Market Articles for Chaplin Estates


Rising housing values and lack of inventory challenge first-time buyers, says RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd.

“Homeownership continues to be primary objective”

While higher housing values and tight inventory levels have hampered home-buying activity so far this year, longer amortization periods and alternative housing types have offset the impact on most major markets across the country, according to a report released today byRoyal Lepage

Despite a higher degree of frustration in the marketplace than in previous years, theRoyal Lepage Affordability Report found that first-time buyers, in particular, remain steadfast in their determination to purchase a home. In fact, entry-level purchasers are adjusting their expectations by sacrificing size, location, and even long-term financial freedom, to overcome challenges such as rising prices and serious supply issues. Innovative financing has become key to homeownership in today’s environment – with longer amortization periods gaining favour in 62 per cent of the major centres surveyed. Low or no down payments were popular with first-time buyers in 38 per cent of markets.

Doom and gloom reports coming from south of the border have yet to hinder overall momentum. First-time buyers are still leading the charge, taking advantage of every resource available to achieve homeownership. They’re determined to get into the market sooner rather than later. If suburban locations, smaller condominiums and town homes, or a little sweat equity is what it takes to get into the market, these purchasers are game.

 

Inventory levels, however, remain one of the foremost concerns facing purchasers across the country. A shortage of available entry-level product was identified as a major obstacle impeding buyer intentions in three-quarters of markets surveyed in the report.

First-time purchasers continue to play a pivotal role at both a local and national level. The impact they have on the housing market is significant, as they are the impetus for sales in the mid-to-upper price ranges. As long as this segment of the market remains healthy, the real estate outlook will continue to be favourable.

Although average price is the barometer for housing values in most major centres, first-time buyers looking to achieve homeownership consider starting prices a more meaningful gauge of affordability. Starting prices can be substantially lower than the market average.

The best value for the dollar continues to be found in the suburbs. For those unwilling to sacrifice on location, small condominium units in new developments and condominium conversions of rental buildings offer up the next best alternative. Condominium conversions in some of the country’s major centres can be picked up as low as $150,000 to $175,000.



Press Release, October 24th, 2007

Buyers Assured – No Phantom Offers

There has been considerable press lately on Phantom Offers in our marketplace.  There is a growing perception by many that the Offer process presently followed by our industry is flawed and could lead to problems. 

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. can no longer wait for the Toronto Real Estate Board or RECO to show leadership on Phantom Offers, and therefore has instituted the following company wide policy – effective immediately to deal with this perception. 

  Company Policy

In Offer situations when RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. is representing the seller in multiple offer scenarios, it will be the company wide policy of RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Realtors to disclose the name and company of all Realtors (in writing), who have registered an offer on the property to any participating co-operating broker when requested. When requested, this information will be provided to any co-operating broker either in writing before Offers are being presented of after completing of transaction. Founded in 1973 by David and Gail Liniger in Denver, Colorado, RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. is a leading brokerage firm in Toronto, with over 450 sales professionals working out of 6 offices and over 2.5 billion in real estate sales annually.

Ken McLachlan, Broker of Record – Royal Lepage J&D.



RE: Details of Approved Toronto Land Transfer Tax


Toronto City Council has approved a municipal land transfer tax that will be levied on top of the provincial land transfer tax. TREB worked very hard to oppose this tax and commends the efforts of REALTORS® on this issue. TREB took a strong position to oppose this tax as unfair in principle and refused to compromise. As a direct result of this strong position, City Council was forced to make a number of amendments to the City’s original proposal, including rebates for first-time buyers, a reduced rate, and grandfathering for existing transactions.

The City has not yet provided detailed information on administration or implementation issues. The following is based on currently available information.

What was approved by City Council?

A second land transfer tax, on top of the provincial land transfer tax, at the following rates:

Residential:

  • 0.5% of the amount of the purchase price up to and including $55,000
  • 1% of the amount of the purchase price between $55,000 and $400,000
  • 2% of the amount of the purchase price above $400,000

Commercial / Industrial / Etc.:

  • 0.5% of the amount of the purchase price up to and including $55,000
  • 1% of the amount of the purchase price between $55,000 and $400,000
  • 1.5% of the amount between $400,000 and $40 million
  • 1% of the amount above $40 million

 

 

When does this take effect? February 1, 2008.

Are existing transactions grandfathered? Yes. Any transactions where the purchaser and vendor have entered into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for the property prior to December 31, 2007 will be rebated the full amount of the Toronto land transfer tax. The City has not yet provided clarification on how rebates will be administered. If your clients have concerns, they should check with their lawyer. Once the City of Toronto provides clarification, more information will be provided.

What about Agreements of Purchase and Sale signed after December 31, 2007 with closing dates before February 1, 2008? Purchasers with a Purchase and Sale agreement signed after December 31, 2007 with a closing before February 1, 2008 will not be required to pay the Toronto Land Transfer tax.

What about Agreements of Purchase and Sale signed after December 31, 2007 with closing dates on or after February 1, 2008? Purchasers with a Purchase and Sale agreement signed after December 31, 2007 with a closing on or after February 1, 2008 will be required to pay the full Toronto Land Transfer tax.

Where does this apply? The Toronto land transfer tax only applies to transactions within the City of Toronto. This does NOT apply to property transactions outside of the City of Toronto.

Are first time home buyers affected? First time home buyers of new AND re-sale homes will receive a rebate of the Toronto land transfer tax of up to $3,725 (this equals a 100% rebate on homes purchased for up to $400,000). The City has not yet provided clarification on how rebates will be administered. If your clients have concerns, they should check with their lawyer. Once the City of Toronto provides clarification, more information will be provided.