When it was released to the public in October, the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario’s Special Audit of the Tarion Warranty Corporation surprised few when it called out the non-profit for its ongoing failure in assisting homeowners in their warranty disputes with the province’s homebuilders.
The audit called Tarion to task over several areas of concern, from the corporation’s close relationship with the Ontario Home Builders Association to its unnecessarily tight schedule of deadlines, which have led to the denial of thousands of homeowner requests for help.Among some of the more damning information contained in the report, the Auditor General found that builders failed to fix defects under warranty in 65% of cases between 2014 and 2018, and that the compensation of Tarion’s senior management team depended on reducing operating costs – like those related to running Tarion’s call center.
The audit culminated in 32 recommended changes for Tarion, including:
Discontinuing Tarion’s monetary sponsorship to the Ontario Home Builders Association
Providing homebuyers more direct information on the importance of Pre-Delivery Inspections
Conducting random audits of builders to ensure compliance
Redefining “finished house” so
British Columbia's rental market crisis appears to be rooted to the lack of affordable homes, and not just because of the proliferation of short-term rentals, an expert said.
Short-term rentals, like Airbnb, are just part of the affordability crisis that has worsened after decades of underfunding housing initiatives, said Brian Clifford, policy manager at BC Non-Profit Housing Association.
"We know that short-term rentals contribute to affordability problems.I'd say that there is a lot of focus on Airbnb, but it is not the silver bullet causing the affordability crisis.It is a contributing factor.It's not the sole problem that we have," he said in a Canadian Press report.
Also read: Quebec’s short-term rental operators could be fined up to $25,000
Clifford said 21% of BC renters spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities, higher than the Canadian average of 18%.
"One in five renters is in a crisis level of spending too much on rent.It places households at risk of homelessness.If you are spending half of your income, what are you sacrificing?" he said.
Despite this, BC government's housing initiatives seem to have yet to
Toronto’s luxury housing sector has enjoyed a marked upswing in activity this year, according to a new analysis by RE/MAX.
Accelerated sales came about as a result of a stronger economy and record-low unemployment levels, along with more relaxed interest rates and generous returns in the stock market.
“The fog has lifted – buoyed by solid economic factors, but also by the belief that the worst is behind us,” RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada executive vice president and regional director Christopher Alexander explained.
“The housing market has shifted into recovery mode.Luxury home sales are climbing, prices are stabilizing, and demand is on the upswing for upscale product.”
Transaction numbers in the highest-end sector exceeded 2018 levels, with sales of freehold and condo properties valued at more than $5 million reaching 100 units from January to October.This represented an 8.5% annual increase.
Freehold properties in this price bracket now fetch an average value of $6,517,143.This is in contrast to the 3% year-over-year decline seen in the city’s single-detached housing market.
“The one consistency in Toronto’s real estate market throughout 2019 has been value – and it’s evident from the bottom end of the market
With the missed payments rate at a level more than three times higher than the national average, Saskatchewan is the worst in Canada when it comes to paying mortgages on time, according to the Canadian Bankers Association.
As of mid-year 2019, the province’s arrears rate stood at 0.86%, which was the highest nationwide.This translated to 1,118 mortgages in arrears for three or more months, out of the 130,106 total mortgages in Saskatchewan at the time.
To compare, the national average arrears rate in this period was 0.23%.The rate was just 0.14% in BC, 0.35% in Manitoba, and 0.5% in Alberta.
This is because many Saskatchewan home owners fell into the trap of excessive borrowing, University of Regina economics professor Jason Childs stated.
“If you are at your maximum carrying capacity for mortgage debt, but your wage stops rising and all of these other things go up, you can get yourself into trouble really fast,” Childs told CKOM.com.
The phenomenon stemmed from sustained low interest rates in the years after the 2008-09 financial crisis.
“That made borrowing really, really attractive.So it made people take on a lot of consumer debt and a lot
A slight decline in Toronto’s condo apartment listings during the third quarter of the year might have led to fewer investor-owned units, according to the city’s real estate board.
“Condominium apartments are obviously a popular choice amongst first-time home-buyers.Moreover, it is also important to remember that condominium apartments owned by investors represent a huge component of the GTA rental stock and certainly account for most additions to the rental stock, on net, over the past decade,” TREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer stated in a news release.
During Q3 2019, a total of 9,538 new listings were added to the region’s condo inventory.This represented a comparatively muted 1% annual drop.
This lower number may be attributed to lower condo apartment completions year-to-date through August, per figures from the CMHC.The phenomenon could have “translated into fewer investor-owned units being listed for sale in Q3 2019 compared to Q3 2018,” Mercer explained.
“With this in mind, a well-supplied condo segment will be important moving forward to ensure that we can keep up with population growth driven by a strong and diverse regional economy,” he added.
Reflecting this consistent demand, the region’s average price for condos
Foreign students, downsizing seniors, and tech industry workers are all fuelling sustained demand for BC’s rental real estate – and this should give developers a clear idea as to how they should proceed in their future projects, a markets researcher argued.
In a recent study, Urban Analytics Inc.principal of market research Michael Ferreira argued that around 30,000 units need to be delivered in the next two years alone to fulfill the demand in BC.
International students might need anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 units, while downsizing senior Canadians are estimated to require around 38,000 units.
Furthermore, the flourishing tech industry is expected to magnetize even more potential tenants, which would require additional construction of up to 15,000 units on top of existing and projected delivery.
“We have to stop talking and actually start building, because if even a fraction of this potential demand materializes, we’re nowhere near where we need to be in terms of supply,” Ferreira warned in a recent speech to the Urban Development Institute, as quoted by Business in Vancouver.
“How long do you think before we see a $5 per square foot rent in downtown Vancouver or a $4,
The red-hot BC and Ontario markets are showing no signs of moderating, and this phenomenon has impelled the rise of other comparatively modest urban areas.
In a new analysis, RE/MAX cited Gatineau, Quebec and Winnipeg, Manitoba as among the most important up-and-coming housing markets in Canada.
Gatineau features particularly affordable homes, with an average price of $269,447.
“But there’s more to Gatineau than affordable homes,” RE/MAX assured.“Because it is directly across from Ottawa’s downtown area, you’re looking at a much easier commute than you would from many of Ottawa’s more affordable suburbs.You’re also minutes away from all that culture, dining and shopping.”
This average will also likely improve, as the federal and Quebec governments have previously committed nearly $175 million in low-cost housing investments up to 2024.
Meanwhile, Winnipeg boasts of an average housing price of $302,777.The city also enjoyed its strongest Q3 market activity on record, CREA reports indicated.
“Good economic fundamentals, growth in our membership and market region well beyond Winnipeg, a healthy listing supply and favourable mortgage rates despite tougher qualifications rules, is behind the impressive market activity we have had this third quarter,” WinnipegREALTORS® president Ken Clark said.
One of the leaders of Canada’s Century Initiative stated that it is crucial for the Canadian population to reach 100 million by the year 2100.
Such a steady rate of growth will help secure the nation’s long-term prospects – and thus, crucial segments like housing, transport, education, and child care should be boosted accordingly, according to BlackRock Inc.senior managing director Mark Wiseman.
“If you look at Canada’s demographics today, we will grow – on current trend – to about 50 million people from 37 million today by about 2050, and then we stop growing,” Wiseman said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg late last week.
“This is a trend that we have to get on top of now.If we stop growing we will have a smaller economy.If we stop growing, we’ll be less important in the world, as the rest of the world grows around us.”
Wiseman added that immigration would be a major force in this growth.
“All we have to do if we start acting today is increase by about 20% to 30% from what we are doing today and then we get what’s known in investing as the compounding effect...Those
In recent years, Canada-based e-commerce firm Shopify has pioneered multiple innovations with its recent push in its delivery and online checkout systems.
Earlier this year, the company announced that it will be doubling its workforce in the Greater Toronto Area to 1,500.This will come amid its 3.2-hectare mixed-use centre in the downtown core, which is slated to begin operations by 2022.
Said facility is an important step in the e-commerce firm’s publicly stated goal to compete with Amazon.com.The end step will be a network of fulfilment warehouses, projected to provide two-day shipping for approximately 99% of Shopify’s North American coverage.
However, while the company has boosted its recent spending to expand its customer network, the price might be too high.
Early trading on Tuesday (October 29) showed a widening of Shopify’s quarterly net loss.The company’s Q3 net loss was US$72.8 million, amounting to 64 cents US a share.This far exceeded the US$23.2 million (22 cents US per share) during the same time a year ago, Bloomberg reported.
Shopify’s Q3 revenue went up by 45% to US$390.6 million, exceeding analysts’ estimate of US$383.8 million for the quarter.Despite the seemingly strong figure, however, this pace
Formerly a commuter town, Burlington, Ontario has become a destination for people to call home—and an area of interest for investors.
For starters, Burlington has become a more attractive place to live, period.The city is home to 183,000 people and plays a large role in a number of industrial sectors, including food processing, packaging, electronics, chemical, and pharmaceutical, but it’s been able to transcend those industrial building blocks and embrace more attractive aspects of its location, including its proximity to the lake and access to the Niagara Escarpment.
Maclean’s ranked Burlington as the best community in Canada in 2019, and MoneySense magazine considers it one of Canada’s best mid-size cities.
Vince Molinaro is the President of the Molinaro Group, a condominium and commercial real estate developer with roots in Hamilton and operating in Burlington.In a recent white paper, he explains why investing in Burlington is more attractive now than it has been in the past.
“Burlington has become a go-to location for many smart investors because of its location, lifestyle and the quality of the projects available,” Molinaro said.
The Molinaro Group can lay claim to many projects in Burlington.Since
While Toronto has kept its place as one of the country’s hottest housing destinations in terms of activity and costs, the market’s single-detached prices and rental values have not grown in lockstep.
Last month, Toronto’s single-detached home price growth was the strongest since 2017.Data from the Toronto Real Estate Board showed that the market’s benchmark detached price reached $946,700 in September, which was 3.55% higher than the August reading.
The City of Toronto accounted for much of this increase, with the locale’s benchmark going up by 2.74% to end up at $1,135,600 during the same period.
Meanwhile, average surveyed rent for recently leased units in the region went up at the slowest rate in two years.This came amid Toronto’s rental vacancy level remaining at a near-record low of 0.8%.
According to Urbanation, the rate for recently leased units and available units in the GTA stood at $2,515 monthly during Q3 2019, which was 6.1% higher year-over-year, but “essentially unchanged” from the second quarter.
“The results indicate that rent inflation has begun to moderate after a strong escalation in recent years that brought rents up by about 30% compared to three years ago, suggesting
Ottawa’s office space is becoming a more valuable and diverse resource for landlords and investors alike, with the rise of integrated specialized amenities and services.
“If you went back to the 1970s or ’80s in Ottawa, concierge service in its most basic form was someone pushing around a sandwich cart in a law office,” CBRE vice president and managing director (Ottawa) Shawn Hamilton said.
“But we’re now starting to see corporations and employees demand the full concierge experience,” Hamilton told the Ottawa Business Journal.
For instance, Constitution Square is among the buildings at the forefront of this experiment.Among the most popular services seeing their presence increase in Ottawa are parcel storage, pet care, and automotive maintenance.
Constitution Square boasts of a childcare services centre and a fitness studio, which tenant services coordinator Nancy Savard cited as the features that set the building apart from the more traditional office complexes.
“As tenants move over the course of their business, they realize what can be offered as part of their tenancy, hence, why the demand for more amenities is always in the forefront of any negotiation,” Savard stated.
She added that other
Regina’s remarkably stable economy – which is boosted by a diverse selection of strong industries including energy and manufacturing, as well as information technology and public service – continues to attract would-be home buyers.
“Your housing costs are relatively cheaper and you have more family, disposable income to spend on quality of life and other activities,” Economic Development Regina CEO John Lee said earlier this year.
These observations were supported by findings published by Royal LePage report earlier this month, which indicated that greater sales activity is a distinct possibility in the very near future.
The market’s average housing price will likely shrink by 6.3% annually during the fourth quarter, ending up at $305,440.This will come in the wake of another drop of 5.9% year-over-year during Q3 2019.
“In ten years, there’s never been a better time to buy in Regina;homes are affordable and we expect to see more activity in the coming months,” Royal LePage Regina Realty managing partner Mike Duggleby said.
By asset class, the median price of two-storey homes fell by 6.9% annually during the third quarter to $374,886.Meanwhile, bungalows contracted by 5.4% to $286,544, and condos had a more
Earlier this week, Mi Property Portal announced the launch of its online dashboard listing Canadian rental homes, aimed primarily at landlords and other industry players.
With the intention of automating the whole rental listing process, Mi Property’s suite is designed to “eliminate the need for using multiple software systems.”
The company assured that Canadian industry players will particularly benefit from the online portal’s rental application functions, along with CRM to manage rental leads and tenant screening.
The system was developed in cooperation with AI-powered platform specialists Naborly Inc., and will allow a property’s administration to review applications right away.Users will also be able to send screening requests to prospective tenants.
“Once the application is submitted by the prospective tenant, it takes about two hours to generate a credit report.Property admin gets notified when the report becomes available on the portal,” the company explained in its announcement.
And, as opposed to other platforms that charge for any listing changes, Mi Property will allow users to add an unlimited number of rental properties and keep them listed as long as needed.
“This is a great tool which will significantly facilitate rental listing management for
Halifax housing price appreciation and sales activity this year has been boosted by strong inbound migration, which is fuelling sustained demand that is influencing the market’s already low inventory.
According to Royal LePage, the city enjoyed a 1.6% year-over-year increase in its aggregate home price during the third quarter of 2019, ending up at $328,690.
“Our province is appealing to Canadians from across the country, partly because the economy is not as dependent upon oil or manufacturing,” Royal LePage Atlantic broker of record Marc Doucet stated.
“A lot of new Canadians are seeing the affordability of Halifax and the welcoming spirit of Maritimers as a draw when looking for a new place to start up.A number of newcomers are starting their own businesses locally.”
Price growth is expected to continue through the fourth quarter.Royal LePage predicted that for the period, the aggregate home price in Halifax will go up further by 3.7% year-over-year to $330,333.This would also be 0.5% higher increase compared to Q3 2019.
“Halifax has seen the best year in real estate out of the past couple decades,” Doucet added.“Low inventory was the only factor that slowed sales as buyers wait