This week’s news: Denser is better, drop in new housing, lack of family-friendly condos

Denser Toronto
Many young professionals believe increased density is the solution to their lack of housing affordability.

Our weekly roundup of real estate news from Toronto, Canada, the U.S., and around the world ending Nov. 10, 2017.

Toronto

Make Toronto housing denser, say young professionals (The Toronto Star)

Denser is better, say Toronto’s highly educated, high-earning young professionals, when it comes to housing.

Many would elbow their way into some of the region’s established, amenity-rich neighbourhoods if there were more affordable housing options, according to a survey of 18- to 39-year-olds for the Toronto Region Board of Trade.

New housing starts tumbled in the Toronto region in October as builders slowed the pace of new project construction amid market uncertainty.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said 2,438 new housing units were launched in the Greater Toronto Area in October, a 42-per-cent drop from 4,204 units in the same month last year. Starts were also down 21 per cent over September on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Not enough family-friendly condos to match demand: Report (Toronto Star)

Up-sizing young families and downsizing seniors are about to converge on a Toronto-region housing market that isn’t sufficiently prepared to accommodate their needs in terms of space and affordability.

In the next decade there will be 484,000 more seniors and 207,000 more residents aged 35 to 44, who need family-friendly housing.

Canada

Report calls Vancouver most unaffordable real estate market in North America (Vancouver Sun)

The study, released by Point2 Homes on Monday, describes Vancouver’s “insane affordability gap” and points out that its unaffordability exceeds that of Manhattan and San Francisco.

The study relies on a measurement called the “median multiple” for its conclusions, which compares median house prices to median household incomes to come up with an affordability ratio. A median multiple of 5.1, which means a home costs about five times the average annual household income, or more is considered “severely unaffordable.”

Average Montreal home prices reach record high in October, says real estate board (Canadian Business)

Average Montreal island home prices hit a record high of almost $500,000 in October, rising 12.7 per cent from the prior year, the area’s real estate board said Monday.

Single family homes in the city and suburbs saw price increases of 10 per cent to nearly $630,000, condos were up 14 per cent to more than $370,000 and buildings with two to five units grew 15 per cent to $583,801.

After ‘volatile’ 2017, Hamilton housing market forecast to stabilize (CBC News)

After a “volatile” 2017, realtors didn’t get a whole lot of reassurance on Wednesday that the recent slowdown in the Hamilton housing market will be short-lived.

New mortgage qualifying rules coming into effect Jan. 1 will lower buyers’ buying power, and keep would-be sellers in homes they’d rather move up from.

USA

Real estate startup Compass nabs $100M at a $1.8B valuation (Tech Crunch)

Today, the real-estate startup Compass is announcing that it has raised another $100 million — money that it plans to use to expand its sales and rental listings service to every major city in the U.S., as well as build new CRM technology to integrate client, listings and transactions data. The Series E values the company at a whopping $1.8 billion.

Compass had over $100 million in the bank before the raise, so in a sense it didn’t need the money. This is about “really aggressive growth,” Chairman Ori Allon told TechCrunch in an interview. Compass is in 10 regions in the U.S. currently (these cover major metros like New York, Boston, Miami, Washington, and LA). In the next 12 months it will reach 10 more on top of that.

Impact Investors Can Profit From Infill Real Estate Development And Do Well By Doing Good (Forbes)

There have always been investors who value profitable opportunities that create a positive social and economic impact on communities and the environment.

In Miami, the market I serve, impact investment in new-construction projects is an increasingly popular choice for investors who embrace this noble creed. The investment opportunity is a result of an aged housing stock within stable and desirable urban communities, coupled with increasing household incomes

Exclusive: WeWork to offer veterans free work space for small businesses (Wbir.com)

Shirk’s Denver-based company, Strattex Solutions, has taken wing in part due to his joining the WeWork pilot program — which rolls out nationally Veteran’s Day — that provided him with free office space, a special networking gathering spot and access to various mentorship programs.

“The synergy is really powerful,” says Shirk, who helped hunt for improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army engineer in 2010 and 2011. “I met other veterans and other entrepreneurs in the program, and I felt less like an island.”

International

China, Hong Kong Received Dominant Share of Global PropTech Investments Since 2013 (World Property Journal)

According to new research from JLL, property technology – or PropTech – start-ups in Asia Pacific are outpacing their counterparts in Europe and the United States with 179 of them raising around $4.8 billion in funding since 2013. This represents over 60 percent of PropTech investment worldwide.

Greater China, including mainland and Hong Kong, raised the most funding in Asia Pacific and has received about 41% of global ‘PropTech’ investment.

Sydneysiders have ‘unrealistic expectations’ amid a slowdown in the property market (Business Insider Australia)

Australia’s property market is cooling, and the slowdown is being led by the previously red-hot Sydney market.

Business Insider has spoken to a number of real estate agents and property experts spanning the greater Sydney area to get a gauge on what they had to say about conditions on the ground.

Middle East Investors Globally Deploy $10 Billion in Commercial Real Estate (World Property Journal)

According to global property advisor CBRE, Middle Eastern investment in global commercial real estate reached $10.1 billion in the 12 months leading up to Q2 2017, with the United States the top country target, while New York City and Washington are among the leading cities.

After a period of exceptionally strong investment activity, outbound investments from the Middle East eased and returned to similar levels as recorded in 2013 and 2014. The Middle East nevertheless remains a major source of capital globally, representing 8 per cent of total cross-regional investments between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017.

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