Real Estate Market Trends 2015

Real Estate Market Analysis 2015KEY MARKET FINDINGS by REMAX: 

Strong demand and price appreciation in the freehold market continued to define the market across the GTA Buyers unable to afford homes or win bidding wars in Toronto—or wanting more space—drove demand in Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville and Durham.

Old housing stock is being extensively renovated or replaced with larger, feature-rich homes Properties are being priced more realistically than in the past, reducing the number of homes sold well over asking

Average residential price expected to increase from $566,400 in 2014 to $589,100 in 2015 (+4%)

KEY NATIONAL FINDINGS by REMAX:

Most regions in Canada posted modest gains in average residential sale price in 2014

The average residential sale price in Canada is expected to increase by two to three per cent in 2015.

Higher inventory was a significant trend characterizing much of the Canadian housing market in 2014. Inventory is expected to balance within the next couple years as new construction winds down.

The economic outlook for Canada in 2015 is stable. GDP growth, small increases in employment rates and wages, and immigration should continue to drive the residential real estate market in 2015

With the decline in the energy and raw materials sector it will be Ontario that leads the nation’s economy in the coming months. That’s the finding of a report by TD Bank which predicts growth in Ontario of 2.5 per cent with BC at 2.4 per cent and Alberta on 2.3 per cent. The bank says that interest rates are likely to stay low it says as a slowdown will curb inflation concerns due to collapse of oil prices, which is mainly denting the Alberta economy.

GREATER TORONTO AREA MARKET ANALYSIS by REMAX

The residential real estate market in Canada’s largest city continued showing healthy market activity in 2014, with both the average residential sale price and the number of transactions showing an increase over the previous year. Inventory continued to be very low among freehold properties and average days on the market fell from 25 the previous year to 23. The average residential sale price is projected to increase four per cent in 2015. With rising prices and limited inventory, potential buyers will need to be well

prepared and informed when entering the housing market next year

In the past, modest, but under-valued, homes sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars above asking price in some areas of the city and the effect was that buyers entered the market with no certainty about what kind of home they could afford. In turn, sellers came to the conclusion that their homes were all of sudden worth more than they actually were.

More realistic pricing in 2014 has inspired confidence among buyers—a trend that is expected to continue in 2015. Toronto should remain a seller’s market, although the condominium market is projected to be more balanced as developers release inventory and Investors seek to unload their units, many first time buyers should continue to look to the condominium market, attracted by affordable options in convenient locations. Downsizers may not play as much of a role in this market as had once been expected, as many buyers in this group have been deterred by unpredictable assessment funds and condo fees.

The recent municipal election has brought a feeling of stability to the city, which generally proves well for local real estate. With political stability and the city set to be showcased by the 2015 Pan AM Games, pent-up demand may result in strong price appreciation in the latter portion of 2015. The luxury market will continue to display strength, as wealthy buyers are comfortable absorbing any modest price fluctuations.

However, as inventory for freehold homes continues to be at historic lows, the city is projected to be poised to have another strong year of price appreciation.

MISSISSAUGA MARKET ANALYSIS by REMAX

Mississauga, the 2nd largest city of GTA, which has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several decades. While its growth is typified by suburban developments, the city also boasts leafy neighbourhoods, lakefront properties and a burgeoning downtown. These factors, along with its transit links to downtown Toronto, are driving demand for residential property in Mississauga among a range of buyers. Mississauga’s real estate market picked up in the second half of 2014 following a long and cold winter and historically late start to the market. Typically, the spring buying and selling season begins in February, whereas last year it started in May. Pent-up demand made for a busy summer season and more fall activity than is typical. The average residential price is expected to rise between two and three per cent in 2015 with inventory levels remaining steady. New luxury homes on leafy lots in neighbourhoods such as Lorne Park and parts of Port Credit are enticing wealthier buyers and bringing a more multicultural character to the area. A regular train service from Port Credit to Toronto and new condominiums in

downtown Mississauga are attracting younger buyers to those areas. In Mississauga’s brisk housing market, well-priced homes sold within days in 2014, although properties over $1 million typically had listing periods of between one and two months. A seller’s market is expected to continue through to 2015 but soften modestly, especially in the luxury segment where it is moving closer to a balanced market.

OAKVILLE MARKET ANALYSIS by REMAX

The market for residential real estate in Oakville, an affluent community situated on the shores of Lake Ontario between Toronto and Hamilton, showed strong growth in 2014. The average residential sale price rose 12 per cent over the previous year, to approximately $800,000 in 2014 from $715,000 in 2013. With less inventory on the market than in the previous year, days on the market fell from an average of 32 in 2013 to 27. Oakville’s residential real estate market is expected to remain robust in 2015, with the average sale price increasing by an estimated five per cent.

While Oakville remained a seller’s market in 2014, it began shifting to a more balanced market in the late summer and fall. Appropriately priced homes moved quickly and with competing offers, while homes priced above their market value were slow to sell. First-time homebuyers play a very marginal role in driving this market, as most properties are comparably expensive. What would be considered a luxury home in many communities across Canada is typical in Oakville. Entire neighbourhoods comprise homes over 3,000 square feet outfitted with premium finishes like walk-in closets and chef’s kitchens—and price tags around $1 million. The luxury market is driven by buyers who value the quality of the area’s schools, amenities and lakefront. New Canadians from China are playing a growing role in the market as well, purchasing lakefront properties, some of which exceed $10 million. All signs point to continued strength in the Oakville market in 2015. While the number of listings is expected to remain consistent, a decrease in inventory is projected to result in an increase in the average residential sale price. New construction in the north end of Oakville and a soon-to-be-completed hospital is expected to play a role in driving demand.

BRAMPTON MARKET ANALYSIS by REMAX

The residential real estate market in Brampton, a growing city bordering northwest Toronto, is set to finish 2014 strong and carry momentum into 2015. While low interest rates have positively influenced the market, the arrival of more and more newcomers has also played a role in growing this multicultural community. The market is anticipated

to calm to a degree in 2015 and an increase in the average residential sale price of between five and 10 per cent is anticipated. Brampton is home to many south Asian Canadians, and it is not uncommon for these buyers to prefer large homes to accommodate multi-generational and extended families. However, some seniors, who have come to Canada under family sponsorship, are using their savings as down payments and moving from apartments to condominiums, challenging the notion of what it means to be a first time homebuyer.

Move-up buyers continued to drive the market in Brampton, with lending conditions favourable enough for buyers to hold on to two properties. The coming year should move from a seller’s market to a more balanced market as inventory is projected to increase.

Luxury sales are expected to remain robust in the coming year. Homes in this segments are typically set on one to two acre lots. Many prospective buyers in this market segment are entrepreneurs who have found success in the tool and die, automotive or trucking industries.

The real estate market in Brampton could suffer if the municipal government were to implement a land transfer tax similar to Toronto. Conversely, any one of a number of factors, such as a new university or the opening of a major plant, could positively impact demand and lead to further price increases.

marketnewsConclusion:

Record low Interest rates, the main fuel to growth of Canadian real estate market over last few years, will likely stay the same in 2015 as elections are expected in fall of 2015 and keeping interest rates low is a tool for government to avoid any real estate meltdowns. Plus any increase in interest rates will curb inflation concerns due to collapse of oil prices too. Further lower inventory levels are not expected to change any soon as due to strict CMHC qualifying rules, lesser people are getting qualified to upgrade. So more people are expected to be improving/renovating their existing homes rather than upgrading in 2015. Lower inventory along with lower interest rates together are sufficient to carry the “heading north” trend of 2014 in 2015 too.

In almost every doom and gloom analysis over last decade, the economists admit that at most, there will be a soft landing in the real estate market next year. Whereas the original breaking analysis, they gave was that Canadian real estate market is 25% over-valued, so adjustment next year is inevitable. Well question you should ask those qualified analysts is “how is 25% overvalued market adjustment prediction concluding to soft landing in same year?” This admission is almost proof that the doom and gloom writers want to have it both ways, so that if they are once again proven wrong about the real estate market, they can state that “it was a soft landing as I predicted”

If you can afford to enter the real estate market in 2015, don’t wait for summer season……as traditionally in summer, market gets to its peak. So in simple language, you are expected to be paying approx. 2% to 5% higher price then current market in summer of next year. Remember, with real estate, it is not just an investment in your future, it is about a home to build a family and memories for years to come.

Please call me directly @ 416-738-7331 to book your no obligation consultation to help evaluate your situation and to get full guidance on the process.

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Basement Apartments Legalized in Mississauga………Brampton Soon to Follow.

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The Greater Toronto Area is premier destination for many new immigrants and the population of this region is expected to grow to 4 Million people by 2030. Mississauga alone takes approx. 35,000 new immigrants every year. Also Region of Peel has the longest waiting list for social housing in Ontario, upwards of. nine years. To meet this annual growth in population and affordable housing needs, options like Second Units, also known as basement apartments or in-law suites have been identified as a way to provide healthy and safe housing choices to households, with affordability issues. With the average cost of a detached home in Mississauga now at $713,000 and increasing every year, second units are also a part of the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan. As well, second unit are also an excellent opportunity for home owners to realize extra income.

The Ontario government’s Bill 140 mandated that all Ontario municipalities pass by-laws to make second units legal. 1st municipality to address this issue is Mississauga to pass a second Units by-law effective January 2, 2014, second units became legal in the City of Mississauga. All dwellings, with a second unit are required to have a license and only one second unit is permitted in any dwelling

‘Iwo classes of licensing for second units with their associated fees are here below:

1. Owner Occupied – Licensing Fees – Initial $500 & Renewal $250

2. Investment Dwelling – Licensing Fees – Initial $1000 & Renewal $500

To qualify for above licenses, second units must meet certain criteria as below:

1. Permitted in single detached, semi-detached and townhouses.

2. Must comply with .Zoning By-Law regulations, Ontario Building Code, Ontario Fire Code and all applicable municipal by-laws.

3. Must have a separate entrance and a dedicated parking space and only 1 driveway.

4. Cannot occupy more than 50% of the gross floor area (GFA) of a dwelling and the minimum GFA must be 35 square meters.

5. Owners must carry $2 million in liability insurance.

Failing to comply with above by-laws, there can be penalties as high as $25,000 for Owners & as high as $50,000 for Corporations, associated with properties found non compliant.

There are other cities in GTA, which are also seriously working with their local residents for getting this law implemented. Like City of Brampton, currently have undertaken a Second Units Policy Review to establish a policy framework for permitting second units across the city. To support the policy review, extensive public consultation is undertaken to engage. Local residents need to understand that Municipal authorities can’t alone decide about implementing this law, more local residents should be attending these open house sessions, public workshops and a statutory public meeting, which will help in speeding up this process.

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Will CMHC increase of average 15% in Insurance rates, really effect home buyers?

Mortgage loan insurance helps protect lenders against mortgage default and enables consumers to purchase homes with a minimum down payment of 5% with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment. Mortgage loan insurance is typically required by lenders when home buyers make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price.

CMHC mortgage loan insurance premium is calculated as a percentage of the loan based on the loan-to-value ratio. The premium can be paid in a single lump sum but more frequently is added to the mortgage principal and amortized over the life of the mortgage as part of regular mortgage payments.

Effective 1st May, 2014, CMHC is on an average increasing 15% of their rates. The increase applies to mortgage loan insurance premiums for owner occupied, self-employed and 1-to-4 unit rental properties, including low-ratio refinance premiums. This does not apply to mortgages currently insured by CMHC. The Chart below will give you exact percentage of increase to various categories:

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For example, if you have a 5 per cent down payment today and want to borrow $300,000, the cost of mortgage insurance is 2.75 per cent or $8,250. You do not pay this up front. Instead, it is added on to your mortgage, so you would borrow a total of $308,250. Under the new rules, the rate would increase to 3.15 per cent, or $9,410, so you would borrow of $309,410 to net the same $300,000.

Some say that this could now make a home unaffordable for many first time buyers. I disagree to this myth. While no one likes an increase in costs, we are still in a period of historically low interest rates. Compare this to 5 years back rates in year 2008, when the interest rates were as high as 7 per cent, compared to current standard 5 years rate of 3.49%. If we were doing good at that time, then what we have now is far better!

Some believe that since CMHC is owned by taxpayers, we should not be in the business of protecting the banks, just so that more people can afford to buy a home. It is like saying cut the chicken and expect the eggs. It seems that every day someone else comes out with a prediction on the future direction of house prices in Canada. For every bank economist who says that we will still see stable growth over the next few years, there are others who predict a soft landing, with perhaps a price correction of 2 to 3 per cent. And then other real “EXPERTS”, who are predicting that we are headed for a major price crash of 20-25% since the market crash of 2008. In these last 5 years, I have seen these inflated predictions every year…..multiple times. But fact is that when nothing happens each year, as they though, they predict something else for following year. All I know as being in front line is that we have seen a period of steady growth in the Canadian real estate market for past decade…..year after year, with few exceptions of minor corrections, which I think are always healthy for any Real Estate Market.

We can’t ignore the fact that Canada still remains one of the most stable places in the world to live and raise a family with very conservative real estate market and lending guidelines. This effort of CMHC is  again one more effort of Canadian housing system to raise our protection walls against any such odds. If you are in the categories which have higher premiums, common sense says…….you got to rush to save. Closings can happen later but deal has to be finalized before end of April 2014. Home sellers shall also bank on this situation as they can expect good prices for their houses in April, so listing is definitely a GO too.

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Greater Toronto Area Real Estate Market Outlook for 2014

Canadian homebuyers remain undaunted in 2013, as housing sales and average price approach five-year high

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Greater Toronto Area Real Estate markets poised for further growth in 2014

Canadian consumers remained remarkably steadfast in their determination to achieve homeownership in 2013, fuelling residential real estate sales and average price nationally to a five-year high, despite a spotty regional performance. Improved economic performance on both a national and global stage, combined with historically low interest rates and rising consumer confidence, should spark greater strength in 2014, with housing sales and values expected to further appreciate, according to a report released by RE/MAX earlier this month.

Residential real estate in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) continued to demonstrate extraordinary resilience in 2013, with the city expected to post the second-best year on record for housing sales since 2008. Approximately 87,500 homes are expected to change hands by year end, representing a two per cent increase over the 85,498 sales reported in 2012. Pressure on housing values continued to climb, with average price forecast to appreciate five per cent to $520,000 in 2013, up from $497,150 one year ago. Strong demand and a shortage of homes listed for sale contributed to a serious uptick in activity throughout the year.

In GTA, new condominium product was largely absorbed in 2013—rented or sold—with sales of resale units finishing the year on par with year-ago levels. The average price of a condominium apartment edged up slightly to $342,948, while townhouse values rose just over 5 per cent to $348,000. Single-detached homes rose five per cent to approximately $658,000. Single-detached homes continue to make up close to 50 per cent of all sales where Move-up purchasers continued to represent the lion’s share of activity, driving sales of properties between $600,000 and $1 million. With the average detatched price in the GTA sitting at $658,000, the cost of owning a freehold property is becoming prohibitive. Given the significant difference in values, condominiums are expected to continue to enjoy a strong following in the years ahead from younger, first-time buyers, with market share hovering at just over 30 per cent.

First-time buyers will work in tandem with move-up purchasers in 2014, stimulating home buying activity at virtually every price point. Baby boomers will be a major influence on the demographic mix, with many selling larger homes in peripheral areas and making lateral moves to smaller homes or condominiums in the core. Tight inventory levels will contribute to the urgency in the market, although more listings are anticipated to come onstream this spring. By year end, an estimated 89,000 homes are expected to change hands in Greater Toronto—an increase of two per cent over 2013, while average price is expected to continue its ascent, rising six per cent to $550,000 in 2014.

Immigration will also continue to play an important role in supporting residential housing markets moving forward. In 2012, Ontario welcomed close to 100,000 new Canadians,  with the vast majority choosing to settle in Toronto. While numbers may moderate somewhat in coming years as job opportunities in other provinces draw an increasing  percentage of the immigrant pool, their impact on the GTA will remain undeniable. Population in the Greater Toronto Area continues to climb, with the number of residents reaching 6,574,140 in the 2011 Census, an increase of approximately nine per cent over 2006. Given that the GTA represents close to 20 per cent of the overall  Canadian population, the outlook for the city remains robust, with the housing market in Toronto proper and the peripheral areas expected to experience solid activity for years to come.

Serious commercial real estate expansion are underway at many of the GTA malls, including Yorkdale, with a further addition of 300,000 sq. ft and SherwayGardens, set to increase square footage by an additional 250,000 sq. ft. to 1.25 million. While  ErinMills Town Center in Mississauga already underway of 100 Million redevelopment, we have yet another big One Million SqFt mall coming at the intersection of Bovaird Drive & Mississauga Rd in Brampton. Plans for the 170-acre site of the former Buttonville airport just north of Toronto, including residential, office, retail, hotel and convention facilities, should also help bolster economic development within the GTA. Capital projects are underway in the City of Toronto, with close to $10 billion in transportation infrastructure and revitalization planned between now and 2022.

Although there are several such factors that are expected to contribute to rising housing values on a national basis in 2014, one of the most pressing is build out. In Greater Toronto area, greenbelt has stymied future development considerably. As such, the availability of low-rise homes relative to the population is expected to contract, placing further pressure on prices. Vertical growth and its affordable price point is representative of the future. 

“Canadian housing markets are on solid ground after a somewhat harrowing first and second quarter of 2013,” says Gurinder Sandhu, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.  “Better-than-expected economic performance, relatively stable inventory levels, and the threat of higher interest rates down the road proved mid-year game changers, providing the stimulus necessary to jumpstart homebuying activity.  The serious momentum that emerged in the latter half of the year is expected to spill over into 2014, setting the stage for continued growth and expansion in most residential markets.”

“Inventory played a key role in keeping housing markets at an equilibrium in 2013—with supply largely meeting demand throughout the year,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada.  “The anticipated run-up in inventory failed to materialize in most major centres.  Prices remained healthy as a result, with steady upward momentum noted, particularly in the latter half of the year.  The trend is forecast to continue, with average price appreciation expected to break existing records in 2014.”

“Canadian homebuyers remain savvy, with a long-term mindset that bodes well for stability,” says Sylvain Dansereau, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Quebec.

 “Yet, they also value progress, and we expect that to translate again in 2014.  Equity gains should continue to result in tangible leaps to larger homes or better neighbourhoods, as well as a growing wave of renovation and revitalization.  Stock market performance is also expected to bolster activity, as paper wealth is converted to material wealth.”

In nutshell, solid underpinnings continue to support healthy levels of real estate activity from coast to coast.  Buyers appear to be realistic in their pursuits, and after several rounds of mortgage tightening, many are coming to the table better qualified, with larger down payments and readjusted expectations. Imposed restrictions have had the desired effect.  A sound framework is now in place to support steady and sustainable growth over the next several years.  Existing inventory levels remain crucial to Canadian housing markets moving forward.  The tightening currently demonstrated at entry-level price points—as more first-time buyers make their way back into the market—could translate into further price hikes down the road. 

Historically low interest rates and buyer enthusiasm are expected to bolster the GTA housing market over the next 12-month period. 

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Top 10 Things to know before buying Real Estate for Investment

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Real Estate Investment is the only type of assets you can get which are most of the time appreciating as well as income generating. Most people invest in rental property as a way to earn extra income, as an investment vehicle to safely keep their savings above inflation rate, as well as to grow their net worth or even for retirement planning. No matter what ever is your financial goals, there are a few things that the prospective landlord will have to be aware of in order to get the most out of their investment and also make sure that they get a return on their investment without much difficulty. Some of these things to consider are here below:

1. Your Income shall be sufficient: Getting a rental condo or rental house is not every body’s cup of tea. You shall be financially strong to look into this as it is not very liquid asset, which you sell the movement you want to. More can get you better but it still shouldn’t be beyond your income means available. Consult your real estate agent and your mortgage broker before you jump in this pool.

2. Be aware of the Mortgage requirements for Investment property; Different Lenders have different mortgage requirements when it comes to investment property. Based on current mortgage rules other then your income requirements, which shall be enough to qualify you for your current mortgage of your principal residence, you shall also qualify for atleast 20% of your rental property. Plus based on new CMHC rules, you shall have 20% down payment available.

3. Be aware of the property taxes for real estate investment; Property taxes can significantly add to your carrying cost per month and will therefore be a determining factor in the rent amount that you will charge to cover you for all your expenses.

4. Your Investment real estate insurance; Insurance rates and cover will depend on your particular area, but you will need to get insurance coverage to protect against various risks that may come with having rental property such as damages, fires or any other insurable risk. Freeholds require you to take fire insurance whereas condos you don’t need to consider that cost. Some insurers may not ever provide you coverage for Tenanted property or may charge a higher premiums.

5. Condo Fees for Investment condos: If you are buying a freehold, you don’t need to worry about this cost but if it is a Condo, this is another major cost you need to add to your per month costs.

6. Consider the maintenance requirements; Factor in some costs for regular property maintenance, which will vary depending or your property age and type.

7. Finding the right tenants; it may seem unimportant but finding the right tenant is one of the most important factor. I have seen some landlords hasting to get their property rented through free classified websites like craigslist or kijiji etc. Most don’t realize that one wrong tenant can change your belief in investment property all together. Checking them under microscope is of extreme importance. Don’t just rely on one credit score or job letter, as there is lot beyond that to check too. You are far better off keeping your rental condo or rental house vacant for few extra days rather then getting a non qualified tenant.

8. Is your rent amount inclusive of utilities? If you are planning on including the cost of utilities such as gas and water in the rent, it is advisable to first get an estimate from utility companies. This is a cost, which shall always be preferred not to be included in the rent specially for a freehold as it only leads to wastage when they know that they are not paying for this.

9. Consider Vacancy Period Cost: Consider that your property may not be occupied all year round and plan for such an eventuality with when setting the rent price. Most of the time 30 days vacancy period is the right factor to consider between the switch of tenants.

10. Which is better Investment for you, Residential or Commercial: There is no point you invest in property which have doomed future or have weak future prospects. Consult your Investments specializing real estate agent and do some own due-diligence to make sure you take an educated decision. Of course, everyone wants the maximum ROI (Return on Investment) but your financial limitations, the time you have available will define what can be your best options to consider. For example if you have time available, high net worth with larger amounts available to invest and hold, maybe commercial is the way to go for best ROI. But if you are entry level Investor with limited budget for investment and are already gainfully working somewhere for your bread and butter, residential real estate investment may be a better option for you. Maybe investment condo is good option for you or maybe a house. You still need to consult the experts and weigh all your options for judging the best investment vehicle available to you, based on your financial goals and limitations.

Click Below to Access our Insider’s Report on – How to make Money by Investing in Real Estate.                                                                 

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Luxury Detached Homes of Greater Toronto Area Outshine During 1st Half of 2013

DetachedIn a report released earlier this month, activity in the first six months of 2013, reflects re-calibration and overall strength in the luxury residential real estate in the country’s largest urban centers.

In spite of a slower start to the market during the first three months of 2013, The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw nearly 3,000 condominiums, attached and single family homes sell over $1 million between January 1 and June 30, 2013 as reported by the Toronto Real Estate Board, reflecting a 59% overall increase compared to the last six months of 2012. This was a marginal 4% decrease in sales relative to the same period last year.

Low Interest rates remained the strongest driver of residential housing in the Toronto market in the first half of 2013, with single-detached posting the best overall performances, according to RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

RE/MAX examined 35 Toronto Real Estate Board districts between January and June of 2013 and found that single-detached housing values had appreciated year-over-year in close to 86 per cent of neighborhoods in Greater Toronto Area. Sales within the $1-2 million range increased by nearly 61% to 2,192 units, sales within the $2-4 million range increased by 57% to 394 units and sales of homes over $4 million grew by 124% to 38 units compared to the last half of 2012. Overall, 9% of homes over $1 million (226 units) were purchased above their original asking price, reflecting stable demand in the high-end single family home market.

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Condos & Rental Unit performance over 2nd Quarter of 2013

ImageGreater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,984 condominium apartment transactions through the TorontoMLS system in the second quarter of 2013. This result was down by approximately six per cent in comparison to the second quarter of 2012. The number of active listings at the end of the second quarter was up year-over-year by less than 2.5 per cent, while new listings were down by slightly more than four per cent.

“The GTA condominium apartment market has been the subject of much discussion recently, due in large part to the number of new units completed over the past two years and the number of units that remain under construction. With this in mind, it is important to point out that the condo market has fared quite well. Even with sales down and the number of active listings up, the average selling price has found support at current levels,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Dianne Usher.

The average selling price for condominium apartments in the second quarter was $347,896 – up by 1.7 per cent compared to the average of $342,148 in the second quarter of 2012. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) apartment benchmark price was also up by approximately one per cent over the same period.

“While active listings were up year-over-year in the second quarter, it is interesting to note that new listings were down over the same period. If the number of new listings continues to drop in the second half of 2013 and the sales situation improves, we could see the pace of condo price growth accelerate as market conditions tighten,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Looking at the rental market of Apartments, Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,853 condominium apartments rented through the Toronto MLS system in the second quarter of 2013.  This result was up by approximately 23 per cent in comparison to the second quarter of 2012.  The number of condominium apartments listed for rent was up by over 15 per cent to 10,284.

“Condominium apartments rented out by investors have become an increasingly important part of the overall rental stock in the GTA, given that very few purpose-built rental properties have been completed over the last decade,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

“Strong demand for condo rentals has come from households who want to live in up-to-date units but who are not ready to buy.  These renter households include would-be first-time buyers who are waiting to save a down payment and/or benefit from increased incomes and new comers to Canada who often choose to rent before entering into the home ownership market,” continued Ms. Usher.

Average rents for one-bedroom and two-bedroom condominium apartments increased well-above the rate of inflation on a year-over-year basis in the second quarter, reaching $1,611 per month and $2,174 per month respectively.

“The fact that annual growth in rental transactions outstripped growth in the number of units listed for rent suggests that conditions in the GTA tightened over the past year and that the vacancy rate has remained very low.  Strong competition between renters for available units has prompted continued upward pressure in average rents,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

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