Exactly 33 months ago the Canadian dollar was at par; even a little higher than the American counterpart. Cross boarder shopping was cheap and Canadians took advantage by buying anything from clothing to cars, and even properties down south.
Since then, the Canadian dollar went down by roughly 25%. What does that mean for us here in Canada hoping to buy real estate?
Firstly, buying any property outside of Canada automatically costs 25% more than two and half years ago. Those earning income in Canadian dollars prefer to keep their money in Canada as the conversion rate is too high if they were to invest in the United States.
For the majority of us who work and live in Canada this has little effect on our real estate prices.
The low Canadian dollar is however bringing many oversea investors, who are taking advantage of this low rate. Over the past month we have had several clients from Dubai, the Middle East and the United States contact us in order to purchase pre-construction condos.
Putting down $50-60,000 as a deposit allows investors to secure real estate in Canada, and not worry about any payments until its ready. This process, depending on the project, can take anywhere from 2-4 years.
During the pre-construction condo waiting period, many of the investors who purchased a pre-construction condo will closely monitor the Canadian dollar. When the time is right, they hope to covert the currency. A $300,000US investment easily converts to enough Canadian dollars to purchase a two bedroom pre-construction condo in Mississauga. Two years ago it would have cost closer to $350,000 to make the same purchase.
Thinking of buying a new built condo in Canada? Read this article first, and give us a call! This entry was posted on
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 and is filed
It always seems especially at the beginning of any given year people are curious to know how the real estate market has done in the previous year, and what experts are predicting will happen in the future. Over the years I have published many blogs, giving my insight on this topic.
How did the Mississauga Condo Market do in 2014?
No condo market crash.
Many of the media and newspapers who were calling for a major condo market price correction are puzzeled and don’t understand why the condo prices have not fallen. 3 reasons – a) Low interest rates (Under 3% for a 5 year locked period) b) Strong immigration population (nearly 100,000 new immigrants come to the Greater Toronto Area every year) and c) Detached Homes are unaffordable for many (average price in November 2014 for a detached house in Mississauga was $672,000 and in Toronto it was a whopping $935,000!)
Pre-construction condo sales have slowed down.
No condo builders have launched any new projects in 2014 in downtown Mississauga. This trend was prevalent not only in Mississauga, but the rest of the GTA. Since many investors only buy pre-built condominiums in the first stages before the construction starts, most of the pre-construction sales this year consisted of end users. This group included first time home buyers, downsizers and people moving from abroad.
Rent Prices Went Up.
Many tenants were in for a nasty surprise when they found out how much prices have gone up. To put this into perspective, 3 years ago it was possible to get a newer one bedroom + den condo, near Square One for $1300. This year you were lucky to get the same unit for $1450. That’s like a 4% increase a year!
How will the Mississauga Condo Market do in 2015?
New condo projects.
Amacon (builders of PSV and Residence) are set to release a new condo project this spring in the Park Side Village area near Square One. Pinnacle (Builders of Grand Park and Pinnacle Uptown)are also aiming to release a new block in the Pinnacle Uptown community of condos. These projects have been anticipated by investors given the success of their previous towers. As always we will have Platinum access to both projects and we are encouraging people to start registering even now.
Non-renovated units might be a hard sell.
Buyer expectations are up. Stainless steel and laminate floors are perceived to be the standard by many condo shoppers in 2015. If you are thinking of selling your condo, and your unit is more than 6 years old, my guess is that it needs a face lift. Contact us and we will be able to advise you on what specific things need to be addressed before we put it up for sale.
Good units will increase in value and bad units will not.
Buyers are surprised to find out how much prices can vary for similar units from building to building. Over the years certain condo buildings have increased in value more than others. Many dynamics come into play when deciding that value, such as: reputation of the condo building (which I believe is most important), number of renters vs owners in the building, the quality of the property management, the building materials etc. (We will cover more on this in a future blog post – stay tuned.)
If you are renting and can afford to buy – do it. Rent prices in 2014 have broken new records and are expected still to increase in 2015. Stop paying your landlord’s mortgage!
When looking at properties for sale, make sure to work with a condo expert. The condo Realtor will be able to source you the best possible units, and do it free of charge (as he gets paid by the seller).
Finally when selling a condo in 2015, you should really know that marketing matters. With over 450+ condo units for sale around Square One at any given time, it is important to make sure that your condo stands out from the rest.
Wishing all readers nothing but the best for 2015! This entry was posted on
Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 and is filed
It’s no secret that real estate prices in Canada. have been going up for a decade strong now. Unlike our U.S. counterparts, the Canadian real estate prices seemed almost immune to the 2008 global recession. Some places have gone up so much that for many people buying real estate is no longer an option.
Are you interested to know how Mississauga real estate competes on a global level in terms for pricing?
The first thing you must know is that the value of condos is calculated on a “per square foot” or “PSF” basis. The higher the PSF, the more expensive the unit will be. Most PSF calculations measure the internal square foot size of the unit only (no balcony), and may or may not take into account a locker or parking spot.
To put this into perspective, pre-construction condos in Mississauga sell on average for about $425 (+$25/-$25) per square foot. This means, that a 625 square foot, one bedroom condo goes for about $265,000. This usually includes a locker and a parking spot, but does not take into account such things as floor premiums or upgrades, which can drive the price of the unit up.
Let’s see how the $425+ per square foot price in Mississauga compares to different condo prices around the world.
Toronto – $600+ PSF – Toronto is the closest mega city to Mississauga, and Canada’s largest municipality. Condos in Toronto sell for about 30% more than they do in Mississauga. Toronto is the second largest city with skyscrapers in North America, after New York City. Also most calculations for PSF in Toronto do not take into account parking spots and lockers.
New York – $1,500+ PSF – The beautiful skyline of Manhattan in New York has one of the most expensive real estate markets in the US. With traffic 15 hours a day, lots of condos sell with no parking spots as people resort to taking the subway or taxi everywhere.
Hong Kong – $1,500+ PSF – Hong Kong is much crowed and home to some of the smallest real estate properties in the world. Tiny condos, that are sometimes less than 250 square feet in total size sell for big $$$.
London – $2,500+ PSF – In London condo apartments are known as “flats” and are the most expensive in the world. A downtown London condo which is only 500 square feet can sell for as much as 1.2 Million Canadian dollars! Think Mississauga real estate is expensive? Think again! This entry was posted on
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 and is filed
If you have been on the fence about buying a condo in Mississauga for the last little while, this might compel you to purchase a condo. Last week the Bank of Montreal brought back their 2.99% 5 year fixed mortgage rate. Originally, this same rate was offered last year and it only lasted about three months. Afterwards, the 5 year fixed rate slowly creeped up to about 3.5%.
What does this mean for the average consumer looking to buy a condo in Mississauga? For someone looking to buy a $300,000 condo with a 10% ($30,000) downpayment, the difference between getting a rate of 2.99% over 3.5%, could mean saving around $70 a month. Now that may not seem like a lot, but over a 5 year term, those savings would add up to $4,200.
What is good to know, is that you DO NOT have to necessarily go through BMO in order to take advantage of this promotion. Some of our clients recently got similar offers with TD and CIBC.
If you are considering buying a property in the near future, I would recommend contacting us in order to “lock-in” this special rate of 2.99%. Once pre-approved our clients can hold this rate for about 3 months. This entry was posted on
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 and is filed
No New Condo Projects Being Launched
In 2012/2013, there were 5 condo projects in downtown Mississauga which were launched; PSV 1 and PSV 2, Pinnacle Uptown 1 and 2 and Pinnacle Grand Park. Since the market has been healthy and steadily going up, builders are watching the market in order to see how the market will unfold for the rest of the year, and therefore, no new launches have been planned for this year in the Square One Area. However, the five projects mentioned above still have some inventory left over. For those projects with fast approaching occupancy dates, there are currently some great deals and promotions being offered to us. We have a close partnership with PSV and Pinnacle and would love to offer our clients all the perks of condo ownership, along with great offers.
Pro tip for buyers – If you are still looking to purchase a PSV or Pinnacle condo, now is your chance to get great deals and promotions through us. Contact us for more info!
Rent Prices Are Rising
Over the last two years, rent prices have steadily gone up. Two years ago it was possible to find a one bedroom condo in the City Centre Area for $1250/month, and a two bedroom condo would typically start at $1500/month. This year, a one bedroom will go for $1300/month, while a two bedroom would start at $1600/month. There is also a huge increase in demand for 2 bedroom condo units. They are very popular, yet inventory has been very low. It is not surprising that 2 bedrooms, especially units that are well maintained, nicely painted and competitively priced will lease out within 5 days of being on the market. 1 + den condos are also very sought after, especially if the den is a larger space, or if it comes with a door and can be used as a second bedroom. Since inventory has been low and demand has been high, it is not uncommon for landlords to raise rent on tenants and it comes as no surprise that rent will only keep increasing.
Less Inventory For Sale
On average, Mississauga condos still sell for roughly 98-99% of asking price, and the average days that a condo sits on the market hovers around 32. It is common for nice, well maintained units to sell within a week of hitting the market. The ones that end up sitting on the market for awhile are usually overpriced, and/or not so visually appealing. Some of our buyers lucked out this year, as they were introduced to nice properties before they even had a chance to hit the market.
Pro tip for buyers – if you want to have access to units before they hit the market, then make sure to work with us, since we have this option!
Buyer Expectations Are Up
In 2014, the average condo buyer is a lot more educated, as compared to a buyer a decade ago in 2004. The internet has contributed a lot to this fact. Buyers will check reviews online, before they settle on a building. Buyers also like to read what each condo has to offer. Years ago, buyers moved to be closer to the job, to schools, to grandparents, or to be in good areas. Although, a good location is important, buyers looking to invest in downtown Mississauga already have that advantage. Many of them will spend the extra 10 minutes to drive to work, as long as they find a condo which suits their lifestyle and their needs. The 2014 condo shopper is looking to invest in a lifestyle, and what that lifestyle has to offer. Some features on their list of must haves are:
– visitor parking
– party room
Buyers also have high expectations for what is being offered inside the unit. Most buyers want units that have stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood throughout, floor to ceiling windows and a nice view.
Pro tip for sellers – Having a non-painted or non staged unit in this busy market really puts your unit at a disadvantage. If you want to ensure that your unit really sticks out from the rest, get in touch with us and we can get your condo sold! We offer great marketing and free staging! This entry was posted on
Sunday, March 16th, 2014 and is filed
Comparing 2012 to 2011
Over the past two weeks I have been contacted at least six times by clients asking me about the condition and stability of the Mississauga condo real estate market. Keeping that in mind, and given the time of the year, I felt it would be appropriate to give my readers another focused market watch update. Although the official sales data from TREB will not be out until mid to late January, I can already use the tools at my disposal, and come up with some real estate sales data for the past year. I decided to conduct three case studies of historical sales data of downtown Mississauga condos by comparing 2011’s sales figures to 2012’s sales figures.
1st Case Study – 2 bedrooms SOLD
Criteria: newer (0-5 years), 2 bedroom condos sold in the Square One area (City Center) between Jan 1st to Dec 15th of 2011 and Jan 1st to Dec 15th of 2012.
Units Sold: 203
Average Listing price: $338,027
Average Selling Price: $329,877
Average days on market: 33
Units Sold: 207 (up by 2%)
Average Listing price: $348,882 (up by 3%)
Average Selling Price: $339,945 (up by 3%)
Average days on market: 36 (down by 9%)
2rd Case Study – 1 + dens SOLD
Criteria: newer (0-5 years), 1+den condos sold in the Square One area (City Center) between Jan 1st to Dec 15th of 2011 and Jan 1st to Dec 15th of 2012.
Units Sold: 171
Average Listing price: $268,428
Average Selling Price: $262,065
Average days on market: 27
Units Sold: 105 (down by 63%)
Average Listing price: $280,524 (up by 4.5%)
Average Selling Price: $273,664 (up by 4%)
Average days on market: 30 (down by 11%)
3rd case Study – 1 + dens LEASED
Criteria: newer (0-5 years), 1+den condos leased in the Square One area (City Center) between Jan 1st to Dec 15th of 2011 and Jan 1st to Dec 15th of 2012.
Units Leased: 206
Average Listing price: $1,430
Average Leased Price: $1,413
Average days on market: 22
Units Leased: 147 (down by 40%)
Average Listing price: $1,506 (up by 5%)
Average Leased Price: $1,488 (up by 5%)
Average days on market: 20 (up by 10%)
Analysis Of This Data
There is no question that the real estate market in Mississauga has definitely slowed down a bit. There are less available listings, less properties being sold and the properties that are selling are taking a longer time to sell. However, prices for both condos for sale and condos for lease are still going up on average between 3-5% per year. What does this mean if you are a buyer, seller or tenant?
Buyers: You are in a good position to buy. Multiple offers are less common now, as they were at the beginning of 2012. Take your time and shop around.
Sellers:You will have to be more patient as properties are taking a longer time to sell. This should not be a discouragement as prices are still going up. It’s imperative that you price your property to sell, instead of being known as the “overpriced property on the market”.
Renters: I bet you are getting sick of the rising renting costs. Stop making your landlord rich, and go ahead and buy your own condo. This can be done with as little as 5% down!
Predictions for 2013
After taking many, many, many variables into my own equation, I came up with this prediction for the Mississauga Condo real estate market for 2013.
Mortgage rates = will be unchanged (or maybe 0.25% up)
Available properties for sale = will be less than 2012 – 10-15% drop
Purchase Prices = will be up conservatively by 1-3%
Rent Prices = will be up conservatively by 1-3%
Strongest Demand = 2 bedroom/2bathrooms newer condos and secondary parking spots
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think! This entry was posted on
Sunday, December 30th, 2012 and is filed
As we are well into the 3rd quarter of 2012, I felt it would be appropriate to give our readers a real estate market update for Mississauga. There is a lot of “buzz” over the internet and different media outlets portraying various real estate predictions, overwhelming the average consumer. This makes it difficult to choose a side, as everyone seems to have a different opinion on this topic.
In this blog post, I will share my interpretation of the latest Market Watch for July 2012 and what implications it may have for Mississauga condos.
GTA As A Whole – Despite what media outlets say, real estate prices in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) were actually up by 4% from July 2011. The average price is now at $476,947. The number of real estate transactions has declined by 1.5%, while the average property took 26 days to sell (the same amount of time as last year). I would argue that the 4% incline in prices is still a solid indicator that we are in a healthy real estate market.
Number Of Square One Condo Sales – The number of transactions in the 905 area code (which includes Mississauga) has actually dropped by 2% compared to (the same time) last year. This number is no surprise to me, as I indicated in the beginning of this year, that we are in a seller’s market. Well priced condos around Square One are known to sell under a week. However, as we are now past the traditional “peak real estate season” of the year, I do see this trend shifting and being more balanced out and even possibly favoring buyers.
Average Selling Price Of A Square One Condo – The average selling price of a condo in the 905 area code was up by 1% in July 2012 from July 2011. This modest incline was lower than some of the previous years on record, where we have seen 4-7% price jumps. However, the Mississauga condo market continues to outperform Toronto’s condo market, which experienced a 1% decline in prices during the same time. I do see Square One condos appreciating 1-3% per year as we approach 2013.
Conclusion – No one can predict for certain what is going to happen, but based on these statistics it appears to me that we are in healthy shape. Prices are modestly going up (almost in line with inflation which is rated between 2-3%) and now the market appears to be balanced between buyers and sellers.
As a Realtor who is passionate about condos, (I follow 25+ national and international condo blogs) let me reassure you that the market conditions are very sour in most places outside of the GTA. Condo prices in some cities in the US have dropped by 40% since the 2008 recession. We here in Canada, and more specifically Mississauga, are fortunate enough to have tight lending policies and a strong economy which prevents a US style real estate market crash. This entry was posted on
Thursday, August 16th, 2012 and is filed
It seems like the discussion over rising interest rates and tightening lending practices is once again in the spotlight of the media. This time, the government has decided to keep interest rates the same but instead they changed the maximum amortization period for a mortgage with less than 20% down payment . The amortization period, often referred to as the “payback period” has been reduced from 30 years to 25. This change was brought in by effort to combat high consumer debt. The philosophy behind this change is that by reducing the maximum allowed pay back time, the home owner will be required to pay higher monthly payments and in turn build equity in their homes faster. Under the previous 30 year maximum amortization period, monthly mortgage payments were more spread out, thus the borrower ended up paying less principle off each month, and eventually paid a greater sum of money by the time the term was over. According to CBC news this change in minimal amortization periods may result in a home owner paying around $170 per month extra. The new changes will take effect on July 9th 2012.
How does this affect the Mississauga condo real estate market?
– Condo owners will see their properties become paid off faster.
– More people will look into buying condos in Mississauga since affording a house in Mississauga is going to be even more expensive.
– Rental demand might go up since less people will become qualified to buy a home.
– The change does not affect you, if you are putting 20% or more down as a down payment.
– Some first-time home buyers will need to hold off with buying and instead continue to save for a greater down payment in order to offset higher monthly mortgage payments.
– Investors with less than 20% down, might have more trouble finding a positive cash flow property, as monthly payments are now greater.
What I noticed is that there are very mixed views about these new mortgage rule changes. What do you think about the new mortgage rules affecting the Canadian real estate? We want to hear your opinion. This entry was posted on
Friday, June 22nd, 2012 and is filed
With new condo sale records broken once again this year, Mississauga is once again in the spotlight of many who seek a good return on their real estate investment. According to a report by the Toronto Real Estate Board, Mississauga condos experienced a healthy 7.21% price increase from February 2011 to February 2012.
This is more than double of the 3.31% price increase found in Toronto, between February 2011 and February 2012. Not surprisingly, condos in the Mississauga area are considered more affordable with the average price at $241,900 as compared to Toronto; where prices on average hovered around the $320,000 mark.
In this blog post I hope to share some of my personal client experiences, and how investors; both local and distant are choosing Mississauga condos as their number one real estate investments in 2012.
I will start off with the local people who invest in Mississauga. By local I mean anyone from the GTA (Toronto, North York, Oakville, Hamilton and of course those already living in Mississauga). Most of these clients witnessed the start of the Mississauga condo boom which commenced roughly in 2004. They have seen one condo building being constructed after another, and over a period of less than 8 years the Mississauga skyline has evolved beyond their recognition. After hearing countless stories of friends and family, who bought property and seen it rise in price over a short period of time, it only made sense for many of the local investors to get involved. This could explain the sharp increase of 7.21% over a short time period of one year. In addition, they recognize Mississauga as a young city with plenty of real estate investment opportunities and room to grow.
Most of my local investing clients are word of mouth referrals. Once they contact me, I met with them in person, go over their specific needs and begin working on their file. Some of them are only interested in pre-construction condos and others prefer to go with resale condos. The majority of these clients are familiar with such aspects as local property taxes, condo maintenance fees and mortgage conditions. Interesting enough, Toronto downtown condos almost always get brought up during my face to face meetings with local investors and more often than not, my clients share similar views as myself, regarding investing in Toronto condos.
Once we decide on which condo would make the most sense from an investment perspective, I provide my local clients with the number breakdown of how much return on investment they should expect to make. From there we together make a decision which condo property would be the best investment for their needs.
My clients who are overseas investors (From Dubai, India and different parts of the Middle East and Europe), have very similar stories on why they have decided to invest in Mississauga condos. Most of them, never heard of Mississauga prior to being interested in investing in real estate. However, they did hear of the ever so popular Toronto condo market and how many profited huge amounts of money in a very short period of time. Upon further investigation into the Toronto condo market, the overseas investors soon realize that these condos are by no means cheap. The second dilemma that they are faced with is the size of the condos that are in question. Toronto condos are known to be very compact and sometimes referred to as “shoe box” size. Both the price and the size of the Toronto condos, gets many of the overseas investors worried and thus they begin to seek alternative options. They soon discover the city of Mississauga, which is less than 20 Km away and offers one of the most prosperous condo markets in the country. After doing some basic research about Mississauga, they find that the city is clean, debt-free and still in the process of growing. This could also be a factor of why the 7.21% healthy increase has occurred in Mississauga as compared to Toronto. Seeing as how, foreign investors see it better fit to invest in Mississauga condos than Toronto condos.
Right now, I would say that half of my international investors are referrals and the other half found me over the internet. Given the vast distances between us, some of my international clients who purchased pre-construction condos through me, I have never met in person, but stayed in tight contact with them over the phone and via e-mail.
What does the condo real estate market look like for Mississauga in 2012? My predictions lead me to believe that we will continue to see the same 3-7% rise in condo prices that we have seen in the past decade. Both local and international investors see Mississauga as a great opportunity to capitalize. Any active real estate agent in Mississauga will agree that it is difficult to find good condo properties, that are reasonably priced and that do not sell within 10 days. This entry was posted on
Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 and is filed
It’s all over the news! As we say goodbye to 2011 and enter a new year, we once again hear the debates about the Canadian real estate market. The news are speculating that 2012, with too many building constructions going on within the GTA and putting the buyer in the driver seat, the market will go soft; stating that there are too many condos and not enough people buying (CTV news- CEOs sound alarm over Toronto, Vancouver condo markets ). Other sources such as CMHC, predict stable market conditions with the national average of a house hovering around the $368,900 benchmark.
Despite all this, as I stated in my previous article, there is no shortage of buyers for Square One condos. Properties are disappearing fast from the market and are being sold to distant buyers. Just last week alone, two of my buyers where both in a multiple offer situation and both were forced to pay over the asking price for the unit they wanted. I discussed this phenomenon with my colleagues and they shared similar encounters. Seeing multiple offers in the first 2 months of the year is uncommon, as it’s generally seen as the slow real estate season.
Mississauga’s condo market is still a baby compared to other places like Toronto and Vancouver. Over the next 15 years there will be over 20 new condominiums constructed. The question that is often raised is whether or not there will be an oversupply of condos in the market which can in turn perpetuate a real estate crash.
Is this a real estate bubble waiting to burst or a great investment opportunity?
My prediction, and of course this is only my personal opinion, leads me to believe that there will be no real estate crash in Mississauga anytime soon. My reasoning is based on the following key points.
1. Interest Rates are Low – For the past few years interest rates have been at historical lows. Many condo owners took advantage of this by selecting extremely low variable interest rates. Also, a few weeks back BMO and a few other banks introduced an all time low 5 year fixed rate at 2.99%. By no means am I a mortgage broker or interest rate expert, but for me this signifies that interest rates will probably continue to stay low for the next little while. Having low interest rates, means the cost of borrowing is cheap; hence people can afford to buy real estate.
2. Tight Lending Practices – Unlike our US counterpart, the Canadian banking system is a lot more strict and conservative. In order to qualify for a mortgage, a person has to prove his income in various ways by providing T4’s and bank statements.
3. Most Eeal Estate Predictions are US Based – Most speculations of any type of real estate crash are US based. As stated above, Canada has much tighter lending practices in place, which would prevent a real estate collapse like the one that occurred in 2008 in the United States.
4. Rent in Mississauga is Not Cheap – Rent prices for a newer one bedroom condo in downtown Mississauga starts at about $1,300 per month. The demand for vacant condo units is high and anything that is rented slightly below market value disappears off the market the same day!
5. Real Estate is Local – Just because Vancouver condo prices might dip does that automatically mean the Mississauga real estate market will follow? Of course not. Mississauga has been seen as one of the fastest growing cities in Canada over the past few years; providing a lot of jobs, a stable economy and steady growth.
6. People Love this City! There are more people who move to Mississauga than move out of Mississauga. People from different parts of Ontario (and other parts of the world) are amazed with the well planned out infrastructure and architectural design of Mississauga. I am having prospected clients from distant places contact me with inquires into purchasing a condo unit for investment purposes.
This is not to say a real estate crash is completely out of the question. As other real estate professionals, such as Andrew La Fleur pointed out; the only way a possible Mississauga real estate crash might occur is if we see:
1. Rapid rise in interest rates – Interest rates would have to almost double in 1-2 years.
2. A major economic catastrophe – An example on a global scale would be the US going into a very deep depression
In conclusion, indicators suggest that the chances of a Mississauga real estate market crash happening anytime soon are rather slim. Low interest rates, tight lending practices and other key factors all contribute to a steady 4-7% per annum real estate growth as seen in the last decade.
Questions or comments? Please contact me. This entry was posted on
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 and is filed