Toronto - Sellers’ Market for the Rest of the Year
New figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board show an increase in new listings, up 7.8 per cent from a year ago. The issue though, is still one of demand. The extra homes for sale won’t cover the high demand in the city, which has pushed prices up 8.6 per cent in a year. The typical June slowdown isn’t happening due to the weather-related delay in the annual sales frenzy and we may not see a slowdown until later in the summer. It’s good news for sellers who may increasingly find a bidding war on their property, but for those wanting to buy while interest and mortgage rates are favourable; it’s a frustrating time, which will be only slightly eased by the increased listings. Read the full story.
IMF Warns of Global Housing Bubble
Joe Oliver says we’re not heading into a Canadian housing bubble; others disagree. The debate goes on. However, the International Monetary Fund says that there is a global housing bubble which must be tackled through tighter regulation of lending. Speaking to Germany’s Bundesbank yesterday, the IMF deputy MD Min Zhu said that rising house prices are a significant threat to the global economy and called for governments to do more. Mr Zhu said that tightening lending requirements and putting greater capital requirements on mortgage lenders is required, along with restricting access for foreign investors to overheated markets. The IMF Global Housing Index shows that prices are 23 per cent above where they were in 2000 and 3.1 per cent up on last year. Read the full story.
The Homeowners’ Nemesis – The Weather
As Toronto wakes up to a stark reminder of the devastation the weather can drop on us, in Alberta the talk since last year has been not of tornados but floods. There are various projects that are being considered for the province but which ones will really do the most to protect homes and communities from a repeat of the deluge of a year ago? Cost will of course play its part in any decision, but the environmental impact of any scheme is also a key factor for many Canadians. Read the full story.
Saskatoon Considers the Smart Option
Estimated utility bills can be a mixed blessing; a smaller than expected bill is always nice; until the inevitable catch-up when you have to make good on what you’ve actually used! That could all become a thing of the past in Saskatoon as the city considers the use of smart meters for power and water. The scheme would mean that new smart meters would transmit usage data over a secure wireless connection, and householders would receive monthly bills for actual consumption rather than estimates. If it’s approved, it will be five years before the electricity, and then water, meters are fully operational across the city. Read the full story.