I would never buy a condo! How many times have I heard a client say this to me when we first start seeing some homes together? Yet take a look at all the cranes in Toronto, and also closer to home, you start noticing that we are building up, and not out. The demand from buyers is there, and given that our hands are tied in bureaucracy, we are seeing more and more condos filling our sight lines. But you know what? It's a great sign of our strong economy, and it also happens to be a great option for many people who simply don't have the time, energy or money to invest in a freehold home. Condo construction represents a huge boon to our economy. The list of services employed in the construction of a condominium is as surprising as it is staggering: HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Cable, Concierge, Security, Elevator, Designer, Contractors, Engineers, Lawyers, Pool Specialists, Cleaning Staff, Painters, Flooring, Mat Service, Window, Roof, Landscaping, Energy Auditors, and on and on. Not to mention dental offices, restaurants, coffee shops, fitness clubs, grocery stores, all businesses that can be found in condominiums. Buying a condominium actually contributes so much more than just a roof over our heads, it's a massive boon to our own economy. Of course a lot of these industries and businesses participate in the construction of freehold dwellings, thereby contributing to our economy in similar ways. The usual objection to buying a condominium is almost always centered on the perceived notion that one gets nothing in return for the fees paid, and that they only ever go up. Feel free to use the Globe And Mail handy calculator to determine for your situation whether this statement is true or not, but there is no denying the financial return we all get from people buying more and more condos. So be sure to thank someone who just bought a condo! :-)
Ahead of the Ontario general elections set for June 2018, Premier Wynne has brought about some changes she hopes will win-her-more-votes/save the housing market. One of those changes of course is the "closing" of the loophole, that allowed rents to be increased outside of the Ontario Rent Increase Guidelines for buildings constructed after 1991. Yet its these very same rent controls along with many others (ie the huge imbalance in favour of tenants at the Landlord and Tenant Board... municipalities charging absurd property taxes to owners of multi family residential properties... and putting the charges for delinquent tenant's utility charges back on the landlord), that are making it very difficult to for investors to choose to invest in real estate here.
Unless municipalities start adapting and making it easier for home owners to offer secondary suites, or reducing multi family property taxes to more reasonable levels, where are the affordable housing units going to come from? Those renting will stay in place due to the shortage, the landlord may not be ale to afford renovations, improvements, and who ends up suffering? The tenants do. The same as almost always, when rent control is introduced. Buildings start to fall into disrepair, eventually it ends up at the tribunal, the frustrated landlord sells, and the tenant may have to move out, if they're able to find a place.
When there is a shortage of supply, we should focus on increasing the supply to alleviate the problem for escalating rents. This is done by working with municipalities and builders developers on bringing more units to market, not by adding barriers.
Buying and Selling Residential, Condominium and Investment real estate in the Waterloo Region since 2008. Oh, and also Ottawa! :-D