This week’s news: Condo construction, prices hit high note, new board rules

New condo buildings are on the horizon in Toronto as condo sales hit record high in June, meaning Toronto won't be rid of all the construction for quite some time.
New condo towers are on the horizon in Toronto as unit sales hit a record high in June, with a 34 per cent increase from a year ago and a 3.7 per cent bump up from May.


Condos buck Toronto housing slowdown as new construction sales hit record (Financial Post)

Toronto-area builders say the slowdown that continues to drive the existing homes market in the region has yet to impact new construction with condo sales reaching record heights in June.

The Building Industry and Land Development Association said Tuesday that high-rise, mid-rise and stacked townhomes made up 91 per cent of the 6,046 new home sales in June and were up 59 per cent from just May.

Toronto Condo Prices Soar 28%, Pass Half-Million Mark (Huffington Post)

Forget single-family homes: Even condos are moving out of affordability range for Toronto’s middle class.

Despite the slowdown in the broader market, new data from the region’s real estate board shows condo prices in the Greater Toronto Area have now passed the half-million-dollar mark, after soaring 28 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

Ontario to roll out new rules for condo boards (Toronto Star)

Ontario’s 1.6 million condo dwellers will be able to take disputes to a tribunal under new provincial rules that include mandatory training for condo directors and licensing for building managers.

Until now, condo owners and corporations had to hire a private mediator or go through the courts to pursue issues ranging from noisy neighbours to corporate record access.


Rents on fire: Vancouver follows San Francisco’s lead to curb rent crisis (CBC News)

A tech-sector boom and droves of young renters have made San Francisco one of the most expensive rental markets in North America.

When an affordable apartment is offered up in a city-run lottery sometimes thousands of would-be tenants put their name in a draw.

Evictions Across Ontario Are On The Rise, And Not For Late Payments (Better Dwelling)

Bad tenants, or a rush to cash in on higher rents? Data analysis we conducted on applications filed with the Province of Ontario showed the number of landlords applying to have tenants evicted are on the rise. Interesting enough, most of the growth in applications are not evictions for non-payments, and they’re concentrated in areas where rents have been rising the most.

Applications for tenant eviction from landlords across Ontario are growing. The province saw 4,893 applications, a 1.76% increase from the same month last year. Toronto saw 1,323 of those applications, which is actually a 2.93% decline from the same month last year. Let’s break down those numbers to find out why landlords have been applying to evict tenants.

CMHC maintains ‘strong’ risk for national real estate market (CP24)

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is keeping its overall risk rating for the national housing market at strong.

The federal housing agency says overvaluation at the national level remains moderate and strong evidence is seen in Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton and Victoria.


U.S. Home Sales Dip in June, Prices Still Rise (World Property Journal)

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales slipped in June 2017 as low supply kept homes selling at a near record pace but ultimately ended up muting overall activity. Only the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June from 5.62 million in May. Despite last month’s decline, June’s sales pace is 0.7 percent above a year ago, but is the second lowest of 2017 (February, 5.47 million).

Lowest mortgage rates in a month barely boost weekly applications, up 0.4% (CNBC)

Mortgage rates moved decidedly lower last week, but neither homebuyers nor homeowners were particularly impressed. Total mortgage application volume rose just 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Volume is down 22 percent compared with the same week one year ago, due entirely to a huge drop-off in loan refinances.

With rates so low for so long, homeowners seem to have gotten used to the status quo. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased to 4.17 percent from 4.22 percent, with points increasing to 0.40 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. It has moved within a narrow range since the presidential election.

U.S. sees surge in Canadians buying property in Florida (Property Wire)

The number of foreign buyers in the United States residential property market surged last year with Canadians in particular snapping up properties in Florida, with California and Texas also popular states.

Overall the volume of sales to overseas buyers increased by 49% to a record $153 billion in 2016, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).


More than half of UK private sector landlords have done checks since Grenfell fire (Property Wire)

More than half of UK landlords have taken measures to check the fire safety of their buy to let properties in the wake of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire in London, new research shows.

Some 32% of private sector landlords have checked their fire alarms and 15% have instructed a professional to carry out a fire risk assessment, according to the survey for Simple Landlords Insurance.

European Real Estate Is Entering Bubble Territory, Fidelity Says (Bloomberg)

Inexperienced, yield-hungry French retail investors are pouring money into real estate funds, pushing up prices for the best European commercial properties to unsustainable levels, according to Fidelity International Ltd.

Inflows into so-called societe civile de placement immobilier, French collective-investment vehicles that purchase properties and other assets across Europe, reached 5.6 billion euros ($6.5 billion) last year, a third higher than in 2015, Fidelity said in a report. Money is pouring into these funds in search of higher returns compared with stocks and bonds and because of their favorable tax treatment.

Research suggests lack of affordable housing in UK is putting people off having a family (Property Wire)

Unaffordable housing is causing a fertility crisis in Britain as people chose to have fewer children or putting it off until they are older, a new report suggests.

Home ownership has collapsed among young people as house prices and rents continue to rise with the analysis claiming that 157,000 children were not born due to the cost of housing between 1996 and 2014.

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