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Hangzhou latest Chinese city to pledge land for affordable rental homes



China’s eastern city of Hangzhou, known for its high cost of living, has pledged to allocate at least 10% of new residential land for affordable rental housing each year, joining Guangzhou and Shenzhen to meet rising demand as their populations grow.

China has stepped up efforts to address housing issues faced by young people particularly amid soaring home prices in large cities, under President Xi Jinping’s banner of “common prosperity.”

Large cities with net inflows of population are to provide more land for rental housing in 2021-2025, according to China’s State Council, or cabinet, in July.

Hangzhou, the capital of the wealthy province of Zhejiang, said it will provide 330,000 units of affordable rental homes in 2021-2025, according to a plan published on the website of the local government on Tuesday.


Home prices last year in Hangzhou, a city of around 12 million people, averaged around 27,000 yuan ($4,221) per square metre, nearly double the nationwide average of 14,000 yuan, according to China’s Statistical Bureau.

Last week, China’s most populous province Guangdong said its two biggest metropolises Guangzhou and Shenzhen must allocate at least 10% of their land for rental housing, among the first Chinese cities to do so.

Last month, the top decision-making body of the Chinese parliament said it will roll out a pilot real estate tax in some regions, partly to rein in surging home prices.

Xi’s pledge to narrow social disparities to achieve “common prosperity” has put the plight of low-income households and individuals at the forefront of Beijing’s policymaking.

($1 = 6.3960 Chinese yuan renminbi)


(Reporting by Liangping Gao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Real eState

Why 20-year-olds should live with their parents, and a real estate recovery: This week's top real estate stories – The Globe and Mail



Open this photo in gallery:

This 2,100-square-foot Toronto penthouse combined two

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week, with the lowest mortgage rates available in Canada today, commentary from our mortgage expert and one home worth a look.

‘Live with your parents’ is becoming common financial advice for young adults

Living with your parents as a young adult used to be a subject of shame and ridicule. But amid sky-high housing costs, rooming with your parents in your mid- to late 20s can be the key to getting ahead financially. Erica Alini looked at the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 11 Canadian cities and calculated how much a new graduate could set aside by living rent-free until 2030. In several – not all – cities, those savings would be enough for a down payment. See below how the numbers stack up in five cities, and read Alini’s story for the rest.

Toronto’s real estate recovery was in full swing in May

Toronto’s housing market recovered further in May, with sales and home prices climbing for the fourth consecutive month, writes Rachelle Younglai. The shortage of properties for sale fuelled competition among buyers, increasing the home price index by 1.6 per cent to $1,164,400 from April to May, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. Although new listings increased by 10 per cent, the volume was about 50 per cent below the 10-year average for May.


This week’s mortgage rates: The latest pop in rates could (slightly) cool the market

In the past few weeks, the lowest nationally-available fixed mortgage rates have shot up by 20 to 35 basis points, writes Robert McLister. If the Bank of Canada scares the market into thinking it’ll get more aggressive with rate hikes, yields – and fixed rates – could climb a bit further. The moment of truth comes Wednesday when the central bank releases its next policy statement.

How renter rights vary in Canada’s most populous provinces

Skyrocketing rents, low supply and little oversight from landlord and tenant boards: The situation is getting desperate for many renters, writes Salmaan Farooqui. Renters in some cities sometimes choose to live in neglected homes to avoid renovictions and moving costs. Farooqui compiled a list of tips around rental laws across five of Canada’s most populous provinces.

Home of the week: A family-friendly Toronto uptown condo

  • Home of the Week, 1 Belsize Drive, PH 09,

    1 of 17

1 Belsize Drive, PH 09, Toronto

When the family currently selling this space originally moved in, going from a house to a condo, they asked the developer if they could buy two units and combine them. The developer agreed, for a fee. The now-2,100-square-foot penthouse has three bedrooms, a den, three full bathrooms and a powder room. The primary bedroom is isolated on one side of the unit while the children’s bedrooms are down the hall on the other side of the kitchen. The home features three outdoor patios, one off of the children’s bedrooms, an outdoor eating space off of the kitchen, and a more shaded terrace off of the primary bedroom. The building has saunas, a gym on the main floor and a party room.

What do you think is the asking price for this house?

a. $1.5-million

b. $2.5-million

c. $3.5-million

d. $4.5-million

a. The asking price is $3.5-million.

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‘All hell is going to break loose’: Property titan and Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran says Elon Musk is right about commercial office space



If you’re a commercial property giant, Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran has some bad news for you: The market is going to get much worse before it gets any better.

In fact, it’s going to be a “bloodbath.”

Corcoran echoed the sentiments of Tesla CEO and Twitter owner, Elon Musk, who earlier this week tweeted: “Commercial real estate is melting down fast.”

Speaking to Fox Business’s The Claman Countdown this week, Corcoran—who sold her New York real estate brokerage for $66 million in 2001—said there isn’t enough confidence in the commercial property market post-pandemic.


Despite mandates from big businesses like Google, Amazon, and most recently Meta, swaths of office blocks across the U.S. are still lying partially empty.

According to data from security provider Kastle the average occupancy of offices across America is at just under 50%—with the New York metropolitan area seeing some of the lowest rates of tenancy.

“No one really believes it’s going to turn the corner,” Corcoran said. “People are staying home. Our best office buildings in Midtown Manhattan are 50% occupied, and in most major cities or in secondary cities, we have a 20% vacancy rate. No one wants to take that chance.”

She added that with turbulent economic times ahead she expects to see more businesses defaulting on their loans or mortgages—an issue which will trickle back to regional banks.

Corcoran’s theory is in line with the data: UBS said in April it expects to see more defaults on real estate loans as a result of an expected credit crunch.

“I don’t see that turning around,” the Shark Tank star said. “I think it’s going to be a bit of a bloodbath before it gets better.”

It’s a crisis Elon Musk has sounded the alarm on multiple times—his warning earlier this week, in response to Craft Ventures founder David Sacks highlighting the level of debt about to mature in the sector, was just the latest.

In March the SpaceX founder responded to a tweet about real estate debt with: “This is by far the most serious looming issue. Mortgages, too.”



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Vancouver-area home sales rebounded in May, real estate board says



The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) says May home sales increased 15.7 per cent compared to the same month a year ago as average prices also rose.

“Our forecast projected prices to be up modestly in 2023 by about two per cent at year-end,” said Andrew Lis, REBGV’s director of economics and data analytics, in a news release.

“Instead, Metro Vancouver home prices are already up about six per cent or more across all home types at the midway point of the year.”

The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $1,188,000 last month, down 5.6 per cent from May 2022 but up 1.3 per cent from April.


There were 3,411 residential home sales in the region in May 2023, which is a 1.4 per cent decline from the 10-year seasonal average but nearly 500 more sales compared to units that moved in May 2022.

By comparison, in April, home sales slid 16.5 per cent compared to the same month in 2022.

Still, as of April of this year, the number of listings remained low compared to other years, meaning consumer demand is pushing up prices.

There were 5,661 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale in Metro Vancouver in May 2023, an 11.5 per cent decrease compared to the 6,397 homes listed in May 2022 and 4.3 per cent below the 10-year seasonal average, said the REBGV.

More buyers than sellers

“You don’t have to squint to see the reason prices continue to increase,” said Lis. “The fundamental issue remains that there are more buyers relative to the number of willing sellers in the market.

“This is keeping the number of resale homes available in short supply.”

A graphic from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver showing homes sales activity for May 2023.
A graphic from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver showing homes sales activity for May 2023. (REBGV)

The board said that mortgage rates, elevated after eight consecutive hikes were carried out, also continue to hold back market activity.

REBGV ideas to improve affordability

The May numbers released by the REBGV on Friday come a day after it announced a series of recommendations it made to a provincial legislative committee that seek to improve housing affordability in B.C.

The REBGV’s proposal includes recommendations for an overhaul of the Property Transfer Tax (PTT), which it says has not changed in 36 years.

It wants the PTT removed on any home, new or resale, worth less than $750,000.

Currently, the tax rate is one per cent of the fair market value up to and including $200,000, two per cent for homes above $200,000 and three per cent for homes worth more than $2 million.

Other recommendations include changes to the proposed anti-flipping tax and convincing the federal government to exempt new not-for-profit rental developments from paying GST.


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