Economist warns of bubble, but not everywhere
The chief economist of the Bank of Montreal is showing more caution in the property market, but mainly in two areas. Douglas Porter, who has been positive about the strong market, published a research note yesterday with concern about Toronto in particular but also Vancouver. Mr Porter says that elsewhere in Canada there is an easing of prices or at least an understandable rise due to higher demand from population growth. The three main factors in the over-valued market are ultra-low interest rates, a boom in the numbers of 20-38 year old first-time buyers, and foreign investors. It is the foreign investment that Mr Porter believes Ottawa should tackle by introducing a tax on non-resident real estate purchases. While sounding a cautious note, he still says that he does not predict a market crash. Read the full story.
Canada’s cities reach for the stars
The latest figures from skyscraperpage.com
show that Canada has three cities in the top ten cities for high rise buildings. While King Kong may not get the same level of choice outside of New York, Canada does at least offer plenty for lovers of tall buildings. Toronto is second placed behind New York’s 5,894 skyscrapers with 2,005 but that’s almost twice as many as Shanghai in third place. Further down the list in ninth and tenth are Vancouver (664 high rises) and Montreal (628). It should be noted that the Canadian cities on the list have significantly lower populations than their peers; Vancouver is the only one in the top 10 with fewer than 1.6 million.
Alberta’s punching above its weight
With 4 million residents Alberta has a population half that of Quebec and yet the economy is booming and experts predict it will become Canada’s second largest economy within three years; overtaking Quebec. The key of course of oil and gas; not only do they directly boost the economy in the province, but they are creating more jobs which brings more people to the region, and that means more money being spent. The energy business is pretty resilient; manufacturing trends can be volatile, but the demand for oil generally only goes one way and as geopolitical unrest puts pressure on supplies in some regions, the price of oil is never really of major concern to producers. While a mass exodus from other provinces to Alberta is unlikely, it does seem that we are going to see a continued influx into the province with all the pressures on housing that that brings. Read the full story.
A picture tells a thousand words … not all of them complimentary
We know how a great photograph can make a difference to the interest in a property. Sometimes a clever camera angle or just the right light can spark interest in even the less desirable building. On the other hand, occasionally realtors will just show it like it is however bad it may be. A blog called Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos
highlights the appalling condition of some homes that get listed. The site has thousands of visitors a day and features photos from all over the world; perhaps it should serve as a training aid for realtors?