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Toronto and Vancouver see weakness in luxury homes market

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Realty brokerage Re/Max recently revealed that sales of luxury homes in Toronto and Vancouver have dropped this year due to the new taxes on foreign buyers, as reported by The Canadian Press.

The two of the country’s most expensive cities saw sales of single-detached homes priced from $1 million to $2 million decline 35% in 2017.

The same trend was observed in the $2-million-to-$3-million range. Sales of single-detached homes dropped 50% and 22% in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively.

Homes that were sold for over $3 million, meanwhile, declined 44% in Toronto and 45% in Vancouver.

Providing an explanation for this shift, Re/Max stated that homebuyers’ behaviors have been affected by the introduction of foreign buyers taxes in Ontario and British Columbia (BC), together with higher property transfer taxes and school taxes on BC homes over $3 million.

“All the new rules that the government implemented, along with the foreign buyers tax and the new lending regulations, it all just put a crunch on the most expensive part of the market,” noted Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice-President and Regional Director of Re/Max Integra’s Ontario-Atlantic business.

Alexander added that there is a possibility that luxury homeowners chose to delay putting up their properties for sale this year because of some worrying signs in the market.

Meanwhile, sales in the low-end of the luxury condo market hiked, thanks to millennials who are using inheritances to purchase homes as well as baby boomers planning to downsize.

Boomers are more inclined to purchase condos because this type of home is more likely to give them more value for their money, especially in the major cities.

“Most of them have put all their kids in school. They don’t need so much space anymore. Their single-detached home is worth a fortune and now they can buy a really nice luxury condo that is not as big in a really great urban area where they have access to a more urbanized lifestyle, more action,” Alexander explained.

For reference, condo sales in the $1-million-to-$2-million range climbed 2% year-over year in Toronto and 6% in Vancouver. Calgary and Victoria both saw their condo sales within the same price range increase by 3%, while Victoria sales saw a 19% gain.

The report also revealed that the most expensive condominium sold in Toronto in so far this year was valued at $11.5 million. On the other hand, the priciest condo sold in Vancouver so far this year was $11.7 million. Both of the figures recorded were higher than last year.

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Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre reopens for Mooseheads’ season opener

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The home of the Halifax Mooseheads will reopen next month to host the team’s season home opener, although the experience will be different as a result of COVID-19.

The Scotiabank Centre will reopen on Oct. 3, after its reopening framework was reviewed by Nova Scotia’s public health and occupational health and safety departments, the company operating the centre and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) team announced on Tuesday.

“We’re thrilled to be reopening and welcoming our fans back to Scotiabank Centre,” said Carrie Cussons, the president and CEO of Scotiabank Centre.

The centre will be following all standard health and safety guidelines related to the wearing of non-medical masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing and contact tracing, the company said.

But there will be additional protections put in place as well in order to limit any possible spread of the novel coronavirus.

Scotiabank Centre will be divided into separate zones of up to 200 people with set washrooms, concessions and entrance/exit points for each zone.

The organization also announced that tickets will be sold in groups of up to 10 within the same bubble, respecting the province’s guidelines on gatherings.

Fans and attendees will be required to wear a non-medical mask at all times, except when they are consuming food or beverages, the Scotiabank Centre said.

Tickets will also be mobile-only in order to minimize close contact between individuals.

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Candidate slate set for Halifax election as mayoral race grows to three candidates

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The slate of candidates for the Halifax Regional Municipality’s upcoming election has been finalized and it’s now officially a three-horse race for the municipality’s mayoral seat.

Incumbent mayor Mike Savage will face off against Coun. Matt Whitman, the current representative for the Hammonds Plains–St. Margarets, and political newcomer Max Taylor.

Whitman and Savage have previously announced their plans to run but Taylor’s inclusion in the race was a last minute surprise.

On his campaign’s Facebook page, the 22-year-old says his platform is “simple”

“Get out and vote. I don’t care who you vote for, I care that you vote,” he writes.

One of the more notable aspects of Taylor’s presence in the race is his status on social media platform Tik Tok.

He’s built a following of more than 600,000 people on the platform and his videos have generated more than 20.6 million likes.

What that will do for his candidacy is up in the air, but he’s sure to bring a youthful energy to the process.

 

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Here’s what Toronto’s new 57-storey skyscraper will look like

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The corner of Bay and Harbour may be getting a new 57-storey office tower perched atop the heritage Toronto Harbour Commission Building.

Updated plans for The Hub — a skyscraper from multinational corporation Oxford Properties — have been submitted, and if approved, will see a building designed by London-based firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to 30 Bay Street.

The project near Toronto’s waterfront which was initially proposed in 2018 will add around 1.4 million square feet of office space to the neighbourhood. The building’s west side will also be directly connected to The PATH network.

The Hub will also sit overtop (but only lightly touching) its next door neighbour: the six-storey Toronto Harbour Commission Building, which was built in 1917.

Nicknamed “The T”, the historic building was sold to Oxford in 2017 for $96 million. Fun fact: The T is also reportedly haunted by the ghost of a janitor.

It’s not entirely clear how the interior of the old Commission Building will play into The Hub’s commercial workspace, but the design of the 57-storey building shows the strategic use of four columns to allow for distance between the main building and The T.

The two buildings will be connected by a “finely detailed glazed atrium.”

Windows will stretch from floor to ceiling in the four-storey lobby, which will be home to restaurants, retail spaces, meeting and event spaces, and maybe a fitness facility.

Floors five to eight of the podium will see larger office floors.

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