Housing starts pick up pace in September
The latest figures from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation show an uptick in the pace of housing starts. There were 17,343 starts in September making a seasonally adjusted annual figure of 197,343. This exceeded the expectations of economists. “The increase in the trend reflects stronger starts activity since April, largely concentrated in multi-unit dwellings including condominiums,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist, “however, the currently elevated level of condominium units under construction supports our view that condominium starts should trend lower over the coming months.” In September, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased in British Columbia and Atlantic Canada, and increased in Quebec, Ontario and the Prairies.
Majority of Torontonians were born outside Canada
A new report shows that 51 per cent of Toronto’s residents were born outside Canada, highlighting the cosmopolitan nature of the city. The Toronto Foundation’s Vital Signs Report reveals some other interesting insights including some good news for the city’s police department as almost 80 per cent say they would feel somewhat safe walking along the streets at night. High youth unemployment and low wages are a concern and cause issues for affordability of housing with rent for a one bedroom apartment eating up 40 per cent of a young person’s full-time wage. The report also shows that Toronto’s seniors make up 14.5 per cent of the population. Read the full story.
Housing market correction would damage retirement funds
Baby boomers could leave themselves short of retirement funds if there’s a housing market correction. That’s the warning from Dean Connor, CEO of Sun Life Financial, who says that some boomers believe they have made smart investments in real estate when really they’ve been lucky. Connor warns that many are over exposed to a housing market dip and rising interest rates as they have high levels of debt which may not even be covered by selling their home if the worst was to happen. A recent survey by Sun Life revealed that 24 per cent were intending to use their home to fund their retirement, but Connor advises that we should aim to be debt free by retirement. Read the full story.
Calgary’s commercial real estate investment activity slows
A report shows that there has been a reduction in the level of investment activity in Calgary’s commercial property. The Avison Young Fall 2014 Commercial Real Estate Investment Review reveals that in the first half of this year investment was down to $1.4 billion compared to $2.1 billion in the same period last year. Within the commercial sector most property types saw decline although retail more than doubled its 2013 figure partly due to the sale of the Seton Gateway Shopping Centre. Read the full story.