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How to handle the explosive–and difficult–Mississauga real estate market – insauga.com

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Three years ago, worried first-time homebuyers wondered—for good reason—if they would ever be able to own a home (even a very small one) in the city they grew up in. 

Their fears were legitimate. A lack of housing inventory prompted desperate buyers, some with much deeper pockets than others, to sometimes throw an additional $100,000 (or more) at a seller in order to lock down an already egregiously costly fixer-upper. Buyers were purchasing homes without any conditions (who needs a home inspection?) in order to beat out 10 to 15 other bidders, and realtors were shocked to see dozens—sometimes hundreds—of people converge upon an open house. 

The former Liberal provincial government stepped in with the Fair Housing Plan and pledged to levy a special 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers and speculators in at attempt to thwart investors from purchasing properties and letting them sit empty for years while increasing in value. The federal government also imposed a more rigorous stress test (that it’s now modifying) that required prospective borrowers to qualify at higher than normal rates. 

The legislation worked and buyers backed off, but the cooling was only temporary and outrageous bidding wars and sky-high prices are once again becoming the norm. 

“I had a client in January 2020 and we made an offer on a condo that sold for $472,000 and had five offers,” says Nik Oberoi, a sales representative with Cloud Realty. 

“One property in Mississauga recently had 27 offers. We’re getting five to 10 offers minimum, again.

Competition drives prices—which are already high—higher. Recently, the Toronto Region Real Estate Board (TRREB) released its monthly housing data and revealed that the average house price (all home types combined) in Mississauga hit $782,415 in January 2020.

Evidence suggests the market is heating up because the previous legislation failed to rectify the most significant issue: A lack of available housing.

“A big reason is there are a lot of inventory issues, [even in the condo market]. There aren’t a lot of good units that have been well-kept. We have a lack of inventory and we have more buyers than normal. We have a lot of new immigrants in Mississauga and the GTA and interest rates are low.”

Oberoi says more first-time homebuyers are entering the market because of the federal government’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which allows buyers to apply for a shared-equity mortgage with the government of Canada. It offers 5 per cent or 10 per cent for a first-time buyer’s purchase of a newly constructed home, 5 per cent for a buyer’s purchase of a resale (existing) home, or 5 per cent for a buyer’s purchase of a new or resale mobile/manufactured home. 

“There are too many buyers right now and it’s a tough time if you’re a buyer,” Oberoi says. 

Oberoi says today’s real estate climate is becoming a repeat of winter 2017. 

“This is happening to everyone. It’s not just happening in Mississauga or the Square One area. It’s happening in Toronto, Barrie, Durham, Oakville, and Burlington. The entry-level price point for one and two-bedroom condos and towns and semis is more attainable for first-time buyers, so competition for these homes is huge. We’re not seeing this with detached houses as much because those have much higher price points.” 

Oberoi says that desperate buyers will purchase condos without looking at the status certificate, which is risky because the certificate can reveal pertinent information on the building’s financial health and whether or not property management is locked in any legal disputes.

But while the market is a challenging one for buyers to navigate, Oberoi says there are steps people can take to help ensure they find what they’re looking for. 

“First thing, get your financing in order. Do not shop unless you have a pre-approval from a reputable lender or bank. If you give a financing condition, the [seller] could pass you over. Do not actively shop without talking to a bank. Think about how confident can you make the seller,” he says.  

“Second, if you want a home inspection, do it before the offer presentation date. It can hold up the offer otherwise. The seller will go with the offer that doesn’t have any hiccups to deal with afterwards.” 

Oberoi also recommends reviewing the status certificate for a condo before moving to buy. 

“If you want to buy a condo, review ahead of time to waive that condition. It’ll make the seller feel more confident. Don’t go into a condo without looking at the certificate. If you love the place and don’t want to lose it, look to see if other properties are selling in that building. If something is wrong, you’ll see a small number of properties being sold.”

Oberoi also says to be prepared to bid over-asking—but only within reason. 

“You have to look at how many offers there are. If there are eight offers, you know it’ll go for more. Every offer adds about $5,000 to the price. So you might have to go $30,000 to $40,000 over asking,” he says.  

“If you want it, you have to be willing to slightly overpay. You save in the long run, because the next seller will want more than what their neighbour sold their unit for, so you mitigate expenses on the next unit that will cost more money. At the same time, know when to stop yourself. If you keep overpaying wildly, you start the bubble. That’s what happens when someone pays a ridiculous price just to win.” 

As for how much is too much to overpay, Oberoi says it depends on what your plan is. 

“If you’re buying for yourself and plan to live in the home for a long time, it’s okay to spend an extra $10,000 or $15,000 [because you will recoup your investment]. If you’re an investor, it’s not a good time to buy because you will be overpaying,” he says.

“Check your emotions and try to be logical about your purchase. People do have more money to spend because of the first-time homebuyer’s incentive. There are more buyers than inventory. It’s not about what the house is worth, it’s what you’re willing to pay.” 

As for what can be done to cool the market and make it easier for buyers to navigate, Oberoi says he’d like to see real estate better regulated. 

“I’d like to see real estate more regulated. Realtors underprice to start bidding wars and we have a responsibility to keep prices in check, especially when we have immigration growth and job growth in the area.”

He also says buyers should work a realtor who knows the market area well. 

“Work with the right realtor. An inexperienced realtor might encourage you to spend more than you need to. Find someone who knows your area, too—don’t use a Scarborough agent to buy a house in Mississauga.”

He also says that it’s important to ask yourself if buying a home is the right choice for you. 

“I believe in homeownership. It’s good that the government is trying to help people [buy homes] and I want more products in place to help people get into the market. It’s another vessel for you to create more freedom and wealth. But I also want people to be able to afford the houses they are living in instead of using credit lines and borrowing from family,” he says.

“We need more education. There are other opportunities for financial freedom, maybe real estate is not right for you right now.”

Despite how heated the market is, Oberoi still believes Mississauga is a good investment for prospective homeowners. 

“There’s a lot of things happening and the city is not stopping. It is a good time to get into the market, but be careful if you’re worried about this chaos. You can buy pre-construction development. We need to keep a close eye on the market and educate people on how to get in but not be stupid. We can’t have 2017 again, that makes more room for a collapse,” he says.  

“If you have a long-term goal in your home, you will not lose money. People who will be affected by shifts and changes will be those who put everything into the house and struggle to pay for other things. Have a long-term goal—don’t buy now if you want to sell next year. This is still a safe market.”

While Oberoi says it’s hard to say whether or not different levels of government will try to cool the market again, he does say that development—which will ultimately increase inventory—is not slowing down. 

“There’s been a lot of real estate buzz since 2016 and that will continue. We’re seeing condo booms in Barrie and Oshawa. The boom has contributed to Hamilton’s growth, now it’s a little less affordable. People are moving as far west as Brantford.”

The best advice, however, is not setting yourself up for disappointment by shopping before you know what you can afford—and accepting that some homes will simply not work for you and your budget.  

“Make sure you can afford the house. If a bank won’t give you a pre-approval, you cannot afford it.”

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Which GTA region has seen the biggest decline in real estate prices since February market peak? – Toronto.com

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Real estate prices across Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have taken a pounding since reaching record highs in February.

In February, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reported an average GTA sale price for all dwelling types combined of $1,334,544. In TRREB’s July report, that average fell to $1,074,754 — a 19.5 per cent decline in just five months.

Prices have fallen further in some areas than others, with Durham Region leading the way with a 26.6 per cent decline. Southern areas of Simcoe County were a close second with a 24.8 per cent decline in average prices, followed by York Region at 19.7 and Peel Region at 19 per cent. Real estate prices have fallen 18.1 per cent and 15.8 per cent in Halton Region and Toronto, respectively.



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Graph showing average sale price for all dwelling types combined in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Halton Region, Durham Region and parts of Simcoe County between February 2022 and July 2022.




Durham Region led the way in price declines for detached homes, seeing a 29.1 per cent decline, followed by Toronto and Simcoe County both at 26.9 per cent. Detached units sold for 20.7 per cent less on average in July compared to February, while detached ditched home in Peel Region have dropped 20.3 per cent and 19.9 per cent in Halton Region.



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Graph showing average sale price for detached homes in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Halton Region, Durham Region and parts of Simcoe County between February 2022 and July 2022.




Semi-detached homes broke down a little differently. Durham also saw the steepest decline for that segment at 25.8 per cent, followed by York at 25.4 per cent and Peel at 25 per cent. Semi -detached home prices in Halton declined by an average of 22.9 per cent, with Simcoe seeing a 15.5 per cent drop followed closely by Toronto with 15.4 per cent decline in average price for semi-detached units.



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Graph showing average sale price for semi-detached homes in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Halton Region, Durham Region and parts of Simcoe County between February 2022 and July 2022.




Condo apartment prices have fared a little better in most regions outside of Simcoe, which has seen condo prices tumble 35.2 per cent since February. Durham condo apartments have lost 17.3 per cent in value over the past five months, with Peel Region and York Region condos seeing 15.3 and 13.5 per cent declines, respectively.

Toronto condos fared a little better, seeing only a 9.5 per cent decline between February and January. Condos in Halton Region have held their value the best so far, only declining by 4.2 per cent.



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Graph showing average sale price for condo apartments in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Halton Region, Durham Region and parts of Simcoe County between February 2022 and July 2022.




The table below shows a breakdown of how much the average price for all dwelling types combined in all cities and towns monitored by TRREB have fallen since the GTA market peaked in February.



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Table showing how much average real estate prices have fallen since peaking in February 2022 in all GTA markets monitored by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.




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A real estate transaction gave me neighbours. A car crash taught me to value them – CBC.ca

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This First Person article is the experience of Becky Sarafinchan who lives in Calgary. For more information about CBC’s First Person stories, please see the FAQ.

The crush of glass and metal silenced us mid-phrase, the kids and I on that early spring day. I saw their frozen expressions as I wondered if I had really heard or felt that sound. We ran outside. 

Across our busy street, a SUV straddled the yellow line. Its grill faced the crumpled remains of our neighbour’s two parked cars. Two cars, swiped by one driver. My neighbours stared in shock at the sad mix of wreckage, nose to bumper.

But this is a feel-good story. It’s not about race track streets or distracted drivers. It’s about neighbours. It’s about me discovering that I care what happens to the people across the street, even when their lives merge little with mine. It’s about the unexpected cheer that brings.

For most of my 16 years on Coventry Hills Way, in the suburbs of north central Calgary, the greatest common bond I shared with my neighbours was geographical. The random act of real estate mixed me up with folks I only knew in smiles and waves outside our garage doors. My life was filled with kids and work; I rarely thought of those who lived around me.

Until the pandemic, that is. Until human interaction became a source of anxiety worldwide and we were told to run for cover. In those long and bizarre periods of isolation when I couldn’t see friends and family, I could still see my neighbours walking by every evening. We could share a weary smile and sometimes — from a distance — we talked. 

A group of five people stand around talking on a driveway.
Front driveways are a natural gathering place on this street in Calgary’s Coventry Hills. From left to right: Gina Williams, Jennifer Robinson, Jesse Williams, Becky Sarafinchan and Glen McLaughlan. (Elise Stolte/CBC)

On the afternoon of the accident, I noticed Jennifer standing with the stunned car owners on the other side of the street. She was talking and pointing; the first to offer assistance. Although I’ve only ever spoken with Jennifer a few times, I knew she was open and kindhearted. It relieved me when I saw her talking with the neighbours. It felt like they were in good hands.

Someone called the police and a few people left to check their home security cameras for footage. Another neighbour motioned for the driver of the SUV to move to the sidewalk; he was still standing in the street. 

A group of teens, armed with the vehicle description, headed off to find an eyewitness who had left the scene. The adults compared stories of what each had seen and felt. 

Across the road, a young man dragged the bumper of his car onto his lawn. He crossed the street to a group of us, onlookers, huddled in a semicircle. He was debating if he should accept the offer: should he just settle with the driver of the SUV?

The group reacted at once: No! You can get help. It will be OK.

We lingered on the sidewalk and a conversation expanded beyond the crash. We began to talk about hockey and school; about work and the vacations we hoped to take. Normal stuff, but I had never stood and talked, never opened up about anything with my neighbours before. It felt new. 

People stand beside a residential street with vehicles driving past.
The street in front of Becky Sarafinchan’s house can feel like a race way. (Elise Stolte/CBC)

Soon the teenagers returned from their search for an eyewitness. “We found the guy who left the scene!” they grinned, triumphant. They had checked his vehicle. “We even felt the tailpipe on his truck and it’s still warm!” To their delight, the police wanted to know.

I watched those tall boys talk, eager to share and flush with their success. 

Standing in this group of people, suddenly feeling that they were my people, I felt lighter. It took me by surprise. I’d never thought of them as my people before. In the past, I was aloof and comfortable — a wave and smile would suffice for neighbourliness.

In truth, we don’t share interests; we don’t share the same ethnic backgrounds or weekend habits. We weren’t all on the same page about COVID-19 – some of us were supportive and others against mask and vaccine mandates. 

Maybe that’s what makes the huddled conversation on the day of the accident so special. It doesn’t matter if we’d naturally be friends had we not physically lived beside each other. It doesn’t matter that we have different views and beliefs. We are neighbours. That counts for something.

In the months since the accident I’ve thought a lot about what changed for me that day. It’s like the pieces fit together and I was able to discover a gift I’d never seen before.

We visit more now. We share gardening tips and someone suggested a block party. There’s even – imagine! – an inside joke or two we share. Community is growing where once I saw a street of strangers. I don’t ever want to lose sight of that gift.


Telling your story 

CBC Calgary is running a series of in-person writing workshops across the city to support community members telling their own stories.

Read more from the workshop hosted by the Northern Hills Community Association:

To find out more about our writing workshops or to propose a community organization to help host, email CBC producer Elise Stolte

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Here's what you need to know about Squamish Real Estate – Squamish Chief

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With Canada’s annual inflation rates spiking in June and a market still reeling from a global pandemic, local real estate in Squamish has seen its fair share of unpredictable ups and downs. 

“In May, I started saying that it felt like someone had flipped a switch,” said Jennifer Sale, a local Realtor in Squamish with Sutton West Coast Realty. “I’d say the peak was probably end of March, beginning of April. That was when I [saw] multiple offers and things going for quite a bit over. That has definitely changed.”

With various factors coming into play, such as higher mortgage rates and low inventory, Sale says that some buyers appear to be growing wary of the local market while having trouble qualifying for a mortgage.  

“We were experiencing a really hot period earlier in the year because the inventory was so low that there were so many more multiple offers versus pent-up demand,” Sale said. “So buyers were competing for properties.”

“Now with the increased rates … it’s really tapered off the number of sales,” she said. “There were only eight detached home sales in July.” 

(See prices and trends for the last 28 days in Squamish.)

Feeling the pinch

“Everybody’s feeling the pinch in one way or another,” said Lisa Bjornson of Royal LePage. “Since the beginning of June, probably into May, we started to see a shift in market trends in that … multiple offers are off the table, days on the market have lengthened, inventory has come up somewhat. So it’s definitely slowed the market down.” 

Yet historically, real estate sales during the summer are often low. 

“Summers traditionally aren’t a hugely active market in the Squamish area,” said Bjornson. “It’s not uncommon to have July and August be on the slower side.” 

However, looking back at summer sales in Squamish real estate from last year, Bjornson says there has been a drastic difference.

“Last year was a record-breaking year,” she said. “We’d never seen the likes of it in Squamish, in B.C., in Canada.”

COVID factor

Originally when the pandemic first hit in 2020, Bjornson says that the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation advised realtors that housing was going to plummet with a market drop of 20%. Yet their predictions were incorrect, with sales going up at the same rate they thought they would fall.

“COVID had the opposite effect of what everyone anticipated,” said Sale. “Since then, we’ve had these unprecedented increases not only in Squamish, but throughout B.C..”

When remote work became more of an option during the pandemic, many people realized that they did not have to remain in cities and began looking to buy outside of urban areas. Those within the Vancouver region who were of middle to high income were able to afford the prices just outside of the city, bringing an influx of buyers to Squamish. 

“It locked everybody up, changed everybody’s mindset,” Bjornson said. “Many people started to work from home and people started to homeschool. People thought, ‘I’m not putting my loved one in care’. We’re going to generationally live. How people viewed housing and what their needs were changed drastically.”

Over the course of the two years from March of 2020 to now, other challenges such as supply chain issues and labour became evident and began to affect real estate. 

“There’s so many forces at play when it comes to what makes up a housing market.” 

In addition to an influx of people leaving the city to be in smaller areas, Sale says that she has also noticed single people moving between townhomes to condos to half-duplexes.  

“People are always a little worried about getting out of the market. So it’s always nice to move within the same market,” said Sale. “Now that it’s slowed down, I think that’s gonna be a lot easier for many people.”

Overall, though interest rates are currently high, real estate prices in Squamish are seeing a return to relative normalcy. 

“We’re not seeing multiple offers. We’re not seeing things go for $200,000 over ask,” said Bjornson. “We’re seeing negotiations, we’re seeing prices moderate.”

As for the coming months heading into fall, Bjornson says that she predicts longer days on the market.

“If we suddenly get an uptick COVID coming into the fall of winter, does that change people again about how they’re feeling and what their wants and needs are? Hard to say,” she said. “The general feeling kind of across the board is that we had a tremendous run-up for 20 plus months and for any real estate cycle that was long. So the normal calming and settling of the market is to be expected.”

For those currently looking to sell in Squamish, Bjornson recommends that people be reasonable and pay attention to what the market is currently doing. “It’s still an OK market; you’re not losing anything. Govern yourself according to what the market conditions are. And if you’re a buyer, get your pre-qualification and know what price point you should be shopping in.”

“I would say to list a realistic price point,” concurred Sale. “Take the advice of your realtor and watch the market carefully.” 

Sale adds that comparing prices month to month with your neighbours is not helpful when trying to place a price on a home. 

“It’s always hard to see what your neighbour sold for in February or March,” she said. “You have to work within the market that we’re in.”

“The last couple of years there’s greater demand for people wanting to be in Squamish,” said Sale. “I don’t think there’s going to be a big drop-off. I think now it’s changed from a seller’s market, shifted briefly into a balanced market, and I think in some product categories, it’s definitely a buyers market.”

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