Real Estate Cheat Sheet: rising mortgage rates and misleading condo ads

Real Estate Cheat Sheet: rising mortgage rates and misleading condo ads

(Image: Josh Matlow)

The top stories in Toronto real estate this week: Ottawa slows the flow of mortgage credit; a councillor battles ads for new condo developments; and how Canada is more and more like the pre-recession U.S..

• The federal government moves to cool the housing market
Just as sales were bouncing back from the effects of last summer’s new mortgage regulations, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. informed banks and large lenders that it’s capping guarantees on mortgage-backed securities.What does it mean for home buyers? Probably a jump in mortgage rates of 0.2 to 0.65 percentage points, according to one economist. [Globe and Mail]

• Councillor Josh Matlow versus deceptive condo ads
Matlow is irritated by pavement signs and billboards that proclaim buildings not yet approved by the city are “coming soon.” The councillor is pushing the province to require developers to clearly display whether approval is pending. In the meantime, Matlow is roaming the streets delivering vigilante justice. [Toronto Star]

• More Canadians own a home than ever before
Canada’s home ownership rate is currently nearly 70 per cent. As a comparison, U.S. ownership rates were at 69.4 per cent in 2004, but have dropped to 65 per cent (an 18-year low) as a result of the country’s housing market crash. [Financial Post]

• Office space near transit is in higher demand
Well, duh. A brokerage firm looked at 11 GTA areas and found that office buildings less than half a kilometre from rapid transit have an average vacancy rate of 5.6 per cent versus 12.1 per cent for other buildings. The asking net rental rate is also 38 per cent higher. [Globe and Mail]