In an announcement late last week, the British Columbia Real
Estate Association indicated an increase in the province’s home
sales numbers and market valuation in September.
The BCREA figures showed that a total of 8,340 residential unit
sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service last month,
representing a 9.9% year-over-year increase.This is despite a 13%
year-to-date decline in home sales, down to 81,608 units.
Meanwhile, total sales value amounted to $5.8 billion, up by
30.2% from September 2016.The average MLS residential price stood
at $693,774, having increased by 18.5% from the same time last
On a seasonally adjusted basis, B.C.residential sales grew by
almost 5% from August, according to BCREA chief economist Cameron
“Total active listings on the market continue to trend at
10-year lows in most B.C.regions, limiting unit sales and pushing
home prices higher,” Muir stated, as quoted by the Vancouver
However, Muir cautioned that “while the economic fundamentals
support elevated housing demand, rising home prices are eroding
affordability, particularly for first-time buyers.”
The results of a survey by Royal LePage came out on the same day
as the release of the BCREA’s numbers.The study found the median
price of a condominium rose by 17.6% from September 2016 to
$622,392, while the cost of a two-storey
The Scarborough subway extension doesn’t seem to generate much
support outside of Toronto’s eastern suburbs and City Hall, but one
Durham Region brokerage owner believes that Toronto’s most
immediate eastern suburb is the right place for the city’s next
below-grade transit project.
Dan Plowman, owner of Dan Plowman Team Realty Inc., believes
Scarborough is the right place to build a subway extension because
it will service all of Durham Region – and, in the process, put
property values on an upward trajectory.
“Scarborough is already growing, but I know for a fact there’s
already talk of people buying near where the subway is supposed to
go simply because of the subway,” said Plowman.“There’s already a
frenzy.When you bring something on this magnitude to an area, you
will increase property values.”
He added that Scarborough still has more developable land than
Toronto does, and the result would homes sprouting en masse around
a subway line.
“You have to look at areas that came after subway stops,” he
said.“You’d see the homes increased drastically after the
infrastructure came into play.You already had massive growth in
Scarborough, and there’s still a lot more land than downtown
pockets and it will fill up.”
Toronto is a world-class city with a world-class skyline – not
to mention world-class gridlock
Credit unions have been chomping at the bit to offer
alternatives to Ontario’s payday loan stores, but the current
regulatory regime is hindering their ability to exhibit new
products, according to a top official of a public policy
In a contribution piece for the Financial Post, Cardus
program director Brian Dijkema stated that payday loan providers
fulfill a valuable role as they address the needs of the consumer
segment called ALICE—Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, and
“More than two-thirds of ALICEs earn less than $50,000 per
year.And while payday lenders’ reputation for being the somewhat
shifty cousins of banks is not entirely undeserved, they
nonetheless provide a real and needed service to people who, for a
variety of reasons, can’t or don’t have the cash to meet their
needs,” Dijkema wrote.
These shops offer extremely-short-term loans (less than 62 days)
for amounts less than $1,500 at grossly elevated interest rates
(currently at 657% on an annualized basis on the average 10-day
“And that has consequences.Payday loans can lead customers to
develop a habit — an addiction even — of using high-cost loans to
meet their needs,” Dijkema said.“We’ve known about the challenge
for a while, and the typical response has been to tighten already
strict regulations.The problem with this approach, however, is that
it simply raises
In the latest edition of the Royal LePage House Price Survey
released late last week, Toronto
posted notable gains in sales activity amid continuous price
In Q3 2017, real estate in the Greater Toronto Area began to
show signs of a recovery, “transitioning to a more balanced market
as price movement and consumer confidence stabilized,” Royal LePage
“The market-cooling effects stemming from the introduction of
the Ontario Fair Housing Plan have begun to wear off, leading to a
burst of demand being witnessed as many prospective homebuyers
re-entered the market with the expectation that home values will
only increase from here on out,” the firm noted, adding that this
development has put slight pressure on inventory levels as sellers
take their homes out of the market upon realizing that they can no
longer capitalize on overheated conditions.
“Though it is true that appreciation may continue to stagnate at
the higher-end of the market due to affordability issues,
strengthening consumer confidence has once again rekindled demand
across the Greater Toronto Area, leading to the end of a very
short-lived and measured softening within the region,” Royal LePage
Real Estate Services Limited chief operating officer Kevin Somers
Meanwhile, sales activity and consumer confidence across the
Greater Vancouver residential real
Vancouver’s condo market supply is lagging well behind demand,
putting a major premium on units.
Royal LePage’s Randy Ryalls
Randy Ryalls, general manager of Royal LePage Sterling Realty in
Port Moody, says one of the major reasons for the supply shortage
is that the single-family market segment remains out of reach for
most prospective homeowners, and developers haven’t been able to
inject the marketplace with enough completed projects.
“In the condo market, it’s been a chronic situation over the
years,” he said.“It takes a long time to get those units to market,
and there’s lots of demand for them, so the developers can’t seem
to keep up with the demand.”
“It’s a matter of years,” he continued.“If the developer buys a
piece of land, the process can easily take them years to get
approval, get the building up and get people moved into it.It’s a
Royal LePage House Price Survey shed light on the pressure
placed upon condo supply –and, by extension, buyers.
The report also revealed that the ‘move-up’ buying cohort,
defined as sellers able to make a pretty penny and move into the
single-family segment, are benefiting from Vancouver’s supply
constraints.However, many more buyers are priced out of entry-level
homes, namely condos, and, therefore, the market altogether.
Competition in Toronto’s condo rental market has become so
fierce that bidding wars are on the rise.
“Competition amongst renters [for condo rentals] is going to
remain pretty intense, and there’s not going to be a lot of
availability,” said Urbanation’s Vice President, Shaun
Hildebrand.“Rentals will have multiple bidders on them and the
situation won’t correct itself any time soon.We will need more
supply in the marketplace through higher condo completions as we
move into 2020, 2021, which will help provide relief to the market
for a period of time.”
But he also warned that the entire rental market will be in dire
straits unless purpose-built rental developments are supplied in
A lot of factors have conspired to put relentless pressure on
the rental market – the astronomical cost of homeownership,
stricter mortgage qualifications, high migration and the Fair
Housing Plan, among others – but none has been more pronounced than
the supply shortage. Moreover, the reintroduction of rent
control has provided tenants increased incentive to remain in their
dwellings, stunting the turnover rate.
“It was already happening before, because if you were an
existing tenant your landlord wouldn’t increase your rent by more
than a couple of percent, but on the open market those rents have
increased quicker, so that’s why people were staying
Work on what is set to become the tallest liveable building
nationwide has begun in Toronto last week, the structure’s
The One, touted by developer Foster + Partners as a
state-of-the-art building combining residential and commercial
spaces, is an 85-storey, 306-metre structure situated at the border
of the downtown area and the Yorkville neighbourhood.
The tower is designed as a “clearly articulated building” that
will offer commercial units at lower levels and residential
apartments at the higher floors.
“The structural frame is clearly expressed on the façade
creating a distinctive series of vertical, horizontal and diagonal
framing elements that are clad in a champagne bronze colour,”
Foster + Partners stated.“The building is further articulated with
the introduction of horizontal bands at regular intervals where
mechanical floors are located.By expressing the functions and its
distinctive structure, the building acquires a unique identity,
becoming an outstanding new addition to the Toronto skyline.”
“The residential floors are based on consistent 57 square-metre
(620-square-foot) planning modules, allowing for flexible
configurations throughout.The tower is topped by a series of duplex
penthouses, which have sweeping views across Lake Ontario and
beyond,” the developer added.
“The One is the final piece of the jigsaw in the tower cluster
at the Yonge and Bloor node – one of the most prominent
In its latest study, insolvency firm Hoyes, Michalos
&Associates revealed that the average unsecured debt of those
filing for insolvency in the Kitchener-Waterloo region and
Wellington County is $48,437, slightly lower than the Ontario
average of $52,634.
The report defined unsecured debt as credit card debt, unsecured
bank loans, income tax debt, and student loans.
The study added that while the average unsecured debt of those
who file for insolvency has decreased over the last few years, the
phenomenon remains largely driven by a changing housing market and
a downward trend in household income.
“The reason for that is people are getting into trouble and
having problems servicing their debt at lower levels,” co-owner
Doug Hoyes told CBC News.
“In August, only 6% of our clients actually owned a home at the
time they filed a bankruptcy or a proposal,” Hoyes added, noting
that this is the lowest level he has seen for that metric.
This proportion has slightly gone up since then, which Hoyes
attributed to falling house prices, especially considering the
recent interest rate hike.He stated that homeowners who hold large
unsecured debts seem to prefer filing for insolvency rather than
using their homes to repay these obligations, even in part.
“We’re going to keep a real close
Conventional economic factors including population, incomes
and borrowing costs accounted for less than half of the 40% surge
in Toronto home prices between 2010 and 2016, according to a Canada
Mortgage &Housing Corp.study obtained by Bloomberg through a
freedom of information request.
Supply constraints, and to a lesser extent speculation and
investment, drove most of the rest of the gains, although a lack of
high-quality data about the availability of land made firm
conclusions hard to draw.
The report detailed the “puzzling” dynamics of the Toronto
market and suggested factors other than demand are pushing prices
higher, leaving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau few options to ease
the affordability crisis.It may also mean more needs to be done to
promote supply and curb speculation, issues more readily dealt with
at the municipal level.
“While price increases in Vancouver have largely been supported
by economic fundamentals, a more puzzling result points to the
state of the Toronto market, where fundamentals haven’t been as
strong,” CMHC analysts wrote in the 134-page study prepared for
Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.
The report supported Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s
view that interest rates aren’t the best tool for dealing with
potential housing bubbles.CMHC found about three-quarters of
Vancouver’s price gains were tied to fundamentals, versus 40% in
Toronto, suggesting the latter city
A Vancouver luxury condominium is stiffing pre-sale condo
purchasers with a 25% levy if they flip their units before
Purchasers of units at One Burrard Place, being built by Jim
Pattison Developments and Reliance Properties Ltd., once only had
to pay the developers a 1.5% fee to re-assign their units, however,
in recent weeks they’ve been forced to sign an amended agreement
contractually obligating them to pay a quarter of their resale
It is speculated that Vancouver’s surging price points have
whetted the appetites of developers, who want a bigger piece of the
pie.However, it’s also believed the reason is to curtail
speculation.Units at One Burrard Place went on sale in late 2015,
but the 53-storey luxury condominium won’t be complete until 2019,
and two years in prices have already climbed astronomically.
When sales opened, the price per square foot was in the
neighbourhood of $890, however, they’ve risen to about $1,250
today, according to the Vancouver Sun.
Jim Stovell of Reliance Properties told the Sun that the
inflated fee is designed to discourage speculators from flipping
units at One Burrard.He added that buyers are welcome to wait until
the units are completed, by which time the sale will be legally
binding and the 25% levy won’t apply.
Stovell also told the
Toronto’s housing prices have increased over two-fold since
the previous decade’s recession, despite September sales remaining
sluggish and home prices falling for the 4th straight month
(especially in the detached-home segment).
According to data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board
earlier this week, 6,379 homes were sold last month, declining by
35% from September 2016.
However, “consumer polling undertaken for TREB in the spring
suggested that buying intentions over the next year remain strong,”
Board president Tim Syrianos said in a statement, as quoted by
Benchmark prices fell 0.6% from August, bringing declines since
May to 8%, according to the Board’s data.Despite this, home values
were still up 12% from a year earlier.
The September drop was the smallest since the slump began.New
listings were up 9.4% from a year earlier to 16,469, leaving the
sales-to-new listings ratio at 39%, a level economists consider to
be between a balanced and a buyers’ market.
The correction is primarily in Toronto’s detached market, where
average prices exceeded $1 million.Single family detached homes are
down 0.6% in September and 11% since May.Condominium prices have
fallen just 1.5% from their peak, and were little changed in
The average price for all property types rose 2.6% from a year
earlier to $775,546.That’s up 6% from
Residential property sales in the Greater Vancouver area shot
up by 25.2% on a year-over-year basis last month, a development
that the region’s real estate board attributed to the sustained
strength of the apartment and townhouse segments.
In its latest report, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
(REBGV) stated that the region’s September sales numbers (which
totalled 2,821) were 13.1% above the 10-year sales average for that
“Our detached homes market is balanced today, while apartment
and townhome sales remain in sellers’ market territory,” REBGV
president Jill Oudil said.
Out of a total of 9,466 homes currently listed for sale in
Vancouver’s MLS® as of September, 5,375 of these were detached,
attached and apartment properties, representing a 12%
year-over-year increase and a 26.6% climb from August 2017.
The sales-to-active listings ratio across all residential asset
classes last month was 29.8%.By property type, apartments and
townhomes clearly dominated at 60.4% and 42.3%, respectively.In
contrast, the ratio for detached homes was only 14.6%.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all
residential properties in the REBGV’s jurisdiction was $1,037,300,
rising by 10.9% from September 2016.
Apartment property sales increased by 19.1% on an annual basis
in September, up to 1,451.The benchmark price of an apartment unit
stood at $635,800, growing
Mississauga has become the GTA’s largest condo hub after
Toronto, and its torrid pace of residential, infrastructure and
amenity development are conspiring to make it ripe for investment.
In tandem with the Places to Grow Act, Mayor Bonnie Crombie has
recalibrated the city’s growth plan to quickly turn it into an
urban hub.Mississauga’s city centre already has a dazzling skyline,
and it’s expecting 23 new mixed-use condominium towers.
Major builders like Daniels, Amacon, Camrost and Solmar all have
major projects going up there that promise to bring life to what’s
been a sleepy downtown.However, without a crucial piece of
infrastructure, some of these developments might never have been
“The timing is largely a result of the LRT breaking ground next
year,” Crombie told CREW.“It is 20-kilometres long with 22 stops,
beginning in Port Credit, and then looping around downtown where
there will be four stops.It will pull into the transit terminal –
the second-biggest in the GTA – then go into Brampton.”
The city centre in Canada’s six-largest city has long been built
around Square One Shopping Centre, which just received a major
facelift and extension, but there are newer arrivals.Sheridan
College has two campuses in or near the city centre, with a third
in planning stages, and University of Toronto Mississauga isn’t
The Victoria Real Estate Board saw fewer properties sold in
its region last September, the association announced on Monday.A
total of 640 properties exchanged hands that month, 18.1% fewer
than the 781 sold in September 2016.
We can certainly feel the difference in the current market when
we compare to last year’s record breaking numbers.Last year the
pace of the market was intense, there was a lot of pressure on
pricing and demand,” said president Ara Balabanian.
The market’s pace is trending very slowly towards more balanced
conditions, she added.“Recently we’ve seen overall price increases
level out, which can indicate slightly less demand, and inventory
The Victoria Real Estate Board is one of 11 real estate boards
across B.C.The areas it served includs Greater Victoria from Sooke
to Sidney, up-Island as far as Cherry Point Road in Cobble Hill,
and the Gulf Islands.
There were 1,976 active listings for sale in the association’s
listing service at the end of September, 3.1% higher than a month
before, but 4.1% less than the 2,061 listings in end-September
2016.The benchmark value for a single family home there stood at
$823,100, 10.9% higher than in September 2016.
“Simply because we’ve seen sales drop from last year is not dire
or unexpected news for our local
The provincial government is actively looking at ways to
implement medium density housing to combat the affordability issue
plaguing Toronto, which could present an investment opportunity in
a previously untapped market.
Minister of Housing Peter Milczyn and Minister of Municipal
Affairs Bill Mauro both addressed media ahead of a Housing Forum
event, during which “missing middle” housing – defined as row
homes, townhouses, multiplexes and anything else considered medium
density – was a topic of discussion.Building industry insiders and
government believe medium density can help alleviate the downward
pressure on families created by astronomical housing prices, as
well as contribute to developing more mixed-use,
“In May, we released an updated growth plan for the Greater
Golden Horseshoe and Greenbelt,” said Mauro.“These updated plans
will guide us as we build thriving, livable, and vibrant
communities with a wide variety of housing options for households
of all sizes, ages and incomes.Complete communities that are
mixed-use, walkable, transit supportive and that make more
efficient use of land and infrastructure.To do this we need an
effective and efficient planning appeals system in place.”
Minister Milczyn says that while the foreign buyer tax brought
stability to an out-of-control market, more must be done.The
province will begin opening up underused surplus lands it owns to
develop 2,000 rental units downtown.The government also wants