Get the latest investment and property management advice for Winnipeg property owners. See our newest house, condo and apartment rental vacancies.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Canada’s Purpose-Built Rental Vacancy Rate Increases

OTTAWA, November 2, 2015 — Canada’s 35 larger centres saw the average vacancy rate in privately initiated purpose-built rental apartments increase to 3.3 per cent in October 2015, from 2.8 per cent in October 2014, according to preliminary data from the fall Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
“The rise in the national vacancy rate was due to lower net migration in regions most affected by low oil prices as well as an increase in the supply of purpose-built rental apartment units,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC.
Overall, the average rent for two-bedroom apartments in existing structures increased 2.4 per cent between October 2014 and October 2015. In October 2015, the average rent for a two bedroom apartment in new and existing structures was $960.
The Rental Market Survey also covers condominium apartments offered for rent in 16 large urban centres, including Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. In this particular segment of the secondary rental market, rental condominium vacancy rates ranged from a high of 5.3 per cent in Edmonton, to a low of 0.4 per cent in Hamilton. Average monthly rents for two-bedroom condominium apartments were highest in Toronto ($1,754) and lowest in Québec ($1,065).
Consistent with results from previous surveys, condominium vacancy rates were found to be lower than vacancy rates for purpose-built rental apartment units in most centres, while all centres registered higher average rents for rental condominium apartments. Condominiums are typically newer and tend to offer a greater range of amenities than purpose-built rental apartments.  
CMHC is releasing preliminary data in order to provide more timely information. The final 2015 Rental Market Survey report and data will be released on December 16, 2015.
As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.
 
(reprinted from the CMHC Website)

Got questions? Email us at owners@garamark.net

Garamark Property Management is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and successfully balances protecting the investment of an owner while retaining happy tenants.

www.garamarkpropertymanagement.ca

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 3, 2015

RENT INCREASE GUIDELINE SET FOR 2016



The 2016 rent increase guideline is 1.1 percent, effective January 1, 2016.

Tenants must be given proper written notice at least three months before a rent increase takes effect (ex. if a landlord wants to increase the rent on January 1, a tenant must receive the notice on or before September 30).  A notice to increase rent must meet the requirements of The Residential Tenancies Act.  The branch provides Notice of Rent Increase forms for landlords to use, as an electronic form submission or in fill and print format. In most circumstances, rents can only be increased once a year.
The rent increase guideline for 2016 is set using a transparent method, outlined in the Residential Rent Regulation. The guideline is determined based on the percentage change in the average annual “All-Items” Consumer Price Index (Manitoba only) data, which is published by Statistics Canada.
The guideline applies to most rented residential apartments, single rooms, houses and duplexes.  Some units are exempt from Part 9 of The Residential Tenancies Act and do not have to follow the annual rent increase guideline. These are:
  • units renting for $1,435 or more per month as of December 31, 2015;
     
  • personal care homes;
     
  • approved rehabilitated rental units;
     
  • new buildings less than 15 years old where an occupancy permit was first issued or a unit was first occupied after April 9, 2001; and
     
  • new buildings less than 20 years old where an occupancy permit was first issued or a unit was first occupied after March 7, 2005.
Tenants can object to any increase in rent regardless of whether it is at, below or above the guideline.
Landlords can apply for a larger increase if they can demonstrate that the guideline amount will not cover cost increases they have incurred.
The economic adjustment factor for 2016 is 0.6%. The economic adjustment factor helps to offset the costs of inflation.

For more information, contact the branch office nearest you.

(reprinted from the Residential Tenancies Branch Website)

Got questions? Email us at owners@garamark.net

Garamark Property Management is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and successfully balances protecting the investment of an owner while retaining happy tenants.

www.garamarkpropertymanagement.ca

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Manitoba Hydro: Power Smart Water &
Energy Saver Program

Property Managers of multi unit residential buildings with eight suites or more can have water and energy saving devices supplied and installed for FREE by a Manitoba Hydro contractor.
For more info, email : PowerSmartforBusiness@hydro.mb.ca

Got questions? Email us at owners@garamark.net

Garamark Property Management is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and successfully balances protecting the investment of an owner while retaining happy tenants.

www.garamarkpropertymanagement.ca

Labels: , ,

Friday, October 17, 2014

RENT INCREASE GUIDELINE SET FOR 2015

Re-printed from the Residential Tenancies Branch Website:

The 2015 rent increase guideline is 2.4 percent, effective January 1, 2015.
Tenants must be given proper written notice at least three months before a rent increase takes effect (ex. if a landlord wants to increase the rent on January 1, a tenant must receive the notice on or before September 30).  A notice to increase rent must meet the requirements of The Residential Tenancies Act.  The branch provides Notice of Rent Increase forms for landlords to use, as an electronic form submission or in fill and print format. In most circumstances, rents can only be increased once a year.
The rent increase guideline for 2015 is set using a new transparent method. The guideline is determined based on the percentage change in the average annual “All-Items” Consumer Price Index (Manitoba only) data, which is published by Statistics Canada.

The guideline applies to most rented residential apartments, single rooms, houses and duplexes.  Some units are exempt from Part 9 of The Residential Tenancies Act and do not have to follow the annual rent increase guideline. These are:
  • units renting for $1,435 or more per month as of December 31, 2014;
     
  • personal care homes;
     
  • approved rehabilitated rental units;
     
  • new buildings less than 15 years old where an occupancy permit was first issued
    or a unit was first occupied after April 9, 2001; and
     
  • new buildings less than 20 years old where an occupancy permit was first issued
    or a unit was first occupied after March 7, 2005.
Tenants can object to any increase in rent regardless of whether it is at, below or above the guideline.
Landlords can apply for a larger increase if they can demonstrate that the guideline amount will not cover cost increases they have incurred.
The economic adjustment factor for 2015 is 1.3%. The economic adjustment factor helps to offset the costs of inflation.

For more information, contact the branch office nearest you.  

Got questions? Email us at owners@garamark.net

Garamark Property Management is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and successfully balances protecting the investment of an owner while retaining happy tenants.

www.garamarkpropertymanagement.ca

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

September MLS® Sales Up 5%

BUYERS SCOOP UP MLS® LISTINGS IN SEPTEMBER
-              -              -
September MLS® Sales Up 5%

WINNIPEG - Buyers took advantage of the over 5,000 MLS® listings available at the beginning of September. As a result, sales were less than 3% off the best September recorded in 2011. The 2,364 new listings entered on MLS® during the month of September kept listings at a level not seen since 1997.

Given such a competitive market with supply presently outstripping demand, there were price adjustments happening for a number of MLS® listings. MLS® dollar volume was still up 9%. It was the first time dollar volume in September went over $300 million.

September MLS® unit sales increased 5% (1,182/1,123) while dollar volume rose 9% ($305.1 million/ $278.8 million) in comparison to the same month a year ago. Year-to-date MLS® sales are up less than 1% (10,278/10,234) while dollar volume has increased 4% ($2.75 billion/$2.64 billion) in comparison to the same period last year. MLS® listings entered on MLS® are up 12% to 18,846.

“Buyers clearly are in the driver’s seat at this juncture with the significant rise in listing supply available on our MLS®, said David Powell, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Though challenging for sellers with more choices for buyers to pick from, sales are remaining strong as on par with one of our best years on record in 2013.”

He added, “I believe these buyer market conditions  will not last as inventory will come down to become more balanced in 2015. Right now is clearly a time buyers should be talking to their REALTOR® about the changing market and what opportunities they have to consider for all MLS® property types.”

Speaking of property types, condominium sales have slowed down somewhat in the past two months but remain up 8% for the year. Residential-detached properties are slightly ahead of last year and helping them keep a lead was a 10% increase in September sales over September 2013.

For residential-detached sales in September the most active price range was from $250,000 to $299,999 at 21% of total sales. Close on its heels was the next lower price range of $200,000 to $249,999at 20%. Even the $150,000 to $199,999 price range fared quite well in third place at 15%. The average days on market to sell a residential-detached property was 33 days, 2 days slower than last month and September 2013.


The most active condominium price range was from $150,000 to $199,999 at 35% of total sales. A distant second was the $200,000 to $249,999 price range at 20% and then it falls back to 14% for the $250,000 to $299,999 price range. The average days on market for condominium sales was 40 days, 1 day quicker than last month and 10 days off the pace set in September 2013.



Got questions? Email us at owners@garamark.net

Garamark Property Management is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and successfully balances protecting the investment of an owner while retaining happy tenants.
www.garamarkpropertymanagement.ca


Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 6, 2014

Changes to Canada's Mortgage Market

Changes to Canada's Mortgage Market 


Fast Facts 

• Since 2008, the federal government has made several changes to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages that have reduced amortization periods and increased the minimum down payment required for home buyers.

 • In 2012, the banks’ regulator also introduced a new guideline that sets out requirements for prudent mortgage lending and the amount that banks can lend through a home equity line of credit.

 • These changes may reduce the number of people qualifying for insured mortgages in Canada.

The bottom line 

 The government has changed mortgage requirements several times over the last few years which affects how people may qualify for government-backed insured mortgages. As the regulatory environment changes, banks in Canada continue to offer very competitive mortgage products and services to millions of Canadians.

Changing regulations in Canada's mortgage market 

 Since 2008, the federal government has made several changes to the rules for mortgages insured through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other private sector mortgage insurance providers. These rules affect home buyers with less than a 20 per cent down payment and these changes will impact many first-time home buyers in Canada.

The changes include the following:

 • The maximum amortization period has been reduced to 25 years from 40 years.

 • Home buyers must have a down payment of at least five per cent of the home purchase price where previously no down payment was required. For non-owner occupied properties, a minimum down payment of at least 20 per cent is now mandatory.

 • Canadians can now borrow to a maximum of 80 per cent of the value of their homes when refinancing, a drop from 95 per cent. • Limiting the maximum gross debt service (GDS) ratio to 39 per cent and the maximum total debt service (TDS) ratio to 44 per cent.

These two important ratios are used when calculating a person’s ability to pay down debt. GDS is the share of a borrower’s gross household income needed to pay for home-related expenses, such as mortgage payments, property taxes and heating expenses. TDS is the share of a borrower’s gross income needed to pay for all debts, including those relating to home ownership.

 • Government-backed mortgage insurance is now available only for homes with a purchase price of less than $1 million. Borrowers buying homes at or above this amount will need a down payment of at least 20 per cent if their financing is from a federally-regulated financial institution.

In June, 2012, the banks’ prudential regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, also introduced a new mortgage underwriting guideline for banks and other federally regulated financial institutions. This guideline outlines some key principles for prudent mortgage underwriting that banks are required to follow. It also limits homeowners to borrowing no more than 65 per cent of the value of their properties through a home equity line of credit, down from 80 per cent previously.

What do these changes mean for consumers?

Because larger down payments and shorter amortization periods are now required, some people who would have qualified for a mortgage before may not qualify now. As a result, borrowers may respond by either deciding to postpone their purchase of a home or by buying a less expensive home.

Canadians are prudent borrowers

Historically, Canadians have been very prudent borrowers, and the best evidence of this is the mortgage-in-arrears statistics in Canada, which track the number of households that have not made mortgage payments in three or more months. Less than half of one per cent of all mortgage holders with the country's largest banks are in arrears. This number has been stable for more than two decades, in times of high and low unemployment, high and low interest rates, and a strong or weak Canadian dollar.

Banks are prudent mortgage lenders 

 Canada’s banks have a strong track record of careful, prudent lending and, according to the World Economic Forum, for being the soundest banks in the world for seven years running. Canada’s banks adhere to prudent lending standards and ensure that consumers take on debt loads that are manageable. Because of this, Canada avoided the problems seen in the US housing market in recent years. Banks, the government, regulators, and consumers all play an important role in ensuring that the Canadian mortgage and housing market remains stable and sound, which it has been for many years.

 *Article Courtesy of Canadian Bankers Association

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Important News: Proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act

Taken from a letter from the RTB to the PPMA:

Here are some highlights of the changes that will take effect on November 1, 2011:

· New work and expenditure requirements for whole complex rehabilitation schemes. Condominium conversions of rehabilitated complexes will not be allowed for 4 years after an exemption is granted.
· Increases in late payment fees and NSF charges.
· Costs awarded following hearings will be increased.
· Filing fees for above guideline rent increase applications will be reduced for some complexes.
· Consequence for failing to notify new tenants that a rental unit is a condominium.
· New sections in the Act relating to buildings where landlords provide tenant services like meals and light housekeeping.
· The Residential Tenancies Branch’s authority to impose administrative penalties will be extended to cover additional breaches of the legislation.
· Administration fees charged for rent re-directs will be increased.

There will be some changes to the amortization periods for capital expenses for above guideline rent increase applications. These changes have been approved, but will not take effect until June 1, 2012.

There are also some amendments to The Condominium Act that may affect you. These amendments will take effect on November 7, 2011:

· Tenants must be given six months’ notice of the intention to convert a building to condominium.
· Tenants must also be notified once a condominium declaration is registered at Land Titles.
· Tenants who are given notice to move for renovations and indicate they want to re-rent their unit after the renovations are complete will not lose their right of tenure (right to continue to occupy).
· Landlords who register condominium declarations will need to file a statutory declaration that no tenancies were terminated in the 12 months before the date of registration, other than for cause (e.g. non-payment, damage, noise).
· Cities and municipalities may choose to pass bylaws requiring landlords to apply for approval to convert residential rental properties to condominiums.


Got questions? Email us at owners@garamark.net

Garamark Property Management is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and successfully balances protecting the investment of an owner while retaining happy tenants.
www.garamarkpropertymanagement.ca

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SEPTEMBER MLS® MARKET AS HOT AS THE WEATHER



PRESS RELEASE
October 6, 2011
For Immediate Release


SEPTEMBER MLS® MARKET AS HOT AS THE WEATHER
- - -
September MLS® Sales Surpass 1,200 for First Time


WINNIPEG – Balmy summer weather in September created summer-like market activity which led to a third consecutive month of over 1200 MLS® sales. As a result, it makes September 2011 WinnipegREALTORS® best September in 108 years. September 2010 was the previous best September on record. The dollar volume was impressive too as it easily eclipsed last year’s record by $30 million. With three months to go, year-to-date MLS® dollar volume stands at over $2.4 billion and MLS® sales of 10,400 are flirting with the best year ever in 2007 when there were over 13,000 MLS® sales by year end.

Call it what you will, a jet -fueled market with our new NHL team ready to take-off this weekend, and exciting new developments including an IKEA, a Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a new football stadium, an expanded Winnipeg Convention Centre and a new airport opening at the end of the month, Winnipeggers are optimistic about what is happening in our city.

Another undeniable factor pointed out by the Canadian Real Estate Association’s chief economist Gregory Klump is due to global economic instability and uncertainty and the increasing volatility in the stock market, interest rates are being kept lower for longer so real estate becomes an attractive alternative investment. Moreover, as CREA president Gary Morse stated in commenting on the August MLS® market results where Winnipeg clearly was one of the best performing markets bar none in the country, … “homebuyers are showing that they remain confident about the stability of the Canadian housing market, and recognize that the continuation of low interest rates represents an excellent opportunity to buy their first home or trade up.”

September MLS® unit sales increased 6% (1,214/1,142) while dollar volume rose 12% ($278.4 million/$248.0 million) in comparison to the same month a year ago. Year-to-date MLS® sales are up 6% (10,410/ 9,805) while dollar volume has increased 11% ($2.42 billion/$2.18 billion) in comparison to the same period last year. Two out of every three of the 15,300 listings entered on the MLS® market this year have sold.

“We did not miss a beat in September as the market continued to pick up right where it left off in August,” said Ralph Fyfe, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “New listings increased over last September and buyers responded given there were more to choose from.”

Fyfe added, “While some of the provincial election signage may have overshadowed our REALTOR® signs this past month, you can expect to see lots of our member signs out and about in October given the continuing strength of our local real estate market.”

Vacant lots and condominiums continue to be the best performing MLS® property types this year with year-to-date increases of 26 and 14% respectively. Residential-detached sales are up almost 5%.

For residential-detached sales in September, the most active price range by far was the $200,000 to $249,999 with 26% of total sales. The under $100,000 market continues to erode with only 4% of the market and the longest days to sell of 41 days. The average days on market to sell a residential-detached property was 26 days, 2 days quicker than last month and 3 days faster than September 2010.

Condominium sales were dominant in the $150,000 to $199,999 price range with 39% of total sales. Only 2% of sales were under $100,000. Average days on market in September was 35 days, 5 days slower than last month and 2 days off the pace set in September 2010.

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing over 1,600 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market. Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession. REALTOR®, MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association and are used under licence.




- from the Winnipeg Realtors Press Release






Got questions? Email us at owners@garamark.net

Garamark Property Management is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and successfully balances protecting the investment of an owner while retaining happy tenants.
www.garamarkpropertymanagement.ca

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why U.S. housing is weak, and why Canadians care

A moribund housing market is dragging on an already weak U.S. economy, and causing ripples across the border here in Canada.

This week, two key numbers will likely show that U.S. housing is still an incredibly weak spot, with no significant improvements in sight. On Monday new home sales figures are expected to show a fourth consecutive fall in transactions in August, to an annualized number of around 295,000, not far from the low of 278,000 set in August, 2010.

On Tuesday, the S&P Case-Shiller index will give an indication of how strong home prices are across major centres in the U.S. – and that’s not likely to be a pretty sight either. House prices have bounced up and down in recent months, but they are dramatically lower than 2006 highs, languishing at roughly the levels of 2003.

The weak housing market is partly a hangover from an era of overbuilding and buying driven by low interest rates, which was followed by a price collapse and mass foreclosures.

But it is also a function of a struggling economy. With unemployment so high, fewer people can afford to buy homes, even at discounted prices. And with the value of existing homes dropping, many people feel poorer and cut back their spending – thus dampening any economy recovery.

“The housing market is weak because the economy is weak [but] the economy is weak because the housing market is weak,” said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, which projects no sustained home price increases in the United States until 2014 at the earliest.

Consumers are particularly uneasy about the longer-term outlook, said Peter Buchanan, senior economist at CIBC World Markets. “If you are concerned about how much you are going to be making six months down the road, or whether you are going to have a job, that is going to make you particularly unlikely to make a longer-term commitment [such as] purchasing a house.”

Even some recent housing numbers that look positive – existing home sales showed a 7.7-per-cent jump in August – also have a negative hue. A huge proportion of those sales, 31 per cent, represents distressed properties that were sold at a discount.

The weakness in the U.S. housing market has both direct and indirect impact on Canada’s economy, said Peter Hall, chief economist at Export Development Canada, because so many of our exports are linked to the amount of building that goes on south of the border.

While the lumber industry is hit the hardest, the depressed U.S. housing market will affect a broad range of Canadian exporters, Mr. Hall said. “You need base metals to build a house, you need a lot of wood, you need asphalt shingles. These are things that Canada supplies raw materials for.”

Canadian companies also make goods that feed into supply chains for higher-value products, such as appliances, fixtures, carpeting and flooring, he added. “The housing market permeates many different sections of the economy.”

Mr. Hall points out that the U.S. housing market has been in distress now for years, since the low-rate excesses and overbuilding became apparent around 2006. Far too many houses were built in the early years of the decade, when rising prices created the illusion that housing was a great investments. The crash, when it came, helped fuel the 2008 recession.

Unfortunately there is no sign of any short-term recovery in the housing market. Mr. Hall projects a real turnaround won’t come for at least another year. “The U.S. economy, broadly speaking, is not going to get back on its feet until the housing market is in better shape,” he said. “Housing is always a leading indicator of economic activity.”

- reprinted from the Globe and Mail online edition


Got questions? Email us at owners@garamark.net

Garamark Property Management is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and successfully balances protecting the investment of an owner while retaining happy tenants.
www.garamarkpropertymanagement.ca

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Banks lowering some Canadian mortgage rates

TORONTO - Some Canadian mortgage rates are going down as of Thursday.

TD Canada Trust (TSX:TD) was the first major bank to announce a change, with its five-year closed mortgage rate falling 15 one-hundredths to 5.24 per cent.

Royal Bank (TSX:RBC) and Bank of Montreal ()TSX:BMO) will drop their five-year closed mortgage rate by 20 one-hundreds to 5.19 per cent.

Most of the banks' other rates remain unchanged but BMo is also dropping its four-year closed rates by 20 one-hundredths to 4.79 per cent.

(re-printed from the Winnipeg Free Press Online Edition)


Got questions? Email us at owners@garamark.net

Garamark Property Management is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and successfully balances protecting the investment of an owner while retaining happy tenants.
www.garamarkpropertymanagement.ca

Labels: , , , , ,

Modern Earth Website Design, Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada