Home    Canada’s shared-equity scheme raises affordability concerns

Vancouver, where average home prices are almost C$1m

By Caroline Thorpe

Five property stories making global headlines this week:

Concerns Canadian scheme will fail first-time buyers

Bloomberg questioned how effective Canada’s new flagship housing policy will be. Unveiled last week by prime minister Justin Trudeau, the C$1.25bn ($950m) shared-equity scheme aims to help low to middle-income first-time buyers purchase a home worth up to around C$565,000.

Analysis suggests, however, that the programme is not generous enough to help buyers in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, where average house prices were C$826,165 and C$982,427 respectively in July.

No-deal Brexit points to 20 per cent fall in UK house prices

As Brexit continues to dominate the headlines, accountancy firm KPMG said UK house prices could fall as much as 20 per cent if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.

The analysis, reported by the Financial Times, concluded that prices would decline most sharply in Northern Ireland, London and south-east England.

“A no-deal Brexit will see households’ finances more under strain, with any rises in earnings likely to be more subdued and higher inflation depressing their purchasing power even further,” said Yael Selfin, chief economist at KPMG in the UK.

UK house-sellers may have to contend with post-Brexit price falls

Slow growth forecast for Indian market

Property analysts have given India’s housing market a poor prognosis, predicting average house prices will rise just 1 per cent this year and 2 per cent in 2020.

The panel of experts, polled by Reuters, said the market would be constrained by mortgage liquidity problems, which recent interest rate cuts were failing to overcome.

Mumbai, India’s largest city: prices in the country are forecast to rise 1% this year

Work starts on towering Tokyo development

Work has begun on the new Toranomon-Azabudai neighbourhood in central Tokyo. The so-called “city-within-a-city” is expected to house 3,500 residents in high-end apartments and be finished by 2023.

The redevelopment will include Japan’s tallest building, according to CNN. Designed by international architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, the curved 330-metre tower will be topped with a roof resembling petals.

The Toranomon-Azabudai development includes Japan’s tallest tower block

Can there be life on Mars?

Two Malaysian designers claim to have found the key to creating homes on Mars: bamboo. According to Dezeen, Warith Zaki and Amir Amzar have designed a “colony” made from bamboo that would be grown on the red planet and woven into pod-like structures by robots.

“Bamboo alone might not work in the extreme climate conditions on Mars, but with a combination of technology and other materials, there would be possibilities,” the pair said.

The bamboo pods designed for Mars would be built by robots

Photographs: Dreamstime; Alamy; DBOX for Mori Building Company; Warith Zaki, Amir Amzar

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