May 2017 GTA REALTORS® Release Monthly Resale Housing Figures

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 10,196 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2017 – down by 20.3 per cent compared to 12,790 sales reported in May 2016.  Sales of detached homes were down by 26.3 per cent.  Sales of condominium apartments were down by 6.4 per cent.

The supply of listings was up strongly over the same period.  Active listings – the number of properties available for sale – at the end of May were up by 42.9 per cent compared to the record low a year earlier.  The number increased considerably for low-rise home types including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses.  Active listings for condominium apartments were down compared to May 2016.

“Home buyers definitely benefitted from a better supplied market in May, both in comparison to the same time last year and to the first four months of 2017.  However, even with the robust increase in active listings, inventory levels remain low.  At the end of May, we had less than two months of inventory.  This is why we continued to see very strong annual rates of price growth, albeit lower than the peak growth rates earlier this year,” said Mr. Cerqua.

Selling prices continued to increase strongly in May compared to the same month in 2016.  The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price was up by 29 per cent year-over-year.  The average selling price for all home types combined for the TREB Market Area as a whole was up by 14.9 per cent to $863,910.  Year-over-year price increases were greater for condominium apartments compared to low-rise home types.  This likely reflects the fact that the low-rise market segments benefitted most from the increase in listings.

“The actual, or normalized, effect of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan remains to be seen.  In the past, some housing policy changes have initially led to an overreaction on the part of homeowners and buyers, which later balanced out.  On the listings front, the increase in active listings suggests that homeowners, after a protracted delay, are starting to react to the strong price growth we’ve experienced over the past year by listing their home for sale to take advantage of these equity gains,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Source: The Toronto Real Estate Board

March 2017 GTA REALTORS® Release Monthly Resale Housing Figures

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,014 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2017.  Despite the fact that February 2016 had one more day due to the leap year day, this result was up on a year-over-year basis by 5.7 per cent compared to 7,583 sales reported last year.

“The February statistics tell me that many Greater Toronto Area households continue to view home ownership as a great long-term investment.  The high demand for ownership housing we’re seeing is broad-based, with strong sales growth for most low-rise home types and condominium apartments.  This makes sense given the results of a recent consumer survey undertaken for TREB by Ipsos, which found an even split between intending first-time buyers and existing homeowners who indicated that they were planning on purchasing a home in 2017,” said Cerqua.

According to the recent Ipsos survey of intending GTA home buyers, first-time buyers will continue to account for much of the demand for ownership housing in Toronto and the surrounding regions.  For the GTA as a whole, 53 per cent of likely buyers indicated that they would be first-timers – up from 49 per cent a year earlier.  First-time buying intentions were highest in the City of Toronto, where 64 per cent of likely home purchasers indicated they would be first-timers – up from 56 per cent a year earlier.  The higher percentage of first-time buyers in the City of Toronto likely relates to the prevalence of condominium apartments, which are a popular entry point into home ownership.

“There has also been much speculation, both in the media and among government policymakers, about the amount of foreign buying activity in the GTA.  A recent Ipsos survey of the TREB membership on foreign buying activity suggests that the impact of foreign buyers in the GTA marketplace has been somewhat overblown.  GTA-wide, the number of transactions accounted for by foreign buyers was less than five per cent.  Furthermore, the great majority – 80 per cent, to be exact – of foreign buyers were purchasing a home as a primary residence, a home for another family member to live in, or as an investment to rent out to a tenant, which is helpful in a tight rental market,” continued Cerqua.

“To date, the provincial government and municipal governments have resisted the implementation of a foreign buyer tax in the absence of empirical evidence. The Ipsos survey of TREB Members should further solidify the argument that the solution to strong rates of price growth and related affordability concerns lies not with taxing foreign buyers more, but rather with addressing the supply of homes available for sale, or lack thereof,” added Cerqua.

While the demand for ownership housing grew over the past year, new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in February were down on a year-over-year basis by 12.5 per cent to 9,834. This continues a pattern we saw throughout much of 2016, with the sales trend pointing up while the listings trend has been down, which has resulted in a contraction of the inventory of homes available for sale. TREB’s average months of inventory trend for February was at one month, while in many neighbourhoods across the GTA, inventory can now be measured in weeks rather than months.

“The listing supply crunch we are experiencing in the GTA has undoubtedly led to the double-digit home price increases we are now experiencing on a sustained basis, both in the low-rise and high-rise market segments. Until we see a marked increase in the number of homes available for sale, expect very strong annual rates of price growth to continue,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark Price was up by 23.8 per cent compared to February 2016. Similarly, the average selling price was up by 27.7 per cent year-over-year to $875,983. Annual rates of price growth continued to be strongest for low-rise home types, particularly detached houses. Growth rates for condominium apartment prices were also in the double digits, likely a result of strong demand from first-time buyers.

“Over the past year, we have reached a point where government policies that target only the demand side of the market, whether we’re talking about foreign buyers or further changes to mortgage lending guidelines, will not be enough to balance market conditions and moderate the pace of price growth,” continued Mercer.

“In 2017, policymakers at all three levels of government must turn their attention to the supply of homes available for sale. They should consider revisiting land-use designations in built-up areas to allow for a greater diversity of home types, streamlining development approvals and permitting processes, and looking at ways to incentivize landowners to develop their land,” suggested Cerqua.

A panel of industry experts was on hand at TREB’s recent Economic Summit, which served as a launch for TREB’s Market Year in Review & Outlook Report 2017, to share their take on the growing housing supply crisis in the GTA. Discussing the nature and scope of the crisis as well as possible solutions, the implications were clear: there is a housing supply crisis and the only way to solve it would be coordinated and innovative solutions by the government, private and not-for-profit sectors.

This and other issues, including a market outlook for 2017 and the impact of transit infrastructure and housing affordability were discussed at the Economic Summit and are touched on in the report. To learn more about the Economic Summit or to read a copy of TREB’s Market Year in Review & Outlook Report 2017, please visit www.TREBhome.com

March 2017 GTA REALTORS® Release Mid-Month Resale Housing Figures

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,238 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System during the first 14 days of March 2017. This result was up by 16.4 per cent in comparison to the first two weeks of March 2016, when 4,500 home sales were reported.

The strongest annual rate of sales growth was experienced for the condominium apartment market segment.

However, double-digit annual rates of growth were also reported for detached houses and townhouses.

New listings reported by REALTORS® during the first half of March were down by more than four per cent compared to the same period in 2016. As the trend of declining listings and increasing sales continued, market conditions tightened further with the end result being further acceleration in the annual average rate of price growth.

The average selling price for all home types combined was $935,296 during the first two weeks of March 2017, representing a 35.1 per cent increase compared to March 2016. While the detached market segment experienced the highest annual average rate of price growth, at 37 per cent for the TREB market area as a whole, it is important to note that growth rates were above 30 per cent for all major home types including condominium apartments.

Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

December 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Monthly Resale Housing Figures

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that 2016 was a second consecutive record year for home sales.  Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 113,133 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System – up by 11.8 per cent compared to 2015.  The calendar year 2016 result included 5,338 sales in December – an annual increase of 8.6 per cent.

The strongest annual rate of sales growth in 2016 was experienced for condominium apartments followed by detached homes.

“A relatively strong regional economy, low unemployment and very low borrowing costs kept the demand for ownership housing strong in the GTA, as the region’s population continued to grow in 2016,” said Mr. Cerqua.

“It is important to point out that the strong demand that we experienced in 2016 was very much domestic in nature.  TREB recently commissioned Ipsos to survey its Members with regard to the level and type of foreign buying activity within the Greater Toronto Area.  The results of the Ipsos survey suggest that the level of foreign buying activity is low in the GTA.  Only an estimated 4.9 per cent of GTA transactions, in which TREB Members acted on behalf of a buyer, involved a foreign purchaser.  In the City of Toronto, the share of foreign buyers was five per cent,” continued Mr. Cerqua.

The methodology of the Ipsos research involved an online survey of the TREB Membership hosted on the Ipsos platform. A total of 3,518 surveys were completed between October 6 and October 21, 2016. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points 19 times out of 20. TREB will be releasing the full results of the Ipsos survey dealing with foreign buyers on January 31, 2017, in conjunction with its Market Year in Review and Outlook Report and related media event.

The annual rate of growth for the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in the TREB market area accelerated throughout 2016 – from 10.7 per cent in January 2016 to 21 per cent in December 2016.  The overall average selling price for calendar year 2016 was $729,922 – up 17.3 per cent compared to 2015.  The pace of the annual rate of growth for the average selling price also picked up throughout the year, including a climb of 20 per cent in December.

“Price growth accelerated throughout 2016 as the supply of listings remained very constrained.  Active listings at the end of December were at their lowest point in a decade-and-a-half.  Total new listings for 2016 were down by almost four per cent.  In 2016, we saw policy changes and policy debates pointed at the demand side of the market.  If we want to see a sustained moderation in the pace of price growth, what we really need is more policy focus on issues impacting the lack of homes available for sale,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

TREB’s Market Year in Review and Outlook Report and media event will include an expert panel and related submissions on the foundations of the housing supply issue in the GTA and possible solutions.

With continued strong rates of price growth, housing affordability is a growing concern.  Unfortunately, the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee is considering an increase to the Land Transfer Tax that could see buyers of average-priced homes pay another $750 to the City, which would represent a seven per cent increase to the $11,000 that they already pay City Hall as an upfront Land Transfer Tax closing cost.  This would be on top of the $12,000 that is also paid to the province.  First-time buyers could end up paying $475 more, or, at best, be no better off, even though the province recently doubled their first time buyer LTT rebate.

“The last thing people need is to dish out another $750, on top of the $11,000 that they already pay City Hall.  The City should be looking for ways to make housing affordability better, not worse, especially for first-time buyers who could go backwards, or at best, be no better off,” said Mr. Cerqua.  “The Budget Committee should stop this proposal in its tracks and instead enhance the rebate for first-time buyers.”

Source: The Real Estate Board

December 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Mid-Month Resale Housing Figures

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 3,196 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System during the first 14 days of December 2016. This result represented an increase of almost 18 per cent compared to the first two weeks of December 2015, when 2,713 home sales were reported.

Broken down by market segment, the strongest annual growth in sales was experienced for condominium apartments – both for the City of Toronto and the surrounding regions. Double digit growth in detached home sales was also reported, but this was driven solely by sales outside of Toronto. Within the City of Toronto, sales were down for all low-rise home types – likely due to a lack of listings rather than a lack of demand.

New listings reported by REALTORS® were down by 4.7 per cent year-over-year to 3,061. With sales up strongly and listings down, market conditions were tighter compared to a year earlier. Strong competition between home buyers continued to result in double-digit price increases.

The average selling price for all home types combined was $741,515 during the first two weeks of December, representing a 19.3 per cent increase compared to a year earlier. Average annual rates of price growth generally remained strongest for low-rise home types, but the pace of condominium apartment price growth continued to accelerate.


Source: The Toronto Real Estate Board

November 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Monthly Resale Housing Figures

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,547 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System in November 2016. This result represented a 16.5 per cent increase compared to November 2015.

For the TREB market area as a whole, sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types. The strongest annual rates of sales growth were experienced for the townhouse and condominium apartment segments.

“Home buying activity remained strong across all market segments in November.  However, many would-be home buyers continued to be frustrated by the lack of listings, as annual sales growth once again outstripped growth in new listings. Seller’s market conditions translated into robust rates of price growth,” said Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 20.3 per cent compared to November 2015. The average selling price at $776,684 was up by 22.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

“Recent policy initiatives seeking to address strong home price growth have focused on demand.  Going forward, more emphasis needs to be placed on solutions to alleviate the lack of inventory for all home types, especially in the low-rise market segments,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

In January 2017, TREB will be releasing its second annual Market Year in Review & Outlook Report.  This report will contain a more in-depth discussion on the current state and future direction of the housing market in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Detailed findings from Member and consumer surveys conducted by Ipsos will be released, including consumer intentions, buyer profiles marketwatchnov2016and foreign buying activity.  The results of a TREB-commissioned study on transportation infrastructure on housing affordability will also be presented.

Source: The Toronto Real Estate Board

November 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Mid-Month Resale Housing Figures

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,051 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System during the first 14 days of November 2016. This result represented a 13 per cent increase compared to the first two weeks of November 2015, during which time 3,584 sales were reported.

Sales were up strongly for all major home types except semi-detached houses. The year-over-year dip in semi-detached transactions, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions, was not due to a lack of demand, but rather a lack of available listings.

TREB Members reported 5,494 new listings between November 1st and November 14th – up six per cent compared to the same period in 2015. While the annual growth in new listings was certainly welcome, the rate of growth was less than that reported for sales. This means that market conditions continued to tighten compared to last year.

The average selling price for all home types combined was $768,220 during the first two weeks of November, representing a 20.9 per cent increase compared to a year earlier. Average annual rates of price growth were strongest for low-rise home types, but average condominium apartment prices continued to increase strongly as well.

novembermarketwatchmidmonth2016

Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

October 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Mid-Month Resale Housing Figures

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,460 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System during the first 14 days of October 2016. This result represented a 15.5 per cent increase compared to the first two weeks of October 2015. Similar to September, the strongest annual rate of sales growth for the TREB market area as a whole was recorded for the condominium apartment segment. While the market is tight for condo apartments, there is comparatively more inventory available, which has allowed for stronger growth in sales compared to the low-rise market segments.

The number of new listings was also up on a year-over-year basis during the first two weeks of October, but by a much lesser annual rate compared to sales. This means that, on the whole, the market continued to tighten with more competition between buyers. Intense competition between buyers in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA continued to underpin double-digit annual gains in average selling prices. Due to the persistent lack of inventory, low-rise market segments experienced the strongest rates of price growth. However, it is important to point out that the condominium apartment market, particularly in the City of Toronto, also experienced year-overyear price growth in excess of 10 per cent.

marketwatchmidmonthoct2016Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

September 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Monthly Resale Housing Figures

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,902 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in September 2016.  This result was up by 21.5 per cent compared to September 2015.

For the region as a whole, strong annual rates of sales growth were experienced for all major home types.  The pace of detached sales growth was slower in the City of Toronto and the number of semi-detached sales was down compared to last year.  In both cases, the year-over-year dip in new listings was likely the issue.

“We continued to see strong demand for ownership housing up against a short supply of listings in the Greater Toronto Area in September.  The sustained lack of inventory in many neighbourhoods across the GTA continued to underpin high rates of price growth for all home types,” said Mr. Cerqua.

Both the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark and the average selling price for all home types combined were up strongly on a year-over-year basis in September.  The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark grew by 18 per cent compared to September 2015.  The average selling price was up by 20.4 per cent to $755,755.  It is important to remember that the MLS® HPI provides a price growth measure for a benchmark home, thereby allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison from one year to the next.  The average selling price can be influenced by changes in both market conditions and the mix of homes sold.

“The Toronto Real Estate Board will be closely monitoring how the recent changes to Federal mortgage lending guidelines and capital gains tax exemption rules impact the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area.  While these changes are pointed at the demand for ownership housing, it is important to note that much of the upward pressure on home prices in the GTA has been based on the declining inventory of homes available for sale,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

marketwatchseptember2016Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

Ottawa Tightens Mortgage Requirements and Targets Foreign Money

Ottawa has announced new rules aimed at limiting foreign money into Canadian real estate and ensuring that borrowers take on mortgages they can afford.

“Overall, I believe the housing market is sound, but as minister of finance, I want to make sure we are proactive in assessing and addressing the factors that could lead to excess risk,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in making the announcement Monday in Toronto.

They include a move to close a loophole in the tax laws that allows non-residents to buy homes in Canada, and then get a tax exemption to avoid paying capital gains when they sell the home by claiming it as a principal residence.

Starting now, “an individual who was not a resident in Canada in the year the individual acquired a residence will not be able to claim the exemption for that year,” Morneau said.

Canadians who were legitimate residents at both the time of purchase and time of sale will still be able to take advantage of the principal residence tax exemption, Ottawa says.

Toronto real estate lawyer Bob Aaron says the move is a reasonable step to prevent tax leakage.

“There’s a lot of people who are declaring their homes as principal residences when they’re not,” he said in an interview. “I think it’s more of cracking down on the existing law rather than plugging a loophole.”

In addition to cracking down on tax leakage by foreign money, another change is that from now on, all insured mortgages must undergo a “stress test” that ensures a borrower’s ability to make their mortgage payments at a higher interest rate.

Effectively, that means borrowers will be tested against their ability to pay their mortgage if actual rates were as high as the big bank’s five-year posted mortgage rates, which the Bank of Canada says currently average 4.64 per cent.

That requirement was already in place for many borrowers, including so-called “high-ratio” mortgages for people with small down payments, and borrowers who borrowed money on terms of less than five years.

But from now on, any insured mortgages will be tested against that higher bar. Anyone who already has a mortgage, or who has already applied for mortgage insurance, is exempt from the new rules, which will formally kick in on Oct. 17.

That could have a big impact on buyers.

According to interest rate-comparing website RateHub, a hypothetical borrower with $100,000 in annual income and $40,000 to put down on a house today could qualify for a house worth $665,435 with a mortgage at 2.17 per cent, which three lenders are currently offering, according to the site.

But under the new rules, that same buyer could only qualify to buy a home for $505,762, or 24 per cent less than before the rules kick in. The lender is still willing to offer that lower rate, but the borrower would no longer be allowed to get it under the stricter rules, because his or her finances would be tested as though the mortgage rate is more than twice as high as it is in reality.

That’s why BMO economist Sal Guatieri thinks the new stress test is the more significant change of those announced Monday.

“This measure will make it harder for buyers to qualify for a loan, especially in high-priced regions,” he said.

“This means that many potential buyers won’t qualify for an insured mortgage, which requires the total carrying costs of a home … to consume no more than 39 per cent of gross family income,” Guatieri said.

“The measures announced today should help to reduce the risk of a housing market correction in Vancouver and Toronto and a broader retrenchment in Canadian household spending arising from elevated debts.”

The issue of foreign money’s impact on Canadian housing has come under intense scrutiny in recent months as housing prices have been increased at double-digit annual paces in the two large markets: Toronto and Vancouver.

This summer, the government of B.C. slapped a 15 per cent surtax on foreign buyers in the Metro Vancouver area in an attempt to cool runaway price inflation.

CIBC said it expects that Toronto will have “no choice” but to do the same at some point.

September 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Mid-Month Resale Housing Figures

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 3,847 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System during the first 14 days of September 2016. This result represented a 19.1 per cent increase compared to the first two weeks of September 2015. Annual sales growth was strongest for condominium apartments, but double-digit increases were also noted for low-rise home types on a GTAwide basis.

The supply of listings, or lack thereof, continued to be an issue in the TREB Market Area. The number of new listings was down by 4.4 per cent compared to the same period last year. The decline for the TREB Market Area as a whole was entirely due to a dip in new listings in the City of Toronto. This lack of listings in the ‘416’ area code likely played a role in the slower annual rate of sales growth in the City of Toronto versus the surrounding regions.

Average selling prices were up strongly year-over-year for all major home types. This speaks to the widespread market tightness in the GTA today, with intense competition between buyers of all types of ownership housing.

The conditions underlying strong demand for ownership housing, including relatively healthy labour market conditions and the continuation of low borrowing costs, remain in place. With this in mind, the persistent lack of inventory should result in further robust price growth for the remainder of 2016.

september2016midmonth

Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

July 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Monthly Resale Housing Figures

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that TREB REALTOR® Members reported 9,989 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System in July 2016. At just shy of 10,000 transactions, this was the best result on record for the month of July.

While sales were up on a year-over-year basis, the number of new listings was down over the same period, representing the continuation of a troubling trend in the GTA.

“GTA REALTORS® have been working very hard on behalf of their buyer clients to help them find a home meeting their needs. Unfortunately, listings for single-detached and semi-detached houses and town houses continue to be in short supply. The result has been an increase in pent-up demand and annual rates of price increases well above the rate of inflation. Housing policy is now top of mind for all levels of government. Policy makers need to be focusing on solutions to the sustained lack of low-rise inventory throughout the GTA,” said Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 16.7 per cent in July 2016 compared to the same month a year earlier. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 16.6 per cent year-over-year to $709,825.

“Relatively strong labour market conditions, above-inflation average income growth, and record low borrowing costs have kept many households confident about purchasing a home. As long as very strong buying intentions are up against an extreme shortage of listings, expect home price growth to greatly outpace the rate of inflation,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

June 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Monthly Resale Housing Figures

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 12,794 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in June 2016. This result was 7.5 per cent higher than the 11,905 sales reported in June 2015. In line with the prevailing trend so far this year, the number of new listings was down by 3.8 per cent.

“As I start my term as TREB President, we are certainly in an interesting environment for ownership housing. There is no doubt that demand is at a record level, but would-be home buyers continue to face an uphill battle against a constrained supply of listings, which has perpetuated strong price growth. Buyers and sellers alike continue to benefit from the value a REALTOR® brings to a transaction,” said Mr. Cerqua.

“As the federal, provincial and local levels of government discuss housing policy in the coming months, issues affecting the lack of supply in the GTA should be of paramount importance. TREB will be undertaking, and making public, results of additional research in the second half of 2016, with the goal of proactively adding to the housing policy discussion,” added Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 16 per cent on a year- over-year basis. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by a slightly higher annual rate of 16.8 per cent to $746,546. The single-detached, semi- detached and townhouse market segments led the way in terms of price growth.

“When TREB surveyed consumer intentions for 2016, we found that the majority of GTA households who were likely to purchase a home continued to be pointed towards some form of ground oriented housing. This is why we continue to see strong competition between buyers in many neighbourhoods where supply remains constrained,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

julymarketwatch2016Source: The Toronto Real Estate Board

June 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Mid-Month Resale Housing Figures

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,041 sales through TREB’s MLS® System during the first 14 days of June 2016. This result represented a 7.9 per cent increase compared to 5,598 sales reported for June 2015.

Year-over-year sales growth in the TREB market area was driven by transactions in the regions surrounding the City of Toronto. Sales in the ‘905’ and ‘705’ area codes were up strongly for all major market segments. In contrast, low-rise home sales were down in the City of Toronto compared to the same period in 2015. The annual low-rise sales decline in the ‘416’ area code was not due to a lack of demand, but rather a lack of listings to satisfy the housing needs of would-be home buyers.

The average selling price for the first two weeks of June 2016 was $758,507, which represented a year-over-year increase of 16.7 per cent compared to an average price of $649,741 reported for the same time period in 2015. Double-digit annual rates of average price growth were experienced for all low-rise home types.

Seller’s market conditions certainly remained in place in June, with an annual increase in sales up against an annual decline in new listings. As a result, strong competition between home buyers continued to influence robust rates of price growth.

jun2016midmonthSource: Toronto Real Estate Board

May 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Monthly Resale Housing Figures

Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that there were 12,870 home sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2016. This result represented a new record for the month of May and a 10.6 per cent increase over the same period last year. In contrast, the number of new listings was down over the same time frame by 6.4 per cent. The decline in listings was experienced in both the low-rise and condominium apartment market segments.

“Whether we’re talking about existing homeowners or people looking to purchase for the first time, there is no shortage of buyers in the marketplace today. So, while the record number of home sales through the first five months of 2016 is not necessarily surprising, it does sometimes mask the larger story in the GTA: the shortage of listings, which has resulted in strong upward pressure on home prices,” said Mr. McLean.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 15 per cent year-over-year in May 2016. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 15.7 per cent over the same period. Low-rise home types, which remained in short supply in many GTA neighbourhoods, experienced the strongest price growth.

“Widespread competition between buyers of singles, semis and townhouses across the GTA has underpinned the robust annual rates of price growth experienced so far this year. With this said, however, it is also important to understand that tighter market conditions for condominium apartments have resulted in price growth well above the rate of inflation in this market segment as well,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

marketwatchmay2016Source: The Toronto Real Estate Board

Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s 2015 Fundraising Results

It is my pleasure to announce that in 2015 the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation raised $2.3 million – the most we’ve ever raised in a single year – in support of 200 women’s shelters and violence prevention programs across the country. Together, we have raised more than $22 million since 1998 to become the largest public foundation in Canada dedicated exclusively to supporting women’s shelters and putting an end to domestic violence.

Let’s make 2016 even better! Royal LePage all the way!

May 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Mid-Month Resale Housing Figures

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,010 sales through TREB’s MLS® System during the first 14 days of May 2016. This result represented a 7.1 per cent increase compared to 5,610 sales reported for May 2015.

For low-rise home types, year-over-year sales growth was strongest in the regions surrounding the City of Toronto. The fact that annual rates of sales growth for singles, semis and towns were lower in the ‘416’ area code speaks to the lack of listings in many Toronto neighbourhoods. There are many willing buyers in the marketplace today – the issue is that a substantial number of these households have not been able to find a home that meets their needs.

The average selling price for the first two weeks of May 2016 was $758,626, which represented a year-over-year increase of 16.1 per cent compared to an average price of $653,274 reported for the same time period in 2015. Double-digit annual rates of average price growth were experienced for all major home types.

The annual pace of average price growth for condominium apartments, while lower than that recorded for low-rise home types, was above 10 per cent for both the City of Toronto and surrounding regions. Even with strong new unit completions over the last few years, this market segment has become tighter as well.

midmonthmay2016
Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

April 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Monthly Resale Housing Figures

TORONTO, May 4, 2016 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that there were 12,085 sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System in April 2016. This result, which represented a record for the month of April, was up by 7.4 per cent in comparison to April 2015.

For the TREB market area as a whole, annual sales growth was experienced for all major home types except semi-detached houses. In the City of Toronto, sales were down for detached and semi-detached houses as well as townhouses on a year-over-year basis. This dip in sales in the ‘416’ area code was due to a lack of low-rise listings. Many would-be buyers were not able to find a home that met their needs.

“Demand remained strong for all types of ownership housing. This suggests that Canadians continue to see the value in investing in homeownership, and on May 17, I encourage all homeowners to celebrate with us on National Real Estate Day,” said Mr. McLean.

“While April’s sales result represented a new record for sales, that number could have been even higher if we had benefitted from more supply. In the City of Toronto in particular, some households have chosen not to list their home for sale because of the second substantial Land Transfer Tax and associated administration fee. The lack of available inventory, coupled with record sales, continued to translate into robust annual rates of price growth,” continued Mr. McLean.

Home selling prices continued to trend upward in April. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 12.6 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price was up by 16.2 per cent. The higher growth rate reported for the average home price, as compared to the MLS® HPI, points to a greater share of high-end home sales this year compared to last.

“As we move into the busiest time of the year, in terms of sales volume, strong competition between buyers will continue to push home prices higher. A greater supply of listings would certainly be welcome, but we would need to see a number of consecutive months in which listings growth outpaced sales growth before market conditions become more balanced,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

marketwatchapril2016Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

Fear of Missing Out Leaves Millennials Taking On Big Risk In Housing Market

Gen Y’s fear of missing out on home ownership is right on the money.

Month by month, affordability in the country’s hot markets is slipping away. Every year a first-time buyer waits could end up costing many thousands of dollars as higher prices flow through to bigger mortgage payments.

The average price of a home in Toronto increased to $688,181 at the end of March from $613,933 a year earlier, data from the Canadian Real Estate Association shows. That’s enough to increase the payments on a five-year mortgage at 2.59 per cent by $310 per month, or $18,600 in total over five years. In Vancouver, price increases over the same timespan result in extra mortgage costs of $616 per month and $36,960 over five years (assuming a 10 per cent down payment).

A recent survey from Toronto-Dominion Bank found that 19 per cent of Toronto and Vancouver home owners mentioned a fear of missing out – FOMO, as it’s known on social media – as a top consideration in buying their first home. FOMO is a totally understandable emotion in our housing-obsessed society, and it’s justified by the fundamentals in the hottest markets. Guaranteed, we’re going to see more FOMO home buying. By necessity, a lot of it will only happen with parental financial help.

Let’s understand what we’re getting into here. Almost everyone who ever bought a home thought he or she was making a leap into the unknown. But today’s millennial FOMO buyers are taking on unprecedented levels of risk.

They will have to devote a high proportion of their household earnings to housing costs compared to previous generations, while bearing extra responsibility to save for retirement. Compared to the baby boom generations, fewer millennials will work in jobs with company pensions.

Today’s first-time buyers must also adjust to a slow-growth economy and its impact on the steady year-by-year increase in prosperity we’ve come to expect. It’s best to plan for economic serendipity – bonuses, raises, promotions – to be a rarer occurrence than in previous eras.

A weak economy is keeping interest rates low, and that should continue for a while yet. But if you buy a house today with a 25-year amortization, you have to be prepared for at least modestly higher borrowing costs along the way. People who bought in the 1980s and early 1990s had to contend with shockingly high interest rates, but they got to renew at steadily lower rates over time. The only way we will get lower rates than we have today is if the economy implodes.

Something we’ll call “location risk” must also be considered by FOMO buyers. Houses in suburbia and beyond offer more affordable mortgage payments, but also grinding and expensive commutes that can degrade your quality of life. Other FOMO risks present themselves in the buying process – getting caught up in bidding wars that can only be won with expensive bully offers and waiving sensible conditions in purchase offers like a home inspection. If you’re stretching your finances to the limit in buying, you need every advantage possible in knowing your house’s weak spots.

Emotionally, there’s an additional risk in the form of a possible correction in house prices. If you buy a house today and commit to staying 10-plus years, price declines in the next few years likely won’t mean much in the long run. But in the near term, things could get stressful at home if your FOMO purchase is followed by a market decline.

FOMO buying is a high-risk proposition, but you can’t deny the logic. While some housing markets across the country remain affordable, Toronto, Vancouver and nearby cities are running away from first-time buyers. Few people will discuss this by-product of hot housing. Too many still operate on the idea that buying a first house is always a stretch, but nothing insurmountable if you save diligently and buy sensibly.

The FOMO narrative undersells the damage done by hot markets. Young people aren’t missing out – they’re being incrementally squeezed out by price increases that make mortgages more expensive to carry. Unless millennials work in lucrative jobs or have parents who do, ownership is a struggle some won’t win without compromises like living far from work or sharing a house with friends or family.

Those who do get into the housing market today could be the most precarious generation of buyers ever. All the easy money’s been made in housing, while the risks of owning multiply.

squeezed

Source: Rob Carrick @ The Globe And Mail

March 2016 GTA REALTORS® Release Mid-Month Resale Housing Figures

March 17, 2016 – Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,569 sales through TREB’s MLS® System during the first 14 days of March 2016. The number of transactions was up by 20.3 per cent compared to 3,797 transactions reported during the same period in 2015. For the TREB market area as a whole, double-digit annual rates of sales growth were experienced for all major market segments, with semi-detached house sales up by the greatest rate compared to last year.

The number of new listings reported by TREB Members during the first two weeks of March amounted to 6,689 – a 1.2 per cent decrease, which had its roots in the City of Toronto.
With market conditions tightening compared to last year, strong competition between buyers resulted in the average selling price for March mid-month transactions increasing by 12 per cent year-over-year. Low-rise market segments continued to drive price growth, but the condominium apartment market segment also continued to experience an annual rate of price growth more than double the rate of inflation.

In the City of Toronto, detached and semi-detached house price growth was not as strong compared to the surrounding region. This was due to the fact that fewer higher end homes were sold during the first 14 days of March compared to the same period in 2015.

march2016midmonthSource: The Toronto Real Estate Board

GO Bus Terminal Opens at Mississauga’s Square One

GO riders who use the second busiest bus hub in the regional transit system, now have a sheltered station in which to wait for their ride at the Square One terminal.

The new $6.5 million facility means “customers travelling through the bus terminal will have a more convenient, comfortable and efficient experience getting to where they need to be,” said Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca on Thursday.

The terminal near Station Gate Rd. and Centre View Dr. will serve about 20,000 daily GO bus riders and include staffed ticket windows, fare vending machines, washrooms, a waiting area and monitors displaying bus routes and platforms.

There’s also a new public address system along the bus platforms outside.

The new terminal will connect with the Hurontario LRT. The province announced it would fully fund that $1.6 billion project exactly a year ago, noted Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie.

“More people come to work in Mississauga daily than leave and, over the next two decades, Peel Region will need to accommodate approximately 150,000 jobs and over 300,000 people, many of which will locate right here in downtown Mississauga. Nearly a quarter of that growth is expected to live and work in the area immediately surrounding the Hurontario LRT corridor,” she said.

“People travel from this location not just within Mississauga but as far as Waterloo and Kitchener and to McMaster University, along the 407 corridor across the top and through the eastern parts of the region so this is a really important facility,” said Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig.

“Having the right facilities and services in place for our customers is critical for this very important transit link,” he said.

The new GO station sits north of the Mississauga MiWay bus terminal and the new transitway bus route that won’t be complete until next year.

“We’ve been planning all the different pieces so they all connect together and ultimately provide the best possible service for the customers,” said McCuaig.

Metrolinx has suffered some political heat in Mississauga recently for the construction of a washroom overlooking residential back yards on the new transitway.

The busiest bus terminal in the GO system is at Union Station which sees about 55,000 riders a day.

Source: The Toronto Star

Home In Peel – Affordable Ownership Program Is Back!

[vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][image_with_animation image_url=”41064″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” img_link=”http://www.tanteam.com/home-peel-affordable-ownership-program/”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Home In Peel – Affordable Ownership Program is back for 2016 and registration is now open. To find out more about this program click this link here. If you have any questions contact The TanTeam as soon as you can by emailing to [email protected]

What is the Home in Peel Affordable Ownership Program?

The Home in Peel Affordable Ownership Program is designed to provide moderate income income residents who are currently renting a unit in the Region of Peel (Brampton, Caledon or Mississauga) the opportunity to qualify for down payment loan assistance to buy a home in Peel Region.

This program will assist eligible applicants who have a total gross (pre-tax) household income of $88,900 or less to purchase a resale home in the Region of Peel that does not exceed a purchase price of $330,000.

Happy House Hunting!

-The TanTeam[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Redistribution of Canada’s Workforce Drives Further Price Appreciation in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area

Greater Montreal Area sees signs of a real estate market revival in the first quarter of 2016 

TORONTO, April 7, 2016 – According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey[1] released today, Canada’s residential real estate market showed strong year-over-year price increases in the first quarter of 2016.  The Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto Area (GTA) real estate markets continue to lead the country in home price appreciation, with Canada’s economic landscape supporting robust housing demand in these metropolitan areas.  Additionally, an emerging trend of inter-provincial migration to British Columbia and Ontario from commodity-focused economic regions such as Alberta is expected to put further upward pressure on home prices in these areas in the coming months.  Meanwhile in Quebec, the residential real estate market in the Greater Montreal Area is showing the most promising signs of renewal seen in recent years, posting home price increases and a noticeable surge in unit sales in the first quarter.

The Royal LePage National House Price Composite, compiled from proprietary property value data in 53 of the nation’s largest real estate markets, showed that the price[2] of a home in Canada increased 7.9 per cent year-over-year to $512,621 in the first quarter of 2016.  The price of a two-storey home rose 9.2 per cent year-over-year to $629,177, and the price of a bungalow increased 6.8 per cent to $426,216.  During the same period, the price of a condominium increased 4.0 per cent to $344,491.

“A glance at our national house price composite points to a very strong Canadian real estate market, yet the findings contain extreme regional disparities of the kind we haven’t seen in over a decade,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “Like an economic triumvirate, the impact of rock-bottom interest rates, the low Canadian dollar and a rapidly expanding U.S. workforce are stimulating economic growth and housing demand in our largest metropolitan areas. Conversely in cities like Calgary, the ongoing drags in depressed energy prices and worrisome employment trends have taken a material bite out of sales volumes. As a lagging indicator, home prices in Alberta and Newfoundland are just beginning to adjust to the lower demand.”

In Alberta, year-over-year home price declines have trailed the drops in sales volumes that began in 2015, but are now starting to emerge in varying degrees across the province. Calgary, with its large population of oil company head-office professionals and less affordable housing, is expected to see more of a price adjustment during the year than will be seen in Edmonton, where prices remain relatively flat. In contrast, the GTA and Greater Vancouver markets are skewed in favour of the seller, with a shortage of inventory and growing demand putting upward pressure on prices.

“Redistribution of labour across the country is further reinforcing disparities among housing markets, as the broader impacts of the oil recession on Alberta’s economy take hold.  For the first time in many years, we are witnessing an out-migration trend in the province, as economic conditions and employment prospects dim,” continued Soper. “We expect British Columbia, followed by Ontario, to be the top recipients of new household inflows in the coming year, which will further fuel housing demand and price appreciation in Greater Vancouver and the GTA.  This is in sharp contrast to the situation from 2011 to 2014, and in the mid 2000’s, when a booming energy sector attracted families from all over Canada to Alberta.”

The Royal LePage survey also showed a noticeable divergence between Canada’s two hottest markets: while the GTA sustained its trajectory of an aggregate year-over-year home price increase in the 8 per cent range (8.4 per cent), the Greater Vancouver market accelerated at rarely seen appreciation levels, surpassing a 20 per cent (21.6 per cent) aggregate year-over-year home price increase for the region.

During the first quarter, the Greater Montreal Area real estate market saw signs of renewal, including a dramatic increase in home sales activity, which rose 9.4 per cent year-over-year. In the luxury segment, when looking at condominiums in the $500,000 to $1-million range on the island of Montreal, the year-over-year increase in sales volume jumped to 23 per cent for the quarter and for homes over $1-million, sales volume increased 14 per cent year-over-year. With adequate supply to meet this increased demand, home prices showed moderate growth, posting a 1.8 per cent year-over-year aggregate price increase in the region.

“Following a multi-year period of stalled economic and residential real estate market growth, the Greater Montreal Area is seeing a frankly wonderful upswing in demand and unit sales, which often foreshadows stronger home price appreciation,” said Soper. “While Quebec has been slower to reap the economic benefits of more affordable energy costs in addition to the big three factors driving markets elsewhere in Canada – low interest rates, a lower dollar and expanding U.S. economy – the region is turning a corner.  My vote goes to Montreal as the city most likely to exceed expectations in 2016.”

In addition to low interest rates, the low dollar, and an expanding U.S. economy, in the coming year, Montreal’s housing market is expected to gain traction as a result of strong export performance driven by a steady recovery in the manufacturing and services sectors.  Large infrastructure projects such as work on the Champlain Bridge and on the Turcot Interchange are also expected to contribute to local employment, with the Conference Board of Canada[3] projecting that these two projects alone will reverse three years of decline in Montreal’s construction sector.

“The mood is shifting in Quebec amid a renewed era of political stability and economic promise,” added Soper. “This year we expect to see improved business and consumer confidence in the province, which will result in stronger demand for larger purchases such as houses. Home buyers are well positioned as housing is much more affordable than in other large business centres such as Vancouver and Toronto.”

Outside of British Columbia and Ontario, year-over-year changes in house prices were generally modest in the first quarter.  In Atlantic Canada, Moncton saw the largest gains, posting an aggregate home price increase of 3.4 per cent, while the remainder of the Atlantic regions surveyed saw slight to moderate declines. In other parts of Western Canada, Winnipeg home prices increased 3.8 per cent year-over-year, while Regina and Saskatoon, feeling some of the impact of declines in commodity prices and net-migration, saw slight decreases of 1.1 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.

“The economic miracle that is contemporary Canada is driven in significant measure by our success at attracting quality immigrants to our land. While this is not new news, the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency has put renewed global focus on the often stark differences in opportunity and attitude that exist on either side of our huge border. In what started as a media prank, Canada’s attractiveness as a more realistic place to pursue life, liberty and happiness is gaining traction even in America. While we may just be a curiosity for many in the United States, the Cape Breton advertising campaign urging Americans to move north, as well as the record number of Americans googling ‘how to move to Canada’ reinforces the worldwide strength of brand-Canada as a prosperous and tolerant place to raise a family,” concluded Soper.

Source: Royal LePage Media Room