This week’s news: NDP proposes bill to expand rent controls to all buildings

NDP proposes bill to expand rent controls to all buildings
With prices for rental units rising in ways similar to house prices – complete with bidding wars in some cases – “too many are at risk of homelessness, too many are couch surfing,” says New Democrat MPP Peter Tabuns.

Our weekly round-up of real estate news in Toronto, across Canada and the world for the week ending March 17, 2017.

Toronto

NDP proposes bill to expand rent controls to all buildings (The Toronto Star)

Renters would no longer have to worry about big increases that could force them to move or couch surf with friends under an NDP proposal to expand rent controls to units built since 1991.

New Democrat MPP Peter Tabuns said he will introduce a private members’ bill Monday to close a “loophole” that exempts buildings constructed since 1991 from annual rent control guidelines.

‘Worrisome’ Toronto real estate market drives ‘unusually large’ national price increase (CBC)

An “especially worrisome” Toronto housing market helped push Canadian home prices to their largest February increase ever, according to the latest index from Teranet-National Bank.

National home prices jumped 1.0 per cent last month, a gain that was “unusually large for the season,” according to the report, and the biggest February increase in the 18-year history of the Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index.

Home prices post record February increase on strength of Toronto: Teranet-National Bank index (CP24)

TORONTO — Canadian home prices posted a record jump for the month of February, fuelled by the Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver markets.

The Teranet-National Bank national composite house price index gained 1.0 per cent for the month, the largest February increase in the 18-year history of the index.

Toronto is a city where even the ‘rich’ can’t afford an average-priced house: BMO (Global News)

You know a city’s real estate market is beyond the reach of its residents when even some of the highest earners can’t afford to buy an average-priced house there.

That’s the situation facing Toronto, where benchmark home prices climbed by just under 24 per cent year-over-year last month.

Canada

Average house prices up 3.5% in past year, worth $519,521 in February (CBC)

The price of the average Canadian home ticked up by 3.5 per cent to $519,521 in February, even as the national figures continue to be skewed by hot activity in the country’s biggest market: Toronto.

The Canadian Real Estate Association, which represents realtors, reported Wednesday that the average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.

BC first time home buyer loan: Does the program actually help? (Vancouver Sun)

Every day, she pores over the real estate listings for the Lower Mainland.

And every day she feels frustrated and disappointed.

“The way the prices of housing have soared makes it stressful to watch from the sidelines, especially being at the point where we’re hoping to start a family,” says the 30-year-old who lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Mount Pleasant with her husband Adam Winnett.

Calgary real estate brokers adopting virtual reality house hunting (Metro Toronto)

A pair of Calgary real estate brokers are streamlining the home hunters process – using virtual reality.

Michael and Willemina Montgomery, the couple behind Renzo Real Estate, are taking advantage of advances in VR technology to help sell homes.

USA

Real estate veterans are ‘now running the USA’ (Financial Times)

For the first time, a property developer is the president of the United States — the most powerful position a member of the real estate industry has ever occupied.

But the opening weeks of the Donald Trump presidency have left one question still open: whether the industry in which Mr Trump spent his prior working life should celebrate his rise.

U.S. housing, factory data underscore economy’s resilience (Reuters)

U.S. homebuilding jumped in February as unseasonably warm weather boosted the construction of single-family houses to near a 9-1/2-year high, suggesting the economy remained on solid ground despite an apparent slowdown in the first quarter.

The economy’s fundamentals were further strengthened by other data on Thursday showing a drop in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week amid a tightening labor market. Though factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region cooled this month, manufacturers reported growth in new orders and difficulties finding qualified workers.

U.S. housing starts total 1.29M in Feb vs. 1.26M starts expected (CNBC)

Single-family home building, which accounts for the largest share of the residential housing market, surged 6.5 percent to a pace of 872,000 units last month, the highest level since October 2007. Single-family starts rose in the West, Northeast and Midwest, but fell in the South.

International

The rise in China’s foreign exchange reserves is bad news for global real estate (Business Insider)

The world’s greatest overseas real estate binge might finally be over. According to the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), China saw its foreign exchange reserves rise to over US$3 trillion. The unexpected rise is the first in 8 months, and may indicate that the new regulatory crackdown on capital outflows is actually working. This is bad for real estate markets that have seen a sudden surge of buying activity from Mainland Chinese buyers.

Asian real estate still attractive after U.S. rate hike – LaSalle Investment (Reuters)

Asian real estate remains attractive due to relatively high yields despite U.S. monetary tightening as the pace of interest rate increases in the region is expected to be slow, an executive at LaSalle Investment Management said on Thursday.

Elysia Tse, LaSalle’s head of research & Strategy, Asia Pacific, identified China as a market with huge business growth potential, and brushed aside concerns over currency fluctuations and Beijing’s capital control policies.

Property news – expert claims triggering Article 50 will INCREASE house prices (Daily Express)

HOUSE PRICES, will they rise or fall after Article 50 is triggered? Prime Minister Teresa May is clear to make the move and begin negotiations to leave the European Union (EU) – but what effect will this have on our housing market.

Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Will Herrmann, Director of private property developer West Eleven, who explained that any effects will be insignificant – and the welfare of the property market relies on how any leaks throughout the process are received.

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