Tag Archives: Toronto

Menkes Sugar Wharf

Menkes’ Sugar Wharf Canada’s top selling condo in 2018

Latest News


Menkes’ Sugar Wharf Canada’s top selling condo in 2018

 

Menkes Sugar Wharf

Sugar Wharf Residences by Menkes Developments Ltd., part of the upcoming mixed-use development on Toronto’s Waterfront, was the best-selling new condominium project in Canada for 2018, according to Altus Group, a leading provider of real estate data and advisory services.

In a year where buyer confidence and sales activity downshifted, Menkes sees this is a major feat.

“We are so pleased that buyers were as passionate about this project as we are,” says Jared Menkes, executive vice-president, Highrise. “The strong response to Sugar Wharf is especially meaningful coming out of 2018, where many builders experienced a shift in market conditions. Increasingly, there has been a flight to quality by prospective homeowners, opting for brands they know and trust, and we are fortunate to be one of those brands.”

Located in East Bayfront at the northeast corner of Queens Quay East and Freeland Street, the Sugar Wharf community will encompass 11.5 acres and include luxury residences, offices, restaurants and shops, Toronto’s first vertically integrated school, and will be anchored by a new two-acre park.  Once complete, Sugar Wharf will be the largest mixed-use development on the Toronto Waterfront, home to 7,500 residents and 4,000 office workers. All buildings will be connected to Toronto’s indoor PATH pedestrian system, as the development includes plans to expand the PATH east of Yonge Street.

ALSO READ: Sugar Wharf by Menkes a well-connected waterfront community

ALSO READ: Menkes Breaks Ground on Waterfront Innovation Centre on Toronto Waterfront

The residential component of the community, designed by architectsAlliance, will include five condominium towers, varying in height from 64 to 90 storeys, and a midrise rental building. In summer 2018, Menkes launched the first two residential towers and sold 1,241 of a total 1,463 condo units (85 per cent).

According to Altus, new condominium sales fell 38 per cent from the record high in 2017, though they remain close to the 10-year average for the market. Industry experts predict new condos will remain the primary source for additional housing needed to keep up with the pace of immigration.

Construction is well underway at Sugar Wharf Residences. Excavation at the site progressed to over 40 feet below grade. Completion of the towers is slated for 2022.

The Sugar Wharf community officially broke ground in January 2018 with the first phase of the project, 100 Queens Quay East, a 25-storey office tower, featuring approximately 690,00 sq. ft. of Class AAA space. In addition to the new office building, the community will include approximately 300,000 sq. ft. of multi-level commercial retail space, including the new flagship LCBO store. Expected occupancy for the office tower is spring 2021.

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


GTA new home sales

GTA new home sales begin 2019 on a positive note

Latest News


GTA new home sales begin 2019 on a positive note

GTA new home sales

Sales of new homes in the GTA in January showed a moderate increase from last year, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) reports.

A total of 1,362 new homes were sold in January 2019, up 14 per cent from those sold in January of last year, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence.

Encouraging start

“I wouldn’t necessarily call this a strong start to the year,” David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO, told HOMES Publishing. “Yes, January is historically a slow month for new home sales, and we are encouraged by the modest improvement from January 2019 over 2018. However, low new home sales numbers continue to indicate that more needs to be done to make homeownership easier for new homebuyers.”

January’s sales of new single-family homes, including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses),with 420 single-family homes sold, were still low from a historical perspective, down 53 per cent from the 10-year average. Sales of new condominiums, including units in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units,were only five per cent lower than the 10-year average, with 942 units sold.

Brighter outlook

“This year is starting off on a positive note,” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “The improvement in new home sales over last January is consistent with our outlook for somewhat higher annual sales in the GTA this year, following the drop in 2018.”

Benchmark prices of new homes continued recent trends, with the benchmark price of single-family homes moderating slightly to $1.13 million in January from December 2018, down 8.1 per cent over the last 12 months. The condo benchmark price increased from last month to $803,638, up 12.5 per cent over the last 12 months.

With little new product coming into the housing market in January, remaining inventory decreased slightly from last month, to 15,530 units comprised of 10,364 condo units and 5,166 single-family homes. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction and in completed buildings.

Government needs to act

“It looks like the market is starting to return to typical levels after a particularly difficult year,” adds Wilkes. “With the spring budget coming up, we are calling on the federal government to take steps to make it easier for first-time home buyers to get into the housing market.”

Wilkes says the federal government should look at reintroducing the 30-year amortization periods for first-time buyers and adjusting the stress test, now that interest rates have risen.

“We must also continue to look at ways to increase supply,” he told HOMES. “We continue to call on municipal and provincial governments to remove barriers to bringing new housing and employment lands to market to meet the demand for much needed places to live and work across the GTA.”

 

January new home sales by municipality

Region Condominium units Single-family Total
2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017 2019 2018 2017
Durham 30 13 28 46 82 190 76 95 218
Halton 29 38 112 231 172 154 260 210 266
Peel 105 86 203 77 30 211 182 116 414
Toronto 724 605 982 5 8 36 729 613 1018
York 54 83 319 61 81 170 115 164 489
GTA 942 825 1,644 420 373 761 1,362 1,198 2,405

Source: Altus Group

RELATED READING

GTA homebuyers continue to look west in search of affordability

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

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

Three opportunities to positively impact housing in 2019

SHARE  

Featured Products


cl_mar19_icw_fi

In Conversation With Niall Collins, President of Great Gulf Residential

Latest News


In Conversation With Niall Collins, President of Great Gulf Residential

Fresh off a milestone 2018 filled with multiple industry awards and groundbreakings at signature projects, Great Gulf is poised for another, well, great year in 2019.

From landmark highrise developments in Toronto, to expanding its footprint south of the border, Great Gulf has no plans to rest on its laurels.

Niall Collins
Niall Collins

We spoke with Niall Collins, president of Great Gulf Residential, to get his take on what lies ahead for this leading developer.

Condo Life: Great Gulf’s tagline is, “At Great Gulf, we do more than just build — we transform.” Please elaborate on what exactly that means.

Niall Collins: We are continuously researching new opportunities to add more value to our products. Investing in innovation is at the core of our business.

CL: Last year was a huge year for Great Gulf – winning Highrise Home Builder of the Year at the BILD Awards, then Builder of the Year at the OHBA Awards of Distinction. What are you doing for an encore in 2019?

NC: Great Gulf is launching three highrise residential projects in Toronto. We’re also starting construction in the spring of La Clara, a luxury condominium building in West Palm Beach; we’re currently building a 10-storey mixed-use, multi-family development in Washington, DC’s vibrant Union Market District; and we’re registering Monde by Toronto’s waterfront.

One-hundred per cent of Great Gulf homes and midrise buildings are being manufactured by H+ME Technology. The entire production process at H+ME Technology is entirely controlled through the complex computer design of every single element of home structures, which are CSA approved.

357 King West
357 King West, at the corner of King Street West and Blue Jays Way in Toronto.

CL: You had three major groundbreakings in late 2018 – 357 King West, 8 Cumberland and Home at 48 Power. How is the sales pace going for these projects?

NC: Sales are ongoing for all three projects.

CL: And how is construction coming along?

NC: Construction is progressing well with shoring and excavation work well underway on all projects.

CL: 357 King West is interesting in that, being in a downtown location, it includes a bike storage, dedicated bike elevator and wash and repair area. What are some similar inclusions at some of your other new projects that speak to how purchasers live, specific to that area?

NC: We’re a vertical city and should respond to purchasers’ needs. First-time buyers, families and those downsizing will have different requirements. We are building larger units to accommodate families. Home Condominium provides expansive rooftop amenities that people value, creating the experience of outdoor space.

Great Gulf executive team
The Great Gulf executive team at the 8 Cumberland groundbreaking.

CL: What is the status of the project at the Mirvish+Gehry site at King and Duncan – such as name, notable features and launch date?

NC: The Gehry project will feature the tallest residential tower in Canada at 92 storeys, with the second tower at 82 storeys. It is notable because it also represents the coming home of famous architect Frank Gehry. We are currently working through the building program and will have details available in the near future.

CL: We understand you have a luxury condo planned for the Yonge and St. Clair area? What can you tell us about that?

NC: We are planning a launch this year for the Yonge and St. Clair development. The project, with exterior and interior designed by Siamak Hariri, will feature large luxury units ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 sq. ft. and include large balconies and terraces.

CL: What’s next for Great Gulf, in terms of upcoming projects?

NC: Great Gulf currently has 18 highrise projects being developed across North America. We’re working towards completing permit design and process to start construction on three highrise residential buildings in Dallas and Atlanta.

PORTFOLIO

  • 357 King West 357 King St. West, Toronto, Now selling
  • 8 Cumberland 8 Cumberland St., Yorkville, Toronto, Now selling
  • Monde Queens Quay and Lower Sherbourne, Toronto, Under construction
  • One Bloor Yonge and Bloor, Toronto, Now selling
  • 401 King & Spadina 401 King St. W., Toronto, Coming soon
  • Yonge & St. Clair 1421 Yonge St., Toronto, Coming soon
  • Mirvish & Gehry Condos King St. and Duncan St., Toronto, Coming soon
  • Spadina 101 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Coming soon
  • Home 48 Power St., Toronto, Coming soon

 

greatgulf.com

RELATED READING

Great Gulf and partners break ground on Yorkville condo 8 Cumberland

Great Gulf breaks ground at 357 King West

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


GTA buyers head west ReMax

GTA homebuyers continue to look west in search of affordability

Latest News


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

ALSO READ: GTA resale condo listings and sales dip to end 2018, but prices rise

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.”

RELATED READING

Delays in approval process contributing to housing affordability issue in GTA

GTA condo sales and prices hit record levels

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

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


GTA Condos

GTA resale condo listings and sales dip to end 2018, but prices rise

Latest News


GTA resale condo listings and sales dip to end 2018, but prices rise

GTA Condos

GTA condominium sales declined 9.9 per cent to 5,191 in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to the last quarter of 2017, according to the latest statistics from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

New condo listings entered into TREB’s MLS System were down by more than sales on a year-over-year basis – dropping 11.2 per cent to 7,272 in Q4 2018 from 8,186 in Q4 2017.  his points to tighter market conditions at the end of 2018 compared to late 2017.

Price growth leader

“The condominium apartment segment was the best-performing segment in terms of annual average rates of price growth in 2018,” says TREB President Garry Bhaura. “Condos represent a relatively affordable housing option. With a substantial decrease in listings in 2018, competition between intending buyers remained strong.  This supported average price growth well-above the rate of inflation and annual rates of price growth reported for other ground-oriented home types.”

The average price of a condo unit increased by 8.3 per cent to $558,728 in Q4 2018 from $516,086 in Q4 2017. Year-over-year price growth in the city of Toronto, which accounted for 72 per cent of transactions, was slightly higher at 8.9 per cent, resulting in an average price of $598,664.

Lack of supply

“The condominium apartment segment continued to be a key entry point into the GTA home ownership market in 2018,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis. “Higher mortgage qualification standards meant that many first-time buyers were looking for more affordable housing options.  Moving forward, the concern is that a continued lack of listings supply, despite relatively strong new condo completions as of late, will hamper the ability of potential home buyers to meet their housing needs.”

 

Condo market summary

Fourth quarter 2018
2018 2017
Sales Average Price Sales Average Price
Total TREB 5,191 $558,728 5,760 $516,086
Halton Region 222 $510,946 202 $461,200
Peel Region 654 $424,860 767 $389,446
City of Toronto 3,728 $598,664 4,188 $549,927
York Region 453 $498,198 482 $481,307
Durham Region 117 $383,872 108 $381,893
Other Areas 17 $391,265 13 $343,069
Source: Toronto Real Estate Board

 

RELATED READING

GTA condos lead resale price growth in 2018

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

Condo Life Feb 2019

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


Left to right, Frank Spaziani, Klaus Meyer (Hampers of Hope), Cailey Stollery and Russell Foy (Hampers of Hope).

Kylemore Communities embraces holiday spirit

Latest News


Kylemore Communities embraces holiday spirit

 

Left to right, Frank Spaziani, Klaus Meyer (Hampers of Hope), Cailey Stollery and Russell Foy (Hampers of Hope).
Left to right, Frank Spaziani, Klaus Meyer (Hampers of Hope), Cailey Stollery and Russell Foy (Hampers of Hope).

Luxury home builder and land developer, Kylemore Communities/Angus Glen Development, embraced the spirit of giving this season with a donation to benefit Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation and by hosting an annual holiday Ccelebration for consultants, suppliers and staff.

An important part of the company’s annual holiday celebration is a toy drive, and the total donations made an impressive display once again. The donated toys and games were divided between local organization Hampers of Hope, as well as SickKids Hospital.

The celebration was hosted by Cailey Stollery, CEO, Lindsay Stollery Jephcott CIO of Angus Glen and Kylemore Group of Companies, and Kylemore vice-president Frank Spaziani.

“We truly appreciate the loyalty, support and contribution of our tradespeople, suppliers and consultants that together make a Kylemore home among the best and most desirable in the GTA,” says Spaziani. “We have some exciting major new communities coming in 2019 and 2020, and with the continued dedication of our staff and suppliers we’ll bring these to fruition.”

Bear Necessities

Kylemore’s donation to the Bear Necessities program will benefit Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation. The program helps the hospital to purchase life-saving equipment that government funding doesn’t cover.

“We have a decades-long commitment to Markham where many of our team live, work and play,” says Stollery. “Through our Kylemore Kares charitable initiative, we are pleased to be supporting the local hospital, which provides a vital service to area residents.”

There’s still time to join Kylemore in lifting someone’s spirits this holiday season, with the purchase of a plush Teddy Bear, soft sleep sack for a newborn, or a warm blanket for a patient. Learn more at lifesavinggifts.ca or call 905.472.7059.

Kylemore Communities is the recipient of a Heritage Markham 2017 Award of Excellence for the restoration and integration of the historic Colty’s Corner Schoolhouse into The Shoppes of Angus Glen; a 2014 Markham Design Excellence Award for Angus Glen Community, which also received BILD Association’s 2013 Places to Grow Community of the Year Award. Kylemore’s The 6th at Angus Glen has captured numerous prestigious design awards from BILD, OHBA and an Award of Merit from the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO).

For more information, visit kylemorecommunities.com

 

 

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


2019 web

Forecast 2019 – where are Canada’s hottest housing markets?

Latest News


Forecast 2019 – where are Canada’s hottest housing markets?

2019 web

Wondering where Canada’s hottest housing markets are, as 2018 comes to a close and 2019 is just around the corner? Well, that all depends on who you ask.

Two of Canada’s large realty firms – Royal LePage and ReMax – both issued their 2019 housing market outlooks on Dec. 11.

Yes, the very same day.

Rather than produce two stories on the exact same topic, just from different sources, we thought it would be interesting to compare them. And while there are some commonalities in their forecasts, there are also some interesting discrepancies.

There is no ‘Canadian’ market

Let’s begin with the headline of ReMax’s 2019 Housing Market Outlook: “Canadian home prices expected to increase by 1.7 per cent in 2019.”

Yeah, about that. Forget that headline. As we recently wrote, those national numbers are pretty meaningless. It’s like trying to summarize the weather, temperature or traffic as “Canadian.”

But, just for comparison purposes, ReMax estimates Canadian home prices will grow 1.7 per cent in 2019; Royal LePage, 1.2 per cent.

National numbers that do matter are interest rates, GDP growth and employment. Then there’s immigration, which affects some markets more than others, mortgage regulations and housing supply. All of these factors are the key drivers of real estate. But more on that later.

Now let’s take a look at some of the regional highlights.

GTA

ReMax says:

  • Toronto average prices down 4% in 2018 to $789,181
  • Toronto average prices forecast to rise 2% in 2019 to $804,964

In Toronto, rising interest rates and the mortgage stress test were the two major factors affecting market activity in 2018, with average sale prices dropping by four per cent from $822,572 in 2017 to $789,181 in 2018, and unit sales down by 16 per cent. Lack of affordability in the single-detached segment will make it difficult for buyers wanting to enter this market. Resale condos, on the other hand, now represent almost 37 per cent of total sales, fueled by affordability.

ReMax Housing Market Outlook, select major markets

Region 2018

 Average Home Price

 

2019

Average Home Price

(Forecast)

Year-over-Year

(%)

Vancouver $1.05M $1.01M -3.0%
Edmonton $379,539 $360,562 -5.0%
Calgary $487,399 $487,399 0.0%
Saskatoon $333,187 $343,182 0.6%
Regina $322,500 $322,500 0.0%
Winnipeg $323,001 $335,921 4.0%
Windsor $299,750 $329,725 10.0%
London $379,654 $398,636 5.0%
Kitchener-Waterloo $473,275 $487,473 3.0%
Hamilton-Burlington $707,949 $849,538 2.0%
Barrie $477,839 $492,174 3.0%
Oakville $1.08M $1.13M 5.0%
Mississauga $705,406 $733,622 4.0%
Brampton $577,846 $600,959 4.0%
Durham $594,585 $612,422 3.0%
Toronto $789,181 $804,964 2.0%
Ottawa $678,670 $705,816 4.0%
Halifax $299,982 $308,981 3.0%
St. John’s $265,523 $265,523 0.0%

 

Elsewhere in Ontario

Rising interest rates and the stress test continue to make it difficult for prospective buyers in Barrie, Oakville and Durham regions.

“This is particularly true for first-time buyers and single Millennials, as evident in cities like Brampton, Kingston and Durham,” says Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president and regional director, ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

Hottest in the province

The hottest market in Ontario? Windsor, which showed price growth of 13 per cent in 2018, to $299,750, with another 10 per cent increase forecast for 2019. London is also expected to be strong, with prices to increase another five per cent next year, after rising 17 per cent this year to reach $379,654.

 

Royal LePage says:

  • GTA average price in 2018 $844,000
  • GTA average price forecast to rise 1.3% to $854,552

“Compared to the record pace of home appreciation seen in 2016 and 2017, the GTA housing market is now positioned for much healthier and sustainable growth in future years,” says Chris Slightham, broker and owner, Royal LePage Signature Realty.

Many regions outside of Toronto’s core saw price declines in 2018, a result of overshooting in previous years. The continued population growth should cause the suburbs to stabilize and reignite price growth. In addition, the potential subway expansion into the suburbs should stabilize and increase home prices in close proximity to new transit infrastructure.

Elsewhere in Ontario

The median price in Ottawa is expected to increase 2.5 per cent in 2019 to $487,910, benefitting from the city’s healthy economy and high income per household, driven by the public and technology sectors.

Interestingly, Royal LePage also notes that neither the new mortgage rules nor recent interest rate hikes have notably affected Ottawa’s housing market.

 

Highlights from other Canadian markets

The star performer of all major Canadian markets in 2019? Montreal, according to Royal LePage.

“Quebec will out-perform the nation in 2019,” says President and CEO Phil Soper. “Like other regions of the country, the economy is strong and people are working. What is different is affordability. We have to remember that Montreal sat out the rapid home price inflation we saw in Vancouver and Toronto this decade, and in Calgary the decade before.”

As for the ReMax outlook for Montreal, Quebec did not participate in this year’s forecast.

 

 

Royal LePage Market Survey Forecast

Region  

2018 Aggregate Home Price
(Year End Estimate)


2019 
Aggregate
Home Price 
(Forecast)
Year-over-Year (%)
Canada $631,000 $638,257 1.2%
Greater Toronto Area $844,000 $854,552 1.3%
Greater Montreal Area $409,000 $421,306 3.0%
Greater Vancouver $1.28M $1.29M 0.6%
Ottawa $476,000 $487,910 2.5%
Calgary $484,000 $473,104 -2.3%
Edmonton $386,000 $378,691 -1.9%
Winnipeg $306,000 $309,829 1.3%
Halifax $321,000 $326,096 1.6%
Regina $327,000 $311,505 -4.7%

 

Influential factors

Now for more on those national factors that do influence real estate.

“I would call attention to two factors influencing our forecast that deserve special consideration,” says Soper. “Firstly, home prices are appreciating, albeit at a snail’s pace. Secondly, the Canadian market is supported by strong economic fundamentals, including a robust rate of new household formation and excellent employment growth.

“The future for Canadian housing remains bright, perhaps too bright. With an increasing number of gainfully employed people looking to put a roof over their heads, and the scarce availability of rental accommodation, policy makers in our major markets will once again be struggling with housing shortages. More than an affordable housing problem, we will once again be facing an overall housing supply crisis.”

As for interest rates, the Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate of 1.75 per cent on Dec. 5, citing a weaker than expected energy sector. Further rate increases are expected in 2019, making it more difficult for Canadians to buy a home in 2019.

The Bank forecasts GDP will increase 2.1 per cent in 2019, a modest increase over 2018, while Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 5.6 per cent in November, the lowest on record since 1976.

RELATED READING

5 things we can learn from real estate in 2018

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

GTA moving into balanced market for 2019

GTA new home market gains further momentum in October

Delays in approval process contributing to housing affordability issue in GTA

What the GM plant closure means for Oshawa economy and housing market

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


2018 web

5 things we can learn from real estate in 2018

Latest News


5 things we can learn from real estate in 2018

2018 web

With much of 2018 in the rear-view mirror, It’s been quite the year for the housing market in the GTA and elsewhere in Ontario. From sales and price fluctuations to supply concerns to rising housing costs. As 2019 approaches, here are five things we can learn from real estate in 2018.

 

1 Get used to the affordability issue

Get used to affordability challenges, especially in the GTA. This oft-cited issue is not going away any time soon, despite lobbying from the likes of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

Key economic fundamentals such as population and employment growth will continue to drive housing market demand. Over the next decade, almost 700,000 first-time buyers will target the GTA or Hamilton markets, according to a report from the Ontario Real Estate Association. Meanwhile, the supply of new homes is not yet being addressed, which contributes to rising prices.

With recent interest rate hikes and other changes, sales and prices in the GTA saw some moderation in 2018. But this will be short-lived, and a return to price growth is expected.

 

2 Increased government involvement – finally

Government lobbying by BILD and TREB seems to be paying off, in the sense that the Province is increasingly aware of the issues facing the industry – and buyers.

Buyers, you may not realize it, but you should thank BILD, TREB and other associations for that.

In late November, Ontario announced it was committing to a housing action plan “to help create more housing faster, give people more choice and bring down housing costs.”

Like anything involving government, though, this process will likely be slow moving – meaning, some of the challenges, namely increasing housing supply – will take time to be resolved.

But at least the issues are on the agenda.

One real example of this improved awareness is Ontario’s recent plan to change the 40-year-old apprenticeship system in the province – a move the home building industry says is a “game changer.”

It’s a game changer because the new one-to-one ratio, a significant change from the existing 3-to-1 ratio, will enable home builders and renovators to more easily hire and train new apprentices. Besides creating more job opportunities for trades workers, the move also helps builders and renovators operate their businesses

 

3 Fixing on interest rates

The Bank of Canada raised its overnight rate three times in 2018 – January, July and October – to where it sits now, 1.75 per cent.

Canada’s major banks, as is usually the case, responded by immediately raising their own rates.

Naturally, all of this has Canadians feeling a little uneasy.

The Conference Board of Canada’s latest Index of Consumer Confidence confirms that rising interest rates and weaker wage growth have started to take their toll on confidence. With interest charges squeezing Canadian wallets and weakening wage growth offering little reprieve, consumers have become hesitant to make major purchases and are less positive about the state of their finances.

In its latest rate announcement on Dec. 5, the Bank of Canada noted that global economic expansion is slowing, and the effects of the “oil price shock” are being monitored.

“We expect that the Bank will not move the overnight rate until the effects of the declining energy sector are known,”according to interest rate comparison website ratehub.ca. “However, the Bank makes it clear that they still plan on raising the key interest rate in 2019, likely more than once.”

This moderated stance might put downward pressure on fixed rate mortgages, however, so Canadians may see better fixed rates in the coming weeks, ratehub.ca says.

 

4 Real estate is more local than ever

It’s a simple point that escapes some consumers: Real estate is local, and in 2018, it became more local than ever.

What do we mean?

Well, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) and other major real estate bodies are mandated to oversee the national market.

So, when CREA issues a release that says Canadian home sales are down by X per cent, or when CMHC reports the national vacancy rate is down for the second consecutive year – and major media report such headlines – people tend to worry.

It’s essential to remember, however, that when you buy a home, you don’t buy the national market. You buy one house, on one street, in one neighbourhood, in one city and region.

If you live in Ontario, why do you care that Alberta’s ongoing oil industry struggles are pulling sales and prices down in markets in that province? Or that prices in Vancouver are even less affordable than in Toronto?

Forget the national headlines. Drill down into what’s happening in your market.

And why is real estate more local then ever? Because…

 

5 Lessons from Oshawa

General Motors Canada’s November announcement that it was closing its Oshawa assembly plant sent shockwaves not just through the province but all of Canada. To be sure, the loss of at least 2,500 jobs – not to mention untold positions in related suppliers – in a community of 170,000, is going to hurt. Hurt whom, and how badly, are the only questions.

This development should serve as a stark reminder to us all – of how important it is for cities to develop diversified, modern economies. Overdependence on any one ge, singular industries leads to overexposure in the case of downturns or, in GM’s case, outright shutdowns. It hurts the local economy, which impacts employment and wage growth, which impacts the housing market.

Oshawa, thankfully in recent years, has been diversifying its economy and expanding in technology, education and other industries. It will help, but the impact of the GM closure will likely play out over many months, if not years.

These developments could push housing in Oshawa into a buyers’ market, and prospective buyers could benefit from more options and softening prices.

In new homes, builders remain undeterred, encouraged by the longer-term growth and development throughout the Durham Region. Still, some may offer incentives such as discounts or inclusions to entice qualified buyers.

 

RELATED READING

GTA moving into balanced market for 2019

GTA new home market gains further momentum in October

What the GM plant closure means for Oshawa’s economy and housing market

New home buying opportunities abound in Oshawa and Durham Region

Where are interest rates headed in 2019?

 

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


Arie-Buzilo_fi

GTA moving into balanced market for 2019

Latest News


GTA moving into balanced market for 2019

Although the Greater Toronto Area housing market is somewhat in balanced territory, buyers and sellers are both up against the ropes.

This year has changed so much from the last five to 10 years. Both buyers and sellers have been affected in both positive and negative ways. For me, when working with a buyer and investor client, it was always a tailored approach. However, now more than ever, we have to be extremely diligent when analyzing residential types, location and price range.

In past years, it was much more common to think about flipping real estate or short-term investments. Now? Not so much. There is a total shift to a minimum five- to 10-year hold. Since the introduction of the stress test, some real estate markets took a hit. Buyers are also now faced with additional challenges such as qualification rules and rising interest rates.

Glass half full

Although there are pros and cons in today’s market, take a glass half full approach. Just think, in the past, is was very challenging for a seller to move up to a bigger property. There were bidding wars, price increases that exceeded pay raises, and to top it all off, extremely low inventory – which meant buyers might have to settle for something they might not fully love. The trade-off was a low interest rate environment. If you were a seller, it was nice to think you could sell your property for top dollar, but the million-dollar question was where will you buy next?

Also read: GTA home prices continue to rise

Also read: GTA new home market gains further momentum in October

Also read: GTA condo sales and prices hit record levels

Today, if a seller wants to move up, they can usually find a good deal and sell their property for a fair market value. Maybe your property went down 10 to 15 per cent, however, you are also buying your next home for the same 10 to 15 per cent less. Another benefit to such market conditions is that there are more deals to be had.

Notably, there have been fewer first-time buyers out there recently. Even a larger down payment might not cut it anymore, due to higher interest rates. This is why the condo market is doing well, especially the smaller and less expensive properties, due to affordability. The new reality could well be more people renting for a longer period.

Rising rates

The qualifying rate today is slightly more than six per cent. “The recent rule change with regards to the stress test basically decreased people’s max mortgage amount by about 15 to 20 per cent,” says Michael Yosher, director of lending at Integrity Tree Solutions Inc. “The 2019 horizon looks like this trend will continue, as Bank of Canada and economists are predicting several interest rate hikes, which will further reduce the amount of mortgage a buyer will qualify for. This has really taken the wind out of first-time buyers. Family members helping out with gifted down payments and cosigning mortgage loans are the trend these days.”

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, in October 2018 compared to last year October, average sales prices were up 3.5 per cent. Although this is good news for some sellers, most of this price growth is driven by the condominium market, which at one point lagged behind detached, semi-detached and townhouse product.

Arie Buzilo is a real estate broker with Century 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc. Brokerage, and an investor specializing in buying and selling properties in the GTA.

SHARE  

Featured Products


Toronto homes web

GTA home prices continue to rise

Latest News


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

 

SHARE  

Featured Products