Posts in In the media

Big news from RE/MAX Hallmark Realty

October 30th, 2017 Posted by In the media No Comment yet

RE/MAX Hallmark was already the biggest (and best!) RE/MAX franchise in the GTA, and today it’s even bigger (and better)! Ken McLachlan, Broker of Record/Owner, just announced the addition of RE/MAX First Real Estate into the RE/MAX Hallmark family, effective immediately.

RE/MAX First has over 130 realtors in four offices across Durham region, in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Brooklin. In the company’s 25 year history, under the leadership of Broker/Owners Ron Gordon and Brian O’Donoghue, RE/MAX First grew to become a dominant leader in the Durham region. This new chapter not only positions them for more growth, but also equips RE/MAX Hallmark REALTORS to seamlessly represent our clients in the Durham region, and makes us the market leader east of Toronto.

Basically, this gives me four new offices that I can use, all the administrative support we need, and opens up a huge new network of REALTOR colleagues who will make buying and selling easier for my clients. So, if you need a REALTOR in Durham, be sure to give me a call!

 

RE/MAX Hallmark expands again!

October 7th, 2013 Posted by In the media No Comment yet

This news is hot off the presses this morning:

Aurora, ON (October 7, 2013) – The leadership team at RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. has been hand-picked by RE/MAX York Group Realty to take the company to the next level.  RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. will acquire the company, one of the oldest RE/MAX franchises in Ontario, effective October 7.

The acquisition of RE/MAX York Group, home to more than 50 dedicated real estate professionals, brings the total number of sales associates under the Hallmark banner to well over 600.  Moving forward, the former RE/MAX York Group franchise will operate as RE/MAX Hallmark York Group Realty.   RE/MAX Hallmark now has 10 offices throughout the Greater Toronto Area, as well as the Muskoka Region.

“RE/MAX Hallmark is thrilled at the opportunity to drive a whole new chapter of success,” says Debra Bain, Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd.  “In fact, the timing could not have been more opportune, given the renewed strength of the residential real estate market.  Considering the tremendous growth trajectory of the 905 area code, we’re definitely excited by the future.”

Just over 11,500 homes changed hands in the first eight months of the year in York Region, comprised of East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  Average price hovers at about $615,000 in the area, up about four per cent over year-ago levels.  Days on market are typically 26, but quality listings will move much quicker.  Balanced market conditions exist in much of the region.

Veteran Broker-Owner and Realtor Bill Jenkins and his wife, Brenda, will remain at RE/MAX Hallmark York Group Realty, choosing to concentrate on serving new and existing clientele in a sales capacity. Renowned trainer and industry veteran, Barbara Brindle, will join RE/MAX Hallmark York Group’s leadership team.

“We’re constantly evolving at RE/MAX Hallmark,” says Co-Broker/Owner, Ken McLachlan.  “We drive our business forward through careful strategic direction, investment and advancement on several levels.  Ultimately, our goal is to provide unparalleled excellence and results to the lifeblood of our franchise—our Realtors and their valued clientele.  That commitment has made us a premier force in our marketplace for many years.  Bringing the right people on board to support that is imperative, and on that front, we’re glad to welcome Barbara Brindle to the Hallmark team.”

RE/MAX Hallmark will implement plans to foster and support the ongoing progression of its Realtors operating under the Hallmark banner, with specific goals for the RE/MAX Hallmark York Group location in Aurora.  It will bolster its team’s competitive advantage through professional development and spearhead improvements in framework, processes and infrastructure, including the integration of enhanced technology.  As a result, clients will benefit from an optimized buying and selling process, further elevating efficiency, service and results.

“These two franchises—RE/MAX York Group and RE/MAX Hallmark—have demonstrated an unprecedented commitment to their stakeholders,” says Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President, Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.  “Over the years, both have climbed to the pinnacle of success and contributed to building the RE/MAX brand.  Each company is renowned for its trailblazing leadership and team of award-winning Realtors who generate industry-leading results.  Sharing a similar vision and exceptional level of dedication made York Group and Hallmark an ideal fit.  I’m certain the Aurora location will continue to thrive under its new banner—RE/MAX Hallmark York Group Realty.”

The RE/MAX Hallmark team specializes in residential, recreational and commercial real estate.  RE/MAX Hallmark is firmly entrenched in the communities it serves.  It is the leading contributor to Children’s Miracle Network in Canada through the RE/MAX Miracle Home Program and grassroots fundraising initiatives with over a $1 million raised by the franchise and its associates since 1992.  RE/MAX Hallmark is also a leader in in-house training and is a member of RE/MAX International’s Chairman’s Leadership Advisory Board—an association of 75 of the leading RE/MAX broker-owners worldwide.  In 2009, strategic expansion secured RE/MAX Hallmark a RE/MAX International Award recognizing the company as the largest multi-office franchise in the country.

Toronto Community Housing Corp Prepares to List 68 Houses For Sale

October 18th, 2012 Posted by Hot Listings, Housing, In the media, Toronto Community Housing Corporation No Comment yet

Following the sale in 2011 of five vacant houses in the east end, (listed by yours truly), Toronto Community Housing Corporation listed five more on Crawford St in the west end in 2012. Those ‘baby steps’ have now been followed by a big step.

TCHC recently announced that they were preparing to sell 68 vacant houses from their portfolio of 650+ stand-alone houses. They posted an RFP (Request for Proposal) on their web site, asking for qualified Realtors to prepare bids. The bidding window closed on October 2012, so one would expect that those houses will be coming on the market in the not-too-distant future. Money from the sales will be spent on repairs to occupied properties, and will go a long way towards improving conditions. (TCHC faces an estimated $751,000,000 capital repair backlog.) This is great news for residents.

This is also great news for the Toronto real estate market. Although 68 houses may not sound like much in a market with about 20,000 active listings, many of the houses are in the east end (Leslieville/Riverside especially, with a few others in Riverdale, East York and Scarborough), so it could make at least a bit of difference here. As I wrote recently, house buyers are struggling with a shortage of ‘for sales’, so even a small surge in the number of available listings could help take some pressure off buyers.

Also, many of these houses, being vacant and in rough shape, represent a bit of a blot on the local landscape. Presumably, the new owners will put some time and money into improving the houses, which will benefit the block – perhaps the whole street – on which it is located. This is great news for homeowners around those properties.

Stay tuned for more info. I’ll post/re-post news as it becomes available. In the meantime, here’s the list* of houses that have been approved for sale:

109 McClure Crescent
56 Blackwater Crescent
55 Winstaley Crescent
87 Winstaley Crescent
5 Lowry Square
68 Snowball Crescent
52 Horseley Hill Drive
117 Merkley Square

29 Pintail Crescent
22 Murdock Avenue
703 Sammon Avenue
50 Aldergrove Avenue
281 Willow Avenue

350 Riverdale Avenue
90 Chatham Avenue
15 Milverton Boulevard
43 Poucher Street
1 Sawden Avenue

6 Ellerbeck Street
8 Ellerbeck St
10 Ellerbeck St
1544 Dundas Street East
1834 Dundas Street East

1318 Gerrard Street East
176 Eastwood Road
114 Ivy Avenue
56 Hastings Avenue
69 Laing Street

115 Hiltz Avenue
10 Kent Road
12 Rhodes Avenue
12 Bellhaven Road
32 Mallon Avenue

65 Dagmar Avenue
81 Degrassi Street
93 Empire Avenue
22 Wardell Street
257 Booth Avenue

101 Morse Street
161 Carlaw Avenue
118 Heward Avenue
14 Marjory Avenue
115 Jones Avenue

119 Jones Avenue
193 Jones Avenue
319 Jones Avenue
12 Rushbrooke Avenue
13 Trefann Street

311 Arlington Avenue
71 Nairn Avenue
174 Yarmouth Road
96 Marchmount Road
120 Ellsworth Avenue

19 Carling Avenue
598 St. Clarens Avenue
1022 St. Clarens Avenue
12 Mitchell Avenue
29 Noble Street

56 Lansdowne Avenue
161 Indian Grove
6 Hugo Avenue
630 Runnymede Road
406 Davisville Avenue

185 Logan Avenue
4 Wineva Avenue
5 Hubbard Boulevard
6 Wineva Avenue
7 Hubbard Boulevard

*Source: TCHC RFP 16/11

Condos vs. houses

October 10th, 2012 Posted by Buying opportunity, Condos, First-time buyers, Housing, In the media, Market Commentary, Mortgage pre-approval No Comment yet

As I have noted recently – and as has been widely reported in the media – there are two very different markets in Toronto real estate these days: condos and houses. Houses continue to increase in value, due in large part to relatively low supply, but I believe also because they appeal to a broader demographic. Condos, on the other hand, are in great supply (with many new projects situated downtown), often appeal to a different demographic (e.g. folks who can get by in 2 bedrooms or less and don’t want a yard), and have become the ‘whipping boy’ for a whole host of critics (banks, politicians, the media, etc.). It short, it ain’t a great time to be a condo in Toronto!

For those reasons, it’s understandable that buyers have become wary of condos. However, if a condo suits your lifestyle, and if you see the investment value (building equity, capital appreciation, potential income holding down the road) you shouldn’t allow yourself to be scared away. You know (at least, you *should* know…) your financial and life situation better than anybody else, so you can make your own call. Look at this period as an opportunity.

The market is somewhat ‘sideways’ these days – not going up, but not likely to go down much, either. Perhaps at some point we’ll hear about a construction project being cancelled, all the talking heads will say “I told ya so”, and the supply will adjust – and thus shall balance return! 😉

In the meantime, buyers can shop for value. Be extremely careful about your financing, as lenders are apparently getting skittish about condos. Some are afraid of a significant correction, and that’s their prerogative, ’cause it’s mostly their money. Be sure that your lender knows you are shopping for a condo, and ask if that affects the down payment they require as a term of your pre-approval. Whatever your max mortgage load is, be sure to spend a comfortable bit below that. Look for value in the market, and try to negotiate a better price.

These opportunities don’t happen very often in Toronto – the last one was in late 2008-early 2009 – and this one is limited to condos. We figure it will last 3-6 months, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was shorter.

What if you are a seller? People sell for a million different reasons, many of them forced (e.g. job or relationship change). If you really have to sell it’s important to price properly. It really doesn’t matter what a comparable unit sold for 6 months ago. What sold last week – last month at the most? Price to the current market.

Of course, if you don’t really have to sell now is not the time to ‘test the market’. By doing so you are wasting your own time (inconveniencing yourself, or perhaps a tenant) and contributing to the current supply situation. Perhaps you could try again next year….

Whatever happens in the next few months, I am certain of this: the condo sky is not falling. I don’t know why so many people freak out whenever there’s a market correction. Every market (from condos to oil to pork bellies) goes through periodic corrections. As long as we stay within our means (which most of us do), and plan for contingencies, we’ll all be fine. After all, this isn’t exactly the Zombie Apocalypse, ya know!