How to make property bidding wars transparent

Plus, how housing affordability compares with last year and how Vancouver's zoning for multi-family housing compares with Toronto's

Credit: Sotheby’s

In June 2016, Sotheby’s held a live auction to sell Victoria’s Grierson Mansion, designed by Samuel Maclure. It received just one bid

A weekly roundup of news and views on property development, sales, affordability and more

When multiple buyers submit offers on a property in Canada, none of them knows what the others have offered. In Australia, where houses are sold by auction, interested buyers gather on the sidewalk outside the home and place their bids out in the open in an auction led by the seller’s agent. Over about a four-week period before the auction, house-hunters can schedule visits and inspections of the home to help prepare their bids. Australians can also obtain home inspection results, sale-price histories and information on recent sales of comparable and neighbouring homes—without going to an agent to get the information. (CBC)

Housing affordability in Canada has seen its worst decline in 16 years, falling for five straight quarters, according to a recent report from National Bank Financial. The portion of an average income needed to make a monthly payment on a representative home rose to 35.6 per cent in the third quarter of this year, compared to 32.4 per cent a year earlier. In Vancouver, it now takes 77.5 per cent of an average income to make a monthly payment on a median home, compared to 62.8 per cent a year ago; and in Toronto, it takes 53.5 per cent of an average income today, compared to 47.2 per cent a year ago. (Huffington Post)

Is Toronto prejudiced against condos? Urban planner Sean Galbraith has created a map showing that large areas of the city are zoned for detached homes only. “Everyone complains about tall towers downtown, and everyone wants mid-rise, but part of the problem is an inability to unlock additional small-scale intensification in existing neighbourhoods,” says Galbraith. Compare it with Vancouver’s zoning here. (The Star)