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Sunday , 19 April 2015

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

High demand sparks competition among condo buyers: TREB

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Toronto’s resale housing market was busy in the first half of April. The Toronto Real Estate Board reports that 4,635 home sales took place, an increase of 3.4 per cent over the same period last year. New listings, however, were down 4.6 per cent, making conditions tighter than ever. Sales growth in Toronto would be even greater, given the pent-up demand, if more homes were listed, according to TREB president Paul Etherington. Conditions now run from balanced to sellers’ market, TREB says. Sales are strong in the condo segment, as well as in high-end detached homes, suggesting wide demand across the spectrum of buyers. Condo sales were particularly strong in ... Read More »

More choice for renters with big jump in purpose-built apartments

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Finding an affordable apartment to rent in Toronto should be a little easier these days, thanks to growing numbers of condos for rent, as well as more purpose-built rental apartments. The number of condo apartments that are rented continues to grow steadily. Urbanation, the firm that studies and reports on the condo market in Toronto, says that nearly 5,000 condo units were rented through the city’s MLS system in the first quarter of the year. That’s an increase of 11 per cent compared to a year ago, and is consistent with the previous two quarters. The number of new rental listings, however, grew at nearly double that rate, showing a ... Read More »

Toronto, Vancouver outliers as national housing markets soften

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Whether you call it a “soft landing” or simply a rational response to larger economic forces, housing prices in many parts of Canada have been “softening” over the past three months, according to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey. The “natural cycle” of the market was disrupted by two unanticipated and opposing factors: the steep drop in oil prices and the Bank of Canada’s lowering of the overnight rate to 0.75 per cent. The one had an “unsettling” effect on the economy and on consumer confidence, while at the same time giving consumers a break at the gas pump; the other has been supportive of the housing market by ... Read More »

Housing starts roar back in March, doubling in Toronto

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The number of housing starts in Canada rose a hefty 25 per cent in March, with even larger increases in Ontario and Toronto. The increases were seen in all parts of the country except the Atlantic provinces, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The renewed housing activity, almost entirely in the urban multiple-unit segment, which was up 48.2 per cent, comes after a sharp nationwide decline in February. That decline was in large part weather induced. Nevertheless, analysts say the March numbers are higher than expected. The Ontario increase of 49.3 per cent was the highest in the country by province. In March, urban housing starts reached 61,219 compared ... Read More »

Toronto new home builders hit pause in February: Statistics Canada

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Toronto real estate commentators like to boast (or worry) that the city has the greatest number of high-rise condominiums under construction of any city in North America, if not the world. They love to rhyme off statistics—57,000 condo units under construction in Toronto at the end of 2014; the widest price gap between single-detached homes and condos ever recorded; average prices for single-family homes over $1 million. All of that is true, but an underlying assumption that the city’s builders are blindly building more and more condos without regard for whether the market can absorb them—overbuilding, in short—persists. One would think that the market was completely out of control. But ... Read More »

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