Price Growth Across All Major Home Types in May
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 19:46
June 5, 2013 -- Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 10,182 sales through the TorontoMLS system in May 2013, representing a dip of 3.4 per cent compared to May 2012. Sales of single-detached homes in the GTA were up by almost one per cent compared to the same period last year, including a three per cent year-over-year increase in the City of Toronto.
“The sales picture in the GTA has improved markedly over the past two months. While the number of transactions in April and May remained below last year’s levels, the rate of decline has been much smaller. A growing number of households who put their decision to purchase on hold as a result of stricter lending guidelines are starting to become active again in the ownership market,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Ann Hannah.
The average selling price for May 2013 sales was $542,174 – up by 5.4 per cent in comparison to $514,567 in May 2012. The annual rate of price growth was driven by the tight low-rise segment of the market and particularly by single-detached and semi-detached home transactions in the City of Toronto. Average condominium apartment prices were also up slightly in comparison to last year.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 2.8 per cent year-over-year.
“The annual rate of price growth in May was not surprising given the competition that still exists between buyers, particularly for low-rise home types such as single-detached and semi-detached houses. We remain on track for a three-and-a-half per cent increase in the average selling price for 2013 as a whole,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
Five Basic Rules When Buying a Condo in Toronto
Thursday, 23 May 2013 14:38
Buying a condo is an important decision that will affect your lifestyle, so you should always approach this decision with great care. Owning a condo offers many attractive features, such as various amenities, freedom from yard and exterior maintenance, making a vacation home more affordable, and the ability to live in your desired location. However, finding the right condo that suits your lifestyle and budget is a daunting task — especially in Toronto, where there are more than 55,000 condo units under construction and an additional 32,000 units are at the pre-construction stage. There are many more aspects than the purchase price that you should consider when buying a Toronto condo. Here are some basic rules.
Financing — Closing Costs, Down Payment, Land Transfer Tax, and Condo Fees
Usually the price of your condo should not exceed more than three times your gross domestic income. The average price for condominiums in the GTA during the first three months of this year was $332,846. In addition, the number of new listings was also down in the first quarter of 2013 on a year-over-year basis. According to Ann Hannah, Toronto Real Estate Board president,
Buyers benefited from a substantial amount of choice in the condo market in the first quarter especially in comparison to low-rise home types. This being said, the fact that new condo listings were down in the first quarter suggests that the market may become tighter moving forward.
Read more: Five Basic Rules When Buying a Condo in Toronto
Canadian house prices edge higher in April
Thursday, 16 May 2013 23:57
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian home prices rose in April from March as three strong cities in Western Canada more than offset weak showings elsewhere, while the annual gain in prices slowed, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index showed on Tuesday.
The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed overall prices rose 0.2 percent in April from a month earlier, but the weakest April gain in 15 years except for the 2009 recession.
The index was up 2.0 percent from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month gain since November 2009.
The report suggested Canada's housing market has regained some spring strength after a long, slow winter of declines following the government's move to tighten mortgage lending rules in July 2012, but remains subdued.
"We view this report as broadly consistent with stabilization in the housing market over the near-term. Sales activity has been better supported recently ... which in turn should also help carve out a trough in national home prices," Mazen Issa, Canada Macro Strategist at TD Securities, said in a research note.
"Taken in context with the healthy correction in sales and building activity, today's report further underscores the recent constructive developments in household imbalances," Issa said.
Canadian policymakers, including Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have repeatedly warned consumers about taking on too much household debt to get into the housing market, and have been trying to engineer a soft landing for the sector by tightening bank lending rules.
Residential real estate activity typically picks up in the spring, and economists have been waiting to see if demand will return after a dramatic slowdown since the middle of 2012.
The Teranet-National Bank report showed prices rose more than 1 percent in April from March in three markets in Western Canada, where booming natural resource sectors have boosted economic activity.
Prices were up by 1.3 percent in Winnipeg and Edmonton and by 1.2 percent in Calgary. Excluding the three regions, the composite index would have been flat in April.
Smaller increases included a 0.6 percent rise in Hamilton, a 0.5 percent gain in Montreal and a 0.4 percent advance in Toronto.
Prices were down from the month before in five markets. Vancouver prices dropped 0.8 percent, Quebec City prices dipped 0.5 percent, Ottawa-Gatineau prices were off 0.2 percent, and prices fell 0.1 percent in Victoria and Halifax.
Year-on-year price gains continued to slow but remain positive in 9 of 11 Canadian cities as slowing sales activity has yet to bring down prices.
Prices dropped from April 2012 by 3.3 percent in Victoria and by 2.9 percent in Vancouver, which were among the hottest Canadian markets prior to the slowdown.
Compared with a year earlier, prices were up 6.1 percent in Quebec City, 5.5 percent in Calgary, 5.4 percent in Hamilton, 4.4 percent in Winnipeg, 4.3 percent in Toronto, 3.6 percent in Edmonton, 2.8 percent in Halifax, 1.5 percent in Ottawa and 1.3 percent in Montreal.
The industry group for Canadian real estate agents is set to release its April report on sales of existing homes on Wednesday, which is expected to show a sharp drop in activity from a year earlier even as prices held steady.
First-time homebuyers stashing away more cash
Sunday, 12 May 2013 00:20
Calmer heads prevail when it comes to first-time home buying, according to one poll that says there's a rise in the number of first-time buyers who are slapping down more than 20 per cent for their down payments.
Fifty-six per cent of Canadians are squirreling away more money to make those down payments, up from 36 per cent last year, says the annual poll by Genworth Canada and the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services.
Among first-time homebuyers, the proportion saving for less than two years has decreased by nearly 30 per cent, while the proportion saving for more than five years rose by more than 50 per cent.
"Canadians entering the real estate market are making financially astute choices by saving longer and putting down larger deposits on their homes," Brian Hurley, chairman and chief executive of Genworth Canada, said in a statement.
"They continue to value homeownership and are being responsible about the way they enter into mortgage debt. This trend bodes well for a soft-landing of the housing market."
The federal government tightened mortgage rules last July in a bid to calm the housing sector. The move was the fourth in four years and forced consumers to get a grip on their debt by shortening the maximum mortgage length to make it harder to buy real estate.
On Tuesday, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp released data that showed the housing market is continuing to cool.
The online survey was conducted on 1,514 Canadians by Environics Research Group in mid-February.
Separately, the Bank of Montreal released a survey on Tuesday that showed Canadians planning to buy their first home in the next five years plan to spend about $300,000, with an average down payment amount of $48,000 or 16 per cent.
Some 66 per cent of first-time buyers say the latest changes to mortgage regulations have not affected their buying timeline, while one-in-five say they will have to wait longer before buying as a result.
Six in 10 have made cutbacks to their lifestyle to save for their first home, with just one-in-four expecting their parents or other family members to help them pay for their first home, the BMO survey showed.
Homebuyers say they expect to spend $300,000 on first property
Friday, 12 April 2013 14:26
By Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press
TORONTO - The average first-time homebuyer in Canada is 29 years old and expects to be able to put down a down payment of $48,000 on $300,000 home, according to a recent poll by the Bank of Montreal.
But the study, released Tuesday, also found that price expectations vary widely, depending on where the homebuyer lives.
Buyers in Atlantic Canada say they expect to spend the lowest in the country with an average of $202,000 on a first home, followed by Quebec with $224,000, Ontario with $326,000, British Columbia with $384,000 and Alberta with $406,000. The sample size used in the Prairies was too low to be included in the survey.
Meanwhile, the data also found Vancouver to be the most expensive city, with first-time homebuyers there saying they plan to shell out an average of $443,000 for a home, followed by Toronto at $347,000.
BMO mortgage expert Laura Parsons says like with any major purchase, it's important for people be realistic and prepared.
"What we tend to do is jump in the market when we're ready, instead of starting a plan now," she said from Calgary.
"Let's start getting ready for it so we can start giving you good advice all along the way. Don't be afraid to get things going."
And while a large down payment is impressive, it does not necessarily mean that young people are diligently saving for their first home. Instead, many may be getting help from their Baby Boomer parents or friends, said Parsons.
Forty-six per cent of those surveyed also they'll choose a fixed mortgage rate when they buy, versus 20 per cent who will choose a variable rate.
The study also found that the average first-time homebuyer plans on paying off the mortgage on their home within two decades, with 20 per cent anticipating they'll be mortgage-free even earlier than that.
Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed say they will still have a mortgage within 25 years; 16 per cent say within 20 to 24 years and 20 per cent say within 10 to 19 years.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, seven per cent say it'll take them more than 25 years to fully own their home, while three per cent say it'll take them between 1 year to 9 years to pay it off.
The survey also found that 31 per cent admit they really don't know when they'll be able to stop making mortgage payments.
The Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO.TO - News) report surveyed a random online sample of 2,000 Canadians between Feb. 25 to March 5.
The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly stated what people planned to spend on a home.