This week’s news: Nobu executives say they’re unconcerned about a Toronto real estate bubble

Executives behind the star-powered Nobu Toronto development, which includes 660 condominium suites, a hotel, and the first Nobu Restaurant in Canada, say they’re not concerned about a real estate bubble in the city.

Our weekly round-up of real estate news in Toronto, across Canada and the world for the week ending June 2, 2017.

Toronto

Nobu executives say they’re unconcerned about a Toronto real estate bubble (CBC)

Executives behind the star-powered Nobu Toronto development, which includes 660 condominium suites, a hotel, and the first Nobu Restaurant in Canada, say they’re not concerned about a real estate bubble in the city.

Founded by celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Academy Award winner Robert De Niro and Hollywood producer Meir Teper, the Nobu brand grew from a New York restaurant into a stable of high-end eateries and hotels around the world.

Canadians’ Faith In Real Estate Fizzles As Toronto Sales Plunge (The Huffington Post)

Canadians’ confidence in the housing market hit an all-time high less than a month ago — but a month, it turns out, is a long time in real estate.

That confidence is now falling as evidence mounts of a slowdown in the Toronto area, Canada’s largest housing market.

Mayor John Tory wants feds to help push Queen’s Park on transit and housing funds (The Toronto Star)

John Tory is bringing his beef with Queen’s Park to Parliament Hill.

The Toronto mayor was in the capital Thursday to try and project a common front with the federal government — and a host of other municipal leaders — in his spat with Ontario over funding for priority transit projects and social housing. Tory wants Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government to match the billions expected from Ottawa as part of its multi-year infrastructure and housing investment push.

Canada

Vancouver’s office market makes a comeback (Marketwired)

The next office tower coming to completion in downtown Vancouver is more than half leased with the confirmation of several new tenants, highlighting the city’s commercial market has made a dramatic comeback to become among North America’s strongest.

Today, the development team of The Exchange announced the signing of three tenants, including a high-profile British Columbia-based hotel chain. More than 205,000 square feet have now been leased in advance of the building’s completion.

Canadians ready to cash in on their property, poll finds; problem is, where to go next? (Montreal Gazette)

A new poll finds 41 per cent of Canadian with plans to sell their property are doing so to cash in and make a profit.

But the problem, according to the survey released Monday by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, is 62 per cent say the cost of buying another house is making them “reluctant to sell” and move out of their current home.

IMF warns Canada to protect housing market — for greater good of Canadian economy (Global News)

The International Monetary Fund is warning about the risks to the Canadian economy due to a possible correction in the housing market and urged governments to do more to protect against them.

In the preliminary findings of its annual review of the Canadian economy, the IMF said Wednesday that a further tightening of macroprudential and tax-based measures to mitigate speculative and investment activity should be considered.

USA

Foreign Buyers Impact Luxury Coastal Cities, Not Overall U.S. Housing Market (World Property Journal)

According to the newly released 2017 Q2 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, international buyers of residential real estate in the U.S. don’t have a significant impact on the overall housing market. They are far more influential at the top end of the market.

The quarterly survey, sponsored by Zillow and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC, asked more than 100 housing experts and economists about the impact of international buyers on the U.S. real estate market. Overall, international buyers have a modest effect on inventory and home values, according to the panelists. At the high end of the market, though, the respondents said international buyers have a major impact on home values.

Obamas Pay $8.1 Million for Home Just Miles From White House (The New York Times)

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, who have spent the past few months slowly figuring out the rhythm of post-White House life, have taken some time to invest in local real estate: They just spent $8.1 million to buy the mansion they’ve been renting in an exclusive neighborhood here.

Last May, the Obamas decided to lease the 8,200-square-foot Tudor-style mansion in Kalorama, a Washington neighborhood that has long been home to diplomats, lobbyists, politicians and the occasional spy. The wealthy enclave is especially crowded lately: President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson have all moved into Kalorama in recent months.

African-American and Hispanic Families Priced out of Real Estate in West Coast Markets (Forbes)

In 2016, just 18 percent of homes for sale in the 30 largest U.S. metros were affordable for middle-class Hispanic families and 14 percent were affordable for African-American families, according to a new study by national realtor Redfin. Both rates were down 11 percentage points from 2012. This is compared to 30 percent affordable for those earning the median income for white households, down 12 percentage points since 2012.

Housing affordability declined over the same four-year period for the middle class as a whole, as home prices increased by 26 percent and household incomes edged up by less than 2 percent nationally. In 2012, 44 percent of homes for sale were affordable on a middle-class income; that share fell to 32 percent in 2016.

International

Global real estate booms again, and the big housing bargains are outside the US (CNBC)

After years of being hammered, housing prices in Europe — and Asia, too — are finally surging.

And they’re rising faster than in the United States, where the housing market has been hot, even in faraway places like Iceland.

What $1M will buy you in real estate around the globe (Global News)

Canada’s hot housing markets have prompted concerns about a bubble, increasing unaffordability and unmanageable household debt levels.

But compared with many large cities around the world, Vancouver and Toronto real estate may see (almost) reasonable.

Kabul’s illegal hillside homes get a dash of colour (The Straits Times)

What does a city do when housing needs grow so quickly that illegal settlements spread up steep hills and mountainsides?

In Kabul’s case, the municipality has decided to accept that reality and paint the homes in bright colours.

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