October Musings – The Niagara Real Estate Market.
This and that
It’s been a while since my last blog post. I don’t have one specific topic, so I’ll throw a few things out there.
How is the market in NOTL today? It’s really a tough call to make. We have seen properties which are priced correctly sell within days. This occurrence is in line with what happened earlier in the year, however, there is a serious lack of product. I liken selling real estate in this market to putting puzzles together. We have to watch very carefully and make sure that our clients are pre-approved and ready to pounce when the moment is right. I still call this a sellers’ market, but with the caveat that pricing is very important.
Pre-approval is a tricky topic. We’ve noticed that the banks have been a lot tougher with borrowers, even if they are pre-approved. There isn’t such thing as a drive by appraisal any more. Appraisers are required to do their homework and visit the home. I’ve been told that there is a serious lack of real estate appraisers in the peninsula. Thus, we are still having to put longer conditional periods for finance, regardless of pre-approval. Two weeks or longer is becoming the norm these days.
The problem for Sellers is that sometimes their properties are not appraising for what they are selling for and there is a real risk that the deal could fall apart. The two week conditional period in effect, takes the property off the market for that period of time. I’ve had Sellers shorten the condition only to have it extended. So, if you are selling your property and the Buyer need financing – count on two weeks.
The banks are also implementing stronger stress tests for borrowers. This in effect doesn’t bother me as it ultimately protects the market place. We don’t need to have another real estate bubble.
The CRA is cracking down on condo flippers in Toronto. I don’t find my way to the Big Smoke very often, but we paid a visit last week, having a great dinner and taking in some live music on Queen Street West. Carmen and I were blown away at the sheer mass of condo construction that had occurred over the past ten years. Could they possibly fit any more into the downtown area? I mentioned in a previous blog the problem the tax people were having with multiple flipping. Well, they are cracking down on now and it will be interesting to see what comes of it.
The Loony. Does anyone reading this blog have any insight on where our dollar is heading in the future? It would be interesting to peoples perspectives on this topic.