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Friday, October 17, 2014


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

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

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

September MLS® Sales Up 5%

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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

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

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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

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