Drop in home inspections leaves ‘horror stories’
Home inspector Vince Burnett has been in the industry for 17 years and thrived in other red-hot real estate markets. He should be run off his feet these days, but he hasn’t done a single home inspection in two weeks. To get a real sense of what’s on offer in the median segment of Vancouver, we combed the listings and toured properties in late May. Here’s what we found.
Cities take aim at Airbnb as rental disappears
In the southeastern British Columbia community of Nelson, a battle is brewing. Nelson, situated in the rugged Selkirk Mountains, has long had a rental vacancy rate of close to zero. But some residents fear whatever cushion the community of 10,000 had concerning rental housing is dwindling, and the finger is being pointed in a direction increasingly familiar to Canadian cities big and small: Airbnb.
Jennifer Nevitt on how to maximize apartment rents
Maximizing yield from apartment buildings is important, and a successful lease-up for new ones is the key to early and ongoing prosperity for owners. “We’re an asset appreciation group,” said Forty2 National Apartment Property Management chief executive officer Jennifer Nevitt at the North American New Apartment Construction and Mixed-Use Symposium and Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on June 21.
Edmonton approves 35-storey rental tower
Council did little but sing praises Monday for a new 35-storey tower pitched for Jasper Avenue and 120 Street. The building will have ground-level shops and second-floor office space for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and 33 storeys of rental units in a thin tower above.
Vancouver to get powers to tax empty homes
The B.C. government will give the City of Vancouver the powers it needs to implement an empty home tax, provincial Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced this morning. “It strikes us that if the city wants to do this, it is a reasonable request on their part,” said de Jong, who has requested the Speaker’s office reconvene the legislature on July 25 to implement the legislative changes necessary.
Warning signs of a real estate slowdown in Vancouver
The end of another month means one thing in real estate-mad Vancouver: word that housing prices have hit another jaw-dropping high. But behind the figures for June are some statistics that could suggest the market is finally slowing down. The number of sales of houses dropped by about 19 per cent. In east Vancouver, detached home sales declined by 26 per cent, and on the west side, by 36 per cent.
Brothers file shadow flipping lawsuit against B.C. firm
A real estate company named as a defendant in a “shadow-flipping” lawsuit says it followed industry rules and was unaware of any misconduct by two businessmen involved in a deal to buy a Richmond home and then flip it for a higher price. The lawsuit, filed by two brothers who sold a house when they were executors of their mother’s estate.
TREB argues online sales data jeopardizes privacy
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is appealing a decision that allows its members to post more home sales data online for all to see. The board, which has some 45,000 active realtors, is arguing that the April ruling handed down by Canada’s Competition Tribunal doesn’t respect the rights of Greater Toronto Area consumers and may compromise their privacy due to the personal financial information that would be divulged.
Banking regulator cracking down on mortgage lending as home prices surge
Concerned over rising home prices and record household debt levels, Canada’s banking watchdog has issued a stern warning to the country’s financial institutions. In a rare open letter, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions sent a clear message to the mortgage industry on Thursday that it will “place an even greater emphasis” on confirming that lenders are paying close attention to key areas of the market.
Mortgage industry says there’s no housing bubble in Canada
A Canadian mortgage industry group says there is no bubble in any Canadian housing markets and is warning the government against any changes in lending conditions that might derail the market. The federal government took the first concrete steps Thursday to involve its provincial and municipal counterparts in a bid to slow the runaway housing markets of Toronto and Vancouver, after a series of steps by Ottawa alone have proved insufficient.
Feds ask CMHC for ways to cool housing prices
The federal government wants the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to come up with ways to keep housing prices affordable in the country’s hottest markets – and do it by the end of the year – with a working plan due by Sept. 1 as the government signals it wants to find ways to quickly cool housing prices.
New Canadian real estate brand StreetCity Realty launched
Home buyers and sellers in London and Thunder Bay, Ontario have an exciting new realty choice with the announcement today that the former Realty Executive Elite has rebranded as StreetCity Realty Inc., Brokerage. The launch in these cities will be followed by expansion across Ontario.
Asian real estate conference ridicules foreign home buyer estimates
A provincial government statement that only 3% of B.C. residential sales are made to foreign buyers and that Chinese nationals represent just 2.5% of Metro Vancouver home buyers drew rolling eyeballs and laughter at the packed July 7 Asia Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) conference in downtown Vancouver.
2016’s top U.S. Mmarkets for rent growth
It’s no secret that the last few years have been strong for the multifamily industry in terms of occupancy and rent growth. But in 2016, which markets are experiencing the strongest rent growth for new residents? According to MPF Research, metros in the West have had the strongest 2016 to date, with Sacramento topping the list, at 7.3%.
Over 5-million U.S. boomers expect to rent by 2020
Freddie Mac has released a study of the housing plans and perceptions of those 55 or older, showing that nearly 6 million homeowners—and almost as many older renters—are looking to make at least one more move. And that move will be into rental housing.
Segmenting boomers: The pyramid of boomerdom
The segmentation model for Boomers summarized in this post was given to me in rough form by my friend Iain Meredith, who spent many years at Altus Group studying consumer behavior and trends in the housing market for various real estate clients.
Ottawa housing starts down in June, but six-month trend still on the rise
CMHC’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 5,723 units in June, down from 5,987 in May. An increase in low-rise dwelling starts failed to offset a “strong decline in apartment starts,” according to the agency. It’s a steep drop from this time last year, when the SAAR measure was at 8,866 units.
Sales of Winnipeg homes hit all-time high
The Winnipeg housing market is rocking. Winnipeg Realtors Association (WRA) numbers released Monday morning show home sales in June hit an all-time monthly high of 1,638 transaction on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Regina housing starts plunge in June
Housing starts in the Regina area declined by 43 per cent in June from a year ago, led by multi-family dwellings, where only 80 units were started, compared with 242 in June 2015, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said Monday. But both CMHC and local home builders say the level of residential construction activity is on track with expectations for the year.
Facts that obscure the real story about B.C. real estate
As Finance Minister Mike de Jong released some preliminary figures this week on foreign investment in British Columbia’s real-estate market, it was apparent what headline he was looking for. Recent data, he said, indicated that a scant 3 per cent of deals across the province involved foreign buyers. But break out the numbers for Metro Vancouver and that 3-per-cent figure for foreign buyers jumps to more than 5 per cent.
B.C.’s soaring housing starts trigger construction cheers
Housing starts in B.C. are way up in the first six months of this year while the bulk of the country is flat or falling. That trend appears in the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s most recent preliminary housing start data released this month. This news comes on the heels of recent data by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver that indicates real estate sales in Metro Vancouver might be slowing.
Vancouver: Canada’s (gorgeous, frothy, jobs-magnet) phenomenon
Vancouver has fast become Canada’s phenomenon. It isn’t just one of the country’s most beautiful cities. It’s also home to the wildest housing market. It’s our job-creation capital. And it’s helping to power British Columbia to the top of the provincial economic rankings. Much of the city’s fortune is built on real estate wealth, as numbers released last week show, but Friday’s national jobs report is also a big part of the story.
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