Finance Minister “Not Especially Worried”
Despite continuing concerns of the housing market facing a correction, Finance Minister Joe Oliver says he is ‘not especially worried’ about the market, but is monitoring prices closely. Speaking to CNBC, Mr Oliver said that the Bank of Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation are both predicting a soft landing. Although some analysts, Goldman Sachs for example, are predicting a correction, others are more optimistic and the finance minster says that unemployment is a bigger threat to the economy than a housing crash. Read the full story.
Local Disaster Affecting Housing Market One Year On
We all remember last July when a rail disaster involving a runaway train carrying fuel left the tracks and exploded in Lac-Megantic, killing forty-seven people and destroying much of the downtown area. A year on and there has been rebuilding and decontamination work, but even where properties have been refurbished sales are stagnant. Local real estate agents say that sellers don’t seem to be panicking, but availability of property in the city is high and nothing seems to be selling. However, there is optimism that once rebuilding is further along and the negative connections with the city fade, people will start buying again. For now, though, sellers in Lac-Megantic are resigned to their situation, a stark reminder of how sometimes the real estate market is down to chance. Read the full story.
Buy Now or Wait?
Owning your own home is a dream still held by many from the younger generation; they want what their parents have; and when things are going well in life and you have or are starting a family, it is only natural to want to have some stability. There’s the dilemma; while stability is returning, we haven’t got there yet, but house prices are increasing so to wait may be a bad move. Perhaps we need a different approach to house ownership, rather than buying and selling as our needs change, perhaps we need to buy for our longer term needs and stay put. A young couple who had been renting and thought that would be their position for years to come, found that they were able to buy before being priced out of the market, but accept that they will need to live in their new home for at least a decade. Read the full story.
Vancouver’s False Creek – Uncertain Future
It’s a desirable part of Vancouver, but False Creek residents are a little nervous for the future. Built on reclaimed industrial land in the 1970s, False Creek South’s future is in the hands of the council, as it’s mostly on leased land owned by the city. The concern for residents, some of whom only have seven years left on their leases, is that the council may decide not to renew the land leases. Why would it do that? Because it would have the option to buy the properties on the land at current market prices and redevelop the land for high rises. The issue for even those with longer to run on leases (most have 22 years left) is that mortgages on leased land would only cover the length of the lease minus five years, meaning a purchaser wouldn’t be able to get the typical 25 year amortization. Read the full story.
US Housing In Focus
Those involved in investments and real estate over the border will be waiting for important numbers this week. The latest figures for existing home sales are released today and tomorrow the new homes stats will be published. Market analysts predict that the US housing market will be slightly softer than a year ago but may see month-to-month upticks. Read the full story.