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Premiere Makes Profit 500 List
Premiere named mortgage firm of year, makes Profit top 500 list
Don MacVicar, president of Premiere Mortgages. (TIM KROCHAK / Staff)
Accolades just keep coming in forPremiere Mortgage Centre Inc.in Halifax.
The locally owned and managed mortgage brokerage firm was recently named Mortgage Brokerage of the Year by the national publication Canadian Mortgage Professional.
Just last week, Profit Magazine put Premiere Mortgage on its list of the top 500 fastest-growing companies in Canada at 69th place, with growth of 1,018 per cent over the past five years.
“It feels pretty good to get back-to-back recognition like this,” company president Don MacVicar said Monday.
“The competition is pretty aggressive in some of the other markets.”
MacVicar, a Halifax native, and some partners set up Premiere Mortgage about seven years ago after he returned to Nova Scotia with his family following a career in the banking business in Toronto.
Growth to date has far exceeded anything he had in mind, he said.
“I thought I was coming back to the Maritimes to get in a little of that more relaxed pace of life everybody was talking about.”
MacVicar said the brokerage firm plans to maintain an aggressive growth rate in Atlantic Canada and Ontario in coming years.
The company has 60 mortgage agents and originated $600 million in new mortgages in 2012, with a forecast of $700 million for 2013.
Canada’s big banks are expected to follow theRoyal Bank of Canadaand increase mortgage rates in the coming days. MacVicar said this may be good for the real estate industry.
RBC raised the rate on one-year mortgages 14 basis points to 3.14 per cent on Monday. A hundred basis points are equal to one per cent.
Two- and three-year mortgages went up 10 basis points to 3.14 and 3.65 per cent, respectively.
MacVicar said independent brokerages like Premiere can sometimes offer consumers a buffer from interest rate hikes, but he said some upward movement in rates is inevitable across the board.
“Even with these modest increases of 10 to 14 basis points, rates are at historic lows,” he said.
“The upward movement in rates might be good for the real estate industry as it may encourage consumers who’ve been sitting on the fence with rate guarantees to make a move.”
Other Nova Scotia companies on the Profit magazine list of fastest-growing companies includedMercer’s Best Built Structures Inc.of Dartmouth,Terra Beata Farms Ltd.of Heckmans Island, Lunenburg County, andJewelPop Inc.of Dartmouth.
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.
- 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.