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Wednesday , 10 February 2016

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News with a focus on real estate, finance and the marketplace

Better balance foreseen in GTA housing market in 2016

Will 2016 be the year when the high-rise/low-rise housing pendulum swings back towards equilibrium in the GTA? Based on the volume of land transactions for residential real estate that took place in 2015, it could be. In its year-end review of the market in Toronto, Altus Group commercial real estate services said that land transactions for residential development were up 49 per cent last year. Investment in projects involving both low- and high-density residential was at record-high levels, each segment reaching $1.7 billion. The head of Altus Group, Peter Norman, said that the low rise sector is “the one to watch” in 2016, as more new development lands come on ... Read More »

Canada housing starts down in January, though not in Ontario

Housing starts in most of Canada were trending down in January, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation figures show. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for the month was 165,861 units, down from 172,533 in December, and the lowest number since February 2015.  The number of new single-detached homes started was up 1 per cent, to 58,295 units, while condominium starts dropped 5.3 per cent, to 95,406 units. CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan noted that most of the decline in housing starts was attributable to a slowdown in the Prairies, where the trend line was at a four-year low in January. This coincides with the highest unemployment rate in Alberta in ... Read More »

Balance between densification, affordability needed in Toronto’s housing market

To get a sense of how acute Toronto’s housing supply problem has become, just look at the prices being paid these days for homes in the east end, north of the Danforth and east of the Don River. The houses on most streets here are two-storey and three-storey, semi-detached, with verandahs and small front and backyards. The first owners of these homes, built after the First World War when the area was the city’s newest suburb, paid, on average, three or four thousand dollars. The Prince Edward (Bloor Street) Viaduct had opened up the area to development when it was completed in 1918. Visually, the area has not changed much ... Read More »

Rising home sales, prices continue in January in hot Toronto market

A series of heat maps of Toronto based on Toronto Real Estate Board data provides a vivid picture of how the real estate market in this city has caught fire over the last decade. In 2005, the map was mostly pale yellow, with splashes here and there of orange and red. In the extensive yellow areas, mainly Scarborough and North York and parts of the west end, a person selling his or her home would have had to wait more than thirty or even forty days for a buyer to come along. In a few central areas, mainly in hot neighbourhoods like the beach, Riverdale, Rosedale, the Annex and Bloor ... Read More »

Mortgage brokers not keen to disclose commissions

As a general rule, people these days are in favour of greater transparency. One might even say that transparency is a buzz word of our time. We want it from our governments, and they promise to give it to us. We want it from the companies from which we purchase products and services, and we want it from the institutions that we depend on: health care, police, education, religion. We want transparency from them. But when they want transparency from us, that’s a different matter. Or so it seems in the current debate between mortgage brokers and the British Columbia Financial Institutions Commission, or FICOM, the body that regulates mortgage ... Read More »

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