Tag Archives: homebuying

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Canada-China realty professional association caters to growing demand from Chinese Canadians

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Canada-China realty professional association caters to growing demand from Chinese Canadians

It’s no secret that buyers from all over the world are attracted to real estate opportunities in the Greater Toronto Area. Chinese Canadians, in particular, are showing a strong appetite for homes and investments in the GTA, and the Canada-China Realty Professional Association (CCRPA) is building a collection of services to offer these influential clients. Steven Sun, president of the CCRPA, explains what the organization offers – including the upcoming Real Home Expo 2019, Oct. 5 and 6 at Le Parc Banquet & Conference Centre in Richmond Hill.

HOMES Magazine: Real Home Expo, with co-organizer Jade Expo, is the largest home show in Canada that caters to the Chinese Canadian community. What does the event offer these prospective homebuyers?

Steven Sun: Based on our past successes, we have upgraded the scale of the event this year and are happy to welcome well-known companies such as Times Group, Sotheby’s International Realty, Reliance Home Comfort, Menkes Developments, Tridel, Kingdom Developments, Z Square Group, CoStone Group, Gemterra Developments, CIM Development, Foxwood Developments, Woodside Group and others. More and more real estate development companies are recognizing the potential purchasing power of the Chinese community. We are pleased to be the platform for these well-established developers to conduct business within.

We have also introduced a “HomeMania Festival” to bring special discount offers for homebuyers and homeowners. Ethan Allen, Reliance Home Comfort, PageOne Furniture & Lighting and others will be offering exclusive deals for attendees.

HM: Beyond a strong exhibitor lineup, what’s in the event for attendees and prospective homebuyers?

Sun: Real Home Expo fills in gaps in real estate and home exhibition in the northern GTA. It is recognized by the governments of Canada and China, being the largest local Chinese real estate and home exhibition and sales platform, catering to northern GTA residents who are well known by their purchasing power and high living standard. Prospective homebuyers can meet professionals to help them purchase a new home, renovate an existing property, furnish their home space inside and out, and provide the day-to-day services.

HM: How else does the association help homebuyers, on an ongoing basis, after the Expo?

Sun: We are the largest Chinese real estate organization in Canada, with more than 8,000 realtors, developers, builders, financial reps and service providers. We provide our clients and attendees with professional knowledge, services and advice during and after the exhibition.

We also plan to host a number of seminars and real estate related events over the next few months, to provide guidance to clients and homebuyers on every single step in the home purchasing process.

HM: What areas of the GTA do Chinese Canadians, or newcomers to Toronto from China, find especially appealing?

Sun: Downtown and midtown Toronto for are popular for condos, while in North York, they look for both high- and lowrise properties. York Region areas such as Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan are the hottest and the most popular areas for Chinese homebuyers and investors.

HM: What housing types are they looking for most? Lowrise homes to live in? Condos as investment properties?

Sun: Most commonly, lowrise as a primary home and condos as investments. However, since the introduction of foreign buyer taxes, many are looking at businesses and commercial opportunities such as plazas, apartment buildings, farms, vineyards and cottages. Some of the biggest vineyards in the Niagara area are now owned by Chinese immigrants. Plus, a great number of Chinese immigrants are investing in GTA new condo projects.

HM: How is the CCRPA growing? For example, a couple of Chinese developers have recently launched projects in Toronto. Are you actively involved in this… trying to encourage such activity and acting as a liaison for Chinese background developers?

Sun: Yes. Most of the active real estate developers are among our board of directors. We are their business partner in promoting their condo projects and lowrise community developments. Our 8,000 realty professionals use their connections to spread these homebuying and investment opportunities within the GTA and Vancouver communities. Our prospective clients are given first-hand information and exclusive offers.

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GTA buyers head west ReMax

GTA homebuyers continue to look west in search of affordability

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GTA homebuyers continue to look west in search of affordability

GTA buyers head west ReMax

Homebuying patterns in the GTA have increasingly shifted west over the last five years, particularly to Halton Region and west Toronto, according to a new report from ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

“Growing demand for affordable housing buoyed new construction and contributed to rising market share in Halton Region (from 2013 to 2018),” says Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president, ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Product was coming on-stream at a time when the GTA reported its lowest inventory in years and skyrocketing housing values were raising red flags. Freehold properties in the suburbs farther afield spoke to affordability.”

In analyzing sales trends in nine Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) districts over the past five years, ReMax notes that Halton Region – comprising Burlington, Oakville, Halton Hills and Milton – captured 10.1 per cent of total market share in 2018, leading with a 2.3-per-cent increase over 2013. Toronto West, meanwhile, climbed almost one per cent to 10.5 per cent. Toronto Central rose close to two per cent to 18.7 per cent of total market share, while Simcoe County jumped 0.6 per cent to 3.1 per cent. The gains came at the expense of perennial favourites such as York Region (down 3.2 per cent to 15.3 per cent); East Toronto (down 1.7 per cent to 9.3 per cent); Peel Region (down 0.5 per cent to 20.6 per cent); and Durham Region (down 0.3 per cent to 11.5 per cent). Dufferin County remained stable over the five-year period.

The quest for single-detached housing at an affordable price point has sent throngs of Toronto buyers into the Hamilton housing market over the past decade, ReMax says. The spillover effect has stimulated homebuying activity in most areas flanked by Toronto’s core and Hamilton. Burlington, in particular, soared between 2013 and 2018, with home sales almost doubling and average price climbing 50 per cent to $769,142.

Window of opportunity

But with such strong growth in Burlington, how long will this market remain an affordable option?

“The communities in the west will still be affordable compared to Toronto proper, but what we are going to see is a continued uptick in demand for more of the outlying communities like Brantford, Waterdown, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and even as far-reaching as London and Niagara,” Alexander told HOMES Publishing. “What will really impact the growth of these markets, outside of availability and affordability, will be the underlying transit systems and investments in local economies, as people still have a need to be connected to the GTA core.”

The upswing in new construction has contributed to the changing landscape. New housing starts in Halton Region averaged 3,100 annually between 2013 and 2016. In Simcoe County, just north of Toronto, new residential builds averaged close to 1,860 annually from 2013 to 2017.  During the same period, almost 39,000 residential units came on-stream in Toronto’s downtown-central waterfront area, while another 56,855 were active (approved with building permits applied for or issued and those under construction). Another 6,000 units came on the market in North York and Yonge-Eglinton.

 

GTA home sales ReMax

 

In Toronto’s west end, affordability has been a strong influence in helping Millennials redefine mature neighbourhoods such as The Junction, South Parkdale, Bloorcourt and Dovercourt Park through gentrification. Average price for the 8,000 plus homes sold in 2018 hovered at $755,658 – although the 10 districts within Toronto West range in price from $557,000 in Downsview-Roding, Black Creek and Humbermede to $1.2 million in Stonegate-Queensway.

“Freehold properties remain the choice of most purchasers in Halton Region and Toronto West,” says Alexander. “The same is true to a lesser extent in Toronto Central, but condominiums continue to gain ground. Just over one in three properties sold in the GTA was a condominium in 2018, and that figure is higher in the core. As prices climb in both the city and suburbs, the shift toward higher-density housing will continue, with fewer single-detached developments coming to pass.”

Toronto Central has seen rapid growth over the past five years, with Millennials fuelling demand for condos and townhomes in developments such as City Place, King West Village and Liberty Village. This cohort has also been instrumental in the gentrification of Toronto Central neighbourhoods such as Oakwood-Vaughan and Dufferin Grove as they snap up smaller freehold properties at more affordable price points, ReMax says.

ALSO READ: 2018 GTA new home sales drop to lowest mark in nearly 20 years

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ALSO READ: GTA among the most promising new home outlooks for 2019, Altus Group says

Baby Boomers have also been a major influence in Toronto Central, selling larger homes throughout the GTA and making lateral moves or downsizing to neighbourhoods close to shops, restaurants and amenities. Close to 15,000 properties were sold in 2018, with average price of $932,416, up almost 40 per cent since 2013. Properties within Toronto Central averaged 20 days on market and ranged in price from $709,660 in Bayview Village to $2.5 million in York Mills, Hogg’s Hollow, Bridle Path and Sunnybrook.

With an affordable average price point of $611,628 – and a range of $528,942 to $746,332 – younger buyers, empty nesters and retirees have flocked to Simcoe County in recent years. New construction in Adjala-Tosorontio, Bradford West, Essa, Innisfil and New Tecumseth has allowed the area to capture a greater percentage of the overall market between 2013 to 2018.

“As the Millennials move into their homebuying years, they will displace Baby Boomers as the dominant force in the GTA’s real estate market,” says Alexander. “Their impact on housing will have a serious ripple effect on infrastructure in the coming years, placing pressure on transit systems, roadways, local economies and their abilities to attract investors and new businesses, parks and greenspace development.”

The upswing in demand over the next decade is expected to re-ignite homebuying activity in Toronto East, York, Peel and Durham Regions. These areas still carry significant weight, despite the factors that have impacted softer performance in recent years, such as affordability, lack of available housing and fewer transit options.

GTA west vs east

As the west end of the GTA continues to see growth and price appreciation, a leveling effect will likely come into play (with the east region),” Alexander told HOMES. “Toronto’s GDP and the thriving economy will continue to attract people, so while affordability may continue to decrease, desire is unlikely to waver. That said, the current and next generation of homebuyers are taking this factor into account when they are making their decision to purchase – sacrificing space for lifestyle and convenience.  As they look to the greater GTA, if affordability becomes more leveled out between the west and the east, it’s likely that we will see more dispersion across the entire region as people’s desire to be connected to the GTA core remains strong.

GTA east areas such as Durham region currently don’t have the same appeal as the west. “The West end of the GTA has a greater diversity of communities that are attracting a diverse range of buyers.  In the past 10 years, there has been significant focus on the growth and development of these regions, whereas historically, Durham has not traditionally been viewed in this same regard. With the boom in areas towards the east, like Prince Edward County, and the affordability leveling out, we will likely see the tide begin to turn.”

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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.

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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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