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Saturday , 2 August 2014

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

Zillow swallows Trulia to create giant online real estate service

Online real estate giant Zillow announced today that it has acquired its only serious rival, Trulia, for $3.5 billion in an all-stock transaction. The two US companies will continue to operate under their respective brand names, and together will convincingly dominate the online real estate market in the United States. Zillow, with information on 110 million homes in the US, reported 83 million unique users in June. Trulia reported 54 million users in the same month. Zillow says that the two brands have limited customer overlap; approximately two-thirds of its users do not use Trulia, while half of Trulia’s visitors do not use Zillow. Describing themselves as “primarily media companies,” ... Read More »

New records, milestones in Toronto condo market

Looking for explanations for Toronto’s record-breaking condo market, the vice-president of Urbanation Inc., which has been studying that market for more than thirty years, puts it down to higher consumer confidence, along with some good deals and attractive new openings. The research company released its second-quarter analysis of the condo market today, noting that 5,992 new condos were sold, a performance that was “well above expectations.” A new milestone was reached in the second quarter: more than100,000 units were in active development during those three months. All together there were 105,027 units in the pre-construction, under construction and occupancy phases. The number of units sold also reached a ten-year high, ... Read More »

New home sales soared in June: condo sales up 94 per cent

New homes are selling at higher-than-average rates in the GTA, particularly in the City of Toronto. RealNet Canada Inc., the official source of data about the new-home market for the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), reports 4,608 new-home sales in June. This was the third highest June in the last decade for new home sales in the GTA. In the low-rise category—single detached homes—sales were 84 per cent higher than one year ago, an increase that RealNet called “considerable.” Low-rise home sales were 24 per cent higher than the ten-year average. The jump in new home sales was even more remarkable in the condo category, virtually doubling compared ... Read More »

Low rates make now a good time to pay down the mortgage

It seems that fewer Canadian mortgage holders these days are concerned about becoming mortgage free. Last year, more than two-thirds said, in responding to a CIBC poll, that they were taking steps to pay down their mortgage before the twenty-five-year amortization period was up. This year, just over half (55 per cent) claim to be doing the same. Has mortgage anxiety in Canada declined because mortgage rates have been so low for so long, letting mortgage holders focus on other financial objectives? Perhaps, according to CIBC. But we should remember, the bank cautions, that the current low rates also make this a favourable time to “make progress against your mortgage.” ... Read More »

Canadians optimistic about housing; Fitch, not so much

Home sales across Canada were 11.2 per cent higher in June than they were one year ago, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) reports. From May to June the rise in national sales was 0.8 per cent, the fifth consecutive monthly increase. Home sales reached their highest level in more than four years. Year-over-year sales were up in about three-quarters of all local markets, especially in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington and Montreal. CREA’s national sales-to-new-listings ratio came in at 53.6 per cent in June, slightly higher than in May but still “well entrenched” within the 40–60 range that defines a balanced market. About half of local markets were within balanced ... Read More »

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