Daily Market Update

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Toronto: $2 million the new $1 million
New figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board show that the number of homes listed at $2 million or more has grown by 37% in the last year, although the average for a detached home is just under $1 million. Prices in the GTA have increased by just over 8% year on year, but the $2 m + properties are still a very small percentage of the overall market. Building the kind of properties that are attracting the high price tags is not without risk for developers though. If there was a downturn, the cost of land, taxes and construction could see very tight margins. Read the full story.
 
Spring Successes for Five Cities
After a harsh winter homebuyers were ready for the spring buying season and May has certainly been a great month for sales in many areas. Low interest rates and mortgage promotions helped put a spring in the step of real estate, as data from some of the real estate boards that have already published figures shows. Read the full story.
 
Don’t Destroy Vancouver’s Heritage
Some love them, some don’t but there’s no denying that older ‘character’ homes have been vanishing from Vancouver. Younger buyers in particular may opt for something modern and cutting edge, but as well as still being usable, many of the wooden homes built before World War 2 are also part of the city’s heritage. Now the council are aiming to slow the rate of demolition and ensure reuse of the materials from older homes that are demolished. Read the full story.
 
Affordable Housing Not An Issue
The Ontario election campaigning has focused on many policies but not the issue of affordable housing and the executive director of Ontario Affordable Housing is asking why. Sharad Kerur says affordable housing is key to getting Ontario’s fiscal and social affairs in order. With concerns over the decreasing level of affordability of an average home on an average  household income, Mr Kerur says all the parties need to be setting out policies to tackle the problem and bring down the long list of families on waiting lists for affordable homes. Read the full story.
 
The Modular Solution – Making Homes Affordable
The name Murchie probably makes you think of tea, but before you go to put the kettle on, consider the dream of John Murchie, grandson of the tea founders. His company Murch-Tech Consulting has developed a modular home that is aimed at the developing world but potentially could be used here as an answer to the issue of affordable housing. The units can be built in 3 days and cost $48,500 for a 350 sq. ft property with a 50 ft deck. Read the full story.
 
Positive Steps to Tackle Climate Change Affects
One of Canada’s largest insurers, Intact Financial, is backing a university’s practical battle with the threats of climate change. Researchers from the University of Waterloo are undertaking projects in the Greater Toronto Area including replacing concrete surfaces with water permeable ones and planting trees. Researchers say these are relatively inexpensive steps that could save billions of dollars in flood damage. Read the full story.

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