A ROUNDUP OF THE WEEK’S HEADLINES
Toronto’s housing market may need a Vancouver-style cooling: RBC
The Globe and Mail
Toronto may need to consider Vancouver-style measures to address a “dangerous mix” of factors that are fuelling the region’s overheated housing market, the chief executive of Canada’s largest bank warned on Friday (Feb. 24).
In an interview, Royal Bank of Canada CEO Dave McKay said he has grown increasingly concerned about the country’s largest housing market, where average detached-home prices have soared more than 26 per cent in the past year, while condo prices have jumped more than 14.5 per cent.
Builders’ and agents’ suggestions on improving access to home ownership in GTA
Mortgage Broker News
Grim predictions from the Toronto Real Estate Board and the Building Industry and Land Development Association pointed to an even more difficult year ahead for first-time buyers, amid growing purchase costs and ever-declining supply.
TREB recently forecast that the average price of a home in the GTA will see double-digit percentage growth in 2017, up to an average of $825,000. Coupled with BILD figures noting that only 13,670 new homes were for sale in the GTA as of December (compared to 30,400 a decade ago), think tanks and industry players are stressing that homeownership in the region is an increasingly unlikely prospect.
Homeownership a wise goal for all Canadians
Real Estate News Exchange
Over the past few years, demographics regarding homeownership in Canada have changed, especially for those entering the marketplace – largely because of rising home prices. The great news is that first-time buyers are still finding ways to become owners, just a little later in life.
A BMO study from 2013 indicated the average first-time homebuyer was approximately 29 years of age. Reasons for this changing life cycle vary, from people postponing marrying and having children until later in life, to needing longer time periods to save for down payments.
Eight in 10 millennials intend to buy in five years
Canadian Mortgage Trends
About a third (34 per cent) of millennials (Canadians born in the 1980s and ’90s) are homeowners, finds a new HSBC survey.
Of those who don’t own, 82 per cent plan to buy in the next five years. But there’s a minor problem: 70% of them haven’t saved enough for a down payment.
This is the danger of helping your Gen Y kids buy a house
The Globe and Mail
When you look at house prices in markets like Toronto, Vancouver and the surrounding areas, you have to wonder about the extent to which parents are helping their adult kids save a down payment. Now, we have an indication. A recent survey by the international bank HSBC found that 37 per cent of millennial homebuyers got some financial help from parents.
Here’s why that’s a bad idea in some cases. According to the HSBC survey, 21 per cent of millennials who recently bought a house borrowed from family after buying to cover unexpected costs. See what you’re doing, parents? You’re helping your kids into a financial obligation they may not be ready to take on.
Expect a cautious federal budget as Liberals brace for the Trump effect
The Globe and Mail
Expect this year’s federal budget to have a big helping of cautious wait-and-see – in case next year’s requires a response to what Donald Trump is doing south of the border.
The new U.S. president has promised major tax cuts that could eventually have an impact on Canada, and his administration is starting to outline some of its budget plans.
Toronto’s home prices in line with other world cities
Bubble. What bubble?
Toronto’s soaring home prices are in line with the reality of other world cities such as New York, Hong Kong and London, says Mark Renzoni, president of global commercial real estate giant CBRE.
“The market is fairly balanced. It’s not being driven by foreign capital. It’s being driven by Canadians, moving up, buying for the first time,” he told the Star, following a speech at CBRE’s annual market forecast event.
“There’s great jobs, there’s a sense of optimism, there’s confidence in the job market and interest rates are low,” said Renzoni, who suggested that concerns about foreign speculation in the Toronto housing market are overblown.
Ottawa keeps wary eye on home prices in Toronto, Vancouver
The Globe and Mail
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says rising home prices in Toronto and Vancouver are supported by low unemployment and higher incomes, but acknowledged the government remains “very focused” on monitoring the Canadian housing market.
The minister’s comments come as some Bay Street leaders are expressing growing concern over the Toronto housing market in particular.
How to buy a home the right way, according to CMHC
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, has updated its free guide to the process of buying a home, with an emphasis on encouraging Canadians to think long term about what kind of home they should buy — or whether they would be better off renting.
The national housing agency first released the guide, called Homebuying Step by Step, in 1998, but has updated it over the years. The latest version streamlines the document, splitting off workbook content and making it available online as a series of interactive printable checklists and questionnaires.
No fixed zddress: A first-time renter’s guide to rental numbers in Toronto
Renting in Toronto, quite frankly, is tough.
Trying to find a place to rent? You can wind up shell-shocked over what a one-bedroom will cost you these days.
But take solace: everyone else is trying to navigate renting in Toronto, too. In fact, there is a whole group of us on Facebook here. Join, discuss and vent.
Tim Hudak talks millennials, headlines, and what he misses about politics (actually, not much)
Tim Hudak must love the heat, because the man can’t seem to get out of the kitchen. After 21 years in politics, he’s stepped into real estate — as new CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) — during a GTA-wide shortage of housing supply and subsequently spiking prices, which has left a generation of southern Ontarians struggling to enter the market. The former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario is working with municipal and provincial governments to improve affordability and supply, and recently chatted with Toronto Storeys about his new job. (This interview has been lightly edited.)
Protecting purchase history data: What would virtual office websites do with it?
Real Estate Magazine
The issue of permitting virtual office websites (VOWs) to publicly display sold data – a property’s purchase history – is still before the courts, a years-long litigation between the Toronto Real Estate Board, CREA and the federal competition bureau. But with finality possibly in sight, just what would VOWs do with the disputed data that TREB argues would compromise privacy if made public?
Canada’s largest real estate board believes publicly displaying sold data impinges upon customers’ right to privacy, although its sales agents are authorized to share it member-to-member and with clients in person, by fax or email. Yet, some VOW operators contend it is in consumers’ best interest to have as much information as they can to make informed purchasing decisions.
Building codes across Canada to be updated to reflect climate change
Canada’s national building codes will be changing over the next five years to adapt to the effects of climate change, officials confirmed to Global News on Monday.
The National Research Council (NRC), which sets “model codes” for building, energy, plumbing and fire, has started working on updating some (or potentially all) of those documents to reflect the fact that Canada is seeing more heavy rain, floods, high winds, snow, ice, temperature swings and all-around extreme weather.
Is Canada (still) experiencing one of the biggest housing bubbles in the world?
Fortress Real Developments
I think it is worthwhile to look back at past housing market opinions, forecasts and predictions to see how they turned out. How well did my fellow housing analysts and I do at assessing the market at that time? Given renewed interest in the “Canadian housing bubble” I thought I’d take a look at this blog post I wrote in August of 2013: The Other Side of the Story V – Is Canada Experiencing one of the Biggest Housing Bubbles in the World?
It is almost laughable to think that anyone thought that Canada was in a housing bubble in 2013, especially after what we witnessed in 2016, and what is going on in Toronto as we speak
Scotiabank CEO concerned about housing market corrections in Toronto, Vancouver
The CEO of Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) says he’s concerned about the possibility of a housing market correction in Toronto and Vancouver.
Brian Porter, who was asked about his outlook for the Canadian mortgage market during a conference call to discuss the bank’s first-quarter results, said he’s supportive of recent government changes introduced to reel in house price growth.
“Trees don’t grow to the sky and markets will correct at some stage here,” Porter told analysts Tuesday (Feb. 28) after the bank reported net income of $1.49 billion during the first quarter of the year.