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Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports January housing sales up 42.4 percent



The number of residential real-estate transactions last month remained 7.3 percent below the 10-year average for January, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

But sales last month were still a whopping 42.4 percent above the figure recorded in January 2019, when the housing market was in the doldrums.

“We’ve begun 2020 with steady home buyer demand that tracks close to the region’s long-term average,” REBGV president Ashley Smith said in a news release. “Looking at supply, we’re seeing fewer homes listed for sale than is typical for this time of year. As we approach the traditionally more active spring market, we’ll keep a close eye on supply to see if the number of homes being listed is keeping pace with demand.”

The number of new listings was 17.4 percent beneath the 10-year average for January. And the number of homes listed for sale through the multiple-listing service last month was 13.7 percent below the 10-year average.

Meanwhile, the benchmark price for all residential real estate in January was $1,009,700. That’s 1.2 percent below the figure recorded a year ago, but 0.8 percent higher than in December.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s territory includes Whistler and the Sea to Sky corridor.

White Rock, North Delta, Surrey, and Langley are part of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s territory.

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Dutch firms plan 87-storey downtown Toronto high-rise – Real Estate News EXchange



Dutch developers Kroonenberg Groep and ProWinko are planning an 87-storey, mixed-use high-rise at the downtown Toronto intersection of Bay and Bloor.

Dutch developers Kroonenberg Groep and ProWinko are proposing an 87-storey, mixed-use high-rise which would tower over the downtown Toronto intersection of Bay and Bloor Streets. If approved and built as proposed, it would be Canada’s tallest building.

The companies have appointed Swiss-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron and Canadian architects Quadrangle to design the building, which is proposed for the northwest corner of the intersection. The project is in the early planning stages and would require approval from the City of Toronto.

“This is an iconic block in the neighbourhood and Toronto at large. We have an opportunity to deliver a project that sets a new benchmark for design and strives to give something back to the city,” said Lesley Bamberger, owner of Kroonenberg Groep, in a release Wednesday which announced the proposed tower.

The long, narrow property is currently the site of a 12-storey office building.

It sits next to another site where private developer Krugerand Corp., proposed last year to construct a stepped, 79-storey tower containing about 1,400 condominium units and three storeys (about 77,ooo square feet) of retail and commercial space.

The Bay-Bloor high-rise

The first 16 floors of the Kroonenberg / ProWinko project would replace the existing retail, office and technical functions.

A private amenities level will separate these functions from the condominium levels above, which the companies say will be characterized by “generous daylight through the floor-to-ceiling operable windows which provide natural ventilation.”

External shutters would allow each individual user to regulate the daylight and heat load into their apartment.

A large restaurant, sky lounge and rentable spaces will occupy the highest three floors of the building with spectacular panoramic views over the City of Toronto.

At street level, residents will enter a triple-height lobby from Bloor Street and take one of four dedicated lifts to their condo level. Residences will range from one-bedroom to multi-level penthouses, totaling 332 condominium units spread over 64 floors.

If approved and constructed at its proposed height of 1,063 feet, the development would be taller even than the proposed Sky Tower, a 1,027-foot, 95-storey high-rise planned for the Pinnacle One Young development.

The CN Tower remains Canada’s tallest freestanding structure at 1,815 feet.

First Toronto project

The tower marks Herzog & de Meuron’s first design in Toronto, with Quadrangle serving as project architect and Urban Strategies rounding out the design team.

The Bloor Street location places the building on a major east-west axis at the northern edge of the downtown core. It is also adjacent to one of the best-known shopping areas in Toronto.

The intersection with Bay Street is a strategic site within the neighbourhood and at the heart of a cluster of major new developments in the area.

The release says a “linear core at the western façade is proposed which maximizes the usable area of the floorplate, the aspect over Bay Street to the east and simultaneously provides privacy from any adjacent development to the west.”

The building will feature interior glazing (thermal envelope), exterior timber roller shades and an outer layer of transparent, open-jointed glass.

“The effect is a building which at times appears transparent and expressive – revealing the scale and activity within the building; and at other times, the reflective outer layer of glass gives the building an abstract quality, emphasizing its dramatic proportion,” the release states.

About Kroonenberg Groep

Kroonenberg Groep is an international developer, real estate investor and manager of retail space, workspace and residential space. It “realizes creative and sustainable tailor-made solutions that are completely in line with the needs of the market.”

About ProWinko

ProWinko’s roots lie in the Netherlands, where the company has been active since 1990. Its portfolio consists of “high-quality real estate at top locations in major city centres,” the company says.

It is currently active in six countries (Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg and Switzerland).

About Herzog & de Muron

Established in Basel in 1978, Herzog & de Meuron is a partnership led by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron together with senior partners Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler, Stefan Marbach, Esther Zumsteg, and Jason Frantzen.

An international team of nearly 500 collaborators including the two founders, five senior partners, eight partners and 42 associates work on projects across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

The main office is in Basel with additional offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Berlin and Copenhagen.

The practice has designed a wide range of projects from private homes to large-scale urban design. Many projects are highly recognized public facilities, such as museums, stadiums and hospitals, along with private projects including offices, laboratories and apartment buildings.

Awards received include the Pritzker Architecture Prize (U.S.A.) in 2001 and the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (U.S.A.) in 2014.


* Pinnacle to launch 95-storey Toronto SkyTower condos

* Condo boom puts Toronto atop Crane Index … again

* Greybrook, Tribute buy Toronto property for twin-tower condo

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Alberta overhauls real estate regulator in wake of prior dysfunctional board – National Post



EDMONTON — Alberta is restructuring its real estate regulator, eight months after the government fired the previous board on the grounds it was irredeemably dysfunctional.

“Bill 20 … is the next step in the process to reform the governance of (the board) and to restore the faith of Albertans and the real estate industry in the real estate regulator,” Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish said Wednesday prior to introducing the legislation in the house.

“The end result will be a new governance structure that will increase transparency, improve accountability and ultimately restore good governance to the real estate regulator.”

The Real Estate Council of Alberta licenses and regulates residential and commercial real estate agents and brokers, mortgage brokers, and property managers.

Last October, Glubish fired the existing board and appointed an interim administrator.

The move followed a third-party audit that reported the previous board had broken down, foundering under fractious interpersonal relationships and poor dealings with those in the industry.

The KPMG report also found key committees were left empty, meetings were not held and there was a lack of oversight on spending.

The bill would restructure the council overseen by a board of directors, with four new industry councils: residential real estate agents and brokers; commercial real estate agents and brokers and commercial property managers; mortgage brokers; and residential property managers and condominium managers.

These new industry councils would identify and address issues related to their parts of the real estate sector, setting standards and rules and determining licensing requirements.

There would also be a new dispute resolution process and board members and industry council members would not be allowed to sit on disciplinary hearings. Those hearings would be staffed by industry people or members of the public at large.

The council would also have to make public staff salaries and meeting minutes.

Condominium managers would be added to the groups overseen by the regulator while real estate appraisers would be removed, given they are self-regulated through their own industry association.

The Alberta Real Estate Association called the bill a critical first step towards reform.

“Refocusing the real estate regulator on common sense regulation will better protect the public and improve the real estate industry, while greater openness and transparency standards will help rebuild eroded trust,” Kristie Kruger, chairwoman of the association, said in a statement.

The association represents more than 10,000 realtors and 10 real estate boards.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2020

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Alberta government tables new structure for beleaguered real estate council – Edmonton Journal



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The board of directors would be responsible for running the corporation and be chaired by one of three members of the public who are appointed by the minister. The remaining board seats would  be filled by one member appointed by each industry council from its elected industry members.

Each industry council would be made up of three industry members elected by their industry and two public members appointed by the minister and a chair.

The new board of directors will would have two years to come up with bylaws and rules  to be approved by the minister.

In the first year, the board of directors must create a bylaw that establishes a dispute resolution process. The new legislation also defines the roles of the executive director who would be responsible for administration of the organization and the registrar who would be in charge of investigations and enforcing the rules. Investigations were previously the responsibility of the executive director.

Kristie Kruger, chair of the Alberta Real Estate Association said her organization is pleased the government has heard its concerns

“This legislation demands greater openness and transparency, which will help rebuild eroded trust in the real estate regulator,” she said in the government’s press release.

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