Tag Archives: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)

Condo prices surge in second quarter

GTA condo prices surge in second quarter

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GTA condo prices surge in second quarter

Condominium prices jumped 5.1 per cent to $619,707 in the second quarter of 2020, from $589,622 in Q2 2019, despite sales dropping more than 50 per cent.

Condo prices surge in second quarter

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) recently announced that second quarter 2020 condo sales amounted to 3,459 – down 50.8 per cent from 7,024 sales in Q2 2019.

Listings were also down, 21.6 per cent to 8,717 in Q2 2020, compared to 11,114 new listings in Q2 2019.

“The condominium apartment market experienced a dip in sales and new listings in the second quarter of 2020, as many potential buyers moved to the sidelines as a result of public health measures taken to combat COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn,” says TRREB President Lisa Patel. “With the overall housing market trending toward recovery in June, condo apartment sales will likely improve in the third quarter.”

“It will be important to watch the relationship between condominium apartment sales and new listings as we move through the second half of 2020,” adds Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst. “If economic recovery is sustained, the demand for condo apartments will improve. However, the prospect of stricter regulations on shortterm rentals and softer rental market conditions could fuel increased listings of investor-held units. If we see more balanced market conditions, condo price growth could be more moderate compared to lowrise home types.”


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GTA resale sales

GTA resale home sales, prices surge in July

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GTA resale home sales, prices surge in July

Strong growth in sales and prices in the GTA in July was driven primarily by lowrise home types, notably within the city of Toronto, according to the latest data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). And in the condominium segment, despite more balanced market conditions, year-over-year price growth remained in the high single digits.

GTA resale sales

Sales recorded a 29.5-per-cent increase over July 2019 – a new record for the month of July, TRREB reports. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up by 49.5 per cent compared to June 2020.

The overall average selling price was up by 16.9 per cent year-over-year to $943,710. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was up by 5.5 per cent compared to June 2020.

“Sales activity was extremely strong for the first full month of summer,” says TRREB President Lisa Patel. “Normally we would see sales dip in July relative to June as more households take vacation, especially with children out of school. This year, however, was different with pent-up demand from the COVID-19-related lull in April and May being satisfied in the summer, as economic recovery takes firmer hold, including the Stage 3 re-opening. In addition, fewer people are travelling, which has likely translated into more transactions and listings.”

“Competition between buyers continued to increase in many segments of the GTA ownership housing market in July, which fueled a further acceleration in year-over-year price growth in July compared to June,” adds Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst. “On top of this, we also experienced stronger sales growth in the more-expensive detached market segment, which helps explain why annual growth in the overall average selling price was stronger than growth for the MLS HPI Composite benchmark.”


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Homebuyer intentions remain stable despite COVID-19: TRREB

Homebuyer intentions remain stable despite COVID-19: TRREB

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Homebuyer intentions remain stable despite COVID-19: TRREB

Homebuyer intentions were understandably affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but a survey by Ipsos Public Affairs for the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) indicates the pause is purely temporary.

The Consumer Home Buying & Selling Intentions Survey captured home buying and selling intentions, along with consumer opinions on preferred government policy directions related to the housing market.

“While COVID-19 has temporarily impacted home sales and listings in the GTA, the Ipsos survey results that show homebuying intentions have remained quite stable certainly suggest that many people will be looking to satisfy pent-up demand for ownership housing once recovery starts to take hold,” says TRREB President Michael Collins.

“As people gradually return to work, consumer confidence will improve, and a growing number of people will look to take advantage of very low borrowing costs to purchase a home. Home purchases will continue to be aided by the use of technology available to realtors, including live-stream open houses.”

GTA-wide, 27 per cent of survey respondents said they were likely (very likely or somewhat likely) to purchase a home in the next 12 months. While buying intentions were down compared to spring 2019 (31 per cent likely), they remained relatively in line with the five-year trend.

Home purchasing intentions were above the GTA average in Toronto (34 per cent), for younger people aged 18 to 34 (45 per cent) and households with children (37 per cent).

The most common reason for not intending to purchase a home over the next 12 months was that they liked their current home (62 per cent). General affordability issues were also a common response. COVID-19-related issues influenced 16 per cent of respondents who indicated that they were unlikely to purchase a home.

“The supply of listings was an issue before the onset of COVID-19, with market conditions tightening and price growth accelerating throughout the first quarter of 2020,” says Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst.

“The Ipsos survey results suggest that the supply of listings will continue to be an issue as the economy and housing market recovers,” Mercer adds. “Policy makers have acknowledged that there is a lack of a diverse housing supply in the GTA. While the supply issue has understandably taken a back seat to COVID-related issues in the short term, it should once again be top-of-mind once recovery takes hold.”


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Technology more important than ever to alternative marketing strategies

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Technology more important than ever to alternative marketing strategies

During this time, it’s important to think more clearly, practice social distancing and be diligent about keeping ourselves, our loved ones and everyone else healthy.

To that end, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) issued a COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guidance to its 56,000 realtor members as it relates to trading in real estate. The key message is to avoid in-person business, such as open houses and showings with clients, during the provincial state of emergency. This includes home sellers, buyers, tenants and business clients.

TRREB continues to strongly advise its members to refrain from face-to-face real estate practices during the state of emergency, as they continue to satisfy their ethical duties to their clients.

Using technology, TRREB encourages its members to engage in alternative marketing strategies, such as video and virtual tours wherever possible, and to continue to follow directives and guidance being given by the government and public health agencies.

Realtors have a responsibility to protect their own safety, as well as the safety of their colleagues, clients, and the general public. Members should adapt their practice to ensure that their professional activities are safe and comply with all guidance provided by Health Canada, the Province of Ontario and medical professionals.

Real estate was included as one of the essential workplaces by the Ontario government. This was primarily to ensure people who had already bought or sold a home, but are still in the process of finding a new home or selling their existing property, were not left in limbo during the provincial shutdown.

Clients and other consumers are subject to the state of emergency and best practices advisory from governments and public health agencies, and should not be visiting properties for open houses, in particular. Many aspects of the homebuying and selling process can continue to occur without in-person contact, including documentation and signing, and in many circumstances, closings. As of press time, we’re still at a critical phase with this pandemic, and we all have to do our part to be successful in confronting this challenge in order to protect the health and safety of all.

In light of provincial government restrictions on public gatherings and guidance regarding social distancing, TRREB is also doing its part to limit face-to-face contact by suppressing public open houses for the time being on its Stratus MLS System, and removing them from public facing websites such as trreb.ca and realtor.ca, until it is safe to restore.

The FAQ developed addresses questions surrounding real estate issues related to the provincial shutdown, such as:

  • What it means to declare real estate an “essential” service
  • Showings and open houses
  • Related businesses such as movers, lawyers, financial Institutions and construction
  • Disclosure of potential COVID-19 exposure
  • Questions realtors can ask clients or others they interact with in their real estate business
  • Title insurance
  • What lenders and mortgage insurers are doing
  • Impact on municipalities, planning matters, Committee of Adjustment delays and property taxes, and
  • TRREB operations.

We encourage you to take a look at the full TRREB FAQ with answers on trreb.ca.

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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TRREB resale March 20

GTA resale sales see drastic drop in March due to COVID-19

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GTA resale sales see drastic drop in March due to COVID-19

March 2020 resale home sales in the GTA were very much a tale of two markets – pre and post COVID-19.

TRREB resale March 20

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports that 8,012 home sales through TRREB’s MLS System in March 2020 – up 12.3 per cent compared to 7,132 sales reported in March 2019.

However, despite a strong increase in sales for March 2020 as a whole, there was a clear break in market activity between pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 (after March 15).

Market impact

“The overall sales result for March was strong relative to last year, but the impact of COVID-19 was certainly evident in the number of sales reported in the second half of March,” says TRREB President Michael Collins. “Uncertainty surrounding the outbreak’s impact on the broader economy and the onset of the necessary social distancing measures resulted in the decline in sales since March 15. Sales figures for April will give us a better sense as to the trajectory of the market while all levels of government take the required action to contain the spread of COVID-19.”

“While COVID-19 has clearly had an impact on the housing market, the late March numbers still suggest that there is activity in the marketplace,” adds TRREB CEO John DiMichele. “TRREB continues to strongly recommend stopping in-person open houses and has provided its members with guidelines for social distancing. TRREB’s professional development staff are working hard to educate its members via webinars on using technology in innovative ways to conduct business virtually.”

Strong demand

“Despite sales and listings trending lower in the second half of March, demand for ownership housing remained strong enough relative to listings to see the average selling price remain above last year’s levels, including during the last few days of the month,” says Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst. “As we move through April, we will have a clearer view on how social distancing measures and broader economic conditions will influence sales and ultimately the pace of price growth.”

The average selling price for March 2020 as a whole was $902,680 – up 14.5 per cent compared to March 2019. The average selling price for sales between March 15 and 31 was $862,563 – down from the first half of March, but still up 10.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Revised forecast

TRREB is to release a forecast update in mid-April, after seeing 2020 started with a near-record pace for home sales in the first quarter and double-digit annual rates of price growth.

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In Conversation With Frank Clayton, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Ryerson

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In Conversation With Frank Clayton, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Ryerson

Builders and developers have long been calling for the Province and municipalities to loosen up on land supply and approval processes to allow more new homes to be built, and more quickly. To the uninitiated, however, this seems a self-serving request, since, of course, they believe these companies want to build more and make more money.

But now we have more and more third parties, without any vested interest, expressing the same concerns, and citing hard, objective numbers. One of them is Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development.

“Toronto’s booming economy has brought with it housing affordability challenges that will continue throughout the next decade,” Frank Clayton, PhD and senior research fellow, said at a recent Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) event. The Centre’s recent study, An Economic Outlook for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and What it Means for Housing Affordability, examined the economy and its impact on housing to 2031.

We spoke with Clayton to explore the issues discussed in the study, what government and the industry can do, and what it all means for homebuyers.

HOMES Magazine: Your recent report doesn’t exactly sound like good news for those still looking to buy a home. What positive news can they take from your findings?

Frank Clayton: The affordability picture painted in our report means that, comparatively, more prospective buyers will have to devote more of their budget to housing, rely on parents for down payment assistance or reduce their housing expectations in terms of location, size and type of structure. On the positive side, many prospective buyers (especially double income professional couples) will still be able to afford to purchase a home. Also, once prospective buyers purchase, they will benefit from the appreciation in home values.

H: Given the findings of your study, where do you see the most promising opportunities for prospective homebuyers – in terms of location and housing type?

Clayton: This is not an easy question to answer, as it depends on where people work, household composition and lifestyle preferences. Durham Region is the most affordable of the 905 areas, and has become more attractive with the extension of Hwy. 407 and improved GO train service. For buyers who want to locate closer to Toronto’s central area, there are wide swathes of existing low-density housing in the city’s post-Second Word War suburbs, such as much of Scarborough, which are priced much lower than neighbourhoods closer to the core.

Unit types depend on lifestyle preferences and affordability. The housing choice menu that I have seen over the years goes like this: Many households prefer a single-detached house, but if they can’t afford it, they move up the density ladder until they can afford to purchase. So, if a single-detached house is unaffordable, a semi-detached house, followed by a townhome becomes the targeted housing type. If a townhouse is not affordable, then a stacked townhouse unit, followed by other types of lower-rise condos (four storeys of less) are preferred. If a prospective buyer is considering purchasing in a highrise, they should look at new units being built in a mixed-use project such as those being built on redeveloped shopping centre sites.

H: You note that average home prices and rents are to rise four to five per cent over the study period. This seems low, given that TRREB forecasts home price growth to hit 10 per cent for this year… Why the disparity?

Clayton: Our home price and rent forecasts represent average annual per cent increases from 2019 to 2031. If prices rise by 10 per cent per year early in the period, it will likely be due to irrational exuberance like in 2016-17, when home purchases exploded as buyers and investors rushed to buy before prices rose more. By doing so, they pushed prices up even higher. Typically, these price surges are unsustainable and are followed by stagnant or slightly lower prices. So, if prices rise by 10 per cent for a year or two, there will be years when prices may rise only slightly, if at all.

H: If figures such as TRREB’s are accurate and continue for a couple of years, and are not just an anomaly for 2020, what does that mean for housing affordability? How much worse could it get?

Clayton: It would be very damaging for affordability, and the picture would be bleaker than what our study predicts. Even more potential buyers would be relegated to the rental market, which would put added pressure on rents. If prices were to rise by 10 per cent per year for several years, we could expect to have a rather serious market readjustment so that prices would cease to rise or even decline moderately as they did following 2016-17.

H: What kinds of things can or should builders and developers do in the short-term to deal with these challenges?

Clayton: There isn’t a lot builders and developers can to increase the supply of housing in the short-term. It is important that the industry continue to pressure municipalities to expedite development applications for all kinds of housing, to bring developments to market much more quickly than at present. Builders should be exploring ways to bring more affordable units to market by reducing unit sizes and finding locations where underlying land values are lower, such as in Scarborough and Durham Region.

H: And what can or should municipalities do?

Clayton: Municipalities first have to recognize that they are a primary cause of the shortage of housing. Their land use planning systems have bogged down the production of new and innovative types of housing. The planning system is burdensome, uncertain, time-consuming and costly. What is needed is a change of priorities. The rapid increase in the production of a range of new housing by unit types and price ranges should become the number one priority of all municipal councils and staff in the GTA. Without this, a shortfall of new housing will continue to keep prices much higher than need be.

H: What kind of response or reception has your study received from the Province or City of Toronto?

Clayton: The Province is aware of the causes of high and rising housing prices and is doing what it can to persuade GTA municipalities to increase their housing production sharply. Unfortunately, many municipalities aren’t on side, so it will be a struggle to greatly increase housing production.

Many councillors at the City of Toronto, for instance, fail to recognize how the city’s planning system, along with those in neighbouring municipalities, is a primary cause of the current housing shortage in the GTHA. While the City’s efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing over the next decade is in the right direction, this will not get at the root cause of the affordability crunch – not enough new housing is being built, particularly, non highrise varieties.

H: ReMax is citing Ontario markets as already some of the least affordable in Canada. Even with the economic growth in the GTA, how well will household incomes be able to keep up to housing costs?

Clayton: Our study is clear that average incomes are very unlikely to keep up with rising average prices and rents in the GTA. The only sure-fire way to change this projection is to significantly increase the supply of new housing in the GTA.

ryerson.ca/cur

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GTA home price growth to hit 10 per cent this year: TRREB

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