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

Record year for home sales closes as supply problem looms over future

Record year for home sales closes as supply problem looms over future

It’s official: 2016 was a record year for home sales in Toronto, the second consecutive year to set such a record. The Toronto Real Estate Board released its sales numbers for December, and they show an annual increase of 8.6 per cent. Altogether, 113,133 homes were sold through the TREB MLS system in 2016, an…

Strong interest in home ownership persists, renovation business booming

Strong interest in home ownership persists, renovation business booming

You have to wonder whether Ontarians who express an intention to buy a home in this province in the next two years aren’t a little deluded. Half of them, including Torontonians, say they are “likely” to buy a detached home. In the case of the Toronto residents, that’s an increase of 21 per cent from…

Housing supply continues downward trend as prices rise

Housing supply continues downward trend as prices rise

Does this sound familiar? The costs of land and materials are rising, and there are not enough finished lots in the neighborhoods where people want to live. Builders are “hamstrung” by regulations that cost them up to a quarter of the price of a new home. A “huge” labour shortage makes it harder to find…

Housing affordability slipping in Canada, but mostly in Toronto and Vancouver

Housing affordability slipping in Canada, but mostly in Toronto and Vancouver

Depending on where they live and what kind of home they are looking for, Canadians could find it more of a struggle to afford what they want. RBC says owning a home in Canada became less affordable in the third quarter of this year than at any time in the last eight years. The index…

Ontario residents very positive about housing markets despite rising prices

Ontario residents very positive about housing markets despite rising prices

Given the almost daily reports of higher prices, tougher mortgage lending rules, and dwindling supply of certain types of homes, one might expect Ontarians to take a fairly dim view of the real estate market in this province. Surprisingly, that is far from the case. Ontarians are positively overflowing with optimism about the housing market…

Lower November home sales signal impact of new mortgage rules: CREA

Lower November home sales signal impact of new mortgage rules: CREA

Recent regulatory measures taken by the federal government have dampened a “wide swath” of housing markets in Canada and pushed some first-time buyers to the sidelines, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in its sales report for the month of November. November’s results, which show a decline of 5.3 per cent in sales nationwide,…

Bank of Canada worried about big mortgages, big debt

Bank of Canada worried about big mortgages, big debt

If you bought a home before the middle of last October and if you had a less-than-optimal down payment, otherwise known as taking out a high-ratio mortgage, you might consider yourself lucky today. According to the Bank of Canada, many people in your position would not qualify for a mortgage under today’s rules. This is…

Housing starts down, building permits up, and affordability remains the big issue

Housing starts down, building permits up, and affordability remains the big issue

The number of new homes under construction in the Toronto area dropped by 36 per cent in November, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports. The decline is the result of fewer condominiums being built, though the number of single-detached homes increased. Most of the condominium construction was in the City of Toronto, while Milton and…

Anti-competition hearings wrap as TREB continues fight to keep sold info private

Anti-competition hearings wrap as TREB continues fight to keep sold info private

The Toronto Real Estate Board made its case one more time before the Competition Tribunal this morning in its final attempt to have a previous ruling overturned. The previous ruling said that TREB was indeed acting anti-competitively by refusing to allow selling price data to be made available to anyone on the internet. TREB has…

Home sales, prices continued to rise in November as supply problem worsens

Home sales, prices continued to rise in November as supply problem worsens

In the first full month of market activity since the federal government tightened mortgage eligibility rules in October in an attempt to quell demand, Toronto homebuyers continued to buy in increasing numbers and home prices continued to rise. The Toronto Real Estate Board reports that the number of homes sold through its MLS system in…

Foreign ownership low in Canada's condo markets: CMHC

Foreign ownership low in Canada's condo markets: CMHC

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says that the question of foreign ownership in Canada’s housing markets is an important one, but the number of foreign owners is quite low. Most of them are concentrated in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, but the highest percentage in 2016 was just 2.3 per cent, in Toronto. This was lower…

Foreign ownership low in Canada’s condo markets: CMHC

Foreign ownership low in Canada’s condo markets: CMHC

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says that the question of foreign ownership in Canada’s housing markets is an important one, but the number of foreign owners is quite low. Most of them are concentrated in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, but the highest percentage in 2016 was just 2.3 per cent, in Toronto. This was lower…

Toronto Real Estate Board to fight proposed new land transfer tax

Toronto Real Estate Board to fight proposed new land transfer tax

The City of Toronto is talking taxes these days. One of the more contentious is the first ever road toll in Canada, proposed by the mayor. It would cost drivers two dollars each time they took the Don Valley Parkway or the Gardiner Expressway. Hotel tax, alcohol tax, and the return of the vehicle ownership…

New GTA home prices down in October, inventory up

New GTA home prices down in October, inventory up

For the first time in many months, the price of a new low-rise home in the Greater Toronto Area went down rather than up, while the available supply of homes for sale went up, not down. The increase in supply was called “modest,” the decrease in price “slight,” but if it proves to be the…

Technology disruptors more important than ever in real estate industry: report

Technology disruptors more important than ever in real estate industry: report

There are plenty of global uncertainties to make investors nervous, from Brexit to Trump, from the refugee crisis in Europe to terrorism. It’s a volatile, unpredictable world out there. But despite the worrying global political and economic uncertainties, Canada’s real estate market has delivered “few surprises.” Investors continue to believe that these same uncertainties, with…

CMHC says it's solid come earthquakes, global recession or massive housing correction

CMHC says it's solid come earthquakes, global recession or massive housing correction

Now that Canadians are becoming more familiar with the concept of stress testing as a way of preparing for worst-case financial scenarios, the national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, has released the results of its own internal modeling. Taxpayers can take comfort in knowing that, to paraphrase the old song, “the Rockies may…

CMHC says it’s solid come earthquakes, global recession or massive housing correction

CMHC says it’s solid come earthquakes, global recession or massive housing correction

Now that Canadians are becoming more familiar with the concept of stress testing as a way of preparing for worst-case financial scenarios, the national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, has released the results of its own internal modeling. Taxpayers can take comfort in knowing that, to paraphrase the old song, “the Rockies may…

Record Canadian home sales in October despite stricter mortgage rules

Record Canadian home sales in October despite stricter mortgage rules

More Canadians sold their homes in October than did so in September, says the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). In fact, a new record was set for the month of October. Sales were up both on a monthly basis—2.4 per cent from September to October—and on a yearly basis, rising 2 per cent compared to…

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