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From 10% rent drops in Montreal, to $7-psf Toronto apartments, here’s how Canada’s rental market looked in January 2019

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Photo: Kurt Bauschardt/Flickr

What a difference location can make in terms of rents.

Look no further than the January 2019 rent report from rental-listing website Rentals.ca.

According to the report, one bedroom apartments in Montreal are going for $1,081, down 16 percent from a year ago; meantime, the average rent per square foot in Toronto’s Entertainment District was an eye-popping $7 per square foot.

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These strikingly disparate numbers might not be what they seem, though, suggests Ben Myers, the report’s author and president of Bullpen Consulting, which advises real estate developers.

In the case of Montreal, it may just be a matter of the types of listings that were included. Myers has made an effort to remove furnished and short-term rentals from the data. But with roughly 10,000 listings to pore over, it’s possible some of those squeaked through in previous months, inflating the older data. It’s also possible a number of listings from a large landlord with property on the outskirts of the city were added.

For the off-the-charts rents in the Entertainment District, Myers has another explanation. “It was recently reported that a significant number of units, specifically this high-tourist area, are being listed on Airbnb, reducing the potential stock of rental units and putting further upward pressure on rental rates,” he writes in the report.







On a national level, renting got more expensive for prospective tenants this month, though as expected, prices varied considerably from market to market. Landlords across Canada were asking an average of $1,776 per month in rent for properties on Rentals.ca in January, up 1.3 percent from December 2018.

Toronto remained the most expensive market for renters this month, though rents didn’t move from the previous month. The one-bedroom average was $2,135, while the two-bedroom was $2,577.

Two-bedroom asking rents in Vancouver weren’t far off at $2,541, representing a 1-percent decline compared to a month prior. At the same time, the one-bedroom rent in Vancouver sunk 8 percent to $1,768.

The cheapest one-bedroom rents were in Fort St. John, BC, where they averaged $771. Quebec City offered renters the lowest average for two-bedroom apartments $955, up 3 percent month-over-month.

While Calgary’s ownership housing market has been battered by lower oil prices and the ensuing job losses that came as a result, the outlook is brighter for the city’s rental market.

One-bedroom rents were listed for $1,270, a month-over-month increase of 4 percent, although two-bedroom rents dipped 2 percent to $1,448.

“A pick-up in international immigration, and stronger household formation is expected to boost demand for rental accomodation, as a flat ownership housing market has not created a sense of urgency to buy among younger residents,” notes Myers. “The mortgage stress test has also reduced mortgage credit availability for would-be, first-time buyers.”

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Covid-19 altering Canadians’ housing needs: RBC

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Amid a pandemic-driven shift in demand as well as a surge in new listings, the Canadian housing market remained strong in August, RBC Economics reports.

Citing preliminary data from local real estate boards, RBC said that markets in many areas of the country remained “red hot” in August.

“But the bigger story might be that Covid-19 is now prompting more people to sell,” the report said, noting that new listings surged in urban centres such as Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

“We think this in part reflects the pandemic altering the housing needs of many current owners — who are opting to move, something they might not have considered just a few months ago,” it said.

RBC noted that the Toronto market saw new listings jump 57% year over year in August, powering a 40% increase in home sales.

Sales were up more than 20% from July’s near-record levels, it said.

“Clearly, [that] market has fired on all cylinders this summer, making up for the major disruption caused by Covid-19 in the spring,” RBC said.

The primary drivers of sales activity and higher prices were low-rise homes, including single-detached homes, RBC reported.

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RBC’s customer base makes it a favourite of cyber attacks – security experts

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Royal Bank of Canada is among the most targeted institutions by cyber attacks due to its broad customer base, according to an analysis by Palo Alto Networks.

From December 2019 up to present, cybercriminals have been establishing malicious pages disguised as websites by major companies to conduct phishing attempts and other similarly invasive attacks.

RBC ranked third in the most spoofed domains list, more than streaming giant Netflix and professional networking portal LinkedIn. PayPal and Apple ranked first and second, respectively.

“When you look at the broad customer base that RBC has, it makes sense, especially when you compare it to some of the other big names,” said Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat research at Palo Alto Networks. “These attackers are going after [domains] where they can make the most money, so they’re focusing on these organizations that have really broad customer bases because that really ups the number of potential victims.”

In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Miller-Osborn outlined what consumers should be looking out for to filter our fraudulent emails.

“Typically, the ones that are going to be scam-related are trying to invoke some sort of emotional response,” Miller-Osborn said. “So they might say something like ‘Someone tried to change your password, click here to say whether or not that was you,’ or ‘Click here to confirm this charge on your statement,’ or ‘We’ve locked your account for strange activity.’ Essentially, things that will make people anxious and will make them want to click first, and not take a step back and pause to think, ‘Is that really the kind of email that my bank would usually send?’”

Other red flags include misspellings and basic grammar errors in the message, especially the sender line.

“Attackers try to closely mimic domain names, so you might see the number zero substituted for ‘o’, or a one substituted for the letter ‘l’. Little thing like an extra ‘s’ or ‘c’ in the name. These things, people tend to glance over very quickly and not notice.”

Miller-Osborn said that these measures should be done in concert with the most effective step in deflecting a spoofing attempt: Calling the bank and asking them if the email that they supposedly sent was legitimate.

 

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Queen confirms new home at Windsor Castle with Buckingham Palace for ‘selected events’

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The Queen will be returning to Windsor Castle in a matter of weeks, with Buckingham Palace only used for ‘select events’.

Her Majesty and her husband Duke of Edinburgh will first spend time privately at Sandringham when they leave Balmoral next week, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

She had been spending summer at her retreat in Aberdeenshire amid speculation that she would not return to the capital amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson said: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will depart Balmoral Castle during the week commencing September 14 to spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate.

“Subject to the finalisation of the autumn programme, Her Majesty’s intention is to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace for selected audiences and engagements.

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