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Here’s what November has in store for the Toronto housing market





Scarcity new single family homes GTA

Photo: James Bombales

As we near the end of the year, the Toronto region’s housing market seems to be continuing its slow but steady upwards trajectory, with both sales and prices inching upwards month-over-month.

Still, an interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada last week has left some wondering how the market will perform in the coming month.

For a closer look at what November has in store for the area, Livabl has rounded up the latest industry commentary, to keep you in the know.

The new condo market is staying strong

Last quarter, GTA new condo sales grew 4 percent year-over-year, the third highest Q3 sales volume in 10 years, according to a report from real estate research firm Urbanation, released this week.

That’s down 46 percent from Q3 2017’s record 25,839 sales, but it’s further proof that the market has remained strong despite rising interest rates and stricter mortgage rules imposed earlier this year.

“The average sold price for all actively marketing projects in Q3 increased 11 percent annually to $745 per-square-foot, with asking prices for unsold units up 19 percent to an average of $972 per-square-foot,” writes Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation, in the report.

Prices are on their way up

And it’s not just the new condo market that’s projected to do well. Many experts believe Toronto has largely adjusted to demand-based policies, including the Ontario government’s Fair Housing Plan, that took a serious bite out of the market in the spring of 2017.

Royal LePage has predicted a 2 percent price bump for the GTA in the final quarter of 2018, a trend that it says will likely continue in the new year.

“There will likely be continued price growth in the GTA, backed by strong household formation in the area,” Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, tells Livabl.

Buyers are turning to private mortgage lenders

Private lenders made up 20 percent of mortgage refinancing deals in Toronto in Q2 of 2018, up 67 percent from two years ago, according to a joint-report from online brokerage Realosophy and real estate data provider Teranet released this week.

“Private lenders serve as the lender of last resort for most home buyers and owners,” writes Realosophy president John Pasalis, in the report. “People who don’t qualify under a traditional bank’s strict lending guidelines can borrow money from the private market where the stress tests don’t apply.”

One of the issues with the rise in private loans is the risk it poses to homeowners.

“The one problem with borrowing from private lenders is that the interest rates they charge are much higher than traditional banks — interest rates can range from 7 to 20 percent, depending on the property and the borrower,” writes Pasalis.


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5 DIY Home Improvements for the COVID-19 Lockdown





The global coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people around the world, to spend more time in their homes this year than they have spent in a long time. As people sit around day after day within the confines of their home, it becomes easier to notice all the areas of the house that need some work. Fortunately, everyone can now afford the extra free time to do the home renovation project they’ve been putting off for years.

Due to the on-going global health crisis, you may not be able to hire any help for your home improvement project; this means that whatever new project you plan to do around the house, whether it’s repainting the home, or installing floor heating systems, you would have to do it yourself.

Here are some do-it-yourself that you may like to try out.

Upgrade to Smart Home Appliances

It’s 2020, what better year to embrace the future by installing a range of high-tech devices that make life extra easy. For instance, with a smart thermostat, your home’s heating and cooling system can go off on their own when not needed, keeping your electricity bills lower. Other appliances that you can make smart include your lighting, home security, music and more.

Clean out your Garage

Homeserve suggests a garage cleanout as a great home improvement project for this season because cleaning out your garage provides some fresh air, the heavy lifting provides some workout and you feel an enormous sense of accomplishment when it’s done.  What’s more, the day would be far spent by the time you’re done with this project. Cleaning out your garage would require you to sweep out any dirt or debris, and get rid of other useless items that may have been stored there for a long time.

Start a Repainting Project

There’s always room for a fresh coat of paint to make everywhere look more alive, so grab a paintbrush and add some extra character to your home. The good news is that you don’t even have to go out for the paint, you can have it shipped directly to your door. Southlandremodeling suggests that if you had 2019 palette or older in your home, now is the time to embrace the latest colour hues of 2020, that show off a more contemporary style and make your home look more sophisticated.

 Build a Patio

Now is the time where every family would enjoy having a paver patio or an outdoor deck, somewhere to sit and get some fresh air when you’re tired of being cooped up inside all day. First you have to ensure that your home has enough space for a patio and that you have enough skills to handle a hammer and other tools for simple construction.

Next you order your needed materials online and get started. There is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with being able to create an outdoor space that your family can enjoy while being stuck at home.

Install some floor heating systems

Installation of floor heating systems is one of the best home improvement projects that one can get. Many people prefer to hire professionals to do these kinds of installation but if you are up for it, it’s not impossible to do this on a DIY project and get a valuable addition to your home for about half the cost.


There is no reason to continue holding out on your dream DIY home renovation projects, especially now that you have all the time in the world due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Now is the perfect time to transform your home all by yourself!

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13 Montreal Apartments For Rent That Have Breathtaking Outdoor Spaces





With Quebec’s moving day just around the corner, many people are starting to look for a new property to rent. And, now that Montreal real estate activity is back in action, you can start trying to find the perfect space again. And, if you ask me, an apartment that comes with outdoor space is a must when living in the city.

From balconies to shared rooftop spaces, we’re all looking for a place where we can be outdoors. 

Now, more than ever, fresh air is something that we’re all craving. And, with summer coming faster than we think, finding a place with access to the outside is on so many of our checklists. 

Luckily for you, we at MTL Blog have made your job very easy and have gone through listings throughout the city to showcase some of the best rentals, all of which have outdoor spaces. 

Some of these properties offer private balconies while others have surreal rooftops you get access to. Regardless of which one you fall in love with, you’ll be sure to have a summer to remember living in any apartment on this list. 

Get ready for moving day because after looking at these properties, you’re going to be ready to pack your belongings.

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Montreal real-estate market hit hard by pandemic





Like many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the red-hot Montreal real-estate market has suddenly chilled.

After 61 consecutive months of increases, the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area reported a 68-per-cent decrease in residential sales transactions in April 2020 compared with the year-earlier period, according to the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers.

The most recent residential real-estate market statistics for the Montreal area showed 1,890 residential sales transactions were concluded last month. Those figures are based on the real-estate brokers’ Centris provincial database.

Montreal has been hit harder than other Canadian cities by the pandemic, and the drop in sales was seen in all six main areas of the Montreal CMA.

The drop in sales applied to all three property categories. Single-family home sales fell 68 per cent (1,048 transactions): plex sales dropped 67 per cent (161 transactions); and condominium sales tumbled 69 per cent (675 transactions).

Despite the drop in sales, real-estate prices rose in the CMA. The median price of single-family homes increased by nine per cent to reach $360,000, while the median price of condominiums climbed 12 per cent to $289,900.

Compared with April 2019, the median price of plexes (two to five dwellings) increased 10 per cent to $595,000.

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