Special interest groups have always staged PR events to try and gain coverage, but the real estate industry has decided to take a more "proactive" approach. Some members of the industry are turning regular journalism into "commerce journalism," by manipulating coverage in their favour, sometimes engaging in unethical practices.
My kids want a back yard (and so does my dog), but I don't want to double or triple my mortgage for a piece of grass and a couple extra feet between me and my neighbours. Many have suggested we move farther afield, but I don't want to uproot the family, take my son out of his school and my daughter way from her friends -- that is the dilemma.
This practice is indicative of agents treating each other unethically, and is harmful to our entire profession. Agents who choose to cut others out for the sake of greater commission aren't just cheating their seller. I see this as a short-sighted race to the bottom, and a practice that harms us all as real estate professionals.
If you're lucky enough to own a small slice of the GTA's pricey property pie, you could find yourself among those vehemently opposed to any new development in their neighbourhood. After all, established Toronto hot spots like The Annex, Bloor West Village and Mount Pleasant are full, right? But here's the problem.
Under new mortgage rules just announced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, all insured mortgage borrowers must now pass a "stress test" proving that they can carry a mortgage at a realistic rate (the Bank of Canada's conventional five-year fixed posted rate), and not simply the "teaser" rate offered for a short period by the mortgage lender.
It's happening a fair bit: great tenants with no intentions of moving are being served N12 forms by their landlords, a legal notice which provides them with 60 days' notice to vacate the premises. And it's entirely lawful for the landlord to do this, as long as they meet some very specific conditions and act in "good faith."
The first time I heard the line "you're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic" I immediately liked it. People tend to ignore their participation and impact on a situation and often believe things are happening to them, not because of them. I wanted to explore this concept as it applies to the Canadian real estate, specifically the Vancouver and Toronto metro area housing markets.
Tax evaders are using homes to bring money from high-tax jurisdictions into Canada. Since they can't just move fat wads of cash without attracting scrutiny, they've come up with several techniques. Using soft assets that don't have fixed trade values (like homes) is one of the easiest ways to do it.