This Week’s Great Low Rates!
Variable: 2.55% - (prime less .45)
6 mos: 3.95%
1 Year: 2.89%
2 Year: 2.79%
3 Year: 2.89%
4 Year: 3.39%
5 Year: 3.45% - not for preapp. Cond. apply
7 Year: 3.99%
10 Year: 4.39%
all rates are based on approved credit and are subject to change without notice. All rates may not be available in all provinces
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a relaxing holiday season spent with family and friends. A new year is beginning in the Real Estate and mortgage industries and your guess is as good as mine on how it will shape up. Will this be the year interest rates start to rise significantly? Will we finally see the juggernaut Toronto real estate market slow down? Only time will tell, but for homebuyers one thing will not change and that is working with a knowledgeable Realtor and Mortgage Broker will continue to give you the advantage.
On a personal note, I have set some aggressive business goals for myself in 2014 and thank you for your continued support and referrals. I look forward to working with you all in the coming year!
5 Canadian Mortgage Predictions for 2014
Rob McLister at the Globe and Mail has written a great article outlining a few trends that we have been seeing in the industry and will most likely continue into 2014. Here is a brief summary of his predictions, but you can CLICK HERE to read about them in more detail.
Tightening of mortgage rules - it will become more difficult for some to get a mortgage in 2014
Credit Unions will steal market share - As federally regulated lenders like Banks become more regulated, Credit Unions will be more attractive to Canadians.
Stronger On-line players - More players will enter the on-line space offering mortgages. I would caution that these players might offer attractive rates, but will lack in service and education for the client.
The growth of hybrid mortgages - Clients may be willing to take a partial fixed and variable rate mortgage to hedge bets on rising rates.
Consumers IQ will increase - This trend has been increasing over the years as more Canadians turn to the internet to educate themselves before they begin their mortgage hunt.
10 Extreme Ways to Save For Your Home
For those looking to buy their first home saving for the down payment is usually the most difficult part. There are “no money down” options available, but using your own money is still the best way. CLICK HERE to read an interesting article on some common sense ways to save for your down payment.
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This article’s main headline is highly misleading and could lead the Halifax real estate consumer to believe that prices in the Halifax real estate market are cool enough to get the proverbial “deal.” In actuality, as you read further through the article below, the Halifax market remains an anomaly in that, compared to larger markets like Vancouver and Toronto, our prices are continuing to climb, with many homes being sold for a premium.
For Sellers, this is and will be for some time, a great opportunity to offload your current property in the face of a healthy real estate market. Don’t let the tacky headlines scare you.
Roger Talor - Chronicle Herald - March 4, 2013
In technical terms, the Halifax real estate market has “flattened out” from the time the federal shipbuilding program was first announced back in October 2011 to today.
There was a quick uptick in what some might describe as speculative real estate activity in the city in the six to eight months following the announcement that Irving Shipbuilding Inc. had won the right to negotiate for the bulk of the federal shipbuilding work.
Matthew Gilmore says some people were fast to take advantage of what was expected to be an influx of workers looking for employment due to the $25-billion, 30-year shipbuilding program.
We all know now that the work isn’t going to start as quickly as some had anticipated, so the housing market has cooled, says Gilmore, a senior market analyst for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. in Halifax.
If real estate sales climbed by about 20 per cent in the months immediately following the shipbuilding announcement, Gilmore says, the Halifax market today has declined by about the same amount. He says the rise and fall in activity is offsetting over a longer period of time.
“We’re not seeing a lot of strength when it comes to economic fundamentals in Halifax right now,” he says.
“We’ve seen limited employment growth, limited economic growth, in the one per cent range. When it comes to employment growth, most has been in part-time for most of the past couple of years. So that is not as supportive of housing demand as if it was full-time (employment) growth.”
Craig Alexander, senior vice-president and chief economist with TD Bank Financial Group, says Halifax’s housing affordability is the envy of the rest of the country.
“If you compare the average income of individuals in Halifax to the price of homes, there are no signs of excess valuation,” Alexander told me on the phone from Washington, D.C., where he was attending a conference.
Alexander says it only takes about 3½ to four years of income to fully pay for an average home in Halifax. The national average is about five. Toronto is modestly above the national average. In a hot market like Vancouver, it takes 11 years’ worth of income to acquire a home.
Having low affordability works in favour of first-time home buyers, but an economy also needs home prices to grow to allow existing homeowners to benefit from the appreciating value of their home over time, he says.
The worst thing to happen to the economy would be boom-and-bust cycles.
Alexander says he hasn’t identified an economic catalyst that would lead to a significant weakening in the Halifax real estate market.
“I don’t think (Halifax) economic activity will be booming (in 2013). But at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything on the horizon that would suggest a correction in sales and prices is imminent.”
Changes to mortgage insurance rules last year may have discouraged some people from purchasing a home, says Alexander, but he believes that will abate as time goes on and people have time to adjust to meet the new financing requirements.
The shipbuilding work has been slower to happen than most would have hoped, but he says it will happen and the economy will benefit from that activity.
“I just don’t subscribe to the idea that Halifax is headed for a significant economic correction.”
The CMHC’s Gilmore agrees that 2013 will be relatively flat for the economy and, more specifically, the Halifax real estate market. But things should start to pick up closer to the end of the year, and economic activity should really improve in 2014.
Although sales will be flat this year, home prices should grow by two or three per cent, he says.
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One thing is for sure, the Halifax Real Estate market is still alive and well. Last week alone, there were as many listings sold as there were new listings. Despite speculation about a housing bubble, likely from negative press on the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets, the Halifax housing market continues to thrive.
The Halifax Peninsula is the hottest spot on the map. Property from single family homes to condos are being gobbled up within a matter of days. Many of these properties are in such high demand that bidding wars are a common place. Asking prices eventually sit lower than the actual sale price. This is good news for sellers in this area as they are likely to bank on a good return. For buyers, this is equally good as it indicates a healthy market place and a higher chance of incremental growth on the value of their homes. As the city continues its outward expansion, the centre of the city becomes more and more valuable.
Mainland Halifax has seen nearly the same kind of demand, with homes in former suburban areas lasting no more than a few weeks. Though significantly lower in price, these properties fetch a pretty penny for any seller.
The biggest spike, in terms of sales increase and price increase, is seen within the Sackville and Dartmouth areas. Properties in this area, formerly undervalued, are now the suburbs that Mainland Halifax used to be. As the core densifies, the outskirts are seeing large spikes. If you’re buying your first home, I highly recommend considering these areas as they are still affordable and have not yet reached their peak of worth.
Bedford continues to lead with the highest priced homes in municipality. As it continues to grow past the 102, old Bedford is solidifying its grasp on high prices and average turnover.
So, in essence, the housing market in Halifax is stronger than ever. Rates continue to hover low, making affordability less of an issue for first timers and anyone looking to downsize.
My only advice for buyers - use an agent. It costs you nothing in the form of commissions and the agent will do all the work and protect you from the other side. The listing agents have their sellers best interests in mind and will only do the paperwork for you, nothing else.
I’ve knocked on a lot of doors in the last month and the thing I’m hearing the most is “we want to wait so we can get more in a year.” Though this may be true, it’s also a truism. Property goes up in value, within a healthy market at least, between 4-7% each year depending on area. So that is a given.
There is, however, one small issue many potential sellers don’t realize. Whether they are downsizing or upsizing, the cost of real estate they purchase will ALSO cost more money. So any move will be lateral.
Another important factor is that interest rates are at a 50 year low. If they remain static then great! But they’re only going to go back up. Therefore, any extra money made from hanging on to your property another year to maximize your return, could easily be lost by a spike in interest rates.
I just had a client who sold his home, in a healthy market, bought into a new one while locked into a ten year term. The move is lateral, but this person will be clearing off a mortgage that is not sustainable, moving to a home better suited and securing a better rate.
So, with all these factors clearly favouring a move this year, why then would you wait?
If you or anyone you know is considering buying or selling real estate soon, please have them contact me and I will gladly help explain the process to help your referral make the most informed and important decision.
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And the spring real estate market is in full swing! What would normally be the busiest time in the real estate business, 2012 is poised to break even normal records. With the hype from the ship building contract getting buyers off the fence, Halifax has once again become a sellers market.
Properties listed competitively last little more than a few days, and desirable properties are bought up in a matter of hours. Some sellers continue to remain on the fence themselves, hoping to reap the rewards of higher sale prices in a year or more. My advice at this point is, if you’re going to move anyway, whether it be downsizing of upsizing, now is certainly the time. The reasoning is two fold.
Firstly, while the sale of a property will give a seller 5-6% more in a year or two, you can expect that whatever a seller purchases will also cost more money. Therefore, any sale and purchase would be lateral and would not see any net gain.
The difference at this stage in the game is interest rates. They are currently at historic lows. If they don’t stay the same, they will definitely be raised. With major Canadian banks currently lobbying the federal government to put more restrictions on attaining a mortgage, something is going to give.
So, in summation, a seller may be able to sell their home for more money in the next year or two, but the cost of buying another will be marginally the same as their sale, or higher in some cases. But any extra money made on a sale will be lost with higher rates and tighter mortgage terms, which makes waiting to make any move extremely counter productive.
Getting buyers motivated to grab property now, while rates are low and real estate is still modestly priced, is easy. The trick is convincing sellers of the mistakes of waiting, unless apartment living becomes the most desirable, and most practical plan.
SOLD! 91 Olive Avenue sold in 7 hours - that’s the power of my marketing machine and a REALTOR.
Some of you were aware that I spent some time away from Halifax recently. However I was still able to work while I was away thanks to some of the technology that I use in my business. I want to share some of that with you.
The most important piece of technology that I use on a daily basis is my Macbook laptop, it does Windows too but mostly just works when I need it to. Follow up and marketing are easy thanks to a cloud based CRM that I found called Zoho. I am able to stay in touch with everybody thanks to a VOIP phone that I have on my laptop from a local provider called Internetworkig Atlantic. Calls from Hawaii or where ever I have traveled to are always a local Halifax number, also their fax to e-mail service is awesome. Lastly and certainly not least, I use an underwriting service call NEXSYS to make sure that all my files have their t’s crossed and i’s dotted, and they also store all my documents on their encrypted servers, giving me access to all my files where ever I am.
All this technology allowed me to not miss a beat even though I was away. Rate sheets still went out. Finance cut sheets were sent out as requested. Calls were returned, just a few hours later. I told my underwriters that I was not on vacation, I was just working from a better location, and that is the way it will always be when I travel.
If you are doing an open house this weekend and need a finance cut sheet for your property, just send me an e-mail with the MLS# and I will do it up for you. If you have several listings just let me know and I can set up a folder for you on my dropbox ( cloud storage).
Some more info about the types of financing available through us are AAA residential loans all the ll the way to B or Sub Prime. Commercial loan types from multi-residential, commercial development, Franchise FF&E loans to factoring and equipment financing.
As always please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to helping you close more business.
'Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you will die today.' James Dean