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It's Chai time celebrating 18 Years in Real Estate

I fully appreciate your support over the years. Thank you for your business, your referrals, for reading my reports and generally appreciating and encouraging my work as I celebrate 18 years in the business, a “Chai” achievement, and still top 10. Looking back onto the detour taken to my second career, as a realtor, and my success,  I owe it all to you and thank you for helping me get to this point. I am looking forward to more of your broad smiles through your continued success and happiness in your home and investments.

Despite the winter weather and borrowing rates remaining high, January’s home sales of 4,223 were 37% higher than January 2023. A great start to 2024! Buyers were plentiful. However, while the number of new listings was up, they were only up 6%, thereby contributing to tighter market conditions raising the specter of increased bidding wars, which has already started. 2 weeks ago, a listing of mine attracted 2 early low offers that were, on my advice, rejected. 8 days later we had 4 offers competing and sold the home for 6.8% more at more than 97% of asking. My prediction is multiple offers will become the reality again this year as the Bank of Canada starts cutting its borrowing rates, likely in the second half of 2024.

We simply do not have the housing supply to support our population increase through immigration to Canada and Toronto real estate prices reflect it. The various governments have responded with programs to boost supply to satisfy demand but red tape, permit delays and funding obstacles continue to keep housing starts stymied.  Prices are rising and will continue to rise more dramatically while all levels of government posture to garner votes rather than achieving progress to balance the Buyer/Seller field. The land is there, builders are ready, willing, and able. Yet building permits contiue to take years, not months, to be issued.

How about more purpose-built rental buildings?  Everyone knows we need more! But with a one-sided Landlord and Tenant Act and related rent control system in favour of tenants, few builders are prepared to build rental units. While the idea of rent controls is a good one, unless it finds more balance, it continues to fail everyone. While the situation is challenging and regrettable there is no quick fix.  

Think about it? Borrowing rates are about to fall while house prices and rents are bound to increase. If you are considering upgrading your current home, downsizing, or looking to purchase an investment property, great real estate opportunities exist today! Perhaps you have a child who will be entering university in a few years, is a pre-construction condominium the right fit for you? Each situation is different and merits analysis andadapted  guidance that works for you.

Give me a call, let's talk! After all, I am here to help you and you won’t do better than your friend and Point Man in Real Estate, MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR YOU!

To a Good Life!

Sam Chaim


Happy Chinese New Year

Embrace the fiery spirit of the Dragon and ignite new beginnings this Chinese New Year! As we welcome prosperity and good fortune, let's soar towards our real estate dreams with determination and courage. Wishing you a year filled with abundance, joy, and successful investments.


January 2024 | Toronto Real Estate Housing Market Update

Home sales were up in January 2024 in comparison to January 2023. This annual increase came as some homebuyers started to benefit from lower borrowing costs associated with fixed-rate mortgage products.

New listings were also up year-over-year but by a lesser annual rate compared to sales. The resulting tighter market conditions when compared to the same period a year earlier, potentially points toward renewed price growth as we move into the spring market.

There were 4,223 sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System in January 2024 – an increase of more than one-third compared to January 2023. The number of new listings was also up year-over-year but by a lesser annual rate of approximately 6%.

Stronger sales growth relative to listings suggests buyers experienced tighter market conditions compared to a year ago. On a month-over-month seasonally adjusted basis, both sales and new listings were up. Sales increased more than listings which means market conditions tightened relative to December 2023.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite in January 2024 was down by less than 1% year-over-year in January. The average selling price was down by one per cent year-over-year to $1,026,703. On a month-over-month seasonally adjusted basis, both the MLS® HPI Composite and the average selling price also trended lower.

If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell, connect with me as I’d love to Make A Difference For You!

Read Full TRREB Market Stats Report


Three Ways to Stand Out In The Spring Market

Spring – the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the “For Sale” signs are sprouting up on lawns all around you. This can be one of the best times to list your home, which also makes it one of the most competitive times. So, how can sellers stand out in a busy spring market? We asked RE/MAX affiliates across Canada to share their top tips.

Clean up Outside
Pressure washing your driveway, sweeping your front walkway and picking up winter debris such as twigs and branches are incredibly important steps to take to make your property look its best once the snow has cleared.

It’s important to wash windows and frames on the outside of your house and touch up exterior doors and trim with paint if necessary. Roof gutters and siding should also be cleaned and maintained.

Any extra cars should be parked away from the property, and spring toys and bikes shouldn’t be left outside.

Steps can also be taken to improve landscaping. Adding flowering plants and shrubs will add colour to your home. Be sure to tidy flower beds and maintain your lawn. If you have a pet, be sure to clean up any droppings on a regular basis.

A well-manicured curb appeal can make the difference when everything is in full swing. Don’t overdo it with the flowers and plants, as there are also people thinking about high maintenance yards when buying a home, which could end up being a turn off, even when it looks pretty.

Freshen Up Inside

The inside of your home should be tidy with no clutter. Light fixtures, appliances and windows should be cleaned. Be sure to move large appliances and clean in and around where they usually sit.

If you have a garage, make sure you keep the floor swept. Make sure doors and windows throughout the house aren’t squeaking.

You might want to consider purchasing a new welcome mat at the front door, adding new bedding and purchasing candles that have a nice smell that’s not overwhelming. A fresh bouquet on your kitchen table or counter is a great way to keep the space smelling and looking great.

Once your house is clean, get professional photos taken to make each room look its best. Good photography can go a long way in helping a home stand out from the others.

Be Sure the Price is Right

The spring market is an incredibly popular time of year for sellers to list their homes. If you have priced your home too high, buyers will likely opt to look at similar, more reasonably priced homes. I will take in many factors to help you list your home at a price that is competitive with other listings, yet a fair deal for you.

Also consider putting the home on the market a bit earlier than the regular spring crowd. This will limit the amount of competition and get the eyes of serious buyers on your property first.



Real Estate Terms: RE/MAX Home Buyer’s Glossary

Home Buyer’s Glossary: Real Estate Terms You Should Know

The length of time allotted to paying off a loan – in home-buying terms, the mortgage. Most maximum amortization periods in Canada are 25 years.

Assessed Value
The dollar value assigned to a property by a public tax assessor for taxation. This valuation forms the basis for determining property taxes owed by the owner.

Balanced Market
In a balanced market, there is an equal balance of buyers and sellers, which means sellers often accept reasonable offers, homes sell within a good amount of time, and prices remain stable.

Bridge Financing
A short-term loan designed to “bridge” the gap for homebuyers who have purchased their new home before selling their existing home. This type of financing is common in a seller’s market, allowing homebuyers to purchase without having to sell first.

Buyer’s Agent
The buyer’s agent represents the homebuyers and their interests in the transaction. On the other side of the transaction, the listing agent represents the seller and their interests.

Buyer’s Market
In a buyer’s market, there are more homes on the market than there are buyers, giving the limited number of buyers more choice and greater negotiating power. Homes may stay on the market longer, and prices can be stable or dropping.

This is the last step of the real estate transaction, once all the offer conditions outlined in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale have been met and ownership of the property is transferred to the buyer. Once the closing period has passed, the keys are exchanged on the closing date outlined in the offer.

Closing Costs
The costs associated with “closing” the purchase deal. These costs can include legal and administrative fees related to the home purchase. Closing costs are additional to the purchase price of the home.

Condominium Ownership
A form of ownership whereby you own your unit and are interested in common elements such as the lobby, elevators, halls, parking garage and building exterior. The condominium association is responsible for building and common elements maintenance and collects a monthly condo fee from each owner based on their proportionate share of the building. Condos often have guidelines regarding noise, use of common areas and allowable renovations within the units.

A condition or clause in a real estate contract that specifies certain events must occur or certain conditions must be met before the contract is legally binding.

Curb Appeal
The visual attractiveness of a property when viewed from the street or sidewalk. It’s often the first impression potential buyers have of a home and can significantly impact their perception of its value.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)
A financial metric used by lenders to evaluate a borrower’s ability to manage monthly payments and repay borrowed money. It is calculated by dividing an individual’s total monthly debt payments by their gross monthly income, often expressed as a percentage. A lower DTI suggests that the borrower has a good balance between debt and income, making them a less risky loan candidate.

An up-front payment is made by the buyer to the seller at the time the offer is accepted. The deposit shows the seller that the buyer is serious about the purchase. This amount will be held in trust by the agent or lawyer until the deal closes, at which point it is applied to the purchase price.

Down Payment
The down payment is the amount of money paid upfront for a home to secure a mortgage. The minimum down payment in Canada is five percent of the home’s total purchase price. Down payments of less than 20 percent of a home’s purchase price require mortgage loan insurance. The mortgage loan amount is the selling price minus the deposit and down payment.

Dual Agency
Dual agency is when one real estate agent (or real estate brokerage) represents both the homebuyer and the seller in a real estate transaction. There are limitations and requirements around dual agency, which differ by province.

The difference between a home’s market value and the amount owing on the mortgage. This is the portion of the house that has been paid for and is officially “owned.”

Fixed-Rate Mortgage
A fixed-rate mortgage guarantees your interest rate for a pre-determined amount of time, typically five years. When the term expires, you can stay with the same lender or switch to a different one.

Freehold Ownership
A form of ownership whereby you own the property and assume responsibility for everything inside and outside the home.

The legal process through which a lender takes control of a property due to the owner’s failure to make mortgage payments. Initiated after a series of missed payments, foreclosure ultimately results in the sale of the property, usually at a public auction, to recoup the lender’s losses.

Gross Debt Service
The percentage of your total monthly income that goes toward housing costs. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. recommends your GDS remains at or below 39%. Check out CMHC’s Gross Debt Service calculator.

High-Ratio Mortgage
A high-ratio mortgage is a mortgage where the borrower has less than 20% of the home’s purchase price to make as the down payment. A high-ratio mortgage with a down payment between 5% and 19% of the purchase price requires mortgage loan insurance. In Canada, 5 percent is the minimum amount required for the down payment.

Home Appraisal
A qualified professional provides a market value assessment of a home based on several factors such as property size, location, age of the house, etc. This is used to satisfy mortgage requirements, giving mortgage financing companies confirmation of the mortgaged property’s value.

Home Buyers’ Amount
This is a $5,000 non-refundable federal income tax credit on a qualifying home, providing up to $750 in tax relief to assist first-time buyers with purchase-related costs.

Home Buyers’ Plan
federal program that allows first-time homebuyers to withdraw up to $35,000 interest-free from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to help purchase or build a qualifying home. The borrowed amount must be repaid within 15 years to avoid paying a penalty.

Home Inspection
The home inspection is performed to identify any existing or potential underlying problems in a home. This protects the buyer from risk and gives the buyer leverage when negotiating a reduced selling price.

Home Warranty
A warranty that protects the homeowners against future problems with the home for a determined period of time. New home builders are required to offer warranty protection to homebuyers, such as Tarion in Ontario. Home warranty requirements and providers differ by province. Home warranty programs also exist for resale homes.

Land Survey
A land survey will identify the property lines. This is not required to purchase a home, but it is recommended and may be required by the mortgage lender to clarify where the owner has jurisdiction over the property. This is important if issues arise between neighbours or the municipality, should the owner wish to make changes in the future, such as installing a pool, fence or other renovations involving property lines.

Land Transfer Tax

This is the tax payable by the buyer to the province in which the transaction occurred upon transferring land. The amount varies depending on the municipality, land size, and other factors. Most provinces have Land Transfer Tax, though it may have a slightly different name (such as property purchases tax). If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may be eligible to receive a rebate, typically processed at the same time as the land registration, to offset the costs.

Low-Ball Offer
An offer on a home that is significantly below its market value or the asking price set by the seller. In a buyer’s market where supply exceeds demand, you might have more leeway to make a lower offer. When demand exceeds supply in a seller’s market, making a low-ball offer is generally not advisable as sellers have the upper hand.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
A database where real estate agents list properties available for sale or rent. It is a centralized platform allowing agents to share comprehensive information about listings, including photos, features, and prices. The MLS is often considered the most accurate and up-to-date source for real estate listings, and it provides the data for many consumer-facing real estate websites.

Mortgage Loan Insurance
If your down payment is less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price, mortgage loan insurance is required. It protects the lender in case of payment default. Premiums are calculated as a percentage of the down payment, changing at the 5%, 10% and 15% thresholds.

Mortgage Pre-approval
A mortgage pre-approval helps buyers understand how much they can borrow before going through the mortgage application process. It allows you to make an immediate offer when you find a home since you know how much you’ll be approved for that lender and locks in the current interest rate for a period of time, insulating you against near-term rate increases.

An offer is a legal agreement to purchase a home. An offer can be conditional on several factors, the most common being financing and a home inspection. If the conditions are not met, the buyer can cancel their offer.

Transferring your mortgage (and the existing interest rate and terms) from one property to another.

Replacing an existing loan with a new one, typically to secure more favourable terms such as a lower interest rate. Homeowners often refinance their mortgage to reduce monthly payments, shorten the loan term, or access equity for home improvements or debt consolidation.

Seller’s Market
In a seller’s market, there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. With fewer homes on the market and more buyers, homes sell quickly in a seller’s market. Prices of homes are likely to increase, and there are more likely to be multiple offers on a home. Multiple offers give the seller negotiating power; conditional offers may be rejected.

Title Insurance
Title insurance is not mandatory in Canada, but it is highly recommended to protect both the buyer and the mortgage lender against losses related to the property title or ownership, such as unknown title defects, existing liens against the property’s title, encroachment issues, title fraud, errors in surveys and public records, and title-related issues that could prevent you from selling, leasing or obtaining a mortgage. Your lawyer can advise you on this.

The process by which financial institutions like banks and insurers assess the risk associated with a loan, insurance policy, or investment. Underwriters evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness, the property’s value, and other factors to determine loan eligibility and terms. This risk determines whether the loan should be approved, and if so, at what interest rate and down payment requirements.

Variable Rate Mortgage
A variable rate mortgage fluctuates with the prime rate. Your monthly payments remain the same, but the proportion of your payment going toward principal versus interest can change.

Virtual Deals
The home-buying process completed using technology in place of face-to-face contact. Some common technology tools include 360 home tours and video showings, video conference calls, e-documents, e-signatures, and e-transfers.

Mastering real estate terminology and understanding the nuances of real estate terminology in Canada are critical steps for anyone buying, selling, or investing in property. Whether you’re navigating mortgage rates set by the Bank of Canada or simply trying to interpret the language of a property listing, a solid grasp of the terms used can empower you to make smarter decisions and provide you with the tools you need to navigate the Canadian real estate landscape with confidence.



January 2024 | Bank of Canada Rate Announcement

The Bank of Canada maintains its overnight rate at 5%, with a focus on restoring stability. 

Global growth slows, inflation eases, and our nation's economy faces challenges.  Despite near-zero growth, a gradual recovery is anticipated in mid-2024. 

Seeking a trusted mortgage broker to guide you through the financing maze? Connect with me, and I'll hook you up with an exceptional mortgage broker who understands your unique needs.

Unlock the door to your dream home effortlessly! 

Read Full Report


I have sold a property at 145 Clifton AVE in Toronto

I have sold a property at 145 Clifton AVE in Toronto on Jan 22, 2024. See details here

Live the good life in Bathurst Manor! Enjoy the warm, welcoming feel of an extensively reno’d home (2011) with fully finished basement + seperate entry to the basement suite and continuously improved, it's Move-in Ready! With multiple zones to gather and enjoy, both inside and out, you will find the wood fire pit and screened gazebo to be magnets for the family plus renovated bathrooms, newer deck and worry free timely updates. The sheltered porch leads to bright rooms, sun-filled all day. Large L-shaped living/dining room for entertaining (room for your baby-grand piano!) Loads of living space on 2 levels, with a bonus 1-bed nanny/inlaw suite. Carson Dunlop Inspection report available. Check out the Features of This Property for all details, upgrades and improvements.


Searching for the perfect mortgage broker?

I've got the inside scoop on the absolute best in the business.I’ll provide you with a referral that goes beyond just transactions; it's about making dreams come true. Your journey to home sweet home starts here! It’s always a privilege to Make A Difference For You!

Sam Chaim
RE/MAX Realtron
(416) 543-7252


December 2023 | Toronto Real Estate Housing Market Update

While the overall demand for housing remained buoyed by record immigration in 2023, more of this demand was pointed at the rental market. The number of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales in 2023 came in at less than 70,000 due to affordability issues brought about by high mortgage rates.

There were 65,982 home sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System in 2023 – a 12.1 per cent dip compared to 2022. Despite an uptick during the spring and summer, the number of new listings also declined in 2023. The trend for listings has been largely flat-to-down over the past decade, which is problematic in the face of a steadily growing population. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, sales increased compared to November, while new listings declined for the third straight month.

The average selling price for all home types in 2023 was $1,126,604, representing a 5.4 per cent decline compared to 2022. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the average selling price edged higher, while the MLS® Home Price Index Composite edged lower.

While the housing market faces challenges with affordability, high mortgage rates, and a dip in sales, we are committed to making a difference for you. Contact me today to discuss a winning plan!

Read Full TRREB Market Stats Report


How To Prepare Your Home For Winter

Winter is a season that brings along chilly temperatures, snow, and icy conditions. While it is a beautiful time of year, it is crucial to take certain precautions and make necessary preparations to ensure that your home remains warm and cozy during this period. As you take the time to prepare your home for winter, you can not only protect your property from potential damage but also create a comfortable and inviting space to retreat to during the coldest months of the year.

Essential Tips in Preparing Your Home for Winter

Heating System Maintenance

Schedule a professional inspection to ensure that your furnace or heat pump is in good working condition. Clean or replace air filters regularly to improve air quality and maximize efficiency. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to regulate temperature and save energy during winter. Additionally, ensure to stock up on sufficient fuel or arrange regular deliveries to avoid running out during the colder months.

Protect Plumbing and Pipe

Drain and disconnect outdoor hoses and shut off exterior water sources. Insulate exposed pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting. In cold weather, allow faucets to drip slowly to prevent freezing. It is also advisable to know the location of your main water shut-off valve in case of emergencies. You may also insulate your water pipes if you’re planning to take a vacation during winter.

Check Your Roof and Gutter

Clean out gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage. Consider installing heating cables along the roof edges to melt ice and prevent the formation of ice dams. Inspect your roof for any damage or leaks and repair them promptly. Additionally, ensure the downspout is away from your home to prevent flooding and water damage. Installing gutter guards is a valuable investment as they can effectively keep debris out.

Ensure Smoke Detectors are Working

Smoke detectors play a crucial role in safeguarding our homes and the lives of our loved ones. It is essential to regularly check and ensure that these devices are in proper working condition. Here are a few steps to follow to ensure that your smoke detectors are functioning effectively:

  • Test the alarms

  • Replace batteries if needed

  • Remove dust and debris on the sensors

  • Check your smoke detector’s expiration date

  • Test interconnected smoke detectors

Ensure Proper Insulation

Proper insulation is crucial in keeping your home warm and preventing heat loss. Check for gaps or cracks in windows, doors, and walls, and seal them with weatherstripping or caulk. Insulate your attic, garage, and basement, as these areas are prone to heat escape. Protect your attic from pests that may seek shelter during winter by inspecting for entry points and placing a screen beneath any vents. If you suspect an infestation, it is advisable to contact pest control.

Emergency Preparedness

Stock up on winter essentials. Keep an emergency kit handy, including flashlights, batteries, candles, blankets, and non-perishable food items. Have a supply of rock salt or sand to melt ice on walkways and driveways. Consider investing in a generator to ensure a backup power source during potential outages.

Protect Outdoor Furniture and Appliances

Remove any dirt, debris, or stains that may have accumulated during the summer months. Once your outdoor furniture and appliances are dry and clean, consider applying a coat of protective sealant or paint to wooden furniture and rust-resistant spray or paint on metal furniture to protect it from corrosion. Additionally, consider using waterproof covers for your appliances to shield them from rain, snow, and ice.

If possible, store your furniture and appliances indoors for the winter months to provide the best protection against extreme temperatures and weather conditions. If indoor storage is not an option, try to find a covered area, such as a garage or shed, where you can store them. Make sure to elevate them off the ground to prevent moisture damage.

Final Thoughts

Preparing your home for winter is not just about keeping your living space warm; it’s about ensuring the safety, comfort, and well-being of your family during the colder months. A well-prepared home not only saves you money but also allows you to embrace the beauty and serenity of winter with peace of mind. So, as the temperature drops, take these steps to make your home a warm and inviting haven for the season ahead!



New property listed in Bathurst Manor, Toronto C06

I have listed a new property at 145 Clifton AVE in Toronto.

See details here

Live the good life in Bathurst Manor! Enjoy the warm, welcoming feel of an extensively reno’d home (2011) with fully finished basement + seperate entry to the basement suite and continuously improved, it's Move-in Ready! With multiple zones to gather and enjoy, both inside and out, you will find the wood fire pit and screened gazebo to be magnets for the family plus renovated bathrooms, newer deck and worry free timely updates. The sheltered porch leads to bright rooms, sun-filled all day. Large L-shaped living/dining room for entertaining (room for your baby-grand piano!) Loads of living space on 2 levels, with a bonus 1-bed nanny/inlaw suite. Carson Dunlop Inspection report available. Check out the Features of This Property for all details, upgrades and improvements.

If you know someone who may be interested in this home or is thinking about a move please fell free to share this infomation.


New property listed in Bathurst Manor, Toronto C06

I have listed a new property at 145 Clifton AVE in Toronto.

See details here

Live the good life in Bathurst Manor! Enjoy the warm, welcoming feel of an extensively reno’d home (2011) with fully finished basement + seperate entry to the basement suite and continuously improved, it's Move-in Ready! With multiple zones to gather and enjoy, both inside and out, you will find the wood fire pit and screened gazebo to be magnets for the family plus renovated bathrooms, newer deck and worry free timely updates. The sheltered porch leads to bright rooms, sun-filled all day. Large L-shaped living/dining room for entertaining (room for your baby-grand piano!) Loads of living space on 2 levels, with a bonus 1-bed nanny/inlaw suite. Check out the Features of This Property for all details, upgrades and improvements.

If you know someone who may be interested in this home or is thinking about a move please fell free to share this infomation.


How to Assess an Offer on Your House

When you’re in the process of selling in Canada, it can be confusing to navigate an offer on your house and figure out whether any are worth accepting. Assessing offers on a house involves carefully considering various components to ensure the best outcome for the seller. Whether you are in the vibrant cities of Toronto and Vancouver or the tranquil landscapes of rural Canada, our guide can help you secure an offer that meets your financial and real estate goals.

Assess Financial Components

The financial components of the offer are the first thing sellers look at when considering an offer. This step involves a detailed examination of the offered price, the earnest money deposit, and any additional financial considerations that might impact the transaction.

Evaluate the Offer Price – The offer price is often the most immediately scrutinized component of an offer. Compare the offered price with your property’s appraised value and the insights gained from your Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This comparison will help you determine how the offer aligns with your expectations and the current market conditions.

Weigh Against Financial Goals and Needs – Beyond market comparisons, assess how the offer on your house aligns with your financial goals and needs. Consider the net proceeds from the sale after accounting for closing costs, agent commissions, and any outstanding mortgage or liens on the property. Reflect on whether the offer meets your financial objectives and accommodates your plans.

Assess the Buyer’s Commitment – The deposit reflects the buyer’s commitment to the transaction. A larger down payment typically signifies a serious buyer, reducing the risk of the deal falling through. Some buyers might even include a deposit cheque or personal letter indicating they are just as interested in buying the home as you are in selling it.

Analyze Offer Conditions

Analyzing the conditions within an offer is a crucial step, as these stipulations can significantly impact the progress and finalization of the transaction. Conditions are clauses within the offer that must be fulfilled for the sale to proceed, and they often include aspects related to financing, inspections, and additional terms that can be deal-makers or deal-breakers.

Buyer’s Mortgage Pre-Approval and Financing Stability – Evaluate the buyer’s financial readiness by reviewing any financing conditions. A buyer with a mortgage pre-approval is generally more reliable, as this indicates a lender’s preliminary commitment to lend. Assess the stability of the buyer’s financing, considering factors such as the down payment amount, type of loan, and the lender’s reputation.

Home Inspection Conditions – Home inspection conditions are standard in most offers. Anticipate potential issues that might arise during the inspection, such as necessary repairs or system upgrades. Be prepared to address these concerns by negotiating price adjustments or agreeing to undertake repairs before closing.

Closing Date – Evaluate whether the proposed closing date aligns with your relocation plans, giving you ample time to move out and ensuring a smooth transition to your next residence. While a sooner closing date might be tempting for quicker access to funds, it’s essential to balance convenience with practicality. Assess your ability to meet the proposed closing date and consider whether a more flexible timeline might benefit both parties, reducing stress and allowing for unforeseen delays or complications.

Accept, Reject, or Counteroffer?

After meticulously evaluating the offer, understanding your property’s value, analyzing financial components, and dissecting various conditions, you reach a critical juncture: deciding whether to accept, reject, or counter the offer.

Accepting the Offer – If the offer aligns well with your expectations and needs, communicate your acceptance promptly and clearly. Ensure that all parties are informed and that acceptance is documented in accordance with local and provincial regulations.

Crafting a Counteroffer – If some aspects of the offer are not satisfactory, identify areas for negotiation. Be clear about your requirements and what adjustments are needed to reach an agreement, whether it’s the price, closing date, or specific conditions.

Rejecting the Offer – If the offer falls significantly short of your expectations and there is little room for compromise, it may be in your best interest to reject it. Communicate your decision diplomatically, providing clear reasons for the rejection and, if possible, offering guidance on what would make the offer acceptable.

Navigating through the intricacies of assessing an offer on your house in the Canadian real estate market is a journey that requires knowledge, diligence, and strategic thinking. Reach out to us to learn more.



Bank of Canada maintains policy rate, continues quantitative tightening

The Bank of Canada has maintained its target for the overnight rate at 5% and is continuing quantitative tightening. The global economy is slowing, and inflation has decreased. 

In the United States, growth remains strong, but it is expected to weaken in the coming months due to past policy rate increases. The euro area has experienced weakened growth and lower energy prices, impacting inflation. 

Oil prices are $10-per-barrel lower than assumed in the previous report.

Canada's economic growth stalled in 2023, with a 1.1% contraction in the third quarter. Higher interest rates are constraining spending, leading to minimal consumption growth.

The labor market is easing, and despite rising wages, the overall economic data suggests no excess demand.

The slowdown in the economy is reducing inflationary pressures, contributing to a drop in CPI inflation to 3.1% in October. Shelter price inflation has increased due to faster growth in housing costs. 

The Bank's preferred measures of core inflation have been around 3.5-4%. With signs that monetary policy is moderating spending and alleviating price pressures, the Bank has decided to hold the policy rate at 5% and continue normalizing the balance sheet. 

The Governing Council remains concerned about inflation outlook risks and is prepared to raise the policy rate further if needed. The focus is on sustained easing in core inflation, balancing demand and supply, inflation expectations, wage growth, and corporate pricing behaviour.

The Bank is committed to restoring price stability for Canadians, with the next rate target announcement scheduled for January 24, 2023.

Read Full Report


November 2023 | Toronto Real Estate Housing Market Update

High borrowing costs and uncertain economic conditions continued to weigh on Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales in November 2023. Sales were down on a year-over-year basis, while listings were up from last year’s trough in supply. With more choice in the market, selling prices remained basically flat year-over-year.

There were 4,236 sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System in November 2023 – a 6% decline compared to November 2022. Over the same period, the number of new listings was up by 16.5%. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, sales edged up compared to October 2023, while new listings were down by 5.5%.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark and the average selling price, at $1,082,179, in November 2023 were basically flat in comparison to November 2022. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the MLS® HPI Composite benchmark was down by 1.7%. The average selling price was down 2.2% cent month-overmonth.

Home prices have adjusted from their peak in response to higher borrowing costs. This has provided some relief for buyers, from an affordability perspective. As mortgage rates trend lower next year and the population continues to grow at a record pace, expect demand to increase relative to supply. This will eventually lead to renewed growth in home prices.

Houses and condos are meant to be homes, first and foremost. We know the demand for homes, both rental and ownership, will grow for years to come. We have seen some productive policy decisions recently that should help with housing affordability, including allowing existing insured mortgage holders to switch lenders without the stress test. 

Additionally, in the interest of household and economic stability, we continue to call on the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) to apply the same approach to uninsured mortgages. It also goes without saying that further policy work is required to bring more supply online.

Read Full TRREB Market Stats Report


Buyers Focusing On Value-Added Properties & Communities

The Canadian real estate market is facing new realities. The Bank of Canada’s (BoC) rising interest rates have made purchasing a residential property more expensive. Higher immigration levels will likely exacerbate the supply-demand imbalance. Rising inflation, higher borrowing costs, and growing labour shortages have made housing construction activity a bit more subdued. As a result of these new market realities, many households today are searching for different types of housing, particularly value-added properties and communities.

“Today’s purchasers are focusing on value-added properties and communities, given new market realities,” said Elton Ash, the executive vice president of RE/MAX Canada.

“Listings that offer a short or long-term benefit – be it a basement apartment that allows homeowners to offset their mortgage costs now or homes that hold long-term potential in a future renovation or sale to a builder—are most sought-after. Location, while still an important aspect, has been replaced by value and necessity. A growing number of buyers are willing to travel further afield to get the best bang for their buck.”

Considering how high rents have become in the last couple of years, even a modest discount on a basement apartment’s rent can support homeowners’ mortgage payments.

A Look at the Numbers

The latest shift in consumer demand helps explain why detached home sales climbed up to nearly 45 per cent in the first half of 2023 in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market and close to 30 per cent in the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA) real estate market, according to new data compiled by RE/MAX.

Whether they bought at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic when the central bank slashed rates to nearly zero, or families who took advantage of the modest correction during the BoC’s tightening cycle at the start of spring 2022, homebuyers will enjoy the long-term benefit of higher home prices because of the additional value found inside these residential properties.

To further support this supposition, the York Region housing market enjoyed a significant boost in detached home sales in the second quarter, skyrocketing 104 per cent from the previous quarter. As demand continues to increase and supplies fail to keep up, home valuations will likely maintain their general upward trajectory.

But the state of communities is essential, too. Whether it is amenities or the neighbourhood’s fabric, everything outside of a residential property can support prices. For homebuyers, it is a balancing act: the arts and culture of a major urban centre or the large shopping malls and large chain restaurants in these smaller communities.

And then there is the issue of taxes, especially the municipal land transfer tax.

While detached homes situated in areas outside Toronto enjoy slightly lower prices, they are not subjected to the municipal land transfer tax, something that provides enormous savings for homebuyers.

Remember, a recent Leger survey found that more than one-quarter of Canadians (28 per cent) say that the land transfer tax has affected their decision to dip or not to dip their toes in the Canadian real estate market.

Meanwhile, shifting back to the major urban centre, a handful of neighbourhoods in Toronto that possess long-term potential are bucking the national trend of sliding detached home sales.

Bathurst Manor-Clanton Park is considered the most affordable and undervalued area of North America’s fourth-largest city. Detached housing values are a little more than $1.7 million, representing the lowest average price point in the downtown core, which explains the robust homebuying activity in the first six months of 2023 compared to the same time a year ago.

H2 Investors Versus First-Time Homebuyers

There is little doubt that value-added properties are exceptional investments. The challenge, however, is that there is fierce competition between investors and first-time homebuyers.

According to Statistics Canada, housing markets that possess the largest percentage of investor-owned housing are Toronto (22 per cent), Georgina (18 per cent), East Gwillimbury (15 per cent), Richmond Hill (15 per cent), and Mississauga (14 per cent).

So, this creates a barrier to entry for households acquiring a detached home in either Toronto Central or municipalities outside Canada’s largest city.

“In Ontario, businesses owned 74,485 condominium apartments for investment purposes,” Statistics Canada stated in its report. “Most condominium apartments used as an investment in both Ontario and Manitoba were owned by in-province investors.”

Whatever the case may be, it is clear that shrinking inventories and robust demand will add to Canadian real estate market prices, be it in British Columbia or Ontario. Don’t believe it? Not even the Bank of Canada raising interest rates put a major dent into home prices this past year.



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