Our weekly round-up of real estate news in Toronto, across Canada and the world for the week ending October 14, 2016.
On warm evenings, urban designer Ken Greenberg likes to serve dinner on his balcony and watch Toronto’s skyline light up in the dusk.
“It actually is magical,” says the city’s former urban design and architecture chief, whose perch near King and Bathurst Sts. puts him in the front row for the nightly performance.
Torontonians Favour Foreign Real Estate Buyer Tax: Poll (Toronto Sun)
Half of Torontonians want to see a special tax imposed on foreign home buyers, according to a poll commissioned by Councillor Jim Karygiannis.
“This study clearly shows that people want something done,” Karygiannis said Tuesday, adding he plans on asking city officials to report on the issue.
“A non-Canadian resident is someone who says to his broker, ‘Buy me five or six homes abroad.’ And he doesn’t even live in the country,” he said.
When owners of a downtown Toronto condo went searching for a foul smell wafting through their building, they inadvertently uncovered something much more mysterious—a dark, dirt tunnel burrowed beneath their homes. The bizarre discovery, made about a decade ago, has set off a chain of events, including a multi-million-dollar lawsuit that continues to play out today.
Circa is Building Family Sized Condos in Toronto (Toronto Star)
Flats, walk-ups, brownstones. Whatever they are called, family-sized apartments are common in cities around the world.
A scarce, but increasingly sought-after housing option in Toronto, they are the specialty product of one local developer, who has, in retrospect, found an obvious solution to that gap in the market.
Not every house hunter would see the potential in a partially renovated, century old, long uninhabited house in Saint John, N.B.’s old north end. But Daniel Gable, 36, isn’t a typical buyer. Gable, a musician and former tree planter, became frustrated with real estate prices in his former home of Squamish, B.C., where he said the price of a single-family home starts around $500,000.
To Hell With This Housing Market (MoneySense)
Aaron Urion considers himself lucky. Very lucky. He has a great job as an associate at a downtown Vancouver architectural firm and, last summer, he married his sweetheart and sailing partner, Heather Thompson, 36. These days, the couple enjoy their evenings looking out over the city, the water in the foreground and mountains in the background. On warm nights, Aaron, 38, waves to his neighbours before getting a glass of sparkling water for his wife (she’s expecting their first child this fall). Their biggest dilemma is whether or not to start the BBQ or go for a quick paddle before dinner.
The revelation that foreign firms are legally allowed to conduct real estate business in BC without licenses has Opposition Housing Critic David Eby asking how this was allowed to happen. The Globe and Mail reported this morning that companies like Shanghai-based Vanfun have been selling homes in BC by exploiting a regulatory loophole.
Clinton Proposes Closing Real Estate Loophole, Not Trump (Washington Post)
Donald Trump’s wealth has helped define the 2016 presidential race and it is also shaping the campaign’s tax debate. Trump contends he has the expertise to fix the tax code and close loopholes like the ones that may have let him go nearly two decades without paying federal income taxes. Hillary Clinton, he said in the last debate, won’t.
“She complains that Donald Trump took advantage of the tax code,” Trump said. “Well, why didn’t she change it?”
With London’s Prime Real Estate, Renters Step Up, Buyers Step Back: (Wall Street Journal)
In London’s priciest neighborhoods, renting is on the rise. Real-estate broker Knight Frank signed a record number of prime central London rental agreements in September, Tom Bill, the firm’s head of residential research, said on Friday. Knight Frank declined to state the number of leases signed, but Mr. Bill said it was 34 per cent more than in September 2015. Buyers and sellers have been holding back on luxury London homes because they were uncertain about the direction of prices. Brexit has compounded the issue. With clarity still hard to come by, many are opting to rent.