Tag Archives: toronto homes

Reality check, halfway through 2017

GTA Weekly 20170629

York, Toronto and Peel lead the GTA

We’ve been focusing for a few years on the remarkable price increases of homes in the 905. The reasons were clear: buyers were finding a greater supply of low-rise homes, within commuting distance and at lower prices. In general, the percentage price increases have been greater outside the City of Toronto. It makes perfect sense, since buyers can get more house for their money, when they travel further afield.

The chart above shows weekly average price movements during the first half of 2017. York Region kept its top position in this chart, and at the midpoint of 2017 the York prices are up almost 14% over the past six months. Toronto and Peel region have shown similar gains over this period. Meanwhile, average prices in Halton and Durham regions (which peaked dramatically during the spring) are now back at their January levels.

Beyond the GTA

Cities like Hamilton, Guelph, and Barrie have been getting more attention this year, from Toronto millennials looking for affordable urban settings. As agents, we’ve gotten used to checking the GO schedules along the various train corridors, and the EQAO scores for schools in far-flung school districts, as part of our daily routines. It’s increasingly clear that the Toronto megacity is evolving into a regional cluster of communities.

Babies, babies

Demographics tells the key story here. Millennials were called the “Baby-Boom Echo” generation. Economists were fascinated as this group delayed car purchases, household formations, and home buying plans. It’s becoming clear that this generation is finally asserting its priorities. Millennials may not do things like their predecessors, but they will figure out how to manage housing, transportation, and kids – in their own ways.

Advice from baby boomers?

In a rapidly changing market, you need smart, timely advice, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. As experienced baby-boomer agents, we’re pretty smart about this stuff.

We relish challenges, we like to share, and we’re available to help… You can email us, or ask for James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

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How affordable is a Toronto home?

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The long term picture

In the chart above, lower is better! The Affordability Index measures how much of an average income is needed to pay for an average Toronto home. Something in the 30s is good… Back in 1989, the index spiked to above 50%. The connection is clear: when people can’t afford to buy homes, homes stop selling.

Since 1996, the Toronto resale home market has been mostly positive and steady (with the one memorable hiccup in 2008). Year-to-year price increases have varied, but the pattern has been consistent. The average price increase over the past 15 years is just under 6% annually. That’s for the entire GTA, and most central neighbourhoods have gone up a bit more over the same time period.

The key takeaway from this chart? For almost 20 years, the Affordability Index has moved in a narrow band… As long as people have jobs, and interest rates don’t stray wildly from inflation, homes tend to stay affordable.