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Top Real Estate News of the Week: April 17 to 23

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Another week has come to a close, and, from April 17 to 23, real estate news continued to take our desktops by storm.

In fact, you may have struggled to keep up with it all.

And, let’s be real: everything — *gestures vaguely* — is a lot right now, so there’s a fair chance you don’t want to spend your weekend doom-scrolling, trying to catch up on all the latest stories about what’s up, what’s down, and what’s not budging.

In fact, we wouldn’t recommend it.

To make your day a little easier, we’ve gathered up this week’s top articles and assembled them below. Consider this place your real estate news digest, where you can get the picture before you go outside to get some (socially distanced) fresh air.

With that, we’ll get right to it. Here are your top “storeys” for the week:

1. Thought the Feds Were Going to Help Slow Canada’s Red-Hot Housing Market? Think Again

On Monday, the Liberal government released its widely anticipated federal budget, following the grave economic disruption caused by the COVID pandemic. And while the budget focuses heavily on childcare, healthcare, unemployment, and economic recovery, there is little support in it for housing, particularly measures that would help cool the nation’s runaway housing market or give first-time homebuyers a chance in said market.

Two aspects of housing that are focused on in the new federal budget include a vacant property tax and funds allocated for affordable housing initiatives.

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2. Toronto Rental Market Showing Signs of a Comeback: Report

While Toronto’s rental market continues to feel the impacts of COVID amid the pandemic’s third wave, with average rents down over 16% in Q1-2021, market dynamics show there are signs that rental conditions will strengthen as the year progresses, according to Urbanation’s Q1-2021 rental market results.

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3. This is How Much Toronto Homeowners Need to Earn to Make Ends Meet in 2021

We all know living in Toronto is expensive, there’s no surprise there. But a new report reveals just how costly Canada’s largest city is for residents, and it’s not looking good.

Based on the average cost of housing, transportation, groceries, internet bills and more, LowestRates.ca found that a homeowner who drives will need to make at least $84,000 before tax ($62,522 after tax) in order to survive in the city in 2021, while renters who drive will need to make $51,500 before tax ($40,199 after tax).

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4. These Were Toronto’s 15 Hottest Neighbourhoods in 2020

Regardless of your age, chances are, you’ve heard of ‘hot or not’ lists. (We see you, boomers.) And while these lists often cover celebrities and prominent figures, sometimes they can apply to real estate, particularly here in Toronto.

Such is the case for a new ranking of Toronto neighbourhoods from local realtor and chartered accountant, Scott Ingram. This list looks at ‘Who’s Hot and Who’s Not’ in regards to which of the city’s neighbourhoods saw increases in average sale prices of detached homes sold in 2020 compared to 2019.

(And if you’re curious about the city’s 15 most expensive neighbourhoods, you’ll find those here!)

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5. New Brunswick is Trying to Entice Would-Be Toronto Homebuyers, And it’s Working

When COVID-19 changed life, as we knew it, a reevaluation of living spaces resulted in a noticeable exodus from the Toronto core. Those who kissed the towering concrete goodbye — if even temporarily — included everyone from recent university grads returning home to live with parents, to young families, and empty-nesters alike.

For many, this involved an inevitable move to suburbia, with the pandemic acting as the catalyst. Others moved beyond, opting for smaller cities or permanent relocations to cottage country. Some, however, looked past provincial borders, turning their eyes east and all the way to New Brunswick.

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6. Fewer Buyers Coming Out on Offer Night in Areas Surrounding Toronto

As the Toronto area’s real estate market continues to burn red-hot, bidding wars, record prices, and properties selling in mere hours seem to have become the norm. But there are signs that the market’s torrid pace is starting to slow down.

Scott Russell of Engel & Völkers Oakville shared with STOREYS that his team of advisors is reporting they are seeing fewer buyers come out on offer night — a major shift from the high-tension, FOMO situation seen happening recently throughout the province and the rest of the country.

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7. Bank of Canada Now Forecasting Rates Could Rise Earlier Than Expected

As the outlook for both the global and Canadian economies continues to improve, the Bank of Canada announced that it will hold its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of 0.25%, while keeping the bank rate at 0.5% and the deposit rate at 0.25%.

The bank’s announcement suggests there are new signs of a strong economic recovery, as it now projects global GDP will grow nearly 7% this year, about 4% in 2022, and almost 3.5% in 2023. As for Canada’s GDP, the bank expects growth to reach 6.5% in 2021, and then moderate to around 3.75% in 2022, and 3.25% in 2023.

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8. East vs. West: Two Homes Sell for $500k Over in Opposite Ends of Town

You’ve heard about the Tale of Two Cities (no, not that one — this one). But what about the Tale of Two Semi-Detached Homes?

Recently in Toronto, two eerily-similar 4+1 bedroom houses each sold for roughly $500,000 over asking. To further illustrate just how wildly these two transactions resemble each other, we’ve gathered some “East vs. West” images from the properties’ virtual galleries, which will help you draw the connection between the two.

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9. TikTok Video Perfectly Captures Current Real Estate Market Madness

Close the week with a laugh… so you don’t have to cry. Now, old Honest Abe may not have been talking about real estate when he quipped that (slightly revised) all-time line, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an apt observation for many of us watching the current market.

It seems that our neighbours to the south are feeling much the same way, and @johnsonfiles took to TikTok to make a hilarious video (again, we laugh so we do not cry) that captures the intensity and the insanity currently taking place for many would-be buyers in many a real estate market throughout North America.

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