Snow Washing – Our Embarassing Money Laundering Problem

The term ‘snow washing’ was coined by the Toronto Star to describe the flow of dirty money into Canada, mostly through real estate transactions, to evade taxes or to finance terrorist operations. The term is in wide use internationally because Canada has become known as a destination for money laundering due to its weak rules… Read More

Toronto House And Condo Markets Continue To Diverge

Prices for detached homes continued their steeply rising trend in September. Since the COVID-induced bottom in the spring, house prices have increased in each of the past 5 months and are now up 20% from April and up 13% since last September. While the rate of increase is leveling off somewhat, there are no indications… Read More

Understanding Mortgage Approvals

Buyers are sometimes confused about the differences among Mortgage Pre-Qualification, Mortgage Pre-Approval and final Mortgage Approval. These differences are important and need to be understood properly if you are buying a house or condo. Mortgage Pre-Qualification – This is the first step when you are getting started on your homebuying journey. It’s a very simple… Read More

Toronto Prices Surge Higher

Detached home prices averaged just over $1.15 million in July, and are closing in on the all-time high of just over $1.2 million reached during the 2017 bubble.  For the first time in many years, we have not seen the typical summer slowdown, as buyers continue to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime low mortgage interest rates…. Read More

Falling Rents May Impact House Prices

A recent report from Capital Economics highlights falling rents in Canadian cities, especially Toronto and Vancouver, and points out that this could have a significant knock-on effect on Canadian house prices.   The report identifies several reasons why rents are falling: The surge in unemployment due to COVID-19 lockdowns has hit low-wage earners the hardest,… Read More

Coronavirus Threatens Survival of Toronto Small Businesses

The Broadview-Danforth Business Improvement Association (on behalf of dozens of Toronto BIAs) recently surveyed 561 small business tenants and 137 landlords across the city as to how the Coronavirus lockdown has affected them. A majority of the respondents (61%) said that they would not survive over the next 3 months without rent relief, and 76%… Read More

Canadian Government Supporting Mortgage Market

Soon after the COVID-19 lock-downs began last month, signs started to appear that the mortgage market was headed for a credit freeze, where mortgage lenders would be unable or unwilling to keep lending to homebuyers. A credit freeze would likely crash the real estate market – if mortgage lending isn’t possible, home sales would collapse… Read More

Changes Coming To The Mortgage Stress Test

The ‘stress test’ for mortgage qualification in Canada requires that homebuyers must qualify for a mortgage as if the mortgage interest rate were higher than the actual rate they will get. The idea is to determine that the applicant will be able to keep up with the payments if interest rates should rise.  That ‘higher… Read More

Luxury Toronto Real Estate Sales Over $5 Million Increasing

After a soft start to the year, sales of luxury Toronto real estate is on the upswing, surpassing 2018 trough levels. Year-to-date sales in the GTA of freehold and condominium properties priced in excess of $5 million topped 100 units between January and October 31. This is up 8.5 per cent from the 94 sales… Read More

Annual CMHC Survey Shows Homebuyers Are Upbeat

Every year, CMHC conducts a survey of Canadians across the country to find out the thoughts, attitudes and behaviours of homebuyers. The 2019 survery includes 1,385 first-time and repeat homebuyers in every region of the country in both English and French. All participants had undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 18 months. Highlights of this years survey include:… Read More