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Rental Market Getting Hot! 

For 2017, it is expected that rental demand will rise at a stronger rate than supply, so that the vacancy rate will decline to 3.0 per cent from 3.4 per cent in 2016. The vacancy rate is expected to decline further to 2.9 per cent in 2018. Demand will get a boost from expected higher immigration levels relative to recent years.


Luxury for Less

Oct 8, 2014;

Just because you are on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style in your home.  If it’s time to refresh your décor but you don’t think you have the necessary funds, think again.  Here are a few ways you can add a touch of luxury to any room of your home without breaking the bank:

Start with the walls
No room of your home can ever feel luxurious if the paintwork is shabby or wallpaper looks dull or weathered.  A new coat of paint or wallpaper is the fastest, and easiest way to a fresh new look.  If painting, consider a suede, satin or cashmere finish in a neutral colour for a look of elegance.  If wallpapering, consider rich colours, textures or traditional patterns. Use good quality products for best results. 

Liven up the living room  
Add an instant touch of lavishness with one or two large cushions in rich embroidered fabric, velvet or faux fur.  Add warmth to your wood floors with a shag rug for modern décor, Turkish or Oriental style for more traditional tastes.  No need to splurge on new lamps, simply update the shades with linen or silk-like material.  Give a favourite piece of furniture a makeover with updated sleek metal hardware or repaint with an attractive gloss paint.

Beautify bedrooms & bathrooms 
Buy beautiful bed linen when it is on sale.  Billowy comforters or duvets with plenty of plump pillows make the whole room look luxurious and inviting.  A plush rug for stepping in and out of bed gives a sumptuous start and end to your day.  Add plenty of thick fresh towels and large pillar candles in the bathroom to set a pampered scene. Invest in light switch dimmers to create the ambiance you desire.

Get chic in the kitchen
Freshen up cabinetry with new paint or modern hardware and update lighting fixtures.  Buy a beautiful tablecloth or table runner and top it off with a potted orchid in an attractive pot.  Rather than using every day chipped or stained mugs, treat yourself to a couple of fine china tea cups from a thrift store or good quality coffee mugs for your favourite brew.  Then sit back, enjoy tea for two with a friend, and truly savour the moment. 

10 Tips for Turning Your Home into an Income Property

14 Aug, 2014;

10 Tips for Turning Your Home into an Income Property

 

If you’re looking for a way to increase your income, you may need to look no further than your own home.  These days, more and more Canadians are turning their homes into income properties.  An income property is a home that is bought or developed in order to generate income, typically by renting it out in part or in its entirety.  Renting can be a financially rewarding experience, either to provide extra income, or to help pay off a mortgage.  So if you’re thinking of going the income property route, here are 10 important steps you should take:

  1. Contact your local or municipal government to first determine if you are legally permitted to turn your home into an income property.  Work with them to ensure the unit adheres to all existing building and fire codes.
  2. Get to know the landlord-tenant relationship regulations in your province.  These laws will give you a better understanding of your role and responsibilities as a landlord.
  3. Inform your insurance company about your plans for renting out space in your home and ask them if you require any additional coverage.
  4. Get your home “renter-ready”.  From a simple change such as a fresh coat of paint to a major renovation, try and make your home look and feel as spacious, bright, and comfortable as possible.  Your home should look appealing inside and out in order to attract potential renters.
  5. Price and market your unit competitively. Scan the classifieds and visit rental websites to find out how much similar units are being listed for.
  6. Conduct a screening process for applicants.  Consider running a criminal background check, as well as a credit check, on prospective tenants.
  7. Draft a written tenancy agreement.  It may contain information such as: the date the tenant will move into the rental unit, the rent amount, the date rent is to be paid, what services are included in the rent (such as electricity or parking) and any separate charges, as well as the rules that you require the tenant to follow.
  8. Consult a lawyer to look over the contract.  Although not necessary, a lawyer can ensure there are no legal problems or issues with the contract before you present it to your tenant.
  9. Request a minimum deposit of one month’s rent in advance that may be used against any property damage or unpaid bills, depending on the laws in your province.
  10. Have the tenant sign the contract.  Ensure the tenant receives a copy and keep the original for your own records.  Happy renting!

Tips for Renovating Your Basement

July 29th, 2014;

Tips for Renovating Your Basement

 

Want to add more space to your home without building up or out?  Look no further than your basement.  According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, renovating a basement can give you a 50-75% return on your investment when it comes to selling your home. Here’s how to get it done right:

Start with a plan
What type of space does your family require?  Is it an extra living space for your teenager, a playroom for the little one, or perhaps an entertainment area for all to enjoy?  Once you decide on how you want to utilize the space, you can layout your design.  If budget allows, an architect or interior designer could assist you with the layout design and make valuable suggestions.

Do it yourself or hire a professional
Depending on your skill set, budget, and time, you may want to enlist the services of a contractor who has the expertise required to finish a basement.  If you do it yourself and don't have the required time or skill to do the job correctly, you may find yourself looking at a repair bill far exceeding the amount you originally thought the project would cost.  Make an informed decision.  Be sure to carefully weigh all factors when deciding which option is right for you, while considering costs, material, labour, and equipment requirements.

Framing
Framing basement walls and ceilings is one of the most important aspects of any basement renovation. Two popular wall framing options are wood or steel studs. Wood is the classic choice.  It is versatile, easy to work with, and cost-effective.  Whereas steel, although more costly, adds a level of strength, rot resistance and won’t warp and crack like wood might over time.  Two popular ceiling framing options are dropped ceiling tiles or drywall. Dropped ceiling tiles provide easy access to pipes and wires which can be a saviour if a tub or toilet on the main level floor springs a leak.  Alternatively, dry wall ceilings offer a smooth finish and require less vertical space – a great option if your basement ceiling height is already low.

Flooring
There are plenty of basement flooring choices to choose from including laminate, linoleum, vinyl, wood and ceramic tiles.  Be sure to match your flooring choice with the intended use of the space and your geographic location.  For example, a game room may require more durable flooring than an office.  Do you live in an area with a tendency for flooding or is your location dry?  Carpet with high density under pad will offer cushion and moisture protection from the typical condensation found in basements.  Engineered hardwood made for below grade installation will flex and handle moisture better than traditional hardwood. Ceramic tile is great for bathrooms and laundry rooms and is easy to install on concrete.

Add a bathroom
Installing a bathroom in the basement is a great way to add value to your home.  Determine if you require a full bathroom or if a powder room will suffice.  Powder rooms are relatively simple to install, easy to keep clean, and won’t take up too much room.  Full three or four piece bathrooms can provide a comfortable, private, and even luxurious, space for overnight visitors to enjoy. With either option, time and costs can be reduced if bathroom fixtures are located near existing plumbing and are arranged in a line on one wall.  Be sure to check local codes for plumbing and electrical aspects of your project.

Add storage
No matter what kind of plan you come up with for your basement, remember to factor in plenty of closet or storage space.  This will enable you to de-clutter the rest of your home to keep it tidy and inviting.  Further, if you ever decide to move, having this extra storage space should appeal to just about any prospective buyer.

A finished basement can not only increase your home enjoyment but it can also add valuable square footage.  From everyday living to financial value, finished basements provide many benefits to you as a homeowner.

Drive Up Your Curb Appeal

6 July, 2014;

Is your home’s first impression being hindered by a bland driveway, or an eyesore of a walkway? If so, it might be time to kick start your curb appeal with a few upgrades.  From repairing to repaving, a little attention to your home’s entryway can go a long way when it comes to wowing visitors, not to mention potential home buyers.  
Revitalize with Repairs
The easiest way to enhance your walkway and driveway is with some simple repairs and resurfacing.  Repair cracks with rubberized asphalt crack filler or pourable grout.  When dry, pour water over the surface to ensure it is angled in such a way that the water runs off, as standing water is the most common cause of cracks. Once complete, coat with an appropriate sealer and your driveway will look like new again.

Pave the Way to Wow
An asphalt driveway is relatively inexpensive and is less prone to cracks and heaving than concrete.  Add eye-appeal to an asphalt driveway by lining it with a row of trees, shrubs or other greenery, or by adding a decorative lamp post for aesthetic appeal day and night..  Alternatively, a brick or cobblestone driveway costs more, but can add a lot of elegance to your home’s entryway.

Go for Gravel
If paving isn’t in your plans, adding crushed gravel to a dirt driveway is always an option.  Gravel is great for bringing definition to your driveway, especially if you change its contour by adding an inviting curve.  For a more formal appearance consider coloured gravel: blue-grey, red or white.  Edge a small stone gravel driveway with bricks for a finished look.

Talk with Your Walkway
If the entryway to your front door could speak, it should say “welcome”.  Transform it with stained or stamped concrete pavers, stone, flagstones or brick.  A curved walkway provides a natural, meandering feeling while a straight one is more directional. Embellish a short straight walkway with a row of bricks or pavers on either side and soften with groundcover overflowing the edges or line with low lying, attractive plants.

Neat and Tidy Gets Noticed
No room for a driveway or walkway renovation in your budget? Keep things looking good by removing unsightly weeds.  Trim grass edges for a neat, cared-for appearance.  A couple of large pots, overflowing with bright flowers leading up to your front door creates a pleasing, welcoming feature.

Curb appeal is paramount for showcasing not only your property’s individuality, but to tell prospective buyers that your home is as well-maintained inside as it is outside. 

Home sales down 15.9% in March

April 4, 2013

Local home sales in March fell to the lowest level since 2009, even as average prices closed in on an all-time high, according to statistics released Thursday.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,167 homes last month, a decrease of 15.9 per cent from the 1,388 homes that changed hands a year earlier.

However a local official said the drop-off was not entirely unexpected.


Read more... www.obj.ca/Real-Estate/Residential/2013-04-04/article-3213833/Home-sales-down-15.9%25-in-March/1

Ref. OBJ

Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge welding issues

March 22, 2013;

Welding problems on a major bridge under construction in south Ottawa have city officials revisiting the expected completion date for the project, which is already more than a year behind schedule, the area councillor said Friday.

Steve Desroches, who represents Gloucester South-Nepean, declined to say directly whether the completion of the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge - originally scheduled to be completed by spring 2012 - will be delayed. However he said “likely it is not a matter of weeks” when discussing the revised schedule for the project.

Read more...  http://www.obj.ca/Real-Estate/Construction/2013-03-22/article-3205927/Councillor-confirms-Strandherd-Armstrong-Bridge-welding-issues/1

Ottawa market picks up as the leaves fall

Nov 7, 2012;


As the leaves continue to fall in Ottawa, we are seeing an increase in units sold, as well as an increase in average sale price. Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,073 residential properties in October through the Board's Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,059 in October 2011, an increase of 1.3 per cent. The five-year average for October sales is 1,067.

"Compared to the five-year average, Ottawa is right on track, indicating that we are not experiencing a real estate downturn in Ottawa, but a slow, steady incline in units sold and average sale price," notes Ansel Clarke, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. "Ottawa continues to be great place to buy and/or sell a home."

October's sales included 237 in the condominium property class, and 836 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

The Ottawa market continues to be on track historically in regards to the number of sales to date as well. Since 1999 the number of sales through the MLS® System in Ottawa has ranged from a low of 11,329 to a high of 14,783. Sales for the first ten months of the year are at 12,768. Year-to-date average sale price is also up over 2011.

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in October in the Ottawa area was $346,492, an increase of 2.5 per cent over October 2011. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $267,037, an increase of 3.0 per cent over October 2011. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $369,016, an increase of 1.8 per cent over October 2011. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

"Although the Ottawa market is characterized as stable and steady, there can be pockets of our market where fluctuations, such as larger increases in price, exist," explains Clarke. "This is why it is important for buyers and sellers to talk to their Ottawa area REALTOR® for more information about the housing market outlook where they live, or want to live."

Ref. OREB

Ottawa resale home market slows, but steady.

For the year, home sales remain slightly up from 2011 and Ottawa still seems largely immune to the volatility in other markets that some observers are calling the start of a price correction.

Read More

Provided By:
Zeena Nejar

Mortgage Agent,

Mortgage Brokers City Inc., License #11759
Tel: (613) 798-8080 x 7

what's REALLY going on with housing market

A great article below and with some excellent 'sound bites' from Benjamin Tal and others re: what's REALLY going on with our housing market. Enjoy the read.

TSX -50.44 to 12,415.98
DOW -205.43 to 13,343.51
Dollar +0.22 to 101.58
Oil -1.44 to 90.10
Gold -20.20 to 1726.20

*these numbers have been taken from www.tmxmoney.com as at 5:30AM EST

Canadian 5 yr bond yields markets -0.02 to 1.39 The spread (based on the MERIX 5 yr published rate of 3.29%) is within the comfort zone at 1.90% http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/GCAN5YR:IND  The rate of return on your bond, can be read through a yield curve, If the increase in bond yield continues to go up, the spread will continue to shrink and this could be a trigger for interest rates to rise. The comfort zone is between 1.90 and 2.10

Are we worrying ourselves into a housing crash?

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/10/20/are-we-worrying-ourselves-into-a-housing-crash/

Garry Marr | Oct 20, 2012 3:48 PM ET | Last Updated: Oct 20, 2012 5:58 PM ET
More from Garry Marr | @DustyWallet

Maybe this is telling us you shouldn't buy the biggest house
Just sit back and do nothing. It doesn't sound like the most proactive advice when it comes to the housing market, but it might just be what everybody needs to hear.
Panic is the worst thing that could happen because when that mentality sets in and people become irrational, it's hard to forecast how low prices will go, says Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. He is among the many who predict that prices will fall but by a moderate level that does not resemble the U.S. crash.
Considering where the house fits into our personal balance sheet, Canadians have good reason to fear a decline in prices and the impact on their wealth
'There is nothing to fear but fear itself,' says Mr. Tal, paraphrasing the famous quote from U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt before his election. The economist's worry, and that of others, is that we are now talking ourselves into a housing crash by creating a scenario in which every new statistic is interpreted in the most negative way with an eye on trying to constantly compare the Canadian housing market with what our neighbours to the south experienced just before their housing prices plummeted by as much as 50% in some markets.

A study this summer by Environics Analytics WealthScapes found the average net worth of a Canadian was $363,519, with $269,024 of that figure the net equity in real estate.
When you see headlines screaming that Canadian household debt has reached a record level, an eerily similar spot to where Americans were before the market crashed there, it adds to concern. But the similarity ends with the headline-grabbing number, Mr. Tal says.
The distraction of [hearing about these debt levels] is more of a concern than the debt
In the second quarter of this year, the debt-to-income ratio rose to 163.4% from 161.8% in the previous quarter. The previous quarter had been revised from 152% using a new measurement.

'The quality of the debt is much different here,' says Mr. Tal, who is the process of writing a report that will put that thesis to the test. He maintains the people who have taken on more debt have a much higher credit score than the Americans who did the same prior to their market crash.
Collapse is too strong a word when it comes to housing prices. You can't talk yourself into that but you can talk yourself into a slowdown or a delay
Another key factor that is ignored in the discussion is how much of that debt is locked in for longer terms and not subject to the vagaries of rising rates. Mr. Tal says 70% to 80% of Americans were in variable products at the peak while the Canadian figure is 29%, according to the latest survey from the Canadian Association of Mortgage Professionals.
Still, he worries the wrong message is getting out. 'The distraction of [hearing about these debt levels] is more of a concern than the debt,' he says.
But could people actually talk themselves into a housing correction? Moshe Milevsky, a finance professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University, doesn't rule out that scenario.

'Collapse is too strong a word when it comes to housing prices. You can't talk yourself into that but you can talk yourself into a slowdown or a delay. It is one of the things behavioural economists are starting to appreciate that classical folks didn't,' Prof. Milevsky says. 'Attitudes matter. It used to be that just facts matter, but sentiment is going to be just as important. If people start to believe real estate prices are slowing down, they'll slow down their purchases.'
It doesn't help with confidence when the federal minister of finance says he has his own worries about the housing market and then imposes a set of new rules to make it more difficult to borrow.

'I remain concerned about parts of the Canadian residential real estate market, particularly in Toronto but not only in Toronto. So that is why we are intervening once again,' Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said before imposing his latest changes on consumers, which included a lowering of amortization lengths to 25 years from 30 years.
Prof. Milevsky says the government calling the market overheated could be having as big an effect as the rule changes themselves.
It's almost as if you have to sit back and watch this unfold
'The rule changes only affect people actually going out and getting a house but Flaherty saying prices [might be] inflated affects anybody who hears it,' he says.
So what can you really do about to deal with your worries? Not much.
'It's almost as if you have to sit back and watch this unfold and say, 'Gee, I wish I could capitalize on it,' ' says Prof. Milevsky, adding you could potentially short some real estate stocks and indexes. 'But they are so broadly based and illiquid. The bid and ask on them is wide.'
The issue might be a little more simple for people who don't have a house and are waiting and contemplating whether it's time to buy one, or considering whether to buy a big or small house.

'The conventional wisdom was to buy the biggest house you can afford because you are going to make a lot of money. But maybe this is telling us you shouldn't buy the biggest house,' Prof. Milvesky says.

Everybody believes something might be happening but so far it has not affected their conduct
But Gerald Soloway, chief executive of Home Capital Group Inc., says the rules really haven't changed much for buying a house: Don't time the market and buy what you can afford, he says.

But he acknowledges there seems to be an insatiable appetite for all information about the sector. Mr. Soloway says he's become the most popular guy at cocktail parties.
'Constantly, I'm always asked,' he says about people wanting to know his opinion about where the market will go next. 'This has been going on the last four or five years, everybody believes something might be happening but so far it has not affected their conduct.'
His own data show the fears appear overblown and he agrees with CIBC's Mr. Tal that the credit quality of Canadians is better than Americans. 'You look at our portfolio, half is insured [and backed by the government] and half is uninsured and people are paying their bills. Year over year, our arrears are down slightly and not dramatically,' Mr. Soloway says. 'They were not very big to begin with.'

Mr. Soloway just doesn't believe negative talk is enough to derail the housing market, just as negative sentiment is enough to drive us into recession.
'It can move the market but it's not enough to change the fundamentals,' he says.

Like others, he thinks we might see a 5% to 10% easing in prices across the market but he believes builders can still make strong profits at that level. It's also no reason to sell, especially when you factor in transaction costs that can be as much as 10% in some cities.

Besides, are you really going to pack up your home, move your kids and start renting as you try to ride out a potential downturn in the market?
Phil Soper, chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services, says there is little benefit to timing the market.

'Potentially in some markets you could save a few bucks moving into a rental situation but it's not as easy as you think,' he says. 'If you live in a single-family home, the inventory of properties can be limited if you want your kids to stay in the same school or area. If you live in a condo in a large city, sure you can move into renting that same condo.'
Mr. Soper sticks by the notion that, over the long run, house prices rise and he thinks the consumer will stick it out and ignore the negative news. 'People pay more attention to the reality of low interest rates than the hyperbole that finds its way into the discourse about housing,' he says. 'There has been so much see-sawing in the economy that people are immune to whipsaw reactions now.'
gmarr@nationalpost.com

Please let me know if you have any question.


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Canadian debt loads getting lighter

May 20, 2012;

Canadians appear to be taking endless warnings from policymakers to heart by borrowing less and getting their financial houses in order ahead of possible interest rate hikes.

...Read More

Provided By:
Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com

Strong housing starts in April

Thu 17/05/2012;

Ontario residential activity in April is running stronger than predicted. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported 95,400 residential housing starts across Ontario’s urban centres, up from 85,000 units in March. A significant growth was noted in the areas outside of the GTA.


Read More


Queen's Park Plus

Ontario and national housing market improves

Thu 17/05/2012;

The Ontario market has picked up this April in comparison to the same time last year. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), there were 22, 908 homes sold in 2012, up 12.4 per cent from 20,381 units last year.

Read More.

Ref. Queen's Park Plus News Letter

Fed’s invested $694.89 million in Ottawa comp

By: Wadah Al-Ghosen, 8th Day of March, 2012

It seems that the Federal government is fully aware of the impact of their recent massive layoff plans on the capital of Canada. From one side they announced major layoff cuts to offset the federal deficit and from the other side they invested near 700 million dollars in Ottawa jobs.

The investment is bigger than what you think! Granting four major local companies with an increase of 169% of the norm of Federal Government raises a very important question. What are the bases of these contracts and are they really creating jobs in Ottawa?

Based on CMHC and CANSIM Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in the Ottawa Region was 4.9% back in August 2011. In October of the same year it increased to 5.6% and by the end of the year it hit 6.0%. This changing rate on more than 1.0% in less than 4 months in 2011 is alarming.

In a Kiwanis Club of Ottawa general meeting with his Worship Honorable Mayor of Ottawa “Jim Watson”, Jim spoke about the risks of the federal budget cuts on the capital. However Jim stated that with the Lansdowne Park project and the Light Rail project, this will create many construction jobs in the city directly and thousands of other jobs indirectly. Jim also stated that Ottawa will host the Women’s World Hockey Championship in 2013. Not taking into account the milestone project of the Convention Centre and NHL All Star event. All these existing projects and events are creating higher tourism for the city to a point that most hotels in Ottawa core are to their maximum capacity.

So is the Ottawa housing market safe? Only time will tell. However, all indicators show that the Ottawa-Gatineau resale average price is still going up every month. The average increased by 7.8% back in 2010 and 5.0% by 2011. This year it hit 5.0% in Jan, 2012 compared to Jan, 2011 and 7.0% in Feb, 2012 compared to Feb, 2011 .

Ref. CMHC, CANSIM, OBJ

The mixed blessing of low rates

19 Jan, 2012;

Policy makers made no mention of household debt in their previous statement. That's significant. Governor Mark Carney and his deputies have expressed concern about household debt in speeches, and they have made note of the risk in formal reports on the financial system. Now, policy makers are discussing Canadians' extreme debt levels in terms of setting policy for the broader economy. The threat level, as far as the Bank of Canada is concerned, is rising.

...Read More

Provided By:
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Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com

Canada's housing market slows, others stumble

OCT 5, 2011;

Canada's resale housing market is slowing, but still outperforming markets in much of the developed world, Bank of Nova Scotia says.

Indeed, senior economist Adrienne Warren said in a new report today, Canada, France and Switzerland stood alone among nine markets measured in recording annual price gains, based on second-quarter data.

...Read More

Provided By:
Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com 

PC Platform Calls for Grow-Op Registry

Jun 10, 2011;

During the Ontario Progressive Conservative’s (PC) convention (May 27-29) PC Leader Tim Hudak officially released
Changebook – the Ontario PC Party’s platform for the 2011 Ontario Election (October 6, 2011). Among its promises is a pledge to move forward with OREA’s recommendation to create a province wide registry of former marijuana grow operations to protect home buyers.

Ref. Queen’s Park Plus News Letter Jun 2011

Strong Housing Forecast for Canada

May 11, 2011;

Another day of data Monday brought further proof of the resiliency of the Canadian housing market and the current frailty of its U.S. counterpart.

The latest bad news for American housing was a report from real estate company Zillow showing the market might have a ways to go before it bottoms out.


Read More... 

Provided By:
Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Mortgages! changes you need to know!

May 5, 2011;

The world might be able to learn something from Canada about avoiding another housing-related financial meltdown, as the government recently announced several changes to the rules governing government insured residential mortgages. These changes are designed to reduce leverage in the system and promote housing market stability in the country.

Read More

Steadier Housing Market Seen Ahead

Feb 23, 2011;

OTTAWA - Housing starts are expected to stabilize this year and next, after slowing in the second half of 2010, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Thursday.
Construction will total between 157,300 and 192,900 units in 2011 and range from 154,600 to 211,200 units in 2012, the federal agency said.
"Modest economic growth will continue to push employment levels higher this year and next," said CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan.

Read More...

Provided By:
Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  



Government of Canada adjusts mortgage rules

10/Feb/2011;

The Government of Canada announced adjustments to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages. The move was designed to support the long-term stability of Canada’s housing market and support saving through home ownership.
The new measures:

• Reduce the maximum amortization period to 30 years from 35 years for new government-
backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80 per cent.
• Lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow in refinancing their mortgages to
85 per cent from 90 per cent of the value of their homes.
• Withdraw government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes, such as
home equity lines of credit.

The adjustments to the mortgage insurance guarantee framework will come into force on March 18,
2011. The withdrawal of government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes will come into force on April 18, 2011.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) issued a statement following the announcement of the new rules noting it, “recognizes the government is trying to take reasonable and responsible action with respect to household debt, but urges the government to refrain from additional measures
until it can fully evaluate and assess the impact of today’s announcement.”

For more information read the Government of Canada’s press release.

Ref. February 2011 Queen’s Park Plus News letter.

Jim Flaherty: books will be balanced by 2015

FEB 2, 2011;

Jim Flaherty says his 2015 target for balanced budgets is not based on "crossed fingers" and will be achieved through planned spending freezes and the end of stimulus funding.

Speaking at the Earth Rangers Centre in Vaughn, Ontario - a riding the Conservatives recently won in a by-election - the Finance Minister released the government's seventh update report on the impact of Canada's two year, $60-billion stimulus program.

According to the report, the "Economic Action Plan" created 222,000 jobs through a mix of tax cuts, unemployment benefits, infrastructure spending and industry support. Of those jobs, 5,000 were in utilities, 53,000 in construction, 37,000 in manufacturing and 127,000 in the service sector.

On several occasions in his speech, Mr. Flaherty described his government's tax cutting plan as sustainable and said the balanced budget goal is achievable.

"Unlike most advanced economies, our medium-range goal of a balanced budget by 2015 is an achievable goal, supported not by overly optimistic forecasts and crossed fingers, but supported by the prudence we showed in the past and the discipline that is guiding us now," he said. 

Read more...

Provided By:
Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com

Tighter Mortgages May Save Us From Ourselves

Feb 1, 2011;

People who remember the days when there was only one type of mortgage - with interest fixed at five per cent annually for the entire 25 years - will also remember the cartoon character Pogo saying: "I have met the enemy, and he is us."

Indeed, there are times when we need to be saved from ourselves.

Two years ago, when Trevor Hamon was branch manager with Dundee Private Investors, he warned of serious peril by banks offering home-equity lines of credit and by people taking debt into retirement. I've since seen people go $100,000 into their HELOC, lose it investing on penny stocks and essentially wind up paying for their home twice.

In fact, Canadians currently owe $1.48 for every dollar of their disposable income, which is more household debt per capita than in the United States. And the argument that household debt is immaterial as long as the value of the house increases is no longer comforting. TD Economics expects existing home sales in Canada to drop about eight per cent in 2011 and prices to slip one per cent.

Read More....

Provided By:
Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com

A tale of two housing markets

January 4th, 2011

Preet Bharati was nervous about plunging into home ownership this year after hearing of bidding wars and stiff competition for overpriced homes - but when she began house-hunting this summer she was relieved to find the buying spree of early 2010 had run its course.
"We ended up getting our house for under the asking price," the 30-year-old new Mississauga, Ont. homeowner explained of her shock at securing her chosen house in June.
"It was a little bit surprising because the feedback that I was getting from friends of mine, when they were looking, every offer was way above the asking price."

Read More...

Provided By:
Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Ontario's surge drives housing starts higher

Tue, 14 Dec 2010 ;


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reports housing starts took a jumpin November.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate was 187,200 units, up from 167,800 in October.

CMHC attributes the hike primarily to a strong increase in urban multiple starts in Ontario.

The agency says Ontario's increase - based on several major apartment projects in Toronto was more than enough to offset declines in all other regions of the country.

The agency predicts housing starts will align themselves to demographic demand next year,

which it estimates at about 175,000 units annually.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 14.6 per cent to 163,100 units in November.

Urban multiple starts went up 20.9 per cent to 101,800 units, while single urban starts moved up 5.5 per cent to 61,300.

Read More....

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com 

Condominium market in Canada heating up

Nov 9, 2010;

Real estate-services firm Re/Max says affordability, lifestyle, investment opportunities and urban renewal efforts are among the reasons condo sales have spiked over the last year in some Canadian markets.
"As one of few affordable housing options available to first-time buyers, the concept is poised for dramatic growth in years to come," Michael Polzler, executive vice-president for Re/Max's Ontario-Atlantic Canada operations, said in a statement.

Re/Max said condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area are up 10.4 per cent, year-to-date, as of September, and now represent one out of every three homes sold there. In Ottawa, condo sales are up 11.9 per cent.

"The lifestyle has also gained a foothold with younger, hipper audiences as the definition of home ownership evolves with the changing demographic," Polzler added. "Dreams of the small home with a white picket fence are being replaced by the funky loft apartment in proximity to shops, restaurants and entertainment."

Read More.... 

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Canada warned to take steps to secure economy

Oct 29, 2010;

The Canadian economy may have raced ahead of others in terms of its recovery from the economic crisis, but it's slowing down and the finish line is not yet in sight, according to separate reports released Tuesday.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Conference Board of Canada both noted in reports that the Canadian economy is weakening, at least in part due to poor economic performance in the United States and globally.

As well, the Bank of Canada on Tuesday announced it would hold interest rates at 1% and downgraded its estimates for economic growth.

"Canada's recovery is further along than many other developed economies, especially when considering the rapid rebound in employment," said the Conference Board's Pedro Antunes, director of its National and Provincial Forecast, in the board's autumn outlook.

"To continue on its path of recovery, Canada will need to rely on the U.S. economy to improve trade and a steady rise in private capital investment - components that are very dependent on the state of the U.S. and global economy."

Read More.....

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

B.O.C says 3rd Q growth was worst since reces

October 26, 2010

The Canadian economy likely suffered the worst quarter since the recession over the summer months, but Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney warns against taking too gloomy a view.

"I wouldn't obsess about the third quarter," Carney told reporters Wednesday after Canada's central bank released its latest global economic outlook.

The bank conceded the economy likely continued to brake in the July-September months to 1.6 per cent growth - down from two per cent in the second quarter and the distant memory of the first quarter's 5.8 per cent advance.

But Carney said Canadians should take a longer view and also take comfort that no matter how modest, at least activity is still positive.

"Two years ago, I (would have said) the economic picture we've just seen would have made the bank happy, would have made Canadians happy, given the alternative," he said.

"We've recovered the jobs, we've recovered the lost output, we are doing better than virtually anybody else in the advanced world."

Canada's current rate of growth is about half the pace the bank had expected a few months ago, and even slower than the U.S., but Carney notes that there's no comparison between the Canadian and U.S. economies.

Read More....

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

B.O.C says 3rd Q growth was worst since reces

Sep home resales improve from last month

September home resales improve from prior month, prices mostly steady: CREA
Fri Oct 15, 11:07 AM
The Canadian Press Email Story IM Story Printable View
By The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The Canadian Real Estate Association says home resales picked up last month and hit their highest level since May, suggesting the market is stabilizing after more than a year of abnormal ups and downs in a volatile economy.

see more ...

Recovery declining dramatically: economist

Oct 15, 2010;

The Canadian economy had a great run immediately following the recession, but analysts warn that the stark reality of a slow, painful recovery - like the one gripping the United States - is beginning to sink in.

These factors prompted IHS Global Insight to warn Canadian growth could slow at a more dramatic pace than that of the U.S. economy. The firm now estimates annualized growth in Canada of less than 1% for this quarter - a big comedown for an economy that advanced 5.8% in the first three months of 2010, followed by a 2% gain in the April-to-June period.

"When you look at relative momentum, Canada is declining even faster than the United States," said Brian Bethune, the firm's chief Canadian economist.

Warnings of a much slower economy may come at a bad time for the Conservative government, which is aggressively pushing its handling of the economy as a big selling point should an election be called in the coming months.

Growth forecasts are being scaled back on the emergence of weaker economic indicators - highlighted yesterday by a report on the surprise drop in July retail sales. This is on top of soft consumer price statistics that suggest core inflation is slowing, and a bleak wholesale trade report.

Read More

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Flaherty won't tighten mortgage rules

October 13, 2010

The federal government has no plans to clamp down on the housing market with new, tougher rules for mortgages, the finance minister says.

But Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he's not against the idea if the market changes.

"Our concern is always ensuring that the housing market does not overheat, and in particular that the mortgage market does not overheat," Flaherty said Monday.

Concerns have been raised by economists in the last few weeks about the possibility of a housing bubble getting ready to burst and about the level of debt Canadian households are carrying. The average Canadian household is carrying a debt equal to 146% of their income, a level that has caused Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney to raise alarm bells.

"Canadian household balance sheets are becoming increasingly stretched," Carney said in a speech last week.

Flaherty said the government is concerned about keeping a lid on the speculative real estate market.

The Conservatives boosted the requirements to get a government-insured mortgage earlier this year to include that all buyers must qualify for a five-year, fixed rate mortgage, even if they chose a variable rate. The move came as interest rates sat at historic lows.

As for the overall health of the economy, Flaherty said the global economy is in a state of high uncertainty.

"The good news is there's less uncertainty today than there was two years ago this month," Flaherty said. He pointed to small growth in the American and European economies, and modest growth in developing countries, as positive signs compared to the collapsing banks that marked the financial meltdown of 2008.

Flaherty also said he had no plans to put off corporate tax cuts planned for the new year saying the cuts, which have already been passed by parliament, would help create jobs. 

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Canada's trade deficit hits new high

Canada's trade deficit hits new high

September 14, 2010

Canada's trade deficit hits new high

Canadian exporters continued to take it on the chin in July as a weak U.S. economy and the strong loonie combined to produce a record trade deficit of $2.7 billion.

Analysts said the widening deficit - it was $1.8 billion in June - will take another big bite out of the economy this quarter as the North American economy continues to cool.

And the prospects aren't getting any better, with the Bank of Canada raising interest rates Wednesday, giving another boost to the dollar, and a new forecast from an international think-tank pointing to a slowing global recovery.

"The dominant force is we went through a (temporary) global growth spurt in the initial stages of the recovery, but that effect has dropped out," said economist Derek Holt of Scotia Capital. "Then overlaid on top of that (is the loonie)."


Read More

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Bank of Canada butts heads with bond market

Bank of Canada butts heads with bond market

August 24, 2010

Bank of Canada butts heads with bond market

The Bank of Canada may have signaled its intent last month to gradually hike interest rates but bond markets have other thoughts.

The rally in bonds, powered by concerns of a weaker U.S. economy, has driven yields downward. This has allowed banks, which get their funding in the bond markets, to lower consumer borrowing costs. That was evident this week when the country's chartered banks lowered mortgage rates.

The question is which is the dog and which is the tail? Will the Bank of Canada follow the bond market's cue and hold off on raising rates at its September policy announcement amid signs of a slowing global economy? Or has the bond market gone overboard with the idea that a dramatic slowdown is imminent?

"Clearly the bond markets think the Bank of Canada is already on hold or will be after one more hike until economic conditions improve," said Andrew Pyle, a wealth advisor and markets commentator at ScotiaMcLeod.

In a report issued Wednesday, Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets, predicted the central bank will likely pause after one more 25-basis-point hike next month to 1%.

Read More

New-house prices rise slightly in June

New-house prices rise slightly in June

August 16, 2010

New-house prices rise slightly in June
The New Housing Price Index rose 0.1 per cent in June following a 0.3 per cent increase in May.

Statistics Canada reports prices fell in seven of the 21 metropolitan areas, with the largest decreases recorded in Regina (down 0.4 per cent) and Charlottetown (down 0.3).

Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton, N.B., were up 1.3 per cent while the new home index rose 0.5 per cent in Ottawa-Gatineau and
Winnipeg.

Toronto and Oshawa increased 0.3 per cent, while Montreal's new house index was up 0.2.

Vancouver's dropped 0.2 per cent.

Statscan says builders in Toronto and Oshawa, as well as Ottawa-Gatineau, reported strong market conditions, while in Vancouver, some builders lowered their prices to generate sales.

In Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton, builders reported that they increased their prices due to higher material and labour costs as well as increased land development costs.

In Winnipeg, the main reason given for the increase was higher material costs.

Year over year, the index was up 3.3 per cent.

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

What kind of market is it?

What kind of market is it?

Aug13, 2010;

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) uses the ratio of homes sold during a given period to homes listed for sale on the market (seasonally adjusted) to figure out whether Ottawa is currently experiencing a buyer’s, seller’s, or balanced market. If more than 55 per cent of the homes listed for sale are sold during the measuring period, they call it a seller’s market, but when the percentage of listed homes sold drops below 35, the advantage shifts to buyers. In Ottawa, a ratio of between 35 and 55 per cent is called a balanced market, with no definite advantage for either buyers or sellers. These ratios are what the Ottawa Real Estate Board refers to in news releases and articles to indicate market status.

Sandra Pérez-Torres, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC, says their market analysis department uses the sales to new listings ratio and its impact on home prices to measure the pulse of the market.

“CMHC has monitored this relationship over time and after extensive analysis, we found a correlation between the sales to new listings ratio and prices. We noticed that Ottawa housing market prices increased at the rate of inflation when the sales to new listings ratio ranged between 35 per cent and 55 per cent. As a result we classified the market as balanced,” Pérez-Torres said. “When the ratio was over 55 per cent, prices increased above the rate of inflation and CMHC classified the market as sellers. We have found that in the long term, this relationship tends to be fairly stable. However, in the short run, shocks to the economy and or housing market or changes in the transmission of information due to technological changes can impact this relationship,” she added.

Ref. August 11, 2010 Volume 18, No.31 OREB e-news letter

Canada economy adds 93,200 jobs in June

July 16, 2010

Canada enjoyed another big month for employment in June, churning out a whopping 93,200 new jobs - almost all in Ontario and Quebec and all in the services sector.

The strong performance brings the jobless rate to 7.9 per cent, the first time it has been under eight per cent since the depths of the recession in January 2009.


The Canadian dollar rose sharply after the Statistics Canada report. A few minutes before the release, the loonie was trading overseas just below 96 cents US and jumped more than half a cent after the jobs report came out.


Canada's dollar was at 96.71 cents US shortly before the official open of trading Friday, up about a cent from the previous close of 95.79 cents
.
Read More

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Canada economy adds 93,200 jobs in June

Drop in home sales may be sign of peak

July 13, 2010;

Existing home sales dropped sharply in Canada's two most expensive markets, a further indication that the real estate market may have peaked.

The Toronto Real Estate Board said sales in June were down 23% from a year ago, leaving activity for the quarter up 1% from the same period a year earlier.

"We experienced a record number of existing home sales during the first half of 2010 but these sales were weighted more towards the beginning of the year, said Bill Johnston, president of TREB.

"The pace of home sales has moderated from record levels over the past two months with the prospect of higher mortgage rates."

Read More

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Drop in home sales may be sign of peak

Canada's banking system healthiest Globally

Canada's banking system healthiest Globally

June 13, 2010;


Canada's banking system is a model for the United States and European countries struggling to cope with mountains of debt accumulated through a series of market crises, massive bailouts and recession according to a report in the Washington Post this morning.

The International Monetary Fund and World Economic Forum (IMF) is showcasing Canada for having the healthiest banking system in the world. The IMF, in probing what made Canada's mortgage lending system so resilient during the crisis, concluded that it was "boring" compared
with the complicated, sophisticated and expensive financing system in the U.S., but nevertheless effective and safe.


Canada and its banks were barely touched by the 2008 financial crisis that nearly brought down the U.S. banking system and led to the biggest recession since the Great Depression.
Canadian bank losses were so low, and their cushion of reserves so high, that the banks managed to post profits for months in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis while major U.S. banks were teetering on the brink of insolvency and getting $250 billion in Treasury bailouts to cover
burgeoning losses on bad mortgage loans.


Read more...

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Canada won't fall victim to foreclosure wave

Canada won't fall victim to foreclosure wave

Jun 3, 2010;

June 3, 2010
Canada won't fall victim to foreclosure wave
Canada's housing market is expected to cool off this year and next, but isn't at risk of falling victim to a U.S.-style foreclosure crisis anytime soon, according to a new report by debt-rating firm DBRS Ltd.

DBRS said in the report that Canada will continue to fare well in comparison to its neighbour to the south when the Canadian housing market corrects itself and interest rates are tightened. That is because lending practices here are much more sound than in the U.S.

"The likelihood of us having the kind of situation they had in the U.S. is extremely low," said Jerry Marriott, managing director of structured finance at DBRS . "It's a combination of the lending practices prior to the peak in 2007 - they were more restrained, so there were better underwriting practices in Canada. We also think there are a number of factors in the Canadian market which have lent themselves to more prudent lending."


Read More 

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com 

Ontario Detached Home Construction Continues

Ontario Detached Home Construction Continues


Wed, 12/May/2010;

Ontario preliminary Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of home starts across urban centres
moderated closer to trend levels in March.

An estimated 59,600 residential housing units broke ground, down from a revised 70,500 units in
February. While multi-family home construction, which includes semi-detached, row and apartment
construction, gave back some gains registered in February, single detached starts continued
to strengthen for an eleventh consecutive month.

For the year, Ontario new home construction is running 18 per cent above levels for the same period
one year ago. After trending lower since the 2003/04 period, residential construction activity
has eclipsed historical averages in recent months. With the exception of Toronto, housing starts are
up in all other centres when compared to 2009.

For more info visit the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) website.

REF. OREA's May 2010 issue of Queen's Park Plus

Five Year Yields Hit High

Thu, 8 Apr 2010 ;

Canada's five-year bond yields rose to the highest level since October 2008 as banks hedged mortgages and the nation's fixed-income market caught up to declines in U.S. Treasuries.

Canada's home buyers are stepping up borrowing as they seek to beat pending changes to mortgage regulations and increases in interest rates. Banks that issue mortgages protect their balance sheet by selling similar-maturity securities in the secondary bond market or by making swap transactions.

"Banks are hedging seasonal mortgage flows, which is weighing on the five-year sector," said Mohammed Ahmed, a rates strategist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto. "Banks are receiving a fixed-rate asset and to hedge that, they typically pay the fixed-rate in swaps, or sell cash bonds."

Canada's benchmark five-year bond yielded 3.04 percent yesterday, 15 basis points higher than the 2.893 percent close on April 1. The price of the 2.5 percent security maturing in June 2015 fell 64 cents to C$97.52. Canadian fixed-income markets were closed on April 2 for the Good Friday holiday. The markets were open in the U.S.

Read More

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Five Year Yields Hit High

Variable Mortgages Almost Always Win

Variable Mortgages Almost Always Win

Wed, 7 Apr 2010;
 
Homeowners End Up Asking Themselves The Same Question: Should They Lock In Their Mortgage Or Should They Let It Float With A Variable Rate.

Read More 

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

CMHC POLICY CHANGES

March 9, 2010;

CMHC POLICY CHANGES

Ref. CMHC

CMHC POLICY CHANGES

Bank of Canada maintains

Bank of Canada maintains

March 2, 2010;

OTTAWA - The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/4 per cent. The Bank Rate is unchanged at 1/2 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent.

The ongoing global economic recovery is being driven largely by strong domestic demand growth in many emerging-market economies and supported in advanced economies by exceptional monetary and fiscal stimulus, as well as extraordinary measures taken to support financial systems.

More...

Ref. Mortgage Brokers Ottawa

Latest Changes in Housing Mortgage

Latest Changes in Housing Mortgage

Feb 25, 2010;

After many questions by clients, I would like to explain the latest changes in the Mortgage requirements as follow:

What is the qualifying rate for my customer?

We still have not been able to confirm what qualifies as the 5-year “posted” rate, whether it will be our posted rate or a posted rate set by CMHC or someone else.

When will these changes take effect?

The Government has stipulated a deadline of April 19, 2010 to implement these changes. TD Canada Trust has not determined at this time if we will be implementing the changes prior to that date, but we will keep you posted.

The Government’s announcement advised “Exceptions would be allowed after April 19 where they are needed to satisfy a binding purchase and sale, financing, or refinancing agreement entered into before April 19, 2010”. However, once TDCT has finalized all dates, we will advise of further details.

Is the 90% Loan to Value announced in the change for refinances only, or will it impact purchases?

The 90% Loan to Value is for refinances only, not purchases. Purchasers may still borrow up to 95% of the home value, while refinancing is restricted to withdrawing up to 90% of the home value.

How do these changes impact rental properties?

a minimum down payment of 20% is required for non-owner-occupied properties. This stipulation does not include our “2nd home” policy at this time.

Gov Act to Strengthen Housing Financing

February 16, 2010; 

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced a number of measured steps to support the long-term stability of Canada's housing market and continue to encourage home ownership for Canadians.

"Canada's housing market is healthy, stable and supported by our country's solid economic fundamentals," said Minister Flaherty. "However, a key lesson of the global financial crisis is that early policy action can help prevent negative trends from developing."

The Government will therefore adjust the rules for government-backed insured mortgages as follows:

Require that all borrowers meet the standards for a five-year fixed rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term. This initiative will help Canadians prepare for higher interest rates in the future.
Lower the maximum amount Canadians can withdraw in refinancing their mortgages to 90 per cent from 95 per cent of the value of their homes. This will help ensure home ownership is a more effective way to save.
Require a minimum down payment of 20 per cent for government-backed mortgage insurance on non-owner-occupied properties purchased for speculation.
"There's no clear evidence of a housing bubble, but we're taking proactive, prudent and cautious steps today to help prevent one. Our Government is acting to help prevent Canadian households from getting overextended, and acting to help prevent some lenders from facilitating it," said Minister Flaherty. "If some lenders aren't willing to act themselves, we will act. These measures demonstrate the Government is committed to taking action when necessary to support the long-term stability of a sector that is so vital to our economy and the financial well-being of Canadian families."

These adjustments to the mortgage insurance guarantee framework are intended to come into force on April 19, 2010.

Gov Act to Strengthen Housing Financing

More Canadians exhausting EI

More Canadians exhausting EI

Jan 27, 2010;

An estimated half a million Canadians who started a jobless claim last
year may exhaust their benefits without finding a job, report says.

More Canadians are running out of jobless benefits without finding work, a national report said Monday, suggesting many will have to turn to savings, loans, family members or welfare for financial help.

read more

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com  

Land Transfer Tax and Fractional Resorts

Land Transfer Tax and Fractional Resorts

Jan 15, 2010;

Under a recent tax bulletin published by the Ontario Ministry of Revenue, the purchase of an interest in a fractional ownership resort is now subject to the provincial Land Transfer Tax (LTT).

Fractional ownership resorts are often former cottage properties where owners have purchased an interest in the resort which gives them the right to occupy the property for a specified portion of the year.

The tax bulletin also establishes that if the interest is not registered on title it must be reported within 30 days of the acquisition by sending a completed Return on the Acquisition of a Beneficial Interest in Land form along with the applicable LTT payment to the Ministry of Revenue.

To read a copy of the Ministry of Revenue Tax Bulletin click here.

REF. Queens Park Plus OREA News Letter Jan 2010

Canadian Economic Optimism On Rise

Canadian Economic Optimism On Rise

Jan 11, 2010;

Economic indicators suggest Canadians are entering the new year in a more optimistic frame of mind, with less anxiety about their jobs and a greater willingness to make major purchases such as cars and vacations.
Royal Bank of Canada is releasing its Canadian consumer outlook index Monday, and it shows an increase of eight percentage points in December from the previous month. Sixty per cent of those surveyed expect the economy to improve in 2010, while only 17 per cent think it will worsen.

read more...

Ref. Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With MortgageBrokersOttawa.com 

 

December the Highest in 2009

December the Highest in 2009

OTTAWA, January 11th, 2010 –

According to the latest data released this morning by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), total housing starts in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) reached 820 units in December. As a result, total construction activity for 2009 reached 5,813 new starts, down 17 per cent from 2008 and virtually matching the level in 2006.

for more...

Ref. CMHC NEWS

Income tax cuts take effect January

Income tax cuts take effect January

Dec 29, 2009;

Following through on a commitment made in its 2009 budget, the Ontario Government is cutting the first income bracket tax rate by one percentage point, from 6.05 per cent to 5.05 per cent. The tax cut comes into effect January 1, 2010 and will save the average Ontarian about $370.

In addition to income tax cuts, the province has set aside $10.6 billion in direct payments and permanent tax relief including a permanent Ontario Sales Tax Credit, an enhanced Ontario Property Tax Credit and cuts to corporate income tax rates.

To learn more about Ontario’s planned tax cuts and other measures under Ontario Budget 2009
click here.

REF. Queen's Park Plus OREA News Letter Jan, 2010

Stimulus Funds in Canada to Become Permanent?

Stimulus Funds in Canada to Become Permanent?

Dec 8, 2009;

One factor that is contributing to Canadian recovery is the strength of public confidence. As the belief in the stability of the economy grows stronger, the recession and its effects recede that much more. However, what will be if the global economy takes a nosedive once again. Are we prepared for that? Read More...

Ref. December 7, 2009 - You, Inc. - CorporationCentre.ca Blog

MPAC Update

MPAC Update

Nov 25, 2009;

About 830,000 property taxpayers will receive Property Assessment Notices this fall, according to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), which began mailing notices this week.

Only those property owners whose assessment information has changed since last year will receive a Property Assessment Notice from MPAC this fall.

Property taxpayers will receive a Notice from MPAC if there has been:

a change in the ownership or legal description of the property;

a change to a property’s value as the result of a Request for Reconsideration or Assessment Review Board decision;

a change in school support; or

an increase or decrease in the property’s value as a result of a new structure, addition or improvements to an existing structure, or removal or demolition of an old structure.
In 2008, all 4.7 million properties in Ontario were assessed by MPAC under a province-wide Assessment Update. The 2008 assessed values are being phased-in over four years. The next province-wide Assessment Update will take place in 2012.

Between province-wide Assessment Updates, MPAC continues to inspect and assess properties across the province. If there have been any changes to a property, they produce a new Property Assessment Notice to reflect those changes.

When municipalities set their 2010 property tax rates, the assessed value will be used to determine 2010 property taxes.

Ref. OREB News Letter

Homes sales hit record high

Homes sales hit record high

Nov 23, 2009;

Home sales hit a new record high in October, leading the Canadian Real Estate Association to boost its outlook for 2009 and
2010.
OTTAWA -- Home sales hit a new record high in October, leading the Canadian Real Estate Association to
boost its outlook for 2009 and 2010.

Read More

Provided By:
Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

Nov, 18; 2009;

In Ontario, the new Accessibility Standards for Customer Service came into force on January 1, 2008. Private businesses (such as real estate brokerages) must comply with the regulations by January 1, 2012. To view or download a summary of the requirements for providing accessible customer service to people with various kinds of disabilities, click here.

Ref, OREB News letter

Canada is building again.

Canada is building again.

Nov 12, 2009;

Led by a big increase in multi-unit projects, construction of new housing rose 5.2 per cent across the country in October from a month earlier, according to a report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Read More

Provided By:
Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent
Tel: (613) 297-5825
With www.MortgageBrokersOttawa.com

Heritage property get tax relief

Heritage property get tax relief

Nov 5, 2009;

Municipalities can offer financial relief to designated heritage property owners. More...

Ref Edge News

markets recover, Scotia reports

markets recover, Scotia reports

Nov 4, 2009;

Global real estate markets are showing signs of stabilization. More...

Ref. Edge News

Economists optimistic recession is over

Economists optimistic recession is over

Oct 2, 2009; 

The outlook is brightening for the economy in general and the housing industry, specifically, according to some recent reports. The major banks and some of the larger real estate franchises say the recession in Canada is either over or soon to be.

more...

TAX CREDIT WINDOW CLOSING

Oct 1, 2009;

With the window for the 2009 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit quickly closing, many buyer’s agents are hoping for an increase in buyer business in the coming weeks. Make sure you are ready for the rush by learning the details of the 2009 tax credit and the options for its extension into 2010. (Gregory Phillips, October 1, 2009, RISMedia.com)
 

Outlook improves for jobless Canadians

Outlook improves for jobless Canadians

Oct 1, 2009;

More Canadian employers will be hiring in the October to December period of 2009, according to the latest results of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. The survey of more than 1,900 Canadian employers reveals that 15 per cent plan to increase their payrolls in the fourth quarter of 2009, while 11 per cent anticipate cutbacks and 73 per cent of employers expect to maintain their current staffing levels. One per cent are unsure of their hiring intentions. Of the 10 surveyed industry sectors, employers in both the Construction sector and the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector report the most favourable forecasts for the period.

More information can be found at Manpower Canada’s Web site at www.manpower.ca.

Ottawa's Exclusive Tax Deductible Mortgage

Ottawa's Exclusive Tax Deductible Mortgage

Sep 11, 2009;

Did you know that only 10% of Canadians are making their mortgage tax deductible? By simply rearranging your current mortgage, you could be taking advantage of this strategy and benefiting from what this small group of Canadians has been doing for years. Could your mortgage be tax deductible?

Read More...

Updates points to end of recession

Updates points to end of recession

14th August 2009; 

An astounding rebound in the resale housing market combined with good news out of the manufacturing sector Friday to suggest that Canada is slowly but surely digging itself out of recession.

The Canadian Real Estate Association reported that 50,270 homes traded hands on the Multiple Listing Service in July. This is up 18.2% from a year ago and set a record for the month of July.

Read More...

Provided by; Sam Himyary samh@mortgagebrokersottawa.com , mortgage agent.

Housing Sales Leap 11.5% in July

Housing Sales Leap 11.5% in July

Aug 14, 2009;

Ottawa's housing market continued heating up in July, with sales climbing 11.5 per cent to 1,577 units due to sizzling activity in the freehold segment, according to data released Monday by the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

Read More...

Provided by, Sam Himyary samh@mortgagebrokersottawa.com
Mortgage Broker, Tel613-297-5825

Flaherty considers steps to slow $ rise

Flaherty considers steps to slow $ rise

10 Aug, 2009; 

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is taking a stronger stand against currency traders, blaming speculators for at least some of the foreign-exchange volatility that is hampering Canada's economic rebound.

Read more...

Provided by Sam Himyary samh@mortgagebrokersottawa.com, Mortgage Agent. Contact him now.

Bank of Canada says recession over

Bank of Canada says recession over

July, 23, 2009

Bank of Canada says recession over, growth returning to economy

By Julian Beltrame, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The Bank of Canada is declaring the recession essentially over in Canada and projecting the economy will bounce back at least twice as strongly as in the United States.

The bank said Thursday it estimates the Canadian economy will advance by 1.3 per cent during the current July-September period, and three per cent in the fourth quarter, both at annualized rates.

More ...

Leap in home building offers hope

Leap in home building offers hope

July 10, 2009;

Construction of new homes has surged by a surprising eight per cent in June, prompting analysts to say the housing market in Canada has turned the corner and begun recovering.

The annual pace of housing starts rose to 140,700 units in June from 130,300 in May, with the increase in activity spread across different types of buildings, said the national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.


Read More...

Provided by Sam Himyary <samh@mortgagebrokersottawa.com>

NEW Min Beacon Score

NEW Min Beacon Score

June 28, 2009, the minimum Beacon score requirement for mortgage qualification on conventional mortgages changes to 600 from 580.

Mortgage applications that are submitted or re-submitted for approval on or after June 28, 2009, will be qualified based on the new minimum Beacon score requirement of 600.

Central banks to take off ‘training wheels'

Central banks to take off ‘training wheels'

Jun 30th, 2009;

The U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada are preparing to scale back the emergency lending programs they put in place to help the financial system as markets stabilize and banks find their feet.

Both central banks said Thursday that they would extend some lending programs that major banks are still tapping to gain access to funds. more...

Provided by: Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP. Financial Planner & Mortgage Advisor
To Apply online Go to: www.samsmortgageapplication.com

Public Consultations on Greenbelt Development

Public Consultations on Greenbelt Development

The NCC is encouraging the public and other levels of government to participate in planning the future of the Greenbelt. There will be extensive public consultations and workshops during the process of the updating of the Greenbelt Master Plan.

As a first consultation, the NCC wants to know what you think the Greenbelt’s greatest features are, and what you see as the pressures and trends that should be considered when planning the Greenbelt of the future. NCC staff will be at the following locations to provide information, answer questions and receive your comments:

Thursday, June 11, 2009
World Exchange Plaza, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Billings Bridge Shopping Centre, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday, June 12, 2009
Rideau Centre, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bayshore Shopping Centre, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday, June 13, 2009
St. Laurent Shopping Centre, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

At these locations, NCC staff will have a questionnaire available for members of the public to fill out and return to the NCC. For more information about this process, visit http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca.

Economist sees strong rebound

Tue, 19 May 2009;

Just when it appeared the tide of popular opinion had turned against the chance of a resolute rebound, some economists have begun to return to the belief Canada is headed for a strong recovery buoyed by the need to replenish the massive drawdown in Inventories.

As the pace of recession slows and the financial crisis eases, economists have begun to spread before them an
assortment of letters - from V to L, W to U - in an effort to piece together the shape of the inevitable recovery.

Read More...

Provided By: Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP Mortgage Agent Tel: (613) 297-5825
With MortgageBrokersOttawa.com Lic: 11759

Economist sees strong rebound

Economy seeing signs of relief

Economy seeing signs of relief

May 1, 2009;

Canada's economy kept shrinking in February, but the rate of deterioration slowed sharply for the month after huge job losses and output declines since last fall.
The 0.1% GDP drop for February, slightly better than the 0.2% expected by analysts, followed downward jolts of 0.7% in January, 1% in December and 0.7% in November. more... 

By Sam Himyary, B.Sc., CFP, Mortgage Agent with MortgageBrokers.com License # 11759
Contact: (613) 297-5825
Apply Online Today

2009 Federal Budget

2009 Federal Budget

Wed, 28 Jan 2009;

Canada's Federal Budget announce the following:

To boost us the econimy in 2009 and 2010 the goverment has took the following megares:
  • Temporary home renovations tax credit of up to $1,350 for eligible home renovations and alterations.
  • Increase in the home buyers RSP plan, withdrawel limit increased from $20,000 to $25,000.
  • A new first Time home buyer tax credit of up to $750 in tax relief for closing costs
Click here for more info

Housing markets to rebound in Ontario?

Housing markets to rebound in Ontario?

Oct 3, 2009;

Yes, but moderately.

Here are a few details specific to Ontario from CMHC’s Q3 Housing Market Outlook Report:

Single starts have started to recover and will continue to trend higher in the second half of 2009. Single starts will reach 20,150 units this year before stabilizing at 20,625 units in 2010. Multi-family home starts will also trend higher in the remaining months of 2009, reaching 28,525 unit starts, down from just shy of 44,000 units in 2008.

Ontario existing home sales have staged a remarkable come back this spring when compared to activity in late 2008. The strong pace seen in the second quarter of this year reflects, in part, activity that was delayed in the previous two quarters and is not likely to be sustained. The level of sales will move back closer in line with improving economic conditions. As a result, MLS® sales will average 174,000 units this year. A gradual recovery in Ontario labour markets combined with low mortgage rates will help stabilize existing home sales at 166,750 units in 2010.

After experiencing buyers market conditions in early 2009, Ontario resale markets have tightened and balanced market conditions will be restored. As a result, Ontario existing home prices will grow by 1.6 per cent and 0.8 per cent in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

REF. Edge News OCT 2009
Information located on this site is from sources believed to be reliable but should not be relied upon without verification. The Vetrex Team assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. It’s not our intentions to solicit properties already listed or clients under contract with other Brokerage. Royal LePage Team Realty Inc. An independently owned and operated broker. Nothing contained on this site gives any user the right or license to use any trade mark displayed on this site without the express permission of the owner. The company is licensed by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) and is a member of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).