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News with a focus on real estate, finance and the marketplace.

Overvaluation in some housing markets will lead to moderation: CMHC

Overvaluation in some housing markets will lead to moderation: CMHC

Despite the somewhat alarming headlines about more of Canada’s housing markets being overvalued, the forecast for the coming year and into 2018 is for moderation rather than sharp decline. The rapid growth in home prices seen over the past few years is likely to slow, sales of existing homes will also slow, and housing starts…

Real estate market outlook optimistic, but supply problem will have to be addressed: report

Real estate market outlook optimistic, but supply problem will have to be addressed: report

Optimism is the predominant attitude regarding the Toronto real estate market, though it is tempered by a measure of caution. The residential real estate market has remained strong, with high sales volumes and prices, supported by a strong local economy, steady immigration and low interest rates. Barring an unforeseen catastrophe—a sudden interest rate hike, an…

Toronto condo sales, rental stats show tightening, under-supplied market

Toronto condo sales, rental stats show tightening, under-supplied market

It is clear that the rental market in Toronto is frustratingly tight. Bidding wars among would-be tenants have become common, and rents for condos, which are becoming an increasingly essential part of the rental stock available, are skyrocketing. Depending on whose numbers one accepts, the average one-bedroom condo rent was $1,777 per month in the…

New home sales, mostly condos, soared in September, and so did prices

New home sales, mostly condos, soared in September, and so did prices

A new record for new home sales in the GTA could be set this year. As of the end of September, total new home sales for 2016 stood at 34,736, beating the previous record (34,413 in 2007) and well above the ten-year average (27,871). Of those, 14,140 were low-rise homes, the third highest number in…

Luxury home sales surging in Toronto, but are they foreign buyers?

Luxury home sales surging in Toronto, but are they foreign buyers?

Since early August, when Vancouver imposed a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers of residential real estate, there has been a lot of speculation about where those foreign buyers would go, assuming they would flee the Vancouver market. Toronto, naturally, is one option, but there has been scant data so far to confirm any…

Mortgage brokers want exemptions, changes to new eligibility rules

Mortgage brokers want exemptions, changes to new eligibility rules

Canada’s mortgage brokers are hopeful that the minister of finance, Bill Moreau, will take heed of their concerns and recommendations regarding the new mortgage eligibility rules that went into effect today. The Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association (CMBA) issued a statement earlier this month expressing its concern that the new rules would disqualify many preapproved mortgage…

CREA warns of cascade effect as first-time buyers may be priced out of housing market

CREA warns of cascade effect as first-time buyers may be priced out of housing market

How short is the supply of resale housing in the GTA? At current rates of sales activity, all available housing inventory would be “liquidated” in less than a month. The Canadian Real Estate Association says that this “tight balance” between housing supply and demand in the Toronto area is “without precedent.” In the wider Greater…

National housing markets healthy pending changes to mortgage eligibility rules

National housing markets healthy pending changes to mortgage eligibility rules

Recently announced government measures to rein in Canada’s residential real estate market have not yet had much impact on the way the market has performed, both in terms of sales numbers and prices. The latest Royal LePage House Price Survey shows that nationally, the price of a home in Canada in the third quarter increased…

Housing starts surge in September, but not in Toronto

Housing starts surge in September, but not in Toronto

A drop in the number of new condominiums started in Toronto in September was enough to pull down the overall housing activity in Ontario by a little less than 3,000 units, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). In the rest of Canada, however, the pace of housing construction picked up significantly. The seasonally adjusted…

Mortgage industry in a tizzy over new federal lending requirements

Mortgage industry in a tizzy over new federal lending requirements

The non-bank mortgage lenders have been much more vocal in expressing concerns about the new mortgage rules announced this week by the Department of Finance than the banks have. Genworth MI Canada, the country’s largest private mortgage lender, said in a statement that it estimates that a little over one-third of transactionally insured mortgages, predominantly…

September housing market hotter than ever in Toronto; is it the last time?

September housing market hotter than ever in Toronto; is it the last time?

Home sales in the Toronto market continued at fever pitch in September. The Toronto Real Estate Board reports that 9,902 sales were processed through TREB’s MLS system last month, 21.5 per cent more than one year ago. Strong growth was seen in most areas in all major home types, with the usual exception in the…

How to make mortgages more expensive without raising rates

How to make mortgages more expensive without raising rates

The new measures announced by the minister of finance today aimed at preventing further overheating in the housing market will make it harder for some Canadians to get a mortgage. That is what Bill Morneau was referring to when he said that some are taking on high levels of debt “in a rush to buy…

Condominium developers in the GTA have reason to be happy; low-rise home builders not so much, for August was a month of records for new home sales, not all of them good. High-rise homes are riding high, with 1,880 new units sold in August for a year-to-date total of 17,949. This was the highest number…

Americans positive about home buying but ill-informed about down payments

Americans positive about home buying but ill-informed about down payments

The majority of Americans believe that now is a good time to buy a home, and that belief increases with age. While 62 per cent of people younger than 34 believe this, 78 per cent of those over the age of 65 believe it. The strength of the conviction also depends on household income (which…

High-end housing market heating up in Toronto, cooling in Vancouver

High-end housing market heating up in Toronto, cooling in Vancouver

There are more signs that Vancouver’s high-end real estate market is beginning to cool, while Toronto’s is taking up the slack. Average home prices for detached properties in Vancouver were down 11.6 per cent in August compared to July, according to an update from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. In the million-dollar-plus category, sales in Toronto…

Now that Toronto is hottest market in Canada, is it time to sell?

Now that Toronto is hottest market in Canada, is it time to sell?

It’s a race we’d probably rather not have won, but Toronto has been declared Canada’s hottest housing market. There was only one other runner, of course, Vancouver. According to TD Bank economist Diana Petramala, Vancouver is now in correction mode, with home prices expected to fall a modest 10 per cent. Toronto, in contrast, has…

New home construction drops in August with fewer condo starts

New home construction drops in August with fewer condo starts

After a couple of months on a strong upward trend, housing starts declined in Canada in August, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports. Both the six-month trend measure and the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) were down significantly. The standalone monthly SAAR for Canada was 182,703, compared to 194,663 in July. CMHC chief economist Bob…

Shortage of listings does not prevent record home sales in August

Shortage of listings does not prevent record home sales in August

Two extra working days in August helped push Toronto real estate sales into new record territory, the Toronto Real Estate Board reports today. MLS sales for August reached 9,813, an increase of 23.5 per cent over the previous year. The biggest gain was in the condo sector. In the City of Toronto, nearly two thousand…

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