Market Updates

Strong Sales and Price Growth in September
TORONTO, October 3, 2013 -- Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,411 residential sales through the TorontoMLS system in September 2013, representing a 30 per cent increase compared to 5,687 transactions reported in September 2012. Year-to-date, total residential sales reported through TorontoMLS amounted to 68,907 during the first nine months of 2013 – down by one per cent compared to the same period in 2012.

“It’s great news that households have found that the costs of home ownership, including mortgage payments, remain affordable. This is why the third quarter was characterized by renewed growth in home sales in the GTA. We expect to see sales up for the remainder of 2013, as the pent-up demand that resulted from stricter mortgage lending guidelines continues to be satisfied,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

The average selling price for September transactions was $533,797 – up by 6.5 per cent year-over-year. Through the first three quarters of 2013, the average selling price was $520,118 – up by over four per cent compared to the first nine months of 2012.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark for September was up by four per cent year-over-year. The annual rate of growth for the composite benchmark has been accelerating since the spring of 2013.

“The price growth story in September continued to be about strong demand for low-rise home types, coupled with a short supply of listings. Even with slower price growth and month-to-month volatility in the condo apartment market, overall annual price growth has been well above the rate of inflation this year. This scenario will continue to play out through the remainder of 2013,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

August 2013 Sales and Average Price Up Over 2012

TORONTO, September 5, 2013 – Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,569 residential transactions through the TorontoMLS system in August 2013. This represented a 21 per cent increase compared to 6,249 sales in August 2012.

"Sales were up strongly this past August for all major home types compared to last year. Many households have accounted for the added costs brought on by stricter mortgage lending guidelines and have reactivated their search for a home. These households have found that a diversity of affordable ownership options exist throughout the GTA," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

The average selling price for August 2013 was $503,094 – up by almost 5.5 per cent compared to the average of $477,170 in August 2012. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark was up by 3.7 per cent over the same period.

"Despite an increase in borrowing costs during the spring and summer, an average priced home in the GTA has remained affordable for a household earning an average income. With this in mind, tight market conditions are expected to promote continued price growth through the remainder of 2013," said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

No Boom, No Bust as Condo Market Remains Stable Across the Country

Genworth Canada Releases Summer 2013 Metropolitan Condo Outlook

TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Record growth is not in the foreseeable future of the condo market, but it is also likely the sector will be able to avoid a major downturn, according to the latest Conference Board of Canada condo report released by Genworth Canada. While markets in major centres such as Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto have been of particular concern, The Summer 2013 Metropolitan Condo Outlook suggests population growth and employment gains will help maintain demand levels to absorb supply inventory.

"Whether it's first-time homebuyers entering homeownership, empty-nesters looking to downsize or professionals seeking a shorter commute, condos appear to remain a popular option for urban Canadians," saidBrian Hurley, Chairman and CEO of Genworth Canada.

The Report notes economic factors affecting the housing market, such as employment, interest rates and population growth, will only undergo moderate changes. Employment is expected to rise modestly in the medium-term and interest rates are expected to increase gradually, while population expansion and demographics will continue to support demand in regional markets.

"As condo starts near past averages and inventories edge closer to demand, we are seeing the condo market stabilize both in terms of the price of existing units and the volume of new construction," saidRobin Wiebe, Senior Economist at the Centre for Municipal Studies at The Conference Board of Canada. "Softer prices and positive economic factors continue to make condos an affordable way for Canadians to achieve homeownership."

Regional Highlights

  • Québec City's condo starts will start to return to long-term average, with average resale prices expected to show a moderate rise of 1.1 per cent in 2013 and 1.9 per cent in 2014, which will allow demand to increase until 2016 as it catches up with supply
  • Montréal's steady economic growth and aging population will bolster unit sales, but volume growth is expected to be a modest 1.4 per cent per year from 2015 to 2017
  • Ottawa's regional economy is still feeling the effects of government spending cuts which weakened demand and slowed price increases, but economic growth expected in 2014 will help increase demand and unit sales by about 2.5 per cent per year from 2015 to 2017
  • Toronto's inventory of completed and unsold new condominiums was up in 2012, so builders are expected to pull back from the market in 2013 and 2014, but a stable economy and population growth are expected to bring builders and buyers back to the market by 2015
  • Calgary starts will be hampered in the third quarter by the flooding earlier in the year, but as the "youngest" city in the survey, it is expected to enjoy the highest growth in starts and resale volumes in 2014, with price growth at a moderate level of 2 per cent to 3.5 percent over the next few years.
  • Edmonton inventory levels will become more balanced, with the median price expected to rise slightly in 2013 - the city's first gain since 2007
  • Vancouver remains the most expensive housing market in the country, but condos remain an affordable option. It's expected to continue to be a buyer's market in 2013, with sales and prices picking up in 2014.
  • Victoria faces the greatest challenges with the lowest number of starts among the report's eight cities and no growth in resale prices or sales until 2014. Despite its mild climate and attractive surroundings, a high inventory of unsold new units and constrained demand due to a soft economy will continue to cause drag on the condo market in Victoria

Resale prices for condos are expected to rise next year in all eight cities studied, with Calgary showing the largest growth of 3.3 per cent and Vancouver, following two years of price decline, growing only 1.4 per cent.

Average Resale Condo Price by City: Forecast

City 2012 2013f 2014f
Québec City $220,860
Montréal $267,175
Ottawa $271,331
Toronto $305,350
Calgary $244,362
Edmonton $210,577
Vancouver $366,263
Victoria $268,633
Italics indicate percentage change from previous year.
Sources: The Conference Board of Canada; CMHC Housing Time Series Database; Canadian Real Estate Association; Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards. Average resale prices are used for Québec City and Montréal; median resale prices are used for the rest of the metropolitan areas. Resale and average prices in Montréal and Québec City include all condo styles, not just apartments.

Produced twice a year, the Metropolitan Condo Outlook is commissioned by Genworth Canada from the Conference Board of Canada. The Report reviews a wide range of condominium statistics and offers an in-depth analysis of the trends in the condominium market for eight large Canadian metropolitan areas: Québec City, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary,Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. A copy of the report is available at: .

SOURCE Genworth Canada

Strong Sales and Price Growth in July

TORONTO, August 2, 2013 -- Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,544 residential sales through the TorontoMLS system in July 2013. Total sales were up by 16 per cent compared to July 2012. Over the same period, new listings added to TorontoMLS and active listings at the end of the month were up, but by a substantially smaller rate of increase compared to sales.

“Last month’s sales represented the best July result since 2009 and was the third best July result on record. Despite recent increases in average borrowing costs, home buyers are still finding affordable home ownership options in the GTA,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

“We are a year removed from the onset of stricter mortgage lending guidelines and many households who put their decision to purchase a home on hold have reactivated their search. An increasing number of these households are getting deals done,” continued Ms. Usher.

Reflecting tighter market conditions, the average selling price for July sales was up on a year-over-year basis by eight per cent to $513,246. The low-rise market segment continued to be the driver of overall price growth. It should be noted, however, that the average condominium apartment price was also up by more than the rate of inflation on an annual basis. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was also up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types.

“We are forecasting continued average price growth for the remainder of 2013 and through 2014 as well. Months of inventory for low-rise homes remains near record lows, suggesting that sellers’ market conditions will remain in place in the second half of 2013. An increase in listings in 2014 would lead to more balanced market conditions and a slower pace of price growth next year, albeit still above the rate of inflation,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
GTA New Homes - June 2013

Here are the numbers from our June 2013 monthly update on the GTA new home market:

High Rise: 1,251 sales; down -46% from June 2012; down -38% from 10 yr. avg

Low Rise: 1,090 sales; up +6% from June 2012; down -34% from 10 yr. avg.

Total New Homes: 2,341 sales; down -30% from June 2012; down -36% from 10 yr. avg.

For further information on the new home market at the end of June 2013 please see the short explanatory video from RealNet President, George Carras.

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