HomeRun Homes Rent to Own Homes Blog

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HomeRun Homes is a centralized marketplace which helps people Find or Sell a Rent to Own Home, both Nationwide and Globally to the thriving Rent to Own Market. http://www.lease2buy.com
Showing posts with label canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label canada. Show all posts

September 4, 2011

Far-Reaching Impact of the HST on Canadian Real Estate

Hi Everyone,

   Happy Labor Day to you and your family. I hope you are resting and relaxing with your family and friends and enjoying some quality time together.

   As you all may know, our website and our company are headquartered in New York, but we cover the entire globe in terms of Rent to Own deals. After the United States market, the second largest market for Rent to Own deals is in Canada. As a matter of fact, just to let you know how large that market is, last summer I was interviewed for the esteemed "Canadian Real Estate Magazine" for a story on Rent to Own in Canada (FULL ARTICLE HERE). Apart from those that reside within Canada, there are also a substantial number of buyers and sellers of Canadian Real Estate that reside in the United States. Some of these buyers and sellers are Real Estate Investors with offices in Canada, so I felt it important to discuss a hot-button topic of our northern neighbors; the Harmonized Sales Tax, or "HST", for short.

   According to the website hstincanada, the HST is the "combination of Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) into one unified tax", and in the Spring of 1997, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia implemented a 15% HST (which has dropped slightly since then). However, despite the relative uniformity, the HST is not as cut and dry as it may seem, and as mentioned on the same website, some reports have shown that "implementing HST in the eastern provinces caused consumer prices to fall". Canada is a large country with multiple Provinces with diverse industries and requirements, and not all of the provinces favor the HST. The HST Controversy Hot-Spot is British Columbia (referred to commonly as "BC).

   Just last month, 55% of voters in BC elected to reject the HST, per a story titled "HST is Officially Defeated in BC" on hstincanada. What happens next? The former taxation system will be reinstated, but this will be quite expensive, costing an estimated $3 billion to repay "transitional funding" to Ottawa and to also bring back the administrative structure to process the PST. As is the case in every country, that money will be recouped by trimming some programs and adding new taxes.

   In regards to the relationship between the HST and the Real Estate market, let's review some background on the HST as it applies to the Real Estate Industry in Canada (Building and Construction, Realtors, Renovations, Existing Homes, etc.), since this will help paint a very clear picture of which ones are impacted by the HST.

   Earlier this year, Canada added some new mortgage rules, to stabilize high ratio mortgages and decreasing household debt, per the hstincanada article titled, "HST Impact on Housing Market". These new rules raised concerns over the affordability of housing, due to "two-punch combo of HST and regulations", as it was referred to in the article.

   The first punch of the of the "two-punch combo" - The mortgage rules translate into higher income requirements for buyers for higher ratio mortgages, and thus, higher monthly payments.

   Punch #2 - The HST, which is applied to the purchase of new homes (new homes, not existing homes), and is applied to "any amount over $400,000 with a rebate of up to $20,000", per hstincanada, and is also applied to "any legal fees, closing costs, and processing fees associated with buying a new home", as well as realtor fees and home inspections.

   In an article written by Sally MacDonald for the Daily Townsman ("HST vote a blow for real estate"), BC Realtor Jason Wheeldon points out the HST is "not applicable to existing housing", but says that "there is a lot of the market out there that believe that even if they buy a house that's two years old, they are going to be subject to HST, and there isn't any. It's only on new homes offered by the developer or the builder".

   Apparently, as told by hstincanada, the "added tax has been reportedly stalling new home projects and causing a decrease in the purchase of new homes in both Ontario and BC", and evidently, in the article by MacDonald, this has translated into confusion, says Wheeldon. He goes further and says that "market confusion" could stall the real estate market while the province reverts back to the PST. "I think people are going to review their big spending decisions and see if they are going to hold off for 18 months".

   It is important to note that from MacDonald's article, we are reminded that Real Estate is exempt under PST as well as the HST, and that the "return to the PST in 2013 will be positive for out-of-province homeowners", as per Wheeldon. He said that when it restores back, "it will benefit home owners, particularly recreational real estate. Recreational buyers were subject to the full HST with no rebates whatsoever".

   From the angle of Housing Construction, MacDonald's article says that housing construction will suffer a blow over the next 18 months, and that the cost of labor (i.e. home renovations), will get hit with the full 12% HST (but not the 7% PST). Also, in the same story, Peter Simpson of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association expects consumers will delay renovation projects until the PST is back in place (very similar to what Wheeldon mentioned above). Simpson recommends a system that "makes it neutral whether you do it now or wait".

   Things do not look much better from the perspective of foreign investment, as hstincanada points out that in BC, it is still a concern that "foreign investment will be lost and businesses will see a rise in expenses with the former taxation system reinstated which in turn will translate into higher consumer costs". To balance this out, they are hoping for the "supposed influx of provincial investments to balance out the economy".

   Are you either a buyer or seller of Canadian Real Estate or Real Estate in British Columbia? If you are, I would love to hear your "inside scoop" on what is really going on up there and what people are thinking. Even if you are a foreign Real Estate Investor and you buy homes in Canada, your insight would be incredibly helpful here.

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #HST #Canada #CanadianRealEstate #RealEstateInvestor #BritishColumbia #BuyHomesCanada #RenttoOwn

July 17, 2011

More Real Estate Bubble Talk

Hi Folks,

   Hope you had a nice weekend, and I'm honored to have you back with me!

   Last week, we took a look at Canada and where it stands in terms of a Housing Bubble (Canadian Housing Bubble Or An Exception To The Rule) vs. our busted bubble. Today, let's expand our reach and look at a few countries around the globe to examine whether their Housing Bubble has burst yet.

   Any conversation about Real Estate and Housing would not be complete without discussing China. In a recent Investopedia story that was aptly named, "China's Real Estate Bubble", Arthur Pinkasovitch looked at the average home prices in 2007, which, "slipped from $221,900 to $219,000" and then had a "massive 21% drop over the next two years." In contract, the author said that Chinese real estate "maintained its value through the Great Recession as property values tripled between 2004 and 2009." However, he says that "major cracks are beginning to surface within the Chinese real estate market as speculation about the collapse of the bubble has started to emerge.", and points to a drop from "stable" to "negative" by Standard & Poor's ("in anticipation of a "sharp correction" for real estate prices. Analysts are forecasting that home prices will fall by 10% within the next year.")

   Pinkasovitch points to oversupply of residential and commercial real estate in the country, and says that in order to maintain GDP growth, "the Chinese government has continued to over invest in large infrastructure projects focused on real estate development. At an average wage of $7,400 people are neither able to purchase the basic $100,000 apartments units nor invest into small businesses around the new developments.", and names some cities with residential apartment occupancy rates of only 30%. On the Commercial Real Estate end, he discusses the "Great Mall of China" which, "contains 9.6 million square feet of floor space", but, "less than a dozen active shops remain in the mall".

   Additionally, the Author points to the following fact; "According to The Atlantic, residential housing investments contributes to 6% of GDP, the same level as U.S. real estate at the peak of the housing bubble". He also says that the current prices are too high, and that "property prices in major metropolitan areas have risen to unsustainable levels".

   Robert Rubin, Editor of Safe Money Products, corroborates this, and says that China is already full of "empty cities, malls, and airports. That’s why China may not be the place for long-term safe money, despite its boom.". Rubin says that Local governments around China formed “Local Government Funding Vehicles” (to lend money to developers), but says that the finances of these "unofficial banks" are off-record, and says that the government of China "recently estimated 26% of these loans are bad, and 50% will be repaid only with difficulty.". Rubin also says that the real estate bubble "may pop when its government raises interest rates to control inflation."

   Putting the China "Bubble" on hold for a moment, let's take a look at a few other countries.

   In the Middle East, and specifically in Saudi Arabia, "A leading Saudi architect has warned that the Kingdom’s ambitious housing programmes could be scuppered by a looming real-estate bubble", says an article in Construction Week, titled, "Kingdom faces real-estate bubble, says Saudi Diyar". "The real-estate sector is ridiculously overpriced; it is a bubble", says Saudi Diyar principal Hisham Malaika on an Arab News interview. Additionally, says the Diyar from the oil rich nation that seems to build endlessly, "The cost of real estate is over inflated, and it is prohibitive for real-estate developers to finance projects for low- and medium-income families".

   In Europe, the Bulgarian Real Estate Market will return to an uptrend imminently, says an article titled, "Limited Return' of Bulgarian Real Estate Market 'On the Way'" and the "Bulgaria Real Estate Report Q3 2011" of Business Monitor International (BMI). The report cites data that an "average of 1 550 property auctions took place a month in January and February 2011, compared with a monthly average of 750 in 2010."

   The story sums up the Bulgarian market and says that the market "has a long way to go to recover before BMI sees anything like the growth of the previous decade", and that "a fundamental improvement in Bulgaria's economy has yet to be seen that would prompt BMI to upgrade the report forecasts and therefore the 2011 real GDP growth expectation is left virtually unchanged".

   Although the countries discussed here appear to be at differing stages of Bubbles and recoveries, we live in a Global Economy, which is not a cliché. As Rubin points out regarding the Chinese market; "The great threat isn’t to China, but to the commodity producers around the world that feed Chinese construction. China is the largest commodity consumer in the world. If Chinese construction wanes, demand for commodities will plunge. Commodities, stocks of commodity producers, and currencies of commodity producing nations will all be hit hard." The ripple effects of each country ultimately effects all of us, either directly or indirectly.

   What are your thoughts on this story?

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #Canada #ChinaRealEstate #HousingBubble #realestateprices #commercialrealestate #MiddleEast #SaudiArabia #Europe #Bulgaria #GDP

July 14, 2011

Rent To Own In Hong Kong?

Morning Folks,

   I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Half Day. "Half Day", you ask? Yes, since I admit that I am a "hater of Summer", from June 1 - the end of August is 92 days. Half way is July 16th (Saturday)...thus, "Happy Half Day".

   In previous discussions, we spoke about the Global spread of "Rent to Own" as am option to buy or sell a home. Rent to Own is gaining further popularity in the USA, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, and multiple different countries. As we spoke about in our post titled, "It's Still Rent to Own to Me", we touched on the different names that are used when discussing Rent to Own (Lease Option, Option to Buy, etc), but they are all roughly equivalent to the same arrangement.

   Now, let's add Hong Kong to the mix. In a recent story by Bonnie Chen in The Standard in Hong Kong ("Greenbelt conversion on cards in drive to boost flats"), Chen discusses a recent initiative to develop more residential space across the country. Part of this initiative involves a list of potential sites that needs to be submitted, "to the chief executive's office by September", "according to a source."

   The interesting fact here, is that the Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, in a speech last year, announced the "My Home Purchase Plan" (also known as rent-to-own), with the, "first 5,000 units to be completed by the Housing Society in 2013. ". This is just one piece of Rent to Own in that part of the world. China is an incredibly huge market, and one that we look forward to becoming an integral part of in the upcoming months.

   Regarding Rent to Own in China and the China Housing Market, we will be taking a closer look at these in a Blog Post in the next few weeks, so keep an eye on our Blog.

What are your thoughts on China and Rent to Own?
Happy Half Day !!

Did you know that you can be notified by E-mail when our new posts are available?

Just type your E-mail address in the little box on the right side of this page, titled:

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #renttoown #hongkong #china #australia #leaseoption

October 13, 2010

It's Still Rent to Own to Me

Hi Folks,
   News and trends spread fast in our global economy. One of the housing trends that has reached well beyond the borders of the U.S. has been that of "Rent to Own".

   As I often say, when I started this business in 2002, “Rent to Own” and "Lease Option” (and hybrids of the two) were alien terms. Over the 8+ years of managing the business, we have had our eye on the global markets, and we have seen some interesting developments.

   Now, the devil is in the details, but there are slight variations of Rent to Own all around the globe. For example, Australia uses the terms "rent to buy" and "vendor finance", and the UK and Ireland use "buy to let" (as well as lease option).

   Do you know what the two largest markets for Rent to Own are outside of the U.S.? It's Canada, and also, the Philippines. I bet you didn't guess that? Yes, often, this blows people away. In addition, the Philippines actually refer to it as "Rent to Own", as do our neighbors to the north. The Canadian market also uses some other variations, such as Vendor Take Back, or "VTB". Some other countries that use Rent to own or variations of it, include New Zealand and some of the Caribbean Islands .

   However, to find variations, we don't have to look far. While Chicago, the major cities in Florida, and North Carolina are some of the places that use the term, "Rent to Own", other places such as Atlanta and Phoenix use, "Lease Purchase" (varies in definition, but extremely similar).

   Please don't take this as the musings of a Real Estate Blogger, but as a primer for your entry into multiple national and international markets outside of your regular niche focus. Perhaps you could even consider it a small education on the real estate naming conventions across our big blue marble that we call Earth.

Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !

July 20, 2010

Canadian Real Estate Magazine Interviews HomeRun Homes

Hi All,

   We were just notified by Canadian Real Estate Magazine (www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca), that they have published an interview that we did with them on the Rent to Own Market. The segment that we are featured in is exclusively included in the physical magazine, so I have attached a copy of the article as well as a link to the file on our site (CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY).

   The article covers the many aspects of what a Rent to Own is, looking at it from the angle of Rent to Own Homes in Canada, and it begins as follows, "The rent-to-own option could prove to be valuable as lending guidelines make it more difficult for Canadians to obtain mortgages. Kit Kadlec recently spoke with Robert Eisenstein of Home Run Homes, a U.S. company that helps homeowners find rent-to-own buyers..."

   The two largest markets for Rent to Own Homes are both the US and Canada, and we are glad that we are able to help people buy or sell a rent to own home in each country.

Have a Great Day, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !

June 23, 2010

Our 8th Anniversary in the Rent to Own Homes Market...

Hi All,

Happy Wednesday to all of you. We wanted to let everyone have a copy of our Press Release that just hit the wires today (FULL RELEASE HERE). It's been a tough road for us with a lot of ups and downs, but we love what we do and we love hearing great news from customers who bought or sold Rent to Own Homes by using our website.

We will continue to provide the best service and the best Web experience for you. Our belief is that you either give 110%, or you stop altogether. Well, we choose to give 150% !

OK, Enough of my blabbering - here is the full text of the Press Release:

For Immediate Release:

HomeRun Homes
(631) 676-3609
(631) 574-2420

Top Website for Rent to Own Homes Celebrates 8th Anniversary

Ronkonkoma, New York, June 23, 2010 - HomeRun Homes (http://www.lease2buy.com/) is celebrating their 8th anniversary this month. The Company has continued to be an omnipresent force in the Rent to Own Homes niche of the Real Estate market, and continues to thrive in a field that has seen a majority of their competition dissipate.

Another Milestone for One of the Original Rent to Own Websites

The management team of HomeRun Homes\Lease2Buy.com commenced web operations in June 2002, after working on a series of Real Estate rehab deals in Orlando and Central Florida. The President of the Company, Robert Eisenstein, states that during that time, they found it difficult to locate people who would be interested in Renting to Own the properties that they had rehabbed, and he says that, "We realized that something had been missing - a central location where sellers could find buyers for their Rent to Own homes, and where buyers could ask for exactly what they needed in a Rent to Own home". He goes on to say that, "HomeRun Homes was born from this concept."

Acquisitions, Ventures, Web Traffic, and Global Reach

Today, Lease2Buy.com attracts a vast amount of web visitors, and has in excess of 1.2 Million hits. During their tenure, they have made one acquisition, which was a purchase of Equifree.com, a Stop Foreclosure website, and they have spun off an additional website, StopForeclosureRenttoOwn.com, which reaches out to those in the most urgent need of buying or selling a home. Continuing their tradition of helping people find what they need, they also offer a free Rent to Own Newsletter via download on their website, and also provide a very useful Blog (http://blogging.lease2buy.com/).

HomeRun Homes appears in many publications, such as Financial Advisor Magazine, Wallet Pop, and many others, as well as reviews on multiple Blog Sites. Their reach extends to the global real estate market, with their top 5 markets listed as the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, and the Philippines. In his 8 year Anniversary meeting, Eisenstein states that the company plans to make a stronger global reach a top priority, since there are "many people in many countries who are stranded, and don't even realize that Rent to Own could be a resolution to any housing problems that they may be facing, as either a buyer or as a seller."

For additional information on the topic, "Top Website for Rent to Own Homes Celebrates 8th Anniversary", please visit http://www.lease2buy.com/


HomeRun Homes is a Centralized Marketplace which helps people Buy or Sell a Rent to Own Home, a Commercial Property, or to offer Home Services nationwide and globally to the thriving Rent to Own market.

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We will check in with you to discuss the latest housing numbers when we have had a chance to take a good review of them.

Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !