US builder decides against Toronto condo market
A builder of luxury condos from the US considered and dismissed expanding into Toronto due to the high level of investment property in the city. Toll Brothers CEO Douglas Yearley said his company was thinking of entering the market three years ago but found that a high percentage of properties were being bought by investors who planned to sell the property on. Yearley says that large scale ‘flipping’ of properties is what causes a bubble. That said, he believes the company made a mistake by not getting into Toronto. Read the full story.
Consumer confidence falls on global economy concerns
The weekly Bloomberg Nanos index of consumer sentiment reports lower figures again this week as concern spreads about weakness in the global economy. Although North America is generally showing positive signs, much of Europe; the Eurozone countries; could be heading back to recession and Asia’s fortunes are mixed with China not picking up as fast as expected. Canadians therefore are less confident in our own economy. The index reveals that those expecting improvement in the economy in the next six months is at 17.6 per cent; down from 22.3 per cent just four weeks ago. Despite this, confidence in job security and personal finances increased in the latest survey. When asked about the real estate market and whether respondents expect increases in house prices in the next six month, the percentage fell to 42.6 from 44.4 the previous week. Read the full story.
Homeowners battling to protect their neighbourhoods
Vancouver is building more homes but with high land costs leading to increased redevelopment of existing buildings or parking lots, many residents are entering into battles to protect their neighbourhoods. While many redevelopments enhance an area; where run-down property is replaced with something new and attractive; however when single family homes are replaced with condo developments or duplexes it can be very different. Writing in the Vancouver Sun Barbara Yaffe highlights the issues for some neighbourhoods and how residents do not have the same rights to appeal planning decisions as developers do. Read the full story.
Insurers advise an updated inventory
Homeowners are advised to update their inventories to cover some of their most valuable assets. Insurers say that people often tend to think of large electrical items such as big-screen TVs as their most expensive possessions to replace, but they may ignore more valuable items that have been acquired over the years. Family heirlooms are particularly vulnerable as owners may not appreciate their cash value. Smaller but high-value items are among the most stolen in burglaries too. Read the full story.