Tag Archives: Garry Bhaura

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Condos continue to provide affordable option for new-home buyers

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Condos continue to provide affordable option for new-home buyers

Greater Toronto Area realtors reported 4,731 condominium apartment sales through TREB’s MLS System in the first quarter of 2019. This means results were down by 6.8 per cent compared to Q1 of 2018.

As for new condominium apartment, listings were up by 2.4 per cent compared to Q1 2018, with 8,222 listings added in 2019 versus 8,029 listings added in the first three months of 2018.

I’d like to say that while we experienced a slightly better-supplied condo market in the first quarter of 2019, the market segment remained tight enough to retain the highest year-over-year rate of price growth compared to other major home types. Condos continue to provide prospective buyers with a relatively affordable housing option in the GTA, especially given the impact of the OSFI-mandated mortgage stress test.

The average price of a condominium apartment increased by 4.5 per cent from $533,520 in Q1 2018 to $557,377 in Q1 2019. Year-over-year price growth in the city of Toronto, which accounted for 69 per cent of transactions, was slightly higher at 5.4 per cent, resulting in an average price of $603,243.

The completion of new condominium apartment projects can certainly influence both the ownership and rental segments when it comes to the condo market. According to CMHC, condo apartment completions were up substantially year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, which could account for an uptick in condo ownership and rental listings in Q1 2019. Conversely, condo apartment completions were down year-over-year in Q1 2019, which could arguably impact listings in the opposite manner over the next three months.

The condominium apartment rental market remained very tight through the first three months of 2019. Average one- and two-bedroom rents were up well above the rate of inflation on a year-over-year basis in the first quarter. However, the condo rental market also benefited from an increase in the number of units listed, resulting in more choice for prospective renters. However, we would need to see a number of quarters with listings growth outstripping rental transaction growth in order for the market to become more balanced.

As a consumer, it’s easy to stay up to date about the GTA real estate market by following us on social, or if you want to search GTA Listings, updated in real time, visit trebhome.com.

Garry Bhaura is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him At Trebpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit Trebhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting trebcommercial.com.

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Behind the numbers, Breaking down the market in March 2019

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Behind the numbers, Breaking down the market in March 2019

March 2019 sales figures followed a broader trend for the first quarter, with sales inline with the number of transactions reported through TREB’s MLS System during the first three months of 2018. Total March sales, at 7,187, were virtually unchanged from the number of sales reported in march 2018 (7,228). However, the March new listings statistic suggested that the market continues to be hampered by a lack of listings. New listings for March 2019 were down by 5.1 per cent compared to March 2018.

On the pricing front, the MLS Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 2.6 per cent year-over-year in March and the average selling price was up by 0.5 per cent to $788,335.

TAXES, OSFI AND SUPPLY

Whether it be proposed increases to the Toronto Municipal Land Transfer Tax, the strict OSFI-mandated mortgage stress test guidelines, or the low levels of housing stock available for purchase, there’s no doubt that relief is needed for the GTA housing market.

Indeed, the OSFI stress test continues to impact home buyers’ ability to qualify for a mortgage and TREB continues to press for a review of OSFI provisions and mortgage lending guidelines, including more flexibility around stress test provisions and allowable amortization periods for insured mortgages.

Similarly, while TREB commends the City of Toronto on the recently announced Housing TO – 2020-2030 Action Plan, a process we’re advising the City on, we question some of the City’s proposed sources of revenue that will be used for its implementation. Namely, a recently proposed increase to the Municpal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT) on higher priced properties to fund the Housing Allowance Program. This tax is problematic because the MLTT is not a sustainable revenue source. This became clear during the recent City budget process. Plus, additional MLTT on higher priced homes could cause a trickle down effect, negatively impacting the supply of homes throughout the housing price continuum by preventing people from “moving up” the continuum.

Finally, while sales continue to trend downward when compared to the record highs seen in 2016 and 2017, supply is receding as well and by an even greater margin. This lack of available supply has created increased competition between buyers, thereby driving up prices and amplifying housing affordability issues in the city.

It’s clear that all three of these issues need to be addressed and TREB will continue to lobby all levels of government for housing and housing related policies that are fair to home buyers, sellers and renters alike.

Garry Bhaura is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit trebhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting

trebcommercial.com

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Behind the numbers , A deeper look into the 2018 GTA housing market

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Behind the numbers , A deeper look into the 2018 GTA housing market

The story of the GTA real estate market in 2018 was one of moderation, with improvement of market conditions in the second half of the year.

Sales, listings and average selling price were all down compared to 2017: there were 77,426 transactions (down 16.1 per cent), 155,823 new listings (down 12.7 per cent), and an overall average selling price of $787,300 (down 4.3 per cent).

In the first half of the year, it’s likely that many would-be buyers chose to delay purchasing a home due to higher borrowing costs and the new mortgage stress test, which could have contributed to the double digit decline in the number of transactions.

On the flip side, a decline in listings, contributed to increased competition between buyers looking to find a home that meets their needs. In turn, this fuelled a resumption of moderate year-over-year price growth in the second half of 2018.

It’s also true that certain segments of the market performed better than others from a pricing perspective. For instance, home prices were up slightly in the city of Toronto where a large proportion of sales were of condos. The condo market was the tightest market segment last year, with substantial competition between buyers who were searching for relatively affordable ownership housing options.

It is important to remember that TREB’s market area is made up of over 500 communities and market conditions obviously unfold differently across these communities. This is why it’s important to work with a professional TREB member realtor who is familiar with local market conditions in your areas of interest.

For information on the GTA real estate market in 2018 and in December, check out the infograph accompanying this article

GARRY BHAURA is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the Greater Toronto Area. You can contact him At TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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Millennials Concerned About Housing

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Millennials Concerned About Housing

Poll shows they lack confidence in the affordability of homes in the GTA

Surveying 1,503 GTA residents on behalf of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) and the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), a recent Ipsos poll shows there is great concern among GTA millennials that they will be unable to afford a home in the GTA. However, there is some optimism from this group regarding their views on housing supply for new residents.

GTA residents also expressed a lack of confidence about the likelihood their children will be able to remain in the communities where they grew up.

Here are some key findings from the Ipsos poll:

Interestingly, although millennials are concerned about the ability to own a home, they are also the most optimistic group regarding housing supply, with 41 per cent of them believing that the GTA is well prepared to provide housing for the number of new residents that settle here every year. That is substantially higher than those aged 35 to 54 (31 per cent) and those over 55 (27 per cent).

When choosing a new home, 60 per cent of GTA residents say they value a neighbourhood that is walkable and bikeable in addition to being within close proximity to shopping, entertainment and government services. This is closely followed by those who prefer access to convenient transit (56 per cent) and close proximity to work and school (54 per cent).

Nearly 7 out of 10 respondents feel that their children will be unable to afford a home in the community where they grew up. This group of respondents agrees that it is important for young families to be able to afford to live and work within the GTA without having to deal with long commutes.

When asked, “To what extent do you strongly or somewhat agree or disagree with the following”:

  • 92 per cent agree that the dream of homeownership is becoming more difficult to achieve for young people living in their city.
  • 86 per cent agree that it is important that young families can afford to live and work within the GTA without having to commute over an hour to get to work.
  • 39 per cent agree that there are enough homes being built in their city to help keep housing affordable.
  • 33 per cent agree that the GTA is well prepared to provide housing for roughly 115,000 new residents that settle here each year.
  • 33 per cent agree that their children (or their friends’ children) will be able to afford a home in my community when they grow up.

The best public policy is proactive, not reactive. We hope these poll results demonstrate that the time for municipal decision makers to start thinking about housing choice and supply for all GTA residents who want to own a home is now.

The results of the poll are accurate to within +/- 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all adults in the GTA been polled.

Garry Bhaura is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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Real Insight: Behind the Numbers

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Real Insight: Behind the Numbers

A deeper look into the GTA housing market

as president of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) for 2018/2019, I’m excited to use this column to help break down the numbers behind the GTA real estate market.

We saw continued positive signs in the market in July 2018, with strong growth in both the number of home sales and the average selling price compared to July 2017.

At 6,961, July sales were up by more than 18 per cent compared to the same month last year. The average price for these sales was $782,129, up by almost 5 per cent compared to July 2017.

These are certainly encouraging figures for the health of the real estate market, which is a key economic engine, and point to initial signs that some people who had moved to the sidelines due to the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, as well as changes to mortgage lending guidelines, have begun to re-enter the market.

Prioritizing Housing Policy Issues

Starting with the recent provincial election and looking forward to the upcoming municipal elections this fall, the TREB has been busy working with elected officials and candidates to ensure that homeownership and housing affordability are a priority on the agendas of policymakers at all levels.

In order to truly make strides in terms of housing affordability, governments must prioritize increasing housing supply, especially the missing middle housing options (home types that bridge the gap between detached houses and condominium apartments), and reducing tax burdens, such as land transfer taxes.

On the latter point, we have clear evidence that residents agree. In a recent poll of 1,200 GTA residents conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in May 2018, 77 per cent of respondents said they supported reducing the provincial land transfer tax, while 68 per cent supported repealing it. Similarly, 76 per cent supported reducing the Toronto municipal land transfer tax, while 69 per cent supported repealing it. Most residents are opposed to land transfer taxes because they are a barrier to homeownership and discourage individuals and families from right-sizing, further constraining the supply of homes available for purchase.

We look forward to working with all elected officials to help provide effective solutions to housing affordability issues such as these and will continue to speak out for homebuyers, sellers and renters.

I also look forward to keeping you informed and updated on activity impacting the GTA’s housing market in the coming months.

GARRY BHAURA is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 48,000 professional realtor members in the greater toronto area. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. if commercial property is what interests you, contact a treB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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Real Insight: Behind The Numbers

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Real Insight: Behind The Numbers

A deeper look into the GTA housing market

As president of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) for 2018/2019, I’m excited to use this column to help break down the numbers behind the GTA real estate market.

We saw continued positive signs in the market in July 2018, with strong growth in both the number of home sales and the average selling price compared to July 2017.

At 6,961, July sales were up by more than 18 per cent compared to the same month last year. The average price for these sales was $782,129, up by almost 5 per cent compared to July 2017.

These are certainly encouraging figures for the health of the real estate market, which is a key economic engine, and point to initial signs that some people who had moved to the sidelines due to the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, as well as changes to mortgage lending guidelines, have begun to re-enter the market.

PRIORITIZING HOUSING POLICY ISSUES

Starting with the provincial election last month and looking forward to the upcoming municipal elections this fall, the TREB has been busy working with elected officials and candidates to ensure that homeownership and housing affordability are a priority on the agendas of policymakers at all levels.

In order to truly make strides in terms of housing affordability, governments must prioritize increasing housing supply, especially the missing middle housing options (home types that bridge the gap between detached houses and condominium apartments), and reducing tax burdens, such as land transfer taxes.

On the latter point, we have clear evidence that residents agree. In a recent poll of 1,200 GTA residents conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in May 2018, 77 per cent of respondents said they supported reducing the provincial land transfer tax, while 68 per cent supported repealing it. Similarly, 76 per cent supported reducing the Toronto municipal land transfer tax, while 69 per cent supported repealing it. Most residents are opposed to land transfer taxes because they are a barrier to homeownership and discourage individuals and families from right-sizing.

We look forward to working with all elected officials to help provide effective solutions to housing affordability issues such as these and will continue to speak out for homebuyers, sellers and renters.

Garry Bhaura is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. You can contact him at TREBpres@trebnet.com. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.

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