Saturday, December 29, 2012

Municipal Land Transfer Tax

Municipalities in Ontario are gearing up to force the Province to grant them authority to charge a municipal land transfer (LTT) on home buyers.

Currently allowed only in Toronto, the land transfer tax, potentially may spread to other areas of Ontario. It threatens to increase the cost of home ownership province wide.  According to a recent study by the C.D.Howe Institute, this tax has resulted in a 16% drop in the volume of residential sales in Toronto.  It has meant that home buyers pay and average of $15,000 up front every time they move due to the municipal tax above and beyond the provincial land transfer tax.  The spread of this tax to other regions in Ontario will increase the cost of home ownership across the province.  Extending the power to levy the municipal LTT to other municipalities in the province will lower home values by adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a residential real estate transaction.  In addition, the LTT would price many low-middle income Ontarians out of the market entirely.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Is the Market Different this Time Around? 1992 versus 2012


Before 1992, many of the purchasers were blindly optimistic and unrealistic amateur speculators, and by amateur I mean they had no understanding of the market, of financing issues, or of what they were buying.

The 2012 purchaser is either someone buying a home for themselves, or an investor, intent on owning and renting their condo for the long term. Even speculative investors who may consider selling to make money on their unit are financially capable of completing the purchase, so all types of buyers contribute to stability in the marketplace.


Canadian Bank lending policies effectively prevent people from buying property they cannot afford, and prohibit many predatory lending practices.

Many of these policies and systems were either not in place or were not as effectively enforced in 1992 as they are now.


Canadian banks today demand substantial deposits from every purchaser, usually 20% or more of purchase price, before construction can begin. That means, on a typical $300,000. Suite, $60,000. or more IN CASH has been paid In Trust during the pre-sale period, a substantial commitment from a serious buyer.

Prior to 1992, purchasers were blithely buying suites with $500. deposits, naively expecting to resell those suites in weeks or months and make thousands of dollars on their $500, with no intent and certainly no hope of ever actually closing their purchase. To make matters worse, these amateurs were buying 3, 4, 5 or more units.

Today’s buyer, whether an investor or someone buying the suite for themselves, has significant cash in the purchase and the proven means to purchase, because of reason #4.


Every purchaser today is “papered”, meaning they have been pre-approved by a bank or bona-fide financial institution for the full amount of the mortgage that will eventually be granted on the unit. On our typical $300,000. suite with 20% down, the purchaser has qualified for a $240,000 mortgage.

That’s a far cry from the late 80s and early 90s, when there was often sketchy documentation and purchasers were often not vetted properly, if at all.


Today’s condo activity is fuelled by genuine demand for housing. With up to 100,000 people moving into the GTA annually, and virtually no rental housing stock being built, the present already-existent demand for condominiums, either to rent or to buy, is constant and increasing.

Before 1992, the purchasing activity was fuelled not by already extant population growth and market demand, but largely by hoped-for growth and theoretical future demand.


Pricing today reflects real world construction costs. The average new condominium today in Toronto costs around $500 per square foot.

In the late 80s and early 90s, many new condominiums in Toronto were selling for around $400 per square foot, 80% of today’s price, a price that bore no relation to the underlying costs and hence value.

In 1992, the sticker price on a Chevy Camaro was $12,075.00

The sticker price on a 2012 Camaro is $27,965.00

Imagine a 1992 Camaro sticker priced at $27,965.00, more than double it’s “natural” price.


In 1992, 5 year mortgages were around 9.5%.

Today’s low interest rate environment, anticipated to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future, makes it possible for many more people to own than ever before. Large markets with many purchasers are stable markets.


The Baby Boom generation is looking two ways as they retire: some want the bucolic nostalgia of living in an ersatz country village of their imaginations, and are selling their homes and moving to “Retirement Villages” far away from the hustle and bustle of the city; others are enthralled with that hustle and bustle, the theatres, the nightlife, the cultural activities, the sheer adrenalin that comes from living in the heart of a large city, and are opting for downtown condominiums, further increasing the demand for prime city locations.


Typical single family home lots are in short supply and getting tighter. Single family homes are increasing in price. Condominiums, as in every big city in the world, are the only realistically-priced form of housing for the average person.


People today marry later, if at all (54% of Toronto’s couples of various ages are NOT married) and for many of these couples, the idea of “freedom ownership” that comes with a condominium, where they own a property but don’t have to maintain it, is very appealing.


In 1992, the Canadian dollar was worth 86 cents US and many buyers thought that made Toronto real estate a “bargain” regardless of the price. Many people expected the Toronto real estate market, especially in the eyes of overseas investors, to become less appealing as the Canadian dollar appreciated in value to parity or near-parity with the US dollar. Paradoxically, the Canadian dollar’s strength has solidified the world’s perception of Canada as a possibly dull but unquestionably reliable country, a sort of Super-Sized-Switzerland.

Importantly, 2012 purchases are being driven, NOT by currency valuations, but by the simple fact that Toronto real estate is seen by the rest of the world as good value, a solid, stable and desirable investment.


In 1992, although there was no shortage of tyrants, there had been no Arab Spring, no Iraqi war, no destabilized and/or non-existent governments in Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Egypt.

Toronto in 2012 is safe, tolerant, stable and secure. And although we share with Miami the statistic that about 50% of our population is foreign-born, Miami’s foreign-born population is almost exclusively Hispanic, while our foreign born residents come from every corner of the globe, making for a unique pastiche of cultures: everyone from anywhere can feel comfortable in Toronto.

What a great place to own real estate.

provided by Nestor Repetski

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Olde Meadowvale Village - 886 Pine Valley Circle

Olde Meadowvale Village offers such diversity in residential real estate housing.  In this unique exclusive Historical Village you can find homes ranging from 1836 to the present day.  Monarch's last phase of their development of Gooderham Estates offers housing such as this one below with an age of only 6 years old. 

This home is situated on a premium 65' lot in the South West corner of Mavis Road and Derry Road in North Mississauga.  Public, Private, Middle and High Schools are all walking distance from this home. It features gleaming hardwood floors, soaring 2 storey ceilings, 4 bedrooms with 2 of them having their own ensuites, granite counters and a centre island with breakfast bar in the kitchen along with a butler servery.  What a wonderful community to live in!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Retirement Living in Mississauga

We all save for our retirement and then what? We can have our days packed with lunches, weekly outings to the casinos or a professional sporting event. Working out in a state of the art health centre or playing billiards in the weekly tournament. Sometimes we don’t have to get out of bed until after lunch and sometimes we don’t have to go to bed until after midnight.

You would think we were all back in college but no - this is the life in the new retirement communities of today.

The decision to make a move from your current residence into a continuing care retirement community is one of the biggest challenges we as Canadians have to face and more than often with a great deal of reluctance. It is difficult to part with the family home and let go of the prized possessions collected over a lifetime and equally difficult to face the fact that we may someday need more assistance with the day to day routines we currently do in our lives.

In particular Boomers are starting to change things and now desire to plan ahead or escape the large upkeep and maintenance of the house and yard.

Selecting the right place to go can be equally as challenging once the decision is made to do it.

Decide What You Would Like: Compile a wish list of what you would like to have in the dream community as to housing options, location, activities, transportation, availability of care and all the other amenities that would make you feel at home. Prioritize the order of importance and narrow it down to make the search easier.

Personally Check Out Communities: Research the communities that meet your requirements. Go beyond the internet – talk to residents, understand monthly costs and fees and ask your lawyer to look at the community’s financial outlook. If your needs change are more services available?

Immerse Yourself: Ask for an invite to dinner or lunch – go for coffee – wander through the gardens. This will help you visualize day to day life.

Involve the Family: Ask your family to be involved – they may see things that you may not. They also can provide a strong support when you finally make your decision. Their input is invaluable.

Use Professionals: Hire professionals to help you with the downsizing move. They can be beneficial in helping you dispose of personal articles that you cannot take along. There are many companies or individuals who specialize in this service.

Design your new space: Settle into your new pad in easily by arranging furniture and decor in a manner that was similar to your home. They will help you settle in quicker and take away some discomfort.

Get to know the players: Introduce yourself to the staff and residents as they now live with you. Create an open relationship. The more the staff knows about you – the more they can provide assistance.

Establish a routine: This will help you stay connected with familiar people and faces.

Let the fun begin: Get involved with activities. You will be surprised but others will share your interests as well be it cards, backgammon, walking, shopping, gambling – oops – not us?

Adjust the Attitude: A positive attitude is extremely important through this process. You will never feel lonely as there is always someone around when you need them. Someone to give us a lift when we need it.

Transition is a major life change but keep this tips in mind to reduce stress and live your life to the fullest. You will wish you had moved ten years.

Retirement Communities Directory for Mississauga:

To view a current retirement condominium for sale:

309-830 Scollard Court Mississauga


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Luxury Real Estate For Sale

                Exclusive Gordon Woods - Mississauga,ON Canada
Opportunity Rarely knock to find such a home of quality and distinctive finishes.  elegant setting in Gordon Woods under a canopy of white pine and spruce trees.  almost 11,000 sq.ft.of living space including a completely finished lower level with sauna, spa, nanny quarters, entertainment room, wine bar and cellar.  Fabulous kitchen with 2 islands, walk in pantry, butler servery.  This home is tremendous in size but not ostentatious due to its unique architectural design.  Offered for sale at $3,975,000
*All Articles pertaining to Financial Matters are Offered by a third party unrelated to my services. Please ensure you seek-out the advice of your own financial expert. The rule of thumb is to get the advice and rates of three separate companies or professionals*