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Canada’s mortgage rates edging higher in first rise since before COVID crisis

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By Fergal Smith and Noor Zainab Hussain

(Reuters) – Canadian mortgage rates are beginning to inch higher for the first time since before the COVID-19 crisis, reflecting the spike in long-term bond yields, but with home loans still languishing around historically low levels the modest hike is unlikely to slow the red-hot housing market.

The lowest rate for a Canadian five-year fixed rate mortgage, the most common mortgage in Canada, climbed by 25 basis points last week to 1.64%, according to Ratehub.ca. It was the first increase since January 2020. The move could encourage buyers to lock in historically low borrowing costs before they rise further.

Mortgage rates had been trending lower in Canada since the Bank of Canada slashed its benchmark interest rate last March to a record low of 0.25% to support the economy during the pandemic. So the move-up in mortgage rates is a sea change for home buyers, providing a sense that a bottom could be in place.

There was “a stampede to lock in rates last week and get pre-approvals,” said James Laird, co-founder at Ratehub.ca, which compares rates on mortgages, insurance and credit cards. “There could be more increases coming.”

TD Bank and National Bank of Canada told Reuters they have raised rates on at least some mortgage products, but Royal Bank of Canada, the country’s biggest lender, said it has not raised mortgage rates recently.

Canada‘s other top six banks had not yet responded to a request for comment.

The low mortgage rates, pent-up demand and fewer listings amid the pandemic have lit a fire under the Canadian housing market. More than 550,000 homes, a record, traded hands in 2020, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association, with its Home Price Index rising at an annual rate of 13.5% in January.

Mortgage rates tend to track moves in the bond market with a lag. Canada‘s five-year yield has more-than doubled since the start of the year, briefly trading above 1% last Friday, as investors bet that the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines would boost economic activity.

“I would say the rise in interest rates comes a little bit earlier than anticipated, but it also came alongside some better than anticipated news” on the economy, said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets.

Canada‘s economy grew at an annualized rate of 9.6% in the fourth quarter, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday, well above the BoC’s forecast of 4.8%.

The strength of the real estate market has started to cause some discomfort for policymakers. Last week, BoC Governor Tiff Macklem said for the first time that the central bank is starting to see signs of froth.

The increase in rates so far is not seen as a game-changer.

“Mortgage rates remain very low by any measure,” Laird said. “I don’t think this will change consumer behavior.”

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith and Noor Zainab Hussian; Editing by Denny Thomas and Steve Orlofsky)

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Black Press Media introduces one of Western Canada's best real estate platforms helping home buyers Find. Love. Live. that new home – Aldergrove Star

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Need an agent who knows the community?

Or, is it time to look for a new place to live, but you don’t know what’s on the market?

Whatever the real estate need is for residents in the communities of British Columbia, Yukon & Alberta, there’s a new way to do that one-stop shopping – by visiting Today’s Home.

The slogan for the site is “Find. Love. Live.”

“We want people to find their dream home, love it, and live in it,” said group publisher Lisa Farquharson.

Building on the success of Black Press Media’s niche digital platforms – Today’s Home brings the same wealth of knowledge and local expertise to the search for a home, be it buying, selling, or even just daydreaming about what changes you can make in the future.

Search hundreds of listings that local real estate agents have available.

The listings cover properties around the region, from a one-bedroom, one-bath condo for $339,900 to million-dollar acreages throughout the province of BC, Yukon, Central Alberta and beyond.

Click on a listing, and see not only the realtor handling the property sale, but links to his or her other listings and social media feeds. With the click of a mouse, take a virtual tour of the property, find the property’s walking score, and learn about nearby amenities.

There are links available to schedule a showing, or send the agent a comment or question.

Want to share a listing? When you click on the share button, you’ll actually send an attractive digital flyer of the prospective property, not just a link.

There’s even a button to help determine how much you have to spend, courtesy of the convenient mortgage calculator.

Plus, scroll down the page on Today’s Home and find a list of expert local real estate professionals who can answer questions or help with that home sale, Farquharson explained.

Today’s Home offers the advantage of the massive reach that Black Press Media has built throughout Western Canada with its network of community newspapers and online products. That allows the public to tailor real estate searches based on location, price, and other key factors while allowing real estate professionals to gain unprecedented audience reach with their listings.

Today’s Home will dovetail into the media company’s existing print real estate publications.

“Black Press Media has real estate solutions in print and now we can add in the digital component,” Farquharson said.

Watch for expansion of the Today’s Home platform in the near future, she added. That will come as Black Press Media adds a new component – the development community. Developers will be able to reach a huge audience when their projects are ready for presentation.

For information on Today’s Home, contact group publisher Lisa Farquharson at 604-994-1020 or via email.

Happy house hunting!

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PGIM Real Estate, Revera Affiliate Target UK Market in Newly Formed JV

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Real Estate Sales In September

PGIM Real Estate has been active in recent months providing capital to facilitate blockbuster senior housing acquisitions. Now the firm is looking to capitalize on demand for senior housing in the United Kingdom.

The Madison, New Jersey-based real estate investor and lender announced this week it is entering into a joint venture with Signature Senior Lifestyle, an affiliate of Revera, to develop and operate senior housing communities around greater London

Mississauga, Ontario-based Revera serves 20,000 older adults in long-term care homes and retirement residences in Canada. It is also the majority shareholder of Sunrise Senior Living, one of the largest senior housing providers in the U.S. The company operates a portfolio of 12 communities in the U.K. under the Signature Senior Lifestyle brand, with one community in development that is slated to open in autumn 2021.

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The JV has one development underway — a senior housing community, or “prime care” home, in southwest London. PGIM worked with Elevation Partners, a London-based investor and asset manager in U.K. health care real estate, in sourcing, structuring and executing the venture. Additionally, PGIM will retain the firm to leverage its expertise.

PGIM and Revera did not respond to requests for comment from Senior Housing News regarding details about its development pipeline.

London is emerging as a future hotbed of senior housing development, spurred by favorable demographic growth trends and a lack of available supply, and the PGIM-Revera venture will find competition.

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Maplewood Senior Living CEO Gregory Smith told SHN last month that demand for U.K. senior housing is comparable to major U.S. markets such as New York and San Francisco, where supply has historically been constrained.

Maplewood and its investment partner, Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) are looking to expand its luxury Inspir brand to the U.K., and identified five suburban markets around London with high barriers to entry that are favorable for the brand’s growth.

Revera CEO Tom Wellner sees similar untapped upside potential for senior housing in the U.K.

Source: – Senior Housing News

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Where in Canada are house prices increasing the most? Maybe not where you think – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Canada saw a surge in housing prices over the past year due to COVID-19, a market trend experts say is caused by people working from home more often and moving to rural and suburban areas.

Data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) shows that when comparing the average market prices from February 2020 to February 2021, Canada had a 25 per cent year-over-year increase. The average price rose from $542,484 to $678,091.

“One factor is that with work-from-home even more generalized, many people don’t have to live within commuting distance from their jobs,” Shaun Cathcart, senior economist at CREA, told CTVNews.ca. “That means that folks who own condos and smaller homes can take out built-up equity and move to a property that better meets their needs – as over the past year, home is not only where you eat a few meals and sleep, but also the office, your kids’ school, playground, gym, etc.”

The largest year-over-year percentage changes came from the Northwest Territories (48.1%), Nova Scotia (30.4%), Ontario (24.5%), Quebec (22.5%), and New Brunswick (20.9%).

Cathcart noted that the higher percentage change in Northwest Territories is likely due to the fact that in both February 2020 and February 2021, six homes were sold throughout the entire territory and the ones that were sold in 2021 were marked at a higher price.

When looking at the provinces and territories that had the largest upsurge in terms of price difference, Ontario sits at the top of the list with an increase of over $170,000. Northwest Territories came next, followed by British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Quebec.

The data also shows that prices in suburban and rural areas were impacted the most and saw the biggest changes, with regions like Rideau-St. Lawrence and Sarnia-Lambton in Ontario averaging about a 50 per cent increase from the previous year.

“With people no longer having to live within commuting distance to their jobs, as long as suburban and rural areas have decent internet, they become even more attractive to families looking for more space,” said Cathcart.

Find your region and the year-over-year price and percentage change below.

Cathcart says that Canadians can expect to see sales and prices increase this year, but forecasts sales to slow down in 2022 while prices remain high.

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