Real Estate Market Update

There’s more evidence of an east-west divide in home prices as one city registers a double-figure hike year on year while others see a drop. A former shoe shop in Halifax is about to get a new spring in its step, and why one Canadian export is juggling with an overseas housing bubble.

Canada’s East-West Divide
A new report shows a significant gap in house prices between the East and West of Canada. The Teranet-National Bank house price index shows year on year, there was a national increase in prices of 4.9, although in 11 of the cities measured, there was a drop. Still, in the West prices are booming, Calgary, for example, has seen a seller-pleasing 10% rise, with Vancouver not far behind. However to the east, Halifax prices were down 3.9% with drops for Montreal and Ottawa too, although there are rises in Toronto and Hamilton. Read the full story.

Calgary Price Rise In April
Along with the impressive year on year jump in prices, the Teranet-National Bank house price index also recorded an above average monthly rise in Calgary during April. The city saw a rise of 1.5%, three times the national average (0.5%) and with some lower mortgage rates and a healthy demand for property; this could be a continuing trend. Read the full story.

Spring Garden Development for Halifax
A new mixed-use development on the site of Halifax’s old Winsbys shoe store is set to get underway in the next two weeks. The retailer closed at the end of February after decades on the street and the building has recently been demolished. It will now be redeveloped as ground-floor commercial space, which already has tenants lined up, and five floors of residential properties. Read the full story.

Our Man in the UK Says No To Interest Rate Hikes
Former governor of the Bank of Canada Mark Carney, now heading up the Bank of England, is resisting interest rate rises in the UK despite the rising house prices. As with much of Canada, the UK has been seeing strong property price increases against a backdrop of history-making low interest rates, but Carney says there needs to be more ‘slack’ in the economy before rates will rise, or there’s a risk of tipping the economy in the wrong direction. Read the full story

A Streetcar With A New Desire?
Toronto’s Streetcar Developments, headed by former accountant Les Mallins, has surprised many by buying a strip club. Well, technically it’s the building they have bought, home of The New Broadview Hotel and Jilly’s club. Mallins says he is unlikely to redevelop as condos, saying instead he wants to give back to the community and “save a beautiful building.” Streetcar has tended to keep a low profile but this project will certainly get them some attention. Read the full story.

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