Archive for the ‘Social Sciences’ Category
The Globe and Mail‘s Mike Hager notes how the lack of official statistics on foreign buyers of real estate in Toronto means, among other things, that less reliable data metrics like search engine hits need to be used. This just proves how modern societies need good data to address real problems.
‘Up! Up! Up!”
That’s where Toronto’s real estate market is heading, according to a Chinese-language promotional article posted last month on Fang.com, a Beijing-based web portal that lists thousands of homes for sale in countries around the world.
“You will really cry if you still don’t buy,” the same posting blares.
Toronto has become the “dark horse” of the Canadian real estate market, asserts Haifangbest.com, another site jammed with Canadian home listings. It contrasts Vancouver’s continuing drop in prices with a prediction that Toronto-area homes will rise 8 per cent in value this year.
In the months since British Columbia began taxing international buyers 15-per-cent extra on homes in and around Vancouver, those marketing Canadian real estate overseas have shifted their focus to Toronto. Last year, Toronto overtook Vancouver to become the most sought-after Canadian city for Chinese home buyers searching the property listing service Juwai.com, peaking in August just after British Columbia announced the tax aimed at curbing the public outrage over skyrocketing prices. Searches for properties in Toronto proper now surpass the total inquiries for Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa combined.
Richard Silver, a Sotheby’s realtor and past president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, estimates close to 20 per cent of his clients are international buyers – from China, India and the Middle East – interested in the luxury condos and houses he sells in and around the downtown core.
What can be said but that this, reported by the Toronto Star‘s Jennifer Pagliaro, is unacceptable?
A $100,000 consultant’s report meant to help determine whether transit projects worth billions of dollars are cost-effective has been kept secret by the city.
In June, the city paid the firm, Arup, which consults on transportation projects worldwide, to provide business case analyses for several projects planned by the city, including Mayor John Tory’s original “SmartTrack” idea for additional stops along the GO Transit rail line travelling through Toronto, and the controversial one-stop Scarborough subway extension.
The report produced by Arup, however, was never publicly released as part of a city staff report to executive committee in June, which was then debated at a July council meeting.
The missing consultant information adds to a series of questions over future transit plans that include delayed reports and a secret briefing note on the Scarborough subway extension that has been called a “political football,” and still-incomplete analysis of the mayor’s key campaign promise for an additional heavy rail service that is moving ahead, while heavily modified.