Monday, November 28, 2016

GTA high-rise sales breaking records

Sales of high-rise homes in the GTA are set to break records in 2016 according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

So far this year there have been 20,596 new high-rise sales in the Greater Toronto Area, accounting for 60 per cent of all new home sales in the area up to the end of September. There were 14,140 low-rise sales.

Tight supply has seen prices continue to rise sharply with new homes averaging $992,231 in September, up 22 per cent from a year earlier. For low-rise, prices averaged 486,605, up 10 per cent year-over-year; new detached homes averaged $1,194,771.

"We have a serious housing supply challenge in the GTA due to a significant shortage of shovel ready land and long and uncertain project approval timelines," BILD president and CEO Bryan Tuckey said. "These factors are severely restricting the number of new homes being brought to market and are causing prices to surge month after month."

Supply of new homes dropped 10,000 in the past year.

Foreign buyers have limited power in GTA condo market as sales soar

Foreign buyers play a limited part in condo sales activity in the Greater Toronto Area but investors play a key role in the market according to a new report from Urbanation.

It found that just 5 per cent of sales that have occurred within projects currently in active development across the GTA were to foreign buyers while 52 per cent were to domestic investors.

“The results of this very important survey show a rather limited role of foreign buyers in the GTA new condo market and a very significant overall share of investors,” said Shaun Hildebrand, Urbanation’s Senior Vice President.

In projects where foreign buyers are involved, their share ranges from 1 to 25 per cent of units with domestic investors picking up between 5 and 90 per cent.

Urbanation’s figures show that there were 6,677 new condo sales in the third quarter of 2016, up 73 per cent from the same period of 2015. Total unsold inventory was down by 33 per cent to 11,485 representing 5.2 months of supply.

“The pace of new condo development has fallen well below the level of demand this year. Given the low prevailing amount of available supply and diverse range of buyers, the recent mortgage insurance rule changes are anticipated to have a somewhat limited effect on market conditions for condos in the near term,” said Hildebrand.

Rental market tightens in GTA

There was a 17.3 per cent drop in condo apartments available to rent in the Greater Toronto Area in third quarter of 2016 compared to a year earlier, Toronto Real Estate Board says.

“Demand remains very strong for condominium apartments in the Greater Toronto Area. The key issue in the third quarter was the fact that there was a pronounced decline in the number of units available for rent,” said Larry Cerqua, TREB president, adding that fewer new developments became available to investors in the quarter.

The number of signed lease agreements through the board’s system was down 4.8 per cent while rents increased sharply; a 1-bedroom apartment averaged $1,777, up 7.2 per cent; a 2-bedroom apartment averaged $2,419, up 7.9 per cent.

Monday, November 7, 2016

September Monthly Resale Housing Market Figures

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,902 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in September 2016. This result was up by 21.5 per cent compared to September 2015.

For the region as a whole, strong annual rates of sales growth were experienced for all major home types.  The pace of detached sales growth was slower in the City of Toronto and the number of semi-detached sales was down compared to last year.  In both cases, the year-over-year dip in new listings was likely the issue.

“We continued to see strong demand for ownership housing up against a short supply of listings in the Greater Toronto Area in September.  The sustained lack of inventory in many neighbourhoods across the GTA continued to underpin high rates of price growth for all home types,” said Mr. Cerqua.

Both the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark and the average selling price for all home types combined were up strongly on a year-over-year basis in September.  The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark grew by 18 per cent compared to September 2015.  The average selling price was up by 20.4 per cent to $755,755.  It is important to remember that the MLS® HPI provides a price growth measure for a benchmark home, thereby allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison from one year to the next.  The average selling price can be influenced by changes in both market conditions and the mix of homes sold.

“The Toronto Real Estate Board will be closely monitoring how the recent changes to Federal mortgage lending guidelines and capital gains tax exemption rules impact the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area.  While these changes are pointed at the demand for ownership housing, it is important to note that much of the upward pressure on home prices in the GTA has been based on the declining inventory of homes available for sale,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

10 home maintenance tips for this fall

Use these ten easy fall maintenance projects to keep your house in peak condition through the winter.

1. Inspect your roof

When fall's rains (and winter's snows) arrive, few things make the season more miserable than a leaky roof.

Experts recommend doing a visual inspection of your roof, either from the ground with binoculars or heading up there with a ladder. Look for bent, cracked or missing shingles and replace them. 

If there are a lot of those, and you know your roof is old, consider having it replaced. It may be costly, but so is water damage from leaks.

While you're up there, DIY Network recommends paying special attention to areas around skylights, chimneys or vents.

2. Check your roof gutters

When the leaves are done falling, you'll save a lot of hassle by pulling out the ladder again and clearing out your roof gutters.

Clogged or clear, the water from fall and early winter rains won't stop coming. Clearing the gutters allows rainwater to drain properly through your downspouts, rather than spilling over the sides and potentially getting into your home's foundation.

For a less-gunky job, wait for dryer weather to clear out the dried leaves.

And speaking of downspouts, check them for leaks, and make sure they direct water away from the foundation, not to mention pathways and driveways.

3. Put your barbecue to bed

At some point, you'll have to accept that the season for grilling is over.

Take the cool down as a reminder to clean the barbecue's grills and burners, as well as disconnect the tank and store it somewhere safe.

Don't forget to guard against moisture by either covering your barbecue up or putting it out of the elements.

4. Clear your yard

You won't be getting much use out of your backyard, so fall is a good time to remove things that won't do well when the snows come.

Move or cover backyard furniture that you know won't react well to the cold and snow.

Your lawnmower doesn't like those conditions either, so move all outdoor tools inside.

5. Disconnect your outdoor hose

While your home's warmth may insulate water in pipes from the cold rigors of Canada's winter, outside faucets have no such protection.

Turn water off to outdoor faucets, and disconnect and store your garden hose as well. Make sure to run the tap after to drain as much of the water out before the cold sets in.

6. Inspect your home's exterior for cracks

Fall is the best time to do this, not just because of fall rains and winter snows, but with an eye to the spring melt as well.

Walk around and have a look for cracks or gaps. Take a good look at doors, windows, and entry points of wires or cables. Sealing these off will save you headaches later.

Don't delay too long in doing so, as caulking is best done before it gets too cold.

7. Get ready to turn up the heat

You've prepped the outside of your home against the rigors of the cold, now it's time to focus on keeping the interior toasty.

Change out the air filter on your furnace (and stock up on spares), and call in an inspector to give the system a once-over, as well as check for signs of carbon monoxide buildup.

Next, check all your heating ducts and vents for dust build-up, and peek inside to see if anything fell into them over the past season. Every bit of extra clearance helps.

8. Guard against drafts

Having a warm home isn't much of a boon if you're losing heat through poor insulation.

Check your window and door seals for drafts when the weather gets cool enough. Seal any cracks with caulk or weather stripping.

9. Check your humidifier

Winter air is dry, and that has its own effects on your home's infrastructure.

If your home is equipped with a humidifier, it'll need annual maintenance as well. Clean out the filter, or replace it if it's too encrusted. Give the equipment as a whole a good cleaning also.

10. Give a thought to home safety

While you're giving your home its seasonal overhaul, take the time to make sure it's safe for its inhabitants.

Check your smoke detectors to see if they are in working order (you should have one on each floor), and check your fire extinguisher. If you need to replace it, now's a good time to do so.

Winter blackouts are a fact of life in Canada, so if you own an emergency generator, test it out (but be sure not to do so in an enclosed area, as fume build up can be hazardous or deadly).

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