Monday, December 21, 2009

December Mid-Month Resale Housing Market Figures

Greater Toronto REALTORS reported 3,079 existing home transactions in the first two weeks of December compared to 1,487 in 2008. The strong growth represents both increased home ownership demand and the fact that we are comparing the recovery phase of the sales cycle this December with the contraction phase experienced last winter.

Year-to-date sales, at 84,888, were up 16 per cent compared to the same period last year and have moved in line with the healthy levels experienced in the 2004 through 2006 period.

"We experienced a very strong and broad based recovery in the second half of 2009," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Tom Lebour. "The rebound in the housing sector speaks to the confidence that households have in overall economic recovery.”

The average resale home price during the first two weeks of December rose 17 per cent to $423,103. The year-to-date average was $395,411, up four per cent compared to the same period in 2008.

“The double-digit price growth we have experienced since September will continue through the first quarter of 2010. Average price growth will move to a sustainable pace in the spring as listings increase," according to Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

GTA home sales double in November

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,446 sales in November – slightly more than double the November 2008 result when GTA home sales had dipped markedly due to the economic downturn. Year-to-date sales were up 14 per cent compared to the first 11 months of 2008.

“This year in the GTA home sales will be in line with the healthy levels experienced between 2004 and 2006,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Tom Lebour.

“Increased resale home transactions in the Toronto area and country-wide played a key role in pushing the Canadian economy out of recession in the third quarter.”

The average price for November transactions was up 14 per cent year-over-year to $418,460. The average price year-to-date was up four per cent to $394,464.

“Very strong annual growth rates for sales and average price should be expected through the first quarter of 2010, because we will be comparing the current recovery to the housing market decline experienced last winter," according to Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “As we move into the spring, growth rates will move to more sustainable levels.”

Sunday, November 8, 2009

TREB Reports Strong Growth in October MLS Transactions

In October 2009, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 8,476 sales, up 64 per cent from October 2008. The average price for October transactions was $423,559 – up by 20 per cent compared to the same month last year.

"Strong sales growth has occurred across many property classes – from price ranges that would attract first-time buyers to luxury properties selling for over one million dollars," said TREB President Tom Lebour. “The highest rate of sales growth in October was experienced for properties selling for over $750,000. In contrast, luxury home sales declined at an above-average rate last year.”

Year-to-date sales, at 74,721, were up nine per cent compared to the first ten months of 2008. Average price, at $392,264 was up by almost three per cent.

"After a short dip in the winter, the average home price in the GTA has rebounded because sales have been high relative to listings," according to Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “Watch for listings to rebound in 2010 as home owners react to the strong sales and price growth experienced in the latter half of this year.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

OCTOBER MID-MONTH HOUSING STATISTICS

In the first two weeks of October, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,631 sales – up 34 per cent compared to the first two weeks of October 2008. The average price for these transactions was up 17 per cent year-over-year to $414,479.

"While demand for existing homes has remained strong, it is important to recognize the context of current statistics. We are now making comparisons to the fall of 2008 when we experienced a marked decline in sales and average price," said TREB President Tom Lebour.

Year-to-date sales, at 69,964 are up six per cent compared to 2008. Average price, at$389,687, is up by two per cent.

"Tight market conditions throughout the GTA will continue to exert upward pressure on home prices in the fourth quarter," explained Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “Expect more listings in 2010 as home owners react to the price gains experienced in the second half of 2009.”

Monday, October 5, 2009

SEPTEMBER RESALE MARKET FIGURES

In September 2009, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 8,196 sales, up 28 per cent from September 2008. The average price for September transactions was $406,877 – up by 10 per cent compared to the same month last year.

"We have experienced an increasing rate of existing home price growth in the GTA as sales have continued to outpace 2008 results," said TREB President Tom Lebour. "Consumers have remained confident in ownership housing as a long-term investment."

Year-to-date sales, at 66,437 were up 4.5 per cent compared to the first nine months of 2008. Average price, at $388,417 was up by almost 1.5 per cent.

"Existing home sales will finish strong this year, pushing through the 80,000 mark and moving in line with some of the best years on record under the current TREB market area," according to Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

RENTAL MARKET REPORT

During the latest reporting period, TREB Members reported 5,673 leased
transactions, up 32 per cent from the 4,286 recorded during the same time period in 2008.

However, while volume increased, average rents fell in most categories. For example, one bedroom apartments rented for an average of $1,439 per month, down 4 per cent from the $1,494 recorded during same period last year.

Two bedroom apartment units rented for an average of $1,873, down 1 per cent from the $1,885 recorded during the May to August 2008 period.

A steep increase in rental listings explains the year-to-year decline in rents. At the end of August, 9,781 rental condominium listings appeared on the TorontoMLS system, a 51 per cent increase over the 6,482 listings available at the end of the May-August 2008 period.

The ratio of rental transactions to available properties is much lower than in 2008 meaning the choice of properties has increased causing average rents to moderate. A key factor behind the increase in rental listings was the strong growth in condominium apartment completions in 2008, as reported by The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation'.

Condominium apartment completions increased by 70 per cent in the GTA compared to 2007. Many of these will have been registered under condominium corporations and have become available for rent.

Central Area
• The majority of leased condominium apartment transactions during the past four-month period took place within TREB’s Central districts. Of the total 3,350 transactions, TREB Members reported the renting of 1,783 one-bedroom and 1,222 two-bedroom units, which leased for an average of $1,502 and $2,121 per month, respectively. One bedroom rents declined four per cent from the average $1,567 per month rent achieved during the same time in 2008; the two-bedroom average rent was down two per cent.

• There were also 121 condominium townhouse rentals in the Central Area. Of these, 47 were three-bedroom units, which rented for an average of $2,618 per month down two per cent from last year’s $2,664 per month figure.

East Area
• During the May to August period, TREB’s East area had 372 total condominium rentals. Of these 123 were one bedroom units, which rented for an average of $1,222 per month, and 177 were two-bedroom units, which rented for an average of $1,459 per month. One-bedroom rents climbed one per cent from the $1,206 per month recorded during the same time last year, and two-bedroom average rents fell three per cent from 2008’s $1,503 average.

• 46 townhouses were leased in TREB’s East districts. Of these, 36 were three-bedroom units, which rented for an average of $1,398 per month, down two per cent from the same time-frame in 2008.

North Area
• Most leased condo-apartment transactions within the North area (542 in total) were for one and two-bedroom units. One-bedrooms (238 units) rented for an average of $1,297 per month, down three per cent from last year’s average of $ 1,344 per month. Two-bedrooms rented for an average of $1,716 per month, up one per cent from the $1,692 recorded during the same time last year.

• A total of 84 townhouse units rented in TREB’s North area. The majority (64) were three-bedroom units, which rented for an average of $1,779 per month, up one per cent from last year.

West Area
• TREB’s West area had 1,094 condo apartment rentals. Of these, 386 were one-bedroom units, which rented for an average of $1,304 per month; 650 were two-bedroom units, which rented for an average of $1,590 per month. Average rents for one-bedroom apartments were down three per cent from the $1,347 recorded last year. Two-bedroom average rents were down one per cent from last year’s $1,603.

• The West area led all of the GTA in townhouse rentals, with 231 in total. Of these 162 were three-bedroom units, which rented for an average of $1,557 per month, down three per cent from last year.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sales and Price Growth in September

In the first two weeks of September, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,361 sales – up 23 per cent compared to the first two weeks of September 2008. The average price for these transactions was up eight per cent year-over-year to $393,818.

"An increasing number of positive reports pointing to economic recovery coupled with low interest rates have kept households confident in purchasing a home," said TREB President Tom Lebour.

Year-to-date sales, at 61,676 are up three per cent compared to 59,971 in 2008. Average price, at $386,302, is up by one per cent from $383,776.

"Tighter market conditions since May, as evidenced by rising sales relative to listings and declining average days on the market, have resulted in stronger average price growth," explained Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

GTA August Resale Market Figures

In August 2009, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 8,035 sales, up 27% per cent from August 2008. The average price for August transactions was $387,921 – up by six per cent compared to the same month last year.

"The increase in demand for existing homes has been widespread across different housing types and price ranges," said TREB President Tom Lebour. "This suggests many categories of home buyers have chosen to make a long-term investment in housing, from first-time buyers to move-up buyers or buyers who are seeking a lifestyle change."

Year-to-date sales, at 58,421 were up two per cent compared to the first eight months of 2008. Average price, at $385,978 was up by less than one-half of one per cent.

"We have heard more positive economic news lately. The improved housing market has played a key role,” explained Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

"Home sales have helped other sectors of the economy through home buyers’ spending on things like financial and legal services, moving, renovations and home furnishings."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit (HBTC)

For 2009 and subsequent years, the budget proposes to introduce a new non-refundable tax credit, based on an amount of $5,000, for certain home buyers that acquire a qualifying home after January 27, 2009 (i.e., closing after this date).

The HBTC is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year (15% in 2009) by $5,000. For 2009, the credit will be $750.

An individual will qualify for the HBTC if:

• they acquire a qualifying home; and
• neither the individual nor the individual’s spouse or common-law partner owned and lived in another home in the year of purchase or any of the four preceding years.

If you are a person with a disability or are buying a house for a related person with a disability, you do not have to be a first time home buyer. However, the home must be acquired to enable the person with a disability to live in a more accessible dwelling or in an environment better suited to the personal needs and care of that person. As well, you or the related person with a disability must intend to occupy the home as a principal place of residence no later than one year after buying it.

A qualifying home is a housing unit located in Canada. This includes existing homes and those being constructed. Single-family homes, semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes, condominium units, and apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings, all qualify. A share in a co-operative housing corporation that entitles you to possess and gives you an equity interest in a housing unit located in Canada also qualifies. However, a share that only provides you with a right to tenancy in the housing unit does not qualify.

The individual's interest in the home must be registered in accordance with the applicable land registration system.

Beginning with the 2009 personal income tax return, a new line will be incorporated to allow you to claim the credit.

For more information visit www.cra-arc.gc.ca

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Canada's Economic Action Plan offers Home Renovation Tax Credit

Renovating can be a great way to add value to your home. It can make your house a more comfortable environment for you and your family, and even reduce your energy bills. And now, with the introduction of the new Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC), this might be the best time to begin the renovations you’ve been planning.

As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Home Renovation Tax Credit will provide a one-year, temporary 15% income tax credit on eligible home renovation expenditures for work performed, or goods acquired between January 27, 2009 and February 1, 2010. The credit may be claimed on eligible expenses exceeding $1,000, but no more than $10,000, for a total credit of up to $1,350.

Eligible renovation expenditures include: renovating your kitchen, bathroom or basement; installing new carpet or hardwood floors; building an addition, deck, fence or retaining wall; installing a new furnace, central air conditioner or water heater; painting the interior or exterior of your house; resurfacing a driveway and laying new sod. Renovations which are not eligible for the credit include: purchase of furniture, appliances and tools, carpet cleaning, and maintenance contracts.

If you’re planning a larger renovation, CMHC-insured loans can help you access your home’s equity at lower interest rates than those offered for unsecured loans. Be sure to ask your mortgage professional for more information on CMHC-insured loans.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

GTA REALTORS® Report August Mid-Month Resale Market Figures

In the first two weeks of August, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,832 sales – up 27 per cent compared to the first two weeks of August 2008. The average price for these transactions was up three per cent year-over-year to $383,796.

"The results for the first half of August indicate that many households in the GTA
remain confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long
term," said TREB President Tom Lebour.

Year-to-date sales, at 54,303 are up slightly compared to 54,138 in 2008. Average price, at $385,603 is down by less than one half of one per cent.

"Strong resale housing demand will contribute to broader economic recovery as each transaction results in substantial spin-off benefits to other sectors of the economy," explained Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

GTA REALTORS® report resale record in July

In July 2009, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported a record 9,967 sales, up 28 per cent from July 2008. The average price for July transactions was $395,414 – up by six per cent
compared to the same month last year. “Households confident in their positioning within the current economic environment have taken advantage of housing affordability in the GTA,”
said TREB President Tom Lebour. “The real estate sector has been one of the sectors making a positive contribution to economic growth in the GTA, not to mention Ontario and Canada more
broadly.”

Year-to-date sales, at 50,632 are down 1.2 per cent compared to the first seven months of 2008. Average price, at $385,808 is down by less than one-half of one per cent.
“The steep drop-off in sales experienced at the beginning of the year has all but dissipated,” explained Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “With five months left to go in the year, it is probable that total existing home sales in 2009 will be at or above last year’s level.”

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