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 »

Mortgage Brief.. Mortgages rules explained… and why didn’t the govt consult experts?

Bill Morneautrudeau

They say we don’t read emails or articles anymore.. we just skim through them.   But some things can’t be understood with a quick glance.  The new mortgage rules will impact EVERYONE!

If you want to understand how they impact you, continue reading… If you don’t care or want to be oblivious, take the blue pill and move on.

I’ve put together a list of the mortgage rules so that you can understand what they mean and how they will impact you.   Hey, let’s give The Federal govt some credit… they’ve been transparent about a few things, right?:

  • They want house prices to drop.
  • They don’t want anyone to have a mortgage if their home is worth more than $1,000,000.
  • They don’t want you to ever refinance your mortgage.  You should only require a mortgage when you buy a house.
  • They don’t want you to buy a house and rent it out.  You should only buy a rental property if it has 2 or more units.
  • Mortgages should not be amortized for longer than 25 years.
  • They want rates to go way up.

Here we go.. Forget the data and stats being reported today.  Those stats don’t matter!  We want to see the stats after March 30th, 2017.

Remember the mortgage rule changes of October 17th?  How about the ones on November 30th?  Get ready, we won’t see the full effect of these changes until after March 30th 2017.

That’s when the last of the mortgage approvals will have closed, that were done under the old rules. And all the new mortgage closings beyond this date, will have had to been qualified with the new rules.  This is when we’ll begin to see the impact of these rules… And we’ll begin to see just how many Canadians will be have been impacted.

If you think I’m wrong, read the rule changes below and tell me what other conclusions you can come up with. Read the rest of this entry »

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… Read the rest of this entry »

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