Sunday, February 28, 2010

Are Residential Rents exempt from HST?

By D. Wallace, Guest Contributor

With the HST set to take effect in July 2010, there are several crucial questions all tenants in Ontario should be asking: a) Do tenants know what impact the harmonized sales tax (HST) will have on their rent? b) Will HST be added if hydro is included in their monthly rent? c) How are landlords going to be reimbursed for a list of extra costs and, d) Do tenants know what costs are on this list? In apartments, this list includes utilities such as gas heat, electricity, hydro, and other costs related to maintenance contracts, property management services, retrofitting for energy saving, renovation contracts, and so on. When HST is added to these costs, will it be passed on to tenants? We do not know the answers, as the government has ignored these important questions from rental tenants. On the government web site under ‘Exemptions’, residential rent is listed, but nowhere on this site is there an explanation of how landlords will recover the above costs.

According to a Press Release issued last year by The Federation of Rental Housing in Ontario (FRPO), it is estimated that this new action (HST) will increase residential rents in Ontario by 2.5 to 3.0 percent. “We estimate that this will increase rents for the average Ontario tenant by $270 to $320 per year” said Vince Brescia, President & CEO of FRPO. FRPO called on the province to exempt rental housing providers. So far, no response from the government!

The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA) wrote a letter to The Honourable Dwight Duncan and, in conjunction with FRPO, also called for exempting rental housing providers from the HST. In the reply FMTA received from the Ministry of Finance, the question is ignored, not answered. Those letter(s) can be accessed at this link:

In August 2009, I emailed specific questions about the impact of the HST on apartment rentals, to Premier Dalton McGuinty. In a response received from the Premier’s Office, these questions were ignored. In October 2009, I replied to the Premier’s letter again asking how the HST would impact my rental costs and, to date, have not received a reply.

A search at The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website ( did not produce any information regarding the impact of HST for renters, I emailed the Minister on February 24, 2010, the following message: “Due to the HST, I know my landlord is going to incur increased costs for certain services like hydro, maintenance, repairs etc. I understand rents are exempt from the HST. However, the question as to how is my landlord going to recover these extra costs must be addressed? I can’t find this kind of information anywhere”? To date there is no reply from our esteemed Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

On the website of The Landlord and Tenant Board, under the tab “What’s new”, not one word about HST! In fact, HST is not mentioned anywhere on this web site. That is not surprising since the Landlord and Tenant Board comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The Toronto Sun published an article titled “Hudak appeals to renters in HST fight” where the Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says “he wants renters to hop on his anti-harmonized sales tax bandwagon, pointing to a study that says it could add $320 a year to the cost of a $1,000-a-month apartment”. (See this LINK). However, the Globe and Mail article “10 simple HST myths” seems sceptical about Mr. Hudak’s position on the HST.

Michael Prue, MPP, Beaches-East York, made this statement in the Ontario legislature on October 1, 2009: “I heard a question asked the other day and what a question: Are rents going to go up? No, the rents can’t go up and the rents aren’t going to go up, but the cost to the people who own the apartment buildings are going to go up approximately 3%, and they are going to apply to have that rent increased. You know and I know it’s going to happen”. (Refer to Ontario Hansard – 01-October2009 ). That last sentence by Mr. Prue is sobering and speaks volumes for what tenants could expect with regard to rent increases.

So far, this is what we know . . . . Landlords are going to incur extra costs! Residential rents are exempt from HST! What we don’t know is how landlords are going to recover their costs and the government is leaving tenants in the dark! Common sense dictates that the statement, “residential rents are exempt” has to be seriously questioned as to its veracity. Will landlords apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an Above Guideline Increase to protect their profit margins? Will the government exempt rental providers from the HST so that the HST on utilities and other maintenance and other operating costs are not passed on to renters? Will the HST impact Vacancy Decontrol thereby allowing landlords to increase rents for new tenants above and beyond the Annual Rent Guideline Increase? Why will our government not provide the details we need to properly anticipate the impact the HST will have on all renters? And …. What are they afraid of?

From a renter’s perspective and, given the uncertain economic climate, it is incumbent on the Ontario government to provide meaningful answers to crucial questions related to how the HST will impact their monthly rent. Original Post

David Pylyp; I have been pondering the very same issues myself. There has been no application for an increase due to the additional taxes so there is as yet no ruling or decision. Yet a Landlord may apply for rent increase for an increase in expenses or taxes. (once it occurs) This would presume that applications would start post the July 1st date for HST.

It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

Add your thoughts!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nine Oh Five Marketing Minute Oakville

Are you trying new technologies?
Are you willing to risk humility and laugh at yourself?
I am.

I will do everthing in my power to promote your home for sale. Video and humor together are powerful allies.

Call me David Pylyp 647 218 2414

Intended to solicit those Sellers and Buyers that are tired of the Average.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

OK OK More Bubble Crisis talk

Bottom line: Canada’s resale market metrics are stoking fears of a housing bubble, but the fears for the most part are unfounded. It’s not a bubble when a record sales rebound follows a massive sales collapse, owing to the vagaries of pent-up demand. It’s not a bubble when prices accelerate because growing demand is butting up against shrinking supply. It’s not a bubble simply because relative prices are at record highs. Furthermore, given that mortgage credit growth is moderating, and new home and land prices remain subdued, the evidence on the ground argues against a housing bubble.

David Pylyp Lets recap
  • one in three have no mortgage
  • of the other two thirds the average mortgage is 150,000
  • Jim Flaherty issues advisory to adhere to credit policy of 5 year qualification; to calm credit markets and housing bubble talk.

Well written thoughtful piece on why the sky isn't falling.

Why am I writing about this again? This morning I read yet again that someone had sold their principle residence in Toronto's overheated condo market and was putting all of their money into the bank. Last time I looked the bank was paying approximately 2% on our investments.

Purchasing a property leverages your investment dollars; 300K for a condo Yes, lets say 100K down leaves you a mortgage balance of $200K at 2.5%v or fixed at 4.0% . If that condo goes up 50 K in three years you have made a 50% return on your investment. In teh mean time you are living in your investment. If it drops 50K you have squandered $1500 per month by 36 months of rental payment for $54K Kinda sounds the same, huh.

So if you want to get in on the action, I do offer a Satisfaction Guarantee; If you are unhappy within one year I will sell it for free.

Lack of Inventory will drive Toronto Markets

The Lack of inventory will be the greatest challenge facing housing markets across the country this Spring, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Market Trends Report 2010, which examined real estate trends and developments in 16 markets across the country, found that unusually strong activity during one of the traditionally quietest months of the year has led to a sharp decline in active listings in 81 per cent of markets surveyed.

“There have never been so many motivating factors in play at once,” says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “We’re in for a heated Spring market that will, in all probability, spill over into the summer months, as the window of opportunity draws to a close. The supply of homes listed for sale has been drastically reduced, housing values are once again on the upswing, and banks and governments are moving in unison toward stricter lending policies.”

Read the entire press release here.
REMAX Market Trends 2010 REL

What is motivating you to hold on to your property? Will the new HST expenses cause you to rethink the benefits of condo ownership? Add your comments and observations.

If you are considering selling, and possibly downsizing this is a market where you will be buying first and then placing your home on the market. Let's get together and discuss your choices.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Toronto the Poor

Yes the MEGA city, Toronto the good! We voted them in; we are responsible. Proposed Tax increases absolutely! David Miller is proposing a modest tax increase of 4% PLUS new user fees and services cut backs.
So what will they cut back? Yup! essential services Library Hours; Court offices will close a half hour earlier, More user fees at $50 per family at Parks and Recreation. Lets look at a few of these issues a little closer.

Call in a False Alarm? It could cost you $350. Dad! Dad! Are those really severe chest pains?

Libraries will be closed on weekends, Kids are not in school on weekends. Need that homework finished for Monday? Sorry, We are Closed Sundays. Court Services? Had your licence suspended recently? I know someone who forget to pay a ticket and had her licence suspended by the MOT. The waiting times in many of the overcrowded court systems are 2 - 3 hours to deal with setting a trial date or a walk in guilty. Maybe a re-instatement? The solution from the City of Toronto is to close earlier. Waiting times and Tickets issued have no relationship with the hours of service for the court houses. Parking on the street permit still doesn't guarantee you a space. OK. Get your parking pad! OOPS! Application fees for those are going up too! Don't forget that home heating and fuel prices will go up 8% also July 1st. That's HST.

These solutions do not reduce salaries or employees. This does not save on building management or premises operational costs. These are public relations strategy or activity to show that someone is doing something. Increased waiting times for the general public to line up for any City provided service at a kiosk or 311 is not increasing CUSTOMER service.

Remember they can just as easily slip over to the 905. John Tory very eloquently pointed out that the east end of the city is rather undervalued compared to the west and equally close to the downtown core.
Yes I have an opinion. You cannot buy or rent a house when your credit stinks. You cannot keep spending when your wallet is empty and your credit cards are maxxed out. We need strong City Management with a vision to future planning. Please participate and vote.

The alternative is unimaginable for me. The downtown core turned into a ghost town after 6 PM in the evening. No Business, no cafe, no restaurants, no nightlife; just empty. Will the last person leaving please turn off the lights?

How would you handle these issues?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Power of Attorney, Wills and Estate Probate

One of my favorite people and I shared lunch today and the topic came around to procrastination. Stan told me about a presentation that he had done recently in the condo building where he resides. A few of the local residents had asked him to prepare a few words about wills, estates, probate and Power of Attorney.

Our conversation focused on the fact that so many people put these issues off until it is left in someone else's bailiwick to deal with.

One should have Powers of Attorney and a Will so that you can have your assets and health care looked after as you wish while you are alive and furthermore how your assets will be distributed after you pass away.

Wills, Power of Attorney, Estate Planning

It may not be the greatest dinner table topic; but so many people I meet are dealing with the unexpected loss due to accident or illness. Please prepare. Stan Gelman is available at 905 270 5110 for consultations.

Managing Your Money with John Scholl

Emotional investing – the road to ruin

It’s a fact: Emotional investing doesn’t pay, it costs. Market study after market study has clearly proved that when investors are driven by emotions – jumping into and out of stocks looking for the next winner, pouring money into mutual funds following a period of strong market growth, and then moving to the next ‘hot’ asset class during market troughs – they often lose, and sometimes lose big.

Here’s an example: In 1999, the Canadian equities market jumped a spectacular 31.7 per cent, prompting a lot of investors to hop on board in the year 2000. Over the next two years, the market went negative, declining by over 12% in each of those two years and many of those ‘heat seeking’ investors bailed out. So, not only did they miss the big jump of 1999, they also absorbed large losses when they cashed out. However, had those investors stayed invested for the entire 1999-2007 period they would have enjoyed overall returns of close to 30 per cent.*

And that brings us to one of the prime rules for investing success: Trying to time the market or a stock almost never works. But time in the market does by delivering better overall returns – especially when you couple your long-term stay the course strategy with:

· Effective asset allocation Markets are always volatile to some degree or another – it’s in their nature – but with a carefully selected and properly diversified ‘mix’ of assets, you can effectively reduce risk, and enhance your chances of achieving your long-term goals.

· Dollar cost averaging This is the strategy of buying a stock or fund on a regular basis, at an amount you can afford, regardless of the stock or fund price. It is a systematic buying approach that saves you from trying to time the market, averages out the price of your stock or mutual fund units, and ensures you are always participating in the market so you will never miss out on periods of excellent returns.

When you invest with reason instead of emotion and wrap other effective strategies around the ones introduced here – such as investing according to your tolerance for risk, achieving instant diversification through a portfolio mutual fund, and dollar cost averaging to eliminate any concerns you may have as to when the right time to invest is – you will be well on the road to financial success, regardless of short-term market or economic downturns. Your professional advisor can make sure your investing strategies are right for your personal needs, expectations and goals.

John Scholl B. Mathematics, CGA, Consultant - Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
Wealth Management & Financial Planning Phone: (905) 450-2891 X529 Toll Free: 1 (866) 799-2223 x529 Cell (416) 731-3660

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Efforts to stave off the Housing Bubble

The Honorable Finance Minister made a statement this morning to help what is perceived by some to be a housing bubble or the potential of an overinflated real estate market in the Toronto GTA that includes Mississauga and Oakville. They [[Gov of Canada] made modest changes to the guidelines the government issues to banks.


New Rules to Come into Force April 19th, 2010

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced changes to mortgage insurance rules this morning, which are set to come into force on April 19th, 2010.

This means the government will adjust the rules for government-backed insured mortgages as follows:

Requires that all borrowers meet the standards for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term. This initiative will help Canadians prepare for higher interest rates in the future.

Lower the maximum amount Canadians can withdraw in refinancing their mortgages to 90% from 95% of the value of their homes. This will help ensure home ownership is a more effective way to save.

Require a minimum down payment of 20% for government-backed mortgage insurance on non-owner-occupied properties.

There were no changes to down payment requirements or length of amortizations for owner-occupied residences.

[] Click here for additional details on the changes.

Lets review;

Qualification has always been based on the five year fixed rate and in some cases the average of the five year and three years rates (Source RBC) No changes were made to the 5% down program and the banks still have cash back on closing mortgages. Amortizations did not change.

Non Owner occupied was a minimum of 15% down has now moved to be 20% down.

New conference tid bit Two thirds of Canadians own their own home.

So if you are new to Canada and would like a mortgage it is possible with 5% down and your landed documentation. Give us a call. I was very flattered to have the CBC call for an interview about how I felt these changes would effect the real estate market but in reality the changes are very minor. There was no headline for me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hide a bed now in a box Boxetti

Bedroom in a Box: Hideaway Guest Bed + Storage Spaces

Murphy Beds started one of the longest and strangest trends in bedroom design: the concealed, fold-down wall bed concept. In some ways, Boxetti’s most recent attempt is much like the original idea, but by integrating surrounding storage spaces (drawers, cabinets and closet area) the goal is less to ‘hide away’ the bed than it is to celebrate the modern modular nature of this dynamic sleeping unit.

Like the other modules in the Boxetti furniture and interior design series, as much as possible is packed into an appealing, small and self-contained box, designed to save space and make installation as simple as setting the object in place. In this case, a double bed folds down, night stand folds out and wardrobe slides open all from the same side.

Moreover, the entire unit can be operated manually or by remote control and even comes in with a built-in, ambiance-adding light fixture for mood lighting or light reading at night. Shelves, drawers and clothing rail are all neatly tucked in at appropriate heights around the central fold-out-bed piece. As such, the entire unit would work well for someone with a small studio apartment space or in a living room as an extra ‘instant’ bedroom-on-demand for guests.

See more designs under Interiors or in the Bedrooms category:

How Much do you need to retire?

Your retirement income -- how much is enough?

Today’s retirees have a lot to look forward to. They are generally healthier, more active and engaged with everything their new life has to offer, and living longer. But all of that good news can also be the cause of some concern: Is it possible you will outlive your retirement savings?

Whether you’re already retired or soon to be retired, worrying about how far your retirement savings will take you can get in the way of moving forward and enjoying life – so let’s try to put that worry to rest with a six step plan for determining your retirement income longevity.

Step 1 – Profile yourself The level and frequency of income you will need (and/or the withdrawal rate from your investments held within Registered Retirement Savings Plans and other income-producing investments) depends on a number of factors:
  • Your investment profile – for example, if you are a conservative investor, you would expect a lower return than a more aggressive investor, and therefore your withdrawals should be lower.
  • Your years in retirement – your retirement could span 40 years and, generally, a longer duration requires a more prudent withdrawal strategy.
  • Your income requirements – will you need to draw on investment income every month or can your defer or decrease income to offset periodic declines in portfolio value?
Step 2 – Assess your income from other sources Your retirement income will derive from sources other than your personal retirement savings such as the Canada Pension Plan/Qu├ębec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and company pension plans. Add them all up.

Step 3 – Assess your expenses Add up your expected expenses – both essential and discretionary.

Step 4 – Assess the gap Calculate the gap between your income from all sources outside your personal retirement savings and your expenses.

Step 5 – Assess your withdrawal requirements Determine the amount you need to withdraw from your personal retirement savings/investments to bridge the gap between your income from ‘other’ sources and your expenses.

Step 6 -- Make adjustments If your expected withdrawal rate is not sustainable, based on the projected returns from your current savings and investments, you will need to re-evaluate your registered and non-registered portfolio with the aim of improving returns – or you may need to reduce the scope of your retirement plans.

It’s never too late to ease your retirement income worries. Your professional advisor can help provide the strategies and solutions that will allow you to enjoy your retirement to the fullest.

John Scholl B. Mathematics, CGA,

Consultant - Investors Group Financial Services Inc.

Wealth Management & Financial Planning

Phone: (905) 450-2891 X529 Toll Free: 1 (866) 799-2223 x529 Cell (416) 731-3660

Monday, February 8, 2010

Expanding Your circle with Twitter and Facebook

Make a New Connection- Toronto to Oakville

We are in the business of meeting people and forever extending our services to a larger circle of friends. This entails finding the person, listening, identifying the need then filling it. This Twitter Bubble tool has me giggling with amusement as I type this post. Here's the explanation on how it works and what can be done.

Here is Mine Mississauga Etobicoke Oakville Alert We need more homes to sell Add your comments

Now you are able to update your twitter stream on a daily or event based program; How about Timed releases of Video's from Tweet you Later to promote your Hot New Listing; Key word strategy or Public Open house.

Twitter Keywords are Google SEO contribution GOLD! The tweets are being ranked and support your seo strategies.

The opportunites and possibilities of extending this social media tool really has my attention. Are you keeping up with the changes in communication? If you think Social Media is a fad I would caution you that in excess of 50% of my video viewership on youtube is 45 to 64 years old. [I thought the 30 somethings would dominate]

Add me on twitter, Check out, rate, comment and respond to the video's engage your prospect base in their daily conversations; Then take the conversation aside for a real estate moment. Can you imagine the BIA or CoC [Business Improvment Association or the Chamber of Commerce] grabbing your tweets and resending the remarks. Invite people to engage customers with you.

As always if you have someone relocating to the west Toronto GTA that is Etobicoke to Oakville I would be pleased to send you a referral fee.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Can we OPT out of Traditional Advertising?

So many of the houses I visit have the new Yellow Pages wrapped in plastic, sitting on the front porch. What will you do? Will you bring them inside?

Advertising rates and new media for distribution ie Google has everyone quaking in their boots. Should you spend thousand's of dollars per month to advertise, but, It was SO effective before; Yes, 20 or 30 years ago.

YellowPages was the Big Dog.

Now, when I am in a condominium lobby, I see two skids of yellow pages waiting patiently by the mail room. In one corner the shrink wrap has been peeled away and someone has taken two or three books. The other skid stands untouched. At another front porch, four copies are stacked atop of each other in their plastic wrapper. No One uses the front door since they enter and exit via the garage.

What should one do?

Can we OPT out? Emilee from Dire Mirth would like to create an OPT out Page for the Green Pages. Comanche Marketing would have you negotiate a tougher position with the yellow pages since there are more players in the market place, competition for your attention. Let's tell those Yellow Page people that you want to Make a Deal! Make a Deal?

No matter your inclination, I have always found the yellow pages a thought provoking, cutting edge, marketing, advertising, idea seeking, source of information, But like the best buggy whip made by the last buggy whip company, It may indeed be on its final run. Huge profits have spawned competition. Technology has heralded change.

Even the Yellow Pages has their own website to advertise their print content.

Has the choice to OPT OUT become the ECO friendly final straw for these publications? Why do we keep advertising in magazines and newspapers when half the advertising promotes the "why you should advertise with us?" Maybe its time to rethink the whole model.

Internet advertising has presented some interesting observations on my part. The audience for my video's on youtube [I expected to be the 30 somethings] is surprisingly the 45 to 64 year old age group garnering in excess fo 50% of the viewership.

What are your thoughts? Your comments are always appreciated.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Girls Just wanna have fun? or Security?

Home is where her heart is: 3rd annual TD Canada Trust Women and Home Ownership Poll reveals the growing importance of having a place to call your own

Although financial security continues to top the list of home ownership benefits, the comforts of home are increasingly important to Canadian women. According to the third annual TD Canada Trust Women and Home Ownership Poll, which surveyed women who have purchased a home independently, key features of home ownership, including being able to renovate to suit individual tastes and having a garden, are now more essential to Canadian women than they were in 2008.

When asked to describe the best things about home ownership, Canadian women said it is about making a house a home. Having a place of their own (34%), being able to decorate or renovate the way they want (34%) and having a backyard or garden (32%) were some of the responses that increased dramatically from the first survey conducted in 2008. Women had cited having a place of their own at 22%, being able to decorate or renovate the way they want at 14%, and having a backyard or garden at only 5% back in 2008.

"Even though the comforts of home have become increasingly important to women, the financial reasons for home ownership have also increased in importance," says Chris Wisniewski, Group Product Manager, Real Estate Secured Lending, TD Canada Trust. This year 44% of women ranked financial security as the best thing about home ownership compared to 23% of a similar sample of women in 2008. Second on the list of best things about owning a home was not having to pay rent or pay other people (38% versus 13% in 2008).

"It's not surprising that the financial reasons for ownership have increased in importance for people. People are looking for ways to feel financially stable again and see home ownership as a way to build equity and invest in their future."

The financial commitment of owning a home can be a double-edged sword; for many women home ownership offers a sense of financial security yet the financial responsibility can be a headache for others. Twenty-nine per cent of women say that the additional expenses and financial responsibility related to owning a home are their least favourite things about home ownership.

"With interests rates still fairly low, there are affordable financing options available for women considering purchasing a home," says Wisniewski. "However, as interest rates are expected to rise in the near future, it's important that home buyers consider their financial options carefully. We know home buyers have questions, especially those purchasing for the first time so we hope they will come to a branch for some great advice about the options available. For even greater convenience TD has mobile mortgage specialists who can work around their schedule to meet them anytime, anywhere."

In fact, getting more advice when talking to experts and asking even more questions is something most women surveyed wished they had considered when buying their first home. When asked which topics they wish they knew more about when they purchased their home, 40% of women wished they had more knowledge about the fees and costs associated with purchasing a home, 32% wanted more information about the expected annual expense of owning a property and 30% wanted more information about mortgage options.

To discuss financial options for buying, selling or renovating a home, including things like expected costs, Canadians can visit any TD Canada Trust branch or arrange to meet with its mobile mortgage specialists at a time and place that's convenient for them. For more information about mortgages and home equity lines of credit or TD Canada Trust Mobile Mortgage Specialists, visit or call 416 629 5363 Denise Pisani.

About the TD Canada Trust Women and Home Ownership Poll

The TD Canada Trust Women and Home Ownership Poll surveyed women 18 years of age and older from across the country, to explore home ownership behaviour among women. The survey was conducted by Angus Reid Strategies with English and French speaking Canadians using the Angus Reid Forum. The sample size includes 1,000 women who have purchased a home independently. The answers from 361 women aged 20 to 45 were used to compare to the 2008 poll which surveyed this age group exclusively.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Did we jump prices by 25% Toronto?

While the Toronto Real Estate Board reported 4,986 transactions through the Multiple Listing Service in January 2010, Lets Look directly at the west end statistics. There were 4,614 available for sale, of which 3,800 were new listings It is from this number 1,979 sold. This is continuing an absorption rate near 50%.

The average price of a home moved to $409,000k. While the figure quoted (19%) a double digit increase over January last year the reality is a little different. Lets look back at last years events and you will recall we had just had the US election, The Credit Crisis was full steam, and there was a freeze in Financial markets because the new administration could not release funds prior to their mandate.

I do however agree that additional listings will not become apparent until the real estate market takes a breather. While everyone is consumed with the sales prices there are a few graphics posted on my site for increase in prices.

These show a steady increase in prices that adjust annually according to supply and demand but generally have been on a upward cycle since 1995. There was a noticable deviation in December 08 to January 09. Many have recently commented on afford ability. The second chart shows that except for the interest rate increases of 1987 through 1989 there has been a relative flat line of expenses compared to income (adjusted for 25 year mortgages property taxes and utilities)

Please talk with people who gan give you documented factual data; not a conversation over the back yard fence. Feel free to email and ask a question. I can use them for video ideas.

I currently have clients lined up and waiting for a variety of homes, detached and townhouses above and below $500K in the west end. If you are considering a sale I need to speak with you.

I can bring over a few coffee's and we can chat, Give me a call at 647 218 2414 or complete your Dream Home questionnaire here

Is the Sky Falling? Real Estate update

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,986 transactions through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in January 2010. This result represented a large increase over the 2,670 sales in January 2009 when the home sales were in a recessionary trough. Last month’s sales were slightly higher than the January average in the five years preceding 2009.

“The GTA housing market has rebounded well from the lows in sales experienced at the beginning of 2009. Sales climbed back to healthy levels across the GTA because the cost of home ownership remained affordable in the Toronto area,” said TREB President Tom Lebour. “Increasingly confident consumers moved to take advantage of affordable home ownership.”

The average home selling price in January 2010 climbed 19 per cent to $409,058, compared to 343,632 in the same month last year. “Expect strong annual growth rates for existing home sales and average price through the first quarter as we continue to make comparisons to the weak market conditions at the beginning of 2009,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “The rate of sales and price growth will be lower in the second half of 2010."

David Pylyp: I added the costs of home ownership slide to give some perspective to rising prices and buyer afford-ability, interest rates and costs of ownership. With additional Miller Taxes in Toronto, Buyers are viewing the Peel, Halton Area as a more favorable place to be. But buying is continuing.

I do agree very strongly with the comments about the second half of 2010. The consuming public is not yet clearly aware of the changes, reach and ramifications of the new HST. Better strap on your seatbelts!