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Archive for December, 2017

In November, the Teranet–National Bank National Composite House Price Index™ was down 0.5% from the previous month, the third consecutive monthly decline and the largest for a month of November outside of a recession. Indexes were down for four of the 11 metropolitan areas surveyed: Toronto (−1.4%), Hamilton (−1.6%), Ottawa-Gatineau (−0.8%) and Edmonton (−0.7%). Indexes for the two West Coast markets, Vancouver and Victoria, were flat. Indexes were up for Montreal (1.0%), Quebec City (0.9%), Halifax (0.8%), (Calgary 0.7%) and Winnipeg (0.5%). For Toronto, it was the fourth straight monthly decline, for a total drop of 7.1%. For Hamilton, it was the third straight decline, for Ottawa-Gatineau and Edmonton the second.

However, the raw index* for Toronto was up 0.2% in November after four consecutive monthly declines totalling −8.5%. The retreat did not occur uniformly across all types of housing. The condo sub-index fell 4.4% in two months and then partly recovered with a gain of 2.3% over the last two months. Meanwhile, the sub-index for other types of housing declined in each of the last five months, for a total drop of −10.8%. Last month’s decline was the smallest of the five at −0.6%. November’s increase in the raw index could have been caused by some buyers rushing to buy before the implementation in January of the new ruling on qualification to an uninsured mortgage. The assumption of a rush is based on the fact that sales rose from October to November, bucking the usual seasonal trend.

Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index™

The stabilization of the Vancouver index in November came after six consecutive months of all-time highs. The condo subindex has been especially vigorous, 10 consecutive months of increases for a total rise of 19.0%. The Montreal and Halifax indexes were also at record highs.

In November the composite index was up 9.2% from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month gain since June 2016 and a fourth consecutive deceleration from record 12-month gains of 14.2% in both June and July. The November 12-month rise was led by Victoria (14.0%), Vancouver (13.5%), Hamilton (12.3%) and Toronto (10.6%). The 12-month advance was much smaller in Montreal (6.7%), Ottawa-Gatineau (4.9%), Halifax (2.1%), Calgary (1.8%), Quebec City (1.0%), Winnipeg (0.8%) and Edmonton (0.2%).

Among 14 markets not included in the countrywide composite index, indexes for Barrie and Oshawa were down for a fourth straight month and those for Brantford and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo for a third straight month. All 14 indexes were nevertheless up from a year earlier, though the 12-month increase ranged widely from 3.7% in Thunder Bay to 19.3% in the St. Catharines–Niagara market

For the full report including historical data, please visit our website: https://housepriceindex.ca

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December 11, 2017

Generating real estate leads in today’s market can be challenging. With record-breaking prices in Vancouver and Toronto, rising interest rates, changes to mortgage rules, new government real estate regulations, and more inventory than demand in some Canadian markets, it’s an interesting time in real estate, to say the least.

The key to success is in picking the lead generating strategies that are effective in your current market conditions. Tougher market conditions require a different approach when generating real estate leads.

Here are 7 lead generating strategies you can apply to your business:

  1. Call, email, text or message everyone in your database and offer a complimentary market evaluation to identify who may be interested in selling.
  2. Develop a professional alliance network with stagers, mortgage brokers, secondary lenders, home inspectors, credit counselors, bankruptcy trustees, real estate lawyers, builders, contractors and more.
  3. Position yourself as a knowledge expert by creating charts, graphs or other visuals of key market stats clients want to know. Share by email, social media, or as a hand-out at your next client event.
  4. Use social media – from posting hot listings to offering staging advice, there are so many ways you can connect with potential clients through social media.
  5. Ramp up your prospecting efforts and increase your face time with potential buyers and sellers from client events to telephone prospecting, door knocking and open houses.
  6. Join a community or professional association, such as Lions or Toastmasters. The more people in the community who know you work in real estate, the more likely you will get unsolicited referrals.
  7. Get involved in the community. You can do this by sponsoring a children’s soccer or baseball team. Go to the games and participate in their fundraising initiatives. You could also host a community garage sale, or set up a neighbourhood watch program.

If you set aside two to three hours a day to generate new leads, it will help you succeed in the real estate business. Lead generation is all about numbers – the more people you talk to, the more leads you will find. Set a goal for the number of people you are going to talk to everyday and make it non-negotiable. Do not leave work until you have reached your goal.

However, none of your efforts will matter without prompt and effective follow up. Always contact your leads as soon as possible. In most cases, the first person to call back gets the client. With quick and timely follow-up, you could add more leads to your roster.

The ultimate strategy is simple. Ask everyone you meet, and we mean everyone, if they know anyone that may be interested in selling or buying real estate, and if they’d be comfortable referring you to assist them. Even if they don’t, give them your card. Now they know who to refer the next person they meet seeking real estate help to.

With the resources available through GeoWarehouse, you can market yourself as the go-to real estate sales professional of choice, and you’ll be generating real estate leads in no time.

Not already a GeoWarehouse subscriber? Learn more by visiting www.geowarehouse.ca today!

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December 4, 2017

Straw buyers in real estate represent a common form of fraud where someone convinces someone else with good credit to act as a “straw buyer”. These are often very hard to spot. Lenders, brokers, and real estate professionals of all kinds have been fooled, primarily because straw buyers work very hard to look like real buyers. Their documents look right, they have a social insurance number, an address… everything on paper makes them look like a real buyer.

How can you spot straw buyers in real estate? Often, straw buyers are tricked into believing they will not be responsible for the mortgage payments. They may be told that they’ll get a cut of the sale profits if they participate. Sometimes straw buyers are willing participants in real estate schemes, with criminal intent or not, but it’s always illegal.

Fraudsters use straw buyers in property transactions for several reasons, including:

  • Fraud, such as constantly flipping a home to falsely appreciate the value.
  • Hiding the property from the government for tax reasons.
  • Using the home for illegal activities, such as marijuana grow-ops or meth labs.

What is a straw buyer in real estate? Here are some common signs of real estate transactions involving straw buyers:

  • The sale documents list the selling price way too high.
  • A lot of flipping over a short period at increasingly higher prices.
  • Inflated appraisal.
  • Misrepresentation of property characteristics or purpose.
  • Multiple-unit property presented as single dwelling, or having fewer units.
  • Misrepresenting a buyer’s intention to live in the property.
  • Rental property represented as owner-occupied.

The most common straw buyer scenario is Person A wants to buy a property and convinces Person B to act as the buyer to obtain terms that Person A couldn’t get.

Sometimes straw buyers are victims of identity theft and have no idea they’re a straw buyer! In this scenario, Person A steals B’s identity, and forges all of their information on the purchase and loan papers. There are a number of ways to prevent identify theft you can find online here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-avoid-or-recover-identity-theft.

In any scenario, it pays to do your due diligence as a real estate sales professional in order to avoid any transactions involving straw buyers. It begins by educating yourself to spot the signs of a straw buyer scheme. You also need to have access to the right tools and technology to quickly and efficiently identify real estate fraud as early as possible in the application process.

If you are not already a subscriber, then you may not be aware of the powerful suite of tools and technology available through GeoWarehouse.

Visit www.geowarehouse.ca today to learn how you can identify straw buyers in real estate.

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