Ontario’s controversial rent control is about to come to an end – and that’s a positive change!
When I was attending a speaking session with one of my favourite economists – Benjamin Tal – a few weeks back, he had a great quote: “There’s a Swedish economist who said, ‘Rent control is the best way to destroy a city, maybe besides bombing it.’”
Isn’t that the truth?!
In the GTA, rental units are scarce. And, says Tal, rent control would only further diminish the already depleted supply of available units.
Continue reading “The End of Rent Control? Bring it on!”
Could 2018 be the year where the pessimists finally get their way? I hate to admit it, but this could be the year where buying a home may not be a good idea.
OK, just kidding!!!
But after years of seeing countless articles and posts about rising interest rates, housing affordability issues, mortgage stress tests disqualifying some people from being able to buy, higher personal debt levels, NAFTA economic fears and Donald Trump (ok, Trump has nothing to do with this, but you can’t write an article these days without blaming him, right?!), does it still make sense to buy a home?
Yes! There is positive news. You can still buy a home. And you can still qualify for a mortgage.
Continue reading “Buying a home is cheaper than renting. Don’t be intimidated!”
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.. Continue reading “Housing market is active but will slow in summer as it ALWAYS does..”
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!”
Did 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!”