Now Creative Group June 26, 2017 No Comments

New Budget Plan Expands Opportunities for Ontarians

Ontario’s new budget plan has added several points to expand opportunities in the province.  Here are a few initiatives planned for 2017.

Affordable Expenses: It has been made easier for Canadians to pay for everyday expenses. This includes the Ontario Housing Plan, Ontario Seniors’ Public Transit Tax Credit, and the Ontario Caregiver Tax Credit.

Healthcare: The health investments will increase by $11.5 billion over the next three years. Moreover, prescriptions will be free for Canadians under the age of 24.

Education: The government has promised a new $5.5-billion investments for a stronger education system. There have also been more programs to support young children with who are dealing with intellectual and learning disabilities.  

Creating Opportunities:  For newcomers and current residents, there will be more options for Ontarians to thrive within the workforce and within communities. The government has created the Jobs and Prosperity Fund to enhance productivity, innovation, and export activities.

Balanced Budget: For long term economic growth, there are plans to improve Ontario’s unemployment rate. The government has planned to set an interim target.

Women Empowerment: The government has improved equality by increasing women’s wages and providing more corporate leadership roles.  There is also the Gender Wage Gap Strategy that will increase the wage for female dominated professions within the industry.

Moreover, the Ontario government has funded three initiatives to support the voice of Ontarians.

Reducing and Preventing Food Waste: Receive a budget of $600 000.

Improving Digital Services for Libraries: Receive a budget of $1 million.

Accessing Digitized Health Data:  Receive a budget of $1 million.

 

Now Creative Group June 20, 2017 No Comments

Moving towards a buyer’s market?

As Tembo outlined in our previous blog post, several trends were beginning to emerge in the GTA real estate market which benefits buyers. The first was that prices were beginning to plateau, with increases not nearly as large as the preceding few months. Secondly, listings of new properties were rapidly increasing, quickly improving the historically low stock of housing. And third, sales were beginning to slow down, and in some cases, decline.

With early June data now available, many of these trends are continuing. In Oakville, for example, prices have dropped by 9% in the month of May with sales also dropping a whopping 43%. In the GTA, listings continue to increase even as sales are declining and prices are leveling out, also new data shows that housing stock is returning to historical averages after years of extremely tight supply.

The sales to new listings ratio, a measurement of the new number of overall sales compared to the number of new listings have also dropped below 40% for the first time in many years. This shows that supply is increasing and demand is falling. A 40% sales to listings ratio means that for every 100 new houses listed, 40 have sold. 40% is considered balanced and usually implies that prices will increase, but modestly in the single digits. With a drop below 40% appearing to now be the case, the market appears to have begun to shift steadily from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.

These trends are likely to continue. Supply will continue to increase and will most likely exceed historical trends soon. The huge demand for housing has incentivized builders and governments to stimulate housing construction. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation recently released data showing single family detached home completions in the city of Toronto increasing by almost 5,000 units. Many new condos and townhouses are also nearing completion or under construction. Supply will continue to increase.

The key question is what will happen to sales and demand. If sales trends continue, demand will begin to fall. The result of increased supply and cooling demand will be downward pressure on prices. In the end, the market could end up providing two factors buyers love; plenty of supply and lower prices.

Now Creative Group June 13, 2017 No Comments

A More Balanced Housing Market

The latest Toronto real estate news reveals changing patterns. On the one hand, prices have tumbled slightly but are still 15% higher than this time one year ago. More and more home owners are listing their houses for sale on the market, with the latest figures showing a record breaking 42% increase in listings in late May. At the same time, the number of sales has dropped by over 20% and the amount of housing inventory is at almost generational lows despite the flood of new listings.

There is increasing downward pressure on prices in the market, and the average house price fell by 6% from April to May. Prices are beginning to dip because of a slowdown in sales and an increase in supply. The sales to listings ratio of Toronto housing (ratio of demand and supply) has been decreasing from record highs, this means that there are fewer sales and increasing listings on the market. The present ratio is now 39.5% as of May, which means that 39 houses were sold for every 100 new listings on the market. This is considered balanced, in that both buyers and sellers are benefitting, without one of the two groups in an over-advantageous position.

 

If present trends continue, prices could plateau overall or begin to increase at much more marginal levels than was previously the case. In Vancouver, a foreign buyer tax resulted in large prices declines, but those declines have been reversed and prices are now higher than ever. It would not be impossible for a similar long-term impact to occur in the Toronto market. Enhanced market balance will improve the health of the housing market and will assist those individuals who have long wanted to buy real estate and who couldn’t afford prices, were nudged out in aggressive bidding wars, or who weren’t happy with the buying options presented to them and wanted more choice.

 

Have you sold your home, and now can use an advance on your equity before closing day, perhaps you need money for renovations?  Tembo Financial can help!  Tembo offers this unique service to homeowners in Ontario and the GTA. You could receive your money in as little as 48 hours with no credit check and no appraisal* for expenses that matter to you.  Don’t wait, start today!

Now Creative Group June 9, 2017 No Comments

Ontario’s Movement for Affordable Homes

The Toronto housing market has soared up to 33% from a year ago, in which a detached home can cost up to $1.6 million. However, in recent news, Ontario has several plans to support housing across the province. Ontario has invested in more than 450 new affordable housing units in Toronto. It is an ongoing plan that will happen over the next 3 years. With this plan, Ontario will earn up to 2 billion in affordable housing across the province while Toronto will earn $600 million. This will mean more opportunities for the youth and the homeless to find affordable housing in the GTA.  

Despite the rising cost of housing, there a several opportunities for Ontarians to find affordable housing within Toronto. According to the The Globe and Mail, companies such as Daniels Corps and Tridel Enterprises Inc. will provide rent-to-ownership mortgage subsidy programs targeted towards individuals with lower wages and Toronto Community Housing residents. Moreover, Options for Homes have launched a 21- story condo in the Weston area. This newly planned apartment will include at least 640 units for individuals searching for new and affordable condos.  

This movement for affordable homes is part of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan. This plan will protect the investment of homeowners and increase stability within the housing market. The fair housing plan has a total of 16 measures to ensure the equality of real estate in Ontario. There are an additional 12 measures, that will be incorporated in future plans.

Now Creative Group June 7, 2017 No Comments

Real estate transforming transit projects in the GTA

In this blog post, Tembo will briefly outline 5 major public transit projects that will promote densification, reduce traffic and congestion, and spur development across much of the GTA.

Eglinton Crosstown: One of the largest construction projects in the world, the 19 km long Crosstown will run from Weston Road to Kennedy Subway Station in Scarborough. The $5.3 billion line will house 25 stations and will be half tunnel, half LRT. The project will promote densification in midtown Toronto and will improve travel times from Scarborough to West York and north Toronto as well. The Crosstown will be complete in 2021.

Relief Line: The relief line will run from Pape subway station south along Carlaw Avenue to the neighbourhood of Leslieville, after which the line will curve westwards toward the downtown core. Frequently described by officials and TTC management as the most important transit project presently in consideration, the Relief Line is crucial to relieving subway traffic at Yonge-Bloor and St. George stations. Environmental assessments and initial planning are underway. Once complete, the line will intensify development in the Beaches and Toronto’s East End.

Brampton-Mississauga LRT: At a cost of just under $2 billion, the Peel region LRT will link Brampton and Mississauga with major GO Train and SmartTrack stations while reducing the region’s reliance on car traffic. The LRT should increase public use of public traffic and provide Peel residents with an alternative to cars. The line is being heavily touted by officials as crucial in furthering the densification of Mississauga and its evolution into a more concentrated, less suburban city.

Vaughan Subway: The Yonge-University Spadina subway extension to Vaughan will be complete by the end of 2017. The line will cost well over $3 billion but is already spurring huge condominium development and intensification along its route.

Scarborough Subway: The one stop Scarborough subway was debated over many years ferociously by supporters and opponents. Finally approved, the subway will replace the aging Scarborough RT elevated train. Although exceedingly expensive given its one stop, the subway is strongly supported by Scarborough residents and will link Scarborough town centre with the rest of the GTA’s underground subway network.

All in all, these projects, once completed, will have a massive and positive impact on property valuations, traffic congestion, and the connectivity, efficiency, and economic growth of our region.

Now Creative Group May 30, 2017 No Comments

Land values surging in the GTA

In another sign of how strong and resilient the GTA’s real estate market is, housing suppliers are having trouble accessing land to build properties on because of incredible competition and strong demand from builders, developers, and construction companies. The cost of a single-family lot in a cheaper Toronto neighbourhood now averages some $500,000.00. Similar lots outside of the GTHA could cost from $100-150,000.00.

Government thirst for tax revenue has also increased land prices as development charges and fees have been steadily increasing over the past several years. While Toronto development charges are fairly low for regional standards, averaging roughly $25,000.00, other municipalities more dependent on real estate and development for their revenues charge much higher fees than Toronto. Prices for commodities such as concrete have risen, along with the costs of skilled labour, which are in very high demand, particularly in the condo construction side of the market.

While the prices of most housing continue to increase, albeit not as aggressively as before the government implemented a 15% foreign buyers tax and Home Trust ran into trouble, land prices are continuing to increase rapidly.

Land prices won’t be coming down anytime soon. The government of Ontario has been implementing comprehensive policies to restrict land for agriculture and greenspace for many years now. The hallmark policy along these lines has been the famous Greenbelt, which locks out housing development from a massive belt of land on the outer periphery of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Additionally, the government is imposing new rules on developers and builders, forcing them to build a greater proportion of residential housing in existing neighbourhoods as opposed to new subdivisions.

Farm land values in Ontario increased by over 155.5% from 2005 to 2015. This was the second highest increase in value in the country, overtaken only by Saskatchewan, where prices increased by over 200%. The average price of an acre of prime southern Ontario farmland is now just over $10,000.00.

Now Creative Group May 25, 2017 No Comments

Tembo Money Tips for a Rainy Day

Here are a few tips on how to save money in case of a bump in the road or a rainy day. It’s always important to consider ways to save money. These easy methods can make a huge difference in your savings and spending habits.

 

Move bank accounts

If you’re paying a monthly fee for your checking or savings account, you would benefit from researching some of newest banking offers out there. Not only do some banks offer sign-up bonuses simply for opening an account and setting up direct deposit, but some offer attractive interest rates to new customers as well or maybe even no fees.

Pay Yourself

Designate a certain amount of your paycheque as your pay and try to be disciplined in spending within the amount. Absolutely be sure to pay your bills and keep up with your responsibilities but try to allocate a piece of your pay that you are comfortable with so you can develop discipline and begin to save.

Automate your finances

If paying yourself first won’t work, consider talking to your bank about automatic deposits into your saving account. Your bank will automatically transfer a certain percentage of your paycheck into your savings account every time you get paid. You can also use automated services for paying bills.

Prepay your debt

You can save hundreds of dollars if you put more towards your debt, and avoid the high interest rates. Increasing your payment by even the slightest can save you a good amount in interest costs.

An emergency, accident, workplace change, increase in debt costs, or higher interest rates are all potential scenarios to keep in mind and to be prepared for. It’s always wise to better manage your money and to be mindful of the financial unpredictabilities of life.

 

 

 

Now Creative Group May 24, 2017 No Comments

Take advantage of a sizzling seller’s market

New taxes on foreign purchases, the start of the red hot Spring listing season, and continuously increasing demand for housing is reinforcing the GTA’s already rock solid seller’s market. The number of new listings has increased massively as of April 2017, with the latest figures showing a 33% upswing.

Homeowners who were previously reluctant to sell are now doing so in large numbers, recognizing the huge windfall potential of this historic market. For the time in many years realtors are reporting huge floods of new homes on the market which means more choice, flexibility, and less worry for buyers. Many buyers who have lost out on ferocious bidding wars and who have been waiting to buy will find it much easier to do so today and in the future.

As Tembo has previously written in a past blog, this is the best seller’s market in the history of the GTA. Never have low interest rates, a stable economy, and massive demand coincided with such force before.

If you are a homeowner looking to sell your home for a maximum return, this is time to do so. If you plan on closing a sale several months off into the future and need a deposit to purchase a new home or to downsize right away, Tembo can help. We provide equity advances on your sold property, so waiting for your closing date to get your money will now be a thing of the past. We do equity advances quickly, efficiently, and with the best customer service. We can have your funds ready in as little as 48 hours. Tembo takes the worry out of waiting for your money.

If you want to sell but realize your home could use a renovation to boost your sale price, Tembo can help. We offer short term loans for renovations, can provide the funds fast, and can help you see an even bigger return in this supercharged market. Studies show that a $25,000.00 renovation can increase the sale price of a house by over $100,000.00.

Have you sold your home, and now can use an advance on your equity before closing day, perhaps you need money for renovations?  Tembo Financial can help!  Tembo offers this unique service to homeowners in Ontario and the GTA. You could receive your money in as little as 48 hours with no credit check and no appraisal* for expenses that matter to you.  Don’t wait, start today!

Now Creative Group May 16, 2017 No Comments

A Strong Real Estate Market is Here to Stay

In this blog post, Tembo Financial will outline some of the main underlying foundations of the real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area. These foundations are the key pillars of strength, resilience, and health in our housing market.

Low rates: The Bank of Canada has interest rates set at 0.50% and there is no intention from the Bank to raise rates anytime soon. Inflation in Canada is at record lows and has been decreasing so there is little pressure on the Bank to raise rates.

Stable economy: Unemployment in Ontario is at 5.8%, the lowest level in over 16 years. Jobs are plentiful, consumer spending is strong, and there are several sectors which are growing quickly, particularly technology, advanced services, and finance. Governments are spending large amounts of money to support the economy and construction and development is widespread. Real estate in Ontario has always remained strong with unemployment at present levels.

Immigration: A strong economy and society are inviting for immigrants, especially when one considers the present situation in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. Record numbers of immigrants are entering Canada, and many of those migrants who have already lived in the country for some time are now buying housing and moving out of rentals. Net immigration will hit 350,000 a year for the foreseeable future. These new Canadians will need housing in the short, medium, and long term.

The Greenbelt: The Greenbelt is a massive tract of protected greenspace on the edges of the Greater Toronto Area that is blocked from housing development to preserve farmland and protect the environment. This has restricted supply, driven up the costs of land and thus of housing, and will stimulate other sectors of the real estate industry, particularly high rise condos and rentals.

Better regulations: The number of high risk, high debt mortgages in Canada is much lower than was the case in the United States a decade ago. While the cost of money is low, buyers need good jobs, solid credit, and fairly large deposits to secure mortgages and ultimately close a house purchase. Canada has been internationally recognised as having a strong regulatory system in place with regards to housing and mortgage issuance.

Stellar banks: Canada’s big five banks are widely regarded as some of the best run, most successful, and most profitable in the world. Our banking system operates under much more stringent regulatory system than many of our counterparts. Our banks are healthy and growing and were not bailed out by governments as was the case in the UK and the US. Canadian insurance companies are also financially solid and growing.

In combination, these five pillars have contributed to the most dynamic sellers’ market in the history of southern Ontario. Tembo Financial has great confidence in the long term health of the GTA housing market.

Now Creative Group May 8, 2017 No Comments

Effects of the Foreign Buyer Tax

On April 20, the Ontario government announced a 16-point housing plan aimed at improving affordability, increasing supply, and protecting renters. The plan’s centerpiece was a 15% Vancouver style foreign buyer tax on properties in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. In less than 2 weeks, the effects of this plan and the foreign buyer tax are already being felt.

Reactions from realtors have been numerous and strong. Some are saying that the market is beginning to cool and that buying has stalled, while others are reporting that demand is showing no signs of slowing down and that interest and energy remain strong.

The first effect has been a reduction of prices for some homes by a few points, particularly low rises, detached homes, and townhomes in Toronto. Sales were also down by 3.2%. Many new homes have been placed on the market and the supply of listings has soared. Nevertheless, prices generally continue to rise by double digit figures. The increase in April was 25% across the board. The new average selling price for a home in Toronto has now hit just over $920,000.00.

The Toronto Real Estate Board has said that the huge increase in new listings is a positive sign of the market reacting to pent up demand and that if the increases continue the market will become more balanced over the long term. Listings increased by over 33% in April. Although the broader impact of the Fair Housing Plan and the Foreign Buyer tax will take more time to materialize, a close examination of the Vancouver housing market reveals some of the potential long term implications.

Since August 2016, when British Columbia introduced the first Canadian foreign buyer tax in the Greater Vancouver area, prices fell strongly and sales fell by over 25%. However, as of April of this year, prices are again rebounding, with demand for all types of property still strong and increasing. Foreign sales, however, have dropped significantly and continue to fall.

If Vancouver is any indicator, foreign sales, however small, may decline long term in Toronto and the immediate effects on prices, if negative, could correct and rise again in the long run. What is clear is that many homeowners who were on the fence previously or who were waiting to sell are listing their homes now and increasing the supply for buyers.