Spring has finally arrived (sort of) and with it some growth in the average price of a resale home in the GTA. In March, we saw the price of homes increase by 4% versus March 2012 which means the average price of a home increased from $500, 875 to $519, 879. We also saw price growth across all market segments including single- detached homes, semi-detached homes, townhomes and condo apartments. Although we saw price growth there was a 17% decrease in sales versus March 2o12.
This month in our update we look at a case of a couple with two dogs and the importance of examining the building’s certificate of status prior to placing an offer on a unit. Make sure to ask your real estate agent about the certificate of status prior to placing a bid on a resale condo. They should know of any restrictions when it comes to pets and so should you!
We also take a look at some of your electrical questions including examining the electrical capacity of your home and what to do if some of your electrical out lets are not grounded. What are the risks and consequences?
Lastly, and as always we have the popular Pearls of Wisdom. Here is a preview: “Here’s something to think about: how come you never see a headline like ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’” – Jay Leno.
It may seem like spring is taking its time to arrive this year, but I am sure there are some spring surprises just around the corner. In fact, one of my favourites happens each year in High Park with the blooming of the cherry blossom trees. Once the cherry blossoms are in full bloom we know that spring has officially arrived.
The Sakura or cherry blossom trees as they are probably more commonly known were a gift to Canada and Toronto from the Japanese Ambassador to Canada in 1959, and they have been a tourist attraction for locals and visitors alike ever since. Amateur and professional photographers alike flock to High Park when the trees are blooming just to catch a glimpse of the beautiful pink flowers and the crowds seem to increase on a yearly basis. Because of this Our Home Toronto has a couple tips to get the best view of the cherry blossoms once they finally bloom.
1) Head to High Park to see the cherry blossoms after work on a weekday to avoid the weekend crowds.
2) Take public transit. There is limited parking in High Park.
3) Be prepared to walk. The trees are beautiful and most are located around Hillside Gardens. Here is a good map to guide you.
According to www.highparktoronto.com the trees have not bloomed yet, and are not expected to bloom until late April. Typically, the blooming lasts for a week to a week and a half if the weather is good.
Canada’s Housing Market Begins the Year with Slightly Positive Price Trends
Unprecedented combination of low interest rates, flattening house prices and strengthening economy provide support to Canada’s housing market
TORONTO, April 4, 2013 –The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed that house prices remained relatively flat in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012, recording that the average price of a home in Canada increased between 1.2 per cent and 2.4 per cent. An unprecedented combination of flat or in some regions decreasing house prices, inexpensive mortgages and the confidence brought on by an improving economy has resulted in a unique residential real estate environment.
In the first quarter of 2013, the national average price of a standard two-storey home increased 2.2 per cent, compared to the previous year. Over the same period, the national average price of a detached bungalow increased 2.4 per cent and the average price of a standard condominium increased 1.2 per cent.
“2013 finds the Canadian housing industry in a highly unusual place. The combination of very low mortgage rates and flat home prices, against a background of general economic improvement across the nation, is not something we’ve seen before,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage. “Typically one of these variables is moving hard in an opposite direction. While some have spoken loudly about impending market volatility and dramatic downward pressure on home prices, we are simply not seeing evidence of this. The current environment is very supportive for housing. Those waiting for big declines in home prices will likely be disappointed.”
The Canadian economy stabilized during the first quarter of 2013 and the country surpassed expectations with the addition of 51,000 jobs1 during the month of February. Domestic economic strength is buttressed by an improving U.S. economy and the expectations of a growth in resource consumption driven by China. At the same time, despite the improving economy, the Bank of Canada has been clear about its intention to keep interest rates low for the near- and mid-term.
1Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, February 2013. < http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130308/dq130308a-eng.htm >.
“There is some degree of uncertainty regarding the of length time these factors will remain in place,” said Soper. “Of the three variables we identified, economic strength is the most likely to persist based upon the upswing in employment, our well-educated workforce, a solid financial sector and the influence of our natural resource sector. Given recent and repeated signals from the Bank of Canada, we can expect interest rates to remain low for some time to come. The continued stability of house prices is much harder to gauge.”
“Timing house prices to trends in a given neighbourhood is very difficult,” said Soper. “And it is important to remember that Canada is a collection of regional markets. Case in point, we see renewed strength in the Alberta and Saskatchewan markets in early 2013, based on the health of the energy sector. Across the mountains in Vancouver, affordability concerns dampened demand significantly. The resultant correction in home prices there may attract a new round of buyers before year end.”
Regional Market Summaries
In the first quarter of 2013, Halifax continued to experience consistent growth, with significant prices increases across housing types surveyed. Detached bungalows made the highest leap, increasing 7.8 per cent year-over-year to $294,667. St. John’s witnessed some of the highest average price gains in Canada, with two-storey homes rising 10.6 per cent. This was due in large part to an upswing in activity by move-up and executive buyers purchasing higher priced homes.
Montreal home prices remained relatively flat in the first quarter 2013. Standard two-storey homes saw the largest increase of 1.4 per cent to an average price of $392,929, while standard condominiums experienced the smallest rise of 0.4 per cent to $240,044.
Ottawa’s real estate market remained relatively flat, with house price gains ranging from 0.8 to 1.9 per cent. While standard condominiums saw the largest price gains, unit inventory for this housing category shot up 41 per cent compared to last year.
Toronto posted moderate growth in the first quarter, with average price gains of 1.8 to 4.0 per cent for housing types surveyed. The quarter saw a slight decrease in volume, even among first-time home buyers, who are traditionally the most active group. At the same time, multiple offer situations and bidding wars were still taking place in some areas of the city.
The 2013 real estate market was off to a strong start in Winnipeg. Detached bungalows posted the largest increase of 6.9 per cent to $302,896. Multiple offer and bidding war situations remain prevalent, with 35 per cent of listings selling above asking price.
With inventory yet to catch up to an influx of first-time buyers moving to the city, Regina continued to see strong price increases. Standard two-storey homes saw the highest increase, rising 12.7 per cent year-over-year to an average price of $337,000.
Low inventory also put upward pressure on prices in Calgary, with increases of 5.1 to 6.8 per cent for housing types surveyed. Although they experienced the smallest price increase, standard condominiums were the most active housing category in the first quarter of 2013. In contrast, Edmonton prices remained relatively flat with price changes ranging from a decrease of 0.2 per cent to an increase of 1.7 per cent across surveyed housing types.
Vancouver posted year-over-year decreases of 5.1 to 5.6 per cent across housing types. The market witnessed an overall reduction in activity from both buyers and sellers, which continued to drive prices down.
Royal LePage’s quarterly House Price Survey shows the annual change of prices for key housing segments in select national markets. Click here to download the chart
About the Royal LePage House Price Survey
The Royal LePage House Price Survey is the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind in Canada, with information on seven types of housing in over 250 neighbourhoods from coast to coast. This release references an abbreviated version of the survey which highlights house price trends for the three most common types of housing in Canada in 90 communities across the country. A complete database of past and present surveys is available on the Royal LePage website at www.royallepage.ca. Current figures will be updated following the complete tabulation of the data for the first quarter of 2013. A printable version of the first quarter 2013 survey will be available online on May 3, 2013.
Housing values in the Royal LePage House Price Survey are Royal LePage opinions of fair market value in each location, based on local data and market knowledge provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts.
Royal LePage Q1 2013 House Price Survey – Data Chart
About Royal LePage
Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of 14,000 real estate professionals in over 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.
For more information, visit www.royallepage.ca.
For further information, please contact:
Director, Global Communications & Public Relations
Royal LePage Real Estate Services
April is just around the corner and the Easter holiday has arrived early this year and there is certainly a lot happening around the city in celebration of the first long weekend of warmer weather. In anticipation of warmer weather and a family filled long weekend, Our Home Toronto has put together a list of our favourite events happening this weekend.
1) The All About Pets Show: Beginning Friday and ending Sunday at the International Centre, the All About Pets Show looks after the four legged member or members of your family. This year marks the shows 2oth year and some of the major highlights include a wellness centre, seminars and shopping for your favourite four legged companion.
2) The One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale: The One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale hits Exhibition Place this Saturday. The show will feature more than 800 artisans and artists and is certainly the place to go if you are looking for that one of a kind gift for a friend or loved one, or if you are just looking to treat yourself. You will find everything from jewelry and paintings to furniture and textiles. Looking for something one of a kind- this is certainly the place to be.
3) Toronto Rock vs. Buffalo Bandits: If you are in the mood for a sports fix this long weekend don’t miss the Toronto Rock vs. the Buffalo Bandits. The games are at the Air Canada Centre which is very centrally located and the ticket prices are reasonable with a minimum ticket price of $18.75. Learn all about the team at www.torontorock.com.
4) Easter “Egg” Stravaganza: Head down to the Toronto Zoo to hunt for Easter eggs and spend the day with animals from all over the world. Sadly, the new pandas can’t been seen by the public yet, we will all have to wait until May for that!
5) Vintage Easter Parade: The Vintage Easter Parade is happening this Sunday with a fashionable stroll down Yonge Street. Young and old can participate and watch the parade for free. There will even be opportunities for photos at Yonge- Dundas Square. The parade route and further details can be found here: http://www.beeskneesdance.com/easter-parade/ Anyone can participate so put on your Sunday best and join the fun!
February has almost come to a close and was once again a very successful month. The average price of a resale home increased by 4.3% to an average price of $482,648. The industry saw price growth in many market segments including single-detached homes, semi-detached homes, town homes and condo apartments. This month in our newsletter we focus on personal finance and look at tax issues when selling a condo. This month in personal finance we look at the pros and cons of reverse mortgages: how they work, the advantages and disadvantages and traditional mortgages vs. reverse mortgages. When you are selling a condo (and it is not your primary residence) it is important to realize that half the profit is taxable. Read more about taxes and condo sales in this month’s Condo Corner. Returning this month as always are the ever popular pearls of wisdom. Here is a sneak peak to get you in the spirit. “The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.”- Lucille Ball
Tomorrow is Family Day! Ontario residents first started observing the family day holiday in 2008 and there are always a large number of fun, family friendly events that take place around the province and the city of Toronto during the family day holiday. In celebration of family and to help our readers enjoy the holiday Our Home Toronto has put together a list of some Family Day events happening around Toronto. These are just a few of our favourites:
1) Skating: The public skating rinks will be open including the rink at the Harbourfront which is hosting the HarbourKids Skating Festival. The festival will feature skating performances, dancing, theatre and concerts.
2) Casa Loma: Not only is Casa Loma a Toronto landmark but it also hosting a teddy bear extravaganza on Monday complete with a reading of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, tea, hot chocolate and cake. Tickets are $23 for adults and $17.50 for children.
3) Tiff Bell Light Box: The Lightbox will host a whole day of free activities from 10:00am. Arrive early so you and your family don’t miss the magic shows button making.
4) The AGO: The Art Gallery of Ontario is hosting a dance party this upcoming Family Day! For $39 for a family pass (2 adults and up to 5 children) you can also see family films, do a scavenger hunt and even try family yoga!