The Canadian economy continues to stumble, with oil prices falling and the unemployment level sitting slightly above seven per cent. There aren’t a lot of options for people who want to invest in the country. But in many regions, the real estate markets are bucking the economic malaise and continue to rise. The overall health of Canadian real estate is producing many inciteful realtors, analysts and general enthusiasts who enjoy commenting on the market in their blogs. The insight and information on many of these blogs is essential to anyone looking to buy a property in the country.
In past years this list featured the 50 best real estate blogs in the country, but we’ve combed through them all, and based on these criteria, boiled it down even further to the very best 30 blogs on the housing market. There’s something for everyone here, so take a look and feel free to comment below!
This well designed blog jumps from number 11 to the top spot this year, largely on the merits of its brand-specific app available for both iOS and Android. Zoocasa's high quality design ensures that perusing the site’s articles is an enjoyable experience, while the amount of information available makes Zoocasa an essential visit for anyone entering the market. Readers can stay connected with Zoocasa through all of the major social networks.
With more than 33 years of experience, as well as time spent as a long-term member and former president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, Richard Silver is well known among GTA realtors. This website reflects his years of expertise and experience. Torontoism team of real estate agents brings real estate expertise in almost every housing segment in Toronto. This fluid and easy to read website offers everything from neighbourhood profiles to where to grab a great cup of coffee in the city. Torontoism’s Featured Properties section offers a glimpse of some of the region’s most beautiful properties, while Richard’s YouTube channel highlights some of the most popular neighbourhoods in Toronto, narrated by the man himself. As for the blog, Richard takes the time to provide analysis and updates on the market, as well as more street-level features. So if you’re looking for predictions about the Toronto real estate market in 2016 or where to find the best pie in the city, this is one blog worth checking out!
A number of blogs appearing on this list already are part of the Sotheby’s family. The well-known international luxury realty network’s page features a great design decked out in its traditional colours of blue, grey and white. Along with the usual real estate news, financial advice and decorating tips, this highly responsive site includes interviews with high-end homeowners who discuss their decorating choices. These articles create an intimate portrait of some of Canada’s most highly coveted properties and are accompanied by great photos. The site comes in an English, French and Chinese versions and is connected socially through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and Google+.
A new entry this year, Point 2 Homes’ blog looks great with its sleek design and abundance of articles. It offers insight, analysis and stunning photos while covering markets all across the country. Unfortunately, the blog isn’t linked from the company’s main page. That’s a shame because the content here is top notch and deserves to be featured more prominently.
Jay brings plenty of experience to the table with his blog, so all of your basic real estate needs are well met and expanded upon. But his blog allows for a personal touch that demonstrates his intimate knowledge of the neighbourhoods he works with. Past features included golf course reports, live music listings and scene reports, and a list of the city’s best bakeries. Those fantastic resources are still available, but more recently Jay has been delving into his passion for photography and history with regularly published neighbourhood photo essays. These serve as a guide to some of the most popular borroughs of Vancouver and Richmond. Featured stories about Vancouver’s oldest restaurants, the best antique stores, and best microbreweries show that Jay is a man with his finger on the pulse of Vancouver. The easy to read site is well-connected to the big social media platforms.
The most stunning aspect of this blog is the sheer amount of content produced. It’s updated multiple times a day with local news, listings, and a photo of the day. It loses a couple points for its responsiveness, which leaves a little to be desired. But the number of fans the site has shows that what it offers is enough for people to keep coming back. The site is connected through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Greater Fool offers a comparable experience to anyone familiar with the average blog or WordPress layout. But the streamlined appearance helps to highlight Garth Turner’s writing. Garth is the best-selling author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics, and you can see why when you read his blog posts. This blog also played a pivotal role in his political career, after the Conservative Party accused the then-Tory MP of publishing confidential information, which led to his ouster from the party. He then crossed the floor to become a member of the Liberal caucus before eventually losing his seat in the 2008 federal election. Garth’s impressive resume is reflected in his writing, while his personal flair, sense of humour and casual tone make it easy for anyone to understand the complex issues he tackles in his articles.
#08The Red Pin
The modern design and interactivity make this one of the more unique websites in this listing. Most of the blog's content comes in the form of profiles on specific developments, but visitors can also find in-depth analysis of economic news and trends that affect the market. A handy interactive map also helps potential buyers narrow down the search for a new home to something within their price range and in the neighbourhood they’re looking to buy. It does suffer from slow loading times occasionally, but its responsiveness largely makes up for that. It seems a shame that the blog is only linked to at the bottom of the web page. But the Red Pin’s presence on social media enhances the interactivity, and they can be followed on Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Google+.
Julie Kinnear and her team hope to "guide you home," using the symbol of the Inukshuk—the stone men made by the Inuit to serve as guideposts in Canada’s barren north—to guide their business. Video is pervasive on Julie’s website. They host their own YouTube channel and have video guides for both buyers and sellers, while the delightful "Real Estate Lessons in Movies" section uses popular films to delve into the practical knowledge for anyone involved in the real estate world. They also offer monthly contests with prizes and regularly post video testimonials. The abundance of content does bog things down a little. But Julie’s active presence on social media, including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, allows readers to stay connected and updated on the latest news and research.
This blog offers everything from slice-of-life articles to personal finance advice. They offer the services of an independent mortgage broker, such as home, car, business and life insurance, and they can serve as a financial advisor. They also offer plenty of real estate advice, and the layout allows for easy readability and connectivity to social media. They say their main goal is to be "big enough to save you money, but small enough to know your name," and they seem to offer the resources to back up that claim.