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!

Stay connected! Subscribe to our blog here:

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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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THE BEST OF 2016!

Wow! What a year it was! If we were to pick one word to sum up this year it would be 'thankful'. Sounds cheesy but it's true. Thankful for surviving 2016 housing market, thankful for our clients, thankful for our family & friends. But most of all thankful for our health. Here's what stood out to us as the BEST of 2016.

Number One

#1 has to go to the kids. Because they're so gosh darn cute! One of our warmest memories this year was Connexus Family Day. (Happening again in 1.5 months!) Seeing the look on all 30 of the kids faces that walked through our doors when they saw Elsa from Frozen (or the candy table), was one of our most precious memories this year. 

Number Two

26! The number of Condo Club meetings Ravi held this year. The Condo Club is an opportunity for all Re/MAX Hallmark agents to get together and learn inside tricks to the Condo world. It's also gives the agents a chance to collaborate and exchange exclusive listings. Thank you Ravi for organizing and running all Twenty-Six meetings this year and all the other years!

Number Three

 We launched our new website

One of this years' goals was to give the viewers (that's you!), some of the best content in the industry. We wanted to give you up-to-date information on breaking news in the industry. And that we did. One of the best takeaways from our website isn't just our listings, it's our blog. It answers all your questions, from new downpayment rules to what the heck an assignment is. We didn't just stop there. We connected all of our social media platforms to give you a look into the real estate world, LIVE

Shout out to Andrew Fogliato for helping us with it all.

Number Four

#4 has to go to the listing we sold in less than FOUR hours. The 2016 real estate market played a huge role in us setting a new record. But it wouldn't of been made possible without the go-getter mentality all three of us agents have. We are a part of a brokerage that believes in "raising the bar". To us that means delivering the highest quality service at every level. So to get a deal done within FOUR hours meant all hands on deck. Ravi taking care of the transaction with Alicia and Justin & Sarah taking care of all the rest of the clients. This wouldn't have been possible without each other. So #4 goes to our four hour deal that reminded us how great it is to have each others support, not just for us as agents, but for our clients as well. 

Number Five

Our favourite five letter word this year was P-A-R-T-Y! Life is a party. If it isn't in your life yet, it should be. This year we learnt that life can be short and life WILL throw you curve balls. Ravi had a health scare early in the year. When he was in the clear we added a new goal to our list for the year. To live life to the fullest. We brought that into all aspects of our lives including our careers. We threw not one, not two, not three, nope not even four! But five big bashes this year. And next year we are going to top it all! Being part of the Connexus family means business and pleasure.

Number Six

We debated putting this one on the list. We're never the type to brag but we are pretty dang proud of this. Highest sale of this year was a whopping $3.83 million in St-Andrews neighbourhood. 2017 Goals: 10 more just like it! 

Number Seven

Lucky #7 goes to our Superstar Suppliers! Our stager, moving companies, cleaners, photographers, videographers, mortgage brokers, lawyers and everyone else in between. This year would not have happened without you. 

Number Eight

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 85! We've helped move 85 people and their families this year. There's still time for our last one or two deals to close but we will say 85 for now. We will keep you posted. Snapchat, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram.

 

 

Number Nine

This year Connexus Group went INTERNATIONAL! Thanks to Ravi! He had one of his best years yet! Taking his knowledge and expertise internationally. Ravi spoke at 5 conferences this year. We believe in helping everyone. Ravi doesn't hold his knowledge in just for himself. He uplifts others and wants everyone to succeed. With the stigma the industry has (agents fighting agents), it's refreshing to be a part of a team that wants to see everyone at their best, not just ourselves. If 2016 wasn't your year, 2017 will be. Whatever walk of life you come from, if you ever need help. We are here for you. 

Congratulations Ravi on your success and thank you.  

Number Ten

Year Ten. Earlier this year marked Ravi's 10th year anniversary in real estate. In his own words

"June 8th 2006 was the day I received my license to practice real estate in Ontario. Today is my 10 year anniversary as a realtor. Thank you to EVERYONE who has been with me on this journey. What a ride it's been. It's had its ups, higher ups and its downs. Every experience has made me who I am and I thank you for it." 

Couldn't have said it any better! 

Number Eleven

 2016 brought our newest member, me! (Sarah)

The only way to describe this year is...blessed. Ravi, Angela, Justin, Alicia and all their families have become my family. Saying thank you for bringing me into your families isn't enough to show my appreciation for you all. 

Number Twelve

JC! Justin Chang! This one is dedicated to you! It's one thing to be successful and to hit your goals year after year AND to always be at your best. But for you Justin, you have been humble, kind, funny and a darn good buddy all around. I wish I was Justin's client! Going out to showings, or at any appointment, you're bound to have a good laugh. It's those darn dimples and his charm! 

Number Thirteen

 As agents we are use to skipping the number thirteen. Elevator jokes anyone? No? Okay, I tried. In all seriousness, thirteen is a bad number in many cultures. In this list we are going to take it for the good. We'll dedicate #13 to some of the mistakes we've made this year. Yes, we've made mistakes. Without mistakes there wouldn't be experiences and without experience we wouldn't have learned! So this year goes to all those darn lockboxes that wouldn't open, all those doors we opened for showings and had been yelled at by sellers/tenants to come back later and for all the "running 10 mins behind" that we can't get back for not predicting the unpredictable Toronto traffic. 

 

Number Fourteen

2016 was nerve-wracking for our sellers and buyers. Learning when to stop in multiple offers, knowing how to not over pay and for sellers, getting the most from the market. We have put 100s of thousands of dollars in our sellers pockets. And on the flip side we have established and implemented strategies to save our buyers 100s of thousands of dollars. This year we have been navigating the fast-past 2016 market with pose and ease.

Number Fifteen

Breakfast in Bahamas this year brought together over 150 of our Connexus Family. From Ssteel drum living up our guest in the lobby to a warm breakfast to the Samba Heat Entertainment dancers adding a playful touch to the morning to all of the winners of our giveaways. We want to thank everyone again who came and can't wait for a bigger event in 2017! 

 

Number Sixteen

Last but definitely not least. This should be #1 actually. But we leave the good for last to see if you read all the way through ;). 

The opportunities we have been given this year have given us the opportunity to give back. It's not just part of our sales pitch. Justin, Ravi and I all give back a portion of each sale to charities. This year we have been able to give back over $10,000. However, we wouldn't have been able to do it without YOU. 

 

So with that we thank you for being a part of our 2016 journey. We're excited to see what 2017 holds for everyone. We wish you all the utmost success and happiness. 

See you in 2017! Happy New Year! 

ReMax Housing Outlook 2017

This past week, ReMax 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 projections:

• Policies around building on the Ontario Greenbelt are expected to continue affecting inventory levels, as the number of single-detached homes developers are able to build is restricted and therefore not able to meet demand

• The effect of tightened mortgage rules and anticipated mortgage rate increases will impact housing affordability in the GTA

• The RE/MAX 2017 average residential sale price expectation for the Greater Toronto Area is an increase of 8 per cent

8 Percent average appreciation is very healthy. We are planning on teaching fundamentals of real estate investing this 2017. Stay tuned to learn about how to leverage the real estate market to build wealth for you and your family.

Here is the entire report:
 

Why Entrepreneurs Make Bad Real Estate Investors

In the past 10 years, I've had the pleasure of working with some very smart people. When I say smart.. I mean "Founder of Company" type Smart". For whatever reason, I seem to attract a lot of entrepreneurs into my client fold. I've enjoyed amazing discourses about politics, technology, entertainment and ofcourse business over the years while condo or house hunting and interestingly enough, many of these clients have not entered into a purchase when they've required my services. Everyone else seems to... but not these buyers. Why? What makes it different for these particular clients? How are they programmed and what can we learn from these buyers? Here is a list of 5 reasons why real estate doesn't fall high on the investment ladder for some of my brightest clients:

1. Its Sexy but not that sexy:

Real Estate has seen a lot of appreciation over the past 15 years. But that being said, there is very little that is "entrepreneurial" about chugging along at 6-7 % (or 12%) appreciation year over year. Sure, there's many ways to creatively finance, and there's innovative ways to improve CAP rates, but if you've just sold your startup after 22 months of non stop, pedal-to-the-floor hustle... you may be thinking buying real estate and holding just isn't sexy.

2. Time is Money and Real Estate takes Time:

Buying real estate is not a way to take $100k and make $1 Million in 2 years. Real Estate Investing rewards those who are patient. If you're a super innovative business type, you may look at returns on real estate like and ask yourself... "what else can I do in the next 12 years".

3. Scarcity Value on properties

Buying a condo in the downtown core has little or no scarcity value. If you were buying a condo, you'd have to be aware that there will be more, and more, and more condos along the way. Housing is a different animal, but still not scarce in some respects. 

4. Looking for a Needle and Swimming Upstream

If everyone's doing it... it can't be right? And if Everyone's doing it... that ship must have sailed? Many of my entrepreneur type clients want something different. Buying a great buy-hold property seems to be a current investment flavour in the GTA and hence, not loved by the ultra creative entrepreneur.

5. Teach my something I don't know

Entrepreneurs want me to earn their business. Give them something they don't know. They want to be mesmerized by a market opportunity that is not readily available... or, well... pass.

6. Bubbles Burst

Many bright business types owe me a drink at a bar. Since 2010 I have defended the real estate market in the GTA and every year I've spoken to savvy investors who would never invest in the current market. Since 2010 I've also helped people change $60k in equity to $500k in equity. I myself, have experienced great wealth building in that very same period. There's no bubble. There is a soft landing. That being said, convincing those who disagree with me cannot easily be done.

 

The market is strong based on many economic factors including immigration, lending rates, population growth, employment, workforce capability and infrastructure investment. We must be aware of rising debt loads yes... but real estate is the best investment.

 

If you're thinking about investing in real estate, get off your butt and do it!  10 years later, look at what you have and you won't be unhappy!

 

Thinking about a move... I'd love to connect!

Ravi =)

#theconnexusadvantage #ravisinghremax


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.

 


Business Lessons I learned from my Dad...

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Tonight I took Maya to see a model home in a new subdivision (that's quality family time for a Realtor lol). While I was there, I was pointing out things to Maya that probably went over her head. Telling her about the side setback and the lot frontage and ceiling heights and such.

All of a sudden I had this warm feeling of nostalgia. My dad. What a guy. He used to take me to sites when he was a developer in Oakville. I was 9 years old when my dad was showing me the site that United Lands was working on. It was Heartland in Mississauga. I remember him pointing out where the roads were going. I remember him explaining the space that Hazel McCallion appointed for schools and parks. That day I remember vividly. I also remember many more just the same. 

My father spent a lot of time with his children. In doing so, I was fortunate to learn some very important life lessons and business principles that I value tremendously. This blog, I'm writing partially in tribute to you, Dad. Here are 6 lessons I learned about business from you. There's so much I appreciate about our time together. In no particular order... these came from your example:

1. No time like the present
What you must do tomorrow, do today. What you must do today, do it now. Pretty simple eh? Just get er done! 

2. What ever comes across your table, read it. 
You used to say this all the time. I remember "Take your kid to work day". I was in Grade 9 and you started your day reading not one, but 6 newspapers! Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Financial Post and National Post. This was all before 8 AM.

3. Value the Gift of Gab
I remember hearing that term a lot? Gift of Gab... conversational skills. I think I got that one ;)

4. Never stop learning
Stay humble and continue formal and informal education. Go to courses, read books, engage people. No one can ever take away your education. I remember my dad saying all the time "I have my papers" in reference to his multiple university degrees.

5. Never forget where you came from
This meant more then one thing for my Dad. He was very proud of his North Indian descent. Also very aware of the struggles his parents went through (especially his mother) to provide for him and his siblings. 

6. Family First.
Despite a successful and time consuming career, my father was always home for dinner and always with his family on the weekends. Now as my career is consuming more of my time, I find balance a challenge but I recognize from your example... family first.

When I left IBM and started on this Realtor path, I could see your joy in those first years when I'd do a deal. I remember my first open house, you and Mom came to see me at that Malvern Townhome.  Flash forward ten years and I'm a top producer with ReMax, a Team Leader and continuing to receive accolade. I wish you were here to share these experiences, but after one time is another. Now I'm the father and Maya and Dhilan are the kids.

 

Thank you for you Dad. Business is about giving. No wonder you did well. You gave it your all.


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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Press Release - Significant Upswing in Toronto’s Detached Housing Values

For immediate release

 

Intensification contributes to significant upswing in Toronto’s detached housing values

in the first six months of 2016, says RE/MAX Hallmark

Double-digit increases reported in close to 90 per cent of neighbourhoods

 

Toronto, ON (August 2, 2016) – Intensification within Toronto proper has served to further bolster price appreciation as builders and end users compete for a limited number of single-detached properties listed for sale, according to a report released today by RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd.  The overall average price of a detached home in the 416 area code is up 16.4 per cent in the first six months of 2016 to $1,230,340, compared to $1,056,688 during the same period one year ago.

“Average price will continue to soar in conjunction with improvements in housing stock,” says Ken McLachlan, Broker-Owner, RE/MAX Hallmark.  “Teardown activity is rampant throughout Toronto and neighbouring Scarborough, as evidenced by the ever-increasing number of applications for zoning variances and lot severances.  Scarcity of land, further exacerbated by the greenbelt to the north, east and west of the city, has also prompted double-digit increases of detached homes in 90 per cent of neighbourhoods in the 416 area code to date, with almost 57 per cent now reporting average prices in excess of $1 million. ”

RE/MAX Hallmark examined average price appreciation in four separate Toronto Real Estate Board districts (East, West, Central, York Region) and 44 communities for the first six months of 2016.   Of the top five performing areas for detached homes in the 416 – in terms of price appreciation -- are all located in the central core.  Banbury, Don Mills, Parkwoods, Donalda, and Victoria Village (C13) led the city with a 36.4 per cent increase in the average price of a detached home, with values rising from $1,335,548 to $1,821,777.  Bayview Village, Bayview Woods-Steeles, Don Valley Village, Hillcrest Village, and Henry Farm (C15) ranked second with a 31.8 per cent upswing in the first six months of the year, with the price of an average detached home climbing to $1,649,510, up from $1,252,000 during the same period in 2015.  Lansing, Westgate, Willowdale West, and Newtonbrook West (C07) experienced an uptick of just over 29 per cent, with average price rising from $1,257,458 to $1,624,017.  The Bathurst Manor, Armour Heights communities (C06) rose 26.9 per cent year-to-date, with average price climbing from $1,010,711 to $1,282,135.  Rounding out the top five was Willowdale East (C14) with a 26.4 per cent increase in detached housing values ($1,596,358 to $2,018,060).

 

“As pricing for detached housing south of Highway 401 escalates, buyers have set their sights on communities north of the 401 that offer up bungalows and smaller two-storey homes on good size lots at more affordable price points,” explains McLachlan. “However, fewer and fewer post-war homes are available within Toronto proper, given the move toward re-gentrification.”  

Detached housing values north of Steeles Ave. in York Region have spiked as a result of the ripple effect, according to McLachlan.  Both Aurora and King experienced strong upward pressure on prices (28.6 per cent and 27.7 per cent respectively) in the first six months of 2016, but so too have other communities including Georgina (26.2 per cent), Newmarket (25 per cent), Richmond Hill (24.7 per cent), and Markham (24.4 per cent). 

More than 7,000 detached homes changed hands in York Region between January 1 and June 30, an increase of almost 14 per cent over the 6,310 sales reported during the same period in 2015.  Limited inventory levels kept detached sales increases to half a percentage point in the central core (2,263 vs. 2,252), three per cent in the west end (2,130 vs. 2,068), and close to six per cent in the east (2,490 vs. 2,358), with the vast majority of gains occurring in Scarborough.

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. is one of the largest real estate franchises in Ontario, with more than 1,100 sales associates operating out of 14 offices throughout the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, and the Muskoka 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

 

6 Things You May Not Know About RE/MAX Hallmark

The Connexus Group is proud to be with RE/MAX Hallmark. Stationed at the Bayview Village office we couldn't be happier with the service and support we get from our brokerage family. Here are 6 things you may not know about our brokerage. 

#1 Canada's Most Productive Agents

 

Condo Club Meeting

- Run by none other than Ravi Singh the Condo Club is held every Friday morning. With today's market consisting of 50% condos, 50% residential homes. It's important to know the ins and outs of condo buying/selling as it is quite different from buying a house. Every Friday more than 20 agents get together to share their listings, help each other find condos for their buyers and educate each other on many topics from pre-construction, assignments, clauses, by-laws and declarations and many more topics.

RE/MAX Hallmark University

- Learning doesn't stop after we get our license. RE/MAX Hallmark offers over 70 courses a year through our training centre off of York Mills in North York. Agents can learn from fundamental tools/strategies to getting motivated from globally known motivational speakers. 

10 Locations

- From West to East Toronto and up to Muskoka we have 10 locations with plans to expand into the GTA by 2020

remaxhallmarklocations

We Are a Family

- Its been said many time before. We are truly a family. Each of us have been a part of other brokerages but RE/MAX Hallmark feels the most like a family. We don't just work together, we spend our down time together. Travelling, partying, dinners, galas, award shows and much more. 

Secret Facebook Networking Group

- We exchange exclusives, coming soon before anyone else can see, help each other with tough situations, support, exchange suppliers and much more.

6 Questions To Ask When Interviewing a Listing Agent

Interview Questions Real Estate Agents

 

You should feel secure, comfortable and well-advised when choosing your listing agent. We've compiled the Top 6 Questions you should use at your next listing presentation. 

1. How are you different from other agents ?

This question reveals their tenacity and character. Many agents learn scripts and sound like robots. A top agent will sound unscripted and give you a feel of who they are as a person. This question brings out an agents personality. If you want to know why your nonna's pasta sauce always tastes the best , a question like this will reveal the secret ingredient. 

2. What do you bring to the table?

Hopefully by the end of the listing presentation you will know the answer to this question. These key strategies should be included in their presentation; a marketing plan (digital and print), negotiation, prep of your home and many other strategies. A difference between a Top Agent and just another agent is their branding and that key strategy that no other agent would have. Call us and we will reveal the secret to selling your house. It's all part of the "magic touch" we have. 

3. How will you get us the price we want?

Always, always, always have options when pricing. A Top Agent will know the market, know your neighbourhood and have tiered pricing strategies. There are so many agents nowadays that get into the industry without knowing basic math. You'll be able to know immediately. Do you own research before hand.

4. Supply 3 references.

Many sellers don't even think to do this. And we aren't talking about testimonials from their parents, cousins, aunties and siblings. Get the number of past clients and call them up. Ask them about the process, ask them what they liked most, what they thought the agent could of improved on and any downfalls they went though.

5. Type of volume of transactions

Has the agent you're interviewing sold a home like yours before? Have they sold in your neighbourhood or municipality? What's their volume of transactions in each category? If you are selling a co-op housing unit, you would need an agent who has high volume of transactions in co-op housing, etc.

6. What are your numbers?

Best for last. Their numbers. It is so easy to manipulate stats. And it seems many agents are #1 in the market, #1 in the neighborhood, #1 globally. With aestriks (*) that lead to tiny words that reveal the truth behind the stat. Be careful when asking about Days on Market (DOM) vs. Average Sale. These are the two most skewed numbers in the market. 

Like our brokerage's vision we believe in being guardians of the Real Estate Industry. Taken from RE/MAX Hallmark website, "We are extremely proud of our industry and take on the responsibility of helping to grow our industry in the heart and minds of our consumers. We expect and deliver professional service and care to everyone we are privileged to serve."

#theconnexusadvantage

Next Step After You Move In

Congratulations! We've found your new home together and you just moved in. Take a moment to let it all soak in. After opening up your #connexusadvantage welcome home package you're probably thinking of the million tasks on your to do list. For some, the honey to-do list. 

Unpack, measure, poke holes, drill, hammer, level, install, paint, clean, renovate -- design. Your interior design style is what brings everything all together. So forget about A-Z tasks and focus on how you would like your new home to look. We have a list of guys for the A-Z tasks. 

What kind of kitchen cabinets do you like; Wood vs. Glass vs. Sleek vs. Retro vs...

We've recently found this online interior design quiz that can help you find your style. The questions really help narrow down whether you're going to have fake flowers, branches and twigs or fresh flowers every 4-7 days. 

Sarah recently took it and got Contemporary for her design style. 

Contemporary Interior Design

Have a little fun on this work Friday afternoon and pop over to the Houzz website and take the quiz. Let us know what you got! 

And remember, whatever your home need is we are here to help. After all, it's #theconnexusadvantage 

How to Win a Bidding War

how to win a bidding war

 

Have you recently entered the real estate market and have been shocked with how many bidding wars and bully offers there are in the market place. 

Have any of these phrases stumped you:

  • "Offer Date April 12th at 7 PM. Bring Best Offer."
  • "No Pre-emptive offers being accepted"
  • "Seller reserves the right to pre-emptive offers"
  • "Bully Offer" 
  • "There are now 24 offers registered on the property" 

Don't be surprised. With the high demand on detached homes and little supply almost every (or every other) property holds Offer Presentation Dates. What's that you ask? It's the schedule presentation time where agents go and present offers infront of the owners/listing agent. Usually a week after the property hits the market. 

We're here today to give you 8 Strategies on how to WIN your next bidding war. Warning: we won't be giving away all of our secrets, schedule a meeting with one of The Connexus Group members and we can help you through the process.  

1. Crunch Numbers

Before you even begin your purchasing journey, crunch some numbers. Call a mortgage advisor and find out how much you can really afford. Get pre-approved. Know your monthly budget. 

2. Timing is Everything

Bidding wars happen fast and there is plenty of opportunity to miss out on a home. Be prepared to move fast. When/if bully offers are accepted, put one in. Know the seasonal markets. This goes back to supply and demand. If you're a buyer you want to be on the edge. 

3. Be Flexible 

Offers in today's market are coming in firm. What does that mean? It means no conditions on financing, inspection or anything! Be open minded to moving up in price.

4. Deposit Herewith:

A good buyer's agent should be presenting your offer in person with a bank draft regarding deposit in any circumstance possible. No contract is completed without consideration and execution. Consideration in the form of a deposit can give you the competitive edge.

5. Write it Down 

Talk is cheap in today's market. No seller is going to wait on a "phantom offer". An offer is only as good as the paper it was written on.

6. Get Creative

You may be surprised as to how far a good story can go. If you can pull at some heart strings you may be able to win. Share your personal story; share your why, why would you like to live in their home. Personal touches leave lasting impressions. Toss in a photo of the family while you are at it. 

7. Know When to Walk Away

Not everything is worth fighting to the last beat. Know when too much is too much in today's market. Don't be that fool that over pays for undervalued property. 

8. Use The Connexus Group Agents. 

This one might seem a bit obvious...because hey let's admit it, you're here on our website. But we pride ourselves in our winning streak and it's solely based on three strategies that we've put into place. I'm not going to give away our secret. But know that these 3 strategies are solid and have been proven to win a bidding war. We will explain all the terminology and hold your hand every step of the way.

ReMax Hallmark Scholarship Fund

We are happy to announce that RE/MAX Hallmark is offering a 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, please contact Alicia at 416.494.7653 or via email at alicia@ravisingh.ca.  We would be happy to endorse your child in our Scholarship Program to help with their education

 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.
#theconnexusadvantage

My recent Experience with Assignment Condo Buyers

My Recent Experience with Assignment Condo Investors...

What you need when buying condos for the purpose of investment is quite simple. You need a looped in advisor who can skim all the fat away and get you a real deal. My current favourite deals are good assignments in good buildings with good floorplans.


Why?

 

Assignments are a glitch in the system. The near perfect exposure via MLS of resale listings allow for the absorption rate to be high and prices to be based on standard rules of supply and demand. There aren't "deals to be had" on MLS. If its priced too low, the market is efficient and the end price moves up. If its priced too high, it sits around until sellers become realistic and the end price moves down.

But what about assignments?

 

What if I could tell you that a desperate seller, who will have trouble closing his unit, is willing to take a hit on price and sell at a loss to walk away from his deal?

What if I could tell you that I know of a property that is not on MLS, and is being sold at 2012 prices in 2015?

What if I could tell you that a couple going through a divorce has split all assets except for a pre-construction condo that they are dying to off load?

 

These are all stories that are very true and very real.

 

Right now, I'm helping a great couple buy their first assignment condo. They are asking a lot of questions and I wanted to share this experience with you:

 

1. What is the current market value of this unit?

 

The current market value of this unit is $30,000 higher then what you will be paying. Because this property isn't registered it can't be sold through conventional means. The lack of exposure to the market is creating this downward pressure on sale price.

 

2. How much will it cost me monthly to carry this unit?

 

This is a 2 part answer. Until registration, the cost will be $1400. This is your occupancy fee. Post registration, your mortgage, maintenance and property tax will come up to $1547 based on the terms of the mortgage we discussed.

 

3. How much will I be able to rent this unit for?

 

Immediately upon closing the assignment, you will be able to rent this property for $1650. (Immediately based on the terms negotiated by your realtor.)

 

4. What will it cost to close this unit?

 

You will have to pay the following closing costs: Municipal Levies, Legal Fees, Land Transfer Tax and HST. The HST you pay will be given back to you in total. You will have to pay $20,000 in HST which you will receive back in approximately 4 months. Your other closing costs work out to roughly 4% of the purchase price.

 

 

5. How much money do I need to purchase this unit?

 

You need somewhere around 25% of the purchase price. That number is based on down payment plus closing costs. Part of your down payment will be paid to the seller (assignor). The rest of your down payment and your closing costs will be paid to the builder upon final registration.

 

6. Why should I buy this assignment and not invest my money in something else?

 

The buying opportunity is great here. Mainly because you are buying it below market value! You're building a great piece of equity right now. You're also walking through the unit and seeing it first hand. Your also able to negotiate heavily with a seller despite it being a sellers market. You also have the benefit of a TARION warranty. You also have the opportunity to be cash flow positive month to month. You're also buying a floorplan that is very good. You're also buying a coveted building that will outperform the market averages. The list goes on and on. But the main thing is your buying a unit that is worth the assignment price + $30,000.

 

7. What risks am I exposed to?

 

There is the chance of a prolonged occupancy period. There is also the standard risks with all investment properties including tenant issues and repair costs. In the long run though, you actually can not go wrong. You will make money. The key is holding power and long term thinking.

 

8. What would be next?

 

I have an agreement to Assign. We would submit this to the sellers representative and negotiate the hell out of this deal. Upon acceptance we would deliver funds and let lawyers close the assignment.

 

 

This couple is taking a leap of faith in my abilities, but all of my statements are based on strong research and real data. Do yourself a favour this up coming year... invest in real estate. You'll be thanking me! If this couple can do it, you can too.

 

And as always, if you want to talk real estate, we are happy to help!

I have 5 off market opportunities via assignments at some of the best buildings:

Thompson Residences

12 Degrees

King Charlotte

Casa

King + Condos

 

RS> TheConnexusAdvantage | downtownTOliving | EastGTAliving

Family Day with the Connexus Family

One thing we've learned is that the relationships we've made in our real estate career have garnered relationships that mean more then just buying and selling

In that vein, we through the most awesome get together for our new moms and dads this past Family Day. Thank you to everyone who came out to join us on Family day for our event at the Remax Hallmark Training and Events Centre. We had tonnes of great moments including a visit from Queen Elsa, a ReMax Balloon colouring contest and a Justin Bieber dance off. The kids had so much fun and so did the parents.


See our full photo gallery here

New Down Payment Rules

The down payment rate was bound to change and that time is upon us. The days of 5% on a $1,000,000 home are behind us. Let's face it, we were running at high-risks with the old rates. The new down payment structure allows for more security for both buyers and sellers. Buyers won't feel overwhelmed with their mortgages and sellers will feel more secure in solidifying the deal. Not just that, but on the macro level, the market is further protected. The government of Canada wants Canadians to have equity in their homes and we couldn't agree more.

 So what does this mean to you? Let's break it down.

Any home with a purchase price of $500,000k or below can give a minimum of 5% for down payment. 

A home between $500,001 - $1,000,000 will pay 10% down on the amount over $500,000 

The new rule doesn't affect properties over $1 million because they don't qualify for high-ratio mortgage insurance. They will need a 20% downpayment to qualify for a traditional mortgage. 

These infographics simplify the change...

Down Payment Structure Ontario
Ontario Down Payment Structure