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Posts tagged with: mary nacarato

Doom & Gloom? Nooooo!

September 5, 2013 - Updated: September 5, 2013

Why real estate doomsayers continue to be wrong

By Christina Pellegrini

Still believe Canada's housing market is going to implode? You're not alone, but it hasn't happened yet

Mandy Coz needs a lead. She isn't the first sales rep from a nearby real estate brokerage to cold call my parents' home in the suburbs on behalf of a family that badly wants to become our neighbours. But she's the most recent and she's on the hunt for a new seller. Her clients "lost out" on another property on our street.

Canadians' homes are getting less affordable, but we still keep buying2

Home ownership has become less affordable for the average Canadian, but that hasn't stopped many from jumping into what may already be an overpriced market, suggests a new report from the Royal Bank. Keep reading.3

"This summer has been a bit unusual," says the RE/MAX Premier Inc. sales representative, who's located north of Toronto in Vaughan. When warmer weather hits and people start flocking to family barbecues, restaurant patios and cottage docks instead of open houses and showrooms, listings often languish. Not this year, though. More residential homes in Vaughan have been listed and sold in June and July compared to the same two-month period in 2012, according to data compiled by the Toronto Real Estate Board. The homes have sold for more too, with the median sale price up 6.1% year-over-year, translating into better business for local sales reps such as Coz. "Buyers are out in full swing. We've been busy during the last two months," she says. "The market has been quite steady. It's healthy."

Her cheery descriptors and sunny outlook are a far contrast to the ever-growing list of bearish economists, industry analysts and even journalists who have issued grim warnings about Canada's dangerously bloated household debt levels and the potential ramifications of a real estate bust on consumer spending, jobs and growth. But with forecasts ranging from smooth sailing to a soft landing to a U.S.-style crash, the future is foggy at best. For many, even those inside industry players, it's confusing. "The more you cover the housing market," says Robert McLister, editor of Canadian Mortgage Trends and a mortgage planner at intelliMortgage, "the more you realize it's unpredictable."

Instead of toppling after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened mortgage-lending standards last year for the fourth time since 2008, Canada's housing market appears to have stabilized and it continues to flex its resilient muscles as shown in the national housing statistics released monthly by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Existing home sales rose for the fourth consecutive month in June, up 3.3% over the previous month and nearly matching May's gain, which was the highest monthly growth figure since January 2011. Likewise, the average sale price was up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis, with 80% of the surveyed major markets reporting gains.

BMO Capital Markets senior economist Robert Kavcic noted the figures prove the market is both "balanced and well-behaved" and another blow to the naysayers. Similarly, his colleague and BMO's chief economist Douglas Porter called the market "incredibly calm, cool, and collected" in a May release. But Kavcic and Porter haven't always thought this way. When the ratio of new listings to sales was driven to a nine-year high on Apr. 17, 2008, Porter declared the housing boom "officially over." Two months later, a CREA monthly report that showed both prices and volume slipped in May helped Kavcic confirm that the boom had "fizzled." Except it wasn't over then and the boom still hasn't fizzled.

Frequently quoted housing bear Ben Rabidoux, president of North Cove Advisors, contests BMO's optimism. "We are seeing a correction in certain metros," he says, citing Toronto's overbuilt condominium market, Ottawa, Quebec, eastern Canada and B.C. as markets that are cooling down. "If you're looking for leading signs of weakness, it's not hard to find them."

Evidence of the turning tide may be visible, but a decline has yet to happen when and to the extent many alarmists said it would. They might be right eventually - after all, even a broken clock is right twice a day - but they've been wrong every time they said we'd finally reached the top and didn't during the past five years.

Nevertheless, many still wonder whether Canadian housing is strong or weak. Even the Bank of Canada's new governor isn't so sure. "As I read the situation right now, the new data we have from the housing sector are just as consistent with the soft landing as they might be with a rebound," Stephen Poloz said during a July 17 press conference, which can be viewed on the central bank's YouTube video channel4. "It's in that sort of grey zone." Between the polarization of a housing boom or bust is Poloz's "grey zone." Perhaps it's the safest place. Admitting the things we don't know, including assertions and hypotheticals, might be the best place to start. If the chief banker can do it, everyone can.When global forecasting company Capital Economics Ltd. deemed the bubble was "now close to bursting" in June 2011 and called for a 25% drop in prices, the firm set off a ticking time bomb with a three-year clock strapped to it. Capital Economics economist David Madani has been loudly sounding the doomsday horn in the media ever since. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, The Economist, and U.S. hedge fund manager Steve Eisman are some of the more famous names to hit the panic button.

Their main concern: the country's good times have been fuelled by ultra-cheap and widely accessible credit and lacked underlying financial fundamentals. They've pointed to telling statistics such as the run-up in price-to-rent and price-to-income ratios, ballooning ownership rates and persistent overbuilding. A credit crunch, rate hike or a string of unexpectedly negative housing reports, they say, could reverse the relentless upward march in home prices, lay a devastating smackdown on consumer confidence and send the entire economy into free fall.

The media has chimed in too by publishing daily articles centred on real estate, including a Maclean's cover-page story with an arrowed line graph smashing a hole into a suburban home's roof, lower floors of condo towers ravished by flames and sweeping statements that we will all soon be mere rubble. But based on the recent sizzling sales statistics, people haven't been scared out of the market.

Fear, says an industry watcher, has helped deter people from doing stupid things

"I don't think there's going to be blocks of houses on fire," says Vancouver, B.C.-based McLister. "Nothing's really convinced people that a crash is imminent." He cites growing employment and wage stability, near-rock-bottom lending rates and consistent demand from immigrants and first-time buyers as key reasons why the market hasn't wavered. Affordability, which is heavily dependent on low interest rates and lending flexibility, is almost the same or better than 20 years ago, according to the Bank of Canada's Housing Affordability Index. Fear, he says, has helped deter people from "doing stupid things."

But McLister warns that while we may not be facing "catastrophic risk," the market is far from risk-free: A significant rate hike, widespread job losses and mortgage-lending restrictions are game-changers that could all come to pass. The best-case scenario in the eventuality one of them does is that things go sideways for a "very, very long time." But neither he nor other market watchers have a crystal ball to predict long-term movements.

"Anyone that purports to tell people where prices are going to be in two, three, fours years down the road is a fraud," he says. "Housing is stable at this point and there's nothing on the horizon that we can say with certainty is coming that would derail the market." Not even Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.'s latest attempt to limit banks and other mortgage lenders to $350-million worth of new mortgage-backed securities per month. McLister told the Financial Post that CMHC's stricter cap would amount to roughly 20 basis points or 0.2% percentage points on a five-year mortgage and "won't have a real dampening effect on credit."

Tyler Anderson/National Post

In any case, trying to time the housing market is difficult. "You can't pinpoint the month when it's going to turn, especially when it's around a sector like housing where policymakers have a lot of ingrained interest in keeping the status quo and where they have a lot of policy levers to pull," Rabidoux says. Based on a balance of probability, he believes it's unlikely the next decade will be as good as the last one. "The risk of a correction is still high," he says. He calculates that a nominal decline in home prices exceeding 10%, or a hard landing, is 75% plausible. "I've never said with 100% certainty that we're going to have a correction," he says, but he has made past predictions that Canada is in store for something between a U.S.-style crash and a soft landing. Of course, "something" can mean many things.

Housing permabear, blogger and former MP Garth Turner thinks "those people that are waiting for a U.S.-style cataclysmic dump are never going to see it." He admits he was unsure in 2008 "because the world was pretty wonky." But Turner sounded awfully sure when he told Ottawa Citizen readers on Mar. 27, 2008, to look closely at the "real estate disaster now in full flower to our south" because "it's coming here." What about all those readers who think he mistimed the market? "Well, too bad," he says, then chuckles. "My job is to look at the data and to point at the obvious so people engage their brains and try to come to their own conclusion."

James McKellar, academic director of the Program in Real Property at York University's Schulich School of Business, predicts smooth waters ahead. His response to an admittedly leading question about a Canadian real estate bubble was met with, "There is no bubble so I don't know how it can burst. Each time I share this view with the media, the story dies. So many journalists embark to prove an assumption that is false." Later during a telephone conversation, he had more to say about journalism's role. "The media has gone out of their way to tell people that the market is going to collapse," McKellar says. "The good news is that the readers aren't listening and people are still buying."

He acknowledges that business has slowed in Toronto, but says we haven't seen a dip in prices because the population is growing and "they have to live somewhere." Other reasons include a growing affection for condo living, no proof of speculation and a "very disciplined market" created by the structure of our banks. McKellar's glass may be half-full but the professor brings up a fair point: "Everyone across the country is assuming that the exuberance of housing markets cannot continue, but there's a difference between house prices beginning to moderate versus the bottom falling out."

It's a statement echoed by BMO's chief economist Porter, who in a recent note wrote "underperformance does not equal catastrophe." BMO isn't the only firm with optimistic economists. In the July "Monthly Housing Market Update," RBC Economics Research senior economist Robert Hogue said June's CREA numbers "should be seen as confirmation that Canada's housing market is not currently headed for a crash landing." Ed Devlin, executive vice-president and head of Canadian portfolio management at PIMCO, said the investment firm isn't positioning "for a prolonged Canadian downturn."

Back in Vaughan where realtor Mandy Coz is still looking for a seller, there are other industry professionals who can't see signs of a slowdown. "I've seen many forecasts pointing in opposite directions," says David Ursino, a sales representative at Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. "I don't read into them too much. I look at what's happening in my community and respond accordingly."

We really expected a huge slowdown . . . and in some pockets of Toronto, you're still seeing multiple offers and bidding wars

In Toronto, the market has been "unusually hot," says Aleksandra Oleksak, a sales representative at Sage Real Estate Ltd. This past July was the third-best July on record for home sales. "We really expected a huge slowdown," Oleksak adds, "and in some pockets of Toronto, you're still seeing multiple offers and bidding wars." It's much of the same in Carbonear, Nfld., says the owner of Dream Realty Ltd., Victoria Harnum, whose annual income is set to exceed what she earned last year mid-way through this year. In Calgary, First Place Realty Ltd. associate Bob Truman can't get to listings fast enough. "If you are taking a buyer out to look at properties, chances are half of them will be sold before you get there to look at them," he says.

Real estate sales aren't sizzling in every neighbourhood, of course. Since the job market stalled on Vancouver Island in 2008, anything listed for more than $400,000 can sit on the market for at least two years, says broker Debbie Simmonds of Fast Forward Real Estate. "The industry has been hit very hard here."

The thing to remember is that economics can explain why something happened, but it can't tell or time the future. People buy and sell homes and they behave in ways models can't predict. Canada's housing market continues to defy the odds because the odds might just be wrong. The problem with bubbles is that we know one existed with certainty only after it pops. But by then, the damage is done.


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Buying Your First Home?

October 25, 2012
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Who's Driving the Market Right Now?

October 17, 2012
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Chatting With Pat

July 13, 2012
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How I Lost 50 Lbs

February 1, 2012

Having gone through this incredible journey, I have to say that the best part is having more energy to apply to my career.  Take a gander at this article on how I lost over 50 lbs:

You can do this too!!!  If you have any questions or comments I'm only an email away :)

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So How Did 2011 Shape Up?? Watch the Video!!

January 6, 2012

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New Year, New Intentions. What's Your Plan?

January 3, 2012 - Updated: January 3, 2012

Welcome to 2012!!  

Hope your holidays were filled with lots of laughter and some good eating.  Did you get a chance to write some new goals?  We all know that the beginning of the year is a great time to re-evaluate and re-focus on what's important to us individually.  But let's look at this another way.

The new year is usually a time for "resolutions".  Some of the more popular ones?  Losing weight and quitting smoking.  Yet only 46% of people keep their resolutions past the 6 month mark.  So why bother making them in the first place?

Because having goals keeps us in line and focused on what we want out of life.  With no plan, we are likely to get distracted.  But maybe it's the "resolution" that throws us off.  Why not concentrate on what we INTEND to do and write out a step-by-step plan on how to get there?  For example, if you INTEND to lose weight, then plan your meals weekly, drink lots of water, and have a workout plan for the week.

For us, we're prepared to even better our skills at working with you.  

Hope you have some great new intentions for the year.  Cheers!

- Mandy

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Fabulous Semi in Vellore Village - Watch the Video!

November 15, 2011

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HOT NEW Condo for Sale in Downtown Woodbridge - Watch the Video!

November 11, 2011

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Were You at the Golf Tournament? See the video!

November 9, 2011


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Mary's October Update Video

October 5, 2011

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Hey Vellore Village!!!

October 5, 2011

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September Rounds Out a Strong 3rd Quarter

October 5, 2011

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,658 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in September – a 25% increase over September 2010. Sales during the first three quarters of 2011 amounted to 70,588, representing a 2.6% increase compared to the first nine months of 2010.

“We have experienced strong growth in sales so far this year, with a much more active summer compared to 2010. However, while sales have been strong, we have continued to experience a shortage of listings, resulting in more competition between home buyers,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver. “Over the past few months, the listing situation has started to improve, so we expect home buyers will have more homes to choose from in the months ahead.”

With annual growth in sales (+25%) outstripping annual growth in new listings (+15%) in September, market conditions became tighter and the average selling price continued to grow by close to 10 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

“Strong price growth through the first nine months of the year was mitigated to a great degree by low interest rates and rising incomes,” said the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer. “As buyers continue to take advantage of the affordable home ownership options in the GTA, we remain on pace for the second best year for sales under the current TREB market area.”

** Provided By:  Toronto Real Estate Board, October 5th, 2011

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Just Smile!!!

September 21, 2011

If you need a pick-me-up.... just remember to smile!

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Rental Market Update

September 19, 2011

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 6,933 apartment lease transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in the May through August 2011 period. This represented an 11% increase compared to the same period in 2010. The number of units listed during the period was also up, but by a lesser rate of 4% compared to 2010.

“Condominium apartments represent a very important component of the rental housing stock in the GTA. We have seen very little purpose-built rental apartment construction over the past few years. This means that people looking to rent an apartment with modern finishings and amenities have by and large turned to investor-held condominium apartments to meet their housing needs,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver.

Average condominium apartment rents increased for all bedroom types. Average rents for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments during the May through August period were up by 4 and 5% respectively compared to 2010.

“Growth in apartment rental transactions outstripped growth in the number of units listed. This means that competition between prospective renters increased. The result was higher average rents in comparison to last year,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

**Provided By:  Toronto Real Estate Board, September 19th, 2011

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Mid-September Resale Housing Report

September 16, 2011 - Updated: September 16, 2011

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,149 transactions during the first 14 days of September, representing an increase of more than 25 per cent in comparison to the first two weeks of September 2010. New listings over the same period, at 6,890, were up by 14 per cent compared to last year.

“Purchasing and paying for a home over the long term represents the single largest financial commitment most households will make over a lifetime. To make this commitment, households must be confident in their economic prospects,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver. “The fact that sales continued to grow through the first half of September suggests that GTA households remain confident that the economy will remain buoyant.”

The average selling price in the first half of September was $454,194 – an increase of 11 per cent compared to the same period in September 2010.

“Strong price growth in the GTA continues to be mitigated by a solid affordability picture. Mortgage rates will remain at or near current levels until the second half of 2012 if not into 2013,” said Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

“In response to strong price growth, more households chose to list their homes for sale in comparison to last August. Growth in listings is expected to continue. Increased choice will result in more sustainable rates of price growth,” continued Mercer.

** Provided By:  TREB, September 16th, 2011

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Residential Market Watch Video

September 12, 2011

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Strong End to the Summer Market

September 12, 2011

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,542 sales through the TorontoMLS® system in August – a 24% increase over 6,083 sales in August 2010. New listings, at 12,509, were up by 20% compared to August 2010. Market conditions remained tight as sales growth outstripped growth in new listings.

"Home sales in the GTA have stood up well despite a less certain economic outlook," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver. "Home sales will be bolstered by low mortgage rates moving forward. The Bank of Canada is expected to be on the sidelines until the second half of 2012 or even into 2013. However, home ownership affordability in the City of Toronto could be further improved with the removal of the City’s land transfer tax. This tax currently represents a substantial up front cost for home buyers.”

With market conditions remaining tight in the GTA, the average selling price continued to grow strongly in August – up by more than 10% year-over-year to $451,663.

"We remain on pace for the second best year on record for sales. Approximately 90,000 transactions are expected by the end of December," said TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer. "Major home ownership costs, including the average monthly mortgage payment, remain affordable."

** Provided By: Toronto Real Estate Board, September 11th, 2011

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Mid August News

August 17, 2011

There were 3,214 sales through the TorontoMLS® system during the first 14 days of August, representing more than a 22.5 per cent increase compared to the same period in August 2010. Year-to-date sales through the 14th of August were all but caught up to last year’s total – down by half a per cent compared to 2010.

“The unsettled situation in financial markets over the past few weeks did not appear to sap the confidence of GTA home buyers during the first half of August,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver. “Revised forecasts for future Bank of Canada interest rate decisions coupled with the recent announcement by the US Federal Reserve, suggest that interest rate hikes in Canada are on hold at least until sometime in 2012. This is a positive for affordability and should help sustain buyer confidence moving forward.”

The average selling price was up by almost seven percent annually during the first 14 days of August to $440,150.

“The rate of price growth reported for the first two weeks of August continued to point to sellers’ market conditions in the GTA,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “However, it should be noted that new listings grew at a slightly greater pace than sales. A better supplied market in the second half of 2011 will result in prices growing at a more sustainable pace.”

** Provided By:  Toronto Real Estate Board, August 16th, 2011

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Are You Thinking of Renovating Your Home?

July 26, 2011

Living in Toronto and renovating homes seem to go hand in hand. One of the major ways we build equity in our homes is by adding a new bathroom, kitchen or family room. Families grow, space must be maximized, and keeping parents close to work and children in their favourite schools often means, "Honey, It is time to renovate...again!"

Buying a fixer-upper can be a great way to get into a desirable neighbourhood at an affordable cost. It’s important to recognize though, that all renovations involve some inconvenience and a lot of elbow grease. While you’re rolling up your sleeves, it’s wise to maximize your efforts, go green, and remember that what may no longer suit your lifestyle, might be of use to someone else.

Renovating Benefits Others as Well!

A great way to renovate for you while supporting a charitable cause is to consider your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. This building supply store accepts and resells quality new and used building materials. Funds support Habitat's building programs while reducing the amount of used materials that are headed for overflowing landfills. Check ReStores out online at

Regardless of the upgrades you undertake, keep in mind that you can reduce the amount of waste you generate by donating or recycling construction materials. Certainly don’t dismiss the old for the new, if there are items to be reused, refurbishing them can add greater character to your home.

If you are looking for some great tubs and sinks you may have to go no further than your current bathrooms and kitchens. Techniques for resurfacing and countertops made of more recent materials like Caesar Stone, recycled glass, concrete, steel, stones, and the myriad of tiles will give you lots of options for upgrading the look without replacing the whole bathroom or kitchen.

Paint and paint techniques can change the look of a kitchen in a few afternoons, save you money and improve your investment: The Appraisal Institute of Canada says that upgrading kitchens and bathrooms is a smart choice, potentially offering a 75 to 100 per cent return. 

Greening your Renovations!

Energy efficient lighting, appliances, faucets, toilets and showerheads are a few of the options for increasing the green factor in these two essential rooms and you can watch your monthly expenses drop.

When it comes to flooring, cork and bamboo are among the greenest options, as they are derived from renewable resources. While bamboo is also an excellent choice for cabinets, wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada is another responsible option.

Visit the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s RENOVA, an interactive web-based guide to the value of home improvements. RENOVA is designed to give consumers a better idea of the return on investment they can expect for a variety of home improvements.

Household drafts will increase your heating bills and make those lovely spacious rooms an expensive proposition in our colder months. Window and door replacement may offer a more limited return of 50 to 75 per cent, but if your existing units are broken or have been installed for fashion rather than performance, this upgrade should take priority.

When purchasing windows, look for low-E argon-filled units with the Energy Star symbol to achieve the highest thermal efficiency. Note: if you wonder how old your thermo pane windows are, most are stamped with the year and month they were made on the metal piece between the panes of glass.

Similarly, replacing an aging roof may only offer a small return but it’s an upgrade that should not be deferred due to the potential for water damage. Fortunately, roof shingles made from a variety of recycled materials are widely available and sometimes the life expectancy of your new roof is worth paying the extra costs. Housing is a long term investment.

Heating systems can offer a 50 to 75 per cent return, while central air conditioning can deliver 25 to 75 per cent on your investment, but given the extreme temperatures of our climate, these are also wise investments, particularly when you choose models with the Energy Star symbol. We replaced our workable 60 percent efficiency furnace with a high efficiency furnace that, with our new windows and doors keeps us toasty all winter.

While decorating choices may be subject to taste, you’ll find that when it’s time to move again, energy efficient, money-saving upgrades have universal appeal. Renovating can be helpful to you, others, and reduce your carbon footprint all at the same time. Enjoy!

Provided By: TREB President Richard Silver

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Saying Hello to Summer!

July 9, 2011

RE/MAX Premier’s 2nd Annual Yard Sale for the Cure was a smashing success, raising over $12,000 for breast cancer research.  Our office was the 3rd highest fundraising office in Ontario.  The rain held off and we had a great turnout, thanks for all of your support!

On another fundraising note—St. John Bosco Catholic School raised over $1800 in support of the Angels From Heaven Foundation with the bake sale.  A big thank you to all the students and teachers that helped to put this event together.

It’s bathing suit season and I am kicking it into high gear—Mom has started up a weekly walking/jogging club in Woodbridge and I am so in!!  Just 15 pounds left to my weight goal and it is being very stubborn, but it’s ok—the idea is to get healthy and I feel much better than I used to! 

I hope you had a great start to the summer, cheers!


- Mandy


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Keeping It Real

July 9, 2011 - Updated: July 9, 2011

Now that the postal strike is over, we can once again enjoy our snail mail...there’s something more personal and enjoyable about receiving a letter, note, or postcard vs. email or texting, yes?

Right now the real estate market can be confusing and perplexing, some properties selling quickly while others stagnate for months or never sell.  Personally I believe it’s the difference between being in the market or simply just “on the market”.   

The better question to ask would be – what’s the ‘reality market’?  A close look at local market conditions, days on the market within the area, and true property comparables will bring you closer to the market value of your home.   If you are thinking of selling, or know of a friend or family starting the process, we would love the introduction and take excellent care of them.

In August, I will be attending a real estate conference in San Diego and look forward to Mandy joining me this year.   Keeping up with industry knowledge, honing our skills and education is key for me and gives us the opportunity to learn and grow, while providing you with better service.


Have a great summer!


- Mary


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Mid-Year Resale Housing Report

July 6, 2011

Toronto, July 6, 2011

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 10,230 home sales through the TorontoMLS® system in June 2011 – up 21 per cent compared to June 2010. This number represented the third best June result on record behind 2007 and 2009. The number of transactions during the first six months of 2011 amounted to 48,189 – down by 4.5 per cent compared to the first half of 2010.

“The strong June result capped off an interesting first half of 2011,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver. “The pace of sales was a bit sluggish at the beginning of the year, but rebounded in May and June. Because of the positive affordability picture, home buyers remained confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long term.”

The average price for June transactions was $476,371 – a 9.5 per cent increase over June 2010. Through the first six months of the year, the average selling price was $467,169 – almost an eight per cent increase compared to the same period in 2010.

“While sales have been strong, we would be on track for a record number of transactions in 2011 if not for the decline in listings so far this year,” said Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “Tight supply meant more competition between home buyers and an accelerating annual rate of price growth in the second quarter.”

“Home owners will likely react to the stronger price growth by listing their homes in greater numbers. A better supplied market would result in more moderate price increases,” continued Mercer.

** Provided By:  The Toronto Real Estate Board

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June Mid-Month Housing Report

June 17, 2011

The number of sales and the average selling price reported by Greater Toronto REALTORS® were both up during the first 14 days of June 2011. Sales through the first two weeks of June amounted to 4,787 – up 16 per cent over the same period in 2010. The average selling price for these transactions, at $477,853, was up nine per cent.

“The spring has always been the busiest time in the resale market, but the results for May and the first two weeks of June represented a marked improvement over last year. Low mortgage rates have kept affordability in check and buyers have felt confident in paying for a home over the long term,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Bill Johnston.

The number of new listings on the TorontoMLS® between June 1st and June 14th was down by eight per cent compared to 2010.

“Listings have been in short supply this year, while a lot of people have been looking to buy. The result has been enhanced competition between buyers and more upward pressure on price,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “Strong price growth will prompt more home owners to list as we move toward 2012.”

** Provided by:  Toronto Real Estate Board

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Introducing.... Us. In Video.

June 9, 2011

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Mike & Laura Discuss Selling Their First Home

June 9, 2011

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2nd Best March Result on Record!!

April 11, 2011

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 9,262 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in  March 2011, representing the second best March result on record. The number of transactions was 11 per cent lower than the record result reported in March 2010.

“The strong home sales reported in March and throughout the first quarter of 2011 have been  based on a solid affordability picture and improving economic conditions in the GTA and country-wide,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Bill Johnston.

The average selling price for March 2011 was up five per cent year-over-year to $456,147. The strongest average annual price growth was reported for condominium apartments and semi-detached houses, at approximately seven per cent for both home types.

“Market conditions were tighter in March compared to last year. With more competition between buyers, we have seen a strong but sustainable rate of price growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

** Provided By:  Toronto Real Estate Board, April 5th, 2011

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Mid-March Resale Housing Report

March 21, 2011

TORONTO, March 16, 2011 - Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,138 sales during the first two weeks of March 2011 – a five per cent decrease compared to the first two weeks of March 2010. The number of new listings also dipped – down by 15 per cent compared to the same period last year.

"A positive economic outlook for the Greater Toronto Area, including steady growth in jobs and incomes, has kept households confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long term," said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Bill Johnston.

The average price for transactions during the first 14 days of March was $460,196, representing a 4.6 per cent increase compared to the first two weeks of March 2010.

"Market conditions are tighter compared to this time last year, resulting in more competition between buyers and sustained upward pressure on the average selling price. The annual rate of price growth is expected to range between three and five per cent in 2011," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

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For Your Viewing Pleasure...RE/MAX Is Wack Rap Video

March 21, 2011

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Demand for Housing Stays Strong

March 4, 2011

TORONTO, March 3, 2011 - Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 6,266 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in February 2011. This result was 14 per cent lower than the record sales reported in February 2010.

While not representing a record, February 2011 sales were 50 per cent higher than the number reported in February 2009 during the recession and slightly higher than the average February sales over the previous ten years.

“Continued improvement in the GTA economy, including growth in jobs and incomes and a declining unemployment rate, has kept the demand for ownership housing strong,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Bill Johnston.

The average selling price for February 2011 transactions was $454,423, which was more than five per cent higher than the average selling price reported in February 2010.

“Market conditions remain quite tight in the GTA. There is enough competition between home buyers to promote continued price growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

** Provided By: TREB

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Less Inventory = Buyers Competing for Homes = Great Sellers' Market!!!

February 18, 2011

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,084 sales during  the first two weeks of February 2011 – a 13% decrease compared to the first two weeks of  February 2010.

"We are on pace for a strong sales result in February, but transactions will come in lower than the record result reported last February. Sales remain strong because the GTA resale market contains a diversity of housing types catering to a wide array of home ownership needs," said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Bill Johnston.

The average price for transactions during the first 14 days of February was $451,257, representing a five% increase compared to the first two weeks of February 2010.

"Average selling price growth for existing homes is expected to range between three and five percent this year. Tighter market conditions over the last four months have pushed price growth to the top end of this range," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.


** Provided By TREB, February 17, 2011

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Starting the Year off Right! TREB's Monthly Sales Report

February 5, 2011

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,337 transactions through the Toronto MLS® system in January 2011. This result was 13 per cent lower than the record result reported in January 2010.

“While off the record pace experienced a year ago, the GTA resale market has started the year on a solid footing. Home buyers in Toronto and surrounding areas continue to benefit from a diversity of housing types for sale at many different price points,” said TREB President Bill Johnston.

The average selling price for January 2011 sales was $427,037, representing an increase of over four per cent compared to the average of $409,058 reported in January 2010.

“The average selling price is expected to grow at a moderate pace in 2011. Growth rates in the three to five per cent range will be sustainable from an affordability perspective,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

** Provided By:  Toronto Real Estate Board, February 4, 2011

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Curious About the Rental Market in the GTA?

January 25, 2011

From September until the end of 2010, TREB Members reported 4,920 rental transactions for condominium apartments and townhouses, representing a 27 per cent increase from the 3,859 transactions recorded during the same time period in 2009.


There were a total of 9,227 apartments and townhouses listed for rent during the reporting period, representing a 22 per cent increase compared to the last four months of 2009.


There was substantial growth in condominium apartment completions in 2010, which explains the strong growth in the number listings that were available during the reporting period.


Many of the condominium apartments that were completed over the past year were owned by investors. Some of these investors chose to list their units for rent.


While the number of units listed for rent increased strongly on the TorontoMLS® system, it is important to note that the number of rental transactions actually increased at a greater rate.


The number of households signing lease agreements in the last four months of 2010 more than accounted for the increase in supply.

** Provided By:  Toronto Real Estate Board, January 25th 2011

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TREB's Market Watch for December 2010

January 20, 2011

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New Mortgage Rules - Tougher Lending Practices?

January 17, 2011

The federal Conservative government is expected on Monday to introduce new rules aimed at toughening up mortgage lending.

In February of 2010, Mr. Flaherty moved to toughen up the mortgage rules amid worries that Canada was in the midst of a housing market bubble. The reforms, since introduced, compelled borrowers to meet standards for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage, even if the buyer wanted a shorter-term, variable rate loan; reduced the amount Canadian can borrow against their home, to 90% of the property value from 95%; and require purchasers of rental properties to issue a 20% down payment as opposed to 5%. The moves played a role, observers say, in slowing down real estate activity.

In today’s announcement The key change Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is likely to unveil is a cut in the maximum amortization period, to 30 years from 35 years. Mortgages with amortization periods longer than 30 years will no longer qualify for government-backed mortgage insurance, which is required for buyers with less than a 20% down payment on a home.

Government sources also told the National Post Mr. Flaherty is expected to lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow against the value of their homes, to 85% from 90%, and remove federal government backing of home equity lines of credit, or so-called HELOCs.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, add the minimum down payment, at 5%, will remain as is. Further, there will not unveil any plan to target condominium purchases by requiring monthly condo fees be added to the list of expenses that is measured against income to decide whether a buyer can afford a mortgage.

The Bank of Canada recently warned debt levels are growing faster than income, and the risk posed by consumer indebtedness to the domestic economy would continue to escalate without a “significant change” in how consumers borrow and banks lend.

The new changes, though, reduce even further the amount people can borrow against their homes, to 85%. Also, the changes target HELOCs, which Mr. Flaherty cited as a source of concern in a recent interview. Home-equity lines of credit surged 170% over the past decade, or twice the rate of mortgage growth, and now represent 12% of overall household debt. With the new rules, Ottawa will no longer back the HELOC, as it was doing up until now through mortgage insurance. Instead, sources say, the government will signal that the banks are on the hook for any default linked to a HELOC it issued. 


While the federal government looks to curb borrowing, economists say the Bank of Canada may have to follow by raising its key interest rate sooner rather than later. The central bank issues its latest rate statement on Tuesday and it is expected to hold its benchmark rate at its present 1% level as signs indicate the economy may be benefiting from renewed business and consumer confidence in the United States.

** Provided By:  Dominion Lending Centres

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New Year, New Resolutions

January 12, 2011

I have no complaints about 2010.  It was a great year to get started in the real estate business, and a great year for the real estate market all around.  TREB reports that there were 86,170 sales of single family dwellings in 2010, down only slightly from the 87,308 sales in 2009.  Average selling price has increased to $431,463.  Who can complain about that???

As a new agent, I spent much of 2010 learning how to negotiate in a multiple offer situation, getting into my groove with first-time buyers, dealing with other more experienced agents, and becoming a young business professional.  It has been a huge learning curve and I loved (almost) every minute of it!

Thinking back, I see the past year to be one of change.  Mortgage rates have been historically low, so in the first few months of the year buyers flooded the market and caused bidding wars.  Transitioning into the fall months, the market changed slightly - we experienced a more balanced market where prices weren't as inflated and it took homes longer to sell.  

I've met a lot of people I wouldn't have had the pleasure of meeting otherwise, and realized one thing:  I love this business!  So if you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the next 60-90 days... send us an email or call us direct.  2010 has been a year of ups and slightly smaller downs, and we'd love to help you through the process.

- Mandy

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What's Happening Mid-Month in the Housing Market?

December 16, 2010

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 2,509 sales through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) during the first two weeks of December 2010.

This represented a 19 per cent decrease compared to the 3,079 sales recorded during the same period in December 2009. Year-to-date sales amounted to 84,316 – down one per cent from the 2009 total of 84,888.

“While off the 2009 record, the level of December transactions remains strong from a historic perspective. The number of transactions in 2010 will be the third highest on record,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Bill Johnston.

The average price for December mid-month transactions was $435,225 – up three per cent compared to the average of $423,103 recorded during the first 14 days of December 2009.

“Market conditions remain tight enough to support moderate growth in the average selling price. Expect the three per cent annual rate of growth reported for the first two weeks of December to be the norm in 2011,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

** Provided By TREB - December 16, 2010

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Contact Me

Mary Nacarato & Mandy Coz Sales Representatives
RE/MAX Premier Inc., Brokerage Independently owned and operated
9100 Jane Street
Vaughan, ON   L4K 0A4

Phone: 416-987-8000Mobile: 416-451-0177Fax: 416-987-8001
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