This week’s news: B.C. rolls out watchdog to tackle housing

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Our weekly round-up of real estate news in Toronto, across Canada and the world for the week ending September 23, 2016.

 

Toronto

Toronto Housing Prices Are So Hot, Even the Cost of Houseboats Has Doubled (BNN)

Soaring housing prices in Toronto have forced some home buyers to look for more affordable alternatives to the conventional detached home, but prices for one type of dwelling may be on the same boat. House boat prices in the Greater Toronto Area have doubled in the last six years, putting the average cost of a floating home in the range of a condo, according to Royal LePage sales agent Denise Doucet.

Toronto’s Land Transfer Tax Revenue is Booming, But the Cupboard’s Still Bare (CBC)

In times of plenty, it can be easy to forget there may be leaner years ahead. But Toronto city council and its city managers need only look westward for a cautionary tale about relying on a volatile source of revenue; here, it’s the municipal land transfer tax—but in Alberta it was oil.

‘We Want to Get This Right’: Ontario’s Finance Minister Keeps Door Open to Foreign Buyer Tax (BNN)

Ontario’s Finance Minister Charles Sousa says he’s assessing the impacts of Vancouver’s new foreign buyer tax to determine whether Toronto needs a similar levy, adding that he wants more evidence before making any policy decisions. “We’re assessing the impacts obviously, and of course we are sensitive to the implications it may have for other regions of the province of British Columbia and how that would affect Ontario,” Sousa told BNN’s Paige Ellis in an interview.

Online Services Pushing for More Transparency in Toronto Real Estate Market (CBC)

Toronto-based online services are seeking to arm prospective home buyers with more information before they jump into the real estate market, in some cases directly challenging the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) and its efforts to keep some of that information out of the public domain.

Canada

Huge Tax Windfall Highlights BC Economy’s Dangerous Dependence on Real Estate (Vancouver Sun)

On Thursday, the provincial government announced it had raked in $2.2 billion in revenue from the property transfer tax and the new 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers of Metro Vancouver homes. That’s a billion dollars more than the government had projected.

B.C. Rolls Out Watchdog to Tackle Housing (Globe and Mail)

British Columbia announced Monday it would make the largest investment in rental stock in the province’s history while also naming a new watchdog to ensure homeowners have more protection against unscrupulous realtors.

U.S.

America’s RV Boom is a Hot Opportunity for Developers (Yahoo Finance)

If you own an RV, where do you park it? That’s a question that real estate developers are taking very seriously. So much so that in hot retirement markets across states like Nevada, Arizona and Florida, developers are seizing the opportunity to cater to the niche audience of RV owners.

Around the World

Central London’s Prime Real Estate Prices to Drop by 9% (Forbes)

Residential real estate in prime central London will see a significant price adjustment, according to two studies published this week. Analysts at global real estate companies Savills and Knight Frank believe that the combined effect of the uncertainty caused by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, coupled with previous reforms to Stamp Duty Land Tax, which significantly increased the overall burden on real estate costing more than £1 million and on secondary residences in all price ranges, are taking a toll on the market.

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