And a glorious happy Friday to you all!
It has been a busy week – Close friends have had babies, are getting married, moved into new homes, received job promotions and the list goes on and on. All positive to say the least.
Won’t you be my neighbour? 45 Yorkleigh Ave – I will be hosting an open house this weekend both Saturday and Sunday between 2-4pm
I have been hired to sell the family home that is situated across the street from our own home. If anyone is considering a charming spacious home on a large lot in Central Etobicoke and would love (or not mind J) being neighbours with me please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email and I can provide more details.
Summary 45 Yorkleigh – A loving family 4 bedroom home available for the first time in almost 50 years. Lot is 72’ x 145’ with in-ground swimming pool and a large yard.
The link below will bring up the listing details and virtual tours.
Virtual Tour – 45 Yorkleigh Ave
In the GTA Market
TORONTO, September 16, 2014 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,297 sales through the TorontoMLS system during the first 14 days of September 2014. This result represented an 8.3 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2013. Year-to-date sales through September 14, at 68,731, were up by 6.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.
“The sales result for the first two weeks of September showed strong growth for most major home types, indicating that home buyers continue to find homes that meet their needs and budgets. With a lot of buyers active in the marketplace relative to the number of homes for sale, average selling prices were up strongly for most low-rise and high-rise home ownership options,” said Mr. Etherington.
The average selling price for September mid-month sales was $555,890, which represented an increase of 8.1 per cent compared to the average price for the first two weeks of September 2013. Average price growth was strongest for single-detached and semi-detached homes. The average year-to-date selling price was up by 8.5 per cent year-over-year to $562,244.
“Average prices in the low-rise market segments, including singles, semis and towns, continued to experience the impact of strong competition between buyers. It is also clear that while the condo apartment market segment remains comparatively better supplied, there are enough buyers relative to available condo listings to prompt very strong average price growth for this type of ownership housing as well,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Average Canadian house price rises 5.3% to $398,618 Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:18:43 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca
(8.1% Increase in Toronto)
The average price of a Canadian home has increased by more than five per cent in the past year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
The realtor group says the average home sold went for $398,618 in August.
But for the first time in years CREA is forecasting a decline in house sales next year, and a price increase of a mere 0.7 per cent, saying the market will peak in the fall of this year.
As has been the case for several years, CREA says hot markets in Vancouver and Toronto are skewing the national average higher.
Toronto home prices increased almost eight per cent and Vancouver prices rose more than five per cent in the past 12 months.
Calgary’s market is also booming, with prices up by almost 10 per cent in the past year.
Taking the two cities out of the calculations, the average Canadian home is worth $324,738, up about four per cent in the past year.
The volume of homes being sold is also higher, according to the realtor group. It says sales activity rose by 4.3 per cent in the first eight months of 2014 compared to last year, still in line with the 10-year average.
In a separate release, the realtor group also ratcheted its sales forecast for the year higher up to 475,000. That’s 3.8 per cent higher than 2013’s final figure, and up from the 463,400 that CREA was expecting in June.
But while prices are rising, they’re not rising as quickly, the agency says.
Capital Economics analyst David Madani says the winding-down is already underway. “Certainly the market is softening in Quebec and east of Quebec, the Atlantic provinces. Alberta is the only province that is if anything really strengthening right now,” he told CBC.
There are three big problems. First, that home prices are way out of whack relative to people’s incomes. Second, there’s too much building going on. And third, consumer debt are high and vulnerable to rising rates.
Madani has predicted a slowdown in the Canadian housing market for the past three years, without being right. But he`s still at it.
“A market correction of the housing market of up to 25 per cent – that will be spread over a few years,” he said.
CREA raises 2014 home sales forecast – Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:10:04 GMT | By The Canadian Press, thecanadianpress.com
OTTAWA – The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its home sales forecast Monday on the back of stronger than expected sales in recent months following a slow start to the year.
The association said sales through its Multiple Listing Service are now expected to total 475,000 homes for 2014, up from a June prediction of 463,400.
The new forecast would mean sales would be up 3.8 per cent compared with 2013 and 2.5 per cent higher than the previous forecast.
Regionally, CREA said the five provinces from Ontario and the West will show gains while the five eastern provinces will show declines.
The association said the frigid winter delayed the start to the 2014 spring home buying season and helped boost sales in May and June.
“Although this boost was and still is expected to be transitory, sales have yet to show signs of cooling as activity strengthened slightly further over the summer,” CREA said in its updated forecast.
“The increase reflects continuing strength in home sales among large urban markets that initially drove the spring rebound together with gains in markets where activity had previously struggled to gain traction. Lowered mortgage interest rates supported this trend.”
CREA said British Columbia is expected to lead the country with a gain of 11.9 per cent over 2013 sales, followed by Alberta with a gain of 7.7 per cent. Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario are expected to post small increases in the range of one to two per cent.
Meanwhile, Quebec and New Brunswick are expected to post slightly lower sales this year, falling about one per cent compared with 2013. Nova Scotia is expected to fall 3.9 per cent, while Newfoundland and Labrador is forecast to be slip 5.2 per cent.
TD Bank economist Diana Petramala said the Canadian housing market has defied expectations so far this year but she still expects it to cool from its current levels.
“With home prices continuing to rise above incomes, affordability will become an obstacle to housing demand once interest rates do eventually begin to rise,” Petramala wrote in a note to clients.
“In addition, there remains a record number of new homes currently under construction, some of which are likely to end up on the existing home market, although construction delays suggest it may happen later than expected.”
The higher forecast came as CREA said sales through its MLS system in August were up 2.1 per cent compared with a year ago as sales were up in just over half of all local markets, led by Vancouver and Calgary. Compared with July, sales were up 1.8 per cent. The national average price for homes sold in August was $398,618, up 5.3 per cent from a year ago. Excluding Vancouver and Toronto, the average price was $324,738, up 3.9 per cent from a year ago.
The national sales-to-new listings ratio was 55.5 per cent in August, up from 53.9 per cent in July, within the 40 and 60 per cent band that CREA uses to mark a balanced market.
The number of months of inventory stood at 5.8 months at the end of August, down from six months in May, June and July.
However, national figures don’t reveal the full picture of what is going on in housing markets across the country, BMO chief economist Doug Porter noted.
Twelve of the 26 major markets tracked by CREA reported lower sales compared with a year ago including double-digit drops in Halifax, Sudbury, Ont., and Winnipeg.
“The level of sales is the best in over four years, and is closing in on the pre-recession highs reached in 2007. Meantime, the seemingly calm exterior on sales and prices masks a deepening divide between large cities and small, and West and East,” Porter wrote in a report.
He noted that the market remains healthy and well balanced overall, albeit with regional disparities.
“The major potential flashpoint is that prices in the three hottest cities-Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver-are rising faster than family income, further straining affordability,” Porter said.
“The persistent strength in these cities is no doubt what prompted the Bank of Canada to stop talking about the inevitably of a soft landing for Canadian housing, and to suggest that the sector has been stronger than they expected. But we would reinforce the message that talk about the ‘hot housing market’ is really only a three-city story.”
Homeownership gap between starter, dream residence widens Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:40:14 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca
It’s getting harder for young families to move up from their first home to a mid- or higher-priced one because of the widening gap between starter and dream homes, according to a new report from CIBC World Markets.
In already expensive housing markets such as Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa, the mid- to high-priced homes are rising in price more quickly than cheaper homes, CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal says after studying housing data from across Canada.
Most Canadian couples assume they’ll start out in a smaller home, or possibly a condo, sometime in their 20s or 30s, then move up to a larger home as their family grows, Tal says.
“However, there are many indications that this cycle that dominated the Canadian housing market for decades is breaking,” Tal says.
In the lower-price ranges, the Canadian housing market has cooled, in part because of measures taken by the federal government to make it harder to qualify for a mortgage. An abundant supply of new condos also prevents prices from rising quickly in this segment of the market, the CIBC report said.
But there is limited supply of mid- to higher-priced single family homes and that has led them to rise in price more quickly, especially in the past 18 months, the report said.
While Canadian housing prices rose an average of five per cent in 2014, the gains are assymetrical, with prices falling in cities such as St. John’s, Victoria and Quebec City.
In Toronto, the price of homes in the $300,000 to $500,000 range rose, on average, about 28 per cent between the first quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2014. However, homes priced between $800,000 and $1.2 million jumped over 40 per cent, and homes between $1.2 million and $1.6 million shot up more than 50 per cent in the same period.
In Vancouver, homes that sold for $500,000 to $800,000 have increased by only a few percentage points, whereas homes priced at $1.1 million and higher have jumped by close to 18 per cent.
“Regardless of what your starting point is, and by how much your property has appreciated, the desired move-up target is getting further and further out of reach,” Tal said.
CIBC’s report finds sales of units at the low-to-mid price range have fallen since 2010, sales in mid- to-high price range rose modestly, sales in the upper end of the market advanced rapidly, accounting for the steeper run-up in prices.
With a dream home out of their price range, more Canadians are choosing to renovate. Over the past five years, spending on home renovations as a share of total residential investment averaged close to 46 per cent, the largest on record. Tal doesn’t expect the pressure on mid-range housing prices to let up, because of limited supply and says affordability is worsening as a result.
Lessons from a condo bankruptcy by: Mark Weisleder
The bankruptcy of a proposed condo development and the arrest of a prominent real estate lawyer last month left many buyers potentially out of deposits totalling millions of dollars. It shouldn’t have happened.
When you buy a new home or residential condominium from a developer in Ontario, part of your deposit is protected by the Tarion New Home Warranty Program.
This covers up to $20,000 for a new residential condominium deposit and $40,000 in deposits for a new house. However, deposits over and above these amounts are not protected. Similarly, no deposits for a proposed commercial or hotel condominium development are protected by Tarion. In most cases, all deposits are paid to the developer’s lawyer, to be held in trust.
Under the regulations governing the Condominium Act, a lawyer is not supposed to release the moneys from trust unless and until they have been given proof by way of a security bond from the developer that the money is protected. In virtually all cases, the money is released when the developer is ready to begin construction on the project and would like to access the deposits for this purpose. As long as the security bond is provided, the law firm will release the funds from trust.
In the Centrum condominium bankruptcy in North York, the Bratty’s law firm was holding millions of dollars in trust for the proposed residential condominium that was never built. The money was never released to the developer Yo Sup (Joseph) Lee and the buyers who purchased these residential units will get their deposits back, in full, even though the development is bankrupt and it appears that Lee has disappeared.
However, Lee retained another lawyer, Meerei Cho, to handle the commercial/hotel condominium project and although over 14 million dollars in total was placed into her trust account from buyers, it has since disappeared, even though construction never started and it does not appear that any security bond was posted. In another twist, 1.9 million of the 14 million dollars in deposits was originally placed into Bratty’s trust account but developer Lee then instructed Bratty’s to pay this money to Cho, which they did, and this money is part of what is now missing.
If Cho made an error in releasing the money, then part of this loss may be covered under her errors and omissions insurance policy, but this may only provide 1 million dollars in coverage for the victims. The law society has a discretionary fraud victim fund of $150,000 but this will also not be nearly enough to compensate all of the victims.
I imagine that some buyers may sue the Bratty’s law firm for giving the money to Cho but in my opinion, as long as Bratty’s obtained proof from Cho that the money was going to be held by her in trust according to the rules, they should succeed in any claim against them.
The good news is that over the past 20 years, in thousands of new condominium buildings, this has not occurred before, showing that in virtually all cases, lawyers follow the rules and buyers are protected.
The main lesson when buying a new condominium is still the same; check out the reputation of the builder. Reputable builders follow the rules, finish buildings on time and deliver what they promise. Still, whenever you are paying more than the Tarion protected deposits, you should now insist that the developer provide proof that they have sufficient security to protect any deposit over $20,000 if it is a new residential condominium and over $40,000 for a new residential home. It would also be a good idea for the government to just change the rules and make it a law that all lawyers holding trust moneys be bonded themselves, so it can’t happen again.
Bank of Canada Leaves Key Interest Rate as Is. By Allison Lampert
DRUMMONDVILLE Quebec (Reuters) – Recent Canadian economic data has been encouraging, particularly on exports, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said on Tuesday, but he pointed to a substantial amount of slack in the job market.
His remarks followed a speech in which he said the central bank does not try to manipulate the value of the Canadian dollar or even guide currency markets, a stance that he said gives it the freedom to opt out of matching U.S. interest rate hikes.
While the Canadian dollar edged higher following the speech and press conference, market watchers were left with the impression that the central bank is in no hurry to shift out of its officially neutral policy, which means its next interest-rate move could be either a hike or a cut.
Poloz said there is a lot to be done before all the ingredients of a recovery are in place and that new data will be given “full consideration” in the central bank’s next quarterly review of the economy, the Oct. 22 Monetary Policy Report.
But he made clear the Bank of Canada would not feel compelled to match eventual U.S. rate hikes if the Canadian economy is not ready for such moves.
“Our timing is our timing. The interest rates in Canada are already 1 percent; that’s already quite a bit above what the U.S. rate is,” Poloz said. “So there is some room to talk about where we should be going when the time is right and when the rest of the macro story is coming together.”
Poloz has repeatedly stressed the need for exports to take over from consumers as the main driver of growth, a move that would be followed by investment and hiring by companies.
“It looks like the natural sequence we’ve been hoping for is getting under way,” he said in his speech.
He tempered that view, which he described as cautious optimism, with the fact that it will take time for hiring to materialize and even more time for slack in the job market to be soaked up.
For instance, the bank believes that about 200,000 youth have withdrawn from the labor force, with another 100,000 adults also discouraged.
“But if we generate 10,000 or 15,000 jobs per month in a good expansion, if there (are) 200,000 or 300,000 people who are discouraged, that’s lots of room to grow,” he said later.
FIRST SPEECH ON CURRENCY
Many analysts have suggested Poloz, the former head of Export Development Canada, prefers a weak currency in order to boost exports. The Canadian dollar has fallen 7 percent against the U.S. greenback since he took office in June 2013.
But in his first speech on the currency since taking the helm, he insisted that trying to target a level for the Canadian dollar risks creating “larger fluctuations in unemployment, output and inflation, and in the end would not help us maintain our international competitiveness”.
Outlining a scenario in which the U.S. economy is picking up speed and the Canadian economy is lagging – a scenario that resembles current conditions – he said that if the bank were trying to hold its currency constant it would probably have to match U.S. rate increases in lock step.
“But doing so would risk pushing our inflation rate back below our target,” he said. “Attempting to control the exchange rate would mean giving up our independent monetary policy.”
In his current economic analysis, he stressed that while energy and non energy exports have been picking up and other indicators look positive, “I’d remind you that they’ve been encouraging several times over the last five years. What happens next still is a question mark for us.”
“Europe is obviously the biggest question mark,” he said.
(Writing by Randall Palmer; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Leah Schnurr, Solarina Ho, Andrea Hopkins and John Tilak in Toronto; Editing by Peter Galloway and Jeffrey Hodgson)
Have a wonderful weekend, Anthony