NOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT: The CP Weekly Meeting Recap

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Each week, The Glenn Team provide highlights from the weekly CP office meeting to provide a balanced overview of the Toronto and GTA markets and relevant issues affecting real estate markets. Meetings are overseen by Chestnut Park's CEO and Broker of Record, Chris Kapches, LLB, who provides weekly analysis and commentary. Additional input is provided by the CP Toronto office Realtors who give a day to day, real life perspective of the local markets.

MARKET STATS

As TREB has continued it's stoppage of weekly stats, Chris has continued to generate his own within the City of Toronto (the 416), and interesting things are happening. Up to October 28th, total properties sold for the month are at 2653; last years numbers for October were 3715. Projecting to the end of October for 2017, we expect just under 3000 sales, which means there will be a negative variance of 20% year over year. That may seem like bad news but that variance is up from the -29% we saw in September, so the gap is lessening. 

In addition to number of sales, the average sale price for each of last 3 weeks has been $833,000,  $826,000 and last weeks average of $825,000. The total for October should be about $828,000, an increase of 6%. 

Chris' opinion that is there is “essentially a stabilization of the market." So long as we can stay on this trajectory, we should be good going into 2018.

Open house reports from Toronto CP agents indicate a bit of a mixed bag, with many open houses in the central core garnering lots of visitors and the same buyers at various open houses listed in similar price ranges. Agents also reported seeing more buyers who had already sold their property; practically the opposite situation from months prior to April's downturn. This would seem to indicate buyers are being much more cautious about where and what they're buying.

3RD QUARTER CONDO & RENTAL REPORT

TREB did publish it's 3rd quarter condo and rental report. Among the data, sales volume was down by 29% and new listings were down by more than 10%, from 11,000 to 9000. At this pace, condos will be in short supply in the 4th quarter and going into 2018; something we've already noted in previous week's posts. Active listings in the quarter are down a little over 1%

Despite sales being down, the average days on market for condos was 22. Last year that number was closer to 25. This would give credence to the market accelerating and as noted, there is still a supply issue. The average sale price increased by almost 25% from $415,000 in 2016 to $510,000 for the GTA. Of the 5684 sales in the GTA, almost 65% took place in the 416. Additionally, the average sale price in the 416 is higher at $542,000. The central district accounted for 66% of all condo sales in the 416 and had an even greater average sale price at $603,000. 

RENTAL CRISIS CONTINUES

Toronto continues to be in a rental crisis, with the average rent in the city going up by 11% year over year. Renters can expect to pay $1,976 on average for a 1 bedroom apartment and $1,672 for a bachelor. We, as well as other continue to question the Liberal governments housing initiatives based on these numbers. There is clearly no product available and things appear as though they'll only get worse for renters going into 2018.

 

KEEP CALM AND TARION  

In more positive news, the Tarion Warranty Corporation announced that effective January 1st, 2018, it will be increasing it's coverage on deposits for new construction of free-hold properties from $40,000 to 10% of the purchase price. The insurance will go from a minimum of $60,000 to a maximum of $100,000. 

Unfortunately, deposits for condominium apartments will still only be insured up to the $40,000 mark. We guess this is because most new construction for condos will fall into the $400-500,000 range.

ASSIGN OF THE TIMES

The CRA has announced that it will now force the disclosure of assignment sales from developers. In the past, there was no way for CRA to know an assignment took place as it was a privacy issue.

The CRA is now taking the position that the profit, or "lift" as it's commonly referred to, from the assignment sale will not be a capital gain but instead income. Additionally, anyone selling an assignment who doesn't declare the income and is subsequently found to have done so, will have to pay tax penalties. This means we'll likely see fewer assignments going forward, and more sales going to so-called "end-users"; where buyers intend to live in the unit. As investors are less likely to purchase units for the purposes of realizing gains prior or just after incorporation of the condo. This is potentially positive news given the inventory issues mentioned above.

NEW ZEALAND IS FOR NEW ZEALANDERS!

The new New Zealand government has announced it will ban foreign buyers from buying property of any kind. No non-residents may purchase property. The rationale here is based on low interest rates, limited housing stock and immigration rising causing housing prices to have been pushed up. Sound familiar? This is a strikingly similar situation to what's happening in Toronto. This news comes after the latest election of a new government in NZ, who feels that overseas buyers are putting too much pressure on infrastructure and housing prices. Chinese buyers account for the largest percentage of foreign buyers. 

Average sale prices were up 10.4% in most cities and 18.1% in Wellington (the country's capital). The average sale price for in Auckland is now at $1,000,000, about $881,307 Canadian. Toronto's average as mentioned is now about $828,000. With all the same pressures going on here, is this what's next for Toronto?

What's your take? We'd love to hear from you! Contact us directly or leave a comment below...

 

 

NOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT: The Weekly Chestnut Park Meeting Recap

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Each week, The Glenn Team provide highlights from the weekly CP office meeting to provide a balanced overview of the Toronto and GTA markets and relevant issues affecting real estate markets. Meetings are overseen by Chestnut Park's CEO and Broker of Record, Chris Kapches, LLB, who provides weekly analysis and commentary. Additional input is provided by the CP Toronto office Realtors who give a day to day, real life perspective of the local markets.

MARKET STATS

As mid-month stats are still unavailable from TREB (see our previous post regarding that), Chris has continued to prepare his own stats within the 416 districts. The average sale price has moved up to $862,000, for a 7% increase in average sale price since October 2016. We’ll have to wait until next month to see whether that number will be reflected throughout the GTA, but odds are good, it will be below that mark as the 905 properties will likely continue to be undervalued. The number of sales for the month are also down from last year by about 22% which is a shorter gap from the 35% we experienced in previous months. All of this would indicate a better and more balanced market moving into 2018. Anecdotal information from CP Toronto reps also indicates a lot of activity in central and eastern districts.


STRESS CASE

It’s now official that the newly proposed stress will be instituted come January 1st, 2018. What does this mean for potential buyers or those looking to trade-up on their existing property? Chris did a basic scenario to arrive at some numbers. Assume you’re looking to purchase a $900,000 property and have a $400,000 down payment; far past the 20% requirement. A typical 5 year fixed rate would likely amount to a monthly payment in the $2,500 area and require your yearly income to be around $95,000. Under the new rules that same buyer is required to qualify at their broker contracted rate + 2% or the Bank of Canada benchmark rate (around 4.89%), whichever is the greater of the two rates. That difference in rate would require their mortgage payment to go up $3,295/mo. and require their yearly income to be $112,000. That’s about a difference of 20%. 

Does that mean we should expect 20% of the market to simply disappear? Both Chris and Darlene Hanley (of The Hanley Mortgage Group) say no. They claim that the majority of buyers or re-financiers that can already afford 20% or more of their down payment can already cover that difference in cost. Who will be affected however? Most experts feel that it will be the buyers looking to move up to a larger, more expensive property. This new test will likely dissuade them from looking to buy or force them to buy something that is more within their means and will lower their potential debt load risk. We’ll have to wait until next year to see how much, if at all, this affects prices and activity the marketplace. 

CASE IN POINT: A Case Beyond the Pines... or Cedars

Chris brought to light a court case, which isn’t often discussed, as it rarely goes to litigation. This case relates to trees on or over property lines. In this case, the defendant, a neighbour to a property with cedar trees along the property line, trimmed and cut down some of the cedars to erect a fence, so no further trees would impact on his property. Under the law (excluding any towns’ particular by-laws) you are allowed to trim any portion of a tree that encroaches on your property but may not affect the roots of that tree. The case went as far as the court of appeals, who sided in favour of the prosecution, as the neighbour had no right to cut down any trees in erecting his fence and didn’t receive consent from the tree owner. A lesson learned for anybody with a neighbouring tree and a grudge.  

Have you got a grudge regarding the Toronto real estate market or a nasty neighbour? We'd love to hear from you. Either email us directly or use add a comment below.
 

NOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT: THE WEEKLY CHESTNUT PARK MEETING RECAP

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Each week, The Glenn Team provide highlights from the weekly CP office meeting to provide a balanced overview of the Toronto and GTA markets and relevant issues affecting real estate markets. Meetings are overseen by Chestnut Park's CEO and Broker of Record, Chris Kapches, LLB, who provides weekly analysis and commentary. Additional input is provided by the CP Toronto office Realtors who give a day to day, real life perspective of the local markets.

MARKET UPDATE

As our latest CP market report was just published, there isn't much to discuss related to market stats that was covered there or in last week's meeting. For more information on where the GTA markets are at, go to that post or subscribe to our neighbourhood house price reports. 

 

WORD ON THE STREET

A poll of the agents in the CP Toronto office revealed that the type of property as well as it's price range has a significant impact on the market's interest in it. For example, listings over the $2M price point in central districts have had little interest in the past week, whereas condo apartment listings in both eastern and central districts under $1M have had intense, fetching multiple offers. Clearly the more affordable condo apartments continue to be the market's hottest prospect currently. Though volume is up in the 905 area code, the 416 continues to come in at 25% of those numbers, with condo apartment inventory all but gone. 

 

TAX TALK

As agents in the Toronto office have found more foreign buyers coming back to the Toronto market, Chris felt it important to review who is affected by the recent foreign buyer's tax. Some of the most relevant points are listed below. For the full breakdown, click here

Doesn't apply to Canadian citizens or permanent residents, unless those parties are buying property with a foreign national. 

Who Does the Tax Apply To?

  • Foreign Entities: Foreign nationals and not Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents. 
  • Foreign corporations: ie. corporations NOT incorporated in Canada or incorporated in Canada but controlled by foreign national or other foreign corporation (unless corporations shares are listed on the TSX.
  • Foreign corporation controlled directly or indirectly by a foreign national for the purposes of the associated corporation rules under Canada's Income Tax Act. 

What Types of Properties are Affected?

  • Single Family Detached, Semi-Detached, Condo Apartments, Duplexes, Triplexes and Multiplexes up to 6 units; over 6 units, no tax applies
  • Each condo unit is considered a single-family residence so the tax applies to each one

How is the Tax Calculated?

  • Any property is taxed at a rate of 15% including any Land Transfer Tax associated with the property, ie. if the property is located in Toronto, you would pay tax on both provincial and municipal land transfer tax. 
  • If ANY buyers are a foreign entity, 100% of the property will be taxed, ie. you can’t purchase a property with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and avoid the tax. 

Who is Exempt from the Tax?

  • Anyone confirmed under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. If you can establish you’re a bonafide immigrant in theprogram or a student or WILL be a permanent resident in the next 4 years
  • If you’re a refugee
  • If you're a foreign national with a spouse who is already a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a Nominee or a Refugee. 

 

STRESSED OUT!

Going into 2018, it is expected that the government will introduce new mortgage stress test rules. Under the new rules, people seeking a new mortgage will have to qualify at the bank posted rate, which would currently amount to about 5.25% for a 5 year rate; that's about 2% more than most lenders would currently require and amounts to about 6 rate hikes from the BoC. David Smith, a mortgage broker with Hanley Mortgage Brokers thinks this policy will effectively take buyers with the greatest stake in entering the real estate market out of the game. It will also likely negative influence anybody looking to make their next jump up to a larger property if they are already close to their mortgage maximum. In Toronto, this means any first time home buyers, likely entering the condo market, which is already under heavy stress for inventory.

Is this good policy or just the governments attempt at chastising banks and lenders? We love to know your thoughts. Either get in touch directly or leave a comment below! 

CHESTNUT PARK MARKET UPDATE

September marked a change in the Toronto residential market place. For the first time since April, the average sale price for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area actually rose.

The monthly average sale price had been on a downward spiral ever since the provincial government announced the introduction of a 15 percent foreign buyers tax on April 20th.

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In September the average sale price came in at $775,546. September’s average sale price was 6 percent higher than August’s average sale price, and almost 3 percent higher than the average sale price achieved in September, 2016. This is a welcome change, and the first step to the resale market’s return to normalcy. Not the frenzied market that we experienced from January through April, but the 2016 market, that saw property values rise in a moderate, sustainable way.

Although the market did recover in September, the recovery remains fractured, with some sub-markets out performing others. On the broadest level, the 416 area code, as a trading district, is outperforming the 905. Sales volumes for the greater Toronto area were down 35 percent compared to last year. This September 6,379 properties were reported sold, last year there were 9,830. Comparing the 416 and 905 trading areas, a different picture emerges.

Whereas the overall market was o by more than 35 percent compared to last year, the 416 trading area had only declined by 29 percent. The 905 trading area did not fair as well, with sales o by almost 40 percent. The same is true for average sale prices.

As indicated above, the monthly average sale price for the greater Toronto area was $775,546, up 2.6 percent compared to last year. On an unweighted basis, the average sale price for all properties sold in the 416 region increased by almost 10 percent compared to last year. In the 905 the increase was slightly less than 6 percent. So clearly the numbers emerging from the 905 region are acting as a downward drag on the results of the overall resale market place.

But even within the 416 trading districts there are regional differences. Sales of detached properties were down by 41 percent in September. The volume of semi-detached properties sales was down by only 15 percent, and 23 percent for condominium apartments. Average sale prices for detached and semi-detached properties rose by 4 and 5 percent respectively compared to September 2016, whereas condominium apartment average sale price rose by 24 percent compared to last year.

Notwithstanding the negative press concerning the Toronto resale market place and its “collapse”, house prices in Toronto continue to be very expensive, but given prevailing interest rates, still sustainable. In September the average price for a detached home in Toronto’s 416 region was $1,355,234. The cost of a semi-detached home was not far behind at $935,467. Even condominium apartments are becoming pricy. In September, the average price for a condominium apartment was $554,069. In Toronto’s central districts, where most of Toronto’s condominium apartment towers are located, the average price for a condominium apartment was $615,654. There were 917 sales in this category, almost 1/6 of the total inventory of properties sold in September. Notwithstanding these elevated prices, all the condominium apartments sold for 100 percent (on average) of their asking price.

On the freehold side, the region just to the east of the central core, comprising the neighhourhoods known as Riverdale, Leslieville, and the Beaches, continues to trade as if the downturn experienced everywhere else in the greater Toronto area miraculously missed it. In September all detached properties in these areas sold for almost 104 percent of their asking price and in a mere 14 days. Semi-detached properties moved even faster. Semi-detached properties in these neighbourhoods sold in just over 8 days and for sale prices that exceeded the asking price by more than 105 percent. The average sale price of detached and semi-detached properties reported sold in these neighbourhoods was $1,286,000 and $928,000 respectively.

Over the last 5 months the market has moved from an insane seller’s market to a more nuanced, balanced market (except of course in Riverdale, Leslieville, and the Beaches). In September, 16,469 new properties came to market, an increase of more than 9 percent compared to the 15,050 that came to market last year. At the end of September there were 19,021 properties available to buyers, a stunning increase compared to the paltry 11,255 available last year. In percentage terms, availability has increased by 69 percent, year-over-year.

Needless to say, with an increase in supply, both average days on the market and months of inventory have increased dramatically. Year-over-year days on market have increased from 16 to 24 days. Months of inventory, calculated on a 12 month moving average is now 1.5 months for the greater Toronto area. Months of inventory, using September data, is more like 3 months, a much more accurate reflection of the market than the 12 month moving average.

The market is normalizing. It will continue to improve moderately, as year-end approaches. Sellers hoping for the heady days of January through April will be disappointed. In addition to assimilating the impact of the foreign buyers tax, the Toronto market has had to contend with two quarter-point mortgage interest rate hikes, and potentially more to come. There is also the looming threat of additional stress testing which the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has proposed. All of these factors will have a moderating effect on the residential resale market going forward.

Prepared by:Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

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NOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT: The Weekly Chestnut Park Meeting Recap

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Each week, The Glenn Team provide highlights from the weekly CP office meeting to provide a balanced overview of the Toronto and GTA markets and relevant issues affecting real estate markets. Meetings are overseen by Chestnut Park's CEO and Broker of Record, Chris Kapches, LLB, who provides weekly analysis and commentary. Additional input is provided by the CP Toronto office Realtors who give a day to day, real life perspective of the local markets.

MARKET STATS

The uptick in the average sale price continued through the month of September, giving further credence to what most feel is the end of the plateau and start of a rebounding market. Further support from Chris' stats (the TREB weekly stat filibuster continues) in the first week of October support this as well, as the average sale price in the 416 was around $831,000. The average sale price for the GTA for September was $775, 456, up 2.6% year over year, which would also support a rebound in the market. Average price breakdowns for the 416 based on housing type were as follows...

Detached Houses - $1,355,000 - 5.4% increase yr/yr - 
Semi-detached Houses - $935,000 - 5.2% increase yr/yr
Condo Apartments - $554,000 - 24% increase yr/yr

Prices in the 905 were much less dramatic however, with detached houses only going up by less than 1%. Sales volumes were down by 35% across the GTA, which seems like a high number but put into perspective, those numbers are coming from very high volumes seen in 2016. 61% of the sales that took place in September came from the 416 however, which also had less inventory than the 905, so it should be expected for prices to continue to climb going into 2018.

 

BUYER BEWARE

As we've mentioned, the psychology of the market may be just as important as the stats themselves, and media reports could go a long way to see this switch in the market's thinking. Chris cited this article from the Globe and Mail which, among some points already mentioned, discusses buyers coming back to the market now after having perceived the downturn to be over. Articles like this will likely cause buyers to promptly return to the market and could cause a dramatic uptick in prices yet again. Of further concern given all of these numbers and trends is that it's likely that OFSI will move forward with the new stress test rules. If you're considering buying in the 416, especially if a condo is the product you're after, we would urge you to get started today! 

 

IT'S ALL ABOUT BALANCE

Getting perspective on whether the market is balanced or not can be challenging. TREB using a 12 month moving average for month's of inventory -where balance is closer to 1.5 months- to determine whether the market is overheated or not. Chris prefers to use a standard average; where 3.9 months would be considered balanced or heathy. Despite how it's calculated, at the beginning of October, there were about 19,000 properties on the market, giving the 416 about 1.4 months of inventory and the 905 1.5 months. That's 17% more than last October's 11,000 but is still about 1000 listings off a healthier market in Chris' opinion. As we approach the end of year, we’ll be looking at overall sales be around 80-88,000. This is consistent with period b/w 2009-2013 before we saw numbers in the hundreds of thousands. 

 

EAST VS. WEST

Traditionally, Realtors and the public always felt there were better deals to be had in Toronto East end, but that seems to be less and less true, at least in the case of semi-detached properties. In the Eastern districts, all sales for the month of September came in at 104% of asking with an average of 10 days on the market. The average sale price for semi-detached properties in the East end was $872,326, vs. the Western districts which averaged $775,663. However, the average sale price for detached properties, which have great prevalence in the West, was $1,015,711 vs. $961,805 in the East. So clearly it's currently better to go West to buy a semi-detached property currently. Contrast that with condo apartments with sales prices on average being about $50,000 less on the East end than the West. For further contrast, the Central districts saw an average sale price of $615,654 for condo apartments. 

 

MULTIPLE REPRESENTATION STAYS UNIFIED

News regarding how the Ontario government will treat instances of multiple representation (where one Realtor represents both parties in a transaction) came back from OREA. The decision will keep in place the existing rules for how Realtors working with both sides to a real estate transaction are defined. Chris, OREA and most Realtors and brokerages see this as a win for both Realtors and the public. The alternative would have required that a second Realtor represent one side in the transaction so as to avoid potential conflicts of interest. However, that scenario could give way to Realtor alliances and potentially fewer buyers for those buying or selling in smaller, localized markets. The new legislation will allow one Realtor to represent both parties so long as informed consent is given on the part of the buyer and seller. It is expected that OREA will draft new forms to give consent in transactions requiring multiple representation. 

Do you feel like this was the right decision? We'd love to hear your comments! 

NOTES FROM THE PRESIDENT: THE CP WEEKLY MEETING RECAP

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Each week, The Glenn Team provide highlights from the weekly CP office meeting to provide a balanced overview of the Toronto and GTA markets and relevant issues affecting real estate markets. Meetings are overseen by Chestnut Park's CEO and Broker of Record, Chris Kapches, LLB, who provides weekly analysis and commentary. Additional input is provided by the CP Toronto office Realtors who give a day to day, real life perspective of the local markets.

MARKET ANALYSIS

Because TREB has continued it's weekly/mid-month stats fillabuster, Chris has created his own analysis method based on MLS data for the 416 only. As September progressed, there were more active sales and avgerage sale prices were up. As an example, b/w Sept. 22nd and 29th, the average sale price increased from about $782,000 to $809,000. Between August and September, sales volume also increased from 2480 to 2514 properties. That 2% increase coupled with an 11% increase in average sale price from August is the first time in 4 consecutive months that we've seen a positive variance in both categories.

Additionally, The Bank of Canada posted yet another increase in interest rates and though the press says that may be the last we'll see before 2018, Darlene Hanley of Hanley of Hanley Mortgage Group, says they're expecting at least one more before year's end. Couple that with the new proposed stress test which, will require those paying less than 20% down to qualify at a rate of 4.94% and one would expect that sale prices won't reach the bloated values seen in April; we're still about $160-170,000 off the pace from there.

So for the moment, we seem to be headed into a healthier market. However, CP Realtors working in the 416 are reporting high numbers at open houses and buyers feeling a need for more product, so at least in the 416, we're likely to continue to see market activity and sales numbers increase. Contrast that with the 905, where at least one Realtor representing a prime property had less than 4 showings in 4 weeks. The hope is that any increase in sales going into 2018 in both the 416 or 905 areas will be sustainable (in the 3-5% range) and not the 11-20% range that got us here.

BANKABLE RESULTS

In a report published by CIBC, economists are coroborating Chris' sentiments for a rebounding Toronto market, siting Toronto's sale prices increasing, economic growth rates of 4.5% and lower unemployment numbers. The report indicated that 90% of home buyers are earning between $58-108,000/yr. (classified "middle-class"), and about 75% of mortgage holders made downpayments of 10% or more. An analysis run by Chris from 2010 indicates that Toronto home owners have been prudent in their housing purchases given the relative increase in average sales prices since that time and the releatively consistent interest rates from that time to today. All of this would seem to corelate with the data coming from CIBC. 

RBC economists however, feel that Toronto will follow Vancouver's market recovery, which only recently posted year over year gains of 22%. However Chris was quick to point out that those gains were seen before further increases in bank rates. That kind of growth would be reminiscent of April's gains which Chris called "a terrible period and not something we want to experience again". 

Have a differing perspective on the market? We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below or send us an email at theglennteam@chestnutpark.com

THE CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE WEEKLY MEETING RECAP

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Each week, The Glenn Team provide highlights from the weekly CP office meeting to provide a balanced overview of the Toronto and GTA markets and relevant issues affecting real estate markets. Meetings are overseen by Chestnut Park's CEO and Broker of Record, Chris Kapches, LLB, who provides weekly analysis and commentary. Additional input is provided by the CP Toronto office Realtors who give a day to day, real life perspective of the local markets.

NO MORE WEEKLY/BI-MONTHLY TREB STATS

TREB announced this week that they will no longer provide weekly or mid-month reports sighting they didn't want the data to misrepresent the current state of the market. Not surprising perphaps given the way the media has used TREB stats to make big headlines and possibly influence government action. Chris has begun to put together his own set of stats, though admittedly they may not be quite up to TREB standards as they only now cover the Central, East and Western districts of the GTA which don't take into account the numbers in the 905. Not wholly accurate but at least reflective of true Toronto prices. 

CASE STUDY: BUYERS WHO FAIL TO MEET CONTRACT

Though only one of two instances in our CP offices where deals have failed to close, a deal in Muskoka went south when the buyer failed to complete an inspection condition and didn't deliver the deposit within 24 hours of acceptance. In this instance, many Realtors may feel that a mutual-release from the contract would be best however, our on-staff lawyers, Richard Stewart and Chris Kapches disagree. As a breach of contract has clearly transpired and the sellers ability to re-market the property and potentially lose money on it's subsequent sale, there are clearly grounds to sue on breach of contract. As a better solution to the problem, a Notice of Default was instead issued and a clause for a non-refundable deposit was included in the deal. 

IS RBC'S MORTGAGE PORTFOLIO CAUSE FOR CONCERN?

Citing an article from the Globe and Mail, Chris detailed how RBC's CEO assesses their risk in the mortgage market. A fascinating look into what many rarely glimpse, Dave McKay doesn't seem concerned about the over $100B in uninsured mortgages or the $106B in insured mortgages that, should they default, be the responsibility of the Canadian government to bail-out. Find out more about how RBC heges their mortgage bets.

 

 

THE CHESTNUT PARK REAL ESTATE WEEKLY MEETING RECAP - SEPT. 19, 2017

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Each week, we are bringing you highlights from the weekly CP meeting. We present analysis of the Toronto and GTA markets from the perspective of Chestnut Park's CEO and Broker of Record, Chris Kapches, LLB and the CP Toronto office staff.

NO NEW TREB DATA

As we've yet to get TREB's weekly or mid-month stats for September there isn't much to discuss in terms of stats. Anecdotally however, last week saw both bully and multiple offer situations from at least a few realtors in the office. The National Bank of Canada seems to agree. It came out with a report said that The ratio of Toronto house listings compared with monthly sales has moved back into long-term balance, limiting the potential for significant further price corrections in the region. The report (published early September) goes on to indicate that the ratio of listings to sales were finally in balance and had been for some time, comapred to the April market highs which clearly favoured sellers. This report gives more credence to what CP agents seems to be experiencing. More information on that report here. Once the mid-month data comes in, we'll have a better indication of exactly where the market is. Chris feels we have enough data to indicate that we've hit the bottom of the market lows. 

 

HOUSING SHORTAGE

The Toronto Star reported that Mayor Tory and the Minister of Housing announced that it's moving forward on creating 2000 market-rent and affordable rental housing units. Based around surplus lands (in the West-Donlands) that the province intends to sell, developers anticipate paying less for these lands due to the developments being used for affordable housing and the city intends to waive the tax levies associated with the property, which would amount to just under $28M. Of the first phase of development (approx. 600 units), 30% will be allocated for affordable housing; renting at 80% or below the average rental price in the city (about $1,600). The reality however is that the current waiting list for affordable housing is around 181,000, and critics like Kenneth Hale, director of legal service with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, said that most families may not even be able to afford those units. Chris feels this isn't money well spent. We'd be curious as to your thoughts!

 

RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT CHANGES

New guidelines to the Residential Tenancies Act continue to roll out. Among them are changes to how landlords deal with termination notice to tenants and how that might affect buyers of these properties. For any existing landlord, or purchasor of a property with an existing tenant, temination of occupancy is required after 60 days of being served an N12 (Notice of Termination) form; where the termination date can't precede the last day of a fixed term tenancy. However, the guideline states, After being given the notice, the tenant is allowed to terminate the tenancy at an earlier date by giving give the landlord ten days written notice. Effectively, this means that a propsective buyer may forfeit their last month's rent if provisions in the agreement of purchase and sale have not provided for it's payment on closing day. Fortunately, we've drafted such a clause at CP so clients can feel better about those situations. 

For more clarification on any of the above information, please get in touch! theglennteam@chestnutpark.com or 416-925-9191.

 

Chestnut Park Real Estate Weekly Meeting Recap - Sept. 11, 2017

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Each week, The Glenn Team provide highlights from the weekly CP office meeting to provide a blanced overview of the Toronto and GTA markets and relevant issues affecting real estate markets. Meetings are overseen by Chestnut Park's CEO and Broker of Record, Chris Kapches, LLB, who provides weekly analysis and commentary. Additional input is provided by the CP Toronto office Realtors who give a day to day, real life perspective of the local markets.

This week's analysis of the market parallels much of what was covered in last week's post. However, there is one central theme that Chris drew upon concerning the housing market in Canada as a whole, and how Toronto and it's various districts mirrors it.

LEVELLING OFF
As evidenced in the chart below, we are finally getting evidence of a plateau in the GTA market, and there is an expectation that sales numbers and values will begin to climb by the end of September. The year over year negative variance is beginning to decline indicating volume is stabilizing. 

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DISTRICT DISTINCTIONS
There is a wide range of activity between various districts in both the 416 and the 905, with the average sale price down by about 1.2%. Chris feels this is due in large part to fewer detached properties in the $2M+ range. However, certain areas of the city, ie. E01, E02, and E03 have properties still selling over 100% of ask (ignoring any price discrepancies) with average days on market around the 14 day mark. The majority of sales in August were semi-detached (up 15.4% yr/yr) and condo apartments (up 21% yr/yr). Looking to the 905 districts, we see a decline in volume of almost 42% which also likely accounts for a drop in average price through the GTA. For both districts, the months of inventory (healthy around 3 months) is still quite low, being around 1.3 months. The sales to list ratio around 64.4% in the 416 as opposed to just under 59% in the 905 means that the 416 is moving faster and holding it's value better than in the 905. 

CONDOS ARE KING!
Another shocking stat to be aware of is the average sale price for condominium apartments, which just broke the $600,000 mark at $600,781 in August. Clearly the high demand for a more affordable product has made it less affordable overall. With supply levels being drastically low, we should expect this trend to continue unless some new inventory comes up soon. For some perspective, there are about half the number of condos currently listed as a year ago, down from around the 5000 mark. 

CANADIAN REAL ESTATE PERSPECTIVE
The big take away from all of this information is that Toronto appears to be on the rebound (though we'll have a clearer idea by the end of September), following suit to cities like Vancouver and Montreal. While Montreal hasn't seen the generous gains of the Toronto market, sales prices have been rising about 3% yr/yr and Vancouver is showing big gains in both volume and sales price (22.3% and 9.4% respectively). Economists point to the same factors for all 3 cities; job creation, consumer confidence and migration. All things being relatively equal, we should expect the Toronto market to be headed higher once the psychological effect of the new rental rules and tax legislation wears off. The bank of Canada's rate hike may play into that equation somewhat but should only affect most mortgages by about 2% on average. 

For more clarification on any of the above information, please get in touch! theglennteam@chestnutpark.com or 416-925-9191.

 

Chestnut Park REAL ESTATE Weekly Meeting Highlights

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To keep our clients better informed of the Toronto market, we're initiating this weekly instalment on our blog. The CP Weekly Meeting Highlights will summarize the most salient information from our weekly office meetings, headed by Real Estate veteran, lawyer and all around good guy, Chestnut Park's Broker of Record Chris Kapches.  We are doing this as we feel that the media is giving a very one-sided perspective of market activity and seems to focus on the GTA statistics rather than Toronto specifically. 

Psychology
Though this topic wasn't addressed at this week's meeting, it has been a central theme to discussions of market activity over the summer months. Measures taken by the government, coupled with already inflated prices, an over-abundance of inventory and negative news in the media have all combined to give us the market we're currently in. Buyers felt the market had further room to decline, while many sellers felt they should still be getting the prices we were experiencing up to mid-April; when prices were at their peak. Today, the media continued this trend as it posted declines of 40% in "Toronto" despite these numbers reflecting price declines throughout the entire GTA, which, includes areas like Richmond Hill and Mississauga. This lack of specificity has led many to believe similar declines have been experienced in the City of Toronto proper, when in fact, this just isn't the case. As an example, in July inventory levels were sighted as increasing by 30-40% when in fact the numbers in the City of Toronto were closer to 2%. Whether these skewed stats will continue to contribute to an already confounded public remains to be seen. 

Increases in Sales for August
As our meeting was held yesterday and full numbers were not yet published, Chris was looking at the market based on stats from August up to that point. Now having the official numbers for the month, we've seen a small increase in the number of sales through the month of August; . However, it appears as though we will continue to see a negative variance in sales prices and numbers for the month of August b/w 35 - 38% in the GTA. One thing that seems certain however is that the market appears to have stabilized from the large dip starting in June. The average sale across all housing types in the GTA, price came in at $732,292, which is actually a rise of 3% over August 2016, but a decline from July's average of $746,033. 

Negative Variances
Despite this plateau in price declines, we will continue to see negative variances throughout the next 12 months, simply because stats for declines are done year over year. If we can see a move to an annualized appreciation in values to the 5-7% mark, the market could be considered as being strong and healthy. 

Annualized Growth Rate
Chris has some added concerns regarding Canada's annualized rate of expansion (based on the last quarter) coming in at 4.5%, making Canada the fastest growing economy in the G7. How this impacts interest rates going forward is the big question, and how that rate hike will impact the housing market; the expectation would be a rate of 3.5%. This could effectively eliminate buyers at the low-end of the housing spectrum. Compounding that problem is that the most affordable housing product for that population is condominium apartments; a product that already has very little in terms of inventory. The increase is likely to come out in late October as opposed to this week. 

Too Soon To Tell
We will have a clearer picture of the market once numbers for September come in. From the response in the office, we are likely to see an increase in inventory in the Toronto (read 416) area over the month.

For more valuable information about the Toronto housing market, sign up for our monthly newsletter via the form on the right of this page. 

If you would like to know what houses like yours are selling for in your area, sign up for our free reports here. 

 

A New Design documentary comes to Netflix this week

A New Design documentary comes to Netflix this week

As reported by Houzz.com, Netflix is set to release a new documentary all about design. From architecture to industrial design and almost everything in between, the first 8 episodes will focus on professionals in the industry who've made a mark on modern design. 

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5 Things TO DO BEFORE YOU BUY Real Estate in Toronto

5 Things TO DO BEFORE YOU BUY Real Estate in Toronto

If you live in the GTA, or Canada, or even the U.S., you've likely noticed how booming the real estate market in Toronto has been over the last 2 years. With figures like a 22% rise in housing prices year over year, it's hard to gain some sanity amongst all the headlines. But what if you're still renting and aren't sure if you can or want to get into the market? What's  a realistic downpayment? Does purchasing a property even make sense at this stage and what should you be aware of? If you do nothing else, start with these 5 steps...

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CELEBRITY STYLE INSIDE TIFF FESTIVAL TOWER

Come and experience celebrity style on King West! This stylish and updated suite inside TIFF's Festival Tower features 1250 square feet of sleek and immaculate space.

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Step into a corner suite with the best layout in the building. Features include an upgraded Miele stainless steel kitchen, 9 ft. ceilings, a Control 4 home automation and security system and rich dark hardwoods throughout. Bright and spacious, the entire suite is modern and sleek to accommodate the young professional, down-sizer or new family. 

The split bedroom layout gives you access to spectacular views of the surrounding cityscape in almost all directions, the CN-Tower and Toronto's Lakefront .

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Take a relaxing swim in the spa-like indoor pool or get a quick work-out in the gym. If you don't care to venture outdoors, the private theatre, library and billiards room offer some great indoor R&R options. For the business professional, the conference room, and guest suites make business for the traveller easy and accessible. 

Finally, with immediate access to the class-A restaurants and live theatres of King St. along with the shortest walk to TIFF's LightBox theatre, you'll want for nothing. At $4450/month, this suite won't last long. Contact Susan Glenn or Jeremy Glenn for more information.

How First Time Home Buyers Can Buy Creatively.

Creativity is alive and well in Toronto. As house prices have continued to increase in Toronto and the GTA we've seen first time home buyers get more creative in finding ways to make it affordable to buy their first home. Often the down payment required and not the monthly payments are the stumbling block for first time buyers.

Many first time home buyers are getting cash gifts from their parents to put towards the down payment for their first house. Parents are giving their kids their inheritance now instead of waiting. This allows them to establish a foothold in the market and helps them begin to build up equity in a property that can later to be used to leverage a second home in the future.

Other first time buyers are purchasing a home with a basement apartment with the intent of renting it. This option could be used in addition to receiving a gift or as a way to create more income and help pay for the mortgage. This can also apply to rooms within the house, if you're a people person and don't mind sharing space. Any home buyers considering this option should be aware of fire codes and the legalities of such an undertaking. It also wise to read up on the responsibilities of a landlord as defined in the Residential Tenancies Act

Another creative idea is to look for duplexes or triplexes with friends in a similar financial position. If the house is set up properly, one person or family can live on the first floor and the others on the second floor and if available, third floor. Of course the basement is always an option depending on it's state and the apartment strategy could work in this case as well. This way, the residents can share the down payment in order to get into the market.

Finally, financial vehicles, such as RRSPs can be a good source of a down payment as a loan to yourself. Of course you have to pay this back in order to avoid paying income tax, but the idea is that your income will increase over time, so that you will be able to pay the loan back at a later date.

Necessity is the mother of invention and we're seeing plenty of inventive ideas. If you've got some ideas for getting creative in this tight Toronto Real Estate market, we'd love to hear yours.

Susan Glenn

CHESTNUT PARK TORONTO MARKET REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 2016

New mortgage rules have been put in place to try to tame the continued rise in house prices, and dwindling inventory in both Toronto and the GTA. We'll likely have to wait until at least November to see what impact these measures will have on a market that's already dwindling in it's supply (about 1.3 - 1.6 months). As this infographic shows, the market remains bullish and shows little sign of slow down at this point.

JUST LISTED! 37 FARNHAM AVE. - $2,199,000

37 Farnham Ave. Toronto listed with The Glenn Team Chestnut Park $2,199,000

We've just listed a fantastic property in the central core of Toronto. 37 Farnham Ave. is a detached, 4 bedroom home featuring an open design, modern accents and a finished basement including a walk-out to the back yard and a nanny suite.

This home is perfect for the busy, growing family wanting access to the downtown lifestyle without having to compromise on space or location. You're a short walk to all of the shops and restaurants on Yonge St., TTC access at either Summerhill or St. Clair, parks, gyms and much more. The fabulous back yard offers 3 decks and ample space with a wonderful view of the city. 

A combination of classic charm and modern design in the heart of the city. Architectual plans have already been drawn up to expand the 2nd and 3rd floors. 

Please contact either Susan or Jeremy today to see this fantastic piece of Toronto Real Estate before it's gone. 

Redefining Luxury

 Redefining Luxury

To me luxury is something that you don’t have to scream about because you can see it and feel it. It starts with a creative, unique design that is executed with quality workmanship and the finest materials and attention to the smallest details. The luxury is reflected in the pride that was taken in creating the “art form” whatever it might be. Whether you are talking about a purse, a dress, a pair of shoes or a new condo project, they’re all a form of art.

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