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Tips for New Landlords
In todays crazy rental market with the vacancy rates near 0% Landlords could be having dozens of conversations with prospective tenants and after that they are likely having to weed though just as many applications to find the right tenant. From the outside looking in this seems like an easy job, with a wider range of people to choose from we assume Landlords are going to find better tenants but that is not always the case. Now more than ever it is important for Landlords to maintain a level of due diligence when selecting a tenant and not just pick the person that is offering the most money. Keep in mind this is an investment and whether you, as the landlord are focused on the monthly cash flow to supplement your personal income or you are hoping to reap the rewards of a long term real estate investment you need to remember that a bad tenant can significantly jeopardize your goals. Not all tenants are bad, but the bad ones can be costly and potentially discourage you from long term real estate investing. So, as a landlord what can you do? Here are a few helpful hints to get you off on the right foot. Advertise for the tenant that you want, in the add mention things like this is a quiet neighborhood or that there is an onsite manager or you as the landlord live in the property. Setting the expectation early this is not a party house. Always conduct a telephone interview prior to meeting the prospective tenants, ask questions and more importantly record the answers. If you decide to meet with them ask the same questions and make sure they give you the same answers. If the answers change, ask yourself are they lying and why. Always make them complete an application form with as many references as possible. But before you start calling the references, Google them and make sure you are not just calling one of their friends. Are you really calling their old Landlord? Maybe ask the Landlord to confirm the postal code of the property. Remember Google is your friend and a great PI. Check as many sites as possible; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. could all provide you an inside look into the tenants lifestyle. Maybe even look up Court Services and see if they have had any appearances in Small Claims Court with past Landlords. It is public record and free to access. Once you have decided on a suitable applicant and you are ready to move forward, make sure you ask to see some ID when completing the Rental Agreement and that you are dealing with the person you think you are. Lastly when turning down someones application whether its because of something you found or simply decided to go with another applicant, NEVER give a reason. This will only start an argument that no one will win. Just politely thank them for taking the time to apply and that you have offered it to another person or that you will contact them if you decide to proceed. Remember your tenant is just as much of an investment as the property itself. Do your homework, be respectful, keep in regular contact; you and your tenant should enjoy a long positive relationship. For more information on how to be a successful Landlord visit www.landlordbc.ca Happy Investing! Chris Can Help.
Canadian home sales edge down from December to January
According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were down slightly in January 2017 on a month-over-month basis. Highlights: - National home sales declined 1.3% from December 2016 to January 2017 - Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in January was up 1.9% from a year earlier - The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% from December 2016 to January 2017 - The MLSHome Price Index (HPI) in January was up 15.0% year-over-year (y-o-y) - The national average sale price was little changed (+0.2%) y-o-y in January Sales activity was down from the previous month in about half of all local markets, led by three of Canadas largest urban centres: the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Greater Vancouver, and Montreal. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was up 1.9% compared to the same month last year. While sales were up from year-ago levels in about two-thirds of all local housing markets including in the GTA, Calgary, Edmonton, London and St Thomas, and Montreal, they were down significantly in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The number of newly listed homes dropped 6.7% in January 2017, the second consecutive monthly decline. New listings were down in about two-thirds of all local markets, led by the GTA and environs across Vancouver Island. With the monthly decline in new listings surpassing the decline in sales, the national sales-to-new listings ratio jumped to 67.7% in January compared to 64.0% in December and 60.2% in November. The ratio was above 60% in about half of all local housing markets in January, the vast majority of which are located in British Columbia, in and around the GTA and across southwestern Ontario. A monthly decline in newly listed homes further tightened housing markets that were already in sellers market territory. There were 4.6 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of January 2017 unchanged from December 2016 and a six-year low for the measure. The imbalance between limited housing supply and robust demand in Ontarios Greater Golden Horseshoe region is without precedent (the region includes the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country). The number of months of inventory in January 2017 stood at or below one month in the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford and Guelph. In the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, prices have receded from their peaks posted in August 2016. That said, home prices in these regions nonetheless remain well above year-ago levels (+24.9% and +15.6% respectively). Meanwhile, benchmark prices continue to climb in Victoria and elsewhere on Vancouver Island together with Greater Toronto, Oakville-Milton and Guelph. Year-over-year price gains in these five markets ranged from about 18% to 26% in January. By comparison, home prices were down 2.9% y-o-y in Calgary and by 1.0% y-o-y in Saskatoon. Prices in these two markets now stand 5.9% and 4.3% below their respective peaks reached in 2015. Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+3.8%), Ottawa (+3.7%) and Greater Montreal (+3.1%). In Greater Moncton, home prices for the market overall held steady (-0.2%), reflecting an increase in townhouse row units prices (5.8%) that was offset by a decline in prices for one-storey single family homes (-1.0%). The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in January 2017 was $470,253, almost unchanged (+0.2%) from where it stood one year earlier. The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canadas tightest, most active and expensive housing markets. That said, Greater Vancouvers share of national sales activity has diminished considerably over the past year, giving it less upward influence on the national average price. The average price is reduced by almost $120,000 to $351,998 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.
Canadian Housing Starts Trend Increased in January
The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 199,834 units in January compared to 197,881 in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of Canadas housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next. The standalone monthly SAAR for all areas in Canada was 207,408 units in January, up from 206,305 units in December. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 1.0per cent in January to 189,688 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 4.2per cent to 125,886 units in January and single-detached urban starts decreased by 4.6 per cent, to 63,802 units. In January, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, but decreased in British Columbia, the Prairies and Quebec. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,720 units.