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RE/MAX |The Most Affordable Housing Markets in Ontario Real Estate – RE/MAX News



As the Ontario real estate market bounces back from the coronavirus pandemic, many homebuyers may think they may have missed out on the brief opportunity at the height of the public health crisis. In March and April, many of the province’s housing markets experienced modest price declines, offering discounts on detached, semi-detached, townhomes and condominiums.

Prices and sales quickly increased again through the summer in what proved to be a delayed spring market. However, that does not mean all of Ontario’s housing markets are out of range for first-time buyers, families and newcomers, when immigration to Canada eventually resumes its typical pace. With a little bit of due diligence, you can find a region or a city in the province that can present you with the property of your dreams.

Don’t believe it? Consider this fact: according to the 2020 RE/MAX Housing Affordability Report, 75 per cent of Canada’s largest cities are undervalued. This dispels the notion that housing in Canada is largely unaffordable, despite the country having one of the hottest real estate markets in the world. So, where in Ontario can you currently get the most bang for your buck?

The Most Affordable Ontario Real Estate Markets

First, it is important to understand what determines an affordable market. Contrary to popular belief, it goes beyond the average home price. An affordable market takes into account the level of income necessary to afford the purchase of a house. For example, the median income in Hamilton is approximately $67,000 and the average home price is a little more than $500,000. This makes Hamilton an affordable market.

Here are six of the most affordable Ontario real estate markets to check out this fall:


Home Price: $297,938 (CREA June 2020, year-to-date average price)

Income Required: $33,749

When Sudbury witnessed an uptick in confirmed COVID-19 cases, officials were forced to implement strict safety measures for people buying and selling their homes. That did not stop real estate activity in the area as home sales have been on the rise – and for good reason. Sudbury is one of the province’s most affordable cities to live in in Ontario. As more people exit the big cities amid the work-from-home trend, cities such as Sudbury have a become a prime location for families looking to move, offering more space and an affordable cost of living.


Home Price: $570,612(CREA July 2020, year-to-date average price)

Income Required: $73,654

The Barrie housing market continues on the road to recovery as average home prices and sales increased in July. They have been on an upward trend since May. In recent years, Barrie has attracted many residents from Toronto. Real estate experts predict this trend will continue to be the case for two main reasons. The first is that a lot of professionals will begin to telecommute in the coronavirus economy, with many companies introducing work-from-home policies. Secondly, for those who will still be required to commute to the office, Barrie has benefitted from investment in expanded public transit networks, making the trip from Barrie to Toronto much more convenient.


Home Price: $383,521 (CREA July 2020, year-to-date average price)

Income Required: $52,192

Windsor is one of Ontario’s best-kept secrets. You can purchase a large property for the average price of a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto, and many young couples are following the smell of savings! The Windsor housing market continued to sizzle even during the coronavirus pandemic, and now that the city has joined the rest of the province by officially moving into stage three or reopening, this boom is expected to intensify. CBC News writes:

“In addition to the lower housing prices…Windsor makes it an attractive city to buyers and investors because of its close proximity to Detroit, low traffic, relatively warm weather and views, the casino and the imminent construction of the mega hospital.”

For now, Windsor is an affordable market, but with home prices continually rising and inventories falling, the balance could shift in favour of sellers.


Home Price: $493,007 (CREA June 2020, year-to-date average price)

Income Required: $66,317

The Niagara Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) said in Statistics Canada’s monthly survey of home builders that retirees and remote workers have amplified demand for new housing in the Niagara region, which elevated prices by one per cent last month.

“As working from home becomes more prevalent, we may see an increase in the demand for larger living spaces that single-family homes can offer, causing a shift in demand from condominium apartments towards single houses,” the NHBA noted in the monthly survey.

Indeed, this trend has been seen in a number of Canadian housing markets from coast to coast.

A lot of Ontario residents frequent Niagara as a local getaway destination. With travel restrictions in place, Niagara has witnessed a boom in domestic tourism, thanks to its vineyards, sights and entertainment. But upon the first visit, many are wondering if this is a place worth moving to and planting roots, to enjoy the sights all year long.


Home Price: $505,998 (CREA July 2020, year-to-date average price)

Income Required: $69,072

Sales activity has been strong in Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes in the aftermath of the peak COVID-19 period. In April, residential home sales plummeted 58.1 per cent, but they have rebounded as much as 34.5 per cent since. The contributing factor has been GTA buyers fleeing the region and seeking homes in smaller, quieter cities like Peterborough. The problem? Not enough supply, says Chiarina Payne, president of Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors, in an interview with

With interest rates at historic lows and demand expected to remain healthy, residential prices in the region are expected to rise by three per cent by the end of the 2020.

North Bay

Home Price: $286,114 (CREA July 2020, year-to-date average price)

Income Required: $39,893

For a long time, homebuyers have overlooked northern Ontario in favour of its southern urban counterparts. Unlike other rural areas, access to typical amenities is not as easy and development is more limited compared to the rest of the province. That said, real estate sales have been climbing in cities like North Bay, possibly because of greater infrastructure investment, improved land development, and lower taxation. With the combination of incredibly affordable homes, and the increased flexibility of telecommuting employees, this trend is likely to continue through the rest of 2020.

Ontario’s slogan is “Yours to discover,” but the concept is more than just a garnish on our license plates. There is a lot of the province that most people have yet to see, and this is important if you are searching for a property to purchase. For Ontario real estate hunters, Toronto is an ideal location but the cost of a Toronto home is unaffordable for many. Exploring or expanding your home search to other parts of the province is more doable than ever before: public transit routes are expansive, remote work is more common, and a lot of cities in Ontario offer comparable amenities to what you would find in Toronto or Hamilton. Ready to make the great escape from big city life? Time to start discovering Ontario real estate!


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




LOTR – The Land Owner Transparency Registry

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

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
with information about indirect ownership interests in

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
  • 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

in these scenarios

What to disclose?

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

    • 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;
  • 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
  • Property Transfer Tax Requirements
    (PTT Return Guide
    ; additional info
  • B.C. Law Society Client
    Identification and Verification Requirements (Details

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.

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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



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.”

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.”

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Canadian real estate shares drop on Ontario move to freeze rents – BNN



Shares of Canadian apartment companies dropped after the country’s largest province said it plans to freeze residential rents in 2021.

New rules announced Thursday apply to the vast majority of rental units in Ontario. Without the change, owners of rent-controlled apartments, condos and houses would have been able to boost rents by 1.5 per cent next year. The legislation also extends a ban on evictions of small businesses.

Real estate investment trusts with rental properties in Ontario had been trading higher before the announcement. Ottawa-based Minto Apartment REIT fell to C$17.96 as of 2:37 p.m. Toronto time, down 3.2 per cent from its intraday high, while InterRent REIT sagged 1.8 per cent from its earlier high.

Canadian Apartment Properties REIT, the country’s second-largest real estate trust by market value, initially fell more than 1 per cent on the announcement before recovering. The REITs didn’t immediately provide comment on the rule change.

“The last thing I want any family to worry about right now is whether or not they can afford to stay in their home,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at a news conference in Toronto.

Ford’s government also imposed new limits on social gatherings in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel, where COVID-19 cases have been rising. Outdoor gatherings are now restricted to 25 people, down from 100, and indoor gatherings are limited to 10, down from 50. The rules are primarily meant to crack down on parties and don’t apply to restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses operating with less strict capacity limits.

Ontario reported 293 new cases of Covid-19 in the past day, 21% higher than the average of the previous seven days.

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