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…

Mortgage misery awaits too many Canadian families

At the heart of the COVID-19 crisis sits the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. and its low-income borrowers

Mortgage misery awaits too many Canadian familiesThe shutdowns ordered by Canadian governments to slow the spread of COVID-19 have caused unemployment to leap. And put mortgages in peril. Many of the millions of workers laid off have been low-income and lower-middle-income earners. They’re just the sort of people who qualify for home mortgages insured by the federal Canada Mortgage and Housing…

Canadian homebuyers remain hopeful despite challenging market conditions

Canadian homebuyers remain hopeful despite challenging market conditionsAlthough real estate is what economists call a 'lagging indicator', it appears that the first signs of a real slowdown are starting to be felt, especially in Canada's largest housing markets. After the initial response to news about the spread of Covid-19, which entailed drops in traffic on real estate platforms like Point2 Homes and…

Moving? Here are some practical vehicle options

From pickup trucks to minivans, what vehicle to rent, beg, borrow or even buy when you're moving - depending on the size of your home

Moving? Here are some practical vehicle optionsOn the fun scale, moving is right up there with looking for a job, root canal and shovelling snow off the driveway. And it’s made even worse if you don’t have the right vehicle (not to mention friends who have suddenly all left town). Borrowing your buddy’s hatchback and cramming it full of your stuff…

Have island, will rusticate

Interest in owning islands is on the rise. Are people seeking the quiet life or simply trying to escape societal woes?

Have island, will rusticateBorn and raised to the age of eight in the largest, noisiest, sharpest-elbowed city in Canada, I gave no thought to the pastoral life of country folk I’d occasionally see on CBC television during the supper hour. All that began to change in 1971 when my father managed to acquire a 10-acre piece of land…

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…

We need a big-picture perspective on house prices and mortgages

Taking on more debt is not a good thing. In fact, it could be devastating for the Canadian economy

We need a big-picture perspective on house prices and mortgagesThe future, when it arrives, isn’t always what we imagined. Technology hasn’t yet brought us vacation trips to the moon or Mars. But it has brought us Twitter, where even world leaders communicate in 140 character blocks. Does this affect our brains? Can we no longer hold more than one simple idea in our heads…

Cleaning up Vancouver’s “rat’s nest of rot”

Single-family houses in the city are now deposit boxes. How did we get here and how can we restore balance?

Cleaning up Vancouver’s “rat’s nest of rot”It’s time for broad review of the dirty money games played in the casinos and on the high streets of the raincoast’s ‘capital' city. B.C. Attorney General David Eby recently reported that upwards of $2 billion in dirty money laundering has occurred in Vancouver casinos and luxury real estate over the past year. He characterized…