EAST LANSING, MI – SEPTEMBER 12: A general view of the field before the game between the Oregon Ducks and Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 12, 2015 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)A former college football star has passed away at the age of 38.Mike Labinjo, a former Michigan State football star who had a lengthy career in the Canadian Football League, has passed away.The former Spartan star’s CFL team, the Calgary Stampeders, announced the tragic news.From the team:It is with great sadness the Stampeders learn of the death of alumnus Mike Labinjo. He was 38.“We are deeply saddened to learn of Mike’s death,” said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. “He was a big man with a big personality to match and he was a key part of our Grey Cup championship team in 2008. The team offers its condolences to Mike’s family and friends.”A defensive lineman, Labinjo was drafted by Calgary in 2003 and joined the Stamps in 2007 after playing a total of 10 games with the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts. In 44 games with the Red and White from 2007 to 2010, the Toronto native recorded 61 defensive tackles including nine tackles for loss, seven special-teams tackles, six sacks, seven knockdowns and two fumble recoveries.An alumnus of Michigan State University, Labinjo was part of the Stamps’ Grey Cup-winning team in 2008 and was a standout in the West final victory over the BC Lions that year, recording three sacks and a forced fumble and making two touchdown-saving stops as part of a critical goal-line stand.Labinjo was a third round pick in the 2003 CFL Draft.STAMPEDERS MOURN DEATH OF MIKE LABINJO – Calgary Stampeders @calstampeders https://t.co/gVq80OLPLx #CFL #Calstampeders— CFL News (@CFL_News) September 22, 2018Our thoughts are with Mike’s friends, family and former teammates. May he rest in peace.
TORONTO — Canada’s largest real estate board is calling on Ottawa to revisit whether a stricter mortgage stress test introduced last year is still needed, arguing that the policy has negatively impacted the economy and Toronto’s once red-hot housing market.“While we saw buyers return to the market in the second half of 2018, we have to have an honest discussion on whether or not today’s homebuyers are being stress tested against rates that are realistic,” said John DiMichele, chief executive of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) in a statement Wednesday.“Home sales in the GTA, and Canada more broadly, play a huge role in economic growth, job creation and government revenues every year. Looking through this lens, policymakers need to be aware of unintended consequences the stress test could have on the housing market and broader economy.” Mortgage growth, the bread and butter of Canadian banks, has shrunk to 17-year low OSFI under pressure by banks, industry lobbyists to ease mortgage stress test: sources Why the government should rethink the mortgage stress test Stress tests were introduced in 2018 to cool real estate markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, and have limited the ability for some to qualify for mortgages.TREB, which represents more than 52,000 real estate agents across the region, says potential homebuyers who moved to the sidelines when the mortgage stress test came into effect will likely re-evaluate their financial qualifications and try to enter the market this year.It notes that the stress test, which is mandated through the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI) has resulted in homebuyers having to qualify for monthly mortgage payments nearly $700 more than what they would actually pay.“In order to account for the higher qualification standard, intending home buyers have adjusted their preferences, including the type of home they intend on purchasing,” said the report, resulting in the increased popularity of condos and townhouses over detached homes.Despite these challenges, the board forecasts in its annual outlook that it expects to see a “moderate improvement” in sales and selling price this year in Toronto’s real estate market but says it doesn’t anticipate to hit the record levels seen in previous years.The board says increased buying intentions will be helped by population growth, low unemployment rates and lower fixed-rate mortgage rates this year.The outlook forecasts that 83,000 sales will be reported through the board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system in 2019, up 7.2 per cent from 77,375 sales recorded in 2018.TREB expects the average selling price for the year in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area will increase to $820,000 — close to the peak reached in 2017 — and up from an average of $787,195 in 2018.Much of that price growth will be led by the hot condominium market as homebuyers look for more affordable housing options, while the board anticipates the price growth for detached properties to be below the average growth rate for the total market.Meanwhile, the board expects new listings will remain flat this year after the figure pulled back in 2018 to sit between 155,000 and 156,000.The report also cautions that the rental market in Toronto and the surrounding area will remain “tight” this year.“The supply of rental units could continue to be problematic in 2019,” it warned.The board also reported Wednesday that home sales in Toronto and the surrounding area saw a small uptick in January, a sign that the real estate market in Canada’s largest city remains stable.In a separate report, TREB says there were 4,009 home sales recorded in January, up 0.6 per cent compared with January 2018. On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up by 3.4 per cent versus December 2018.The board says the average selling price for all property types was $748,328 last month, an increase of 1.7 per cent from the same month a year ago. TREB reports that the more affordable condo segment led the price growth, up by 7.9 per cent in January.Semi-detached and townhouse properties also saw increases, while the price of detached homes fell by 2.8 per cent in January year-over-year.The board says the total number of new listings were up, climbing 10.5 per cent to 9,456 listings last month.