B.C. unveils ‘bold’ housing, child care plans, hikes employer, real estate taxes

B.C. unveils ‘bold’ housing, child care plans, hikes employer, real estate taxes
VICTORIA — British Columbia moved to ease the province’s housing crisis Tuesday with a budget that introduces a new tax on property speculators, higher taxes on foreign homebuyers and plans to create 114,000 affordable housing units over the next decade. Finance Minister Carole James said the tax measures are part of the government’s aim to improve housing affordability in markets where... Read More

Canadian producers buoyant about 2018 as duties expected keep prices high

Canadian producers buoyant about 2018 as duties expected keep prices high
MONTREAL — Softwood lumber duties aren’t dampening the spirits of Canadian lumber producers as strong demand from rising U.S. housing starts and tight supply is expected to keep prices high throughout 2018. The number of U.S. housing starts beat expectations by surpassing 1.33 million in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, with single family starts increasing 7.6 per cent. Housing permits approached 1.4 million. Conifex... Read More

Home sales fall across Canada to reach their lowest level in 3 years: CREA

Home sales fall across Canada to reach their lowest level in 3 years: CREA
Canadian home sales fell 14.5 per cent between December and January, marking the lowest sales level in three years as the housing market was hit last month by a double whammy of tighter mortgage rules and lending rate hikes. Data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association Thursday suggested that January activity was down in three-quarters of all local markets and virtually all major urban... Read More

Weston family’s Choice Properties buying Canadian REIT for $3.9 billion

Weston family’s Choice Properties buying Canadian REIT for $3.9 billion
TORONTO — The Weston family is poised to create Canada’s largest real estate investment trust through a $3.9-billion deal for its publicly traded Choice Properties REIT to buy Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust. The combination of Choice Properties, which counts Loblaw as its principal tenant and largest unitholder, and CREIT will create a company with a diversified portfolio of 752... Read More

What renters need to know about Ontario’s new tenancy lease agreements

What renters need to know about Ontario’s new tenancy lease agreements
TORONTO — Ontarians fed up with battling their landlord over contentious terms they didn’t realize were hidden in the fine print of their lease will soon be getting some reprieve. On April 30, it will become mandatory for most residential landlords to use a 13-page standardized lease agreement, recently unveiled by the provincial government in hopes of protecting tenants from being tricked by lengthy agreements rife with illegal clauses... Read More

New mortgage rules sending borrowers down the credit ladder to alt. lenders

New mortgage rules sending borrowers down the credit ladder to alt. lenders
TORONTO — Mortgage brokers say the borrower rejection rate from large banks and traditional monoline mortgage lenders has gone up as much as 20 per cent after Canada’s banking regulator imposed a new stress test for home buyers who don’t need mortgage insurance. As a result, alternative lenders are seeing an uptick in business as brokers increasingly direct home buyers toward borrowing options... Read More

Condos, townhomes in high demand in Metro Vancouver, real estate board says

Condos, townhomes in high demand in Metro Vancouver, real estate board says
VANCOUVER — The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says demand continues to be high for condominiums and townhomes in the region, but less so for detached properties. The board says 1,818 homes sold in January — up 19.4 per cent from the same time last year, but down 9.8 per cent from December 2017. However, townhouse and condo sales were above the 10-year... Read More

Google’s AI push comes with plenty of people problems

Google’s AI push comes with plenty of people problems
MENLO PARK, Calif. — Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently declared that artificial intelligence fueled by powerful computers was more important to humanity than fire or electricity. Yet the search giant increasingly has to deal with messy people problems. It has vowed to employ thousands of human checkers just to catch rogue YouTube posters, Russian bots and other purveyors of unsavoury content. And... Read More

Toronto home sales expected to slip, but average prices forecast to climb

Toronto home sales expected to slip, but average prices forecast to climb
TORONTO — Canada’s largest real estate board predicted a slower year ahead for Toronto’s housing market after it overheated in 2017 and sent home prices surging. In a preview of its annual forecast, the Toronto Real Estate Board said it expects home sales this year to slip to somewhere between 85,000 and 95,0000 transactions, slightly lower than 2017 when there... Read More

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data
OTTAWA — The economy’s impressive run prompted the Bank of Canada to raise its trend-setting interest rate Wednesday for the third time since last summer — but looking ahead it warned of growing uncertainties about NAFTA. The central bank pointed to unexpectedly solid economic numbers as key drivers behind its decision to hike the rate to 1.25 per cent, up from one per cent. The increase followed hikes in... Read More