Unexpected province becomes new frontier for rising rent and the Home of the Week: Canadian real estate news for May 18
Open this photo in gallery:

Home of the Week, 2121 Lake Shore Blvd. W, LPH 2603, TorontoMichael Peart/Michael Peart Photography

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week and one home worth a look.

Try The Globe’s business and investing news quiz

Saskatchewan has become the new frontier for rising rent prices in Canada

The province topped the national ranking for steepest annual rental growth in April, with landlords there asking 18 per cent more on average for available units compared with the same month a year earlier, writes Erica Alini. According to a report by real estate research firm Urbanation and rental platform Rentals.ca, the average rent for a one-bedroom unit in Regina was up nearly 15 per cent year-over-year and up more than 8 per cent in Saskatoon, with some smaller cities like Lloydminster seeing annual growth nearing 27 per cent. Despite the quick rise, experts say the province is still one of the last few affordable areas in the country.

Realtors battle over new ‘exclusive’ selling rules

Back in January, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) introduced new rules that sellers of properties marketed as “exclusive” must add those properties to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) within three days or face sanctions. But opponents of the rule are claiming it is an attack on a seller’s rights to choose how they sell their home and are alleging it could violate competition rules, writes Shane Dingman. Provincially licensed realtors are not required to be members of regional real estate boards – which are under CREA’s jurisdiction – but without membership they cannot access the MLS system that is critical to the buying and selling of residential real estate across the country.

Open this photo in gallery:

Office towers are shown in the Bay Street financial district in Toronto on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

How does Toronto’s office vacancy rate compare to other Canadian cities? Globe reporters have some answers

Globe and Mail reporters Jason Kirby, Rachelle Younglai and James Bradshaw recently delved into the number of office vacancies in Toronto, sharing insights from their exclusive analysis and the landlords who own these empty buildings. On May 16, Kirby and Bradshaw answered reader questions about the story. Readers asked in the Q&A about the effect of vacancies on the larger economy, whether the office spaces be transformed into living spaces to solve Canada’s housing crisis and the implications for pensions, seeing that the country’s largest pension funds are prominent landlords in the Toronto market.

Rob Carrick: The hidden cost of 30-year mortgages, and why it’s OK to pay it

Considering that we’re living and working longer, it just makes sense for homebuyers to have the option of amortizing a mortgage over 30 years instead of the standard 25. The benefit of a longer amortization is lower monthly payments, but there’s a significant cost in extra interest paid over the life of the mortgage, writes personal finance columnist Rob Carrick. But that might be worth it for a lot of people hell-bent on home ownership – despite the increased interest overall, their monthly payment on a 30-year amortization will be less. You either opt out of home ownership, or you accept high prices and mortgage costs. Also, the way our housing market works, saving longer to build a down payment and reduce monthly payments means running the risk that prices will keep pushing higher.

Home of the week: A penthouse for downtime on Humber Bay

  • Home of the Week, 2121 Lake Shore Blvd. W, LPH 2603, TorontoMichael PeartMichael Peart/Michael Peart Photography

    1 of 16

2121 Lake Shore Blvd. W, LPH 2603, Toronto

The three-bedroom penthouse features unbeatable views of the Toronto skyline and Lake Ontario, and is steps away from some of the best trails and parks in the city. The open plan includes a large living and dining area with walls of glass, a kitchen with breakfast bar, and a casual dining area with a pantry. There’s also a den with a south-west view. The unit features two terraces to enjoy the view: one large terrace spans the living area and provides extra space for lounging and entertaining guests, while a second private terrace, which leads from the guest bedroom, allows for more relaxing moments.

What do you think is the asking price for the property?

a. $1,575,000

b. $1,999,000

c. $2,467,000

d. $2,798,000

d. The asking price is $2,798,000.