Real Estate in Toronto - Past Articles

Planning to renovate your Toronto home? You may qualify for a FASTRACK permit.

Since January 9, 2006, Toronto Building Division offers a new Building Permit service for some types of residential renovation projects. It is called 'Residential FASTRACK', and in simple cases you may be able to have a permit issued while you wait.
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Townhomes in Downtown Toronto

Townhouse in TorontoRecent real estate boom brought construction into underdeveloped areas in downtown Toronto. Many condominium townhouses were built where is wasn't feasible to construct high rise condominiums. Condo townhomes are more affordable than freehold residences, and, although they usually sit on a very small piece of property, they provide more freedom and privacy than a condo apartment or loft.
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Toronto Addresses Must Meet Size Requirements

In late January of this year a new bylaw was passed in Toronto, dealing with the size and location of house numbers. The aim was to insure that Toronto house numbers can be easily seen from the street.

Some of the reasons for this requirement is to ensure that emergency vehicles can respond faster, delivering goods and services is easier, and traffic flows smoother, because drivers can quickly spot an address. The size of numbers displayed on your home or business plays an important role in ensuring visibility of your address.
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Toronto Traffic

Toronto has just four major highways, and the traffic is busy in normal circumstances. Any time there is a significant event, an accident, or lane closure for repairs, Toronto traffic gets seriously congested. Follow the article to a link providing traffic camera views of Toronto highways.
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CMHC - Toronto's Housing Market to Remain Healthy

The Globe and Mail, October 28,2005: According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), jobs and immigration should provide basis for a healthy Toronto real estate market. Despite recent interest rate increases our mortgage rates are still near 50-year lows, home ownership still remains affordable.

Although we may expect some Ontario workers to be lured from Toronto to energy-driven economy of Alberta, Toronto's job market remains good, and attracts immigrants. There was a surge in condominium buildings starts in September, and the house price increases are not outrageous. If and when the real estate market slows down, it will be a welcome change for buyers, who are becoming impatient in this very long sellers' market.

Free Parking in Toronto (for scooters...)

On October 26 City of Toronto passed a motion that allows scooters and motorbikes to park for free on all city streets. The idea was presented to the City Hall by Councillor Case Ootes, who learned that the parking tickets get stolen from the scooters and bikes, because they have no place to attach te ticket safely. But the outcome, if the motion results in more people in Toronto switching to scooters and motorbikes, will have a positive effect on Toronto traffic and emmissions. Too bad that riding a scooter is not a viable option for real estate professionals!

Luxury Condos in Toronto

When we talk about "condo market" in Toronto, most of the time we have in mind the small condo units that are being purchased by first time buyers or investors. Some of the small, inexpensive condominium suites have become popular with affluent university students - especially those that are located in a proximity of a university campus, or within an easy commute by streetcar or subway.
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New Air Conditioning Legislation

The Globe and Mail, January 13, 2006.
As published in The Globe and Mail, National Resources of Canada is planning to disallow the installation of new central air conditioners or heat pumps with a SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating below 13.

This new legislation is expected to be passed by April of this year.
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Condominium sales in Toronto are expected to slow down

February 3, 2006. As reported in The Globe and Mail today, Toronto housing economist Will Dunning warns of a coming slowdown in Toronto condo sales. Brisk condo sales in Toronto have been defying any pesimisting predictions so far, but Mr. Dunning believes that it is the speculators who are fuelling the market, and expects a downturn in the nearest future.
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Renovating your home?

September 11, 2006. Realtors are often asked what value certain renovations add to a home. I have seen tables of 'returns on investment' values, posted on various websites, and printed on newspapers.
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Mortgage brokers weigh in on key RRSP strategies

February 12, 2007. Once again, RRSP season is upon us. At this time of year, Canadians grapple with issues about finding money to contribute, deciding what to invest in, and determining whether to forfeit the RRSP contribution in lieu of the 'saving for a house fund'. The experts at Invis, Canada's largest mortgage brokerage firm, offer the following suggestions...
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Buying a property in Toronto: The Home Buyers Plan

Looking for a down payment on a home? Check your RRSPs.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, with the Home Buyer's Plan you may be eligible to withdraw funds from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) for a down payment when buying or building a qualifying home. Under the program you can withdraw up to $20,000 (or, up to a maximum of $40,000 per couple) without tax penalties.
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Home sales in High Park

May 28, 2006. In the area bordered by Bloor Street on the south, Runnymede on the west, train tracks on the north and Dundas on the east side, 86 sales of freehold properties were recorded since the beginning of the year.

The selling price ranged from $260,000 for a small semi being sold under power of sale, to $1,485,000 for a a commercial property on Bloor. The average price was $516,311, 9.7% higher than the average for the same period in 2005. It took, on average, 18 days to sell a listing - slightly less than last year, and the listings sold, on average, for 103.6% of the asking price.