Monthly Archives: June 2010

Ontario rent increase guideline lowest in 35 years

It is hard to see this as anything but political posturing for a government that will be soon be going to the polls. Consider the following:

interest rates are increasing (partly as a result of rising inflation);

electricity costs are increasing in Ontario;

– the HST will increase the operating costs in apartments and condominiums;

– Landlords are unable to pass the higher HST induced costs to the tenants.

It would appear that this is an an outright declaration of war by the Ontario Government of Dalton McGuinty on Ontario’s landlords. It’s just a question of where the votes are. There are more tenants than landlords.


“Ontario’s rent increase guideline for 2011 will be 0.7 per cent.

The provincial government says it’s the lowest guideline in the 35-year history of Ontario rent regulation.

The guideline is the maximum amount a landlord can increase the rent of most sitting tenants without seeking approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

The 2011 guideline applies to rent increases that occur between January 1 and December 31, 2011.

The calculation is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index.”

Condo dwellers, expect an HST-related fee hike

While maintenance fees are HST exempt, condo corporations are likely to pass their new costs on to owners

Dianne Nice

Published on Monday, Jun. 21, 2010 6:00AM EDT Last updated on Tuesday, Jun. 22, 2010 1:12PM EDT

Condo fees may not be subject to HST, but that doesn’t mean condo owners won’t be dinged by the tax.

Alan Kwan, a 32-year-old recruiter for a headhunting firm in downtown Toronto, says he expects to be hit with higher condo fees in a year’s time, after the managers of his building have gone over their financial statements and totted up their additional costs from the Harmonized Sales Tax. Continue reading

Debt is central bank’s biggest fear

Bank of Canada building in Ottawa

Bank of Canada says household debt and European crisis present the biggest risks to country’s financial stabil

Jeremy Torobin

Ottawa Globe and Mail Update Published on Monday, Jun. 21, 2010 10:45AM EDT Last updated on Monday, Jun. 21, 2010 12:53PM EDT

Risks to Canada’s financial stability have gone up over the past six months because of the possibility that the European debt crisis and “severe tensions” in global markets could threaten the worldwide recovery, the Bank of Canada said Monday. Continue reading

Homeowners sell, start renting instead

As interest rates rise, more people are selling their properties — and diving into rentals, driving up rents as well

Steve Ladurantaye Real Estate Reporter

Globe and Mail Update (Includes correction) Published on Friday, Jun. 18, 2010 6:36AM EDT Last updated on Friday, Jun. 18, 2010 8:14AM EDT

Bidding wars have moved from the bungalow to the two-bedroom rental apartment. Continue reading

Best deals in real estate

by Don Sutton, MoneySense

Wednesday, June 16, 2010provided bymoneysense

Where do you want to live? Where can you afford to live? Every major Canadian city scoured for bargains!

It’s a crazy time for real estate in Canada. Prices are sky-high, people are feeling pressured into selling into a hot market and buyers fear purchasing an overpriced home only to see the bubble burst.

But MoneySense magazine has come to the rescue and crunched the numbers to identify the best real estate deals in the best cities. Continue reading

Shine comes off housing boom

MLS real estate sign.

Retreat in May sales signals abrupt shift to a buyers’ market

Steve Ladurantaye, Jacquie McNish

Globe and Mail Update Published on Thursday, Jun. 03, 2010 6:59PM EDT Last updated on Tuesday, Jun. 08, 2010 1:37PM EDT

Canada’s resale housing boom has run out of steam.

After a year of solid gains, monthly sales in major cities took their first step back in May as the threat of higher mortgage rates, tighter qualification rules and a flood of new listings took the pressure off buyers to rush into the market. Continue reading

Rental apartment vacancies up in April

Financial Post · Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2010

Rental apartment vacancies in major Canadian centres rose 2.9% in April, up from 2.7% a year earlier, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said yesterday. “Rental construction and competition from the condominium market added upward pressure on vacancy rates and historically low mortgage rates attracted renter households towards home ownership over the last year,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. Of the 35 major centres, the lowest vacancy rates were in Quebec City (0.4%), Regina (0.8%), Winnipeg (1%) and St. John’s, N.L. (1.1%). The highest vacancy rates were in Windsor, Ont. (12.4%), Peterborough, Ont., and Abbotsford, B.C., (both 6.6%). Monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments were the highest in Vancouver ($1,150), Toronto ($1,134), Calgary ($1,082) and Ott awa ($1,061). The lowest rents were in the Quebec centres of Saguenay($522), Trois-Rivieres ($531) and Sherbrooke ($556).

Read more:

Home sales sputter in May

Prices dip as the threat of higher mortgage rates disrupts ‘the normal seasonal pattern

Steve Ladurantaye Real Estate Reporter

Globe and Mail Update Published on Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2010 9:00AM EDT Last updated on Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2010 10:02AM EDT

Housing sales slipped in May, as Canada’s resale housing market sputtered after more than 18 months of solid gains. Continue reading

Sub-meter confusion leaves tenants in dark

June 15, 2010

Noor Javed

{{GA_Article.Images.Alttext$}}Melanie Gogan, of 90 Eastdale Tenants’ Association, says residents received notices their hydro would be cut off if they didn’t reconsent to sub-metering.

After sitting in the dark in her two-bedroom apartment for more than 24 hours, Laurie Brown finally gave in. The mother of two small children says she had no choice but to pay $500 in hydro bills or risk being without power for days, possibly weeks.

Now the Toronto resident is wondering what she will do next month when another bill from third-party energy provider Stratacon shows up again at her door.

The monthly hydro bill at her 100 Sprucewood Court apartment, previously about $40 to $60 a month, had suddenly shot up to nearly $150 a month and she didn’t understand why. She still doesn’t. Continue reading

Upstart real estate companies launch war on commissions

June 12, 2010

Tony Wong

Business Reporter–upstart-real-estate-companies-launch-war-on-commissions

One firm promises to post your home on the Multiple Listing Service for a penny. Another boasts that it’s cheaper to use lawyers than realtors. A third encourages agents to bid on listings to see who might offer the best prices and services.

At least half a dozen new innovative Canadian companies have been launched in the wake of a decision by the federal Competition Bureau to challenge the rules of organized real estate. Continue reading