Archive for the 'Real Estate' Category

Finding an investment property can be difficult in uncertain housing market conditions.

Housing affordability issues and new mortgage rules have blocked some Canadians from becoming homeowners and resulted in a housing shortage in several areas of the country.

The Huffington Post reported that the GTA population has risen by 100,000 in the past year, and the housing market there is under severe pressure. A report from the Ryerson University Centre for Urban Research and Land Development also found a “missing middle” in the GTA — affordable, family-friendly housing.

The property search issues aren’t just limited to Toronto, either. Last year in Calgary, CBC News reported that of the roughly 9,500 that had been listed in the first six months of 2018, only 4,200 sold, putting the sales-to-listings ratio at 44%.

Less urban areas, like Prince Edward County in Ontario, are becoming more popular living destinations – and as such housing is becoming harder to find there, as well.

In markets like these, many real estate developers and investors knock on doors to get business. It can be hard to find suitable properties, especially in multi-unit residential and commercial real estate.

But there is a way that searchers can beat the odds and find a great investment property, even when the pickings are slim: by using the right tools.

For instance, when real estate investors and developers use a tool like GeoWarehouse, they gain a competitive edge. This is because GoeWarehouse’s property tools allow users to research areas and neighbourhoods to find opportunities and know more about the property before initiating contact.

With GeoWarehouse, you could:

  • Estimate the property value using an AVM.
  • Compare sales in the area to find a neighbourhood where properties are moving.
  • Use a Demographics Report to learn more about who lives in a neighbourhood, including age distribution, marital status, ratio of owned/rented properties, and more.
  • Use a Parcel Register* to find registered encumbrances on properties.
  • Use a Property Details Report to locate and view a property you’re investigating from the comfort of your office.
  • And much more.

Tools like GeoWarehouse can reduce the legwork and help you maximize your time and effort to find properties before they even hit the market.

Want to use GeoWarehouse to find investment properties? Become a subscriber today. Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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Real estate professionals, the Teranet Market Insights Forum on February 12, 2019 is almost full. Don’t miss your chance to attend and receive exclusive insights into the Canadian housing market.

Details:
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
MaRS Discovery District
101 College Street, Toronto, Ontario

Speakers

Stéfane Marion
Chief Economist and Strategist at National Bank

Stéfane Marion is Chief Economist and Strategist for National Bank of Canada and National Bank Financial, a position he has held since November 2008. Mr. Marion is a sought-after speaker on economic trends and their financial implications and is ranked among the leading economists in Canada, according to Brendan Wood International.

National Bank Financial’s Economics and Strategy team is regularly ranked among the top Canadian forecasters and has won recognition for the accuracy of its projections.

In 2012, the C.D. Howe Institute appointed Mr. Marion to its Monetary Policy Council and to the newly established Business Cycle Council. He also sits on the National Bank Pension Committee.

Mr. Marion joined NBF’s Economic Group in 1999. Previously Mr. Marion worked for several years in the federal departments of Finance and Industry in Ottawa, where, in addition to economic analysis and forecasting, he also worked on microeconomic policy impact studies. In particular, he participated in the development of forecasting models and the analysis of the FTA and NAFTA free-trade agreements with the United States and Mexico.

Mr. Marion holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in economics from the Université de Montréal.

Roger Vandomme
Chief Data Scientist at SMC

Roger’s career has been built on the fundamentals of data analysis, predictive modeling and related decision-making. With 20 years in the credit bureau industry, creating credit scores all around the world, Roger has an outstanding unmatched skill-set in the field of predictive modeling. He has completed numerous studies and research on decision heuristics and biases, developing reasoning methods and processes around systemic design and game theory.

Roger created and manages a decision science boutique, SMC, that helps companies and institutions to optimize their strategic decision-making process through the application of mathematical models, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Roger teaches business analytics and machine learning at University of Toronto, as well as operational planning at the Canadian Forces College.

Roger holds a master’s degree in applied mathematics from Paris University, an MBA from Queen’s University, and a Master in Defense Studies with the Royal Military College.

Mark Huttram
Director of Business Development and Marketing at Teranet

Mr. Huttram will reveal exclusive market insights and updates from Teranet.

Don’t miss this opportunity. Register for the February 12, 2019 Market Insights Forum here: http://ci23.actonsoftware.com/acton/media/2216/teranets-market-insight-forum

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Attention leaders in the financial and real estate industries – this is an event you will not want to miss. On February 12, 2019, Teranet is hosting our first Market Insights Forum of the year and the lineup is excellent!

Being that the housing market and real estate economy is on the top of everyone’s minds, we thought what better topic to cover and have invited amongst others, Stéfane Marion, Chief Economist and Strategist at the National Bank to speak on the subject.

Also on the agenda is Roger Vandomme, Chief Data Scientist at SMC. Predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence can all help with strategic decision making – especially in an uncertain market. Mr. Vandomme is an expert on how to put raw data to good use for your real estate business.

You can view full event details here: http://ci23.actonsoftware.com/acton/media/2216/teranets-market-insight-forum

The event is almost full so if you plan to register please do so as soon as possible.

The February 12, 2019 Teranet Market Insights Forum runs from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the MaRS Discover District, 101 College Street, Toronto, Ontario.

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November 6, 2018

Real estate sales professionals, do you serve the condo market in your sales territory? If not, you should consider starting. If you already do, read on for tips to help you sell even more.

In many cities, the condo market is a sweet spot because it is the cheapest entry point into the housing market. For example, in Toronto or Vancouver you can still buy property for $500,000 in the condo market — handy for new homeowners who would be priced out of larger homes.

Whether you are selling in the Toronto condo market, the Vancouver condo market, or another area, there’s a lot of room for opportunity — especially if you use a real estate tool like GeoWarehouse.

In the past, when real estate agents would search for a condo address, it would be difficult to source the unit or suite. Now, however, they filter by floor, parking, or even by storage level in GeoWarehouse to get the unit data they seek.

With these search functionalities, the possibilities expand. Now you can use GeoWarehouse to get the same property report information on the condo market that you would on other dwelling types.

For instance, you could:

  • See all condo units in a building.
  • Search by level if the suite number or address is missing.
  • Look up related Property Identification Numbers (PINs) for condos to find the property report, including plans and surveys, valuation information, and sales history.
  • Access the full legal description for every condo unit.
  • Find out if the condo owner has additional assets, such as parking or storage lockers.
  • Look up common name information.
  • Search for condominium corporation information.
  • Find the date of condominium declaration.

The GeoWarehouse data team has been hard at work updating the addresses for close to a million condo properties in the past year. Can you think of how you could use this information?

Access your condo market data today to use in your real estate marketing and property searches. It’s all part of your GeoWarehouse subscription.

Not a subscriber? Contact us today. Call 1-866-237-5937 or visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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There is a lot of opportunity available for private investors in real estate. Often, though, we hear about private investors who find it hard to compete with big investment firms who have deep pockets and seemingly endless resources.

There is a way to level the playing field, though: real estate technology.

You need access to technology that not only helps you source deals, but also properly evaluate what a property is worth in order to make effective buying decisions.

Our FREE new eBook will walk you through exactly how to use this technology to source more properties, find opportunities before they’re listed, and be more competitive.

In this eBook, you’ll learn:

  • How to access the same property data large investment firms use.
  • A better way to investigate potential investment areas.
  • About property investment tools that can help you evaluate the property’s financial position quickly and accurately.

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly how to compete with larger investors with deeper pockets and understand what technology can help you get there.

This eBook is available today for free. Just click here to get started downloading.

GeoWarehouse is your source for property searches and more. All of our data comes from the Province of Ontario Land Registry Information System, meaning that it’s accurate, up-to-date, and available when you need it.

Learn more about how we can assist with your real estate investment business today. Contact John Singh at 416-360-8863 ext. 2557 or email john.singh@teranet.ca.

 

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August 27, 2018

Helping Clients Find A Down Payment They Can Afford

One dollar isn’t that much money in the grand scheme of things, but when it comes to buying a house it can make all the difference.

Back in February of 2016, Canadian mortgage rules tightened concerning mortgages over $500,000. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced changes to the required down payments.

This is how much down payment is required per house purchase price:

Purchase price of home: $500,000 or less

Minimum down payment required: 5% of the purchase price

Purchase price of home: $500,000 to $999,000

Minimum down payment required:

  • 5% of the first $500,000 of the purchase price
  • 10% for the portion of the purchase price above $500,000

Purchase price of home: $1 million or more

Minimum down payment required: 20% of the purchase price

Those who are self-employed or who have poor credit history may be required to provide a larger down payment. With new mortgage stress test rules, it may be beneficial for a client to put down a more significant down payment to pass the stress test.

This might be a miniscule difference when it is on a smaller scale, however, it can quickly increase.

Take for instance a client who wants to purchase a $400,000 house vs. a $600,000 house ($20,000 minimum down payment vs. $35,000 minimum down payment). Or a client who wants to purchase a $900,000 house vs. a $1.1 million house ($65,000 vs. $220,000 minimum down payment).

It’s possible that real estate sales professionals might not even feel this impact because people are getting declined when looking for mortgage pre-approvals, therefore they never engage a real estate agent.

How can you help a client who wants to buy, and is on the line?

  • Independently check the values of interest properties. Make sure the property values are in line with the price being advertised.
  • Look for pockets where the client could get into the market – different neighbourhoods, dwelling types, etc. One neighbourhood might be out of their range, but they could get the same-sized house a little further away.
  • Review different scenarios with the client so they set realistic expectations. For instance, while the $1.1 million house may have different features from the $900,000 house, the down payment would cost at least $155,000 more. Similarly, the $400,000 may not have all the features as the $600,000 house, the down payment would be at least $15,000 less.

GeoWarehouse has the tools that make you the property expert. Help your clients find the properties and neighbourhoods where they can make the minimum down payments with ease.

Learn more about our property reports and neighbourhood search features at www.geowarehouse.ca.

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April showers (or snowstorms as is sometimes the case in Canada) bring May flowers — and in the case of the Canadian real estate market, spring home buying season.

Historically, the highest number of residential listings occur in May. In May of 2016, for example, there was an average of 94,000 listings, according to Canadian Real Estate Association data. May and June also tend to have the highest number of sales, with an average of 52,000.

How can you be prepared for the spring Canadian real estate market? Our top tips can help you get started.

  1. Assess Your Market

The spring home buying season of 2018 could look different from spring buying seasons of years past due to new factors — specifically, rising interest rates and new Canadian mortgage rules. Understanding your real estate market and how they may be affected by these changes is important to being prepared. At the very least, you may receive questions about these changes and if your target market is particularly affected, you may want to look into different products and promotions that could help your clients.

There is an easy way to understand the make-up of your target market — a Demographics Report. For example, the Demographics Report from GeoWarehouse tells you age distribution, marital status of residents, average household income, and much more. Another tool that can help you understand the current real estate market is the Teranet Market Insights report. View the latest edition here.

  1. Reach Out to Your Network

Leading into the spring buying rush is a good time to get your ducks in order, and that might include connecting with your network. There are two main networks you might want to consider, the first being mortgage agents and lenders. Reaching out to your contacts in these fields can help you understand what products they are offering that your clients can access.

The second market you can touch base with before the rush are your leads, prospects, and current clients. Checking in to see how things are going could alert you to new opportunities or you could notify potential clients of opportunity they may not even be aware of — such as the value of their home or comparable sales in their neighbourhood.

  1. Have a Real Estate Marketing Plan in Place

The spring season can be competitive, but you can stand out from the crowd with a solid real estate marketing plan. Knowing where you’ll spend your advertising dollars and having your marketing components, be it real-world or digital, created in advance can save you a lot of time and effort once busy season hits.

Identify the top places for new real estate leads with tools, such as the GeoWarehouse Property Details Report, or the Comparable Sales Report. This data can help you target up-and-coming neighbourhoods and prospects.

  1. Prepare Your Team

If you work with others in your office, make sure you are all on the same page. Understanding who does what and how priorities might shift during the busy season can help you cope when the rush does come. Any tasks that aren’t essential to you can be delegated, giving you more time to work on identifying new leads and working with clients.

  1. Use Technology to Speed Up the Sales Process

Once the spring home buying season is underway, you’ll want the sales processes to be as smooth and efficient as possible. Technology can help with this. For example, GeoWarehouse’s reports, images, and searches make finding property information quick and easy so you’ll be able to identify the value, mitigate fraud risk, and save time and money.

Are you a GeoWarehouse subscriber? If you are a real estate sales professional, you may already have access through your real estate board. If you’re not and would like to become one, learn more about our services at www.geowarehouse.ca.

We’ve also got even more great reports in our online store, including property ownership history, instrument images, surveys, plans and other vital data that could make or break your deal. Get more information at http://www2.geowarehouse.ca/buy-now/.

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April 9, 2018

At the best of times, generating a property value can be challenging depending on the sales comps available. Often, your clients’ expectations can be out of alignment and they have a deep emotional attachment to their home. But as a real estate sales professional, there are certain factors you need to consider when determining property value. Are you valuing it too low and could get more money for the listing? Or too high and it won’t sell?

In a good housing market, these questions might be answered with time and experience, especially if you’ve been selling in a particular neighbourhood for many years and have a feel for the local real estate.

However, in a turbulent housing market, such as the one many experts agree Canada is currently experiencing, even the highest level of experience can make generating an appropriate list value nearly impossible.

Particularly if you are selling in a more volatile housing market, such as the Toronto real estate market, generating a property value is a difficult exercise. New mortgage rules, increasing interest rates, and the foreign buyers’ tax are just some of the new regulations that have been introduced in the past two years, which have shifted the market. And there could be more coming.

So, how can you cope? How can you adapt to an ever-shifting market and generate list values that are going to sell and earn you a profit?

The easiest, most accurate, and most reliable way is using technology.

Tools, such as GeoWarehouse’s Property Details Report, can provide an unbiased look at a property’s value. It can compile historic and current data to give you the very best overview. It contains valuable information about a property, including the Land Registry information, MPAC assessment data, property ownership information, sales history data, images of the property and more. This report can be used when determining a property’s market value and because it is completely customizable, it is a fantastic sales and research tool.

Another tool that can be of assistance when generating a property’s list value is GeoWarehouse’s Comparable Sales Report. This enables you to search for comparable sales in a particular area. You can perform a property search by radius, sales time-frame and price range. This report is an essential tool in your tool kit because it places the information that you need at your fingertips.

Generating a property value doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. You can take out the guesswork with reliable, complete, and accurate tools, such as the GeoWarehouse reports. The information contained within can help you navigate even the most turbulent of real estate markets.

For more information on the Property Details Report and the Comparable Sales Report, or to register for GeoWarehouse, visit www.geowarehouse.ca.

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Investing in real estate is one of the most popular ways to make money. Despite predictions of market downturns, real estate continues to grow better than many other investments. Real estate can be a key part of an overall investment portfolio and retirement planning strategy for smart investors.

However, building a real estate investment portfolio is not for everyone. In most cases, building a real estate investment portfolio is not for people who are looking for a quick gain. While investing in real estate can be financially rewarding, there are also downsides.

Real estate investing, at its simplest, is where money is made from rents, not real estate value appreciation. There’s always an expectation that property will go up in value, but that doesn’t always happen. The market may bottom out, or owners may have to sell suddenly, losing money on carefully considered investments. Plus, investing in the residential market, such as with a rental property, may mean investors need to be prepared for midnight phone calls from tenants.

This is where you come in as a trusted real estate professional. Working with your clients, you can do the necessary investigative work to help build their real estate investment portfolio.

Investors, developers and property owners remain positive, if cautious, about the outlook for Canada’s real estate market in the year ahead. The rest of Canada faces unique regional challenges, while the lack of supply in Toronto and Vancouver continues to drive high demand. There isn’t a single market where savvy investors can’t find opportunities to invest if they leverage the right technology and do the required research and legwork.

Many investors have a sizeable portion of their overall net worth tied to a hard asset such as owning their own home, or paying off a mortgage. The key thing to remember is that no one asset type should take up more than 50% of any investment portfolio, but what takes up that 50% differs from investor to investor.

Before investing in real estate, clients need to be prepared to undertake extensive background research on the property, the market and potential tenants, as well as to check for any issues relating to the property. Information that you, their real estate sales professional, can provide easily and quickly with the right tools at your fingertips.

Most people want to invest their money so they have something for their retirement to help supplement whatever retirement plan they may have. Do you invest in RRSPs or real estate? Check this out: http://www.moneysense.ca/save/retirement/retirement-planning-real-estate-rrsps/

In fact, some say storage facilities are the new hot investment trend: http://www.macleans.ca/economy/business/canadas-new-real-estate-war/

How are you helping clients looking at investing in real estate in today’s real estate market? Join the conversation @GeoWarehouse.

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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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