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Denzity Insights Transcript: Get To Know Toronto Real Estate Market with Gencan Lam

Get To Know Toronto Real Estate Market with Gencan Lam

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They say home is where you make it. Toronto, Canada has been that home to millions for years, with a large proportion of it being immigrants. This is due to Canada’s ever-growing tech industry, world-class education and health care system, growing opportunities and many more.

Today, Gencan will walk us through the Toronto real estate industry and tell us how it is important to look at the long term view of the local market and how there are more than just numbers to take into consideration before making the investment.

• How does Toronto differ from other metropolitan cities?

• Why should you choose Toronto as your investment destination?

• Which areas in Toronto to look into?

• What are the up and coming areas?

• How does the tax and mortgage work for foreign investors?

Gencan is a real estate agent from the 6ix, in Toronto, Canada. He works at a real estate brokerage in Toronto called Landpower Real Estate – a combined 15 years of award winning real estate experience, serving clients through buying, selling homes, investing in pre-construction, and property management. Having lived, schooled and worked in the Greater Toronto Area for the last 20 years, he considers himself as a city guide who can help investors navigate around the city.

Terminology & Source: 

Greater Toronto Area: The Greater Toronto Area or GTA is Canada’s largest and North America’s fourth large metropolitan city. It consists of six regions and is one of the most diversified places in the world due to its massive number of immigrants.

CN Tower: Canada’s famous landmark CN Tower was constructed in 1976 and is located in Toronto, Canada. CN is the abbreviation for Canada National.

Sources: Landpower real estate:

As it can be difficult to catch some minor errors, transcripts may contain a few typos or inaccuracies.

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Alright, let’s get back to the transcript of the show. Enjoy!



Darren: Hey, how’s it going?

Gencan: How’s it going? Good.

Darren: Good, good, good, good. Yeah. So I’m excited about this episode, because I mentioned to you before I really miss Toronto and for the audience who doesn’t know about my upcoming, I used to live in Toronto for three, four years. So when I reached out to you to talk about Toronto, like “Hey can you tell the audience and myself more about Toronto? I was pretty excited about this whole episode.  

Gencan: That’s great. I was excited when you told me you’re actually originally from Toronto as well. Yeah. And it’s great to meet another fellow Toronto person in Hong Kong. 

Darren: Yeah. Well, before anything, right. Would you mind telling the audience more about yourself? 

Gencan: Sure. So yeah, Hey Darren. Thanks for having me. My name is Gencan. I’m a real estate agent from the six in Toronto. Together with a partner of mine who is also my brother, we work in a real estate brokerage firm in Toronto called Land Power real estate. We have combined 15 years of award winning real estate experience. 

So yeah, I’m a real estate agent from Toronto. I’ve been living here for 20 years of my life. And I partnered with my brother about five years ago and we serve our clients through buying homes, selling homes, investing in pre-construction real estate and property management. And to tell you a little bit about myself, as I mentioned before, I was actually born in Hong Kong but I moved to Toronto when I was 10 years old, and I’ve been here for over 20 years now. Language wise, I speak Mandarin, Cantonese and English. And so like living here in Toronto, it was a pretty seamless process when we moved here, and having also lived, schooled, and worked in the Greater Toronto Area, for the last 20 years, we really consider ourselves city guides that can help investors navigate around the city. 

Darren: That’s good. And it’s kind of like my story too because I remember when I go to Toronto, there’s a huge asian community. Even though I’m like miles away from Hong Kong, it feels somewhat at home and still different. And then so for some audience that might not know about Toronto, right, people don’t know about how the Greater Toronto Area have a lot of different neighborhoods. And then you know as to Drake, as you said before this just before the coin the six, can you give us the audience, a brief introduction of GTA and where oversea real estate investors tend to invest?

Gencan: So when you talk about Toronto, and the six, it’s been a very popular term, and in recent years, Drake has talked about it in his songs. And it really comes down to our area code, our area code is 416, and six or seven. So 416 is original area code, 647 is pretty much past the year 2000. So a lot of the young millennials will relate to the six or seven. And so it’s a six that really differentiates ourselves from the other numbers and the six main areas that also make up the Greater Toronto Area is also why the number six is also important. So there’s the old Toronto there Scarborough, there’s East York, North York, Etobicoke and York. So these are the six main regions in the Greater Toronto that we have. The GTA is also the largest metropolitan city in Canada with over 6.4 million people, and the fourth largest city in North America, and the other big cities just trailing behind which especially with city, LA and New York. In Canada, the largest city, Toronto is really a leader in business, finance, technology, entertainment and culture. And what makes Toronto really different is that we have a lot of immigrants and we’re extremely multicultural. We have over 250 in the cities in over 170 languages. So if you’re from Toronto, you’ll have lots of different cultures. So you have, you know, Asians you have Black, Latin American, Arabs, and a lot of Indians in fact, and so living in Toronto like we always feel like at home no matter what kind of race we are, there’s not much racial discrimination. So we feel really comfortable living here in Toronto.

But like you mentioned in the question, out of the six areas in the Greater Toronto Area, the most important area of the mall is the downtown Toronto area, which overseas investors will find some of the best real estate opportunities. And in these areas in the GTA, most of the most important iconic landmarks in Toronto are found in the downtown Toronto major core. So things you’ll find are such as the financial district in Toronto, which you’ll find the TSX the Toronto Stock Exchange and the major credit quarters, the harbourfront where you’ll find the the Lake Ontario and most of the waterfront properties. The entertainment district where you find all the nightlife, Toronto International Film Festival arts and lots more. So for Toronto a lot of the investments have been coming through the downtown Toronto area because there’s a lot of iconic landmarks that I’ve mentioned. The subway extension is also in Toronto and the root of it is in Toronto with the subway and also the go train on the CN Tower. How can I forget the CN Tower is also in the major core so naturally for a lot of investors they want to invest in something that they’re more used to so Toronto is definitely where a lot investors could invest in.

Darren: Yeah, I think when you tell me about it it like reminds me of a lot of Toronto like you know, when you talk about different area and stuff like that, I’m kind of have the image in my head like walking through the streets and then driving around and stuff like that. So you know, like Toronto real estate market has become a very hot topic, among a few circles. I mean, what’s the reason behind that? And then again, the trend and how do you think it’s going to be like the next couple years? 

Gencan: So a lot of the hot topic of Toronto in recent years, has been talking about two things. So the immigration and the tech sector. So these two things are huge in Toronto right now. And as I mentioned, we have a Liberal government. So immigration is really welcomed. And so we have, because of how multicultural our city is, we have people coming from India, from Asia, all parts of Asia, from Italy, we have a huge Italian background, from Arab so we actually have a really good mix of a lot of different people coming to Toronto, and because of how good our education system is, or good, how good our healthcare is, a lot of people have been moving to Toronto in recent years. And because of how open our government is to immigration, we’ve actually seen an increasing number of immigration and growth every single year. So just immigration wise is a huge contributing factor to our talented nurse in Toronto. And second thing I want to talk about is the tech jobs. So the tech jobs in Toronto is really something that if you’re in a tech industry, you’re going to be talking about Toronto was one of the top tech growth cities in North America. So it’s been a hot topic for the last couple years. But just a couple facts I want to talk about, we actually have the fastest growing tech market in North America actually having a better tech job growth in New York City, Seattle and Boston combined. It’s something that we’re very, very proud of. We have 290,000 skilled workers and making one of the largest tech hubs in the world. So when you talk about tech hubs, people usually think about San Francisco, New York. But Toronto was actually, you know, trending on top of being one of the fastest growing tech markets. And we actually saw a 54% increase in our tech jobs over the past five years. And really, now it ranks number three, just behind San Francisco and Seattle. So it’s definitely a very good industry that a lot of people a lot of young grads are looking to and moving here. 

Darren: So it sounds like because of the tech boom, for example, right, A lot of new areas or hip areas and stuff like that, is there any area that you think is like because of that whole movement with work coming in that is kind of booming, it’s kind of exciting to see how it developed?

Gencan: So, the tech industry, you’ll find in two main areas in Toronto. So, in the major downtown core, as I mentioned many times, that’s where most of the employment is. And most of the major headquarters of the tech giants in the world, like Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Uber, they’re all centered in the downtown core area. And the reason why a lot of people, a lot of corporate headquarters moved there is because you have all the lifestyle criteria there so you have all the top restaurants within walking distance you have a lake waterfront. People in the tech industry really like enjoying life, you know, like you have Google having   some of the best like headquarters you have in the world, some of the best interiors so I think lifestyle is a huge proportion to what the tech companies want to move in Toronto and because we have such a good lifestyle aspect to it. Food is also a really important aspect of downtown. We have some of the best and most diverse restaurants. So I think lifestyle wise, you know, listens to the waterfront, it’s really important to people moving in Toronto. And the second area that I want to mention is in Waterloo. So Waterloo is around an hour and a half from Toronto. But you can’t talk about Toronto’s tech industry or Canada’s tech industry without talking about Waterloo. So Waterloo is actually home of rim, which is blackberries like an original manufacturer. So Waterloo actually brewed a lot of tech talents in Canada and the world because they have some of the best programs in universities from University of Waterloo, Western so it’s basically these two areas Toronto and Waterloo which is stimulating all the growth in the tech industry.

Darren: I see. So Greater Toronto Area is huge area, people look at the map, they don’t realize that it’s like, you know, downtown, for example, take an hour from an end to another end, and then going to Scarborough Mississauga and everything is a huge area right? And so I’m just wondering, right, are there any places around those areas that is really popular among oversea investors that you think is overrated or overpriced?

Gencan: So, when you talk about overrated or underrated areas, I would talk about areas that always have hidden potential. And when we talk about overrated, you can’t forget that there’s also a lot of underrated areas. That is also on the other end of the spectrum. So overrated areas in Toronto, I would say there are quite a couple and the reason is because everyone just invest in areas that they know about. So in Toronto, most people invest in what they know about if it’s close to CN Tower, or if it was close to financial district, if it’s close to the University of Toronto, so these areas are where a lot of people invest in, but throughout the past couple of years, because a lot of people have invested in these areas, it may have created a saturated kind of investment area because the prices have been really expensive. It’s always invest in a very established neighborhoods, with all these, you know, these iconic landmarks. So I feel that if you’re looking at an area with high growth, it’s not going to be in all these major hotspots in Toronto, I would look at the outskirts. So when I talk about the outer skirts, I talked about the fringe areas in Toronto. Maybe around 20 minutes away from the downtown core accessible to public transit, or through highways, or with more government infrastructure building in those areas with, you know, go train or with other financial centers. So we feel that Toronto everyone knows about the main areas in Toronto or most people do. But we really want to find as realtors the best valued areas. So the underrated areas, the up and coming areas that we feel can make our clients the most money.

Darren: Well, that’s exactly what we’re thinking because like, you know, when we think about our platform, and our view that we’re making is that to let people understand that, it’s not only about the two or three streets, you don’t have to necessarily go for those areas. And there are all different areas that you can explore. So this is something that like, I preach you for that reason, too. So how would you suggest differently if investors are either planning for self uses or investment only. 

Gencan: So for self use, I would say the biggest difference right now, if you asked me about self user investment is really the lifestyle. For self use, I would ask a lot of questions such as how big your family is, let’s say what kind of lifestyle you prefer, what kind of school you’re going to, where you’re going to be working. So I think a lot of the differences with self use and investment is that you really want to get personal with the investor. So investors personal preferences are something that we really want to get to the bottom of, and we really want to understand. So for us to really understand and match a particular investment to our investor, we really want to get to understand them, because there’s so many different areas in Toronto that you can actually make money in. And we’re not going to say, “Hey in area A, you’re going to make this much of a turn over this place.” Because it’s all relative, if you have a place that has a really good return, the prices are always going to be a little bit more expensive, but a place that has less return, it might be very established might be more stable. So understanding a client’s personal preferences is very important. So I can give you an example. So let’s say if a client has children who wants to go to university, we would recommend them into university areas such as University of Toronto, and those areas are traditionally more expensive, but they’re very stable. They’re very established neighborhoods, which get very good rental returns. But if they want that convenience, that’s something they can go towards and conversely, if you think about investment, I would talk more about the numbers. So what’s the return? What’s the major infrastructure that’s going to be building in the area? What are the hot pockets that will get the highest returns in an X number area, X number of years? So I think it’s a little bit dislocated with the personal aspect for end user, but for investment wise, for strictly investment wise, I would also recommend clients it’s just as important because when I recommend investments to clients, I want to tell them that, “Hey, if you’re investing for a strictly end user, what’s the last thing that can happen if the market crashes?” If the market crash, I think the number one thing you can consider is “Hey, what if I live in there? What if I actually have a chance to live in there? Would I still buy in this place?” So one of the few questions I like to ask is, if they’re willing to live in that in that place, while investing in the same place. I think having those two components will really mitigate a lot of the risk factors because a lot of times when people just look at investment, just as strictly number factors, they can just look at pretty much anywhere in the city. But having that aspect, if they can actually move in, it actually opens up to more personal preferences, which I would have like a balanced approach between the two. 

Darren: That’s actually really good advice, because, you know, I was thinking, I was always telling people to think about, if you were miles away in that location, so obviously, like you think a lot differently, which comes to my next question, right, what are some things that oversea investor should be aware of when they assessing the opportunities in Toronto?

Gencan: So there’s a lot of factors. I think I mentioned a couple like, whether it’s close to like universities, if it’s close to the Financial District, if it’s close to, you know, different subway stations, I think the important thing is understanding the intention and the preferences of the investor. Some of the things that I usually like to break it down to my client is a couple things. So TTC or the public transit is a major, major, major thing I always like to talk to my clients about, because Toronto is actually not accessible by walking like an entire GTA. There’s a lot of different smaller parts of the GTA that you actually need to have a car. It’s like Hong Kong, so like Hong Kong or Asia, in most of the Southern Asian cities, most of the cities are connectedby subway or by train, but in Toronto like in some areas you have to have a car, you have to drive to the highway or have access to local amenities in different parts of the city. For example, a place like Markham, you have to travel by car to the place because if you take it by TTC or public transit, it might take an hour and a half. So I think that some of the things that overseas investors have to do, as one of the top things is think about the transit as it’s really different. It’s really the North American transit system is really different than the transit system in Asia. So I think that’s number one thing. Another thing is to talk about the schools. So what type of schools would the investor be leaning towards? So Toronto has a lot of different schools and when I talk about schools, I want to talk about the universities because that’s one of the most important in the GTA area, but every school has its own benefits, and it’s better programs, the better major programs. You mentioned that you want the Queens, entirely amazing as this program. But as I mentioned previously, like a school like University of Waterloo, it’s good for finance and also engineering and like gearing towards a more tech based epic career. And then you have Hamilton, you have like a University of McMaster, which is really good for business. And then yeah, your u of t which is good for everything. So I think knowing the type of schools that you want to invest in or like the client who wants to have children invest in particular areas, I think that’s really important. Lastly is employment. Employment is really important. I think that there’s a lot of again, there’s a lot of different sub pockets for more popular types of jobs. So there’s the financial district in Toronto, which has all the headquarters. But then if you go another area in the GTA closer to Markham, you have more types of labor jobs or different types of tech jobs outside of the Greater Toronto Area. So I think jobs wise, TTC and, and also the school is also very important when assessing opportunities. 

Darren: I see. So for overseas investors, right, what kind of tax and how much would they get charged if they invest in overseas real estate in Canada?

Gencan: Yeah. So in 2017, the Government of Ontario announced that there was going to be a 15% non-resident speculation tax so this is pretty much to tax any foreign buyers interested in buying real estate in Toronto, Ontario. So this 15% tax is slapped on the closing of any property. So for example, if you’re buying any property in Toronto, let’s say a condo in downtown Toronto in Yorkville, and you have a closing date of two months after you purchase a property that 15% tax is due on the closing in two months. I’ll give you another example. If you’re buying a preconstruction property that is closing in three to four years, the 15% tax is not due until you close so it’s actually four years after. So this 15% is added on top so for example, if it’s a $500,000 condo than the 15% tax will be 65,000 that’ll be added on top to the to the purchase price. However, with the tax rate now, there’s actually a tax rebate eligible if you actually qualify. So there’s a couple of different qualifications to see if you’re actually qualify. But one of the more popular one is, if you purchase a property as non resident, let’s say you’re from Hong Kong, you buy a property in Toronto, if you actually apply to become a Canadian permanent resident, and within four years of the real estate purchase, you can actually be eligible to get the rebate back. So that’s quite interesting. I think a lot of people have been interested in moving to Toronto. So people have been doing that. 

Darren: I see. By the way, you have been very thorough like the answers that you have so far. Thanks a lot. You know, like, we interviewed a couple of guests so far and some of them only give kind of like a very high level answer, but you get really in depth and I want to appreciate you and say thank you so far. Yeah. So like I’m sure it’s a big topic, right, I think you guys are still under COVID. How did the COVID impact of market and then you know, during these times, are there any opportunities that investors should look at? 

Gencan: Yeah, so in Toronto, the real estate market was actually extremely strong preCovid. So, during the last year, like the later stages of last year, in November, December, there was actually a lot of articles talking about how hot the 2020 market was going to be. And we had an extremely hot market, and we were actually primed to have maybe the best one of the years we’ve had in the last decade or so, like we’ve had in 2017 we had a really hot year. And then in 2020, we’re like, wow, this is actually crazy, and we’re possibly going to have a better year than 2017 we’re gonna have the same type of buyer mentality that we had. So it was definitely a seller’s market. So a lot of people buying, the demand was crazy. And there was a lot of multiple offer situation. So a lot of people were over bidding and the prices were really high. A lot of people sold at that time but COVID-19 hit and a lot of the fears about buying all of a sudden just stopped and just put on pause. So as COVID-19 hit in Toronto, it kind of hit slowly. And like as many countries and cities in the world, it suddenly spiked up a lot and basically our city decided to have a city emergency and pretty much stopped all the non essential services. So when we talk about non essential real estate is actually an essential service, but the non essential services is basically like malls, plazas, a lot of the small palm tree shops, they all stopped. So, it pretty much allowed this whole COVID-19 to take over all Toronto. So, as a result, a lot of people ended up staying home, jobless, they couldn’t go to work a lot of restaurants was not doing well. And our market basically tanked for two months. And so as you know, as people who previously bought in previous years who want to sell around this time, it was very tough for them. As sellers we saw like a market drop around 50% during this time for buyers, it was actually a very good time. So to answer your question, it was actually a very good time for investors to come in if they had money. So there’s always two sides of it. Whenever there’s a downturn in the economy, there’s always an opportunity for investors. So where investors who had money who were willing to move into a place immediately, it became a really good opportunity for buyers to come in to get a lot of property at a discounted rate. So that happened a lot in March and April. However, it really sucked for sellers, sellers really saw a really big decrease. So they really had like the bad end of the stick. However, something interesting that happened in Toronto is that Toronto really didn’t see a huge drop off like we see a recession. So usually, we have an actual recession in the city. In the economy, we’ll actually see no demand, we’ll see supply drop and everything drop. But we’re actually seeing demand actually being very resilient in Toronto. So we actually saw really healthy demand still in like a lot of agents circles and they were ready to pounce on a lot of properties and sellers because they didn’t have as many listings as before, the prices actually became more stable. So when the listings were less, were low, the buyers demand still remained high. So actually prices didn’t drop too much. So not to talk about it for too long, but the demand actually over exceeded the detriment of COVID-19. So actually, the prices continue to be relatively stable. So fast forward to May and June, we’re actually seeing a balancing and a lot more activity of prices going back to normal. So it’s quite an interesting state that we’re seeing in Toronto. And, I contributed really to the demand and I contributed to the immigration and people moving to Toronto. At the same time COVID you also see Hong Kong having a lot of protests, I’m sure, you know, their instability amongst other countries like Italy, like a lot of other countries in the world, which don’t see their own cities as some safe haven, but actually saw Toronto as something that’s more of a safe haven. So we actually see a lot of a spike in interest and people coming back. So yeah, we were really surprised. We were really surprised to see how resilient Toronto was, and so while condo prices dipped a little bit, it’s coming back up right now, actually. 

Darren: That’s good to hear. With that said, right, what are some tips and advice you would suggest to the audience?

Gencan: So, like specifically for Toronto, I would say, look at the long term view of Toronto, I think there’s a lot of good long term aspects and views that you see in Toronto that you may not see in other cities. And I think that living in Toronto, there’s so many different things that I can appreciate as having lived here for the last 20 years. A couple of things that come to mind – and the main things is our education system. We have one of the best education systems in the world, world class, University of Toronto is one of the top universities. Our healthcare, we have a free health care and amazing health care system. And also like our political climate, it’s relatively safe. So I think that looking at different cities when you’re investing in and assessing where opportunities I think you need to look at not only where the general investors have previously invested in, because if you look at a city like New York or London, or Cali, like San Francisco or LA, a lot of people have invested in those areas, but it might not be the best long term. If you look at certain cities outlook, it may be but because of how popular certain cities are, I think you want to look at areas and cities that are up and coming. So I think that when you’re assessing opportunities, having a more conservative outlook of your investment, you can invest in more established areas. But if you’re looking for potential for long term growth, which I always suggest to my clients, it’s always looking at up and coming areas. And for a city like Toronto, I think we have been improving in the last 10 years, steadily. So I think that’s some of the ways that I’ve been assessing for my clients.

Darren: That’s good. That’s something that like, even I remember, I asked you beforehand about what are some places up and coming, you know, kind of hip and stuff like that. So, would you mind telling the audience what street and what area would you suggest? And then, you know, are those younger crowds willing to pay more, you know, and then what are some kind of common activities, commercial activities besides just tech and other industry that you think might be long term as well? 

Gencan: Yeah. So when you talk about like hip and, and like popular areas, it’s still downtown Toronto, like most most young people still like living in downtown Toronto but in the downtown Toronto area like aside from like the six main areas in the GTA Greater Toronto Area, there are like sub pockets. So like I mentioned earlier, there’s the national district, there’s like the door filled area, there’s an entertainment district. There’s like a less legal area. So there’s a lot of these different pockets that are very popular among the young. The young millennial circles are the big yuppies. But one thing that I really like, promoting and talking about in Toronto is sports. We actually have an amazing sports fan base in Toronto, possibly some of the best in the world. And the reason is because we have for the best major sports in Toronto. So when you talk about Toronto, the major sports we have Toronto like NBA, Raptors, we have Toronto Raptors. For NHL, we have the Toronto Maple Leafs. For Major League Baseball, we have Toronto Blue Jays. And then for soccer, we have Toronto FC. So these sports teams that we have in Toronto actually allows people who live here to have access to games for the entire year. So, if you look at the seasons wide spread out, it’s actually split in the entirety of the year. So on any given night, on most nights, you’re able to catch a game, you know, you can walk to the game, you know, watch the Raptors, if you’re a soccer fan, you can watch a soccer game, and it’s all accessible by like major public transit areas. So if you’re a sports fan, and you live in Toronto, it’s a dream. 

Another thing that I was talking about in Toronto is the food. Food is the most diverse that we have. And it really talks about a good kind of flavor that we have and when we talk about the different types of immigration and different types of cultures, we have a lot of different flavors in Toronto. So you have a really big market for Asians, for Italians, for Greeks, for Indian for like white food. So we actually have a lot of sub pockets in these different ethnic groups. I don’t want to kind of like separate all these ethnic groups, but they are in different regions and I think I’m very proud to see a lot of different demographics, different areas. And it just shows to me, if you’re living in Toronto, you can actually find your group. And you can actually blend well and establish like a good business in your area if you don’t want to, you know, like assimilate with another group yet. It’s a very open neighborhood where like, you know, we have a lot of different international flavors everywhere. So, yeah, again, Toronto, we talked about the sports, the food and also like shopping. Shopping is also a very big thing in Toronto, and we have some of the best brand names, some of the best shopping in Toronto. 

Darren: I see. I feel like we’re doing the City of Toronto a favor of explaining people, advertising the city.

Gencan: More like a city guide now. 

Darren: No that’s good because when you say about the neighborhood, a lot of people just keep forgetting that real estate investing is important. But if you don’t understand how people live, the culture and how people interact, what’s the point, right? So this is something that I really appreciate. And, you know, if city of Toronto can, you know, pay us for advertising, let me know.

This reminds me a lot about Toronto griefing. But Toronto is like there are a lot of things going on at the same time. And then, you know, it’s a really fun city to be at. And I only have like one or two more questions in my mind. Obviously mortgage is a big, big thing and a lot of people, I remember I actually told my friends that I’m going to interview and then they’re like, “Oh, I want to know about the mortgage.” So what are some tips that you can have for oversea investors when it comes to like getting a mortgage? 

Gencan: Yeah, so the topic about mortgage, it’s a little bit different than having a local buyer buy into real estate, when you talk about the mortgage every time I have an overseas investors interested in buying real estate here, I always recommend them to a mortgage broker that also works in Hong Kong. So when we talk about Hong Kong and Toronto, I think about TD Bank or HSBC, or RBC, which has both branches in Hong Kong and Toronto. So looking at buying real estate in Toronto, the process for buying for overseas investors has a little bit of a different deposit structure when you’re looking at real estate. So if you’re dealing with the overseas investors, it usually is a little bit of a greater deposit structure. So for example, if you’re looking at like a condo, condo development or a condo project, the minimum deposit for overseas investors would be around 30% to 35%.Compare that to a local investor, which should be around 20%. So getting a mortgage would be a little bit less for the overseas investor. but then at the same time, if you have, the necessary, like requirements such as Canadian citizen, or you have like a relative living here, or you have family living here, it makes the process a little bit simpler, but I would say, if you’re interested more about the mortgage, getting the mortgage side, I can definitely recommend someone to you guys. 

Again, I always like to work with people who work here who also have bank branches also in Hong Kong, like I said, HSBC, TD bank and RBC. They all have branches in Hong Kong. So it’s easier to start a bank account in both areas. And also when you’re departments.

Darren: I see, it sounds like you work a lot. It’s like, what else do you do, besides being like a real estate agent?

Gencan: For now, well, a personal hobby, I like to play basketball a lot. Lately I’ve been staying home a lot because of COVID-19. So, I’ve been cooking a lot in the home, learning new skills, taking some online courses. Yeah, it’s a big grind in Toronto. I haven’t stopped. There’s lots of activity coming back. So I’m happy to be here and, and talk to you, you know. Lots of Zoom meetings, lots of  webinars and stuff.

Darren: Yeah, cause like, you know, before I actually think about those questions to ask you, right. There’s actually a lot more. And it’s something that maybe for my personal interest, because I know I miss Toronto a lot and it’s something that  sometimes like, you know I just want to kind of like have an opportunity to think about, “Hey, what if I’m still in Toronto? How’s it going to be like, and what’s going on?” You know, there’s some things that it’s hard to learn just from the news. You have to sort of talk to someone to really have a better idea. So, you know, obviously we can do another clip because your insight so far, it’s a lot longer than I thought. What kind of takeaway do you want the audience to have from this video? 

Gencan: So I want to let everyone know that, Toronto is a very, very multicultural city. And, we have one of the most multicultural environments that you can find in the world. Not only in North America, we have a very welcoming, type of environment and we’re very nice. A lot of Canadians are very nice. We’re not discriminatory and we see that investing in Toronto is one of the more safe, havens that we’ve seen. And, having talked to different investors or representatives from different areas in the world, like I’ve talked to people in Hong Kong, New York, and, in Australia too, I feel like the environment of Canada poses a very good and balanced approach to a lot of different areas. So, like I mentioned previously, healthcare education, and public transit. The people who are living here, I think, it just combined to have a very balanced approach of investor haven, which I think, safetiness in your investment, is very important. And I feel that if you invest in a place that you can find peace in and have a stable growth, I think that’s very enticing for a lot of investors. Like for people in Hong Kong, I want to tell people in Hong Kong, there’s lots of people, lots of Hong Kong people in Toronto with a lot of establishments being a Hong Kong person here. I’d love to see more Hong Kong people in Toronto. I welcome you here because we need more of you guys. We need more Hong Kong people here to develop a bigger group here. So, I’d like to welcome you, you guys, if you’re ever interested and again, like, being in real estate and, having lived here, I consider myself like a city guide. So if you have any other questions about anything related to Toronto, feel free to ask me any time.

Darren: So for the people who want to reach out to you and learn more about, you know, Toronto real estate, what are some methods that you suggest to them to reach out to you? 

Gencan: Yeah. you can email me at my email. I believe the email will be provided on the website. or you can Wechat me or WhatsApp. I usually respond within 30 minutes. I try to really keep that, it’s something that’s really important to me. So, yeah, I respond usually quite quick so just a quick text or email is good for me.

Darren: Yeah, no, like, I just want to say like, thanks. You know, bring me down the memory lane again. And this is a lot more insightful than I expected because you know this is a lot, you know, thinking about how Toronto is, explaining the neighborhoods. So I really want to appreciate you and I’m sure the audience also appreciates your efforts so far. So thanks so much for your time. And then I hope to do another second episode with you. And I hope that you can join us next time too.

Gencan: Yeah, that’d be great. I hope I didn’t bore anyone and you’ll learn a little bit, and if you want to learn more again, feel free to contact me anytime. 

Darren: Great. Okay. So next time then. Thank you. Thanks so much for your time. 

Gencan: Thanks Darren. Take care. 

Darren: You too. Bye.







Gencan:當然。所以是的,嘿,Darren。謝謝你邀請我。我叫Gencan。我是在多倫多的房地產經紀人。我們和我的一個合夥人,也是我的兄弟,一起在多倫多一家名為 Landpower real estate的房地產經紀公司工作。我們結合了15年獲獎的房地產經驗。








Gencan: 那麼,科技產業,你會發現在多倫多有兩個主要領域。所以,在主要的市中心,正如我多次提到的,那裡是大部分就業的地方。而世界上大多數科技巨頭的主要總部,如穀歌、亞馬遜、雅虎、優步,都集中在市中心覈心區。很多人,很多公司的總部搬到那裡,是因為你有所有的生活方式標準,所以你有所有的頂級餐廳步行距離你有一個湖濱。科技行業的人真的很喜歡享受生活,你知道的,比如穀歌擁有世界上最好的總部,最好的內飾,所以我認為生活方式與科技公司想搬到多倫多的目標有很大的關係,因為我們有很好的生活方式。食物也是市中心一個非常重要的方面。我們有一些最好和最多樣化的餐廳。所以我認為生活方式明智,你知道,傾聽海濱的聲音,這對搬到多倫多的人非常重要。我想說的第二個地方是滑鐵盧。滑鐵盧離多倫多大約一個半小時。但你不能不談滑鐵盧就談多倫多的科技產業或加拿大的科技產業。所以滑鐵盧實際上是Rim的故鄉,Rim是黑莓的原始製造商。所以滑鐵盧實際上在加拿大和世界上培養了大量的科技人才,因為他們有滑鐵盧大學西部大學最好的課程,所以基本上是多倫多和滑鐵盧這兩個地區刺激了科技產業的增長。


Gencan:所以,當你談論高估或低估的領域時,我會說那些總是有潜在潜力的領域。當我們談論高估的時候,你不能忘記還有很多被低估的地方。這也是另一個極端。所以在多倫多被高估的地區,我想說有相當多的地區,原因是因為每個人都只投資於他們知道的領域。所以在多倫多,如果它靠近CN Tower,或者靠近金融區,如果它靠近多倫多大學,大多數人都會投資於他們所知道的領域,所以這些領域是很多人投資的地方,但是在過去的幾年裏,因為很多人在這些領域投資,可能已經形成了飽和因為價格一直很貴。它總是投資於一個非常成熟的社區,有這些,你知道,這些標誌性的標誌性建築。所以我覺得如果你看的是一個高增長的地區,它不會出現在多倫多所有的主要熱點地區,我會看看郊區。所以當我談到外裙時,我談到了多倫多的邊緣地區。距離市中心約20分鐘車程,可乘坐公共交通,或通過高速公路,或在那些有火車或其他金融中心的地區修建更多的政府基礎設施。所以我們覺得多倫多每個人都知道多倫多的主要地區,或者大多數人都知道。但作為房地產經紀人,我們真的想找到最有價值的領域。囙此,我們認為被低估的領域,以及我們認為可以讓我們的客戶獲得最大利潤的領域。




Gencan:很多。我想我提到過一對,不管是不是和大學很接近,如果是的話靠近金融區,如果靠近不同的地鐵站,我認為重要的是瞭解投資者的意向和偏好。有些事情我通常喜歡把它分解給我的客戶。所以TTC或公共交通是我經常和客戶談論的一件大事,因為多倫多是事實上,像一個GTA一樣走路是無法到達的。GTA有很多不同的小部件,你實際上需要一輛車。就像香港,就像香港或亞洲,在大多數南亞都市,大多數都市通過捷運或火車連接,但在多倫多,像在某些地區,你必須有車,你必須開車到高速公路或有通道都市不同地區的當地便利設施。例如,像馬卡姆這樣的地方,你必須開車去因為如果你坐TTC或公共交通,可能需要一個半小時。所以我認為海外投資者必須做的一些事情考慮一下過境,因為它確實不同。北美的交通系統和亞洲的交通系統是完全不同的。所以我認為這是第一件事。另一件事是談論學校。那麼什麼樣的學校呢投資者傾向於什麼?多倫多有很多不同的學校,當我談到學校時,我想談談大學,因為那是最重要的學校之一在GTA地區很重要,但每個學校都有它本身的好處,是更好的項目,更好的主要項目。你說過皇后大學,就像這個節目一樣棒極了。但正如我之前提到的,比如滑鐵盧大學(University of Waterloo)這樣的學校,既有利於金融,也有利於工程,更像是一個以科技為基礎的史詩般的職業生涯。然後是漢密爾頓,就像麥克馬斯特大學,這對商業非常有利。然後是的,你的大學對一切都有好處。所以我想知道你想投資的學校類型或者像那些想讓孩子在特定領域投資的客戶,我認為這非常重要。最後是就業。就業真的很重要。我覺得還有很多,有很多不同的小地區,適合更流行的類型工作。多倫多的金融區,總部都在那裡。但是如果你在GTA的另一個區域靠近Markham,你有更多類型的勞工工作或不同類型的科技工作大多倫多地區。所以我認為工作明智,TTC,還有學校在評估機會時也非常重要。




Gencan: 是的,所以在多倫多,房地產市場實際上非常強勁。所以,去年的11月、12月,和去年後期一樣,實際上有很多文章在談論2020年的市場會有多熱。我們有一個非常火爆的市場,我們實際上已經做好了準備,可能是過去十年中最好的一年,就像2017年一樣,我們度過了一個非常火爆的一年。到了2020年,我們會說,哇,這真是太瘋狂了,我們可能會有比2017年更好的一年,我們會有同樣的買家心態。所以這絕對是一個賣方市場。所以很多人買,需求是瘋狂的。而且出現了很多多次報價的情况。所以很多人出價過高,價格也很高。當時很多人都賣了,但是COVID-19撞了,很多關於購買的恐懼突然停止了,只是暫停了。所以當COVID-19在多倫多被擊中時,它的攻擊速度有點慢。和世界上許多國家和都市一樣,它突然激增,基本上我們的都市决定進行都市緊急救援,幾乎停止了所有不必要的服務。所以當我們談到不必要的房地產其實是一項必不可少的服務,但非必要的服務基本上就像商場、廣場、很多小棕櫚樹店一樣,他們都停了下來。所以,它幾乎讓整個COVID-19佔領了整個多倫多。所以,結果,很多人最終呆在家裡,失業了,他們不能去工作,很多餐館生意不好。我們的市場基本上連續兩個月下跌。正如你所知道的,作為前幾年買東西的人,現在想賣掉,這對他們來說是非常困難的。作為賣方,我們看到在這段時間內,市場下跌了50%左右,這實際上是一個非常好的時機。所以,回答你的問題,這實際上是一個非常好的時機,投資者可以進來,如果他們有錢的話。所以總有兩面性。每當經濟衰退時,投資者總是有機會的。所以,那些有錢又願意馬上搬進一個地方的投資者,就成了購房者以折扣價進場購買大量房產的好機會。所以這在三四月份發生了很多。然而,這對賣家來說真的很糟糕,賣家真的看到了一個非常大的下降。所以他們真的有點像棍子的壞端。然而,在多倫多發生的一件有趣的事是,多倫多真的沒有像我們看到的經濟衰退那樣出現大幅下降。所以通常情况下,我們的都市會出現真正的衰退。在經濟中,我們實際上看不到需求,我們會看到供應下降,一切都會下降。但實際上我們看到多倫多的需求非常有彈性。囙此,我們實際上看到了非常健康的需求,像很多經紀人一樣,他們已經準備好了對很多房產和賣家發起攻擊,因為他們沒有以前那麼多的房源,價格實際上變得更加穩定了。囙此,當掛牌量較少、較低時,買家的需求量仍然很高。所以實際上價格並沒有下降太多。所以不要說太久,但需求實際上已經超過了COVID-19的危害。所以實際上,價格還是相對穩定的。如此快的5月和6月,我們實際上看到了一個平衡和更多的活動,價格回到正常水准。所以我們在多倫多看到的是一個非常有趣的州。而且,我確實對需求做出了貢獻,我也為移民和遷往多倫多的人做出了貢獻。同時,你也看到香港有很多抗議活動,我敢肯定,你知道,他們在其他國家,比如義大利,像世界上很多其他國家,不把自己的都市看作安全港,但實際上把多倫多看作是一個更安全的避風港。所以我們實際上看到了很多人的興趣和回來的人。所以是的,我們真的很驚訝。我們真的很驚訝多倫多的彈性,所以雖然公寓價格下跌了一點,但它現在正在回升,實際上。







Gencan: 現在更像是一個都市嚮導。



Gencan: 是啊,所以關於抵押貸款的話題,和讓本地買家購買房地產有點不同,當你每次談論抵押貸款時我有一個海外投資者對在這裡購買房地產感興趣,我總是把他們推薦給一家也在香港。所以,當我們談論香港和多倫多時,我想到的是道明銀行(TD Bank)或滙豐銀行(HSBC),或加拿大皇家銀行(RBC),它們在香港都有分行香港和多倫多。所以看看在多倫多買房地產的過程當你在看房地產時,海外投資者的存款結構略有不同。所以如果你在和海外打交道投資者,這通常是一個更大的存款結構。例如,如果你從公寓、公寓開發或公寓項目來看,海外投資者的最低存款額約為30%至35%對當地投資者來說,應該是20%左右。所以抵押貸款對海外投資者。但同時,如果你有,必要的,比如加拿大的要求公民,或者你有親戚住在這裡,或者你有家人住在這裡,這會使過程簡單一點,但我會的比如說,如果你對抵押貸款更感興趣,我可以向你們推薦一個人。再說一次,我總是喜歡和在香港也有銀行分行的人一起工作,就像我說的,滙豐銀行、道明銀行和加拿大皇家銀行。他們在香港都有分公司。所以在這兩個領域開設銀行帳戶更容易。當你是部門的時候。













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