Tag Archives: toronto

Friday Free-for-all!

It’s the end of another work week and that means it’s time for our regular end of the week news round-up and open topic discussion thread. Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

‘House of cards’will implode
Inventory squeeks back to record level
May sales to list so far is 41%
CEO welcomes Vancouver price drop
Are Canadians ready for higher rates?
Condos need depreciation reports
Rennie wants to see numbers
20% drop in Toronto condo sales
Canadian Mortgage Market Primer
No US style 30 year mortgage
Money contracts in China
How to format a link on VCI

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

Disappearing ghost towns in the media

This is odd.  The Globe and Mail published an article about the condo boom titled “How condo boom threatens a ghost city phenomenon” and included the following alarming section:

“CMHC estimates that roughly 25 per cent of condominiums in the Greater Toronto Area are sold but sitting vacant — shades of Miami at the height of its collapsed condo bubble in 2007. Other analysts say the 25 per cent figure may be too low.

“This is the ghost city phenomenon,” Mr. Holt said.

Condo developers in Eastern cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, appear to be rushing to sell and build units before interest rates start to climb, and the market crashes.”

But if you visit that link you’ll no longer find that text and the headline has been changed to “Housing starts shoot higher on back of condo boom” (although as of this writing the URL still shows the original title).  Why the dramatic change in tone?

CMHC and the rental housing market

Over at the The Star, our mayor has helped to write an opinion piece asking that the CMHC provide more loans for rental housing construction:

For most of us, housing is our biggest expense. One out of every five dollars we earn goes to build, buy, rent and run our homes. Facing high home prices, large personal debts, and an uncertain economy, fewer Canadians can buy a new home today than in the past, and they are choosing to rent instead.

Unfortunately, in many cities finding an affordable place to rent is nearly impossible. The most immediate problem is supply. Vacancy rates under 3 per cent push rents up. In Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area, it’s 1.4 per cent.

Vacancy rates this low force our young people to move out of the city, threaten seniors on fixed incomes, and have a negative impact on local businesses.

That’s why this spring’s federal budget must put Canada’s rental housing market on solid ground, by pursuing low-cost, high-leverage policies that get jobs on the ground and build housing Canadians can afford.

It’s like magic, creating jobs and homes.  What could go wrong with a ‘low-cost, high-leverage’ policy like that?