All Posts in Tag

Toronto Housing

Top Performers in the GTA and Toronto Real Estate Market

Houses to Rent in Toronto Suburbs – Real Estate Toronto

Toronto Real Estate Market Feb 2016 — Top Performing Areas

View The GTA’s top performing housing markets in a full screen map

Toronto’s Suburbs are becoming increasingly popular–and with good reason!

It was another record-breaking month for the Toronto Real Estate Market and the rest of the GTA. With conditions being as tight as they are in the city, it’s not surprising that properties in the suburbs are going fast–and fetching a pretty penny too! We ranked areas in the GTA according to their price increase, highest selling prices, largest sales increase, and least expensive.

Biggest Price Increase

  1. Whitchurch-Stouffville
    Avg. Price 2015: $789,730
    Avg. Price 2014:$658,358
    Year-Over-Year % Change: 20
  2. Newmarket
    Avg. Price 2015: $618,498
    Avg. Price 2014: $531,376
    Year-Over-Year % Change: 16.4
  3. Richmond Hill
    Avg. Price 2015: $886,773
    Avg. Price 2014: $762,219
    Year-Over-Year % Change: 16.4

Largest Sales Increase

  1. Burlington
    Avg. Price 2015: $596,379
    Total Sales 2015: 2,038
    Total Sales 2014: 1,570
    Year-Over-Year % Change: 23
  2. Aurora
    Avg. Price 2015: $746,715
    Total Sales 2015: 1,087
    Total Sales 2014: 927
    Year-Over-Year % Change: 14.7
  3. Georgina
    Avg. Price 2015: $410,915
    Total Sales 2015: 1,043
    Total Sales 2014: 897
    Year-Over-Year % Change: 14

Fastest Selling Homes

  1. Ajax
    Avg. Price 2015: $491,035
    Avg. DOM 2015: 13
  2. Whitby
    Avg. Price 2015: $488,304
    Avg. DOM 2015: 15
  3. Newmarket
    Avg. Price 2015: $618,498
    Avg. DOM 2015: 17

Most Expensive Homes

  1. King
    Avg. Price 2015: $1,006,701
  2. Richmond Hill
    Avg. Price 2015: $886,773
  3. Oakville
    Avg. Price 2015: $831,088

Least Expensive Homes

  1. Oshawa
    Avg. Price 2015: $349,797
  2. Clarington
    Avg. Price 2015: $392,101
  3. Georgina
    Avg. Price 2015: $410,915

Read more

What Sellers Need to Know About the Spring | Houses for Sale in Toronto

Houses for Sale in Toronto go Quickly in the Spring

Why is Spring 2016 the Best Time to Sell a House in Toronto? Just take a look at historical Toronto Housing Prices for this time of year.

It’s hard to believe that February is already over and Spring will be here in just three weeks. Like many Torontonians, Realtors love this time of year, not only because of rising temperatures but because it’s the best time to sell a home. Any seasoned Toronto Real Estate Agent will agree that certain seasons are more favourable to sell a house than others. Oftentimes, the transition between cold months to warmer months sparks something in buyers, and with the current condition of the Toronto Real Estate Market, this couldn’t be truer. In fact, it’s in the Spring when Toronto housing prices increase and homes sell at or above asking price. Furthermore, the amount of time they on the market is significantly short when compared to other seasons. We’re still in a seller’s market, and the pent-up demand from buyers is exceeding the supply of Houses for Sale in the Toronto. While warmer temperatures do have an impact on home sales, but there are a few other reasons people want to shell out a few extra dollars for a house in the Spring.

  1. Most families prefer to purchase a home in the Spring because that leaves them with ample time to register their kids in new schools. When it’s time to close, it will be relatively early in the summer, you most likely won’t have to deal with a heat wave when packing moving boxes.
  2. Spring is a great time to showcase your home as well. With the snow finally gone, lawns are visible and houses just appear to be more attractive in the spring. There are no sub-zero temperatures or icy driveways to deter buyers from venturing outside of their homes. By the end of March, some annual flowers will be in fresh bloom and trees will begin to bud, and a feeling of a new beginning will be in the air.
  3. With holiday debts and bills finally paid off, buyers are in higher spirits and aren’t as stressed about making a big purchase. Additionally, most buyers will have the benefit of a tax return in the Spring–this is especially helpful for first-time buyers who are feeling the impact of the increase in the minimum down payment. Remember, many people are entering the market for the first time, so be ready for people who are on the hunt for condos for sale in Toronto.
  4. Competition among buyers is very stiff, and they’re willing to bid to the very end. Bidding wars occur most frequently in the Spring than at any other time of year because home buyers want the perfect move-in date. Use this to your advantage to ensure you make the most of your home sale.

mls toronto spring stats 2016

Although Spring isn’t officially here until the Equinox on March 20, it’s definitely sprung early for buyers in the Greater Toronto Area. If you’re planning on selling your house, now is the perfect time to consult your GTA Real Estate Agent. The window of opportunity is wide open, so take advantage of it before other sellers start adding to the mix. While the market conditions will guarantee your house will sell, you want to get the best dollar for it.

Read more

Toronto Millennials — A Landlord’s Dream

Toronto Millennials are poised to take over the rental market. Are you ready for them?

Millennials: We’ve heard this term thrown around a lot lately, but who exactly are they and what role does Generation Y play in the real estate market?

You don’t need to have an inside scoop to know that Toronto and Vancouver’s housing markets are on fire. As a matter of fact, not a day goes by without an argument of a housing bubble (or lack thereof), or a major media company discussing foreign investment and housing affordability becoming increasingly out of reach.

Toronto Millennials feel the effects of the latter, as the likelihood of having $1 million on hand for a house is slim to none. The first wave of this generation makes up a group of young single professionals. Unlike their predecessors, it’s more common to see millennials in their late twenties and early thirties focusing on advancing their careers. If we look at Baby Boomers and Generation X, we would see people graduating, finding work, settling into an area, getting married and purchasing their first home all before the age of 30. The thought of doing any of that for someone from Gen Y would be overwhelming to say the least.

As for the younger Millennials, the right of passage to adulthood includes transitioning from post-secondary institutions and living with mom and dad to living in the real world. Property managers see an increase in this demographic coming to them for rental properties. Gone are the days where young adults dreams include white picket fences and 2.5 children. Millennials are less interested raising families and climbing the corporate ladder and more interested in seeing the world and being their own boss. If you get the chance to chat with someone between the age of 23 to 28, ask them what their one wish in life would be. Nine times out of 10 it would be to travel or sell hats on the beach.

To the average Millennial, renting vs. buying is the best way to save money in today’s real estate market. As many do not have existing capital or sizable assets, renting puts them at a much lower risk of losing money, should there be a shift in the market. Between a down payment and a mortgage, and first and last rent, losing a deposit isn’t as big of a deal as foreclosure is.

So far this post has taught us that the majority of Millennials will not be buying your property–got it. What we haven’t covered is a way to capitalize on this market. Essentially, Millennials are a landlord’s and property manager’s dream. They make up a market of people in seek of quality rental housing without a major time commitment or financial investment. These people are loyal to premium brands (i.e. Apple or Samsung, iPhone or Android), and if treated right, will make wonderful long-term tenants. They also like to share their positive experiences with their friends via social media and other short forms of communication that don’t require face-to-face meetings, which means more business for you in the form of referrals.

If you are a property owner, leave Marketing to the Millennials to the pros. As seasoned Toronto property managers, we have all the tools to stage your property to make it appeal to quality tenants, and ensure that your investment is in good hands. For more information on our Property Managment services in Toronto, or how we can help source quality tenants for your rental property, contact us today.

Read more

CMHC Fourth Quarter Report

This morning, CHMC released its Fourth Quarter report of 2015

This morning, CHMC released its Fourth Quarter report of 2015

Does 2015 CMHC Fourth Quarter Report support promises made by the Liberals?

Members of the media had full plates for the majority of October–Between the Federal election and Post-Season baseball, it’s been difficult to cover much else. Now, with Trudeau’s win and the Blue Jays’ loss, Canadian consumers can set their sights back on the health of our Economy–and the future of the Housing Sector.

This morning, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation released its Fourth Quarter report, which includes economic forecasts for 2016 and 2017. For those who recall promises made during the 78-day federal campaign, this report may offer some insight on what’s to come in 2016 and 2017. A highlight of the report focused on migration to Ontario, with the increase of new residents expected to outpace other parts of the country. Despite modest movement in recent years, Ontario’s economy is predicted to gain momentum in 2016 and 2017. Improving business conditions and expansion will increase hiring in the province, enabling job growth to rise to 1.6 per cent and 1.3 per cent in 2016 and 2017, as well as the unemployment rate to hover around 6.5 and 6.4 per cent respectively. This is one contributing factor to the appeal Ontario has to migrants, both nationally and internationally.

Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation

The CMHC quarterly report could not have been released at a more appropriate time. Following the federal election and Trudeau’s win, we can better gauge what type of action we’ll see in the housing sector. During their campaign, the Liberals focused on the best interests of the middle class; the high-tax battle, maximizing savings, and the accessibility of affordable housing. The high cost of housing in hubs such as Toronto and Vancouver has limited home ownership to those whose incomes far surpass the national average. In response to this issue, the Liberals propose new incentives for first-time homebuyers, including breaks on mortgage policies, as well increased amortization periods. To the discerning consumer, the promises sound more like suggestions, as nothing has been set in stone. Additionally, the Liberals propose to make changes to the Home Buyers’ Plan. Implemented in 1992, the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) allows Canadian residents to withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSPs, tax-free to use toward the down payment of their first home. Participants of the HBP are given 15 years to replenish the amount withdrawn from their RRSPs. Although the withdraw limit isn’t expected to increase, the Liberal party proposes to make the HBP more accessible, by opening up eligibility beyond first-time homebuyers. Although interest rates are forecast to rise, the increase would be slight at worst, and are not expected to have a substantial impact on home buying.

Good news for Investors and Renters

Benefits that are also included in Trudeau’s plans surround the 10-year investment in social housing infrastructure, focusing on affordable housing and facilities dedicated to seniors. The investment will fund new buildings, as well as refurbish existing housing. As an investor, you will experience tax breaks and new capital investments will not be charged GST. This initiative is to encourage the construction of new affordable rental housing, as well as converting other multi-dwelling units and freehold homes into rentals.

It is predicted that high-rise unit ownership and rental demand will continue to be supported by first-time buyers with limited funds, as well an influx of Baby Boomers, who are looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle. Resale housing will remain vigorous over the course of the forecast, with numbers ranging between 193,000 and 225,000 units in 2016, before easing to the range of 175,000 to 220,000 units in 2017. Ontario home prices are predicted to grow, however, at a slower rate than previous years. This is due to a more balanced market, an increase in new listings, and the demand for more cost-effective housing options such as condominiums and townhomes. For Investors looking to expand their portfolios, this report, coupled with the results of the recent election should be kept in consideration when purchasing an income property. With several consumers turning toward more affordable housing options, new condominium and purpose-built rental segment are predicted to be solid investments.

Read more

Unattractive Investment Property

The Ugly Duckling — Transforming an Unattractive Investment Property into a Beautiful Swan

from shabby to chic investment property

If you’ve been itching to purchase an investment property in Toronto, then you probably know that pickings have been pretty slim lately. Move-in ready houses with curb appeal are often the subject of bidding wars and come with a hefty price tag. The thought of owning a property that will generate immediate rental income is ideal, however, after weighing the pros and cons, and taking price into consideration is it really worth it?

Enter the ugly duckling: The legal triplex that is in need of some TLC. It’s in a fantastic neighbourhood, however, it contains a unit that smells like several unappetizing meals were cooked in it and has carpet that dates back to the early eighties. Overall, it’s not a pretty sight, and you’re uninterested. These are signs of poor property management. Before you move on to the next house, consider this: The property wasn’t built with a smell reminiscent of burnt dinners past, and at one point, that carpet was new. The point is, if you ask anyone involved in property management, we can tell you about some of the most luxurious spaces that have been destroyed in a matter of months due to one bad tenant — we can also tell you have quickly we’ve cleaned them up and made them move-in ready by the next month.

If you’re willing to look past the cosmetic issues and focus on numbers, taking on a property that was poorly managed isn’t such a bad idea. This can often save you money on the initial investment, and after hiring a reputable property management to turn it around, you will then be able to increase the rent and earn a profit.

Signs Poor Property Management

1. Units Not Prepared For Renting – If the state of a unit makes you ask yourself “Who would want to live here?” after viewing it, then you know it’s been poorly managed.
2. Not taking accountability – If the previous managers blame the condition of the property on a bad area or bad tenants, they’re trying to draw your attention away from the real problem – bad management.
3. Vacancy – if there are six units, and two of them have been vacant for months, that’s never a good sign.
4. High Turnover – If the previous landlord couldn’t keep tenants because a) they were unhappy with the living conditions or b) they weren’t paying their rent, then those are both signs of bad property management.

As an investor, signs of bad management can mean dollar signs in the future. Unfortunately, you can’t change the location of a building or a property’s layout without major renovation. You can, however, change your property management company. It should be common sense to anyone that apartments should be clean, painted and livable by decent people’s standards if you want to rent them to decent people.

Returns on property investments shouldn’t require rocket science. Simplified, well-maintained properties yield great results. This includes responsible tenants who are properly screened, which results in higher rents, no vacancies and low-turnover. By hiring a reputable Toronto property management company, you can turn an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, and attract the type of tenants you want to rent to. Toronto is a huge metropolitan city, and although there may not be thousands of investment properties to choose from, there are thousands of responsible, income-generating tenants to choose from. Sometimes the best returns are the ones that come from the most unexpected sources.

Read more

Unexpected Figures Entering Fall — TREB MLS® Market Watch September 2015

toronto real estate mls fall 2015

In recent news, you may have heard rumours that buyers were “treading more cautiously” as they entered the fall market. The opposite couldn’t be truer in Toronto. This morning, Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record number of transactions for the month of September through TREB’s MLS® System. There were a combined 8,200 home sales reported for September 2015. This result was a 2.5 per cent increase compared to September 2014.
For the first nine months of 2015 TREB MLS® sales amounted to 80,331 — a record year-to-date figure. Furthermore, there was a 9.5 per cent increase compared to the first three quarters of 2014.

“We are on track for record home sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System this year. Barring a drastic shift in the economy over the next three months, total transactions reported by TREB Members in 2015 are expected to be at or near the 100,000 mark. This is a testament to the importance that GTA households put on home ownership as a long-term investment,” said Mr. McLean.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 10.5 per cent year over year. The average selling price for all home types combined was also up by 9.2 per cent annually to $627,395. Growth in the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark and the average price was driven by the low-rise market segments, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses. (October 5, 2015 –TREB)

If you’re looking to enter the housing market and waiting for a drastic drop in home prices, don’t hold your breath. Sales have never been so strong and price growth remain on a steady pace for the rest of 2015 and well into 2016. For those looking for a nest egg or perhaps a new property to add to their portfolio, strike while the iron is hot—September was the second month where there was a growth in new listings, so supply is available. Don’t expect competition to ease, however, as homebuyers who have been patiently waiting for availability to loosen, finally have a window of opportunity. With the number of families growing, and both migrants from other cities in Canada as well as international immigrants flocking to the city, there is no telling how long this window will remain open.Source: Toronto Real Estate Board, October 5, 2015mls toronto september real estate 2015 02mls toronto september real estate 2015 03 01Read more

The Market for Toronto Condos is in Exceptionally Good Shape

Toronto Condo Inventory Pileup? Not quite

What do cooler nights, Canada’s largest annual community event, The Canadian National exhibition and slowing housing sales all have in common? They are friendly reminders that summer is coming to an end. Maybe not the last one — not in the GTA at least.

Although the short season is winding down, the Toronto real estate market remains hot and it is expected that housing prices in one of Canada’s strongest markets will continue to increase for the rest of year. Supply for homes, particularly low-rise residential units is scarce in the city, unable to meet demand. This stark imbalance has caused the prices of homes to skyrocket to record numbers over the past year, making affordability for the average Torontonian further out of reach.

toronto-condo-stats-urbantion

The condo market, however, is benefiting from low-rise scarcity as well as low-interest rates. Despite data released by the CMHC in the first quarter, stating the number of unsold Toronto condos was at a 21-year high, sales of high-rise units have actually increased significantly and as a whole in Toronto, have been very strong this year. The “pileup” of unsold inventory, which is a key factor in determining the health of the condo market, dropped 13 per cent in Q2 of 2015, in a year-over-year comparison according to a survey released last week by Urbanation, a condo research and development firm.

If you’re considering purchasing a condo, now’s the time to do it. Between baby boomers looking to downsize, and young professionals purchasing a less costly alternative to a house, Toronto condos are being snatched up – and quickly. Although the prices of condominiums have not faced the drastic spike in price as detached homes have, they will inevitably increase — as will mortgage rates. In Urbanation’s survey, it was also reported that prices for resale condos were up 6.8 per cent across the GTA in the second quarter, to an average of $453 per square foot, as sales spiked 21 per cent. Bidding wars have even started to affect condos, as larger units are becoming highly coveted among families and those interested in long-term ownership. The better supplied new condo sector, however, saw more moderate price increases of 2 per cent during the quarter, pushing the average price to $566 per square foot.

Owning real estate will remain one of the best investments you can make. Whether it’s a low-rise nest-egg or high-rise real estate investment unit with continual positive cash flow, the sooner you enter the marketplace, the sooner you benefit from the low mortgage rates, as well as the inevitable rise in housing prices.

Opinions will vary, and each individual is entitled to his or her own, however, when it comes to housing one has to consider the following: The health of a real estate market is closely related to local demographic and immigration needs.

Read more

CMHC Mortgage Insurance Premiums Increase — How will the changes affect you?

Effective today, June 1, 2015, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is increasing mortgage insurance premiums by 15 per cent for homebuyers making less than a 10 per cent down payment.

toronto-mortgage-insurance-cmhc

Mortgage insurance is typically required by lenders if a homebuyer’s down payment is less than 20% of the total purchase price of the home. The insurance is paid by the homeowner and is usually tacked onto their monthly mortgage payments. With the current state of the Toronto real estate market, many home buyers cannot afford a 20 per cent down payment—the insurance makes ownership more accessible for many, and benefits first-time buyers by enabling them to make a 5 per cent down payment on a home. It also benefits lenders by protecting them in the event that payments are not made and from potential defaults.

For an example of how the policy change might affect you, let’s pretend you’re buying a $600,000 home. With a 5 per cent down payment of $30,000, you would need a $570,000 mortgage. Before June 1, 2015, your premium would have been $17,955, however, at the new rate of 3.60 per cent, the cost would be $20,520— a difference of $2565.

Changes effective June 1, 2015

95% Loan-to-Value

Loan Amount

$150,000

$250,000

$350,000

$450,000

Old Premium

$4,725

$7,875

$11,025

$14,175

New Premium

$5,400

$9,000

$12,600

$16,200

Additional Premium

$675

$1,125

$1,575

$2,025

Increase to Monthly

$3.12

$5.20

$7.29

$9.36

 

With the new changes, there are many things to consider if you are planning to purchase a home with a smaller down payment. A down payment of 5 per cent, less the new premium of 3.6 per cent leaves you with only 1.4 per cent equity in your home. Although it might seem like your monthly payments are only going up by a few dollars, it is important to think about the impact a down payment of 5 per cent combined with the premium increase, would have on your investment in the long-term.

 

Questions about real estate, investments, or property management in Toronto? Contact us! We’d love write about it and feature your topic on our highgateproperties.ca blog!

Read more
HighGate Property Investments Inc: Your Source for Professional GTA Real Estate Services