Thursday, July 28, 2016

Monthly Resale Housing Market Figures in GTA

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 12,794 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in June 2016. This result was 7.5 per cent higher than the 11,905 sales reported in June 2015.

“As I start my term as TREB President, we are certainly in an interesting environment for ownership housing. There is no doubt that demand is at a record level, but would-be home buyers continue to face an uphill battle against a constrained supply of listings, which has perpetuated strong price growth. Buyers and sellers alike continue to benefit from the value a REALTOR® brings to a transaction,” said Mr. Cerqua.

“As the federal, provincial and local levels of government discuss housing policy in the coming months, issues affecting the lack of supply in the GTA should be of paramount importance. TREB will be undertaking, and making public, results of additional research in the second half of 2016, with the goal of proactively adding to the housing policy discussion,” added Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 16 per cent on a year- over-year basis. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by a slightly higher annual rate of 16.8 per cent to $746,546. The single-detached, semi- detached and townhouse market segments led the way in terms of price growth.

“When TREB surveyed consumer intentions for 2016, we found that the majority of GTA households who were likely to purchase a home continued to be pointed towards some form of ground oriented housing.  This is why we continue to see strong competition between buyers in many neighbourhoods where supply remains constrained,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Each Canadian household to spend around $13,000 on renovations in 2016

Canadian homeowners are projected to spend an average of $13,017 per household on renovations and home improvements this year, according to the latest poll by CIBC.

In a June 22 press release, CIBC announced that around 37 per cent of those surveyed are planning renovations and improvements for their properties in 2016, a decline from the proportion of homeowners who undertook such projects last year (40 per cent).

54 per cent of the respondents said that they would focus on basic maintenance, while 42 per cent indicated a greater interest in updating their landscaping (including elements such as patios and decks).

Meanwhile, only 33 per cent would be renovating their bathrooms, and 26 per cent would be improving kitchens.

“The [CIBC poll] findings show that Canadians are focused on outdoor projects,” HGTV's Income Property host Scott McGillivray said.

“Spending more on the outdoors may not necessarily be the first option when it comes to return on investment, however you should never underestimate the value of curb appeal,” he added. “If you've already taken care of the big hitters inside the home and have the renovation funds, why not turn your attention to outdoor projects?”

However, while fully 52 per cent of Canadian homeowners surveyed said that they are primarily concerned with spending too much, only 34 per cent said that they already have their respective budgets prepared.

When it comes to improving one’s home, possibly for future selling, a circumspect approach in the financial aspect would never hurt, CIBC officials said.

“It's critical to stay on budget as it is easy to lose control of your spending if you don't have a detailed and comprehensive plan,” CIBC vice president for mortgages and lending Barry Gollom said.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Stay Cool, Save Money

Summer's heat is less welcome inside the home than out. Air conditioning is the first way many people think of to cool off, but there are other steps homeowners can take to help keep cool without the high energy consumption associated with air conditioning.

Close the window coverings on south- and west-facing sides of the home early in the morning and keep them closed until dusk. If the outside-facing sides of the window coverings are white, they'll reflect the heat and reduce temperature buildup even more. Use ceiling fans to move air around, which will make the room seem several degrees cooler. Be sure to adjust the rotation of the fan to its summer setting, so that the air blows down into the room. Portable fans are effective, inexpensive, and convenient, and can be placed almost anywhere additional air circulation is desired.

In the kitchen, give the stove a rest and use the microwave or outdoor grill whenever possible. Run the dishwasher at night and set it for non-heated drying. Similarly, laundry can be done early in the morning or in the evening instead of at the height of the day's heat. For both dishes and laundry, wash full loads. You'll save on energy and the house will stay cooler, too, since the appliances will run less often.

Turn off unnecessary lights, even CFLs, everywhere in the house. Use power strips for computers, televisions, etc. and switch them off when those items aren't being used. "Smart" power strips have a combination of always-on outlets and switchable outlets, allowing some items plugged into the strip to stay on while others are shut off.

If air conditioning is warranted, there are ways to maximize cooling without lowering the temperature setting unnecessarily. Positioning a fan near a window air conditioner will help distribute the cool air over a larger area. Providing shade can help an outside central air conditioner compressor use less energy. Also, be sure to clean or change filters according to the manufacturer's instructions to help ensure your unit is running at its best. If you're considering a new air conditioner, look for models with the Energy Star label. Newer air conditioners are far more efficient than units just 8-10 years old. Using an inexpensive programmable thermostat with your air conditioning system is another good way to regulate the temperature throughout the day, especially while no one is at home.

These simple ideas will help homeowners save money, prevent wasted energy, and stay cool and comfortable all summer long.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Highs and lows of GTA housing market

New figures show wide disparity between the low-rise and high-rise housing markets in the Greater Toronto Area as tighter supply in the low-rise sector curbs sales.

Sales of high-rise homes soared in May to a near-record high of 3,623; only November 2011 saw a higher volume of monthly sales for high-rise condos.

Meanwhile, there was a record low for the inventory of low-rise homes with just 1,985 properties available for sale, the first time inventory has dropped below 2,000 for new detached, semi-detached and townhomes.

The data, from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), reveals that total inventory (19,209) is around 10,000 lower than a decade ago but that availability for high-rise (17,224) is up almost 3,000.

"The industry is following the Province's Growth Plan intensification policies which emphasize high-rise development in the GTA," said BILD President and CEO Bryan Tuckey. "Nine out of 10 of the new homes available for sale in the GTA are high-rise and mid-rise condominiums."

The tight supply of low-rise homes pushed the average price in this category to a record high in May - $875,174 – while detached homes averaged $1.125 million, having surpassed the million-dollar mark in March.

High-rise homes edged 3 per cent higher year-over-year to an average $454,304 with the price per square foot also 3 per cent higher at $573.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Each Canadian household to spend around $13,000 on renovations in 2016

Canadian homeowners are projected to spend an average of $13,017 per household on renovations and home improvements this year, according to the latest poll by CIBC.
 
In a June 22 press release, CIBC announced that around 37 per cent of those surveyed are planning renovations and improvements for their properties in 2016, a decline from the proportion of homeowners who undertook such projects last year (40 per cent).
 
54 per cent of the respondents said that they would focus on basic maintenance, while 42 per cent indicated a greater interest in updating their landscaping (including elements such as patios and decks).
 
Meanwhile, only 33 per cent would be renovating their bathrooms, and 26 per cent would be improving kitchens.
 
“The [CIBC poll] findings show that Canadians are focused on outdoor projects,” HGTV's Income Property host Scott McGillivray said.
 
“Spending more on the outdoors may not necessarily be the first option when it comes to return on investment, however you should never underestimate the value of curb appeal,” he added. “If you've already taken care of the big hitters inside the home and have the renovation funds, why not turn your attention to outdoor projects?”
 
However, while fully 52 per cent of Canadian homeowners surveyed said that they are primarily concerned with spending too much, only 34 per cent said that they already have their respective budgets prepared.
 
When it comes to improving one’s home, possibly for future selling, a circumspect approach in the financial aspect would never hurt, CIBC officials said.
 
“It's critical to stay on budget as it is easy to lose control of your spending if you don't have a detailed and comprehensive plan,” CIBC vice president for mortgages and lending Barry Gollom said.

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