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Thursday , 10 July 2014

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Don’t buy a home from illegal builders; know your rights

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Ontario’s new home buyers have warranty protection provided by Tarion, a private corporation set up to administer the province’s new home warranties law.  Tarion describes itself as a “consumer protection organization.” The builder provides the warranty on the new home, including condominiums, and Tarion is there to ensure that the terms of the warranty are adhered to and the consumer gets what he is entitled to. If a dispute arises between a home buyer and a builder, Tarion can act as mediator in the dispute. It also acts as a watchdog on the building industry, prosecuting illegal builders. Illegal building in Ontario is “surprisingly widespread” Tarion says. Last year, Tarion ... Read More »

Strong price growth to continue in Toronto real estate market

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Look for home prices in Toronto to continue to rise robustly throughout 2014. This city will see the country’s greatest price growth in residential real estate, pegged at 8.l per cent by Royal LePage in its latest House Price Survey and market forecast. Vancouver will follow with price gains of 7.1 per cent, while cities in the rest of the country will see more modest gains. The survey shows once again that when discussing real estate prices and housing affordability in Canada, we must distinguish between the few big cities and the rest of the country. Nationally, Royal LePage is predicting a 5.1 per cent increase in the price of ... Read More »

High-end and luxury condo sales up sharply in Toronto

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All across Canada, but especially in the big four markets of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, people are buying luxury homes at unprecedented rates, nowhere more than in Toronto and the GTA. Sales of luxury condominiums in the GTA were up 53 per cent in the first half of 2014 compared to last year. Toronto and area led the country in sales of homes worth more than $1 million. Even more remarkable, in the condo sector, the higher the asking price, the more likely the condo was to sell for above that price. Sotheby’s International Realty’s new report on the luxury real estate market in Canada says that in Toronto, ... Read More »

Snowbirds losing ground to Chinese in U.S. property market

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Canadians are becoming known (in certain circles) as the bargain hunters of the US real estate market. We buy a lot of properties down there—more than any other foreign group—and we pay cold hard cash, but we buy in the cheaper markets, like Arizona and Florida, with a decided preference for the suburbs. The Chinese, on the other hand, are big spenders, with a taste for California and New York, while Indian buyers plan to move in and stay. These are some of the findings of the latest annual international home-buying survey of US realtors by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), covering the period from April 2013 through March ... Read More »

Will anti-spam law hurt realtors?

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With fines of up to $10 million for businesses and $1 million for individual offenders, Canada’s new anti-spam law seems to be designed to intimidate. Yes, everybody hates spam, but $10 million? In any case, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) came into effect on July 1 and will affect everyone who uses email for business purposes. Ironically, one businessman who runs a seed catalogue business said on CBC radio that the law would likely push him into relying more on the regular postal service. One group that relies a great deal on email and other commercial electronic messages (CEMs) is realtors, a group that lobbied hard to make the new ... Read More »

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