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This week’s news: Priced-out Torontonians turn to real estate speed dating

Torontonians looking to find footing on the city’s property ladder have begun a search for their housing soulmates through speed dating events. One recent event at a Yorkville bar attracted about two dozen home-buying hopefuls.

Our weekly round-up of real estate news in Toronto, across Canada and the world for the week ending May 12, 2017.

Toronto

Would you co-own with a total stranger? Priced-out Torontonians turn to real estate speed dating (Toronto Star)

There is nervous laughter among the gulps of wine, tentatively proffered handshakes and exchanged numbers. But the personalized name tags at this speed-dating event in a Yorkville pub are a clue that this isn’t a romantic quest.

“I have a big down payment,” reads the badge of a woman in a stylish grey business suit.

Toronto, Victoria are world’s fastest-growing luxury real estate markets: Report (BNN)

Toronto and Victoria, B.C. are the world’s “hottest” markets for luxury homes as investors flock to Canada for its political and economic stability, according to a new report from Christie’s International Real Estate.

Christie’s CEO Dan Conn told BNN in an interview Wednesday that even with the rise in million-dollar-plus home sales, Toronto is cheap compared to other luxury markets.  “I consider Toronto, even with the heat at the upper end of the market, it is still a comparative bargain on the global map,” he said.

Toronto has too much housing despite overall population growth: report (The Toronto Star)

Don’t let the mushrooming condos downtown fool you. There is no housing shortage in Toronto, says new planning research out of Ryerson University.

The draft report, called “Protecting the Vibrancy of Residential Neighbourhoods,” shows that Toronto is over-housed, with a majority of 140 city neighbourhoods suffering from a stagnant or declining population over the last 30 years — along with most residentially zoned land restricted to single-family detached homes.

Canada

What Will B.C.’s Next Government Do About Its Simmering Real Estate Market? (Huffington Post)

A simple Google search of “political promises in Canadian real estate market” gives you an idea of where our minds are at this election.

From Canadian Business, “Why Canada’s politicians won’t do what it takes on housing market”; to CBC, “Politicians meddle with real estate — but would Canadians tolerate intervention in other markets?”; and The Globe and Mail, “How to fix Canada’s red-hot housing markets: A guide to what’s happening, what’s been proposed and what buyers can do,” the sentiment is pretty clear. Canadians want to know what our next provincial government is going to do about the simmering B.C. real estate market?

‘The need is huge’: Habitat for Humanity still building in midst of red-hot real estate (CBC News)

The Greater Vancouver’s Habitat for Humanity branch says the need to build homes for families who don’t qualify for a traditional mortgage is greater than ever.

“The need is huge,” said CEO Dennis Coutts, “we get a lot more applications for housing than we ever have.”

Home Capital investors are victims of Canadian real estate uncertainty: Don Pittis (CBC News)

There are a lot of Home Capital investors looking for someone to blame.

Today when the company releases its delayed results, everyone will be going over those books with a fine-tooth comb, trying to divine whether the mortgage finance firm will survive and prosper — in which case it’s a great buy — or if confidence in the company will continue to slump.

USA

Five Percent of U.S. Homeowners Behind On Mortgage Payments (World Property Journal)

According to CoreLogic’s latest monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, 5 percent of U.S. mortgages were delinquent by 30 days or more (including those in foreclosure) in February 2017. This represents a 0.5 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with February 2016 when it was 5.5 percent.

As of February 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, was 0.8 percent compared with 1.1 percent in February 2016. The serious delinquency rate, defined as 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure, was 2.2 percent in February 2017, down from 2.8 percent in February 2016.

These Cities Are the 10 Biggest Comeback Stories in U.S. Real Estate (SFGATE)

Everyone loves a great comeback story.

And there are plenty to go around. Rocky. Steve Jobs. The Chicago Cubs. Jesus. Lil Bub (Google her!). And, with apologies to Jesus, perhaps the most impressive comeback of all, the one that hits us exactly where we live: the housing industry.

Kushners Confront Turbulence in New Jersey Real Estate Plans (The New York Times)

The Kushner real estate family, whose scion Jared Kushner is President Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, has run into more turbulence in Jersey City, where it has placed a major bet on development.

The Kushners have six projects under development in Jersey City — with square footage equivalent to two Empire State Buildings — the once blue-collar town that sits a mile across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

International

Capital Controls Continue To Halt Mainland Chinese Real Estate Buyers (Better Dwelling)

One month isn’t a trend, but three and we’re getting there. According to the latest numbers from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), China’s foreign exchange reserves rose to a 5 month high. New capital controls have effectively shut off the valve for the world’s largest buyers of international property. This trend has had a noticeable impact in markets that have seen a sudden surge of Mainland Chinese buyers.

Move over London, the world has a new luxury housing capital (CNN)

Big money home sales in the former British colony last year included four that topped $100 million, according to a new survey from Christie’s International Real Estate. It was also home to the world’s biggest single sale of 2016, worth more than $270 million.

Political turmoil and higher taxes likely contributed to London’s slide to second place, Christie’s said. But while the vote to leave the European Union has created uncertainty, the plunge in the value of the pound “has spurred renewed interest” in luxury properties in central London, it added.

African real estate is ‘the new global economy driver’ (Trade Arabia)

Over the last few years, notably in the hotel, retail and residential sectors, Africa’s rapidly growing property markets have been attracting increased interest from international investors, developers and occupiers.

In spite of developments occurring at a breakneck speed, the key areas seen continually strapped to the back-bench are financial planning, project execution and most importantly, the implementation of sustainable measures.

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