Build Rentals/Apartments: Ownership is a Privilege and Not A Right
The availability of apartments and units that can be rented is staggeringly low. Because vacancy is so tight, competition in the open market has intensified, lifting rental prices along the way. In Canada, rent for a two-bedroom unit rose 5.6% in 2022. Some of the highest rental prices were recorded in Ottawa-Gatineau at 9.1%, Toronto at 6.5%, and Calgary at 6%.
Less housing stocks, higher prices. The marketplace and our elected officials all knew this would happen. Real Estate Agencies and land developers all but jumped for joy at the prospect of selling homes that sold for $350,000 a few years ago, and are now selling for 3X the amount. Bidding wars drive prices higher and higher. Developers who make a home at @$195,000 cost sell these homes as affordable within the 650-1M range.
So much for independent home units. What about apartment buildings? Are they being built? In Quebec they are but not in the # needed. Europeans are comfortable with renting an apartment for decades, but not so in the rest of Canada. Status, and keeping up with the “joneses” have been all the rage. First-time home buyers will spend decades gathering enough funds to make an initial deposit if the bank so allows it. Why do developers not build rental units/apartments? Well, developers would need to look upon such builds as long-term investments, waiting some time to get back their costs and make some profit. Building other types of homes guarantee them immediate compensation, gratifying their profiteering.
Why do regional, City, and Provincial Governments prefer housing builds of larger houses? The revenue they make of course. Even Premier Ford’s push to have 50,000 houses built in a few years centers upon individual homes being sold, not rented(aftermarket). Has our economic system forgotten the small fry, the average Canadian who does not make a salary over $100,000 annually? Yes, it has, and the reason for this forgetfulness is that the wealthy and mid-level middle class hold greater influence on these elected officials. They are the same people, while the dirty unwashed working stiff has very little in common with real estate agents, developers, and elected officials too. A true class system with regard to housing exists in Ontario and Canada. Are the New Democrats crying out loud for reforming this system? No, they are not. They want to represent the higher-ups. those with excess revenue and economic purchasing power.
Rental Units are Needed Stupids. A housing revolution is needed not just in Ontario but across this land. Why won’t the government put its hands into the direct building of these units? They have the funds, and the regulations to make sure these units are made appropriately and in a timely manner. The very power of the elite, real estate, and developers lobby will always sway our elected officials away from competing with these financial aggressors. In 2016 548 formers members of a government in Canada registered as lobbyists, often representing the wishes of those who once were their suppliers(developers). What am I saying? Perhaps many of our elected representatives have been padding their pocketbooks and ensuring their future careers in well-paid jobs. Corruption? Find out how much an MPP or MP was worth when they started their position, and after 4-5 years what are they worth???
Only the average Canadian, worker, student, or elderly who cares about their children’s future, can force this issue before the politicians in Ottawa, Toronto, and through out Canada. Protests like those that happened in Ottawa last spring could really change the way our representatives represent us. A wee Revolution we need indeed.
Housing and shelter are human rights. Right? So get off your couch and gather with like-minded neighbors to demand real affordable housing, and build nonprofit apartments too.
Better.com lays off real estate team and shutters business unit – TechCrunch
Digital mortgage lender Better.com is exiting the real estate business.
The struggling fintech startup laid off its real estate team on June 7, multiple sources confirmed to TechCrunch. The company is said to be shifting from an in-house agent model to a partnership agent model.
One person who was impacted by the move told TechCrunch that the agents had received “little to no severance…after getting a more than 50% salary cut in November in order to ‘ensure’ our jobs to come.”
TechCrunch reached out to Better.com, which declined to comment on the record. It is not clear how many people were impacted.
The news is not shocking considering that rumors of Better.com’s plans to exit the real estate business have swirled for some time as the housing market has experienced a major slowdown driven by rising mortgage interest rates. As early as April of 2022, TechCrunch reported that it was suspected that all of Better Real Estate could be scrapped. The unit was at one time the “baby” of the company, sources said, and where a big chunk of investment dollars were going to go toward in 2022.
Better had been vocal about its desire to build out its purchase experience and move beyond digital lending to help people find and purchase homes — hence changing its name from Better Mortgage to just Better. It was also working to expand value-added offerings like title and homeowner’s insurance as part of its product suite.
“They wanted to touch every part of home ownership,” a source close to the company who preferred to remain anonymous told TechCrunch at the time. “The company invested resources in building out consumer experiences and agent-facing tools for the Better Real Estate business, including its first native mobile app, not all of which came to fruition, given the trajectory of the business.”
Better Real Estate aimed to be competitive with the likes of Zillow and Redfin, and the company had reportedly followed the same salaried-agent model.
Better.com has been making headlines for its layoffs since it first gained notoriety by laying off about 900 employees over Zoom on December 1, 2021. It has since been laying off smaller groups very systematically, say sources. Last August, TechCrunch also reported the fact that Better.com had conducted its fourth round of layoffs since the previous December.
The company is not exactly known for its tactful approach to letting employees go. In less than a nine-month period, it let go of thousands of workers, saw numerous senior executives step down and delayed a SPAC that it still claims to be working toward.
In March, TechCrunch reported Better.com’s SPAC deal with Aurora Acquisition Corp. got a new lease on life, extending its timeframe to close the transaction through the end of Q3 2023.
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Co-ownership deal struck for large heritage home
2223 E. 11th Ave., Vancouver
Asking price: $2,149,000 million (March 6, 2023)
Selling price: $2,099,900 (March 9, 2023)
Days on market: 3
Taxes: $7,080.82 (2022)
Listing agent: Connie Buna, Keller Williams Realty
Buyer’s agent: Noam Dolgin, Heller Murch Realty
What they got
This heritage house built in 1912 is in the desirable Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood on Vancouver’s east side, within walking distance to Trout Lake and schools.
The 2,867-square-foot house is situated on a standard 33- by 122-foot lot, with four bedrooms on the main floor and upper floor, and two bathrooms. There’s a legal two-bedroom suite in the basement, as well as a mature garden.
The purchasers were two couples that entered into a 50/50 co-ownership agreement with a shared mortgage. One couple will live in the basement and half of the main floor, and the other will live on the third level and the other half of the main floor, says realtor Noam Dolgin, who specializes in co-ownership deals.
“They are taking this large heritage house in a great location and turning it into two solid livable suites, and taking advantage of that to bring their price point down instead of paying $1,100 per square foot for half a duplex or a townhouse,” Mr. Dolgin says.
The agent’s take
Mr. Dolgin said the couples met while attending one of his East Vancouver co-ownership property tours. He said the majority of his business is bringing like-minded buyers together to purchase houses and divide them, but with shared yard space. It’s the equivalent of strata ownership, but without the added cost.
“They connected, the timing was right. They wanted the same location, the budgets were similar,” he says. “There was some negotiation around the price.”
The sale completed May 31.
Ottawa real estate: Home sales in Ottawa up 6 per cent in May | CTV News – CTV News Ottawa
The Ottawa Real Estate Board says home sales were up six per cent in May 2023 compared to a year prior, marking the first year-over-year unit sales volume increase since early last year.
New data released by OREB shows that members sold 1,939 residential properties last month, compared to 1,830 in May 2022.
“Typically the highest-selling month, May’s transactions did not disappoint,” said OREB president Ken Dekker in a news release. “This month we saw the first year-over-year unit sales volume increase since February 2022.”
There were 2,822 new listings in May, down nine per cent compared to May 2022 but up 32 per cent from April 2023.
Average sale prices are down year over year, the OREB says. House prices declined seven per cent to an average of $745,902, but on-par with prices in April 2023, when it was $747,123. Average condo prices dropped six per cent from 2022 to $442,859, which is also down two per cent from April 2023.
OREB says year-to-date average home sale prices are at $727,728, a 12 per cent drop from 2022. Condos are averaging $428,394, a nine per cent decrease.
However, the prices in May mark an increase over where prices were at the end of last year, Dekker says.
“We are not seeing steep price escalations yet. May’s average prices stayed on par with April’s, although prices are well over what we saw at the end of 2022,” he said.
Dekker suggested the average sale price could surpass last year’s figures for a month over the same month in the latter half of 2023, provided interest rates did not increase. But on Wednesday, the Bank of Canada raised its overnight rate by 25 basis points to 4.75 per cent on Wednesday, its first increase since pausing hikes in January.
The central bank’s key interest rate has not been this high since April 2001.
Dekker says throughout 2022, there was a correlated drop in sales every time there was an interest rate hike.
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