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Real Estate News

Top Real Estate News of the Week: February 13 to 19

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Another week in Toronto has come to a close and, from February 13 to 19, 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 Toronto 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. Toronto Offers Free Sidewalk Snow Clearing for Seniors, People with Disabilities

First up: News you can use! To ensure that some of Toronto’s most vulnerable residents — including seniors and those with disabilities — living in the core are safe, the City offers free sidewalk snow clearing services. If you’re a senior or you live with a disability and you need your sidewalk cleared, all you have to do is download an application form and submit it along with the required documentation to City staff.

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2. Rent Prices Continue to Drop, Reach Four-Year Low in Toronto

hortly after COVID-19 reached Toronto, average rent prices began to drop. The lowering was a result of city-dwellers leaving downtown in hoards, escaping to more rural regions with hopes of accessing more space (and, perhaps, encountering fewer people at the grocery store). Now, a report from Padmapper shows not only have these rent declines continued, but prices have officially reached a four-year low in Toronto.

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3. Over 65% of Investment Property Owners “Likely” to List this Year… Again

According to new data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), the “very/somewhat likely to list” category of investment property owners surveyed in the fall of 2020 consists of 67% of the total. However, in the fall of 2019, that category made up 66% of those surveyed.

We know what you’re thinking: that’s not a change of major significance, especially with consideration for all that 2020 dished out. And you’d be correct.

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4. Stunning Drone Footage Captures Winter Conditions for Toronto Houseboats

While many Greater Toronto Area residents are aware of the Scarborough Bluffs – a picturesque escarpment east of the city – housed within the surrounding lake is a relatively unknown and hidden village of houseboats. An Ontario YouTube user named Mike from My Little Hobby shares drone footage – impressively and crisply shot on a DJI Mini 2 drone – that captures both the stunning, snow-covered landscape and the houseboat community in Bluffer’s Park Marina in a recent video.

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5. “Rural Boom” Could Be in Canada’s Post-COVID Cards: Ryerson University

When considering COVID-19’s impacts, many have already hypothesized about what’s to come in the year ahead; the condo market is confirmed to have returned, the rental market is expected to bounce back, and commercial real estate will be the same, but different. But what about the pandemic’s long-term affects? Well, according to new research from Ryerson University, the more-distant future may well be filled with greener pastures. Literally.

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6. Toronto City Council Approves 0.7% Hike to Property Taxes

During a special meeting on Thursday, Toronto City Council voted in favour to approve an overall average property tax increase of 0.51%, with a 0.70% increase for residential properties, a 0.35% increase for commercial properties, and a 0.23% increase for industrial properties. There is no increase for multi-residential or apartment buildings, as per provincial legislation.

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7. Would-Be Homebuyers Facing Canada’s Tightest Real Estate Market on Record

Canadian home buyers are now facing the tightest real estate market on record, with a buying frenzy that shows no signs of slowing down. Though, there is one obstacle standing in the way of potential buyers: inventory — which is running very low in many parts of the country, especially for single-family homes.

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8. “Your House Makes More Than You Do”: Ontario Home Prices Outpacing Household Incomes

In a recent research note titled “Your House Makes More Than You Do,” Senior Economist and Director at BMO Capital Markets, Sal Guatieri highlighted a common narrative in some of Canada’s real estate markets: home prices are steadily outpacing the incomes of the people who live in them, which is undoubtedly a cautionary sign, especially in a weak economy.

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