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24 résultats trouvés

  1. mtlurb

    SNC-Lavalin : actualités

    SNC-Lavalin: deux milliards en contrats dans l'Ouest 5 mai 2007 - 15h04 La Presse Martin Vallières Vancouver Pour la première fois, SNC-Lavalin tenait son assemblée d'actionnaires dans la métropole de la côte ouest canadienne. Et pour cause. La Colombie-Britannique et l'Alberta, en plein boom économique, pèsent au moins deux milliards dans le carnet de commandes de 10,4 milliards de SNC-Lavalin, a confirmé son président, Jacques Lamarre, à La Presse Affaires. Il y a bien sûr, en Alberta, plusieurs contrats reliés aux projets pétroliers et gaziers. Mais la province voisine est aussi en plein boom d'investissement. À preuve, les nombreux chantiers dans les environs immédiats de l'hôtel du centre-ville de Vancouver, où avait lieu l'assemblée de SNC-Lavalin. Et la firme montréalaise dirige même le plus gros et le plus compliqué de ces chantiers vancouverois. Il s'agit de la ligne de métro au centre-ville et de train aéroportuaire qui doit ouvrir quelques mois avant les Jeux olympiques d'hiver, en février 2010. SNC-Lavalin est le maître d'oeuvre de ce projet de 1,9 milliard, ainsi qu'un investisseur dans la société d'exploitation de la «Canada Line», pour un mandat de 30 ans. La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec est aussi impliquée. Ailleurs en Colombie-Britannique, SNC-Lavalin a un autre projet particulier d'ingénierie et de gestion. Il s'agit du remplacement du «pont autoroutier flottant» sur le lac Okanagan, à Kelowna. Ce projet d'un peu plus de 200 millions est dans une région de villégiature et d'agriculture en forte croissance, située au milieu des chaînes montagneuses entre Vancouver et Calgary.
  2. franktko

    NYC Boom!

    Très impressionnant, beaucoup de grande architecture et so many supertalls...
  3. http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/06/why-is-torontos-condo-king-peter-clewes-so-worried-about-the-emerging-shape-of-downtown&pubdate=2015-03-06 Le gars a grandi à Montréal et se dit déçu des condos construits à T.O. depuis le début du boom.
  4. Very interesting video of a rapidly expanding transport that few people are aware of. Lac-Mégantic was a wake-up call:
  5. Même le Wall Street Journal en parle : Developers Brace for End of Montreal's Condo Boom Sales Are Well off the Pace of Previous Years By DAVID GEORGE-COSH Nov. 5, 2013 6:12 p.m. ET With signs that Montreal's more than decadelong condominium boom could be fading, some local developers are repositioning or even pulling projects due to waning demand. In the downtown core, quarterly presales of new condos have averaged nine units per project this year, according to Altus Group Ltd. AIF.T -0.07% , a real-estate consultancy. That is well below the pace of such sales in both 2012 and 2011, when the average was 16 units. Meanwhile, only 10 new condo projects were announced in Canada's second-largest city in the first half of 2013, compared with 14 such projects in the first half of 2012. At the current pace, Montreal isn't likely to match the 25 project launches announced last year, and could fall below the 2011 total of 14 projects, Altus Group says. Developers have noticed. "There's starting to be a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace," said Sam Scalia, chief executive of Samcon Inc., one of the city's biggest developers with 13 projects in the works. Nearly 1,500 people signed up for information on Samcon's 190-unit Drummond Condominiums project when the developer began presales in January, Mr. Scalia said. But sales were slow, and Samcon pulled the project from the market in May for a full redesign with a new architect. "When we came out on the market, there was a glut of units that were launched in our district downtown," Mr. Scalia said. When Samcon puts the Drummond project back on the market in January, units will be roughly 10% smaller and one-bedroom units will be priced nearly 33,000 Canadian dollars ($31,578) less than the initial C$275,000, Mr. Scalia said. The project is slated for completion by the end of 2016, one year later than first planned. Montreal's condo boom, like those in Toronto and Vancouver, was fueled by ultralow interest rates that put homeownership within the reach of more Canadians. The resilience of Canada's housing sector was a key factor in helping the country weather the global financial crisis better than many of its industrialized peers. But it also led to record household-debt accumulation, a concern for Canadian policy makers. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty singled out the overheated condo markets in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal as areas of particular concern when he tightened mortgage-financing rules to put the brakes on the sector. A slowdown appears to be under way. "While overall sales are good, [the condo market is] moving at a more muted pace," said Colin Johnston, president of Altus Group's Canadian research, valuation and advisory department. Montreal's condo-resale market also is showing strain. Listings have soared 24% in the past 12 months, according to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board. Sales, though, have fallen by 15%. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., a government-owned housing agency, forecasts 10,000 new condo units will be built in the Greater Montreal area in 2013, down 16% from last year and the second annual decline in a row. CMHC attributes the slowdown to a surplus of new condos and a rise in resale listings. "It feels like everyone who had to consider buying a condo has already done so," said Stéphane Côté, president of DevMcGill, a developer with four projects under construction. "Right now, we're on the tail end of the market." Mr. Côté said DevMcGill has positioned its projects to withstand a slowdown. Development of the condos is structured in several phases, and if sales begin to trickle, DevMcGill can redesign units to adjust to lower demand. Mitchell Abrahams, owner of Benvenuto Group, a Toronto-based developer, said sales of condos he is developing in Montreal are mixed. Le Peterson, a 31-story tower in the heart of Montreal, has had "slow but steady" sales with 53% of the development sold. Meanwhile, the Belvedere, a luxury development in Montreal's tony Hampstead neighborhood, closed its sales center earlier this year due to poor sales, Mr. Abrahams said, declining to elaborate. "Montreal's a hard market for people to make a decision," he said. "But fundamentally, it's still a great condo market." The slowdown has a silver lining. Samcon's Mr. Scalia said he is in talks with at least three developers to take on projects that haven't sold well, though he declined to identify them. Some developers predict it will take several years for the market to absorb the excess inventory. Michael Engels, vice president of sales at Inca Development, said the slowdown isn't much of a surprise. After a rush of product coming to the market, developments still need some time to be digested by home buyers. Montreal's condo sector has become a buyer's market. Mr. Engels expects his current project, a development along the city's trendy Crescent Street downtown, to begin construction next year after selling over 40% of his inventory so far. "Competition is always subjective, even in this tough environment," he said.
  6. IluvMTL

    Mysterious boom near Montréal

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal/What+that+mysterious+boom/9216575/story.html MONTREAL - What was that boom? What was that flash of light? And where were they coming from? Hudson, St-Lazare and towns farther afield were rocked briefly by the sound of an explosion and a flash of blue-green light in the night sky at around 8 p.m. Tuesday. But the source of the big boom remains a mystery. Officials in the off-island towns, as well as at the Sûreté du Québec, were flummoxed, leaving residents who heard the noise to wonder what happened. "No one seems to know what it is exactly, but a friend described it as bright blue flash in the sky followed by the sound," tweeted Kalina Laframboise. "It's been heard all over the region but no details," wrote Greg Patterson. "My opinion is that it was a meteor hitting the atmosphere with sonic boom." "Felt like an explosion, or a 'short' earthquake," Faith MacLeod said on Off Island Gazette's Facebook page. "Stepped outside and neighbours were out wondering what it was." "Yes, was sitting watching TV and I thought one of my kids fell out of bed. It was super loud," added Jenn Ryan Baluyot on the same Facebook page. Residents from Pincourt to Pointe-Claire and Pierrefonds reported hearing the sound. On social media, it was even reported as far away as Ormstown and Cornwall, Ont. St-Lazare mayor Robert Grimaudo said he had no idea what the source of the explosion was. Nor did the SQ, nor Environment Canada. Nothing in the weather patterns in the area could be to blame, least of all the snow that began to fall around the same time, an Environment Canada spokesperson said. Tracy Moore was at home in St-Lazare with her boyfriend and heard and felt something strange around 8 p.m. "It was really freaky — we heard this boom outside," she told The Gazette an hour later. "It sounded like that explosion we had last summer at the fireworks factory here. "It was just this boom. It lasted a few seconds." Moore went online to a local Facebook "community connections" group she's a member of, and wrote: "Did anybody hear the boom? Or was it just us?" "And, like, 211 posts later, people are still talking about it," she said. "People felt their house shaking and thought a tree had landed on it. The dogs were freaking out. My girlfriend in Cornwall, her husband works for Ontario Hydro and he saw this flash of light in the sky. "He says he never saw anything like it before — and he works for Hydro!" Did you hear anything? Let us know on Twitter @mtlgazette or by leaving a comment on this story. For more on this story visit the Montreal Gazette's Off Island site. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  7. http://blog.buzzbuzzhome.com/2013/02/montreal-condo-market-optimism.html While the age-old rivalry between Toronto and Montreal has pitted the cities’ hockey teams and arts scenes against each other, there’s another set of bragging rights up for grabs. Which metropolis has the better condo market? Toronto may have mind-boggling number of new units coming on the market, but Montreal is no slouch when it comes to construction crane sightings. We previously reported on the flurry on new builds in Quebec’s largest city and now there are new numbers to make the case for the Montreal boom. Despite concerns about the market overheating, Property Biz Canada pinpointed some optimistic stats coming out of the Quebec Apartment Investment Conference: About 7,726 condo units will be delivered by 2016 in the downtown area, which includes Old Montreal, Griffintown and the Lachine Canal. Of those units, 64 per cent (or 4,658 suites) have already been sold or reserved, leaving 2,568 units left to be sold in the next four years (or 642 a year). According to Debbie Lafave, senior vice president of Baker Real Estate, investors make up 50 per cent of buyers of downtown Montreal condos, compared to the higher percentages suggested for Toronto. Some developers suggested that rental apartment buildings likely aren’t being built since rents in Montreal are too low and construction and land costs are too high to justify their construction. And condos are the most affordable means of entry-point into the Montreal market for first-time buyers. With a condo boom in Canada’s two largest cities, we can’t help but wonder: which city will see the steadiest gains and sales in the future?
  8. 07/08/2012 Mise à jour: 7 août 2012 | 15:11 Ajuster la taille du texte Le boom touristique montréalais décortiqué Le renouveau du tourisme montréalais analysé par deux de ses acteurs. Au début des années 1990, la ville faisait pâle figure sur la scène touristique. Le Biodôme et le Casino n’existaient pas et le Vieux-Port n’avait pas encore été réaménagé. Vingt-cinq ans plus tard, Montréal est méconnaissable. Le tourisme a bondi de 56% et la ville a connu le plus gros boom hôtelier de la décennie en Amérique du Nord avec 3000 chambres de plus (+16%). La ville figure désormais dans des dizaines de palmarès et concurrence des villes comme Barcelone et Berlin dans le créneau de ville relax et créative. Comment y est-on arrivé? «Tout a commencé en 1992 par les célébrations du 350e anniversaire de fondation de Montréal», indique Pierre Bellerose, porte-parole de Tourisme Montréal. Pour l’occasion les différents paliers de gouvernement ont mis la main à la poche. L’ancien vélodrome des Jeux olympiques de 1976 est devenu le Biodôme, le Vieux-Port s’est transformé en zone touristique et l’ancien pavillon de la France à l’Expo 67 est devenu le Casino de Montréal. Ces trois pôles d’attraction touristiques cumulent aujourd’hui à eux trois 13 millions de visiteurs par an, selon les données compilées par Tourisme Montréal. «Mais la grande réussite aura été de créer de nouveaux quartiers pour unifier le tout», ajoute M. Bellerose. Sur l’autoroute Ville-Marie en partie recouverte, le Quartier international a été créé. En plus d’accueillir de nouvelles tour à bureaux et le Palais des congrès et ses milliers de congressistes, le Quartier international permet de combler le no man’s land qui existait entre le Vieux-Montréal et le centre-ville. Le même travail est actuellement fait avec le Quartier des spectacles. L’Adresse symphonique, la place des Festivals et le 2.22 deviennent des pôles d’attraction pour les touristes, même si certains reprochent la trop grande place laissée au béton dans le concept de réaménagement. L’autre grande force de Montréal est d’avoir su suivre la voie de la diversification du tourisme. «Avant les touristes formait un bloc plutôt homogène pour ne pas dire monolithique; aujourd’hui c’est différent il faut faire du tourisme à la carte», illustre Ruby Roy, présidente du CA de l’Association professionnelle des guides touristiques de Montréal (APGT). Il y a 20 ans, Mme Roy était l’une des seules à faire des tours à vélo. Aujourd’hui, 15% des 150 membres de son association offrent une telle option. Montréal s’est aussi positionnée avec succès comme une destination gaie par excellence derrière San Francisco. Elle est en voie de faire de même du côté gastronomique et l’année 2012 s’annonce comme une année record pour le nombre de croisières jetant l’ancre à Montréal. L’apport de Bixi au tourisme doit aussi être souligné. «Grâce à BIXI, des secteurs moins bien desservis par le transport en commun, comme le canal Lachine, bénéficient d’un afflux de touristes», indique M. Bellerose. Selon les statistiques de l’organisme 8% des touristes ont utilisé le service en 2011. Les legs gouvernementaux liés au 375e anniversaire de Montréal en 2017 seront-ils aussi profitables? Le porte-parole de Tourisme Montréal n’en est pas sûr. «Je ne crois pas qu’on verra naître de nouvelles institutions, l’idée c’est plutôt de faire croître ce qu’on a déjà», dit-il. Parmi les mesures déjà annoncées, signalons la création d’une promenade le long du fleuve au niveau du parc Jean-Drapeau, la rénovation de la place des Nations et la mise en valeur des fondations de l’ancien parlement en aménageant un corridor souterrain à partir du musée Pointe-à-Callières dans un ancien égout pluvial. 5% d’insatisfaits Chaque année, Montréal compte 5% de visiteurs qui ne conseilleront absolument pas Montréal comme destination touristique. «Que ce soit des touristes venus visiter de la famille à Montréal ou des gens d’affaires, ils ont en commun de venir à Montréal par obligation et de ne pas aimer les grandes villes», indique M. Bellerose. La propreté, les embouteillages ou le fait de ne pas arriver à être accueilli en français dans certains commerces figurent parmi les principaux irritants. 32M$ C’est le budget annuel de Tourisme Montréal qui emploie 80 personnes. Les deux tiers de cette somme proviennent de la taxe de 3,5% sur les chambres d’hôtel. Des tours qui détonnent Quelques tours guidés qui sortent du lot. Avec un Montréalais. Des visites personnalisées données par des habitants d’ici. On est particulièrement intrigué par celle-ci : Jouer au golf avec un pro. Saveurs et arômes du Vieux-Montréal. Ou comment découvrir, en mangeant, que la culture amérindienne influence certains de nos plats. Tours guidés vélo et yoga de Fitz et Follwell. Pour les touristes granos qui s’assument. http://journalmetro.com/actualites/montreal/135379/le-boom-touristique-montrealais-decortique/
  9. Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/story.html?id=2457341#ixzz0e7omWfCN
  10. La firme d'ingénierie Hatch passe de 100000pi2 à 200000pi2 au 5 de la Place Ville-Marie, est-ce que ça augure aussi bien pour les autres firmes liées au secteur minier? http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/economie/quebec/201108/19/01-4427335-hatch-double-a-place-ville-marie-grace-au-boom-des-mines-et-metaux.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=lapresseaffaires_LA5_nouvelles_98718_accueil_POS11
  11. mtlurb

    Votre perception

    Est-on en situation de boom immobilier ou non?
  12. monctezuma

    Immobilier au Canada : Boom ou bulle?

    Boom ou bulle? 6 mai 2010 | 06h37 Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy Économiste sénior, Institut économique de Montréal Depuis quelques semaines, c’est la confusion. Face à la hausse fulgurante du prix des maisons, les Québécois sont nombreux à avancer l’hypothèse d’une bulle. En revanche, la classe politique et de nombreux experts au service des grandes banques prétendent qu’en dépit des apparences, la crainte est non fondée, qu’il n’y a pas de bulle… mais qu’il faut néanmoins rester vigilant. Le ministre fédéral des Finances, Jim Flaherty a d’ailleurs annoncé en février dernier des mesures pour «prévenir» la formation d’une telle bulle. Doit-on croire ce qu’on nous raconte et présumer qu’il s’agit d’un boom, ou bien nous fier à ce que nous observons et conclure qu’il s’agit d’une bulle? Mais d’abord, comment distinguer les deux phénomènes? Trois conditions doivent habituellement être réunies pour observer une bulle : (1) la hausse des prix est très rapide et disproportionnée; (2) le crédit est facile à obtenir; et (3) des mesures incitatives favorisent involontairement des comportements non désirés. Le cas américain est éloquent. En 1995, Washington oblige les banques à accorder des prêts à des clients peu solvables (subprime). Dès 1996, Fannie Mae et Freddie Mac se lancent dans la titrisation des hypothèques à risque. En 1997, l’Oncle Sam réduit l’imposition des gains en capital provenant de la vente d'une maison. La Réserve fédérale réduit son taux directeur qui passe de 6% en janvier 2001 à 1,75% en décembre 2001, puis à 1% en juin 2003. Comme il fallait s’y attendre, le prix des maisons augmente de manière historique, et les Américains s’endettent au-delà du raisonnable. C’est la bulle! Mais la Fed augmente son taux directeur à partir de 2004, ce qui refroidit le secteur immobilier. Très vite, de nombreux propriétaires sont incapables de respecter leurs obligations financières. Les banques saisissent les maisons, les prix chutent et la bulle éclate. Si les marchés canadien et américain sont différents à plusieurs égards, ils ont en commun plusieurs caractéristiques. Jusqu’à récemment, les Canadiens pouvaient s’acheter une maison sans aucune mise de fonds et avec une hypothèque amortie sur 40 ans. Du jamais vu! À l’instar de la Fed, la Banque du Canada a réduit son taux directeur à 0,25%, un niveau historiquement très bas, tandis que le gouvernement Harper a introduit une série de mesures visant à faciliter l’accès à la propriété (relèvement de la limite de retrait des REER, crédit d'impôt pour l'achat d'une première habitation, etc.). Quant à la Société canadienne d’hypothèques et de logement, elle a augmenté considérablement ses acquisitions de titres hypothécaires. On croirait à un «remake» de l’expérience américaine! Résultat? À l’échelle canadienne, le prix moyen d’une maison a augmenté de 95% de janvier 2000 à février 2010. À Montréal, la hausse atteint 113,2%. La dette des familles canadiennes représente maintenant 142% de leur revenu disponible, ce qui les rend terriblement vulnérables à la moindre hausse des taux d’intérêt. Si ce qui précède ne constitue pas une bulle, ça lui ressemble drôlement! Comme ce fut le cas pour toutes les bulles, celle-ci finira également par éclater. Quand? Je l’ignore, mais ce n’est qu’une question de temps. Et quand les Canadiens subiront la douleur d’une violente correction immobilière, les autorités monétaires et la classe politique chercheront des coupables à lapider sur la place publique. C’est alors qu’il nous faudra rester sourds aux discours tapageurs et nous souvenir des véritables artisans de notre malheur : la Banque centrale qui a adopté une politique monétaire malsaine, et des incitations à l’endettement
  13. In the 1920s, Toronto, eager to overtake Montreal as Canada’s financial centre, had several building busts By Joe Martin Financial Post I n Wednesday’s Financial Post, Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins wrote of the relationship between large buildings and investment crashes — the theory being “that businesses overestimate the value of long term investments and an investment-led boom ensues ... The boom ends in busts.” He cited 40 Wall Street and the Empire State Building in the early 1930s and more recently the Burj Dubai in Dubai. Canada, and more specifically Toronto, experienced this same phenomenon in the late 1920s, early 1930s with the construction of a major hotel, the Royal York, and the head office buildings of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and Canada Life. The background to this investment excess was the boom, bust, boom phenomenon Canada experienced in the early part of the 20th century. In 1907/08 the U.S. economy experienced a severe setback which required J.P. Morgan personally to “save the street,” which led to the creation of the Federal Reserve Board. While the setback was not as severe in Canada it was a bad year. GDP per capita declined by nearly 8% — far, far worse than the decline in the current “credit crisis.” Then the economy took off and boomed until 1917, with the exception of one year of sharp contraction in 1914. But from 1917 to 1921 the country experienced the second worst depression of the 20th century. Then, once again, the economy boomed and grew rapidly from 1921 to 1928, the year the Great Depression began in Canada, a year ahead of much of the industrialized world. Growth was particularly dramatic in Toronto, which even then was showing evidence of its desire and ability to overtake Montreal as the major financial and commercial centre in Canada. Ontario and Toronto were helped a great deal by U.S. foreign investment — American corporations preferred to invest in English-speaking Ontario rather than French-speaking Quebec and geographic access was easier to southern Ontario, as well. Three companies that responded to the dynamic growth of the 1920s with major investments in Toronto were Montreal-based Canadian Pacific Railway [CPR] and the two dominant Toronto financial institutions of the day: the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Canada Life Assurance Company. Almost from its inception the CPR entered into the hotel business as a complement to its rail business, building chateau-like hotels such as the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City and the Royal Alexandra in Winnipeg as well as resort hotels in Banff and Lake Louise. In Toronto, though work on Union Station had begun in 1905, it was not opened until 1927. To take advantage of this event, the CPR began constructing the Royal York in that same year. The location had long been a favourite hotel site in Toronto and the opening of the Union Station only made it more attractive. The hotel opened in 1929 as both the largest hotel and the largest building in the British Empire. While it remained the largest hotel for decades it was surpassed as the largest building in the Empire the next year by the Bank of Commerce’s new building on King St. The Canadian Bank of Commerce, which had been founded the same year as Confederation, was by far the largest of the Toronto-based banks, although not as large as Montreal-based Royal Bank or the Bank of Montreal. In 1927, the bank began planning a new head office, one that would be the largest building in Canada at 34 stories. Completed in 1930, it was the largest building in the British Empire/Commonwealth until the early 1960s. While not nearly as big as the Bank of Commerce, Canada Life was both the oldest and largest insurance company in the country in the early part of the 20th century. Work began on the new head office on University Avenue in 1929, after the country had entered into recession. It opened in 1931 as the country was reaching the depths of the Depression. While not as tall as the Bank of Commerce, Canada Life was a massive building with over 90,000 square feet of space. During this same period, North America, and Canada in particular, were the hardest hit nations by the Great Depression. In Canada, the Depression began earlier and lasted as long as it did in the United States with dramatic declines in employment, trade and GDP. The stock market, which peaked in 1929 after an even more frenetic increase than in New York, declined with even greater rapidity. Other Beaux Arts building plans for University Avenue were shelved indefinitely. Thus Toronto experienced the phenomenon described by Steve Hanke — overinvestment in buildings immediately prior to a major crash. Financial Post Joe Martin is Director of Business History at the Rotman School of Management, and author of Relentless Change, A Casebook for the Study of Canadian Business History.
  14. Cities Grow at Suburbs' Expense During Recession By CONOR DOUGHERTY U.S. cities that for years lost residents to the suburbs are holding onto their populations with a mix of people trapped in homes they can't sell and those who prefer urban digs over more distant McMansions, according to Census data released Wednesday. Growing cities are growing faster and shrinking cities are losing fewer people, reflecting a blend of choice and circumstance. In Chicago, Matthew Sessa and his wife sold their townhouse and decided against buying a four-bedroom house in the suburbs. They bought a three-bedroom in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood instead, with a yard not much bigger than their garage. "What we ended up getting in the city was just as nice, and the neighborhood that we moved into also has a very good elementary and junior high," said Mr. Sessa, a commercial banker who is 37 years old and has a baby due any day. But Chicago is also becoming home to people who can't sell their houses or find jobs elsewhere. Jhonathan Gomez, an organizer with the Latino Union of Chicago, a nonprofit that works with day laborers, said many immigrant workers have been moving back to the city from suburbs including Berwyn and Cicero. Mr. Gomez, who organizes on the north side of Chicago, said at one intersection in the city's Avondale neighborhood, the number of day laborers has roughly doubled in the past year, to as many as 150 or more on a typical day. "There's a lot of people moving to the city and looking for work because there's higher density and more jobs," he said. Chicago's population grew at a 0.73% annual rate in the year ended in July 2008 from 0.23% a year earlier and declines in the previous five years, according to an analysis of Census data by William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. Population growth also accelerated in smaller cities such as Minneapolis and Columbus, Ohio. Growing cities are growing faster and shrinking cities are losing fewer people, reflecting a blend of choice and circumstance. The Census data underscored how the recession and the real-estate slump have curbed migration, especially to suburbs and outer areas known as exurbs. The central-city population in U.S. metropolitan areas with more than one million people (excluding New Orleans, where recent growth rates reflect residents returning to the city following Hurricane Katrina) grew at an annual rate of 0.97% between July 2007 and July 2008, according to Mr. Frey's analysis. That compared with a growth rate of 0.90% in 2006-2007, and growth rates around 0.5% in the years between 2002 and 2005, when the robust real-estate market led to new jobs and new housing developments outside the cities, where open land is more plentiful. "This shows cities were reviving at the end of this decade, and they are also surviving a recession that has been a lot harsher for other parts of our landscape," Mr. Frey said. "Cities are big enough and diverse enough that they are able to survive these ups and downs in the economy a lot better." Population growth in the cities has translated to slower growth in the suburbs. U.S. suburbs in metro areas greater than 1 million people grew at a 1.11% annual rate in 2007-2008, the same as a year earlier and down from growth rates between 1.29% and 1.48% between 2002 and 2005, according to Mr. Frey's analysis. Brad Andersen, a managing broker at Griffith, Grant & Lackie Realtors said sales in suburban Chicago have fallen off considerably as real-estate prices have declined. In the Lake Forest suburb, there were 157 homes sold in 2008, compared with 227 a year earlier. "The money people planned to use as a down payment for the next home is no longer available," Mr. Andersen said. In Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown said his administration has put much of its effort into programs that aim to stanch the outflow of residents, from redeveloping the city's waterfront to residential projects such as a former office building that has been converted into condominiums. He hopes that when the recession ends, the city will continue to hold on to more residents. "What we have been trying to do is position ourselves as a community that people will want to live in," he said. Population growth is starting to strain services in some cities. Public School 290 in Manhattan has about 650 students, about 250 more than capacity and above the posted fire-code occupancy. New York City's population grew at a 0.64% annual rate in 2007-2008, compared with growth rates between 0.37% and 0.55% from 2002 to 2005. The school has so little space that students who need occupational therapy have to meet with a therapist in a copy room, says Andy Lachman, an officer of the school's parent-teacher association whose daughter will be in fifth grade next year. "It adds stress to a situation that shouldn't have to be there," said Mr. Lachman. With the slowdown in construction and service jobs on the urban edges where development was greatest, a bigger share of immigrants are moving to central cities, instead of directly to the suburbs as they had during the real estate boom. The upshot is that the spread of racial diversity, which had been moving beyond gateway cities such as Los Angeles to suburbs and interior states, has slowed with the economy. Meanwhile, growth in urban Hispanic and Asian populations, much of it fueled by immigration, has accelerated in many city centers. That has already showed up in county demographic data released by the Census last month. In California, which saw Hispanic population growth slow during the housing boom as many immigrants bypassed the state and native-born Hispanics moved for opportunities elsewhere, the Hispanic growth rate increased to 2.4% in 2007-2008 from 2% a year earlier. Many Sunbelt cities saw population-growth slow from the torrid rates during the housing boom. In Tucson, the population grew at an annual rate just under 1% in 2007-2008, down from 1.35% in 2006-2007. Las Vegas's population slowdown was even more dramatic. It grew at a 0.38% annual rate in 2007-2008, down from 1.04% in 2006-2007 and rates as high as 3.30% during the height of the housing boom. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124641839713978195.html
  15. Job Losses Show Breadth of Recession Article Tools Sponsored By By DAVID LEONHARDT Published: March 3, 2009 It is both deep and broad. Every state in the country, with the exception of a band stretching from the Dakotas down to Texas, is now shedding jobs at a rapid pace. And even that band has recently begun to suffer, because of the sharp fall in both oil and crop prices. Unlike the last two recessions — earlier this decade and in the early 1990s — this one is causing much more job loss among the less educated than among college graduates. Those earlier recessions introduced the country to the concept of mass white-collar layoffs. The brunt of the layoffs in this recession is falling on construction workers, hotel workers, retail workers and others without a four-year degree. The Great Recession of 2008 (and beyond) is hurting men more than women. It is hurting homeowners and investors more than renters or retirees who rely on Social Security checks. It is hurting Latinos more than any other ethnic group. A year ago, a greater share of Latinos held jobs than whites. Today, the two have switched places. If the Great Recession, as some have called it, has a capital city, it is El Centro, Calif., due east of San Diego, in the desert of California’s Inland Valley. El Centro has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, a depressionlike 22.6 percent. It’s an agricultural area — because of water pumped in from the Colorado River, which allows lettuce, broccoli and the like to grow — and unemployment is in double digits even in good times. But El Centro has lately been hit by the brutal combination of a drought, a housing bust and a falling peso, which cuts into the buying power of Mexicans who cross the border to shop. Until recently, El Centro was one of those relatively cheap inland California areas where construction and home sales were booming. Today, it is pockmarked with “bank-owned” for sale signs. A wallboard factory in nearby Plaster City — its actual name — has laid off workers once kept busy by the housing boom. Even Wal-Mart has cut jobs, Sam Couchman, who runs the county’s work force development office, told me. You often hear that recessions exact the biggest price on the most vulnerable workers. And that’s true about this recession, at least for the moment. But it isn’t the whole story. Just look at Wall Street, where a generation-long bubble seems to lose a bit more air every day. In the long run, this Great Recession may end up afflicting the comfortable more than the afflicted. The main reason that recessions tend to increase inequality is that lower-income workers are concentrated in boom-and-bust industries. Agriculture is the classic example. In recent years, construction has become the most important one. By the start of this decade, the construction sector employed more men without a college education than the manufacturing sector did, Lawrence Katz, the Harvard labor economist, points out. (As recently as 1980, three times as many such men worked in manufacturing as construction.) The housing boom was like a giant jobs program for many workers who otherwise would have struggled to find decent paying work. The housing bust has forced many of them into precisely that struggle and helps explain the recession’s outsize toll on Latinos and men. In the summer of 2005, just as the real estate market was peaking, I spent a day visiting home construction sites in Frederick, Md., something of a Washington exurb, interviewing the workers. They were almost exclusively Latino. At the time, the national unemployment rate for Latino men was 3.6 percent. Today, when there aren’t many homes being built in Frederick or anywhere else, that unemployment rate is 11 percent. And this number understates the damage, since it excludes a considerable number of immigrants who have returned home. Frederick was typical of the boom in another way, too. It wasn’t nearly as affluent as some closer suburbs. Now the bust is widening that gap. If you look at the interactive map with this column, you will see the places that already had high unemployment before the recession have also had some of the largest increases. Some are victims of the housing bust, like inland California. Others are manufacturing centers, as in Michigan and North Carolina, whose long-term decline is accelerating. Rhode Island, home to both factories and Boston exurbs, has one of the highest jobless rates in the nation. All of these trends will serve to increase inequality. Yet I still think the Great Recession will eventually end up compressing the rungs on the nation’s economic ladder. Why? For the same three fundamental reasons that the Great Depression did. The first is the stock market crash. Clearly, it has hurt wealthy and upper middle-class families, who own the bulk of stock, more than others. In addition, thousands of high-paying Wall Street jobs — jobs that have helped the share of income flowing to the top 1 percent of earners soar in recent decades — will disappear. Hard as it may be to believe, the crash will also help a lot of young families. The stocks that they buy in coming years are likely to appreciate far more than they would have if the Dow were still above 14,000. The same is true of future house purchases for the one in three families still renting a home. The second reason is government policy. The Obama administration plans to raise taxes on the affluent, cut them for everyone else (so long as the government can afford it, that is) and take other steps to reduce inequality. Franklin D. Roosevelt did something similar and it had a huge effect. Of course, these two factors both boil down to redistribution. One group is benefiting at the expense of another. Yes, many of the people on the losing end of that shift have done quite well in recent years, far better than most Americans. Still, the shift isn’t making the economic pie any bigger. It is simply being divided differently. Which is why the third factor — education — is the most important of all. It can make the pie larger and divide it more evenly. That was the legacy of the great surge in school enrollment during the Great Depression. Teenagers who once would have dropped out to do factory work instead stayed in high school, notes Claudia Goldin, an economist who recently wrote a history of education with Mr. Katz. In the manufacturing-heavy mid-Atlantic states, the high school graduation rate was just above 20 percent in the late 1920s. By 1940, it was almost 60 percent. These graduates then became the skilled workers and teachers who helped build the great post-World War II American economy. Nothing would benefit tomorrow’s economy more than a similar surge. And there is some evidence that it’s starting to happen. In El Centro, enrollment at Imperial Valley Community College jumped 11 percent this semester. Ed Gould, the college president, said he expected applications to keep rising next year. Unfortunately, California — one of the states hit hardest by the Great Recession — is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. So Imperial Valley’s budget is being capped. Next year, Mr. Gould expects he will have to tell some students that they can’t take a full load of classes, just when they most need help. The Geography of a Recession http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/03/03/us/20090303_LEONHARDT.html
  16. Le plus grand boom immobilier depuis la Deuxième Guerre mondiale est maintenant terminé. Le marché tourne à la faveur des acheteurs pour la première fois en plusieurs années, dit Scotia. Pour en lire plus...
  17. New York Times, October 1, 2008 Failed Deals Replace Boom in New York Real Estate By CHARLES V. BAGLI After seven years of nonstop construction, skyrocketing rents and sales prices, and a seemingly endless appetite for luxury housing that transformed gritty and glamorous neighborhoods alike, the credit crisis and the turmoil on Wall Street are bringing New York’s real estate boom to an end. Developers are complaining that lenders are now refusing to finance projects that were all but certain months or even weeks ago. Landlords bewail their inability to refinance skyscrapers with blue-chip tenants. And corporations are afraid to relocate within Manhattan for fear of making the wrong move if rents fall or a flagging economy forces layoffs. “Lenders are now taking a very hard look at each particular project to assess its viability in the context of a softening of demand,” said Scott A. Singer, executive vice president of Singer & Bassuk, a real estate finance and brokerage firm. “There’s no question that there’ll be a significant slowdown in new construction starts, immediately.” Examples of aborted deals and troubled developments abound. Last Friday, HSBC, the big Hong Kong-based bank, quietly tore up an agreement to move its American headquarters to 7 World Trade Center after bids for its existing home at 452 Fifth Avenue, between 39th and 40th Streets, came in 30 percent lower than the $600 million it wanted for the property. A 40-story office tower under construction by SJP Properties at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue for the past 18 months still does not have a tenant. And the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe last week suddenly pulled out of what had been an all-but-certain lease of 300,000 square feet of space at Citigroup Center, deciding instead to extend its lease at 666 Fifth Avenue for five years, in part because they hope rents will fall. “Everything’s frozen in place,” said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s lobbying association, shortly after the stock market closed on Monday. Barry M. Gosin, chief executive of Newmark Knight Frank, a national real estate firm based in New York, said: “Today, the entire financial system needs a lubricant. It’s kind of like driving your car after running out of oil and the engine seizes up. If there’s no liquidity and no financing, everything seizes up.” It is hard to say exactly what the long-term impact will be, but real estate experts, economists and city and state officials say it is likely there will be far fewer new construction projects in the future, as well as tens of thousands of layoffs on Wall Street, fewer construction jobs and a huge loss of tax revenue for both the state and the city. Few trends have defined the city more than the development boom, from the omnipresent tower cranes to the explosion of high-priced condominiums in neighborhoods outside Manhattan, from Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene to Williamsburg and Long Island City. Some developers who are currently erecting condominiums are trying to convert to rentals, while others are looking to sell the projects. After imposing double-digit rent increases in recent years, landlords say rents are falling somewhat, which could hurt highly leveraged projects, but also slow gentrification in what real estate brokers like to call “emerging neighborhoods” like Harlem, the Lower East Side and Fort Greene. At the same time, some of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s most ambitious large-scale projects — the West Side railyards, Pennsylvania Station, ground zero, Coney Island and Willets Point — are going to take longer than expected to start and to complete, real estate experts say. “Most transactions in commercial real estate are on hold,” said Mary Ann Tighe, regional chief executive for CB Richard Ellis, the real estate brokerage firm, “because nobody can be sure what the economy will look like, not only in the near term, but in the long term.” Although the real estate market in New York is in better shape than in most other major cities, a recent report by Newmark Knight Frank shows that there are “clear signs of weakness,” with the overall vacancy rate at 9 percent, up from 8.2 percent a year ago. Rents are also falling when landlord concessions are taken into account. The real estate boom has been fueled by a robust economy, a steady demand for housing and an abundance of foreign and domestic investors willing to spend tens of billions of dollars on New York real estate. It helped that lenders were only too happy to finance as much as 90 percent of the cost on the assumption that the mortgages could be resold to investors as securities. But that ended with the subprime mortgage crisis, which has since spilled over to all the credit markets, which have come to a standstill. As a result, real estate executives estimate that the value of commercial buildings has fallen by at least 20 percent, though the decline is hard to gauge when there is little mortgage money available to buy the buildings and therefore few sales. Long after the crisis began in 2007, many investors and real estate executives expected a “correction” to the rapid escalation in property values. But after Lehman Brothers, the venerable firm that had provided billions of dollars of loans for New York real estate deals, collapsed two weeks ago, it was clear that something more profound was afoot. And there was an immediate reaction in the real estate world: Tishman Speyer Properties, which controls Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and scores of other properties, abruptly pulled out of a deal to buy the former Mobil Building, a 1.6 million-square-foot tower on 42nd Street, near Grand Central Terminal, for $400 million, two executives involved in the transaction said. Commercial properties are not the only ones facing problems. On Friday, Standard & Poor’s dropped its rating on the bonds used in Tishman’s $5.4 billion purchase of the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartment complexes in 2006, the biggest real estate deal in modern history. Standard & Poor’s said it cut the rating, in part, because of an estimated 10 percent decline in the properties’ value and the rapid depletion of reserve funds. The rating reduction shows the growing nervousness of lenders and investors about such deals, which have often involved aggressive — critics say unrealistic — projections of future income. “Any continued impediment to the credit markets is awful for the national economy, but it’s more awful for New York,” said Richard Lefrak, patriarch of a fourth-generation real estate family that owns office buildings and apartment houses in New York and New Jersey. “This is the company town for money,” he said. “If there’s no liquidity in the system, it exacerbates the problems. It’s going to have a serious effect on the local economy and real estate values.”
  18. ErickMontreal

    Toronto : Sky-high spinoffs

    Toronto : Sky-high spinoffs JOHN LORINC Special to The Globe and Mail September 19, 2008 A gleaming new vertical city has sprouted above Toronto's lower-scale buildings. The big question is whether all this condo construction will translate into sustainable economic growth For Robert Whitfield, the eureka moment occurred when he realized his store was filled with customers trapped between drywall and a hard place. It happened about four years ago, shortly after he opened an upscale furniture store in Liberty Village, a district of warehouse lofts on the west end of Toronto's downtown. Young couples were streaming into his shop, desperate to furnish new stacked townhouses and condo apartments with minuscule master bedrooms and other "spatial challenges." "All of 10-by-11," recalls Mr. Whitfield, the principal of Casalife Inc., of one particularly constrained floor plan. "It just didn't have room for a bed and a dresser and a tallboy. Where are you going to put your socks?" Where indeed? Within months, he had launched a queen bed with drawers cleverly tucked underneath, and a niche market was tapped. Today, Casalife specializes in furniture tailored to the cramped confines of the high-rise condos that proliferate in the city. Mr. Whitfield now has several competitors and spends much of his time attending international trade shows searching for size-conscious items, such as the elusive 18-inch coffee table. "The reality is that this market is still neglected." But there's no doubt it's a market. Indeed, Casalife's commercial success is directly attributable to Toronto's sustained condo boom, which traces its origins to some key land-use reforms made in the mid-1990s. A decade later, the market shows little sign of slowing, despite moribund real estate markets in the United States and Britain. Between 1994 and 2007, the annual dollar value of residential building permits in the City of Toronto jumped more than three-fold, largely on the strength of the condo boom. It's as if a gleaming new vertical city has sprouted amid Toronto's lower-scale buildings. Between 2001 and 2006, a staggering 17,000 residential units were built downtown, the vast majority of them high-rises. At the end of 2006, another 39,000 units, in 155 projects, were in the pipeline. The result has been a remarkable 17-per-cent jump in the population of central Toronto - growth not seen since the early 1970s. Nor is the boom a downtown phenomenon: Clusters of condos have cropped up in traditionally low-rise suburban areas such as North York, Scarborough and Mississauga, with more on the way. And the developments are growing not only in height, but also in scope. Vancouver-based Concord Adex, which is building CityPlace, a sprawling 20-building cluster near the downtown Rogers Centre, is also planning a 15-tower project on a 20-hectare former industrial site near Highway 401. To be built over the next decade, this new project is worth a staggering $2-billion. The key to this growth, planners and economists says, is the fact that the population of Greater Toronto jumps by about 100,000 every year. All these new residents need housing and increasingly they are choosing high-rise condos. This rapid transformation is not without its critics, including homeowner groups upset about tall towers and downtown artists who bemoan the loss of Main Street atmosphere in areas targeted by developers. "Pumping a lot more people into the downtown core hasn't led to balanced growth," says Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan, whose ward has the highest concentration of condo activity. Yet even skeptics don't deny that the immediate, local spinoffs are substantial. Condos today represent 50 per cent of all residential development activity in Greater Toronto and 80 per cent in the City of Toronto proper - a trend that puts the region sharply at odds with most North American urban areas. The direct investment for condos built since 2001, as well as those under development, likely exceeds $20-billion. And housing starts - whether high-rises or subdivisions - have always functioned like economic spark plugs. Between 2002 and 2007, residential construction as a proportion of GDP rose to 6.7 per cent from 5.5 per cent - a shift that has moved in lock-step with job creation, according to housing economist Will Dunning. "That's where it all comes from." In the GTA, the most direct beneficiaries are construction workers. Mr. Dunning says $1-million of residential construction translates into nine "person-years" of construction employment, as well as another two person-years for consultants, architects and other professionals involved in planning such projects. The other big winners are the local suppliers of building materials. Although non-residential construction consumes a larger amount of basic materials, residential development represents "a particularly important source of demand for producers of windows and doors, kitchen cabinets, gypsum and wallboard and heating and air conditioning," according to an analysis by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The wages and purchases of materials for Toronto's 2007's condo projects, in turn, triggered about $175-million in tax revenues. In terms of local taxes, city officials say that between 1996 and 2005), the 69,000 new condos completed in that period contributed about $113-million annually to municipal coffers. Then there are the secondary spinoffs - the new supermarkets, dry cleaners, convenience stores, coffee shops, houseware and hardware stores that cater to thousands of residents now living near the financial district. Stephen Dupuis, CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association, says the typical new home buyer purchases about $10,000 worth of goods after taking possession. But Mr. Whitfield, of Casalife, suspects the figure could be higher for condo residents, because of the small size of many suites: "They get their occupancy, they move in and then realize their furniture doesn't fit." Like Casalife, many retail companies are moving to fill the needs of condo dwellers. General Electric Canada's Mabe appliance division recently launched Loft Kitchen, a collection of fashionable, small-scale appliances and stacked washer-driers suited to tiny condo kitchens. Working with developers, GE tailored the collection specifically to this market. "You need to get efficiency and space and hit the prices point," says general brand manager Philippe Meyersohn. Unlike locally sourced construction materials, however, durable goods and appliances tend to be imported from Asia, Mexico and the United States, illustrating how the condo ripple effect can spread well beyond the GTA. Planning consultant Barry Lyon also argues that the high-rise office boom in downtown Toronto (200 floors are currently under construction) is linked to the flourishing condo market. "A lot of the office construction wouldn't be happening were it not for the pool of highly educated technology workers the condos have brought into the city." The big question is whether all this construction will translate into sustainable economic growth for Toronto. Mr. Lyon, who describes himself as "a believer," says the condo boom essentially makes the city function more productively. Intensification gives rise to non-economic benefits such as more transit ridership, energy savings and greater efficiency in municipal services such as garbage handling. Others aren't convinced. Pointing to an earlier generation of high-density towers, Councillor Vaughan says there's a risk that consumers may sour on the glut of tiny suites, leading to losses in market value and condo towers that come to be dominated by low-income tenants. Douglas Young, co-ordinator of York University's urban studies program, points to another pressing issue: "The state of [the city's] infrastructure - physical, social and natural - is in pretty lousy shape." Yet planners continue to approve thousands of new condo units, he says. "You have these fabulous looking high-rises from a distance, but getting from them to somewhere else in the city can be a real pain in the backside." Mr. Lyon counters that the $20,000-to-$30,000 per-unit fee imposed by the city (parks levies, development charges and so on) help underwrite the cost of municipal infrastructure improvements ranging from new transit service to libraries. From his Liberty Village showroom, Rob Whitfield sees no end to the forest of condo towers rising around him, nor a lessening in demand for his products. Casalife recently opened a new outlet in Vaughan, north of Toronto, which has its own big plans to develop high-rise condos and offices in a city-centre to be served by a new subway extension. As he sees it, "I'm a bit of a pioneer."
  19. The housing boom may be over, but there's no bust in sight Jay Bryan, Canwest News Service Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 With housing demand weaker, price gains have already slowed sharply.Reuters fileWith housing demand weaker, price gains have already slowed sharply. Ever since last year, forecasters have been predicting that Canada's hot housing market was about to slow to a much more sedate pace. Well, it's happened. Except that sedate is hardly the word for the 14% plunge in construction activity that turned up Monday in the housing starts data for July. To many, this sharp drop will be downright alarming, raising fears that the catastrophic housing meltdown in the U.S. has now spread across the border. They can relax. Or at least most of them can. Maybe a little nervousness is appropriate for those who bought near the market's peak in one of Canada's very high-flying centres of real-estate inflation -- places like Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. In these towns, warns BMO Capital Markets economist Sal Guatieri, soaring home prices so greatly outstripped income growth that it wouldn't be surprising if real-estate values had to drop significantly in order to restore affordability to the market. But in most of Canada, what we're seeing looks like a normal return to earth after a six-year-long real-estate boom. The frenetic construction and double-digit price gains of yesteryear couldn't last forever, so now we've entered the cooling-off phase. Economic forecasters think the outlook for most cities is for prices to stagnate, or maybe edge down a little, while the level of construction eases, but doesn't collapse. If this doesn't seem to fit with the outlook foreshadowed by July's big drop in construction activity, that's simply because you're reading the numbers too literally. No one month's statistics mean very much, especially if you take them at face value. When you look at a chart of housing starts over a period of many months, it looks like a mountain range, with soaring peaks and deep valleys. Most of this volatility is caused by builders of condominiums and other multiple-unit developments, where a few projects more or less can make the numbers skyrocket or plummet. That's why analysts take the single-family starts more seriously. They're a lot less volatile and, thus, a better indicator of where the market is really heading. In July, single-family housing starts fell by just 7%. As well, nearly all of July's decline was in Ontario -- "think Toronto condos," says BMO Capital Markets analyst Robert Kavcic. And exceptionally wet weather in Eastern Canada likely slowed construction, notes Millan Mulraine of TD Securities. Outside of Toronto, most big cities saw only modest changes in total activity. So what can we expect for the coming months? Continued slowing, most likely, but certainly no savage nationwide meltdown on the model of the U.S. Royal Bank economist Paul Ferley notes that in 2007, Canadian housing construction remained little changed from the banner year of 2006, even as U.S. activity plummeted 26%. He thinks Canada's housing starts will drop by only about 5% this year, compared with a 30% plunge south of the border. Mr. Ferley thinks that 2009 will finally bring a significant drop in Canadian activity, but nothing like the U.S. collapse, with starts down by about 15%. The brake on construction is the slowdown in sales that started months ago, with sales figures in each month this year down from the comparable period in 2007, Mr. Guatieri noted. It's quite likely that this will continue into next year, since the U.S. economic slowdown and the recent sharp decline in commodity prices are both beginning to bite in Canada, bringing declines in job creation. With housing demand weaker, price gains have already slowed sharply. With a 5.4% average gain over the past year, Montreal is doing a little better than the national average of 3.5%. Toronto is near average at 3.8%. The hardest-hit include mainly big Western cities, with Vancouver up 1.8%, Edmonton 1.6%, Calgary a mere 0.1% and Victoria down by 0.4%. But even if the boom is over, there's no national bust in sight. Without the severe financial excesses and fraud that devastated the U.S. mortgage market, undermined that country's banking system and brought soaring numbers of home foreclosures, Canada simply doesn't have the conditions to trigger a housing collapse.
  20. Surfant aujourd'hui sur le boom du prix du pétrole, les exploitants sont déterminés à ne pas laisser l'argent leur monter à la tête. Pour en lire plus...
  21. ErickMontreal

    Canada's housing boom is over, bank says

    Canada's housing boom is over, bank says VIRGINIA GALT Globe and Mail Update June 26, 2008 at 10:44 AM EDT After a long run of rapidly-rising prices, the Canadian housing market has cooled to the point that it is no longer a sellers' market, Toronto-Dominion Bank said Thursday. “The long-awaited end of the Canadian housing boom has occurred, reflecting more moderate demand and increased supply of properties for sale,” TD economists Craig Alexander and Pascal Gauthier said in a report. “The year-over-year price growth for existing homes in Canada's major markets fell to only 1.1 per cent in May, down from 8.6 per cent just four months earlier,” the TD economists wrote. “The trend has been broadly based, but is has been particularly sharp in some of the markets that had experienced the most dramatic price growth. Calgary and Edmonton home prices in April and May fell to below year-earlier levels.” The TD economists said they had expected the slowdown to occur before now, but “housing remained stronger for longer than we had anticipated, largely due to increased affordability through new financing options, such as no money down or extended amortization.” Regional economic strength related to the commodity boom also helped to fuel “unsustainably elevated home price growth in the west,” they wrote. Last month, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported that resale home listings across Canada rose by 17.7 per cent in April from a year earlier – pushing the number of home listings to the highest level on record. At the time, Bank of Montreal economist Douglas Porter noted: “For the first time in a long time, sellers are not in the drivers' seat any more. I'm not necessarily saying that buyers are in the drivers' seat either, but what we've seen truly is a return to a balanced market.” The TD economists concurred in their report Thursday. “Most of Canada's major housing markets have moved out of sellers' territory to more balanced markets.” Mr. Alexander and Mr. Gauthier forecast modest national average price growth of 2 per cent this year and 3.5 per cent in 2009, “down substantially from the 10 per cent annual pace of the last six years.” However, the Canadian housing market remains fundamentally strong, unlike the U.S. market, where the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that median home prices continued to fall. The median price of an existing U.S. home sold in May was $208,600 (U.S), down 6.3 per cent from a year earlier – fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis. In Canada, the TD economists forecast an average existing home price of $313,300 (Canadian) in 2008, up 2 per cent from last year's average. Canadians, the TD economists said, are “cashing in, not foreclosing. “... It should be stressed that the rise in listings does not reflect homeowners of principal dwellings desperate to sell, and this is the dominant difference between the Canadian and U.S. experience,” they wrote in their report, Canada's Housing Boom Comes to an End. “Indeed, the U.S. has been characterized by an abnormal rise in delinquencies and foreclosures or large negative equity positions. In Canada, speculators may be quickly dumping properties on the market to get out while the times are good, but individuals that have a principal dwelling are not under financial duress. “Canadian consumers are nowhere nearly as leveraged through their home equity as American consumers are.” Throughout the rest of this year and 2009, most regional housing markets in Canada “will see low to mid single-digit gains, but Saskatchewan and Manitoba will continue to post double-digit gains in the near term, followed by a significant cooling in 2009 – with the risk of a mild price correction in the major cities that have recently experienced extraordinary price growth,” the TD economists said. “Alberta will have further weakness in the near term, as Calgary and Edmonton will likely see prices continue to fall for another three or four quarters, dropping 8 per cent to 10 per cent from their peak, after which prices should stabilize and start rising at a low single-digit pace.” http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080626.whousing0626/BNStory/Business/home
  22. La Laurentienne prévoit une croissance modérée au Québec 20 juin 2008 - 08h11 La Presse Canadienne L'économie québécoise progressera à un rythme inférieur à sa vitesse de croisière habituelle en 2008 et 2009, selon Valeurs mobilières Banque Laurentienne, qui publie ses perspectives, vendredi. L'économiste Sébastien Lavoie précise que la croissance économique de 0,8 et de 1,7% pour ces deux années sera en-deçà de la moyenne de 2% observée depuis 2001. L'économie québécoise subira les contrecoups du ralentissement aux États-Unis compte tenu de son grand degré d'ouverture aux échanges commerciaux. Toutefois, M. Lavoie n'entrevoit pour le Québec aucune récession. Il cite à cet effet quelques facteurs: l'allègement fiscal provincial sur le revenu et la baisse de la taxe sur les produits et services (TPS) qui stimuleront les dépenses de ménages; le grand nombre de projets d'investissements privés et publics; l'exploration dans les secteurs minier et gazier, et la bonne santé de l'agriculture. Click here to find out more! La Banque Laurentienne prévoit qu'ailleurs au Canada, l'expansion économique sera également plus modérée cette année. En Ontario, le dérapage de l'industrie automobile frappera fort. L'expansion économique y sera la plus faible au pays en 2008, tout près du point neutre. Pour la première fois depuis 2002, la croissance économique albertaine sera inférieure à 2,5%. L'Alberta laissera sa place à la Saskatchewan comme chef de file au pays puisque sa croissance économique avoisinera 3%. En plus du pétrole, la Saskatchewan est un important producteur mondial de potasse et d'uranium. Leader mondial dans la production de blé et d'orge, cette province est aussi de loin celle qui est en meilleure posture pour profiter du boom du prix des céréales. Le secteur de l'agriculture au Manitoba tirera également son épingle du jeu. Plus à l'Ouest, la Colombie-Britannique profitera des entreprises qui se lancent à la recherche de nouveaux sites d'exploitation de gaz naturel. Le nouveau cousin riche du Canada, Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, ne recevra plus de paiements de péréquation très bientôt en raison du boom pétrolier. L'annonce prochaine d'un accord avec le gouvernement du Canada au sujet des revenus énergétiques extracôtiers pourrait aider la situation économique et fiscale de la Nouvelle-Écosse. La croissance économique sera modeste en Nouveau-Brunswick et à l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard.
  23. Boom économique à Fermont Les projets miniers génèrent un véritable boom économique dans les villes nordiques de Labrador City et de Fermont. Les nouveaux projets d'exploitation de Consolidated Thompson, les travaux de modernisation d'IOC et de ceux d'ArcelorMittal Mines Canada (anciennement Québec-Cartier) entraîneront des investissements totaux de près de 1 milliard de dollars dans la région. Les travaux amènent aussi de nouveaux travailleurs qu'il faut nourrir et loger. Michel Fillion, porte-parole d'IOC, qui se prépare à investir 500 millions pour augmenter sa production, indique que 150 à 200 travailleurs sont attendus cet été, ce qui fera grimper le nombre de travailleurs à près de 500. « Plusieurs vont déjà utiliser le camp de construction que nous prévoyons pour l'expansion. Je dois vous dire aussi que l'on va utiliser toutes les chambres d'hôtel disponibles à Labrador Ouest », ajoute M. Fillion. Le scénario est similaire pour la nouvelle venue dans la région, la minière Consolidated Thompson qui lance un chantier de 400 millions de dollars. Le secteur de la construction est en pleine effervescence. La directrice du CLD, Louisette Champagne, qui habite la région depuis 31 ans, admet qu'elle n'a jamais vu une telle situation. « Ça fait longtemps qu'il n'y a plus personne à embaucher à Fermont et qu'il n'y a plus aucun endroit pour se loger », observe-t-elle. Les commerces ne parviennent pas à répondre à la demande, faute de personnel. La coopérative d'achat de Fermont manque de relève. Le second restaurant de la ville semble impossible à rouvrir pour le moment. La Chambre de commerce de Labrador City a lancé le mot d'ordre aux hôtels, épiceries et restaurants pour qu'ils stockent davantage de denrées. La semaine passée, la ville a manqué d'oeufs. http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/est-quebec/2008/06/06/007-fermont-boom.asp?ref=rss
  24. Toronto's Condo Kings: Is their boom sustainable? Property developer Peter Freed, head of Freed Decelopments poses for a photo at his penthouse apartment in downtown Toronto.Chris Young for Financial PostProperty developer Peter Freed, head of Freed Decelopments poses for a photo at his penthouse apartment in downtown Toronto. Jacqueline Thorpe, Financial Post Published: Monday, June 02, 2008 From his penthouse in Toronto's hip fashion district, Peter Freed can track the development of his six next condo projects taking shape along King Street West. One of Mr. Freed's buildings will have interiors by Philippe Starck, the must-have French designer of the moment. Another will be inspired by the Neoplasticism art movement made famous by Mondrian, where design is pared down to the basics of lines and the primary colours red, yellow and blue. Mr. Freed has eight projects on the board worth a total of half a billion dollars, a tiny fraction of the record 33,980 units under construction in the city. Canada's biggest city has become North America's biggest condo market, with more units now under development than Manhattan, Chicago and Los Angeles. As Mr. Freed looks off his terrace, where the lap pool and giant padded loungers are looking a little forlorn on a wet spring day, he is confident Toronto will not also become North America's biggest condo meltdown. "Right now, there's very large demand," says Mr. Freed, dressed casually in jeans, shirt-tails hanging out, no laces in his shoes. At 39, the laid-back developer is the fresh face of an eclectic group of condo kings who are transforming the very skyline of the city. Along with other design-focused builders like Cityzen Development Group, stalwarts like Tridel Corp. and Menkes Developments Ltd., and newcomers like Bazis International Inc., Mr. Freed is banking on the view Toronto is undergoing a seismic housing shift. Figures show a marked slowing in the Canadian housing market this year, including a 7.3% year-over-year drop in existing homes sales in Toronto in April and a subsiding of the mania that drove the condo market into overdrive last year. But builders say demographics, immigration, government regulation and cultural change will continue to skew demand for housing toward the condominium. Housing hotspots like Calgary may have already burned themselves out in a frenzy of building and soaring prices, but Toronto's rise as a global city will allow it to ride out any short-term weakness, they say. "We understand there's 75,000 people a year for the next 20 years projected to move into the city core," says Mr. Freed. So Toronto's condo kings, mostly privately held, backed by joint-venture partners and old-fashioned bank loans, are knee-deep in a building boom that has seen 67,984 condo units in 316 buildings launched since 2004. To anyone walking the city streets, the scale of activity is eye-popping, with dozens of cranes swinging like mammoth meccano sets across the skyline, the monotonous thud of foundation pilings being driven into the ground and convoys of cement trucks causing endless traffic snarls. They are building by the waterfront, around the subway line in the north of the city and in the east end where work-live lofts are all the rage. At Concord CityPlace, an 18-hectare master-planned city near the waterfront, 21 condo towers will eventually arise from barren railway lands, along with town homes, lofts and a large park. The city-within-a-city will be home to 16,000 people. "People ask us all the time what's going to go on in the market," says James Ritchie, vice-president of sales and marketing at Tridel, the biggest builder of condos in Toronto and owned by the DelZotto family. "To be candid, it's very difficult to tell you where it's going to go one way or another, other than when we look at the fundamentals, what's happening here in Toronto and how it's going to affect housing. The fact is, it's sustaining itself." Toronto real estate developers need to be an optimistic lot. Not only do they have the current U.S. housing bust hanging over their heads, but also the still-fresh memory of the Toronto property crash of the early 1990s. "We didn't call that a recession in our industry; it was a depression," says Sam Crignano of Cityzen, which has 14 projects and 9,000 units on the board, including the Daniel Libeskind-designed glass L Tower, which will rise like a glam-rock platform boot at the foot of the city on Front Street. "It was that perfect storm - a number of factors all converged to create that disaster." Double-digit interest rates, overbuilding, the introduction of the GST and a recession that sent unemployment soaring to 12%, brought the Toronto property market to its knees. According to Goldman Sachs, it was the fourth longest of 24 housing busts in the OECD since the 1970s. Prices declined from December, 1989, to September, 1998, a 34-quarter marathon that took values down 50% in some areas. Not only did the residential market fall apart, but Canada was home base for some very public flameouts in the commercial and retail real estate sector, with Campeau Corp. and the Reichmann's Olympia & York Developments Ltd. filing for bankruptcy. Now, the U.S. housing meltdown looms large, with prices down about 14% from their 2006 peak and so many homes on the market it would take nearly a year to shift the supply. The developers have noticed the first quarter softening. But they are not afraid. New condo sales totalled 3,433 in Toronto, only eight fewer units than last year, according to Urbanation, a condo tracking firm. And the price per square foot for sales rose to $388 from $348. However, with a glut of new buildings nearing competition or under construction, the market is definitely expected to cool. Brad Lamb, Toronto's biggest condo broker, and its most flamboyant, says new condo sales could be off as much as 40% this year and resales 10%. Mr. Lamb has his head, plastered onto the body of a lamb on billboards all over the city. He also hosts Big City Broker on HGTV, a "docu-soap" looking at the business of real estate. "But last year was an incredible, stupid year, where literally every property we put on the market sold by auction, with four or five bidders for every property," he says. "We're still getting that a bit, but it will start to taper off. The time to sell is about 30 days. A year ago it was 15 days. It will probably go to 60 days, which is a normal market. Sixty days is still a seller's market." The condo kings take a long-term view of a city they say is still in its infancy. "Over the last 10 years Toronto has grown by over a million people," says Alan Menkes, president at Menkes Development, which has been developing homes in the Toronto area for the past half century. Its latest project is the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, a two-tower development in tony Yorkville, where luxury suites will run from 1,100 to 9,000 square feet and prices from $1.2-million to $16-million. "You're adding jobs, you're adding buying power," Mr. Menkes says. "They come with capital and they're looking for housing." Immigration is the main driver behind the condo story for Toronto, say developers, each one of whom can reel off the statistics on their fingers. Immigration to Canada totals roughly 225,000 a year and some 40% to 50% settle in Toronto. The Greater Toronto Area is expected to swell from about 5.5 million people to 6.9 million in 2016 and 8.3 million by 2031. The city proper is projected to reach 3.05 million by 2031. The Ontario government increasingly wants that population contained. In 2005, the province slapped an 800,000-hectare greenbelt - about the size of Prince Edward Island - around Lake Ontario, protecting a large swathe from development. The effect has been to intensify construction around established cities and vertically. Immigrants are used to living in apartments, developers add. With rental units all but disappearing as a result of the rent controls of the 1990s, the condo is a natural alternative. "The house is really more a North American phenomenon because no one in Europe can afford it because land is so expensive," says Michael Gold, president of Bazis North America. The developer has 35 projects underway around the world, including 1 Bloor, an 80-storey tower to be built on the corner of Canada's priciest retail strip. "We really see Toronto catching up to the rest of the world." Mr. Ritchie is loath to call the recent increase in building "a boom." Rather, he prefers to call it a slow, steady ramp-up to accommodate the growing swell of people. Besides immigrants, young people - especially women - are fuelling condo demand. They live with their parents longer, save money and move directly into home ownership. "One of our developments at Broadway and Redpath, I would say 25% to 30% of those units were purchased by single women probably in their late-20s, early-30s on a career path," says Mr. Crignano of Cityzen. Mr. Lamb says his company has reams of buyers in their 20s, drawn by the affordability of condos. "They used to be over 30," he says. "It's a very industrious generation of young people who see the benefit of owning their own property." The condo scene is turning Toronto into a young and very social city, Mr. Lamb adds. "CityPlace is like Peyton Place or Melrose Place," he says. "In a building like CityPlace with 400 people - 400 people typically under 40 - I can tell you the scene at the pool is crazy." At the other end of the spectrum, empty-nesters and an increasingly mobile and wealthy international set are demanding luxury and high-end design. It is a trend being witnessed around the globe, the end product of years of strong economic growth - spurred by the development of China, Russia, India, Brazil and fanned by low interest rates - which has raised income across the world. Phillipe Starck, for example, is designing interiors in Thailand, China, Japan, and Denmark. Canada's resource boom has brought it to the party. Mr. Freed says demand for more expensive units has risen gradually and that the luxury buyer is prepared to shop around. "We sold 20 high-end units in other buildings that were between $1-million and $2-million, but we had a lot of people who didn't buy," he says. "They didn't want to be in buildings with people who were buying units for $180,000." In March, he sold $20-million worth of condos in two weeks at one of his higher-end buildings, where units range from $1.5-million to $5.million. Mr. Menkes at Menkes Development says 70% of the Four Seasons Private Residences have been sold. "We're really providing a product that was not available before. We're putting Toronto on the map in terms of international draw," he says. The developers see every downtown Toronto parking lot or disused industrial space eventually filled with condos, mixed with shops and restaurants, and an increasingly educated and wealthy public - working in banking, design, media, medical research and the arts - moving in. Even if there are lean years ahead, they say they are much wiser than they were in the early '90s, with buildings pre-sold before the foundations are dug. "The fiscal discipline that has been instilled in developers today because of the '90s debacle has put us in much better standing," Mr. Menkes says. "Just in terms of banking underwriting, when we do construction loans, the discipline is much more rigorous." Cautionary notes aside, it is clear the condo kings are thrilled to be participating in the rise of Canada's condo city. "The city is going to be much wealthier and much more exciting because of all these new developments," Mr. Lamb says. Adds Mr. Menkes: "I think everyone feels proud when they see the nice skyline of the city they're living in." "I've lived in Toronto my whole life," says Mr. Freed. "To see certain downtown neighbourhoods take shape and become so liveable, so fast, it's incredible." Financial Post jthorpe@nationalpost.com http://www.financialpost.com/reports/property/story.html?id=552055 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ From boom to gloom? Is that a continued property boom on the horizon or is a bust just around the corner?Peter Redman/National PostIs that a continued property boom on the horizon or is a bust just around the corner? Jacqueline Thorpe, Financial Post Published: Friday, May 30, 2008 Leave it to Garth Turner to throw cold water on the notion Canada can achieve a soft real estate landing, when history and the slump south of the border show that is a rare feat indeed. The personal-finance author-turned-Conservative-turned-Liberal MP for Halton, Ont., was one of the first to warn of the 1990s property flop - albeit several years too early. Now he thinks Canada is facing precisely the same mix of elements that burst the U.S. real estate bubble. "We are in a monumental denial phase," says Mr. Turner, who's book Greater Fool - The Troubled Future of Real Estate was published in March. "My theses is now reality, we are starting to see substantial sales declines that were ruled out only six months ago as impossible," he says. "But now people are saying prices aren't moving down. They will." The figures do show a noticeable retreat in the Canadian housing market this year. Nationally, resales fell 6.1% year-over-year in April, while price gains have slowed to 4% from around 10% in each of the prior five years. Calgary saw sales drop 31.2% over the year, Edmonton, 25.4% and Victoria 14.2%. Calgary and Edmonton also saw prices dips. According to Urbanation, a condo tracking firm, the condo market has defied the trend and remained fairly steady through the first quarter, even as a several new buildings hit the market. Mr. Turner says housing markets blow themselves out when prices rise beyond the reach of average buyers. This is what happened in the United States. "To keep the party going, the mortgage industry, the credit industry, backed by the banks, decided to lower the bar to ownership," he says. The subprime industry was born and home buyers with scant credit history and skimpy income were drawn into the market, enticed by no-money-down mortgages and interest rates that started out low, then ballooned to unsupportable levels. Similarly, in Canada, prices have risen beyond the reach of the average buyer, Mr. Turner argues. "What has been the response?" he asks. "The 40-year mortgage." Economists estimate amortizations longer than 25 years now constitute about 70% of all insured mortgage applications and about half of that amount is for the 40-year product. Mr. Turner reserves his starkest warnings for sprawling suburbs mushrooming around Canada's major cities. He says many new home developments have mortgage representatives onsite offering the same kind of no-money-down deals that dragged down the U.S. market. Buyers just have to come up with 1.5% of the house value to cover closing costs. These will become the "particle board slums of the future," Mr. Turner says, as smaller families and surging energy costs cause the suburbs to fall out of favour. But the Toronto condo market is heading for trouble too, as overbuilding swamps demand, he says. "We are classically at the end of a bull market," Mr. Turner says. Read the argument for a boom Financial Post jthorpe@nationalpost.com Close Presented by Reader Discussion http://www.financialpost.com/reports/property/story.html?id=552055