Toronto Real Estate Board Update: GTA Resale Housing Continues Steady Pace

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) resale housing market continued at a moderate but healthy pace throughout the first half of June, Toronto Real Estate Board President Maureen O’Neill announced today.

Prices continued their upward trend in the first half of this month. The GTA average price is currently $398,542, up four per cent over the $384,576 average from the same timeframe a year ago and up 11 per cent from the $358,648 recorded at mid-June 2006.

In the City of Toronto the current average price is $439,469, up three per cent over the $424,888 average a year ago and up 14 per cent over the $386,960 average in the first half of June 2006.

In the 905 Region the average price is $371,686 up four per cent from the $357,359 average a year ago and up 10 per cent from the $338,578 recorded at mid-June 2006.

In the City of Toronto 1,733 sales took place to mid-June 2008. This represents a 15 per cent decrease compared to the 2,045 properties sold a year ago but a two per cent increase over the 1,690 transactions in the first half of June 2006. A different story emerges when you compare the first half of June 2007 before the Toronto Land Transfer Tax went into effect to the same period in June 2006, a period showing a 21 per cent increase in sales.

“With 4,374 transactions in the first two weeks of this month, sales in the GTA declined 14 per cent compared to the same timeframe a year ago when 5,074 properties were sold,” said Ms. O’Neill. “However, compared to the first half of June 2006 when 4,074 properties changed hands, this month’s activity is up seven per cent.

In the 905 Region, the scenario was similar. In the first two weeks of June, 2,641 properties were sold. This represents a 13 per cent decline compared to the 3,029 homes sold in the first half of June 2007 but an 11 percent increase over the 2,384 properties sold at mid-June 2006. When you compare the first half of June 2007 to the same period in June 2006, sales increased by 27 per cent.

Certain communities including Riverdale, West Agincourt, Caledon and Richmond Hill South experienced strong activity in the first half of this month.

In Riverdale (E01) transactions increased 28 per cent compared to the first half of June 2007 driven by strong condominium apartment sales.

Condominium apartment transactions also drove West Agincourt (E05) to a 24 per cent increase in sales compared to the same timeframe a year ago.

In Caledon (W28) detached home transactions lead to a nine per cent increase in sales over the same period a year ago.

Richmond Hill South (N03) also experienced strong detached home sales, which resulted in a five per cent increase from mid-June 2007.

“With employment and interest rates holding steady and a 17 per cent increase in available listings compared to a year ago, it is an ideal time to take advantage of all that the market has to offer,” said Ms. O’Neill.

Source:  TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board)

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Toronto Real Estate Board is Calling on the City to Take Action on Affordable Housing

With the City of Toronto’s Affordable Housing Committee hearing input from the public about a proposed affordable housing strategy today, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is calling on the City to take action on affordable housing.

“Actions speak louder than words. REALTORS® are encouraged that the City is developing an affordable housing strategy, but recent City decisions, especially the implementation of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, directly contradict this initiative,” said Maureen O’Neill, President of TREB.

TREB submitted its input in a detailed written submission, which raised concerns about new and increasing City-imposed costs on home ownership including a land transfer tax, property taxes, development charges, garbage fees, and water rates. TREB’s submission calls on the City to use the forthcoming affordable housing strategy to reverse this trend.

“All levels of government, including the City of Toronto, should do their part to address affordable housing challenges. With the forthcoming strategy, the City can send a strong message that it supports home buyers,” said O’Neill.

The proposed strategy sets specific targets for the number of households to assist in various categories. TREB is calling on the City to increase the number of households that it is targeting to assist with achieving home ownership.

“Addressing affordable housing requires comprehensive solutions. Owning a home is the preferred option for most people. The City can, and should, include ambitious targets for home ownership in its affordable housing strategy,” said O’Neill. To help achieve ambitious home-ownership targets, TREB believes that City-imposed housing costs
should be reduced.

“The easiest way for the City to contribute to affordable housing solutions is to reduce the costs that it imposes on home buyers and owners. The Toronto Land Transfer Tax is one of the biggest costs faced by home buyers, and it should be rolled back,” said O’Neill. “Development charges also add costs for homebuyers; they should be kept fair and the City should consider targeted exemptions for affordable housing.”

Source:  TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board)

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Toronto Real Estate Board Update: Steady GTA Resale Housing Market in May

June 4, 2008 — The Greater Toronto Area resale housing market recorded 9,411 transactions in May, Toronto Real Estate Board President Maureen O’Neill announced today.

On a year-over-year basis the GTA average price increased four per cent to $398,148 in May from the May 2007 average of $382,787. Prices increased three per cent in the City of Toronto to $434,271 from $422,163 during the same period a year ago, while in the 905 Region there was a five per cent increase to $374,629 from $355,341 last May.

“Price gains show that real estate continues to be a solid investment for the consumer,” said Ms. O’Neill. “We are confident about the market because employment in the GTA continues to be strong and interest rates remain low. As long as consumers have the financial resources to buy homes and a variety of choices to manage carrying costs, the market should remain stable.”

“May’s sales figures represent a 16 per cent decline in the GTA from the record month a year ago when 11,146 sales were recorded,” said Ms. O’Neill. “More than 9,000 properties changing hands still represents considerable market activity.”

In the City of Toronto, there were 3,711 sales, down 19 per cent from last May’s 4,578 sales and down 6 per cent from May 2006. In the 905 Region, 5,700 transactions were recorded, which represents a 13 per cent decline from the 6,568 sales during the same period a year ago but up 4 per cent from May 2006.

“The Toronto Land Transfer Tax has been in effect for four months and the decline in sales has been running for the same time period,” said Ms. O’Neill. “We’re keeping a close watch on the effect of this new tax.”

Two specific areas North of Toronto experienced increased sales activity in May. In Uxbridge (N16) sales were up 10 per cent, while Stouffville (N12) saw a 12 per cent increase in sales, driven mainly by detached home transactions.

Source: TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board)

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