Local Housing Trends

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Earlier this year, Lakehead University was rewarded with 1 million dollars from Simcoe County Council to support growth and access to learning opportunities for students in the region. The donation will help improve access to post secondary education across Simcoe. The Ministry of Education will also be helping support the school industry by funding 25 million to assist in building four new schools in Alliston, Bradford, Oro-Medonte and Wasaga Beach, and renovate and expand a school in Orillia. Lastly, the Go transit has introduced  new weekday and weekend train services which includes increased morning, late afternoon and late evening service between Union and Bradford Stations.

The median sale price for properties in Bradford West Gwillimbury is residing at $667,500 which is a slight increase from one year ago of $644,000. The number of home sales is presently at 49. Today, the inventory of homes is at 141. The average number of days on the market is 29.

The Toronto home sale market has increasingly declined in the past year; homeowners are now buying condominiums instead of houses. Of the 283 new homes this past month 218 were condominiums.The only new construction in the area resides at the corner of Main Street and Park Avenue which is the proposed Clock Tower re-development; the developer is appealing the towns decision to not make allowances under the heritage act and zoning by law required for the currently proposed project which is scheduled to begin August 8th. The median sale price for properties currently sits at $736,000, a decrease from $792,000 last year. The number of sales has also gone down from 65 to 102 properties. Currently, inventory stands at 300 from 418 properties. The average number of days on market has increased from 28 to 32 days.

The Technology industry is growing in the Waterloo region supplying a lot more job opportunities. Due to this a lot of companies now have their second offices up in Waterloo rather than Toronto considering it’s such a growing community. Shopify is opening a second office in the region which will be creating 300-500 jobs in the next three years. 

The median sale price for properties currently is situated at $372,000, a slight decrease from $395,500 last year. The number of sales has also declined from 385 to 273 properties. Currently, inventory stands at 474 properties. The average number of days on market is residing at 23.

The Real Estate Investment Network has ranked the Kitchener/Waterloo region as the second-best community for real estate in all of Ontario. By the end of February 2019, the city of Kitchener is expecting to issue building permits worth $1.2 billion for 20 new developments in the city’s downtown core. As the area moved into the spring market this year, there was a noticeable lack of supply, causing several multiple-offer situations that has continued. The median price of all residential properties sold last month was nearly on par with as last year, sitting at $436,143. The number of homes sold however, increased from 219 to 330 homes sold. Listings also increased from 486 to 551, while the average number of days on market fell, It was formerly at 32 days, but not sits at 22 days.

Here in Markham, Ontario, prices appear to be recovering, as properties are beginning to see an uptick in sales. While there is not any notable new construction taking place, as we move into the spring market there are strong indicators that the both the number of sales as well as the median prices for properties will start to see an increase. The median property price currently sits at $900,500, which is only slightly below what the price was at this time last year. The number of homes sold has seen an increase month-over-month, moving from 151 to 184 properties sold. Inventory also increased during this same timeframe, ticking up from 685 to 759 homes. These homes are spending less time on market. The average number of days on market for a property currently sits at 28 days, down from 37 days last month.

The big news around Richmond is the same elsewhere in Canada. The new tax rules has cooled down the market a little as most buyers will wait until the effect of it stabilizes. The Market will be slow and stable for a little while. The median home price has dropped slightly from $1.7 million in Feb 2017 to $1.55 million in Feb 2018. Homes sold has also decreased from 69 in Dec 2017 to 66 in Jan 2018 and 53 in Feb 2018. Where the marketplace active inventory of homes has been on a slight increase from 588 in Dec 2017 to 615 in Jan 2018 and 720 in Feb 2018. At the same time, there are a ton of new condo developments in West Cambie and Brighouse neighbourhoods.

Current news in the Fraser Valley real-estate market place is the lack of supply. Recently there has been an increase in both active and new inventory in the Fraser Valley, however supply in February is well below ten-year average. New construction of multi-family homes remains strong in Vancouver, while Surrey continues to attract both local and foreign buyers. Affordability is the main concern, with first-time buyers often priced out of the market and a shortage of units. Median price levels for detached homes in the Fraser Valley are up nearly 16.7% from last year, reaching $957,100, Median price levels for Townhomes units in the Fraser Valley are up nearly 23.3% from last year, reaching $602,900, Median price levels for Apartment unit in the Fraser Valley are up nearly 40.0% from last year, reaching $385,000.

The City of Calgary is currently evaluating a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. However, the issue has divided citizens and the city council with the benefits and drawbacks of potentially becoming a host city being hotly debated. Elsewhere, the university district is a new inner-city development, bringing a mix of residential, retail and office spaces, shopping, dining and entertainment to a mature neighbourhood.

While overall benchmark prices in Calgary are generally stable, the downtown core continues to carry historically high vacancy rates for office space. As of last month, the median sale price for a home was $425,000, down only $3,000 from the same time last year. Meanwhile, the number of homes available on the market rose slightly month to month, currently sitting at 1094 properties. Inventory has also increased this year, while the average number of days on market for a home has fallen. Properties currently sit for an average of 51 days, down from 61 days a month prior.

In a first in the nation, a property in Mississauga, Ontario has sold on condition for 33 Bitcoin ($381,872.45 CAD). Elsewhere, a new development in West Village, Port Credit is generating significant excited. The space will be a mixed-use, multi-phased development with approximately 2,500 residential units (housing 5,000 new residents) and 200,000 square feet of commercial, retail, and community uses, creating 1,000 new jobs. The development will be erected along the Lake Ontario shoreline, immediately adjacent to the City of Toronto border.

Generally, residential property sales recorded through the MLS System of the Mississauga Real Estate Board came in on par with levels from one year ago. The average price of homes sold in December 2017 was $675,656, up 4.3% from December 2016. The annual average price was $722,747, rising 15.1% from 2016. Home sales numbered 490 units in December, down just 0.6%. This was also back in line with historical averages. On an annual basis, home sales totalled 9,341 units over the year. This was down 19.8% from 2016. The average number of days on market was 23 last month, up from 17 days the month prior.

For the second year in a row, the Waterloo Region is leading the country when it comes to tech job growth. Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge have been named Canada’s fastest growing tech talent market, increasing its talent pool by nearly 66% in the last five years and adding 8,400 tech jobs. Kitchener-Waterloo’s thriving startup and tech scenes are two of the fastest growing market segments in North America too, trailing only Charlotte, North Carolina.

Six tech companies in the Waterloo Region were recently named in Deloitte’s Fast 50 too. An annual list that ranks the country’s fastest-growing companies, including Kitchener-based video marketing pioneer Vidyard. And while Shopify isn’t based in Kitchener-Waterloo, the Canadian ecommerce darling is making a big bet on the region’s tech talent by opening up a second office that will create 300 to 500 jobs over the next three years.

It should be noted that the tech sector accounted for 16.1% of all major office leasing deals in Canada last year, with Waterloo in particular making up nearly 22% of that alone.

The biggest news story in the city of Toronto is its lack of affordable housing, as prices continue to increase and push people out of the core. As a result, the average rent for a 1-bedroom property in the city rose 10.9% from a year ago. How will the market in 2018 react to the new stress test, mortgage guidelines and new interest rate hike remains to be seen. In addition to the growing number of condo towers being built, Toronto is seeing multiple large scale mega-developments being built or proposed scattered throughout the city. More specifically, the east end of the city’s waterfront will be significantly transformed with two major developments, Quayside and First Gulf’s East Harbour developments. Combined they will feature 72 acres of redevelopment, and make the First Gulf East Harbour development the largest commercial project in Canada, with 12 million square feet of mixed-office, retail and institutional uses. 

Using the latest market data, it’s clear that the median home price is still increasing in the city. It currently sits at $590,000, which is a year-over-year increase of nearly 10%. Perhaps not coincidentally, there was a month-over-month decline in the number of properties sold, falling from 2978 to 1970 homes. The average number of days on market for a property ticked up as well from 21 days to 24.

The Mattamy River Mill development, a large residential development on the edge of Cambridge that leads into Kitchener, is officially underway. Although few houses stand complete, the entire development is already sold out. The new area is expected to attract many new residents and businesses to downtown Kitchener.

Home sales for last month were 20% year-over-year, but remained inline with the previous five-year average. The average price for a detached home was up 8.9%, reaching $515,721. The total number of sales for the month was slightly down however, from 470 to 425, with the number of listings currently standing at 601 homes.

While property and business taxes continue to new a hot button issue this season, the debate hasn’t slowed down construction around Calgary. There are a number of new and developing residential districts in both the northern and southern areas of the city that include supporting commercial amenities. At the same time, the new Green Line or LRT extension is also moving forward which will service most of southeast Calgary.

The median home price for single family detached dwellings is $482,000, a slight decrease from listings of $490,000 a year ago. Month-over-month, the number of homes sold has also decreased slightly, from 1018 to 919 sales last month. The average number of days on market for single family detached dwellings is 42, compared to 38 days two months prior. 

The market in Northeastern Ontario is seeing some slight fluctuation this fall. In Timmins, the average sale price for a home stands at $180,453, down slightly from the year before. Meanwhile, the number of homes sold during that same time period has increase, from 437 to 453 properties. These homes have also taken slightly longer to sell, with the average number of days on market ticking up from 71 to 79 days. Current listings feature 943 homes on market, down from 1004.

With a degree in Economics and a general interest in real estate from a young age, the only thing Taylor Moore needed to launch his appraising career was a little push. That came after a conversation with an experienced local appraiser, who gave him the boost he needed. After completing the necessary training, Taylor went on to earn his CRA designation and ultimately, with the help and guidance of another appraiser, went on to start his own appraisal firm, A&M Property Appraisals Ltd. Since joining the industry four years ago, Taylor has built a reputation around his region of Northeastern Ontario for his enthusiastic, systematic, and consistent approach to appraising.

The biggest development lately are the new mortgage rules, which include a new stress test for the marketplace. Coming into effect on January 1, 2018, it’s still unclear what the broader implications of these new rules will be. However, at this point it seems reasonable to expect increased difficult for those looking to qualify for mortgages.

That said, new construction of multi-family homes remains strong in Vancouver, while Surrey continues to attract both local and foreign buyers. Affordability is the main concern, with first-time buyers often priced out of the market and a shortage of rental units.

Median price levels in the Fraser Valley are up nearly 19% from last year, reaching  $925,000. Single family detached homes remained on market for an average of 29 days before selling, a slight increase from 24 days last month.

In Richmond Hill, the upcoming sale of Observatory Hill area is sure to make an impact on the local housing market. With its prime location around the historic David Dunlap Observatory, the property is sure to set a benchmark for surrounding neighbourhoods in the Markham area. For the past year, foreign investments have been a significant factor, buoying the market here. However, thanks to price decreases, a stronger Canadian dollar, and interest rate increases, these investments have also seen a decline in the last few months. The average home price currently sits at $933,934. This has remained relatively flat compared to this time last year. The number of homes sold, meanwhile, has seen a month-over-month increase, from 231 to 264 sales. These homes spent slightly more time on the market though, with listings taking an average of 28 days to move compared to 20 days last month.

Skyrocketing real estate prices have made shopping centres rethink how they use space. Several malls are now putting highrise buildings in their parking lots instead of cars. The owners of Coquitlam Centre are looking into building four residential highrise towers on the mall’s parking lot, just as three other lower mainland malls, Lougheed Town Centre Mall, Brentwood Town Centre Mall and Metrotown in Burnaby, are already doing.

Substantial redevelopment currently underway in West Coquitlam near North Road & Como Lake Avenue, in an area referred to as “Burquitlam.” Several new highrise towers along with new commercial space is being constructed around the newer Burquitlam Skytrain station which opened last December.

Condominium and townhomes continue to be in high demand outpacing the detached home market. While the detached home market is balanced, the apartment and townhome sales remain to be a sellers’ market with high demand and lower inventory.

The median home price in Coquitlam for September 2017 was $905,200, up substantially from $790,200 last year. The city saw 185 sales in September, down from the 233 homes sold this past August 2017 while the inventory of homes increased from 369 to 439 homes The average number of days on market currently sits at 21 days.

The Region of Waterloo has purchased land at the north-east corner of King and Victoria streets for a transit hub, extending north to the rail line and east to Duke Street. The future transit hub will connect several types of transportation including ION light rail transit, Grand River Transit, expanded GO lines and VIA Rail, along with pedestrians and cyclists. Travellers will be able to make smooth, accessible and convenient connections at the new transit hub, with a goal of bringing people and businesses to Waterloo Region, connecting them to the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor. The combination of the uses with a mixed-use development is expected to create opportunities for public art, retail shops, offices and residences, all of which contribute to a vibrant downtown Kitchener and a successful ION corridor.  
 

Sales remain above the 5-year average for the region. Despite having dropped slightly compared to last month, demand remains strong in Waterloo. The median home price currently sits at $435,000, up over $30,000 from the same time last year, while the number of homes sold dipped to 410 this month. There are currently 738 active listings, a slight increase, with the average number of days on market pegged at 15 days.  

Competition for condominiums and townhomes pushed Metro Vancouver homes sales above typical levels this summer. Reports indicate that residential property sales saw a 22% year-over-year increase, while last month’s sales were nearly 20% above the 10-year sales average. The demand for condos and townhomes outstrips supply at a pace never before seen, especially between the $350,000 and $750,000 range, while detached sales seem to be balancing. The total number of homes sold reached 529 properties, up from 431.

The red hot real estate market that was in place earlier this year has shifted in recent months. There are more homes on the market for sale, which tends to translate into fewer purchasers, giving more balance to the market. Earlier this year, it was not uncommon to see sales registered $100,000 or more over list price. Lately, however, sales tend to be closer to list price. New construction is still strong in the Burlington and Waterdown areas, while redevelopment is strong in some core areas of Hamilton.

There were 2,013 new listings processed in July 2017, which is 17.8% higher than the same month last year, and 9.2% higher than the 10-year average. The media sales price also increased from $416,000 to $475,000, with 972 sales for the month and a slight increase in the average number of days on market.

The proposed York Downs Golf Course redevelopment on the former York Downs Golf Course site along 16th Ave between Kennedy Rd and Warden Ave is one of the biggest stories in the GTA. The current development proposal will offer approx. 2421 units: 1087 single detached homes, 597 townhomes, 151 stacked townhomes, 76 back-to-back townhomes, 300 mid-rise condo units and 210 mix-use units on a roughly 416 acre site. Developers are set to put forth a Revised Development Proposal at a meeting this month at the Markham Civic Centre. If approved, the proposed York Downs Golf Course redevelopment will also include a woodlot and an elementary school block. Phase 1 is currently scheduled to be built adjacent Kennedy Rd with additional phases being scheduled to follow in 2020.

Median price for all home types in the City of Markham in July 2017 $875,000, and $886,500 for July 2016. At the same time, there were 303 sales for the month, down from 539 in the spring, with 1044 active listings. The average number of days on market is 16 days.

Windsor / Essex County offers over 22 wineries and is bordered by two great lakes with climate as one of the most favourable in Canada, sharing the same latitude as northern California, USA and Spain. The local real estate market is enjoying another robust year of sales and housing starts. Meanwhile, the proposed construction of the new Gordie Howe International Bridge connecting Windsor to Detroit, Michigan should employ further economic growth and interest in the area. All indication for the balance of 2017 shows continued demand for the housing stock.

 

The average sale price in the month of June 2017 is 274,789, an increase of 18.5% from June 2016 at $231,880. The number of homes sold in June 2017 is at 731 units;  showing an increase from sales of 607 units in April 2017. The month end June 2017, available listings were calculated at 1043 units, up slightly from April 2017 which calculated to 814 listings. The average number of days a home listed for saleon the market for June 2017 is 36 days, up slightly from April 2017 when the average marketing time was 32 days.  

Like many markets in the first half of 2017, home prices saw a significant increase – about 40% in some cases. However, prices appear to have peaked, with listings beginning to level out compared to similar times last year. There is on-going development to the south end of Kitchener which is very attractive for many out-of-market buyers thanks to its close proximity to Highway 401. Kitchener and Waterloo continue to expand out to the west ends, specifically in Vista Hills in Waterloo, and the Huron/Fischer-Hallman area. With these new developments being located further and further from the the city, we are seeing more infill projects popping up in the Kitchener-Waterloo core areas. The rural towns surrounding the cities have a number of new construction projects on-going as well.

The median sale price for single detached homes rose 30.2% on a year over basis to $500,000 in the first quarter of 2017. This was the highest median price on record for single detached homes in the area. In Kitchener-Waterloo, home sales in June slowed on a monthly basis for this first time this year. 716 homes were sold in June versus the 766 in April 2017. Inventory remained relatively low at 1,083 new listings in June though still higher than the 985 listed in April. The average days on market for listing in April was 10 which has since increased.

Major projects, such as the federal shipbuilding contract, the “Big Lift” renovation to the Macdonald Bridge, the King’s Wharf Development and the John W. Lindsay YMCA Centre of Community, along with the growth of West Bedford and several high-density projects, have all been prime drivers behind the buoyant Halifax economy.

Halifax is home to approximately 418,000 people. The average age has been increasing. 15 years ago approximately 10% of the population was over the age of 65. Today, that number sits around 15%. This has affected the condominium market in Halifax, as more and more empty nesters are choosing to forego home ownership and opting for luxury rental apartment living instead. As a result, the median price for a condominium in Halifax declined from $281,022 to $257,056 in the first quarter of 2016. The condominium market remains one that the real estate industry is watching closely.

The City of Timmins will soon host its first ever Stars and Thunder celebration, a week long international Music and Fireworks competition that will welcome visitors from several countries. The festival will include daily entertainment with several bands performing over the course of the event and will conclude with the final firework display and concert given by Keith Urban to celebrate Canada Day. Over the past few years, nearly 100 units have been added to the market. This has stabilized rents and vacancy rates. We are finally seeing vacancy rates hovering between 3-5% and monthly rents are reflecting the quality and size of the apartments. The average two bedroom unit will rent between $850-950 all inclusive. The average home price in March 2017 is $187,539 which is nearly 2% lower when compared to the average of March 2016. The average days on market for properties sold was 102 days, up from 89 days the month before.

Saint John, NB is an industrial city which has many challenges, as does the entire province of New Brunswick. The Canada East Pipeline Project appears to be an on again/off again affair, with completion schedules which are far into the foreseeable future. Although Saint John is home to the largest privately-owned oil refinery in Canada, no other large industrial developments appear to be in the works. As a result, property taxes are high and non-owner occupied property is taxed at double rate, which is not helpful for those who can’t afford to own their own home. Vacancy rates are in the 10%+ range, housing stocks are higher and sales of residential units are lower. Looking at the market numbers for Grand Bay-Westfield, Saint John, Rothesay and Quispamsis the average sale price for a residential property for March 2017 was $212,593 up slightly from the $200,733 recorded the month prior.

Strong demand for condos and townhouses along with a shorter supply of residential properties has led to continued demand in the Metro Vancouver area. According to a report published by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver earlier this month, while residential property sales in March 2017 decreased 30.8% from a record-setting month a year prior, the 5,173 recorded sales represent a 47.6% increase over February. Despite not reaching the same heights as last year, demand in the first few months of 2017 remains strong. Last month’s sales were also 7.9% above the ten-year sales average for the month. Lastly, sales of attached properties in March reached 588 units, a decrease of 25.2% year-over-year. The benchmark price currently sits at $685,100, a 1.4% increase month-over-month.

 

Wasaga Beach is getting ready to undergo a major redevelopment project that is set to give the area a completely new look. With condos, a casino, boardwalk, and new hotels planned for the future, the activity is sure to attract a wide variety of new visitors and residents alike. Currently, the average selling price for homes in the area is $425,000, an increase of nearly 17% compared to the same time last year. Similarly, the number of homes sold increased last month from 33 to 42, with the average number of days on market dropping from 35 to just 20 in February 2017.

Residential sales activity totalled 43 units in December 2016. This was unchanged compared to a year earlier. The average price of homes sold in December 2016 was $218,250, rising 2.4% from the previous year. The annual average price figure was $232,040, up 4% from the same period the year prior. New residential listings were slightly down, however, from December 2015 with a total of 60 homes. With 357 units listings at the end of December, active residential listings were down 16.8% from December 2015. The total value of all residential sales amounted to $9.4 million in December, climbing 2.4%.

Home sales and listings trends are below long-term averages in the Metro Vancouver housing market. This is due largely to reduced activity in the detached home market. Residential property sales in the region totalled 1,523 in January 2017, a 39.5% decrease from the 2,519 sales recorded in January 2016 and an 11.1% decrease compared to December 2016 when 1,714 homes sold. Conditions within the market vary depending on property type. Detached home prices have declined about 7% since peaking in July while townhome and condominium prices have held steady over this period. The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $896,000. This represents a 3.7% decline over the past six months and a 0.2% decrease compared to December 2016.

The big development news in York Region continues to be the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. This 15-plus-year development will encompass 1.5 million sq. ft. of office space, 750,000 sq. ft. of retail and a minimum of 12,000 new residential units. At the moment a subway extension is in the process of connecting to the Centre. It is also forecasted that over 11,000 permanent jobs will be created by the addition of the Centre. Looking at the current market it is very much in favour of the seller. With limited inventory, the average selling price these days is 104% above asking. Year over year the median sale price in York Region was up 25% to $987,679 in September 2016 vs. $792,973 in September 2015. On a month-to-month basis the inventory of homes in September was up 24% to 3,160 vs. 2,403 in August, while homes sold at a faster rate in September—15 days—vs. 17 days in August.

The big industry news across Canada was the recent announcement of the new Stress Test (4.64%) mortgage rule. So far in my area the new rule hasn’t made a noticeable impact on market activity. On the development front, there are a number of new construction projects underway in the west end of the GTA involving a variety of builders and dwelling types. Reviewing the market numbers, the year-over-year median sale price was up almost 4% to $705,500 in September 2016 vs. $680,000 in September 2015. Home sales slowed in September to 820 vs. the 1,147 sales recorded three months earlier in June. Inventory dropped as well in September to 2,972 vs. 3,546 in June, while the average days on market increased by two days to 16 vs. 14 in June.

The BC Government’s introduction of 15% Foreign Buyer tax in August 2016 has had a considerable negative impact in terms of liquidity in the Vancouver housing market. On the development front, rezoning and redevelopment towards affordable, multi-unit dwellings is creating a stable and growing market for lower-priced condominiums and townhouses in the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas.

 

York University, in collaboration with Seneca College, will open a new campus that will accommodate approximately 4,400 students and be situated at the Markham Centre in the City of Markham. Meanwhile the plan for the Buttonville airport re-development was announced. The project will include up to 1.2 million sq. ft. of retail, commercial, restaurant and entertainment space; 2.6 million to 4.4 million sq. ft. of office space accommodating roughly 22,000 jobs, and 3.2 million to 3.6 million sq. ft. of residential space. King Square is another mega project being developed in Markham. It will potentially be North America’s largest Asian mall and will include 300,000 sq. ft. of retail, two 11-storey buildings, one 11-storey luxury hotel and a roof garden that could potentially stretch for 3 acres. Looking at the market stats, the year over year median sale price rose 21% to $898,000 in October 2016 from $743,000 in October 2015.

The Markham real estate market has been on fire the past year. This fact was reflected in the year-over-year median sale price which was up almost 16% in September 2016 to $875,000 vs. $755,000 in September 2015. The increase in home values may have motivated more homeowners to get in on the action as the inventory of homes increased in September 2016 to 643 vs. 497 in the previous month of August. Meanwhile the number of sales for September dropped to 497 units vs. 581 units in August, while the average days on market dropped by three days to 16 in September vs. 19 in August, indicating that when buyers saw something they liked, they were aggressive in closing the deal.

It seems the change in mortgage lending ratios has made it a little harder now for first-time buyers to qualify and find a home in the lower entry-level price range.  Many have decided to look outside of the Burlington and Hamilton areas where homes are not quite as expensive and where multiple offers are not as prevalent–this, despite Burlington being voted 2nd best place to live in Canada in 2016, out of 219 cities.  With the ongoing demand for housing there is also a lot of new construction taking place in Burlington and the surrounding areas. Year over year the average sale price in Burlington was up 14.5% in September 2016 to $654,679 vs. $571,439 in September 2015. Comparing September to the previous month of August, the number of homes sold increased to 2,470 vs. 2,235, listings jumped to 3,006 vs. 2,638 and the average days on mark stayed the same at 21 days.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as a whole continues to show strong annual rates of sales growth across all major home types with the year-over-year median sale price up 20.4% to $755,755 from $627,867 in September 2015. Underpinning this continued upward momentum has been a strong demand for home ownership combined with a short supply of listings. A sustained lack of inventory is representative of many neighbourhoods across the GTA which has led to the average re-sale in the region being on the market for just 16 days compared to 22 days one year ago.

Recent changes to Federal mortgage lending guidelines and the capital gains tax exemption rule may impact the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area, but so far they have yet to have a major influence. Condominium development continues at a torrid pace in Toronto with many projects on the horizon. For many first-time buyers these condos will represent an affordable entry point into the market. Year over year the average median sale price in Toronto rose 13% to $764,872 in September 2016 from $674,922 in September 2015. During this same time period the number of homes sold increased by 14% to 3,599 vs. 3,137–this despite there being less inventory on the market (5,710 vs. 6,816). Naturally the increased sales activity had an impact on the average days on market which dropped to 18 days in September 2016 from 23 days in September 2015.

Hamilton has been experiencing increased development in the lower city area, spurred on by a new GO station and multiple condominium developments. There are also multiple, new subdivisions under construction with demand being very strong as evident by the number of quick sellouts. Year over year the median sale price in Hamilton was up 13.6% to $473,924 in September 2016 vs. $417,095 in September 2015. Home sales topped the one thousand mark again in September reaching 1,035 sales—just slightly lower than the 1,093 recorded in August. Inventory in September eclipsed the August result; 1,476 homes vs. 1,364. Average days on market was unchanged at 24 days.

In development news, it was announced that the town-owned land located at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive will be transformed into an all-year-around community space with new municipal offices and an expanded central library. In other news, the Province of Ontario announced in June 2016 that it will be providing over $55 million dollars to Metrolinx to continue the planning and designing work for the proposed Yonge North Subway extension which would extend from the existing Finch Station to Highway 7. Looking at the latest market data, year over year the median sale price jumped 28.5% to $1,100,000 in October 2016 vs. $825,000 in October 2015. September was a busy month for home sales with 395 sales recorded vs. 345 sales two months earlier in July. Inventory also rose in September to 624 listings vs. 543 in July. Naturally, with this kind of activity, the average days on market lowered— dropping to 15 days in September vs. 18 days in July.

The City of London’s downtown core and surrounding area continues to see a changing skyline and revitalization. Case in point, the Tricar Group is building a 29-storey, 200-unit condominium high-rise at 505 Talbot Street called Azure. This new development was started just after Tricar’s recently completed two-tower Renaissance development at the southeast corner of King and Ridout Streets. As for the overall market, in September 2016, 866 homes sold in the London and surrounding area representing a 3.1% increase over September 2015. This was the best September on record for sales since the association of Realtors (LSTAR)  began systematically tracking in 1978. Year over year the median sale price rose 5.1% to $278,311 in September 2016 vs. $264,971 a year ago.

The biggest news in Richmond Hill is that real estate prices are out of control due to the influx of foreign buyers. This has helped fuel the construction of new homes and condominiums in Richmond Hill, northern Vaughan, Aurora and Newmarket. Year over year the median sale price jumped 24% to $988,000 in October 2016 vs. $798,000 in October 2015. In Richmond Hill the inventory of homes is not sufficient enough to satisfy the demand, a trend that has been in place for over a year now and another reason why prices are inflated. Comparing the month of October to the previous month of September, the average days on market was unchanged at 16 days.

Demand continues to outpace supply in single-family homes in Richmond Hill, Ontario. As a result prices continue to soar with multiple offers still prevalent in the marketplace. It remains to be seen if the new, stricter mortgage rules will have any significant impact on housing prices, especially with entry level homes. So far, the impact has been minimal. There are a number of new developments underway in the area including Observatory Hill which will be a large subdivision and a benchmark development in Richmond Hill and York Region. Year over year the median sale price in September 2016 was up 34% to $1,166,496 vs. $870,516 in September 2015. Comparing market data in September to the previous two months, the number of homes sold was 393 in September vs. 382 in August and 345 in July. The inventory of homes rose to 463 in September vs. 393 in August, while July was almost the same at 468. The average-days-on-market varied slightly, coming in at 15 days in September vs. 17 days in August and 18 days in July.

Etobicoke approves area’s first low-rise condo

“Royalpark will be constructing B-Line Condos on the corner of Horner Ave and Brown’s Line. This is the first, low-rise condo that has been approved for construction in Alderwood, Etobicoke. The main floor will consist of commercial spaces with the remainder of the units being residential. Year-over-year the median sale price in the Etobicoke area was up almost 20% in June 2016 to $1,259,486 vs. $1,052,855 a year ago. Looking at the numbers for June vs. two months earlier, the number of homes sold increased by 7% to 1,491 units vs. 1,396 units in April 2016. Inventory was up as well—7.7%–to 1,994 units vs. 1,851 units, while the average days on market remained basically unchanged at 11 days vs. 12 days.”

Michael Lau, Etobicoke, ON – Solidifi Extraordinary Appraiser

No slowdown for Vancouver, BC market

“The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 3,524 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in November 2015. Year over year this represented a 40% increase compared to the 2,516 sales recorded in November 2014. New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totaled 3,392 in November. This was a 12.5% increase compared to the 3,016 new listings reported in November 2014. The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $752,500 in November, a 17.8% increase over November 2014. While the benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 22.6% year over year from the $1,226,300 recorded in November 2014.”

Simon Kwan, Vancouver, BC - Solidifi EXTRAORDINARY APPRAISER

Property values continue to rise in Port Coquitlam

“The overall Metro Vancouver market recorded 3,345 sales in September 2015 which was a 14.5% increase over sales recorded in September 2014. The September 2015 sales number was also 32.9% above the 10-year sales average for the Metro Vancouver market. Looking at the Port Coquitlam market specifically, market trends have increased across the board for all types of housing types with the largest percentage increase reflected in the detached housing market followed by apartment and townhouse properties. Year over year the median sale price for a detached home in Port Coquitlam rose 18% to $695,100 in September 2015 vs. $587,800 in September 2014. Meanwhile the median sale price for apartment units rose 7.3% from $226,000 to $242,600 while the median sale price for townhouses was 6.4% higher from $381,100 to $405,800.”

John Volpe, Port Coquitlam, BC - Solidifi EXTRAORDINARY APPRAISER

Colder weather doesn’t cool hot GTA market

“The average selling price of all home types in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) rose by 7.3 % in just one year (October 2014 – October 2015). Small developers continued to purchase old, single-family homes, renovate or demolish them and then resell or build new houses quickly, due to the lack of vacant land in the GTA. The average price of a detached home in Toronto was $823,177 and over 4,100 detached homes sold in October 2015. Toronto is definitely a sellers’ market. Buyers tend to be very aggressive and are offering more than asking. The cold weather doesn’t seem to slow down the housing market in the GTA. Case in point: in September 2015 there were 8,200 reported home sales and in October 2015 there were 8,804 reported home sales. In September 2015 the number of new listings available in the GTA was 16,077 while in October 2015 the number of new listings available was 13,339. The average-days-on-market for both September and October 2015 was 22 days. I believe that by the end of 2015, the number of sales of all home types in the Greater Toronto Area will exceed 100,000.”

Kasipillai Baleswaran, Scarborough, ON - Solidifi EXTRAORDINARY APPRAISER

Major projects help keep Edmonton market stable

“Despite lower oil prices and a lot of negative headlines about the Alberta economy, residential real estate prices in Edmonton actually reached their highest level ever in May of 2015 with the average being $453,748 and the median being $418,950. This result may be partly due to the large construction projects underway in the downtown core including the Rogers Arena, Royal Alberta Museum, several major office towers and multiple condominium high-rises. Currently the market remains balanced, although there are higher than typical listings on the market which means the pendulum could certainly shift to the buyer’s favour. Year over year the median sales price for September remained unchanged at $400,000 in 2015 vs. $399,894 in 2014. Average days on market was virtually the same at 53 vs. 51 while the number of sales was down to 1,462 from 1,673 a year ago.”

Gerhardt Klann, Edmonton, AB - Solidifi EXTRAORDINARY APPRAISER

Supply of inventory soars in Halifax-Dartmouth

 “The long awaited ship-building contract has arrived. This past summer, construction on the first Arctic patrol vessel commenced. At present, there are well over 15 tower cranes at work throughout HRM. Most of the new residential construction is in the form of hi-rise rental apartments. Some condominium development is also underway. Overall, supply remains at historically elevated levels. There were 9,444 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of August 2015, up 6.0 per cent from the same time last year. All of these trends lean strongly towards a buyer’s market. Even so, the median sale price for September 2015 was $264,727 up slightly from the median sale price a year ago which was $268,698.”

Wayne Sajko, Halifax, NS - Solidifi EXTRAORDINARY APPRAISER

Owen Sound, ON experiencing a buyer’s market

“Year over year there was a slight increase in the median sale price in Owen Sound as it went from $222,957 in August 2014 to $243,864 in August 2015. Currently we have a buyer’s market in place with an ample supply of inventory of homes in the marketplace (2,555 in July and 2,495 in August). As a result through the months of July and August there was no change in the number of homes sold (262) and the average days on market continued to range between 30-120 days.“

Arlene Brown, Owen Sound, ON - Solidifi EXTRAORDINARY APPRAISER