27 Jun

VR gets closer to reality

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Posted by: Frederic Pichette

VR gets closer to reality

19 Jun

Greater Montreal Area posts record home sales in May, up 15 per cent from 2016

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Posted by: Frederic Pichette

ROSS MAROWITS, THE CANADIAN PRESS 

MONTREAL — A record number of homes were sold in the Montreal area last month, the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board said Tuesday amid concerns that a foreign buyers’ tax in Toronto could be having a spillover effect on Canada’s second-largest city.

There were 5,057 properties sold in May, a new high for that month and up 15 per cent from a year ago, driven by a hot condo market.

Some real estate market watchers have wondered whether a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in the Golden Horseshoe region, which encompasses the Greater Toronto Area, would drive sales in Montreal.

Paul Cardinal of the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards said it’s too soon to say whether the tax, which was passed by the Ontario government last month and made retroactive to April 21, would have had any impact on transactions.

Still, Cardinal said Montreal is on track to have one of its best years in terms of home sales, attributing that to high employment growth, more non-permanent residents and improving consumer confidence.

“Demand is strong and listings are going down,” he said. “We’re back in a seller’s market for single-family homes.”

Last week, Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao told The Canadian Press he has no plans in the near term to introduce a foreign buyer’s tax on Montreal homes but is open to the idea if one is needed.

While concerns abound about real estate prices in the sizzling markets of Toronto and Vancouver, Montreal remains a relative bargain.

The average price of homes in the Greater Montreal Area rose year-over-year to $368,558 in May, and to $461,345 on the island of Montreal, both increases of four per cent. But those prices are still a fraction of what homes go for in Toronto and Vancouver.

8 Jun

Montreal’s Hippodrome housing development moves forward

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Posted by: Frederic Pichette

Global News

The Hippodrome, also known as Blue Bonnets, is one step closer to becoming a new urban neighbourhood.

Quebec announced Tuesday it has given up the land to the city of Montreal. Mayor Denis Coderre announced plans for a 5,000 unit housing development.

“It’s very rare on the island of Montreal that was have a chance to build a community like this from A to Z,” said Russell Copeman, the city’s pointman on housing and the Mayor of Cote-des-Neiges/NDG.

READ MORE: Upcoming Hippodrome housing project renews hopes for Cavendish extension

There will be public consultations to decide what the new community will look like.

“We’re talking about a green district, more parks, we’re talking about schools, were talking about providing all the services,” said Mayor Denis Coderre.

Thirty per cent of the housing will be affordable and social housing.

According to the deal with Quebec, the city has to begin selling the land to developers within six years.

WATCH: Hippodrome development project one step closer to reality

Between now and then, they’ll have to demolish the asbestos-filled clubhouse and install sewers, power lines and other necessary infrastructure.

“The site is without services at the moment so it’s going to take us some time to do the planning that’s necessary,” said Copeman.

Critics wonder what took so long.

“Council voted in 2012 to have the land transferred but Quebec never followed through. The club house was supposed to be demolished in 2014. A public consultation was supposed to be held in 2015 and 2016. This year we were supposed to start selling off this land parcel by parcel. None of that’s happened,” said Snowdon City Councillor Marvin Rotrand.

Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao blamed the political turmoil that hit Montreal in 2012 for the delays.

“There were several changes in government, several changes in municipal administrations. Now we are ready to sign and that’s what we’re going to do,” said Leitao.

READ MORE: Project Genesis pushes to replace Montreal’s derelict Hippodrome with social housing

The land transfer also helps the city move ahead with the long-awaited Cavendish extension.

“Cavendish-Cavendish will happen. But first things first: we needed to settle that issue,” Coderre said.

Critics worry about potential traffic chaos if the Hippodrome is developed before the two sides of Cavendish are connected.

“There’s still a lot of questions that need to be answered. How is this area going to accommodate all that new traffic?

But the city is confident everything will work out.

“We believe the two projects will keep pace with each other,” Copeman said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

2 Jun

Montreal real estate basks in ‘Goldilocks’ status as Toronto housing cools

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Posted by: Frederic Pichette