Daily Market Update

by Jamie Henry22 May 2015
No need for immediate housing policy shift says Oliver
Finance minister Joe Oliver says that there is no need for the federal government to make any immediate shifts in housing policy. Speaking Thursday at the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit Mr Oliver said that if a need arises the government will act as appropriate. He also paid tribute to the work of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for making homeownership more accessible for more people and dismissed the idea that it may be privatised within the next decade. He acknowledged though that it may become “somewhat less of a player” with private mortgage insurers taking more of the load from the federal agency.
Restrictions on ‘Orientals’ will stay in BC
Covenants restricting ownership of thousands of homes in Metro Vancouver and Victoria almost 100 years ago have been branded racist. The BC government has been urged to remove the documents in the land title registry which state that “no Oriental shall be allowed to purchase the within described property”. The clause was included in 1931 but is now outdated and likely to cause offence but the government says removing the clauses would be too much work. Real estate lawyer Richard Bell told BNN.ca that it needs to be addressed however much work is involved.
Canmore listings increase for the first time in 3 years
The mountain resort town of Canmore is suffering the effects of the downturn in Alberta’s oil sector with a drop in sales, and listings rising. A report from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada shows that April’s sales were down 44 per cent on a year ago but listings were up for the first time since 2012. Prices meanwhile have also increased with the average sale price of $632,000, up 15.5 per cent on a year ago.  Sales of luxury and second-home properties are particularly sluggish and the report notes that properties are taking longer to sell. With Canmore lagging Calgary by around 6 months Sotheby’s expects a slowdown in the fall.
Yellowknife renters should be optimistic of homeownership
A Yellowknife realtor says that despite talk of corrections and bubbles those who are renting in the area could be better off as homeowners. Adrian Bell of Century 21 Prospect Realty told EdgeYK.com that anyone renting a two-bedroom apartment in the city would be better off buying a house. Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Yellowknife was $1,686 according to CMHC figures last October, an annual rise of 1.4 per cent. Supply of homes in the city has increased over the last decade and Mr Bell is optimistic about the market especially as the booming diamond mining industry can offer employment opportunities for those who have lost work in the oil sector. 

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