Monthly Report on Greater Toronto Real Estate

GTA REALTORS® REPORT MONTHLY RESALE MARKET FIGURES

TORONTO, February 4, 2015 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced a strong start to 2015, with robust year-over-year sales and average price growth in January. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,355 home sales through the TorontoMLS system during the first month of the year. This result represented a 6.1 per cent increase over January 2014. During the same period, new listings were up by 9.5 per cent. 

“The January results represented good news on multiple fronts. First, strong sales growth suggests home buyers continue to see housing as a quality long-term investment, despite the recent period of economic uncertainty. Second, the fact that new listings grew at a faster pace than sales suggests that it has become easier for some people to find a home that meets their needs,” said Mr. Etherington.

The average selling price for January 2015 home sales was up by 4.9 per cent year-over-year to $552,575. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite benchmark was up by 7.5 percent compared to January 2014. 

“Home price growth is forecast to continue in 2015. Lower borrowing costs will largely mitigate price growth this year, which means affordability will remain in check. The strongest rates of price growth will be experienced for low-rise home types, including singles, semis and town houses. However, robust end-user demand for condo apartments will result in above-inflation price growth in the high-rise segment as well,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Summary of TorontoMLS Sales and Average Price January 1 – 31
2015 2014
Sales Average Price New Listings Sales Average Price New Listings

City of Toronto (“416”)

1,561 $581,477 3,912 1,540 $551,841 3,586

Rest of GTA (“905”)

2,794 $536,428 5,684 2,563 $512,018 5,176

GTA

4,355 $552,575 9,596 4,103 $526,965 8,762
TorontoMLS Sales & Average Price  By Home Type January 1 – 31
Sales Average Price
416 905 Total 416 905 Total

Detached

451 1,545 1,996 948,713 648,233 716,127

Yr./Yr. % Change

-2.0% 10.0% 7.1% 7.0% 4.2% 4.2%

Semi-Detached

128 290 418 667,452 455,653 520,510

Yr./Yr. % Change

-3.8% 2.8% 0.7% 7.2% 9.4% 7.8%

Townhouse

155 518 673 502,267 421,443 440,058

Yr./Yr. % Change

-9.9% 4.2% 0.6% 14.5% 6.2% 8.0%

Condo Apartment

809 392 1,201 382,458 310,045 358,823

Yr./Yr. % Change

6.2% 23.3% 11.2% 4.5% 3.6% 3.6%

CMHC study: Families benefit significantly from living in their own homes

CMHC study: Families benefit significantly from living in their own homes

A study conducted by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) highlighted the importance of affordable housing for Canadian families. It concluded that moving into one’s own home leads to major improvements in housing conditions, child well-being and school performance, health, and personal and family life.

Family in front of future house

The study is based on the results of a 2012 Canada-wide survey of families who purchased a home through the Habitat for Humanity Canada since 2000. It showed that children benefit significantly from living in their own home. Overall well-being and school performance improved with the majority reporting increased confidence and behaviour, higher grades and better attendance.

Living in one’s own home has a positive impact on health with 78% of the Habitat home buyers reporting that their own health and the health of their families is ‘better now’ than in their previous, mostly, rental housing.

While many participants said their housing costs increased since becoming home owners, the majority also said they were better off financially and had more financial control.

Finally, home owners are engaged community members. The study found that new Habitat families’ participation in volunteer activities increased from 52% to nearly 61% since purchasing a home.

Ontario REALTORS® understand the importance of affordable housing. Since 1967 OREA members have been active supporters of a variety of shelter-based charities including Habitat for Humanity through the REALTOR® Care Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has granted more than $2-million on behalf of the Ontario REALTORS® to shelter-based organizations across the province.

REALTORS® are also vocal supporters of governmental policies that ensure Ontario homes stay affordable. While the Toronto Real Estate Board is championing the fight against the Toronto land transfer tax, OREA is actively voicing its concerns to the province in efforts to prevent a potential spread of this tax to the entire province.

For more information on this or any other Real Estate/Mortgage matter, please feel free to contact Kyle Bouchard anytime at 647-287-8744 or info@kylebouchard.ca

Torontonians continue to disapprove of city’s land transfer tax

Torontonians continue to disapprove of city’s land transfer tax

CalculationsA new Ipsos Reid poll released on June 14 demonstrates strong public support for the elimination of the Toronto land transfer tax (LTT).

The poll conducted on behalf of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) between May 10, 2013 and May 22, 2013, and found that:

– Two-thirds (65%) of Torontonians support plans to eliminate the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;

– Support for eliminating the land transfer tax with a gradual phase-out approach, as suggested by Mayor Ford, is strong (65%);

– 90% of recent home buyers feel that they received little or no added value in municipal services for the Land Transfer Tax that they paid to the City;

– 4% of home buyers in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area say they are more likely to purchase a home outside of Toronto specifically because of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;

– 65% of home buyers who currently live in Toronto say they are more likely to leave Toronto, when they purchase their next home, specifically because of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.

Previous research proved that the tax slows down the market, hurts local economy and makes municipalities less attractive places to live.

As a result of Toronto’s LTT, average home buyers pay close to $12,000 in land transfer taxes, about half to the provincial government and half to the city. A recent study by the C.D. Howe Institute demonstrated that LTT dampened home sales by 16 per cent in Toronto resulting in 3,500 fewer transactions. Moreover, the city lost on $140 million in spin off revenue resulting from the new homeowners renovating and spending on various services.

While the city of Toronto is the only municipality in Ontario with the power to levy the municipal LTT, OREA is keeping a close eye on any signs of spreading the tax to other parts of the province. In order to draw attention to the importance of the issue, OREA made it a focus of the 2013 budget consultation process, which included a formal written submission, presentation in front of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs  as well as meetings with dozens of provincial MPPs and Ministers, including the Minister of Finance.

OREA is continuing its active work on the file in order to prevent Ontario municipalities from receiving the ability to levy the second LTT.

For more information on this or any other Real Estate/Mortgage matter, please feel free to contact Kyle Bouchard anytime at 647-287-8744 or info@kylebouchard.ca

Toronto house prices hit record high in May

Toronto house prices hit record high in May

The average price of a house in the GTA hit a record $542,174 in May.

There's no signs of a bursting bubble in real estate numbers released Wednesday.

MARK BLINCH / REUTERS

There’s no signs of a bursting bubble in real estate numbers released Wednesday.

By: Susan Pigg Business Reporter

Toronto’s housing market continues to defy the odds, with prices up an average of 5.4 per cent in May, year over year, despite cool, wet weather that has put a bit of a damper on the spring buying and selling.

The average price of a house in the GTA hit a record $542,174, up from $514,567 in May of 2012, according to May sales figures released Wednesday by the Toronto Real Estate Board .

Even condos saw price gains of 1.2 per cent in the City of Toronto — and just under one per cent in the 905 region. The number of condos sold in the GTA fell 9.3 per cent last month compared to May 2012, but for the first time in months, that figure wasn’t in the double digits.

There are no signs of a bursting bubble. In fact, indications are that the condo market is “rebalanced,” says condo market research firm Urbanation, as developers have held back on new projects and first-time buyers seemed to be out looking again in May.

The average price of a condo in the City of Toronto rose to $372,768 in May and $293,398 in the 905 region, according to TREB.

But “the market will be tested” in 2014 and 2015 when condos that have sold over the last couple of years begin construction or start flooding into the market, said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist for CIBC World Markets, which could help drive down prices as well as record-high rents.

Even building permits are pointing to surprising signs of renewed life in the housing sector where starts have been dropping since last fall: Some $7 billion worth of building permits were issued by Canadian municipalities in April, up 10.5 per cent from March.

Analysts had been anticipating a four per cent decline. The increase was mainly because of condominium construction in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, according to Statistics Canada. It the second-highest month for condo permits ever, noted Ben Rabidoux, a housing analyst with M. Hanson Advisors.

While GTA home sales remain soft overall, except for detached houses in the City of Toronto where transactions and prices were both up three per cent year over year, “the sales picture in the GTA has improved markedly over the past two months,” said TREB president Ann Hannah in a statement.

The MLS Composite Benchmark price — an average of home sales with extremes averaged out — was up by 2.8 per cent year over year-benchmark.

The GTA remains on track to see price growth, overall for 2013, of 3.5 per cent, said Jason Mercer, TREB’s senior manager of market analysis.

Toronto remains plagued by a shortage of inventory, with demand far outstripping supply, accounting for much of the price growth. While demand for houses remains strong, new listings just aren’t growing and realtors say some sellers are holding off listing in hopes prices will take off again.

The average days on market was up slightly year over year, to 23 days last month compared to 21 days a year ago.

The average price of detached homes averaged $676,797 in May, up 5.5 per cent in the 416 region to $864,536 and $602,576 in the 905 region, according to TREB.

Semi-detached homes were up 4.1 per cent to an average $496,120 across the GTA with the biggest growth in the 416 region where average prices were up almost 8 per cent to $633,625 compared to $409,632, a 2.3 per increase, in the 905 regions.

Townhouse sales saw the biggest decline in sales next to condos, with transactions down 7.3 per cent across the GTA. Average prices, however, came in just under $400,000.

The average townhome sold for $463,772 in the 416 region, up .2 per cent year over year, while prices in the 905 region hit $375,576, up 4.4 per cent over last May.