May not realize full impact of B-20 changes till Spring.

The pessimism that has been ruling the markets since the U.S. election may ease a little today.  President Obama is set to meet with the leader of the Republicans in an effort to avoid the fiscal cliff.  Bond yields are virtually unchanged, up just 1 basis point (bp).

We’ve been enjoying flat mortgage rates for a number of weeks now, with a downward trend in bond rates.  We’ve come down 15 bps over the last month so that being said, there’s little reason for mortgage rates to move up any time soon.  There’s been a bit of a cushion built into today’s rates as the cost to the lenders has come down, yet mortgage rates have not moved with them.

The market is still adjusting to the recent  B-20 underwriting changes that took effect the end of October.  As we go into what is generally a seasonal slowdown, it’s hard to really tell the impact it will have more immediately.  Come the spring, that may be the true test of this latest round of changes.

One can only hope that all this government meddling hasn’t caused more problems for the Canadian housing market.  I can appreciate the intent of trying to provide a soft landing and reduce the household debt issues that have been raised, but needing to step into the market four times in as many years seems a bit excessive, doesn’t it?

BEST RATES: 1yr 2.69% – 3yr 2.65% – 5yr 2.94% – 5yr Variable 2.65%

Lee Welbanks is a Mortgage Broker with Welbanks Financial Group, reach out to him if you have any questions about these changes and how they affect you. Heard about our awesome new home search tool? We’ve opened up the MLS just for you. Make sure you log-in to our custom Spring Realty Homefinder Tool and give it a spin! Find us on Facebook and Twitter too!

What's the best available mortgage rate for 1st time buyer?


Best Mortgage Rates in Canada for July 18th, 2012

The Bank of Canada left the overnight rate at 1.00% at its meeting yesterday, as was universally expected. This is great news for anyone with a variable rate mortgage, or any product tied to prime like a line of credit or student loan.

More notable was the Bank’s assessment of the global outlook, which was deemed as having deteriorated relative to April.  The weakening in the global environment was cited as a factor restraining growth in Canada; however, the Bank views the domestic economy as continuing to grow at a moderate pace. These factors resulted in the Bank downgrading its 2012 growth forecast to 2.1% from 2.4%. The Bank forecasted that the economy will grow at a faster 2.3% in 2013 (albeit a tad slower than April’s 2.4% forecast) and 2.5% in 2014 (higher than April’s forecast of 2.2%).

The tone indicated that there may be need to reduce stimulus in order for the Bank of Canada to maintain the 2% target rate for inflation, but most economists don’t expect that to happen till 2013. More great news for variable rate mortgages, and anyone with debt tied to prime.  Yields are trending down so there may be some room for some short term decreases to fixed rates.  Sit tight and we’ll see!

Much of this is due to the slowing economic growth in Canada, the U.S. and China, and the unrelenting economic problems in Europe.  These helped to handcuff our central bank.  It has been looking to raise rates in an effort to slowdown the growth of household debt in Canada. But the Bank of Canada did get some relief with Ottawa’s imposition of new lending rules for high-ratio mortgages and new mortgage qualification limits.  The regulatory moves amount to a de facto interest rate increase in the housing sector and, anecdotally at least, appear to be having the desired, cooling effect.

BEST RATES
1 Yr – 2.39%

3 Yr. – 2.69%

5 Yr. – 2.94%

VRM – 2.79%

Lee Welbanks is a Mortgage Broker with Welbanks Financial Group, Lee will be posting these informative “Market Minutes” each week for you to enjoy. Please remember to the Spring Realty Insider Club list to receive new blog post notifications, featured properties and insider access to Toronto’s hottest new developments right to your inbox. Find us on Facebook and Twitter too!


A Condo is a Home too!

Recently I was discussing real estate with a client and trying to determine her goals, requirements, budget for her next purchase. She’s been a condo dweller for a number of years and now with a child and a loving husband they’re considering a house. When speaking to her she kept saying: “I love the condo life but I really prefer a home”. Wait a minute; isn’t a condo a home? Please allow Spring Realty to clear this up for you: There are Condos, Lofts, Townhouses, Detached Houses, Semi-Detached Houses, Row Houses but they all share one thing in common. They’re all HOMES!

Happy Monday! Please remember to join the Spring Realty Insider Club for instant access to new posts and exciting new info as it becomes available. We’re on the verge of launching something pretty cool so you’ll definitely want to keep in touch. Find us on Facebook and Twitter too!

 


The Carlaw in Leslieville! Oct 20th is your VVVIP Oportunity for Floor Plans and Prices.

The Carlaw by Streetcar Developments

VVVVIP Access Alert: Oct 20th Spring Realty will have priority access to the floorplans and prices. Please contact us for front of the line access to the hottest project Leslieville has seen since the launch of Worklofts and Flatiron. Include you phone #, email address and price range. We will contact you the moment we have details re: next steps. To learn more about the South Riverdale Community visit our Neighbourhood Page here.

Leslieville was buzzing with excitement  back in March 2011 when Streetcar Developments put up their sign on their newly acquired 345 Carlaw Ave. They purchased this building as well as the white ones to the North and East for just over $12 Million at the end of 2010. It was such a refreshing sight as we were all so disappointed with the release of Showcase Living Lofts in the empty lot at Colgate and Carlaw. We won’t get in to how terrible Showcase is or how it belongs somewhere in the 905 and how I will never set foot in to that sales centre again. That’s a story for another post. I’ll outline some points below about the development, oh, it’s going to be called “The Carlaw Lofts” with the tag line “your stage”. Very nice, very very nice!

  • 12 Story glass and aluminum structure (similar to the Flatiron across the street) on the NW corner of Dundas and Carlaw
  • Stacked Townhomes to the East (about 3 stories high) main level will be live/work
  • Maintaining part of the original building!
  • The ground level of the main building will feature a glass enclosed public event space for farmers markets, art shows, music events. Will be available for all sorts of events. Sort of a way to give back to the community (as every building should)
  • Total of 340 units making it the most dense development in the Leslieville Area (Showcase to have 230 if it ever sells enough to build)

On October 17th I had a conversation with the sales team and they confirmed that some units will be priced at under $500/sqft! This came as a huge surprise to us; we assumed it would be in line with other developments at $600/sqft. The Carlaw is sure to sell out very quickly as resale lofts and condos in the area are currently achieving up to $650/sqft every day!  The stacked townhomes may be slightly less while the PH’s could be more. One thing we know is that Streetcar Developments has yet to disappoint us, we love their product and will do out best to support it. Below are the latest renderings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On September 28th, 2011; the Spring Realty Team had a conversation with the Sales Team of The Carlaw which confirmed our front of the line access. We will have floor plans and prices very soon and will be able to start selling before other Brokers and the general public by the end of October. It’s best if you contact us with the Subject Line: The Carlaw and we will get right back to you with details.

 

Ara Mamourian – Broker of Record/Owner – Spring Realty Inc.


New Development vs. Resale: Which is the better Investment?

As we approach 2012 there have never been as many new project launches in Toronto. With over 143 currently in pre-construction or just about to launch the city has no shortage of options. That being said, who’s buying these units, how much are they and why aren’t there any small (investor friendly) units left when you walk in to a sales centre?

 

Who’s buying these units?

A lot of my clients ask me: “There are so many new condos going up! Is there enough demand to support them?” The answer is quite simple. YES! The main reason why the Toronto Real Estate market is so strong, and why it has been so strong over the past decade is the massive number of foreign purchasers. These overseas buyers/investors are gobbling up pre construction condos in record numbers.

Most developments are funded or owned by foreign builders & investors.  As such their friends, family and top investors have priority access to these developments. It is not uncommon for 75% of a building to completely sell out before any public announcement is made. Only top producing sales reps, brokers and true developer insiders have access, and of course, their clients all buy the 300-500sqft investor suites.

If you are able to physically walk in to a sales centre, you’ve missed the boat by up to a year. Some developers open sales centres shortly after their initial launch but local ones like Lamb Development Corp (Developer of: Theatre Park, Parc, Work Lofts, Flatiron, Glas) launch to insiders up to 18 months before the project is even approved. For example, Theater Park was one of the most successful launches of 2011, even with a $650-800/sqft price tag it sold very quickly. When I was interviewing for a position with Brad J.Lamb Realty in 2009 I already saw deals on the board for Theatre Park; that’s two years before any public announcement was made.  They hadn’t even purchased the website address yet!

How much are they?

With prices at $600/sqft for your average development and up to $966/sqft for something “higher end” like Yorkville Plaza at the Four Seasons it’s hard to envision making any significant profit on occupancy. The main concern is with the unknown Development Charges, Land levies and other municipal charges passed on to the buyer via the developer. Even with builder standard “closing cost caps” it could cost up to $25,000 to close on a Jr. One bedroom or One bedroom investor unit. That’s not including legal fees and potentially a Land Transfer Tax.

Some Numbers:

These days new developments ask you for 15 – 20% within the first year of the purchase. What this means is, on a $300,000 (for a 450-500sqft unit) you’re putting down $45,000 – $60,000. This money isn’t earning any significant interest and is just tied up for up to 4 years while the building goes up and then registers. My argument is, couldn’t you put that same $45,000 down on a resale property now (and there are many to choose from), begin collecting rent immediately and the sell in three years? This makes much more sense to me.

That being said, if you’re buying to occupy, new developments can be a great option. You can select the perfect floor plan and even customize finishes and modify layouts to suit your specific needs. It just no longer makes sense solely as an investment in my opinion.

If you are interested in learning more about pre construction developments and the purchase process please contact us. Spring Realty has all of the latest floor plans and prices.

 


Toronto Condo and Loft Assignments Explained

You may have heard the term “Assignment” lately as it has become really popular with speculative condo investors.

Assignments are defined as follows: The Assigning or Selling of your rights to purchase a property.

To clarify, you’re not actually selling the property. Since the Assignor (Seller) hasn’t taken possession yet (usually because it’s not built or has not registered yet), they are simply assigning the rights to the Assignee.

I’ll give you an example.  If I walked in to a condo sales centre,  signed and bought a pre construction unit from the floor plans I would have the right to purchase said unit when it was constructed and registered. An assignment is when I take that paper that I signed, my right to purchase, and sell it to someone else; The Assignee, for a certain amount. To break it down, if I agreed to buy the condo for $300,000, then found a Buyer or Assignee, the Assignee has the right to purchase said unit for $300,000 but he/she has paid me a premium on top of the $300,000 for that right.

A client just went through one of these for a condo that he had bought pre construction. He, as usual, got in over his head with purchases and decided to assign a unit in order to free up some cash to make the deposits on another place that he had purchased pre construction. After spending some time spreading the word and marketing the property I received a call from a colleague saying he had a buyer for me and we eventually made the deal happen. Here is how I structured the deal to make it work for my client:

He had paid $356,400 for this unit (I should say, he had agreed to pay that amount when it was ready a year or so from now).  He had made initial deposits of $53,750, or 15% of the purchase price. My goal was to recover as much of that now for my client. Next, the buyer or Assignee agreed to purchase said unit from my client for $380,000. What this means is that he will eventually purchase the unit from the developer for $356,400 but give my client $23,600 for the right to do so (Total to the Buyer is $380,000).

So now the Assignee owes the initial deposit $53,750 plus the built in profit of $23,600 all totaling $77,350. Most people don’t have that kind of money lying around but since the money was needed right away we worked out a plan where he would pay the initial deposit of $53,750 now (borrowed from his parents) and the remainder of the cash from his mortgage when the condo was built and ready to register. We were lucky because the Assignee had the ability to come up with the cash.

Sometimes when the Assignee doesn’t have the option of paying out the Assignor it can be agreed that all the money will be transferred when the condo is ready and registered. An Assignor would likely agree to the latter only if the profit margins are much higher and the money is not needed right away. In this case since my client needed to be paid out now he accepted the small profit and was able to cash out and pay for his most recent purchase.

Assignments, unlike resale transactions can get quite complicated. It is very important that you have an experienced Spring Realty Broker to work out the contract and an experienced real estate Lawyer to help mitigate risk for the client. I have been involved in dozens of assignment transactions and with the help of Feld/Kalia Team of lawyers we get the job done right. Contact Us to get started.