With highly educated immigrants set to grow Canada’s population, one of the world’s largest asset management firms is looking to invest heavily in the country.

Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset management company which oversees US$1 trillion in assets, is opening up an office in Canada as it commits to growing its presence and investments in the country.

Jonathan Gray, president and chief operating officer of Blackstone, told BNN Bloomberg that his company has “a lot of enthusiasm” about Canada’s economy – and he sees the country’s growing population as its largest asset for future growth and productivity.

“We think the resource that (Canada) is most rich in is human talent,” Gray said in a television interview on Wednesday.

“The fact that the population in Canada is growing at 2.7 per cent, five times the rate of the U.S., it’s very bullish. Many of those folks are quite educated as well.”

Blackstone is looking to grow its investments in Canada within several industries that include housing, logistics, infrastructure and clean energy.

“You’ll see us on the real estate front do more in the student housing, which is an area Canada is really strong in, because so many people want to get a Canadian education,” he noted.

Data centres will be another area Blackstone intends to focus to facilitate the advancement of artificial intelligence, Gray added.

“When you think about what’s coming in AI, data centres are really the manifestation of that,” he added.


As Blackstone eyes more student housing, Gray spoke about the Canadian housing market’s strength at large.

Despite extraordinary high prices, he expects that overwhelming demand for housing in Canada combined with limited housing supply will continue to support the sector – particularly in areas where concentrated numbers of immigrants are expected to land.

“I think housing long-term has got some support because of this supply-demand imbalance,” Gray said.

Watch the full interview with Gray on BNN Bloomberg, Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. EDT.

What is the money supply (M2) of Canada in 2023? How will it impact you and your wealth?

Canada M2 Money Supply is at a current level of 2.410T, down from 2.412T last month
Referring to Collecting the helicopter money model (monetary tightening by raising the interest rate).

Central Banks are Creating Paper money from the thin air….. = Paper money (Fiat Money) = toilet paper
Owning Assets : GOLD , SILVER, Real Estate is more reliable than fiat money

What was Canada’s Money Supply M2 in Jun 2023?
Canada Money Supply M2 was reported at 1,821.669 USD bn in Jun 2023 See the table below for more data.

How does M2 money supply affect the economy?
It provides insights into the potential inflationary pressures, economic activity, and the overall health of financial markets. An increase in M2 money supply can stimulate economic growth and investment by making more funds available for lending and spending.May 16, 2023

What happens when M2 increases?
As a result, M2 offers a more comprehensive overview of inflation levels because if the M2 monetary supply is increased, inflation could rise. Equally, if M2 supply is restricted by central banks, inflation could fall.

Here’s the REAL reason why income inequality keeps rising in Canada

The gap between income and house prices has been steadily growing since the 80s.

And it’s not slowing down.

Because the real reason house prices are going up while wages are down?

is a little something called ‘M2 supply’ (aka the amount of ‘new’ money added to the economy).

Compares GTA house prices to M2 supply:

Almost perfect correlation between the amount of new money added…and the average house price in the GTA.

  • How does this all impact you as a hard-working Canadian?
  • How does it impact your kids who might want to purchase their own home one day?
  • Where will house prices go up from here? And will “higher for longer” interest rates really make a difference?
  • According to this chart, M2 supply (i..e ‘new’ money entering the economy) in Canada is going up again as of the last quarter!

Despite the higher rates:

This means home prices could also stay high…if not go up again.

  1. What’s going on behind the scenes?
  2. What does the Bank of Canada have planned for rates, and where might they go over the next 12-18 months?
  3. Where will M2 be headed and what factors might force the Bank of Canada’s hand into pumping new liquidity into the economy again?


GTA New Condo Prices by Month

Average Greater Toronto Area New Condo Asking Prices

  • Average GTA new condominium apartment asking prices per-square-foot are up 63% since 2018, but down 8% annually to just under $1,500 psf in August.
  • The average end-selling price was $1.33 million for a new condo in the GTA in August, down 21% annually.
  • We are yet to see a lot of high-rise developers lower pricing in 2023, instead choosing to offer incentives to move product. With that said, the most successful launches are coming to market at 2021 price levels, pulling the overall average price down.

New Condo Price Growth by Municipality & Year

Year-Over-Year Change in New Condo Pricing by City

  • Six municipalities experienced annual new condo price growth per-square-foot of over 25% in 2022, with Kitchener and Waterloo topping that list at 45% and 44%, respectively. Previously viewed as tertiary markets, the KW region is now valued more like a GTA suburb.
  • In the City of Toronto, new condo prices rose 5% annually in 2021 and 13% annually in 2022, but have fallen 2% year-to-date this year (ending August 2023).
  • The municipalities with the highest price growth in 2023 are primarily markets with limited launch activity in 2022, and based on fairly small sample sizes.

Historical Investor Returns – Select East Toronto Projects

Launch Pricing versus Resale Pricing

Bullpen Consulting Pulled Data on the Average Price of New Condos Launched in East Toronto and Scarborough, and Compared them Against Average Resale Prices from September 2022 to August 2023.

  • There are five high-rise projects analyzed in Scarborough in the chart above. These projects have seen pricing increase by just under 80% on average from launch, an average annual return of 11%.
  • There were 16 mid-rise projects reviewed, with data showing that these projects have increased in value by 73% on average or 9% annually.

Average Rent at GTA Buildings Completed since 2014

Quarterly Average Rent and Rent Per-Square-Foot

  • When considering condominium and rental apartments completed over the last 10 years in the GTA, the average asking rent was $3,184 in Q3-2023 (July and August only) based on a sample of listings data, compared to $3,085 per month in the fourth quarter of last year (+3%).
  • On a per-square-foot basis, these condo and rental projects that are less than 10 years old are asking approximately $4.43 psf in rent in the third quarter, compared to $4.20 psf in Q4-2022 (+5%).
  • In should be mentioned that the average unit size is falling (719 sf vs 735 sf), contributing to the increase in per-foot rent levels. The median unit size in Q4-2022 was 702 sf, compared to the median unit size in Q3-2023 of 669 sf.

Average Rent at Recently Completed PBR Buildings in the GTA

Quarterly Average Rent Per-Square-Foot for Select “Newer” Purpose-Built Rental Apartments

  • These 20 buildings (high-activity projects completed over the last 10 years) were asking about $4.16 psf on average for rent in the second quarter of 2023, versus $4.37 psf in Q3-2023.
  • One of the newest developments to start their lease-up program is Maple House at Canary Landing, with asking rents of approximately $4.75 psf.

Condo Launch Prices versus 2023 Rent Levels – New Completions

Condo Launch Prices Per-Square-Foot versus Average Rent Per-Square-Foot (2023 Completed/Registered Condos)

  • The average asking rent per-square-foot at these 2023-completed condominium apartments in southwestern Ontario is $3.89 psf versus an average launch price of $805 psf. The rent represents 0.48% of the launch price (rent-to-price ratio).
  • Projects where rent is the highest versus the launch price is 0.73% at the Gaslight District Condos in Cambridge, and 71% at Rodeo Drive Condos in the Shoppes at Don Mills development in North York. There is “rent value” for lower-priced markets like Cambridge, while the rent value created at Rodeo Drive is due the the 7+ years from launch to occupancy.


Are you considering selling your occupied rental property?

Whether you’re a seasoned landlord or an accidental investor, parting ways with a rental property that currently has tenants can be a complex process.

First and foremost, understanding the legal rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants is crucial. You must navigate the intricacies of existing lease agreements, local rental laws, and tenant rights to ensure compliance and protect everyone involved.

Effectively communicating with your tenants is also key. Open and transparent dialogue is essential to manage expectations, address concerns, and establish a cooperative environment throughout the sales process. Maintaining a positive tenant-landlord relationship can lead to a more favorable outcome for all parties involved.

There are a few effective strategies for marketing an occupied rental property, including showcasing its potential, coordinating property showings, and balancing the needs of prospective buyers with the comfort and privacy of your tenants.

By delving into these essential considerations, you’ll gain valuable insights into selling an occupied rental property and be better equipped to navigate the challenges that may arise along the way.

Can I Sell My Occupied Rental Property in Canada?
Selling an occupied rental property in Canada is indeed possible, but the regulations and procedures can vary depending on the province where the property is located. While it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific laws of your province, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind.

Firstly, tenants in Canada are afforded certain rights and protections, including the right to peaceful enjoyment of their rented space. Landlords must adhere to these rights and follow the proper legal procedures when selling a rental property with tenants in place.

In most provinces, landlords are typically required to provide written notice to tenants about the intent to sell. The notice period can vary, but it is usually a minimum of 24 hours and should include details about property showings and access.

Moreover, landlords must respect tenants’ privacy and ensure that property showings are conducted in a reasonable manner. This means coordinating with tenants to schedule showings at mutually convenient times.

It is advisable to consult with local real estate professionals and legal experts who specialize in landlord-tenant law to ensure compliance with specific provincial regulations.

Regulations on Rental Property Sales
The federal government doesn’t place any direct regulations on selling tenanted properties in Canada. However, there are provincial regulations in place that are important to understand if you wish to sell your occupied property.

In Ontario, for example, when a landlord decides to sell their property, they are required to provide the tenant with the appropriate form, available for printing from the governing board. This form outlines the reason for the tenant’s departure from the property.

The provincial regulations are fairly consistent across all provinces. Tenants are generally entitled to notice before the landlord may do showings of the property, and they can decline to allow showings for times when they are unavailable to attend.

If a dispute arises between the tenant and the landlord regarding the sale of the property before the end of a lease agreement, then the resolution will be handled by the respective tenancy board for that province.

Understanding the provincial regulations that govern the sale of rental properties is an important step in effectively selling your occupied rental property. For more information, visit your local province’s official website.

How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give When Selling a Rental Property in Canada?
The amount of notice that a landlord must give when selling a rental property in Canada depends on the specific province and the circumstances of the sale. Generally, landlords are required to provide written notice to tenants regarding the sale of the property.

In many provinces, such as Ontario and British Columbia, if the landlord wants the tenant to vacate the property due to personal use or for a family member to move in, they must provide a notice period of at least 60 days before the termination of the tenancy. This notice should be given prior to the first day of the final rental period.

In cases where the new purchaser does not intend to become the new landlord and the tenant is required to move out after the sale, the landlord typically needs to provide a notice period of 30 days after the sale has been completed.

It is important for landlords to familiarize themselves with the specific regulations in their province to ensure compliance with the appropriate notice periods and procedures when selling a rental property. Consulting with local real estate professionals and legal experts can provide further guidance on the specific requirements in each province.

Tips For Selling a Tenant-Occupied Rental Property
Selling a tenant-occupied rental property comes with its own set of unique challenges. However, with the right approach and strategies, you can navigate the process successfully.

Respecting the tenants’ rights and privacy is essential. Be mindful of their schedules and comfort when scheduling property showings or inspections. Open and effective communication with your tenants is crucial. Keep them informed about the selling process and address any concerns promptly.

Understanding your legal options is also of vital importance. Familiarize yourself with local landlord-tenant laws, lease agreements, and regulations specific to your jurisdiction. This knowledge will help you navigate the process within legal boundaries and protect the rights of both parties.

By incorporating these tips into your selling strategy, you can foster a cooperative environment, maintain positive tenant relations, and increase the chances of a successful sale.

Offer Incentives
Offering incentives can be a powerful tool when selling a tenant-occupied rental property. Providing incentives not only encourages tenants to cooperate during the sales process but also helps maintain the property’s market appeal.

Consider options such as reduced rent for a specified period, covering moving expenses, or offering financial compensation for their cooperation. Incentives demonstrate goodwill and can alleviate any concerns or inconveniences the tenants may have.

This also increases the likelihood of them keeping the property presentable during showings, which can attract potential buyers. By offering incentives, you create a win-win situation where tenants feel valued, and you increase the chances of a smooth and successful sale.

Be Respectful
Maintaining respect for your tenants throughout the process of selling a tenant-occupied rental property is paramount. Treat your tenants with courtesy, empathy, and professionalism.

Respect their privacy by giving ample notice for property showings and inspections, and strive to accommodate their schedules whenever possible. Listen to their concerns and address any issues promptly and fairly.

Clearly explain the reasons for the sale, the timeline, and any changes that may affect them. Listen attentively to their concerns and address them promptly. Keep them informed about property showings, inspections, and any necessary access to the unit.

By fostering a cooperative and understanding environment through communication, you can minimize misunderstandings, build trust, and maintain a positive tenant-landlord relationship. This will not only facilitate a smoother sales process but also contribute to the overall satisfaction of all parties involved.

Understand Your Legal Options
Having a clear understanding of your legal options is essential when selling a tenant-occupied rental property. Familiarize yourself with the specific landlord-tenant laws and regulations in your jurisdiction.

Be aware of your rights and obligations as a landlord, as well as those of your tenants. Consult with legal professionals or real estate experts experienced in rental property sales to ensure compliance with the law.

Understanding your legal options empowers you to navigate the sales process within the boundaries of the law, protecting both your interests and those of your tenants. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions, handle any legal challenges that may arise, and ensure a smooth and legally compliant sale.

Toronto’s condo market continued to tighten in the second quarter of 2023, according to new data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), with sales up “strongly” year over year and new listings once again failing to keep pace.

More specifically, TRREB reports that there were 6,844 total condominium apartment sales in the quarter, up over 20% year over year. In contrast, new condo listings were down by more than 13%.

“This divergence between condo sales and listings also meant that active listings at the end of Q2 2023 were down by 8% compared to the end of Q2 2022,” notes the report.

TRREB President Paul Baron attributes the rise in sales to “an extremely competitive rental market.” Still, he says, “average condo selling prices remain below last year’s levels, which has helped from an affordability perspective.”

Condos in the GTA sold for an average of $737,868 in Q2, and that price was down 4.2% compared to the second quarter of 2022. Zeroing in on the City of Toronto — which accounted for two-thirds of total condo sales — the average selling price was $769,616, down 3.3% from Q2 2022.

“As sales increase relative to the number of listings available, expect condo prices to trend upward in the months ahead,” cautions Baron.

“Encouraging” Growth In Condo Rental Listings
A separate TRREB report, also released Thursday, shows that average condo apartment rents continued to “well outpace” the rate of inflation in the second quarter of the year, which is a continuation of a two-year-long trend.

At $2,532, the average one-bedroom condo apartment rent grew 11.6% from Q2 2022. In a similar fashion, the average rent for a two-bedroom climbed 9.2% to $3,264.

Over the same Q2 2022 to Q2 2023 period, the number of condominium apartment rentals reported through TRREB’s MLS® System, at 13,935, saw a 5.4% uptick, while the number of condo apartments listed for rent grew by a greater annual rate of 15.4%.

“Despite seeing an increase in the number of units listed for rent, competition between renters remained very strong. This competition underpinned higher average rents,” explains the report.

Still, TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer says the growth in new condo rental listings was “encouraging to see.”

“If this is sustained over the longer term, the pace of rent growth will slow,” Mercer continues. “However, it will take some time to make up for the rental housing deficit that has built up over the last number of years. It will be key to see more purpose-built rental units come online to augment investor-owned condominium apartments which have accounted for most of the new rental stock in the GTA over the past decade.”

The investment world often buzzes with the debate of real estate versus stocks. While both avenues have unique advantages, real estate investment stands out with distinct benefits that often outshine the stock market, especially in times of high inflation. Here are some reasons why your clients should be looking to put their money into real estate:

1. Tangibility:

Unlike stocks, real estate is a physical asset. It’s something you can see, touch, and use. This tangibility provides a sense of security and offers various practical uses, from personal residence to rental income generation.

2. Predictable Cash Flow:

Real estate, especially rental properties, often ensures a steady income stream. This income is generally more stable and predictable than stock dividends, making real estate a reliable investment.

3. Tax Advantages:

The tax code is often more favorable to real estate investors than stock investors. From deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes to depreciation benefits, real estate investment can provide significant tax advantages.

4. Inflation Hedge:
Real estate serves as an excellent protection against inflation. As living costs increase, so does the value of your property and the rent you can charge. This ensures that your investment keeps pace with or even outpaces inflation.

5. Investor Control:
Real estate investment gives you more control over your investment. Unlike stocks, where your returns are dictated by company performance and market trends, you can improve, repurpose, or sell your real estate based on your decisions, influencing your investment’s performance.

While stocks can play a role in a diversified investment portfolio, the tangible nature, predictable cash flow, tax benefits, inflation protection, and control offered by real estate make it an appealing and wise investment choice for investors and your clients!


Source: Canadian Real Estate Wealth

The Ford government tabled new legislation that will give itself the power to convert underutilized schools in Ontario into affordable housing or sell off the properties on the open market, in a major overhaul of education policies.

The new bill, called the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, includes sweeping new measures aimed at standardizing the education system to align with “provincial priorities” — which will be set by education minister Stephen Lecce — and to give parents greater say over their children’s education.

Elected school board trustees will also be subject to training and some new rules.

In what could prove to be a controversial decision, however, the new legislation would give the Ford government the ability to repurpose unused school board lands to build affordable housing, as the province grapples with a self-imposed goal of building 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Currently, school boards that declare a property as surplus are required to offer it up to other public-sector bodies such as other school boards, colleges and universities, municipalities and the Ontario government.

The law would place the province at the front of the line, giving itself the first right of refusal, along with the power to determine the final outcome, while limiting its usage.


If the property is not needed by another school board, the government said, it would be taken over by the Ministry of Infrastructure and could be used for either long-term care or affordable housing. If the province declines its option on the land, the government said, it would be sold in the open market at “fair market value.”

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Lecce outlined an example of how he wants the policy to work.

Take a Catholic school board that has a school that has stood empty for years, he said. Nearby, there could be a public board that needs to build a new school and currently has to buy land on the market, competing with housing developers and other interests.

“That is ludicrous,” Lecce said.

Under the proposed rules, the minister suggested the Catholic board would offer its school to its public counterpart, which would have first refusal to pay “fair market” value for the building.

If the school board refused, the province would then be able to take it on. It could be used for priorities including long-term care or affordable housing.

After that, if no need is identified, it could be sold on the open market.


The government said, however, that it is not lifting the moratorium on closing schools — which was first brought into effect in 2017 by the former Liberal government as it faced opposition over hundreds of school closures due to low enrollment.

Lecce said he wanted to “challenge” school boards to “think outside the box” with their buildings, land and potential joint use schools that could incorporate non-profits like the YMCA could be involved in.

“One taxpayer paid for this — let’s maximize it,” Lecce said.

The Ontario NDP said the bill was “smoke and mirrors” and failed to address the pressing needs of students.

Ontario NDP education critic Chandra Pasma said the Ford government was “trying to shift blame” to school boards, schools and teachers.

She said she believed the Ford government was working to privatize parts of the education system.

“Underfund, underfund, underfund, and when the system reaches a moment of crisis, suddenly the solution is privation,” she said.

The government’s bill touches on huge portions of the schools, teaching and governance. It was teased by the government as a plan to “refocus” Ontario’s education system.

Parts of the proposed legislation are focused on creating more transparency, the government said.

The priorities laid out by the Ford government will be the responsibility of Ontario’s 72 school district school boards. Under the changes, they will be required to engage parents and to publicly share their progress through action plans.

The education minister said existing powers could be used to compel school boards to comply and that the Ford government would use them “if we must.”

Trustees, directly elected to run school boards at the same time as local councillors, will also face new expectations. Standardized training will be set out if the bill passes, while an integrity commissioner will also be introduced.

The province repeatedly highlighted changes for trustees were about bringing more standardized governance and discipline approaches.

Lecce was education minister when the province stepped in to take control of the Peel District School Board after allegations of anti-Black racism and discrimination.

After stepping in, trustees in Peel were sidelined from their roles until recently, with a provincial supervisor taking control.

Lecce said he “doesn’t want to step in any further” on school board governance, suggesting the changes could limit the need for future takeovers similar to the Peel District School Board.

The legislation could also usher in changes to the oversight and rules that govern teachers and educators.

The province is proposing a plan to work with the Ontario College of Teachers and the College of Early Childhood Educators to change some rules governing staff. It includes a plan to create a new disciplinary process, including for staff convicted of sexual assault.

Some new staff will also be brought into the system, the province said.

Specific staffing to increase the province’s attempts to de-stream some classes are also part of the plan, Lecce said.

On Sunday, Lecce announced changes that would involve the hiring of 1,000 new staff to boost math and literacy rates across the province.

Lecce said the new math plan was worth $71 million for the 2023-24 academic year, with $109 million set aside to boost literacy rates in the province. The changes include funds for a number of new staff, new lessons and additional tests.

“We take this seriously,” Lecce said, unveiling the plan. “If we don’t intervene at the front end, and course correct these challenges for these young kids, it can lead to long-term impacts.”

A total of 1,000 new educators will be hired through the program, with 300 focusing on math and 700 on literacy. With around 4,800 schools across the province, the boost will not come close to impacting every classroom in Ontario with new staff.

Answering questions from reporters after the announcement, Lecce said details would be given to school boards shortly. He specified that some funds would focus on the lowest-performing 20 per cent of schools in the province.

Global News reported in October that a majority of Grade 6 students were failing to meet provincial math standards.

Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) data, obtained by Global News and confirmed by the Ministry of Education at the time, also showed math test scores for the 2021-2022 school year have not substantially improved since 2018 — when Premier Doug Ford took office and promised change.

The latest data said 59 per cent of Grade 3 students met the provincial mathematics standard. Just 47 per cent of Grade 6 students met the threshold, while 52 per cent of Grade 9 students were at the standard.

The test, however, was administered during unprecedented disruption in the education system due to COVID-19.

On Monday, Lecce said the grants for student needs — funding school boards — would increase by 2.7 per cent, below the rate of inflation. That increase is worth $690 million, he said.

Building permits for multi-unit dwellings are on the rise in Ontario as the province continues to face pressure from increased demand and a critical shortage of housing.

The total value of building permits in Canada increased by 8.6 per cent to $10.7 billion in February compared to January, indicating “robust intentions” for both residential and non-residential sectors, according to a recent Statistics Canada report.

Seven provinces reported monthly increases, with notable gains in Ontario, especially for multi-dwelling units, such as condos and townhouses.

Multi-dwelling permits in Ontario sharply increased by 13.6 per cent in February compared to January, led by a variety of large value permits, or condo building construction, which jumped 25.4 per cent, the report said.

“The demand for new homes since the pandemic has skyrocketed,” said Luca Bucci, CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. “We’re seeing our members trying to provide as much supply as they can to meet demand.”

In 2022, the federal government announced a plan to welcome half a million immigrants a year by 2025, of which many newcomers are skilled workers looking to potentially buy a home or rent.

Because the GTA has limited land availability building highrise towers is a cost-effective way to produce more housing, Bucci said. “The cost to build over the last few years has increased substantially, so multi-dwelling units are the more economical option,” he added.

Yearly construction costs for residential buildings rose the most for single-detached houses, by almost 21 per cent, and townhouses by more than 20 per cent, from 2021 to 2022, according to StatsCan. And for non-residential buildings costs increased by 12.5 per cent — the highest annual increase since 1981.

That’s why building more condos is economically more attractive for developers. It’s resulting in a record 25,000 new condominium unit completions slated for 2023 with an additional 100,000 units set to be completed between 2024 and 2028, according to research firm Urbanation.

Premier Doug Ford’s government is also partly the reason for the rise in building permits due to policies like the More Homes Built Faster Act, which aims to speed up development, said Shawn Ramautor, a sales representative with Royal LePage Wolle Realty in Kitchener.

“We’re seeing a lot of these permits now because of the provincial government’s policies,” he said.

Multi-dwelling permits can also be used for turning a residential home into a duplex or triplex, or building a laneway house, which is a faster way to build more units than building a condo tower, he said.

While there has been an uptick in permits, an overall shortfall in housing still plagues the sector.`

Annual price growth is now at its lowest level since January 2022

The annual pace of inflation in Canada cooled again in February, with a 5.2% year-over-year increase in the consumer price index meaning it is now at its lowest level since January last year.

New figures released by Statistics Canada on Tuesday morning showed that yearly price growth declined at a faster clip than anticipated in its most rapid slowdown for nearly two years.

April 2020 was the last time the inflation rate fell so decisively, with February’s decline in price growth bringing it close to last January’s figure of 5.1%.

The main reason for last month’s slower rate was the fact that prices had spiked at the same time last year, StatCan said, as the global economy was rocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Energy prices ticked down by 0.6% on a yearly basis in February and gasoline prices declined by 4.7%, although grocery price growth continued to surge – by 10.6% year over year.

Price growth with food and energy inflation removed was 4.8% over the same time last year, according to StatCan, slightly down from 4.9% in January.

The news is likely to be seen by the Bank of Canada as a further sign that its rate increases over the past year are having their desired effect, and could mean that the central bank opts once again to hold its policy rate steady in April.

In its first two rate announcements of the year, the Bank has been open about the possibility of leaving rates where they are for the foreseeable future if economic indicators continue to trend as expected.

The Bank of Canada finally hit pause on rate hikes in its latest announcement – and its language in the statement suggests its preference is to keep its benchmark rate unchanged for the remainder of the year, according to a prominent economist.

Benjamin Tal (pictured), deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets, told Canadian Mortgage Professional that the central bank had indicated a willingness to diverge from monetary policy south of the border despite US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s recent bellicose comments on the likelihood of further hikes.

Tal said a relatively unremarkable statement from the Bank, which contrasted strikingly with its aggressive language in previous rate announcements, showed that it was comfortable taking a different path to the Fed – even if it said it remained open to more rate increases later in the year.

“I think if you give them the choice, they will actually prefer not to continue to raise because they don’t want to overshoot,” he said.

“They are keeping their options open, but at the same time one thing that is interesting [is that] although the Fed is sounding very hawkish, and Powell is talking about another 75 basis points potentially, it seems that the Bank of Canada is not paying attention to the gap between the Fed and [itself].”

We have maintained our policy interest rate at 4.50%.

What could push the Bank of Canada into further rate hikes in 2023?
One fear could be that the Fed will move so rapidly that it will force the Bank of Canada into action because of the impact that divergence will have on the Canadian dollar, Tal said – although he added that the Canadian central bank had given itself breathing space to assess the landscape before deciding on further action.

Wednesday’s announcement marked the first time in more than 12 months that the Bank has opted to hold fire on rate hikes, with its statement noting that global economic trends had continued to play out as anticipated in January. Global inflation ticked downwards and growth slowed, while in Canada inflation fell to 5.9% in January and the economy remained flat despite resilient employment figures.

Still, while those factors may have helped copper-fasten the decision to keep the trendsetting rate unchanged, plenty could still transpire between now and the end of the year to nudge the Bank in the direction of further increases, according to Tal.

“Although [they] opened the door to another move if necessary, they’re basically telling you that ‘We don’t have data to justify a rate hike at this point,’” he said. “The labour market is still relatively tight, although [they’re] starting to look at some aspects of the inability of companies to pass the cost to the consumer because of the reduction in come.

“So this suggests that they are willing and hoping that they will not need to raise again – but the options are still open.”

What’s next for interest rates in Canada?
The five-year Government of Canada rate could be set for a small decline in the coming months, Tal said, reflecting a possible calming in the market over the Bank of Canada’s future approach, and to some extent the Fed’s.

“Over the next six months, my guess is that we will see a modest decline in the five-year rate while the variable-rate mortgage that is linked to the overnight rate will be stable,” he said. “Let’s hope that they will not go by another 25 basis points – but [that’s] still a risk.”

The Bank’s decision not to raise its policy rate further may “inject a wave of optimism” into the housing market as buyers and developers move off the sidelines, Tal said, although he cautioned that the impact would remain mild for now.

Stability in rates, he said, was “something that will empower people to get into the market and even [allow] developers to start rethinking their plans, and actually go ahead with some plans.

“It’s not going to be a market changer and a gamechanger, but it’s going to be overall, at the margin, a positive development.”

While the Bank by no means shut the door on the prospect of resuming its rate-hiking trajectory further down the road in 2023, Tal said its apparent willingness not to follow closely at the tail of the Fed was a positive development.

“I think that the focus should be to what extent they are paying attention to the Fed. I think that’s very important,” he said. “And at this point, it seems that they’re willing to ignore the Fed – and that’s good news.”

What’s your reaction to the Bank of Canada’s latest interest rate announcement? Let us know in the comments section below.


Sales remain low across the city’s housing market

Toronto’s home price index rose by 1.1% in February over the previous month but continued to plummet on a yearly basis, with sales volumes across the city also remaining subdued.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) revealed that the home price index (HP) sat at just under $1.1 million last month, down 17.7% year over year, with sales falling by 49% compared with February 2022. Still, sales figures saw their first monthly increase since August last year.

The number of new listings in February, meanwhile, fell by 40.9% to 8,367, and with buying intentions on the up according to recently released Ipsos polling, TRREB’s chief market analyst said prices were likely to rise again.

“This increased demand will run up against a constrained supply of listings and lead to increased competition between buyers,” Jason Mercer said in remarks accompanying the Board’s news release. “This will eventually lead to renewed price growth in many segments of the market, especially those catering to first-time buyers facing increased rental costs.”

TRREB noted that the share of sales below $1 million in the Toronto market had seen a big increase over the past year: in February, those accounted for 57% of transactions, compared with 38% at the same time in 2022.

The Bank also gave a significant update on its plans for future rate announcements

The Bank of Canada has announced a quarter-point hike to its benchmark policy rate, a move that marks its eighth consecutive rate increase and the first of 2023 – although it also indicated that it could be its last for some time.

The decision, announced on Wednesday morning, means that the central bank’s trendsetting rate now sits at 4.5%, having risen sharply in 2022 as the Bank fought to curb inflation that surged to its highest level in nearly 40 years in June.

The Bank said in its statement accompanying the decision that it expected to hold the policy rate at its current level as long as economic developments continue to evolve in line with its forecast.

The 25-basis-point hike comes as little surprise, with stronger-than-expected economic data and a resilient labour market dampening speculation that it could be set to hold fire on a rate jump in January.

In its last statement of 2022 the Bank had hinted that it could be ready for a pause on rate hikes in the coming months, indicating that it would “be considering whether the policy interest rate needs to rise further” to continue dialling down inflation.

That was a notable departure from its aggressive tone of previous statements, in which the Bank confirmed that further increases to the policy rate were effectively a foregone conclusion.

However, the economy saw a December employment surge, adding 104,000 jobs that month, and while inflation also ticked down, it’s still hovering at 6.3% – well above the central bank’s target rate of 2%.

The news will see borrowing costs rise once more for thousands of Canadian mortgage holders and would-be buyers, with monthly mortgage payments for borrowers on a variable rate having already spiked dramatically last year.

Leah Zlatkin, a mortgage broker and expert, told Canadian Mortgage Professional in advance of the central bank announcement that the way forward for borrowers depends largely on their individual circumstances and whether variable-rate holders can absorb the impact of a high-rate environment or would prefer to switch to a more stable fixed option.

Much attention will now be focused on how the economic outlook evolves before the Bank of Canada’s next decision, set to arrive on March 8.

Canadians faced an average annual rent increase of 10.9 per cent in 2022, with another five per cent increase forecast for 2023, according to year end data from Urbanation and

Average monthly rent for December was up 12.2 per cent at $2,005 on a year-over-year basis, according to the groups’ monthly rental report. That marked a slight decline from November.

Out of the 35 cities surveyed, Vancouver had the highest monthly rent for December, with a year-over-year increase of 16.8 per cent for one-bedroom units and 17.9 per cent for two bedrooms, with average rents of $2,596 a month and $3,562 a month, respectively.

Toronto claimed second place as the most expensive monthly rent with a year-over-year increase of 21.3 per cent ($2,457) for a one-bedroom unit and 18.1 per cent ($3,215) for a two-bedroom unit.

Calgary finished third with an average year-over-year increase of 22.6 per cent to $1,816 per month for purpose-built and condominium apartments.

As for apartment and condo rentals in December, Ottawa and Edmonton ranked fourth and fifth, with annual increases of 14.5 per cent and 11.7 per cent, respectively, while Montreal’s average rent increased by only 6.6 per cent.

Higher borrowing costs have kept rental demand strong in the face of falling supply, Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation said in the report.

“The Canadian rental market had one of its strongest years ever in 2022, more than reversing any weakness experienced during the pandemic,” Hildebrand said. “Rental demand is primarily being driven by a quickly growing population that is finding it increasingly more difficult to afford homeownership or find suitable rental housing. Looking ahead for 2023, rents are expected to continue rising, but less heated growth can be expected as the economy slows and new rental supply rises to multi-decade highs.”

According to the report, It is expected that rents will increase at a more moderate five per cent in 2023, as economic and employment conditions begin to soften after the rapid rise in interest rates and record breaking rents.

The annual rent increase figure of 10.9 per cent was determined by taking the weighted average for rents across all 12 months of 2022 and dividing over the weighted average rents across all 12 months of 2021, said.

Source: financial post

Just under 32,000 new condo units are slated for completion in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in 2023, according to real estate consulting firm Urbanation.

Urbanation President Shaun Hildebrand tells STOREYS the figure may more realistically be in the ballpark of 25,000 to 30,000 units — he says the industry typically falls short of its projected deliveries — but even so, completions are poised to climb to a new high.

In addition, he says 2023 is shaping up to be “the biggest year for purpose-built rental deliveries in three decades,” with around 7,740 purpose-built rental units scheduled for completion in 2023.

“And that’s happening at the same time as condos reaching a record level as well in terms of completions,” says Hildebrand. “The industry is still facing some supply chain issues, but projects that are scheduled this year have been under construction a long time, and they’ve made considerable progress.”

It’s important to note, however, that Toronto is coming off of two slow years for condo completions. Less than 14,000 units were completed in 2021, and although Urbanation has yet to compile the number of completions for 2022, Hildebrand estimates that less than 16,000 units were realized last year. The ten-year average is just over 17,000 units.

“In that sense, the completions that are happening this year are making up for some lost ground and bringing things back on trend in terms of deliveries,” he says. “But it will be a high level, a record level, and obviously coming at the same time as demand being challenged by quickly rising interest rates. I think, in that sense, it’s going to be one of the more challenging years we’ve seen for the condo market in 2023.”

Hildebrand adds that, in contrast to previous years, condo completions will deviate from the downtown core in a meaningful way, with less than a third slated for downtown Toronto. The rest are in the 905 region of the GTA, indicative of a shift in presale condo activity to suburban markets.

“In many cases, these projects that are coming to completion in the 905 region do have higher end-user components, so there’s not going to be as much turnover for units for rent or units for sale as you would in a downtown core investor-heavy project,” he says, adding that, with rents being so strong, those who bought units pre-sale will see a sizeable return on investment. “So I think a lot of investors will be inclined to hold on to their units this year, rather than flip them for sale. And that will limit supply pressures on the market and any sort of negative downward forces on prices.”

Recent news stories have highlighted the dangers of real-estate title fraud, which take place when fraudsters or scam artists steal ownership of a home in order to benefit from its value.

Yesterday, CBC News reported on a Toronto family that was able to thwart an attempted scam where someone used fake identification to pose as the 95-year-old homeowner and convinced real estate agents to list the home for sale without the family’s knowledge or permission.

The case resembles an ongoing Toronto police investigation, in which police say two homeowners left Canada for work in January 2022 only to learn months later that their property had been sold without their knowledge by people using fake identification.

So, what is title fraud and how can you prevent it from happening?

What is title fraud?

Title fraud takes place when a person uses fake identification or forged documents to steal the identity of a homeowner and take away their “title,” or legal ownership of a property.

Once fraudsters have their hands on a property’s title, they can re-mortgage it, sell it to an unsuspecting buyer, or extract value from it in some other way and make away with the proceeds.

Homeowners often don’t learn about what’s happened until they receive notice of missed payments or they try to sell, title insurance company First Canadian Title (FCT) says on its website.

“It can take considerable time, money and effort to deal with having to restore your title and/or remove any fraudulently registered mortgages.”
– First Canadian Title insurance company

Victims of title fraud lose the right to mortgage their home, can no longer leverage the equity and can’t sell the property until they re-establish their title rights through the courts, according to FCT.

“It can take considerable time, money and effort to deal with having to restore your title and/or remove any fraudulently registered mortgages,” FCT writes on its website.

Morris Cooper, a civil litigation lawyer in Toronto who successfully argued a landmark case in 2006 that shifted the responsibility for title fraud from victims to lending institutions, said seniors and people who rent out their homes to tenants can be at a high risk of title fraud.

But homeowners can take steps to protect themselves.

Take steps to protect your identity
Stealing a person’s identity is often the first step in title fraud.

Government-issued identity documents, including driver’s licences, passports, birth certificates, social insurance number (SIN) cards and citizenship cards, can all be used to apply for mortgages or to take steps to buy or sell a home.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers the following tips for preventing identity theft:

  • Be wary of who you share personal information with.
  • Regularly check credit card reports, bank and credit card statements and report anything irregular.
  • Shred documents containing personal information before placing them in the garbage.
  • Limit mail theft by regularly retrieving mail.
  • Notify the post office, financial institutions and other service providers of your new address when you move.

Get title insurance

Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects property owners and their lenders against losses related to the property’s title or ownership, including from title fraud, according to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRAO).

While it can’t prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud, it is the single most important thing to mitigate its consequences.

“Title insurance will step in and save you in a situation like this,” said Varun Sriskana, a realtor, property manager and housing advocate based in Toronto. “It protects you in case someone defrauds you.”

Title insurance can cover legal expenses incurred by homeowners seeking to restore their right to their property’s title, according to FCT.

It protects homeowners from fraudulent claims on their property and pays for legal expenses to re-establish the homeowner’s title rights.

WATCH | Mortgage and title fraud ‘nothing new,’ Toronto real estate agent says:


If a buyer unwittingly buys a home that’s been fraudulently listed, the insurance should also protect them. In cases like that, the true owner will likely get their home back and the unwitting buyer will get their money back.

Know who you’re dealing with

People on both sides of a real-estate transaction should make sure they’re comfortable with the identity of the person on the other side of the deal, said Stephen Moranis, past president of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

That means potential tenants should ensure the landlord actually owns the property, while landlords should check references and request documents like credit scores to verify potential tenants, Moranis said.

“Either side should be very, very careful to verify and ensure that the other party they’re dealing with is actually in a position, a legal position, to either lease or or sell the property that they’re considering,” said Moranis.

Murtaza Haider, a professor of data science and real estate management at Toronto Metropolitan University, said he spoke to neighbours the last time he was looking to purchase a home, asking them about the property and the current owners in a search for potential red flags.

Simply Googling a person’s name and cross-checking social media photos can also help turn up any irregularities, Haider said.

Preventing title fraud by renters

Homeowners who rent their homes to tenants could be at a higher risk of fraud because the tenants have physical access to the home.

Landlords should take steps to make sure that documents containing personal information like driver’s licence renewal applications or tax returns don’t fall into the wrong hands, Haider said.

“Make sure that your mail stays with you. Make sure that you have a forwarding address,” said Haider. “Make sure that they don’t end up in the hands of people that you don’t want other than yourself.”

Haider said homeowners can also search for their property online from time to time to see if it’s being inappropriately listed for sale or on a rental website like AirBnB.

“It’s always good to be checking the address, checking it at various locations on the internet to see your property is being used for for the intended use,” Haider said.

Landlords should also rely on banking information, rather than cash payments, as that adds another layer of due diligence, Haider said.

The Ontario government also provides a free, online tool that allows any member of the public to check the validity and current status of a driver’s licence. Driver’s licence numbers that come up as invalid could be a red flag.

After hovering just above and then just below the $2,000-a-month mark in September and October, the national average rent for all property types bounced back over the threshold in November, rising 2.5 per cent to $2,024, according to the latest report by and Urbanation Inc.

While month-over-month rents increased only slightly, year-over-year rents were up 12.4 per cent, meaning new renters are paying roughly $224 more than last year.

“Rents in Canada are rising at an exceptionally high speed, which is having a profound effect on housing affordability as interest rates continue to rise,” Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation, said in the report. “With the most expensive cities experiencing very low supply and the fastest rates of rent increase, regions with high population growth are seeing demand shift into more affordable areas.”

National home sales increased by 1.3% in December over the previous month, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), although homebuying activity was down by more than 39% compared with the same time last year.

The association’s latest statistics also showed that the MLS Home Price Index fell by 1.6% on a monthly basis, with the non-seasonally-adjusted national average sale price plummeting by 12% from December 2021.

The number of newly listed properties in the Canadian housing market continued to tick downwards, falling by 6.4% from November, with British Columbia and Quebec seeing the most significant declines. Ottawa and Edmonton, meanwhile, contributed most strongly to the home sales gains posted in December.

The end of the year saw 4.2 months of inventory available nationally – close to pre-pandemic levels, CREA said, although still almost one month below the long-term average.

In remarks accompanying the news release, CREA’s chair Jill Oudil sounded a note of optimism on the rising-rate environment that gripped the housing market throughout last year.

“The market’s adjustment to higher rates may be mostly in the rear-view mirror at this point,” she said. “That could start to bring buyers back off the sidelines this spring.”

2023 outlook

Looking ahead to the 2023 market, CREA’s senior economist Shaun Cathcart said its trajectory will depend largely on the extent that high inflation and rising interest rates return to a more normal level.

“Demand for housing continues to grow and supply remains the biggest issue across the entire spectrum,” he added. “Whether that plays out in the rental market in 2023 or shifts back over into the ownership space is a matter of how quickly the Bank of Canada can get inflation under control and starts turning the dial back down on borrowing costs.”

Home sales over the course of 2023 are likely to be 0.5% lower than last year, CREA said, with the average price expected to decrease by 5.9% annually to $662,103.

That should be followed by a rebound in 2024, when national home sales should increase by 10.2% with the national average home price projected to increase by 3.5%.

A record number of new condo units will be completed in Toronto in 2023, just as skyrocketing mortgage rates make it harder for investors to close on their properties.

Nearly 32,000 condos will hit the city and surrounding suburbs, according to data from condo research firm Urbanation Inc. That surpasses the previous high in 2020, when 22,473 units were completed.

The raft of units are coming on the market after jumps in interest rates have ramped up borrowing costs and led to a drop in real estate sales and home prices.

Now, many buyers are having problems qualifying for a mortgage, with five-year interest rates topping 5 per cent. As well, lenders are appraising units at lower prices, meaning that the buyer has to come up with extra funds to make up the difference between the smaller mortgage for a unit, based on the lower appraised price, and what the buyer agreed to pay.

Preconstruction condos, which have not yet been built, are mostly bought by investors who plan to rent their units and/or profit from a resale. To secure a preconstruction condo, a 20-per-cent down payment is required. After the condo has been built, the buyer is required to pay the remaining 80 per cent.

“Investors could be looking to exit before they have to close on the unit and they may face difficulties qualifying for a mortgage given what’s happening with interest rates,” Urbanation president Shaun Hildebrand said.

This has led to an uptick in buyers trying to get out of their newly built condos by selling the right to buy their new unit, also known as an assignment sale.

“A lot of people are assigning because they can’t qualify for a mortgage nowadays,” said Brigitte Obregon, a broker with Re/Max Ultimate Realty who has sold preconstruction condos since 2009.

Higher mortgage payments have also made it less profitable for investors to own condos.

The average condo ownership cost in Toronto was $3,506 a month as of the third quarter of 2022, according to Urbanation. In comparison, the average monthly rent in the region was $2,733, which left the condo owner paying an average of $773 out of pocket every month. That is up from an average shortfall of $235 a month in the third quarter of 2021, $196 in 2020 and $17 in 2019, according to Urbanation.

Preconstruction condo sales in Toronto had been on the rise for years, driven by demand from investors and developers. But since home prices started to fall in 2022, it has become somewhat cheaper to buy an already built condo on the resale market.

The average rate for a preconstruction condo was $1,427 a square foot as of the third quarter of 2022, according to Urbanation. In comparison, the average price for a condo on the resale market was $891 a square foot.

“People are saying ‘Okay, now it seems like I can get the better deals on the resale market, or the preconstruction assignment market,’” said Vicky Huang, chief executive of Bay Street Group, a real estate brokerage that works with Chinese buyers in the resale and preconstruction housing market.

The typical price of a home across Canada is down 10 per cent from peak prices in February, 2022. In the preconstruction market, investors are not seeing the value of their properties grow as quickly as it has in the past. That is expected to further contribute to the slowdown in preconstruction sales in 2023.

Activity had already dropped significantly, and by the third quarter of 2022, preconstruction sales hit their lowest level since the 2008-09 global financial crisis. Dozens of projects had no sales during the quarter, according to Urbanation.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Toronto’s regional transit network could have looked much different in an alternate timeline, and one high school student from Hamilton has visualized how the GO Transit system may have looked in a reality where every single proposal played out as first envisioned.

William (who prefers to be identified by first name only), a 16-year-old student with a passion for transit and graphic design, created a map that depicts what the GO Transit network could have looked like if all projects proposed since 1965 had been realized.

His detailed creation — gradually crafted over a period of nine months — showcases an almost unrecognizable regional transit network with new lines, stations, and extensions.

William tells us that the “what if” map was a labour-intensive process of finding proposals and rearranging the design several times to make everything fit to scale.

“Some of the proposals and projects I discovered were very obscure projects I had never heard of before,” he explains.

“This includes a line going to the planned 2008 Toronto Olympic Village grounds from Union Station, a line following a hydro corridor along Finch Avenue in Toronto connecting northern Toronto with the never built Pickering International Airport, and lines connecting popular attractions such as Casino Rama, Ontario Place, and a more direct line to Table Rock in Niagara Falls.”

This could be the first modern regional transit map showing an international connection, with William saying that “one proposal was an extension beyond Ontario into Niagara Falls, NY, which would have been the first international commuter rail line in North America.”

The map includes lines that would have radically altered the look of transit in Toronto. William discusses projects like a dead proposal for an Ontario Place Line, “planned to be built with new experimental technology under a project called GO Urban.”

“Others were planned to be electrified with GO ALRT technology, which resembled the soon-to-be-closed TTC Scarborough RT, however, most lines were going to be built with conventional rail technology.”

In a rather unconventional graphic design move, he explains that he used an app on iOS called YouDoodle+ instead of the industry standard Adobe Illustrator. He used these tools to create a similar project several months ago, mapping out what the TTC rapid transit network could look like in 2035.

William was inspired to create this project with the hope of shining a light on some of GO Transit’s little-known history.

He says that “using the official GO Transit map with all the old and dead projects added onto it really shows off how much the GTHA could’ve had, but doesn’t due to funding cuts and public opposition to transit projects in the late 20th century.”


The Bank of Canada raised the target for its overnight rate by 50bps to 3.75% in its October 2022 meeting, below broad expectations that pointed to a more aggressive 75bps increase. Still, it marked the sixth consecutive rate hike, adding to the 350bps in interest rate increases in the current tightening path and pushing borrowing costs to their highest since 2008. Policymakers also signaled that interest rates will need to rise further to curb inflation, as the bank’s preferred measure of core inflation has not shown meaningful evidence of easing. The updated CPI projections point to inflation to be at 3% by 2023 before returning to the target level of 2% by 2024. Regarding growth, the BoC expects the Canadian economy to expand a slower 3.25% this year and less than 1% in 2023. The central bank also said it will continue its policy of quantitative tightening.

source: Bank of Canada