Home Capital announces sale

Home Capital has announced an agreement with KingSett Capital to sell a commercial mortgage portfolio valued at around $1.2 billion.

“This transaction will help the company further stabilize its liquidity position and highlights the flexibility and options created by the quality of our assets,” Bonita Then, Interim President and CEO of Home Capital, said.
“Proceeds from the transaction are expected to have an immediate impact by enabling us to enhance our liquidity and reduce the outstanding debt under the Company’s $2 billion credit facility.”

Under the agreement terms, Kingsett will purchase the portfolio for 99.61% of outstanding principal value.

Home Capital expects to incur a loss of $15 million before income taxes on the deal.

The deal is the latest bid by the embattled channel lender to stabilize itself following Ontario Securities Commission allegations it misled investors in 2015 and recent dwindling deposits.

Last week, Home announced a settlement with the OSC and class action matters.

“Under its proposed settlement with the Commission, Home Capital will make a payment of $10 million and reimburse Commission costs in the amount of $500,000,” Home Capital said. “Gerald Soloway will be reprimanded, prohibited from acting as a director or officer of any reporting issuer for a period of four years and pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $1 million.

“Each of Robert Morton and Martin Reid will be reprimanded, prohibited from acting as a director or officer of any reporting issuer for a period of 2 years and pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $500,000.”

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

Read more

Interesting investment up for auction

“Power is a lot like real estate. It’s all about location, location, location. The closer you are to the source, the higher your property value.”

That line was uttered by Frank Underwood — in the critically acclaimed political drama House of Cards – whose house (in the show) is currently up for auction for $500,000.

The town home, set in Washington D.C. on the show, actually resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Featured in the hit Netflix series House of Cards as Francis & Claire’s Home this grand all brick Victorian style home has been carefully restored and updated with original details throughout,” the listing reads. “The home features over 4,600 square feet of above grade living area, 12+ foot ceilings, 5 fireplaces, original Tennesee mable mantles, dual staircases, original pocket doors with etched glass and transoms, a 3 story light well which lets light and breeze into the whole house, a rear patio, and oversized 2 car garage with a roof top deck.”

The home, which is located at 1609 Park Ave. in Baltimore, boasts a main level living room, family room, and dining room complete with butler’s pantry.

It also features three other levels; a two car garage, rear patio, and rooftop deck.

The Victorian home was constructed in 1880.

The live auction for the home will take place on-site on July 27; online bids are not permitted.

Related stories:
Is this the most interesting investment property currently for sale?
My first flip: A Toronto freehold townhome

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

Read more

The 5 priciest homes in one of the country’s hottest markets

Take a look at some of the country’s most luxurious homes currently for sale.

These are the most expensive homes currently for sale in and around the country’s hottest housing market.

As someone who covers housing for a living, there’s nothing quite like perusing some good old fashioned real estate porn. I’m sure you faithful readers can agree.

While modern builds with their sky-high windows or hard lofts with their sprawling floorplans are always fun to explore, there’s nothing quite like gandering at some of the country’s priciest homes.

And there seems to be a few more than usual currently on the market.

Pont2Homes, an online agency, rounded up the 10 most expensive homes currently for sale in and around Toronto. Check them out below.

1. A Yorkville Penthouse

Yorkville is one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in Toronto (there are even rumours that Mike Babcock, current coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, chose to coach in Toronto over Buffalo due to his wife’s desire to live in the posh ‘hood).

It’s home to some extravagant shopping spots and swanky restaurants; and also to the province’s current most expensive home.

Listed at a cool $36,000,00, this beauty is located at the top of the Four Seasons Hotel.

2. A Bridle Path mansion

“Millionaire’s row” is home to this 10 bedroom behemoth befit for Batman himself.

For a cool $35,000,000, this home includes a 5,000 square foot pavilion, a tennis court, a 50 foot indoor pool, and a hand-carved Louis XV fireplace.

3. A multi-million dollar country home

If city living isn’t your thing, this $24,950,000 equestrian estate in King City may be just what you’re looking for.

The rugged and rich outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman) will surely be drawn to the 80 acre property that is home to a pond and waterfall, skating hut, walnut grove, and groomed hiking trails.

4. A lakefront compound

If one home isn’t enough, this estate in Oro-Medonte is situated on a 17 acre lot with a 525 foot private beach on Lake Simcoe.

The lot is also home to two 12,500 square foot homes.

5. 10 bedrooms in Bridle Path

This estate has its own ballroom, a spa, a salon, and in in-home theatre.

All for the reasonable price of $19,380,000.

To see the bottom-half of the province’s top-ten, click here.

Related stories:
Cottage country heating up from Toronto’s boomers
$1 million ain’t what it used to be

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

Read more

CREW poll: Pot growing in rentals

With a proposed marijuana legalization bill in the offing, should the government tweak the bill to ban people from growing in rented homes?

Take our poll today.

The Cannabis Act was introduced in the House of Commons earlier this week. Under the act, adults will be permitted to grow as many as four marijuana plants in their homes.

The announcement has one landlord group calling for reform already.

“Fundamentally we want marijuana growing to still be prohibited in rental units and in multiple-dwelling units, (ncouding) include condos (and) co-operatives,” The Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations President John Dickie told CBC News. “Because, from that point of view, there are impacts on the neighbours.”

There are also concerns about the impact grow-ops can have on the resale value of a home because of the stigma attached to those homes.

Growing plants in-house can also cause mould issues and increase the possibility of fire hazards, both of which could result in costly bills for homeowners.

Many lenders also shy away from financing former grow-op homes, according to several mortgage brokers.

“I think the government is obviously balancing a lot of issues here,” Dickie told CBC. “They do want to break the black market, and that’s important. But we think we can break the black market if they let people [only] grow it in their own owner-occupied homes, and the product is readily available in stores or by mail order.”

Related stories:
Selling a pot-growing home in B.C. might prove tricky
New federal regulations to allow growing of medical marijuana at home

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

Read more

Investor: Buyers, investors would be ‘foolish’ not to use home inspections

In red hot markets, many are foregoing home inspections in a bid to quickly close on competitive properties. Do you make sure to use inspections?

Let us know in our poll today

.

In red hot markets, many are foregoing home inspections in a bid to quickly close on competitive properties. One investor says that’s a mistake.

“Somebody who buys a home without a home inspection, that’s a foolish decision to make. You’re spending $500,000a t least on a piece of property; spending $500 on an inspection makes sense,” BC-based investor Hans McFarlane, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “People are skipping home inspections quite a bit, but no realtor, no professional is ever going to put their name on any document that says I recommend you skip an inspection.

“For a new investor, for someone who doesn’t have the resources to deal with the problems that need to be dealt with, it’s foolish to not get it done.”

In markets such as Toronto, many are skipping the home inspection in a bid to win bidding wars.

But that can be a costly mistake, according to mortgage broker and investment author Enza Venuto, who says a few hundred dollars can often save thousands in the long-run.

“If a person does not use a home inspector, they’re doing the wrong thing. They’re a must in today’s environment. Even on new properties, not just old properties, new construction require it as well. I know there’s Tarion, but sometimes issues arise and we recommend clients use a home inspector on homes and on condos,” she said.

And investors will have an easier time securing financing when they have the home inspected, according to Venuto.

“Even seasoned investors … if we don’t use an inspector, the lenders may want to know more details about the property,” she said.

Related stories:
Frenzied bidding wars in Toronto forcing buyers to rush offers
Stay rich, even during a downturn

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

Read more

Mortgage rule change effects extend to small market

Last year’s mortgage rule changes are being blamed for dwindling activity outside the areas they were intended to target, according to a recent report.

“The impact of the new mortgage stress test is impossible to ignore. It has effectively caused a knee-jerk reaction in (Winnipeg), impacting activity and contributing to declining house prices,” Michael Froese, managing partner, Royal LePage Prime Realty, said. “However, given that our region is home to a very stable, diverse economy, which has helped insulate the housing market from significant downward price adjustments over the long term, we expect to see market factors bounce back as the year progresses.”

According to Royal LePage’s Q1 housing report, the aggregate home price in Winnipeg dropped 0.9% year-over-year to $274,844.

Still, the brokerage remains optimistic about the market’s future.

“Winnipeg is the most affordable major city centre in Canada, offering prospective homeowners – particularly first-time buyers – a great deal of value for their dollar,” said Michael Froese, managing partner, Royal LePage Prime Realty. “The region’s real estate market is coming off its best year on record. Although home values dipped slightly in January and February, March saw a surge of activity, helping to buoy prices in Winnipeg. Sales in the first quarter of 2017 also remain consistent with the same time last year, and are above the 10-year average for the quarter.”

Last October, the federal government released a suite of mortgage rule changes – which included tougher qualification requirements – that were widely regarded as a move to address affordability in major markets such as Toronto and Vancouver.

However, the spill over effect has been felt in smaller markets, such as Winnipeg.

And just six months later, the industry and politicians remain concerned about the Toronto and Vancouver markets.

“The overall Canadian market is healthier in 2017 than it has been in years, yet the downside risks are greater too,” concluded Soper. “Our economy, which has recovered nicely from the 2014 oil crisis, is sadly dependent on moves by an unpredictable U.S. federal government and can be swayed by unforeseen global events, such as fallout from Europe’s restructuring. Still, housing activity is strong and prices are rising at a healthy mid-single-digit rate across the land. The trend in Alberta, Quebec and Atlantic Canada is particularly encouraging. Our concerns with the state of Canadian real estate begin and end in Toronto and Vancouver.”

Related stories:
CREA releases latest stats, warns against further housing policy
5 Highlights from the latest housing report

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

Read more

Big bank calls for real estate policy action

CEO calls on entire industry, as well as government officials, to come together to determine solutions.

“Longer term, I believe all parties need to come together — governments, developers, realtors, banks, community groups and others — to accelerate our progress in finding policies and solutions for this issue,” said RBC CEO Dave McKay.

McKay spoke Thursday at a shareholder meeting about his “increasing” concern about Toronto and Vancouver’s housing markets.

He is in favour of government intervention, saying increased housing prices are the result of an unhealthy combination of factors and that “all of these factors are mixing to push prices up to unsustainable levels, stressing household balance sheets and locking many people out of the housing market.”

The comments follow the latest housing stats releases from Toronto and Vancouver.

The average home price in Toronto jumped 33.2% year-over-year to $916,567. Vancouver’s prices, despite prices dampening over the past few months, still sit at an average of $919,000.

While it would be admirable to see all interested parties mentioned by McKay work together to find a solution, chances of that happening are likely slim.

Government officials seem intent on implementing taxes to curb real estate speculation and foreign investment; real estate boards, meanwhile, have vehemently opposed those ideas, instead arguing in favour of increasing housing demand.

It remains to be see what, if anything, the government will do to further address affordability in Vancouver and Toronto.

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

Read more

Veteran estimates foreign investment as much as 70%, argues for regulation

One Toronto brokerage owner is calling for foreign buyer regulation, despite some blowback from his own brokers.

Carl Langschmidt, president of Condos.ca, recently penned a blog entitled Foreign Investor Tax and Regulation Please! – a polite, yet assertive call to action.

In the piece, Langschmidt argues foreign ownership stats are much higher than the CMHC’s estimate of 2.3% of sales in Toronto. He went so far as to call that figure “laughable.”

“Our talks with sales reps in the trenches indicate it is much higher; some reported as high as 70% foreign ownership at developments like CityPlace,” Langschmidt wrote.

Anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But how about this other piece of sobering hearsay?

“Personally, this week alone, one of the agents in my brokerage who was meant to be listing a 50 unit condo building was just informed today the developer sold the entire building to a Chinese consortium and that we’re not getting any of the listings,” Langschmidt told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “That’s how hot the market is.”

Vancouver had success with its own foreign real estate regulation when it implemented a 15% sales tax. That helped contribute to double-digit cooling in what was once Canada’s hottest market.

And Toronto may soon have its own measures introduced, with Ontario’s budget expected in the coming weeks. Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the budget will contain policy aimed at addressing housing affordability.

“Demand is high for a number of factors,” he said, per the Canadian Press. “Could be speculators, could be people from outside the country, it could very well be the many who are now moving into Ontario creating that demand.”

While many have argued in favour of a similar approach in Toronto, Langschmidt suggests a multipronged strategy that could also include special regulations for prebuild home sales.

“Preconstruction sales has morphed into a totally separate specialization in real estate; it’s almost as if agents who specialize in that are so different from traditional real estate where you’re showing properties,” he said. “Preconstruction sales is all about pitching investors and often agents and groups go overseas to pitch. I’ve seen their presentations. I cringe at their presentations. It induces the speculation; half of them use numbers are (off). A lot of them don’t calculate ROIs correctly. This is where I think some regulation is required.

“Anyone selling a stock or investment vehicle, there’s regulations in the securities business about what you can say. Whereas with (real estate sales) it’s the wild west.”

Many believe foreign ownership is having a major impact on Toronto home prices and will likely applaud Langschmidt’s comments. However, that may not include a portion of real estate agents, his own included.

“The reason why I’m saying it is I don’t mind saying what I think is true,” Langschmidt said. “It will upset people who deal with foreign investors; even in my own brokerage I had someone call me up and say ‘we have a lot of foreign investors and they’re not going to be happy with our opinion on us.’”

Related stories:
Ontario hints at measures to cool real estate market in the budget
Don’t tax foreign buyers says real estate board

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

Read more

Why we shouldn’t worry about debt-to-income record

One big bank is arguing the debt-to-income ratio is the most “useless economic indicator out there.”

167.3%.

You’ll read a lot about these two numbers in the coming days. That’s the debt to income ratio for all Canadians and it just hit a new high in Q4 of last year.

It’ll be whipped out when arguing against mortgage debt and for policies aimed at safeguarding Canadians from taking on even more debt.

But it isn’t that simple, according to Benjamin Tal, chief economist with CIBC. And the ratio isn’t even that useful.

“The attractiveness of the ratio is that it’s simple —one number catches all. But as we all know, the cost of simplicity is, at times, very high. The ratio compares the stock of debt to the flow of income,” Tal wrote in response to the release of the figure. “You are not required to pay off your mortgage in one year, so on that ground, that approach is faulty.

“It’s also the debt of people with debt, relative to the income of people with and without debt. Again a suboptimal comparison. And if foreign income plays a role in the housing market (and it does) that income is not part of the calculation.”

Still, news organizations jumped on it.

“Canadian households owed $2 trillion at the end of 2016,” the CBC proclaimed.

“Debt-to-income hits fresh record,” Reuters said.

But while debt-to-income levels seem frightening, CIBC argues it’s anything but.

“In many ways this ratio is designed to rise. In the past 25 years, the debt-to-income ratio fell only twice,” Tal wrote. “In a normally functioning economy, debt will rise faster than income.

“For the ratio to fall notably you need a significant shock such as the US financial crisis which led to the US debt-to-income ratio falling from over 160% to 140%,” he continued. “Is the ratio rising too fast? Not really. Total real household debt is now rising by just over 4% (year-over-year)—a rate that is in line with the performance seen during the jobless recovery of the 1990s.”

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

Read more

Happy International Women’s Day

Today marks the annual event where people across the world aim to #BeBoldForChange – have you done anything to celebrate in your office? Let us know!

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling for change “by empowering women at all levels, enabling their voices to be heard and giving them control over their own lives and over the future of our world.”

Is your company taking great strides to ensure an equal work culture? We want to know – and to share your story.

Let us know in the comments below how you and your company are recognizing the special event.

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

Investment Hot Spots:
Newcastle Creek, Tribune, Wile Settlement, La Doré, Boileau

Read more
Page 1 of 4012345...102030...Last »