GTA Real Estate News Highlights: #5

GTA Real Estate News Highlights: #5

Young families from Toronto need to rethink their idea of a dream home, the cottage country sees bidding wars for the first time since 2010 and condo prices going up by 26 per cent - stay updated with these real estate news highlights from Toronto area.

The Globe and Mail: Toronto’s real estate market sees shift away from earlier frenzy

Toronto area’s real estate market is getting back to normal after a turbulent few weeks. Housing sales in the Greater Toronto Area dropped by 50 per cent in the first two weeks of June compared with the same time last year. TREB says new listings jumped by 22 per cent in the first half of the month compared with the same period in June 2016. However, by now, the increase in listings in June is much less dramatic than it was in May.

The GTA Real Estate market also sees a significant rise of sales in the condo segment compared to low-rise home. The situation is new to the market, since the prices of single-family houses were rising faster than the condo prices for the past few years. Last month marked the first time since 2010 that the condo prices were increasing faster than the prices of low-rise homes. As of mid-month, according to TREB, the average price for a detached house in the GTA stands at $808,847, or 6.7 per cent higher than at the same time last year.

The Star: Here's why you're not going to get that starter house, city planner says

Raised in a single-family house and raising her children in the same kind of home, chief city planner of Toronto Jennifer Keesmaat is encouraging her children to imagine raising their own families in an apartment rather than a house. The reason, she says, is that the Canadian home-owning dream is outdated. Although 81 per cent of aspiring homeowners don’t want a condo and 69 per cent want a house with at least three bedrooms, the reality is that most of them will not be able to afford a single-family house due to low supply. Statistics show that 83 per cent of housing units built between 2011 and 2016 in Toronto were midrise and highrise apartments.

The first-time homebuyers seem to hold on to the dream of having kind of house they were raised in, but their starter home is much more likely to be in a condo than in a detached house with a yard. Keesmaat’s speech was followed by a panel discussion of how the city could create more infill housing and starter homes - a growing challenge for renters, homeowners and builders.

Jennifer Keesmaat was also once interviewed on our blog about the future of Toronto: Read the interview here.

Toronto Storeys: Toronto condo pricing sees double-digit spikes.

Toronto Storeys’ author Hyder Owainati is looking into the dynamics of Toronto’s condo market using a price per square foot (PSF) measurement. The majority of condo units in Toronto cover around 860 square feet. The sizes of condo apartments in the city’ dense downtown reach 765 square feet on average. Smaller condos (below 599 square feet) represent 30 per cent of Toronto’s high-rise units.

The average price per square foot in Toronto is $629, which is 26 per cent more than it was over the same time last year. The PSF in Toronto’s downtown showed even higher increase with 28 per cent compared to the last year. The cheapest condos judged by the price per square foot can be found in Mississauga City Center and the priciest condos are situated at the Bay Street Corridor, which stretches from Bloor Street West to Front Street along Bay.

The Globe and Mail: Cottage country shows early immunity to GTA real estate cooling

The slowdown in Toronto’s housing market did not affect the cottage country several hours away, where vacation properties are selling quickly and prices are going up. The average prices of vacation houses in Ontario have reached $413,000 in May 2017, while the lakefront properties in Muskoka see a 20 per cent growth from $1.25-million in May 2016 to $1.5-million in May 2017.

Kevin Somers, chief operating officer of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., predicts a strong summer of sales in vacation centers even as the Toronto region experiences a slowdown. The difference between the two markets is that the cottage-country are typically wealthier and less sensitive to the market fluctuations than the buyers in the city. The cottage-country buyers are not only those seeking to purchase a vacation property but also the people approaching retirement, willing to move permanently there. Some vacation markets in Muskoka are even seeing bidding wars, something that is not typical for the remote areas like this.

Huffington Post: 5 Reasons Why The Toronto Housing Market Won't Crash

Nathan Dautovich, the PropertyGuys.com Franchise Owner, thinks that the real estate market crash in Toronto is unlikely, despite the numerous industry watchers stating the opposite. For him, there are minimum 5 reasons, why it will not happen. Firstly, he states, the majority of buyers were not affected by The Ontario Fair Housing Plan, which is accounted for the current slowdown. Moreover, the new policies are mainly aimed at the foreign buyers, for whom the new tax was recently introduced. However, according to the approximate numbers, the foreign buyers represent only 4.9 per cent of all buyers in GTA, so the impact of the tax is quite limited.

Toronto situation can be compared to the market cooldown in Vancouver in August last year, where similar policies were implemented and brought only short-term effects. And most importantly, the supply and demand factors haven’t changed in the area, so the market is likely to stay strong. The population of Toronto area continues to grow, while the housing supply is not increasing that fast.

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