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Here’s how the final quarter of 2018 is shaping up for the Canadian housing market





Photo: James Bombales

With just a few weeks remaining in the final quarter of 2018, it’s time to consider how the Canadian housing market is faring as we speed towards 2019.

After a warmer period in the summer and early fall, the market seems to be entering a cooler patch, as higher interest rates weigh on some of the country’s hottest markets.

For a closer look at what the final three months of the year will look like for the Canadian housing market, Livabl has rounded up the latest expert commentary, to keep you in the know.

National price growth is slipping

Canada continued its downward slide in global price rankings last quarter, falling to number 44 on property consultancy Knight Frank’s 57-city price index.

The report cited the the introduction of foreign-buyer taxes in BC and Ontario, stricter mortgage qualification rules and rising interest rates as factors in the country’s falling status.

“Of those countries where a rate rise has taken place in 2018, a number have a significant gap between their strongest and weakest performing city,” reads a Knight Frank release from last quarter.

Of course, the cooling activity numbers are music to the ears of policy makers, who were hoping that a new mortgage stress test and foreign-buyer taxes would help to balance the formerly red hot Toronto and Vancouver markets.

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The Toronto market is cooling

November brought another month of falling home sales to the Toronto housing market. Sales were down 14.7 percent year-over-year, while dipping 3.4 percent month-over-month.
But, as sales flag, listings are also down, creating a slight upward pressure on home prices. The average selling price of a Toronto region home was up 3.5 percent year-over-year to $788,345, while condo prices jumped 7.5 percent.

“Home types with lower average price points have been associated with stronger rates of price growth over the past few months,” writes Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board director of market analysis, in a statement.

Mercer believes the strength of the Toronto condo market lies in the city’s deteriorating affordability — more and more buyers are considering the less pricey housing type, after being pushed out of the expensive low-rise market.

Household debt levels might mean a delay in interest rate hikes

Steadily rising interest rates have been on the Bank of Canada’s agenda for months, but high household debt levels might cause the Bank to reconsider its next hike, according to Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics.

“Households are even more vulnerable to higher interest rate(s) than we had previously thought,” writes Brown, in his most recent note. “In that environment, the Bank of Canada’s plan to raise interest rates repeatedly could be a serious policy mistake.”

Brown is referring to data released by Statistics Canada, which found that Canadians’ savings rate dropped to just 1.4 percent of their incomes in 2018, the lowest level in over 10 years.

The low number — which suggests that Canadian households could be in a vulnerable position when it comes to their debt loads — may mean the BoC holds off on its next rate hike.
“The Bank will ultimately be forced to reverse course next year, [and reduce rates],” he concludes.


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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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