Skip to content

CategoryReal Estate news

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.   Continue reading “Toronto 15% Foreign tax, new Rent controls… it changes nothing!”

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). Continue reading “Housing bubble is coming… again?”

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? Continue reading “Panic buying? When will the housing market slow down?”

Finally, a tax break on Land 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

Mortgage brief.. CMHC ‘red warning’.. what’s it mean?

red-warningMuch has been made about CMHC’s Economists ‘Red Warning’ that was put out for the 4th quarter of 2016.  Let’s take a look at what the report actually says.

CMHC’s economists have 3 categories of measurement that are of concern.  Overheating, Price acceleration and Overvaluation.

VANCOUVER AND TORONTO

The Vancouver market had already been identified by CMHC as having moderate Overheating and Price Acceleration and Strong Overvaluation.    Toronto now has the same issues with the same Overall Assessment of Strong evidence of problematic conditions.

Put another way, CMHC believes the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets are vulnerable.   While this is cause for concern, there was also some other info in the report that we should be probably not overlook… Continue reading “Mortgage brief.. CMHC ‘red warning’.. what’s it mean?”

Mortgage Brief…BC’s 15% Foreign property tax coming to Toronto?

BC waterfrontAnd it begins in Vancouver… the long-awaited, little debated foreign property tax is about to begin.

Foreigners wanting to buy in Vancouver will need to add 15% to the purchase price..  Put another way, this adds $150,000 to the purchase price of a $1,000,000 property.

The new tax begins August 2nd.   The provincial BC govt says they want to ensure that home ownership remains within the reach of the middle class.  And if it doesn’t then, they say, it has created a new revenue stream.

MY THOUGHTS… Continue reading “Mortgage Brief…BC’s 15% Foreign property tax coming to Toronto?”

Today is your last chance to stop DOUBLING of Land Transfer Tax.

kathleen wynneAs this is such an important issue, I’m gonna repeat my last article.  Today is the last day to voice your opinion to our Provincial govt and tell them how you feel about the possibility of DOUBLING your Land Transfer Tax.     The govt is accepting all opinions until today.

The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing is Ted McMeekin… You can email his office through Mark Cripps at  Mark.Cripps@ontario.ca and by phone at 416 585 6842.

In case you don’t know what Land Transfer Tax is… the province charges a tax to the purchaser, every time a home is sold.  Yup, another cash grab.  It’s kinda like when you buy a new car… when you buy it, you are charged sales tax (today, that’s 13%… remember when it was 7% and 8%?  seeing a pattern here anyone?).   And when you sell that car, the sales tax is levied once again to the new purchaser…when they sell it, the new purchaser must pay this sales tax again… and so on, and so on.    But why?  Why should a sales tax be charged over and over again?   Can anyone explain this?

If you buy a house, and sell in 2 or 3 or 10 yrs, the govt charges this Land Transfer Tax.  It’s ridiculous and it’s not a fair system of levying a charge..   Yet, it’s something that has been accepted as the norm.

In Toronto, the mayor couldn’t balance the budget so he seeked special powers from the Province to introduce a Toronto Land Transfer Tax in 2008.  Yup, they just created a new tax out of thin air and slammed all property buyers with a double tax..   Nice, eh?

Look, if you are as upset with this as I am, then take 2 mins and send an email to the govt.   It’s one thing to bring into a major city like Toronto, but to bring into all communities across the province would be disastrous.   Not all of Ontario is experiencing prosperity.  This is shameful.  I don’t like making strong statements like that.  But I can’t help myself.

Stand up Ontarians!  Have your say.

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

New Land Transfer Tax for ALL of Ontario??!! Ms. Wynne, stop the madness!

kathleen wynneDid you know that in 2008, the city of Toronto was given special powers by the Provincial govt to bring their own municipal land transfer tax?   Since then, homebuyers in Toronto have had to pay 2 land transfer taxes.  The Provincial one and the municipal one.

On a $500,000 home, Land Transfer tax in Toronto is $12,200.  In the rest of Ontario, it’s $6475.  On a $750,000 home, LTT in Toronto is $22,200. The rest of Ontario, it’s $11,475.  It’s a sliding scale with the % going up the more your home is worth.

Yesterday, October 27th (remember this date), we saw news reports that the Ontario provincial  is considering extending those same special powers to the rest of Ontario.    I’ll repeat that… the Provincial govt, led by Ms. Kathleen Wynne, is considering extending special powers to allow the rest of Ontario to add their own municipal land transfer tax.  Continue reading “New Land Transfer Tax for ALL of Ontario??!! Ms. Wynne, stop the madness!”

Fall 2015 housing market remains hot!

$$ up arrowThe stats are in… House prices are up 6.1% in September compared with Sept 2014.  In fact, house prices were up across the country except Alberta, Saskatchewan and PEI.

Now, what’s the first thought that popped into your head?  Did you ask, ‘when will house prices collapse or go downs?’.   That’s probably what most of us are thinking.  The answer is, no one really knows.

The Canadian real estate market has proven to be as resilient as Justin Trudeau.   Our new PM took a lot of personal attacks but somehow, he managed to survive and win… a majority govt.  (not saying I want or don’t want him there… I’ll keep my personal politics private… for now anyways). Continue reading “Fall 2015 housing market remains hot!”

Rogers Communications shutting down Zoocasa.com on June 22, 2015

zoocasa  They launched back in 2008 in a beta version.  In 2011, they began offering property valuations through Zoopraisal.  And in the coming years, they provided the public with property sales data.   Surprisingly, Rogers Communications announced they will close the site as of June 22nd, 2015.

There is much speculation about why Rogers would close this online real estate site.  This was not some small business.  This site had a huge following and was ranked number 1181 in top websites in Canada…  That may not sound impressive, but that’s actually incredibly high.   Remax.ca is ranked #484, Royallepage.ca is #535, Sutton.com (Sutton Group) is just #3559… according to Alexa rankings. Continue reading “Rogers Communications shutting down Zoocasa.com on June 22, 2015”

Trump’s George Ross says Canada’s Housing market is undervalued….

George RossGeorge Ross is Donald Trump’s Executive VP.  He’s Trump’s senior advisor and has worked with Trump for 30 years.   You’ve probably seen him on TV on ‘The Apprentice’.   This week, he was quoted as saying Canada’s real estate market is undervalued, not overvalued.    That’s quite the opposite of what the so-called experts have been saying for 8 or 9 years.  (by the way, where are those experts now?)

If you listen to his interview, he makes some good points.   Office properties have more upward potential than residential properties.  But the residential market follows the Office or commercial market.   He also says that buying a house for a quick flip isn’t a good strategy.    It may sound good on the TV shows, but it’s a risky game to play.   Mr. Ross says more fortunes have been lost in real estate than have been made.   Continue reading “Trump’s George Ross says Canada’s Housing market is undervalued….”

So, you think rates are gonna spike up this year? Who says?

Variable rate mortgage Here we go again…  The beginning of a new year, and the same annual forecasts for interest rates to go up!   Before I share my thoughts.. Here’s some of the recent headlines that I’ve seen….

  • a report by CBC News sharing 4 ways to prepare.. including selling your home, waiting to buy and locking into a Fixed rate mortgage!    (Can you say panic?)
  • Here’s another from The Globe and Mail telling us it’s “Bad News for Borrowers: The economy could improve this year”.  Really?  Tell that to the people in Alberta, Newfoundland and Saskatchewan.
  • And this one from last week says Get ready for Interest Rate Shock in 2015.

Wow, reading this means rates are certain to up this year…right?  So let’s see.. we should sell our home, put off buying (yet again) and lock in our Variable rates into Fixed rate mortgages..

Now let’s look at the most recent headlines.. Continue reading “So, you think rates are gonna spike up this year? Who says?”

Housing bubble? Waiting for the crash before buying has cost you 60% in the last 6 years.

Housing BubleBad news travels 10 times faster than good news!  It’s just human nature that we can’t seem to escape.  We seem more likely to gossip about someone’s misfortune than their accomplishments.

Here’s a negative headline….  YOU LOST APPROXIMATELY $355,000, SO FAR, IF YOU’VE BEEN WAITING TO A BUY HOUSE SINCE 2008.  Read on to see understand how and why.

Take Wednesday’s headline in the Financial Post, “Bank of Canada warns house prices are overvalued by up to 30%” .  WOW!  How’s that not gonna get your attention?   It certainly got mine.  I immediately had to read this article.  But the more I read, the clearer it became that this statement wasn’t exactly true.

The article pointed to a semi-annual report that is put out by the Bank of Canada entitled, Financial System Review December 2014.  That headline is an attention grabber.. And like most media headlines, it’s not the full story.  In fact, it’s not an accurate reflection of what the Bank of Canada report had to say.   If you look at Stephen Poloz’s (Bank of Canada Governor) comments, he says “there is some risk that the housing market is overvalued, and our estimates fall in the 10 to 30 per cent range”.

But he’s not done there.. Continue reading “Housing bubble? Waiting for the crash before buying has cost you 60% in the last 6 years.”

Attn: Ontario landlords… Rent control rules may not apply!

landlord-tenantDid you know that Alberta has no residential rent control?   And British Columbia landlords can increase rents by the rate of inflation PLUS 2%?   In Ontario, the Landlord and Tenant Board sets annual rent increases.   For 2014, the rent increase was a mere 0.8% and for 2015 the rents can only be increased by 1.6%.  Anyone that’s bought a rental property has probably been following these rules for years.   An increase of 2.2% over a 2 year period sounds great if you are a tenant, but somewhat unfair if you are landlord.

Now, what if I told you there’s a good chance your PROPERTY IS EXEMPT FROM ONTARIO’S RENT CONTROL RULES?  Meaning you can increase the rents as high as you like.   According to the Ontario Landlords Association, more and more properties are becoming exempt from Ontario’s rent control rules.  
Continue reading “Attn: Ontario landlords… Rent control rules may not apply!”

Average Toronto detached home sale is over $966k

$$ up arrow Recent housing stats released by Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) show listings and sales are down but, prices are up.  According to TREB, the average sale price for a detached home in Toronto is $966,875.    For those that have invested in real estate, you’ve done well.  For those that are looking to buy, this may not be such good news.. However, there is a bright spot.

TREB also said that affordability has not deteriorated due to low mortgage rates.   No doubt that low rates are helping to fuel real estate price increases.   If you are waiting for the market to fall and prices to drop, you may want to reconsider that plan.   The forecast is for prices to remain strong.

It’s been an interesting year so far.  We’ve had a cold Spring, an even colder Winter, and yet the real estate market is red hot.   Watch for house sales to remain strong.   Trying to time the market can be costly.  Just ask those that sold 2, 3 and 4 years ago.   There have been many calls to exit the market.  I have personally seen some clients sell and rent for the last 2 and 3 years.  They are questioning that decision now.

I think buying a home should be a long term investment.  Plan to hold for 7 years.  That’s a long enough time to live through any up or down housing cycles.   If you can stick with that plan, then you should be okay.  Don’t buy because you are afraid of missing out.  Buy because you need a home and can afford it.  Buy because it’s a long-term investment and you have planned and thought it out.   Buying to invest is a good idea, you just need to understand what it takes to own and finance a property.

Speak with a team of professionals.  You need a good realtor, a lawyer, a mortgage broker, and an accountant.   Professional advice doesn’t mean it’s gonna cost you a lot of money either.   Professionals usually cost less than you think.. or they get compensated by other parties.. such as realtors and mortgage brokers.. you don’t pay them when you buy a house…  The get paid by the seller or the mortgage lender (unless you don’t qualify for a traditional mortgage).    The point is, it’s easier than you think.

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

 

Darryl Sittler made his fortune in real estate, not hockey.

RRSP home buyers planLast week, I had the privilege of attending REIN’s (Real Estate Investment Network) monthly workshop.  One of my childhood idols was a guest speaker.  I’m talking about Darryl Sittler, the former captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs.   In case you haven’t heard of REIN, let me share some details about this group of professionals.

REIN is a group of real estate investors that get together to network and share valuable information that affects real estate in Canada.   The leader of the group is Don Campbell.   If you haven’t heard of him, you should.  His approach to buying investment properties has proven to be very sound and profitable.  His “top ten best cities to invest” is legendary. Continue reading “Darryl Sittler made his fortune in real estate, not hockey.”

%d bloggers like this: