Real Estate Market Update

May begins at a frantic pace in Vancouver, but is this an overheating market or just part of the globalization of real estate? Property prices help keep consumer confidence high… and is Edmonton ready for a high-speed link to Calgary.

Toronto starts May at frantic pace
House price acceleration in Toronto began May at lightening speed; which may often mean great news for sellers; but for buyers and the market, in general, the news isn’t so hot. The latest figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board show sales volumes up 19.6% compared to the first half of May 2013, and prices are also up with the average cost of a home now up 11.5% in the space of the year at around $663,787.  This could be a sign of the market overheating as there is often a steep rise before a bubble bursts, although the hot market is being driven by low interest rates and taxes. Read the full story.

It’s a global market – not a bubble
Those aforementioned house price increases in Toronto, as in most major cities around the world, are naturally being affected by the increased rate of foreign investment. China, Russia, the Middle East and Latin America all have cash-rich investors looking to buy. It’s a truly global market, but in the New Yorker magazine, James Surowiecki says this means talk of a housing bubble is misplaced as prices are surging because foreign investors are willing to pay over value for properties. Read the full story.

Prices keep us happy
Most Canadian homeowners are upbeat about the state of their finances, with over 40 per cent predicting an increase in the value of their home and the consumer confidence index being at around a four year high. The Bloomberg Nanos Confidence Index is based on a weekly poll and factors including house prices, job security and the economy, as a whole. Read the full story.

Fast track in Alberta
Despite the official line that Alberta does not have the population to support a high-speed railway route between Calgary and Edmonton, the head of a privately funded high-speed rail company says he remains committed to building that line.  Bill Cruickshank of Alberta High-Speed Rail says they've done all the research they need and believe the line can be constructed for about $4 billion and be viable with four million passengers a year. Read the full story.

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