Daily Market Update

by REP11 Mar 2015
Toronto, Vancouver real estate to heat up this spring
Rock-bottom interest rates, a scarcity of supply and growing demand from millennials and wealthy immigrants have fuelled a strong start to the spring real estate season in Toronto and Vancouver. "Spring has come early for both Toronto and Vancouver," said Sal Guatieri, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. According to the Hamilton Spectator, both cities experienced growth in sales volumes and prices during the first two months of the year, Guatieri said."I would expect the spring market to be quite hot in both cities — but that will be the exception across the country, not the norm."In Toronto, February home sales grew by 11 per cent from a year ago while prices jumped nearly eight per cent, according to statistics from the Toronto Real Estate Board. That's despite the fact that it was one of the coldest Februaries on record for the city so realtors are optimistic that the warmer weather will bring greater results.

Ste.Catherines due for "painless" makeover: developer
According to an article in the Montreal Gazette, the reconstruction of downtown Ste-Catherine St., scheduled to begin next year, will put its future as a commercial artery at risk unless it’s done swiftly and with minimal disruption, local real-estate executive Stephen Léopold told the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal in a luncheon address Tuesday. "Remember what happened when the city replaced infrastructure on Parc Ave., St-Laurent Blvd. and St-Denis (St.)? We bankrupted businesses and have still not been able to restore their former commercial success and tax base,” said Léopold, chairman of the board of commercial and industrial real-estate brokerage Immodev. He called Ste-Catherine St. “the greatest generator of commercial activity in our city,”  the “largest and most diverse shopping centre in North America” and the “heart, soul and spine of our city.” For that reason, he said, the municipality shouldn’t limit itself to replacing century-old infrastructure, but rather seize the opportunity to innovate with features like heated sidewalks and parking meters equipped with power chargers for electric cars. “There is no street in the world that is as important to a major city as Ste-Catherine is to Montreal. And that is why we must take special care to enhance its appeal, and very special care not to disrupt it,” Léopold said.

Chinese buyers snap up $51 million mansion in Vancouver
Chinese buyers are snapping up some of the most exclusive real estate in the Lower Mainland. The latest jaw-dropping sale was a $51.8-million mansion on three lots, one of which overlooks the ocean.

According to the National Post, the Point Grey home was owned by Don Mattrick, the CEO of social gaming company Zynga and former head of Xbox at Microsoft, and his wife, Nanon De Gaspé Beaubien-Mattrick, a tech investor and heiress to a Canadian telecom fortune. Land title documents show the property, which boasts a 10-car garage, sold in mid-December to Mailin Chen, a businessman from mainland China, and his Vancouver-based company, Chunghwa Investment (Canada) Co. Ltd. Chunghwa Investment was incorporated in March 2010 and has an office on Howe Street in downtown Vancouver. The burst of activity is due primarily to wealthy Chinese, some of whom live in Canada but keep or earn money overseas, and others in China who are looking to buy abroad. They are motivated by conditions such as low interest rates and the Canadian dollar’s decline against the Chinese yuan, which is linked to the U.S. dollar and is up 18 per cent over the past 18 months.

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