GTA Real Estate News Highlights: #9

GTA Real Estate News Highlights: #9

Toronto ranks 4th among the most livable cities in the world, OREA offers tougher penalties for the rule-breaking realtors, Toronto might introduce the vacant home tax and more - the most important Greater Toronto Area real estate news picked by Torontoism in one place. 

Orea.com: OREA launches first of four white papers: Better Enforcement and a Regulator That Works

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) says the rule breaking realtors should face stricter penalties. The Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA) that regulates the market at the moment has not been changed since 2002 and it needs to be reviewed and updated, OREA insists. One of the updates OREA suggests is doubling the maximum fines for ethical violations to a maximum $50,000 for salespeople and brokers and $100,000 for brokerages. 

“Helping people through the largest financial transaction of their lives is a giant responsibility, and an enormous privilege. Ontario home buyers and sellers deserve to work with professionals who are being held to the highest standards.”- said John Meehan, Chair of the 2017 REBBA Review Task Force.

Globalnews.ca: Three Canadian cities among most livable in the world in annual global ranking

Toronto ranked 4th among the 140 cities in the annual Global Liveability Report, which ranks the cities based on stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. The three cities that surpassed Toronto are Melbourne, Vienna and Vancouver. We too, have our own opinion on why living in Toronto rocks, you can find it here:

10 Reasons why Toronto is a great city for leading a healthy and active lifestyle

Calgary takes the 5th place, making it the third 3 Canadian city in the top 5. The biggest decliners are Kiev, Damascus, Tripoli, Detroit and Moscow. The major factor affecting the ranking is conflict, which puts many "unstable" cities at the bottom of the list.

The Star: Drop in GTA home prices prompts new warning: seller beware

Jasmin Sheba had already sold her furniture in anticipation of moving out when she learned the buyer of her house wanted $20,000 off the selling price to close the deal. He threatened to sue for the $10,000 deposit if he didn’t get the reduction, she said. The recent changes on the market have put the buyers into the driver's seat, giving them space to back out from the offers or renegotiate the price.

After a week of negotiation, Sheba agreed to a $5,000 price reduction she was expecting to close the sale on Friday. Cases like this make some homeowners and realtors call for stronger seller protection.

Toronto Storeys: Baby boomers, you’ve won this round!

Baby boomers have beat the other generations in the real estate game. The baby boomers have the luxury of choice: to stay in their home, downsize and cash out or buy a cottage. But the numbers show that most of the baby boomers are comfortable where they are and prefer to keep living in their oversized homes and renovate them, which makes the situation even worse for the millennials looking for a house.

Other generations are forced to choose condo living due to the tough supply and demand factors. On the bright side, condos are getting more and more family-friendly.

We've published a post last week about the pros and cons of renovating vs. relocating too. Follow the link and check it out:

To Renovate or to Relocate

CP24: City holds public meeting to gather input on vacant homes tax

A public meeting was held on Tuesday evening as the city continues to seek out feedback from the public on whether or not to introduce a tax on the owners of the estimated 28,000 vacant homes in Toronto. That tax would charge owners of vacant residential properties one per cent of their home's assessed value annually.

A vacant home is defined as one that is unoccupied for more than 180 days per year. The biggest question concerning the tax is how to detect the vacant homes, the options include a self-reporting model, a complaints-based model and a system in which all owners would be required to declare the occupancy status of their property.

The tax is supposed to address the shortage of supply in Toronto area. However, it is under discussion at the moment and will not be implemented until the New Year at least.

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