Toronto Real Estate Roundup April 1st, 2011

John Pasalis in Real Estate Roundup

Canadian Home Prices on the Rise

Canadian home prices reported by the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index rose for the second straight month in January.  House prices were up 0.4% in January exceeding economic forecasts of a 0.1% increase in house prices.  Prices were up 0.5% in Toronto, 0.9% in Vancouver, 0.4% in Halifax and 0.3% in Montreal. House prices dropped 1.0% in Calgary and 0.6% in Ottawa.

Canada resale home price index rises for 2nd month (Reuters)

Home prices rise more than expected (National Post)


GTA Housing Starts up 19% in February

The CMHC is reporting that a total of 2,986 new homes were started in February, an increase of 19% over the same month last year. Condominiums are driving the growth for the construction industry in the GTA with nearly 40% of all starts this year coming from the condominium segment.

GTA housing starts show strength in February - pdf (CMHC)


Canada's Housing Market

Over the past year David Rosenberg, cheif economist at investment firm Gluskin Sheff was very bearish about the outlook for Canada's housing market.  In September Rosenberg felt that Canada's housing data had a “U.S.A. circa 2005” feel to them.  

Rosenberg's outlook appears to have taken a bullish turn, in a recent research note to clients he said:

"...there is no evidence of any meaningful supply-demand imbalance that should undercut real estate valuation"

Rosenberg: Canadian housing is okay (Globe and Mail)


What Great Recession?

An interesting article in the Globe and Mail this week that takes a different look at the numbers behind the Great American Recession.  Interesting to note that the decline in household net worth almost precisely tracked the decline in house prices. If the majority of American's net worth is tied up in their houses and if their houses are highly leveraged, we would expect to see the decline in net worth exceed the decline in house prices.  

What Great Recession? Data tell a different story (Globe and Mail)


“Rich people and nerds” vs. “Inherent spirit of risk” – The story of cities becoming innovation hubs is old (and the subject of at least one policy paper per year per government), but we enjoyed a recent exchange of fire. Some, like the Toronto Board of Trade, thinks you attract entrepreneurs (enter universities and cash). Others argue that gutless Boston can never be fearless San Francisco. We think there’s something to be said about cities having inherent cultures – and the folly of trying to be something you’re not.

Entrepreneurship just needs ‘rich people and nerds’ (Globe and Mail)


Food as the new glue for cities – A food forces strangers into common spaces and fosters social inclusion like nothing else says The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto. We think the idea holds for neighbourhoods. We’d also add that the entrepreneurial zeal behind cafes, luncheons and bistros at every price point is as important as the work of social organizations and government.

Food can knit a city together (Globe and Mail)


Other Real Estate and Neighbourhood News

Canada’s economy starts year strongly with 0.5% growth (Toronto Star)

Real Estate Issue: 2011 Roundtable (National Post)

Housing market attracting bargain-hunters (Reuters)

From dream home to nightmare debt (Globe and Mail)

Does popular retrofit energy plan make sense? (Toronto Star)

An exclusive look inside Toronto’s Trump Hotel (Toronto Star)

Turning brownfields into gold (Toronto Star)


John Pasalis is the Broker Owner of Realosophy Realty Inc in Toronto. Realosophy focuses on researching Toronto neighbourhoods to help their clients make smarter real estate decisions. Email John

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