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Montreal real-estate prices climbing much faster than Toronto or Vancouver: study – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
The cost of housing per square foot has skyrocketed in Montreal while other cities saw little change over the last year, according to a new national survey.

The study found that condominium prices in downtown Montreal are up 13.5 per cent from last year to, on average, $805 per square foot.

That’s not as high as other cities, but it’s catching up — and Montreal’s rate of growth is outpacing other major Canadian cities.

Toronto’s condo prices grew to $1083 per square foot, an increase of just under 10 per cent, according to the study. In Vancouver, where you can find some of Canada’s most expensive condo prices, rates are down 4 per cent to $1192 per square foot.

To make the comparisons, Canadian real estate giant Century 21 collected data from real estate boards across the country to calculate the home costs per square foot.

“It’s important to compare apple to apples,” said Todd Shyiak, the company’s vice president of operations.

Montreal’s rise was even more explosive for detached homes and townhouses.

Detached houses in Montreal’s downtown and southwest rose to $958 per square foot, 40 per cent up from last year.

“It’s wild,” said Century 21 broker Angela Langtry. She says the pandemic raised demand.

“People had a lot of time to figure out they don’t like the home they’re in,” she said. “They all want pools.”

There was a big spike in sales, she noted, following a pause in brokerage during the spring, at the peak of the pandemic.

Experts say the pandemic will push people into the suburbs as they search for affordable housing and home office space.

“A huge portion of our society’s housing needs changed overnight,” said Shyiak. People “no longer need to be 10 minutes from the office.”

He says that could mean less demand for condos in the future. “People want their own front door,” he said.

SERIOUS FALLOUT FOR RENTERS

Montreal housing advocates worry that the explosive real-estate market will push rental rates ever higher. The city is already grappling with record low vacancy rates.

“When mortgages go up, rental rates will go up too,” said housing advocate Darby MacDonald. “As people are buying more expensive houses, it will be the renters that suffer.”

Within Quebec, Montreal already has some the highest rental rates, according to a recent study of online listings from RCLALQ, which looked at a handful of cities and towns in the province.

Without more government intervention, Montreal’s reputation for low rental rates will soon be a thing of the past, said Maxime Roy-Allard, the group’s spokesperson.

There were hopes at first that the pandemic, and the shifting housing needs within it, would bring some relief to the climbing rent prices in the city, Roy-Allard said.

“We thought the pandemic would affect it a lot,” he said. “It didn’t.”  

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Canadian Real Estate: Hottest Recreational Markets | RE/MAX Canada – RE/MAX News

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For years, the Canadian real estate market has been dominated by a handful of cities, such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Everyone wanted to live in these red-hot markets – and for a good reason. These urban centres have everything you would want, from arts and entertainment to a diverse range of amenities. Then, of course, the coronavirus pandemic happened, and it turned everything upside down, including the dominant trends within the Canadian real estate market.

Who would have predicted at the start of 2020 that big city dwellers would be fleeing these metropolises to live in rural areas? This is one of the trends unfolding in the fallout of the COVID-19 public health crisis. With more Canadian businesses embracing work-from-home policies, many people are taking advantage of the opportunity to relocate to cottage country. As such, small cottage country towns are becoming attractive destinations for homebuyers.

Whether you are ready to pack up and leave your city-living days behind, or you’re looking for your next big investment opportunity, here’s what you need to know about some of the hottest markets in Canadian cottage country.

Canadian Real Estate: The Hottest Markets Across Cottage Country

#1 Kawartha Lakes, Ontario

The Kawartha Lakes has long been a getaway target for Torontonians since it is roughly a 90-minute drive from the heart of the city. The region is mostly known for its cottage vacations, but it offers a diverse array of activities and sights, including horseback riding, boating, hiking trails, golf, and so much more. Plus, you can access the Trans Canada Trail and Ferris Provincial Park. Now that the pandemic has altered buying trends, Kawartha is turning into an all-season home for many city dwellers.

According to the Kawartha Lakes Real Estate Association (KLREA), residential home sales surged 39.5 per cent in July. Home prices rose 3.8 per cent to a record high of $480,164. Since Kawartha is becoming a top destination for homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), there has been a surge in demand, but supply has been unable to keep up, which has turned the municipality into a seller’s market.

#2 Muskoka Lakes, Ontario

Like the Kawarthas, Muskoka is at the top of the list of most popular cottage country destinations. And, like the Kawarthas, Muskoka provides so much more than an idyllic getaway. From Gravenhurst to Bracebridge, you can relish in great seasonal festivals, hiking, wineries, and art galleries, all year long.

The Lakelands Association of REALTORS® reported a 29.8-per-cent jump in non-waterfront residential sales and a 64.2-per-cent spike in waterfront sales in July. Prices within Muskoka have also popped: 15.5 per cent for non-waterfront properties ($385,250) and 21.5 per cent for waterfront housing ($675,000). The housing supply in Muskoka remains low, but the demand continues to rise, resulting in a seller’s market.

#3 Gulf Islands, British Columbia

If you desire to be on the west coast, consider the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. This has long been a much-desired cottage destination, mainly for its five major islands (Pender, Galiano, Mayne, Salt Spring and Saturna). Although the Gulf Islands are appealing due to the fact that you can choose to disconnect, or you can still stay connected to the outside world with frequent B.C. Ferries, water taxis and private boats.

The Gulf Islands have been steadily rising for several years now, and real estate agents in British Columbia say that the region could attract even more interest in the months to come. Over the last year, prices have risen as much as 41.61 per cent. Since 2015, prices have gone up as much as 132.7 per cent!

#4 Eastern Townships, Quebec

For years, people have rented cottages for their chalet-style getaways in Eastern Townships. The Quebec region has 89 municipalities, including Magog, Sherbrooke and Coaticook. In addition to being surrounded by nature, the southeastern Quebec region has plenty of gourmet wine facilities, spas, golf courses, and winter sports, as well as more than a dozen national and regional parks that can be enjoyed year-round.

Data from the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers suggest transactions climbed as much as 20 per cent in this region. Prices above the $500,000 level are also the new norm, and experts forecast that prices will continue to go up amid more Montrealers fleeing to the suburbs.

#5 Frontenac County, Ontario

Frontenac County is a three-hour drive from Toronto, sandwiched between Kingston and Ottawa. It would be easy to surmise that Frontenac is attracting mostly Torontonians, but the urban flight trend is bringing people from large cities across Ontario. The main problem is that affordable all-season cottages do not stay on the market long, especially those priced below $500,000.

In July, Kingston and its surrounding areas witnessed a new sales record, rising 35.8 per cent from the same period last year, says Kingston and Area Real Estate Association (KAREA). The average price of homes sold was an astounding $458,026, which was up 15.2 per cent from July 2019.

Earlier this spring, many cottage country mayors discouraged urbanites from leaving their big cities to come to these small towns for fear of spreading the highly infectious respiratory illness. But these warnings might not have been enough for city dwellers searching for vacation homes or all-season cottages. As people from the nation’s largest cities seek less densely populated communities, cottage country destinations nationwide can anticipate a massive boom – and this could last all year long for many of these rural regions. For realtors within these small communities, perhaps the fiercely competitive bidding wars commonplace in Toronto and Vancouver’s real estate transactions, will become the new norm in 2021.  Stranger things – like for example, a global pandemic and killer hornets – have happened.

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LOTR – The Land Owner Transparency Registry – Real Estate and Construction – Canada – Mondaq News Alerts

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Canada:

LOTR – The Land Owner Transparency Registry

To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com.

In an effort to increase disclosure of the ownership of real
estate in B.C., the Land Owner Transparency Act (“LOTA”)
received royal asset and will be in force as soon as regulations
are prescribed. The Land
Title and Survey Authority of B.C.
is advising that the Land
Owner Transparency Registry (“LOTR”) will be launched
soon – as early as this Fall. Once launched,
transferees will be required to file a “transparency
declaration” which will be stored in LOTR, a searchable public
registry
with information about indirect ownership interests in
land.

But what does that disclosure look like?

Who must disclose?

  1. “Reporting bodies,”
    generally including:

    • Trusts
    • Partnerships
    • Corporations
  1. “Individual interest
    holders,” generally including

    • Trust beneficiaries
    • Partners in a partnership
    • Corporate interest holder of at least
      10% of outstanding shares or voting rights. (Confusingly, this is
      different than the requirements under Property Transfer Tax Returns
      and under the new
      Business Corporations Amendment Act
      )

When to disclose?

  • Upon registering a legal interest in
    land in the Land Title Office;
  • If there is a change in interest
    holder(s);
  • A reporting body discovers an
    inaccurate filling;
  • A reporting body is a pre-existing
    owner when LOTA comes into force; and
  • A registered owner ceases to be a
    relevant reporting body.

It’s also recommended that you obtain additional
advice

in these scenarios
.

What to disclose?

  • A transparency
    declaration
    indicating if you are a reporting body and
    what type.
  • Reporting Bodies must also file a
    transparency report disclosing the following
    information:

    • Corporations: name, registered
      address and head office address, jurisdiction of incorporation or
      continuation, incorporation number and business number
    • Trusts: information regarding
      the trustee and settlor corresponding to certain information
      required for individual interest holders
    • Partnerships:
      partnership’s business name, type of partnership, registered
      address or head office address, address of principal business
      premises, jurisdiction of organization, and identification number
      and business number
  • Individual interest holders of
    the relevant reporting body must disclose:
  • Full name, date of birth, SIN, tax
    number, principal residence and last known address;
  • Residency and citizenship status;
    and
  • Date on which one became or ceased to
    be an interest holder and the nature of the individual’s
    interest in the reporting body.

As noted above, these disclosure requirements are confusingly
similar to, but different from:

  • The B.C. private companies
    Transparency Register (FAQs
    here
    )
  • Property Transfer Tax Requirements
    (PTT Return Guide
    here
    ; additional info
    here
    )
  • B.C. Law Society Client
    Identification and Verification Requirements (Details
    here
    )

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Real Estate and Construction from Canada

Your Second Home – Principal Residence Exemption

Minden Gross LLP

From what I have read, the demand for cottage properties has soared during COVID. City folk are eager to get out of the city for a change of scenery, especially since many people are still working from home.

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What's unique to this hardened real estate insurance market – Canadian Underwriter

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At the same time insurers have a reduced appetite to take on real estate risks, real estate developers during a pandemic-induced economic recession have an aversion to investing a lot of money into risk-reduction measures. These twin dynamics are a recipe for a long and arduous hard market in real estate insurance lines, according to a real estate insurance expert.

“What we’re facing right now is a circumstance where there is less and less appetite to take on the broader and wider risk,” said Jeff Charles, managing director for Gallagher. “That’s the whole supply-and-demand issue that the market is facing. And then there is the multi-year accumulation of attritional losses compounded by cat losses. And it’s a zero per cent interest rate environment. The insurance companies are on their heels with where they can be profitable, and that is driving the focus on their underwriting.”

Carriers are looking for more information about risks associated with where developers are building, primarily in areas with a high flood risk, Charles observed. Absent the right amount of information, it’s easier for companies to say they’re going to pass on an application. “’It doesn’t suit our profile and we don’t have enough information,’” said Charles, reciting what brokers are hearing insurance companies say. “That’s becoming more common and, arguably, appropriate.”

iStock.com/BeeBright

Broker conversations with clients are now shifting, Charles said. Clients will be asked if they’re willing to fork over the money and take on the increased costs to transfer the risks to insurance. Or they have the option to do something different, like take that money and invest in actions to mitigate risks and be pro-active.

There’s no straightforward path for clients to take in this environment, Charles told Canadian Underwriter. He finds the market “fascinating,” since one developer will see things differently from another.

When asked if the aversion to investing in risk mitigation would mean a day of reckoning was coming, Charles said it’s already here.

“The reckoning is starting,” he said. “But what’s particularly unique about this [hardening market in real estate] is that as long as we continue to operate in this low interest rate environment, and insurers are restricted in how they generate their income — they’re playing with one arm tied behind their back with the investment returns — that’s going to leave a continued focus on underwriting profitability and potential reliance on generating the majority of their returns to shareholders from their underwriting profitability.”

Related: COVID-19 compounds ongoing real estate insurance challenges

In other words, insurers have to make better decisions about the risks to which they are deploying capacity, and how much premium they’re going to charge. “We’ve started to see price move and we’re starting to see limitations on terms and conditions,” Charles said.

This is not just a Canada-only problem, he pointed out. The same issues are playing out around the world. Compared to other countries, Canadian flood risk may be small potatoes for global insurers who operate in Canada.

“What’s missing from this conversation is the reinsurance conversation,” Charles said. “What kind of price increases is the insurance company seeing. And what’s the driving impact to the end-user of that cost of reinsurance? That’s where you see…the tolerance to take on additional water issues is being tightened fastest.”

Feature image by iStock.com/Warchi

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