Trending This Week: TREB Battles For Privacy, New Shelter, Climbing Prices

A real estate website operator says it has received a cease and desist letter from the Toronto Real Estate Board after publishing sales data.

Here’s what you may have missed this week in real estate news from Toronto, Canada, the U.S., and around the world.

Toronto

Toronto Real Estate Board sends cease-and-desist letter to website publishing sales data (Global News)

The operator of a website that began publishing homes sold information after a court ruling that the Toronto Real Estate Board must be more open with its data says it has received a cease-and-desist letter from the board.

Realtor Fraser Beach, who runs Select/Plan Real Estate Inc. and has battled TREB in court over the right to publish data, says he suspended subscriptions for its Just Sold email and online report service on Friday after he received the notice from the board’s lawyers.

City to open Better Living Centre as shelter for homeless (The Toronto Star)

Under pressure to open armouries to shelter homeless Torontonians, Mayor John Tory is expected Thursday to instead announce the opening of a site at Exhibition Place.

The Better Living Centre will open as a 24-7 respite centre, originally with space for 20 but ramping up to 100-person capacity, a source with knowledge of the plans told the Star late Wednesday.

Here’s How Much House Prices are Expected to Climb Next Year (Inhalton)

According to data recently released by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), prices are falling in the 416 and 905 regions month over month. While that seems encouraging, it’s important to note that prices are decreasing from astronomical and unprecedented heights and are still remarkably high (even basic condos are costing buyers $400,000 or more).

However, new data released by Royal Lepage suggests that while prices will continue to climb in 2018, the rise will be tempered by new government policies—namely the OSFI stress test that could disqualify up to 10 per cent of prospective buyers from entering the market.

Canada

Looks like foreign buyers aren’t the big problem in Canada’s housing market after all (Financial Post)

The country is getting a clearer picture of the level of foreign cash in some of the hottest housing markets, adding more statistical fuel to the debate about how much influence foreign buyers have in driving prices to unimaginable heights and what should be done about it.

The new housing statistics by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and Statistics Canada shows that foreign buyers owned 3.4 per cent of all residential properties in Toronto and 4.8 per cent of residential properties in Vancouver.

Condos and climbing prices: 5 real estate trends to expect in 2018 (CTV News)

With tighter mortgage regulations coming in January, some uncertainty surrounds the real estate market in 2018.

Real estate expert Karyn Filiatrault spoke with CTV’s Your Morning on Monday, to share the five real estate trends she expects in 2018 …

As stores close, Canadian mall owners turn prime land into condos (The Globe and Mail)

Canadian mall owners are adding condos and apartments to their shopping centres, seeking to capitalize on a supply-constrained housing market while reducing exposure to a struggling retail sector.

Developers such as RioCan REIT, Canada’s largest property trust, and the property units of some Canadian pension funds are turning prime land that has historically not been put to best use – such as parking lots or low-rise retail – into housing in one of the world’s most expensive, supply-constrained residential markets.

USA

The Average U.S. Home Can Be Purchased for 18 Bitcoins (World Property Journal)

According to Redfin, cryptocurrency is starting to become part of the discussion with some clients buying and selling homes over the second half of 2017. Agents in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and several cities in California said they’ve had conversations with people about using cryptocurrency as part of their transaction. Currently, Redfin does not accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

Bitcoin, the first digital currency that works without a bank or middleman, surged 183.6 percent in the last month, from $5,870.37 per coin on Nov. 12 to $16,650.01 on Dec. 12, according to Bitstamp data. Its market cap is more than $293 billion, and while some analysts warn of a crypto bubble, others say Bitcoin could eventually compete against the gold market.

Real Estate Site Names the Top 10 NYC Neighborhoods to Watch in 2018 (NBC New York)

Are you looking to buy, rent or sell in New York City in the coming year? If so, you may want to keep your eye on these neighborhoods.

Real estate site StreetEasy has released its annual list of the 10 NYC neighborhoods to watch, and for the first time in the history of the site’s study, a Manhattan neighborhood came out on top.

Passing U.S. Tax Reform Bill Raises Concerns About Homeownership Says Realtors (World Property Journal)

According to a new nationwide consumer survey from realtor.com, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress on Dec. 20th, 2017 is raising anxiety about owning a home, with a majority of respondents reporting that the tax bill makes them either “concerned” (36.2 percent) or “very concerned” (17.2 percent) about being a homeowner. In contrast, approximately a quarter of respondents said that the bill makes them feel “positive” (15.0 percent) or “very positive” (7.2 percent) about home ownership. Only 22.9 percent said that the tax bill would not change their plans to purchase, while 57.1 percent said that the bill would not change their plans to sell.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will provide many people with higher after-tax incomes, which is expected to put upward pressure on home prices and mortgage rates. It caps the mortgage interest rate deduction at $750,000 and increases the standard deduction, which will eliminate the tax benefits of homeownership for many people and could decrease sales and home prices in expensive areas.

International

Keller Williams adds three Euro regions as international expansion continues (Inman)

Keller Williams Worldwide president William “Bill” Soteroff told Inman the story that in Prague’s Old Town Square, in the Czech Republic, there is an apartment nearby where Einstein and Beethoven each lived at different times. Imagine what a good agent could do with that story.

Keller Williams Worldwide has just awarded a new master franchise in the Czech Republic, to capitalize on this kind of residential real estate market, appointing Jana Hrstkova, regional operating principal. She said the company would be the first “agent-oriented” real estate brand company on the local market.

Dubai real estate market an ‘investment destination’ (Zawya)

UAE-based Arenco Real Estate sees a stronger real estate market for Dubai in the coming years due to unlimited opportunities that are open and available to investors.

Home to more than 200 nationalities, Dubai is one of the world’s most diverse places to live and work and has become a real estate investment destination for the rich and famous from all over the world.

Russian and Chinese Buyers Are Snapping Up Greek Properties (Bloomberg)

George Kachmazov, a Russian realtor, is buying up property in Athens.

The Moscow-based chief executive officer of real-estate platform Tranio.com has bought a building in the Greek capital and is in the process of acquiring five others with a view to selling apartments to international investors. For Kachmazov, the sales pitch is clear: buying property in Greece can give an investor a so-called golden visa to the country — and with it an entree into much of Europe. What’s more, the country’s real estate market may be poised for a rebound, helping buyers make some money on their purchase.
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