Breathing new life into cities post-COVID-19

New guide shows how planners can revive urban centres by shifting focus of vacant spaces from commercial to cultural

Breathing new life into cities post-COVID-19In the wake of economic fallout from COVID-19, urban centres could see a sharp increase in abandoned spaces as some businesses are forced to close. But vacant space doesn’t have to sit idle, according to a research associate with the University of Alberta’s Wirth Institute. If managed properly, it could spark a cultural revival of sorts,…

Home is where the heart is – and where the costs can pile up

When it comes to owning a home versus renting, you can’t just compare the amount of rent you would pay to the amount of a mortgage payment

Home is where the heart is – and where the costs can pile upShould I buy a home or rent? It’s a common question but the answer isn’t as simple you may think – it totally depends on your situation, since there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It’s usually better to own an asset that’s likely to go up in value than to rent an asset that’s…

Vancouver’s absurd housing market shuts out millennials

Is the affordability crisis – and the lack of government intervention – a metaphor for something much worse?

Vancouver’s absurd housing market shuts out millennialsI want to describe Vancouver’s awful housing market as a metaphor for something else. I’ll reveal the ‘something else’ later in the column. For now, let’s just stick with Vancouver, the city I grew up in. When I was a little boy, our Dunbar neighbourhood had a broad cross-section of residents. Our family’s cleaning lady…

Canadian economy will stall in 2020

The next two years will probably bring feeble increases in GDP, in line with 2019’s uninspiring performance. Job creation is likely to decelerate

Canadian economy will stall in 2020As the clock winds down on 2019, it’s time to ponder what the coming year may have in store for the Canadian economy. To provide some context, 2019 hasn’t been a great year for the economy, with inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by around 1.6 per cent. This was less than growth in both…

Do you need mortgage insurance?

It depends. As with all financial planning questions, no one answer fits every situation

Do you need mortgage insurance?“Did I need to take the insurance the bank sold me when I got my mortgage? Do I need mortgage insurance at all?” C.P. wrote and asked. I’m often asked this and the answer is usually the same: That depends. As with all financial planning questions, no one answer fits every situation. The simple answer in…

Village launched in Calgary for homeless vets

ATCO Village, a Homes for Heroes initiative, features 15 tiny homes, a resource centre, counsellor’s office, family suite and community gardens

Village launched in Calgary for homeless vetsThe first Homes For Heroes village, a housing initiative for homeless Canadian Forces veterans, has launched in Calgary. ATCO Village, in southeast Calgary, features 15 tiny homes, a resource centre, counsellor’s office, family suite and community gardens. Officials say a tiny home provides veterans with privacy, a sense of security, peer-to-peer support and the ability…

Calgary, Edmonton lead major markets for housing affordability

RBC report shows the proportion of pre-tax household income that would be required to buy a home across the country

Calgary, Edmonton lead major markets for housing affordabilityA new report by RBC Economics shows that Calgary and Edmonton are the most affordable housing markets of major centres in the country. The bank’s Housing Trends and Affordability report indicates that the two Alberta cities have the lowest percentage share of income a household would need to cover homeownership costs. The RBC Housing Affordability…

A clear-eyed look at the first-time home buyers aid program

Robert McLister, managing editor of Rates.ca, talks about the pitfalls of the government program and why fewer Canadians are likely to take part than anticipated

A clear-eyed look at the first-time home buyers aid programRobert McLister is managing editor at Rates.ca. What is Rates.ca? McLister: Rates.ca compares insurance, mortgages and credit cards from dozens of companies across Canada. By juxtaposing numerous providers, it's easier for consumers to quickly compare terms and find the best prices. How does the new down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers work? McLister: The…

Canada’s multifamily housing market robust: report

Vacancy rates below 10-year average, rents on the rise: CBRE

Canada’s multifamily housing market robust: reportCanada’s multifamily housing market is the most robust it has ever been, , according to CBRE’s new Canadian Multifamily Mid-Year Update. Apartment buildings are practically full from coast to coast and rental rates are at or near 10-year highs in almost every market, according to CBRE. The commercial real estate firm’s report said the national…

Making home buying and selling as painless as possible

Ryan Mracek of Keylo wants the online realtor referral service to be the place consumers go to get unbiased, data-based real estate advice

Making home buying and selling as painless as possibleRyan Mracek is owner of Keylo. What is Keylo and what does it do? Mracek: Keylo is Canada’s largest realtor referral service. We use an evidence-based approach to find the best realtor to buy or sell your home for free. We put the odds of success in your favour in an industry notorious for holding…
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