Low-Rise Home Types Drive June Growth

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Greater Toronto Realtors reported 9,422 sales through the MLS in June 2012. The number of transactions represented a 5.4% decrease compared to June 2011.  The year-over-year decline was largest in the City of Toronto, where sales were down by 13.0% compared to June 2011. Sales in the rest of theToronto Real Estate Board area were comparable to a year ago.

New listings, at 16,679, were up by a 13.0% compared to June 2011.

“Buyers continue to face the substantial upfront cost associated with the City of Toronto’s unfair land transfer tax,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver. “ Recent polling by TREB suggests that many households are considering home purchases outside the City of Toronto to avoid paying the land transfer tax. This goes a long way in explaining the disproportionate decline in sales in the City versus surrounding regions.”

With market conditions remaining tight in the GTA, the average selling price continued to grow in June up by 7.3% from the same time last year to $508,622. Price growth continued to be driven by the low-rise market segment.

The mortgage payment associated with the average priced home in June, assuming five percent down and a five-year fixed rate mortgage amortized over 25 years, would account for approximately 35% of the average household’s income in the GTA after adding property tax and utility payments.

 “According to new mortgage lending guidelines set out by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the GTA housing market remains affordable. The share of the average household’s income remains below the 39% ceiling recently announced by Mr. Flaherty,” said the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Marker Analysis Jason Mercer. ”

“ The average household in the GTA continues to benefit from a considerable amount of flexibility to account for higher interest rates moving forward.”

“TREB’s baseline forecast for 2012 is for an average price of $485,000, representing a more moderate 4.0% annual rate of price growth. This baseline view is subject to a heightened degree of risk given the uncertain global economic outlook,” continued Mercer.

Sales of Toronto (416 area code) condominium apartments decreased by 18.0% from June 2011. The average price of a Toronto condo increased by 2.0% from the same time last year.








Condominium apartments accounted for 21.2% of total sales in the GTA for June 2012 while detached homes accounted for 49.8% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for June at 22 days. Active listings were 20,583 in June -up 13.7% from June 2011. The sales-to-listings ratio for June was 45.8%  which is classified as a STRONG seller’s market. A ratio from 24%-28% is considered a balanced market.  

Sellers are looking for market value for their property. I prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for all of my Buyer clients prior to submitting an offer to determine the property’s market value range.

Real estate is very neighbourhood specific and even very street specific in some areas. The numbers as reported above are GTA averages. Results in one neighbourhood or on one street do not indicate that all other neighbourhoods or streets are experiencing the same results. We are still seeing multiple offers in some areas for the best homes.



T.O. Condo Rents Soar in Q2

Great article in www.CanadianRealEstateMagazine.ca

Toronto Realtors are reporting a whopping 4,771 leased condominium through the city’s MLS system in the second quarter, representing a 3% increase over an already busy 2011.

“Strong condominium apartment completions over the past year resulted in many investor-held units being listed for rent in the second quarter,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Ann Hannah. “While prospective renters did benefit from more choice compared to last year, market conditions remained tight enough to prompt annual average rent increases above the rate of inflation.”

That’s good news for Toronto condo investors, worried about the possible super-saturation or rental units on a slowing market. But they still have some reason to be concerned.

The number of apartments listed for rent in the second quarter grew at a faster pace compared to the number of rental transactions — up 15 per cent year-over-year.
That suggests rent increases may slow as Canada’s largest city heads in the fall.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Interest Rate: Why Mark Carney’s Canada is (still) the One Per Cent

Great article in www.TheStar.com

We are the one per cent – still.

The Bank of Canada left its key overnight lending rate unchanged Tuesday, just where it’s been sitting for almost two years.

The last time it rose was Sept. 8, 2010, when the Bank boosted it from .75 per cent to 1 per cent.

The overnight rate, which banks use to help set the prime rate for their best customers, has been at or below 1 per cent since January, 2009, as the North American economy dealt with the financial meltdown sparked partly by the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank.

Why does that sound so familiar?

The Bank has had 15 interest rate announcements since it last had something to, you know, announce. The 678 days since the last change are the longest period the overnight has remained stable since the 1950s.

Why no move?

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

No Toronto Housing Bubble, says RBC

Great article in http://money.ca.msn.com 

A new report wants to burst the idea of a Toronto housing bubble.

Yes, condo sales and construction are booming, but the Royal Bank of Canada report says there is no housing bubble because the city’s number of new housing units is in line with demographic needs.

The Greater Toronto Area sees an influx of close to 100,000 people each year.

That translated to approximately 38,000 new households per year from 2006 to 2011, according to RBC and Statistics Canada data in the report.

One constraint to urban development is the Ontario government’s plan to handle growth and development in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which is known as “Places to Grow” and seeks to curb urban sprawl.

Faced with the task of accommodating the 38,000 new households, new housing in Toronto has nowhere to grow but up.

May 2012 saw a record 44,100 condos and apartments under construction, as well as 6,200 multiple units, which are detached and row houses

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Parking: An Endangered Species for Downtown Dwellers?

Great article in www.TheGlobeandMail.com

In her waterfront condo, Lianne Hannaway regularly sees “parking wanted” signs pinned up in the garage. After working in Paris, Ms. Hannaway returned to Toronto and, in 2010, moved into a one-bedroom condo. Inspired by the transit-oriented lifestyle in Europe, she decided against a vehicle since she could walk or take transit to work.

Despite going car-free, Ms. Hannaway’s real estate agent Erica Smith suggested she buy a parking spot with the unit. Though it cost roughly $20,000 to $25,000, Ms. Hannaway trusts it’ll pay off in the future. “I think just having the spot, you attract more potential buyers and renters because not everyone’s into this non-car mentality just yet in Toronto.”

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Yes, The U.S. Housing Bust Is Over

Great article in www.RealEstate.msn.com

The housing market has turned—at last.

The U.S. finally has moved beyond attention-grabbing predictions from housing “experts” that housing is bottoming. The numbers are now convincing.

Nearly seven years after the housing bubble burst, most indexes of house prices are bending up. “We finally saw some rising home prices,” S&P’s David Blitzer said a few weeks ago as he reported the first monthly increase in the slow-moving S&P/Case-Shiller house-price data after seven months of declines.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

34, Mortgage and Debt Free: Here’s How

Great article in www.MoneyVille.ca 

Over the past 18 months Moneyville has followed my early retirement journey which started as a dream to retire when I was 45. I’ve been working hard over the past few years to make the dream come true and I’ve managed to bring the target down to Freedom 42, just eight years from now.

I’m a 34-year-old engineer living in Regina with my wife Rhea and our two boys. By my birthday in October, I will be completely debt free: No mortgage, no credit card debt nor any balance on a line of credit. If I was to sum up how I’ve been able to do it, it would be a well-defined plan, a strong focus on reducing my debts and the discipline to stick to the plan as much as possible, while coping with what life throws our way.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Selling a House: Can You Evict a Tenant?

Great article in www.MoneyVille.ca 

One common question asked by landlords are the rules that surround the sale of their property and tenants. The main question is “Can I evict the tenant before I sell, so that I can fix it up?” The short answer is no.

If you want to sell a rental property, the first issue is does the tenant have a lease? Let’s say there is a lease and the tenant has eight months remaining. They cannot be evicted before the end of their lease,

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For more information refer to the Landlord and Tenant Board  website.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Thinking of Renting that Basement Suite? Tips for First-Time Landlords

Great article in www.TheGlobeandMail.com

When my husband and I were shopping for a home, a basement apartment seemed like a no-brainer.

House prices in downtown Toronto were already sky-high, so we loved the idea of someone paying us $800 a month to live in a space we could do without. We knew we’d have to find tenants, fix leaky taps, spruce the place up, and comply with various bylaws, but these seemed like tasks we could easily deal with in order to buy in the neighbourhood we wanted and become mortgage-free sooner.

Seven years later, we’ve learned that finding the right tenant is more time-consuming than it appears, that things can and often do break at inconvenient times, that you can’t evict someone just because you don’t like their new boyfriend, and that being a landlord is a demanding, round-the-clock responsibility.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

No Breaks for Offshore Condo Investors from the Taxman

Great article in www.MoneyVille.ca

There have been a lot of stories of foreign citizens buying Canadian condominium units from floor plans and then reselling them, for a profit, as soon as the building is registered. These sellers must be aware that the Canadian taxman must be paid before they get their money. In some cases, the entire deal could be delayed until this gets done.

In general, you are a resident of Canada for tax purposes if you have lived here for at least 183 days in the past year. If you are a resident, and you sell any Canadian real estate, you do not have to pay any tax owing until you file your tax return at the end of the year

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca