Time for your weekly cheat sheet on this week’s top stories.
Canadian Real Estate
Buying a typical home across Canada is now out of reach for many, especially if it’s where the jobs are. A typical non-condo apartment in Toronto, requires a household income of $178,499 per year. That’s more than double the median income. In Vancouver, a “typical” non-condo unit requires a household income of $230,488 to carry a mortgage. The middle class is basically priced out of anything but a small, one-bedroom condo. Even then, they’d have to spend years saving a downpayment.
Tens of thousands of renters are in arrears, and Toronto represents almost a third of them. There were 125,200 people behind in rent as of October 2020, representing 6.11% of private rental stock. Toronto represents 50.36% of Ontario’s rental arrears, and 29.81% of Canada’s total. The arrears stat, as high as it is, is only a part of the total in arrears, since it only includes rentals with 4 or more units.
Canadians now need to save for the longest time in history for the minimum downpayment on a home. National Bank of Canada estimates the median household needs 60 months of savings for a downpayment. This blows past the 1989 previous peak, and it’s much worse in major cities. Greater Toronto requires up to 289 months to save for a “typical” non-condo. In Vancouver, the median household needs 409 months to save for a non-condo. That’s 24 and 34 years, respectively, to just save the minimum downpayment in two of Canada’s largest job markets.
The bottom fifth of households can no longer afford housing of any kind, in Canada’s big cities. In Toronto and Vancouver, this income bracket can only afford 0.2% of purpose-built apartment rentals. Montreal is a little better with 15.3% of rentals affordable to this income bracket. That said, it’s still insufficient for the level of housing required. No market has ever been able to maintain such a disconnect for very long. Young people tend to leave and move to cities they can afford. Hollowing out a whole class of people tends to not exactly be sustainable.
Canadians are becoming increasingly more dissatisfied with life, according to a StatCan study. The average Canadian rated life satisfactions as a 6.71 out of 10, down 1.38 points from 2018. Breaking it down, 40% of people rate life at or above 8, and 40% rated live a 6 or lower. Comparing the data to 2018, they found a polarization of people. More people are now ranking higher or lower in life satisfaction. The middle class is disappearing, and so is a middle level satisfaction with life.
Canada’s central bank holdings show they’ve scaled back Canada Mortgage Bond (CMB) buying. Disclosure data shows they held $9.66 billion in CMBs on Dec 30, 2020, down 0.65% from a month before. The annual increase is still 1,803 % from a year before, but this is the first decline we’ve seen. The slowing can potentially lead to higher mortgage rates in the not so distant future. Which is a good thing, considering home sales are moving at a record pace, and don’t need stimulus.
Vancouver Real Estate
Greater Vancouver real estate prices are rising, but the gains are mostly for detached homes. Detached homes reached a typical price of $1,576,800 in January, up 10.8% from a year ago. A typical condo apartment reached a price of $680,800, up 2.2% over the same period. Both are down from three years ago, with prices still down 0.5% and 1.4% from 3 years ago, respectively. Detached homes are driving the trend, and it’s largely driven by fast rising suburban prices.
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Excessive exuberance: Canada home prices boil over as policymakers sit back
By Julie Gordon and Nichola Saminather
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada‘s red-hot housing market has become a bonfire, spurring comparisons to earlier bubbles and prompting calls for cooling measures. But policymakers are standing back, unwilling to intervene for fear of undermining Canada‘s still-fragile economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Real estate agents say after months of end users driving sales, investors are again a factor in the market and flipping activity is picking up. In response, desperate buyers are over-extending themselves, paying tens of thousands more than originally budgeted just to get in.
While Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem in February acknowledged “some signs of excess exuberance” in the housing market, he downplayed the need for action.
“Right now the economy is weak, we’re just coming out of the second wave. I think we need the support, we need the growth we can get,” Macklem said.
The pandemic shift to working from home coupled with rock-bottom mortgage rates and government aid is driving up housing prices around the world – with suburban homes and vacation towns outperforming big cities from Australia to Europe and North America.
In Canada, the average home price jumped 22.8% in January to a record C$621,525 ($490,820). A sharp escalation since November is fueling fears that speculation and so-called FOMO, the fear of missing out, have again taken root.
Graphic: Home price escalation in Canada https://graphics.reuters.com/CANADA-ECONOMY/HOUSING/nmovazeolpa/chart.png
Toronto and Vancouver area brokers say it is starting to feel like the height of the last bubble, when regional prices were rising by as much as 6% each month.
“It’s on steroids. It really reminds me of 2017,” said Nasma Ali, a Toronto agent who sold a home last month for C$1.59 million, C$340,000 over the asking price.
In other markets, like Ottawa and the cottage towns that have boomed as white-collar workers gamble they will not be called back to the office, the frenzy is like nothing agents have ever seen before.
“If you got in four months ago, you just made C$100,000,” said Ottawa agent Judy Corriveau of entry-level homes popular with investors.
“As far as investments go, it’s a lot better than the stock market … Unless you got in on GameStop,” she said, referring to a Reddit-darling stock that skyrocketed earlier this year.
Mortgage lending has hit record levels and riskier higher-ratio borrowers now make up 23% of new uninsured loans, more than in the 2017 bubble, according to National Bank of Canada. If the flight to smaller cities reverses, a surge of homes could flood the market.
“It seems like policymakers are blowing a pretty big bubble here,” said Steve Saretsky, a Vancouver agent and analyst. “You have house prices up 20% in the midst of really high unemployment. It’s certainly not a healthy market.”
While the Bank of Canada, like other central banks, is unlikely to raise interest rates just to cool housing, experts say policymakers could look at tax measures and tougher lending rules for investors, similar to those imposed by New Zealand’s central bank.
“A 40% equity downpayment for a rental purchase is a whole lot more of a stringent requirement than we have here. Those types of things are smart for our domestic regulators to be considering,” said Paul Taylor, chief executive of Mortgage Professionals Canada.
Taylor, who represents mortgage brokers and insurers, added that any policy should discourage investors while encouraging owner-occupants, particularly in lower-priced segments popular with first-time buyers.
Housing affordability advocates, meanwhile, are calling for tax changes to target investors and a rethink of an exemption that allows homeowners to pocket all profits from the sale of a primary residence.
But a senior government source said “now is not really the time to be ratcheting anything down,” pointing to the ongoing economic pressures.
Canada‘s residential real estate sector accounted for around 17% of GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 and employment in the sector that includes real estate activity was 5.4% above pre-pandemic levels, with construction jobs up 3.4%.
Broker Corriveau in Ottawa said it is “heartbreaking” to see first-time buyers struggle.
“You don’t know if there is going to be that one person who has lost 10 bidding wars and now is going to bid C$50,000 more than necessary just because they want to be done with it.”
($1 = 1.2663 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa and Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Editing by Steve Scherer and Matthew Lewis)
The 10 Best Real Estate Marketing Companies of 2021 – GlobeNewswire
LOS ANGELES, March 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a growing & saturated market, it can be hard to find the best real estate marketing companies that can help you grow your brand, get more leads, and simply help you close more deals.
That is why we have selected The 10 Best Real Estate Marketing Companies of 2021.
We would like to thank the team at Authority Sharks for their research and findings in formulating this article.
Our first selection is Digitize Real Estate, a.k.a ‘DGR’. DGR is a real estate marketing company that teaches agents how to grow their business online. They teach agents and brokers how to generate their leads, follow up, nurture and convert. DGR also guides agents step-by-step on building a brand that will make them the ‘Go-To Celebrity Agent’ in their target market. Their company believes in teaching agents how to fish instead of fishing for them. “If the marketing company you pay thousands of dollars to every month ceased to exist the next day or decided to charge you double, you would be at the mercy of them. This makes you dependent, not independent,” says DGR’s CEO. Their track record speaks for itself as their students have followed their system to close 3-7 more deals every month on average.
DGR also teaches agents how to build systems and hire remote teams in-house to scale independently. If you are looking to save thousands of dollars every month and become the go-to agent in your area, book a call here.
Our second selection is BoldLeads, a real estate marketing leader primarily focused on exclusive lead generation. The Bold lead process is simple; you sign up, get onboarded with their team, and now you are ready to receive exclusive leads within your area, all sent to your custom CRM dashboard. Unlike our first selection, BoldLeads focuses on a ‘done for you’ marketing approach. BoldLeads is a relatively new entrant in real estate marketing, founded by a mother-daughter duo in 2014 and headquartered in Chandler, AZ. The company has snowballed, doubling in size in the past two years. The Propertybase company uses software that allows agents to automate their marketing efforts. BoldLeads focuses on buyer and seller leads. They do the follow-ups on behalf of the agent. If you are looking to outsource your lead generation with a full ‘done for you’ approach. Click here.
At selection three, we have Tieba Bropleh, Gunnar Kolrud, and Ali Kamel, the founders and owners of The Conversion Academy (TCA). These consultants help Real Estate entrepreneurs and teams implement systems and processes that separate them from the pack. By harnessing the power of publications such as Forbes, ABC, NBC, Entrepreneur, Yahoo Finance, and many more, they can instantly build their client’s authority and improve their positioning. Before working with the TCA team, most Real Estate entrepreneurs have relatively poor positioning for their service and are not viewed as the authority in their market. After working with the TCA team, Realtor Estate entrepreneurs are positioned to see 2-10x profitability in their marketing spend over a 6-12 month period from the time of publication. The Conversion Academy prides itself on being one of the few companies in their space that offers a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
At Selection four, we have Generateagentleads.com, a real estate technology and marketing company known to be one of the fastest-growing real estate technology startups in 2020. Through their proprietary CRM, they help real estate agents, teams and brokers generate and convert leads at scale in a complete “done for you” setting. Their software enables agents and brokers to qualify leads and build relationships from A to Z. Their goal: a centralized platform to generate new business at scale with the agent in charge of how much they spend on marketing. Their team recently launched a digital agent accelerator program to accompany agents, groups, and brokers to perfect their sales process in conjunction with the generateagentleads.com CRM. The program includes done-for-you lead generation with real estate coaching from experts within the industry, consulting on lead conversion while scaling up with a real estate team, and being extremely capital efficient.
At selection five, we have Jeffrey Brogger as the founder and CEO of STEEZY.Digital – a real estate digital marketing agency that is known for generating and following-up with leads automatically. Jeffrey has shared the stage as an international speaker with industry leaders, including Neil Patel, Damond John, Ryan Deiss, and more. Jeffrey takes the guess-work out of scaling a real estate or mortgage brokerage by handling all paid advertising so that high-quality buyer and seller leads are generated automatically every day. Meanwhile, automated recruiting funnels help attract top-tier talent to the brokerage. Jeffrey offers free online training, including a 12x return-on-ad-spend case study for a top 1% real estate broker client. Click here to register for this free training today. Feel free to call him at (619) 663-4357.
At selection six, we have Jayde Gorling as CEO and one of the Co-founders of From Cold to Sold™, a performance-based appointment generation system for Real Estate Agents. Jayde & her team specialize in setting highly qualified, high intent buyer and seller appointments or live transfers with real estate agents using their proprietary systems & data to attract & qualify prospects while nurturing them to give their realtor clients a brand and authority boost. From Cold To Sold™ has helped realtors close as many as 3 deals in their first 30 days of working with her team and has helped teams close over 60 deals in a single month. By working with the From Cold to Sold™ system, you can expect to only pay for qualified appointments & live transfers without having to sign long-term contracts or monthly retainers. This system is exactly what you need if you’re looking to quickly boost your pipeline with prospects that are actively looking to buy or sell their home and start expanding sales beyond your sphere.
Brett Ratkowksi, Karan Sanghavi, and Aaron Martinez are the co-founders of our seventh selection, Revamped Real Estate – an agency that helps Real Estate Agents and Brokers set themselves apart from their competition with the power of YouTube, using their 2 Step Blue Ocean Strategy. While they work with agents and brokers of varying experience and annual volume, they currently work with big names in the real estate space like Joshua Smith, Chantel Ray, and a few others. While most agents and brokers are still relying on Facebook, Zillow leads, and even just referrals… Brett, Karan, and Aaron are breaking the mold and paving the path for those who are ready to stand out, and start dominating their market, while setting new standards for what’s “normal” in terms of effective marketing, income, and work/life balance, as an active real estate agent or broker going into 2021. Book a call here.
At selection eight, we have a mother and son duo – Oliver and Julie Borr of Borr Digital – one of North America’s fastest-growing Real Estate marketing agencies. Borr Digital is young and hungry, with aspirations of becoming the most indispensable marketing agency/platform in Real Estate. They deliver the authenticity you’d appreciate from a boutique, family-run company, with the ROI you’d expect from the industry’s most respected agencies. They deliver “clients,” not “leads.” They hate the term “lead generation.” Their rigorously followed 8-step machine provides more revenue and time for growth-oriented Realtors by scaling their business through qualified appointments.
At selection nine, we have Christian John Orsos, the founder of CJO Marketing, a local marketing agency specializing in helping small businesses rapidly establish a full-fledged online presence. He and his team are committed to creating web and social media strategies for companies who want to go digital. The agency’s services include web design, logo design, and social media marketing. After working and delivering results in various verticals, Christian is dedicating 2021 to help real estate agents scale their businesses and close more deals. With his Real Estate Closings system, he guarantees 25 live transfers or appointments with potential pre-qualified home buyers in 90 days by implementing social media lead generation and a combination of automated and human follow up to prequalify potential buyers. If you’re a realtor looking to break the average barrier and dominate your area, Christian John Orsos is the guy.
At selection ten, we have Sunil Khatri as the founder of Meshroad Marketing and Saabu – an All-In-One Marketing Platform with DIY and Done for your delivery models. He has helped 500+ Businesses in 4+ Continents generate millions of dollars in sales. His company has ranked as the Top PPC Management Company in Canada for 2019 & 2020. Sunil enjoys working with brand-new businesses and helping them thrive in online sales. Sunil helps new businesses generate new clients in hours through his page “Get New Clients.” During the pandemic, he also founded a close Network of Business Experts on the west coast to help other business owners grow their businesses.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c1dc9bcd-d099-4742-9758-6bafeb135492
There aren't enough protections for Black renters facing discrimination, real estate agents say – CTV News
In Canada, it’s illegal for a landlord to refuse to rent space to a person because of their race, citizenship, ethnicity or religion. But Black real estate agents and renters say it is still happening far too frequently.
Last December, a 27-year-old undergrad student named Michael was attempting to take over someone else’s lease for a Toronto apartment. He was hopeful because he had good credit and steady finances, and he was offering to pay two to three months’ worth of rent in advance, and the outgoing tenant said she was recommending him to the landlord.
But the process abruptly ended after he sent in his photo identification at the landlord’s request. He said he wasn’t given a reason for the rejection, except that: “I didn’t meet the landlord’s criteria.”
“These landlords, they keep doing it and doing it. When it happened, I was depressed for a week,” Michael, who doesn’t want to be identified by his full name out of fear of racial harassment, told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview. “I couldn’t even eat because I just felt humiliated.”
Michael said he has had enough and is now awaiting a decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on whether there was racial discrimination by that landlord. He says he’s let go of many similar incidents in the past, including other landlords showing him units that were not the ones he applied for.
In Canada, housing experts say it’s fairly rare for governments and universities to conduct studies examining landlord bias. A rare outlier was a 2009 study from the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation which found that, in Toronto, Black single parents, as well as South Asian households, have a one-in-four chance of facing moderate to severe discrimination when looking for rental properties.
Black people in the rental industry told CTVNews.ca that anti-Black discrimination has gone unchecked for decades. Now, they’re strengthening calls for stronger penalties for landlords who discriminate, as well as laws to prevent them from requiring photo ID until after a bid is accepted.
Michael is one of approximately 5,700 members of the “Black Housing Directory (Renting While Black)” Facebook group, which is aimed at helping Black people and people of colour find rental accommodations in Toronto and the surrounding area.
The collective also includes landlords, members of the legal profession, and real estate brokers, including Charlene Ann Williams. In her 12 years in the industry, she said she’s seen many of her Black clients repeatedly passed up for listings — despite having strong credit scores and long-term, well-paying jobs.
“It’s heartbreaking that people get treated this way based on the colour of their skin. It’s rampant,” Williams told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview. “People just don’t want to rent to Black people.”
“My head explodes when I figure out what’s going on and it doesn’t take long,” she said, noting it’s never gotten easier dealing with the discrimination.
Williams vividly recalls a recent example of a couple giving up trying to land a rental in Markham, Ont. and being forced to look in another city “because if Markham was going to twice treat them that way, they’ll take their money elsewhere.”
Kay Layton, executive director of Black Lives Matter YYC in Calgary, said conversations about prejudice against Black renters in Canada have been happening for decades.
“I’ve seen instances of Black folks specifically asking a white friend to come with them to viewings or meeting regarding a new rental property, in hopes of coming across less threatening,” he told CTVNews.ca over the phone.
LEGAL ROUTE CAN TAKE MONTHS
Real estate agents for properties act as the intermediary between landlords and potential renters and brokers. And Williams said in some cases, agents have blatantly admitted to her: “There’s nothing wrong with your clients, Charlene. My client [the landlord] just won’t take them.”
She added other agents have told her: “My clients want to rent to people who speak their language.”
And it’s incidents like this that Williams said she probably should have taken to a higher authority like the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, but decisions there can take months and in the meantime, her clients “still need a place to live.”
Layton, who lives in Alberta, urged people to still file the complaint to a provincial body even if it could be a lengthy process because it “still could help with forwarding change.”
Laura Track, director of the B.C. Human Rights Clinic in Vancouver, told CTVNews.ca in an email that “discrimination by landlords, based on the colour of someone’s skin or any other characteristic, is disturbing and illegal. It also remains a problem in our communities.”
“Of course, in B.C.’s tight rental market, where rental housing is so scarce, landlords have a lot of freedom to choose among what’s often a large number of applicants for a given unit. It’s therefore pretty easy for a landlord to hide any discriminatory intent, and hard for a tenant to prove they were passed over due to their race.”
And because a human rights complaint can take years, Track said “most cases are resolved more quickly through mediation.”
According to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, privacy law does not prevent landlords from asking to see IDs, such as driver’s licences – as long as the landlord explains why they’re asking for it.
But fellow Black real estate agent Kenneth Toppin said asking for photo identification or a person’s full name can be a way for landlords to avoid renting to members of a particular community.
“Landlords can find out the face of a person very easily and then turn that person down regardless of how qualified they are,” he told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview. “And because there are no rules of them having to accept you — landlords can say no for whatever reason.”
CODED LANGUAGE COMMON
Toppin recalls a Black couple who were repeatedly denied an apartment in the GTA despite making $45,000 a month and had just bought a $1-million home and needed a place to rent temporarily.
When he hears real estate agents say “the landlord is looking to go another route,” he said it’s coded language for anti-Black racism. “It happens so much and it’s a problem.”
“The racism that Blacks face in the rental market is Jim Crow 2.0,” he said, referring to the state and local laws in the U.S. that enforced racial segregation for decades. Toppin said the problem is even worse for people trying to find rentals on Kijiji or other online classified advertising services, which he likened to “the Wild West.”
“Our community, unfortunately, many times is left to fend for themselves,” he said. “It’s actually one of the worst processes a Black family can go through.”
As a landlord himself, Toppin appreciates how others want to be able to choose their tenants, but he wants people held to account if they exhibit a pattern of refusing to accept certain renters.
He and Williams suggested landlords be fined or barred from renting out their units again if a regulatory body finds they’ve discriminated against potential renters. They should also provide financial restitution for the victims, they said.
BLM YYC’s Layton encouraged people in the short-term to call out racism online and potentially warn others.
“When all else fails we can always expose racist landlords on social media and hope that will create some sort of change,” he said.
Williams, who also sits on the inclusivity and diversity task force for the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, says “they’re trying to combat this on the most basic level.”
And this means educating the more than 58,000 real estate agents on the ground and conveying to their landlord clients that discrimination is unacceptable.
“A lot of the reason that they [side] with the landlord is because there are so many of us,” she said, adding that if the landlord “doesn’t like what you as an agent are saying, he’s going to find someone else to represent him.”
Edited by CTVNews.ca’s Sonja Puzic and Jackie Dunham
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