Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

(Marytka/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Marytka/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Carrick on money

Toronto housing prices force buyers to think creatively Add to ...

The housing market ended 2016 with Toronto as an epicenter of rising prices. An average detached home in the city cost $1.3-million in December, high enough to keep a lot of buyers out of the market unless they think creatively.

The options include tiny houses, home sharing, moving to the distant suburbs and even renting. Or, as suggested in this video on The Beaverton’s satirical website, you can look at homes that were the site of a grisly murder. HGTV personality Bryan Baeumler plays along by talking up a new show called Crime Scene Interiors.

Call it extreme satire for an extreme housing market. Prices for detached homes in the entire Toronto market were up an incredible 23.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis in December, even as markets in many parts of the country started to cool off. The latest surge in the city’s real estate market has caught the attention of longtime housing bear Garth Turner. In his latest blog post, he wonders if we’re seeing the last gasp of the housing rally.

By the way, there really is a website where you can check whether a crime has been committed at a house. I mentioned it in a newsletter last May – it’s called Housecreep.

Subscribe to Carrick on Money
Click here to have my newsletter e-mailed to you twice weekly.

How much will a Disney trip cost?
Budget travel expert Barry Choi estimates $5,726 for a week for a family of four, but says there are options for reducing this price.

This is what will drive mortgage rates in 2017
A look at the global factors that will have an influence on the cost of mortgages here in Canada, including events in China and Europe.

How to score cheap movie tickets
If you see a lot of movies in the theatre, this blog post will be of interest. Lots of ideas on using reward points or getting discounts.

Extended warranties? No reason to buy them
This article will firm up your resolve to just say no when you’re offered these warranties.

The good news about looking after your grandchildren
Here’s the flip side to an article included in this newsletter last summer on how grandparents are being worn out financially and physically by helping take care of grandkids. It says grandparents who provide occasional child care could live five years longer.

We need to talk about money
A collection of online stories from the past year or so on the topic of money. No nagging to make a budget and spend less. These stories look more at the behavioural and emotional side of money.

Today’s featured financial tool
A 42 per cent surcharge on an ATM withdrawal? It’s possible if you don’t mind the fees listed on this advisory from the federal Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Ask Rob
The question: “I am a First Nation person who has RRSP deductions at work. We can max at 5 per cent and the company will match it. There are no tax savings on RRSPs due to the fact that I am a Status Indian. Should I max my RRSP savings at work?”

My reply: For help on this one, I turned to Martin LeClair, vice-president at the pension consulting firm Proteus.

An edited version of his reply: “Yes you should max your RRSP since you get the matching [employer] contribution. This is a 100-per-cent return on every monthly contribution. Not bad. Also, the employer-sponsored group RRSP is likely to have access to lower fees. This is the second benefit. Since tax is of no consideration here, it means that this employee will have access to the money free of tax at any point in time. This is why maximizing the amount that goes into the RRSP is essential.”

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

Featured Video
Eight men hold as much wealth as the poorest half of the world, the global charitable organization Oxfam says.

More Carrick and money coverage
For more money stories, follow me on Twitter and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter.

Report Typo/Error

Follow on Twitter: @rcarrick

Next story




Most popular videos »

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular