Spring housing market in the Fall?

Fewer homes in the summer.  Lower average home selling price in the summer.  That’s this year’s headline.  But it could also apply to last year or the year before or the year before that.

What hasn’t been said much is that house prices almost always go up in the Spring and fall during the summer. 

This year isn’t much different.  Except that this Spring, we saw ridiculous price increases in the 20% range.

That’s just not sustainable.  Check out some of these graphs from Canadian Real Estate Association.

This summer, house prices have fallen a little more than average.   And sales are also down compared with the last 2 years.  But listings haven’t increased.  In fact, listings dropped in July signalling we could have reached the bottom.

Hey, if we were in a housing bubble, you would have seen new listings continue to spike up.  That’s when we know the market will have changed gears.

 

PENT UP BUYER DEMAND?

Some are speculating that we could see a busy Fall market this September or October.  The Fall has historically been the 2nd busiest housing market.    If we look at Vancouver in 2016, after they announced their 15% Foreign tax rule, their market went soft and was very quiet.  Many pessimists were saying it was the bubble bursting.

Six months later and Vancouver’s market is busier than ever. Fully recovered.  The initial shock of the Foreign tax rule came and went.   We could see that same sort of comeback for Toronto.

A WORD TO OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND REGULATORS…

To the Federal govt:  Please, no more mortgage rule changes.  Let the market absorb all the massive changes already made.  Listen, I’m telling you with 28 years of mortgage lending experience.. I can’t recall when qualifying for a mortgage has ever been harder… and I was around during the last real estate recession of 1990.

Non-bank lenders are being penalized as their cost of funds are higher than BIG SIX BANKS (thanks to the new Fed govt mortgage rules), hence driving more customers towards the BANKS… THE WINNERS:  BIG SIX BANKS.  THE LOSERS: CONSUMERS. Let’s bring back competition among Mortgage Lenders… and let’s make mortgage financing accessible again.  The pendulum has swung way too far to the conservative lending side.

BANK OF CANADA RATE HIKES ON HOLD?

The Bank of Canada hiked the Prime rate by 0.25% in July.  It was headline news for weeks.  Many said this was the 1st of many hikes to come.  Today, the forecast is for a possible October hike.  But that isn’t a sure thing.  And if the uncertainty with the housing market continues or if the NAFTA trade agreement gets turfed like President Trump says, you can bet the Bank of Canada governor will think twice about raising the rates.   More likely a rate drop!

Stay tuned.. Maybe we’ll see a Spring market in the Fall?

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

Canadians bought more U.S. real estate than almost anyone else!

From April 2016 to March 2017 Canadians spent $19billion buying U.S. properties, according to the U.S. National Association of Realtors.

Put another way, Canada was only behind China for all foreign purchases of U.S. real estate in 2016.   That’s an incredible stat that deserves more attention.

And what’s not been talked about is where Canadians are getting the money to buy these U.S. properties.  It isn’t so easy for a Canadian to borrow money from US Bank.  So, instead, Canadians are borrowing in Canada by refinancing the mortgage on their house, or getting a secured line of credit.  This is called leveraging.  Borrowing to invest isn’t a bad thing.  Most Financial Planners and advisor promote this.

THE STATS SHOW WE CANADIANS ARE SAVVY INVESTORS

Yet, all we keep hearing about is how Canadians are borrowing and spending like foolish children. And that’s just not true.  Here’s some numbers from 2016 …

Read the rest of this entry »

Housing market is active but will slow in summer as it ALWAYS does..

Much has been written about the Canadian housing market.  Even more about greater Toronto and Vancouver.  The pessimists are waiting for a collapse.  The optimists are hoping the prices keep going up.  Then there’s the realists.  They would like to see the market slow and maybe even for prices to go down, so that we don’t have a housing bubble. Which one are you?

When it comes to the housing market, I’m a realist.

Every Spring, for the last 10+ years, the real estate market in Canada heats up.  Prices increase, they sell faster, and supply can’t keep up with demand. It’s become the norm.  In June, July and August, the market gets very quiet and prices go down.  That’s right, they actually go down.

This year was no different except for 2 things..  Supply was very low in January, February and March, causing selling prices to jump as much as 20% over last year in some markets.   Now, let’s look more closely.. Read the rest of this entry »

Toronto 15% Foreign tax, new Rent controls… it changes nothing!

15% Foreign home buyers tax, not a big deal

Last year, Vancouver introduced a 15% foreign homebuyers tax.  I predicted it would come to Toronto after 6 months.

Today, Ontario’s govt has copied Vancouver by introducing a 15% foreign homebuyers tax.   The hope is this will discourage foreign investors from buying and speculating on the Toronto housing market (by the way, there is no data to prove that foreign investors are a factor or contributing to the red hot housing market).

Vancouver tried this last year. But what happened?  The amount of sales slowed, but just temporarily. And house prices didn’t really drop.  This year, Vancouver house values are up over 3% and climbing.   Read the rest of this entry »

Housing bubble is coming… again?

You’ve seen them before.. but they went silent for a few years.  I’m talking about the housing bears.  The pessimists that say house prices are too high and will crash.  A housing bubble.

Are they right?  Maybe.  But here’s the thing.  We’ve been hearing that house prices are too high for over a decade.  One of the more vocal pessimists is David Madani, Economist for Capital Economics.

HOUSING BUBBLE?

Madani was on BNN this past week saying we are in a ‘Full blown housing bubble’.   Hmmm, that sounds familiar.  Let me think… when did I hear that before?  Oh, that’s right, 2011.   He said, we could see house prices drop by 25% in 2011.  And he was completely wrong. (hope you didn’t listen to him). Read the rest of this entry »

Panic buying? When will the housing market slow down?

 

hot-housing-marketHouses selling over asking price is becoming the norm, these days.  Kinda crazy.  Sometimes a house is just listed under market value to attract a frenzy of buyers. An old tactic that has worked well in larger urban markets.  Today, that tactic is being used in smaller communities, too.

What’s unclear is if this selling tactic is contributing to houses selling for more than they’re worth.  And what is a home worth, anyway?   I always thought a house was worth what someone was willing to pay in the open market.  That’s still true in most cases, today.

When I see reports of houses selling for $100k, $200k and $300k over asking, it makes me wonder.  How long will this market last?  Will it crash?  And if so, when?   It’s hard to make forecasts and I can’t see into the future, but let’s examine this a little.

WHEN WILL THE HOUSING MARKET CRASH? Read the rest of this entry »

Finally, a tax break on Lander transfer tax.

ontario-govt

Did you get a larger Land Transfer Tax rebate?

If you bought a home this year, and you’re a first time home buyer, then you’ll pay less tax..   The Ontario provincial govt has doubled the rebate from $2,000 to $4,000.   The rebate is for qualified first time home buyers only.

They also eliminated Land Transfer tax on the first $368,000 of the purchase price for first time home buyers.    Hey, this is good news.  And I applaud the govt for giving for giving first time buyers a break.

They also increased the Land Transfer Tax for homes over $2million.  Here’s the old and new tax tables.

“Old” Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rates
Home Purchase Price             Tax Rate
Up to $55,000                                 0.5%
$55,000 to $250,000                    1.0%
$250,000 to $400,000                 1.5%
Above $400,000                             2.0%

And here’s the new formula…

“New” Ontario Land Transfer Tax Rates
Home Purchase Price             Tax Rate
Up to $55,000                                 0.5%
$55,000 to $250,000                    1.0%
$250,000 to $400,000                 1.5%
$400,000 to $2-million                2.0%
$2-million and over                       2.5%

Enjoy the savings..

Kinda strange..  Remember when the Kathleen Wynne govt was considering allowing other municipalities, other than Toronto, to introduce a new land transfer tax?   NO?  Well, I do.. and you shouldn’t forget it either.. click here to remember..  Keep this in the back of your mind .. Let’s hope this isn’t some sort of strategy to catch us with our guard down..

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

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