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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 18, 2017 501   0   0   0   0   0
In an announcement late last week, the British Columbia Real Estate Association indicated an increase in the province’s home sales numbers and market valuation in September. The BCREA figures showed that a total of 8,340 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service last month, representing a 9.9% year-over-year increase.This is despite a 13% year-to-date decline in home sales, down to 81,608 units. Meanwhile, total sales value amounted to $5.8 billion, up by 30.2% from September 2016.The average MLS residential price stood at $693,774, having increased by 18.5% from the same time last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, B.C.residential sales grew by almost 5% from August, according to BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir. “Total active listings on the market continue to trend at 10-year lows in most B.C.regions, limiting unit sales and pushing home prices higher,” Muir stated, as quoted by the Vancouver Sun. However, Muir cautioned that “while the economic fundamentals support elevated housing demand, rising home prices are eroding affordability, particularly for first-time buyers.” The results of a survey by Royal LePage came out on the same day as the release of the BCREA’s numbers.The study found the median price of a condominium rose by 17.6% from September 2016 to $622,392, while the cost of a two-storey
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 18, 2017 495   0   0   0   0   0
The Scarborough subway extension doesn’t seem to generate much support outside of Toronto’s eastern suburbs and City Hall, but one Durham Region brokerage owner believes that Toronto’s most immediate eastern suburb is the right place for the city’s next below-grade transit project. Dan Plowman, owner of Dan Plowman Team Realty Inc., believes Scarborough is the right place to build a subway extension because it will service all of Durham Region – and, in the process, put property values on an upward trajectory. “Scarborough is already growing, but I know for a fact there’s already talk of people buying near where the subway is supposed to go simply because of the subway,” said Plowman.“There’s already a frenzy.When you bring something on this magnitude to an area, you will increase property values.” He added that Scarborough still has more developable land than Toronto does, and the result would homes sprouting en masse around a subway line. “You have to look at areas that came after subway stops,” he said.“You’d see the homes increased drastically after the infrastructure came into play.You already had massive growth in Scarborough, and there’s still a lot more land than downtown pockets and it will fill up.” Toronto is a world-class city with a world-class skyline – not to mention world-class gridlock
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 16, 2017 327   0   0   0   0   0
Credit unions have been chomping at the bit to offer alternatives to Ontario’s payday loan stores, but the current regulatory regime is hindering their ability to exhibit new products, according to a top official of a public policy think-tank. In a contribution piece for the Financial Post, Cardus program director Brian Dijkema stated that payday loan providers fulfill a valuable role as they address the needs of the consumer segment called ALICE—Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, and Employed. “More than two-thirds of ALICEs earn less than $50,000 per year.And while payday lenders’ reputation for being the somewhat shifty cousins of banks is not entirely undeserved, they nonetheless provide a real and needed service to people who, for a variety of reasons, can’t or don’t have the cash to meet their needs,” Dijkema wrote. These shops offer extremely-short-term loans (less than 62 days) for amounts less than $1,500 at grossly elevated interest rates (currently at 657% on an annualized basis on the average 10-day term). “And that has consequences.Payday loans can lead customers to develop a habit — an addiction even — of using high-cost loans to meet their needs,” Dijkema said.“We’ve known about the challenge for a while, and the typical response has been to tighten already strict regulations.The problem with this approach, however, is that it simply raises
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 16, 2017 579   0   0   0   0   0
In the latest edition of the Royal LePage House Price Survey released late last week, Toronto[1] and Vancouver[2] posted notable gains in sales activity amid continuous price growth. In Q3 2017, real estate in the Greater Toronto Area began to show signs of a recovery, “transitioning to a more balanced market as price movement and consumer confidence stabilized,” Royal LePage stated. “The market-cooling effects stemming from the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan have begun to wear off, leading to a burst of demand being witnessed as many prospective homebuyers re-entered the market with the expectation that home values will only increase from here on out,” the firm noted, adding that this development has put slight pressure on inventory levels as sellers take their homes out of the market upon realizing that they can no longer capitalize on overheated conditions. “Though it is true that appreciation may continue to stagnate at the higher-end of the market due to affordability issues, strengthening consumer confidence has once again rekindled demand across the Greater Toronto Area, leading to the end of a very short-lived and measured softening within the region,” Royal LePage Real Estate Services Limited chief operating officer Kevin Somers said. Meanwhile, sales activity and consumer confidence across the Greater Vancouver residential real
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 16, 2017 455   0   0   0   0   0
Vancouver’s condo market supply is lagging well behind demand, putting a major premium on units. Royal LePage’s Randy Ryalls Randy Ryalls, general manager of Royal LePage Sterling Realty in Port Moody, says one of the major reasons for the supply shortage is that the single-family market segment remains out of reach for most prospective homeowners, and developers haven’t been able to inject the marketplace with enough completed projects. “In the condo market, it’s been a chronic situation over the years,” he said.“It takes a long time to get those units to market, and there’s lots of demand for them, so the developers can’t seem to keep up with the demand.” “It’s a matter of years,” he continued.“If the developer buys a piece of land, the process can easily take them years to get approval, get the building up and get people moved into it.It’s a lengthy process.” Royal LePage House Price Survey shed light on the pressure placed upon condo supply –and, by extension, buyers. The report also revealed that the ‘move-up’ buying cohort, defined as sellers able to make a pretty penny and move into the single-family segment, are benefiting from Vancouver’s supply constraints.However, many more buyers are priced out of entry-level homes, namely condos, and, therefore, the market altogether.
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 13, 2017 448   0   0   0   0   0
Competition in Toronto’s condo rental market has become so fierce that bidding wars are on the rise. “Competition amongst renters [for condo rentals] is going to remain pretty intense, and there’s not going to be a lot of availability,” said Urbanation’s Vice President, Shaun Hildebrand.“Rentals will have multiple bidders on them and the situation won’t correct itself any time soon.We will need more supply in the marketplace through higher condo completions as we move into 2020, 2021, which will help provide relief to the market for a period of time.” But he also warned that the entire rental market will be in dire straits unless purpose-built rental developments are supplied in considerable numbers. A lot of factors have conspired to put relentless pressure on the rental market – the astronomical cost of homeownership, stricter mortgage qualifications, high migration and the Fair Housing Plan, among others – but none has been more pronounced than the supply shortage. Moreover, the reintroduction of rent control has provided tenants increased incentive to remain in their dwellings, stunting the turnover rate. “It was already happening before, because if you were an existing tenant your landlord wouldn’t increase your rent by more than a couple of percent, but on the open market those rents have increased quicker, so that’s why people were staying
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 13, 2017 308   0   0   0   0   0
Work on what is set to become the tallest liveable building nationwide has begun in Toronto last week, the structure’s developer announced. The One, touted by developer Foster + Partners as a state-of-the-art building combining residential and commercial spaces, is an 85-storey, 306-metre structure situated at the border of the downtown area and the Yorkville neighbourhood. The tower is designed as a “clearly articulated building” that will offer commercial units at lower levels and residential apartments at the higher floors. “The structural frame is clearly expressed on the façade creating a distinctive series of vertical, horizontal and diagonal framing elements that are clad in a champagne bronze colour,” Foster + Partners stated.“The building is further articulated with the introduction of horizontal bands at regular intervals where mechanical floors are located.By expressing the functions and its distinctive structure, the building acquires a unique identity, becoming an outstanding new addition to the Toronto skyline.” “The residential floors are based on consistent 57 square-metre (620-square-foot) planning modules, allowing for flexible configurations throughout.The tower is topped by a series of duplex penthouses, which have sweeping views across Lake Ontario and beyond,” the developer added. “The One is the final piece of the jigsaw in the tower cluster at the Yonge and Bloor node – one of the most prominent intersections
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 11, 2017 393   0   0   0   0   0
In its latest study, insolvency firm Hoyes, Michalos &Associates revealed that the average unsecured debt of those filing for insolvency in the Kitchener-Waterloo region and Wellington County is $48,437, slightly lower than the Ontario average of $52,634. The report defined unsecured debt as credit card debt, unsecured bank loans, income tax debt, and student loans. The study added that while the average unsecured debt of those who file for insolvency has decreased over the last few years, the phenomenon remains largely driven by a changing housing market and a downward trend in household income. “The reason for that is people are getting into trouble and having problems servicing their debt at lower levels,” co-owner Doug Hoyes told CBC News. “In August, only 6% of our clients actually owned a home at the time they filed a bankruptcy or a proposal,” Hoyes added, noting that this is the lowest level he has seen for that metric. This proportion has slightly gone up since then, which Hoyes attributed to falling house prices, especially considering the recent interest rate hike.He stated that homeowners who hold large unsecured debts seem to prefer filing for insolvency rather than using their homes to repay these obligations, even in part. “We’re going to keep a real close
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 11, 2017 465   0   0   0   0   0
Conventional economic factors including population, incomes and borrowing costs accounted for less than half of the 40% surge in Toronto home prices between 2010 and 2016, according to a Canada Mortgage &Housing obtained by Bloomberg through a freedom of information request. Supply constraints, and to a lesser extent speculation and investment, drove most of the rest of the gains, although a lack of high-quality data about the availability of land made firm conclusions hard to draw. The report detailed the “puzzling” dynamics of the Toronto market and suggested factors other than demand are pushing prices higher, leaving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau few options to ease the affordability crisis.It may also mean more needs to be done to promote supply and curb speculation, issues more readily dealt with at the municipal level. “While price increases in Vancouver have largely been supported by economic fundamentals, a more puzzling result points to the state of the Toronto market, where fundamentals haven’t been as strong,” CMHC analysts wrote in the 134-page study prepared for Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. The report supported Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s view that interest rates aren’t the best tool for dealing with potential housing bubbles.CMHC found about three-quarters of Vancouver’s price gains were tied to fundamentals, versus 40% in Toronto, suggesting the latter city
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 11, 2017 358   0   0   0   0   0
A Vancouver luxury condominium is stiffing pre-sale condo purchasers with a 25% levy if they flip their units before occupancy. Purchasers of units at One Burrard Place, being built by Jim Pattison Developments and Reliance Properties Ltd., once only had to pay the developers a 1.5% fee to re-assign their units, however, in recent weeks they’ve been forced to sign an amended agreement contractually obligating them to pay a quarter of their resale price. It is speculated that Vancouver’s surging price points have whetted the appetites of developers, who want a bigger piece of the pie.However, it’s also believed the reason is to curtail speculation.Units at One Burrard Place went on sale in late 2015, but the 53-storey luxury condominium won’t be complete until 2019, and two years in prices have already climbed astronomically. When sales opened, the price per square foot was in the neighbourhood of $890, however, they’ve risen to about $1,250 today, according to the Vancouver Sun. Jim Stovell of Reliance Properties told the Sun that the inflated fee is designed to discourage speculators from flipping units at One Burrard.He added that buyers are welcome to wait until the units are completed, by which time the sale will be legally binding and the 25% levy won’t apply. Stovell also told the
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 06, 2017 671   0   0   0   0   0
Toronto’s housing prices have increased over two-fold since the previous decade’s recession, despite September sales remaining sluggish and home prices falling for the 4th straight month (especially in the detached-home segment). According to data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board earlier this week, 6,379 homes were sold last month, declining by 35% from September 2016. However, “consumer polling undertaken for TREB in the spring suggested that buying intentions over the next year remain strong,” Board president Tim Syrianos said in a statement, as quoted by Bloomberg. Benchmark prices fell 0.6% from August, bringing declines since May to 8%, according to the Board’s data.Despite this, home values were still up 12% from a year earlier. The September drop was the smallest since the slump began.New listings were up 9.4% from a year earlier to 16,469, leaving the sales-to-new listings ratio at 39%, a level economists consider to be between a balanced and a buyers’ market. The correction is primarily in Toronto’s detached market, where average prices exceeded $1 million.Single family detached homes are down 0.6% in September and 11% since May.Condominium prices have fallen just 1.5% from their peak, and were little changed in September. The average price for all property types rose 2.6% from a year earlier to $775,546.That’s up 6% from
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 06, 2017 754   0   0   0   0   0
Residential property sales in the Greater Vancouver area shot up by 25.2% on a year-over-year basis last month, a development that the region’s real estate board attributed to the sustained strength of the apartment and townhouse segments. In its latest report, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) stated that the region’s September sales numbers (which totalled 2,821) were 13.1% above the 10-year sales average for that particular month. “Our detached homes market is balanced today, while apartment and townhome sales remain in sellers’ market territory,” REBGV president Jill Oudil said. Out of a total of 9,466 homes currently listed for sale in Vancouver’s MLS® as of September, 5,375 of these were detached, attached and apartment properties, representing a 12% year-over-year increase and a 26.6% climb from August 2017. The sales-to-active listings ratio across all residential asset classes last month was 29.8%.By property type, apartments and townhomes clearly dominated at 60.4% and 42.3%, respectively.In contrast, the ratio for detached homes was only 14.6%. The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in the REBGV’s jurisdiction was $1,037,300, rising by 10.9% from September 2016. Apartment property sales increased by 19.1% on an annual basis in September, up to 1,451.The benchmark price of an apartment unit stood at $635,800, growing
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 06, 2017 776   0   0   0   0   0
Mississauga has become the GTA’s largest condo hub after Toronto, and its torrid pace of residential, infrastructure and amenity development are conspiring to make it ripe for investment. In tandem with the Places to Grow Act, Mayor Bonnie Crombie has recalibrated the city’s growth plan to quickly turn it into an urban hub.Mississauga’s city centre already has a dazzling skyline, and it’s expecting 23 new mixed-use condominium towers. Major builders like Daniels, Amacon, Camrost and Solmar all have major projects going up there that promise to bring life to what’s been a sleepy downtown.However, without a crucial piece of infrastructure, some of these developments might never have been conceived. “The timing is largely a result of the LRT breaking ground next year,” Crombie told CREW.“It is 20-kilometres long with 22 stops, beginning in Port Credit, and then looping around downtown where there will be four stops.It will pull into the transit terminal – the second-biggest in the GTA – then go into Brampton.” The city centre in Canada’s six-largest city has long been built around Square One Shopping Centre, which just received a major facelift and extension, but there are newer arrivals.Sheridan College has two campuses in or near the city centre, with a third in planning stages, and University of Toronto Mississauga isn’t very
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 04, 2017 588   0   0   0   0   0
The Victoria Real Estate Board saw fewer properties sold in its region last September, the association announced on Monday.A total of 640 properties exchanged hands that month, 18.1% fewer than the 781 sold in September 2016. We can certainly feel the difference in the current market when we compare to last year’s record breaking numbers.Last year the pace of the market was intense, there was a lot of pressure on pricing and demand,” said president Ara Balabanian. The market’s pace is trending very slowly towards more balanced conditions, she added.“Recently we’ve seen overall price increases level out, which can indicate slightly less demand, and inventory is building.” The Victoria Real Estate Board is one of 11 real estate boards across B.C.The areas it served includs Greater Victoria from Sooke to Sidney, up-Island as far as Cherry Point Road in Cobble Hill, and the Gulf Islands. There were 1,976 active listings for sale in the association’s listing service at the end of September, 3.1% higher than a month before, but 4.1% less than the 2,061 listings in end-September 2016.The benchmark value for a single family home there stood at $823,100, 10.9% higher than in September 2016. “Simply because we’ve seen sales drop from last year is not dire or unexpected news for our local
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 04, 2017 594   0   0   0   0   0
The provincial government is actively looking at ways to implement medium density housing to combat the affordability issue plaguing Toronto, which could present an investment opportunity in a previously untapped market. Minister of Housing Peter Milczyn and Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro both addressed media ahead of a Housing Forum event, during which “missing middle” housing – defined as row homes, townhouses, multiplexes and anything else considered medium density – was a topic of discussion.Building industry insiders and government believe medium density can help alleviate the downward pressure on families created by astronomical housing prices, as well as contribute to developing more mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly communities. “In May, we released an updated growth plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Greenbelt,” said Mauro.“These updated plans will guide us as we build thriving, livable, and vibrant communities with a wide variety of housing options for households of all sizes, ages and incomes.Complete communities that are mixed-use, walkable, transit supportive and that make more efficient use of land and infrastructure.To do this we need an effective and efficient planning appeals system in place.” Minister Milczyn says that while the foreign buyer tax brought stability to an out-of-control market, more must be done.The province will begin opening up underused surplus lands it owns to develop 2,000 rental units downtown.The government also wants
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