This week’s news: Online brokerage Zoocasa to relaunch

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Photo Credit PROwoodleywonderworks

Our weekly round-up of real estate news in Toronto, across Canada and the world for the week ending October 21, 2016.

TORONTO

Online Brokerage Zoocasa to Relaunch with $1.35 Million in Seed Money (Globe & Mail)

An online real-estate brokerage shuttered by Rogers Communications Inc. last year is relaunching with a new website and an injection of cash from a group of technology-focused investors. Zoocasa is set to announce Tuesday that it has raised $1.35-million in seed money from a group of investors that includes Wind Mobile founder Globalive Capital Inc., Hedgewood Inc. and Impression Ventures, whose backers include Franco-Nevada Corp. chairman Pierre Lassonde.

What Toronto’s Real Estate Will Be Like in 50 Years (Toronto Life)

In partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute, we bring you a semi-scientific glimpse into the future of Toronto. Here, what’s next for the city’s housing market

Where are the Most Expensive Condos in Downtown Toronto? (Mortgage Broker News)

According to the just-released results of a recent survey conducted by real estate brokerage TheRedPin, major intersections play host to the costliest condominium units in downtown Toronto. The study, which covered 24 key intersections in the city, found that the major factors driving elevated prices in these areas include the presence of “key retail destinations” and direct access to transit.

Desperation Drives Some Buyers to Gamble on a Fixer Upper (Globe & Mail)

When David Boyles and his wife, Caitlin, bought their first home last month, they took a risk. The couple had been house-hunting in downtown Toronto for a year, but hadn’t yet managed to land a deal.

“We had made about 20 or 25 offers [on other houses] in that time span. Lots of big surprises. We’d be aggressive, we’d go in at $150,000 over [the list price] and get blown out of the water. We wouldn’t even be close,” says Mr. Boyles, 30.

Monster Condo Towers Being Planned for Yonge and College (blogTO)

The pace at which gigantic condo projects are being proposed in Toronto is downright dizzying. A few days ago, a 32 storey twin tower proposal at King and Parliament made waves, but also in the works from IBI Group Architects is another such project that blows it away in terms of height and scale.

CANADA

CRA Nets $240 Million From Probe of Real Estate Tax Cheats in B.C., Ontario (CBC)

The Canada Revenue Agency says it has recovered more than $240 million from audits related to probes of tax cheating on real estate in British Columbia and Ontario. According to figures published on the CRA’s website, the bulk of the money comes from probes in Ontario, where the federal department has recovered $210.4 million through more the 13,400 audits conducted between April 2015 and September 2016.

Chinese Real Estate Billionaire Says Customers Troubled by Vancouver Tax (Vancouver Sun)

One of China’s top real estate moguls says his customers are troubled by British Columbia’s tax on foreigners purchasing homes in Vancouver and he intends to raise the matter with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Frank Wu, vice-president of the China Real Estate Industry Association, said Chinese investors have told him that the 15 per cent tax is discouraging them from buying property in the city.

Bank of Canada Puts Price Tag on Morneau Housing Measures (Bloomberg)

The Bank of Canada, which has expressed worries about vulnerabilities posed by high household and elevated real estate prices, has put a price tag on the recent measures to rein in the market. In the release of its quarterly Monetary Policy Report on Wednesday, the central bank estimated changes announced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau on Oct. 3 would reduce housing’s contribution to growth over the next two years and leave the economy 0.3 percent smaller than it otherwise would have been by the end of 2018. That’s worth more than C$6 billion ($4.6 billion) in lost income.

U.S.

Booming Property Auctions Lift Brexit Gloom in British Real Estate (Reuters)

Commercial property auctions are proving an unlikely bright spot in Britain’s real estate market where a steep drop in sterling has attracted overseas buyers and local investors are as yet unfazed by potential fallout from Brexit. Britain’s 900 billion pound commercial real estate market was an early victim of the financial market turmoil that followed Britain’s vote in June to leave the European Union.

INTERNATIONAL

Real Estate Remains the Go-to Asset Class for the Ultra-Rich (CNBC)

An investment club for the ultra-rich has revealed its members’ are sticking with real estate and private equity amid a dwindling appetite for hedge funds.

The Price of Australia’s Real Estate Boom (New York Times)

One hundred twenty-five years ago, the suburb of Balmain, which juts into Sydney Harbor, represented the aspirations of a young Australia: a society that wanted to be free of the class structure of its mother nation, Britain, with a safety net that would make it one of the most egalitarian countries on earth. Today, Balmain epitomizes the unexpected conclusion of that political and economic project: a nation where rampant property prices have made society appear richer while leaving it worse off.

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