Toronto’s detached home sales in June helped offset notably slower activity in the condo sector, according to the latest data collected by TREB.
The city’s detached housing segment enjoyed a 19% year-over-year increase in sales last month, which made up for the condo market’s 3.2% decline during the same time frame.
Lower condo sales stemmed from a weaker Toronto core, which suffered a 5.6% decline in activity last month.This negated a 2.7% increase in the GTA.
Overall Toronto sales went up by 10% annually in June, for a total of 8,860 homes changing hands.TREB noted that the market continued to labour under low supply and red-hot prices, however
New listings dropped minutely by just 0.4%, ending up at a mere 15,816 homes for sale in Toronto.The market’s benchmark housing price grew by 3.6% year-over-year to $798,500, and the average sales price increased by 3% to $832,703.
Condos remained among the most desirable property types, posting the largest annual price growth at 7.5%.The benchmark price of the asset class stood at $539,500 in June.
“Buyers started moving off the sidelines in the spring,” TREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer stated, as quoted by
Edmonton real estate investment volume grew for the third straight year in 2018, according to a new analysis by Altus Group.
Total investment in the city’s properties grew to $3.94 billion last year, “despite a national struggle to balance supply and demand in real estate,” Altus noted.“This level of investment lead to robust gains in the Industrial sector and the Apartment sector in 2018.”
Investment property sales also grew by 37% in 2018, with the industrial sector contributing the largest volume at $878 million across 220 transactions.
“Demand for new office and industrial space is expected to stay strong over the next year,” Altus stated.
The office and retail sectors had generous gains last year, with the office market enjoying a $149-million increase and the retail segment having a $141-million growth.
“However, the office vacancy rate increased slightly to above 15% in 2019, with continued demand for new modern spaces in the downtown region.”
Residential land investment also accelerated by 18%, while the apartment segment saw the largest annual increase in terms of dollar volume, growing by 69% to reach $849 million.
Late last month, a study by Marcus &Millichap noted
Investors should take note—resale condominiums are driving Ottawa’s residential real estate market.
According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB), there were 2,105 June sales, up 2% over June 2018.Resale condos are, however, where the growth becomes noticeable.
“Increasing by 8.3%, condo resales are the driving force for the upturn in units sold in the first half of 2019,” Dwight Delahunt, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, said in a statement.“Combined residential and condo year-to-date sales of 9,876 show a 1.8% increase from June 2018.”
Over the last 10 years in Ottawa, condos have appreciated 34%, and as Delahunt notes, it isn’t a speculative market.Rather, economic fundamentals appear to be the main driver.
“This is not a speculation market.Going forward, we anticipate there will be high demand in the foreseeable future due to increasing population and strong employment in the area,” he said."We’re pleased to see all levels of government starting to address the supply-side issue, but we feel there is still work to be done.We will be watching the upcoming federal election closely to gain insight as to how the various parties intend on addressing attainable homeownership issues.”
According to OREB
Despite stronger sales on an annual basis, Victoria’s real estate market performance last month remained muted in the greater scheme of things.
Overall sales volume in June was 4.5% higher year-over-year, but was 12.7% below May 2019 levels.
“June has trended lower than May for the past few years and tends to signal the end of the active spring market,” Victoria Real Estate Board president Cheryl Woolley explained.“The summer months of July and August generally see less activity than the spring, as people’s attention shifts to vacation and away from real estate.This year, we have seen slightly more sales compared to June of last year.
“We have also seen one hundred fewer new listings enter the market this year, which continues to make a challenging market for buyers who are hoping for more options.”
Single-family homes sold the most in BC’s capital city in June, with transactions increasing by 10.4% annually.On the other hand, the condo sub-sector had a 6.1% decline during the same period.
The benchmark price of single-family properties in Victoria’s core fell by 4.3% year-over-year, ending up at $859,600.Condos’ benchmark value edged up by 2.97% to settle at $524,100.
Warning that the affordability situation has reached crisis levels, a new report by advocacy organization Generation Squeeze stated that Canadian millennials now need almost three decades to save enough money for home purchases.
“It’s an emergency… these are critical levels,” leading academic and Generation Squeeze founder Paul Kershaw told the Financial Post.“We’ve been sounding alarm bells in B.C.and across country.Affordability is a way bigger problem than we’ve been talking about.”
At current income levels, and assuming that 15% of pre-tax earnings are allocated to housing savings, today’s young adults and first-time buyers are estimated to take as much as 29 years to afford a home in Metro Vancouver.
This duration is fully eight years longer than the previous generation needed back in 1976, Generation Squeeze stated.
In the Greater Toronto Area, this demographic will need 21 years to save for a 20% down payment on an average-priced home.In Ottawa and Quebec, prospective buyers will have to run tight budget ships for 10 and 11 years, respectively.
Across Canada, millennials will need takes 13 years of full-time work to save for a home purchase.
These results dovetailed with the findings of
It is more likely than not that the Bank of Canada holds the interest rate at 1.75% on Wednesday, but there’s a growing chorus that believes it will decrease the rate before the end of the year.
“If we were only looking at domestic factors, we might think that the Bank would soon start to consider further rate hikes,” said Capital Economics’ Stephen Brown.“Economic growth is on track to outperform the Bank’s forecasts in the second quarter and core inflation has risen in recent months.But outside of Canada, trade tensions have grown, there are signs that U.S.GDP growth is slowing, and the Fed has signalled that it will soon cut rates.We suspect that the next move will be a cut.”
Dalhousie University’s Lars Osberg believes an interest rate cut is coming sooner rather than later.
“Sudden global trade softness,” he said.
However, neither a rate hike nor decrease is likely Wednesday because of headwinds from abroad, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s Alicia Macdonald.
“While some data suggests that the Canadian economy is indeed emerging from its recent slump, there remains a significant risk to the global economic outlook due to global
It will take a monumental market crash for home prices to come down—that isn’t likely to happen—so the time is nigh for Canadians to relinquish the stigma associated with renting.
“We do think of renters, too often, as a second-class neighbours and we use that second-class status to discourage having rental buildings in neighbourhoods that have typically been more oriented to single-family detached homes,” said Dr.Paul Kershaw, founder and lead researcher of Generation Squeeze, an advocacy organization for young Canadians.“We have to change that and recognize that renters are just as excellent neighbours as owners and recognize that many people’s kids are going to be renters for long periods of their lives, even if they’re lawyers, and recognize that things are changing.”
Among Generation Squeeze’s projects is We Rent, which endeavours to level the playing field between owners and renters.While most subsidies favour homeowners, renters have few, if any.
“We have policy goals and observe housing subsidies in place for homeowners—tax-free RRSP saves money to put into your down payment;you never have tax-sheltered money to put into your rent,” said Kershaw.“You have homeowners’ grants and the First-Time Home Buyer plan, not to mention the biggest
The Greater Toronto Area will see approximately 2.2 million square feet of new office space by the end of the year, but this would not be nearly enough to accommodate the robust hunger for the asset class.
According to a new market analysis by Marcus &Millichap, a significant portion of this demand is stemming from the region’s tech sector.
The rapid growth of this segment, along with Toronto’s enviable status as a premier tech destination, has magnetized revenue-rich tenants.
“An open immigration policy and mature tech ecosystem have national and international firms adding to their workforce in Toronto,” Marcus &Millichap explained in its report.
During Q1 2019, more than 50,000 new jobs were added to GTA’s workforce, “many at the high-tech companies that have been driving office absorption.”
“The metro has become increasingly popular as a major hub for tech and artificial intelligence, leading companies such as Shopify, Amazon, Microsoft and many others to announce plans to bring on more workers and take up additional office space.”
“Large supply influx brings more options to Toronto,” the study added.“The vast majority of construction is occurring downtown, where roughly 8.6 million square feet is
Official measures have placed Montreal’s overall rental vacancy rate at 1.9%, considerably below the 2.8% seen last year.
Scarcity is even more acute in apartments offering three bedrooms or more, with a vacancy rate of just around 0.8%.
These numbers continue the trend of rental market tightness in Canada’s largest markets.An estimated 31,000 homes across Canada were used for Airbnb rental so frequently in 2018 that they have become essentially unavailable for long-term rentals, according to new research by McGill University.
This sum is sufficient to accommodate everyone in North Vancouver, the researchers noted.This is also equivalent to approximately 1.5% of Canada’s purpose-built rental housing.
Montreal, together with Toronto and Vancouver, accounted for 40% of the aforementioned 31,000 homes, and represented nearly half of Canada’s average daily listings last year.
These significant limitations in supply have proven to be major market influences.As much as 130 households still needed places to move to as of July 1.
“People who don’t have a good income have no place to go because there’s just no affordable housing in Montreal right now,” Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU) spokesperson Véronique Laflamme told Global News
Construction employment losses accompanied a noticeably lower volume of housing starts in May.
The most recent edition of the ADP Canada National Employment Report, which measures changes in total Canadian non-farm payroll employment, stated that the construction industry lost 11,223 jobs during that month.
This was the first decline for that month over the past 3 years, and represented a vast majority of the 16,020 employment losses nationwide in May.
“It’s also the largest decline over the past seven years.The shift is something worth watching,” Better Dwelling wrote in its analysis of the report.“Declines aren’t unusual, but typically employment rises in May.”
Data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation indicated that nationwide starts for that month went down to 201,983 units, from the 205,717 in April.
The Crown corporation attributed the number to weaker construction activity in the single-family segment.
“The national trend in housing starts decreased in May as a result of continuing decline in the trend for single starts as well as a decline in the trend of multi-unit starts that follows gains in this segment in recent months, in urban areas,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan
Affordability remains a challenge in the Toronto and Vancouver metropolitan areas, but the safest investment bet might not even be within Canada’s borders.
“A lot of people don’t realize that in the U.S.we’re getting the lowest interest rates we’ve had in the last three years,” said Alain Forget, RBC Bank’s director of business development in the U.S.“At one point, they were above 4%, but now they’ve fallen.The challenges in key markets like Vancouver, most of B.C., and the GTA are affordability and, additionally, the mortgage stress test.The tighter mortgage lending restrictions affect the market from a diversification standpoint, but a lot of markets in the U.S., like Florida and Arizona, are affordable for Canadians.
“And in the U.S., we don’t have a stress test.”
Moreover, a copacetic ROI in Toronto and Vancouver is becoming as cumbersome as passing the stress test is for an investor keen on portfolio diversification.
In Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, located in southwest Florida, there were a total of 12,622 sales during the 12-month period ending May 31, 2019, which is a 4.7% rise over the same period a year earlier.Available inventory hit 7,698 units, which was up 11.8%
A large-scale green living community by Le Quartier-Forestia will soon begin construction in Greater Montreal, situated at the Boisbriand suburb in the intersection of highways 13 and 640.
The development will be offering 53 hectares of multi-use space in the region.Approximately 37% of its land area will be devoted to parks, walking trails, bike lanes, vehicular infrastructure, and other design aspects that promote sustainability.
“Le Quartier-Forestia aims to create a quality living environment based on the principles of Transit Oriented Development (TOD), sustainable development and synergy with the surrounding agricultural territory,” president Raymond Lessard said.
Lessard added that the project will serve as a considerable buffer for urban sprawl.He assured that every facet of the project will adhere to the city government’s development priorities on the North Shore.
The main feature will be a dense, multi-use neighbourhood, which will be designed in conjunction with several green spaces around two main hubs – one allocated to civic services and facilities, and the other dedicated to sports and leisure.
Urban agriculture, and accessibility of related facilities, will also be a core guiding principle in the project’s design.Le Quartier-Forestia will be collaborating with non-profit group Terr’O
In the four months since Vancouver’s new real estate regulations came into effect on September 2018, a little over 300 homes have returned to the market’s long-term rental supply, after previously being used as full-time Airbnb units.
The new study by McGill University researchers asserted that this volume was sufficient to nudge up Vancouver’s vacancy rate, which fell to as low as 0.7% in 2016.
Furthermore, if all 1,800 homes classified as full-time Airbnb listings prior to September 2018 go back to the rental segment, vacancy will increase by an estimated 1%.
Co-author David Wachsmuth stated that these figures attest to the volatility of the province’s housing situation.By many metrics, British Columbia is Canada’s hottest residential real estate market at present.
“The housing affordability and rental vacancy stats is systematically so much worse in B.C., including in the smaller communities, compared to the rest of the country,” Wachsmuth told Star Vancouver, adding that governments at higher levels should take responsibility and handle the problem, instead of just leaving municipalities on their own to manage the situation.
“If you look at the rest of the (census metropolitan area), the full-time listings have accelerated,” Wachsmuth
With a $40 billion LNG (Liquefied, Natural Gas) export facility being built in Kitimat, British Columbia, real estate investors have been presented with a golden opportunity for returns on their investment seldom seen anymore in the Canadian market.
Kitimat, already named the top western Canadian city for real estate investment because of the LNG terminus and pipeline, is getting a boost from Riverbrook Estates, a master-planned community being developed by Kerkhoff Construction with 47 homes slated for development during the first phase alone.
To learn more about one of Canada’s hottest real estate investments, click here.
The foundation of sagacious real estate investing is robust knowledge of market fundamentals, and with the largest private sector investment in Canadian history, Kitimat has emerged as a diamond in the rough, says Jason Pender, a partner in Riverbrook Estates and owner and CEO of JV Development Group.
“It’s the best place to invest in Canada, and the reasons behind that are LNG is the biggest private sector investment in a single project and it’s in Kitimat where the population is 8,000,” said Pender.“With an estimated 7,500 to 10,000 construction workers coming over the next
Amid sustained demand, the accelerated pace of commercial development across Canada raises an important question:Are places dedicated for culture and the arts worth sacrificing for more industrial space in Canadian cities?
The phenomenon has become especially apparent in Vancouver.Strathcona Business Improvement Association executive director Theodora Lamb recently described the city’s situation as swiftly approaching “crisis levels.”
“Smaller tenants like artists and community services can no longer afford to keep their Strathcona roots, and the artist’s community is not immune to that,” Lamb explained, as quoted by the Vancouver Sun.“It’s losing what feeds the community, is what I would describe it as.”
Former senior planner for the City of Vancouver Michael Gordon agreed that the vigorous pace of industrial development has made space for independent artists rare.
“They really can’t afford to be in areas where condos are being sold,” Gordon said.
Over the past few years, Low Tide Properties has rapidly purchased assets in East Vancouver in pursuit of its goal to invest in “emerging neighbourhoods” and own $1.5 billion in the city’s real estate by 2026.
Among these acquisitions is an industrial space at 1305 Powell Street, which is