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Home of the Week, 24 Cameron Cres., Toronto.Lukas Peters/Lukas Peters

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week, with the lowest mortgage rates available in Canada today, commentary from our mortgage expert and one home worth a look.

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Real estate developer Westbank faces onslaught of litigation for Canadian, U.S. projects due to unpaid bills

More than two dozen construction and trade businesses in Toronto and Seattle have been fighting with Westbank – a prominent Canadian developer known for its ambitious architecture – over millions in unpaid bills, writes Shane Dingman, Rachelle Younglai, Frances Bula, and Mike Hager. The allegations have not been proven in court, and the developer said delays caused by constructing through a global pandemic are far from unique to their projects. A review by The Globe and Mail of legal action facing 10 other prominent Canadian real estate developers in Ontario shows no similar flurry of claims from unpaid creditors.

Ontario gives home sellers option to share bid details with other buyers

Even with new rules on blind bidding in Ontario’s real estate market that will allow realtors to share details of buyer bids with other buyers, industry experts don’t believe an era of open auctions is upon us, writes Shane Dingman. There’s little public data on how often bidding wars happen, and some say open bidding will primarily help sellers, who now have more tools to maximize sale price. Reform of blind bidding was sometimes pitched as an affordability measure – though because of a lack of data collection around secret bids, it’s never been clear how much the practice might have increased prices.

This week’s lowest available mortgage rates

The Bank of Canada is expected to cut rates next year, which has led to levels of optimism about falling rates not seen since we were all fighting over toilet paper in March, 2020, writes Robert McLister in his weekly column. Plunging yields after a big rate hike cycle has historically signalled a good time to float your mortgage rate. There’s a menu of variable-rate options to consider, with varying levels of term length, payment type, and conversion flexibility.

Time’s up for some short-term rentals in B.C., as new housing rules transform scene

Short-term rental managers across B.C. are lamenting the demise of their business model, as the province enacts a new law next spring restricting short-term rentals to a homeowner’s principal residence. It’s among new housing regulations being rolled out over two years, with the government saying it wants to stop short-term rentals “taking away homes people need.” Real estate agents say owners of investment properties are being forced to sell at a loss or risk being unable to pay their mortgage. Supporters of the policy agree about some of those impacts – but say they think it proves the policies are a success.

Home of the week: Solar-fitted Leaside home has a ‘green heart’

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Home of the Week, 24 Cameron Cres., Toronto.Lukas Peters/Lukas Peters

24 Cameron Cres., Toronto

The former owners of this 1930s home in Toronto’s Leaside neighbourhood retrofitted it with two solar-powered systems: one that generates electricity that feeds back into Toronto’s grid, and a system that generates hot water that feeds into the house’s in-floor heating system. The house not only pays for its own electricity, but has some to spare for bigger power needs, like charging an electric car. The four-bedroom home features dark oak hardwood floors across the main level that open up to a dining room and kitchen. The front yard is filled with wildflowers and was landscaped for climate-change resiliency, with bands of brick in the concrete drive to limit rain runoff.

Guess the price

What do you think is the asking price for the property?
a. $2,895,000 million
b. $1,999,000 million
c. $1,250,000 million
d. $2,395,000 million

a. The asking price is $2.895,000 million.

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