test proposal.

By stress testing all mortgages, Turner suggests a large chunk of the prospective-homebuyer population will be pushed to the sidelines as they will no longer be able to finance their purchase, thus reducing demand and, ultimately, leading to outright price declines.

It’s a regulatory change that Turner is convinced will take place before the end of the year.

“We all have the same mortgage rates coast to coast, we all have the same mortgage approval regulations coast to coast, so these are universal changes that are going to affect every buyer in Canada,” Turner says.

Currently, a homebuyer can go to an alternative or sub-prime lender or even the Bank of Mom and Dad to borrow money to boost their downpayment to 20 per cent or more, avoiding any stress test. But the new regulations would close this loophole.

“Credit is going to be drying up somewhere between 17 and 20 per cent simply because of the stress test alone, and that’s a pretty significant number of people to take out of the market,” he adds.

“The only workaround is going to be the people who get mortgages from non-bank lenders,” says Turner, citing provincially mandated credit unions as an example.

He refers to some credit unions as “time bombs,” estimating a number of them have 90 per cent of their assets tied up in residential mortgages.

“Talk about risk: it’s flashing red.”

Source: BuzzBuzzHome.com –  

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luxury homes, luxury real estate, million dollar homes, Uncategorized

SOLD: Uptown Home Sold For $1 Million Over Asking!!!

With so many house selling way over asking in Toronto these days, the tendency is to declare the expression meaningless. The value of a home, so the argument goes, is better judged by what nearby properties have sold for.

375 Glencairn Avenue TorontoThat’s mostly sound reasoning, but once in a while we get a bit of inside baseball from realtors about Toronto home sales, and this sheds some more insight on the wild prices that are being fetched of late.

375 Glencairn Avenue TorontoThis elegant and well equipped home at 375 Glencairn Avenue, for instance, just sold for $1,165,000 over asking after being on the market for seven days. During that period realtor André Kutyan of Harvey Kalles tells us that 165 people came through the home.

375 Glencairn Avenue TorontoOf the army of potential buyers who toured the property, nine made offers, which drove the price way up from its listing at $3,595,000. Worthy of note is that the listing price mostly reflects the sale prices of other nearby homes sold over the last 30 days.

375 Glencairn Avenue TorontoThe sample size might be too small for this to prove a trustworthy metric (only five other homes sold within 1,500 metres during this period), but one thing’s for sure: there was a ton of interest in this property.

375 Glencairn Avenue TorontoThe Essentials
  • Address: 375 Glencairn Ave.
  • Type: Detached house
  • Bedrooms: 4 + 1
  • Bathrooms: 7
  • Lot size: 50 x 219.66 feet
  • Realtor: André Kutyan
  • Hit the market at: $3,595,000
  • Time on market: 7 days
  • Sold for: $4,760,000
375 Glencairn Avenue TorontoWhy it sold for what it did

This house has a lot going for it. It’s been recently renovated, the enormous basement features a wine cellar, games room, mini movie theatre, and sauna, multiple bedrooms feature en suite washrooms, and the finishes around the house are top of the line.

375 Glencairn Avenue TorontoWas it worth it?

There are plenty of very nice homes in Lytton Park, but this one stands out when compared to recent listings. That alone was likely enough to start the bidding war that drove the price up into the ultra luxury range.

375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto375 Glencairn Avenue Toronto

Lead photo by Realtor


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condo living, downtown living, downtown toronto, million dollar homes, Toronto living, Uncategorized

How Does Toronto Compare

pricepersquarefoot

 

Source: Genworth Canada

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luxury cottages, luxury homes, luxury real estate, million dollar homes, Uncategorized

Canada’s top-5 most expensive homes currently for sale

 

Canada’s top-5 most expensive homes currently for sale
Affordability is a major issue for many Canadians, especially those trying to buy a home in major cities. However, these properties – currently for sale and curated by online real estate company Point2Homes — are in an a class of unaffordability entirely their own.

#1: $42,000,000 — 4351 Erwin Drive, West Vancouver, BC

This 7 bedroom mansion in Vancouver offers oceanfront views of Stanley Park. It also boasts 10,000 square feet and its own private beach.

#2: $38,000,000 — 2106 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC

This property offers views of the Gulf Islands, as well as its own private park and two golf greens on its 4.25 acres.

#3: $30,000,000 — 242004 Range Road 32, Calgary, AB

Making our way east, we find our first property outside beautiful British Columbia. Nestled in the mountains, this 160 acre property offers everything an outdoorsman – and woman – would want.

For those who prefer the indoors, the sprawling home contains a music conservatory (for the young, budding Beethoven, naturally), a two-storey library, and an indoor pool.

#4: $26,000,000 — 12133 No 3 Road, Richmond, BC

Unsurprisingly we’re back in BC, which is home to this five bedroom Tuscan-like villa. While it may not have its own winery, it does offer ponds, gardens, a swimming pool, and a tennis court.

#5: $25,000,000 — 76,84,91 Trail’s End, Lake Joseph, ON

This a dream-worthy cottage on Lake Joseph has its own bar.

But who needs a beer when you can crack a cold beer on that dock?

This is just small sample of the country’s priciest homes. To see the rest, check out the original report by Point2Homes, which includes the country’s most expensive listing: A three home package deal that will run you nearly $50 million.

Source: MortgageBrokerNews.ca – by MBN 16 Mar 2017
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luxury real estate, real estate, real estate investors, Uncategorized

Big banks are freaking out about Toronto real estate

 

Add Canada’s largest bank to the growing chorus of lenders worrying about unsustainable price growth in Toronto.

“You’re seeing 20% house price growth in a market where you shouldn’t see that much,” Dave McKay, the chief executive of Royal Bank of Canada, recently told the Financial Post. “That’s concerning. That’s not sustainable. Therefore, I do believe we are now at a point where we need to consider similar types of measures that we saw in Vancouver.”

Vancouver, of course, made headlines last year when it announced a 15% tax on foreign homebuyers – a policy that was met with equal parts derision and support from industry players.

The move is thought to have played a role in dampening Vancouver’s hot housing market; a similar one could have a similar effect in Toronto, depending on how much influence foreign buyers actually have on propping up prices (no rock solid data yet exists).

RBC joins the Bank of Montreal in stoking the fire of fear that Toronto’s market is blazing out of control.

“Let’s drop the pretence. The Toronto housing market—and the many cities surrounding it—are in a housing bubble,” Doug Porter, chief economist for BMO Bank said in a recent report. “Everyone may have a slightly different definition of what a bubble is, but most can agree it’s when prices become dangerously detached from economic fundamentals and start rising strongly simply because people believe they will keep rising strongly, encouraging more buying.”

According to Porter, Toronto’s real estate market could experience a similar downturn to the one that occurred in the 1980s.

“Prices in Greater Toronto are now up a fiery 22.6% from a year ago, the fastest increase since the late 1980s—a period pretty much everyone can agree was a true bubble—and a cool 21 percentage points faster than inflation and/or wage growth,” he said. “And, the ratio of sales to new listings was a towering 93.5 in the region last month adjusted for seasonality (and was above 100 in Hamilton, Kitchener and the Niagara Region).”

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average Toronto house cost $770,745 in January – up from $630,193 in January 2016.

And with the average single-family low rise home now selling for $1,028,395, it’s no surprise economists are getting anxious.

Source: MortgageBrokerNews.ca – by Justin da Rosa 28 Feb 2017
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luxury real estate, real estate investors, real estate law, Uncategorized

Don’t underestimate the value of a real estate broker when buying or selling a house

Supplied

Buying or selling a house on your own sounds like an easy task, but anyone who has tried it, quickly learns how difficult it can be and how much the experience of a licensed real estate broker can simplify the process.

“In a way, anyone can sell a house, but it doesn’t mean that you will have an easy transaction or get a fair price,” said Daniel Dagenais, a Realtor® in Pointe-Claire and president of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board’s (GMREB) Board of Directors. “There’s no point in selling your house and feeling like you’re king because you did the transaction yourself and didn’t pay any commission, but you actually sold it for cheaper than it’s worth.”

Dagenais outlined several key attributes that real estate brokers bring to the table when it comes time to buy or sell a house.

Brokers set fair prices for buyers and sellers

Real estate brokers in Quebec have access to the listings not only of houses for sale, but also those with the prices of houses that have already sold and those that have expired. Armed with that information and their own experience, they can quickly establish the right price for a house.

“The best price for a house is not necessarily the highest price, but is a fair price,” said Dagenais. “Sometimes buyers are not well educated about the market and they see something for sale and they end up paying too much money. I think this happens with buyers who are not using a broker.”

Brokers negotiate on behalf of their clients

Negotiating a closing price when buying or selling a home can be stressful. Real estate brokers conduct many transactions throughout the year and are emotionally detached when negotiating on their client’s behalf.

“A lot of people think they know how to negotiate,” said Dagenais. “This may be the case, but even for a good negotiator, a broker acts as a middleman who has a certain distance in the process. When you have a Realtor® making an offer and he’s asking another Realtor® to respond, it’s much easier than for the Realtor® trying to negotiate directly with a buyer or seller who becomes way too involved emotionally.”

Brokers have specialized knowledge of legal requirements

There is a lot of legal paperwork required to complete a real estate transaction that can overwhelm someone not trained how to do it properly. As part of their training to obtain their license in Quebec, real estate brokers spend a full 45 hours learning the intricacies of filling out the necessary forms to buy and sell a house.

“Filling in the forms properly is crucial. If you make one little mistake, maybe you don’t put the comma in the right place, it could jeopardize the transaction, create a lawsuit or just create dissatisfaction,” noted Dagenais. “We might have only a few hours to get an answer back so it has to be on the spot and you have to be very comfortable with all aspects of filling in the forms properly.”

Brokers are highly trained

Before they can buy or sell houses, real estate brokers must undergo close to 400 hours of training that takes about four or five months to complete. They must then pass a government-regulated exam in order to get their license. Before 2010, the exam was multiple-choice, but now students have to write long-form answers. To keep up with changes in the industry, brokers are also required to take 18 units of continuing education every two years, which amounts to 18 to 36 hours of additional training.

Brokers follow a code of ethics

Real estate brokers must act ethically in their dealings with the public and any who fail to do so can be fined by the Discipline Committee of the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec.

Dagenais also noted that real estate brokers are subject to a code of ethics and are covered by professional liability insurance that provides financial protection to consumers in case of unintentional fault, error, negligence or omission committed by a broker.

Brokers have access to specialized technology

From drone photography to virtual reality, the real estate industry follows the latest tech trends to help bring buyers and sellers together, but their biggest technological strength is their extensive database system of properties for sale.

“The most important tool is the database system that allows us to see all of the data of all the properties,” said Dagenais. “We can really evaluate properties on the market.”

Brokers are part of a network

Real estate brokers represent both buyers and sellers and work with each other to bring the two together.

“The key really is collaboration and we have an industry that is providing all the tools for collaboration. For real estate brokers, it’s kind of unique that when you accept a mandate to sell a property, you also include a portion of your compensation that you will give to a competitor who brings you the buyer. The high level of collaboration between brokers is really a unique feature of Quebec’s real estate industry.’’

“When you hire a real estate broker, you are really hiring 13,000 brokers,” said Dagenais, alluding to the number of brokers working in Quebec, “plus the visibility and access to Centris.ca with close to 100,000 available properties.”

Source:   Mark Stachiew, Special to National Post | February 22, 2017 

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‘Trapped Wealth’ Drives Toronto’s Speculative Real Estate Dilemma

Toronto’s housing boom is unrelenting.

Prices in Canada’s largest city surged more than 20 percent over the past year, the fastest pace in three decades, data released last week show. Some of the city’s neighboring towns are posting even bigger gains.

It’s become a matter of considerable alarm. Stability is one concern: if the market tumbles, so will Canada’s economy. Pricier real estate also drives away less-affluent, younger people and boosts the cost of doing business, eroding competitiveness.

“I don’t think anybody is cheering,” said Doug Porter, the Toronto-based chief economist of Bank of Montreal, who used the dreaded “bubble” word last week to describe the market. “I don’t see who benefits other than real estate agents. It’s trapped
wealth.”

So, what’s driving the boom? The housing industry — builders and brokers — claim lack of supply is the main culprit. Others, Porter included, see demand as the problem. Lately, evidence is mounting that speculation is behind the jump.

Supply Constraints
Builders say they are being held back by everything from regulations to prohibitive taxes and land restrictions. Ontario’s greenbelt region around Toronto is one example.

This is no doubt true for one segment of the market: single-detached homes. Just over one-quarter of the 176,000 homes built in Toronto over the past five years were single-detached. That’s well down from the 1990s, when they accounted for almost half of all construction.

Theo Argitis/Bloomberg
Unabated Demand
Supply constraints don’t explain the price gains for condominiums, which have seen a flood of new completions. The average sale price of a condo is up 15 percent year-over-year. That’s after builders completed more than 54,000 apartment units over the past two years, easily a record supply for Toronto.

Canada’s recent census results, released this month, also provide some evidence against the shortage argument. Occupied private dwellings have risen by 7.2 percent in Toronto over the past five years, faster than population growth.
The census, however, doesn’t say what type of homes are being built. Plus, there is also the recent puzzle of disappearing listings.

Listings Ratio
New listings in Toronto fell 17 percent in January from a month earlier, the biggest one-month decline since 2002. Sales as a share of new listings rose above 90 percent, smashing the record.

Is this a sign of a bubble? Are sellers holding off putting their homes on the market to see where prices settle? Has supply become so tight that potential sellers are pulling out of the market altogether since they have nowhere to move to?
“The market is thinning out basically, you know what that means,” said David Madani, an economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, said in a telephone interview.

First-Timers
So, if home sellers are not driving demand, is it first-time home buyers?

It’s tough to argue yes. The federal government has been tightening mortgage rules for a decade, and took some significant steps in October. But the moves — which particularly hit first-time buyers — have done little to curtail the recent run-up.

“If it’s not sellers, if its not first-time buyers, then who is buying?” said Robert Hogue, an economist at Royal Bank of Canada. “We can’t say for sure, but by deduction it’s got to be probably investors are buying quite a bit.”

Policy Response
If speculators are the cause of Toronto’s stratospheric home-price gains, it makes it difficult for the federal government to intervene, since its primary tool is mortgage insurance rules that don’t apply as much to investors.

One possibility may be to clamp down on the country’s unregulated private mortgage industry — so-called shadow banking. There may also be other avenues, such as curbing foreign investment. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government hasn’t shown much interest in such a move, partly because it would affect the national market, not just Toronto.

In fact, the only place where government steps to rein in prices seems to have worked has been in British Columbia, which introduced a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers in August. Vancouver home prices are down 3.7 percent over the past six months. Still, that’s a paltry retreat in a market that long ago ceased to be affordable for most Canadians.

The British Columbia experience shows that while stability of the market may be an achievable goal, affordability is a more daunting challenge.

“If policy success is measured by affordability, not sure we’re quite there yet,” Hogue said.

Source – Canadian Real Estate News Copyright Bloomberg 2017

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