Ottawa housing market increases sales in April
MLS home sales in Ottawa increased by 10.6 per cent in April compared to the same month last year. New figures from the Ottawa Real Estate Board show that there were 1,570 homes sold in the month which builds on last year’s figure and beats the five year average for April (1,531). David Oikle, President of the board says that buyers were out despite the lingering cold weather: “Sales continued their steady pace upwards since the beginning of the year, with 362 more properties sold this April over March.” The region’s condo-class properties including timeshares and co-operatives made up 258 of the sales. “The average cumulative days on market has improved even more in April, coming in at 74 days, compared to 83 in March,” says Oikle. “Properties are moving faster and inventory is plentiful, with just under 9,000 residential properties, including condos, available for sale going into May.” Sale prices increased too; condo-class homes now average $265,371, up 2.7 per cent from a year ago; other home types rose by 0.9 per cent to $403,239.
Waiting list for Ontario’s affordable housing reaches record high
The number of households waiting for affordable housing continues to rise in Ontario, as it has done since 2006. The waiting list now stands at 168,000 with 3,600 joining in 2014 according to figures from the Ontario Non-profit Housing Association. The rise of 2.2 per cent was lower than in 2013 but any rise and the cumulative volume are a concern. Single people and couples make up 37 per cent of those on the list but there are also an increasing number of seniors (up to 30 per cent last year from 22 per cent a decade ago). Although almost a third of those waiting for affordable homes in Ontario are families this group are getting housed quicker with the wait down by eight months; however even this group will typically wait 3.5 years for a home.
Vancouver needs to get tough on house prices says professor
An academic says that there needs to be tougher regulation on housing in Vancouver to curb rising prices. Professor David Ley of the University of BC says that Vancouver is “out of phase” with other large cities around the world that are subject to high levels of foreign investment. The Vancouver Sun highlights that Hong Kong, Singapore and London have all acted to make property less affordable for foreign investors and Australia is threatening jail for those who breach foreign ownership regulations. Vancouver meanwhile is focusing on the effect of empty homes on the city’s prices. Professor Ley told the newspaper that we need to know the level of foreign ownership but that is a sensitive subject with claims of xenophobia when it’s mentioned. He believes that foreign investors will buy more Vancouver homes and that the provincial and federal governments will be reluctant to curb inward investment.