1. National Housing Starts Down in July
Canadian housing starts fell in July from June, as construction of multiple units – typically condos – fell 13.3 per cent after an unexpectedly large gain in June, data from the national housing agency showed on Tuesday. The report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp showed the seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts declined to 198,395 in July, down from a revised 218,326 in June. Economists had forecast 195,000 starts in July.
2. Tory and Melanson weigh in on land supply
Toronto Mayor John Tory wants to free up unused public land for housing developments in a bid to get more supply into the tight market. In an interview on BNN, Tory said the municipal government could expedite the approval process for such projects, but only if other levels of government are willing to sell land to developers. “If the other governments wanted to do something that would be really helpful at this stage of the game, it would be to answer the call we have made for them to do what we’re doing, which is to put up public land that otherwise isn’t needed for any other purpose and put it into the affordable housing pool,” he said. PropertyGuys.com’s own, Walter Melanson, commented on Tory’s statements later in the day.
3. Sales Down, Prices Up in Vancouver
The British Columbia Real Estate Association says home sales have come off the boil in many regions of B.C., but for now, prices continue to soar. The real estate association says the Multiple Listing Service recorded 9,900 residential units changed hands in July, a 3.4 per cent decline compared with 2015. The association reports that costs have not immediately followed the trend. It says the average residential price of a home on the Multiple Listing Service climbed 9.1 per cent last month compared with July 2015, reaching $663,411. Total sales dollar volume was also up 5.4 per cent over the same period to $6.57 billion.
4. Agents Behaving Badly
A 73-year-old man whose wife died less than three weeks earlier was crushed to get a pitch for his business attached to a sympathy card from two Metro Vancouver real estate agents, his outraged daughter says. “It absolutely devastated him,” Launi Smith Bowie said. “It’s absolutely disgusting and misguided in the worst way.” Business cards from two agents with HomeLife Benchmark Realty in White Rock, belonging to Linda Shaver and Leanne deSouza, were included. The card her father received read: “May loving memories be your constant comfort and fill your heart with peace.” A hand-written note added: “Dear Mr. Smith. So sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. Please let us know if we can help in any way with your Real Estate needs when the time is right.” Bowie feels that at best, the two real estate agents displayed extremely poor judgment. “On what planet does someone think this is ethical or even remotely acceptable?” Bowie said. “They probably think it was just an innocuous marketing plan, but it’s not.”
5. Moving On Up (to the private sector)
Tim Hudak is quitting provincial politics two years after being ousted as Progressive Conservative leader over the drubbing his party suffered in the 2014 election. Hudak said Tuesday, he will resign as MPP for Niagara West-Glanbrook to become chief executive of the Ontario Real Estate Association, an industry lobby group. Hudak has been a staple of Niagara politics since he won his first election at age 27 in June 1995 for the then-Niagara South riding on a Mike Harris popularity wave. Hudak will be resigning his seat on Sept. 16. He said his last official duty will be at the annual chicken and ribs community barbecue the day before. The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 64,240 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 40 real estate boards throughout the province.
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Gavin is a media relations consultant and news junkie based out of Collingwood, Ontario.