Toronto Property Headlines (Feb 22nd 2019)

Below we highlight the latest trending real estate news and property headlines in Toronto.

CentreCourt property developers have submitted a zoning bylaw amendment application to Toronto city to permit the construction of a 37-story tower at 199 Church Street. The high-rise tower located at the doorstep of Ryerson University. This 478-unit condo tower will include 266 one-bedrooms, 79 studio apartments, 51 three-bedrooms, and 82 two-bedrooms. Two rental units will be demolished so as to pave way for the construction of the condo tower. The developers recently completed the spectacular Grid CondosURBAN TORONTO

Proposed 37-story high rise tower at 199 Church Street

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the real estate market in Canada is still vulnerable even though overvaluation is easing in Toronto. This is the tenth sequential quarter that the agency has rated the Canadian property market as “vulnerable.” The housing market imbalances such as price acceleration, overbuilding and overheating were all used to draw upon the assessment conclusion. — COAST MOUNTAIN NEWS

Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is seeking for the revision of the stricter mortgage stress test rules that took effect in 2018. The largest real estate board in Canada is arguing that the regulations introduced by Canada’s top banking regulator have negatively affected Toronto’s thriving property market. The OSFI-mandatory stress tests require individuals applying for a mortgage to prove that they can service the uninsured loan. The stricter imposed policy also reduced the maximum amount that property buyers would be able to borrow. — THE GUARDIAN

Sidewalk labs, a firm backed by Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc, is proposing to be granted a cut in development fees, property taxes and land value increment for its work in Toronto. In partnership with Waterfront Toronto, the firm plans to regain investment/profit through the various taxes in exchange for building a 4.9-acre smart city along Toronto’s harbor front in addition to funding a light transit line along the waterfront. The proposal yet to be approved by the public and Toronto city has the potential to generate approximately $4.5 billion to pay for the infrastructure for over 30 years — REUTERS

Ontario Real Estate Association hails the move by Ontario’s government to amend the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act. The underway consultations seek to reveal conditions and prices to Ontario home purchasers in bidding wars. Currently, a seller’s broker can not divulge the details of bidding offers, only their number. The move aims to provide prospective buyers with adequate information so that they may make informed purchase decisions rather than on the sole conditions of blind bidding wars. — CBC  

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) aims to reclaim $600 million in lost real estate tax revenue. The CRA is focused on ensuring that individuals who partake in property flipping report the transactions to the agency. The agency is focusing on filling the loopholes where buyers in the Toronto real estate market avoid reporting such property sales. Property buyers who fail to do so will incur dire penalties that consist of non-deductible interest on the arrears, a discrepancy in tax owing, and gross negligence penalties. — MONDAQ

Redfin, the U.S. online broker enters into the Greater Toronto Area real estate market. The company’s CEO Glenn Kelman acknowledges the cooled Toronto property market but seeks to take advantage of the growing population and the favorable Canadian financial institution that supports homeownership. The similar move follows the entry of American real estate web giant Zillow into the Toronto property market. —THE STAR

Urban Planning consultancy firm, Demographia names Toronto one of the cities in the world with the least unaffordable housing markets. A report by Demographia describes Canada as home to 17 cities with unaffordable property markets of the 79 surveyed. Residents in Toronto currently require 90% of their pre-taxed gross income to afford monthly payments on the average cost of a house according to the 2018 RBC Economics Affordability Report. — TORONTO STOREYS

CREA statistics indicate that Toronto recorded Canada’s largest real estate transactions in January 2019 worth $5.4 billion. The data depicts that the median sale price of a single detached home in Toronto rose by 2.4% to $845,000. It, however, noted that property sales activities were curbed as a result of a burst in property prices to unaffordable levels. This led authorities to impose regulations such as high-interest rates to reduce lending. — SHUPILOV NEWS

Toronto’s local real estate board states that the city’s property prices are set to recover in 2019 potentially matching the 2017 market peak season. The board predicted that the average selling price in Toronto would increase by about 4% to C$820,000 close to 2017’s market high of C$822,587. It stated that this was made possible by buyers who had adjusted to the prior imposed regulations. The policies included stricter lending rules meant to curb the high property prices that rose to unfavorable levels — BLOOMBERG

Written and curated by David Kuria. He is the uber-curious type. A travel and real estate enthusiast. In simplicity, he covers global real estate news from nearly every angle in addition to market movements in finance, the world economy, and other business trends.  Follow him on Twitter.