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REIT holders not all equal

It may not be a first but the extra complications of a Canadian real estate investment trust buying another Canadian-based REIT with non-Canadian investors played out Wednesday when Dundee REIT closed a $231.8-million financing.

Dundee raised capital to partially repay debt taken on to acquire the outstanding units of Whiterock REIT, a transaction announced two months back. In the financing, Dundee REIT also sold an additional 1.356 million units.

Those units were issued with the acquisition of Whiterock “and are being held for the benefit of former unitholders of Whiterock who are non-residents of Canada.” The reason: The non-Canadian unitholders “are ineligible to directly receive units as consideration in connection with the acquisition.” Given that inability to receive Dundee REIT units — unitholders were offered either $16.25 cash or 0.4729 units of Dundee REIT — the select group of Whiterock unitholders had to be offered an alternative.

The joint circular prepared by Dundee and Whiterock provides further clarification on this point given that Dundee’s offer was not made to those unitholders of Whiterock who are non-residents of Canada. “Upon the completion of the Acquisition, all Whiterock Unitholders who are non-residents of Canada will have their Whiterock Units redeemed by Whiterock and the Dundee Units to which they would otherwise be entitled will be issued to the Depositary, which shall as their agent … sell all such Dundee Units through the facilities of the TSX, and pay … the net proceeds of such sales…..”

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Tips to remember when you 're buying a home alone

Buying a home can be a daunting experience for anyone. But it can be even more intimidating if you're doing it alone.

That is why Sandra Rinomato, the host of the new show "Buy Herself," is helping female buyers with one of the most important purchases they will ever make.

Today, single women make an estimated 20 per cent of home purchases in Canada.

Women also look for many different things in a home, according to property expert Rinomato.

For some buyers, ample closet space and a modern kitchen are essentials. Others view a safe neighbourhood and a private outdoor space to enjoy as top priorities.

Whatever the criteria, single buyers must look realistically at their finances before they buy, according to Rinomato.

"It's common for solo buyers and buyers in general to have unrealistic expectations, Rinomato said on Tuesday on CTV's Canada AM.

"People dream about their dream home for years, but they don't think about the price," she said.

In 2006, Rinomato was cast as the host of HGTV's "Property Virgins."

Rinomato left the show in 2012 to film "Buy Herself" and open Sandra Rinomato Reality Inc. in Toronto.

"I always tell my clients do your homework," said Rinomato.

"Don't hold back because you're afraid," she said.

"Buy Herself" premieres on April 16 on HGTV Canada.

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Canadian housing market 'over-valued' by nearly 15% says bank

Canada’s booming house prices are 10% to 15% over-valued, the country’s second-biggest bank Toronto-Dominion warned this week, as its chief economist Craig Alexander called for the government to put the brakes on lending growth.

According to Alexander, if Canada’s overvalued residential market were to suddenly unravel, the market correction would be three times the magnitude of the country’s housing market crash in the early 1990s.

He would like to see “a gradual decline in sales and prices over the next several years.”

“We need to acknowledge that a significant imbalance has developed and it poses a clear and present danger to Canada’s medium-term economic outlook,” he says. “It also suggests that further actions to constrain lending growth may be prudent.”

At greatest risk is Vancouver, a magnet for foreign buyers, along with the Toronto condo market, and the broad housing markets in Quebec City and Montreal, says Alexander. “Nevertheless, beyond selected cities, it is natural to assume that it will be a shock to all real estate markets when interest rates eventually rise from their prevailing exceedingly low levels,” he said.

Local agent and OPP Canadian correspondent Nicola Way is staying calm about the prospect of the market overheating.

“Current reports indicate that the Bank of Canada may raise interest rates towards the end of 2012,” she told OPP this week.

“Therefore a small raise may cause a soft correction in home sales and prices, but it’s not going to be the dramatic bubble burst that the US saw with their sub-prime fiasco.”

“Canada’s conservative lending practice means that any interest rate increase will be rolled out slowly to avoid household debt escalating too quickly,” Way adds.

But “increasing debt is definitely an issue that is being monitored and one way to regulate it is for banks to shorten the maximum amortisation period (the length of time in which a mortgage needs to be repaid) from the current 30 years, to 25. That way homeowners will carry loans that have lower costs over the long term.”

Does Way, who runs think that overseas property buyers notice any difference if prices and lending terms in Canada do adjust?

“No,” she says, because “many purchase with cash, thereby negating exposure to domestic interest rate adjustments. The recent Knight Frank Global House Price Index showed that over the last 5 years (and through many different interest rate changes) Canada achieved a 28.7% house price increase. It’s these long-term statistics that most overseas buyers consider, together with the other opportunities that Canada presents in terms of education, lifestyle, stability, safety, etc.”

Another factor worrying economists in Canada at present is the country’s spiralling levels of household debt. Toronto-Dominion’s Craig Alexander predicts that by late 2013 the ratio will reach the 160% peak seen in the United States and Britain before their real estate corrections.

Alexander said the Bank of Canada, which has repeatedly voiced concern over housing prices and household debt, is in a bind because if it raises rates while the U.S. Federal Reserve holds rates steady, that would boost the Canadian dollar further and slow growth.

A majority of forecasters polled by Reuters last month predicted that the Canadian government would tighten mortgage rules this year.

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Canadian real estate is overvalued, slowdown is nigh

A modest drop in housing prices and a gradual decline in home sales over the next few years is the best scenario offered in a TD Bank Group newsletter Friday.

Canadian real estate is overvalued, the group’s chief economist Craig Alexander said in his newsletter “Perspective.” The question is by how much.

Some economists expect as much as a 20-25 per cent price correction, he said. Others, including TD, forecast 10-15 per cent.

A sharp drop could come with a spike in unemployment or interest rates, causing broad economic problems, but neither prospect appears likely in the next two years, Alexander said. On the other hand, moderate economic measures could be taken to avoid such dangers.

“When driving on ice you don’t want to slam on the brakes and create a problem,” he advised in an interview. “But when the road conditions are dangerous you want to slow your speed.”

In the Toronto real estate market, the condominium building boom raises questions about whether enough buyers or renters can be found to fill them, Alexander’s paper says.

In Vancouver, the challenge for local buyers is affordability, with wealthy foreign buyers viewing the city as an attractive place to live or invest, it says.

At the same time, the Canadian Real Estate Association continues to report rising house prices in some regions. The average GTA home was worth about 8.5 per cent more in January than it was a year earlier, the association said recently giving its latest figures.

Connected to overvalued house prices is the rise in household indebtedness, fueled over the past decade by real estate secured loans, Alexander writes.

Debt-to-personal disposable income sits at more than 150 per cent, with debt rising 6.1 per cent year-over-year.

Housing overvaluation and high household debt present risks to the overall economy in the form of job loses, tighter lending conditions and house price declines, the newsletter says.

Gentle economic braking, Alexander said, might include shortening maximum mortgage amortization to 25 years from 30 years.

Mortgage lenders could assess an individual’s ability to pay a mortgage based not only on current low-interest rates but also on potentially higher future interest rates.

The minimum downpayment on a mortgage could be modestly raised to 7 per cent from 5 per cent, he suggested.

Economists forecasting a house-price correction in the 25 per cent range over the next several years include David Madani, of the Toronto research consultancy Capital Economics.

“We’re not expecting a sudden sharp collapse (in house prices) but we’re not expecting a gradual soft landing, as I think a lot of other economists are,” Madani said in an interview.

“We think this will have substantial negative implications for the broader economy,” he said. “Obviously, falling house prices will hurt household net worth, (which) will mean weaker consumption growth.”

While not forecasting one, Madani said the potential for a recession from a 25 per cent decline in house prices does exist.

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What They Got


Location: Glen Erin Dr. and Erin Centre Blvd.

Asking price: $834,800

Selling price: $805,000

Previous selling price: $300,000 (2010)

Size: about 3,080 sq. ft.

Lot: 44 by 154-ft., built-in two-car garage, private drive

Taxes: $5,362.64 (2011)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

Days on market: 3

In less than half a week, this renovated Mississauga two-storey detached home sold for 96 per cent of the listing price.

“Completely redone with the finest materials and workmanship, this four-bedroom home is ready to be moved into,” says listing agent Agata Iwicki. “It features an open concept layout and a large open foyer with a cathedral ceiling, as well as a dark oak staircase and a new back deck.”

Renovations include new windows, roof, hardwood floors, new bathrooms, furnace, wiring and air conditioning.

The home is close to Erin Mills Town Centre, Credit Valley Hospital and many schools, including John Fraser Secondary School, St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School, Our Lady of Divine Catholic School and Credit Valley Public School

Main floor has: living room with hardwood and large window; dining room with hardwood, pot lights and bay window; modern kitchen with granite counter and built-in stainless steel appliances; breakfast room with pot lights and walkout to sunroom; family room with hardwood and fireplace; powder room.

On the second floor are: master bedroom with stone gas fireplace, walk-in closet and five-piece ensuite; second bedroom with large closet, bay window and hardwood; third bedroom with hardwood and double closet; fourth bedroom with hardwood and walk-in closet; sunroom with wood floor; four-piece bathroom with track lights and granite counter.

Basement is unfinished.

Listing agent: Agata Iwicki, Sutton Group Realty Systems Inc., Brokerage.


Location: Worth Blvd. and Bathurst St.

Asking price: $918,000

Selling price: $890,000

Previous selling price: $543,000 (2001)

Size: about 3,600 sq. ft.

Lot: 50 by 125-ft., double attached garage, double private drive

Taxes: $6,200 (2011)

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 4

Days on the market: 8

Selling for close to the asking price in just eight days, this Thornhill two-storey detached home has five bedrooms and four washrooms.

“This executive home features an entry with a granite floor, a main-floor family room and library, and a walkout from the kitchen to a huge deck, gazebo and kidney-shaped salt-water pool in a very private treed mature yard,” says listing agent Jeff Tabachnick.

“It is located near Bathurst St. and Highway 407 and is minutes from Promenade Shopping Mall, excellent public and private schools, places of worship, and parks,” he says.

Main floor has: living room with hardwood and bow window; dining room with hardwood, moulded ceiling and casement windows; kitchen with granite floor, granite counter and walkout to yard; family room with hardwood and gas fireplace; library with hardwood; powder room.

On the second floor are: master bedroom with broadloom, walk-in closet and six-piece ensuite; second and third bedroom both have broadloom and share a five-piece bathroom; fourth bedroom with broadloom; fifth bedroom with broadloom; four-piece bathroom.

Basement is unfinished.

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Mississauga Real Estate Agents calling at first sign of spring

There are a number of factors that contribute to the success of the sale Mississauga homes. If you are familiar with what makes a buck home buyer, you should already be aware that kitchens and bathrooms are the most important forces that can make or break a sale. But in the end your house in order, it may be time to consider other factors that may make the sale Mississauga Ontario Real Estate easy and rewarding.

Timing is everything when selling Mississauga, Ontario Real Estate. The economy, the seasons, and the ability to keep each patient records as they prepare for the sale of homes Mississauga, Mississauga townhouses, apartments Mississauga, or luxury home in Mississauga. Think about how these factors affect supply and demand, consumer confidence, and what kind of weather that may hinder the search for a new home.

The uncertainty in an economy can have a huge impact on consumer confidence. When people are worried about their jobs, it is common for them to avoid spending money, especially major purchases such as homes Mississauga. If you sell your home, you will be very useful for keeping up to date with market developments. An economic crisis can mean the value of homes for sale in Mississauga is lower than hoped for, but it can also reduce the amount of buyers from your pool.

For home sellers in Canada, the four seasons that transform the landscape influence the buyers as well. When winter strikes Mississauga, the number of consumers who travel to see townhouses, Mississauga homes and condos for sale reduces understandable. Buyers are faced with challenges of fighting bad weather and the time available during holiday celebrations. Then again, maybe winter is not necessarily negative for all sellers, but can be a perfect time for Mississauga, Ontario Real Estate ready for viewing.

When spring rolls around and the snow begins to melt, the Green finished and it makes home buyers. The climate at that time of year makes the show better properties, and during the coming summer months provides an ideal climate for the closure and transfer of ownership of the family. Spring months are known to be a peak time for real estate in Mississauga Ontario, with home sales starting in January for locks to be held until the end of May, June, July and August.

It's no secret that spring is the best time of year to sell and therefore can sellers find an increase in competition in the market. Mississauga real estate agents agree that there is no stretch at this point, better to be patient. Put in extra time to make your property stand out from the rest. Remove clutter, reorganize and show more positive characteristics of each space.

Start your search for the most useful real estate agent in Mississauga and you will find that there is no reason to look elsewhere. If you have a property to sell or are ready to begin your search for the perfect home, his commitment to its clients and the ability to negotiate and produces superior results. It specializes in Mississauga Ontario real estate consists of houses, apartments, townhouses, luxury homes in Mississauga and sales of power and extends across Ontario, Brampton, Etobicoke, Milton and Toronto.

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