New research reveals what makes condos sell

Construction and design features matter more to buyers than price or age of properties, engineering researchers find

New research reveals what makes condos sellPhysical features such as construction materials, interior finishes and air conditioning are better determinants of how well a condo sells than price or building age, according to a University of Alberta study looking to pinpoint design-related features that increase the probability of a condo’s sale. “We’re trying to provide a framework through which builders can evaluate…

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…

Growing number of households outsourcing meal preparation

Kitchen stoves could soon be following the sewing machine as unnecessary household appliances

Growing number of households outsourcing meal preparationFor many of us, the kitchen has always been a sacred place in our homes, often referred to as the heart of the home. But kitchens seem to be losing their lustre. An increasing number of condos and apartments are being sold and rented without a stove. In pricey Yorkville, one of Toronto’s most expensive…

CMHC nudging more aggressively into housing market

The risk of housing price declines piles onto the risk CMHC already takes on when insuring mortgages

CMHC nudging more aggressively into housing marketCanada’s federal government will soon participate in the property bubble in a direct, equity-owning way through its new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive. But the merits of the program are questionable. Since the end of the Second World War, it’s been federal government policy to help low-income would-be home buyers via Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.…

Mortgage restrictions force millennials to abandon home ownership

The result has significantly dampened the Canadian economy. Banks, not legislated stress tests, know best who can pay for houses

Mortgage restrictions force millennials to abandon home ownershipAn uproar is brewing over real estate in Canada, fuelled by a misguided attempt to protect willing homebuyers from themselves. Owners see prices declining, while prospective first-time owners find themselves locked out by mandated stress tests. The federal regulator should ease stress-test requirements – if not eliminate them altogether – before they cause further harm…

Federal budget full of puzzling contradictions

With one hand, the government gives. With the other hand, it takes away benefits to taxpayers

Federal budget full of puzzling contradictionsBy Jason Clemens and Jake Fuss The Fraser Institute Commentators have noted the thrown-together nature of the 2019 federal budget released last week. There seem to be several ill-considered initiatives and some parts of the budget openly contradict other government programs and reforms. One of the more prominent contradictions relates to housing policy. In 2016,…
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