Archive for February, 2010

Re/Max: Many major Canadian real-estate markets have tight supply of home listings

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Canada’s housing market is in tight supply after a surge in activity during January, a traditionally slow month for the industry, says real-estate giant Re/Max.

The sales organization said Wednesday that in most of the 16 major markets tracked by organization there was an unusually strong amount of activity, motivated by a series of external factors.

The uptick was felt in 87.5 per cent of the markets surveyed, while the average home price appreciated 81 per cent, it found in a survey.

Home buyers have entered the market amid expectations of higher interest rates and tighter lending, as well as the introduction of Harmonized Sales Tax in British Columbia and Ontario, Re/Max said.

“Affordability is the catalyst for the vast majority of purchasers in today’s housing market,” said Elton Ash, the executive vice-president of Re/Max in Western Canada.

“While home ownership is still within reach in many major centres, levels are slipping. There is a growing sense, on both sides of the fence, that the time to act is now.”

Toronto is being affected the most, with a 41 per cent decline in active home listings, while Kitchener-Waterloo is down 33 per cent. Both Ottawa and Victoria are off about 30 per cent, the survey said.

Average residential price was up by 19.6 per cent

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010


 Home sales across Canada dipped by 2.8 per cent in January from the near record levels reported in December, suggesting the market may be cooling.

There were 46,394 existing homes sales last month, compared to 48,144 in the prior month, according to figures released by the Canadian Real Estate Association today. All figures are seasonally adjusted.

“January results suggest the national resale market may be past the recent peak,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump. “One car doesn’t make a parade, so a few more months of results showing a cooling trend will be required before talk of a Canadian housing bubble begins to fade.”

Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity in January was up 58 per cent ago from year ago levels. Last January was the lowest level of sales in more than a decade.

Despite the dip in sales, prices continued to rise significantly. Average residential price was up by 19.6 per cent to $353,129.

New listings also rose slightly by three tenths of one percent on a month over month basis in January to reach the highest level since November of 2008.

Toronto taxes and user fees are going up in 2010

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

David Rider and Paul Moloney – Urban Affairs Bureau

Homeowners will be hit with a four per cent tax increase under Toronto’s proposed 2010 operating budget unveiled this morning, while businesses will see their taxes rise 1.3%.

Mayor David Miller said there will be no sale of city assets to balance the books, but the proposed budget includes $13 million in user fee hikes and new fees and $172 million in internal savings.

Miller said the average Toronto home, with an assessed value of $407,374 now pays $2,334 in property taxes (excluding school taxes). The proposed increase would add $93.

Users of city recreation programs will bear the brunt of user fee hikes. The “most controversial” new fee, said budget committee head Coun. Shelley Carroll, is a one-time $50-per-family fee to sign up for recreation programs effective May 1. The registration fee won’t be levied on families already signed up, she said.

Also, people were allowed to call in one false fire alarm with no financial penalty. Now, they’ll be hit with the fee of $350 per dispatched truck that was previously levied only on repeat offenders. And Enbridge and other companies that dig into city roads will be hit with $20-per-square-metre fee to repair them.

SYNC – Queen/DVP

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

VIP agents started their registeration for the new project, here is the link to Omid Valinasab, one of the VIP brokers for the registration.


GTA Sales Start Off Strong in 2010

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,986 transactions through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in January 2010. This result represented a large increase over the 2,670 sales in January 2009 when the home sales were in a recessionary trough. Last month’s sales were slightly higher than the January average in the five years preceding 2009.

Rental Transactions Up Again

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

From September through December 2009, TREB Members reported 3,859 lease transactions for condominium apartments and townhouses through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) – up 12 per cent from the 3,433 recorded during the same time in 2008. Condominium apartment transactions, which accounted for over 90 per cent of the total, were also up by 12 per cent.

The weighted average rent across all apartment types and all TREB districts for the last four months of 2009 was $1,667 – in line with the 2008 weighted average of $1,672. This reflected the fact that average rents for the two most popular apartment categories moved in opposite directions, with a one per cent decrease for one-bedroom apartments and a one per cent increase for two bedroom apartments. At the district level, rent changes were quite mixed, in some cases changing at rates above or below the GTA average.

Owners of rental condominium apartments have had to consider changes in the supply and demand sides of the condominium rental market when setting rents over the past year. According to CMHC, the average condominium apartment vacancy rate increased from 0.4 per cent to 0.8 per cent between 2008 and 2009, with the stock of rented condominium apartments increasing by over 6,900 units1. While the condominium apartment vacancy rate is still substantially lower than the vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartments. The increase was still indicative of increased supply in some sectors of the rental market. Factors leading to increased vacancies included the strong growth in home ownership demand in the second half of 2009 coupled with strong condominium apartment completions2, which would have included investor-held units to be rented out.

Sales Start Off Strong in 2010

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

February 3, 2010 — Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,986 transactions through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in January 2010. This result represented a large increase over the 2,670 sales in January 2009 when the home sales were in a recessionary trough. Last month’s sales were slightly higher than the January average in the five years preceding 2009.

“The GTA housing market has rebounded well from the lows in sales experienced at the beginning of 2009. Sales climbed back to healthy levels across the GTA because the cost of home ownership remained affordable in the Toronto area,” said TREB President Tom Lebour. “Increasingly confident consumers moved to take advantage of affordable home ownership.”

The average home selling price in January 2010 climbed 19 per cent to $409,058, compared to 343,632 in the same month last year.

“Expect strong annual growth rates for existing home sales and average price through the first quarter as we continue to make comparisons to the weak market conditions at the beginning of 2009,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “The rate of sales and price growth will be lower in the second half of 2010.”