Tag Archives: central toronto

What’s driving the demand?

Toronto home prices 2016

Each new year tends to mark a fresh beginning in real estate, but 2016 is clearly something special. Take a look at the chart above, and you’ll see how the gap in year-over-year prices started widening in March and April, 2015. Since then, double-digit increases have been reported in various categories of the market, both in the 416 and 905 areas.

Which kinds are going up the most?

By 2015, price increases outside the City of Toronto started to be steeper than those within the city. And as of the first half of this month, it’s clear that the greatest percentage increases are in the most affordable categories. In the 416, the average townhouse is 22% up over this time last year. In 905, semi-detached homes are up 15%, and detached homes are up 19%. These are all categories where first-time buyers can hope to purchase a home on the ground, in the broad range of $500,000 to $800,000.

Condo apartments are somewhat different. The mix is changing to include more new units, often smaller than the older ones. Even so, lower prices are drawing more buyers to condos in parts of the 905, with the result that average apartment prices are now rising four times faster in the suburbs, compared to the 416.

In this context, the price increases for detached homes would appear to be levelling off. There are parts of the city, however, which are experiencing the most explosive price increases ever in 2016. Inner suburbs like Don Mills, with bungalows built on large lots in the 50s and 60s, are seeing price increases of over 20% this year. Meanwhile, a shortage of resale homes in the core neighbourhoods of the old city has guaranteed bidding wars on just about any listing.

You need a plan

Whether you’re in the market for a house or a condo, you need a smart team to plan and execute a winning strategy. We’re available to talk… If you’re ready to start a conversation you can email us, or ask for James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

New down-payment rules

New downpayment rules

The new down-payment requirements will affect thousands of home buyers in Toronto and the GTA.

The new rules affect all home purchases where the down payment is less than 20%, and the sale price is between $500,000 and $1,000,000. Purchases up to $500,000, or over $1 million, will not be affected. The changes take effect on February 15, 2016.

Specifically, a buyer will need to provide a minimum down payment of 5% on the first $500,000 of value, PLUS a minimum 10% down payment on the remainder of the price, up to $1 million. (Buyers of properties over $1 million are already required to provide a 20% down payment.)

As an example, a house purchase of $700,000 will require a minimum down payment of $45,000 (up from $35,000 currently.)

A big deal for houses (condos not so much)

The new rule will have the strongest impact on buyers of low-rise homes. 53% of all low-rise home sales across the GTA would have been in the affected category in 2015. First-time buyers looking for a house in the City of Toronto know how few actually sell below $500,000. Condo buyers will probably not be affected, since only 13% of condo apartments are selling in the affected price range.

Family help

This holiday season, first-time buyers who’ve been saving up for a 5% down payment may want to have “the talk” with family members… Is it okay to stay off the property ladder until you can save up more, or is there a justified case for a little family gifting, to speed up the process?

Contact us if you’d like to get objective advice from a mortgage professional… we can connect you with some excellent people!

There’s lots more to know…

If you’re in the market for a house or condo, there’s lots you should know. We’re available to talk… If you’re ready to start your home-buying campaign you can email us, or ask for James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

 

The spring market is up and running

Projected average monthly prices

Toronto home sales January 2015

January update

In Toronto, January home sales are often at the mercy of the weather. In 2015, January’s new listings were up, the number of sales was up, and average prices were up. During the month, the Bank of Canada lowered its prime lending rate, and chartered banks moved key mortgage rates lower. (Experts predict another downward move in rates, in March.)

Demand creates scarcity

The strong demand for houses in the old City of Toronto continued in January.  Some listings received 10 or 20 offers (one Sage listing received 27 bids.) While we in the business may describe it as a scarcity of listings, the truth is that an unprecedented number of people want to live in the central part of Toronto, including older areas with small homes that are rapidly being gentrified.

The average price for a semi-detached home in the City was $667,000 in January. In the 905 area, the average price for a semi-detached home was almost a third less… $455,000, but still up 9.4% compared with a year ago.

The right time to sell

Do you know someone who may be ready to sell their home this spring? We’d love to hear from you. Without a doubt, a properly marketed home will sell quickly and for the highest price in this market! You can email us, or call James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

Price growth in the suburbs

Leslieville detached

Which price is rising faster? One of these…

Don Mills bungalow

Or this one?

Everyone knows how prices are going up in the trendy downtown areas. But here’s something to keep an eye on… This fall, prices in the suburban 905 area increased at a greater rate than in the central 416 area.

These price increases are showing up in detached homes and semis, and also with condo apartments. Specifically, the average price for detached homes in the 905 area was up 10.6% in October 2014, compared to last October. That same stat for detached homes in the 416 area was 8.7%.

Similarly, the average price for semi-detached homes in the 905 area was up 8.3% in October 2014, while the same price increase in the 416 area was 5.4%. For condos, the 905 increase was 4.6%, while in the 416 it was 1.5%.

Affordability
Why are buyers pushing up suburban prices, even when there are few bidding wars? The reason is affordability. At this point, the average price for a detached home is 30% lower in the 905 than in the 416. And the average condo price in 905 is more than 20% lower than in 416. Those price differentials make a compelling argument.

We’re used to talking about how home prices are always going up in Toronto, and we usually focus on the older neighbourhoods – the ones with homes built before World War 2. But there is a finite number of detached homes and semis in old City neighbourhoods. Buyers are looking for alternatives that fit their budgets. This can mean different locations, or different styles of housing.

Plan ahead
If you’re thinking of buying, it’s good to bring your agent into the process early on… You can email us, or call James and Joanne at 416-483-8000. We have broad experience in central Toronto and many parts of the GTA. We’ll help you develop your strategy and get you into a home that’s right for you!

Toronto Market Update – Nov. 5, 2014

November 2014 Toronto Home Prices

As our chart shows, fall home prices are moving sharply upwards in the GTA, in the typical year-over-year pattern. The average selling price for October 2014 transactions was $587,505 – up 8.9% compared to the average of $539,286 reported for October 2013 (and up 11.6% from the monthly average in January 2014, the lowest point of the year.) The trend in recent years has been for two equivalent price peaks each year, typically in May and October.

A new trend?
We’re used to seeing the strongest price growth in low-rise homes, and a more moderate increase in condo apartments. But here’s something to keep an eye on… This fall, prices in the 905 area have increased more than in the 416. This is happening with detached homes and semis, and also with condo apartments. The likely cause — affordability. At this point, the average price for a detached home is 30% lower in the 905 than in the 416. And the average condo price in 905 is more than 20% lower than in 416.

Where demand is strongest
There is a finite number of detached homes and semis in old City neighbourhoods. Buyers are looking for alternatives that fit their budgets. This can mean different locations, or different styles of housing.

“While sales growth has tracked strongly so far this fall, many would-be home buyers have continued to have difficulties finding a home due to the constrained supply of listings in some parts of the Greater Toronto Area, particularly where low-rise home types are concerned,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis. “The resulting sellers’ market conditions are forecast to drive strong price growth through the remainder of 2014 and indeed into 2015 as well.”

Plan ahead
If you’re thinking of selling, it’s good to bring your agent into the process early on… You can email us, or call James and Joanne at 416-483-8000. We have broad experience in central Toronto and many parts of the GTA. We’ll help you with your plans and create a strategic marketing plan that works for you.

5 reasons to call your agent when planning a reno

Basement reno

As real estate agents we help our clients in many ways, apart from buying and selling. We’re always delighted when clients call us for advice! If you’re planning a home renovation, here are five powerful reasons to bring us in first…

  1. We know you, and have a good idea already of what your values and goals are.

  2. We’re familiar with lots of houses and different designs that have been tried in other people’s homes.

  3. We have experience with contractors (both good and bad!) and can help you make informed choices.

  4. We know the market and can advise on which reno ideas will add value to your home (just saying!)

  5. We have enough hands-on expertise that we can share practical tips about how to approach the project and what “unexpected” things to expect.

One subject that comes up with owners is whether to renovate or move. (More than one TV series has been built on this premise!) The quick answer can be summed up this way: For most homes, there is an expenditure ceiling, related to values in the neighbourhood. Do not over-improve your home.

A related question is, how much should I improve my home to help it sell? This is really a whole other topic. The best approach is to discuss it in the specific context of your home, its location, and the prevailing market conditions. (Yet another reason to call us!)

If you’re thinking of selling your home this year…

…this is the right time to contact us! You can email us, or call James and Joanne at 416-483-8000. We know how to position your home so that you will achieve the best results in today’s market.

GTA Market Update – July 19, 2013

Toronto Home Prices 2013

Steady summer market

As of mid-July, Toronto home prices are sticking closely to the script. Our projected seasonal variation indicates that 2013 sales are showing the expected summer softness, before a fall market that may surprise some experts.

In fact, the first two weeks in July showed an average sale price of $510,819 – up by 8.1 per cent over this period in 2012. This year-over-year increase is greater than any we’ve seen so far this year.

September surprise?

 According to Jason Mercer, TREB’s market analyst, a tighter market is likely to produce a faster pace of average price growth in the second half of 2013 compared to the first six months of the year. While he expects low-rise homes to be the strongest market driver, Mercer also expects price increases in resale condo apartments.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, let us help. You can email us, or call James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.