This week’s news: Condo-flipping cases, home sales, Bay Adelaide Centre

The Canada Revenue Agency is analyzing more than 2,000 pre-construction condo-flipping transactions in Toronto to sniff out tax evaders.

Our weekly roundup of real estate news from Toronto, Canada, the U.S., and around the world ending Oct. 27, 2017.

Toronto

CRA probes Toronto pre-construction condo flipping cases for tax avoidance (CBC News)

Canada Revenue Agency is analyzing 2,810 transactions involving cases of pre-construction condominium flipping in Toronto to determine whether audits need to be carried out to find tax evaders.

In the Toronto area in particular, audit work has increased substantially on what are called “assignment sales” or “shadow flipping” in which a condo is purchased from a developer and sold to another buyer before the unit is completed, the federal government agency said Tuesday.

New home sales in GTA slower but no crash in sight: Report (The Toronto Star)

Condo investors have backed away from the Toronto area in the wake of Ontario’s new foreign buyers tax, but that hasn’t halted construction of new homes in the region.

Investor inquiries on the BuzzBuzzHome site dropped 52 per cent year over year in September and 42 per cent in the latest quarter compared to the same period in 2016, said a third-quarter report from the online development hub.

‘Compelling investment offering’ for Bay Adelaide Centre (RENX)

One of the most compelling investment offerings ever to come to market in Canada is available for Toronto’s Bay Adelaide Centre, according to a brochure on the offering.

The brochure says the offering comprises 2.2 million square feet of class-AAA office space, consisting of the Bay Adelaide West office tower, Bay Adelaide East office tower, a PATH-connected retail concourse and a 1,000-stall parking facility, but excludes the Bay Adelaide North office development.

Canada

Home ownership rates drop as more young Canadians opt to rent: census (The Toronto Star)

OTTAWA—Not everyone wants to own a home these days, Evan Siddall concedes — not even his own millennial-age son. For the head of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., that’s really saying something.

But Siddall’s experience is far from uncommon, the latest census figures show: 30-year-old Canadians are less likely to own a home today than their baby boomer parents did at the same age, mirroring a modest but unmistakable decline in the national home ownership rate.

Canadian Real Estate Dollar Volumes Are Dropping, Especially In Toronto (Better Dwelling)

Canadian real estate dollar volumes are dropping. Numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association(CREA) show that less sales, and stalling price growth are putting a drag on dollar volumes across the country. This decline was led by the country’s largest markets – Toronto and Vancouver.

Dollar volumes help determine market liquidity, when combined with other factors. Growing dollar volumes show more money, which is a positive for liquidity. Declining dollar volumes mean less money, and generally a decline in market liquidity. Once again, you can’t determine that using just this metric. You would ideally combine it with sales, and inventory to get a better read.

Vancouver’s west side tops list of Canada’s priciest real estate markets (Vancouver Sun)

Using the parameters of a self-defined “typical home,” Century 21 estimated that with a price-per-square foot of $1,201, Vancouver’s west side topped the list of cities surveyed, followed by downtown Vancouver at $863 per square foot and downtown Toronto’s $819 per square foot.

“West Vancouver and the west side, those are extreme ends of the survey and there’s not really new information here,” said Century 21 Canada executive vice-president Brian Rushton.

Airbnb says crackdown on homesharing service regulations may punish casual users (CTV News)

VANCOUVER — As Canadian cities continue to wage a regulatory crack down on online home-rental platforms, Airbnb maintains it’s open to regulation provided new rules don’t penalize casual users and recognize not every host runs a full-fledged business.

Vancouver and Toronto are both weighing imposing a number of restrictions on users, while Quebec, the first province to regulate the industry, may revamp its law in the near future.

USA

Supply and demand: Here’s why house hunting is so frustrating right now (USA Today)

Finding a house to buy these days is only a little easier than finding a needle in a haystack.

Existing home sales rose modestly in September despite the hurricanes in the Houston area and Florida, but the pace was still 1.5% below the year-ago level, the National Association of Realtors said Friday.

Existing homes sales edge up in the US after falling for previous three months (Property Wire)

Existing homes sales in the United States edged up by 0.7% in September after three monthly declines in a row but agents are warning that ongoing supply shortages continue to affect the property market.

In top of this the recent spate of hurricanes have muted overall activity in some locations and overall sales have decreased on an annual basis, according to the latest index report from the National Association of Realtors.

Why Would A Real Estate Company Want To Buy Harvey Weinstein’s Film Studio? (BISNOW)

There are opportunistic deals. And then there is buying a film studio that bears what is currently one of the most toxic names in the world.

Colony NorthStar is undertaking due diligence and will decide in the next fortnight whether to push on with the purchase of Weinstein Co., the film studio formerly run by producer Harvey Weinstein, who is facing multiple allegations of sexual assault.

International

Holocaust survivors excluded from Poland property law (The Journal Gazette)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — International Jewish organizations are voicing disappointment over a proposed Polish law aimed at compensating people whose property was seized under communism, saying it excludes most Polish Holocaust survivors and their heirs.

Poland’s Justice Ministry last week published the bill, which requires that claimants be Polish citizens and limits compensation to spouses, children or grandchildren.

Technology will be a key to improving house-buying process in UK (Property Wire)

The UK Government’s plans to make buying a home cheaper, faster and easier will help to revolutionise the process with digital technology playing a part, according to conveyancers.

The Conveyancing Association, the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, is currently preparing its response to the Government’s call for evidence and says it is a pivotal point for the sector.

How Dubai’s prime property prices compare to cities worldwide (Gulf News)

The city of Dubai is rightly famous for the glitz and glamour of its architecture. There’s an abundant supply of majestic properties with sprawling gardens or swanky apartments overlooking its yacht-lined marinas. But despite all that opulence, the emirate remains one of the least costly places to own a home.

The average cost of Dubai’s prime real estate is one of the lowest in the world, ranking in the 34th place on the latest global ranking of property hotspots by New World Wealth released Wednesday.

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