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Saturday, July 4, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Did the pandemic crush commercial real estate? We asked a market expert

As the city slowly reopens, the streets remain eerily quiet and the office buildings unsettlingly empty. It seems the short-term shift to working from home has proved that employees can be productive from their home offices. Which presents an important question: do companies still need commercial office space? We asked Roelof (Roo-lof) van Dijk, a real estate analytics expert, to offer his insights on the present—and future—of Toronto’s market.
Tell us about your job. I’m the head Canadian analyst at CoStar, a real estate analytics company. Basically, we do research to figure out the state of the country’s commercial real estate supply. I’ve been watching Toronto’s market for the past 15 years. We look at what’s out there, how many square feet, the age of the building, number of tenants, what type of building is being listed. We collect all that information for real estate brokers and investors, who use it to help their clients find ...

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Saturday, July 4, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Resale housing stats are closing the year-over-year gap

Total sales of homes on the Calgary MLS System in June are closing the year-over-year gap that occurred in May.


To the end of May 2020, sales were down 44 percent from May 2019; as of June 16, 2020, the Calgary Real Estate Board’s website showed sales at 808 homes, compared to 957 sales to June 16, 2019, a 16 percent decrease.


In a month-to-month comparison, the average number of sales per day in June 2020 is 50 homes, compared to 35 sales per day last month, putting June on track to significantly surpass May’s total sales. The average sales price is also showing a month-over-month increase, from $438,804 in May to $462,421 up to June 16.


New listings to June 16 were down from the end of May this year, to 1,887 from 2,420.


Single-family homes sales were down 15 percent on June 16 this year compared to last June. Sales in this sector to the end of May were down 44 percent from May last year. On a June-to-June basis, the average sales price is holding rela ...

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Friday, July 3, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

New CMHC lending regulations kick in for home buyers

ALGARY -- If you have money saved for a down payment on a home, there’s no need to worry.
If you’re looking at buying a home, and want to borrow money from a line of credit, think again.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation made changes to its lending standards last month, which went into effect  July 1.



The organization will not treat non-traditional sources of down payment as equity.
“This really forces the consumer to think twice or be more diligent about what is truly affordable and maybe force everybody to take a hard look at what is secure income in the future,” said Evan Yuan, branch manager of Island Savings in Victoria.
“If you are already on the cusp of being able to afford or not afford it; this could be the straw that breaks (the) camel's back.”
Would-be homebuyers' qualifying credit scores must be at least 680, up from the previous 600.
At the time the changes were announced, CMHC says the global pandemic has h ...

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Friday, July 3, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Buying or selling your home right now? Here's what the real estate landscape looks like these days

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March. Subsequently, the number of home sales in Canada fell sharply as social distancing measures were put in place, open houses got cancelled and fewer new listings became available. 
Three months on, the Canadian real estate market is no longer in free fall — sales and listings numbers are rising (though both are down significantly compared to last year), and prices have remained fairly steady — but there continues to be a lot of uncertainty for both buyers and sellers. While bidding wars are still taking place in many markets, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) predicts that prices will fall between nine and 18 per cent this year, and sales and prices might not be back to pre-pandemic levels even by the end of 2022. 
If you're looking to buy or sell residential property this year, you may already know that it's a quickly m ...

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Thursday, July 2, 2020   /   by Sergey Korostensky

Creating new taxes could allow Calgary to limit property tax hikes

Council asked and an independent task force has delivered.
Last year, council created a financial task force to help it come up with ways to boost Calgary's economy and to give it new revenue options.
The panel's 35 recommendations cover a wide range of ideas. But some members of council are focused on suggestions of new tax powers.





While some see the possibilities for reducing the city's reliance on property taxes as a way of raising revenues, other council members fear Calgarians would just pay more money.
In the past, economic downturns in Calgary were generally short lived but the city's economy has been buffeted by a series of shocks since 2014.
Council has spent more than $200 million in tax rebates to help business property owners cope with the crash in downtown property assessments due to high vacancies.
Last year, council voted to shift some of the business property tax load to residential accounts.  
So despite a tax freeze this year ...

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