Calgary housing outlook is negative says Conference Board
Housing starts in the Calgary metropolitan census area fell by more than 50 per cent in the year to April 2015 according to new stats from the Conference Board of Canada. There were 8,518 starts (seasonally-adjusted figures) in April this year compared to 17,605 units a year earlier. The report says that short-term the situation looks negative due to lower permit applications while the longer-term outlook looks weak due to demographic requirements. Nationwide the areas that have positive outlooks include Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor, London, Halifax, Kingston, Oshawa, Abbotsford and Victoria.
Housing affordability declined in first quarter
Homes in Canada have become less affordable so far this year. A report from the Desjardins Group show that in the first quarter of this year 12 of the 18 cities measured by its index are less affordable than they are historically. The figures show that the high cost of homes in Toronto is spreading out to nearby cities with St Catharines switching from being 6 per cent more affordable than its average in the third quarter of 2014 to 5.2 per cent less affordable than average in the first three months of this year. On the flip side some of the most unaffordable are becoming more affordable including Calgary.
Ottawa goes to court to stop tall buildings
The City of Ottawa is going to court in a bid to protect its right to limit the height of buildings. The Ontario Municipal Board recently sided with developers at 267 O’Connor Street and others who argued that the city shouldn’t be able to limit building height. The city says that there has been a discussion process over a number of years to agree to the height restrictions and councillors voted to have it enshrined in the city’s master planning document but the OMB has refused the move. The Ottawa Citizen reports that the OMB has stated that height restrictions should not be in planning documents but in zoning regulations. The OMB’s role is set to be reviewed by the provincial government in 2016.
‘Mean Girls’ house goes on sale in Toronto
A house used in the hit movie ‘Mean Girls’ as the home of Regina George has gone on sale in Toronto. The 20,000 square foot house with 11 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, 6-car garage, entertainment room and wine cellar has been listed with Sotheby’s for $14.8 million. As well as it’s cult movie status the house at 111 High Point Road has also been featured in a William Shatner commercial and Martha Stewart has filmed a cooking show there according to the Post City Toronto.