In Toronto: Flashbacks to 2016 have key players in the housing market concerned as advocates call for more 'aggressive' affordability.
Elsewhere: Getting around the stress test with alternative mortgages, fixing the Californian housing crisis, and Ireland's turn left signals a wider trend in Europe.
RBC fears Toronto’s housing market is headed for another round of froth (The Globe and Mail)
"It’s looking more and more like early 2016 all over again for the Toronto housing market," senior economist Robert Hogue warned in a recent report. "This is not a good sign," he added.
“I ask myself every day, ‘How high is it going to go?’” said Christopher Bibby, founder of Re/Max Hallmark Bibby Group Realty in Toronto. “There’s not enough inventory for all the demand. And because nobody can afford to move, they hold on until they leave town altogether.”
“It depends on where we expect new units to come on the market. People are going to live where there’s a supply of housing and where market conditions are a little bit more balanced,” he said. “I think that’s something that has contributed to people looking outside of the GTA.”
CreateTO, the city's real estate arm, is preparing to put forward a second package of Housing Now sites at its March board meeting — a step that comes amid calls for greater density and more affordable units in Mayor John Tory's expanding affordable housing plan.'
“There is absolutely no logical sense why any properties in the city would be vacant when you have approximately 9,000 people sleeping rough on the streets and in ravines, shelters and respite centres,” says Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, a member of the committee.
The portfolio composition of alternative lenders has changed as it has become more difficult for borrowers to get a loan from a bank. The federal government’s mortgage stress test on uninsured mortgages went into effect in 2018. It requires banks to ensure that borrowers can make their loan payments at higher mortgage rates.
How the coronavirus might impact Canada's housing market (Financial Post)
Earlier precautionary measures to contain the virus discouraged discretionary travel and face-to-face interactions. Generally, a slowdown in market activity is likely when consumers avoid grocery stores, hair salons and/or restaurants, but is it significant enough to cause a decline in economic output, including property markets?
You probably think of Prince Edward Island as an ideal vacation spot. But more and more people are calling it home. And as you might expect, the island’s construction industry is not quite as adept at throwing up huge condos quickly as firms in bigger places. So where does that leave PEI’s growing numbers of citizens living in precarious situations? Hoping the government can fix this, and fast.
“It was the type of bold step that we needed to take as a state anda s a region to start making progress on… the housing affordability crisis,” Josefowitz says. “We have, as a region, not built enough housing to house the people that live here for over a generation. So it’s unrealistic to expect that we can just snap our fingers and get out of it.”
Frank Liu’s big bets on urban living pay off (Houston Chronicle)
In 2010, he negotiated a deal with the city of Houston to be reimbursed $20 million in public infrastructure improvements to three future residential sites, including Kolbe Farms. The agreement was part of a statewide economic development program in which reimbursement dollars come from the the incremental property taxes the projects create. So if the homes are never built or enough taxes aren't generated, the developer is not reimbursed.
In smart apartments, is tenants’ privacy for rent? (Boston Globe)
Kaye claims the box was installed in his apartment without his permission, along with Internet-connected “smart locks.” And he maintains that an ongoing attempt to evict him from his apartment, allegedly due to a late rent payment, is actually revenge for his demand that the technology be disconnected.
Ireland’s Left Turn (Jacobin)
Younger people stressed the importance of housing as an issue: nearly two-fifths of those under the age of thirty-four said it was the most important factor in deciding how to vote. Runaway home prices have made it impossible for most people in that age bracket to buy their own home, while landlords hike rents to extortionate levels and hotel construction swallows up residential space.
Europe’s center isn’t holding (Washington Post)
Now, Varadkar could be a political lame duck. Irish voters who flocked to Sinn Fein’s banner weren’t just animated by the party’s calls for unification with Northern Ireland. They were driven by social disquiet over housing prices and health care, and mobilized by Sinn Fein’s promises of rent freezes and a vast public housing construction program.
Top Photo Credit: Getty/iStock
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February 14, 2020This Week In Real Estate |