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Sunday , 21 December 2014

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

Freddie Mac gives American home buyers a nice Christmas gift

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Here’s news that would make Canada’s finance guardians wince and wag their fingers at us, and many would-be home buyers jump for joy: a 3 per cent down payment mortgage. The US government-backed mortgage agency known as Freddie Mac will offer the deal, called Home Possible Advantage, beginning in March, 2015. It says it is doing so to increase access to mortgage credit for low- and moderate-income earners and first-time buyers who don’t have a bigger down payment. As anyone who has gone through it knows, saving a sufficient down payment in an expensive housing market like Toronto or New York is one of the biggest obstacles to buying a ... Read More »

New record price for low-rise homes in November

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For the first time this year, sales of new low-rise homes were down in the GTA in November. Sales fell 11 per cent compared to one year ago; 1,117 new detached, semi-detached and town homes were sold, RealNet Canada reports. Total sales for the year so far, however, are up 45 per cent compared to last year. In the first eleven months of the year, 16,756 new low-rise homes were sold, putting sales in 2014 solidly in line with the ten-year average (16,692). In the high-rise category, there are only positive numbers. November sales of new condos came in at 2,215, up 25 per cent over last year, and 11 ... Read More »

December home sales held back by lack of supply: TREB

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The mid-December home re-sale report from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) shows that the year will end on a high. In the first half of the final month of the year, sales were up a modest 1.9 per cent compared to one year ago. There were 2,496 sales through TREB’s MLS service in those two weeks. Listings, however, were once again down, prompting TREB president Paul Etherington to comment that the lack of listings has been “a drag” on sales this year. Toronto households are “upbeat” about buying a home, but the lack of listings continues to frustrate some would-be buyers, said Etherington. In the segment where supply is ... Read More »

Vacancy rates low for condo rentals, foreign ownership negligible: CMHC

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Rental vacancy rates increased slightly in some areas of the country between October 2013 and October 2014. This happened because the supply of purpose-built rental apartments rose by 2.7 per cent in those twelve months, a rate that outpaced the number of occupied units, according to the fall Rental Market Report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The vacancy rate varies considerably across the country, of course. If you are looking for an apartment in Saint John, New Brunswick or Moncton you should have no trouble finding something suitable. The vacancy rates there were 9 per cent and 8.7 per cent respectively. In Toronto, however, your search could be ... Read More »

Housing starts up in November: CMHC

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The number of housing starts in Canada was up 6.5 per cent in November, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). It was the largest increase in seven months and is mainly the result of increased building in the condo sector. Multiple-unit starts in the country’s urban centres rose 13.6 per cent, while single-family starts were down 2.9 per cent. The number of starts was 195,620, up from 183,659 in October. CMHC said that the six-month trend of seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) had “held steady” in November, and was “in line with our expectations for 2014.” Those expectations are for a “stable national picture” dominated by multiple starts in ... Read More »

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