Location Helps Drive Up Price of Danforth Home
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017
153 MILVERTON BLVD., TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $788,000
SELLING PRICE: $840,000
PREVIOUS SELLING PRICES: $540,000 (2009); $367,000 (2006); $202,000 (1998)
TAXES: $3,206 (2016)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: Seven
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
The Action: There were a number of listings available earlier this summer for homes around the Danforth, but few were in the price bracket of this semi-detached house. It received 20 requests for tours and an $840,000 offer.
“There was another one that was down the street that was a brand-new renovation, but it was priced quite a bit higher, so the price point of this was very attractive to a lot of first-time buyers,” agent Elli Davis says.
“Anything under $1-milion in a nice area in Toronto is certainly in demand, even now.”
What They Got: Few details reveal the age of this two-storey house built circa 1920 as it now bears open living and dining areas and a rear eat-in kitchen. The latter was updated about a decade ago with custom cabinetry, hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and a door to a south-facing deck and backyard.
The are three bedrooms on the second floor and a single bathroom. There’s another bathroom in the lower-level recreation room.
Parking is available on a mutual driveway on the 18-by-115-foot grounds.
The Agent’s Take: “It’s a good starter home,” Ms. Davis notes. “It showed very well and appealed to younger professionals who loved the Danforth Village area.”
Toronto Real Estate Market Picks Up After Lull
The Globe and Mail spoke with several top GTA Realtors about the current market and I was happy to share my experience.
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 03, 2017
Home buyers in Toronto and some of the surrounding areas appear to be testing their mettle again after spending a few weeks on the sidelines.
It’s too soon to tell if a flurry of sales signals a trend with staying power or if some buyers simply need to move on with their lives, but the action – especially at the high end – suggests some resilience in an uncertain real estate market.
Janet Lindsay, a real estate agent with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., recently listed for sale 253 Russell Hill Rd., a six-bedroom house in the posh central enclave of South Hill. Within three days the first offer landed, Ms. Lindsay says. Two days after that, the second and prevailing offer arrived and the house sold for $100,000 above the asking price of $3.65-million.
“More appointments were being booked as we waited for the certified cheque,” Ms. Lindsay said. About 30 potential buyers attended showings during the few days the house was on the market.
July and August typically offer a bit of a lull between the more vigorous spring and fall markets, says Matthew Regan, a real estate agent with Royal LePage Real Estate Services, but he has noticed a recent bounce in Mississauga and Oakville, where he does most of his business.
“In the past couple of weeks, I’m seeing life.”
Mr. Regan has been keeping an eye on a house listed in the coveted Lorne Park area of Mississauga in the fall of 2016 with an asking price of $3.5-million. The property rode the fall market into an even better spring market and into the summer without selling, Mr. Regan says. Last week, the property sold – without the owners ever cutting their asking price, he says.
Mr. Regan says sellers have mainly been falling into two camps – those who have a reason to sell and those who are just testing the market. The former have tended to sit and wait while the latter have been pulling their houses off the market if they don’t get the amount they’re looking for.
“The other kind of seller was the kind who just went fishing – cast a line and said, ‘I’ll see if I get my fish.’ They got tired.”
Mr. Regan cites another example, where a house was listed in the late spring in the popular River Oaks neighbourhood of Oakville with an agent in Mr. Regan’s office. The asking price of $1.198-million tends to draw buyers to the coveted school district.
“That’s a sweet spot because $1.2-million is affordable for a lot of buyers in Oakville,” Mr. Regan says.
In the middle of June, about 32 properties were listed for sale in the pocket.
“Nothing was moving.”
Recently, the house sold for $1.1-million. The sellers were happy, Mr. Regan says, because they still received more than they would have if they had listed last summer. When Mr. Regan looked at the house in the fall, he estimated it might sell for $950,000 or $975,000.
The homeowners may have received more in the early spring, he says, but it’s very difficult to time the market perfectly.
“In February or March, they might have sold it for more money, but that would have been luck – pure luck.”
In April, the Ontario government announced new measures aimed at cooling an overheated market in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. Jittery buyers became fearful about buying in an uncertain market while listings surged as some sellers rushed to cash out.
In May, the market stalled as players on both sides tried to figure out the impact the rule changes would have.
Mr. Regan says listings in River Oaks are still sitting, but one sale may lead to others because the pocket now has a new benchmark price. Also, prospective buyers can see that other house hunters are stepping forward.
“They’ve elected to buy a house where no one was buying a house for a month or two months,” he says.
Mr. Regan says the sellers who were just fishing for a high price were diluting the market. As they drop out and buyers return, he hopes to see a healthy market balance.
“What isn’t a healthy market is a pool of sellers just sitting and buyers scratching their heads.”
He expects inventory to rise in the fall as usual at that time of year, but he doesn’t predict a surge.
“The people who got tired of trying for an unrealistic number, it’s unlikely they’ll go back in the fall,” he says.
He also doesn’t expect a repeat of the zaniness of the spring, with prices climbing at warp speed. Buyers became fed up with bidding wars, he says, and few agents are still setting artificially low asking prices in the hopes of sparking one.
“That strategy is gone.”
He predicts that most agents will list houses with an asking price close to the market value and accept offers any time.
For buyers, he expects that “old school” way of negotiating a purchase to come as a relief.
“You don’t have to panic,” he tells buyers, “like in the spring, when a half-decent house would have been gone in 48 hours.”
Elli Davis of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. says she has fewer listings than normal at the moment and she is encouraging potential sellers to list after this weekend’s holiday.
“After the long weekend in August, I almost find like that’s the turn,” she says. “The buyers are there anyway.”
She recommends that homeowners set a reasonable asking price for their location and style of house. In midtown Toronto, she rarely holds back offers now, but on occasion a house merits that approach.
“Sellers have to be realistic. It’s a one-by-one conversation. No two listings are the same.”
Ms. Davis recently sold a small, one-bedroom condo unit in the Distillery District. The condo, in the $350,000 range, sold for $25,000 above asking.
She listed the unit on a Thursday without an offer date, but when she saw the demand, she set a deadline for the following Monday. The sellers received four offers.
“It was the right move because they certainly got more on the Monday than they would have on the Friday.”
She says the condo needs updating, but a lot of people are looking for an older unit to renovate.
After the long weekend, she plans to list a three-bedroom condo unit at 110 Bloor St. W. with an asking price just under $2-million. The 2,600-square-foot unit is in original condition, which is rare in a 35-year-old building.
“People like that. If it’s going to be renovated, just do it all at once and make it to their own taste.”
Ms. Davis does know of some houses that have been sitting on the market, but she believes some sellers are too optimistic. If they refuse to budge from their asking price or plan to retreat and list again in the fall, she predicts they will have less success. She would do the opposite – stay on the market and trim the price, she says.
“I wouldn’t wait until after Labour Day. I’m putting properties on now because there’s not much.”
Market Continued to Adjust in July
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.
Done Deals: Renovated home in midtown Toronto an alternative to pricey new builds
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 20, 2017
686 Oriole Parkway, Toronto
ASKING PRICE: $1.785-million
SELLING PRICE: $2-million
PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $760,000 (2001)
TAXES: $8,613 (2016)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: Two
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
The Action: Midtown properties were in short supply this May, so this two-storey house on a 27-by-187-foot lot only had eight visitors before one tabled a pre-emptive offer.
“Brand-new homes would be quite a bit more money, but because this was a little older and in excellent condition, it offered better value,” said agent Elli Davis, who explained that newly built houses can command up to $3-million. “[Plus] Allenby school is a big draw in that area.”
What They Got: A portion of a short street north of Eglinton Avenue has houses that back onto Eglinton Park and Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School to the east and west respectively. In the latter category is this 32-year-old house with a garage accessible from a lower-level recreation room with a wet sauna and gas fireplace.
High-traffic quarters encompass an eat-in kitchen with an island and an open entertaining area with a second fireplace and a pair of French garden doors.
Upstairs are three bedrooms and two of four bathrooms.
The Agent’s Take: “The best parts of the house were that it was detached, has a very spacious main floor and an open concept living/dining area that walked out to a very deep and beautiful tiered garden,” Ms. Davis said.
“It also had very pretty street presence and beautiful landscaping, front and rear, which enhanced the home.”
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Andrew Khouri of the LA Times about the reasons why Canadians are investing in American real estate. Read the full article below:
Foreigners Buy Record Numbers of US Homes Despite Fears of Immigration Crackdown
Published: July 18, 2017
Foreign home buyers scooped up a record number of residential properties in the United States in the last year, despite a rising dollar and political uncertainty, according to a survey released Tuesday.
The National Assn. of Realtors said foreigners bought 284,455 properties in the 12 months that ended March 31, about a third more than a year earlier. Dollar volume surged nearly 50% to $153 billion, also a record for the survey first taken in 2009.
Chinese nationals were the biggest buyers, purchasing $31.7 billion worth of property, up from $27.3 billion a year earlier and more than ever before, the Realtors said.
But the largest increase came from a surge in buyers from Canada, where prices have skyrocketed in recent years, partially due to Chinese investment there.
Canadians purchased $19 billion worth of residential property, compared with $8.9 billion in the 12 months ended March 2016, the Realtors said in their annual report on international investment.
Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, said sky-high home prices in Canada, especially in the big cities of Toronto and Vancouver, were behind the surge.
The provincial governments overseeing those two cities have even instituted additional property taxes on foreign buyers, after complaints Chinese investors there caused the market to spiral out of control.
Toronto real estate agent Elli Davis said buyers are cashing out and using the money to buy smaller homes in Canada and second houses to vacation in the United States, usually in Florida.
“The Canadians love your weather,” Davis said. “And we have more money because of our real estate market here — that’s really the answer.”
The dramatic jumps come despite a higher U.S. dollar that has made properties more expensive for many foreigners.
In addition, the survey period includes the U.S. presidential campaign and the beginning of the administration of President Trump, who has a history of divisive rhetoric against immigrants and has called for restricting both legal and illegal immigration.
“The political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad did not deter foreigners from exponentially ramping up their purchases of U.S. property over the past year,” Yun said. “Foreigners increasingly acted on their beliefs that the U.S. is a safe and secure place to live, work and invest.”
Yun said buyers may have been motivated because of a rising dollar, eager to get into the U.S. market before their own currencies could buy even less.
Still, even with all that growth, foreign buyers only accounted for 5% of all previously owned home sales during the 12-month period, up from 4% in the prior survey.
California made up 12% of foreign-purchased homes by dollar volume, tied with Texas and second only to Florida, which accounted for 22% and where most foreign buyers are from Latin America and Europe.
Foreign buyers in California purchased $35 billion worth of properties, up from $27 billion a year earlier.
The national association could not provide data on the number of foreign sales in the state. But the increase in dollar value far exceeds gains in the median home price, which would indicate there were more sales as well.
Buyers from Asia and Oceania represented 71% of foreign buyers in California compared with 51% a year earlier, the Realtors said in their report.
The survey results run counter to observations from real estate agents in Southern California, who said they have noticed a slowdown in Chinese buyers.
Agents have said luxury properties in the San Gabriel Valley marketed toward Chinese buyers are taking longer to sell, as Beijing has cracked down on the amount of capital that can taken out of the country for foreign investments.
“It’s not easy to move funds from China,” said Helen Chen Marston, a San Gabriel Valley real estate agent. “The luxury home market stopped.”
She said there are far more Chinese buyers for properties under $1 million, but even that market is a bit slower than last year.
“You are facing the same problem” of stricter controls, she said.
However, William Yu, an economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast, wasn’t particularly surprised over the increase in Asian buyers in California.
He said the most restrictive measure to stem outflows from China came at the end of 2016, meaning a good portion of the survey covered a time with less-strict regulations. As home prices have risen in California and capital restrictions increased, he said buyers from China might simply be casting a wider net for cheaper properties.
“California is big, and Los Angeles is big,” said Yu, who studies the effect of the Chinese economy on the U.S. “We are probably seeing more and more Chinese buying across the region than in the past.”
Still others were surprised over the report.
Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist with the California Assn. of Realtors, said in addition to reports over fewer Chinese buyers, some agents in the Palm Springs area had Canadian clients looking to sell after the election, given the uncertainty over U.S. immigration policy.
“I was expecting to see the numbers about the same or a little less,” she said.
Yun, in a news release, acknowledged Realtors in some markets have seen less interest from Chinese buyers this year and that foreign investment overall may not keep increasing.
“Stricter foreign government regulations and the current uncertainty on policy surrounding U.S. immigration and international trade policy could very well lead to a slowdown in foreign investment,” he said.
Nearly 6,000 Realtors responded to the survey, which the association said has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percentage point. The number of homes sold and dollar volume are extrapolated from those answers.
The survey defines foreign buyers to be non-U.S. citizens with permanent residences outside the country, as well as noncitizens who have lived here for more than six months on temporary visas or immigrants who have lived here less than two years.
The majority of properties purchased, 64%, were single-family houses, followed by condos, town homes, other miscellaneous properties and other residential land.
The median price of homes purchased by foreign buyers was $302,290, compared with $235,792 for all homes sales. The difference is in part because foreign buyers tend to purchase in large, pricey metropolitan areas.
I was interviewed by Diana Olick of CNBC about what makes American real estate so popular for Canadians. Read the full article below:
Foreigners Snap Up Record Number of US Homes
Diana Olick, CNBC Real Estate
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Foreign purchases of U.S. residential real estate surged to the highest level ever in terms of number of homes sold and dollar volume.
Foreign buyers closed on $153 billion worth of U.S. residential properties between April 2016 and March 2017, a 49 percent jump from the period a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. That surpasses the previous high, set in 2015.
The jump follows a year-earlier retreat and comes as a surprise, given the current strength of the U.S. dollar against most foreign currencies, which makes U.S. housing even more expensive. Apparently, the value of a financial safe-haven is outweighing the rising costs.
Foreign sales accounted for 10 percent of all existing home sales by dollar volume and 5 percent by number of properties. In total, foreign buyers purchased 284,455 homes, up 32 percent from the previous year.
Half of all foreign sales were in just three states: Florida, California and Texas.
Chinese buyers led the pack for the fourth straight year, followed by buyers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and India. Russian buyers made up barely 1 percent of the purchases.
But the biggest overall surge in sales in the last year came from Canadian buyers, who scooped up $19 billion worth of properties, mostly in Florida. They are also spending more, with the average price of a Canadian-bought home nearly doubling to $561,000.
“There are more [baby] boomers now than ever before. It’s the demographic,” said Elli Davis, a real estate agent in Toronto who said she is seeing more older buyers downsize their primary home and purchase a second or third home in Florida. “The real estate here is worth so much more money. They all have more money. They’re selling the big city houses that are now $2 million-plus, where they went up so much in the last 10 to 15 years, so they’re cashing in.“
Despite the anti-immigrant rhetoric from the Trump administration, especially about building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, nonresident buyers from Mexico were undeterred. Mexican buyers nearly doubled their purchases by dollar volume from a year earlier, coming in third behind China and Canada.
“You could easily make the point that perhaps their uptick was wanting to buy now before new immigration policy was in place,” said Adam DeSanctis, economic issues media manager at the National Association of Realtors.
In general, though, Mexicans have been buying less expensive homes. The average purchase price of buyers from Mexico came in at about $327,000, compared with the $782,000 average among Chinese buyers and $522,000 for Indian buyers. Mexicans overwhelmingly favored homes in Texas, while Chinese buyers opted more for California and, increasingly, Texas.
“The environment is much more Asian-friendly than it used to be with churches, grocery stores and schools that cater to their tastes,” said Laura Barnett, a Dallas-Fort Worth area Re/Max agent. “I have been told they target good schools and newer homes. Yards are not a high priority, but rather community parks.”
It’s also possible that Chinese buyers are being priced out of California. The average price of a home purchased by a buyer from China fell from about $937,000 to $782,000, even as the number of properties purchased jumped to nearly 41,000 from 29,000. The drop in purchasing power likely stems from tightened regulations in China with regards to capital outflow.
While international interest was quite strong in the second half of last year, it may now be weakening due to tighter regulations in China and weakening currencies in some international markets.
“Stricter foreign government regulations and the current uncertainty on policy surrounding U.S. immigration and international trade policy could very well lead to a slowdown in foreign investment,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR.
More Moderate Price Growth in June
July 6, 2017 — Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,974 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in June 2017 – down by 37.3 per cent in comparison to June 2016.
The number of new residential listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System, at 19,614, was up by 15.9 per cent compared to June 2016. While this annual rate of growth was sizeable, it represented a more moderate annual rate of growth compared to May 2017, when new listings were up by 48.9 per cent year-over-year.
“We are in a period of flux that often follows major government policy announcements pointed at the housing market. On one hand, consumer survey results tell us many households are very interested in purchasing a home in the near future, but some of these would-be buyers seem to be temporarily on the sidelines waiting to see the real impact of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan. On the other hand, we have existing home owners who are listing their home because they feel price growth may have peaked. The end result has been a better supplied market and a moderating annual pace of price growth,” said Mr. Syrianos.
Annual growth rates for MLS® HPI benchmark prices have moderated over the past two months, but remain strong. The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price was up by 25.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis in June. June’s average selling price for all home types combined for the TREB market area was $793,915, representing a 6.3 per cent increase compared to the same month in 2016. A better supplied market has certainly been a key factor influencing the moderation in price growth.
“Recent Ipsos survey results suggest that home buying activity in the GTA will remain strong moving forward. The year-over-year dip in home sales we have experienced over the last two months seem to be the result of would-be buyers putting their decision to purchase temporarily on hold while they monitor the impact of the Fair Housing Plan. On the supply side of the market, it certainly looks as though buyers will benefit from more choice in the second half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016,”said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.
Active Listings Increase in May
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.
Active listings – the number of properties available for sale at the end of May – were up by 42.9 per cent compared to the lowest level in 15 years recorded in May 2016, but remained below the average and peak during that period. 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.
Done Deals: Two Bids Compete for Spacious, Two-Storey Luxury Condo
1 BALMORAL AVE., No. 807, TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $1,975,000
SELLING PRICE: $2,150,000
PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $1,250,000 (2004); $780,373 (1998)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: Seven
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
The Action: Owners at One Balmoral are often slow to relinquish their homes, so the listing of this two-storey, corner suite was a rare opportunity to purchase a unit there this spring. It was assessed by 16 buyers up close and drew two bidders armed with competing offers in late March.
What They Got: Spanning the eight and ninth floors of a nearly 20-year-old mid-rise is this 2,355-square-foot unit with exits to corridors on both levels, and nine- and 12-foot ceilings on the main and second floor, respectively.
A balcony wraps around the southern and eastern sides of main floor, so there are walkouts from every room, from the den to the updated galley kitchen. A two-sided gas fireplace divides living and dining rooms.
Several Juliet balconies bring fresh air into the larger of two bedrooms upstairs, complete with a walk-in closet and one of three remodelled bathrooms.
An ensuite laundry room, three lockers and two-car parking round out the unit. Monthly fees of $1,991 cover utilities, concierge, as well as fitness and recreation rooms.
The Agent’s Take: “The building is well located near Yonge and St. Clair, the subway and shops,” agent Elli Davis notes. “So a lot of people who looked at it lived in the area and were transitioning from a house to a condo.”
Its two-storey set-up and upscale appointments mimic features of many low-rise homes. “It had two full bedrooms, two full bathrooms upstairs on the second level, so it felt like a little house,” Ms. Davis notes. “It showed beautifully and had a fireplace, so that was appealing, too.”
Strong Growth in New Listings in April
May 3, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced 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 year-over-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 year-over- 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.