Cindie Carr-Harris
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TORONTO REAL ESTAE BOARD JULY MARKET WATCH
Thursday, 03 August 2017, 09:45:00 AM

TORONTO, ONTARIO, August 3, 2017 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim

Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,921 residential

transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in July 2017. This result was down by 40.4

per cent on a year-over-year basis, led by the detached market segment – both in the City

of Toronto and surrounding regions.

While sales were down, the number of new listings reported were only slightly (+5.1 per

cent) above last year’s level.

“A recent release from the Ontario government confirmed TREB’s own research which

found that foreign buyers represented a small proportion of overall home buying activity in

the GTA. Clearly, the year-over-year decline we experienced in July had more to do with

psychology, with would-be home buyers on the sidelines waiting to see how market

conditions evolve,” said Mr. Syrianos.

“Summer market statistics are often not the best indicators of housing market conditions.

We generally see an uptick in sales following Labour Day, as a greater cross-section of

would-be buyers and sellers start to consider listing and/or purchasing a home. As we

move through the fall, we should start to get a better sense of the impacts of the Fair

Housing Plan and higher borrowing costs,” said TREB CEO John DiMichele.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark price was up by 18 per cent on

a year-over-year basis. However, the Composite Benchmark was down by 4.6 per cent

relative to June. Monthly MLS® HPI declines were driven more so by single-family home

types. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by five per cent

year-over-year to $746,218.

“Home buyers benefitted from more choice in the market this July compared to the same

time last year. This was reflected in home prices and home price growth. Looking

forward, if we do see some would-be home buyers move off the sidelines and back into

the market without a similar increase in new listings, we could see some of this newfound

choice erode. The recent changes in the sales and price trends have masked the fact that

housing supply remains an issue in the GTA,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of

Market Analysis.

 

 

 

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD MAY MARKET WATCH
Wednesday, 07 June 2017, 05:05:00 PM

TORONTO, June 5, 2017 Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 10,196 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in May

2017 – down by 20.3 per cent compared to 12,790 sales reported in May 2016. Sales of detached

homes were down by 26.3 per cent. Sales of condominium apartments were down by 6.4 per

cent.

The supply of listings was up strongly over the same period. Active listings – the number of

properties available for sale – at the end of May were up by 42.9 per cent compared to the record

low a year earlier. The number increased considerably for low-rise home types including detached

and semi-detached houses and townhouses. Active listings for condominium apartments were

down compared to May 2016.

“Home buyers definitely benefitted from a better supplied market in May, both in comparison to the

same time last year and to the first four months of 2017. However, even with the robust increase

in active listings, inventory levels remain low. At the end of May, we had less than two months of

inventory. This is why we continued to see very strong annual rates of price growth, albeit lower

than the peak growth rates earlier this year,” said Mr. Cerqua.

Selling prices continued to increase strongly in May compared to the same month in 2016. The

MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price was up by 29 per cent year-over-year. The average

selling price for all home types combined for the TREB Market Area as a whole was up by 14.9 per

cent to $863,910. Year-over-year price increases were greater for condominium apartments

compared to low-rise home types. This likely reflects the fact that the low-rise market segments

benefitted most from the increase in listings.

“The actual, or normalized, effect of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan remains to be seen. In the

past, some housing policy changes have initially led to an overreaction on the part of homeowners

and buyers, which later balanced out. On the listings front, the increase in active listings suggests

that homeowners, after a protracted delay, are starting to react to the strong price growth we’ve

experienced over the past year by listing their home for sale to take advantage of these equity

gains,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

 

 

 

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD APRIL MARKET WATCH
Wednesday, 10 May 2017, 09:10:00 AM

ONTARIO, May 3, 2017 The Toronto Real Estate Board has examined property

assessment and land registry data in Ontario and has concluded that foreign buyer ownership, as

well as speculation by foreign and domestic buyers and multiple ownership in the Greater Golden

Horseshoe housing market remains low.

TREB is releasing their analysis of this data at the same time as TREB President Larry Cerqua

announces that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® entered 33.6 per cent more new listings into

TREB's MLS® System in April 2017, at 21,630, compared to the same month in 2016. New listings

were up by double-digits for all low-rise home types, including detached and semi-detached

houses and townhouses. New listings for condominium apartments were at the same level as last

year.

Total sales for the TREB market area as a whole amounted to 11,630 – down 3.2 per cent yearover-

year. One issue underlying this decline was the fact that Easter fell in April in 2017 versus

March in 2016, which resulted in fewer working days this year compared to last and, historically,

most sales are entered into TREB's MLS® System on working days.

"The fact that we experienced extremely strong growth in new listings in April means that buyers

benefitted from considerably more choice in the marketplace. It is too early to tell whether the

increase in new listings was simply due to households reacting to the strong double-digit price

growth reported over the past year or if some of the increase was also a reaction to the Ontario

Government's recently announced Fair Housing Plan," said Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 31.7 per cent yearover-

year in April 2017. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by

24.5 per cent to $920,791.

"It was encouraging to see a very strong year-over-year increase in new listings. If new listings

growth continues to outpace sales growth moving forward, we will start to see more balanced

market conditions. It will likely take a number of months to unwind the substantial pent-up demand

that has built over the past two years. Expect annual rates of price growth to remain well-above the

rate of inflation as we move through the spring and summer months," said Jason Mercer, TREB's

Director of Market Analysis.

 

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD MARCH MARKET WATCH
Wednesday, 05 April 2017, 11:20:00 AM

TORONTO, ONTARIO, April 5, 2017Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua

announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 12,077 residential sales through

TREB’s MLS® System in March 2017. This result represented a 17.7 per cent increase compared

to the 10,260 sales reported in March 2016. For the TREB market area as a whole, annual sales

growth was strongest for condominium apartments and detached houses.

The number of new listings also increased on a year-over-year basis, at 17,051 – a 15.2 per cent

increase compared to March 2016. The strongest growth in new listings was experienced in the

detached market segment. While new listings were up strongly compared to last year, the rate

new listings growth was still lower than the rate of sales growth. As a result, GTA market

conditions continued to tighten.

“It has been encouraging to see that policymakers have not implemented any knee-jerk policies

regarding the GTA housing market. Different levels of government are holding consultations with

market stakeholders and TREB has participated and will continue to participate in these

discussions. Policy makers must remember that it is the interplay between the demand for and

supply of listings that influences price growth,” said Mr. Cerqua.

Strong competition between buyers continued to cause high levels of price growth in all major

market segments. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by

28.6 per cent year-over-year. For the TREB market area as a whole, the average selling price was

up by 33.2 per cent, with similar annual rates of growth in the low-rise and condominium apartment

segments.

“Annual rates of price growth continued to accelerate in March as growth in sales outstripped

growth in listings. A substantial period of months in which listings growth is greater than sales

growth will be required to bring the GTA housing market back into balance. As policy makers seek

to achieve this balance, it is important that an evidence-based approach is followed,” said Jason

Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

 

 

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD JANUARY MARKET WATCH
Friday, 03 February 2017, 12:45:00 PM

TORONTO, ONTARIO, February 3, 2017 - Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry

Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,188 residential

transactions through TREB's MLS® System in January 2017. This result was up by 11.8

per cent compared to 4,640 sales reported in January 2016. Annual rates of sales growth

were higher for condominium apartments than for low-rise home types.

January 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: sales were up on a year-over-year basis while

the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home

types.

"Home ownership continues to be a great investment and remains very important to the

majority of GTA households. As we move through 2017, we expect the demand for

ownership housing to remain strong, including demand from first-time buyers who,

according to a recent Ipsos survey, could account for more than half of transactions this

year. However, many of these would-be buyers will have problems finding a home that

meets their needs in a market with very little inventory," said Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark price was up by 21.8 per cent

on a year-over-year basis in January. Similarly, over the same period, the average selling

price was up by 22.3 per cent to $770,745, with double-digit gains in the average prices

for all major home types.

“The number of active listings on TREB’s MLS® System at the end of January was

essentially half of what was reported as available at the same time last year. That

statistic, on its own, tells us that there is a serious supply problem in the GTA – a problem

that will continue to play itself out in 2017. The result will be very strong price growth for

all home types again this year,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

 

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD DECEMBER MARKET WATCH
Thursday, 05 January 2017, 03:50:00 PM

TORONTO, ONTARIO, January 5, 2017 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry

Cerqua announced that 2016 was a second consecutive record year for home sales.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 113,133 home sales through TREB’s MLS®

System – up by 11.8 per cent compared to 2015. The calendar year 2016 result included

5,338 sales in December – an annual increase of 8.6 per cent.

The strongest annual rate of sales growth in 2016 was experienced for condominium

apartments followed by detached homes.

“A relatively strong regional economy, low unemployment and very low borrowing costs

kept the demand for ownership housing strong in the GTA, as the region’s population

continued to grow in 2016,” said Mr. Cerqua.

“It is important to point out that the strong demand that we experienced in 2016 was very

much domestic in nature. TREB recently commissioned Ipsos to survey its Members with

regard to the level and type of foreign buying activity within the Greater Toronto Area. The

results of the Ipsos survey suggest that the level of foreign buying activity is low in the

GTA. Only an estimated 4.9 per cent of GTA transactions, in which TREB Members acted

on behalf of a buyer, involved a foreign purchaser. In the City of Toronto, the share of

foreign buyers was five per cent,” continued Mr. Cerqua.

The methodology of the Ipsos research involved an online survey of the TREB

Membership hosted on the Ipsos platform. A total of 3,518 surveys were completed

between October 6 and October 21, 2016. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points 19

times out of 20. TREB will be releasing the full results of the Ipsos survey dealing with

foreign buyers on January 31, 2017, in conjunction with its Market Year in Review and

Outlook Report and related media event.

The annual rate of growth for the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in the TREB market area

accelerated throughout 2016 – from 10.7 per cent in January 2016 to 21 per cent in

December 2016. The overall average selling price for calendar year 2016 was $729,922 –

up 17.3 per cent compared to 2015. The pace of the annual rate of growth for the average

selling price also picked up throughout the year, including a climb of 20 per cent in

December.

“Price growth accelerated throughout 2016 as the supply of listings remained very

constrained. Active listings at the end of December were at their lowest point in a decade-

and-a-half. Total new listings for 2016 were down by almost four per cent. In 2016, we

saw policy changes and policy debates pointed at the demand side of the market. If we

want to see a sustained moderation in the pace of price growth, what we really need is

more policy focus on issues impacting the lack of homes available for sale,” said Jason

Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

TREB’s Market Year in Review and Outlook Report and media event will include an expert

panel and related submissions on the foundations of the housing supply issue in the GTA

and possible solutions.

With continued strong rates of price growth, housing affordability is a growing concern.

Unfortunately, the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee is considering an increase to the

Land Transfer Tax that could see buyers of average-priced homes pay another $750 to

the City, which would represent a seven per cent increase to the $11,000 that they already

pay City Hall as an upfront Land Transfer Tax closing cost. This would be on top of the

$12,000 that is also paid to the province. First-time buyers could end up paying $475

more, or, at best, be no better off, even though the province recently doubled their first

time buyer LTT rebate.

“The last thing people need is to dish out another $750, on top of the $11,000 that they

already pay City Hall. The City should be looking for ways to make housing affordability

better, not worse, especially for first-time buyers who could go backwards, or at best, be

no better off,” said Mr. Cerqua. “The Budget Committee should stop this proposal in its

tracks and instead enhance the rebate for first-time buyers.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD NOVEMBER MARKET WATCH
Friday, 02 December 2016, 09:50:00 AM

TORONTO, ONTARIO, December 2, 2016 - Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry

Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,547 home sales

through TREB's MLS® System in November 2016. This result represented a 16.5 per cent

increase compared to November 2015.

For the TREB market area as a whole, sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all

major home types. The strongest annual rates of sales growth were experienced for the

townhouse and condominium apartment segments.

"Home buying activity remained strong across all market segments in November.

However, many would-be home buyers continued to be frustrated by the lack of listings,

as annual sales growth once again outstripped growth in new listings. Seller's market

conditions translated into robust rates of price growth," said Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 20.3 per cent

compared to November 2015. The average selling price at $776,684 was up by 22.7 per

cent on a year-over-year basis.

"Recent policy initiatives seeking to address strong home price growth have focused on

demand. Going forward, more emphasis needs to be placed on solutions to alleviate the

lack of inventory for all home types, especially in the low-rise market segments,” said

Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

 

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD OCTOBER MARKET WATCH
Monday, 07 November 2016, 02:25:00 PM

TORONTO, November 3, 2016 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua

announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record 9,768 sales

through TREB’s MLS® System in October 2016 – up by 11.5 per cent compared to

October 2015. For the TREB market area as a whole, the largest annual rate of sales

growth was in the condominium apartment market segment. Detached home sales were

up by 10 per cent year-over-year, driven predominantly by transactions in the regions

surrounding Toronto.

“The record pace of GTA home sales continued in October, with strong growth observed

throughout the month. As we move through November and December, we will be

watching the sales and listings trends closely, in light of the recent policy changes

announced by the Federal Minister of Finance. TREB will once again be conducting

consumer survey work, in order to report on home buying intentions for 2017,” said Mr.

Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 19.7 per cent on a yearover-

year basis in October 2016. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types

combined was $762,975 – up 21.1 per cent over the same time period. Double-digit

increases were experienced for all major home types for the TREB Market Area as a

whole.

“New listings were up slightly in October compared to last year, but not nearly enough to

offset the strong sales growth. This meant that seller’s market conditions continued to

prevail as buyers of all home types experienced intense competition in the marketplace.

Until we experience sustained relief in the supply of listings, the potential for strong annual

rates of price growth will persist, especially in the low-rise market segments,” said Jason

Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

 

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD SEPTEMBER MARKET WATCH
Thursday, 06 October 2016, 03:00:00 PM

TORONTO, October 5, 2016 - 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.

 

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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD AUGUST MARKET WATCH
Wednesday, 07 September 2016, 11:10:00 AM

TORONTO, ONTARIO, September 7, 2016 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry

Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record 9,813 sales

through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2016.

While this sales result was 23.5 per cent above the number of transactions reported for

August 2015, it is important to note that the majority of sales are reported on working days

and there were two additional working days in August 2016 compared to 2015. When the

year-over-year discrepancy in working days is accounted for, the annual percentage

change in sales is closer to 13 per cent.

“The conditions underlying strong demand for ownership housing remained in place,

including a relatively strong regional economy, growth in average earnings and low

borrowing costs. Unfortunately, we did not see any relief on the listings front, with the

number of new listings down compared to last year. This situation continued to underpin

very strong home price growth, irrespective of home type or area,” said Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark for August 2016 was up by

17.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis. Similarly, the average selling price for all home

types combined was up by 17.7 per cent on an annual basis to $710,410. Both the MLS®

HPI benchmarks and average prices for low-rise home types were up by double digits

percentage-wise.

“Population in the GTA continues to grow. The resulting growth in households coupled

with favourable economic conditions and low borrowing costs means that we remain on

track for another record year for home sales. Against this backdrop, TREB will also be

releasing new third-party research, and consumer and REALTOR® survey results

throughout the fall and winter, with discussions focusing on foreign buying activity and

issues affecting the supply of ownership housing,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of

Market Analysis.

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