Sunday, August 5, 2012

Changes to How Edmonton Real Estate Will Be Sold!

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is arranging to implement a rule change that will make written service agreements mandatory between brokerages and clients.  What this means is that all Edmonton Realtors will have to enter into a written service agreement when working with buyers.   A mandatory service agreement is already required when selling Edmonton Real Estate.

When using a Realtor to help you with your biggest investment of a lifetime the key professional services that you receive are, the nuances of the process (specific to the market you are in) and advice on features and faults that you may miss.  I have worked within BUYER AGENCY SERVICE AGREEMENTS for over 9 years and have found that there are many benefits to having a service agreement that assure a professional service for buyers, sellers and Realtors: 

Improving Education & Professionalism:  A Realtor is a professional who is hired to help people with their largest financial investment and should carry out their business in a professional matter. By outlining exactly what each other’s roles are and responsibilities, a buyer will have a better understanding of the process and services involved.  This education creates a dialogue about how a Realtor would be getting paid which is also very important. 

This is all good news for buyers when purchasing real estate in Edmonton, and other Alberta cities.  Things have not changes with respect to the market norm - the seller still pays for the buyer’s real estate fees.  The buyer’s fees still normally come out of the transaction and are paid by the seller upon closing. In my opinion this just makes sense….. it is very diffucult for a buyer having to come up with cash for a down payment on a property, and to come up with cash for real estate services.  Since most buyers use a Realtor to help them with the buying process, as a seller, it would be in my best interest to market my home with a buyer’s agent fee to assure that I don’t illiminate this huge pool of qualified buyers.  Read more detail by visiting... Buying Edmonton Real Estate

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Proposed Motgage Changes for Alberta

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions is currently reviewing how Mortgages are approved for Canadians. Over the last few months we have seen some changes to the way self-employed individuals are assessed as well as a change in how investor mortgages are considered. In the upcoming weeks the following issues are on the table for Edmonton real estate:

 

1)      Currently mortgages are simply renewed at maturity with most lenders. There is discussion of having Canadians requalify or at the very least, be assessed for risk at time of renewal. This could affect renewal rates and terms.

 

2)      The viability of future income is being considered as a factor in debt ratios. This could affect your older clients nearing retirement. Currently mortgage are approved based on current income. The consideration of future income is now on the table.

 

3)      A discussion of reducing LTV to 65% for non-conforming mortgages is in play. There is also a discussion for further increasing the rates for these types of clients. This will affect your self employed clients even further should this be implemented.

 

4)      Clients can currently take a cash back or borrow the down payment to purchase their home in limited circumstances. This may end quickly as a trade-off to retain the ability to have a 5% down payment. There is discussion to increasing this to 10%. This will significantly affect all first time buyers.

 

5)      Heloc’s (or lines of credit) are under review. The OSFI would like to see the maximum LTV reduced from 80% to 65%. In addition to this proposed change, the OSFI would like to see Helocs amortized like a mortgage which means the interest only payment option is now under scrutiny.

 

Our world is ever changing. Your clients need to be well informed and prepared for the future. Having a professional with a pulse on the industry is critical. These are not scare tactics but possible realities down the road. This is just a glimpse into 5 key areas but there are several more in the pipeline. Have your clients aware and please have them call or email me with any question. www.InfoEdmonton.ca
 
 

Mary Poburan

Sr. Mortgage Consultant

INVIS

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Changes to Mortgage Rules in 2012

Earlier this year the Federal government announced some changes to protect Canadian Consumers and their mortgages, including rule changes to credit cards and mortgage prepayment information.  
See the official news release here (http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/data/12-025_3-eng.asp ).

Last week a the draft of guidelines proposed by Brock Kruger from  The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions was released. In it you can see how the current economic state of the US is causing anxiety for lenders and economists. The proposal will affect nearly everyone, it will change how mortgages and secured lines of credit are offered and is seen by many as an unnecessary move.
The new purposed guidelines, AKA: Draft B-20 tightens mortgages and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) given out by the banks, however it does not target other lenders, leaving smaller institutions in a prime position. While media coverage has been sparse, you may find this article by Peter Foster in the National Post insightful, you can see it here (http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/pain+RMUP/6333773/story.html).

In Short Here is a Summary of Possible Changes:
1. Cash back mortgages may be gone for good. As it stands, a bank may give out a mortgage for 95% of the purchase price and then give 5% cash back, which intern may be used for down payment. As many banks already caution against such practises, it comes as no surprise that this is first on the chopping block.
2. Upon the time of renewal, property would be have to be appraised in order to determine the a value and possibility of renewal. There is cause for debate with this change. If for example, after 5 years your mortgage comes up for renewal and the Real Estate market has dropped, you could be asked to pay down your loan, or worse, the bank could call in your mortgage.
3. Changes to Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC). Here the changes include: The maximum loan amount would be reduced from 80% to 65% of the value of the property. This comes on the heels of the more recent change from 90 to 80% in the last few years. In addition to the new maximum, HELOS's would now be amortized, effectively ending “Interest Only Payments”. Unfortunately this action would have an immediate affect on the self-employed seeking a loan, those looking to finance a business by using their homes as collateral and individuals looking to access their equity investments.
4. Mortgages would require tighter debt servicing guidelines, which would make exception approvals by the banks a very rare thing.

I will be updating you as more information is released on these changes and the possible repercussions to the Edmonton Real Estate market.
-Alison 
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Online Scam Implicating REALTORS® Resurfacing in Edmonton


Alberta Real Estate Association has recieved more reports of a scam that is being perpetrated in Alberta that not ony takes advantages of consumer, but implicates our members without their knowledge.

 How it works is a rental property is advertised on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji and the used to describe the property and the name of the listing Realtor apprears to have been scraped from Realtor.ca or elsewhere.  The scammer impersonates the Realtor when responding to prospective renters.

 Alberta Real Estate Association anticipates that, as markets heat up and rental property becomes more scarce, this type of scam may be seen more frequently.  AREA is taking actions to protect both our members and the consumers they serve.

 In addition to alerting the real estate boards and you, AREA has drafted a media release that, in partnership with local boards, will be forwarded to the media so that consumers can be warned about this type of scam. AREA will aslo communicate with Kijiji so that this scam can be added to the list of common scams on their site.

 When the prospective renter posted an inquiry, here is the response they received:

 Thanks for your interest in my Duplex. My name is (AREA: name of listing REALTOR® inserted here) I am a construction Engineer and I am the owner of the 3 bedroom Duplex . I have been transferred to one of our branches in West Africa and that is why I am putting up the Duplex for rent. The Duplex vital informative documents and the entrance keys to my Duplex is with us, we try to look for dependable agent to handle the rent but could not find one due to the limited time we had before leaving the country. Mostly we do not want our property to be given to any sort of person to avoid damages and troubles.The Duplex is available for rent and is available for long term and short term lease. 


Duplex Address: XXXX XXX Ave Edmonton AB, Canada
 This unit is available for immediate move in. Modern 3 beds and 3 Full Bath Basement:Full Suite the Duplex is strategically located in a very cool and lovely environment with five (5) appliances including dish washer with in-suite laundry and plenty of storage space and parking space . Professional and mature neighbors ensure peaceful living arrangements. Freshly painted and immaculately clean with private bathroom.
 We are looking for a responsible person that can take very good care of it as we are not after the money for the rent but want the property to be kept clean all the time as it is our hard-earned property. If you are honestly interested and will absolutely maintain our property (Taking care of it like yours) as I hope I can put my trust and confidence in you presently, I earlier wanted to sell the Duplex but had a second thought to rather put it up for rent. The rent is ($900 )including utilities Damages Deposit Fee ($400) So I will like you to get back to me so that I can forward you the full interior pictures to you to have an idea how beautiful and spacious the inside looks and i will like you to fill out the rental application form below.......

Full Name :
Address :
Phone # :
Gender :
Work :
Are You Married:
Marital Status :
Do you Drink Alcohol :
Pets :
Do you smoke :
How Many People Will Be Living In The Duplex:
Your Move-in Date :
Your Move-Out Date :

Thanks for taking your time in writing me and hope to hear back from you.
Best Regards
(AREA: name of REALTOR®) And Family

 What to Do?

If you come across an instance where you name is being used in this type of scam, after taking the appropriate steps, please email specifics to AREA (communications@areahub.ca) so that we can track the extent of this problem. 

Alberta Real Estate Association

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Edmonton Real Estate 2012 Forecast

Edmonton Real Estate Trends for 2012:

What’s in store for Edmonton and the Canadian real estate market in 2012? Let's take a look:

Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the Urban Land Institute released a survey, early January 2012, detailing a report with over 950 industry experts from Canada, the United States and Latin America  analyzing important trends developing this year.

Here's what they had to say regarding the top five trends for Canada:

1. Steady but “not stellar” investment prospects:

“Typically restrained Canadian consumers had been on uncharacteristic spending and home-buying binge encouraged by low interest rates, but their self-assurance has ebbed, and job growth has decelerated in response to all the noise about European and U.S. debt woes.”

“Interviewees signal a better-to-be-cautious investment approach.”

2. Continued strength in commercial markets:

“Canada’s resilient property sectors appear ready to weather any potential problems without severe distress.”

“Occupancies of 90% and higher persist in a near steady state equilibrium across most commercial markets from coast to coast.”

3. Toronto and Vancouver are still the top markets to watch for investment and development:

“Toronto and Vancouver retain their top survey rankings, boosted by international gateway status and diversified economies.”

“Calgary and Edmonton rebound with recent energy market gains, while Ottawa benefits from its large and sustaining government jobs base.”

4. The multifamily residential sector remains a safe bet:

“Continuing immigrant flows [will] sustain demand in the major cities. Even if job growth declines and home-buying cools, apartments should be a ‘safe haven.’”

“Aging demographics also favour more apartment demand: empty nesters and seniors move out of suburban homes into smaller, easier-to-maintain units with urban conveniences.”

5. But… renters will continue to favour condos over apartments:

“Apartment developers can readily obtain construction financing, but thin margins dampen interest: renters look for higher-finish condo-quality buildings, conditioned by all the condo units for rent.”

“Until the market turns, developers do better building condos instead. Investors can never get their hands on enough apartments.’”

-The Financial Post

Break Down:

So what does this mean?  In short, business as usual. Despite the ongoing economic pinch felt around the world, The Alberta Advantage continues to see us through in good stead.   In fact, when comparing the rends for Real Estate in Edmonton from last year, we're seeing a increase in sales:

 

Highlights of MLS® System activity (December 2011)

December activity

Record for
the month*

% change from
December 2010

Total MLS® System sales this month

949

2.8%

Value of total MLS® System sales - month

$312 million

3.6%

Value of total MLS® System sales - year

$6.29 billion

2.4%

Residential¹ sales this month

$262 million

1.5%

Residential average price

$316,415

1.7%

SFD² average selling price - month

$364,803

2.0%

SFD median³ selling price

$352,000

3.8%

Condo average selling price

$227,679

0.9%

- ereb.com

 

Edmonton MLS Sales

 
Edmonton Residential Sales

 

 

Edmonton Total Housing Starts

 

More good news from The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton: On January 4th of this year, the Association reported that, on average, the sale of properties on the  Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) increased by 1.7%, an increase of 2.0% in detached family homes.  REALTORS® Association of Edmonton President (2011) Chris Mooney was quoted saying: “With economic uncertainty impacting Europe and depressed housing markets in parts of the United States, it is a relief to report on the stability and health of the local real estate market,”... “With prices and sales varying within a small range there is a solid base going forward into the 2012 market.

 

With stability and continued growth in the Edmonton real estate market, it's shaping up to be a great year! 

 

Remember, be prepared. When considering the sale or purchase of your home, take the opportunity to enlist my expert  advice,  with a glowing 98% sales ratio, we can work together to ensure your success.  Stop by the testimonials section  to read what others have to say.

 

To Your Success Edmonton!

- Alison Murray, Edmonton Real Estate

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

New St. Albert Listing!

St Albert Real EstateStunning TURN KEY piece of Edmonton Real Estate in St. Albert.  2-Storey home with attached garage has everything a growing family needs.  Located in quite cul de sac backing onto a quite farmer`s field, this 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home boasts over approximately 2,286 sq.ft. of developed living space.  Main floor features a spacious living room, dining room and kitchen in an open concept with Maple hardwood floors throughout, with big widows overlooking a large West facing pie lot.  Upstairs you have a fantastic bonus room with computer desk, a Master suite with walk in closet and ensuite, 2 more bedrooms and another full bathroom.  BRAND NEW professionally developed basement with large windows features family room, bedroom and full bathroom.  Custom upgrades such as Maple  cabinets and fireplace mantel  in a rich ‘Spice shade`, recessed lighting, and approx. $10k of custom drapery and blinds  is  what really sets this home apart.  Other notable upgrades include:  laundry on main floor, A.C., and built in vacuum.  Lastly, the private backyard is fully fenced and landscaped with a 12x14 deck and stone patio with NO neighbours behind you!  Walking distance to 5 schools; minutes to Anthony Henday. Truly a perfect family home and shows a 10++.  60 Norris Crescent.  $549,900. MORE PHOTOS COMING JANUARY 3OTH!!!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Southwest Edmonton Real Estate - New Listing!

Welcome to this Rare Gem in Riverbend!  Half duplex with 4 bedrooms and double garage is located in an ideal Southwest Edmonton location across the street from spectacular single family residences.  Open floor plan with over 1594 Sq.ft. of developed living space and soaring vaulted ceilings.  Dining room opens to your large living room with fireplace.  Upper level features 2 spacious bdrms with 1 and a half renovated baths.  Lower level has large windows with 2 more roomy bdrms with another full baths. Delightful kitchen with upgraded cabinets, Teak hardwood floors, subway backsplash, and granite kitchen island. Garden patio door looking over your deck and large mature trees for privacy. Recently painted, fixtures upgraded, and custom Hunter Douglas blinds. Shingles, eaves troughs, HWT, furnace and carpet replaced in 2010.  Steps from River Valley trails; walk to 5 schools, and Riverbend Club. 10 min to U of A. 20 min. to Downtown! NO CONDO FEES! 4511 Whitemud Road. $379,999

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Edmonton Realtor, Alison Murray has launched her new website

Edmonton Realtor, Alison Murray has launched her new website, focusing on Edmonton Condos http://www.edmontoncondosinfo.comEdmontoncondosinfo.com will provide clients with a wealth of news, tips, advice and resources with buying or selling a condominium in Edmonton Alberta. From how to decorate and maximize your living area in a small space, to how to get top dollar for your property, this site promises to deliver.

Visit the today for a complementary home market evaluation; or for buyers,  fill out our search form and let Alison find the perfect condo to suit your needs.  http://www.edmontoncondosinfo.com Edmonton Condos

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Edmonton Real Estate Market Statistics for May, 2011.

May 2011’s monthly stats update from the Edmonton Real Estate market:

Our average days on market (50 days) are the lowest that it has been in 4 years.  The sales-to-listing ratio is 53% and is the highest it has been in 4 years.  Both the days on market and the sale-to-listing ratio are good indicators of markets conditions and both have improved from 4 years ago. 

Average Condo Selling Price       -2.96% from May 2010

Medium Condo Selling Price       +3.64% from May 2010

Average Single Family Home       -2.48% from May 2010

Medium Single Family Home      + 2.19 from May 2010

The summer is historically a busy time for sellers putting their homes up for sale.  Slightly above average levels of inventory for the Edmonton real estate market at 8,180 in the month of May, gives buyers a good selection.   With an increase of interest rates scheduled for the end of the summer, there is good chance we will see an increase in buyers getting their purchase wrapped up before the interest rates erode their purchasing power.    Source:  Edmonton Real Estate Board

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

La Maison Simons poised to open in Edmonton

La Maison Simons Inc. is finally poised to expand outside of Quebec. The Quebec City-based chain is close to signing a deal to open a 100,000 square-foot-store at the West Edmonton Mall.
 
Montreal Gazette
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