Poloz rejects talk of a “bubble”
The Bank of Canada’s governor has rejected the idea that there is a housing bubble in parts of the country. Stephen Poloz was appearing before a House of Commons finance committee on Tuesday to defend the central bank’s interest rate cut and give MPs an update on the economy. Mr Poloz last appeared before the committee in November but since then the bank has issued a statement suggesting that housing is overvalued by “between 10 and 30 per cent” and there was the surprise cut in interest rates in January. At the meeting yesterday the BoC chief said that housing is estimated to be around 20 per cent overvalued nationally. Deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins added that with the exception of Toronto and Vancouver signs of a soft landing are now being seen across Canada. Poloz dismissed the suggestion of a housing bubble when it was raised by Democrat MP Guy Caron. The governor said that there was “no excess” in the buying of property and that construction is roughly in line with demand.
Vancouver could benefit from slimmer homes
A detached house in Vancouver has sold for $1.35 million despite being just 3.6 metres (12 feet) wide. The Point Grey split level residence was built in the late 1980s on a half-size lot. The four-levels totalling just 945 square feet comprises master bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms, kitchen, living room and den. There’s also a garage and landscaped outdoor space. So should we go back to the future and start building thin homes again to help tackle Vancouver’s affordability issues? CBC spoke to aptly-named realtor Ken Wyder who said that he’s never sold one but has been inside what he describes as “like a dollhouse”. Asked if he thought it could be an answer to affordability Mr Wyder said not; the thin houses may be narrow but they take up more space than a typical duplex or triplex he said; noting that extra space is taken up by the properties being detached.
The Starck reality; world famous designer launches Montreal condos
He has designed some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring objects and architecture in the modern world but Philippe Starck came to Montreal for the condos. Specifically the condos that he is launching as part of a global project called YOO. The luxury development in Griffintown follows similar ones in 30 countries in cities such as London, Sydney, New York, Moscow and Singapore. Starck told the Montreal Gazette why he chose the city to be next: “Montreal is a very, very particular city. Montreal is a city which reinvents itself non-stop. Ninety per cent of cities in the world are sleeping, crystallized. But here, it is young, creative.” The YOO condos will reflect that image of Montreal. Starck aims to create a village feel in a high-rise, with public spaces on lower floors to inspire people to meet. The micro units of 384 square feet have long-since been sold but there are larger units available. The price tags range from $600,000 to $6 million.