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In Toronto real estate, buyers gain the upper hand – The Globe and Mail



8 Sandpiper Court in Toronto.The Print Market

The reality of a swift and dramatic change in the Toronto-area real estate market is sinking in for sellers and buyers.

“It’s crazy how different it has become in only a matter of months,” says Pritesh Parekh, a real estate agent with Century 21 Legacy in Toronto. “The February peak is a conversation topic now. In February, it was just another month of ridiculous prices.”

Most of the chatter these days revolves around interest rates, he adds.

“Everyone you talk to is an economist.”

Properties in the Greater Toronto Area are still selling but potential buyers are more circumspect.

“The prevailing sentiment is that prices have cooled off. ‘If I wait until September, they will cool off even more.’”

Mr. Parekh notes that there is one cohort of buyers eager to sign a deal: people armed with a pre-approved mortgage that they negotiated in the spring at a lower interest rate than rates currently on offer.

With its latest hike on June 1, the Bank of Canada has lifted its benchmark rate by 125 basis points in the past four months. Fixed mortgage rates have been steadily climbing. As a result, Mr. Parekh believes the market downturn will likely steepen.

“I think we’re going to need a few more months. We haven’t seen the full force of interest rates,” he says.

The home was listed in May with an asking price of $3,199,888.The Print Market

Farah Omran, economist at Bank of Nova Scotia, reports the Toronto market remained in “buyers’ territory” for the second month in a row in May. While the number of new listings has dropped in the past three months compared with the same period last year, sales have dropped by a much larger amount over the same stretch.

On a national basis, sales fell for the third consecutive month in May, pushing many markets into balanced territory, Ms. Omran points out.

“The rate hikes were meant to remove some of the exuberance from the market, which they are doing – admittedly, however, they are doing so at a much faster pace than previously anticipated,” the economist says in a note to clients.

While Canadian households increased their net wealth to record high levels during the pandemic, they have also increased their liabilities, with mortgages taking up a larger share of these liabilities, she adds.

Ms. Omran says the sense of urgency that is dissipating in buyers may be creeping up on homeowners who purchased another home before selling their existing property. People who bought when the market was at a fever pitch would not have had the chance to make the purchase conditional on the sale of their current home. They may now be rushing to sell and feeling pressured to accept bids below asking.

Andre Kutyan, broker with Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., says the number of properties sitting on the market has swelled in some family-friendly neighourhoods in Toronto as agents try to find an asking price that will entice buyers.

In areas such as Bedford Park and Ledbury Park near Avenue Road and Lawrence Avenue West, Mr. Kutyan sees some houses listed with an attention-getting asking price and an offer date. Often the strategy fails. Many have been listed multiple times at various prices, he says.

It has 4,752 square feet of living space on a cul-de-sac in the Donalda neighbourhood.The Print Market

“When you don’t know how to price it, that’s how you get into trouble out of the gate. They go up and down like a yo-yo.”

Inventory has typically been so tight in Ledbury Park in the past that houses were often snapped up with bully offers before the offer date. As of mid-June, 18 properties were listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service in the range between $2.5-million and $4.5-million. About 25 were listed in a similar price segment in nearby Bedford Park.

Many sellers still have their heads stuck in the first quarter, says Mr. Kutyan, and failed offer nights make buyers even more hesitant.

“It further pushes the perception that the market is falling.”

Mr. Kutyan stills sets an “aggressive” price, meaning he hopes for more on offer night, but he has noticed a change in the tactics of buyers. In June, he listed a four-bedroom house with 3,800 square feet of living space and a swimming pool on a pie-shaped lot with an asking price of $2.295-million. After seven days the house at 12 Paris Court in North York sold with seven offers for $2.757-million.

In late May, he listed a three-bedroom house at 8 Sandpiper Court with an asking price of $3,199,888. The home, with 4,752 square feet of living space on a cul-de-sac in the Donalda neighbourhood, had been renovated by a prominent Toronto-based architectural firm. It sold for $3,952,000.

While the properties sold at hefty premiums, Mr. Kutyan notes buyers are not as resolute as they were earlier this year. In some cases, the offers were nearly identical, so Mr. Kutyan gave the frontrunners an opportunity to increase their bids. He found many had a substantial sum tucked in their back pockets.

“In the past they would put their best foot forward out of fear of not getting it, or not getting a second chance. Now they’re fearful of spending too much.”

The home sold for $3,952,000.The Print Market

For those who have an existing property, Mr. Kutyan is recommending that they sell before buying the next one.

“I haven’t advised this in a very long time,” he says.

Looking ahead to the fall, industry watchers are waiting to see if listings swell. Homeowners have so far not been rushing to sell, says Mr. Parekh of Century 21, but more economic pain or fears of falling prices might prompt some to list.

Meanwhile, agents are reporting that some buyers who signed a sales agreement at the market peak are asking for an abatement in the price from sellers. Some deals fall apart all together and appraisals are falling short as prices slide.

“There are some messy situations out there,” Mr. Parekh says.

He has heard of scenarios where a property sold at a rich price in February, only to have the bank’s appraiser value it for less than that amount at closing two or three months later.

The buyer is then on the hook to make up the difference.

“The bank has the advantage of saying ‘we no longer want to take the risk of that February price’ – and they have the power,” he says. “Nobody thought about that when prices were going up, up, up.”

There are also buyers who are straining to pay their mortgages with the recent run-up in inflation. He recently heard from one young man who received cash from his family for a down payment and purchased a $600,000 condo unit with his girlfriend in 2021. But they are talking to Mr. Parekh about selling because they feel weighed down by the cost of the mortgage, taxes and monthly maintenance fees. Now, they’re paying more for food, gas and other living expenses.

“It’s been less than a year,” Mr. Parekh says. “Now they’re really struggling.”

The couple has a mortgage with a five-year term, he adds, and there are often costly penalties that come with getting out of such a loan.

“It’s not child’s play,” Mr. Parekh says. “It’s so expensive to break a five-year fixed.”

The Print Market

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Inside LeBron James’s Sizable Real Estate Portfolio – Architectural Digest



LeBron James has built quite the legacy for himself both on and off the court. The all-star athlete, who famously hails from Akron, Ohio, has invested quite a bit in his home state since he’s risen through the ranks of the NBA. In fact, though he’s relocated several times while playing for different teams, he’s always found a way to give back. “Akron, Ohio, is my home. I will always be here,” James said at the opening of his I Promise School in 2018. “I’m still working out at my old high school.” The NBA star, who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, has also made his mark in other major cities throughout the U.S. Over the past two decades, James has amassed an impressive real estate portfolio that includes homes in Los Angeles and Miami, where he played for the Miami Heat for four seasons. Take a peek into his properties below.


James wasted no time building his real estate portfolio shortly after the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him as the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He reportedly paid $2.1 million for a Bath Township property just northwest of Akron and built a 30,000-square-foot mansion on the land in subsequent years, spending millions to make the house a home. He was just 18 at the time. Presently the property features six bedrooms, eight full and six half bathrooms, as well as a recording studio, a movie theater, an aquarium, a barbershop, a two-lane bowling alley, and a sports bar. The primary suite even features a two-story walk-in closet. James still owns the compound, and it’s now reportedly worth around $9.2 million.


James sent shock waves through the sports world when he opted to leave the Cavaliers in 2010 to sign on with the Miami Heat as a free agent. He secured his living situation there shortly afterward, paying $9 million for a custom-built, three-story mansion in Coconut Grove, Florida, that November. The bachelor pad was prime for entertaining and featured an eight-seat home theater, a wine cellar, a backyard pool area with a multicolored LED lighting system, and a private waterside balcony off the primary suite. There was also a separate guest house situated atop a three-car garage and a dock that could accommodate two 60-foot boats. James listed the 12,178-square-foot mansion for $17 million in 2014 and it sold for $13.4 million the following year.


By the time James went back to the Cavs, he was ready to expand his real estate reach to the west coast. He snapped up a 9,440-square-foot white brick and stone colonial mansion for $21 million that fall—his first of three L.A.-area abodes. The Brentwood place featured six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, with a double-height foyer, a wood-paneled office, a Calacatta marble kitchen, and a home gym. Outdoors there was an infinity-edge swimming pool that spanned nearly the width of the house, a handful of patios, and a basketball court next to a three-car garage. James listed the home for $20.5 million in early 2021 and ultimately sold it for a slight loss at $19.6 million that September.

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Chinese real estate developers accepting watermelons as payment: Heres why – Business Standard



The deep recession in China’s property market has compelled real estate companies to float a bizarre marketing strategy to lure home buyers.

China’s have started accepting payments for homes in watermelons and other agricultural produce.

in Chinese third- and fourth-tier cities have launched various promotional campaigns recently, including encouraging home buyers to pay part of their down payment with wheat and garlic, in a bid to attract farmers to purchase newly built homes to offload excess housing inventory,” Global Times reported.

One developer in Nanjing said it would allow home buyers to pay for their homes using watermelon at a rate of 20 yuan per kilogram, as per Global Times.

The media outlet quoting a representative of the company said that the bizarre promotional event has been suspended after being ordered by the headquarters.

“We were told to delete all promotional posters on the social media platforms,” said the representative, noting that they may design other types of promotional activities.

A poster for the promotional event starting from June 28 to July 15, reads the property developer would allow home buyers to make a maximum payment of 5,000 kilograms of watermelon, valued at 100,000 yuan, noting the purpose of the promotion is to support local watermelon farmers.

The property market was one of the few cherished destinations for household savings. The developers and homebuyers were also willing to take loans from the banks but these good days for China ended last year.

The household debt touched over USD 10 trillion. And around 27 per cent of bank loans in China are tied to real estate, reported a think tank, Policy Research Group (POREG).

This industry was known to be the biggest job creator in China but now it is termed as “Lehman moment”, in comparison to the 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, which was a trigger for the global financial crisis. More so, when the number of empty homes has crossed the 65 million mark (90 million according to some estimates) – enough to house the population of France, and raised the spectre of a global economy on crutches.

The housing market in China is now seen as ‘a national threat’ as prices rise sky-high, just like the buildings, according to Think Tank citing New York Times.

Developers borrowed money in the form of onshore and offshore bonds, trust loans, and wealth management products, in addition to bank loans. Thus, lenders span from institutions to the general people both at home and overseas.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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This Week's Top Stories: Canadian Real Estate Prices Are Falling, and Regulator Prepares – Better Dwelling – Better Dwelling



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This Week’s Top Stories: Canadian Real Estate Prices Are Falling, and Regulator Prepares – Better Dwelling  Better Dwelling

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