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Sunday , 13 July 2014

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Condo owners in SF win right to sue architects for bad design

The California Supreme Court has ruled that the architects of a condominium building are partly liable for the bad design of the building, a design which has made the condominiums unbearably hot for their owners, they allege. The large complex in San Francisco has 595 units and essentially no ventilation. The windows do not open, causing overheating, and there are other defects including cracks, the residents allege. The architects argued that they have no liability to the residents as their role is to advise the developers. But the high court unanimously rejected that argument and, for the first time in California, ruled that residents who are harmed by the poor ... Read More »

European Central Bank experiments with negative interest rate

Two days ago, the Governor of the Bank of Canada made the now-familiar announcement that its key overnight interest rate would remain unchanged at 1 per cent. It has not moved since September, 2010 because the bank does not feel the economy is strong enough to warrant a rise in rates. The bank’s statement about the interest rate non-change included the usual observations about modest growth in the economy, the low rate of inflation, and the future soft landing of the real estate market. The usual suspects, as it were. In Europe the very next day, however, something very unusual happened. After announcing that inflation in the eurozone had fallen ... Read More »

Construction industry feeling “very bullish” for 2014: OCS

The outlook for Ontario’s construction industry in 2014 is “very bullish,” with more contractors expecting to do more work this year than last year. The Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) just released its annual survey of industrial, commercial and institutional construction contractors and the optimism in the industry is “above average,” the highest it has been since 2011. That positive outlook is especially marked in the GTA, the OCS says, mainly due to work forecasts in the commercial, industrial and engineering sectors. Contractors expect to do more work in each of the major construction sectors, with commercial, engineering and high-rise residential leading. Less optimism was seen regarding the institutional sector, which ... Read More »

Signs of spring: Canada Blooms and the National Home Show

Right about now many of us desperately need signs that winter will eventually end and spring will arrive in our city. Fortunately, several signs of spring’s impending arrival are about to appear. This weekend marks the return to Daylight Savings Time, a sure sign that spring is in the offing. Say goodbye for another year to darkness at the supper hour. And next weekend, two of Toronto’s favourite shows return: Canada Blooms and the National Home Show. If you’ve been pining for the garden or longing to get to work on a do-it-yourself project in your home, this is the time and place to get the inspiration you need to ... Read More »

US debt default would be bad, but how bad?

There has been speculation as well as some fear-mongering concerning the possible effects that a government default on the national debt would have on the US real estate market. The head of the National Association of Realtors testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs today and urged Congress to raise the debt limit “in a timely manner” so as to avoid a “severe and drawn out recession.” NAR president Gary Thomas said that a default by the government would be “devastating” for homeowners because their most valuable asset would lose value. Homeowners could see dramatic increases in interest rates and tighter credit standards, he said. Entire ... Read More »

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