Daily Market Update

Are house prices sustainable?... Edmonton condo hits new heights… Vancouver’s beautiful but vacant homes… And should more Canadian universities teach real estate?


Are the house prices sustainable?

With little or no cooling of house prices in our major markets economists continue to question whether the current situation is sustainable. The main issue is that incomes are not keeping pace with price rises so although interest rates are still low we will reach a point at which buyers can’t get mortgages because of their income or are put off taking on such a big loan as we get closer to rate rises. Looking at a summary of average selling prices across Canada, from local real estate board data, highlights the heat that continues in the market (percentage figures are annual increases to August 2014):

Toronto - $546,303 for all home types; up 8.9 per cent.

Calgary - $545,238 for single-family homes; up 5.42 per cent

                $332,006 for a condo; up 11.48 per cent

Vancouver - $631,600 for all homes (benchmark figure); up 5 per cent

Ottawa - $360,214 for all homes; up 3.4 per cent.

     $263,996 for condos; up 2.7 per cent.


Edmonton condo hits new heights

A new condo unit has broken the city’s record for an MLS sale. The 3,125 square foot, three-bedroom apartment has sold for $2.625 million. The new owner will have floor to ceiling panoramic views of the city from their 26th floor location but they will have to wait to enjoy it as the Symphony Tower has yet to begin construction. The building has many high-value units and is currently 40 per cent sold. The previous Edmonton MLS sale record was in 2007 when a unit sold for $2.5 million.  Read the full story.


Vancouver’s ‘beautiful but vacant’ homes

A blog on Tumblr highlights the many attractive properties in Vancouver that are currently sitting vacant. Beautiful Empty Homes is a crowd-sourced project that aims to focus on the many homes in the city that are under-utilized. The blog asks residents to submit photos of empty homes in their neighbourhood and people seem happy to do so, concerned about vacant homes providing homes for rats as well as a fire risk and overgrown gardens. The most serious side to the website is a call for empty homes to be used to house homeless families, students and others who may not be able to find accommodation in the city. Read the full story.


Do more Canadian universities need to teach real estate?

A new undergraduate real estate program at Ryerson University in Toronto this fall brings the total number of similar programs in Canada to three. An article in the New York Times asks why there aren’t more, given that our US neighbours have 70 such programs. The article says that even given the population differences, there should be more in Canada. Guelph in Ottawa and the University of British Columbia are the other two establishments to offer the formal courses, which include general business education with a real estate focus. Read the full story.


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