This week’s news: Toronto Community Housing tenants evicted for crime shouldn’t be rehoused, council says

City Council’s new eviction rule proposals could have large consequences on the prevalence of homelessness in Toronto.
City council’s new proposal on eviction rules could have large consequences on the prevalence of homelessness in Toronto.

Our weekly round-up of real estate news in Toronto, across Canada and the world for the week ending April 28, 2017.

Toronto

Toronto Community Housing tenants evicted for crime shouldn’t be rehoused, council says (CBC News)

City council wants anyone evicted from Toronto Community Housing (TCH) to be banned from reapplying, but that will require provincial approval.

Council voted unanimously Wednesday to support Mayor John Tory’s motion calling on the province to change the Housing Services Act to allow TCH to block tenants it has kicked out.

How celebrity house prices stack up against Toronto real estate (The Toronto Star)

How would you like to live in a house as expensive as a movie star’s?

As Toronto’s housing prices continue to rise, real estate listings for homes in the GTA have begun to rival those in Hollywood and Manhattan in asking price.

Toronto’s housing crunch could be eased with laissez-faire urban planning (The Globe and Mail)

Premier Kathleen Wynne wants us to know she is taking action on housing. Last week, the Ontario government announced no less than 16 new measures, including expanded rent control and a non-resident speculation tax.

Amid all this frantic activity, much of it pointless or counterproductive, it’s worth remembering that, sometimes, the best thing that governments can do to be helpful is simply get out of the way.

Canada

Politicians meddle with real estate — but would Canadians tolerate intervention in other markets? (CBC News)

There’s a difference between housing and real estate. Housing is where we live; real estate is an investment. It’s a pedantic but critical distinction. In all the breathless debates over housing bubbles and policy options, we look primarily at the investment.

Imagine for a moment those debates centred around an investment other than real estate. A mutual fund. Or gold. Or an Exchange Traded Fund.

Canadians’ Confidence In Housing Hits Record High (The Huffington Post)

The experts are getting louder in their warnings that a housing bubble has formed in some parts of Canada, but Canadians don’t seem worried.

In fact, confidence in the housing market hit a record high in the latest weekly Bloomberg-Nanos index — even as respondents turned negative on their own personal finances.

Vancouver housing market is overvalued but not overheated: CMHC (Business Vancouver)

There is little evidence of overheating in the Vancouver census metropolitan area (CMA) as a whole, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, but some districts in the region are more overheated than others.

Overheating occurs when the demand for existing homes is significantly higher than the supply. Across the CMA, the sales-to-new listings ratio was 73%, which is slightly below the 75% threshold that would indicate overheating.

USA

Homebuyer demand suddenly falling off as inventory keeps shrinking (CNBC)

CNBC’s Diana Olick breaks down the recent mortgage application data and what it means for the spring housing market.

U.S. Home Sales Jump 4.4 Percent in March (World Property Journal)

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales took off in March 2017 to their highest pace in over 10 years, and severe supply shortages resulted in the typical home coming off the market significantly faster than in February and a year ago. Only the West saw a decline in sales activity in March.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, ascended 4.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million in March from a downwardly revised 5.47 million in February. March’s sales pace is 5.9 percent above a year ago and surpasses January as the strongest month of sales since February 2007 (5.79 million).

Selling Your Home? Why This Spring Is the ‘Strongest Seller’s Market Ever’ (NBC)

Spring homebuyers are pounding the pavement at a furious pace, but the pickings are getting ever slimmer.

Even as more homes come on the market for this traditionally popular sales season, they’re flying off fast, with bidding wars par for the course. Home prices have now surpassed their last peak, and at the entry level, where demand is highest, sellers are firmly in the driver’s seat.

International

This Hong Kong Villa Could Be the World’s Most Expensive Home Right Now, in Dollar-per-Sq.-Ft. Terms (TIME)

Hong Kong is the kind of place where one-room apartments have been offered for sale at $3 million on — you can’t make this up — Welfare Road. So it’s hardly surprising that what could be the world’s most expensive house, in dollar-per-sq.-ft. terms, is to be found by a bay named Repulse.

On the market since 2012, the four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 4,120-sq.-ft. “beautiful British style townhouse” at 110 Repulse Bay Road can be yours for $87.3 million. Realtors Engel & Völkers insist that’s not a typo.

Taylor Wimpey to pay up to £130m to settle ground rent scandal (The Guardian)

Taylor Wimpey is to pay out up to £130m to buyers of some of its new-build leasehold properties, which were rendered near-worthless after homeowners found themselves trapped in spiralling ground rent contracts.

In a statement issued at its AGM, the housebuilder said a review of the contracts, in which the ground rent doubles every 10 years, found they were legal but “not consistent with our high standards of customer service and we are sorry for the unintended financial consequence and concern that they are causing”.

Hong Kong Poised to Surpass New York for Chinese Real Estate Investment This Year (Mansion Global)

Hong Kong is poised to surpass New York City as the most popular location for mainland Chinese investors in 2017, with total transactions more than doubling in the first quarter of the year, according to a report published Wednesday by Colliers International.

Chinese enterprises and individuals poured HK$36.1 billion (about US$4.6 billion) into Hong Kong’s real estate market, a record high that represents a 213% increase from a year ago.

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