Monday, May 28, 2012


CREA News Release.pdf Download this file

 Attached is the latest News Release from CREA, with highlights below...

Home price trends continue to diverge in April

OTTAWA – May 25th, 2012 – According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the MLS® Home Price Index, the leading measure of Canadian home prices, increased in April 2012.


       The Aggregate Composite MLS® Home Price Index in April 2012 was up 5.2% year-over-year.

       Toronto again posted the largest year-over-year increase (7.9%), with more modest gains in Calgary (4.0%), Vancouver (3.7%), the Fraser Valley (2.7%), and Montreal (2.3%).

       Year-over-year price gains accelerated in April in Toronto and Calgary but slowed in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and were little changed in Montreal.

       Single family home prices again posted the biggest gains (6.4%), with apartment unit and townhome sales making more modest headway (3.6% and 2.7% respectively).

The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) rose 5.2 per cent year-over-year in April 2012. The increase was similar to those for the previous two months and among the smallest since last August. However, the moderation in overall price gains in recent months masks diverging trends among the major Canadian markets.

For more information, please contact:

Pierre Leduc
Media Relations / Relations auprès des médias

The Canadian Real Estate Association / L'Association canadienne de l'immeuble
200 Catherine Street, 6th Floor / 200, rue Catherine, 6e étage    Ottawa, ON K2P 2K9
Tel/Tél: +1 (613) 237-7111    Fax/Téléc: +1 (613) 234-2567

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LIVE Toronto More Streams



Condo agents target international clientele

CBC News

Posted: May 17, 2012 7:42 PM ET

Last Updated: May 17, 2012 7:41 PM ET

Overseas buyers are helping to fuel Toronto’s hot condo market.

But as CBC’s Marivel Taruc reports, out-of-country condo owners can pose problems for the tenants who rent their units. Meanwhile, some real estate agents are heading overseas to sell Toronto condos.

Click on the image above to watch the story.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012


RE/MAX Press Announcement

Luxury housing sales surge forward

New records set in just over 60 per cent of markets in the first quarter

Mississauga, ON (May 16, 2012) - The Canadian appetite for all things luxury continues to fuel demand for high-end housing, with first quarter 2012 sales well ahead of 2011 figures for the same period in most markets across the country, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The Upper-End Report found that 81 per cent (13) of the 16 major Canadian centres examined - including Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, London-St. Thomas, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton-Burlington, Greater Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Greater Montreal, and Halifax-Dartmouth - posted an increase in homebuying activity, with the vast majority reporting double-digit appreciation. Records were set for upper-end sales in ten markets in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Upper End 2012


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Tuesday, May 15, 2012



April 2012 statistics release.pdf Download this file

          Home sales up 0.8% from March to April.

          Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 11.5% above levels in April 2011.

          The size of the year-over-year increase reflects a slowdown in sales last April following changes to mortgage rules which came into effect on March 18, 2011.

          The number of newly listed homes edged back 0.2% from March to April.

          While still well balanced, the combination of stable new listings and slightly higher sales activity resulted in a tighter national housing market.

          The national average home price edged up 0.9% on a year-over-year basis in April.


Sales over MLS® Systems of real estate Boards and Associations in Canada edged up 0.8 per cent from March to April 2012, putting them on par with levels reported in the same month two years earlier.


For more information, please contact:


Pierre Leduc
Media Relations / Relations auprès des médias

The Canadian Real Estate Association / L'Association canadienne de l'immeuble
200 Catherine Street, 6th Floor / 200, rue Catherine, 6e étage    Ottawa, ON K2P 2K9
Tel/Tél: +1 (613) 237-7111    Fax/Téléc: +1 (613) 234-2567
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Monday, May 14, 2012


Is 'hot money' fuelling Canada's condo bubbles?

The condo bubbles in Toronto and Vancouver are caused by foreign speculation and are making housing unaffordable and creating financial risk for the country in terms of government-insured mortgages. But there’s another issue of vital concern to taxpayers. There are three times more condo high-rises being built in Toronto than in New York City and seven times’ more than in Chicago.

Financial Post   Mon May 07 2012

Builders unfazed by talk of Toronto's overheated market - Diamondcorp

From his office, the chief executive officer of real estate developer Diamondcorp looks south toward the towers of the Toronto skyline. But what Stephen Diamond sees is the extended expanse of tree tops between his office and the downtown core. The houses beneath those trees are the reason the developer is comfortable making big bets on the city’s condo market.

Globe and Mail   Wed May 09 2012 - Marketwire

CMHC shrugs off 'bubble' talk, defends role in debt financing - Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp.

It's not often a Crown corporation bangs its drum loudly, appears to question market sentiment and misrepresents the central bank’s monetary policy — all in the same day. Canada’s housing agency did just that on Tuesday, issuing an annual report that read like a defence of its business practices, and saying that despite concerns by Jim Flaherty, the Finance Minister...

Financial Post   Wed May 09 2012 - Financial Post (Second Article) - MoneyVille

   Multi-unit Residential REITs & REOCs: In the News

Associa continues Canadian expansion with acquisition in British Columbia
Financial Post, May 4, 2012

InterRent REIT Results for the First Quarter of 2012
Globe and Mail, May 7, 2012

Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. Reports 2012 First Quarter Results
Marketwire, May 8, 2012

Killam looks to acquire more Ontario properties
Chronicle Herald, May 10, 2012


Highlights from CMHC's 2011 Annual Report

CMHC has inched closer to its $600 billion government-imposed default insurance limit. The nation's top mortgage insurer has just released its annual report showing its insurance in force as $567 billion (as of December 31). That’s up 10% from 2010 and is just 5.5% below its allowed maximum. Despite its growing insurance levels, CMHC says it has plenty of room to meet Canadians' core demand...

Canadian Mortgage Trends   Thu May 10 2012

Why condo owners need more protection

Condominium owners need affordable options for settling disputes with developers and property managers, says a Toronto MPP who is pushing for legislation to give them better protection. Rosario Marchese, the New Democrat MPP for Trinity-Spadina, has brought forward a private member’s bill that calls for changes to the Condominium Act, including the creation of a review board that would allow condo owners to settle disputes outside of court.

CBC   Thu May 10 2012

Opportunity huge for alternative mortgage lenders - GMP Securities

Mortgage companies competing against Canada's big six banks offer an increasingly attractive opportunity for investors in the wake of new regulations governing Canada Mortgage Housing Corp., says Stephen Boland, analyst at GMP Securities. Changes to mortgage lending rules include CMHC now being regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).

Financial Post   Mon May 07 2012

Mortgage arrears rate highest in Alberta

The mortgage arrears rate in Alberta is by far the highest in the country, according to the CIBC Household Credit Analysis report released. In January, the rate in Canada was 0.4 per cent while in Alberta it was 0.7 per cent. “This reflects the fact that, on average, homeowners in Alberta are younger and less established,” said the report authored by Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets.

Calgary Herald   Thu May 10 2012

Demographics make big city condos hot

On average, a home in Canada costs 84% more than in the United States right now. The national averages are $372,762 at home versus $203,100 south of the 49th parallel. One might argue that something has got to give. By analyzing housing starts in Canada, we can get a good indication of future trends in real estate. Warm weather throughout most of Canada was credited with being the catalyst for a very strong month of March in new homes.

Financial Post, May 10, 2012 Financial Post - Second Article, Globe and Mail


Court rejects email sale of $155,000 condo

New Brunswick judges have overturned a ruling that allowed a man to buy a condo in Moncton, site unseen, by email. The buyer, Marc Girouard, sued the seller, Kelty Druet, after Girouard believed he had a deal to buy her two-bedroom unit in October 2010 for $155,000 following an email exchange. The agreement had been made in seven emails over a two-day period.

Moneyville   Mon May 07 2012

Canadians Ready for Real Estate Market Shake-Up

According to a national survey commissioned by and conducted on the Angus Reid Forum, Canadians polled feel real estate commissions are too high and bidding wars are engineered by real estate agents. The survey found 82 per cent of home owners polled agree that a five per cent commission is too much. 50 per cent of Canadians polled say that agents don't have their best interests in mind when selling their home...

Canada News Wire   Tue May 08 2012

Man sells 6 properties on Kijiji

When it comes to the high-stakes world of real estate, Andy Vitch is a DIY kind of guy. Just since January he’s sold six properties in the St. Catharines area to three different buyers, all through the popular online site Kijiji. Vitch estimates he saved more than $70,000 in realtor commissions selling the $1.7 million worth of triplexes, fourplexes and even his own home via the site.

MoneyVille   Thu May 10 2012

How playing politics transformed the GTA

She liberated the kings and changed the face of our town. Politicians of all stripes, from City Hall to Queen’s Park to Parliament Hill, have had significant impact on the building of new homes in the GTA, but likely few have left as big a mark as Barbara Hall. When she was mayor of Toronto in 1995, Hall noticed that many of the city’s industrial operations had vacated the city core in favor of more spacious suburban sites

Your Home   Thu May 10 2012

The Structural Failure of Building Exteriors: A Legal, Engineering and Owner Perspective.

Thursday, June 7, 2012, Toronto, Hot House Cafe

A panel discussion moderated by Darrell M. Gold LLB, author of the "The Legal Corner" and a Partner with Robins Appleby & Taub LLP.

  Graeme Scott, Senior Principal – Cladding Engineering, Halsall Associates
  Adam Krehm, Principal, O'Shanter Development Company Ltd.
  David Taub, LL.B., Partner, Robins Appleby & Taub LLP

Register today for $35 + EventBrite fees.


Burnaby rental complex sale worth more than $80 million

One of Metro Vancouver's largest multi-family rental complexes has sold in what's being called the third biggest transaction of its type in B.C. history. The deal, worth more than $80 million, involved the sale of Lougheed Village in northeast Burnaby, a mixed-use rental development built in 1973 that includes two 24 storey and two eight-storey residential buildings, a two-storey retail village, and a multi-level parkade, all on a three-hectare site.

Vancouver Sun   Thu May 10 2012

Purchasing a Multi-Residential Property – Closing Costs

If you have not purchased a multi-residential property before, especially in Toronto and especially if the number of units is greater than six, you may be surprised by the myriad costs involved. In southern Ontario, traditional lenders generally consider a four-plex or smaller to be a residential transaction, while six or more units in a property is considered to be a commercial transaction, the latter usually bearing more expenses.

Monster Commercial   Mon May 07 2012

U.S. Multifamily Momentum Will Continue

The multifamily sector is in good shape for the foreseeable future, according to Calvin Schnure, NAREIT’s vice president of research and industry information, despite some market concerns about a rebound in new construction. He pointed out that there are approximately 3 million households that have “doubled up” since 2008, and many of those residents will be looking for a place of their own as the job market improves.   Wed May 09 2012

Multifamily a Desired Investment in Europe

Amidst the European sovereign debt crisis, opportunities exist for commercial real estate investors on the continent, according to panelists speaking during a session at the 2012 ULI Spring meeting. Speakers on the panel, “When Europe Has the Flu,” suggest there are some ways in which the European real estate markets are similar to those in United States: Multifamily is also a strong asset class, investments need to be assessed...

Multi Housing News   Thu May 10 2012

Why condos keep getting smaller

It’s become a mantra among urban planner types: If cities like Toronto are to grow successfully, they must make more efficient use of space. Which partly explains the condo boom. Instead of opting for the kind of houses with big back yards favoured by their parents, new arrivals and the offspring of the existing population are sacrificing all that for affordability and (usually) a central location.

Financial Post, May 10, 2012


Home > Residential > Market Conditions

Housing starts rise on apartment, condo gains

CMHC says the pace of housing starts heated up in April, mainly due to an increase in construction on apartments and condos. The housing agency says there were just over 21,000 actual starts in April. That is equivalent to 244,900 starts on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, up from the rate of 214,800 units in March.

Globe and Mail   Tue May 08 2012

Realty boom continues in Regina

The residential real estate market in Regina and area continues to boom, with sales and average prices setting records in April, according to the Association of Regina Realtors, which raised that possibility that prices will increase because new listings are selling relatively quickly. There were 443 sales reported in the month in Regina and area, up 24 per cent over April 2011.

Leader Post   Fri May 04 2012

Student Housing in Canada

Demographics Let’s look at the basics of Student Housing. There are approx. 800,000 student enrolled in Canadian universities, and these numbers are expected to grow over the next 10 years, to well over a million students. This demand is being driven by the eco baby boom, students staying in school longer, and getting more than 1 degree.

Canadian Apartment Buildings   Thu May 10 2012

Toronto Beaches property's $8-million price tag

Real estate in Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood is striding toward a new milestone: A grand house on the shore of Lake Ontario hit the market this week with an asking price of $8-million. Even the owner had trouble seeing the potential when he bought the higgledy-piggledy property for $2.8-million in 2007.

Globe and Mail   Mon May 07 2012

Home > Residential > Mortgage and Finance

2012 vs. 1984: Young adults really do have it harder today

All young adults who think they’re getting a raw deal in today’s economy, let me tell you about how it was back in my day. In 1984, my final undergraduate year of university, tuition cost more or less $1,000. I earned that much in a summer without breaking a sweat. When I went looking for a new car in 1986, the average cost was roughly half of what it is now. It was totally affordable.

Globe and Mail   Tue May 08 2012

Buying a home with just 5% down? Make sure you love it

Canadian Mortgage Trends editor Robert McLister's second column for The Globe's month-long Home Buying site looks at the perils of a 5 per cent down payment. Read his first column here. There are thousands of 20- and 30-somethings out there who are tired of renting. They’re itching to buy a house but they have one big problem: they don’t have enough of a down payment.

Globe and Mail   Thu May 10 2012

Where there's a house, there's likely a will

You can add one more wrinkle to the impact a booming real estate market is having on Canadians - it's getting many of them to make a will. Perhaps buoyed by the ever increasing value of their homes, which reached an average of $369,677 nationally in March, a new study says all that perceived value is convincing some they need a legal document to say who will get that money when they pass away.

Star Phoenix   Wed May 09 2012

Why we've locked in to a 10-year mortgage

Our new home in Scarborough is a detached, three-bedroom side-split that cost nearly $560,000. We borrowed nearly $515,000 to buy it, a sum that makes me queasy. With the help of a mortgage broker, we chose a 30-year mortgage from ING Direct, and locked-in to a 10-year term at an interest rate of 3.99 per cent. We will pay about $1,128 every two weeks.

MoneyVille   Thu May 10 2012

Mortgage terminology: A simple guide

Understanding the nuts and bolts of your mortgage may seem intimidating at first, but it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Learning more about how mortgages work could save you thousands of dollars in interest or penalties. There are three basic parts to a mortgage: the amortization, the term, and the interest rate, which could be fixed or variable.

Toronto Star   Thu May 10 2012

Home > Residential > Buying and Selling

Does it make more sense to rent or buy?

In the first of his weekly columns for Globe Investor's new month-long Home Buying site, housing bear Ben Rabidoux looks at whether now is better to buy or rent. Not too long ago I received an e-mail from a young couple in their early 20s who had just made the decision to purchase their first home after renting a house for the past three years.

Globe and Mail   Fri May 04 2012

Wow factor: What condo buyers want

In the Greater Vancouver real estate market, a condo is the first step on the equity ladder for most buyers. The current benchmark price is $375,100, just over one-third of the price of a detached house. And depending on size and location, there are plenty at lower prices. But that's still a lot of money, so buyers want to be blown away. For developers, the design and feature options they offer can be the difference between instant sellout and the dreaded "unsold inventory."

Vancouver Courier   Fri May 04 2012

Pros and cons of condos

For many homebuyers, condominiums offer several advantages over traditional homeownership tenure — affordability, low maintenance and lifestyle are often just a few. Before you buy a condominium, however, take the time to learn the ins and outs of condo living and be sure you know the rules. Every condominium is governed by its own unique rules, regulations and bylaws. These may be very strict or very relaxed depending on the nature of the condominium corporation.

Edmonton Sun   Tue May 08 2012

Lessons learned from a year as a home owner

A year ago, I made the biggest financial decision of my life and bought a home. Although it hasn’t always been easy, I am still extremely happy with my purchase. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned: 1. Buy for less than you can afford When I first started my home search, I knew that the bank would approve me for more than I was comfortable spending. I was pre-approved for close to $300,000...

MoneyVille   Thu May 10 2012

Home > Residential > Construction

Sutton Place catches up with the times - Sutton Place Hotel

Architecture critic Christopher Hume moves beyond the condo to look at other forms of residential design in Toronto. Suddenly, it seems Toronto hotels are turning into condos and condos into hotels. There’s the old Four Seasons in Yorkville, now closed, and a bit further south at Bay and Wellesley Sts., the former Sutton Place Hotel. It has been a fixture since 1967, remembered fondly...

Your Home   Mon May 07 2012

Showing their metal

When you think of steel construction, commercial buildings typically come to mind. But one couple has taken a chance on a new sustainable steel technology that reduces residential construction waste and increases their home's durability, all while keeping their budget intact. Brian Allemekinders and Deirdre Yukich have lived in Aylmer, Que., a stone's throw from the Ottawa River, since 2002.

Times Colonist   Mon May 07 2012

Second batch of $20-M downtown residential grants gone

THE second $20-million batch of downtown residential development grants has been gobbled up nearly as fast as the first one. The president and CEO of CentreVenture Development Corp. said the second instalment of money under the joint city-provincial Downtown Residential Development Grant (DRDG) program is now fully subscribed after just under a year. The first $20 million was snapped up within 10 months.

Winnipeg Free Press   Fri May 04 2012

Guelph councillors approve 18-storey condo tower downtown - City of Guelph


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012



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CBC's Toronto headquarters has 500,000 square feet of available space to be leased.


Enlarge this image

CBC moves to find tenants for extra space in Toronto headquarters


From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, May. 07, 2012 4:00AM EDT

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has allowed premium office space to sit empty in its downtown Toronto headquarters for years, despite a tight office market that has seen rents climb 60 per cent since the end of the recession.

Commercial real estate brokers in the city estimate the surplus space in the Canadian Broadcasting Centre could be leased for approximately $12-million a year. The broadcaster’s Front Street building was built in 1992, but aside from a short window when it opened it has never been fully occupied.

More related to this story

With recent budget cuts putting renewed pressure on the broadcaster to cut its costs and find alternate sources of revenue, the CBC is extending its search for tenants beyond the public sector and has applied to the city to rezone the building to allow for commercial tenants.

“We’ve tried to find Crown corporations and various other government agencies that we could host but their requirements are very small,” said Maryse Bertrand, the CBC’s vice-president of real estate. “They want 500 square feet, and I have 500,000.”

It’s part of a broader effort the broadcaster is undertaking across the country to turn its vast real estate holdings into cash.

Many companies, including the Bank of Nova Scotia, whose Bay Street office tower is expected to sell for a billion dollars, are selling their real estate to raise money. The companies prefer the flexibility being a tenant allows, and older buildings can be expensive to maintain.

CBC’s building has about 1.5 million square feet of leasable space, meaning it’s sitting one-third empty. It was full when it opened, but a round of budget cuts in the mid-1990s saw scores of employees leave and parts of the building which were used to store sets and costumes were emptied as those services were outsourced.

And while there is a lot of space, it is spread throughout the building in small chunks. The CBC will need to move its people around so it can offer potential tenants larger spaces – an expensive and disruptive proposition.

The broadcaster has sat idle while the market boomed all around it. About 4.5 million square feet of new space has been built in Toronto’s downtown since the end of the recession, and virtually all of it has been snapped up by tenants looking for new space.

The vacancy rate in the area of the downtown where CBC built its headquarters is about 4.5 per cent, low by historical standards. Rents in the area, meanwhile, have increased by about 60 per cent since 2008 to about $25 a square foot.

“There has been a reverse migration taking place with companies coming in from the suburbs and looking for downtown space,” said Stuart Barron, national director of research at Cushman & Wakefield Ltd. “They want to be near an educated work force, and that is definitely one of the benefits all of the downtown condo developments have brought. There’s a positive energy.”

The CBC is hoping the Canadian condo appetite isn’t quite sated yet, particularly in Montreal where it has recently listed its Radio Canada headquarters for sale. It hopes a private company will buy the site and build condos on its existing parking lots, and also build an office building that could house Radio Canada staff.

Media companies have been active sellers of property, largely because technology has allowed them to eliminate entire departments – most newspapers once printed their own papers in-house, for example, but have since outsourced their printing to large suburban printing plants.

CBC once required a lot of space for technical equipment, Ms. Bertrand said, but that’s no longer the case. It has 27 small buildings across the country, and its total portfolio is valued at close to a billion dollars. The CBC will consider offers for all of them except its Toronto headquarters and its recently renovated Vancouver studios.

“We’ve been hacking away at our vast portfolio of real estate. We have reduced it by almost a million square feet, and now we are chipping away at it some more,” Ms. Bertrand said.

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