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episode # 45

Have Vancouver’s Foreign Buyers Left for Toronto?

Top-Producing Realtor and fellow podcast host, Andrew La Fleur, joins Adam & Matt to discuss shifts in the Vancouver Real Estate Market & the impact it’s had on the Toronto Housing Market. Are claims that Vancouver’s foreign buyers have left for Toronto warranted? Check out the TrueCondos Podcast HERE

And here is Adam’s recent appearance on “To Catch A Predator” – we are only kidding, he’s just a lousy husband.

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Episode Summary


 

About Andrew:

Andrew is a realtor in Toronto who has specialized in the pre-construction/pre-sale market for 10 years. He helps investors make money in the market and gets them access to hard-to-find opportunities.
On his experience as a podcaster:
Andrew has had his podcast, truecondos, for a couple of years. It’s focused on the Toronto condo and pre-sale market, but also touches on industry trends and the market in general. He’s had great feedback; many people find and learn about his services through the podcast.

On how the Toronto market is doing:

It’s on fire. The market has never been hotter across the board – commercial, houses, condos, even rentals.
On the relationship between the foreign buyers’ tax in Vancouver and the Toronto market:
Anecdotally, he’s heard of buyers coming over who would have otherwise bought in Vancouver. Andrew personally hasn’t seen this, so it’s hard to know for sure. The story could be exaggerated. Toronto and Vancouver are five hours apart and they’re very different cities; people are attracted to them for different reasons and there is no direct connection. If you’re an international buyer, you can go anywhere in the world-it doesn’t have to be Toronto.

On where his clients are from:

The vast majority of Andrew’s clients are local buyers. He works with some international, non-resident buyers, but on a small degree. They account for a small percentage of the market, as a whole and are not a huge factor.

On what he’s seeing in Toronto in terms of affordability concerns and cooling of the market, and if there is resistance and concern of the market being overheated:

People are wondering if they’re nearing what Vancouver went through a year ago when the market was so hot. There is growing concern within the industry that it’s not normal to have prices rising 20-30 percent-that’s unsustainable growth. The biggest driver is lack of supply across the board, and there is no end in sight. The mortgage rule changes from the government slowed the market for a short period, but now the market is hotter than before the changes were implemented. It’s really tough to buy property in Toronto right now. There are rumblings about the foreign buyers’ tax, but Andrew has no insight on it. He wouldn’t be opposed to or in favour of it, necessarily.

On the percentage of foreign buyers in Toronto:

It’s not tracked closely, but Andrew believes it’s under 10 percent. Everyone has family outside the country; it’s normal for money to come in from elsewhere. There is debate about how a foreign buyer is defined. They haven’t seen evidence to suggest foreign buyers are the problem.

On if Toronto is a good investment right now and his predictions for the rest of 2017:

Absolutely it’s a good investment. If you buy anything right now and prices are rising rapidly, it looks like a great investment tomorrow. There are opportunities to invest in every market if you understand where to look before the masses find them – whether the market is red hot or slower. The vacancy rate is one percent or less; the rental market is tight, especially downtown, and multiple offers are common. Downtown, the average days a property is on the market is under 10. The average one-bedroom downtown goes for $1,700-1,800 per month. To buy, it’s about $350,000, which is a better cap rate than Vancouver. Toronto would typically be more attractive; it’s a more linear market.
Andrew sees this lasting throughout the rest of the year. He read that a developer predicted condo prices would rise 20 percent from 2016 prices. Average price increases over the past 5-10 years have been four to five percent. Towards the end of 2016, they were rising 14-15 percent. Andrew agrees with this-there is just nothing to buy and prices will rise rapidly unless some miraculous decrease of demand or increase of supply happens. Downtown is denser since the past 5-10 years from the condo boom; downtown sites are harder and harder to find.

To reach Andrew:
Visit for the podcast, or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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