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GTA home prices continue to rise

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GTA home prices continue to rise

Toronto homes web

Greater Toronto Area average home prices continued their upward trajectory in November, rising 3.5 per cent year-over-year to $788,345, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

GTA realtors report 6,251 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS system in November 2018, down by 14.7 per cent compared to November 2017, when there was a temporary upward shift in demand caused by the looming OSFI-mandated stress test at the end of last year.

“New listings were actually down more than sales on a year-over-year basis in November,” President Garry Bhaura says. “This suggests that, in many neighbourhoods, competition between buyers may have increased. Relatively tight market conditions over the past few months have provided the foundation for renewed price growth.”

On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were down by 3.4 per cent compared to October 2018.  The average selling price after preliminary seasonal adjustment was down by 0.8 per cent, compared to October 2018.

Average home prices, November

Toronto (416)
2018: $842,483
2017: $803,540

Rest of GTA (905)
2018: $750,721
2017: $732,848

GTA
2018: $788, 345
2017: $761,410

“Home types with lower average price points have been associated with stronger rates of price growth over the past few months,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis. “Given the impact of the OSFI-mandated mortgage stress test and higher borrowing costs on affordability, it makes sense that the condo apartment and semi-detached market segments experienced relatively stronger rates of price growth in November, as market conditions in these segments remained tight or tightened respectively over the past year.”

Looking at the housing market from a policy perspective, TREB says it is encouraged with the provincial government’s recent announcement and on-going public consultation regarding a housing supply action plan.

“Housing supply remains a key issue in the GTA market,” says TREB CEO John Di Michele. “More specifically, an adequate supply and appropriate mix of housing types must be part of the conversation, as has been recognized by the provincial government in their consultation documents. Transit supportive and gentle density ‘missing middle’ housing should be a priority.”

 

GTA average prices and percentage gain by home type, November 2018

Detached: $1.01M, 1.3%
Semi-detached: $791,760, 8.3%
Townhome: $647,418, 3.1%
Condo: $556,723, 7.5%

TREB has commissioned research on these subjects and is holding a Market Outlook Economic Summit on Feb. 6, 2019.

“TREB is also encouraged that the provincial government remains committed to public transit expansion,” adds Di Michele. “TREB has long advocated for improvements to the Greater Golden Horseshoe transit and transportation network, and feels the time is right to have a conversation about the level of provincial and municipal responsibility that would be the most efficient arrangement to realize subway expansion sooner in Toronto, and the GTA, as this will impact the housing market.”

 

RELATED READING

GTA new home market gains further momentum in October

Delays in approval process contributing to housing affordability issue in GTA

7 factors that will affect GTA housing in 2019 – and 5 reasons to consider buying NOW

 

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Source: Century 21 Canada

Canada’s most and least expensive places to buy – and guess where Toronto is

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Canada’s most and least expensive places to buy – and guess where Toronto is

Source: Century 21 Canada
Source: Century 21 Canada

In yet another potential dagger in the heart of prospective first-time homebuyers, a new study from Century 21 Canada underlines the growing affordability issue in Toronto.

The price-per-square-foot (ppsf) of downtown Toronto rose more than 10 per cent in the last year and continues to top Ontario home prices. Meanwhile, prices rose and fell turbulently in GTA suburbs and other communities in the province.

Source: Century 21 Canada
Source: Century 21 Canada

The ppsf of a condo in downtown Toronto rose to $903 from $819 last year, making Toronto Canada’s second most expensive city for homes, after Metro Vancouver. Meanwhile, the ppsf for a detached house in Markham and Richmond Hill each fell 24 per cent to $379 and $445 respectively, while condos in Peterborough rose to $255. Home prices in Ottawa and Guelph were more stable, rising 4.65 per cent to $225 and 4.5 per cent to $397 ppsf, respectively.

UNPREDICTABLE YEAR

“It has been an unpredictable year in Ontario housing prices, with the price per square foot rising and falling from community-to-community and even suburb-to-suburb,” says Brian Rushton, executive vice-president of Century 21 Canada. “Much like in Canada’s other major centres prices fall rapidly once you are outside the downtown core of Toronto, and homes in those communities remain relatively affordable. Even with an increase of almost five per cent, Ottawa remains one of the least expensive places to live in Ontario.”

Toronto’s rising prices are underscored in another survey earlier this year by Century 21 Canada, asking Canadians to rate their current living situation. The survey found only 39 per cent of Toronto residents are living in close to their ideal situation (eight out of 10 on a 10-point scale), while 13 per cent reported their situation is far from ideal. At 26 per cent, a large number of Toronto residents say an apartment or condo is their ideal living situation.

RELATED READING

New condos in Toronto hit record high in prices

Canadian housing market to moderate in 2019 but growth to continue in Ontario and Toronto

Home prices and affordability still a concern – CMHC Mortgage Consumer Survey

5 steps to solving the housing affordability issue in Ontario

 

 

 

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Mortgage

Home prices and affordability still a concern – CMHC Mortgage Consumer Survey

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Home prices and affordability still a concern – CMHC Mortgage Consumer Survey

Mortgage

Rising home prices and affordability continue to weigh on prospective homebuyers, according to Canada Mortgage Housing Corp., in its 2018 Mortgage Consumer Survey.

Indeed, for first-time buyers, price and affordability are the most important factors they consider when buying a home – more than type of neighbourhood, proximity to work and overall condition of the home.

While decreasing steadily for four consecutive surveys, more than one-third (37 per cent) of homebuyers continue to feel concern or uncertainty when buying a home. “Concerns related to affordability top the list with more than 50 per cent of concerned buyers worrying about paying too much for their home while nearly one-third worry about rising interest rates and mortgage qualification,” the survey says.

Other survey highlights include:

  • Eighty-five per cent of first-time buyers spent the most they could afford on their home purchase.  However, a majority (76 per cent) are confident that they will be able to meet their future mortgage payment obligations.
  • Sixty per cent of first-time buyers and 69 per cent of repeat buyers indicated that, if they were to run into some financial trouble, they would have sufficient assets (such as investments and other property) to supplement their needs.
  • About 50 per cent of homebuyers agreed they would feel comfortable using more technology to arrange their next mortgage transaction. However, the majority agree it is important to meet face-to-face with their mortgage professional when negotiating and finalizing their mortgage.
  • Slightly more than half (52 per cent) of homebuyers were aware of the latest mortgage qualification rules. About one in five first-time buyers indicated the rules impacted their purchase decision with most opting to decrease non-essential expenses, purchase a less expensive home or use savings to increase their down payment.
  • Consumers continue to show confidence in their homebuying and mortgage decisions, with 80 per cent believing that homeownership remains a good long-term financial investment and 66 per cent believing the value of their home will increase in the next 12 months.
  • More than one in five (22 per cent) first-time buyers were newcomers to Canada and almost 50 per cent were millennials (aged of 25 to 34), down from 60 per cent in 2017.

RELATED READING

5 steps to solving the housing affordability issue in Ontario

Build For Growth: Housing Affordability

Higher Rates and New Rules Cooling the Condo Market

 

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Canadian home prices expected to increase by 2 per cent in 2017: RE/MAX

Canadian home prices expected to increase by 2 per cent in 2017: RE/MAX

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Canadian home prices expected to increase by 2 per cent in 2017: RE/MAX

(CNW) — High demand and low supply continued to characterize Vancouver’s and Toronto’s housing markets throughout 2016 as competition from buyers for limited inventory of single-family homes pushed prices higher.

The average residential sale price increased 13 per cent in Greater Vancouver to approximately $1,020,300 and rose 17 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to an estimated $725,857, RE/MAX reported. Although demand remains high in both urban centres, limited inventory in the freehold market, the new 15 per cent foreign-buyer tax in Vancouver, and the recent tightening of mortgage rules by the federal government are expected to soften market activity in the short term.

In 2017, RE/MAX estimates average residential sale price will increase by 2 and 8 per cent in Greater Vancouver and the GTA respectively.

“RE/MAX expects the average home price in Canada to increase 2 per cent in 2017,” said Christopher Alexander, regional director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region. “Strong demand in Canada’s urban centres is expected to continue throughout next year and into the foreseeable future as almost half of Canadians plan to buy a home in the next five to 10 years, according to a recent RE/MAX survey.”

Regional markets in close proximity to Canada’s highest-price cities continued to experience steady interest from local move-up buyers and buyers from these cities (“move-over” buyers) who are looking to find a balance between affordability and square footage. This year, there were considerable year-over-year average price increases in Barrie (16 per cent), Hamilton-Burlington (20 per cent), Fraser Valley (20 per cent) and Kelowna (14 per cent).

Regulation changes at both the provincial and federal level towards the end of 2016 are already starting to impact activity in certain markets. The 15 per cent foreign buyer tax is expected to slow this trend somewhat, as price appreciation declines in Vancouver have resulted in some potential sellers staying in the Lower Mainland.

The ripple effect of the foreign buyer tax can also be felt in the upper end of the GTA and Montreal markets as some foreign investors are expected to look for properties in these regions rather than Vancouver.

Measures taken by the federal government to tighten mortgage insurance criteria for new homebuyers is expected to temper local first-time buyer activity across the country in the short term, but is not expected to have a long-term impact in most regions.

Homeownership remains a priority for Canadians, with 53 per cent of respondents in a recent RE/MAX survey conducted by Leger expressing intent to purchase a home and 47 per cent expressing intent to do so in the next five to 10 years.

Nearly one in three (30 per cent) Canadians plan to use the purchase of a home as an investment strategy to help fund their retirement, and 42 per cent of millennial respondents view it as a retirement funding strategy. A proportion of Canadians would also consider unconventional home financing options to realize their dream of ownership such as: purchasing a home with a family member (33 per cent); renting a room on a vacation rental site like Airbnb (15 per cent); renting out a room in their home (22 per cent); or even purchasing a home with a roommate (9 per cent).

The housing markets in Calgary and Edmonton remained relatively stable, with moderate declines in the number of sales and average residential sale price as a result of the prolonged recovery of the oil sector over the past two years. The average residential sale price in Edmonton decreased slightly, by 2 per cent year-over-year in 2016, while Calgary’s average residential sale price decreased by 4 per cent. Buyer activity is expected to pick up slightly in the second half of 2017 if employment opportunities in the oil sector continue to gradually come back to the province.

“The housing markets in Alberta’s two largest cities have remained resilient in 2016,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice president, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Low oil prices will continue to lead to tempered consumer confidence, but ongoing development projects in Edmonton and the recent approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline are expected to provide a boost to the provincial economy and help keep housing markets relatively stable in 2017.”

High inventory continues to be a factor in many regions including Regina, Montreal, Saint John and St. John’s, offering a good selection of product to first-time and move-up buyers in these cities. Local infrastructure projects and initiatives, such as preparations for Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations in 2017, are anticipated to provide a boost to these economies and their real estate markets next year.

The RE/MAX 2017 average residential sale price expectation for Canada is an increase of 2 per cent as Canadians continue to see homeownership as an important milestone as well as a good investment.

For the full 2017 RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook report, click here.

For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit remax.ca.


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