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Real Estate Forecast for 2018: What to Expect!

Real Estate Forecast for 2018: What to Expect!

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Real Estate Forecast for 2018: What to Expect

As we head into a new year, the most common question we receive is, “What’s the outlook for GTA’s real estate in 2018?”

 

It’s not just potential buyers and sellers who care; current homeowners also want reassurance about the value of their investment. No one knows exactly what 2018 will bring, but we’ve outlined expert predictions on where the market is headed and how government interventions are expected to impact the Canadian housing market in the year ahead.

HOUSING PRICES WILL REMAIN HIGH IN URBAN CENTRES

Although the Toronto real estate market did experience a slowdown in 2017, housing affordability will remain a major issue in both Toronto and Vancouver in 2018. According to the Royal Bank of Canada’s most recent Housing Trends and Affordability Report, as of Q2 2017 it cost more than 75 percent (Toronto) and 80 percent (Vancouver) of median household income to cover the average cost of owning a home.1

In an effort to stabilize prices, both the Ontario and British Columbia governments enacted a 15 percent tax on foreign investments in housing. However, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers report on Emerging Trends in Real Estate: Canada and the United States 2018, “Industry players are skeptical that recent tax moves … to curtail foreign investment will have a long term cooling impact on housing affordability in Toronto and Vancouver.”2

In its Canadian Regional Housing Outlook, TD Economics predicts ”The decline in sales activity in both Vancouver and Toronto has helped to redistribute the balance of power from a pure seller’s market, back towards buyers, as evidenced by the sales-to-listing ratios. But, first-time homebuyers sitting on the sidelines waiting for higher interest rates to trigger a market crash may be holding their breath for a while. Prices are likely to only reset back to levels that existed prior to a year of exorbitant gains.”3

The high cost of living has forced a growing number of millennials to seek alternatives to traditional housing. The 2016 census found 47.4 percent of young adults in Toronto and 38.6 percent in Vancouver live with a parent. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts a rise in multi-generational and multi-family homes, a move towards larger condominiums to suit growing families, and a flight from urban cores as new public transit projects make commuting more feasible.2

What does it mean for you? If you’re a current homeowner, you can expect your investment to hold its value and continue to appreciate over the long term. And if you’re considering selling this year, contact us to request a free Comparative Market Analysis to find out how much you can expect your home to sell for under current market conditions.

If you’re a potential buyer who has been waiting for real estate prices to drop, don’t expect a fallout any time soon. Governmental bodies have taken steps to slow down skyrocketing prices, which has helped to balance the market. Now is a great time to buy. And if traditional housing options don’t fit your budget, we can help you find alternatives to meet your needs.

GOVERNMENT INTERVENTIONS WILL HELP TO STABILIZE THE MARKET

Skyrocketing real estate prices have caused Canadians to take on a growing amount of debt. The federal Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) reports that the average household indebtedness is up to 174 percent of disposable income, and they predict it will reach 180 percent by the end of 2018. Coupled with rising interest rates, the share of income that will go towards debt payments is expected to reach historic proportions.4

Regulators at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) have attempted to curb the potential fallout with interventions, the latest of which went into effect on January 1. These new regulations raise the requirements for mortgage borrowers with down payments of 20 percent or more. They are now required to qualify for a mortgage at an interest rate two percentage points higher than their current rate to ensure they can manage payments when interest rates do inevitably rise.

A similar “stress test” was enacted in 2016 for borrowers who put down less than 20 percent, but that regulation impacted a much smaller percentage of buyers.

According to Jeremy Rudin, the head of OSFI, “We clearly see the potential risks caused by high household indebtedness across Canada, and by high real estate prices in some markets. We are not waiting to see those risks crystallize in rising arrears and defaults before we act.”5

All federally regulated financial institutions will be obligated to utilize these requirements for both new mortgages and mortgage renewal applications of borrowers applying to switch lenders. It is not mandatory to apply the test at mortgage renewal for existing borrowers. Since credit unions are regulated provincially, they are not required to follow the new OSFI rules, although some may choose to out of prudency.

What does it mean for you? With new rules in effect, if you’re a buyer, your purchasing power may be impacted. If you’re concerned you may not be able to meet these requirements, securing your mortgage through a credit union may be an option. We are following this issue closely. Give us a call so we can discuss how these new rules will affect your home search.

If you’re considering selling your home this year, these regulations could alter the type of buyer who will be willing and able to purchase your home. We have expertise in this area and know how to market your home to a changing demographic.

5 YEAR MORTGAGES WILL MAKE A COMEBACK

Expect interest rates to rise in 2018. Bank of Canada has indicated that borrowers should expect to see rate increases this year … and notably, nearly half of Canadian mortgage holders are set to renew their mortgages in the next 12 months. Combined with the new, more stringent “stress test” requirements, a greater number of homeowners will be opting for five-year-fixed rate mortgages over the historically popular variable rate mortgages.6

According to LowerRates.ca, “Since January 2014, 56% of Canadian borrowers who applied for a mortgage through LowestRates.ca have gone variable, compared with 43% of those who got a five-year fixed. But this past August, there was a shift, where the five-year-fixed rate mortgage saw a sharp increase in applicants, with 59% of users on the LowestRates.ca site opting for this option versus only 39% opting for the variable mortgage.”7

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market to buy, act now. Rising interest rates will decrease your purchasing power, so act quickly before interest rates go up. Give us a call today to get your home search started.

And if you’re a current homeowner who is set to renew your mortgage, you may want to consider locking in a five-year-fixed rate. Contact us if you would like assistance navigating your options.

 

 

2018 ACTION PLAN

If you plan to BUY this year:

 

1.    Get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you plan to finance part of your home purchase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a jump-start on the paperwork and provide an advantage over other buyers in a competitive market. The added bonus: you will find out how much you can afford to borrow and budget accordingly.

2.    Create your wish list. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How far are you willing to commute to work? What’s most important to you in a home? We can set up a customized search that meets your criteria to help you find the perfect home for you.

3.    Come to our office. The buying process can be tricky. We’d love to guide you through it. We can help you find a home that fits your needs and budget, all at no cost to you. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!

 

If you plan to SELL this year:

 

1.    Call us for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis. A CMA not only gives you the current market value of your home, it’ll also show how your home compares to others in the area. This will help us determine which repairs and upgrades may be required to get top dollar for your property … and it will help us price your home correctly once you’re ready to list.

2.    Prep your home for the market. Most buyers want a home they can move into right away, without having to make extensive repairs and upgrades. We can help you determine which ones are worth the time and expense to deliver maximum results.

3.    Start decluttering. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by packing up personal items and things you don’t use regularly and storing them in an attic or storage locker. This will make your home appear larger, make it easier to stage … and get you one step closer to moving when the time comes!

 

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

 

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big-picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market, and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighbourhood. If you have specific questions, or would like more information about where we see real estate headed in our area, please give us a call! We’d love to discuss how issues here at home are likely to impact your desire to buy or a sell a home this year. Please visit our website SnapHomes.ca for latest MLS listing and pre-construction Homes & Condos.

Can’t find what you are looking for? Contact us for Exclusive list of Pre construction Homes and Condos and our pocket listings for Land!
Sources:

1.     Royal Bank of Canada’s Housing Trends and Affordability Report –
http://www.rbc.com/newsroom/_assets-custom/pdf/20170929-ha.pdf

2.     PricewaterhouseCoopers Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018  –
https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/real-estate/assets/Real_Estate_ETRE_2018_PDF.pdf

3.     TD Economics Canadian Regional Housing Outlook –
https://economics.td.com/canadian-regional-housing-outlook-aug-2017

4.     Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer –
http://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/en/blog/news/HH_Vulnerability

5.     Financial Post
http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/stricter-osfi-rules-on-mortgage-lending-will-do-more-harm-than-good-fraser-institute

6.     Bank of Canada Financial System Review November 2018  –
https://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/fsr-november2017.pdf

7.     Maclean’s  –
http://www.macleans.ca/economy/money-economy/canadians-rushing-to-lock-down-five-year-fixed-rate-mortgages/

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GTA REALTORS® RELEASE MONTHLY RESALE HOUSING FIGURES

TORONTO, November 3, 2012 – Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,896 transactions through the TorontoMLS system in October 2012 – a decrease of 7.1 per cent compared to October 2011. There were two more business days in October 2012 versus October 2011. On a per business day basis, transactions were down by 15.6 per cent.*

“Sales have decreased in the second half of this year compared to 2011, especially since the onset of stricter mortgage lending guidelines at the beginning of July. The prospect of higher monthly mortgage payments due to the reduced maximum amortization period has prompted some households to delay their home purchase,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.

The average selling price for October transactions was $503,479 – up 6.2 per cent compared to October 2011. The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price, which allows for an apples-to-apples comparison in terms of home attributes, was up by 5.1 per cent.

“We continue to see price increases well above the rate of inflation. Active listings have remained low from a historic perspective, so substantial competition between buyers still exists, especially for low-rise homes,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

“It should be noted, however, that the annual rate of price increase has been edging lower over the past few months as the market has gradually become better supplied,” continued Mercer.

*NOTE: The majority of transactions are entered into the TorontoMLS system on business days. There was a mismatch of two business days in September and October of 2012 compared to the same months last year. This is why sales on a per business day basis were noted in releases dealing with these months. The business day anomaly between the two months has now balanced out Summary of TorontoMLS Sales and Average Price – October 1 – 31
2012 2011
       Sales  Average Price New Listings Sales Average Price New Listings
City of Toronto (“416”) 2,730 $539,188 5,568 3,044 $518,248 5,166
Rest of GTA (“905”) 4,166 $480,078 7,486 4,381 $443,664 7,140
GTA 6,896 $503,479 13,054 7,425 $474,241 12,306
TorontoMLS Sales & Average Price By Home Type – October 1 – 31, 2012
Sales Average Price
416 905 Total 416 905 Total
Detached 931 2,417 3,348 779,484 573,598 630,850
Yr./Yr. % Change -7% -1% -3% 5% 8% 7%
Semi-Detached 347 458 805 575,618 390,459 470,273
Yr./Yr. % Change -4% -9% -7% 7% 5% 6%
Townhouse 286 775 1,061 453,477 357,237 383,179
Yr./Yr. % Change -10% -1% -3% 2% 5% 3%
Condo Apartment 1,141 427 1,568 358,741 286,138 338,969
Yr./Yr. % Change 14% 20% -16% -2% 4% 0%
 

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Condo Prices Grow at Moderate Pace in Q2

Condo Prices Grow at Moderate Pace in Q2

July 18, 2012Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 6,435 condominium apartment transactions during the second quarter of 2012 – down by 2.6 per cent compared to 6,609 transactions reported in the second quarter of 2011. New listings for condominium apartments were up substantially on a year-over-year basis, climbing by 19 per cent in comparison to 2011.

“The condominium apartment market has been the best-supplied market segment in the GTA this year. Many condominium projects have completed over the past year and this has resulted in a substantial increase in listings and ultimately more choice for buyers,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Ann Hannah. “The greater degree of choice in the condo market translated into a moderate rate of price growth compared to what was experienced in the low-rise market segment.”

The average price for second quarter condominium apartment sales was $342,212, representing a 3.2 per cent increase over the same period in 2011.

“Sellers seemed to be well-aware of condo market conditions in the second quarter. On average, units were priced in line with buyer expectations, with apartments selling for 98 per cent of the asking price in less than a month’s time,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. 6,435 6,609 Second Quarter 2012 Second Quarter 2011

 

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Land Transfer Tax Poll Results Released

 Land Transfer Tax Poll Results Released Ahead of Important Announcement by Toronto Real Estate Board

TORONTO, June 1, 2012

– Ahead of an important announcement to be made on Monday June 4th, by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), regarding efforts on the City’s Land Transfer Tax, Toronto’s REALTORS® are releasing results of public opinion polling that shows, among other results, a strong majority of Torontonians, 66 percent, support plans to repeal the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.

The detailed polling results were formally presented by Mike Colledge, President, Canadian Public Affairs for Ipsos Reid at a TREB luncheon attended by various elected officials from all levels of government, shelter charity representatives, real estate industry representatives, and TREB Members.

“REALTORS® know that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is having an impact on our City, and these poll results show that the public understands this too,” said Richard Silver, President of TREB. “The Toronto Land Transfer Tax is impacting real people and real jobs and it’s holding our City back. It’s time for action. TREB is looking forward to making an important announcement on this, next Monday.”

Among other key highlights of the poll were:

77 percent of Torontonians who recently purchased a home in Toronto feel that they received little or no added value in City services for the amount of Land Transfer Tax paid to the City;

A third of first-time buyers indicated that they had to pay some Land Transfer Tax to the City, notwithstanding City rebates;

 

In a list of issues facing municipalities, housing affordability was most often ranked as the most important by Torontonians, ahead of traffic congestion;

 

78 percent of Torontonians believe that property taxes are more transparent than the Land Transfer Tax and make it easier for the public to hold City Council accountable for their spending decisions;

 

Public opposition to the land transfer tax remains strong even if the tax were to be dedicated for spending on transit and infrastructure, with more than two-thirds, 68 per cent, opposed to this idea;

 

61 percent of Torontonians believe that City spending on programs and services is efficient and cost-effective. This is up from 45 percent a year ago, indicating a significant improvement.

This poll is the third conducted for TREB by Ipsos Reid in the last year.

 

“Public opinion on the Toronto Land Transfer Tax has remained consistent through all the ups and downs of the economy and City Hall debates. Clearly, the public’s opposition to this tax is strong,” said Von Palmer, TREB’s Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer. “We understand the importance of quality services to building a great city, but we believe that those services should be funded fairly and reliably.”

 

TREB will be following-up on the release of this polling data with the release of additional results and an important announcement on efforts regarding the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, on Monday June 4th.The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid, from April 30 to May 7, 2012, with a sample of 1,257 adults, of which 653 live in the City of Toronto, and 604 live in the surrounding 905 region, with a margin of error of

+/-2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Questions were posed to only Toronto residents, or only 905 region residents, or both, as appropriate, depending on the question.  Source: TREB

 

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