Wednesday, September 28, 2016

GTA Condo supply slides to decade low

The supply of new condos in the Greater Toronto Area hit the lowest level since 2010 in the second quarter of 2016.

A report from Urbanation shows that sales of condos in the GTA increased 26 per cent year-over-year to 7,731.
However, the total inventory declined by the same percentage to 13,528, a decade-low of 6.8 months of supply.
New project launches were down 9 per cent from the previous year to 5,106 units.

“With demand for condos in the GTA pressing forward strongly, new projects are being challenged to enter the market in greater volume. Should current conditions persist, price pressures for high-rise units can be expected to build, particularly as low-rise housing remains afflicted by record-low supply” said Shaun Hildebrand, Urbanation’s Senior Vice President.

Prices increased 2 per cent year-over-year to $582 per square foot across the GTA but in the core they were up 4 per cent to $662 psf. In the City of Toronto prices were up 7 per cent to 724 psf. Resale prices increased 10 per cent to $498 psf.

Monday, September 26, 2016

GTA low-rise average price grows by more than $100K

In its August 22 data release, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) revealed that the average price of a low-rise home in Toronto has increased by more than $100,000 year-over-year in July, stoking fears that the affordability situation in the city’s residential real estate segment is well and truly out of control.

Mississauga News reported that the average price of new detached and semi-detached homes in the Greater Toronto Area last month swelled by around 12 per cent compared to the same time last year, up to $906,508.

A corresponding increase was also seen in high-rise home prices in the city, which rose by 7 per cent year-over-year to $475,764.

Scarcity is the major motivating factor in these increases, according to BILD president and CEO Bryan Tuckey.

“Provincial intensification policies, delays in the approvals process and a lack of serviced developable land in the GTA has reduced the amount of new homes coming to the market,” Tuckey stated.

“The industry’s biggest challenge is bringing enough new homes to market to satisfy demand,” he added. “Projects are being sold as soon as they come to market, which is driving up prices and reducing choice for new-home purchasers.”

Recent data supported Tuckey’s observation: Over the past decade, the supply of new homes in the GTA has shrunk by 41 per cent, from 29,238 in 2006 to 17,213 today.

A recent analysis conducted by real estate brokerage TheRedPin found that a household needs to earn a sufficient amount to cover the average $124,153 required annually to own a home in the overheated Toronto market. First-time home buyers are especially hit hard by this prohibitive price barrier, the study noted.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Foundation Cracks

Houses, no matter what their age, will shift and settle over time resulting in cracks. Cracks may appear in either finishes or structural components. Though they usually have no structural significance, it's worth some detective work to help homeowners understand the difference between different types of foundation cracks. Here are some visual guidelines:

Shrinkage Cracks
Concrete shrinks as it cures, so a newly-poured concrete foundation may develop small vertical cracks. Known as shrinkage cracks, they are not structurally significant. Characteristics of shrinkage cracks include the following:
  • The crack will be small and vertical, usually less than 1/8" wide.
  • The crack is in the foundation wall only and does not extend up through the structure.
  • Shrinkage cracks usually occur in the middle third of the length of the foundation wall. If it's located toward the end of the length of the foundation wall, it is probably not a shrinkage crack.
Settlement Cracks
Like shrinkage cracks, settlement cracks are vertical but they extend up through the structure. In block or brick, cracks may follow the mortar joints in a step pattern rather than vertical. Most settlement cracks are caused by short-term settlement. Ongoing settlement is uncommon but can cause structural problems over time. Here are some ways to get an idea of whether ongoing settlement is likely:

Crack size: Settlement cracks more than 1/4" wide is more likely to indicate ongoing movement than smaller cracks.

Direction of movement: The edges of a typical settlement crack line up and fit together vertically, much like pieces of a puzzle. If the edges of the crack have shifted, or sheared, so that they no longer line up, the 1/4" rule described above does not apply. This type of crack can be a significant structural concern.

Repaired and re-cracked: Unless it is a hairline crack, a settlement crack that was repaired and has re-cracked could also indicate ongoing movement and should be addressed.

Horizontal Cracks - Basement Foundation Wall
In homes with true basements, a horizontal crack in the foundation wall, below grade and running the full length of the basement is likely a sign of foundation failure. For a house with a full basement, the soil outside the foundation wall exerts a tremendous amount of pressure on the foundation wall. Occasionally, unanticipated additional loads exert pressure and cause horizontal cracking in the foundation wall. Do not wait to address this potential issue as it could cause much greater problems down the line, including structural failure.

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