RRSP Home Buyer's Plan Information

This can be a great way to extend your funds available for a home purchase, utilizing income you already have.


The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a program under which you can, generally, with- draw up to $25,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home. Withdrawals that meet all applicable HBP conditions do not have to be included in your income, and your RRSP issuer will not withhold tax on these amounts. However, before you can withdraw funds you must have entered into a written agreement to buy or build a qualifying home which you must occupy no later than one year after buying or building the home. If you buy the qualifying home together with your spouse or other individuals, each of you can withdraw up to $25,000. You cannot with- draw an amount from your RRSP under the HBP if you or your spouse owned the home more than 30 days before the date of your withdrawal.

For more info, download this informational PDF here.

Revisiting the "Mortgage Stress Test"

The Toronto Star has a great article today suggesting that it may be time for Ottawa to revisit the year-old Mortgage Stress Test. The Mortgage Professionals of Canada group released their own report, indicating how the current structure of the stress-test does not accurately reflect Canadians buying-power, nor does it take into account the decreasing primary mortgage amount, as payments occur over the life of the mortgage.

We have all seen the tremendous impact these rules have had - not only on first-time Buyers, but on many current homeowners looking for end of term renewals.

Read the full article here: Revisiting Mortgage Stress Test rules.

TREB December and 2018 Annual Statistics Released

Always good to keep your eye on the Market Trends around the GTA. The Toronto Real Estate Board recently released their 2018 Annual Statistics, which show a general slowing of the Market as compared to 2017, as we all expected.

January 4, 2019 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a total of 77,426 residential transactions through TREB's MLS® System in 2018. This result represented a 16.1 per cent decline compared to 92,263 sales reported in 2017. Total new listings entered into TREB's MLS® System were down by 12.7 per cent over the same period to 155,823.

The overall average selling price for 2018 transactions, at $787,300, was down by 4.3 per cent year-over-year for all home types combined across the TREB market area. 

Home prices were up very slightly in the City of Toronto and down in the surrounding GTA regions. This dichotomy reflects the fact that the condominium apartment segment, which accounted for a large proportion of sales in the City of Toronto, performed better from a pricing perspective than the detached market segment. The average price for condominium apartment sales across the TREB market area was up by 7.8 per cent year-over-year. 

"Higher borrowing costs coupled with the new mortgage stress test certainly prompted some households to temporarily move to the sidelines to reassess their housing options. With this said, it is important to note that market conditions were improved in the second
half of the year, both from a sales and pricing standpoint," said Garry Bhaura. 

"After spiking in 2017, new listings receded markedly in 2018. In many neighbourhoods, despite fewer sales from a historic perspective, some buyers still struggled to find a home meeting their needs. The result was a resumption of a moderate year-over-year pace of home price growth in the second half of the year. Price growth was strongest for lessexpensive home types, as many home buyers sought more affordable home ownership options," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

You can download a PDF of the complete 2018 Real Estate Market Statistics report here.

Residential Transaction Volume Up

While heavily weighted by the core of Toronto, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported this week that August transactions were up year-over-year.

There were 6,839 sales in August 2018 - up 8.5% versus 2017. Seasonally-adjusted volume puts sales up 2% versus July 2018.

TREB Statistics - August 2018 Sales Volume

TREB Statistics - August 2018 Sales Volume

With increased stability around the GTA, we expect to see volume increasing in the ‘905’ areas, including the core Unionville, Markham and Richmond Hill areas. September is looking to be a solid month for new listings, and overall sales activity.


Positive News on Home Prices: CMHC expecting prices to rise

Global News reports today:

Home Prices in Ontario expected to increase moderately: CMHC

OTTAWA — A report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says a recent drop in Ontario home prices isn’t expected to persist.

It says moderate economic growth in the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario generally will provide support for provincial real estate prices in 2018 and 2019.

CMHC expects inflation-adjusted home prices in the province will remain relatively stable and close to the levels of last year’s fourth quarter.

It anticipates prospective buyers will face fewer bidding wars and feel less urgency to act, allowing them time for more informed decision making.

On the flip side, CMHC says home owners may see their properties on the market longer than usual.

Global News Article Link

From Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation:

“The current Ontario price correction fails to fully resemble historical price bust periods. Home prices are plateauing and are expected to grow along a more sustainable linear path supported by continued economic growth, moderate increases in interest rates and only modest increases in new housing supply.” - Ted Tsiakopoulos, Ontario Regional Economist

Download CMHC Housing Market Insight for June 2018 (PDF)

 

Benjamin Moore's Colors for 2018

We are moving into that busy time of year, when many homeowners take on all those to-do's and upgrade projects around their homes.  Before you dive into your reno and painting projects, take a look at Benjamin Moore's new color picks for 2018.

We've always relied on some of Benjamin Moore's most trusted colors - that famed CC40, Cloud White - and it's always interesting to see where the interior and exterior design trends are heading.

Read more at Benjamin Moore's Color Trends site

Spring is here!

Welcome back Spring!  Warmer weather is finally coming back, and we expect to continue to see activity increasing in the marketplace.  Historically, April-May has always been 'the peak' for new listings hitting MLS, followed closely by mid-September.

We have some great new listings currently on the market - a wonderful home situated in the midst of Historical Unionville Village.  An excellent opportunity to build-on to this cozy home, with it's amazing location and large lot, it's a builders dream.

If you are in the market for a larger, luxury home, with the benefit of a condo, 41 Glenburn Forest Way could be for you.  This home features over 4600 sq.ft. of finished space, and is lock-and-leave ready - no yard maintenance to worry about!

Lots more coming soon!