RE/MAX 2018 Spring Market Trends Report

NEW STRESS TEST REGULATIONS PROMPT CANADIAN HOMEBUYERS TO INCREASE BUDGETS, RE-EVALUATE HOME FEATURES OR DELAY THEIR PURCHASE. WHILE HOMEBUYERS ARE FEELING THE IMPACT OF REGULATORY CHANGES, THE SPRING MARKET FORECASTS BRIGHTER DAYS AHEAD.

A recent RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger found more than one in four Canadian homebuyers report feeling pinched by the stress test, which came into effect in January of this year. However, projections for the spring market show optimism with most markets expected to remain stable or improve.

Despite all of the factors involved, the spring market across most of the country is forecasted to strengthen as we head into the warmer months. Supply is still low in many markets, and while the prices may not reach the same levels as this time last year, we are expected to see continued healthy price appreciation from the earlier months of this year across many regions in the country.

The average residential sale price in the Greater Toronto Area dropped to $753,747, down almost 10 per cent from $834,144 in January and February of 2017. With move-up buyers driving the market — many of whom are making their second or third transition — alongside a booming condominium market, prices are forecasted to soften throughout the year. Not all regions in Ontario are being affected like the GTA. In Ottawa, the average residential sale price in January and February was $388,289, up four per cent from the same period in 2017, and Kitchener-Waterloo saw a five per cent price increase year-over-year.

At the same time, the average residential sale price in Western Canada continues to increase. Greater Vancouver saw prices increase almost 11 per cent in January and February to $1,051,513, up from $950,184 during the same period in 2017. Despite reduced unit sales, prices are expected to continue rising. While Victoria is mostly a seller’s market compared to Greater Vancouver, it has also seen an increase in average residential sale price, which was $831,000 in January and February this year compared to $761,000 during the same period in 2017.

It is expected that government intervention and the stress test will continue to play a pivotal role in purchasing behaviour as we look to the months ahead. The Leger survey found that four in 10 buyers have had to compromise on their purchase, and almost one in three opted not to purchase altogether. One quarter of buyers compromised on the size of their home, while 18 per cent made concessions on the location of their home.

Despite these compromises, 55 per cent of homebuyers say they feel like they can purchase the type of home that suits their families’ needs compared to 46 per cent last year.

In Alberta, first-time homebuyers looking for affordability in Calgary and Edmonton continue to drive the market forward, with single Millennials and young couples gravitating toward the relatively stable condominium market. The average residential sale price increased 1.4 per cent in Calgary to $481,775 in January and February of this year, up from $475,288 during the same period in 2017. Meanwhile in Edmonton, a wide variety of inventory offers good opportunities for buyers, resulting in a small increase in activity and stable year-over-year prices to start 2018.

Interestingly, activity in Atlantic Canada experienced increased demand from first-time homebuyers, many of whom are young couples and families. At the same time, the condominium market is being driven by retirees who are looking to downsize. Prices continue to rise across most Atlantic markets, especially in Saint John where the average residential sale price in January and February this year was $201,328, compared to $168,956 during the same period in 2017.

New residential and commercial development projects in markets across the country are expected to fuel demand. Cities most impacted will include Edmonton, Kelowna, Victoria and Fraser Valley in the West and Windsor, London, Hamilton-Burlington, Barrie, Durham, Ottawa, Saint John and Halifax in Central and Eastern Canada.

Click Here for the Full Report

*Source: Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic

Connexus Perks: Re/Max Hallmark Scholarship Fund

We are happy to announce that Re/Max Hallmark is offering a Fall 2018 Scholarship Fund for the children of RE/MAX Hallmark’s past or present clients, who are applying for their first year of post-secondary education. 

If you require further information, or would like to obtain an application form and inquire about guidlines, please contact Alicia at 416.494.7653 or via email alicia@connexusgroup.ca.  We would be happy to endorse your child in our Scholarship Program to help with their education.

Deadline to submit is April 24th 2018.

At Re/Max Hallmark, we feel strongly about contributing to the minds of tomorrow and investing in the future of our children.  

Best Regards, 

Ravi, Justin, Sarah and Alicia and Angela.
#theconnexusadvantage

The Marginal Buyer - "A take on the competitive nature of multiple offers."

You win some... You lose some. That's the tale of the Toronto market for buyers. Though lately we've been winning a lot. Very proud to know that we've been able to help 6 families purchase in the last 45 days in multiple offers. Many of them have lost in multiples over the past 3-4 months. Many buyers out there know the heartache and the agony of defeat. In the past year, we've worked on a strategy around what we call the

"marginal buyer"

In our buyer process, we level set all of the expectations around a multiple offer situation based on "the marginal buyer". You see the marginal buyer is our only real competition. The marginal buyer is our neck and neck stiff competition. Some of the key characteristics of the marginal buyer: 

 

  • knows values in the area
  • knows absorption rate in the area
  • can define whether the area is a sellers market, buyers market or balanced market
  • is intimately aware of recent sales
  • understands all elements of an offer
  • comes equipped with pre-qualification and if possible pre-approval for financing
  • understands all 9 elements of a home inspection
  • has thorough knowledge of the condo/strata declaration and status certificate as applicable
  • comes with a deposit to the offer (don't ever walk without a deposit!)
  • has a strong guide on the purchase process
  • has a guide who can advise on future value albeit without the ever-valuable crystal ball.

The marginal buyer is our stiff competition because they are the most aware of the cost-benefit of buying a particular property. Once we've scoped out our competition, the next step is to analyze the "logical" approach to historical and current data. Then... and only then... comes the all important question:

"How much would be too much? And if this property sells for too much, would you buy it for that price?".

Interesting situation right? Only in Toronto is this how purchases are qualified. Here's another way to look at it:

"With prices climbing at x% per month... would you be willing to pay what this home will be worth in 1-2-3-4 months?"

Finally, here's how we usually set up the conversation:

Based on current data of inventory, market dynamics and recent sales, the property is:

a) a steal at X dollars

b) a deal at y dollars

c) you're overpaying at z dollars

After we've examined it, the only last step is to figure out whether the marginal buyer is likely to offer more then us. And if they are, we have to answer whether we are ok with it. 

And guess what... if you've offered and won.. based on going through the exercise and homework above, that's right, you've guessed it... YOU ARE the marginal buyer. And congrats, you've just bought a home in this crazy Toronto real estate market.

NB: Justin, Sarah and Alicia have all bought homes in multiple offer situations. We don't just preach it, but we practice it too!

Want to talk Real Estate? Got questions... call/message any time!

Ravi Singh

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Ravi Singh was named one of the most Interesting People in Real Estate by Inman News in 2016. Award winning Realtor with ReMax Hallmark and team leader at The Connexus Group.

 

 

December Market Analysis

Here’s a summary of the significant real estate milestones and 'talking points' for December 2017.

Courtesy of Thomas Cook

* 4th highest number of overall sales for the month of December (4,930) and up by a few hundred homes from October

* 2017 had 92,394 total sales… a BIG drop from 113,000 last year and drops to 5th place in sales since 2012

* The ratio of sales-to-listings dropped back to 38.1% in December – a very moderate seller’s market

* The average sale price dropped slightly to $735,021 – BUT was flat compared to 2016 – because of higher sales of lower priced condos

* The final average for the entire 2017 year ended up at $822,681 – 12.7% higher than for 2016

* Sales in the month were down 7.1% from one year ago

* The GTA real estate market overall averaged the days-on-market at 27 – still quick compared to many markets

* Again, it’s becoming clear that first-time buyer aspirations are now shifting to a condominium lifestyle – CONDO sales took a ‘highest ever’ 40.3% of the total market in December… about 2-3% more than average

* Downtown condo listing numbers were up in C01 and down in C08 from last year at this time

* The downtown condo days-on-market average was 20-21 days – slightly faster than the overall market

* The ratio of sales-to-listings for condos downtown ranged between 65.4% in C01 to 110% in C08 indicating a very strong seller’s market… well ahead of most of the GTA

* The average sale price for downtown condominium suites is still up by roughly $120,000 from 2016

* Building on this higher demand due to better affordability, condo appreciation in the two main downtown markets averaged 24% year-over-year

* Markets in York Region and some other 905 neighbourhoods have suffered the most from the market slowdown – York Region is now showing that they’re in ‘buyer market’ territory

What do we have in common with New Edition and The Golden State Warriors?

We are hiring. We've announced to the world that we are looking to grow our team and our capacity. Its exciting and my vision is thoroughly different then some teams. Many teams in real estate are labelled after the team leader and the team leader is the alpha... with other realtors plugged into their respective roles. For example, Inside Sales Agent, prospecting and open house agent, buyer agent, etc.

This is like Diana Ross and the Supremes. Who can name the other member of the Surpremes? Not me without Google.

I want to be more like New Edition. New Edition was a pop icon group, but every member of New Edition was a superstar in their own right. Bobby Brown is MR RnB. Johnny Gill had vocals like no one else. Bel Biv Devoe has some of the most iconic songs of all time and Ralph Tresvant... well he was the most talented of them all.

No one member of New Edition couldn't stand on their own, and as a band... they were even bigger then all of them apart.

Another example... the Golden State Warriors. Let's face it... KD and Steph are both MVP worthy players. The whole team is mega talent, and they're a TEAM!

That's the idea behind Connexus. A group of individuals who are extremely talented pooling their resources to create an even better organization. Justin is an amazing agent. Driven, courteous, big thinking and highly knowledgable. Sarah is one of the most organized, detail oriented, resourceful agents out there. Myself... I've been an ambassador for my company and have been considered one of the best examples of high service agents in the industry. We are pooling our resources to create a platform for agents to have every possible advantage to be the best version of themselves in their career. AND have a lot of fun and help a lot of people. 

Do you want to engage with us? Are you an agent who wants to be belly to belly with clients, building your circle and at the same time working on a team with the best administration, marketing, coaching, accountability and facilities possible?

Have you sold 10 properties on your own, and you've experienced the peaks and valleys of real estate? Do you go from very unbusy to being incapable of doing it all at the same time? Find your fit with us. 

Send me a message and let's talk about whether you're ideal for Connexus.

ravi_singh@rogers.com

416-992-2942

@ravisinghremax

@connexusgroup

Crushing Your Goals by Surrounding Yourself with Great Talent - Ravi Singh

I was recently featured on a podcast called Driven. I was interviewed by the extremely talented and forward thinking Johnder Perez. Thanks for the feature Johnder. 

This podcast talks about my successes in real estate. It discusses some of my best practices. It also discusses some of my key principles in life:

 1. Surround yourself with great people.

 2. Live each day with gratitude

 3. Approach challenges as opportunities

 4. Think from a place of abundance, not scarcity

 5. Build consistency into your daily routine.

 6. Start with a dream, then goals, then strategies, then tactics.

Have a listen and let me know what you think:

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-8bi7u-745b67

Your friend in Real Estate.

>>RS

Ravi Singh was name one of the most Interesting People in Real Estate by Inman News in 2016. Award winning Realtor with ReMax Hallmark and team leader at The Connexus Group.

Re/Max 2018 Housing Market Outlook

This past week, Re/Max Integra released their Canadian National Housing Outlook. Part of this report is a review of many major economic sectors including the Greater Toronto Area.

Here are some key facts:

  • The GTA’s condo market also saw price appreciation of 22 per cent in 2017, as the average sale price for a condo rose to an estimated $523,437, up from $429,241 in 2016.
  • According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX, the appetite for home ownership remains strong with roughly half of Canadians (48 per cent) considering the purchase of a home in the next five years.
  • In order to find a balance between the home features they’re looking for and affordability, many buyers are continuing to look at real estate markets outside of the country’s largest urban centres.
  • The new OSFI mortgage qualification rules that come into effect on January 1, 2018 also impacted housing market activity toward the end of this year and are expected to slow activity in real estate markets across Canada in the first part of 2018.
  • It is expected that the new mortgage stress test will slow activity across Canada during first few months of 2018 and at the end of November 2017, the Bank of Canada predicted that the new regulations could disqualify up to 10 per cent of prospective home buyers who have down payments of 20 per cent or more.
  • The RE/MAX 2018 average residential sale price expectation for Canada is an increase of 2.5 per cent as the desire for home ownership remains strong, particularly among Canadian millennials.

Read the Full Report Here:

http://download.remax.ca/PR/HMO2018/2018HousingMarketOutlook.pdf

Re/Max Hallmark Market Report

REMAX HALLMARK MARKET REPORT

 Courtesy of Thomas Cook

Here’s a summary of the significant real estate milestones and 'talking points' for November 2017. What will January bring after the new mortgage qualification rules come into effect?

  • 2nd highest number of overall sales for the month of November since 2009 (7,385) and up by a few hundred homes from October
  • The ratio of sales-to-listings increased from October’s 37.7% to 40.5% in November – a very moderate seller’s market
  • The average sale price dropped slightly to $761,757 – BUT, for the first time, was lower by 2% YTD compared to 2016 – because of higher sales of lower priced condos
  • This marked the first time in many years that the Toronto Real Estate Board average sale price had a drop year-over-year (traditionally we’ve seen an average annual appreciation of 6.8% over the last 20 years).
  • Sales in the month were down 13.5% from one year ago
  • The GTA real estate market overall averaged the days-on-market at 24 – still quick compared to many markets

Again, it’s becoming clear that first-time buyer aspirations are now shifting to a condominium lifestyle – CONDO sales took a ‘highest ever’ 37.5% of the total market in November… about 2-3% more than average

  • Downtown condo listings were up from last year at this time
  • The downtown condo days-on-market average was 18-19 days
  • The ratio of sales-to-listings for condos downtown ranged between 76.7% in C01 to 87.6% in C08 indicating a strong seller’s market… well ahead of most of the GTA
  • The average sale price for downtown condominium suites is still up by roughly $120,000 from 2016
  • Building on this higher demand due to better affordability, condo appreciation in the two main downtown markets averaged 24% year-over-year

Some Insights from Ravi:

A qualified, knowledgable real estate agent who knows your neighbourhood will be your best friend in selling your home. Now is not the time to use someone you know. Go with the best possible agent you can find.

Pricing effectively in this market means being the "marginal seller". You want to be marginally ahead of all competition. Not by a large differentiator, but my a small differentiator. 

The way you prepare and promote your home will make it stand out. Get creative with marketing. Also, remember that your agent needs to leverage their network and call the agents with the buyers. This is key!

If you are a buyer, January/February is the time to pounce. take advantage of the uncertainty in the market. Go against the grain. You may have a windfall!

Savings, savings, savings!

Guys, Sarah here, I have a confession to make. I'm a secret coupon-er. I'm obsessed! I cannot shop online or in-store without scouring the Internet. But! Just in time for Black Friday I've found a tool that's helped save me thousands of minutes searching. And I'm sharing it with you all! Sharing is caring! 

Honey is a Chrome Extension that searches the Internet for you. The folks over at Honey have built an algorithm that searches the entire Internet for codes. Including, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, other social media platforms and every website imaginable. Ever see an Instagram post with a discount code? They got that covered. Honey is free and takes seconds to install. 

This is what it looks like on my page right now. Even SquareSpace has a code! --> 

Okay, now that we have you set up with your codes, it's time to go shopping!

The BEST website to help you condense your Black Friday sales search is www.shopblackfriday.ca. This website updates by the minute. No joke, I'll be on a page and then it refreshes more deals, live! Optimize your time and use this website, you can even shop by retailer names (A-Z). 

Now, I got sucked into the Online Shopping black-hole for 3-hours today. Yes, sad to admit. Luckily for you guys, I've found the best deals just for you. Tech, home, food, clothing and more below. Happy shopping! #ConnexusAdvantage

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Technology

Best Buy is usually the go to for technology on Black Friday. They post their flyers weeks in advance. This year we are eyeing the touch-screen Acer laptop, $150 off and this external storage

Searching for something less expensive? I bought the anti-gravity GoatCASE for $27.99 last year and it's now $13! Yes, it really sticks and doesn't make a mark when you remove it. 

Home Decor

If you haven't done your Christmas decor shopping yet, have no fear! Black Friday Sales are your best friend. Michaels, Amazon.ca and more! I purchased this sheet set from Amazon in September for $25, now it's $12!

I need a break today, otherwise I'd be shopping these Michael's holiday decorations for my holiday party next week. Honey even generated me a code to save 40% off one regular item:  40SAVE111917.  

donuts

FOOOOOOD

Yes, there's even Black Friday food sales. Loblaws, Metro, Swiss Chalet, Lindt, Tim Hortons, Harvey's and more! You're welcome. 

clothing rack

Fashion

There is no Black Friday sale without Clothes. Skip the lines, the pushing and shoving and shop online this Black Friday. Every single clothing retailer has a deal. My top picks are H&M, Aritzia, Fashionnova, Boohoo and Lululemon

Best part?! Honey has a code for hundreds of clothing retailers! 

Customized Gifts

Ever want your picture on an ornament? What about on a deck of cards? Staples is giving 30% off personalized photo gifts.

Looking for more savings on your Staples photo? Use the Honey extension for a 20% off coupon. 

Happy Shopping Everyone!

- Sarah 

OSFI - Stress Test Changing January 1st 2018 [EXPLAINED]

Hi everyone!

I’m going to break down the OSFI changes effective January 1st, 2018 that were announced last week. I’m REALLY going to break it down into layman’s terms. I know if I wasn’t in this industry I would need to break it down this way. So, I’ve done extensive research to be able to explain it to you all in this post.

Let’s start with Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions or better known as OSFI

Who are they: they’re an independent agency of the Government of Canada who Reports to the Minister of Finance.

History

  • The agency was created in the late 1800s
  • Created to contribute to increasing confidence in Canadian Financial systems
  • Responsibilities include: supervise, advise, advance & administer, monitor and evaluate systems

Now that we understand who is behind the BIG news. Let me outline the...

BIG news

OSFI has Revised the B-20 guidelines

What’s the B-20 guideline? It’s a form that outlines the guidelines that each person goes through to get qualified for a mortgage. It outlines the rules and criteria a lender must consider. For example, a lender must consider your credit report, spending patterns, payment patterns, income, etc. It outlines what, when, how, who, where of your financial history.

NEW Stress test for everyone starting January 1st, 2018

For BOTH Insured & Uninsured mortgages. The stress test implemented earlier this year only looked at insured mortgages. That’s anything that had a down payment of 20% or less. So it doesn’t matter if you are putting 15% down, 10%, 25%, this applies to ALL NEW MORTGAGES.

The Stress Test

200 points or 2% - an added 200 points or 2% will be added to any interest rate you qualify for see if you can withstand the increase. So, say you can get 2.5% rate, just using this as an example to keep it simple, you will be tested against 4.5% (+2%). If you can afford it at 4.5% then you pass the stress test and qualify for a mortgage.

OR tested against the Greater 5-year Bank of Canada rate which is currently 4.89%.

Examples

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If you want to understand how I get these numbers and the breakdown then shoot me an email and I can go over your specific numbers. What you need to know is simple, think of your income, break it down into a monthly budget of expenses including mortgage then add 2% onto the mortgage rate you are going for. When you add the 2%, are you going into debt on a monthly basis? Do you have wiggle room? Is it cutting it close? All things to consider...

Now let's talk about the

Elephant in the room. Talks of another .25%, or 25 basis points, increase in the rate that could happen at any time. Well today, thankfully, the Bank of Canada announced they would NOT be making that hike. However it could still happen in the near future. Let's look at it in numbers if there was a .25% and 2% increase. What does that look like monthly $$$.

  • If interest rates go up by 25 basis points and you have a mortgage of $750,000 mortgage it will cost you another $100 a month.
  • Basically for every $100,000 a 25 basis point will increase your mortgage by 13.50$ monthly
  • Now think of the news, with the stress test. For every $100,000 adding 200 basis points is equivalent of multiplying 13.50 by eight so now you are having to QUALIFY for $100 per month more on every $100k of mortgage.

BUT WHY?!?!?

Many people are freaking out, which always happens when the government announces a new rule. You can’t please everyone. I’ve been seeing agents post about this all week and the comments left on their posts are mostly negative. I get it. Not everyone likes change. Change makes people feel uncomfortable. Here are some reasons why they are doing it.

Protection

Protection from inevitable the rate climb

Protection from yourself. The first analogy that came into my mind was the same kind of protection that you do when you go into a casino and you ban yourself from the casino. But this time it’s coming from the government. Know your limit and stay within it.

This stat is crazy but there has been an increase in uninsured mortgages by 17.3% year over year. Why? People love loopholes, wherever they can find them they jump in. Putting more down allowed people to go uninsured, let’s say their parents loaned them the down payment to get them to 20%, they could still be running at risk but under the radar because they put the 20% down. This stops that.

Solutions? [are there any?]

  1. The more INCOME you have the more likely you’re going to pass the stress test.

And I know, I get it, you cannot pull income out of your – you know what. However, I did have a client take on another job on Saturday evenings so he can afford a home. I thought it was the humblest action he could do for his family to have a future. It’s not ideal and not everyone will mentally boggle down and do it. However, it’s become the sad reality

  1. Self-employed should DECLARE income! You thought you could go under the radar and avoid tax and get all the benefits of a low-income household, right? Well now this may not work in your favor if you are thinking of owning a home anytime in your future.
  1. DO NOT DO

Rush to purchase before Jan 1st, 2018. If you're at a high risk already, think before you REACT.

Outlook

I can give you my predictions but I don’t hold a crystal ball and anyone who says they know is fooling themselves.

  1. I see a trend of other major cities around the world. NYC, Cali, Paris. I view us being the NYC of Canada
  2. Toronto will become the Playground for the Rich
  3. With all the factors it will push people to price down on their budget which will end up making them thinking of renting and then rent will inevitably go up. Which is problematic in cities like Toronto and Vancouver where we have a vacancy rate of less than 1%.
  4. Influx the GTA. Which will impact, transportation, jobs, supply of homes.

Final words…

Although in life I have been known to promote a life is short, live life to the fullest mentality. I still think future smart. Which is to think smart about your future and not negate it.

Be Positive. This is just a new set of rules & regulations we will get used to. Life always moves on. Time tells all!

For more details watch Ravi's latest State of the Market below.

Written by: Sarah Gheriani

Sarah Gheriani is driven for success. She's increased her business by 50% from 2016-2017. Helping more people in their new homes than ever before. She has made Re/Max Hallmark's award club, 2017 100% club. Her believe is..."if you are not helping other people, you are wasting your time". 

More Good Content:

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September Market Analysis

The September Market Analysis is out! Listed below is a concise list and summary of the changes in the September real estate market:

* Lowest number of overall sales for the month of September since 2011 (6,379) although they were up fractionally from August


* The ratio of sales-to-listings dropped from August’s 38.7% to 33.5% in September – just barely a seller’s market


* The average sale price climbed slightly to $775,546 – still up 15% YTD compared to 2016 – because of higher sales of lower priced condos


* 2.6% average sale price increase from September 2016 (traditionally we’ve seen an average annual appreciation of 6.8% over the last 20 years)


* Sales in the month were down 35% from one year ago


* The GTA real estate market overall averaged the days-on-market at 24 – still quick compared to many markets


* First-time buyer aspirations now shifting to a condominium lifestyle – CONDO sales took a ‘highest ever’ 36.4% of the total market in September… about 3% more than average


* Downtown condo listings were lower by 8-15% from last year at this time


* The days-on-market average was 19-21 days


* The ratio of sales-to-listings for condos downtown ranged between 61.7% in C01 to 61.5% in C08 indicating a strong seller’s market… well ahead of the rest of the GTA


* The average sale price for downtown condominium suites is up by roughly $120,000 from 2016
* Building on this higher demand due to better affordability, condo appreciation in the two main downtown markets averaged 25% year-over-year


* Markets in York Region and other 905 neighbourhoods have suffered the most from the market slowdown – every district is now showing that they’re in ‘buyer market’ territory


* Overall, it’s a perfect opportunity now in many neighbourhoods, with the increased inventory, for a buyer to find a home they fall in love with AND negotiate with the seller one-on-one for a change.

*Source: RE/Max Hallmark Realty Ltd., Brokerage

RE/Max.ca NEW School Search Tool

When finding the perfect new home we noticed that a lot of our clients of ask us “Is it in a good school district?”. Turns out majority of home seekers ask the same thing to their Realtors. RE/Max listened to this need and introduced a new feature on RE/Max.ca where you can do just that. 

Home buyers have the ability to see the location of 14,500+ public, separate and private schools and search listings with a catchment area of 9,000+ public schools. 

Watch this video to learn more:

Read the full Press Release Here

RE/Max Staging Challenge! $2,000 is up for grabs!

We all know that staging is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to selling your home. Even if your home is not up for sale and is showroom ready you could win a $200 gift card to West Elm and qualify for the grand prize of $2,000!

This Instagram contest was launched earlier this week and will run through to October 7th 2017. 

It is as simple as following the RE/Max Instagram page and tagging them in a photo of a beautifully staged room in your house/condo with the hashtag #REMAXReStage

Everyday until October 7th there will be a theme with a room of the day.

Click here for the official contest rules

Click here to see some other entries for some inspiration

 

 

Now get snapping and tagging! Good luck!

Inventory UP... but guess what... Everything is going to be OK.

"Fundamentals." Real estate values are about fundamentals. When looking at Toronto, its not the real estate darling of the world because of speculation and risk. Its the real estate darling of the world because of great employment, natural habitat, low crime rate, excellent healthcare, wonderful public education, conservative banking, good quality construction, ample fresh water, multiculturalism, diversity of all kinds, growing infrastructure... need I go on?

When you're buying real estate, you have to look at the long term fundamentals. There has been a lot of speculation and a lot of headlines that have made people query the longevity of sustainable growth in the Toronto market. Here's the truth, the un-natural sky rocket that happened in January-to-April has calmed down. We are back to a natural, growing market and summer seasonality. 

ReMax Hallmark has published the below press release looking at the current market conditions. Broker of Record, Ken McLachlan alongside the rest of the leadership team state that "“Average price will continue to increase at a healthy rate, albeit, at a more moderate pace than the first quarter of 2017” 

Oh and by the way... I couldn't agree more. 

Please see the full press release here:


For immediate release

Toronto real estate market remains strong with a 14.9% increase in average price.

Active listings increased, leading to a moderation in price increases.

Toronto, ON (June 21, 2017) – Contrary to some recent headlines, the Toronto real estate market remains strong with average prices increasing by 14.9% at the end of May 2017 compared to end of May 2016. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price reached $863,910 compared to $752,100, respectively.

“Average price will continue to increase at a healthy rate, albeit, at a more moderate pace than the first quarter of 2017” says Ken McLachlan, Broker-Owner, RE/MAX Hallmark. “This lower increase is a result of an influx of inventory in April and May.”

Inventory levels were at approximately one month worth of sales or less for each month of the year until May. At the end of May inventory levels stood at 18,477 homes which represents about 1.8 months of the sales in May of 10,196 homes. Traditionally, in the real estate industry, months of inventory value of up to 4 months has been considered a seller’s market. As buyers had more choice in May, compared to the prior four months of the year, they were taking a little longer to make their buying decision and accordingly the number of homes exchanging hands decreased by 20% from the all-time record set in May of 2016.

“We are still in seller’s market territory and that is why prices increased double digits in May compared to last year” says Debra Bain, Broker-Owner, RE/MAX Hallmark. “Based on what we are hearing from our REALTORS ®, inventory levels are expected to increase slightly approaching the fall months, however we are expecting to stay in seller’s market or balanced market territory for the foreseeable future.”

A balanced market typically occurs when there are 4 to 5 months of inventory and prices during those times typically increase mid-single digits.

“Each subset of the market has slightly different fundamentals than the averages that are quoted, so it is critical to get accurate information from your REALTOR ®, prior to putting your home on the market, or placing an offer for a purchase.” says Gurinder Sandhu, Managing Partner, RE/MAX Hallmark.

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. is one of the largest real estate franchises in Ontario, with more than 1,200 sales associates operating out of 13 offices throughout the Greater Toronto Area, and

the Ottawa Region. The team specializes in all aspects of real estate, including residential, recreational and commercial properties. RE/MAX Hallmark is firmly entrenched in the communities it serves through its involvement in Children’s Miracle Network and grassroots fundraising initiatives. Visit the RE/MAX Hallmark website at: www.torontohomesandcondos.com
For more information:
Ken McLachlan, Broker-Owner RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. 416.565.4572 ken@remaxhallmark.com

Gurinder Sandhu, Managing Partner RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. 647-969-5961 gurinder@remaxhallmark.com

Debra Bain, Broker-Owner RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. 416.564-9918 debra@remaxhallmark.com

We love to chat about real estate. Contact us any time!

RS.


Ravi Singh was name one of the most Interesting People in Real Estate by Inman News in 2016. Award winning Realtor with ReMax Hallmark and team leader at The Connexus Group.

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Why Sell with Connexus

This month, we are honoured to be bringing 9 properties to the market. 9 is a lot of work and a lot of trust. Thats a property every 3-4 days! So why do so many people come to us? What makes The Connexus Group the go to for people selling their homes and investment properties?

The truth is simple:

We care. We follow through and we deliver more. 

Let me ask you a question... if you were having surgery, wouldn't you want the best surgeon with the best reputation and credentials? The same goes for selling a home. You want the best possible. Trained negotiators who can stage and market your home better then the rest. That in a nutshell is what we call #theconnexusadvantage. It also is why we crush records everywhere we go and why our properties sell on average for $60,000 more then the precedent. 

STAGING:

With us, every detail is covered from start to finish.

MARKETING:

Its not 1989. Shouldn't your marketing look relevant in todays era?

NEGOTIATION:

No one, and I mean no one negotiates like us.

ACCOUNTABILITY:

Get answers before you ask. Make us over deliver. Its what you deserve.

RESULTS:

We are one of very few groups that put our money where our mouth is.

 

Are you interested? Leave us a message and lets connect. You will be happy you did!

Ravi, Alicia, Sarah, Justin and Angela. 

#theconnexusadvantage

Hike in Mortgage Insurance Premiums!

Just in....mortgage insurance premiums hike once again

Well, just marginally and this only affects those that put less than 10% down. So attention many first-time-home-buyers. The graph below explains the monthly amount your mortgage will increase by. 

Mortgage Hike

CMHC made this announcement early Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 and will be effective March 17th, 2017.  

Our last hike in insurance premiums happened less than 2 years ago in April 2015. 

We do not expect the higher premiums to have a significant impact on the ability of Canadians to buy a home...Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan insurance industry and contribute to financial stability.
— Steven Mennill, Senior Vice-President, Insurance.

What's to come in 2017

Deep Breath In. Now Exhale. 

January is known to be the month of the Winter Blues. With bills from December, and the unknown of what is to come of 2017. It could be a very worrisome time.

Let's flip the script! January is our month of Rejuvenation. It's a time to reflect on what is to come in a positive way. Yes, there's many unknowns but there's also many possibilities.

I read a great book called How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. If you're the type of person that nitpicks and worries about everything or thinks about the what-ifs and what could be, then this is a book for you.

So you might be asking what's the point of this blog post? Well I've been reading a lot of news articles and hearing a lot in the news about the forecast of the real estate market.

Forecasting is a dark art
— Gurinder Sandhu

A lot of it is speculation and plenty of it is opinion-based. What I've learned in my real estate career is to be patient, time tells all. 

Mid-January to February is the time in real estate when changes are made. Changes that come mainly from banks and/or the government. Yes changes can be made at any time throughout the year but time and time has shown that February is the month to look out for. Last February we had a new down payment rules. This February we expect an announcement about the mortgage rates. 

Update: January 16th our Financial Minister, Bill Morneau, rules out housing measures for now. 


So take this month by the reins. Set your goals and get your mind in the game. Switch up a few of your bad habits and create new routines. And let's look forward to what's to come.

In good health and love wishing everybody all the best in 2017! 

The Condo Series: Don't buy a condo on a pitch

Over the past ten years, I have carefully looked at the pre-construction condo market in Toronto. There is vast conversation about over supply and concern about market corrections. The data we have looked at examines both the demand and supply side of condo investing. Here is some candid information and facts:

Don't be a Speculator.

Let me be the first to tell you, this is not a get rich fast plan. Speculators will suffer in the short run, by either missing out on future gains or taking a loss because of the nature of the market. The 4 year plan for condo investors to cash out upon registration is over. That boat from 2010 has sailed.

Secondary form of ownership.

Condos are second in place to owning deeded land and a freehold property. Don't ever get fooled by someone promoting a condo as an equal alternative to a house as an investor. Condos are a form of title where the a dwelling is divided into many units which are owned individually. The owners then collectively own the common elements, amenities and and common utilities such as HVAC or electricity. In a Freehold property... its all you as an individual owner.

So when is a condo a good investment?

Condo investors have made an abundance of wealth in Toronto. Why? What makes Toronto a good place to invest in a condo? Here are three simple rules to when is may be good to invest in a condo:

RULE #1: No more land

When an area is changing to only condo ownership, then condos no longer become secondary to freehold property.  Condos become the only form of ownership. For example, if you want to be walking distance to King and Bay... its highly unlikely that there would be a supply of freehold properties to own. You likely only have condos to choose from.

RULE #2: Change to the lay of the land

This is a key one. When there is vast investment by government or private wealth, the lay of the land changes. For example, with the growth of employment and institutions in Downtown Markham and the investment of infrastructure by the municipality and the region, Downtown Markham is becoming just that... a Downtown. It never had retail, York University, 8 large tech employers and plans for Light Rail before. It does now.

RULE #3: Change to living habits

Toronto has grown up. More residents (yes including families) are embracing condo ownership. Families want walkable neighbourhoods with less of a carbon footprint. Families want shorter commutes. Families don't want to be in overleveraged homes that are further out of the city. More then ever, millenials and echo boomers in particular are choosing to live in the downtown too.

Condo investments can yield great return and offer less of an investment of time into maintenance and repairs. But don't be sold on a pitch. There are many bad condos out there being heavily promoted. Poorly constructed, poorly managed or poorly laid out and located. A good condo purchase is a long term investment. It is something that you buy and hold, in an area where demand is growing and density ratios are changing. It should be built by a reputable developer and should satisfy your numbers. The next blog in our condo series... a deep look at numbers. Historical data, projections, rates of appreciation, vacancy rates, CAP rates. Put your numbers hat on, we've got a plentiful list of facts on the way!

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Ravi Singh was name one of the most Interesting People in Real Estate by Inman News in 2016. Award winning Realtor with ReMax Hallmark and team leader at The Connexus Group.

 

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You Can't Fake Integrity...

Today I had the pleasure of connecting with a new buyer who found me online. This is a rarity in my business because 97% of my clients come from repeat and referral. She is looking into buying an investment property in Scarborough and came across my website. She reached out and we started to discuss her options.

As we got talking, I could sense the "cold arms folded" person turn into a "hugs and kisses, chat soon" person. Its a phenomenal experience to feel someones trust in you continue to grow. Especially when they don't know you or your circle.

Naturally, I had to prove I knew my facts and could represent her properly in the process. But in addition to that, there was a sense of trust that I could feel grow over the the phone call. We talked for 30 minutes after which we scheduled to meet tonight. I'm excited to see what comes of this encounter. 

I'm also really overwhelmed by some of the reviews we are getting on our facebook page. Thank you to Benoit and Jordan who added to the growing list this week

 Thank you Jordan for the Love!

Thank you Jordan for the Love!

 Appreciate this so much Benoit!

Appreciate this so much Benoit!

You Can’t Fake Integtiry

What I've come to realize is if you honestly care about your clients and if you can put yourself in their shoes... that's the secret to success. That you can't fake. Its your DNA. Its your desire to serve and grow through service. its written into our corporate charter and I'm proud to be in business with the other 4 people who make up the Connexus Group... because guess what, they're coming to the business with the same mindset. 

Happy 2017 everyone. In the market? Call me!


Ravi Singh was name one of the most Interesting People in Real Estate by Inman News in 2016. Award winning Realtor with ReMax Hallmark and team leader at The Connexus Group.

 

 

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