Tag Archives: Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)

November 2019 showed strongest annual price growth of the year

November 2019 showed strongest annual price growth of the year

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November 2019 showed strongest annual price growth of the year

The growing demand for ownership housing continued in November to keep pace with what we’ve seen throughout the second half of the year. More than 7,090 sales were reported through TREB’s MLS system in November 2019, a 14.2-per-cent increase compared to November 2018. Detached homes and other ground-oriented types of housing led sales during this time.

Sales rose, yet listings continued to drop. The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS System in November was down 17.9 per cent when compared to last year. And, the number of active listings at the end of the month was also down by 27.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

Increased sales up against a constrained supply of listings is resulting in increased competition between buyers and stronger price growth across the market from condos to detached homes.

In fact, November saw the strongest annual rates of price growth for 2019, with the average selling price for all home types combined up by 7.1 per cent when compared to November 2018 to $843,637.

As more buyers impacted by the OSFI mortgage stress test come back to the market, alongside the ever-growing GTA population and declining negotiated mortgage rates, it’s likely demand for ownership housing will increase even further.

This could contribute to an increasing rate of price growth if we see no relief on the listings supply front. To alleviate this, bringing more housing supply online should be a top priority for all levels of government. And, when governments design policy to address supply issues they should be mindful of creating a housing supply that meets consumer demand.

What does housing supply look like next to consumer demand? The results from TREB-commissioned Ipsos polling surveys show that many intending buyers are still focused on purchasing ground-oriented housing.

We need to see the development of a greater diversity of mid-density housing to bridge the gap between detached homes and highrise condos. Alongside a diverse supply of housing, the GTA needs flexible housing market policies that will help sustain balanced market conditions over the long term.

It’s encouraging that the City of Toronto introduced HousingTO 2020-2030, a 10-year action plan to address present and future housing demands. Specifically, it’s great to see the plan’s comprehensive approach and acknowledgment of the important role of the full housing continuum, including ownership housing. TREB was pleased to participate in the External Advisory Committee, which helped form the plan.

Moving into the new year, policymakers at all levels of government should actively translate their acknowledgment of supply issues into concrete solutions to bring a greater array of ownership and rental housing online.

Michael Collins is president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 54,500 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.


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Homebuyers head to GTA west… but don't ignore the east

Homebuyers head to GTA west… but don’t ignore the east

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Homebuyers head to GTA west… but don’t ignore the east

It’s not exactly earth-shattering news, since we’ve been able to observe the trend for the last few years, but a new report from ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada underlines just to what degree homebuyers are heading west.

West, as in Hamilton and Halton Region – Burlington, Oakville, Halton Hills and Milton.

In analyzing sales trends in nine Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) districts over the past five years, ReMax notes those areas captured 10.1 per cent of total market share in 2018, with a 2.3-per-cent increase over 2013.

The reasons are fairly obvious: The quest for homes at affordable prices. Indeed, this 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 prices climbing 50 per cent to $769,142.

Builders of new homes also recognize the appetite for lowrise homes in the west.

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,” Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president, ReMax of Ontario-Atlanti Canada, 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.”

But, Alexander also told HOMES Publishing, the window of opportunity to head west may be closing.

“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),” he says.

GTA east areas such as Durham Region may not have the same appeal as the west – currently. “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.”

So, yes, prospective homebuyers, go west if you like, but also keep an eye on the east.


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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 TRREB.ca. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB realtor by visiting TREBcommercial.com.


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The View From Inside: Is The Market Gaining Stability?

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The View From Inside: Is The Market Gaining Stability?

Sales statistics indicate small signs of market improvement

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reports for July reflect a rise in sales when compared to spring and summer 2017 and early 2018. Is this an indication that the market is gaining stability? Yes, but it’s early days yet.

The initial impact of the Liberal Ontario government’s Fair Housing Plan, introduced in April 2017, quickly started to cool things down and many buyers chose to postpone purchasing a home. Then in January, new stresstest guidelines were announced by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) requiring all buyers seeking a mortgage from federally regulated lenders (i.e. top tier banks), including those with more than 20 per cent down payments, to qualify at the five-year fixed rate as reported by the Bank of Canada. These two regulations negatively impacted homebuyers’ confidence. At the time, numerous industry experts predicted that the results would be temporary and there are some indications that they were right.

TREB also reported that sales numbers rose from 5,869 in July 2017 to 6,961 in July 2018 (an 18.6 per cent gain). The same report showed the average price increased by 4.8 per cent. Toronto MLS statistics for July 2018 showed that the median number of days on the market was 25 – much more usual than the previously recorded days of multiple offers and sales within a day of listing.

These statistics indicate small signs of market improvement. However, the changes to both the number of sales and average prices show increases from 2017, a year where both were considerably lower over previous years.

Although slight mortgage rate increases by the big banks in the last quarter have been introduced, rates remain historically low. Forecasts indicate that minor increases are still expected in 2018, prompting some buyers to act now and take advantage of lower interest rates.

In terms of demand for housing, this continues to outpace supply, which often has an effect of putting upward pressure on home prices. Statistics Canada reports that in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area more than 1.2 million people moved in between 2001 and 2016, yet only just over 500,000 new dwelling units were constructed, which is not enough to fulfill demand.

When considering a home purchase, new construction has many advantages, including the latest building materials, techniques and home-efficiency technology in place upon move in, compared to updating through renovation. Further, there is the opportunity to select the features and finishes which will personalize a house into a home. Those who buy early, prior to the start of construction, have time to organize and sell their existing homes, if applicable.

And then there’s location, location, location. Many new homebuyers today are opting for infill developments that offer a roster of existing amenities already in place. The feeling of home and community is there from the onset, which is both comforting and convenient.

Take time to research new home communities and start thinking about the opportunities they present. Whatever your taste and lifestyle needs, a perfect new home is waiting just for you.

Stephanie Lane is sales and marketing director for Geranium. Celebrating 40 years in business, Geranium has created master-planned communities including more than 8,000 homes in Ontario.



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Home Realty: Don’t Believe Everything You Read

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Home Realty: Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Context is key when seeking to understand the GTA real estate market

If you only pay attention to what is reported in the mainstream media about the GTA real estate market, it’s likely you’ll be getting an inaccurate picture of what’s actually happening.

This past March saw a total of 1,960 new home sales across the region, according to Altus Group. Of those sales, 1,649 were condominium apartments in lowrise, midrise and highrise buildings and stacked townhouses. This was down 67 per cent from March 2017, and down 21 per cent from the 10-year GTA average.

In the single-family home market, there were just 311 sales of detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses). This was up from the 265 homes sold in February, but down 77 per cent from March 2017, and down 79 per cent from the 10-year average.

At first glance, this might seem like a drastic drop in sales and the media tends to cite these sorts of figures as evidence that the GTA market could at long last be experiencing a correction.

But context is tremendously important here when it comes to understanding what is really going on.

For example, some of the demand that might have been seen in the early part of this year was brought forward last year, largely in anticipation of new mortgage restrictions. This contributed to a record year for condo apartment sales in 2017, the fourth strongest year for GTA new home sales since Altus Group started tracking the market in 2000.

And it’s likely that the cumulative effects of the government measures to cool the housing market are continuing to keep potential buyers out of the housing market, with many purchasers opting to take a wait-and-see approach. But the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) and Altus Group say they expect home sales to be up relative to 2017 in the second half of this year.

While new home sales may have dropped compared to last year — again, 2017 was a record year and somewhat of an anomaly — prices have remained more or less consistent, although in the case of condos, they have been rising significantly.

In March, the benchmark price for new single-family homes was $1,207,832, which was 7.4 per cent above last year, and the benchmark price for new condos rose to $742,801, 39.4 per cent above last March.

But again, context is important here.

It’s primarily the low supply of new housing that is keeping prices high. The supply of both condos and single-family homes dipped in March, with the total new home remaining inventory at 12,457 units (8,756 condos and 3,701 single family homes). This represents about four months of inventory. A healthy new home market would have nine to 12 months of inventory available for sale.

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) notes that in order to fix the region’s housing supply problem, it’s essential that we remove barriers to development, including outdated zoning that doesn’t support intensification, government red tape and a lack of critical infrastructure.

New home sales have dipped, but rest assured they’ll be back up again soon. And if supply issues are rectified in accordance with BILD’s recommendations, price increases will moderate, as well.

So don’t believe everything you hear from the media: the GTA housing market is strong, resilient and — in the long run — as good a bet as they come.

Debbie Cosic, CEO and founder of In2ition Realty, has worked in all facets of the real estate industry for over 25 years.



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GTA home prices decline 12.4%

GTA home prices decline 12.4%

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GTA home prices decline 12.4%

TREB releases monthly market figures reported by GTA realtors

Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) president Tim Syrianos announced that GTA realtors reported 7,792 sales through TREB’s MLS System in April 2018. The average selling price was $804,584. On a year-over-year basis, sales were down by 32.1 per cent and the average selling price was down by 12.4 per cent.

The year-over-year change in the overall average selling price has been impacted by both changes in market conditions as well as changes in the type and price point of homes being purchased. This is especially clear at the higher end of the market.

Detached home sales for $2 million or more accounted for 5.5 per cent of total detached sales in April 2018, versus 10 per cent in April 2017.

The MLS Home Price Index strips out the impact of changes in the mix of home sales from one year to the next. This is why the MLS HPI Composite Benchmark was down by only 5.2 per cent year-over-year versus 12.4 per cent for the average price.

“While average selling prices have not climbed back to last year’s record peak, April’s price level represents a substantial gain over the past decade. Recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos tells us that the great majority of buyers are purchasing a home within which to live,” Syrianos said. “This means these buyers are treating home ownership as a long-term investment. A strong and diverse labour market and continued population growth based on immigration should continue to underpin long-term home price appreciation.”

After preliminary seasonal adjustment*, the month-over-month change (i.e. March 2018 to April 2018) in sales and the average selling price was minimal, with sales decreasing 1.6 per cent and the average selling price decreasing by 0.2 per cent.  The month-over-month sales trend has flattened out over the past two months following a steeper drop-off in January and February.

“The comparison of this year’s sales and price figures to last year’s record peak masks the fact that market conditions should support moderate increases in home prices as we move through the second half of the year, particularly for condominium apartments and higher density lowrise home types,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s sirector of market analysis. “Once we are past the current policy-based volatility, homeowners should expect to see the resumption of a moderate and sustained pace of price growth in line with a strong local economy and steady population growth.”

“With a provincial election campaign about to begin, GTA realtors hope that all of the provincial parties will make housing issues a priority. Homeownership is a worthwhile investment that benefits our economy, individual finances and quality of life,” said Syrianos.

“In recent months and years, there has been significant intervention in housing markets by all levels of government, through regulatory changes and taxation. We believe the next step should be tax relief, especially from Land Transfer Taxes, both provincial and the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, and efforts to facilitate an increase in the supply of missing middle housing that fills the gap between single family homes and highrises. Furthermore, we believe that any attempt to increase the Toronto Land Transfer Tax should require approval from the provincial government, given the significance of Toronto’s economy to the province and the connections between the Toronto real estate market and that of the broader GTA.”


* Preliminary seasonal adjustment undertaken by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Removing normal seasonal variations allows for more meaningful analysis of monthly changes and underlying trends.


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Real Insight: Housing Plays Key Role in Economy

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Real Insight: Housing Plays Key Role in Economy

TREB participating with working groups to help formulate policy and keep homeownership affordable.

I am very proud of the work the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) and our realtor members do to help raise awareness of important housing issues facing the Greater Toronto Area.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced the Liberal government’s National Housing Strategy, and the role that the federal government must play in housing. “Housing rights are human rights, everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Trudeau said.

Canadians believe in the pride of homeownership and in helping others achieve the same dream. Adequate housing is fundamental to society, and the housing market plays a key role in our local, provincial and federal economies. Back in November, National Housing Week was a perfect opportunity to have a conversation about these important housing issues and needs.

A number of volunteer TREB representatives met with numerous MPPs at Queen’s Park to provide information on the state of the housing market, as well as information about several important public policy issues related to housing.

TREB believes that it is important to contribute to the development of public policy on housing. That’s why we have made it a priority over the last year to work with all levels of government as they have considered various public policies relevant to housing markets.

In recent months, TREB has participated in provincial and municipal housing working groups to help formulate policy intended to keep housing and homeownership affordable and accessible.

In addition to actively participating in these working groups, TREB will continue to contribute to housing policy discussions by providing valuable information, dialogue and evidence based data about the important housing issues facing the GTA, including consumer homebuying intentions in our annual Market Year in Review and Outlook, which was released on January 30.

Watch for more information about this report in the coming weeks.

Tim Syrianos 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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