GTA foreign buyer tax would be ‘misguided’: TREB
Toronto realtors don’t want a foreign buyers tax and Tuesday morning they released a report they maintain shows overseas buyers have had little impact on the market. The Toronto Real Estate Board commissioned research firm Ipsos in November, 2016 to survey its members, who acted on behalf of home buyers during the preceding 12 months.
TO housing shortage nears ‘crisis levels’
Amid record prices for new detached homes that soared 27.5 per cent in 2016, Toronto builders say they could sell even more houses but they just don’t have them. The Building Industry Land Development Association says the average sale price of a detached home in the Greater Toronto Area climbed about $273,000 in 2016 to $1,264,604.
FINTRAC steps up examinations
REM has learned that since spring 2016, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC), Canada’s financial intelligence unit, stepped up its examinations of salespeople and brokerages by more than 33 per cent from coast-to-coast, and actually quadrupled them in British Columbia. The majority of those examinations occurred in the Greater Vancouver Area.
BMO looking to grow mortgage book in TO
The Bank of Montreal (BMO-T) is looking to grow its mortgage book in Toronto, but is treading carefully as government rules aimed at cooling Canada’s hot housing markets start to take hold in some regions, a top banking executive says.
Yorkville project forgoes second tower for townhouses
When Metropia and Diamond Corp. gained clearance to redevelop a parking garage with two towers at 181 Bedford Rd., in Toronto, it opted to construct a single high-rise with 245 suites and a courtyard flanked by over three dozen townhouses with three or four floors and private garages.
Taller Ottawa towers could be halted
A proposed towering condominium in Lebreton Flats encountered some pushback this month, thanks to a decades-old rule restricting buildings from blocking views of Parliament Hill. Earlier this month, the city’s Urban Design Review Panel deemed the 55-storey proposal too high, citing a 20-year-old policy protecting the “symbolic primacy” of Ottawa’s “national symbols.”
Ottawa refuses BMW lot on condo site
A planning panel has refused a developer’s request to temporarily use an undeveloped condo site in Ottawa to store a dealership’s luxury vehicles. But Mastercraft Starwood has the option of appealing the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board, hoping the provincial tribunal will allow the SoHo Champagne property to be “storage” space before building the second-phase condo tower.
Insurance claim ‘chaos’ slows Fort Mac rebuild
As the spring construction season approaches, builders in Fort McMurray trying to repair the destruction wreaked by last year’s wildfires say inconsistent insurance practices are hampering progress and leaving homeowners short-changed. As many as 2,000 building applications are expected to be received by the Wood Buffalo planning department in the first six months of 2017.
Might Calgary convert vacant downtown offices into condos?
With office vacancy rates in downtown Calgary at an all-time high, could the Alberta city take a page from Pittsburgh and turn commercial buildings into condo or apartments? Michael Glass, an instructor of urban studies from the University of Pittsburgh, spoke to the Calgary Eyeopener about why it worked for the American city.
12 things to know about Calgary’s RE leaders
No community in Calgary saw more single-family homes change hands through the resale market in 2016 than Tuscany. The established northwest Calgary neighbourhood led the way with 316 sales last year, says the Calgary Real Estate Board. But what were the other real estate leaders? Josh Skapin looks at 12 facts from Calgary’s resale home market in 2016.
Alberta’s Municipal Government Act revised
As of Jan. 1, amendments to the Municipal Government Act, R.S.A. 2000 c. M 26 (MGA), came into force, changing how property owners can seek court review of Assessment Review Board decisions in Alberta. The boards in each municipality hear all property tax assessment complaints by taxpayers.
CMHC warns of Victoria ‘overvaluation’
Canada’s housing agency has added Victoria to its list of real estate markets with problems, seeing danger signs in the B.C. capital’s home values. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Thursday it is maintaining its “red warning” for the country’s real estate market as a whole, with high prices in and around Vancouver and Toronto among its top concerns.
‘RE superhero’ hit with copyright warning
A B.C. realtor has been hit with a copyright warning from DC Comics, the comics company known for superheroes such as Superman and Batman, over his superhero personality. Ian Brett, who dubbed himself “Captain Vancouver” after Vancouver’s namesake maritime explorer, bills himself as a “Real Estate Superhero” on his website.
Trump mortgage move inspires anger
One of the Trump Administration’s first moves has upset the state and national realtors associations. Shortly after the inauguration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development “suspended indefinitely” a planned cut in the annual mortgage insurance premium on home loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.
China’s homebuyers suddenly short on cash
China’s escalating crackdown on capital outflows is sending shudders through property markets around the world. In London, Chinese citizens who clamored to purchase flats at the city’s tallest apartment tower three months ago are now struggling to transfer their down payments. In Silicon Valley, Keller Williams Realty says inquiries from China have slumped.
Ottawa home builders not hopeful
Ottawa home builders aren’t optimistic they’ll see a better 2017 after several years during which a shrinking public-service workforce weakened the local housing market. John Herbert, executive director of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association, said it hopes 2017 shows a rebound, but they’re not optimistic.
Vancouver Airbnb yields lower than many other cities
The owner of a three-bedroom property in Vancouver could recoup their purchase price about 10 years faster if they do short-term rentals versus having a long-term tenant, according to a study released Tuesday. However, the study also shows services such as Airbnb are not as profitable for Vancouver landlords as they are in other cities.
U.S. real estate returns fall to 2009 levels
The core U.S. real estate market has produced its lowest annualised return since 2009, according to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF). The NCREIF Open-end Diversified Core Equity (ODCE) index, which tracks $174 billion US of real estate assets, posted an annualised return of 8.77 per cent for 2016.
Miami condo flippers hit hard
The condo market in Miami-Dade has gotten tough, with the inventory of condos for sale ballooning and with sales plunging. In December, 1,084 condos and townhouses were sold, down seven per cent from December 2015, down 22% from December 2014, and down 24% from December 2013, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. The average sale price dropped 12.6%.
Ontario expanding access to natural gas
Ontario is putting $100 million toward expanding natural gas access in rural and northern Ontario communities. About 75 per cent of Ontario households heat with natural gas, and residents in communities without access often have to heat their homes with more expensive sources such as electricity, oil or propane.
Young couple claim age discrimination
It’s tough enough finding a decent place to rent in Toronto’s red-hot housing market, but it’s proving even harder for at least two millennials who say they’ve been denied a condo rental because of their age. Ryan Young, 23, and Nina Tesan, 22, have filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Short-term condo rental concerns
With the increase of online platforms promoting and facilitating short-term accommodation rentals, such as AirBnB, VRBO and HomeAway, there has been a surge of lawsuits, judgments, articles and myths surrounding the horrors experienced by some lessors (and their neighbours) in connection with short-term rentals.
Housing affordability capital might be Calgary
The gap between income growth and increases in house prices is a sometimes overlooked aspect of the argument of whether house prices in some cities are supported by underlying economic fundamentals. But at the same time, house prices in some places have jumped way ahead of the ability of middle-class people to afford home ownership.
Compact apartment for a budding entrepreneur
Isabelle Dubé lives in a small apartment in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve from which she operates her own Arbonne business. She shares her snug, 3½ home with her boyfriend, Christopher Paul, a West Islander who is a port inspector. “I was looking for a place in a neighbourhood that wasn’t too expensive and where I could host home parties.”
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