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Episode 3:Steve Murray – REALTORS® and the Timeless Currency of Trust

Posted by on May 7, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In Episode 3 of REAL TIME, we talk with Steve Murray, president and co-founder of REAL Trends, about the foundational elements of real estate – what’s changed, what hasn’t – and how trust and communication continue to play a vital role in safeguarding REALTOR® success.

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Episode 3:REALTORS® and the Timeless Currency of Trust

Posted by on May 7, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In Episode 3 of REAL TIME, we talk with Steve Murray, president and co-founder of REAL Trends, about the foundational elements of real estate – what’s changed, what hasn’t – and how trust and communication continue to play a vital role in safeguarding REALTOR® success.

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Posted by on Apr 17, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Episode 2:Chris Chopik – Real Estate and the Environment

Posted by on Apr 17, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In celebration of Earth Day we’ll speak with REALTOR® Chris Chopik, a passionate environmental advocate about how climate-risk directly impacts the industry, the role REALTORS® can play protecting the environment, and what REALTORS® need to know about selling greener homes.

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Episode 1:Terry O’Reilly – REALTORS® and the Importance of Emotional Connections

Posted by on Mar 24, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This podcast is about brand storytelling. We’ll explore the crucial connection between REALTORS® and the emotional aspects of home buying and how to use those key elements to add value to your client relationships and the sales process.

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Episode 1: Terry O’Reilly

Posted by on Mar 24, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Buying or selling a home isn’t just a financial decision. It’s an emotional one. In our inaugural episode of REAL TIME, we chat with award-winning marketer and radio icon Terry O’Reilly about the changing landscape of real estate—and how brand storytelling, innovation, and emotional connections can boost your business as a REALTOR®.

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Bank of Canada announces emergency interest rate cut

Posted by on Mar 18, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In an emergency announcement on March 13th, 2020 the Bank of Canada announced a 0.5% reduction in its trend-setting overnight lending rate from 1.25% to 0.75%. This was a further reduction from the 0.5% cut announced just 9 days earlier at the regularly scheduled interest rate announcement. The announcement was part of coordinated action by the Department of Finance, the Bank of Canada and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, intended to maintain the flow of funding to Canadian financial institutions in order for them to extend funds to businesses and consumers as needed. In a follow up press release the Bank of Canada explained, “The macroeconomic situation is evolving very rapidly as the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads around the world” and although the longer-term implications of the virus were difficult to assess it clearly presented a downside risk to the economy. In addition to the impacts of the coronavirus, the steep drop in oil prices earlier in the week poses an ongoing hurdle to Canadian economic productivity. As of March 17th, the benchmark five-year lending rate was still 5.19%, where it has remained since being trimmed in July 2019 by a quarter of a percentage point. However, that will likely fall later this week when new data is released. All mortgage applicants must qualify for financing based on an interest rate no less than the benchmark five-year lending rate, even if the mortgage is for less than five years. Canada’s major chartered banks are currently advertising five-year fixed mortgage interest rates of around 2.59%. Home buyers can often negotiate the interest rate for mortgage financing based on their creditworthiness and the degree to which they do other banking business with the mortgage lender. The Government and Bank of Canada will continue to announce updated stimulus measures over the coming weeks as the economic impacts of these changes unfold. The Bank specifically stated that it stands ready to adjust monetary policy...

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Canadian home sales up in February

Posted by on Mar 16, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Canadian home sales up in February

As providers of the most accurate and timely housing data and statistics, CREA cannot credibly update its quarterly forecast at this time. Ottawa, ON, March 16, 2020 – Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were up between January and February 2020. Highlights: National home sales climbed 5.9% on a month-over-month (m-o-m) basis in February. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 26.9% year-over-year (y-o-y). The number of newly listed properties jumped 7.3% m-o-m. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) advanced by 0.7% m-o-m and 5.9% y-o-y. The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price climbed 15.2% y-o-y. Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS® Systems rose by 5.9% in February 2020, marking one of the larger m-o-m gains of the past decade. With transactions up in about 60% of all local markets in February, the big national increase was largely the result of a 15% jump in activity in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Many other Central and Southern Ontario markets also posted sizeable sales gains between January and February. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity stood 26.9% above February 2019, although sales were quite weak a year ago. February 2019 marked a decade-low for the month, so a good part of the big y-o-y gain reflects low levels of activity recorded at the time. February 2020 also benefited from an additional day due to the leap year. Transactions surpassed year-ago levels in about 80% of all local markets, including all large urban markets. “Home prices are accelerating in markets where listings are in increasingly short supply, specifically in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes which together account for about two-thirds of national sales activity,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA. “Meanwhile, ample supply across the Prairies and in Newfoundland and Labrador means increased competition among sellers. Whether you are looking to buy or sell, or both, all real estate is local, and nobody knows that better than a professional REALTOR®, your best source for information and guidance when negotiating the sale or purchase of a home,” said Stephen. “Following a quieter than normal December/January period, February saw a burst of new listings in some of Canada’s most supply-starved markets, so it was not a surprise that sales were up alongside that increase in new supply,” said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s Senior Economist. “There is some question about how much pent-up demand remains in parts of the country where listings have been low for some time now. That said, it will take more than one month of increased new listings to even start to turn some of these markets towards some semblance of balance. In the meantime, expect competition among buyers for available listings to continue to drive prices higher.” The number of newly listed homes jumped 7.3% in February compared to January, more than erasing the declines of late last year. New supply gains were posted in a number of large markets, including the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton, the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo, Windsor-Essex, Ottawa and Montreal. With new listings rising by slightly more than sales in February, the national sales-to-new listings ratio fell back to 64% compared to 64.9% posted in January. That said, the bigger picture is that this measure of market balance has been significantly above its long-term average of...

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Bank of Canada cuts interest rates in response to rising global economic risks

Posted by on Mar 5, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In line with financial market expectations, the Bank of Canada announced, on March 4, it was lowering its trend-setting overnight lending rate by 50 basis points from 1.75% to 1.25%. This was the first change in the overnight lending rate since October 2018. This follows a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut the Federal Funds rate by 50 basis points in an emergency session—part of a coordinated effort by global monetary and fiscal authorities to provide support to the global economy. The reason for the move was largely due to increasing risks of major supply chain disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 virus. According to the announcement, COVID-19, and efforts to contain the virus, are likely to cause business activity to decline. The virus has already caused a decline in global commodity prices, consequently lowering the value of Canadian exports which has knock-on effects for the rest of the economy. In addition to the global risks associated with COVID-19, the Bank also cited several domestic factors holding back the economy, including rail line blockades, the Ontario teachers strikes, and winter storms. The combination of these factors has caused the Bank’s outlook for the Canadian economy to deteriorate compared with their outlook in the January Monetary Policy Report. As these risks evolve, the Bank has stated it “stands ready to adjust monetary policy further if required to support economic growth and keep inflation on target.” This decline in interest rates, along with recent policy changes announced by the Department of Finance, represents an easing of financial conditions for the housing market. However, this could be counter-balanced by the potential for lower income growth and disruptions to economic activity. On March 4, the benchmark five-year lending rate was still 5.19%, where it has remained since being trimmed in July 2019 by a quarter of a percentage point. All mortgage applicants must qualify for financing based on an interest rate no less than the benchmark five-year lending rate, even if the mortgage is for less than five years. Canada’s major chartered banks are currently advertising five-year fixed mortgage interest rates of around 3.2%. Homebuyers can often negotiate the interest rate for mortgage financing based on their creditworthiness and the degree to which they do other banking business with the mortgage lender. The Bank of Canada’s next interest rate announcement will be on April 15, 2020 and will be accompanied by an update to the Bank of Canada’s Monetary Policy Report giving a more detailed outlook for the Canadian...

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Changes to the mortgage stress test

Posted by on Feb 19, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ottawa, ON, February 18, 2020 – Earlier today, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced changes to the mortgage stress test. The new benchmark rate used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages, coming into effect on April 6, 2020, will be the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2 per cent. Recently, the gap between the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate and borrowers’ actual contract rates has been widening, suggesting the benchmark rate has become less responsive to changes in the market. In October 2016, Finance Canada introduced a stress test for insured mortgages. In 2017, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) issued an update to Guideline B-20, requiring uninsured mortgages to be stress-tested as of January 2018. CREA data indicates that per capita sales activity for residential units in 2018 reached its lowest point since 2001, with 2019’s final sales total tied for second-worst. “REALTORS® have advocated for changes to the stress test on behalf of potential homeowners who have been sidelined, borrowers who have moved away from the regulated market to less-regulated options, and real estate markets across the country in need of relief,” said Jason Stephen, President of The Canadian Real Estate Association. “We are pleased the government has taken steps to address some of these issues in Canadian housing markets.” In response to the impacts of the stress test, CREA has recommended: reviewing the mortgage stress test to ensure the realities of local real estate markets are taken into consideration; and allowing existing mortgage holders to be exempted from the stress test at the time of renewal. CREA welcomes today’s announcement and acknowledges government’s efforts to help Canadians achieve their housing needs through policy reflective of market conditions. CREA CEO Michael Bourque said “Today’s announcement introduces a more dynamic measure to act as a minimum qualifying rate. The Bank of Canada’s weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate plus 200 basis points will be more responsive.” CREA will be providing input as OSFI considers the same benchmark rate for uninsured mortgages and will continue advocating for policy solutions that make it easier for Canadians to find a home that is right for them. For more information, please contact: Pierre Leduc, Media Relations pleduc@crea.ca The Canadian Real Estate Association 200 Catherine Street, 6th Floor    Ottawa, ON K2P 2K9 Tel: +1 (613)...

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