The Liberal Party promised to "undertake a review of escalating home prices in high-priced markets -- like Vancouver and Toronto -- to determine whether speculation is driving up the cost of housing, and survey the policy tools that could keep home ownership within reach for more Canadians." But this may be one of the first promises to fall by the wayside.
The belief that people are trapped in their first home due to lack of available options in Vancouver just isn't true. The benchmark prices for condos and townhomes here are now rising at the same rate, after years of plateau. Fears of not being able to move up to a larger condo or townhouse are unfounded.
Ontario provincial highlights from CMHC's Rental Market Report show that despite there being less options to do so, more people are choosing to stay in a rental situation for longer periods. With sky-high prices, ongoing employment instability, and plain confusion over the real estate market, it seems that for many, renting is generally a safer and more feasible option than buying a home in 2015.
A condo unit will remain a viable real-estate ownership alternative for as long as its monthly maintenance fees and realty taxes remain below the monthly rental of a comparable unit in another condo complex or apartment building. Once the condo's maintenance fees and realty taxes exceed the cost of comparative rentals, there will be no demand to buy it.
Many families are deciding to raise their children in the city instead of moving to the suburbs. Toronto is a safe and vibrant city, and with house prices both in the city and in the suburbs unrealistic for many parents, condos are an attractive alternative. Right now, a typical semi-detached home in a desirable neighbourhood can sell for around $1 million.
In real estate, the Days on Market statistic is meant to measure how many days a property takes to sell. This is a very useful piece of information, and if used properly can say a lot about an individual property, a neighbourhood, or even the entire real estate market. The problem is that this statistic is skewed by a practice that some agents employ where if a listing doesn't sell quickly, they deactivate the listing and then reactivate the listing the next day.
With prices of single family homes already up over 13 per cent year over year, the dream of owning a home in a desirable neighbourhood is quickly fading for many would-be Toronto home owners. So what options are there for people with a budget under $1 million who still want a home in a desirable neighbourhood?
Over the past few weeks the various media have inundated us with housing projections, prophecies and prognostications. The housing market is going up -- or going down! (compared to what?) What do those headlines even mean? Are housing starts up? Are housing prices up? Are the number of homes sold up? Or are more and more people building and living in concrete high rises?
Whenever a new condo tower is announced in Vancouver, public outcry is often not far behind. This has never been truer than in recent weeks with news headlines about Vancouver residents voicing their concerns over what condo developments will do to their sense of community, and the character of their neighbourhoods. It's a debate that's raged for decades. Is suburban sprawl or urban densification the answer to city growth? Is it better to go up or out? Each has its proponents and buckets of data to back up their views.
As many of you will have experienced, travel gives us a different perspective on our home towns. Home is still very much "home"... the place I'm always glad to return to after journeying elsewhere, whether it's for business or pleasure. But spending time in other places also enables me to see Toronto with fresh eyes.
Let's take a look at the subject of floor plans. After all, the easiest way to ensure you make a good investment when buying a condo is to ensure you've chosen a great floor plan. Insiders know that being amongst the first to purchase a unit in a pre-construction development isn't so much about the lower prices, as it is about getting first pick of the best layouts. But what exactly should one be looking for when choosing a floor plan?
Since the early 2000s, condo development has helped change the skyline in Canada. People from all demographics are choosing to live what I refer to as "the condo lifestyle." If you are thinking about joining this growing crowd that prefers parking underground and chooses location over square feet, here are some tips to implement while shopping for your next home.
Conventional wisdom is that this is the market at work. This is not the market at work. This is manipulation of a government system of open-ended mortgage insurance that is poorly supervised. What is going on here is a deluge of hot money from abroad that is creating an artificial, and potentially dangerous real estate bubble.