Once upon a time, I’d come home from vacation and see 16 rolled up newspapers sitting by my front door.
But video killed the radio star, and online media has made my various newspaper subscriptions redundant.
Instead, I have a long reading list of links and URL’s, and I’m only now getting caught up.
I have a lot to say about the last week’s news, specifically as it pertains to real estate…
“New homebuyers getting squeezed out of Toronto market as government fees on new builds skyrocket”
May 1st, 2019
This is so eff-ing juicy, I can’t get over it!
Remember the blog post I wrote in March called, “What Does It Cost To Construct A Condo In 2018?”
Well the impetus for that post was the absurd amount of fees that our various levels of governments charge on condominiums, and my theory that this is the #1 driver of real estate prices in the city of Toronto.
Consider me feeling vindicated!
The sub-headline for the above article reads:
“Industry report shows government fees on a new, single-detached home in the GTA was about $186,300, or 22% of the full price, and it’s even more for a condo.”
Well, what did you expect?
Monday’s blog post about financial literacy spawned some excellent comments and insight, but the one I found the most intriguing was this one:
“Why practice financial literacy when the world (governments) is run in such a financially irresponsible manner? I truly ask this why would someone do this if there is no near and/or immediate near consequence?”
I make no bones about the fact that I’m a fiscal conservative, and even though we’re not supposed to talk about religion, money, and politics, I’ll go on record saying that I vote Conservative in elections. But I’m also loud when it comes to the amount of money our government taxes us, and how they spend it.
Trudeau’s swarm of new auditors are like Donnie Brasco’s pals, sitting around a table talking about who they got their hooks into. Lefty Ruggerio knows a maintenance guy at Laguardia who’s boosting shipments of car stereos, but CRA Auditor #24879 is going after a convenience store owner for an extra $2,200 in reassessments.
Off topic here, and I’m sorry, but read this:
I could go on here, but I’m already off on a tangent.
I believe that the role of a government is not to do what is best for the people. It is not to guide, lead, and deliver. It’s not to promote the general welfare of the people.
The true role of government is to stay in power.
And to stay in power, or win power, you need to win votes, and that means giving people things and spending money.
As our parents told us, “Money does not grow on trees.” It grows inside the pockets of tax-paying Canadians.
As Monday’s commenter wrote, governments around the world are running insurmountable budget deficits, and spending money like it’s going out of style. All this money has to come from somewhere, so why in the world should we be surprised to hear that the government is primarily responsible for running up the price of Toronto real estate?
Not the evil foreign buyer, not the well-off speculator, not the millennials with their parents’ money, not the greedy real estate agents, but the governments, who are responsible for almost a quarter of the price of a new home.
“Doug Ford plans to open up ‘big chunk’ of Greenbelt for development”
April 30th, 2018
From the moment I read this headline, I knew this wasn’t going to be the end of the story.
In fact, I figured Kathleen Wynne probably saw this as her only real opportunity to get back into the race.
I thought it would get dirty, but so far other than Wynne saying that Ford would make the greenbelt “swiss cheese,” I’m surprised at how clean it’s been.
The left-wing Toronto Star jumped on board with this headline:
“Doug Ford assured developers he plans to open up Greenbelt to housing development”
April 30th, 2018
The Star all but left out the part about him putting cute puppies in a wheat-thresher, and handing out “razor-apples” on Halloween…
For what it’s worth – I don’t like Doug Ford. As a person, or as a politician. But I despise the Liberals, and the NDP is completely redundant since the Liberals are actually more leftist than the NDP, so what the hell choice to we have?
As for the saga, it continues:
“Doug Ford reverses course on Greenbelt development after public backlash”
Globe & Mail
May 1st, 2018
Good for him, at least he’s listening to the public. Which is more than I can say for Ms. Wynne.
Green Party leader Mike Schreiner called the notion that building on the greenbelt would help ease GTA house prices, “idiotic.” But I’m not convinced.
Our city has always had a problem with supply, and adding more supply would easy the deficit between supply and demand.
However, as we’ve seen so far in 2018, the prices outside the core have levelled off. So would building on the Greenbelt actually encourage more people to move outside the city, thus decreasing demand in the core?
Maybe, maybe not.
But as I have been saying for the last decade, what would ease the prices in the central core is rapid transit in the Golden Horseshoe.
If the provincial government wasn’t too busy spending billions of dollars buying votes in the election, and if the federal government wasn’t too busy giving our tax revenue to any and every bleeding-heart cause, perhaps they’d soon realize that almost a third of the country – 10,000,000 people, live in the Golden Horseshoe. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the economic engine of the entire country.
Both federal and provincial governments routinely shun the City of Toronto when it comes to expenditures, but eventually they’ll realize that this should be the primary focus, not the afterthought.
What if, and just humour me here – what if you could wake up every morning in your $150,000 detached bungalow in Niagara Falls, walk to the train station, and take a 25-minute bullet-train to Union Station?
Doubt me if you want, but I have one word for you: Shinkansen.
Have you ever been to Japan? Have you been on the Shinkansen? Click on that link – have a look.
These trains travel upwards of 320 KM/H.
And guess when the Shinkansen was first built?
Not 2018, that’s for sure.
The infrastructure would cost tens of billions. But so what? If you added up everything Kathleen Wynne has promised to give away since the start of 2018, there’s a goddam bullet-train right there.
Tokyo has 285 stations, and a daily ridership of 8.7 Million people. There are 13.6 Million people residing in metro Tokyo.
Toronto has 75 stations, and a daily ridership of 950,000 people. There are 3.1 Million people residing in metro Toronto.
I know many of you are cracking your knuckles, ready to poke holes in my Toronto-vs-Tokyo comparison, but what’s wrong with a little day-dreaming? I haven’t been on the subway in a decade, but I still see that public transit is the future of any growing metropolis.
But what if you took things a step further than simply “expanding public transit?” What if you saw the end game of uniting the entire Golden Horseshoe through a series of investments in super-modern infrastructure? Then not everybody who works in Toronto, which is the defacto capital of Canada, would have to live here.
It’s never going to happen. There’s no real “advantage” in a 20-year project for a politician with a 4-year term…
“GTA millennials look farther afield after new mortgage rules”
April 26th, 2018
I loved this part – just to crush our spirits:
“A peak millennial can purchase a home in Moncton, N.B., for the cost of the 20 per cent downpayment on a home in the market segment accessible to them in the Greater Toronto Area,” says the report.
Well, we can’t all live in Moncton, can we?
For what it’s worth, I haven’t had a single client under 30-years-old put his or her search on hold after January 1st.
Some of my clients saw their purchasing power drop, but only a handful of them actually bought for less than what they would have, could have, last year.
This was another thought-provoking part of the article:
The poll shows that renters save less than those who already own too. Renters had accumulated personal savings averaging $26,058, compared to home owners, who had saved $60,631.
I shudder to think…
“B.C. government targets tax evasion in condo market to keep prices down”
Globe & Mail
April 24th, 2018
Umm, a bit of a reach here, no?
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Or so the saying goes.
Vancouver’s foreign buyer tax and vacancy tax cooled the market………for about five months.
Now what, they’re out of ideas?
This isn’t about “keeping prices down.” This is about collecting tax:
Finance Minister Carole James said legislation introduced Tuesday would require developers to collect and report buyer information on the purchase and sale of condos before they are built to ensure the proper amount of tax is paid.
The prices of so-called presale condominiums are inflated by people who buy and sell the properties without ever living in them or paying capital gains tax, she said.
I’m not going to debate the merits of collecting more tax revenue or not.
But I don’t like the false-assertion that this is about “keeping prices down,” as the Finance Minister continues here:
“This is a key step to stopping people from using presale condos as a quick, lucrative investment,” James said. “It’s also to stop them from driving prices up for British Columbians trying to get into the housing market.”
“Two JV developments to build 2,200 apartments in Toronto”
Real Estate News Exchange
April 27th, 2018
Why didn’t this get more attention?
Why didn’t I see this in any of the major newspapers?
Send me the links if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a major victory for the rental market, not to mention for affordable housing?
The project will apparently include 30% of units as affordable housing:
The development is to be built in stages and include approximately 1,500 purpose-built residential units, up to 75,000 square feet of retail amenity space, and possible future office building. The first phase will feature approximately 750 rental units and 26,000 square feet of retail which is zoned and approved by the City of Toronto.
That’s as positive a thing as you’ll see in the Toronto media as it pertains to real estate, so let me end it there, and bid you a good day!