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.