It may seem that in Toronto it’s all about the mayor or the Leafs. That’s not necessarily true. Not caught in the headlines so much, but increasingly newsworthy, is growing concern about the health of the Toronto condo market. The Condo Game, a new CBC documentary set to air next Thursday, reportedly exposes “a sea of troubles” behind all that glittering glass. Is the fastest moving condo market in North America the product of a global investments game? Check out the trailer here.
While on the topic of housing, a former member of the Canadian Parliament turned finance blogger recounts the origin of the 40-year amortization in Canada here. Says Garth Turner at The Greater Fool: “The era of zero-down and lifetime mortgage payments – resulting in an eruption of condo-building and frenzied, assembly-line house construction – was a crude attempt to deregulate real estate and blow a speculative bubble in Canada. Two years later when rates collapsed, it was too late to tame the creature. Now we have the average SFH sitting at $850,000 in 416 and a million in Van. ‘Buy now or buy never’ has created a culture in which fools jump into bidding wars for junk housing they think can only go up. While sage, experienced players around the world shake their heads and warn of coming consequences, we flub on. Reality is for other people.”