A public meeting was held on Tuesday evening as the city continues to seek out feedback from the public on whether or not to introduce a tax on the owners of the estimated 28,000 vacant homes in Toronto. The city of Toronto is mulling the introduction of a tax on the owners of vacant homes, currently estimated at 28,000. A public meeting was held this week to seek community feedback.

Our weekly roundup of real estate news from Toronto, Canada, the U.S., and around the world ending Aug. 25, 2017.


City holds public meeting to gather input on vacant homes tax (CP24)

A public meeting was held on Tuesday evening as the city continues to seek out feedback from the public on whether or not to introduce a tax on the owners of the estimated 28,000 vacant homes in Toronto.

In May, the provincial government introduced a package of legislation aimed at slowing down a rapid rise in real estate prices in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Toronto Housing Bubble ‘Has Expired And Gone To Meet Its Maker’ (HuffPost)

Six months ago, Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter said what many were thinking and declared that Toronto has a housing bubble.

Now, Porter has given that bubble its death certificate.

Toronto Condo Buyers Have No Idea What Condos Are Worth (Better Dwelling)

The Toronto condo market is making wild, erratic price swings as buyers try to figure out where the market is heading. July numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) show that some neighbourhoods are seeing prices rise by 10s of thousands of dollars. At the same time, other neighbourhoods are seeing prices decline by 10s of thousands of dollars. All this while sales are plummeting.


Average Canadian mortgage balance up nearly 5% year-over-year: TransUnion (Global News)

TransUnion Canada says the average amount owing on mortgages was up nearly five per cent in the second quarter, even though a change in Ontario regulations last spring appears to have reduced the volume of home sales.

The credit monitoring agency says the average mortgage balance in this year’s second quarter was $198,781, up 4.8 per cent from that period last year.

Rule-breaking realtors should face stiffer penalties, says OREA (The Toronto Star)

Fines for rule-breaking realtors should be double what they are now so the potential penalties keep pace with the province’s rising housing market, says the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).

Last year, realtors found guilty of violating the code of ethics faced an average fine of less than $6,000 from the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), the industry regulator.

BC Real Estate Just Got Easier to Navigate (Canadian NewsWire)

Casalova, the full-service online real estate platform and marketplace, has opened a new office in Vancouver, British Columbia, marking its first expansion in Canada. Casalova, which has been operating in Toronto since November of 2014, sees great potential and demand for a new approach to traditional real-estate in the Vancouver market.

Casalova allows potential buyers to purchase or rent from the comfort of their own homes. Tenants and buyers search for properties, schedule viewings, make offers, and process payments directly through the platform.


428,000 Property Foreclosures in U.S. in First Half of 2017, Down 20 Percent Annually (World Property Journal)

According to ATTOM Data Solutions' Midyear 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, a total of 428,400 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings -- default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions -- in the first six months of 2017, down 20 percent from the same time period a year ago and down 28 percent from the same time period two years ago.

Counter to the national trend, eight states and the District of Columbia posted a year-over-year increase in foreclosure activity in the first half of 2017. Foreclosure activity increased 60 percent in the District compared to a year, while states with an increase-included New Jersey (up 2 percent); Connecticut (up 3 percent); Louisiana (up 5 percent); and Mississippi (up 11 percent).

Calling all fairy tale lovers: Snow White’s cottage just hit the market (Inman)

Mirror, mirror on the wall, where’s the cutest cottage of all? Olalla, Washington. And some lucky homebuyer can snatch up Snow White’s home and the 7.5 acres surrounding it for less than a million dollars (it’s listed for $895,000).

You won’t find the seven dwarfs in this delightful asymmetrical cottage, but you will encounter 2,800 square feet of princess charm including extensive hand-built iron doors, hand-carved wood beams, stained glass windows, a tree trunk archway in the kitchen, a large chandelier in the dining area and beautiful stonework throughout.

U.S. to target wire transfers in expanded investigation into money laundering in luxury real estate (Housing Wire)

The federal government is again expanding its investigation into whether foreign buyers are using shell companies to buy luxury U.S. real estate to launder money after its investigation found that potentially illicit activity is behind more than 30% of cash purchases from foreign buyers in select markets.

Last year, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network launched an investigation into unknown buyers using shell companies to buy high-end real estate in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County, because it was “concerned about illicit money” being used in the deals.


$150 Billion of Investment Allocated for China's Commercial Real Estate Market (World Property Journal)

According to CBRE's Towards 2020: China Investment Strategy report, commercial property transactions in China will grow to RMB 260 billion ($39 billion USD) by 2020, a 45% increase from 2016.

Underlining the huge investment potential in the country's real estate market, institutional investors, real estate developers and other investors are set to contribute around RMB 1 trillion ($150 billion USD) to new commercial property investment in China over the next three years.

Trump's Dubai business associates to build Versace-branded tower block in London (CNBC)

A subsidiary of Dubai's luxury real estate developer DAMAC International is building a 50-storey skyscraper in the U.K.'s capital city in partnership with Italian fashion house Versace called AYKON London One.

"AYKON London One is our premiere international development outside of the Middle East and a landmark project for the UK's capital," said Hussain Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC, in a press release published Monday.

Chinese property buyers shift interest from Australia to other parts of the world (ABC News)

Australia is losing Chinese buyer interest to other parts of the world as tougher government regulations and new tax rules continue to bite, new data shows.

Chinese inquiries in Australian residential property was down 9.7 per cent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2016, Chinese international property portal Juwai.com figures reveal.

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