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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

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Toronto Real Estate Market Watch — November 2015

In an announcement made by Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean last week, GTA REALTORS® reported 7,385 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System in November 2015 – a 14 per cent increase compared to November 2014 and a record number for November sales to date.

Toronto’s real estate market saw 96,401 sales for the first eleven months of this year. There is no doubt that 2015 will go down in history as a year Toronto real estate made the record books. High housing prices, the number of homes sold, and benchmark indexes as well as a low number of active listings, average days on market and the amount of square footage you get for a dollar–not to mention the value of the Canadian Dollar itself. However, as the year winds down, people are turning their focus away from the red-hot real estate market and putting themselves in gear for the holiday season.

record highs for GTA housing market

Credit: Toronto Real Estate Board

December is often an interesting month in for the Toronto real estate market–sometimes, buyers bid to get into the market right before the new year while other years they wait for the fresh listings that often arrive in January. Mr. McLean remains optimistic for December, as well as the upcoming year. With one more month to go until 2016, we’ve still managed to set a record in for home sales in the TREB market area for an entire calendar year (the previous record set in 2007 and reflected all 12 calendar months).

McLean believes the widespread demand for homeownership is a priority for families in the GTA and attributes it to real estate being the best long-term investment. Despite rumours of a housing crash, Toronto continues to prosper and doesn’t seem to show signs of stopping. The other question remains–if there is no crash, will there be a correction? Will the market get out of control?

The federal Department of Finance wants to step in and increase the minimum down payment for a home from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. With stiffer borrowing rules, the market has a better chance of cooling without a drastic crash. An increase will also alleviate the taxpayers exposure to insured default losses and possibly boost sales in the condo market. First time home buyers who are only prepared to put a 5 per cent down payment must either wait until they have twice the amount of money they initially had or settle for a condo. While all these pros sound fantastic for markets like Toronto and Vancouver, other markets in the Country, especially cities that have already experienced losses in the housing market, will suffer. When will these proposed changed come into effect? We can expect the Federal Department of Finance to present the motion for additional 5 per cent on down payments to the Minister of Finance as early as January 2016.

With what seems to be a very small window to decide whether to toss the whole idea of buying a home, borrowers looking to put a smaller down payment on a home should seek the advice of a mortgage professional and reassess their budgets realistically. Increase or not, the New Year is the perfect time for families to analyze their finances to ensure sound decisions in the future.

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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.

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Election Day 2015

 

Election Day 2015–Who will win?

 

 

Canada Federal Election 2015

Photo Credit: Mike Sturk, Reuters

After a 78-day-long campaign, Election Day 2015 is finally here and registered voters from all over Canada are heading to the polls to take part in one of the most significant federal elections our Country has seen. It all comes down to today—Elections are historic, but they are also symbolic. They represent the importance of leadership, economic health, and foreign policy to Canadians. The primary question on everyone’s minds today, however, is “Will our country still be governed by a Harper Government? If not, who will take over?”

This is the first time in history that three major parties have been in the lead at some point during the seemingly gruelling campaign. At the local level, however, it is difficult to predict who will come out on top. The popularity of a candidate in one particular riding can distort our perception of what the actual outcome will be.

Throughout the federal electoral campaign, a major topic of discussion was the federal budget and the future of the economy. What was interesting, however, was the role the housing sector played in the campaign. Although there were discussions of about affordable housing and both Liberals and Conservatives vowed to boost RRSP withdrawal limits for new homebuyers, real estate could have received more coverage. Furthermore, having access to more RRSP funds isn’t guaranteed to solve affordability—the program could merely increase the number of people bidding on the same million dollar homes, creating a higher demand while decreasing supply. To add to that, the if Bank of Canada stays true to its word of not drastically increasing the key lending rate, it’s difficult to picture the housing market cooling down.  Just about anything is possible, though.

Considering the Canadian real estate market is not only a popular discussion at dinner tables and around water coolers, it has also seen historical moments throughout the campaign, especially in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto. The Canadian housing sector amounts to $4 trillion of Canadians’ wealth, which equates to around seven per cent of the GDP. As a cornerstone of our economy’s health, and a leading driver for growth over the past several years, it not only kept us afloat during the Great Recession, it literally pulled us out of it, while other sectors such as energy, manufacturing and exports deteriorated.

As real estate professionals, we need to remember that home ownership remains a reliable investment, not only financially, but for our family and future generations of Canadians. Even amid turbulence in other sectors, it’s a critical foundation that Canadians can build their savings upon.

So who will win the Canadian Federal Election?  Canadians will.  The past 78 days have been intense, and ultimately it is up to us to decide what vision of Canada has been the most convincing. If you have not already done so, please head to your polling station and make your vote count. Be prepared, as there are reports of very long lines and also remember to bring appropriate ID and proof of address. For more information on how to vote, visit the Elections Canada website.

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Autumn in Toronto, 2015

Happy thanksgiving Toronto, 2015

A new season starts out with many expectations. Imagining fall brings up thoughts of crunchy leaves, long walks through auburn forests, and spending time with loved ones. Life gets busy though, and before you know it, the temperatures drop and its winter: another autumn come and gone. Get the most out of this fall season by writing some activities down in advance, and crossing them off as you complete them.

Here’s a fun list of things to do with the kids this Autumn in Toronto, 2015.

  1. See the fall colours
    You don’t need to go on a hike to see fall colours in Toronto (though that would be a good idea). There are tons of parks and vantage points from which you can enjoy fall’s splendour. Rosedale Valley Road is a gorgeous drive, a picnic in High Park is great on a warm day, and the Leslie Street Spit is great for a bike ride.
  2. Go for a nature ride
    The massive Tommy Thompson Park features lush biking trails perfect for bird watching and admiring the fall foliage, but the Don and Humber Valleys are also great. If you’re not up for cycling, you can always take a guided nature walk held on weekend mornings.
  3. Go apple picking
    Apparently hand-picked apples make the best pies. Test this theory and take a drive outside of the city to Chudleigh’s or another nearby spot such as Organics Family Farm or Applewood Farm Winery.
  4. Make your own hot chocolate tour
    While you could plan a hot chocolate hop via the annual Toronto Chocolate Festival, which gets underway October 17, it’s also easy to DIY this one. All you need to do is check out our roundup of the best hot chocolate makers above, put on a snug scarf, and head to streets in search of sweet warmth.
  5. Pick a pumpkin at a farm
    Skip pumpkin shopping at your local Loblaws and instead opt for a day trip beyond city limits. Though not too common in the city, there are plenty of farms on Toronto’s outskirts that sell gourds of all shapes and sizes. Markham, Oshawa, and Alliston are just a few options.
  6. Look for ghosts on a haunted walk
    If you kid loves all things spooky and supernatural, take then out for a haunted tour. You’ll visit the creepiest places in the city and maybe even happen upon a spirit or two.

For more ideas visit www.blogto.com

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6 Facts About the Toronto Real Estate Market

Photo Credit:  Kevin Van Paassen

Photo Credit: Kevin Van Paassen

  1. 56,000 condos
    At the end of 2014, there were more than 56,000 condos under construction in Toronto. That’s far more than what’s being built in other cities with a greater population like Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York. As a comparison, during most of the 1990s the city hovered around 10,000 condo starts.
  2. Almost 3,000 unsold condo units
    In May, CMHC reported 2,837 unsold condo units. An all-time high, the closest we’ve come to that number was in the early 90’s when the condo market was out of control. Despite the high number of unsold units, sales for the fancy high-rise units continue to increase. Condo sales also help stabilize the market by offering an affordable entry point for first-time buyers.
  3. $1 million average price
    In February Toronto reached a milestone that had previously only been reserved for some of the most expensive cities on the planet. The average price for a detached home in the city limits surpassed $1 million. In June, that number increased to $1.052 million. The increase in demand for luxury homes, namely houses sold at $3 million or more has contributed to this number. Buyers have not been discouraged by this, as bidding wars are still very common.
  4. 50% in five years
    In 2010 the average price for a Toronto property (including condos) was hovering around $430,000. In just five years, that average has rocketed up more than 50%, recently almost hitting $650,000.The last time the market moved that quickly was back in the late 1980s, with the average price hitting a peak of $273,000 in 1989. The average value didn’t top $270,000 again until 2004.
  5. 39,000
    The number of sales in the Toronto market has more than tripled since hitting a low of 26,700 transactions in 1990, right after the 1989 bubble popped.That’s created a lot of jobs selling houses. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, there are currently more than 39,000 realtors currently working in the city. That’s one realtor for every 140 residents.
  6. 8.9 times
    According to Statistics Canada, the average Toronto family earned $72,830 in 2013, the most recent year for which statistics are available. During May 2015, the average price of real estate in the city was $649,599. That puts the price-to-income ratio at an eye-popping 8.9 times, which is a record high.

Sources:

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/
Canadian Newswire: http://www.newswire.ca
The Motley Fool: http://www.fool.ca
Toronto Real Estate Board: http://www.treb.net

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Bank of Canada Rate Cut and Loonie at 5-Year Low — What’s in Store for Toronto’s Housing Market?

bank-of-canada
Last week the Bank of Canada reduced its Key Lending Rate for the second time this year. Down to 0.5 per cent from .75 per cent, this move was in response to our ailing economy along with the slump in oil prices. With large banks and lenders preparing to follow suit, this leaves us to wonder what effects this will have on Canadian Housing Markets—particularly red-hot markets located in prime cities such as Vancouver and Toronto. The rate cut has prompted mixed opinions from industry professionals, with some saying that this move is merely adding fuel to the fire while others believe that it will contribute to the healthy expansion of markets.

Lower interest rates will inevitably boost bidding wars in Toronto, with buyers now having access to additional funds. The city’s population will continue to grow along with the demand for real estate and, in theory, all the factors mentioned will cause housing prices to increase, resulting in a strong real estate market.

Right?

It can be, depending on who you ask. Lower interest rates could also mean a flurry of borrowing, driving consumers further into debt. The price to income ratio of housing might reach a point that no longer makes sense and the only thing in sight will be a correction.

Perhaps … Just about anything is possible.

property-management-toronto-mortgage rates

No matter how you slice it, what goes up must come down, or at least stop—“How hard or soft of a landing are we in for and when will it occur?” Are the questions. We can follow reports and predictions from the top economists, however, we will never know for certain. What we do know is that Toronto and Vancouver didn’t magically fall into the spotlight. Although housing markets in both cities have been scrutinized by economists from across the globe and regarded to be overvalued by up to 20 per cent, both Toronto and Vancouver are supported by strong economic conditions, cultural diversity and population growth. Additionally, the Loonie being at a 5-year low will boost tourism–an industry which provides a significant amount of fuel for local economies in both cities. Assuming that none of the aforementioned will come to screeching halt, it safe to say that the prices of real estate in Toronto and Vancouver aren’t going to decline anytime soon and the likelihood of a crash or even a moderate correction is slim to none.

On a national basis, however, we can expect declines in the real estate markets located in cities where local economies were highly dependent on specific sectors, such as oil or even construction. While those cities are under pressure, the Canadian real estate market has been in great shape so far this year and is expected to stay on track.

No matter what city you’re located in, if you are considering taking advantage of ultra-low mortgage rates, it’s best to remember to calculate an additional 2—2.5 per cent into your monthly housing budget. This will act as a safety net and protect you against radical changes, especially for fixed term borrowers when renewal time rolls around.

 

 

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