B.C. Launches Aggressive Housing Plan Targeting Luxury Homes

The NDP government of British Columbia has introduced an aggressive $6 billion plan targeting luxury homes, foreign buyers and absentee property owners.

In an attempt to make housing in Vancouver more affordable for everyone, the NDP government has launched over 30 measures that include increasing property taxes on homes above $3 million by thousands of dollars a year, increase foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20% (an extra $50,000 in tax for every million dollars). taxing AirBnB rentals and some new taxes as well. The AirBnB should be no surprise as I have posted about it in the past and vlogged about it on my youtube channel.

The idea is to take money from those that have it and buy housing for those that want to live in Vancouver, but can’t afford it. The plan is an extensive one that will require a large degree of complexity and hiring staff in order to implement.  A large portion of taxes raised will end up going to hiring more government employees. What is left will go towards building of rental and affordable housing according to their targets.

Over the years, Canadian real estate has become the place for foreigners, especially those from China, Russia, India, Middle East to park their money. For whatever reason, these individuals feel that it is safer to put their money in Canada, away from the legal, political and economic uncertainty in their home countries. In the process, they have driven up Canadian real estate prices beyond the reach of the average hard working Canadian. Well-educated and willing youth, many with fairly decent jobs, and unable to purchase their own home are seeing unemployed foreign youth living in multi-million dollar homes and driving luxury or even exotic sports cars.

The message is clear, in order to appease the cries of the general population for affordable housing, politicians looking to get elected have yielded the battle cry of affordable housing. Unable to address the fundamental underlying issue they have turned to smoke and mirrors to address the concerns of the population. Unfortunately, this is not going to end here as those underlying issues remain unaddressed.

There is a reason why foreigners are able to buy homes when Canadians cannot afford it. There is a reason why well-educated Canadians can not get jobs and foreigners are living luxurious lifestyles without employment. Rather than address those issues, the NDP government of B.C. is simply taking money from those that it sees having a lot of it and giving it to those that don’t have enough of it.

It is probably that the prices of the $3 million plus homes will be cooled. It is also probable that some of those home owners may now liquidate their $3 million home, but will a homeless person buy it? No, that homeless person will still be homeless. But, those foreigners may not be visiting Vancouver, spending their money at restaurants, transportation, buyer cars, furniture, etc. If that happens the impact on average local jobs could be negative, which means less tax revenues. In turn, this could make it even harder for individuals to afford homes at all levels of prices.

The NDP government’s message is clear, Vancouver belongs to British Columbians, so speculate on real estate somewhere else!

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Spacious Upscale 1 Bedroom + Den Unit in Annex Near Yorkville For Rent

UPSCALE UNIT: 95 Prince Arthur Ave Condo Unit in Annex near Yorkville. Spacious (~900 s.f.), 1 Bedroom plus Den on 2nd floor of well-managed building in upscale, professional neighbourhood near U of T, Yorkville, TTC, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Restaurants, and much, much more. Ensuite laundry, Central Air, Storage Locker. INCLUDES WATER AND ELECTRICITY. This is a fantastic unit at only $2500. You won’t find better deal. Looking for quality tenant for minimum 1 year lease.

Please contact Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A., Broker, Real Estate Homeward at 416-564-0245 if you’re interested.

Please contact me at 416-564-0245 if you’re interested.

Please contact me at 416-564-0245 if you’re interested.

Please contact me at 416-564-0245 if you’re interested.

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

OSFI Changes May Signal Expectations of 2% Increase in Mortgage Interest Rates

This month the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions for Canada is finalizing changes in legislation that will include requiring those that purchase a home with a minimum down payment of at least 20%, not needing mortgage insurance, to prove they could still afford their mortgage payments if interest rates were 200 basis points (two percentage points) higher than the rate they negotiate.

Jeremy Rudin, the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, told reporters. “But we do know this: Housing prices are still near their all-time highs, and mortgage rates are still near their all-time lows. And while sound underwriting is always important, it’s never been more important than it is now.”

Though OSFI, nor the banks have stated that interested rates are headed 2% higher, the fact that they are stress-testing for this to happen, tells me that they are planning for it to happen.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada has already announced that they are expecting to increase interest rates again later this month.

Banks have already tightened their lending policies and I’m getting reports of strong applicants having their mortgage applications turned down by the banks.

Globe and Mail article on OSFI announcement

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Which Way Is The Toronto Housing Market Moving?

Toronto Detached Homes in high demand

I am often asked about where the Toronto housing market is headed. In the long-run we all know real estate has to go up. After all, there is only so much land and the population keeps growing. Toronto is one of the top destination cities for immigrants from around the world. However, in the short-term, as governments pass policies and regulations affecting housing, the Toronto housing market will be impacted.

We’ve already seen the consequences of tightening mortgage rules and the Ontario Government’s fair housing act, which seems to have contributed to dampening of house appreciation, while possibly decreasing availability of rental units and increasing rents. Contrary to what the government tried to accomplish? Correct. The reason being that with the extra costs of providing rental housing, any new units on the market will need to be rented at higher rates to cover the increasing tax and regulatory related expenses.

So, as the market adjusts to these new changes and with what I believe will be a Bank of Canada interest rate hike this month, I expect Toronto housing market growth to be hampered further. Of course, some neighbourhoods will be affected more than others. Contact me if you’re looking to buy and I’ll help you choose the right neighbourhood and home to meet your needs in this changing market.

Follow me for my next post in regards to another development this month that will further dampen Toronto housing market growth. (

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/baldo/)

Odds of a rate hike soar to almost 50% overnight after Canada’s growth wows economists

Recreational Properties Poised to Increase in Demand

Record Toronto home prices may have tipped the scales for those looking to make significant lifestyle changes. A few months ago, when the Toronto housing market was at its hottest, I noticed individuals selling their Toronto homes with no intention of getting back into the market. Instead they were deciding to rent in Toronto and invest their money in recreational properties to enjoy a different lifestyle.

Discussions with real estate professionals in caribbean countries revealed a sharp increase in the proportion of their recreational properties being sold to Torontonians. Word from luxury real estate professionals is that three Toronto families have purchased  homes on one street alone at the luxurious Albany Club Resort Community in the Bahamas developed by Joe Lewis. It seems that countries that respect privacy and have reasonable tax structures, such as Belize, Panama and the Bahamas are attracting many well-to-do Torontonians.

A few years ago, many high-income earning Canadians had left Canada to reside in Asian countries with lower taxes. One MetroActive member was able to save over a million dollars in taxes and invested that extra money in Asian recreational rental properties which have been providing him with a net 10% annual return, not including the capital appreciation. He comments, “Why would I pay 54% in income taxes of what I earn above $244,000 and then have to pay 13% in HST when I spend what’s left.”

Recent socio-economic changes in Canada, and specifically Toronto may be adding to the desire to make these lifestyle changes.  Concerns over record-level spending at municipal, provincial and federal levels, combined with deterioration of civil rights and legislation to accommodate special interest groups at the expense of the majority may have tipped the cart too far.

For some Canadian families, it is about selling their city residence to purchase their dream cabin or cottage, but for others is about escaping the big cities, which have been going through a socio-cultural shift that now supports a much different lifestyle than that which they prefer. Even in Canada, demand for recreational properties is soaring.

According to a survey by Leger for RE/MAX, 28 per cent of Canadian homeowners with children under 18 would consider selling their primary residence to finance a recreational property. Before you get too excited, understand that the key word is ‘would’ not ‘will you sell your primary residence’.

Retirees and those approaching retirement, are putting most of the equity from the sale of their Toronto or Vancouver home into a recreational property. Torontonians are the largest proportion of Canadian snowbirds in Florida with a large presence in Arizona. Canadians have also been investing in Bahamian recreational properties for years, and more recently have been flocking to Panama and now Belize.

A few years ago, I started talking about the retirement lifestyle strategy. In a nutshell, it takes the equity in your Toronto residence and provides you with a recreational property in a warm climate with the potential for both increased cash flow and capital gains. It isn’t for everyone, but if you have a Toronto home it could be your best option.

Contact me for to arrange a meeting to discuss this option. Baldo Minaudo 416-564-0245.

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

EXCLUSIVE: 1381 Queen St East in Leslieville Toronto For Sale

EXCLUSIVE LISTING: 1381 Queen Street East, Detached Victorian Income Property Listed for Sale at $1,539,000

Leslieville Rental Property1381 Queen Street East, detached rental property (3 Units) in Leslieville (Toronto)

This Is A Stunning, Solid, Detached Victorian Home In Leslieville! Three (3) Self Contained Units,  Renovated Including Mechanics.  Beautiful Victorian Detailing…Leaded Glass Windows, High Baseboards, With Soaring Ceiling.  Two 1068 SF Self Contained Suites Tenanted ($1420.00 Per Unit), and One 1500 SF, 2 Storey, 3 Bedroom Suite That Can Rent For Approximately $3000.00 per Month (Owner Occupied).  Solar Panels That Reduce Hydro Bills.   Huge City Lot (23.29’ x 165’) With 6 Car Parking. AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!

Zoned Commercial/Residential.

Address: 1381 Queen St East, Toronto.

For viewing or more information contact: Baldo Minaudo, Broker, Real Estate Homeward, 416-564-0245.

Home may not appear exactly as shown in picture. Buyer solely responsible to verify all details and information. Not intended to solicit clients under contract with a brokerage.

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Home Capital To Settle Class Action Matters

NEWS RELEASE
HOME CAPITAL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENTS TO SETTLE OSC AND CLASS ACTION MATTERS

TORONTO – June 14, 2017 – Home Capital Group Inc. (“Home Capital”) is pleased to announce it has reached two agreements which together comprise a global settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission (the “Commission”) and with respect to the putative class action commenced in February 2017 by Claire R. McDonald, Action No. 349/17CP (the “Class Action”) relating to allegations of misleading disclosure. The settlements are subject to approval (by the Commission and by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice respectively) and each settlement is conditional upon the approval of the other. The main terms of the two settlements for which approval is being sought are set out below. It is expected that full copies of both agreements will be publicly filed if both agreements receive final approval. Home Capital expects to fund substantially all of the costs of such settlements through available liability insurance.

Commission Settlement

Under its proposed settlement with the Commission, Home Capital will make a payment of $10 million and reimburse Commission costs in the amount of $500,000. Gerald Soloway (“Soloway”) will be reprimanded, prohibited from acting as a director or officer of any reporting issuer for a period of four years and pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $1 million. Each of Robert Morton (“Morton”) and Martin Reid (“Reid”) will be reprimanded, prohibited from acting as a director or officer of any reporting issuer for a period of 2 years and pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $500,000.

Of the $12 million (other than costs) being paid by the respondents in the Commission Settlement, $10 million will be paid by Home Capital directly for the benefit of Home Capital investors who comprise the proposed class in the Class Action (the “Class”). $2 million will be paid to the Commission. Staff of the Commission will recommend that $1 million be allocated to the Class and the remaining $1 million be allocated or used by the Commission in accordance with the Securities Act.

Class Action Settlement

Home Capital will make a payment of $29.5 million to be distributed (net of costs and other expenses) to the Class as defined in the Class Action, all subject to the approval of the Superior Court of Justice as to certification of the Class for settlement purposes (as well as leave under the Securities Act) and after notice to the Class of the proposed settlement, review and approval of the settlement by the Court. The $29.5 million includes $11 million of the payments being made in the Commission Settlement. Releases of all defendants and dismissals in the usual form are part of this settlement. There will be no deduction for legal fees of counsel for the class plaintiff in respect of the $11 million being paid in the Commission Settlement.

Approval Process

The Commission has issued a Notice of Hearing for a date to be set by the Commission, at which time the Commission will consider whether it is in the public interest to approve and give effect to the settlement agreement by making certain orders against Home Capital, Soloway, Morton and Reid as described therein. The parties to the Class Action are in the process of obtaining a date for the initial court hearing.

Company Statement

Brenda Eprile, Chair of the Home Capital Board, stated that “These settlements will enable us to move forward with regaining the confidence of our depositors and shareholders and creating value for all our stakeholders.” She noted, as indicated below, “Home Capital will accept full responsibility for failing to meet its disclosure obligations to the marketplace and appreciates the importance of the serious concerns raised by the Commission with respect to continuous and timely disclosure.” Eprile continued, “The Company also acknowledges that the Commission is not to blame for the events of recent months involving its liquidity position.” Upon final approval by both the Commission and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Home Capital believes that it will have taken full and appropriate responsibility for this matter.

Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement with the Commission, Home Capital will not be making any further statements on this matter outside of the approval proceedings.

Caution Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Please refer to the Home Capital’s 2016 Annual Report, available on Home Capital’s website at www.homecapital.com, and on the Canadian Securities Administrators’ website at www.sedar.com, for Home Capital’s Caution Regarding Forwardlooking Statements.

About Home Capital Group Inc.

Home Capital Group Inc. is a public company, traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (HCG), operating through its principal subsidiary, Home Trust Company. Home Trust is a federally regulated trust company offering residential and non-residential mortgage lending, securitization of insured residential mortgage products, consumer lending and credit card services. In addition, Home Trust offers deposits via brokers and financial planners, and through its direct to consumer deposit brand, Oaken Financial. Home Trust also conducts business through its wholly owned subsidiary, Home Bank. Licensed to conduct business across Canada, Home Trust has offices in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Manitoba.

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Real Estate Vlog by Baldo – AirBnB and City of Toronto

In this vlog I discuss the AirBnB situation in City of Toronto and the City’s staff recommendations to address the negative impact it is having on the city and its residents.

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Toronto Targets AirBnB Hosts

Just a few weeks after my post “AirBNB Hosts Beware” published on April 21, 2017, more action has been announced to address the AirBnB situation.

Devout Torontonians who consider Toronto their home first and investment second have been putting pressure on politicians across the city. From condominium dwellers to community neighbourhoods, residents have had enough. They have accused investors of snapping up multiple properties and running them like “ghost hotels”.

Through services, such as AirBnB, these “ghost hotels” create a double whammy. Firstly, they bring tourists and individuals that are strangers into the neighbourhood with no regulation or preparedness in case of unexpected incidences or emergencies, possibly leading to devaluation of condo units in the building or homes in the neighbourhood. At the same time, they use greater utilities and infrastructure, from which the city receives no additional revenue, and therefore, average owners have to pay more of the share for.

Licensing and Standards Proposals

The City of Toronto’s municipal licensing and standards division released a series of proposals today, after months of consultation. Among the recommendations are:

  • Licensing companies like Airbnb and others.
  • Banning people from listing units where they don’t live.
  • Amending zoning bylaws to create a separate category called “short-term rental.”
  • Starting a registry of anyone operating a short-term rental unit.

AirBnB Claims

AirBnb has argued that it provides a valuable service which allows homeowners to earn a little extra income to make mortgage payments. Over the last year, there have been many, many articles about tenants who have rented multiple homes or units and then sublet them through AirBnB. These individuals are not grannies or struggling families, but rather opportunistic entrepreneurs looking to make a profit at the expense of unknowing homeowners or landlords.

More To Consider

The reaction to AirBnB is far from over. We have yet to hear from neighbours claiming loss of property values, response by police for crimes resulting from AirBnB guests, and insurance companies refusing to pay claims because properties were used other than their original intention. Then there are other issues like bed bugs, fire deaths, and crimes commitment by guests on owners and other guests. How do the police deal with that?

I will not be surprised to see more rules and regulations coming. Furthermore, I will not be surprised if extra taxes or tax rates are passed to deal with the AirBnB situation.

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Ontario Court Rules Against Lender in Mortgage Fraud

I’m not a lawyer or legal professional and am writing strictly from a lay person’s perspective. Seth Zuk of Torkin Manes Barristers and Solicitors forwarded me his article “Ontario Divisional Court Reviews Priorities Among Mortgagees that were Victims of Mortgage Fraud’. The article discusses a legal case in Ontario in which the CIBC was defrauded out of its first position mortgage. To my surprise, the Divisional Court judge ruled that the CIBC are the fwas not entitled to its first mortgage position.

The Facts According to Zuk

  • In 2006 Dhanraj Lowtan and Sumatie Lowtan purchased a property in Ontario. Two years later, in 2008, they borrowed $280,801 from Computershare, granting Computershare a first priority mortgage on the property.
  • In 2009, a year after granting first priority to Computershare, the Lowtan’s fraudulently registered a discharge of Computershare’s mortgage.
  • Since the Lowtan’s continued making monthly payments to Computershare, the lender remained unaware that its mortgage had been discharged.
  •  In 2011, the Lowtans granted a mortgage in the amount of $252,800 to CIBC and in 2012, they granted a mortgage of $32,000 to Secure Capital Mic Inc.
  • Both CIBC and Secure Capital, believed that they had, respectively, first and second priority mortgages.
  • In early 2013, the Lowtans defaulted on all three mortgages and Computershare discovered that its mortgage had been fraudulently discharged.
  • “The Lowtans vacated the property, made assignments into bankruptcy, and the property was sold by CIBC with the consent of Computershare and Secure Capital. When the proceeds of the sale were insufficient to satisfy all three debts, Computershare, CIBC, and Secure Capital all commenced applications in the Superior Court for a determination of priorities as between the three mortgages”

Application Judges Decision

In Short, Zuk states that “In CIBC Mortgage Inc. v Computershare Trust Co. of Canada (2015 ONSC 543), the application judge held that Computershare’s mortgage would be reinstated in first priority and that the CIBC and Secure Capital mortgages ranked second and third, respectively.”

Divisional Court’s Decision

Zuk goes on to explain, “The Divisional Court disagreed with the application judge’s findings and concluded that CIBC held the first priority mortgage. Accordingly, CIBC was entitled to the first proceeds distributed from the sale of the property. ”

For a lay person, the outstanding point is, as explained by Zuk – that while the Divisional Court acknowledged that the Lowtans perpetrated a fraud on CIBC and Secure Capital by concealing the existence of the Computershare mortgage, this did not make the Lowtans “fraudulent persons”.

That’s where I got a bit confused. Am I understanding this correctly, someone who conceals information that puts a lender at financial loss are not “fraudulent persons”? I must be misunderstanding this. Can someone please clarify this isn’t the case. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be open season on all lenders?

Furthermore, why wasn’t the onus put on the CIBC or Secure Capital to verify with Computershare that in fact the mortgage had been discarged, especially after such a short period? I’d like to hear your comments about this.

Confused? Zuk does a great job at explaining the decisions in his article “Ontario Divisional Court Reviews Priorities Among Mortgagees that were Victims of Mortgage Fraud”

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, legal professional or consider myself competent in law. Please read the original article yourself and consult a lawyer for guidance in dealing with matters such as these. Any understanding I have from reading the article is as a lay person and only reflects my own opinions, thoughts (or questions) and no one else’s.

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.