Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week, with the lowest mortgage rates available in Canada today and one home worth a look.
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New rules target use of ‘exclusive’ real estate listings
Jan. 3 marked the end of the so-called “exclusive” real estate listing amid a crackdown on the sales tactic by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), writes Shane Dingman. “Exclusive” listings, sometimes also called “pocket” or “off-market” listings, are properties put up for sale but not entered on the Multiple Listings Service. The recent proliferation of websites providing sold-price data, sourced from MLS, has driven more sellers and buyers to attempt to keep their transactions private through the use of exclusive listings. Realtors are now forced to add an exclusive listing to the MLS within three days of doing any public marketing.
‘The older you get, the higher the vacancy’: Toronto’s top skyscrapers lose their lustre with age, research shows
Toronto’s older top tier office buildings – categorized as class A properties – are no longer the cream of the crop for prospective tenants, especially as more and more businesses are reducing their office space. New research shows that older class A office buildings now have as much empty space as historically-less-appealing class C buildings as demand for downtown offices has declined and a raft of new class A skyscrapers have opened, writes Rachelle Younglai. “You can be an iconic tower, but what the tenants are all saying is they want the newer stuff,” said Carl Gomez, chief economist with CoStar Group, a commercial real estate firm. “The older you get, the higher the vacancy.”
Rob Carrick: What keeps a financial planner up at night? ‘People withdrawing all of their savings to meet their new mortgage needs’
Accumulated increases in the cost of living and high interest rates have had a grinding effect on household finances, writes personal finance columnist Rob Carrick. The coming year may bring a start to rate declines and smaller increases in the cost of living, but many people could use help in the near term. Carrick took to LinkedIn to ask financial planners and advisers for ideas, including creating a cash flow plan and re-evaluating your housing expenses.
Condo builder plans to build rental-only detached houses in Ontario
After being vilified for its plans to buy $1-billion worth of houses in Ontario to rent them out, Core Development Group Ltd. says it now also wants to build new rental houses from scratch, writes Younglai. Two years ago, Core’s founder and chief executive officer, Corey Hawtin, told The Globe and Mail that the company would buy hundreds of detached houses in mid-sized Southern Ontario cities, which was met with a wave of criticism and accusations of taking homes away from Canadians. Hawtin says he now sees a chance to build single-family homes that are purpose-built for rental. The company is under contract on two sites, one in Kingston and one in London, which Hawtin says each have the necessary permits for up to 250 single-family homes.
Home of the Week: Secluded country house for a Bay Street dealmaker
7328 Finnerty Sideroad, Caledon, Ont.
Built in 1935, the four-bedroom stone farmhouse is nicely set back from the road on a parcel carved from one of the area’s original 100-acre farms. Renovated many times during its lifespan, the home still retains its heritage feel – a sitting room with a pegged oak floor and a wood-burning fireplace surrounded in stone is part of the original farmhouse. There’s also a lower level with a recreation room, a wine cellar and utility rooms and a separate guest house overlooking the pool. But the best feature is the grand main bedroom, with its own terrace and a rushing creek just outside.
What do you think is the asking price for the property?
a. The asking price is $6.3-million.