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Guest Post by Yvette Barnes, Real Estate Salesperson at Right at Home Realty

We’ve heard a lot since the Federal and Provincial governments weighed in on the GTA housing market. Has the market cooled?  It depends.

Prices soared last November because there were no listings. This April revealed 21,600 new (‘active’) listings – 33.6% more than April 2016. Our ‘active’ listing supply is 3% higher than this time last year. The May statistics verify new listings are about 47% more than the same period in 2016. In 2017, TREB reports a year-over-year growth of 20-25%; March was at 30%. This suggests the market has returned approximately 5% of the price increases gained.

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Every year thousands of new immigrants arrive in Canada and more than half of those end up immigrating to Toronto. With property prices where they are, many people cannot afford to buy resale and therefore end up looking at the pre-construction opportunities, of which there are many in this growing city.

My current clients are Canadians but were living in Kuwait for the last 17 years. There two oldest have since come back for University and their youngest will be going to high school next year. They arrived in Toronto 6 months ago and the wife recently found work but the husband is still looking for work in a highly competitive marketplace.

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I got a call today from an investor client, who is tired of losing out on bidding wars for existing homes and is considering putting an offer on a pre-construction stacked townhouse. Last year she had purchased a pre-construction condo as an investment but this year she was purchasing a stacked townhome as a second home for her son, who had just graduated school and did not have a job yet, which meant he could not qualify for a mortgage on his own. She had a pre-approval in place for 5% down on a purchase.

She was concerned that even with the 5% down she planned to put down. the builder was insisting on a 20% down payment and all of it was due in 90 days, with no firm closing date. She asked if there was a work-around. I suggested she show the pre-approval to the builder and see if she could reduce it.

She was taken by surprise by the demand for a 20% downpayment and so I thought this would be a timely article as many people are unaware of all the costs and demands that come with pre-construction. Here are some things to consider.

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