While Torontos housing market melts down Montreals sizzles

Montreal’s hot real estate market continued to sizzle last month with record August sales and rising prices.The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board says booming condo sales drove an eight per cent increase in residential sales across the Montreal region.There were 2,899 sales, with condo transactions surging 19 per cent. Single-family homes that account for more than half of sales rose four per cent.The Island of Montreal led the way with a 12 per cent rise in sales.Paul Cardinal of the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards attributed the continued gains to strong job creation, consumer confidence and foreign migration.He also said buyers were fast-tracking purchases to beat an expected interest rate hike, which was announced Wednesday.Sales have increased each of the last 30 months, except July 2016 when there were unchanged. The last monthly drop in sales took place in February 2015.That’s far different than in Toronto, where sales of detached, semi-detached, condos and townhouses fell between 25.7 and 41.6 per cent in August.The average sales price in the Greater Toronto Area dropped for a fourth-straight month, falling 1.8 per cent to $732,292.In Greater Vancouver, home sales surged 22.3 per cent while the composite benchmark price was up 9.4 per cent to $1,029,700.Both Toronto and Vancouver have implemented a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in attempts to quell rising home prices.Montreal remains a relative bargain even though the average real estate price increased 4.1 per cent to $374,333 in AugustOne possible area of weakness was a slowdown in the purchase of homes over $500,000. They grew 14 per cent, down from 57 per cent in July. read more

Senior UN envoy condemns deadly suicide bombing in Tel Aviv

Mr. Roed-Larsen, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, reiterated the UN’s long-standing position that terrorist bombings such as Sunday’s were morally reprehensible and completely unjustified. “They also run counter to every effort to find a peaceful solution to the conflict,” he added in a statement released yesterday in Jerusalem.“Violence cannot solve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Mr. Roed-Larsen stressed, repeating his call to all Palestinians to pursue “non-violent policies,” as embodied in the international attempt to end the crisis through the diplomatic Quartet and its road map for a just and comprehensive peace.The Special Coordinator, “mindful of the tragic killings of civilians that shatters lives on both sides, also urges Israel to act with restraint in responding to this deadly terror attack.” read more