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Archive for the 'F.A.Q.' Category

Why 2013 has been a Good Year for Toronto Housing

By: Mark Weisleder

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A year ago many pundits were predicting a real estate collapse in 2013. My view was different. I expected the market to stay strong and prices to hold up, which is what has happened.

By the end of September, 68,909 total homes had changed hands in the GTA, 1,000 units less than the same period last year. But the first half of October was strong – about 20 per cent higher than a year ago. So, it seems that sales for the year will exceed 2012′s 82,200 units. Average prices are also almost 5 per cent higher than a year ago and there are still bidding wars in many areas, because there are more buyers than listings.

Here’s why this is happening:

Low interest rates

Events like the U.S. fiscal cliff, civil war in Syria and instability in the Middle East, have had little impact here. Canada remains an island of stability. Things will only improve as economies in the US and European Union continue to improve. Interest rates may rise a little over the coming year, but the moves are unlikely to have a serious impact on the market..

Canada’s appeal to immigrants

We continue to be the envy of the world when it comes to quality of life and the fact that so many cultures and communities can live in harmony. That is why over 150,000 people come to Ontario each year, with the majority in the GTA. They have to live somewhere.

Low rental vacancy rates

The Toronto condo market has slowed somewhat, but prices haven’t crashed. The reason is that the vacancy rate for rental condominium units in downtown Toronto is 1.7 per cent. As a result, the average rent for a two bedroom condominium is about $2,500, which is also the amount an investor needs to carry an average two bedroom condominium, even if it costs $500,000. If you can carry your condo, you are in no rush to sell or lower your asking price.

People have been predicting the real estate market crash in the GTA for the past 13 years. It hasn’t happened yet and won’t happen next year either.

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James Metcalfe’s Toronto Real Estate Update October 2013

VOLUME, PRICES SURGE IN SEPTEMBEROCTOBER

2013Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,411 residential sales through the Toronto MLS system in September – a whopping 30% increase versus September 2012 sales of 5,687 units. Double digit volume increases occurred across all four key market segments: single-detached (+34%), semi-detached (+20%), townhomes (+31%) and condo apartments (+29%). This is the third consecutive month of double digit volume growth and demonstrates that the pent-up demand which had built up over a one year period following the July 2012 introduction of stricter mortgage lending criteria is now being satisfied in earnest. The bottom line is that home ownership remains highly affordable given the current mix of prices, interest rates, incomes and lending criteria guidelines. The average price of a GTA resale home in September was $533,797 – a healthy 6% increase versus the September 2012 average price of $501,326. Price growth varied by market segment: single-detached (+8%), semi-detached (+2%), townhomes (+10%) and condo apartments (-2%).   

James Metcalfe's Toronto Real Estate Update Oct 2013 from James Metcalfe

Call me anytime for more detailed market analysis and specifically your free home Opinion of Value …

Best Regards;

Jim Metcalfe  416-931-4161

 

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James Metcalfe’s May Real Estate Update

May has been a busy month with some crazy weather. The housing market saw a slight decline in April and a slight rise in the average cost of housing. April saw a slight 2% decline in sales which may be a result of stricter mortgage lending guidelines. The average price of a resale home in the GTA in April was $526,335 which represented a 2% increase versus April 2012. This could mean that price growth in the back half of 2013 may be stronger than originally thought.

This month’s newsletter also features a brand new research tool that is now available to hone buyers. Available to every municipality in Canada, these new home history reports include information on local school rankings, local demographics and insurance claim records for the neighbourhood, among other things. They are published and sold by Teranet which covers land registration and title search services for the province of Ontario.

In this month’s Trendy Corner find out how to design a kitchen. Some of the major questions that you should be asking include: What are your general preferences? Do you need more than one sink? Do you prefer gas, electric or a combination? Do you need a pantry for extra storage? A kitchen can be an expensive and time consuming design process. This month’s kitchen checklist will help make those decisions a little bit easier.

As always our ever popular “Pearls of Wisdom” returns. Here is a preview: “If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question.”- Lily Tomlin

James Metcalfe’s May Real Estate Update from James Metcalfe

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Royal LePage: Canada’s House Price Survey

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 PDF

 

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 PDF
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:

Tammy Gilmer
Director, Global Communications & Public Relations
Royal LePage Real Estate Services
416-510-5783

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James Metcalfe’s February Real Estate Update

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

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James Metcalfe’s November Real Estate Update in Our Home Toronto

It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through November. This month in our Real Estate Update in Our Home Toronto we find that the average price of a resale home in October in the GTA was $503,479, a +6% increase from October 2011. Townhomes saw an increase of +3% and condos remained flat at +/- 0%. The average price remains well above the rate of inflation but volume of homes sold is decreasing. This month we also discuss an important court decision regarding the question of whether or not condo corporations need to inspect the unit before issuing a status certificate (for the unit)? In this month’s look at “Personal Finance” we look at three important tips to take into consideration when evaluating adjustable rate mortgages. And as always, we have our ever popular “Pearls of Wisdom- here is a quick preview “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits”-Albert Einstein .

James Metcalfe’s November Real Estate Update from James Metcalfe

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