House Sales Still Up, Condo Rents Plunge + Big Banks Not Worried

In Toronto: Single-family homes sales continue unabated while condo rents have plunged and Canada big banks not worried about real estate market.

Elsewhere: Surburban rents climb while city rents fall in the U.S. and cities eye empty vacation rentals for social housing in Europe.


GTA new single-family home sales continue to soar into fall (Toronto Star)

“There are a number of things that are influencing that — lifestyles associated with the pandemic, the continued liquidity of the market. We’re seeing any inventory that comes online, from a lowrise perspective, the demand is absorbing that inventory fairly quickly,” he said.

Condo rents may have plunged, but that doesn’t mean Toronto has become more affordable (Toronto Star)

Annually, 20,000 condos are built in Toronto’s census metropolitan area compared with about 2,000 purpose-built rentals, according to CMHC. Tens of thousands of new purpose-built rentals are needed every year solely to match Toronto’s usual population growth, said Senagama.

Toronto officials slam provincial order that sidesteps planning for West Don Lands (CBC)

The province's move would allow for towers as high as 50 storeys tall without consultation with the city — something that has rankled Tory. At a press conference Tuesday, he said the city heard about the move right before it happened, with no consultation at all. "I think that is a less than ideal situation, to say the least," Tory said.

Meet the Toronto carpenter building insulated, mobile shelters for homeless people this winter (CBC)

Experts anticipate more people will be living outdoors this winter, in part due to concerns about the spread of the disease in Toronto's strained shelter system. Seivwright sees the shelters as a safe, temporary alternative for people who would otherwise be sleeping in tents or under tarps and blankets. He's so far dropped off two of the shelters in out-of-the-way locations around Toronto.


Cracks in real estate market fail to rattle Canada's big banks (Bloomberg)

A number of forecasters, including Moody’s Corp., UBS Group AG and the country’s top housing regulator, are predicting a sharp correction over the next year. Canada’s largest banks aren’t worried: on average, the six largest lenders see price declines of about three per cent over the next 12 months, according to forecasts they use to determine potential credit losses. Bank of Montreal sees no change at all in the nation’s average housing price.

The labour divide: Eight charts that explain Canada’s uneven job recovery (The Globe)

Still, there are roughly 720,000 fewer people employed than in February. And the labour disruption was deeply uneven, with greater effects on society’s most vulnerable. As job growth naturally slows, and as the country grapples with a second wave of COVID-19 and restrictions on businesses, gaps between the haves and have-nots could persist or even widen over the fall and winter months.

Trudeau Ratchets Up Canada’s Immigration Targets to Boost Recovery (Bloomberg)

The country will further increase newcomer levels over the next three years to 411,000 in 2022, up from the previous target of 361,000, and 421,000 in 2023. Mendicino said the aim of the higher targets is to increase new admissions after the pandemic caused an immigration shortfall.

Immigration shortfalls from COVID-19 may spell short-term gain, but long-term pain for housing market (Toronto Star)

Canada’s failure to meet its immigration targets due to the pandemic is offering some relief in terms of rent affordability. But it won’t negatively impact the Canadian detached housing market — at least in the near term, say real estate experts and economists.


In the U.S., City Rents Are Falling, and Suburban Rents Are Climbing (City Lab)

Since the beginning of the pandemic, cities on both coasts have seen sharp declines in average rents, even double-digit dips for some. But the story looks different in other places. Outside the coastal job centers once dubbed “superstar cities,” many metros haven’t suffered the same acute drops in rent, according to new research from Apartment List, a national platform for apartment listings. Overall, average rents in 30 core cities have dropped more than 5%, while average rents in the suburbs of those cities have inched up half a percentage point.

The Capital of Sprawl Gets a Radically Car-Free Neighborhood (NY Times)

Phoenix, that featureless and ever-spreading tundra of concrete, has been called “the world’s least sustainable city.” It has been characterized as a “sprawling, suburbanite wasteland” and “a monument to man’s arrogance.” The Onion has darkly predicted that by 2050, “most of Earth’s landmass” will be swallowed by the encroaching Phoenix exurbs. The Walk Score index ranks the place as the second-worst big city in America for pedestrians, and traversing it has been described as “a slog through a desert, plus the occasional McDonald’s.”

'Biggest thing to happen to renters since WWII': why this US eviction expert is optimistic (The Guardian)

Before the pandemic hit, about 3.7m evictions were filed in the US in an average year – that’s about seven evictions each minute. Most poor renting families spent at least half of their income on housing costs and about one in four of those families spent more than 70% of their income on housing costs.


With Vacation Rentals Empty, European Cities See a Chance to Reclaim Housing (NY Times)

In Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, the city government is becoming a landlord itself by renting empty apartments and subletting them as subsidized housing. In Barcelona, Spain, the housing department is threatening to take possession of empty properties and do the same.

One in eight UK renters unable to meet housing costs in full, says report (The Guardian)

The thinktank said 8% of private renters and 7% of social renters have lost their jobs since coronavirus struck, compared with 3% of people with a mortgage, in figures based on a survey of more than 6,000 UK adults. As many as 300,000 renters are still on furlough and could lose their jobs after the scheme ends on Saturday, according to a separate warning issued by the National Residential Landlords Association, which said the government needed to launch a fresh package of support for renters.

Top Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images

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