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Archive for the 'Market Stats & Trends' Category

Why it’s a good time to buy a home …

Mark Weisleder Good time to Buy

Mark Weisleder … Lawyer, Author, Lecturer, Key Note Speaker … wrote this terrific article on why now is a perfect time to buy a home. This blog, website and social media extensions are all resources to help you know who are the perfect Realtors to assist you in your home searches and sales.Visit http://www.OurHomeToronto.com for lots of new listing choices and free tutorials on buying or selling your home.  We Specialize in homes & condos in OurHomeRosedale.com, OurHomeYorkville.com, OurHomeAnnex.com, OurHomeCabbagetown.com, OurHomeMoorePark.com

 

By Mark Weisleder
Paul Lachine illustration
 

I believe there has never been a better time to buy a home. I’ve been in the industry for 28 years as a lawyer and I haven’t seen so many positive signs for housing, whether you are thinking or buying or locking in a mortgage.

Here’s why:

Mortgage rates at historic lows: They can’t get any lower. Four to five-year fixed mortgages at 3 per cent are unheard of. It is lower than the variable rate that most Canadians have been paying for years. Rates have nowhere to go but up, either later this year or next. If you are paying a variable interest rate, lock in now.

Canada’s appeal: This country has everything going for it — a stable banking and political environment, steady real estate market, the natural resources people want and few social tensions. That makes us a safe haven in a volatile world.

Our immigrant draw: Because of the above, we’re a draw for immigrants, often wealthy ones. When they get here, they need a home. So in my view while the real estate market may level off in some areas of Ontario, it should stay strong in most of the GTA and likely Canada’s other large urban centres as well.

Mortgage defaults: According to CMHC, over 99 per cent of Canadians pay their mortgages on time. It quite a different picture in the U.S. where 7 million homes are in foreclosure and perhaps another 7 million homeowners are under water. This represents almost 15 per cent of all homes. So while the American housing market will likely be weak for the next few years, this should not occur in Canada. Our banks are not dumping homes onto the market, so there is no downward pressure on prices.

Also read: 6 ways to ensure you don’t buy the wrong house 

Recourse Mortgages: In many U.S. states, if you can’t pay your mortgage, the only thing the bank can do is foreclose; they cannot sue you for any shortfall. So when homes go under water, owners give the keys back to the  bank. In Canada, loans are almost all Recourse, meaning if you don’t pay and there is a shortfall, the lender can sue you for the difference. This is another reason why, in my opinion, even if times do get tough, Canadian homeowners will find a way to make the payments until things improve.

Income-to-price ratio: Another misleading statistic is that in major markets, like Toronto, the average price of a home is now 4.6 times the income of the average Canadian. This same statistic was found just before the U.S. and UK markets went into the tank. However, if you look at median incomes of Canadians against the median cost of homes, this average comes down to around 3.5, which is not dangerous. Using averages are wrong. A person receiving social assistance will not buy a home, and should not be included in any relevant statistic.

High consumer debt: The warnings about rising debt ratios must be examined carefully. The Governor of the Bank of Canada is worried that the average personal debt ratio is now 156 per cent in Canada. This means a household making $100,000 per year, owes $156,000, two-thirds of which is mortgage debt. Why is this so bad? At an interest rate of 3 or even 5 per cent, the amount needed to service the debt is manageable. Most people do not pay off their mortgages in one year. Still, this is another good reason to consolidate your debt now, at these low interest rates, and lock in.

No guarantees: Nobody can predict the future and there’s always the possibility of a major economic shock. Yet, in a U.S. presidential election year, politicians will do whatever is necessary to prevent it. If the economy goes into the tank, so do re-election chances. The U.S. is already showing signs of economic recovery.

Also read: 20 things to look for in a home inspection

No matter what, do not take on a monthly payment higher than what you can afford. Meet with your lender or mortgage broker in advance to figure out what you can afford before you start looking for a home. It may be the best time to buy, but you need to buy smart.

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January 2012 Mid-Month Resale Prices Up 6% … Following a very strong 2011 market

 

TORONTO, January 17, 2012 Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 1,506 sales through the TorontoMLS® system during the first two weeks of January 2012. This result represented a six per cent increase compared to the first 14 days of January 2011. New listings were also up on a year-over-year basis, but by a lesser 3.7 per cent.
 
“Prices were up for most major home categories in the GTA in comparison to last year. The strongest price growth was for single-detached homes in the City of Toronto. The average price of singles in the 416 area code was up by 22 per cent year-over-year, pointing to a greater weighting of higher end detached homes changing hands compared to the same time last year,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.Summary of TorontoMLS® Sales and Average Price (January 1 – 14)  
“The market didn’t miss a beat after the holiday season, with robust sales growth continuing and sellers’ market conditions remaining in place. Strong competition between buyers continued to push the average selling price higher in the Greater Toronto Area relative to a year ago,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President. The average selling price during the first two weeks of 2012 was $444,473 – up by more than 8.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.

“Prices were up for most major home categories in the GTA in comparison to last year. The strongest price growth was for single-detached homes in the City of Toronto. The average price of singles in the 416 area code was up by 22 per cent year-over-year, pointing to a greater weighting of higher end detached homes changing hands compared to the same time last year,” said  TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

View more presentations from James Metcalfe.

 

 

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James Metcalfe’s Real Estate Update January 2012 … in #OurHomeToronto

Here is our January Real Estate Market Update for Our Home Toronto: You will note 2011 was a Banner Year with Prices up 8% and homes sold up 4%, Real life Legal Insights for condo owners, Decorating Don’ts and the ever popular Pearls of Wisdom … Enjoy and do let us know if you would like to receive this update by email.

For loads of Listings and free information on buying or selling  Visit OurHomeToronto 

View more documents from James Metcalfe.

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James Metcalfe’s Real Estate Update November 2011 … in #OurHomeToronto

Here is our November  Real Estate Market Update for Our Home Toronto: You will note Brisk Market continues through October, House -Security-Smart, Condo Corner – Fees, FINTRAC – Money Laundering and the ever popular Pearls of Wisdom … Enjoy and do let us know if you would like to receive this update by email.

For loads of Listings and free information on buying or selling  Visit OurHomeToronto 

View more documents from James Metcalfe.

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Finding More Information About Current Toronto Real Estate Market Conditions

Where can I, the consumer, find more information about current Toronto real estate market conditions?

Subscribe to http://OurHomeTorontoBlog.com/ and or the Toronto Real Estate Board releases a publication twice a month, including a full statistical update on market conditions at the beginning of each month.

The following is a link to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s publication.

http://www.torontorealestateboard.com/market_news/release_market_updates/index.htm

Toronto, October 18, 2011 Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,477 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system during the first 14 days of October 2011. This total represented a 20 per cent increase over 2,890 sales reported during the first two weeks of October 2010. Year-over-year growth in new listings for the same period was slightly stronger than that recorded for sales – up 21 per cent to 6,249.

Growth in new listings outstripped growth in sales, meaning more choice for buyers. A growing number of home owners are reacting to the above average price growth reported this year and have decided to list their home for sale. They are confident they will receive timely offers in line with their asking prices.”

The average selling price during the first two weeks of October was $475,743 – up 7.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2010.

“The average resale home price is expected to grow at a slower pace in the months ahead because the market is becoming better supplied. There will be less competition between home buyers as we move through the fall and winter.” said Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “With a more balanced market in 2012, the average rate of annual price growth is expected to be in the mid single digits.”

View more presentations from James Metcalfe.

 

 

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James Metcalfe’s Real Estate Update October 2011 … in #OurHomeToronto

Here is our October  Real Estate Market Update for Our Home Toronto: You will note Strong Fall Market, House  Smart – Heating, Condo Corner – NO smoking please, Staging Pays! and the ever popular Pearls of Wisdom … Enjoy and do let us know if you would like to receive this update by email.

For loads of Listings and free information on buying or selling  Visit OurHomeToronto 

View more documents from James Metcalfe.

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