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.
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?
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