Monthly Archives: July 2010

China’s latest export: home buyers

The Vancouver skyline at sunset.

30 investors taking tour of Toronto and Vancouver this summer expected to drop a half-million dollars each

Steve Ladurantaye Real Estate Reporter

From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail Published on Tuesday, Jul. 13, 2010 8:06PM EDT Last updated on Tuesday, Jul. 13, 2010 8:25PM EDT

Half a world away, a handful of Chinese citizens are feverishly planning a Canadian real-estate shopping excursion. Continue reading

Real estate broker enjoying the ride

Real estate broker enjoying the ride

Leng Hongli (right), a real estate agent in the Wangjing area of Beijing, introduces houses on sale to a customer on Wednesday. Zhang Wei / of China Daily

Surging market pushes up housing prices as well as realtor’s income

BEIJING – Leng Hongli is riding high on the real estate express.

Boosted by soaring housing prices, 30-year-old Leng earned 100,000 yuan ($14,700) in commissions last month after selling seven apartments in Beijing’s Wangjing area. Continue reading

Housing Down Under just keeps going up

Nichola Saminather, Bloomberg News · Tuesday, Jul. 6, 2010

Tamara Jenkins has been outbid about 20 times in her nine-month quest to buy an apartment in Melbourne’s inner suburbs.

“I started with such enthusiasm,” the 36-year-old public relations director said in an interview. “I’m so frustrated with the process. I’m ready to buy, but I keep missing out.”

The source of her frustration — a shortage of 200,000 dwellings — is helping fuel Australian home prices, which are 82% higher than in the United States, and disproving investors such as Jeremy Grantham, who says they will fall 42% as interest rates rise in one of the world’s priciest home markets. Continue reading

Bedbugs a potential deal breaker for real estate transations in Toronto

Business Reporter

Tony Wong – July 6, 2010

It’s an occupational hazard Barry Lebow would rather do without.

Before entering a home to inspect it, the veteran real estate appraiser typically gives the butt of his jeans a quick dousing of bug spray.

“I promised myself that I wouldn’t bring home bedbugs again — that stuff is murder,” says Lebow of Lebow, Hicks Ltd. “We didn’t sleep for three weeks.” Continue reading

High-end house sitting

Tim Shufelt, Financial Post · Friday, Jul. 2, 2010

Perhaps you want to upgrade your current living quarters to something slightly more palatial, but that would require your riches to be slightly less imaginary.

So you could take the dignified route and accept that fate prefers to store you in a glorified shack, or you can masquerade in a delusional fantasy of boundless wealth.

Fantasy it is. And as it turns out, there are options for those looking to dislodge from reality. Continue reading

Electricity bills in Ontario set to rise $300 a year by the end of 2011

AToronto Hydro windmill on the grounds of the CNE at sunrise.

More increases loom as a result of new green projects, analysts say

Karen Howlett, Whitby, Ont.

From Friday’s Globe and Mail Published on Thursday, Apr. 08, 2010 12:37PM EDT Last updated on Friday, Apr. 09, 2010 5:45AM EDT

Ontario is about to rival Prince Edward Island as the province with the highest electricity prices in Canada, and rates will, for the first time, exceed the average cost of keeping the lights on in the United States

Residential customers in Ontario will pay $300 more a year on average for electricity by the end of 2011, an increase of 25 per cent, according to energy consultants. And the rate increases won’t end there. Investments of more than $8-billion in green energy projects unveiled by the Ontario government Thursday will add another $60 a year to hydro bills by 2012. Continue reading

Bank towers continue fight for lower tax assessment=

June 07, 2010

John Spears–bank-towers-continue-fight-for-lower-tax-assessment

A dozen years after Ontario overhauled its property assessment system, Toronto’s biggest office towers bearing the names of the Big Five banks are still fighting for lower assessed values.

The towers carried their battle to Ontario’s highest court Monday, looking for a decision that could ultimately help them win tax refunds of up to $150 million, and see their assessed value reduced by $1 billion or more. Continue reading