Buying or selling your home right now? Here’s what the real estate landscape looks like these days

[CBC - June 22, 2020] The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March. Subsequently, the number of home sales in Canada fell sharply as social distancing measures were put in place, open houses got cancelled and fewer new listings became available. Three months on, the Canadian real estate market is no longer in free fall —  sales and listings numbers are rising (though both are down significantly compared to last year), and prices have remained fairly steady — but there continues [...]

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Posthaste: Here are three promising data points that show the Canadian economy is ready to rebound

[Financial Post - June 3, 2020] Rays (plural) of good news are piercing through the gloom surrounding the Canadian economy. And not surprisingly, the country’s resilient housing sector is among the first to report a rebound. Home sales jumped 53.2 per cent in May month-over-month, suggesting that April’s dramatic plunge in sales may have been the market’s low point. Another crucial statistic was new listings that rose 47.5 per cent during May, compared to April, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. The [...]

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Not even the pandemic slowed Vancouver real estate

[The Globe and Mail - June 15, 2020] Stories about Vancouver’s housing market often border on the absurd, and the latest seemingly tall tale fits that mould: Home prices have actually ticked higher during the COVID-19 pandemic. The phenomenon is not limited to Vancouver. Prices of houses and condos in Toronto were also higher in May than they were in February. Vancouver, however, remains in its own hard-to-believe category. The benchmark price of a house on the city’s west side in [...]

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Reopening Canada: The economy survived the crash, but making it thrive again will depend on all of us

Reopening Canada: The economy survived the crash, but making it thrive again will depend on all of us

[Financial Post - June 25, 2020] 'Fundamentally, humans are scrappy and resourceful when faced with crises,' one small-business owner says “We survived.” Chrissy Durcak, chief executive and founder of Montreal-based Dispatch Coffee, was talking about her company, but she could have been talking about the broader economy, too. In April, the COVID-19 crisis was so terrible that the Bank of Canada couldn’t rule out the possibility that we were in the early stages of a depression. While not its base case, the central [...]

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Canadian Real Estate and the New Mortgage Rules

[Re/Max - July 1, 2020] Canadian real estate has been a tough nut to crack for some homebuyers, and those with less than 20 per cent as a down payment now face another challenge, with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s (CMHC) tighter qualification rules for borrowers of high-ratio mortgages. This move is in response to the global pandemic that has left many Canadians vulnerable. The changes, which include lower debt thresholds and higher credit ratings, are in effect as of [...]

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5 Easy Feng Shui Tips You Can Implement In Your Home Today

[The Zoe Report - June 17, 2020] A mirror facing your front door, a bed placed under a window, and a cluttered desk all have one thing in common: According to the Chinese practice of Feng Shui, they all disrupt the good energy flow — or qi — in your home. But don't stress if any of these describe the current state of your pad. Just as easily as you've unknowingly blocked your qi, you can get it flowing again, [...]

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REAL ESTATE: Home Sales Vital To Economic Recovery

[BC Local News - June 5, 2020] Having pushed the restart button and emerged into the “New Normal,” we discover that B.C.’s economic engine is but a shadow of its former self. Citizens and businesses must now face the long-term consequences of the national measures taken to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. No amount of government stimulus funding will make up for the loss of personal income, investments and business revenue incurred during the shutdown, and all the federal stimulus money [...]

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Reopening B.C.: Priorities changing as real estate market ramps up

[Vancouver Sun - June 26, 2020] Vancouver chiropractor Beverley Steinhoff is looking to swap views for gardens. She is listing her 1,700-sq.-ft. condo at the top of south Granville — which looks out on the city, mountains and ocean, and is close to several parks — so she can move into a townhome in Shaughnessy that has a beautiful garden. “We’ve always had a lot of access to green space where we live, but we wanted more privacy,” she said. As open houses [...]

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How to get around Canada’s harsh new mortgage rules – Come July 1, 2020, it will be a lot harder to get the feds to back your mortgage.

[Financial Post - June 16, 2020] The tighter lending rules coming into force July 1 will make it harder for some Canadians to buy homes, but mortgage pros say panicking won’t do you any good. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced plans in early June to reduce borrowing limits, demand higher credit scores and restrict down payments for anyone who needs default insurance from the agency. That kind of insurance is mandatory for “high-ratio” buyers putting less than 20% [...]

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An argument for not getting your mortgage at a bank

[Globe and Mail - June 4, 2020] A pandemic financial hardship story has revealed the expensive trap built into mortgages offered by big banks. If you have to get out of a mortgage before it comes up for renewal, expect to pay a penalty to the lender. But penalties differ among lenders, with banks at the high end. An Ontario real estate agent recently decided to put her house up for sale because her income had dropped as a result of the [...]

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