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Toronto home sales jump as condo vacancies rise: Canadian real estate news for February 10

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Home of the Week is this 1950s post-and-beam house in West Vancouver, an ‘undiscovered’ design from Canadian mid-century architect Bob Lewis.Handout

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week and one home worth a look.

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Toronto home sales jump 10% in January as buyers re-enter the market

Though home sales increased last month, home prices continued to fall, writes Rachelle Younglai. The home price index fell 1.2 per cent to $1,078,500 on a seasonally adjusted basis for the sixth straight month of declines. Now that the Bank of Canada has softened its message on further interest-rate hikes, buyers may have more assurances that borrowing costs will start to fall and that could encourage them to begin pulling the trigger on transactions.

Rob Carrick: A rising real estate market puts a ‘tax me’ sign on every house in the country

The housing market seems to be awakening, kind of like Godzilla does from time to time, writes personal finance columnist Rob Carrick. A disaster movie comparison is apt because resurgent housing is an alarming development. The only clear winners are people who sell homes and mortgages. As homeowner equity rises, houses become a more inviting tax target. If real estate is where the money is in our economy, won’t that eventually be where taxation must go as well?

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Rendering of Westbank’s Broadway and Commercial proposal.Westbank

Westbank increases heights of contentious tower proposal next to Vancouver’s Commercial Drive SkyTrain station

Developer Westbank’s proposal to build three residential towers along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor has yet another version of their plans with even higher towers – but this time composed entirely of rental units rather than condos, writes Kerry Gold. The new focus on rentals is a response to policies that have come along in recent years designed to incentivize greater density around transit hubs. A resident-made community plan had called for the site – which now houses a Safeway grocery store – to add density with four 12- and 24-storey towers, with a large public plaza that would address a lack of public space.

Weak condo market in downtown Toronto leads to dip in rental rates, increased vacancy

According to condo market analysts Urbanation Inc., condo rents fell 5.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023, the fastest drop since it began recording rental data in 2010, writes Shane Dingman. The dip in the downtown rental market has a lot to do with where Toronto’s market for condominium apartments finds itself at: Sales of unbuilt condos have reached rarely seen lows, the resale market is facing falling prices, and there are more newly completed units being added to the market every quarter. Realtors say there are at least 3,600 condo apartments up for rent in the two most dense downtown districts and close to 60 per cent of them are sitting vacant.

Home of the Week: A ‘democratic’ take on modern architecture

  • Home of the Week, 6926 Marine Drive, West VancouverHandout

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6926 Marine Dr., West Vancouver, B.C.

The 1950s post-and-beam house in West Vancouver was found to be an “undiscovered” design from Canadian mid-century architect Bob Lewis. The three-bedroom home uses wood colour to guide you around – the cedar cladding of the house is stained dark so the lighter wood of the roofed entryway screen is welcoming and bright. The dining and living rooms are connected through a 60-foot long deck that runs along the length of the outside wall, which flows naturally into the outdoors. Sharp-eyed observers note there’s no crown moulding or baseboards anywhere in the house, which show the prowess of the recent redesign. That kind of perfection of build and installation is hard to achieve, and they like showing it off.

What do you think is the asking price for the property?

a. $2.3-million

b. $1.9-million

c. $2.8-million

d. $3.2-million

c. The asking price is $2.8-million.