First-Time Home Buyers Mortgages for New Homes in Canada

Female First Time Home Buyer Mortgages Looking At House With Realtor

Starting August 1st, Canada introduces a significant change to make homeownership more accessible for first-time buyers by allowing a 30-year amortization period for insured mortgages on newly built homes. This move, announced by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, aims to make monthly payments more affordable and help young Canadians step onto the property ladder.

First-Time Home Buyers’ Mortgages

Understanding the 30-Year Amortization Benefit:

The new policy allows first-time buyers of new homes to choose a 30-year mortgage. This applies if the down payment is under 20%, extending from the previous 25-year maximum. This extension aims to reduce monthly mortgage payments. By lowering these payments, the financial challenge of buying a home becomes more manageable for newcomers to the housing market.

Industry Reactions and Insights:

Industry experts like Mortgage Professionals Canada applaud the change for its potential to help first-time buyers. They advocate for extending this policy to all homebuyers to address regional disparities. Especially in areas like Vancouver and Toronto, high prices often necessitate uninsured mortgages. This broader application could level the playing field and stimulate construction across different markets.

Additional Government Measures to Support Home Buyers:

Alongside amortization changes, the government plans to increase the amount first-time buyers can withdraw from their RRSPs for home purchases—from $35,000 to $60,000—effective April 16.

This adjustment acknowledges the growing financial burden of down payments. Moreover, a new repayment grace period for these withdrawals will provide further relief, aligning with the First Home Savings Account launched last year to aid prospective homeowners in saving for down payments.

Looking Forward for First-Time Home Buyers Mortgages:

With these changes, the government also aims to stimulate housing construction and address rental market pressures by encouraging more Canadians to move from renting to owning. The overarching goal is to foster a more accessible housing market and support economic recovery by making homeownership a reality for more Canadians.

Conclusion:

As Mississauga grows, changes in mortgage regulations could greatly impact its real estate landscape. For first-time home buyers, RE/MAX Success Realty is ready to assist with these new opportunities. Understanding these mortgage options is crucial for anyone entering the real estate market. Whether buying your first home or investing in properties, RE/MAX Success Realty helps clients make informed decisions.

REMAX Success’s Guide to the Best Restaurants in Mississauga

Dining table - best restaurants in Mississauga

Are you looking for the best restaurant to eat in Mississauga? Whether you’re moving to the area or just visiting, Mississauga offers a rich tapestry of dining experiences, from cozy cafes to upscale restaurants. The town’s food scene is a mix of long-standing favourites and new, innovative spots that cater to every taste and occasion.

Here’s a closer look at some top restaurants in Mississauga, as recommended by the team at REMAX Success Realty.

The Best Restaurants in Mississauga

Colossus Greek Taverna: A Taste of Greece

At Colossus Greek Taverna, guests enjoy authentic Greek cuisine with a menu full of traditional appetizers, fresh seafood, and lamb dishes. The restaurant’s inviting atmosphere makes it a top choice for Mediterranean dining in Mississauga.

REMAX Success Realty agents frequently visit Colossus Greek Taverna, relishing the authentic Greek dishes. Favourites include the succulent lamb dishes and the fresh seafood, paired with a selection from their extensive Greek wine list.

Apricot Tree Café: European Flavors

Apricot Tree Café stands out with its European charm, offering a range of dishes from tarragon chicken crepe to signature apricot salad. The cafe’s house-made pastries and desserts, crafted by an Austrian-trained chef, are local favorites.

The café’s house-made pastries, especially the four-chocolate Toblerone mousse cake, come highly recommended for a sweet finale to your meal.

Rick’s Good Eats: Fusion Delights

Rick’s Good Eats presents a unique blend of Punjabi-Canadian cuisine with a twist. Known for its small batches and fresh ingredients, the restaurant offers innovative dishes like the Dosa Burger and butter chicken biryani-style roti taco, making it a must-visit for fusion food lovers.

Sahara Restaurant: Middle Eastern Extravaganza

Sahara Restaurant is a favourite for REMAX Success Realty. They love to go for team gatherings and family events, offering a vibrant mix of Middle Eastern flavors and entertainment. The Lebanese dishes, particularly enjoyed in the lively setting of their banquet hall, make Sahara a unique dining destination.

GTA March Market Stats for 2024

GTA March Market Stats Toronto - Canada.

The GTA March Market Stats for 2024 reveal a 4.5% decrease in home sales year-over-year, influenced by the timing of Good Friday. Despite this, the market witnessed a significant 15% rise in new listings, suggesting an increasingly supplied market compared to the previous year, offering a nuanced view of the real estate dynamics in the Greater Toronto Area.

GTA March Market Stats

Sales and Listings Dynamics

The market’s activity showed an interesting trend, with new listings increasing significantly, suggesting that homeowners are becoming more inclined to sell. Despite the reduced sales volume, the competitive environment led to a moderate increase in average home prices.

Quarterly Performance Analysis

The first quarter of 2024 ended positively, showing an 11.2% increase in sales year-over-year, and an even more substantial growth in new listings, up by 18.3%. This growth indicates a market adjusting to the current economic environment, with potential for increased activity in the upcoming spring season.

Price Trends and Future Outlook

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite benchmark and the average selling price showed modest year-over-year increases. Experts predict that price growth will accelerate in the second half of the year as the market absorbs new listings and enters a sellers’ market phase.

Strategic Considerations for the Future

The ongoing demand for housing, coupled with anticipations of lower borrowing costs, is expected to boost the market further. There’s a call for innovative solutions to increase housing supply and improve affordability, highlighting the importance of strategic planning in real estate development and ownership.

Navigating the Market with RE/MAX Success Realty

Finally, for those looking to buy or sell in the ever-changing GTA real estate market, partnering with experienced real estate agents like those at RE/MAX Success Realty can provide valuable insights and guidance, ensuring informed decision-making in a dynamic market environment.

How Renting in Canada is Changing

Building for renting in Canada

As Canada prepares for its upcoming federal budget, significant changes are on the horizon for renting in Canada. The government has unveiled new measures aimed at easing the challenges faced by tenants and paving the way for easier homeownership.

New Tenant Protections Announced:

Ministers Steven Guilbeault and Pablo Rodriguez recently highlighted the government’s plans to bolster tenant rights. They acknowledged the struggles tenants face with provincial laws and landlord disputes. To address these issues, the government is launching a $15 million tenant protection fund in 2024-25, offering legal support for renters against unfair practices like illegal rent hikes and evictions.

Enhancing Credit Opportunities for Renters:

A key initiative is to recognize on-time rent payments in tenants’ credit scores. Amendments to the Canadian Mortgage Charter will encourage landlords, banks, and credit bureaus to include rental history in credit evaluations. This move aims to make renting more affordable and assist younger Canadians in the rental market.

Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights:

The government plans to introduce a Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights, fostering transparency and fairness in the rental process. This bill will compel landlords to disclose rental price histories, aiding tenants in fair negotiations. Measures to prevent rent evictions and standardize lease agreements are also expected to be part of this bill.

“It’s too hard to find an affordable place to rent, especially for younger Canadians. That’s why in budget 2024, we’re taking action to protect renters, make the rental market fairer, and open new pathways for renters to become homeowners. Let’s make sure renters count,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a press release.

Conclusion:

These big moves by the Canadian government signal a promising shift towards supporting renters, with the dual goals of enhancing rental experiences and facilitating the path to homeownership. For those considering renting this spring, RE/MAX Success Realty, with its team of over 20 agents, is ready to help navigate these changes and find the ideal rental property.

Buyers and Inventory: A Staggered Market Return

Real Estate Agent Showing Buyers Contract, Man Signing

The housing market is set for a staggered rebound, with buyers and inventory slowly returning. As the year progresses, these groups will watch economic signals closely, deciding when to re-enter the market.

Economic Forecast:

Experts predict a cautious market revival, hinging on successive interest rate cuts. The pace of recovery will be gradual, with mortgage rates needing to drop significantly to entice buyers back into the fray.

Market Momentum:

Despite a subdued spring, there’s optimism for increased activity. Robert Hogue from RBC notes, “We’re likely to see a bit more activity going forward, but more of a gradual ramp-up as opposed to a sharp snap-back this spring.” This trend indicates a market in the process of recalibration. Sellers who previously exited are now anticipated to re-enter the market. This is particularly notable in regions like Vancouver. New listings have shown encouraging increases, reflecting a renewed confidence and potential market recovery.

Price and Listing Trends:

Market stabilization is evident, with price corrections bottoming out and listing numbers rising, suggesting a market gearing up for a cautious recovery. Yet, the ascent in home prices and market activity is projected to be moderate.

Market Outlook:

The market’s next phase hinges on buyer and seller confidence, with a balanced recovery anticipated. “The correction phase may be over, and the next phase will depend on the perceptions and confidence or anticipation that things could get hotter,” Hogue remarked, highlighting a market on the cusp of cautious optimism.

Conclusion:

The housing market is poised for a gradual recovery, with both buyers and inventory making a staggered re-entry. This period offers a chance for those prepared to adjust to market shifts. It provides a foundation for making informed choices.

Finally, RE/MAX Success Realty is poised to guide buyers, sellers, and investors toward success in the ever-changing market. With over 20 dedicated agents, we offer expertise and personalized service to navigate the staggered return of buyers and inventory, ensuring our clients make informed decisions and achieve their real estate goals.

Why Now May Be the Time for Homebuyers in Ontario

Real estate agent hands over the house keys to a homebuyer in Ontario

In Ontario, potential homebuyers are advised to consider entering the market sooner rather than later, anticipating shifts in interest rates. With the Bank of Canada expected to lower rates, a surge in demand and competition is on the horizon. Those who have secured mortgage pre-approval might find it advantageous to purchase before this change. Let’s cover why and how prospective buyers in Ontario should act promptly.

“As the Bank of Canada (BoC) keeps the interest rate steady for the third meeting in a row, and with February’s inflation drop, rate cuts seem more probable soon. Yet, the BoC might postpone cuts until summer, aiming to prevent a heated market in the spring real estate season. This ensures inflation continues to decrease. Despite this, many buyers are already scouting for deals, anticipating the high competition of the season. An increase in inventory expected by the end of March could lead to moderate growth, contrasting with the 8% surge from January to February due to typical early-year market lulls. Already, multiple offers are emerging, though prices have not soared and are unlikely to do so with the upcoming inventory boost.”Ali Salarian

The Anticipated Market Heat-Up

As the spring season approaches, the Ontario housing market is set to become increasingly competitive. Leah Zlatkin, a noted mortgage broker, predicts a significant uptick in activity fueled by buyers who have been delaying their purchases in anticipation of reduced interest rates. This expected cut, likely in June, is set to stimulate the market further.

Current Market Dynamics

With a limited number of listings and high demand, particularly for homes priced at $1 million or above, bidding wars are becoming a common scenario. This scarcity underscores the importance of entering the market now if you’re financially prepared. In areas like the GTA, where average home prices hover around $1,065,800, securing a mortgage has become difficult due to elevated interest rates.

Strategic Compromises for Homebuyers in Ontario

For many looking to buy in Ontario, finding a balance between desire and affordability is key. Zlatkin recommends considering alternatives like opting for smaller homes or locations further from city centers to circumvent the financial strain and heightened market competition.

The Future of Housing in Ontario

The construction sector’s lagging pace, marked by a dip in homebuilder confidence and anticipated decreases in housing starts, suggests that the high demand for homes in Ontario will persist. This trend might necessitate reevaluating housing expectations, with some buyers starting with condos instead of townhomes or detached houses.

Financial Prudence in Home Buying

Amidst the rush to purchase, Zlatkin stresses the importance of staying within one’s financial means. With an increase in pre-approval requests, buyers must have a clear understanding of their budget to avoid overextending financially.

For those eyeing the Ontario real estate market, acting swiftly before the anticipated rate cuts can offer a strategic advantage. Consulting with industry experts and carefully assessing one’s financial capacity can pave the way for a successful journey.

Moving Costs: Keeping Them Low

Stressed Man Moving House, Relocating Many Things with high moving costs

Moving to a new home? Exciting times ahead, but the costs associated with moving can dampen the excitement. Whether you’re doing it all by yourself or getting professionals involved, expect to spend some money. But fear not, there are ways to keep those costs manageable. Let’s dive into effective strategies to keep your moving expenses in check.

Understanding Moving Company Costs

A solid game plan can help you save money right from the start. Key to this plan is understanding how much hiring a moving company will cost you. Costs vary based on factors like distance, amount of stuff, and item fragility. To get a clearer picture, consider using online calculators or getting quotes directly from moving companies.

6 Costs You Didn’t See Coming

To truly save, you need to be aware of the unexpected costs that can creep up:

  1. Handling Special Items: Fragile or bulky items might incur extra charges.
  2. Temporary Stays and Storage: Sometimes, there’s a gap between moving out and in. Budget for potential hotel stays or storage fees.
  3. Travel Expenses: Long-distance moves come with their own set of travel expenses.
  4. Utility Set-Up Fees: Setting up utilities in your new place can cost you, as can disconnecting them in your old place.
  5. Tipping the Movers: A job well done deserves a tip, so don’t forget to budget for that.
  6. Bridge Loans: If there’s a gap between buying your new home and selling the old one, bridge loans can help, but they come at a price.

10 Ways to Keep Your Moving Costs Low:

1. Declutter: Less is More

Before you pack, take the time to sort through your belongings. Selling, donating, or discarding items you no longer need not only simplifies your move but can also put some extra cash in your pocket. Fewer items mean fewer boxes, which translates to lower moving costs.

2. Detailed Information Saves Money

When requesting quotes from moving companies, being as detailed as possible about your inventory and requirements can help you get a more accurate — and often lower — estimate. Providing detailed information might also open the door to negotiating a fixed price, shielding you from unexpected costs.

3. Off-Peak Moving: Save by Timing

Moving during the off-peak seasons, typically from October to April, can significantly reduce your costs. During these times, demand for moving services decreases, leading to lower prices and more room for negotiation.

4. Weekday Moves: Avoid the Weekend Premium

Scheduling your move on a weekday can lead to lower rates compared to the weekend. Movers are in high demand on weekends, so they often offer lower rates during the week to encourage more business.

5. Utilize Your Pantry

In the weeks leading up to your move, focus on using up food items from your pantry, fridge, and freezer. This not only minimizes waste but also reduces the amount of stuff you need to pack and move, cutting down on moving costs.

6. Pack It Yourself: Personal Packing

Although professional packing services are convenient, they come at a premium. By packing your belongings yourself, you have the chance to sort through your items once more, ensuring that only what you truly need makes the move. Plus, personal packing allows you to handle delicate items with the care they deserve.

7. Efficient Packing: A Strategic Approach

Making the most out of every box by packing smartly can significantly reduce the number of boxes you need. Utilize space-saving techniques like nesting smaller items inside larger ones and using clothing or linens as padding for fragile items.

8. Source Free Packing Materials

You can often find packing boxes and materials for free from local stores, community centers, or online marketplaces. Reusing these materials not only saves money but is also an eco-friendly move.

9. DIY Smaller Moves

Consider handling the smaller items and easily transportable boxes yourself, especially if you’re moving locally. Using your vehicle for multiple trips can greatly reduce the volume of items the movers need to handle, thus lowering your overall moving cost.

10. Enlist Help from Your Friends

Asking friends and family for help can dramatically decrease your moving expenses. Whether it’s packing, moving boxes, or even just offering moral support, every little bit helps. Sometimes, you might even find someone with a truck or van who’s willing to assist with larger items.

By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy your move without the stress of overspending. Remember, planning and preparation are key to keeping your moving costs down.

5 Tips for Gaining Exposure For Your Listings

Modern luxury house and garden - tips for gaining exposure

When it comes to selling properties, it’s not just about the perfect location anymore. With the power of the internet, social media, and smart marketing strategies, there’s a lot more you can do to draw attention to your real estate listings. Here at Remax Success Realty, we’ve mastered the art of showcasing homes to ensure they get noticed by the right buyers.

Proven Tips for Gaining Exposure

1. Social Media Magic:

In today’s digital age, engaging content on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube is a game-changer. Use video tours on Instagram Stories or live sessions on Facebook to really show off a property. IGTV is great for longer videos, giving a comprehensive view of what you’re selling.

2. E-newsletters That Work:

Email newsletters are direct tickets to your audience’s inbox. They’re a great place to compile everything from social media links to updates on new listings or open houses. Just keep it interesting and not too frequent, so people look forward to your news instead of skipping over it.

3. Press Releases That Pop:

Got a property with a story to tell? Highlight any unique features or major milestones with a well-written press release. Remember, including high-quality images can make all the difference in catching a journalist’s eye – and getting your listing some press coverage.

4. Events That Stand Out:

Events are not just about showing a home; they’re about creating an experience. For potential buyers, think about hosting something unique like a brunch viewing with local treats. If you’re aiming to educate agents, consider workshops on hot topics like social media marketing. Events are a creative way to engage directly with your audience.

5. Never Stop Networking:

The real estate business thrives on connections. Attend community events, hand out your business card, and make sure you remember to collect others’. Being active in your community puts a face to your name, building trust and laying the groundwork for future referrals.

Conclusion:

At Remax Success Realty, we’re all about using every tool in the box to make sure your listings don’t just sit unnoticed. And if you’re looking to really streamline your online presence, our partnership with Agent2Brand can take your social media game to the next level, letting you focus more on closing deals and less on posting updates. We hope you take these tips for gaining exposure and put them into action; we know they work!

If you need any help with exposure for your listings make sure to reach out to us! We are here to help all agents in Ontario.

GTA February Market Stats for 2024

Canada, GTA February market stats. The famous Gooderham building and the skyscrapers in the background.

As we step into March 2024, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) February market stats showcase a notable uplift in both home sales and listings compared to the previous year, with February 2024 recording an uptick in selling prices as well. This upward trajectory is buoyed by consistent population growth and a sturdy regional economy, fostering sustained demand for housing. Nonetheless, the landscape of home sales still trails behind the record highs of February 2021, primarily due to escalated borrowing costs.

GTA February Market Stats

Jennifer Pearce, TRREB President, observes a revival in sales activity, hinting at a market sentiment that the Bank of Canada’s rate hikes might have plateaued. With expectations of forthcoming rate reductions, a spectrum of homebuyers appears to be acclimatizing to the higher mortgage rates witnessed over the last two years. Many have adopted strategies like amassing a larger down payment, opting for less pricey homes, or exploring different locales within the GTA to counterbalance the heightened monthly payments.

Sales and Listings: A Closer Look

February 2024 saw REALTORS® report a surge in GTA home sales, with 5,607 transactions logged through TRREB’s MLS® System — marking a 17.9% increase from February 2023. This growth outpaces the rise in new listings, suggesting a tighter market that could favor sellers. Despite this, on a month-over-month basis, sales slightly dipped following two months of consecutive increases, whereas new listings remained constant, hinting at a market on the cusp of a shift.

Price Dynamics and Future Projections

February’s home selling prices modestly increased from the previous year, with the MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark rising by 0.4% and the average selling price reaching $1,108,720, a 1.1% uplift. As 2024 progresses, TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst, Jason Mercer, anticipates a resurgence in buyer activity, spurred by adjusted preferences due to higher borrowing costs and potentially lower interest rates in the latter half of the year.

Impact of Population Growth and Housing Affordability

John DiMichele, TRREB CEO, emphasizes the critical role of population growth and the expectation of reduced borrowing costs in amplifying housing demand. He also underscores the social and financial repercussions of unaffordable housing, pointing to the necessity for increased construction and governmental support in mitigating these challenges.

Navigating the 2024 Real Estate Market

The GTA real estate market is poised for revitalization, driven by strategic policy measures and economic steadiness. For prospective investors or those contemplating stepping into the property market in 2024, collaborating with seasoned real estate professionals, such as the team at Remax Success Realty, can offer essential market insights and facilitate informed decision-making in a dynamically evolving real estate landscape.

Understanding the End of the First-Time Homebuyer Incentive

People hold in their hands a sign for sale after first-time homebuyer incentive was scrapped by CMHC

Canada’s federal housing authority has announced the discontinuation of the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), a shared-equity initiative aimed at assisting newcomers to the housing market. This program, which sought to ease the financial burden on first-time buyers, will not accept new applications after March 31. Those interested in the program have until midnight EST on March 21 to submit or adjust their applications.

CMHC Scraps First-Time Homebuyer Incentive

Details on the FTHBI Closure

Introduced in September 2019, it was part of the Liberals’ National Housing Strategy. This loan helped first-time buyers reduce their mortgage size. The FTHBI provided an interest-free loan of five to ten percent of a home’s price. It aimed to make buying homes more affordable.

The scheme allowed the government to hold an equity stake in the purchased property, capped annually at 8% on both gains and losses. This was designed to lower monthly mortgage payments and provide financial relief to homebuyers. However, repayment of the loan, along with a share of any equity gains, was required either upon selling the property or at the 25-year mark, with an option for early repayment without penalties.

Despite its well-meaning intentions, the program faced challenges, particularly in markets where home prices are significantly high. Official figures reveal that by April 30, 2022, out of 23,411 applications, only 15,925 were approved, falling short of the expected 100,000 in its initial three years. Additionally, the program only disbursed $269 million, a fraction of the anticipated funding.

Critique and Future Directions

Critics argue that the FTHBI’s structure, including shared-equity terms and income limits, limited its appeal and effectiveness. Clay Jarvis from NerdWallet highlighted the program’s struggles from inception, pointing to its limited attractiveness to prospective homeowners.

Despite the program’s shortcomings, there is a continued call for innovative solutions to support first-time homebuyers. As the demand for housing outpaces supply, finding ways to make homes more affordable remains crucial.

James Laird of Ratehub.ca suggests that extending the mortgage amortization period to 30 years could be a more effective measure in supporting first-time buyers, offering an alternative to the now-discontinued incentive.

Conclusion

The discontinuation of the First-Time Homebuyer Incentive marks the end of an ambitious attempt to make homeownership more accessible for Canadians. The program’s limited impact highlights the need for ongoing innovation and support in housing. It shows efforts to help buyers must continue. As Canada moves forward, the focus remains on finding viable, impactful ways to assist first-time homebuyers.