Seven years ago, an advertising executive wanted to experience
the bright lights and excitement of competing in a boxing match.So
he launched Agency Wars – an event specifically for ad execs who
wanted to show off their pugilistic skills.
This year, that same man is bringing the sweet science to the
real estate industry.
“Over the period of those years, we’ve perfected the
methodology.We have two teams, red and blue;we train the boxers as
a team.For a lot of these people it’s the first time they’ve ever
been in a boxing ring or gym,” Michael Clancy, founder of Agency
Wars and now Toronto Real Estate Rumble, told CREW.“It’s reality
show stuff;it’s amazing the transformation and drama they go
through.You get in a ring, people throw punches at you, and it’s a
transformative experience.We want it to be a really rewarding
A total of 24 amateur boxers – all from the real estate industry
– have been chosen, following a rigorous tryout period, to take
part at the event, which takes place Wednesday, November 22 in
Clancy, who got into boxing at the age of 50, founded the events
as a way for industry professionals to experience the allure of a
big ticket boxing event.
“We want you to have that feeling.It’s
The existing housing policy regime in Ontario has not stopped
sales activity from intensifying in Toronto, a development that has
in turn contributed to sales volume growth on a national basis last
According to statistics released last week by the Canadian Real
Estate Association (CREA), national home sales rose by 1.3 per cent
from July to August.Ontario sales posted a 14.3-per-cent
month-over-month increase in the same time frame, despite the
dampening presence of the foreign home buyers’ tax and the Ontario
Fair Housing Plan.
“Experience shows that home buyers watch mortgage rates
carefully and that recent interest rate increases will prompt some
to make an offer before rates move higher, while moving others to
the sidelines,” CREA president Andrew Peck said.
“Time will tell whether the monthly rise in August sales
activity marks the beginning of a rebound, particularly in the
Greater Golden Horseshoe region and other higher-priced urban
centres,” CREA chief economist Gregory Klump added.“The picture
will become clearer once mortgages that were pre-approved prior to
recent interest rate hikes expire.”
Meanwhile, the number of new listings nationwide fell by 3.9 per
cent in August, marking a third straight monthly decline.
“The national result largely reflects a reduction in newly
listed homes in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, London-St.Thomas and
Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as the
In its latest data release, Statistics Canada announced that
the amount Canadians owed compared with their disposable income
climbed higher in the second quarter.
The agency said household credit market debt as a proportion of
household disposable income increased to 167.8 per cent, up from
166.6 per cent in the first quarter.This meant that for every
dollar of household disposable income, there was $1.68 in credit
The increase in the debt ratio came as household net worth on a
per capita basis fell by $1,300 to $285,900.In the same time frame,
household income increased 1.2 per cent, while household credit
market debt rose 1.9 per cent.
“A decline in household net worth, albeit modest, alongside a
sharp increase in consumer credit growth are notable as together
they suggest that the ability of households to absorb higher
interest rates continued to deteriorate,” RBC economist Laura
Cooper wrote in a commentary, as quoted by The Canadian Press.
Overall household credit market debt, which includes consumer
credit, mortgage and non-mortgage loans, totalled nearly $2.08
trillion in the second quarter.Mortgage debt increased 1.6 per cent
to $1.36 trillion, while consumer credit grew 2.4 per cent to
TD economist Dina Ignjatovic cautioned that household
indebtedness remains a key risk to the economic outlook.
If current trends are any indication, Canada’s hotel segment
is now ready for intensified expansion to accommodate strong
demand, according to market observers.
The recently released Q2 2017 Cap Rate Report by Cushman and
Wakefield revealed that the hotel sector is outstripping the
performance of other commercial asset classes across Canada, with
an 11.3-per-cent year-to-date growth in total room revenue
nationwide as of June.
Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto’s room revenues have seen the
greatest increases, rising by 7.2 per cent, 11.4 per cent, and 11.8
per cent respectively.All three cities also had a 3.7-per-cent
increase in occupancy rates in the first half of the year.
“We’ve seen a significant pick-up in room demand and in the
average rates … based on the strength of the Canadian economy in
general, and also the strength of tourism,” Cushman and Wakefield’s
Brian Flood stated, as quoted by the Vancouver Sun.
Flood noted that the current robustness of tourism is being
helped along by tailwinds from political factors, with the
country’s adherence to principles of openness towards international
“We’ve seen very significant gains in tourism from the U.S.over
the past three years, and more recently we’re seeing an uptick in
international tourism as well,” Flood explained, adding that
domestic travel has seen similar increases with Canadians
In its annual economic report released last week, the
Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC)
predicted a provincial GDP decline from 3.7 per cent in 2016 to 2.9
per cent in 2017, and further down to 2.0 per cent in 2018.
Among the leading drivers of this development would be trade and
investment uncertainty, along with the recent wildfires.The report
quickly added, however, that “the construction industry and other
real estate related industries will remain busy” for the rest of
this year and through 2018.
“B.C.’s strong economy continued to attract residents last year,
and the population expanded by almost 60,000 residents to reach
4.75 million.The majority of these new residents were either from
other provinces or outside of Canada,” CPABC president and CEO Lori
“Most of them settled in [the Lower Mainland], fuelling growth
in the service sector.Population growth is expected to continue in
that region and will increase housing demand,” Mathison
added.“B.C.’s economy is still based on sound economics and the
projected 2.9 per cent GDP growth rate will place it amongst one of
the top performing provinces.”
B.C.exports have also been forecasted to continue posting robust
numbers due to steadily improving commodity prices and minimal
Canadian dollar appreciation.As of the end of July 2017, the value
of the province’s exports
The remarkable success story of Key Media International (KMI)
keeps gathering pace.After a spectacular five-year revenue growth
rate of 169%, KMI has been included on the 2017 PROFIT 500 ranking
of Canada’s fastest growing companies by Canadian
Now in its 29th year, PROFIT 500 is a joint venture between
Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, aiming
to profile the nation’s most successful growth companies.KMI – a
global publishing and events company with a huge stable of
influential industry publications – has now made the list for five
“We’re massively excited – once again – to be part of the PROFIT
500 line-up,” says Tim Duce, CEO, KMI.“To be included among such
powerhouse contemporaries is proof that KMI is fast becoming one of
the biggest names in the business.I’ve no doubt that this is down
to our great range of products, our wonderful readers, our roster
of valued clients, and – of course – the hard work of our dedicated
team.As we go from strength to strength, here’s to celebrating our
PROFIT 500 inclusion next year!”
“It’s never easy to earn a spot on the PROFIT 500, but this
year’s applicant pool was the most competitive yet,” explains
Deborah Aarts, PROFIT 500 program manager.“This year’s winners
demonstrate the resilience, innovation and
Despite a slight 5-per-cent annual drop in home sales,
Saskatoon continues to be a strong buyer’s market with its stable
inventory levels, along with low interest rates and steady property
In its latest market report, the Saskatoon Region Association of
REALTORS® stated that 2,183 listings were active in its
jurisdiction as of the end of August.
The Association cautioned, however, that “it is only a matter of
time before the market shifts as it always does.”
“In the coming months, home buyers will look back with hindsight
and realize how opportune the market was with all of these elements
in place,” CEO Jason Yochim said.
“The concern is that buyers waiting for the bottom of the market
in order to make a purchase, may end up paying more when buying on
the upswing,” the Association added.
The average price year-to-date fell by 1 per cent, down to
$347,414.Meanwhile, the median price declined by 1.5 per cent, down
to $329,950.The total dollar volume for the region was 9% lower
compared to a year earlier, at $1.139 billion.
mortgage data released
Saskatoon apartment vacancy reaches record
Are you looking to invest in property?If you like, we can get
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The growth of residential property prices nationwide will
weaken significantly in the next half decade as cooling policies in
the hottest markets will make themselves felt, according to the
latest study by Moody’s Analytics.
Canadians need to prepare for “several years of retrenchment”
with 1.3 per cent annual price growth per year at most over the
next 5 years, Moody’s said.
“Exact turning points are difficult to predict, but the
combination of restricted mortgage lending, taxes on foreign
purchases in the largest metro areas, and the expectation of higher
mortgage rates means that house prices are likely to experience a
slowdown in the next few years,” according to report author Andres
Carbacho-Burgos, as quoted by the Financial Post.
“Affordability as measured by the median dwelling price to
median family income ratio is also close to a record low, so it is
hard to see house prices maintaining the same momentum as before,”
the study added.
Moody’s also cautioned that further measures to curb speculation
in Toronto and Vancouver will exacerbate the slowdown.Current
trends in these markets will continue to hold, however.
“Greater Toronto is likely to maintain moderate house price
growth, while the more policy-restricted market in Vancouver will
lead to prices holding steady in coming years,” the report
Prices may be recovering, but buyers in British Columbia just
aren’t as enthusiastic as they once were.
“BC home sales in August remained unchanged from July, on a
seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief
Economist.“Strong economic conditions are underpinning demand.
However, rising home prices combined with upward pressure on
mortgage interest rates is expected to temper demand over the
balance of the year.”
Unit sales are down year-to-date in 67% of British Columbia’s
markets, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association,
with Vancouver seeing the most precipitous decline at -20.3%
Overall, the province has seen a total of 73,267 sales this
year, down 15% YTD.
The average price of a home in the province -- $706,839 -- is
also down this year by 1.1% YTD.
Dollar volume is also down.
“Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 15.9%
to $51.8 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016,”
BCREA said in a release.“Residential unit sales declined 15.0 % to
73,267units, while the average MLS residential price was down
The silver lining, however, is that the average price is up in
11 of 12 of BC markets, with Vancouver experiencing the only drop
in average price.
It should be noted that
The Ontario government has addressed the province’s housing
supply issue by vowing to unlock provincial land for the use of
Toronto Mayor John Tory and Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing
and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, made
the announcement in Toronto Wednesday morning.
The plan is to allow for the creation of 2,000 new affordable
housing units in Toronto as part of the province’s Fair Housing
“Our communities are at their strongest when they make room for
everyone,” Milczyn said.“By freeing up underused land to build a
mix of market and affordable rental housing, more people in Ontario
will be able to find an affordable home in neighbourhoods they
The province has earmarked three sites for building;two lots in
West Don Lands and one, which is currently a multi-level parking
structure, in the downtown core between Bay and Yonge Streets south
“This is a unique and innovative strategy to transform surplus
provincial lands into much-needed rental housing units for
individuals and families, a key part of our Fair Housing Plan,” Bob
Chiarelli, minister of infrastructure, said.
This new program is one of 16 measures announced by the Ontario
government earlier this year to address affordable housing in the
“The province is leveraging the value
Vancouver is experiencing a constrained supply in the
multi-family housing market, according to a new report by the Urban
“Any home seeker knows we don’t have enough choices for them, in
either new homes or resales. Various independent and academic
studies have proven supply is being throttled by restrictive single
family zoning policy and delays in permitting,” UDI President
&CEO Anne McMullin said.“Just this month, a developer had to
cancel a building project due to permit delays that led to
financing cancellation.If municipalities need more resources to
process building applications faster, let’s make that happen.I
can’t find any good news in this report.”
UDI released its quarterly State of the Market report Tuesday,
which focuses on Vancouver’s housing market.
In it, the Institute found the percentage of new housing starts
to new residents is falling.
“The current ratio of new Metro Vancouver residents to housing
starts is 1.3, which is identical to last quarter as well as
Q2-2016.However, the current ratio is down from the 2.2 housing
starts per new residents in Q2-2015 and is below the five-year
average of 2.1,” CDI said in the
report.“The number of housing starts have trended upwards since the last quarter
of 2016 and while the ratio of 1.3 should be considered favourable
to buyers/tenants it’s important to note the overwhelming
majority of multi-family housing starts have already been
pre-sold.Strong demand for new
In its latest outlook, RBC Economics stated that Nova Scotia
continues to lag behind the rest of Canada in terms of economic
growth for the first half of 2017.
The provincial economy is expected to grow by 1.3 per cent by
the end of this year, and employment growth numbers are projected
to reach their highest since 2012, but the “impact of job gains on
retail sales and wider economic activity will be muted by a rising
share of part-time workers and still sluggish growth in employee
compensation,” according to the bank’s report, as quoted by The
The RBC study added that non-residential investment in Nova
Scotia continued to experience declines, although the construction
segment is reaping a windfall from a heightened pace of residential
RBC Economics noted that much of the growth for the first two
quarters of the year was attributable to gains in Alberta, Ontario,
Quebec, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island.As a whole, the
Canadian economy is on course for GDP growth of 3.1 per cent for
2017, a trend impelled by consumer and government spending as well
as by business investment.
“Canada’s economy continues to hit it out of the park,” RBC
chief economist and senior vice-president Craig Wright said.“For
the fourth consecutive quarter, we’ve seen above-potential
The industry continues to fight against further mortgage rule
The Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association (CMBA) has sent a
letter to the regulator with its suggestions for the B-20
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Services (OSFI)
announced in July it will be increasing its supervisory efforts for
residential mortgage underwriting – specifically focusing on
Guideline B-20, which it also announced potential changes to.
Those changes include;
Requiring a qualifying stress test for all uninsured
Requiring that Loan-to-Value (LTV) measurements remain dynamic
and adjust for local market conditions where they are used as a
risk control, such as for qualifying borrowers;
Expressly prohibiting co-lending arrangements that are
designed, or appear to be designed to circumvent regulatory
CMBA, however, recently sent a letter to OSFI with its suggestions
around how the regulator could best tweak B-20.
They include;allowing lenders to continue to bundle first and
second mortgages, exempting all mortgages with principal amounts of
$499,000 or less from the requirement to qualify borrowers at a
qualifying rate, and permit qualification at the true contract rate
associated with a 5 year fixed term, allowing the same qualifying
rate be used for insured mortgages that is prescribed for
non-insured mortgages, and amending underwriting criteria for
Along with the meteoric rise in the national economic growth
rate, and increasing proportion of Canadians are now gaining access
to significant wealth via their residential properties.
This, according to the latest edition of the “Wealthscapes”
report from Toronto-based firm Environics Analytics.Among the
study’s most noteworthy findings was that nationwide net worth went
up by 12 per cent in 2016 compared to the previous year, with house
values accounting for much of the rise.
The study also found that nearly 20 per cent of the nation’s
homes are now located at neighbourhoods with average net worth of
above $1 million, attesting to the increased wealth that Canadians
are enjoying amid a vibrant economy and exciting prospects of
“For the most part, 2016 was a good-news financial story,”
Environics Analytics vice president of demographic and economic
data Peter Miron said.“Strong performance in the stock market
buoyed Canadian investments.The biggest housing markets experienced
strong real estate appreciation.And many Canadians increased their
saving rates.This is the wealthiest Canadians as a whole have ever
Vancouver’s net worth stood at $1,217,630, representing a
19.4-per-cent growth rate from 2015 to 2016.Meanwhile, Toronto
households gained 17-per-cent net worth in the same time frame (up
to $1,154,107), and Victoria saw a 15.4-per-cent increase (up to
Also, despite the oil industry
With uncertainty spreading through traditional investment
markets, more investors are seeking out alternative vehicles in
which to place their funds.Historically, when people thought about
investment opportunities, their options were limited to stocks,
bonds and real estate, but with returns increasingly difficult to
find in traditional places, the alternative investment space is one
of the fastest growing segments across the globe.
Included in the alternative space are REITs, Mortgage Investment
Corporations (MICs) and individual mortgage investments.
“The alternative space has become especially important for
people over the last decade as they look for something that is not
correlated to the stock and bond markets,” explains Bryan Jaskolka,
VP of Canadian Mortgages Inc.(CMI).“Although this space can have
correlation to the real estate market, it does not move in the same
patterns as other liquid financial investments that people have
historically been buying.”
With a large proportion of the boomer generation reaching
retirement, concerns around pensions funds are front of mind for
many Canadian families.It’s a definite challenge, particularly when
considering that people are living longer than ever before and
traditional fixed income vehicles are not yielding the returns they
“Because of quantitative easing and other loosening measures
worldwide in the past decade, people are seeing incredibly low
returns on their GICs, certificates of deposit, and corporate