Federal Election – Housing Platforms

Here’s a quick summary of what each of the federal parties are promising/proposing for housing in Canada: Conservative Party Make the mortgage qualification stress test less stringent, and eliminate it completely for renewals to keep banks from gouging borrowers on renewal with uncompetitive high rates. Allow first time buyers to obtain 30 year amortizations to… Read More

Many Canadians Are Financially Stressed – BDO

BDO Canada is part of a large global network of firms that provide debt solutions for people in financial difficulty. They publish a study called the ‘BDO Canada Affordability Index‘. Here are some of the key conclusions from the latest study: More and more Canadians are taking on debt in all forms: 57% carry a… Read More

Home Sellers: The Curse Of The First Offer

Sometimes when everything goes right we have trouble accepting that fact. Perhaps nowhere is this phenomenon more clearly illustrated than in the case where a seller receives a good offer right away. The annals of real estate are well stocked with stories of sellers who refused to take a good, but not perfect, first offer,… Read More

New Mortgage Qualification Rules – More Unintended Consequences

As previously reported here, the B-20 ‘stress test’ mortgage qualification rules (requiring buyers to qualify ‘as if’ the mortgage rate were 2 points higher than it actually is) has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of real estate sales across the country. In turn, this caused an unintended knock-on impact on economic activity… Read More

Interest Rates Unlikely To Rise In 2019

The latest data from Statistics Canada shows that GDP has actually fallen in four of the past six months, suggesting that, after the longest (if one of the weakest) recoveries ever, we are heading toward a recession within the next year or so. Click to view monthly GDP chart This is why the Bank of… Read More

Canada Is A Haven For Money Laundering

There’s a lot of ‘dirty money’ in the world, and many complex schemes to ‘launder’ this money and convert it into ‘clean’ funds. Real estate is a very popular venue for such laundering, particularly in Canada, as we have some of the weakest laws in the world to defend against money laundering. A recent report… Read More

Trends Cost Sellers Money

Every new and widely-adopted trend changes what’s considered “standard.” When this happens in real estate — inside or out — a seller’s non-trend or off-trend house or condominium unit may become “substandard” in buyers’ eyes. Sellers who expect top dollar for their property must ensure it makes an on-trend impression with homebuyers, especially millennials. In… Read More

Toronto Considering Land Transfer Tax Increase

In early 2007, the City of Toronto instituted a Toronto Land Transfer Tax (on top of the Ontario Land Transfer Tax) as a way to increase revenues while avoiding large (and politically unpopular) increases in property taxes or decreases in expenses. This tax applies only to properties in the “Old Toronto” 416 area code. For… Read More

I Want To Sell My Home – How Much Work Should I Do?

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

You’ve started looking for a new house, and you’ve seen a couple that you like. Your present house has served you well, but the last major renovations were done almost 20 years ago. How much work should you do to get the house ready to put on the market as soon as you buy the… Read More

Torontonians Say The City Isn’t Doing Enough To Increase The Supply Of Housing

In a recent survey, Forum Research found that 69% of Toronto residents feel that the City should be doing more to increase the supply of rental housing across the city. As previously reported, there is a rental housing crisis in Toronto due to the influx of new residents, declining affordability (forcing would-be buyers to rent),… Read More