The Barrie real estate market has rebounded at a significant pace since last year despite rising interest rates and a slowing economy. But can this component of the Ontario housing sector maintain its momentum in the home stretch of 2023 and heading into 2024?

This is the $824,900 question for market observers. According to the Barrie & District Association of REALTORS® Inc., residential property sales soared nearly 24 per cent year-over-year in June, totalling more than 400 units. Year-to-date, home sales have totalled just below 2,100 units, down 14.3 per cent from the same time a year ago.

On a historical basis, home sales were 14 percent below the five-year average and more than 18 per cent below the ten-year average for this time of the year.

But what about prices?

They have eased from last year, real estate association data show. In June, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) tumbled at an annualized rate of 8.5 per cent to $824,300. The average price of homes sold in June dipped nearly one per cent to $906,303.

All three residential property categories declined to finish off the second quarter of 2023:

· Single-Family Homes: -7.9 per cent to $871,600

· Townhomes: -8.8 per cent to $602,800

· Apartments: -9.4 per cent to $549,100

“Home sales have been coming in relatively stronger over the past three months compared to earlier in the year, slowly building momentum in the recovery,” said Lindsay Percy, the Chair of the Barrie & District Association of REALTORS®, in a statement. “A surge in new listings in June helped to sustain this momentum, although whether this is the beginning of a reversal in the downward trend in new supply or just a one-off remains to be seen. The return of sellers to the market in meaningful numbers would be a welcome sight given falling inventory levels and rising prices.”

But do these numbers mean a lucrative opportunity exists in the Barrie real estate market for prospective homebuyers and investors?

Investing in Barrie Real Estate: A Lucrative Opportunity

The latest data presented a mixed picture of the Barrie real estate market, as industry experts have been looking at multiple trends that may support price growth or weigh on the upward trend in the last three months:

· Supply

· The return of buyers and sellers

· Interest rates

In June, the number of new residential listings plunged close to 26 percent, totalling 846 new units. Active residential listings declined more than 22 per cent, with 914 units on the market to finish June. Historically, new listings were nearly nine percent below the five-year average, and residential listings were more than nine percent below the five-year average.

In addition, months of inventory dropped from 3.6 months in June 2022 to 2.3 in June 2023. This measurement assesses the number of months it would take to exhaust current inventories at the present rate of sales activity.

At the same time, new housing construction activity levels have been exceptional this year. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts surged 53 per cent year-over-year to 466 units in June. Year-to-date, housing starts have climbed by 25 per cent from June 2022 to 1,462 units.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada’s (BoC) tightening cycle could be nearing its end, but it might not mean that interest rates will begin falling before the year is over. In July, the central bank raised the benchmark policy rate by 25 basis points to five percent, the highest level in over two decades. With the consumer price index (CPI) coming in higher than expected in July, there are expectations that the BoC might raise interest rates at the September policy meeting, especially considering that officials do not believe inflation will return to the institution’s two percent target until the middle of 2025.

This, of course, results in higher borrowing costs for homebuyers. According to Statistics Canada, the CMHC five-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage rate increased to 5.99 per cent last month, up from 5.85 per cent in June.

That said, despite rising mortgage rates, experts believe that homeowners can withstand the current rising-rate environment, even nearly as all of the rate increases since early 2022 have begun to be felt.

“Next summer will be an important milestone for the Canadian housing market, as we head into the period where the bulk of interest rates increases from last year start to be felt. The sharpest increases in rates occurred in the summer of 2022, and it typically takes up to a year for the economy to feel their full impact,” wrote Mathieu Laberge, a partner and leader of economics and policy at KPMG Canada. “Nevertheless, Canadians are in a good position to manage their personal finances and exposure to the housing market: the Canadian labour market remains steady, meaning Canadians have the possibility to make trade-offs between discretionary and nondiscretionary spending. And inflation is keeping to its moderating trend, recently dipping below three per cent.”

Ultimately, with the Barrie real estate market seeing a wave of buyers and sellers, Simcoe County could maintain a lucrative investment opportunity climate.


The post Investing in Barrie Real Estate: A Lucrative Opportunity appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

Many prospective homebuyers often think that the only costs they will incur are the home’s asking price and interest on the mortgage. However, there are additional costs involved, especially in certain jurisdictions across the country. Mortgage origination fees, closing costs, taxes, and other charges are the norm. And when buying a home in the Toronto real estate market, the land transfer tax is a hefty levy you must budget for – and the municipal portion of the tax is due to rise as of January 1, 2024.

Regardless of the property type, all homebuyers will be subjected to a land transfer tax on closing.

There are five tax brackets that you need to be aware of:

Up to $55,000: 0.5 per cent Up to $250,000: one per cent Up to $400,000: 1.5 per cent Up to $2 million: two per cent More than $2 million: 2.5 per cent

So, for example, if you are buying a $950,000 detached house in the downtown core, be prepared to dole out nearly $31,000. The good news is that you will receive a rebate if you are a first-time homebuyer. So, as another instance, if you are purchasing a $700,000 condo suite, the land transfer tax will be nearly $21,000, but the rebate will reduce it to below $13,000.

Regardless of any tax brackets or rebates, new research has found that the land transfer tax is a barrier to entry for many households attempting to achieve the dream of home ownership.

Land Transfer Tax Impacting Home-Buying Decisions

Is the land transfer tax impacting your home-buying process?

According to a new survey conducted by Leger on behalf of RE/MAX Canada, more than one-quarter of Canadians (28 per cent) say that the land transfer tax has affected their decision to participate in the real estate market. Young Canadians are most impacted by the levy, with 40 per cent of Generation Z and 35 per cent of millennials reporting that the land transfer tax had a role in their journey toward home ownership. The penalty had less of an impact on older generations, including Generation X (26 per cent) and baby boomers (21 per cent).

Ultimately, this has eroded housing affordability at a time when home ownership is becoming out of reach for many younger households.

Recent data highlight that detached home sales skyrocketed in York Region in the second quarter of 2023, rising more than 100 per cent from the first quarter. One of the reasons? Buyers in this part of the housing market do not face the municipal land transfer tax.

Because many facets are pricing younger families out of the housing market, policymakers are exploring various mechanisms to bolster homebuying opportunities, including the land transfer tax.

Are Changes Coming?

The City of Toronto recently published its revenue tools report assessing different property tax approaches. Officials contend that property tax is a more stable and fair form of taxation for city hall than the land transfer tax. When North America’s fourth-largest city first introduced the first-time land transfer tax rebate, it was introduced to mirror the average price for a residential property in Toronto.

In 2008, the average price for a home in the city was $400,000. Believe it or not, officials have not raised this threshold, meaning that very few buyers qualify for this rebate since the going price for a house is north of $1 million and about $750,000 for condominiums.

That said, the Toronto Region Real Estate Board welcomes any proposal that advances the opportunity for more people to enter the housing market.

“Our position has always been that the concept of a Land Transfer Tax doesn’t benefit homebuyers, due to the unfair nature of the tax which has to be paid upfront. With the City raising MLTT rates for the higher-end housing market as a revenue tool, it must also consider helping first-time home buyers who are struggling to buy a property,” said TRREB President Paul Baron in a statement. “Council’s decision to approve a graduated increase of the MLTT on properties over $3 million may impact our housing challenges and supply shortage in a negative way by deterring move-up buyers from freeing up supply.”

Not only Toronto is looking at making changes to property tax policy.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) is urging the province of British Columbia to abandon the property transfer tax, or PTT, on any home that costs under $755,000 for both new and resale.

Like Toronto, it is challenging to come across any dwelling in Vancouver priced below $800,000.

“You could look at this and say, ‘Should there even be a threshold? If we’re talking about getting first-time buyers into the market, why does it really matter?’ We’re trying to be reasonable and give the government something they can work with,” said Andrew Lis, the director of economics of the REBGV.

The real estate association also suggests establishing a provincial rebate program for the GST mandated on new rental construction and an “ultra-low-cost” loan program for rental property developers.

Meanwhile, there is skepticism that the B.C. government would consider abolishing the levy since it generated more than $2 billion in revenues from this tax in the current fiscal year.

The post Land Transfer Tax Impacting Home Buying Decisions appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

The Calgary real estate market has experienced an influx of homebuyers from other provinces keen on acquiring investment properties. One significant driving factor behind this trend is Calgary’s relatively affordable real estate prices compared to Canada’s other major urban centers. Compared to other provinces, Calgary has successfully steered clear of a housing bubble. This makes homes in Calgary more accessible than massive hubs like Toronto and Vancouver.

Condos for sale in Calgary are now the hottest property commodity. According to reports published by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) in July 2023, condos have outperformed other residential property types, showing a whopping 50 per cent sales increase year-over-year. They’ve also experienced the second-largest benchmark price jump of 12 per cent. Despite the significant benchmark price rise, condos for sale in Calgary have made up about 25 per cent of all home sales this year. And given their current momentum, this percentage is poised to climb.

Is it Worth Buying a Condo in Calgary?

In recent years, Canada’s housing market has been shaped by shifts in monetary policies. Amid the pandemic, the market witnessed an unprecedented boom thanks to an infusion of capital into the system. However, the second half of 2022 marked a turning point: the Bank of Canada began tightening by hiking interest rates.

For many, condos for sale in Calgary are a fantastic choice. They can be a stepping stone from renting to owning faster than if you were buying a traditional house. Plus, they offer a hassle-free lifestyle with less maintenance. But remember that it still comes down to the specific condo you’re eyeing.

Like other properties, condos generally grow in value with the broader real estate market.

Although not universal, condos generally appreciate value at a pace that’s somewhat slower than detached houses. Choose one that is located in urban centers or near essential amenities. Being close to public transport, shopping hubs, entertainment centres, or even employment hubs can significantly boost a condo’s appeal and, subsequently, its resale value.

What is the Average Cost of Condos for Sale in Calgary?

The Calgary Housing Market Report shows that the average price of condos for sale in Calgary real estate rose 12.1 per cent from the previous year to $309,000. In contrast, condos in the Toronto region average just over

$720,000, and those in Metro Vancouver come in around $769,000, as reported by their respective local real estate boards.

The attraction to Calgary’s real estate market isn’t solely based on the affordability of condominiums. Alberta offers other financial incentives that are pretty appealing to property investors. Unlike Ontario or British Columbia, Alberta does not impose land transfer taxes. In those places, taxes can range between one and three percent of the final sale price for properties above $55,000, representing a substantial additional cost for buyers.

Alberta’s housing regulations are also perceived as favourable for landlords and investors. There are no restrictions on rental price increments, providing landlords with greater flexibility in adjusting to market conditions.

Are Condo Prices Rising in Calgary?

Since the start of the year, home values in the Calgary Metropolitan Region have been on an upward trajectory. While the market for detached homes shows mixed trends, the condo apartment sector is sizzling. As work-from-home becomes more common, we anticipate developers introducing larger condos with two or three bedrooms, aligning with the changing buyer preferences. The demand is predicted to surge as many hard-working Canadians working longer hours lean towards low-maintenance living. The convenience of having everything nearby and the energetic atmosphere make these high-density neighbourhoods incredibly appealing. Living in these areas offers practical advantages and creates a sense of community.

Will Condo Prices Go Down in Calgary?

The Calgary real estate started the year a bit slow, much like other big cities. But prices are not expected to drop because supply remains tight. In fact, housing inventories in Calgary have fallen to near-record lows, while new home builds are delayed by challenging labour and material issues. As more people move to Calgary to find jobs, there is intense competition since there aren’t enough properties for sale.

This lack of supply means buyers don’t have many options. On the other hand, those selling homes see this as a chance to ask for higher prices. Many sellers are hoping for top dollar for their properties. This is quite a deviation from the nationwide trend. In fact, the Calgary market has been hitting new price records due to a demand that heavily outweighs supply. Even the steepest interest rates over the past two decades haven’t done much to cool down the market.

Are you looking for condos for sale in Calgary? Our experienced RE/MAX agents can guide you through the nuances of condo associations, financial assessments, and the potential pros and cons of your condo investment.FIND AN AGENT

The post Investing in Calgary Real Estate: Potential of Condos for Sale appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

Has the Toronto housing market always been expensive?

It is hard to fathom that the average sales price for a detached house in the city was around $300,000 in 2004. Nearly 20 years later, that figure has shot up to around $1.3 million – and rising.

How time flies.

How the Pandemic Changed the Greater Toronto Housing Market

Before the pandemic, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home prices were based on their distance to downtown, and the price gap between houses in the suburbs and downtown was significantly higher. Of course, the pandemic-era housing boom sent home prices in Toronto and surrounding areas to the moon, with suburbs seeing dramatic valuation gains. The gap narrowed rapidly during the pandemic as preferences for living in less congested and less expensive areas amplified.

This was seen not only in Toronto but elsewhere throughout the country. Moreover, demand for residential properties in suburbs and rural communities also skyrocketed among first-time homebuyers as the further they moved from downtown, the higher the possibility of finding a humble abode they could afford.

Today, even as the Bank of Canada (BoC) raises interest rates to their highest levels in more than two decades (more on that later), the GTA has maintained its upward trend in the current post-crisis environment without any respite in sight. But when it comes to Toronto, data suggest that many households prefer to live in the city, even if it comes with a premium.

At the same time, the dynamic of the GTA housing market has changed significantly since the COVID-19 public health crisis. Since remote work became a norm, renting or buying property closer to downtown was not necessarily a significant advantage anymore. Gyms, restaurants, salons, and other similar establishments had to shut down during COVID. The downtown charm wore off quickly, and people who could work and study remotely began looking for housing in the suburbs as they were far more affordable and typically more extensive than housing options available downtown.

Fast forward to the post-crisis climate, the cost of living through the roof has resulted in many restaurants witnessing fewer customers and officials urging companies to mandate a return to the office to save downtown businesses. Suffice it to say, the downtown core is not what it used to be, despite everyone opening their doors and trying to reignite some semblance of normalcy.

Bank of Canada and Interest Rates

It might seem counterintuitive, but the central bank’s campaign of rate hikes forced buyers to retreat to Toronto. Since residential properties remain above-trend throughout the GTA and elsewhere across the Ontario real estate market – and offices are forcing employees to return to the office – scores of families are coming back.

Meanwhile, the BoC’s higher-for-longer interest rates will continue to weigh on the mortgage market. Mortgage rates have increased significantly for borrowers, and research has confirmed that this will continue to be a notable problem for many households for years to come. The current situation has forced a plethora of prospective homebuyers to sit on the sidelines. Should the BoC pull the trigger on one more rate hike amid a reacceleration in inflation, it could result in a decrease in listings, leaving prices to be flat and elevated.

A Preview of the Future of Toronto Real Estate

A recent RE/MAX Canada report projected that housing prices are expected to trend sideways until the end of this year because there is a lack of inventory in the GTA housing market. As interest rates continue to be at their highest level in more than 20 years, this fall’s real estate industry will be soft as economic and financial uncertainty has made both buyers and sellers hesitant to make any big decisions.

Prospective sellers are holding back from listing their homes, and even new construction projects have taken a back seat as homebuilders face the problem of high costs.

However, a slow fall season could indicate a more active start for the Greater Toronto housing market, but this remains to be seen and is highly dependent on what the Bank of Canada does in the coming months. One hopeful factor is the expected number of immigrants to Canada, most of which will land in Toronto. This could potentially shake the market, and a scarcity of housing stock could widen the gap between the demand and supply and, once again, force housing prices to jump.

“We’re at a crossroad and the biggest question remains, where do we go from here?” says Elton Ash, Executive Vice President of RE/MAX Canada.

The post A Historical Perspective of the Greater Toronto Housing Market appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

The Nanaimo real estate market has become one of the most expensive in British Columbia, rivalling those of Vancouver and Victoria. From Nanaimo’s gorgeous scenery to its beautiful residential properties, many prospective homeowners are clamouring to live in Nanaimo. But with limited inventory, can the boom continue?

According to data compiled by Nanaimo News Now and RE/MAX, residential property sales tumbled 25 per cent month-over-month in August, totalling 83 single-family homes. This was up 17 per cent from the same time a year ago.

In the final full month of the summer, the average price for a single-family home jumped three per cent month-over-month to $861,502. But prices were down about two per cent year-over-year and have slipped roughly eight per cent from the record high of $944,500.

At the same time, the benchmark price in the Nanaimo real estate market was unchanged from July and fell five per cent to just below $800,000.

The issue for the Nanaimo housing market has been the lack of inventory. The latest data show that active residential listings of single-family homes plunged 21 per cent from the previous year, totalling 1,072 units. New supply added to overall inventory levels, but active residential listings were so low that they could not satisfy demand. And this is driving up Nanaimo real estate prices.

So far, it is unclear if the rate of new housing construction will suffice to satisfy demand as activity levels have slowed. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts collapsed 90 per cent year-over-year in August, totalling 26 units. In the first eight months of 2023, housing starts totalled 335 units, down more than 60 per cent from the same span a year ago.

Should the recent numbers be a cause for concern? Not necessarily, says Kelly O’Dwyer, the head of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) in 2023.

“The last two weeks of August were slower than the rest of the summer, which isn’t surprising,” said O’Dwyer in a statement. “The market is usually pretty quiet right before school starts again.”

Could investors provide relief to a market that desperately needs fresh supply?

Is Nanaimo Real Estate a Good Place to Invest?

For many investors, Nanaimo real estate could be a great place to park their money. Nanaimo offers a wide variety of housing opportunities: households that want to purchase a property, individuals who wish to rent a single-family home, or even demand for a short-term rental property by tourists wishing to travel and experience Nanaimo’s beauty. Indeed, Nanaimo is everything you would want, whether to live, work or visit.

But could investors be taking a risk by buying at the top of the Nanaimo real estate boom?

Some estimates suggest that prices could rise further while sales activity could diminish due to low inventory, leaving buyers sitting on the sidelines.

“Less-dense cities and neighbourhoods offer buyers the prospect of greater affordability, along with liveability factors such as more space. In order for these regions to retain these appealing qualities and their relative market balance, housing supply needs to be added. Without more homes and in the face of rising demand, there’s potential for conditions in these regions to shift further,” said Christopher Alexander, President of RE/MAX Canada, in the RE/MAX 2022 Canadian Housing Market Outlook Report.

Will Interest Rates Hurt Nanaimo Investors?

Is the Bank of Canada (BoC) close to being finished with its quantitative tightening cycle? This is the expectation among the financial markets after the central bank left key interest rates unchanged at five per cent at the September policy meeting. But market analysts believe that the door remains open for one more quarter-point rate hike amid the reacceleration of inflation.

In August, the annual inflation rate soared to four per cent, up from 3.3 per cent in July and higher than the consensus estimate of 3.8 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index (CPI) rose at a hotter-than-expected pace of 0.4 per cent. Core inflation, which omits the volatile energy and food components, also edged up to a higher-than-expected 3.3 per cent year-over-year.

Following the central bank’s latest decision, Governor Tiff Macklem hinted that the Governing Council may need to raise rates again.

“In trying to balance the risks of under- and over-tightening, the governing council decided yesterday to keep the policy rate at five per cent and agreed there may be a need to raise the policy rate further if inflationary pressures persist,” Macklem said.

The rate pause could offer some relief in the mortgage market after the five-year fixed-rate conventional mortgage rate was 5.99 per cent in July.

In the second quarter, the Canadian real estate market enjoyed robust sales activity and higher price growth after the Bank of Canada left the policy rate unchanged. Should the institution maintain this strategy – leave rates higher for longer while officials take a look around and assess how tighter monetary policy is affecting the economy – it might provide some certainty and stability to mortgage rates and the housing sector, including the Nanaimo real estate market.

That said, RBC economists anticipate that the housing industry could experience a further cooling heading into the fall season.

“Higher interest rates continue to cool down Canada’s housing market following a surprising solid rebound this spring. August marked the second-straight month home resales dipped (down 4.1 per cent from July), and home price gains moderated. Earlier tight demand-supply conditions eased further as the number of homes put up for sale climbed again (albeit slightly),” bank economists wrote in a September research note. “The majority of local markets have sharply rebalanced by now. We think the cooling trend will extend into the fall season despite the Bank of Canada pausing its rate hike campaign.”

Put simply, a modest drop in prices amid fresh supply could give buyers a new lease on life in the Nanaimo real estate market and perhaps in the broader national housing sector.

The post A Look at Trends in the Nanaimo Real Estate Market appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

The Canadian real estate market has seen significant price increases in recent years, particularly in major cities like Vancouver and Toronto. This growth has boosted home equity for many homeowners. With rising home values comes a noticeable uptick in home equity loans. Many homeowners are tapping into their home equity to finance everything from renovations to consolidating high-interest debts.

Home equity is essentially the financial stake you have in your house. It’s the monetary difference between your home’s current market value and the remaining balance on your mortgage. When property values in your area rise, the value of your home increases, and so does your home equity!

With longer life expectancies and concerns about the adequacy of retirement savings, some Canadians view their home equity as a sort of retirement nest egg.  Older homeowners opt to downsize by selling their family homes to move into smaller properties or condominiums. This allows them to release the equity built up in their homes for retirement or other needs.

Home equity can be a powerful financial tool. Here are a few ways you can take advantage of it.

Access Fresh Funds by Refinancing Your Home

When market conditions improve and lower interest rates become available, you can renegotiate the terms of your existing mortgage and replace it with a new one. If you’ve owned your home for several years and have dutifully made mortgage payments, you’ve likely built-up considerable equity. Refinancing allows you to tap into this to finance major expenses.

Refinancing can also allow you to take advantage of lower interest rates, thus reducing your monthly mortgage payments. This can translate into significant savings over the life of your loan. Keep in mind that extending your repayment period might lead to higher overall interest costs.

Before you decide to refinance, it’s crucial to weigh the costs against the benefits. Just like your original mortgage, refinancing comes with closing costs. These can include application fees, legal fees, appraisal fees, and more.

Note that because you are effectively breaking the initial mortgage contract by refinancing, most lenders impose a penalty to compensate for the financial loss they incur. Generally, the closer you are to the end of your mortgage term, the less severe the penalty will be. This is because the lender stands to lose less interest over a shorter period. In some cases, you can negotiate the prepayment penalty with your lender, especially if you plan to stick with the same lender for your refinanced mortgage.

Take Advantage of a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) operates like a credit card but uses your home as collateral. It’s a type of loan that provides you with a revolving line of credit based on the equity you’ve built up in your home. You can borrow any amount at any time. This can be especially useful for ongoing expenses like home renovations or investments.

Be mindful of the fact that, unlike traditional home loans, HELOCs usually come with variable interest rates, meaning the rates can rise or fall over time. If interest rates increase, so do your monthly payments, which can lead to higher repayment costs. Keep a close eye on interest rate trends. If rates start climbing, consider paying down your HELOC faster to minimize the impact of future rate hikes.

Leverage Your Home Equity for Other Investments

Funds from a home equity loan, HELOC, or cash-out refinance gives you the opportunity to invest in other properties, the stock market, start a business, or fund other income-generating ventures. If the investment does well, it could yield a return rate surpassing your equity loan’s interest rate. This difference, less any loan costs, is your net profit. The interest on the money borrowed against your home equity to buy an income-generating property or invest in a business may be tax-deductible. But you must meet specific requirements set by the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you cannot repay the loan, you could face the harsh reality of losing your home. It’s a sobering thought that underscores the need to make informed, prudent financial decisions.

Increase Your Home’s Value Through Home Improvements

Undertaking home improvements can increase the value of your property. Renovations such as upgrading the kitchen, adding a bathroom, or finishing a basement are known to yield a high return on investment. When you decide to sell your home, you can recoup your investment or even make a profit. Improvements can make your home more comfortable, practical, and enjoyable. For example, expanding your living space could accommodate a growing family, while upgrading insulation can enhance energy efficiency and reduce utility costs. In Canada, certain types of home improvements can provide tax benefits, such as the Home Accessibility Tax Credit (HATC). This allows deductions for eligible home renovation expenses for seniors and persons with disabilities.

Not all home improvements add significant value to a home, and it’s possible to spend more on renovations than you can recoup in a sale. This is known as overcapitalization. Doing your research and consulting a real estate agent before embarking on any significant projects is essential.

Are you considering selling your home? RE/MAX Canada understands what makes a property sell at the highest price possible. From strategic home staging to effective marketing, we ensure your home stands out in the market, attracting competitive offers. Contact us for a consultation.

The post 4 Things to Do With the Equity in Your Home appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

Canadian real estate is at a critical point. Declining housing affordability due to supply shortages remains the biggest challenge facing Canadian homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers. To improve these challenging market conditions and help more Canadians enter into home ownership, RE/MAX Canada Executives have been calling on the federal government to lead a collaborative national housing strategy across all levels of government. The band-aid “solutions” of the past have been primarily aimed at controlling the housing market instead of getting to the root of the problem. Without a substantial supply boost, Canadian real estate it is likely that affordability will continue to decline.

Demand for Canadian Real Estate is on the Rise

The Canadian real estate market is experiencing record-high average home prices and overwhelming demand – conditions that were amplified during COVID-19, but present in the Canadian housing market long before the pandemic struck. Facing the brunt of it is the average Canadian homebuyer.

Year over year, the RE/MAX Hot Pocket Communities Report found fewer detached homes changed hands, with 95 per cent of markets surveyed reporting a downturn in home-buying activity. Yet, quarter over quarter, the market’s resilience is evident and demonstrative of the existing demand while constrained by current interest rates.

From a longer-term perspective, as we return to a more regular rhythm with our economy, and immigration and population growth continues, Canada’s strain on the supply will intensify.

If Canadian real estate continues on its current path, the middle class will further erode, dividing Canadians into the housing-haves and the housing-have-nots. According to RE/MAX Canada’s survey, Canadians who don’t own their home are more likely to agree that Canada needs a national housing strategy, while homeowners are significantly more likely to say they do not. Roughly 43 per cent said that a national housing strategy is one of the best ways to solve Canada’s affordability crisis, according to a Leger survey commissioned by RE/MAX in 2021.

Markets will likely remain subdued until interest rate stability returns

The Canadian housing market has proven resilient, even amidst falling housing values. Buyers remain committed to their purchase plans, signalling a robust market. However, the Bank of Canada’s rate hikes and inflation rising to four per cent in August from 3.3 per cent in July have instilled a sense of caution among consumers and investors. Any additional rate hikes could stall market activities even further.

What’s causing this hesitation is the rates themselves and the turbulence created by their volatility. We have witnessed pockets of economic instability arising mainly from the threat of further hikes, leading to a subdued market atmosphere. While we seem to be nearing the end of the rate hike cycle, there’s still a palpable atmosphere of uncertainty. The market is waiting for a sign of stability in interest rates to breathe easily again.

With summer ending, there’s additional pressure on buyers racing against time to finalize deals before their rate expires. Even without a decrease, a period of stability in interest rates could act as a catalyst for market activity. A case in point was the pause in rate hikes from late January to June, which boosted the housing market as both sales and prices saw an uptick. It showed us that a stable rate environment can reinvigorate market enthusiasm.

The shortage of inventory, which hasn’t been a focus due to rate fluctuations, will soon come to the fore as demand rises once stability returns. Therefore, all eyes are on the Bank of Canada’s upcoming decisions, which will likely set the pace for market performance for the rest of the year. One wrong move could dampen sales and build pent-up demand for the future. The timing remains uncertain, but the expectation is that stability in interest rates will eventually turn the tide.

What should a national housing strategy include? Add more housing supply. First and foremost, a National Housing Strategy that successfully increases supply must be a coordinated effort among all three levels of government. Full stop. This is the most critical solution to our housing crisis. Incentivize developers. Rather than penalizing with taxes and policies that do nothing to boost supply levels, we need to incentivize more development of affordable, family-sized housing like three-bedroom condos and allow for more detached housing beyond our existing urban centres. Reduce red tape. Tax rebates, reducing red tape and easing the application and approval process can go a long way. Right now, in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, it can take years to get a project approved, and then even longer to build. During that time, Canadians are waiting, immigration is happening, demand is growing, and prices continue to rise. Now is the time to consider expanding the boundaries of developable land. Add a mandatory condition to every offer. Making the purchase conditional on financing would reduce buyer’s remorse and help ensure people can afford what they buy. Develop an industry “watchdog.” We need a federal government agency to review transactions where homes are sold well over the asking price to ensure fair listing prices and prevent homes from being listed well below market value to create bidding wars. Agents found to be contravening these rules would be forced to face fines.

Not all issues must be tackled at the federal level, but they require collaboration between governments.

Ban on blind bidding won’t create affordable Canadian real estate

Low supply and high demand have rendered a strong seller’s market in Canada, leaving many first-time homebuyers and young families hard-pressed to buy. RE/MAX Canada is in favour of transactional transparency, and it’s clear that consumers want reform when it comes to blind bidding. But before implementing overarching policies, governments must consider their implications. And if they’re not sure, real estate industry members are more than willing to offer some insight.

The real problem plaguing Canada’s housing market is the lack of supply. To improve the affordability crisis, a newly appointed federal government needs to lead a collaborative national housing strategy across all levels of government to create more homes for Canadians.

Two of the biggest lessons learned throughout the pandemic have been the importance of flexibility and our home stability – and governments should take note. Canadians need something adapted to the current challenges, especially for first-time homebuyers craving that type of stability for their futures. Seventy-three per cent of Canadians believe home ownership is one of the best investments, and 34 per cent said they wish they could afford a home.

While affordability is a challenge, Canada doesn’t have a “home ownership crisis.” If these issues are not resolved, we eventually could.

Throughout the pandemic, Canadians have been able to work from home and save more than they might have before. Fifteen per cent of Canadians reported they were able to grow their savings during the pandemic and plan to use these funds as a down payment on a home in the next six to 12 months, according to our recent Affordability Report. Coupling these savings with record-low interest rates has prompted many Canadians to invest in real estate, or at least try, with 35 per cent saying the pandemic has accelerated their interest in owning a home.

Much of Canada’s land mass is undeveloped, with the majority of Canadians concentrated in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Our smaller cities and towns offer an excellent quality of life and have room to grow. Roughly 70 per cent of Ontarians living in rural Ontario own their home – indicating that life outside these major cities can be a viable option for some.

While we wait for a national housing strategy, and given Canadians’ increased flexibility to work remotely and live anywhere, our governments should focus on ways to attract people to less-populated regions, such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Newfoundland. Canada still has lots of “affordable” cities to buy a home, and easing the pressure on Canada’s big cities may also ease the prohibitive price growth.

The fact remains that opportunity exists. Despite ongoing challenges around rising house prices, affordability, or the capacity to break into the market, many communities/areas are still accessible and offer great opportunities for Canadians looking for more affordable options. The bottom of the market seems to be behind us, and the longer-term outlook is improving.

The home-ownership rate in Canada is amongst the highest in the world at 70 per cent ownership.

Source: RE/MAX National Housing Strategy Survey

About Leger and the RE/MAX National Housing Strategy Survey
Leger is the largest Canadian-owned full-service market research firm. An online survey of 1,544 Canadians was completed between August 20-22, 2021, using Leger’s online panel. Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally and has a retention rate of 90 per cent. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.51 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The post Canadian Real Estate is at a Critical Juncture appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

Homeownership is deeply ingrained in Canadian culture. Many Canadians value the idea of owning property as a worthwhile investment. Compared to a volatile stock market, real estate offers stability, and there’s an innate comfort in investing in something you can see and touch.

Over the past few decades, the real estate market, especially in major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, has seen substantial growth in property values. Many investors believe that due to increasing urbanization and rising immigration numbers, prime real estate in major Canadian cities will continue to appreciate. Plus, with rental properties, there’s an opportunity to generate passive income. It’s also an excellent way to diversify wealth. We explore the basics of investment property financing.

What Exactly is an Investment Property?

Investment property is real estate acquired not for personal use but to generate income or appreciation. Think of it as a financial asset that pays dividends through rent or capital gains. It’s not just limited to residential properties like condos or homes; it can also span commercial spaces, farmlands, or even vacant lands awaiting development.

Common Types of Investment Property Financing

Traditional Financing: The Bank Route

If this is your first venture into property investment and you don’t have substantial equity in your primary residence, investment property financing from a traditional bank would be a good option. Your credit history and score play a significant role in not only getting the loan approved but also in determining the interest rate. The bank will also take a hard look at your income, assets, and overall financial health. Naturally, they want to ensure you can juggle your current home loan and the new loan payments. Investment property financing from a bank often offers more competitive interest rates, especially if you have a strong credit history.

Banks typically require a higher down payment for investment properties than owner-occupied homes. While a 5-20 per cent down payment might be typical for a primary residence, they might require as much as a 35 per cent down payment for an investment property.

It’s worth noting that banks usually don’t consider future rental earnings when calculating your debt. Having cash reserves is a sign of financial stability. Some banks might want to see that you have enough reserves to cover several months of mortgage payments, especially if you don’t have a tenant yet or if the rental market is volatile. Six months is a commonly cited figure, but the exact requirement can vary.

Unlocking the Power of Home Equity

If you have significant equity in your primary residence and need to access funds rapidly (maybe due to a time-sensitive investment opportunity), a second mortgage can be quicker to secure than a traditional loan. This can be done through a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Typically, second mortgages carry higher interest rates than mortgages, which could mean paying more interest over time. You can borrow up to 80 per cent of your home’s value to invest in another property.

When leveraging a second mortgage for investment property financing, always remember you’re placing your primary residence at risk. If, for some reason, you’re unable to meet the payments, you could lose your home.

Home Equity Loan vs. HELOC: What’s the Better Choice?

With a home equity loan, the bank or lender provides a one-time lump sum based on the equity you’ve built up in your home. This loan usually comes with a fixed interest rate and a set repayment period, just like your initial mortgage. It’s best for borrowers with a specific expense, such as buying an investment property or undertaking a significant renovation. The benefit of a home equity loan is its predictability: you get the entire loan amount at once, and with fixed monthly payments, you always know what to expect. It’s a straightforward option with no surprises.

A HELOC is more like a credit card. It provides a revolving line of credit up to a certain amount, and you can borrow against it as you need, repay it, and then borrow again. Active real estate investors, like those who flip houses, can benefit from a HELOC. Instead of taking out multiple home equity loans for every new property, they can use the funds from the HELOC, repay it when the property is sold, and then use the funds again for the next investment. The flexibility to borrow, repay, and borrow again allows them to adapt quickly to opportunities without securing investment property financing each time.

Navigating Investment Property Financing

Navigating investment property financing can be daunting, but you can get professional help. At RE/MAX, our experienced real estate professionals are here to guide you through every step of acquiring your investment. Contact your local RE/MAX agent today!


The post Investment Property Financing: What Potential Landlords Need to Know appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

If you need a shed in your backyard, there are only two options. You can either buy the materials and build a shed on your own, or you can buy a premade shed from a store or a shed-building company.

Each one of these options checks a few boxes that the other doesn’t, mainly regarding the price, the quality of the shed, and the effort put into getting the job done. Depending on what you need, you can either buy a shed or build a shed – here’s how to decide which one’s the right choice for you.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Backyard Shed

Some backyard sheds are so well-built that it’s impossible for an amateur to achieve the same standard. On top of that, you don’t have to do a thing – just pay for the shed and watch it get set up in your backyard. Unfortunately, this isn’t always within the limits of the budget.

Pro – Saves Time and Labour

The most obvious advantage of buying a shed is that you don’t have to move a muscle to get it set up. All you have to do is choose a shed (while this can be done online nowadays, we suggest you do it in person since you can’t really know if it’s right for you from a few photos), pay for it, and wait for the delivery. Many home improvement stores will offer installation services – this can be included in the price of the shed, or it can require an additional payment, depending on the store. Aside from buying a pre-designed shed in a store, you can also hire shed builders to design and build your shed. This way, you don’t have to design the shed, choose the materials, buy them, take them home, tailor them to your measurements, and build the shed. You don’t have to do anything aside from paying for it.

Speaking of paying…

Con – Buying a Shed Is More Expensive Than Building One

The luxury of having your shed delivered to you and installed in your backyard comes at a price. That price is usually much higher than what you would pay if you bought the materials and built the shed on your own. Depending on the quality of the shed and the installation service, this price can be justified or unjustified. Some manufacturers design their sheds with excellent storage efficiency, use high-quality, long-lasting materials to build them and cover them with a coat of paint that will protect them from the elements for a long time. Their sheds are built to last, and they justify the price tag. Then, there are manufacturers whose sheds don’t justify the price tag, and you’d be better off building your own shed. This doesn’t only refer to the quality of the design and the materials but also to the quality of the craftsmanship.

If your budget allows it, and you’re confident that the shed you chose will serve you for a long time, there’s no reason not to buy it. But if you’re on a tight budget, spending that money on materials and tools may be better than on a cheap factory-made shed.

Pro – Some Sheds Require Professional Engineering

Although the idea of building your shed on your own to save money is tempting, some sheds are so advanced that building them on your own could be a massive challenge.

Firstly, not all sheds are wooden sheds. Wood is the easiest material to work with, but a lot of professionally built sheds incorporate metal, plastic, vinyl, and even plexiglass plates into their design.

Some of these materials require special equipment and training to work with, which can simply be too much for a DIY project.

Then, we also have to remember that not every shed is here just to store the lawn mower and a few tools. Some people need huge sheds that can fit vehicles inside and have hundreds of square feet of space.

Building such a large shed on your own can be a very long project. It’d be wiser and safer to hire shed builders who will design and build your shed, guaranteeing the end result.

The Pros and Cons of Building a Backyard Shed

If you’re handy with tools and don’t need a high-end shed, building a shed on your own is better than buying one. If you know what you’re doing, you can likely build a suitable shed for the price of a low-quality shed in a home improvement store.

The issue is; professionals can build better sheds than you.

Pro – Creative Freedom

When you’re building a backyard shed on your own, the first thing you do is design the shed. You adapt the shed to your needs, and the biggest advantage of doing this is that you can do, quite literally, anything you want.

If you’re buying a pre-designed shed from a store, you’re essentially stuck with a few dozen designs. It’s possible that one of those designs is just right for you, and that’s great – buy it! But if nothing works for you, you’re going to have to design your own shed.

Designing your own shed means that you can add any feature you want – hidden compartments, sliding doors, a false floor. You can’t get this with your average store-bought backyard shed.

Con – You Can’t Guarantee Quality, Shed Builders Can

Unless you’re an experienced contractor, chances are you can’t build as good of a shed as a shed-building company could. They’re skilled professionals who have done this hundreds of times.

The same rule applies to pre-designed sheds from home improvement stores – some of these sheds were designed by professional designers and built with tools you simply don’t have, making it impossible for you to achieve the same high standard.

This doesn’t mean you can’t build a good shed; it just means that professionals can build a better shed.

Pro – Building a Shed Is Cheaper Than Buying One

As stated before, building a shed is cheaper as you’re only spending money on materials and tools (if you don’t already have everything you need). This isn’t the case when you’re paying shed builders to build a shed or if you’re buying a shed from a home improvement store.

When buying a shed, you’re paying for the materials, the craftsmanship, and the labour. If you’re building the shed yourself, you’re the labourer and the craftsman, so you’re avoiding these costs.

So, What’s Better for You? Buying vs. Building a Backyard Shed?

If all you need is a simple shed for storing some tools, building it on your own would be smarter and financially more responsible than buying a shed. Anyone who knows how to work with tools can build a simple shed, and there’s no need to spend money on a premade shed.

However, if you don’t have the time or simply don’t want to bother yourself with it, feel free to pay for a shed. Also, if you’re looking for a super high-quality shed, you’ll most likely have to pay for it, as you can’t achieve the same level of quality professionals can.

All in all, both options are viable, but they depend on what you need.


The post Buying vs. Building a Backyard Shed appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

FIND AN AGENTCanada’s capital city has consistently attracted the rich and influential, offering an appealing blend of culture, politics, and international connectivity. Ottawa is a city with a unique combination of factors that make it an attractive destination for individuals of significant status. People living in Ottawa appreciate the proximity to the country’s political epicentre. This creates a sophisticated and well-educated community, which is often important to the wealthy when choosing a place to live. But beyond politics and international affairs, Ottawa’s affluent neighbourhoods are an attraction. Let’s explore upscale houses for sale in the Ottawa core.

The landscape of Rockcliffe Park is a sight to behold. The neighbourhood is enveloped by natural beauty, with numerous parks, green spaces, and picturesque views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills. Being home to influential figures such as the Prime Minister, diplomats, and regional dignitaries has endowed Rockcliffe Park with an undeniable cachet. 

The residential architecture in the Rockcliffe Park neighbourhood is a blend of stately Georgian-style mansions, many of which are steeped in history, and contemporary luxury villas. Houses for sale in Ottawa showcase high-end architectural design and offer comfort, space, and privacy. But, the grandeur of Rockliffe Park is a testament to the residents’ affluence, and the area’s strict architectural guidelines ensure that this distinctive character is maintained. 

Glebe Blends Urban Convenience with a Charming Artistic Community.

Situated just south of Ottawa’s downtown core, this area is conveniently close to numerous city amenities. There is also an array of restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops that line Bank Street, providing endless options for dining and shopping. Its green spaces and the Rideau Canal – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like walking, cycling, and paddling in the summer. It’s also home to the world’s largest skating rink in winter. 

There are many luxury houses for sale in Ottawa, but Glebe offers traditional family homes that often date back to the early 20th century. They are characterized by their unique architectural styles, ranging from Victorian to Tudor and Edwardian. They typically feature ample living space, original hardwood flooring, and high ceilings. 

On the other hand, the high-end condominiums in the Glebe offer a modern living experience with an urban edge. They feature contemporary design, spacious open-concept layouts, and high-end finishes, often providing stunning city views. 

Westboro is a Vibrant, Gentrified Neighbourhood with Easy Access to the Heart of the City.

One of the key attractions of Westboro is its reputation as a thriving hub for food, shopping, and culture. Westboro Village, the neighbourhood’s commercial heart, has trendy eateries, upscale boutiques, artisanal bakeries, and vibrant cafes. Its proximity to the Ottawa River offers opportunities for water sports, such as kayaking and paddle boarding. 

 When it comes to luxury homes, Westboro offers a diverse mix. Many of the homes in this neighbourhood have been beautifully restored or modernized, preserving their historic charm while incorporating contemporary comforts. These single-family homes often feature large lots, a rarity in many urban areas, making them highly sought after.  

 The newer, luxurious residences offer a more modern appeal with clean lines, open floor plans, and high-end finishes. Think floor-to-ceiling windows, state-of-the-art kitchens, spa-like bathrooms, and outdoor living spaces. These properties often feature picturesque views of the Ottawa River or the city skyline. 

Rideau Forest Boasts Tranquillity, Natural Beauty, and Modern Luxury. 

One of the primary attractions of Rideau Forest is its tranquil setting. Living here, residents get to enjoy the calmness and privacy that comes with a forested area. It’s an ideal location for those who appreciate nature and seek respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Despite the seclusion, Rideau Forest is not isolated. The amenities of downtown Manotick, including various shops and restaurants, are conveniently accessible. 

When it comes to luxury homes in Rideau Forest, most of the homes here are custom-built and embody modern architectural elegance. These residences are designed with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring an opulent living experience. The houses often feature expansive floor plans, gourmet kitchens with state-of-the-art appliances, large master suites, home theatres, and professionally landscaped yards. The spacious patios or decks are perfect for entertaining or simply enjoying the scenic views of the surrounding forest. 

Are you looking for luxury houses for sale in Ottawa? Dedicated RE/MAX agents are experts in high-end real estate, with an intimate understanding of Ottawa’s most prestigious neighbourhoods.  


The post Luxury Living: Explore Upscale Houses for Sale in Ottawa appeared first on RE/MAX Canada.

We’re your brand musketeers

Brandly is an award winning digital agency supporting the overall building of brands by web design and development, UI/UX design and digital marketing. As a creative team, we are comitted to the mission ” All for the brand”: we unite our expertise with the latest trends and good practices to make every brand impactful and to support business success.


/*! elementor - v3.16.0 - 20-09-2023 */ .elementor-widget-image{text-align:center}.elementor-widget-image a{display:inline-block}.elementor-widget-image a img[src$=".svg"]{width:48px}.elementor-widget-image img{vertical-align:middle;display:inline-block} /*! elementor - v3.16.0 - 20-09-2023 */ .elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-stacked .elementor-drop-cap{background-color:#69727d;color:#fff}.elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-framed .elementor-drop-cap{color:#69727d;border:3px solid;background-color:transparent}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap{margin-top:8px}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap-letter{width:1em;height:1em}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap{float:left;text-align:center;line-height:1;font-size:50px}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap-letter{display:inline-block} За слава Божия

Георги ДимитровОфициалните биографи на Георги Димитров и до днес крият подробностите за връзките му с Петър Дънов. Истината е, че Дънов е бил квартирант в къщата на „вожда и учителя

Георги Шопов: За съжаление средата, в която работим е неолиберална – експертите нямат думата, тя е за политицитеИзточник: 1kam1.comВсяка среща с Георги Шопов е предизвикателство – не само защото е

ДОГЕН. СТЕФАН ЯНЕВ,МИНИСТЪР-ПРЕДСЕДАТЕЛНА РЕПУБЛИКА БЪЛГАРИЯУВАЖАЕМИ Г-Н МИНИСТЪР-ПРЕДСЕДАТЕЛ,Камарата на строителите в България като официален представител на българските строителни фирми и независима професионална организация, призвана да подпомага и поощрява предприемаческата инициатива на

Заглавието е от публикация на ТрудГрупа НОВА СОФИЯ е автентична дясна формация, което никога не е било прикривано в нашите публикации. Ние сме с дясно мислене, ние сме за икономическото

Страна, в която институциите са бедствие за инвеститорите, няма бъдещеГрупа НОВА СОФИЯ настоява за незабавното дострояване на сграда ЗЛАТЕН ВЕКДнес разбираме, че ДНСК през 2019 г. , след нареждане на

Powered by