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Homebuyers in need of more detailed mortgage info





Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Mortgage Consumer Survey (MCS) for 2018 revealed that homebuyers would like more information on interest rates, types of mortgages available to them, current and long term mortgage strategies, mortgage or house purchase fees, as well as tools to manage their mortgages.

The survey also revealed, however, that homebuyers are generally satisfied with the advice they receive from their mortgage professional.

CMHC Vice-President for Client Relationship Management Carla Staresina understood the need for consumers to have a better grasp of the ins and outs of the mortgage industry.

“Shopping for a mortgage can be overwhelming so the more information you have, the better your experience. Ultimately, our hope is to help Canadians get the most out of the mortgage shopping experience,” she said.

Currently, only over half (52%) of homebuyers are aware of the latest mortgage qualification rules.

Having proper knowledge on mortgage regulations is a must, given that it largely impacts borrowers’ behaviors. About one in five first-time buyers indicated that the new rules affected their purchase decision, with most opting to decrease non-essential expenses, purchase a less expensive home or use savings to increase their down payment.

Another highlight of the study was examining the different factors that influence buyers’ decisions.

More than half of first-time buyers expressed that value or affordability is the most important factor when purchasing a home, compared to other factors such as the type of neighbourhood, proximity to work and overall condition of the home.

Relatedly, 37% of homebuyers were concerned and uncertain when buying a home especially because of affordability.  Half of this pool were worried about paying too much for their home, while nearly one-third were wary about increasing interest and mortgage rates.

Further, around 50% of home buyers agreed that they would feel comfortable using more technology to arrange their next mortgage transaction. The majority, though, still agree that it is essential to meet face-to-face with their mortgage professional when discussing and finalizing their mortgage.

Qualifying the first-time buyers in Canada, it was observed that 22% of them were newcomers to the country, and almost 50% were millennials (ages of 25 and 34) – down from 60% in 2017.

The poll was completed in April this year, with 4000 respondents who have undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 12 months. 68% of them had renewed their mortgage, 15% had refinanced their mortgage, and 16% had purchased a home with mortgage financing, where 9% were first-time buyers and 7% were repeat buyers.

The MCS has been conducted since 1999 and provides insight into the behaviours, attitudes and expectations of Canadians when they acquire, renew or refinance a mortgage.

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate


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Victoria real estate agent disciplined for false advertising, encouraging cash deal to avoid taxes





A Victoria real estate agent is facing $9,000 in fines and a 60-day licence suspension after breaking several professional rules during the sale of her father’s half-million-dollar property, according to a decision by the Real Estate Council of B.C. 

Whitney Garside’s missteps — outlined this week in a disciplinary decision posted on the council’s website — included falsely advertising the property as being almost twice its actual size and advising the buyer they could avoid the property transfer tax if they paid cash directly to the seller.

The property on Burnett Road in Victoria was being sold in 2016 by the real estate agent’s father. That relationship was disclosed and isn’t among the reasons she has been disciplined.

According to the disciplinary consent order, Garside told the buyer — whose name is redacted — that by paying $42,000 cash on the side, the value of the property could be reduced to avoid paying the property transfer tax.

That cash arrangement was not shared with Garside’s brokerage, Re/Max Camosun, a failure that contravened the Real Estate Services Act.

The council also ruled that she “failed to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill” when she advised the buyer the property transfer tax could be avoided by paying cash directly to the seller. 

The council’s discipline committee also found that Garside committed professional misconduct when she failed to recommend the seller and buyer seek independent legal advice, specifically regarding the property transfer tax and the cash agreement.

Another issue the council considered professional misconduct involved the size of the property in question.

The council ruled that Garside published false and misleading advertising and failed to act with reasonable care and skill when the property was advertised as 8,712 square feet, when in fact a portion of the lot belonged to the Ministry of Transportation, and the actual size was just 4,711 square feet.

The discipline committee ordered Garside’s licence be suspended for 60 days, which will be completed Jan. 3, 2021.

She has also been ordered to complete real estate ethics and remedial classes at her own expense.

Garside was also fined $7,500 as a disciplinary penalty and $1,500 in enforcement expenses.

She agreed to waive her right to appeal the council’s discipline committee’s decision in September.

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Frisco apartment community sells to Canadian investor





A Canada-based investor has purchased a Frisco apartment community as part of a larger Texas deal.

The 330-unit Satori Frisco apartments opened last year on Research Road in Frisco.

BSR Real Estate Investment Trust bought the four-story rental community that was built by Atlanta-based Davis Development.

Satori Frisco was more than 90% leased at the time of sale. The property includes a two-story fitness center, a car care center, a dog park and a resort-style swimming pool.

The Frisco property sold along with Houston’s Vale luxury apartments in a deal valued at $129 million.

“BSR recently exited the smaller Beaumont and Longview, Texas, markets and also sold noncore properties in other markets,” John Bailey, BSR’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are now using our strong liquidity position to invest in Vale and Satori Frisco, modern communities in core growth markets with the amenities our residents desire.”

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House prices on Prince Edward Island continue steady climb





Residential real estate prices on Prince Edward Island continue to climb at a rate higher than the national average, according to the latest report from a national organization. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association released monthly figures for November 2020 on Tuesday.

They show that the average price for a resale home on P.E.I. is about 21 per cent higher than it was a year earlier. 

Only Quebec had a bigger year-over-year increase, at about 23 per cent. Overall across Canada, prices were up 13.8 per cent year over year in the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the fifth straight month, year-over-year sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to the same month in 2019,” the report noted.

“Meanwhile, an ongoing shortage of supply of homes available for purchase across most of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces means sellers there hold the upper hand in sales negotiations.”

That lack of houses coming onto the market compared to the demand means that in those provinces, there is “increased competition among buyers for listings and … fertile ground for price gains.”

There have been anecdotal reports for months that Prince Edward Island’s low rate of COVID-19 infection and looser rules around social activities have been encouraging people to buy homes on the Island. 

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