November real estate stats from TREB are soon to be released, in the meantime, we continue to keep you updated about the GTA real estate news over the past week. Rental availability is at its lowest, the NHS impact on Toronto’s real estate will be limited, Home Buyers’ Plan is on hold, the real estate agents will be allowed to publish the data on their recent sales – read all this in the weekly news roundup from Torontoism.
Rentals are getting even more scarce in the GTA, a report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says. The vacancy rate of rental properties in the GTA reached 1.1 per cent this fall, the lowest it has been in 16 years.
The average cost of a rental unit jumped 4.5 per cent compared to last year and amounted $1,296 per month. Growing demand for the rental property might be a result of the following factors: migration of people to the GTA and high home prices. Unfortunately, the supply seems insufficient for all those looking to rent a home, which drives the prices up.
Most of the existing rental supply are condos. The vacancy rate is the lowest for the bigger two-bedroom of three-bedroom units, making it harder for families to find a rental.
BuzzBuzzHome: Will the National Housing Strategy impact Toronto’s real estate market? Not anytime soon, according to this economist
The new National Housing Strategy includes building of 100,000 new affordable housing units and repairing of the 300, 000 existing units, but it still won’t change Toronto’s housing market, says RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue in an interview for BuzzBuzzHome.
According to Hogue, the reason that the new housing plan will only have a limited effect is that it is designed to help the least fortunate Canadians, while the middle class is ignored. He does admit though, that once the new affordable homes are on the market, it is likely to cause a chain reaction: more expensive units will become vacant and available for the middle-class home buyers, but this won’t happen fast. He also argues, that this won’t be sufficient for the overheated markets like Vancouver or Toronto.
Financial Post: ‘No quick fixes’: Housing market still rife with risk, despite Bank of Canada optimism
The Bank of Canada is optimistic about the stabilization of Canada’s housing boom and the hints of a bust in Toronto, but analysts say the optimism is premature. The central bank said new mortgage lending rules from OSFI due to take effect in January could disqualify about 10 per cent of buyers. That, plus the effect of previous mortgage tightening, two interest rate hikes over 2017 and a strong economy are mitigating housing risk, Central bank Governor Stephen Poloz said.
However, with both Toronto and Vancouver activity showing early signs of stabilizing, demand may re-emerge more quickly than expected. The real estate agents also expect the new mortgage rules to have only limited effect on the market, since they expect the home-buyers to simply switch to unregulated lenders to fulfill their financial needs.
The Globe and Mail: Federal court gives Toronto real estate agents data-publishing rights
Toronto-area real estate agents will be allowed to publish details about house sale prices according to the new regulations Federal Court of Appeal released on Friday after a long-running battle over data privacy between Toronto Real Estate Board and the Competition Bureau.
The TREB is disappointed by the decision and plans to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. As the main reason for TREB’s opposition to the new rules TREB cites privacy concerns over the home-buyers’ personal financial information. However, as many real estate agents agree, the opening of these data will enable websites like Zoocasa to provide comparative information on the prices of listed homes and allow future home buyers take better informed decision.
The federal Liberals are having second thoughts about a 2015 campaign promise to enable Canadians to dip back into their registered retirement savings to help pay for a home. The main reason is the concern that this will increase the demand and push housing prices even higher in already tough housing market.
Instead of supporting the home-buyers with their down payments, the federal government prioritizes affordable housing and rentals for the most vulnerable groups at the moment. Ottawa has provided more support for families facing significant life changes, helped stabilize the real estate market by tightening mortgage rules and committed $11.2 billion over the next 11 years to support affordable housing.
The Canadian Real Estate Association, however, states that the government should be doing more to help people with their down payments. It is also now lobbying Ottawa to allow parents help thier kids buy a home by using their retirement savings.