Toronto’s house sales rise as Vancouver’s drop

Cabbagetown, Toronto
Cabbagetown, Toronto

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

As Vancouver’s real estate cools, Toronto’s keeps heating up. While August sales in Vancouver were the lowest in almost two years, in Toronto they jumped to a record compared to 2015. Transactions in Toronto rose 24 per cent to 9,813, the average price for all housing types rose 18 per cent to $710,410 in the Greater Toronto Area, and the price of a detached property in the city jumped to $1.2 million. (Bloomberg

A Globe and Mail investigation has revealed how speculators use tax loopholes, fuelling the rise in Vancouver home prices. On Saturday, B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong issued a statement saying it’s up to the Canada Revenue Agency to crack down on tax cheats. On Sunday, B.C.’s opposition housing critic David Eby and Federal Conservative finance critic Lisa Raitt weighed in. (The Globe and Mail

If your home is your ticket to retirement, it may be time to sell. Certified financial planner Ted Rechtshaffen says that the growth in house values, especially in Vancouver and Toronto, has reached the point where, for many retiree homeowners, their house is by far their largest asset. It is not uncommon to see 75 per cent of someone’s net worth tied up in their home, stats that make him nervous. (Financial Post

New Zealand has the world’s most frenetic property market, second only to Canada. In a global ranking of house price growth by real estate agents Knight Frank, New Zealand came out on top with 11 per cent annual growth. Canada was the only other country to see price growth of 10 per cent or more over the past year. It also recorded the fastest price rises of any country over the past three months. New Zealand’s central bank imposed strict new deposit requirements in July, making investors put down at least 40 per cent of the purchase price in cash. (The Guardian

Not sure where to live? There’s an app for that. A growing number of free apps and online tools use a combination of big data and smart algorithms to take house hunters’ preferences into account, and offer a list of neighbourhoods that meet those criteria. (The New York Times