Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Upgraded Family Townhome! $289,900

Rare Corner Unit With Lots of Windows!
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths, Premium Location close to Gatehouse. High-end Hardwood Floors on Main Level, Skylight over Staircase, Clean Bright White Kitchen With Pass-Thru to Dining Room. Lots of Storage. Close to Schools, Shopping, Parks and TTC at Your Door. Call Jason to View!

Vertical City – Toronto is Growing Up

August 21, 2009 -- Tom Lebour, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. Torontonians are crazy for condos. Last month there were 2,361 condominium sales in the GTA, an increase of 25 per cent from the previous July.While sales of all housing types have been robust throughout the past couple of months, condominium transactions are making a stronger contribution to the big picture than ever before.In little more than a decade, condo sales have gone from comprising a quarter of all GTA resale transactions to accounting for almost one in every three homes that changes hands. In central Toronto condominiums now represent 60 per cent of resale transactions.As a result of the condo boom the population of downtown Toronto grew by 10 per cent in the last five-year census period, representing the largest five-year population increase in the core throughout the last 30 years.And there’s more to come. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose in the Toronto area by 10 per cent in June from the previous month to 24,000 units. This can mainly be attributed to condominiums as multi-family developments were up 15 per cent from the prior month.The popularity of condominiums has skyrocketed because they appeal to people from so many different walks of life. Toronto welcomes nearly 100,000 newcomers to Canada each year from countries like India and China, where high-rise living is the norm. As such, Toronto’s condo market is a natural fit.Well-educated young adults who are on a career path also see condo living as an affordable and convenient option, given its proximity to business and city life. Indeed many from the twenty and thirty something age choose developments that reflect their personality.Whether you’re a media buff, into retro chic or have a penchant for fine art, there’s a Toronto condo designed specifically with your needs in mind.Empty nesters and those who purchase property around the globe are also drawn to Toronto condos, given their spectacular architecture and luxurious features.A recent report by Urbanation substantiates their wide appeal; indicating that in the second quarter of this year Toronto’s new condo sales increased 223 per cent from Q1, to 2,963 units.Even if you’re not drawn to this housing type, our new vertical city has an economic benefit to all GTA residents.It obviously benefits housing industry related professions, but it also has a positive impact on a number of other sectors. In fact, according to a study by the Canadian Real Estate Association, one out of every 100 jobs depends on spending associated with resale housing transactions, on things like renovations, furniture and appliances. This study also found that the average resale housing transaction in Ontario generates more than $47,000 in economic spinoffs. Even the smallest businesses benefit from condominium communities, which provide a steady stream of clientele to their ground floor shops. New housing units also put additional funds into the City’s coffers through property taxes. And intensification offers the opportunity to improve, rather than disperse, city services like transit, waste removal and recreation facilities.As the fifth most populous urban centre in North America behind Mexico City, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, Toronto is growing up, both literally and figuratively as it matures into a world-class city.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

GTA REALTORS® Report August Mid-Month Resale Market Figures

August 18, 2009 -- In the first two weeks of August, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,832 sales – up 27 per cent compared to the first two weeks of August 2008. The average price for these transactions was up three per cent year-over-year to $383,796.
"The results for the first half of August indicate that many households in the GTA remain confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long term," said TREB President Tom Lebour.
Year-to-date sales, at 54,303 are up slightly compared to 54,138 in 2008. Average price, at $385,603 is down by less than one half of one per cent.
"Strong resale housing demand will contribute to broader economic recovery as each transaction results in substantial spin-off benefits to other sectors of the economy," explained Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Home Away from Home

August 7, 2009 -- Tom Lebour, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board...Statistics show that Greater Toronto Area residents are excited about real estate again. July’s 9,967 sales set a best monthly record, up 28 per cent year over year. The previous month also set a record for June, up 27 per cent from the year prior.We’re even seeing signs of life in the United States resale housing market. In July, the National Association of REALTORS® reported that pending home sales rose for the fourth consecutive month. Existing home sales also increased, for the third consecutive month, with available inventory easing and prices remaining low.This means that if you’re comfortable with your residence here at home, now is an opportune time to invest in a vacation property south of the border.Florida alone welcomes hundreds of thousands of Canadians each year, with many snowbirds taking advantage of United States government provisions that allow us to spend up to six months a year there without having to fulfill visa requirements. That’s plenty of time to enjoy homeownership in a warmer climate.While current market conditions are favourable to making a foreign investment, a number of other factors should also be taken into consideration.The exchange rate is another important detail. The value of the Canadian dollar against other currencies changes daily. Whether you’re planning to buy in the United States or further abroad, look for places where the currency is weak or on par with our dollar to achieve optimal purchasing power.Healthcare is also a consideration. If you stay away longer than six months you could lose access to medical coverage here at home. As well, our healthcare system will only cover part of out-of-country expenses for accidents and illness. Short-term travel insurance is inexpensive but long-term coverage can be costly.Depending on the structure of your home, property insurance could also be less accessible, which is a significant issue given that some locales routinely experience severe weather. In certain places abroad, property can come with inherited debt, so it’s important to ensure that you clearly understand all agreements, particularly if they are in a foreign language. Be aware as well, that depending on where you choose to buy, you may pay higher property taxes than local residents. These are just two examples of why it’s important to research the regulatory aspects of the region in which you choose to buy. It’s important to build a team of professionals to guide you through the process, beginning with a REALTOR®.
A Greater Toronto REALTOR® can help you begin the process by providing a referral to a local expert. It’s also important to enlist the services of a lawyer and a surveyor, to be clear on your property rights, and a tax expert, to take full advantage of government programs for homebuyers.Establishing these important contacts will also help you to gauge other key characteristics like the cost of living, attitude toward foreigners and the crime rate. Once your transaction is complete, be sure to set up automatic withdrawal processes in your foreign bank account so that oversights don’t jeopardize your home ownership. Despite the financial planning and awareness of regulatory issues required, buying a vacation property abroad has its share of rewards.Even taking into account the capital gains tax that is payable when you sell your home away from home, buying a foreign property can bring a healthy return on investment and years of enjoyment to your life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just Listed 1863 Queen St E #219

$419,900 An Entertainer's Delight!Sun Drenched 400 sq ft Terrace with South Exposure in “The Heart Of The Beach”. Popular Split Bedrooms, Open Concept with Great Flow, 2 Separate Walk-outs to Terrace. Granite Kitchen Countertops, Pantry, Ceramic Backsplash. Steps to Boardwalk, Lake, Trendy Shops & Restaurants, TTC. Well Managed Desirable Low Rise Building.
Nothing To Do But Move In! Call Jason to View!

The Canadian Dream!

July 31, 2009 -- Tom Lebour, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. It’s hard to believe that we are already nearing the busy fall period in the Greater Toronto Area’s resale housing market. In fact, due to current weather patterns, this season could go on record as the summer that wasn’t. It’s important to recognize though, that with every persistent cloud comes a silver lining.Some cottagers who normally make the trek North every Friday have tailored their plans according to the weather this year and in doing so, they may have also re-evaluated their need for a recreation property. That’s good news if you’re thinking of buying a vacation home.There are however, a number of factors to consider if you’re planning to own a cottage or chalet. Fortunately, financing may be easier than you think. Most financial institutions’ mortgage approval criteria remain consistent for both primary and secondary residences. You may for example, be able to finance 95 per cent of your purchase by qualifying for an insured loan. As well, if your primary residence is worth more than your outstanding mortgage, you may be able to leverage some of that equity to buy a recreation property. Making a purchase with family and friends is also an option but in this case, it’s important to undertake a usage schedule and succession planning in advance. While some buyers regard the property as a vacation getaway, others might see it as an investment with rental potential. Be sure that your goals are established at the outset, particularly if it’s a joint venture Bear in mind that since your objectives may change, factors that affect resale value should always be considered. Driving distance is one such factor, as is accessibility. Getting there by water or an unsafe back-road could be less desirable and in the latter case, it’s important to explore potential costs associated with maintaining the road. Identify your proximity to the nearest town and marina, whether the property has access to hydro and telephone lines, and whether you’re within mobile phone reach. Learning about garbage disposal and emergency services is also essential. In fact, many of the basics that we take for granted have to be considered. Learn whether the property has a septic system and if so, whether it is far enough away from tree roots to prevent blockage. If there is a well, be sure it is on higher ground than the septic system and if you’ll be using lake water, be clear on treatment processes. Your mortgage provider may require a potability test to ensure the water quality is safe. Consider the property’s physical aspects too, taking into consideration changing water levels and the potential for erosion, and whether you prefer sun exposure or a wooded lot. If you’re planning to buy a waterfront property, investigate whether it’s a sandy beach or a rock bottom and be sure to obtain a copy of the survey to determine whether others have access to your land. Look into zoning as well, to be clear on the types of land and water uses permitted and to consider the effect of potential development in the future.While you’re considering the long-term scenario, remember to set aside funds for upkeep to ensure the physical structure retains its value. You’ll also need to plan for property tax, insurance and utility costs.Although there are a number of factors to consider, flocking to recreation properties is a Canadian tradition because of the breathtaking scenery our country has to offer. With proper planning and consulting a local REALTOR®, you can own a piece of the Canadian dream and enjoy a healthy return on investment in the long-term.