Real Estate Professional – Markets are balancing and moving upward in key markets

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Real Estate Professional – Markets are balancing and moving upward in key markets.

We hope it will help you decide your Real Estate needs.  Contact Kathy & Dave Klune for more information.  We specialize the Niagara Region including Fort Erie, Ridgeway, Crystal Beach, Stevensville, Welland, Port Colborne, Niagara Falls, and more.

Prices in Toronto and Vancouver are increasing even with a balancing market.   Interesting Article.

Please click on this link to gain access to the informativon:

http://www.repmag.ca/news/market-showing-signs-of-rebounding-233991.aspx

If you need more information or would like to explore your mortgage options, Kathy and I have excellent mortgage brokers who can walk you through this process to see your true buying power.

Contact us today.  Kathy & Dave – “Strength in Teamwork”.  See our blog:  www.kathyanddave.ca

If you’re interested in learning more about the current housing market in the Niagara region, we would be happy to have a chat with you and answer any questions you may have. Come in for a visit or give us a call! It would be our pleasure to show you how selling your home in the current market could increase your financial gain.

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Royal LePage Q3 2017 Real Estate House Price Survey

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Please Read – Royal LePage Q3 2017 Real Estate House Price Survey

Royal LePage Royal LePage Q3 2017 Real Estate House Price Survey sends out it’s quarterly Home Survey report.  Very useful information on how the Real Estate markets are moving.  The information provided for Real Estate sales is for Canada broken down by Province.  It will highlight sales in major cities such as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and more.

We hope it will help you decide your Real Estate needs.  Contact Kathy & Dave Klune for more information.  We specialize the Niagara Region.

Prices nationwide are increasing.  First time in six years this has taken place.  Check out which regions are on the rise.  Condominiums are the biggest price movement earning double digit growth.

Please click on this link to gain access to the information:

www.royallepage.ca/realestate/news/expanding-regional-economies-to-lift-home-prices-in-canadas-major-markets/#.Wfof-mhSzIV

If you need more information or would like to explore your mortgage options, Kathy and I have excellent mortgage brokers who can walk you through this process to see your true buying power.

Contact us today.  Kathy & Dave – “Strength in Teamwork”.  See our blog:  www.kathyanddave.ca

If you’re interested in learning more about the current housing market in the Niagara region, we would be happy to have a chat with you and answer any questions you may have. Come in for a visit or give us a call! It would be our pleasure to show you how selling your home in the current market could increase your financial gain.

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It May not be worth to wait for the down payment on a new home. Here is an example why a 20% home down payment may not be worth it.

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An increasing number of first-time buyers are taking more time to saving a down payment of 20 per cent or more to purchase their first new home. In doing so, they avoid having to buy mortgage default insurance which, in the case of a house price of $487,095 (the national average) bought with a 10 per cent down payment, would be 3.1 per cent or $13,590. This premium is generally added to the mortgage, which means more interest to pay.

While it certainly sounds like it would make prudent sense to save up and to make a 20-per-cent down payment where possible, this isn’t always the case. In fact, you may save money both now and in the future by making a slightly smaller down payment and taking on the cost of mortgage default insurance.  How is this possible?  Please read on….

To even propose this seems bizarre. We will use a recent analysis to explain.  “The thought process has been that you’re just throwing money away with mortgage insurance,” said Mike Bricknell, a mortgage agent with CanWise Financial. What this thinking ignores is the way today’s mortgage market discriminates against people who make down payments of 20 per cent or more. They may pay a fair bit more for a mortgage than someone with a high-ratio mortgage (down payment of less than 20 per cent) both now and on renewal.

A lender dealing with a client who has a sub-20 per cent down payment can take comfort from the fact that the loan is covered by government-backed insurance that is paid for by the borrower. A conventional mortgage (20 per cent or more) can be insured as well, but by the lender. All in all, a high-ratio mortgage is preferable from the lender’s point of view and often results in a lower mortgage rate.

Mr. Bricknell has lately found that rates on five-year fixed rate mortgages are about 0.45 of a percentage point less for high ratio as opposed to conventional mortgages. Maybe your lender can do better than that. If not, consider this example of how a down payment less than 20 per cent can pay off.

We start with a $450,000 house and a buyer with a 20-per-cent down payment already saved. With a conventional mortgage amortized over 25 years, Mr. Bricknell figures this person could get a five-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.29 per cent. That means a monthly payment of $1,758.

Now, let’s see what happens when this borrower makes a 19-per-cent down payment. A smaller down payment means borrowing a bit more, and thus more interest over the life of the mortgage. Also, mortgage insurance will be required at a cost of $10,206. All of this nets out to a monthly payment of $1,743, with the mortgage insurance premium included. How is this possible? Mr. Bricknell said it’s because the high-ratio borrower gets a mortgage rate of 2.84 per cent.

Listen up if you’re concerned about the new mortgage lending rules that were announced last week and will take effect on Jan. 1. When making a down payment of 20 per cent or more, the new rules require that you be able to qualify for a mortgage at the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada, or the original contractual rate plus two percentage points. An easier path to a mortgage may be to make a smaller down payment.

There’s a stress test for high-ratio mortgages as well, but it’s marginally less onerous than it is for conventional mortgages because you only have to be able to handle the Bank of Canada benchmark rate, currently 4.89 per cent. Thus the high-ratio mortgage in Mr. Bricknell’s example would have a qualifying rate of 4.89 per cent and the conventional mortgage would be at 5.29 per cent (the client’s actual rate plus two percentage points).

The two mortgages outlined by Mr. Bricknell are pretty much a wash right now when compared on cost. Looking ahead, the high-ratio mortgage offers the potential for lower interest rates when it’s time to renew your mortgage. This assumes that lenders will continue to look more favourably at high-ratio mortgages.

Mortgage industry data show that even as house prices increased from the early 2000s through the past few years, the percentage of people making down payments of less than 20 per cent has declined to 39 per cent from 54 per cent. If the rationale for this is to save money and be financially prudent, a rethink is required. Depending on the rates offered by your lender, a slightly smaller down payment could save you money in the long run.

If you need more information or would like to explore your mortgage options, Kathy and I have excellent mortgage brokers who can walk you through this process to see your true buying power.

Contact us today.  Kathy & Dave – “Strength in Teamwork”.  See our blog:  www.kathyanddave.ca

If you’re interested in learning more about the current housing market in the Niagara region, we would be happy to have a chat with you and answer any questions you may have. Come in for a visit or give us a call! It would be our pleasure to show you how selling your home in the current market could increase your financial gain.

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Eight months later and still no update on Canadian Motorsports Speedway

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Eight months later and still no update on speedway project Speedway’s financial backers fall on hard times

NEWS Aug 22, 2017 by James Culic  Fort Erie Post

The Canadian Motor Speedway, which developers once said would be built and operational in 2016, has still not been able to secure a building permit, or the land needed to move forward. Another summer construction season is drawing to a close without any development.

After incurring millions of dollars in losses, the Kuwait-based investment company providing the financial backing for the speedway saw its stock tanked. This month, the company agreed to de-list itself from the stock exchange.

Emirates Consulting, a key firm behind the development of the speedway project, had its website pulled over the summer, and the phone number for its Toronto office goes directly to a recorded message that no one is available. The website was put back online after Niagara this Week began making inquiries.

FORT ERIE — More than eight months after agreeing to meet with town officials to provide an update on the long-delayed Canadian Motor Speedway project, the developers have still not done so, and are no longer answering questions about the status of the project.

The overseas company providing the funding for the project appears to be in severe financial trouble.

About five years ago, the developers claimed the facility would be “race ready in 2016” but have thus far not applied for a building permit to get the project rolling.

By late 2016, councillors in Fort Erie began to grow weary with the lack of progress and updates on the project. Council made a formal request to have project director Azhar Mohammad come to Town Hall — as he has done several times in the past — to provide an update. Mohammad agreed and sent reply that he would make a presentation to councillors in January. That was later pushed back to February. That was then rescheduled for March, then pushed again to April. Four months after that, and eight months after originally agreeing to meet with town officials, Mohammad has still not done so.

The developers hired automotive journalist Erik Tomas to act as a spokesman for the project several years ago, and when reached for comment back in March, he said the meeting between Mohammad and councillors was in the process of being rescheduled. Despite multiple attempts recently, Tomas did not respond to Niagara this Week’s requests for comment, an update of the rescheduling of that meeting, or the status of the project. Officials at Town Hall said it has been several months since anyone has heard from Mohammad.

“The last time we spoke (to Mohammad) would have been about four months ago,” said the town’s planning director, Rick Brady, in an interview last week. In terms of real progress, Brady said a consulting firm, IBI Developers, hired by the speedway developers had submitted a site plan to Town Hall about 17 months ago. As is typical of site plans, there were some issues and Brady said his planning office asked for resubmissions. So far, nothing has been received.

The most important milestone on the speedway timeline is undoubtedly the issue of a building permit. At the beginning of each year, the mayor’s office gives a State of Fort Erie address to the public about the town’s economic prospects, and in both his 2015 and 2016 address, mayor Wayne Redekop boasted that he was confident a building permit would be issued before the end of the year. In his 2017 address, the mayor made no mention of a building permit.

Each year since 2014, the developers have claimed they would be applying for a building permit and starting construction in the summer. The speedway’s official website still claims that it will be conducting “six months of site alteration in 2017” but with only four months left in the year there has still been no work at the site this year, and with the necessary property still not purchased, any construction would be several months away at best.

No building permit can be issued because the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) enforced a holding provision back in 2012 which requires the speedway corporation to purchase the property of three nearby residents whose homes would be impacted by the massive motor racing facility. Until all three of those homeowners — one each on Laur Road, Gilmore Road and Sunset Drive — have sold to the speedway developers, the holding provision remains in place and no building permit can be handed out to the developers.

A sunset provision placed within the ruling also threatens to shut down the entire project within about three years.

Should the developers fail to acquire the three properties by September 2020, the entire area on which the project is to be built, reverts back to its original agricultural zoning designation and the decade-long process will be back to square one.

Surrounding the project is a web of shell corporations, middleman consulting firms, overseas financiers and subsidiaries. At the local level is a numbered Ontario corporation (1746391 Ontario Inc.) which owns the planning documents associated with the development, but otherwise doesn’t do much. The corporation has been relatively dormant for years, though during the last provincial election in 2014, records show the company donated $1,300 to Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal re-election campaign.

One step above that is Emirates Consulting, a Toronto-based firm which acts as a liaison between investors from the Middle East and projects in Canada which require big money backers. The executive director of the company, Azhar Mohammad, is also a director on the speedway project and a key figure in the whole process. Mohammad has been the public face of the project, and has been the town’s primary point of contact since about 2010 when the speedway plans first emerged.

More recently, phone calls to the Emirates Consulting office go directly to a message saying that no one is available. The website for the company was also off-line for some time through the summer, with a placeholder site directing the company to the billing office for the website provider, however, shortly after Niagara this Week began making inquiries into the status of the company last week, the website reappeared online. The site’s host, Zero Hosting, would only say that a “cache problem” was responsible for the outage.

Another level up is Al-Themar International Holding Company, a Kuwait-based investment company. This overseas entity owns some of the property in Fort Erie on which the proposed speedway is to be built.

It is also the primary source of funding for the $400 million speedway project. Lately, the company has had a rough go. After piling up millions of dollars in losses in its last financial quarter, the company’s stock price plummeted to its lowest level since the global recession in 2008. The company agreed this month to delist itself from Boursa Kuwait (the Kuwait stock exchange) due to the devalued stock bottoming out at an 11-year low.

Al-Themar International Holding Company is a subsidiary of The International Investor (TII), another Kuwait-based financial institution with a bevy of projects around the world. The CEO of TII is Ibrahim Aboutaleb, who is also listed as the CEO of the Canadian Motor Speedway.

In its 2014 financial report, TII wrote to investors that “(The) Canadian Motor Speedway project has passed some key regulatory milestones, and is poised for takeoff.”

Years later, the project has not yet put a shovel in the ground, and the developers still haven’t purchased all the necessary property to proceed with the plans.

In its 2015 financial report, TII revealed that it was paying homeowners in Fort Erie a yearly fee of about $15,000 as part of a purchase and sale agreement to buy the property at a later date, should the speedway project move ahead. In the summer of 2016, Niagara this Week confirmed through sources that those contracts were no longer in place, and that the owners of the remaining property needed for the development had not been in contact with the developers for months. Homeowners confirmed again this week that they have had no contact with Mohammad or anyone associated with the speedway in more than a year. All the homeowners were prepared to sell to the developers years ago, but on more than one occasion the developers walked away from the sale without explanation.

In 2016, the same year the contracts with the homeowners were abandoned, TII stopped filing its public financial reports, and has not done so since then.

If you’re interested in learning more about the financial statistics of the current housing market in the Niagara region, we would be happy to have a chat with you and answer any questions you may have. Come in for a visit or give us a call! It would be our pleasure to show you how selling your home in the current market could increase your financial gain.

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