May/June 2010 Edition: Toronto Real Estate Market Views


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May/June 2010 Edition: Toronto Real Estate Market Views

  1. 1. MarketViews MAGDA MO’S PREFERRED CLIENT NEWSLETTER MAY/JUNE 2010 Sizzling April reSAle mArket A total of 10,898 sales were recorded through the GTA Multiple The average single family home selling price in April surged to Listing Service® in April, while a total of 20,683 new listings $437,600, which is 13% ahead of the April 2009 average selling came onto the market during the month. Both sales volume price of $385,641, and which also set an all-time record resale and new listings established new all-time records for the price for the GTA for any month. Despite the very high average month of April. In fact, the sales figure was up an astounding price, the spike in new listings helped restore some balance to 34% versus April 2009; while the new listings figure was up the market with active listings strengthening to 22,951. This an even more substantial 59% versus April 2009. Buyers were figure is pretty much in line with the year ago active listings clearly being motivated by current affordability and by the number of 23,515 and does indeed demonstrate a direction spectre of rising rates, while sellers were being motivated by toward increased market balance. However days on market the strong market and by price growth. Excellent weather for April remained very low at 21 days, down a full 16 days throughout the month of April was another a positive factor from the April 2009 figure of 37 days. worth noting. GTA RESALE HOME SALES (UNITS SOLD) - APRIL GTA RESALE HOME SALES (AVERAGE PRICE) - APRIL 2007 2007 2008 2008 2009 2009 2010 2010 8,000 9,000 10,000 11,000 $360,000 $380,000 $400,000 $420,000 $440,000 Magda Mo Sales Representative 416-483-8000 | PAGE 1
  2. 2. ‘Stated Income’ borrowing guideline changes Personal Finance The borrowing guidelines for insured Stated Income Here is an outline of the changes that, as of April 9th 2010, Programs underwent some major changes last month were implemented on Stated Income applications which along with other measures designed to ensure a higher pass through CMHC as an “insured” mortgage: level of mortgage creditworthiness in Canada. 1. Down payment: Those who are purchasing a home, The changes were announced by CMHC (also known as and who have applications classified as a Stated Income Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). The CMHC application, are now required to put down 10% rather than changes, as well as those announced by Finance Minister the 5% minimum required previously. Jim Flaherty which also became effective last month, are 2. Tenure: Those who have been working in the same all attempts to help cool off the heated housing market business for greater than three years, are not eligible for the which is now being driven by record-low interest rates. Stated Income program and therefore those in this category More importantly, these new measures were judged to would have to provide proof of their income, for example, a be required in order to protect borrowers from taking on Notice of Assessment. more debt than they can afford, especially as a series of interest rate hikes are imminent. While Canada still allows 3. Documents: Documents are being requested and Stated Income programs, they are becoming very rare in the viewed by the lender to help determine the length of self- U.S. The massive number of defaults and foreclosures employment which was not always requested previously. reported by the U.S. after the 2008 credit crisis were The documents a lender may ask for include a business attributed mostly to Stated Income programs that were license, proof of GST registration, articles of incorporation used to place under-qualified borrowers into mortgage (if incorporated). loans that they simply could not afford. 4. Commission: Those who are collecting commission are While Canadian lenders can continue to use the Stated no longer be eligible for the Stated Income program. Income programs, which are customized for commissioned and self-employed borrowers, CMHC will now be scrutinizing 5. Limits: A re-finance will be limited to 85% loan-to-value these applications using much tighter underwriting criteria. instead of the current limit of 90% used today. What exactly does Stated Income mean? It is important to mention that these program changes only affect those mortgages that are insured by CMHC. Stated Income means exactly that. When a mortgage Therefore, those mortgages that are not CMHC insured, application is created, for a self-employed or commissioned could be reviewed differently from lender to lender and applicant, and the entire income amount is not verifiable in each lender would specify their underwriting criteria on a traditional documents (for example a Notice of Assessment), case-by-case basis. the applicant may apply under the Stated Income program Adapted from an article contributed by Elizabeth Blair, a Mortgage Consultant in order to allow an income adjustment to help qualify with Mortgage Edge. Visit her online at: them for a home purchase or re-finance. PAGE 2
  3. 3. Buyers overpay builder for estimated taxes Legally In 2005, Stuart signed an agreement to purchase a Speaking But that’s not the end of the overcharge. Prior to final condominium unit for $326,900 in an upscale 20-storey closing, Stuart was in possession of his unit for almost six project not far from the Annex area in Toronto. months paying interim occupancy fees. Those fees include estimated taxes based on the builder’s calculations. As He was able to take possession of his unit early in 2008 part of his occupancy fees, Stuart paid taxes of $330.83 a and final closing occurred on Aug. 12, 2008. On Stuart’s month to the builder, according to the builder’s estimate closing, as with every other real estate transaction, the of $3,970 for the year. Using the real tax bill of $2,107.92, seller’s lawyer prepared what’s known as a statement of Stuart should only have paid $175.66 a month for taxes adjustments. The statement is used to calculate the unpaid during the occupancy period, rather than $330.83. He was balance of the purchase price due on closing. In addition, it therefore overpaying $155.17 a month. allocates adjustable items like tax bills between the parties as of the closing date. As a result, Stuart overpaid the builder an additional $931 or so in interim occupancy fees, making his total overpayment As set out in the purchase agreement, the builder adjusted to the builder $1,651. If this amount is a reasonable average 2008 taxes with Stuart (and the other 215 owners) on the for all the units in the building, the total amount of tax assumption that it would pay all of the taxes for the year of “overestimates” by the builder came to around $350,000. closing when the bills were issued. On this basis, the builder would be responsible for 222 days of taxes (to Aug. 12), and The issue still has not been resolved. Stuart may have to file Stuart would be responsible for the remaining 143 days of a claim with his title insurer, the same one recommended by the year. the builder for use by all purchasers in the project. But since the actual 2008 tax bills were unknown at the time Based on my experience in handling transactions like of closing, the builder estimated the taxes and adjusted with Stuart’s, as many as half of all condominium builders use the purchasers on the assumption that the taxes had been the same method of overestimating taxes, while the other (or would be) paid. half arrange it so there is no overcharge at all. On the builder’s closing statement of adjustments, the 2008 In general, I have no objection to builders charging taxes were estimated at $3,970. But when the city finally purchasers whatever they want for the condominium units issued the 2008 tax bill in January 2010, it came in at only and for any additional closing costs, as long as the charges $2,107.92. As a result, the builder had over-estimated the are clearly disclosed up front. This way, a purchaser can 2008 tax bill by a staggering $1,862.08. choose whether or not to pay the costs or walk away from the deal. Recalculating the tax bill as of Aug. 12, 2008 meant that on closing Stuart had overpaid $720.20 for his portion of What I find very troubling, however, is builders who take the year. If everyone in the building was overcharged $720 advantage of issues like estimated taxes to scoop large on closing, the windfall to the builder would be about amounts from purchasers – presumably expecting that they $155,500, minus any refunds it had to pay out to those may not have to account for some or all of it. buyers who were sharp enough to calculate and claim the This article was contributed by Bob Aaron, a prominent Toronto real estate overpayment – or who had their lawyers do it for them. lawyer. Visit him online at: PAGE 3
  4. 4. TO MY VALUED CLIENTS Thinking of a renovation project this summer? The Appraisal look better are always a good idea. Painting, new wallpaper, Institute of Canada offers an online guide (called RENOVA) and items like new rugs and curtains help to brighten and which helps homeowners calculate the average return on improve the look of a home, and add value to your house if their investment in a renovation project. they are done close to the time of sale. Choose “bathroom renovation” and plug in an expenditure In addition, investments in more efficient use of energy are of, say, $30,000 into the online calculator and RENOVA always very sensible. Oil, gas, and hydro costs are continually niftily tallies a 75 to 100 per cent return. This translates to an going up and becoming more of a concern when people are added $22,500 to $30,000 on the resale value of your home. looking to buy a home. You can definitely make your home Kitchens also rank well up the list with a similar 75 to 100 more energy efficient as an investment in its value. Some per cent payback. government programs are in place which help defray the costs of these projects. Also, consider buying appliances that Conversely swimming pools, home theatre rooms and waste less energy. interlocking brick driveways yield only 25 to 50 per cent. The payback for installing central air conditioning ranges widely, As we head closer to the warmer months, I’d like to wish from 25 to 75 per cent. Putting in a skylight may turn out to you a fabulous summer! As usual, your client referrals are be a waste of cash, with the estimated return varying from both highly valued and much appreciated. Until next time, zilch to 25 per cent at the most. take care! Of course, low-cost improvements that make your home PEARLS OF WISDOM “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” - Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962. “It will be years -- not in my time -- before a woman will become Prime Minister.” - Margaret Thatcher, 1974. “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” - H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927. “I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious sensibilities of anyone.” - Charles Darwin, The Origin Of Species, 1869. “YOUr reFerrAlS Are SinCerelY AppreCiAteD!” Magda Mo Sales Representative 416-483-8000 Sutton Group Bayview Realty Inc., Brokerage 1820 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M4G 4G7 | In accordance with PIPEDA, to be removed from this mailing list please e-mail or phone this request to the REALTOR ® Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract with a broker. The information and opinions contained in this newsletter are obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but their accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The publishers assume no responsibility for errors and omissions or for damages resulting from using the published information. This newsletter is provided with the understanding that it does not render legal, accounting or other professional advice. Statistics are courtesy of the Toronto Real Estate Board. Copyright © 2010 Mission Response Inc. 416.236.0543 All Rights Reserved. D114 PAGE 4