This week’s news: Toronto could become a ‘buyer’s market’ in coming months

Senior economist believes Toronto's buyers will soon have the upper hand. Recently sellers have been reaping the benefits of this market, but due to recent cooling it won't be long until buyers get what they've been waiting for.
Sellers have been reaping the benefits of Toronto’s hot market, but senior economists believe with the recent cooling buyers will soon have the upper hand.

Our weekly round-up of real estate news in Toronto, across Canada and the world for the week ending June 9, 2017.

Toronto

Toronto could become a ‘buyer’s market’ in coming months: RBC (Global News)

Toronto could soon turn into a buyer’s market, according to a new report by RBC.

“Don’t be surprised if the Toronto-area market moves into a buyer’s market territory in the coming months,” wrote Robert Hogue, senior economist at the bank.

Toronto needs more housing options to keep top talent (The Toronto Star)

Chris Dunne and his fiancée, both 28, are already part of Toronto’s booming condo market as renters. But with plans for a wedding next year and children down the road, the couple envision a ground-level home with a patch of green to call their own.

The problem is they’re part of a cohort for whom housing options are scarce.

TREB May numbers show a soft month for Toronto real estate market (CBC News)

Has the searing Greater Toronto Area housing market lost some of its sizzle? ​

According to the latest statistics from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), the annual pace of increase for the City of Toronto house prices rose by nearly 15 per cent last month, compared to May 2016.

Canada

Metro Vancouver suburbs getting less and less affordable: Vancity (Business in Vancouver)

Home buyers seeking haven in alternative municipalities to Vancouver may be out of luck as a recent report by Vancity Credit Union indicates suburban unaffordability is on the rise as well.

While overall affordability of residential properties sold in Vancouver dropped by 3%, affordability in areas buyers traditionally look for alternatives to downtown living dropped by …

Poloz to the rescue? No. Don’t bet the Bank of Canada will bust the housing bubble (Financial Post)

The old debate about whether central banks should raise rates to counteract housing bubbles is finding new life in Canada as the country copes with runaway prices in its two biggest real estate markets.

Home prices in Toronto are up 32 per cent over the past year and have more than doubled since the recession. In Vancouver, which is an even pricier city, they’ve climbed 58 per cent over four years. Meanwhile, household debt is at record levels, recently surpassing gross domestic product for the first time.

Canada’s New Hot Housing Market Is .. Montreal (The Huffington Post)

With Toronto’s housing market showing signs of cooling, and Vancouver’s days of heady price increases now well behind it, a new top dog is emerging in Canada’s real estate market: Montreal.

The city posted record-high sales in May, jumping 15 per cent from the same month a year ago, according to data released Tuesday by the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board. That’s the highest volume the city has seen since before the financial crisis of 2008-9.

USA

Investor Demand for Senior Housing Continues to Grow in U.S. (World Property Journal)

According to CBRE’s latest U.S. Seniors Housing & Care Investor Survey, investor appetite for seniors housing & care real estate continues to grow, with the majority of investors who specialize in the sector planning to increase the size of their portfolios in 2017.

The 2017 survey reveals the intentions of the most influential seniors housing investors, developers, lenders and brokers throughout the U.S. Despite investors’ expectations for rising interest rates, nearly 60% of respondents expect to increase the size of their portfolios in 2017 compared with 47% a year ago.

Who’s Powering the Housing Market? Surprise! It’s Millennials (NBC News)

Millennials are growing up, settling down and looking to buy a house — for the extra room and the investment opportunity.

Millennials were the largest group of home buyers (34 percent) for the fourth consecutive year, according to NAR’s 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. By comparison, baby boomers were 30 percent of buyers.

U.S. Commercial, Multifamily Mortgage Delinquencies Remain Low in 2017 (World Property Journal)

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report, delinquency rates for commercial and multifamily mortgage loans in the U.S. were flat or decreased in the first quarter of 2017.

“Delinquency rates for commercial and multifamily mortgages remained at or near record lows for most capital sources during the first quarter,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research. “Growth in property incomes and property values, coupled with low interest rates, have facilitated financing. As we near the end of the second quarter, the industry has largely worked through the so-called ‘wave of maturities’.”

Another New York real estate developer admits to meddling with local elections (Housing Wire)

A few weeks ago, Kenneth Nakdimen, a New York real estate developer admitted in court that he tried to interfere with a local election, including using fake voters, to try to advance stalled construction projects.

Nakdimen now faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to corrupt the electoral process.

International

Divorce Is Pushing Hong Kong’s House Prices Even Higher (Bloomberg)

The usual suspects for Hong Kong’s sky-high property prices are low interest rates, a housing shortage and demand from mainland China. But there’s another unforeseen factor: divorce.

Demand for separations and remarriages have accelerated sharply over the past two decades as the former British colony has deepened its integration with the mainland. That’s according to Richard Wong, an academic at the University of Hong Kong and a veteran analyst of the local housing sector.

Could PropTech change the face of commercial real estate forever? (Tech City News)

British estate agents learnt in 2016 that they were one of the most reviled groups in Britain, when an Ipsos Mori poll found only 24% of the public trusting them to tell the truth. The only profession carrying lower levels of public trust was, of course, politicians. While much of the public’s ire is targeted toward residential estate agents, commercial agents have also earned themselves a bad name in recent years, with UK startups complaining of high fees, poor service and woeful communication when trying to rent office space.

From this dissatisfaction has risen a new generation of British PropTech startups, which seek to cut out the traditional middle man of commercial estate agents, in much the same way as FinTech challengers like GoCardless and Atom Bank attempt to benefit from customer frustration with large high street banks by cutting them out of the picture entirely. The seemingly unstoppable rise of UK commercial PropTech was brought home last week, when London-based property platform Hubble landed a £1.2m investment from Firestartr, Maxfield Capital, and Concrete.

Blackstone’s fifth European opportunistic fund attracts €7.8bn (IPE)

Blackstone’s fifth European opportunistic real estate fund has attracted €7.8bn from investors.

The investment manager said Real Estate Partners Europe V is the largest ever dedicated European real estate fund.

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