Canada and Toronto’s housing markets

Perhaps the hardest thing about doing a PhD in Toronto is finding decent housing and paying for it with the kind of income the university’s funding package and TA work provides. Since the 2008 financial crisis, governments around the world have undertaken exceptional monetary and fiscal stimulus to try to sustain employment and economic growth. Those ultra-low interest rates, however, have affected asset prices in at least two ways. First, since they cannot even earn the rate of inflation from savings accounts, people have been prompted to invest in all manner of speculative assets, from frothy tech stocks to bitcoin to the housing bubbles inflating around the world. At the same time, low interest rates have facilitated massive borrowing for house purchases, also helping to drive up the level of house prices.

Those dynamics have several unwanted current and future impacts. For one thing, I worry that the sense of affluence it fosters among house owners is contributing to an erosion of empathy. It is also worsening the intergenerational inequalities between people who bought houses decades ago and have experienced a huge jump in wealth as a result and the younger people who in past generations would have been entering the housing market now. When interest rates do finally need to rise (once inflation rises above target levels) many home owners risk being in the unfortunate position that the 2008 crisis caused for so many: being ‘underwater’ with a mortgage now larger than the market price of their home.

I think it would be prudent for governments to pay more attention to asset price levels alongside the inflation and employment rates when setting policy. Their efforts to juice their way out of the last crisis seem to be setting up the next one. It would also be desirable for countries to start requiring comprehensive disclosure of wealth as a prelude to wealth taxation.

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182 thoughts on “Canada and Toronto’s housing markets”

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on Toronto’s rental market since it first arrived last March — resulting in rent prices not seen in several years — and the latest data shows this month is no exception.

    A new report from Padmapper indicates that the median one-bedroom rent in Toronto now sits at just $1,750, continuing the downhill trend that has shaken up the city’s rental market following years of uncontrollable exponential growth.

    The last time Toronto saw rental prices this low was in February of 2017, according to the report, when it was at $1,700.

    https://www.blogto.com/real-estate-toronto/2021/03/rent-prices-one-bedroom-unit-toronto-four-year-low/

  2. New Zealand moves to rein in runaway housing market with billion dollar plan

    Jacinda Ardern announces more support for first homebuyers and measures to dampen property speculation but admits its no ‘silver bullet’

    Measures have also been introduced to dampen speculation, after property investment reached record-highs due to low interest rates and New Zealand’s speedy economic recovery from the pandemic last year. In 2020 15,000 people who already owned five or more properties, bought houses.

    The finance minister, Grant Robertson, announced an extension to the “bright-line test” – the holding time of investment properties to get tax offsets – from five to 10 years to curb the flipping of residential homes by speculators. New-build homes would be exempt to encourage more construction.

    The government has also removed the ability for property investors to offset their interest expenses against their rental income when calculating tax. More loopholes that favoured investors would be closed, with the Reserve Bank due to report back on possible measures in May.

    “Housing bubbles are unstable by their very nature, and we cannot afford to put the current economic recovery at risk by allowing house prices to spiral out of control,” said Robertson.

  3. First, let’s start with down payments in Gangster’s paradise — Greater Vancouver. At February’s prices, the GVA would require 307 months of savings (31 years) to save the minimum. If you plan to flee to Fraser Valley, you’re looking at 128 months of savings (11 years). For those not from Vancouver, Fraser Valley is the adjacent real estate board to the GVA. It’s basically a suburb of a suburb.

    Greater Toronto real estate seems affordable in contrast, but really isn’t. The typical down payment requires 135 months of saving (11 years) for the minimum. Fleeing to Hamilton cuts it down to 105 months of savings (9 years) for the minimum. You’re going to have to stop crying, because we’ve got a lot of numbers to go through.

    https://betterdwelling.com/canadian-property-bubble-nears-systemic-failure-and-not-even-a-big-crash-can-fix-it/amp/

  4. In Vancouver, you currently need to earn at least $147,600 to make the payments on a typical home in February 2020. Over in Fraser Valley, you can get away with $143,700 per year. That’s 44% and 40% higher than the current median household income, respectively.

    Greater Toronto real estate also requires much bigger salaries to carry the mortgages. The payments on a typical GTA home needs a minimum salary of $148,570. In Hamilton, it’s estimated at $128,100 at minimum. The minimum income is 45% and 25% higher than the current estimated household income, respectively.

  5. Toronto rent prices just dropped again for the 15th month in a row

    Year over year, rent prices are down a whopping 16.3 per cent, hitting a new average of $1,986 — and that’s not just for one-bedroom rental units, that’s for all property types of all sizes in all parts of the Greater Toronto Area.

    For downtown Toronto specifically, condos and apartments did experience a nearly 20 per cent decline in average rental rates compared to the year previous.

    “The spring rental market is now upon us, and that will be a test for the resiliency of the market, as this period typically experiences the strongest demand of the year,” said Bullpen’s president, Ben Myers, of the market at present.

    “Are tenants willing to return downtown in anticipation of a re-opening of offices, or wait until it becomes a reality?”

  6. Yet no one can blame millennials for not seeing a future here. They’ve been patient, but quite frankly, they’re not so young anymore and need to get on with their lives. The supposedly once-in-a-life-time Great Recession struck just as they entered their adult years, but Canada never fully recovered. Boomer wealth rebounded, but stable employment and good wages didn’t return for many young professionals. The country’s prescribed remedy for this? In 2014, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz told unemployed youth living in their parents’ basements to look for unpaid work. He actually suggested, more than once, that millennials view illegal unpaid internships as “opportunities.”

    https://nationalpost.com/opinion/sabrina-maddeaux-millennials-are-fleeing-canadas-big-cities-as-big-government-coddles-boomers

  7. “Throughout this entire period, Canadian home prices soared to such levels that even the IMF became concerned. At first, Canada denied there was a problem and lectured millennials to save more and stop buying avocado toast. Then, they conceded there might be a problem, but said anyone concerned with foreign influence in the market was xenophobic. Finally, this month, MP Adam Vaughan, parliamentary secretary for housing, admitted Canada built a housing market that’s better for foreign investors than local buyers. However, after a year that saw house prices skyrocket by 30 to 40 per cent, he wouldn’t tolerate a drop of even 10 per cent.

    This commitment to preserve overinflated boomer assets to the detriment of everyone else was followed by a federal budget that all but ignored the housing crisis. You know what the federal budget did include though? Huge increases for spending on boomers, already the wealthiest generation in history. By 2025, the price tag to support seniors’ retirements will be almost triple that of the proposed new child care plan. This new money isn’t even aimed at low-income boomers; it’s a blanket generational handout.”

  8. Low interest rates leave savers with few good options
    The covid-19 pandemic has only sharpened the dilemma

    Savers around the world face the same problem. Bank accounts, money-market mutual funds and other short-term instruments used to offer a decent return. Not any more (see chart). Rates are lower in nominal terms than they were 30 years ago because of a long-term decline in inflation, but they are also lower in real terms. The pandemic has made the dilemma acute. This year American, British and German nominal ten-year bond yields have all touched their lowest levels in history.

  9. Renters are getting burned in Quebec’s red-hot housing market
    Housing crisis spreads well beyond Montreal, but the CAQ still won’t act

    Landlords are increasing rent well beyond legal limits and they’re turning aside tenants on the basis of race, marital status and physical impairments. They’re getting away with this because there’s no real incentive for them to stop.

    Soaring real estate prices and low vacancy rates have shifted the balance of power almost entirely into their hands.

    This isn’t just happening in Montreal. Cities like Rimouski, Joliette, Sherbrooke and Gaspésie have seen an unprecedented demand for emergency shelter as the summer nears.

    And while renters’ rights groups have implored the government to increase funding for emergency housing, the province has been unresponsive.

    In fact, Premier François Legault refuses to call it a crisis and his government has blocked legislation that would provide oversight of rent increases.

  10. Oddly enough, the vacancy rate in Montreal’s rental market is up to 2.7 per cent this year — still low but not enough to set off alarms.

    Even so, the city’s poorest tenants are in crisis mode.

    “The problem is that the new units aren’t affordable. Landlords would rather have their properties sit empty than charge less,” Laflamme said. “It is especially bad for families.”

    She points to her organization’s research, which found that vacant two-bedroom apartments are 43 per cent more expensive than a two-bedroom apartment that’s currently being rented.

    “The average rent on a two-bedroom right now is $907 a month and so that’s not that bad,” Laflamme said. “But if you had to move, for whatever reason, the average cost on the open market is $1,300. There’s clearly abusive practices going on and Quebec isn’t doing much, if anything, to enforce its own rent controls.”

    To Laflamme’s point, the vacancy rate may be 2.7 per cent across the island but for units under $925 a month, that number sinks below 1 per cent.

    “It’s essentially a two-tiered market,” she said. “In one of them, where people have resources, there’s vacancy. In the other, where people don’t, it’s a scramble to find anything.”

  11. Rent control provision quietly softened by N.S. Liberals two days after announcement | The Star

    HALIFAX – Two days after Nova Scotia’s Liberals announced temporary rent caps in response to evictions and fast-rising rents amid the pandemic, they quietly decreased how broadly the controls applied.

    On Nov. 25, Chuck Porter, who was at the time minister of municipal affairs and housing, signed a minister’s directive that limited rent increases to two per cent annually until the conclusion of the state of emergency, or February 2022 — whichever came first.

    It included a provision that rent controls would apply both to existing tenants and new tenants coming into the same accommodation.

    The provision for new tenants, which advocates say is key to discouraging landlords from finding ways to evict tenants, was dropped in an amendment to the Emergency Management Act by Porter on Nov. 27, with no news release issued about the change.

    A spokeswoman for Service Nova Scotia, which oversees the Residential Tenancies Act, said in an email Wednesday the directive “was amended as it went further than the policy intent of protection for existing tenants.”

    “By allowing landlords to raise the rent between tenants, the government incentivized landlords to evict long-term tenants or those with below-market rents, which is contributing to the wave of evictions that ACORN is seeing now.”

  12. Another price with plenty of room to run is rent. During the pandemic low interest rates and a demand for more space triggered an extraordinary house-price boom across the rich world: in April American homes were 14.6% more expensive than they had been a year earlier. Yet in America, the euro area and Britain rents remain beneath their pre-pandemic trend; in Australia rents have fallen throughout the pandemic. Renters are more likely than homeowners to have lost their job over the past year, and rents are highly cyclical, moving with the fortunes of the economy. But as economies and labour markets rebound, there might be some catching up and—if house prices are anything to go by—some overshooting yet to do. Rent accounts for one-fifth of core inflation in the index targeted by the Federal Reserve.

    https://www.economist.com/briefing/2021/07/10/surprising-levels-of-inflation-are-increasingly-being-driven-by-wages-not-goods

  13. Federal party leaders are pitching their plans to address housing affordability, but according to one economics expert, the key solution is one that wouldn’t be popular among homeowners.

    “Canadian housing is not in crisis, it’s where Canadians want it,” said John Rapley, a political economist at the University of Cambridge, noting that Canadians value the gains they’ve made from a soaring housing market.

    But in order to make housing more affordable, more homes must be built — and that could mean taking a hit on returns from existing properties, he told Cross Country Checkup.

    “You can’t actually just say we’ll build cheap houses here and [have] all the other houses keep their same value. Once you add supply to the market, the price and everything comes down, and that’s not popular.”

    https://www.cbc.ca/radio/checkup/how-affordable-is-your-housing-situation-right-now-1.6155647/measures-to-make-housing-more-affordable-wouldn-t-be-popular-with-voters-economist-1.6155683

  14. None is willing to propose policies to drive housing prices down. Indeed, virtually all of their plans will do the opposite. Providing incentives for first-time homebuyers, low interest loans to developers and so on, all fuel out-of-control asset price inflation driven by the tsunami of central bank cash flooding the financial system. And the cancerous consequence of all this is the ballooning asset value of urban land.

    All three parties propose to pour more gasoline into the out-of-control dumpster fire of urban land value inflation — an inflation that has seen Vancouver area land values more than triple since 2010 while the values of the buildings on that land barely budged.

  15. I like to believe that after my years as an adjudicator at the Landlord Tenant Board (LTB), I tend to look at things from a reasonably balanced perspective, which seems attractive to nobody in these polarizing times.

    But Toronto’s rental crisis has reached the point of complete madness. So let the darts fly but I need to speak up on the current state of Toronto’s real estate market that pits profit-taking from investment properties against tenants.

    Rents for vacant units have gone up about 12 times faster than inflation in recent years. Nowadays, there’s no such thing as a lateral move for an evicted tenant.

    Add to the mix buyers who have absolutely no interest in inheriting a tenant protected by rent control and you have a recipe for a perfect storm.

    In 2021, no rent increases were allowed in Ontario. In 2022 the provincial guideline was set at just 1.2 per cent. But market rents on an empty unit can be $1,000 a month more than for an existing tenant in a one-bedroom apartment.

    https://nowtoronto.com/news/the-real-foe-fuelling-torontos-rental-housing-crisis

  16. In the last two decades, home prices have gone up by 375 percent in Canada. These increases have been especially marked in in Toronto and Vancouver, where prices have swelled by 450 and 490 percent respectively. This rise far outstrips any other developed markets in the world. In recent years, an incredible gulf has opened between house prices and real income. Even high-level investment bankers such as David Doyle, head of North American Strategy & Economics at Macquarie Group, have rung alarm bells. “Prices,” according to Doyle, “are totally disconnected from the fundamentals.”

  17. But listed in those records is another notable piece — one that’s received little public attention in the debate around the escalating rental crisis in parts of Canada. Each time one of more than a dozen BlackBay apartment buildings has been renovated and rented out at much higher rates, the company has been rewarded by a federal Crown corporation whose stated goal is to “make housing affordable for everyone in Canada.”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/a-landlord-hiked-rents-again-and-again-canada-s-housing-agency-rewarded-him-every-time-1.6375768

  18. Toronto-area condo and apartment rents continue to recover from a pandemic price slump with prices up 11 per cent year over year in February to $2,206 on average.

    As people prepared to return to the office, the city of Toronto saw one of the region’s largest hikes in asking rents — up 15.7 per cent annually to $2,317 on average, according to a report from Torontorentals.com, part of national listings site Rentals.ca.

    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2022/03/29/toronto-area-rents-soar-11-per-cent-in-february.html

  19. Here’s why you should ask landlords for reference letters | CTV News

    One man from Sydney made this exact request earlier this year in Australia. In a TikTok video posted in January, Tom Cashman explained that in his search for an apartment to rent, he had asked a landlord to provide a reference letter from a previous tenant.

    “I’ve never heard of anyone asking for this, but they ask me for, like, three references to see if I’m a good guy,” Cashman said in the video. “What about them? Are you a good guy?”

    According to Cashman, his application was initially approved but in a follow-up video, he informs viewers that his rental application was withdrawn, even though Cashman said he did not ask for it to be cancelled.

    Lasse Hvitved, a legal advocate with the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre in British Columbia, said he has yet come across a similar story involving a Canadian renter who requested that a prospective landlord provide references from past tenants.

    “I’ve heard a lot of tenants express anxiety about their new landlords and not knowing how they’re going to treat them [or] whether they’re a good person,” he told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview in March. “But I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone specifically requesting a previous tenant reference from the landlord.”

  20. Typically defined as those born between 1981 and 1996, millennials make up the largest generation ever in America. As more of them reach their peak buying years, they are becoming a force to be reckoned with in the property market. In America they represent the fastest-growing segment of buyers and have accounted for more than half of all mortgage applications over the past two years. CoreLogic, a research firm, estimates that millennial homebuying was responsible for more than 60% of property-sales growth in 2020. British millennials are now more likely to own their home than to rent. And nearly half of adults aged 25-35 in Canada have bought property.

    Remote work is also opening up more affordable places to live. In America buyers are flocking to sunbelt hotspots, like Phoenix and Tampa. Zillow, a property firm, estimates that a typical renter in San Francisco would have to set aside 2.4% of their income for six or seven years to save enough for a 20% deposit on a starter home in Austin or Phoenix. For a similar property in San Francisco they would have to save for more than 70 years.

    https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2022/03/26/millennial-demand-helps-stoke-the-housing-boom

  21. Ursula Franklin’s former Toronto home is on sale for $6 million

    https://www.blogto.com/real-estate-toronto/2022/04/41-lonsdale-road-toronto/

    As interest rates head up, many Toronto homeowners will see mortgage payments jump by thousands, experts say

    Even those with fixed-rate mortgages could see monthly payments jump to $6,000 or more in the coming years as a series of planned rate hikes hit home.

    https://www.thestar.com/business/2022/04/15/as-interest-rates-head-up-many-toronto-homeowners-will-see-mortgage-payments-jump-by-thousands-experts-say.html

  22. The NDP have promised to go a step further than the Liberals, preventing landlords from jacking up rent between leases.

    “Rent control will come back — and I mean full rent control, none of this changing the rent on a vacant unit,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Friday.

    “That was the beginning of the spiral in terms of the rental housing piece. And now, as things are so tight in the market, it’s just gotten worse.”

  23. A soaring inflation rate is forcing Canadians to contend with a climbing cost of living, as the prices of groceries and gas are on a steady incline. But for those who rent their homes, a rise in inflation is also likely to send rent prices shooting up over the months to come, experts say.
    Moshe Lander, an economics professor at Concordia University in Montreal, said Canadians can expect to see the rate of inflation increase in the near future, as well as a rise in rent prices.
    “Rent is one of those things that, because it’s essential, it’s usually going to go up,” Lander told CTVNews.ca in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “It’s perfectly reasonable that if you are a renter, you should be expecting that there’s a big rent increase coming your way in the next six to 12 months if your lease is resetting.

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/rent-prices-going-through-the-roof-as-inflation-soars-1.5949990

  24. Average rent prices in Canada have also been climbing for several months before hitting a three-year peak last month, according to data compiled by Rentals.ca. In its latest rent report, the average price of rent for Canadian properties was $1,888 per month in May 2022. Month-over-month, this is an increase of 3.7 per cent, the largest bump since May 2019. Properties include single-detached and semi-detached houses, townhouses, and apartments.
    “Rents were already rising in a lot of the major markets in Canada,” Paul Danison, content director of Rentals.ca, told CTVNews.ca on Wednesday in a telephone interview. “But now you add rising interest rates [and] the out-of-control inflation going on, and rents right now are just going through the roof.”

  25. Danison said he advises renters to renew their existing leases whenever possible, instead of signing into new agreements with other landlords.
    “When you have to move, you could be talking hundreds of more dollars a month to find a place similar to what you’re living in right now,” he said.

  26. The Star asked Canada’s leading economists to outline their projections for the country’s real estate market in late 2022 and early 2023. Each of them predicted a decline of at least 10 per cent in home prices, with one bank — BMO — going so far as to forecast a 20 per cent decline by mid-2023.

    That would lower the cost of the average Canadian home from $816,720 in March 2022 to $653,726 in March 2023. The average Toronto home, priced at $1.29 million this past March, would fall to $1.03 million next year.

    “Given the exceptional deterioration in affordability — first due to the rapid run-up in prices, then by the rapid rise in interest rates — as well as the sudden turn in sentiment around the market, it’s difficult to see anything other than a meaningful correction ahead for Canadian housing,” said Doug Porter, senior economist at BMO.

    By the end of 2022, BMO also expects home sales across the country to drop 23 per cent, with major declines in Ontario and British Columbia.

  27. According to data from rental accommodation website Rentals.ca and analyzed by data firm Urbanation, the average rent in October across Canada was $1,976. That’s an increase of 11.9 per cent, well ahead of Canada’s inflation rate of 6.9 per cent.

    The increases aren’t even across the country, either, as Atlantic Canada has seen rents rise at the eye-watering pace of 32.2 per cent in the past year. Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta have seen increases of 17.7 per cent, 15.1 per cent and 13.2 per cent, respectively.

  28. Tenant Organizers Are Fighting Back Against Corporate Landlords… and Winning

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/dyvdea/tenant-organizers-are-fighting-back-against-corporate-landlords-evictions-toronto

    “When I fought back against the developers, they tried to evict me”: True tales from the rental crisis

    https://torontolife.com/city/when-i-fought-back-against-the-developers-they-tried-to-evict-me-true-tales-from-the-rental-crisis/

    Fight Back Against Toronto Slumlord! | Socialist Action Canada

    https://socialistaction.ca/2020/07/11/fight-back-against-toronto-slumlord/

  29. Tenants at a Hamilton apartment building are fighting for their affordable units after they say their landlord illegally denied them their right to move back in following renovations.

    It’s an example of how cities are “bleeding” affordable housing, which researcher Steve Pomeroy says is happening in Hamilton. Tenants are evicted or move out and their units are then rented at a significantly higher price, far faster than new affordable units are being built.

    For every affordable unit Hamilton builds, it’s losing 29 affordable units to market forces, said Pomeroy.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/hamilton-tenants-affordable-units-1.6796324

  30. Ontario home prices went up by more than what most people make in a year

    The study found that in 20 GTA markets, home prices increased by more than half of earnings in 2022. Two markets, namely Scugog and Richmond Hill, even saw home price increases of over 100 per cent of the median income.

    Richmond Hill’s prices grew by $91,706, which is 103.04 per cent of the median income of $89,000.

    The study discovered that the region with the largest price increase as a percentage of the median income was Peel, where home prices increased by 91.58 per cent of the income of $94,000.


  31. GTA
    Condo rents climb 15 per cent, setting the stage for more sales
    The average monthly rent of a one-bedroom condo in the GTA climbed to $2,474, an ‘unsustainable’ pace likely to motivate buyers, says real estate board
    Tess Kalinowski
    By Tess KalinowskiReal Estate Reporter
    Fri., April 28, 2023timer2 min. read
    JOIN THE CONVERSATION ( 23 )
    A first quarter 15.1 per cent year-over-year hike in the cost of renting a one-bedroom condo in the GTA is setting the stage for a resurgence of buyers fed up with the high cost of paying a landlord, says the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

    “Tight market conditions are resulting in an unsustainable pace of rent growth,” said TRREB in a news release Thursday.

    Competition among renters is growing despite a 10.2 per cent boost in the number of listings on the real estate industry’s Multiple Listings Service (MLS) in the first three months of the year. The number of units leased in that period rose 4 per cent over last year’s first quarter.

    The quarterly average monthly rent of a one-bedroom unit climbed to $2,474. Two-bedroom units averaged $3,162 in the first quarter, a 9.2 per cent year over year increase.

    “Despite increased interest rates, mortgage payments on a condo are now closer to the cost of renting for a lot of potential buyers. In addition, homeownership has the added benefits of equity growth and asset appreciation over the long term,” said TRREB President Paul Baron.

    First quarter condo sales plunged 42.9 per cent compared to last year. Prices also tumbled 11.4 per cent to an average selling price of $700,566 across the GTA. In Toronto, where two-thirds of condo sales were transacted, the average price fell 10.3 per cent to $726,664.”

  32. “Evictions have long been viewed as a response to ‘bad tenants,’ ” says the report, Estimating No-Fault Evictions in Canada: Understanding B.C.’s Disproportionate Eviction Rate in the 2021 Canadian Housing Survey.

    But more recently, attention has shifted to evictions being driven by the “financialization” of the housing stock, defined as “the increasing treatment of housing as an investment asset, rather than as a social good,” the report says.

    “While these (no-fault evictions) can involve evictions for genuine personal use, they are often financially motivated, caused by the landlord’s belief that they can sell the property for a profit or increase the rent if they evict the tenant or renovate the unit,” says the new report, co-authored by researcher Silas Xuereb and Craig Jones, associate director of UBC’s Housing Research Collaborative.

    “The average price of a home and average market rent are higher in British Columbia than any other province. Average housing prices are nearly $300,000 higher than the national average and monthly rents are $500 above the national average, providing increased incentives for landlords to evict tenants to raise rents or sell the property.”

  33. Hamilton police say two people were shot and killed in Stoney Creek Saturday night in what investigators are describing as a “landlord-tenant dispute.”

    In a press release, issued just before 1 a.m. Sunday, police said at around 5:40 p.m., officers were called to 322 Jones Rd. in Stoney Creek, where they found a 27-year-old woman and 28-year-old man dead.

    Both of the victims were tenants of the home, according to police.

    Police said the 57-year-old landlord then barricaded himself inside the home with guns that were registered to him, sparking a flood of first responders to the quiet Stoney Creek area.

    https://www.thespec.com/news/crime/2023/05/28/hamilton-police-investigating-double-homicide-in-stoney-creek-as-landlord-tenant-dispute.html

  34. “According to the 2021 tax assessment roll for the city of Montreal, Benamor and his associated company EP7 Consultants Inc. owned 89 residential units spread across 22 buildings. Annual monthly increases of $100 to $200 would net him six figures year over year and significantly raise the market value of his buildings, which are directly linked to the rents of the apartments within them.

    A review of court documents, former leases, and current ads for apartments confirms the former tenant’s story. In a rent setting lawsuit before the TAL, the rent stood at $1,848 per month in 2020. That same apartment is now listed for $3,000 per month. An increase of $1,152 — or more than 62 per cent in just three years.”

  35. Real estate developer Mondev has been trying for years to persuade Carla White to move from her small, C$400-a-month apartment so it can demolish a row of mostly abandoned buildings and build 176 condominium units.

    Her one-room unit in the decrepit building lacks a working stove and can only narrowly fit a desk, a bed and some leafy green plants. But for White, who previously experienced homelessness and current does not have a job, the bachelor apartment has been home for a decade – not least because under Quebec regulations, her rent has remained frozen to ensure it remains affordable.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jun/03/montreal-single-holdout-tenant-developer-apartment

  36. David Owen told the demolition committee earlier in May that the company had offered White C$20,000, a figure Johnson confirmed.

    “It seems, to a certain extent, that she is using this opportunity to either better her lifestyle or hold us for ransom almost, because the things that she’s requesting are way beyond the norm,” said Owen, adding “she thinks that she has a lottery ticket and not a lease, and that’s what the problem is.”

    But Johnson says any amount offered by the developer would only cover a year or two of rent.

    “Even if we took the $20,000 they offered, it would just go into the pocket of another landlord, who has most likely evicted low-income tenants and raised rents as part of the wave of ‘renovations’ sweeping across Canada and Montreal,” said Johnson. “Whatever reasonable settlement Ms White needs for housing stability in no way will endanger the financial viability of their project. They don’t have any cashflow problems, they’re going to be making millions of dollars on this development.”

  37. It will take Torontonians making a median annual income of $91,858 about 25 years to save for a down payment on a house, according to a new housing affordability report. But, the report also notes the real estate market is seeing improvement in affordability.

    The National Bank of Canada (NBC) released its housing affordability report for the first quarter of 2023, where it analyzed the condo market, as well as other dwellings and the real estate market as a whole in 10 major cities across Canada.

    The bank factored how long it takes a median-income household to save up for the cash down payment, which is measured by the number of months needed to save for the minimum payment at a savings rate of 10 per cent of its pre-tax income.

    A down payment for a non-condo (detached or semi-detached house) in Toronto is 20 per cent while it’s roughly seven per cent for Hamilton, a spokesperson for NBC confirmed.

    https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/torontonians-making-more-than-236k-need-to-save-for-about-25-years-to-buy-a-house-in-the-city-report-1.6428206

  38. Would you share a single room with 3 other people? Why student housing is in a crisis

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/student-housing-crisis-1.6874088

    For the next year, this is what Alexandra Mussar will call home: a cramped bedroom with water damage and dysfunctional sinks, in a house shared with six other students. For this, she’s paying $840 every month.

    This isn’t how she pictured her university housing experience, but after six long months hunting for somewhere to live, she says she felt she had to settle.

    “There were no other options. This was my last resort,” she said. “It was either that or I was couch surfing for the next year.”

    Across the country, students are sharing similar stories. The soaring rents that have hit some of Canada’s biggest cities have also walloped college and university towns, with little relief in sight. Take Guelph, Ont., where the latest data shows the average cost for a one bedroom apartment has spiked to $2,095 per month in June, up 27 per cent from the same time last year.

  39. But to Kevin Berry, a real estate broker with Toronto’s Peak Edge Realty, the listing comes as no surprise. Given Toronto’s soaring rent and rising homelessness rate, “I’m thinking that could be the start of the new norm,” he told the Star. “ … I’ve never seen rent prices as high as they have been.”

    “People can’t get rental properties now, they’re desperate and some people are just taking advantage of it,” he continued. “And you got two choices — either be homeless or (go with) something like that.”

    It’s also telling that the listing is exclusive to students, who are often more desperate for affordable housing, Berry continued. “They’re preying on the poor, and they’re preying on the desperate. That’s all it is.”

  40. Vancouver and cities in Ontario top list of most expensive places to rent: Kijiji report

    According to the rental market trends in the first quarter, Vancouver has maintained its position as the priciest city for renting, while eight out of the top 10 most expensive cities to rent are in Ontario.

    Vancouver’s rentals are an average of $2,585, according to the platform. Meanwhile, Toronto, the second most expensive city in Canada for renting, has an average monthly rent of $2,302.

    For instance, Ontario’s smaller cities — such as Guelph, Hamilton and Barrie — are among the top five most expensive places to rent in the country because these cities typically offer a bit more space and extra bedrooms.

    THE MOST EXPENSIVE CANADIAN CITIES TO RENT, ACCORDING TO KIJIJI

    1. Vancouver, B.C. – $2,585

    2. Toronto, Ont. – $2,302

    3. Guelph, Ont. $2,139

    4. Hamilton, Ont. – $2,134

    5. Barrie, Ont. – 2,130

    6. Kitchener, Ont. – 2,119

    7. Ottawa, Ont. – $2,022

    8. Kingston, Ont. – $2, 013

    9. Halifax, N.S. – $2,007

    10. Peterborough, Ont. $1,993

  41. “I’m gonna be homeless in probably 30 days if I don’t find a place that I can afford — reasonably afford — without it taking my whole salary,” he told The Early Edition host Gloria Macarenko.

    Eaton and his 18-year-old son Tristan have been living in basement suites for the past two years but kept having to move when owners sold the property or moved their relatives into the suite. They’re currently staying with a friend, but they need to find a place to live by July 31.

  42. By the 30 per cent standard, only someone earning $100,000 per year could comfortably afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city, said realtor Othneil Litchmore. Meanwhile, the average Ontarian would need to earn $88,000 per year.

    “It’s tough,” Litchmore said. “I would imagine more renters are (not abiding) by that rule today more than ever before.”

    In Toronto, the median income for individuals in 2020 was $39,200, and across the province, it was $41,200, according to the 2021 census.

    Following that benchmark would mean that the average worker in Toronto can only afford to spend about $980 on rent and other Ontarians can only spend about $1,030.

    https://www.thestar.com/real-estate/2023/07/11/the-30-benchmark-for-affordable-housing-is-tough-heres-what-it-can-afford-the-average-worker-in-different-parts-of-the-gta.html

  43. A new report says the average asking price for a rental unit in Canada reached a record $2,042 last month amid continued interest rate hikes, population expansion and low unemployment.
    Rentals.ca’s latest data release shows year-over-year rent inflation for June was 7.5 per cent, below the double-digit growth seen for most of 2022 and early 2023.
    Rents also rose 1.4 from May, marking the fastest month-over-month increase for units listed on the website so far this year.

    https://www.cp24.com/mobile/news/average-asking-price-for-canadian-rental-unit-hits-record-high-in-june-rentals-ca-1.6478194

  44. Ontario family offering two years’ rent in advance, can’t find a home in the GTA

    Forced to move out of their rental home in Aurora, Ont., the Eliesen family have been struggling for months to find a new place to live in the town. Their offer of two years’ rent up front, or “nearly $100,000 cash,” according to David Eliesen, has been declined multiple times.

    “(We) put in an offer of $200 a month over the asking price,” David’s wife, Kayla, told CTV National News. On top of that, they’ve tried offering other deal-sweeteners, such as $2000 damage deposits, but nothing seems to be working. Each of their multiple offers to rent a family home in the area north of Toronto have been declined.

    The Eliesen family have lived in the same home for the last eight years, but their landlord has family immigrating to Canada from Ukraine, and now the landlord needs to move into the home.

    The family’s rent had been a manageable $1900 dollars per month, but due to current market demands, a similar three- to four-bedroom home in Aurora is going to cost the young Eliesen family roughly $4,000 per month, maybe more.

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/ontario-family-offering-two-years-rent-in-advance-can-t-find-a-home-in-the-gta-1.6489543

  45. A hotel in Toronto is taking on the new role of long-term landlord as people looking to rent apartments in the city continue to find the hunt for an affordable home nearly impossible in the present housing landscape.

    The Don Valley Hotel is happily accepting guests looking to stay for a month or more, advertising a tenant’s dream of a fully-furnished private room with all utilities covered — heat, hydro, cable, and wifi — and some added perks for cheaper than the typical apartment in the city.

    While the average rent in Toronto is now $2,908 per month as of October and the typical one-bedroom unit is $2,607, the hotel is offering rooms for a monthly price of $1,999, which also includes parking, as well as pool and gym access.

    Located right at the corner of Eglinton Ave. E. and the Don Valley Parkway, the brand positions the housing option as perfect for people in transition due to emergencies like fire and flooding, delays in new condo construction, or inability to secure a home for whatever reason.

    https://www.blogto.com/real-estate-toronto/2023/11/toronto-rent-crisis-bad-hotels-offering-month-stays-cheap/

  46. Unit receives 18,400 calls a year, investigates 200 cases
    The chances of her landlord getting fined are incredibly slim.

    CBC Hamilton obtained RHEU data in the last three fiscal years through a freedom of information request.

    The RHEU’s receives over 18,400 calls a year, on average, from landlords, tenants and other parties.

    Data reports show the RHEU opens 1,500 cases a year, on average, and the vast majority are closed at the “compliance stage” most often when a “successful intervention has been reached.”

    That means only about 200 cases a year, or 13 per cent, go to the investigation stage, and less than one per cent of cases end in a conviction at the Ontario Court of Justice.

  47. That decoupling accelerated in 2009, after the Bank of Canada dropped interest rates further to shield Canada from the kind of housing crash that decimated the United States. It worked. Home prices climbed faster than ever, propping up the Canadian economy. This lopsided national reliance on real estate has only grown in the past 15 years. Today, buying, selling and leasing property represents the largest segment of our national GDP, at 13 per cent. More than a fifth of our national wealth is tied up in housing. Property owners have always enjoyed more wealth than renters, but that disparity has grown too. In 2019, their average net worth, at $685,400, exceeded that of renters by 29 times. As housing inflation has made property owners richer, many have leveraged that equity to buy more, concentrating more Canadian property in fewer hands. Multiple-property owners now own nearly one-third of homes in Ontario and B.C., and around 40 per cent in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

    https://macleans.ca/longforms/the-end-of-homeownership/

  48. “Young voters have been key to electing the last two Liberal governments, but the current government has little credibility with that demographic on this file. That may have something to do with the fact that multiple-property owners, who have profited enormously from the past few years’ run-up in property values, are well-represented in government. More than 100 MPs, comprising more than one-third of Parliament, own multiple properties. They include the federal minister of housing, Ahmed Hussen, and Taleeb Noormohamed, MP for Vancouver Granville, who has made nearly $5 million dollars since 2005 selling more than 40 properties in Metro Vancouver. His constituents, meanwhile, are increasingly locked out of the financial benefits that owning even one home confers.”

  49. Lease transfers gave tenants the right to transfer their lease to another person — there were mechanisms in place to protect landlords, but they had to prove they had serious concerns about a new tenant to justify refusing a lease transfer.

    Now, a landlord can do so for any reason — and can terminate the lease if a tenant asks to transfer it.

    For housing advocates, lease transfers were a way to pass on low rents to others and ensure that landlords couldn’t hike rents between tenants.

    Evictions in Quebec at an all-time high, report by tenants’ group says
    In Montreal, where the housing crisis is pricing some tenants out of the market for an apartment, a one-bedroom apartment now costs an average of $1,744 per month, according to rentals.ca.

    Lease transfers, by comparison, are generally lower and can come in below $1,000, often for apartments where leases have been passed from tenant to tenant for years, sometimes decades, keeping rents frozen in the past, in a sense.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/lease-transfers-montreal-quebec-bill-31-1.7120051

  50. Several factors are to blame for Mr Trudeau’s waning fortunes. Many middle-class Canadians—those he vowed to champion when he first ran for election—feel squeezed. Annual inflation is still among the lowest in g20 countries, and has fallen from its peak of 8% in June 2022. But it recently went up again, to 4%, double what it was when Mr Trudeau came to power. Canada ranks among the toughest countries in the world in which to buy a home. Since Mr Trudeau was elected the home-price-to-income ratio has increased by 45% compared with an average of 25% across the oecd, a club of mostly rich countries.

    “Canada may be the worst country in the oecd when it comes to the disconnect between home prices and incomes,” says Mike Moffat, an economist who has briefed Mr Trudeau’s cabinet on the housing crisis. Canada has the lowest housing supply per person of any g7 country. Mr Moffat thinks a “wartime effort” is needed to build almost 5.8m homes over the next decade, more than twice as many built in any previous decade.

    https://www.economist.com/the-americas/2023/09/27/the-spat-with-india-only-adds-to-justin-trudeaus-woes

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