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Wednesday , 22 February 2017

Monthly Archives: January 2017

Bold action needed to address housing affordability problem say experts

No one denies that housing prices are high in the Toronto area, but what can be done about the problem? In fact, what exactly is the problem? Is it one of excessive demand, fuelled by low interest rates and aggressive marketing by mortgage lenders? Or is it one of supply, hindered by too much regulation in the marketplace? For years, both the Toronto Real Estate Board and the home building industry in the GTA have been clear about where they stand. Housing policy that attempts to limit demand cannot provide the solution to the area’s affordability problems. What is needed, they say, is policy that focuses on the lack of ... Read More »

Toronto realtors warn against foreign tax, forecast another hot year in market

Expect another very strong year in the Toronto housing market. The Toronto Real Estate Board forecasts that home sales will once again come in at around 110,000 in 2017, just shy of the 113,133 sales reported for 2016. The forecast is based in part on an Ipsos poll of buyers’ intentions conducted late last year. The poll revealed that more first-time buyers intended to buy this year than did so last year, TREB reported. A condition that is not likely to change in the coming months is the shortage of available homes for sale. The number of active listings at year end was the lowest since the year 2000, and ... Read More »

Whether it’s the home or the office, stage it right and they will come

Home staging has been a big thing in North America for years now, though it has only recently arrived in France, where it is so new it is still called “le home staging.” The idea, there as here, is to make the place look homey enough that a potential buyer will like it, without looking too much like someone else’s home, a sometimes tricky balancing act. (We can’t help but wonder how necessary it really is in a market like Toronto where multiple offers and bidding wars on some very ordinary properties are the routine.) Still, home stagers and realtors agree that a well-staged home can command a higher price. ... Read More »

More creative partnerships with industry proposed for Ontario’s cash-strapped colleges

For any business, this would be a formula for certain disaster: a declining customer base, falling revenues and higher expenses. Yet these are precisely the pressures squeezing Ontario’s college system, according to a new report from PwC. Fewer students are enrolling, especially in the northern colleges. Government grants have not kept pace with growing expenses, while tuitions, which represent a relatively small fraction of the colleges’ revenues, have not kept pace with inflation. Since colleges are legally bound not to run deficits, and are responsible for raising more than 50 per cent of their income, they have had to cut programs, consolidate operations, close campuses and outsource non-core services in ... Read More »

Strong evidence of overvaluation, overpricing in Canada’s housing markets: CMHC

In Canada’s current housing market, Ontario is the pivot. East of Ontario, there is little evidence of strongly “problematic” conditions or imbalances, such as overheating and overbuilding, in any major markets. West of Ontario, there is plenty, with “strong” evidence of such problematic conditions found in cities from Regina to Vancouver and Victoria. When assessing price growth in the national housing market, which Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation calls “elevated,” CMHC says that without Ontario included, price growth for the third quarter of 2016 was actually flat. With Ontario included, that growth was 7 per cent, thanks to intensified price growth in Toronto and other cities, including Hamilton (10 per ... Read More »

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