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 …

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158% of List price! Housing market is hot!

3 Ross St Last month a house in Toronto’s west end made headlines when it sold for $200,000 above it’s $639,900 list price.   That’s 131% of the asking price.   Earlier this week, I shared some astonishing sales from the weekend.   Two houses sold for 138% and 129% of  asking price.   Both homes were in the $1,000,000 plus price range.

Yesterday, this house at 3 Ross St, in Toronto was listed for $829,000.   It sold for $1,308,880.  That’s 158% of asking price or $479,880.   This semi-detached house is located in the College and Spadina area of Toronto.  It sits on a 20′ x 116′ lot.

We can debate whether these are sales tactics (you know, list way below market price to attract buyers and create a buying frenzy) or if this means the market has gone crazy.   To me, this just reaffirms my belief that this is a seller’s market.  There is a pent-up demand for housing.   And when the supply is low, higher prices usually follow.

Interesting, yesterday, a report from Tourism Toronto showed in 2103, 9.22million hotel rooms were booked.  Up 2.8% from 2012.   I’m not sure there is a direct correlation between the visitors and house prices but Toronto has certainly become a world-class city.   Maybe our prices reflect that, too?

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

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

2 sales in GTA this weekend went for 128% and 138% of List price!!

home-prices-up

Wow, who said the housing market was slowing down?   Check this out..  2 sales from this past weekend in Toronto show the market is red hot!

455 Manning St Feb 20-14 sale

This house at 455 Manning St is located in the College and Bathurst area of Toronto.  It was listed for sale at $749,900.   And it sold for whopping $1,035,000 or 138% of list price!   This is a 2.5 storey semi-detached home with a 19′ x 126′ lot.   Wait, it gets better.   The description says, and I quote “Attention Renovators/Investors/Handymen”.   A quick look at pics inside leave much to be desired.   This place is need of some serious home improvements.    All I can say is WOW!

362 Lippincott st feb 22 -14 sale

How about this one at 362 Lippincott Street located in the Bathurst and Bloor area of Toronto.   Listed at $895,001 and selling for $1,150,000.  That’s 128% of list price.   The lot is 17′ x 101′.   This is a 100 yr old semi-detached Victorian with major updates and renos.   It certainly looks nicer than the first.   But selling for 128% of list price?   I’ll repeat myself, WOW!! Read the rest of this entry »

Investing in a multi-unit properties? Take care…

Recently, I noticed something very strange happening with multi-unit properties and I want to share two experiences with you…

I was approached to refinance 2 separate and different Multi-unit properties by 2 completely different borrowers.    Both properties were in the Greater Toronto area.   They were both in great condition and were bringing in good rental income.

Property 1 was purchased in 2008 for $385k.  There are 3 legal rental units.   It generates good rental income of $3700/month. The owner paid utilities.

Property 2 was purchased in 2006 for $610k.  There are 3 legal rental units.  It generates rental income of $3400/mth…. The tenants paid utilities…(it should be noted that Property 2 is in a more expensive part of town where real estate prices are higher).

Fast forward to today…. Based on current appraised values, Property 1 is currently worth $460k, Property 2 is currently worth $660k.   Keep in mind that these are actual rents for both properties.

So how can this happen?  It’s clear to me… the buyer’s of Property 2 overpaid in 2006….Property 1 is in a less expensive part of town but the rental income and condition of the property are more relevant when dealing with investment properties….

How can you avoid this mistake?  Seek out the help of a good Mortgage Broker… A good broker can seek out the opinions of a recognized real estate appraiser… and even crunch the numbers with an experienced Lender to determine the property’s Lending Value…

As an aside, the average sale price of a single family home in GTA in 2006 was $350k…. today, it’s around $427k.   Multi-unit dwellings can be attractive but consider single family homes if you want to invest in real estate.  Always discuss the purchase with a trusted group of advisors… including your Mortgage Broker.

 

CIBC Economist gives us the stats

CIBC Senior Economist, Ben Tal, spoke at this year’s annual Mortgage Broker conference in Montreal.  The conference, organized by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, is a great place for Mortgage Brokers to meet all the Lenders and service providers under one roof.

It’s also a great opportunity to hear some of Canada’s experts talk about the economy, real estate, interest rates and the mortgage market.  Here are a few highlights from Mr. Tal’s presentation.

-there are 12.5million households in Canada…31% rent, 69% own..

-of the 69% that own, 39.9% have a mortgage and 28.9% have no mortgage.

-69% of homeowners with a mortgage have more than 20% equity in their homes… only 30% have less than 20% equity in their homes.

-Renters have excellent cashflow… 96% of renters are using less than 40% of their income to pay for all their debts… so in reality, these renters could qualify for a mortgage based on their debt servicing ratios.. (most lenders allow borrowers to use up to 42% of their gross income towards a mortgage payment)…

One more comment that caught our attention was about Variable rate mortgages vs. Fixed rate… The historical data is overwhelmingly in favour of Variable rates….it’s really been a no-brainer… But what about now?  Fixed rates are at historical lows…  Mr. Tal said that Fixed rates might outperform Variable rate over the next 5 years… BUT it is so close that a 0.50% increase in Fixed rates would probably tip the scales back in favour of Variable

That being said, we must also consider the flexibility of a Variable Rate product.. it does allow one to lock into a fixed rate at any time and it does allow for an early exit at a minimal cost….   For me, Variable rate is still better choice…for most of us.

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