BoC Interest rate decision could bring homebuyers back to the market: Canadian real estate news for March 9
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Home of the Week, 18 Gloucester Lane, Toronto, former home of Norman Jewison.Aaron Mason/Aaron Mason/Metroviews.ca

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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What the Bank of Canada’s March interest rate decision means for prospective homebuyers

The central bank’s decision to hold its benchmark interest rate steady at 5 per cent will give prospective homebuyers more confidence to get back into the housing market, writes Rachelle Younglai. Although mortgage rates are much higher than in 2022, brokers say that prospective buyers are hoping to make a purchase before the real estate market rebounds into another frenzy. At the same time, the steady benchmark rate has given current mortgage borrowers time to adjust to the higher borrowing costs.

Toronto home sales drop, prices rise for first time since last summer

Toronto home prices rose in February, the first increase since last summer, but sales dropped 12 per cent after two straight months of growth – a sign that the country’s largest housing market is not quite on the rebound after last year’s slowdown, writes Younglai. Real estate experts said the BoC’s decision has led to more activity. There is now even competition for some types of properties, such as houses. Elan Weintraub, co-founder of Mortgage Outlet Inc., said there were 20 offers on one detached house in the Toronto suburbs in February. “Bidding wars are back,” he said.

B.C., Ontario mortgage-holders increasingly missed mortgage and credit card payments in 2023

As the effects of higher interest rates and inflation continue to weigh on consumers, mortgage renewals in high-value housing areas is becoming more difficult. According to Equifax Canada, Ontario’s mortgage delinquency rate was up 135.2 per cent compared with a year earlier, while B.C.’s rate rose by 62.2 per cent. Financially stressed homeowners in those provinces are also increasingly missing credit payments, the agency said, a trend primarily driven by homeowners who are 36 and younger.

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Office workers want to work in buildings that are well served by public transit, like Royal Bank Plaza in downtown Toronto.Supplied

Efficient transportation, daycare key to coaxing workers back to the office

New data from Colliers Canada suggests that office-building owners and white-collar employers should not count on workers rushing back to their cubicles in 2024, writes David Israelson. The new report shows that vacancies are expected to rise by 1 percentage point this year, peaking at about 15 per cent nationally by mid-2025, but the vacancy rate is likely to settle in the middle of next year – though some sort of hybrid work week will “probably be here to stay.” A fast commute and closer child care were listed as the top reasons workers would consider coming back to the office.

Home of the Week: The former home and office of famed director Norman Jewison

  • BoC Interest rate decision could bring homebuyers back to the market: Canadian real estate news for March 9

    Home of the Week, 18 Gloucester Lane, Toronto, former home of Norman Jewison.Aaron Mason/Aaron Mason/Metroviews.ca

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18 Gloucester Lane, Toronto

This heritage property just off Yonge Street in downtown Toronto is the dream home for Canadian film buffs. The 5½-storey, 11,000-square-foot building at 18 Gloucester Lane has been the property of Hollywood filmmaker Norman Jewison and his family since 1978. In addition to serving as his apartment in the city, it was the headquarters for his film businesses. The building was built in 1911 as a factory for a Toronto furniture dealer, and manages to retain the 100-year-old heritage style without too many of the issues associated with old properties – the floors are unusually soundproofed and reinforced. The first four floors are designed as commercial areas to be leased, but a quaint apartment is situated on the top floor.

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

a. $6,950,000

b. $8,495,000

c. $10,625,000

d. $11,999,000

b. The asking price is $8,495,000.

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