Real estate industry prepares for a battle

Seven years ago, an advertising executive wanted to experience the bright lights and excitement of competing in a boxing match. So he launched Agency Wars – an event specifically for ad execs who wanted to show off their pugilistic skills.

This year, that same man is bringing the sweet science to the real estate industry.

“Over the period of those years, we’ve perfected the methodology. We have two teams, red and blue; we train the boxers as a team. For a lot of these people it’s the first time they’ve ever been in a boxing ring or gym,” Michael Clancy, founder of Agency Wars and now Toronto Real Estate Rumble, told CREW. “It’s reality show stuff; it’s amazing the transformation and drama they go through. You get in a ring, people throw punches at you, and it’s a transformative experience. We want it to be a really rewarding experience.”

A total of 24 amateur boxers – all from the real estate industry – have been chosen, following a rigorous tryout period, to take part at the event, which takes place Wednesday, November 22 in Toronto.

Clancy, who got into boxing at the age of 50, founded the events as a way for industry professionals to experience the allure of a big ticket boxing event.

“We want you to have that feeling. It’s like the ultimate fantasy. It’s a fantasy camp for boxing – you are going to work and train like a boxer for 12 weeks. We’re going to give the whole experience of the fight as well; the entourage, the robes, 600 spectators, ring card girls, cameras,” he said. “When I first put the show on I wanted to feel how Floyd Mayweather feels. We carefully put together something that gives the full experience that you’ll want to tell your grandkids about.”

The chosen boxers are currently embarking on a 10-week training program, which includes numerous weekly training sessions, nutritional counselling, and world-class coaching from elite-level boxers and trainers.

The real estate combatants will become legitimate amateur boxers, and the event is properly sanctioned by the Boxing Canada to ensure the utmost safety.

Boxers wear headgear and oversized gloves and, according to Clancy, the worst injuries that have occurred over seven years of running Agency Wars were bloody noses.

As for the real estate industry’s own iteration of the event, Clancy says those particular professionals will make perfect boxers.

“It’s very metaphorical for real estate guys: It’s a hard, competitive business and you don’t win every day,” he said.

The event is also raising money for two good causes: The We Foundation and imagine1day. It’s supported by a number of industry partners, incuding Garrison Hill Developments, Foundry Mortgage Capital, Concrete Mortgage Capital.

To find out more about the event, to purchase tickets, or to become a sponsor, check out the website here.

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Qualifying rate to increase?

This is when one association is predicting the qualifying rate might jump.

A potential Bank of Canada benchmark rate increase has been the talk of the industry for the past few weeks, with many invested parties speculating on when the government will make the move.

For its part, the British Columbia Real Estate Association is predicting the Bank will hold off until 2018.

“While the likelihood of the Bank raising its target rate by the end of 2017 has certainly increased, we still expect the Bank to hold off until early 2018, particularly if oil prices remain low and inflation fails to pick up,” Cameron Muir, BCREA chief economist, wrote in his latest Mortgage Rate Forecast Report.

As a result, the association is also predicting the five-year qualifying rate will jump from 4.64%, as it stands today, to 4.74% in Q1 2018.

The average five-year mortgage rate, meanwhile — which sits around 2.61% — will jump to 2.79% by the end of Q3 2017, and then to 2.9% in Q4 and 3.05% in Q1 2018.

The qualifying rate is expected to hit 4.84% by Q4 2018 and the average five-year mortgage rate is predicted to reach 3.35%.

That’s the not-so-good news for those who plan to delaying buying a home until then. However, the rate increases will be the result of overall economic recovery.

“The Canadian economy has finally returned to good health following the rapid and dramatic decline of oil prices in late 2014 and the consequences of wildfires in Alberta last year. Since the third quarter of 2016, the Canadian economy has expanded at an average rate of 3.5 per cent, well above the Bank of Canada’s estimate of 1.7 per cent sustainable long-run growth,” Muir wrote. “After posting nearly 4 per cent growth in the first quarter of this year, we expect that real GDP growth will slow slightly to around 2.4 per cent in the second quarter with the economy ultimately growing 2.5 per cent this year and 2 per cent in 2018.

“If the economy continues to accelerate, and growth in real GDP is higher than currently expected by the Bank, slack in the economy could be eliminated by as early as the end of this year, which could push up the timetable for monetary tightening.”

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CREW closes the book on the most successful investor forum to date

CREW closes the book on the most successful investor forum to date.

The Investor Forum in Toronto was held March 5-6 in Toronto, and this is what some of the thousands in attendance had to say about the show.

“My wife and I were wowed at the amount of information available. Which was exactly what we were hoping for.”

“(It was) a great chance to network!”

“I enjoyed the investor’s forum. Lots of information and opportunities in real estate.”

“Great tips from people who are established in the industry.”

“I really enjoyed the investor forum. The topics were carefully chosen and diverse. The experience levels of the speakers were great and we found a ton of time for networking. There was a nice balance that we enjoyed. Great Job.”

The event drew investors in droves from across the country to learn, mingle, and network. The top investors across the country were also recognized.

The winners were all gracious and well-deserving. Among them were a father-son duo who are taking the investment game by storm.

“I won in 2013 but I’m really happy Brandon is involved in this,” Mike Oswin, who along with his stepson Brandon Checkley, took home the alternative investor of the year award. “It will help him launch his career.”

The event was such a success, a number of sponsors have already signed on for 2017.

So far, seven organizations have already signed on as Gold Partners for 2017; Feltrim Group, Connect Asset Management, ABC Capital Investments, Sandy Point Real Estate, Jamaica National, Atlas Capital and Asset Management, and StreetWise Mortgages.

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:
Forest Glade, Thrums, Upper Kent, Lethbridge, Midland

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Investors not as hard-hit as previously thought?

The final stats are in for one hard-hit market, and they show more optimism than some agents may have expected.

Sales stats for Edmonton — which were compiled by industry veteran Duane Ritter, an agent with RE/MAX, and shared with MortgageBrokerNews.ca – and they show two seemingly contradictory trends.

Sales were down, which should come as no surprise to agents, but prices were up year-over-year.
The average price for a single-family home in Edmonton was $437,569, a 1% year-over-year increase. The average price for a condo, meanwhile, was $252,511 – a 0.4% year-over-year increase.

Overall, the average price for all residential properties increased 1.5% year-over-year to $371,511.
“2015 was a steady year for real estate in Edmonton. Edmonton and the surrounding areas experienced a decline in sales due to economic uncertainty, but we saw a slight increase in price that demonstrated that the market remained relatively stable,” Geneva Tetreault, Edmonton chair for the Realtors Association, said. “This began to cool in the fall months as inventory remained higher than normal.”

According to Tetreault, buyers continue to take advantage of low interest rates.

The market also evolved over the course of the year.

“An influx of listing at the beginning of the year meant that buyers had a larger selection of homes and were able to take more time selecting properties than in previous years,” Tetreault said. “We continue to see a tight market in the popular $400,000 price range for single-family homes.”

Still, it was a tough year for Edmonton – especially considering the boom its enjoyed on the back of the oil industry.

For his part, Ritter has been in the industry for 32 years and has seen it all. He remains bullish on Edmonton’s future.

“I’ve seen three or four of the corrections and this one has a very different,” Ritter told REP. “There isn’t as much panic and there has been no push to lower prices.”

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:
Laurier-Station, Centre Rawdon, Tiverton, Barss Corner, Saint-Lazare

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Squeezing landlords out?

An increased crackdown on landlords will force many out of the industry according to one, who argues the onus should be on both landlords and tenants when it comes to certain necessities.

“Now that they’ve started down this path of beating up landlords, it will only increase,” one landlord, and CREW reader, wrote in the forum section. “The end result will be landlords getting out of the business, lower vacancy rates and increased rents.”

That comment was in response to a CREW article about the crackdown on landlords who fail to provide the necessary fire prevention measures.

Two landlords in two separate cities are facing substantial fines for building code violations, proving shortcuts can be costly.

A property owner in St. Catherines, Ont., was ordered to pay $8,000 for fire code violations and will also face probation.

In a separate case, an Alberta landlord – who had previously been warned about building violations – was fined over $20,000.

In that instance, the owner ignored warnings to address improperly-sized basement windows as well as fire alarm installations.

But should the onus be placed squarely on landlords?

“In the past, landlords were never fined; a certain amount of onus was put on tenants. One can pick up a fire alarm for $10, and an extinguisher for $25,” the reader wrote. “I see this as more ‘blame the other guy.’ Put all the onus on one party. When one party bears no responsibility it encourages laziness, the blame game, false claims, lawsuits.”

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:
Priceville, Perkinsfield, West Lake Ainslie, Upper Granville, Niagara-on-the-Lake

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