Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week, with the lowest mortgage rates available in Canada today, commentary from our mortgage expert and one home worth a look.
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Homeowners with mortgages to get short-term relief, but future Bank of Canada rate hikes a ‘looming’ fear
The Bank of Canada announced Wednesday it was holding its key interest rate steady at 5 per cent, but borrowers shouldn’t celebrate just yet. Due to the rising concern about inflation, the bank is leaving the door open to future hikes. Rising rates have affected homeowners with variable-rate mortgages, reports Rachelle Younglai. This week’s decision has some borrowers in a state of “constant looming fear” that a hike in the future will mean they might lose their homes. Mortgage holders will have about two months to adjust to the summer’s higher interest rates before the bank’s next decision in October.
Investors account for 30 per cent of home buying in Canada, data show
New data found that investors were responsible for a higher percentage of residential home purchases than in previous years – up 2 per cent from the first quarter of last year, and 8 per cent from 2020. Meanwhile, the percentage of first-time homebuyers shrunk to 43 per cent in the same time frame, and the amount of repeat buyers dropped as well, Younglai writes. According to the Bank of Canada, low interest rates during the pandemic and marketing encouraging Canadians to invest in multiple properties have increased investor influence in the market.
This week’s lowest available mortgage rates
In the wake of the Bank of Canada’s decision to keep its policy rate steady at 5 per cent, there are hopes the move will slowly reduce the rate by the end of the year. But always expect the unexpected, writes Robert McLister in his weekly column. Surging oil prices, Russian escalation, and natural disasters are just a few of the potential triggers that could skyrocket inflation and mortgage rates.
Greenbelt fiasco makes a mess of Ontario’s land development rules, critics say
Last week, Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner released a report which declared Housing Minister Steve Clark’s chief of staff broke ethics rules when opening the Greenbelt to development, which ultimately led to Mr. Clark’s resignation. Since the revelation, critics say it has undermined the rules-based system that governs new developments in the province, Shane Dingman reports. Instead of following official and extensive planning processes, developers can just “become really good friends with the Premier.”
Home of the week: A Calgary home with lots of woody warmth
5036 Vanstone Cres. NW, Calgary
At first glance, this split-level home on Calgary’s Vanstone Crescent might not stand out, but look a little deeper and you’ll find its quirks. It features three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a hidden office, and a lounge space on a 613-square-metre lot.
Designed by architects Mark Erickson and Matthew Kennedy, the home is a celebration of all things wood. The main highlight is a series of unique rattan mesh panelling separating some rooms, with similar accents peppered around the home.
“We really strive to be timeless,” Mr. Erickson said. “Is it modern, is it mid-century? … It kinda makes you question it, and that’s how something becomes timeless. It’s always going to feel good.”
What do you think is the asking price for the property?
b. The asking price is $1,295,000.