Tag Archives: Elections

Toronto Oct 25 18

GTA new home market shows some improvement in September

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GTA new home market shows some improvement in September

Toronto Oct 25 18

The GTA new home market saw increases in September over the previous month, both in terms of new project openings and new home sales, particularly sales of condominiums, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

There were 1,747 new homes sold in September, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new-home market intelligence – a sizeable increase over August’s 974 new home sales. Condominiums in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units accounted for 1,494 new home sales in September, down 20 per cent from September 2017 and down 20 per cent from the 10-year average. Single-family home sales, with 253 detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses) sold, were down 28 per cent from last September and down 77 per cent from the 10-year average.


With 10 condominium apartment projects and seven single-family home projects opening in September – a significant increase from August’s two project openings – remaining inventory increased to 13,952 units, comprised of 8,820 condo apartment units and 5,132 single-family units. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction, and in completed buildings.

“It appears more buyers – and builders – are starting to come in from the sidelines,” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “The increase from August in both new condominium apartment sales and the number of units in new projects launched was somewhat stronger than the typical September bump alone would suggest.”


David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO, says it’s all welcome news, but points out that consumers still lack a range of options in the new home market, due to lack of supply. The 8,820 units remaining in the condo apartment inventory represent about five months’ worth of inventory, based on the pace of sales in the past 12 months. A healthy new home market should have nine to 12 months’ worth of inventory.

This shortfall in the supply of condominiums partly accounts for the closing gap between the prices of condos and single-family homes in the GTA. In September, the benchmark price for condo apartments rose again, to $789,643, up 19.4 per cent over the last 12 months. The benchmark price for single-family homes softened again to $1.12 million, down 7.1 per cent over the last 12 months.


“In the lead-up to the municipal elections, BILD succeeded in raising housing supply and affordability as major election issues,” says Wilkes. “Now we look forward to working with our municipal partners to address the barriers that stand in the way of building the housing our region needs to accommodate growth. Some straightforward steps include making sure that government charges on new homes are fair, funding and building critical infrastructure, cutting red tape and speeding up building permits and inspections.”


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John Tory

GTA mayoral elections – who won and where they stand on housing

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GTA mayoral elections – who won and where they stand on housing

John Tory

Housing policy, affordability and supply were among the key issues in many municipalities leading up to the Oct. 22 Ontario elections.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and others did their best to alert voters to the issues, and to gage candidates on how well they understood them.

Homes Publishing did its own assessment of a selection of GTA municipalities in the context of housing development.

But now that the results are in (well, most of them), let’s take a look how some of the notable races shook down, and the various policies of the newly elected mayors, with help from BILD.



Tom Mrakas (New)
Housing and growth: Proposes to protect Aurora’s Stable Neighbourhoods from “monster home” infill, by using planning tools such as Interim Control By-laws. Also wants to ensure better land use planning decisions are made through the Local Appeals Body and by implementing a Design Review Panel. He intends to uphold the Official Plan and continue to oppose golf course redevelopment. Improving municipal infrastructure, through complete streets, is also a priority.
Taxes: Proposes to reduce the tax levy.



Patrick Brown (new)
Housing: Proposes to create a streamlined, more efficient approvals process at City Hall for new home construction and renovations across all levels of affordability. Proposes to develop a housing strategy that encourages neighbourhood-sensitive development of rooming houses, basement apartments and in-law suites.



Marianne Meed Ward (New)
Growth: Opposes overdevelopment of Burlington and will seek to control growth by reducing provisions in the Official Plan, as well as accept growth only when infrastructure can handle it.
Housing: Intends to secure affordable housing with inclusionary zoning and require new development to provide a percentage of senior-friendly units. Intends to set greenspace per population targets within reasonable walking distance through prioritizing parkland over cash-in-lieu for major new developments.



Allan Thompson
Housing and growth: Supports housing and growth management initiatives that will maintain the characteristics of Caledon’s communities and create opportunities for residents and future residents of live, work and retire.



Virginia Hackson
Housing: Proposes to complete the first phase of growth of 7,000 homes. In terms of transportation corridors, plans to work with the Mayor of Bradford to solve gridlock on roads between Hwys. 404 and 400.
Infrastructure: Proposes to work with the Province and local MPP to deal with the delay of the Upper York Sewage Solution which will ultimately eliminate the Holland Landing Sewage Lagoons. Proposes to address the need for quality broadband in the community.



Rick Bonnette
Housing: Proposes to continue to manage difficult conversations around intensification and growth the Province has mandated and the development residents are seeing.



Steve Pellegrini
Plans to focus on business growth, the new municipal office, the library and seniors centre expansion project, as well as road beautification in the township.



Bonnie Crombie
Housing: Intends to institute an Inclusionary Zoning policy to incentivize the building of new, affordable units. Proposes to form partnerships with leaders in affordable housing to get new buildings in the ground on a faster pace.
Environment: Proposes to work with staff to bolster Green building standards that will improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas and improve urban forest canopy.
Development: Supports Mississauga’s office for a Development Ambassador.



John Taylor
Economy: Top priorities include jobs and the economy, community building and parks recreation and trails. Wants to the Renew Economic Development Strategy and increase jobs in the community. Grow the city’s broadband company to deliver affordable high-speed internet to local businesses. Proposes to keep taxesbelow GTA average.
Growth: Proposes to meet regularly with existing employers and grow local business base.
Community Building: Proposes to protect neighbourhoods – intensify in the right places.
Housing: New housing developments must include options for low/moderate-income families. Create a community inclusivity round table and increase senior-friendly housing and recreation.



Rob Burton
Growth: Proposes to continue to protect Glen Abbey through the use of Cultural Heritage Landscape provisions and court challenges.
Environment: Proposes to focus on protecting greenspace and the environment and controlling growth.



Dan Carter (New)
Growth/Housing/Transit: A 4-Pillar Platform includes creating affordable, vibrant, healthy communities that invests in active transportation networks and creates employment opportunities with industries.



Dave Barrow
Growth: Proposes to continue with the Town’s economic vitality, build a strong community, manage our growth to respect the existing neighbourhoods and lead a responsive and efficient government.
Housing: Proposes to work with the Province and the Region to increase the rental housing supply, maintain the existing rental supply and add affordable ownership homes. Allowing secondary suites in existing homes will also create new housing once new by-laws that monitor the neighbourhoods are in place. Also believes the Town needs to review and update its 10-year-old Development Plan in order to process new development applications. Zoning By-laws also need to be brought into the “urban” town.



John Tory
Housing: Proposes to build 40,000 affordable rental units over 12 years. Leverage City lands, including lands surrounding TTC Stations.
Property Taxes: Keep property taxes at or below the rate of inflation. Supported City Council’s plan to implement water rate increases dedicated to improving storm and wastewater infrastructure.
Transit: Continue to build out the transit network plan – SmartTrack.



Dave Barton
Growth and development: Proposes a seven-point platform, a main concern is the competing interest between farmland and “irresponsible and ill-considered development.” Wants to ensure that growth has clear collaboration with the livelihood of people who depend on the land.



Maurizio Bevilacqua
Taxes: Promises to keep Vaughan as one of the lowest taxed municipalities in the GTA. Focus on transit and roads to keep Vaughan moving. Working closely with government partners at all levels to ensure wise investments for new transit initiatives and improvements including the Yonge Subway, VIVANext, as well as road building and widening.
Innovation: Will transform the City of Vaughan into a hub for education, culture, sports and the arts by building the infrastructure required to achieve excellence and improve accessibility.
Other: Continue to excel in environmental stewardship. Support and attract small and large businesses to Vaughan.



Iain Lovatt (New)
Growth: Proposes to preserve heritage that is integrated with future development. Integrating heritage built form into new developments as well as establishing Heritage Conservation Districts and site plan bylaws in heritage areas in town are identified a must.
Development: Within the first 100 days, hopes to assemble a meeting of commercial-industrial landowners to get everyone on the same page, about the 404 corridor and the servicing for the area going forward. Believes that these underserviced and underutilized lands represent about $1 billion in new tax assessment for Whitchurch-Stouffville.



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Build For Growth: Help Make Housing A Priority

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Build For Growth: Help Make Housing A Priority

Help Make Housing a Priority in the Municipal Elections

Are you or your loved ones planning to look for a new condo or house in the GTA in the near future? Then you will want to pay special attention to the municipal elections coming up on October 22.

That’s because municipal governments have the most direct influence over new housing — what type will get built, how many units and where they will be located. If we want to be able to find new homes that suit our needs, at prices we can afford, we need municipal leaders who will make housing a priority and take action on increasing housing supply and affordability in our region.

With 115,000 people coming to live in the GTA every year, our region is projected to grow to 9.7 million residents by 2041. We should be building 55,000 new homes every year to keep up with housing demand, yet only 44,000 homes were built last year. A major reason for this shortfall is the sheer amount of regulation, a lot of it out of date, that slows down building and development. As a result, it now takes about 10 years to complete a lowrise or highrise project in the GTA. And because housing is in short supply, it is becoming less and less affordable, with government fees, taxes and charges further adding to the prices of new homes.

In the lead-up to the municipal elections, our Build for Growth campaign is putting forward a four-point plan on how local governments can increase housing affordability and supply. First of all, we are asking GTA municipalities to make sure government fees, taxes and charges applied to new homes are fair and equitable. Currently, fees applied by all levels of government can account for almost a quarter of the cost of a new home; those levied by municipalities typically make up more than half the total burden and are skyrocketing. These costs can price new homebuyers out of the market.

Second, municipalities need to prioritize the funding and building of good, reliable infrastructure, including roads, transit, parks, water and wastewater facilities. Without this crucial infrastructure in place, the building of new homes slows down or stops completely.

Third, local governments should streamline the planning approval process, which unnecessarily slows down development. Municipalities should pre-designate and pre-zone land for development, update local Official Plans and zoning bylaws, simplify the list of conditions for municipal approvals and encourage the province to expedite outstanding environmental assessments.

And finally, we are suggesting that municipalities adopt a Standard of Service Excellence for building permits and inspections. Speeding up these processes will make it quicker and easier for homeowners to renovate their homes or build secondary suites or laneway housing, which can help increase housing supply in established neighbourhoods.

Would you like to help make housing a priority in the municipal elections? We invite you to visit the Build for Growth campaign website, BuildForGrowth.ca, to get more information about the issues and send a letter to your municipal candidate to let him or her know that you care about housing issues.

DAVE WILKES is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).



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