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Something About Mary…

The musings of a mother/wife/real estate/career woman

One of the hottest real estate markets in Canada – Vancouver – is about to get a shakeup.

vancouver-condosCanada’s most-expensive property market, Vancouver, British Columbia, suffering from a near-zero supply of rental homes, announced the details of a new tax aimed at prodding absentee landlords into making their properties available for lease. The empty-home tax will take effect by January 1, 2017 and will be calculated at 1% of the property’s assessed value, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson told reporters at City Hall.

The tax will apply to homes or residential land that sit empty for six or more full months in a year. The onus is on property owners to declare, on their property taxes, their primary residence, whether they are renting out the property or meet one of the other exemptions, otherwise, the tax will apply by default.

Property owners who fail to declare their property’s status will be charged the tax while failure to pay will tack on an extra 5% late penalty. Making a false declaration will result in a $10,000 fine – per day!

Public scrutiny has focused on absentee landlords, particularly from overseas, who are accused of sitting on investment properties where windows remain dark throughout the year.

Citing data from BC Hydro, Robertson estimates that there are around 20,000 empty or under-utilized properties in the Vancouver area.

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The shady practice of “double-ending” being investigated by the CBC

cash-grabThe CBC is airing a CBC Marketplace segment tonight which will shed light on the practice of some real estate agents representing both buyer and seller to secure a deal, thus pocketing what amounts to two commissions. This is referred to in the industry as “double-ending”.

Although, when done by a reputable and honest real estate agent, representing both buyer and seller can have a positive outcome (quick, smooth transaction), the piece focuses some of the top real estate agents in Toronto who breached ethical and legal rules aimed at protecting consumers.  

You can watch the episode online here >>

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Market Update: What is TREB saying…

market-update-imageUsually, when speaking about the GTA real estate market, people think of bidding wars and bully offers on single, detached family homes. But the recently released Q3 TREB report on the condo and rental market paints a different picture.

Even though cranes working on condo sites are a common part of all of the GTA’s communities’ skylines, new condo listings are actually down from Q3 a year ago, by 13%. Sales, in the same time period, however, were up by a surprising 22%, with the average price reaching $415,000 – an increase by 9.6% compared to Q3 last year. “The annual rate of condominium apartment price growth has accelerated over the past year as the supply of units available for sale became more constrained while demand remained strong,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis in the report. “With this said, however, annual rates of price growth remain well-below those for low-rise home types.”

Tied to this development is the effect on the condo rental market, where rents continue to rise. Especially one-bedroom and two-bedroom units seem to be attracting a lot of attention, and with it, increased rents. The average one-bedroom condo rental unit now stands at $1,777, where a two-bedroom unit goes for $2,419 on average. There is speculation that the rise in rents can be, in some part at least, attributed to the rise in popularity of sites such as AirBnB, where owners can rent out units on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Links to the reports:

http://www.trebhome.com/market_news/rental_reports/pdf/rental_report_Q3-2016.pdf

http://www.trebhome.com/market_news/condo_report/2016/condo_report_Q3-2016.pdf

 

My new Oakville favourite

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It’s rare for me to dislike a modern build, and this one is no exception.

From the functional living spaces with a classic modern design; the 4-car garage; heated front steps and entry way to the impressive custom millwork and floor-to-ceiling windows with automated blinds, it’s the many, many unique extras that need to be seen –  words will not do it justice.

Click here to experience this home’s beauty!!

You can find the listing information here: http://www.rubenfurtado.com/listings/default/3/1429743728/25/

Housing Market Update

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905 housing market is picking up steam.

With average home prices topping out at close to $700k in the 416 area, many homebuyers are looking at the surrounding 905 areas to snatch up a deal. Double-digit growth in home prices has been recorded in 10 out of 11 905 areas.

There is mention of a cooling-down period attributed to Ottawa’s recent announcement on more rigorous mortgage restrictions but for now, areas such as Oshawa, Whitby, Hamilton and St. Catharines are seeing unprecedented growth in sales.

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-home-prices-1.3802232

Minor setback at the gym

I’ve been feeling pretty good about my gym performances lately: regular attendances, keeping up with my trainer, feeling pretty good all around. Not sure what happened the other day, but I found myself in the middle of a session wanting to quit. Yes, you read it: QUIT. Continue reading “Minor setback at the gym”

Homes in the GTA – Can You Afford One?

Recent studies suggest that in order to be able to afford a home in the GTA, most households require annual earnings greater than $100,000. Continue reading “Homes in the GTA – Can You Afford One?”

Interest Rates

Read this article today about interest rates. Interested to know if you agree or disagree with the findings. Click here for the article.

Toronto Real Estate Board – Monthly Resale Housing Market Figures

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) recently reported its resale housing figures for the month of June 2016. Continue reading “Toronto Real Estate Board – Monthly Resale Housing Market Figures”

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