Tuesday, October 19, 2010

GTA REALTORS Report Mid-Month Resale Housing Market Figures

Toronto, October 18, 2010—GTA REALTORS reported 3,012 sales through the MLS during the first 2 weeks of October 2010.
This represented a 17 percent decrease compared to the 3,631 sales recorded during the same period in 2009. Year-To-Date sales amounted to 71,988, representing a 3 percent increase compared to 2009.
“The GTA resale market is balancing out from a record level of sales experienced in the second half of 2009 and first few months of 2010. This is why sales figures have been lower than 2009 levels in recent months. With this said, it should be noted that the annual rate of decline slowed somewhat through the first two weeks of October,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Bill Johnston.
The average price for October mid-month transactions was $444,644 – up seven percent compared to the average of $414,479 recorded during the first 14 days of October 2009.
“we are seeing enough buyers relative to sellers to promote continued price growth year-over-year. People are buying because home ownership remains affordable in the GTA. A household earning the average income can comfortably afford a mortgage on the average priced resale home,” Said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Keeping your best interest in mind

Toronto Sun--October 15, 2010 --Bill Johnston, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board,
One characteristic that defines most Canadians is hope. Canada is a society founded on the promise of a better life achieved through hard work and integrity. This dream and these principles attract people from all over the world to Canada, who in turn, contribute so much to what makes our country great.
If you were to ask Canadians to identify the key to a better life most would point to home ownership. Indeed, nearly 70 per cent of Canadian households owned their dwelling at the time of the 2006 Census, representing the highest rate of homeownership since 1971. The reason for our love of housing is simple: real estate is not only an excellent long-term investment; it’s the only one in which you can live as it grows.
Regardless of whether you are a first-timer, a move-up buyer or a right-sizing empty nester, it’s wise to use the professional services of a REALTOR® to help with the transition. Like other Canadians, integrity is paramount to REALTORS® and for this reason your REALTOR® will ask you to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement, confirming their commitment to represent your best interests by working exclusively on your behalf.
Once you have signed a Buyer Representation Agreement, be sure to ask your REALTOR® about the Buyer Registry Service, a password-protected database that contains information on the current housing preferences of Greater Toronto REALTORS’® clients. To provide for your privacy, your personal information is only accessible to your REALTOR®, whose name is displayed for making contact.
You can achieve a much more efficient search by registering your criteria in the BRS, as it allows your REALTOR® to receive advance notice when properties that match your preferences are listed for sale. Homes that match your criteria are typically emailed to you on a nightly basis but communication can occur even faster between REALTORS® using the BRS.
Your REALTOR® can also get a sense as to the demand for your preferred housing type by comparing your criteria to similar preferences registered in the BRS. Gauging this type of information can help you make a successful offer.
Your registration in the BRS also helps verify the clearly defined business relationship between you and your REALTOR®, which can help you avoid potential conflicts when signing a Buyer Representation Agreement.
All that’s needed to take advantage of this very useful tool is a signed Buyer Representation Agreement and completed BRS Data Form.
We are fortunate to live in one of the most accomplished cities in the world not just with respect to finance, the arts and cultural diversity, but also based on our approach to real estate transactions. The BRS is just one example of Greater Toronto REALTORS’® commitment serving your needs with the highest professional standards.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

GTA REALTORS Work to Eliminate Harmonized Sales Tax Misconceptions

TORONTO, October 5, 2010 – Concerned that homebuyers are uncertain about the Harmonized Sales Tax’s (HST) applicability on real estate purchases, Greater Toronto REALTORS are reaching out to consumers to eliminate misconceptions.

Using social media channels and an ongoing series of newspaper columns, TREB is conveying to consumers that HST does not apply to the purchase price of resale homes.

“Although the HST applies to newly constructed homes and professional services associated with real estate transactions, the purchase price of a resale home is exempt from this tax,” said TREB President Bill Johnston.

Since resale housing was never subject to the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST), it continues to be exempt from the new HST.

Conversely, newly constructed homes were previously subject to the GST, meaning that the HST now applies. The Provincial Government however, provides a rebate of 75 percent of the PST on the first $400,000 on new homes, to a maximum of $24,000.

“When considering the purchase of any type of home, it is important to budget for additional costs, like Land Transfer Tax and Property Taxes. Fortunately though, the purchase price of a resale home is one area of relief for tax payers and recognizing that a home is many people’s single largest investment, this exemption is an important consideration.”

TREB began informing Greater Toronto Area homebuyers of this important distinction prior to the introduction of the new tax and plans to continue driving home the message.

GTA REALTORS Report Monthly Resale Housing Market Figures September 2010

TORONTO, October 5, 2010 Greater Toronto REALTORS reported 6,310 sales through the MLS in September 2010.

This represented a 23 percent decrease compared to the 8,196 sales recorded during the same period in 2009. Through the first nine months of the year, sales amounted to 69,069 – up four percent compared to the first three quarters of 2009.

“The level of sales in the second half of 2010 has been lower, representing a balancing out period following record levels of sales in the latter half of 2009 and first few months of 2010. We remain on track for one of the best years in history for existing home transactions in the GTA,” said TREB President Bill Johnston.

The average price for September transactions was $427,329 – up five percent compared to the average of $406,877 reported in September 2009. The average selling price through the first nine months of the year was $429,657. “Resale homes in the GTA remain affordable,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

“It is important to consider the positive impact of declining mortgage rates over the past two decades. Simply considering home prices relative to income does not allow for an accurate analysis of affordability,” continued Mercer. “The share of average household income going toward a mortgage payment on the average priced home in the GTA remains within accepted lending guidelines. This is why the average home selling price has continued to grow.”

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TREB MLS -- AVERAGE Resale Home Price--September

TREB MLS Sales To New Listings Ratio


Condos have become a way of life

Toronto Sun..October 1, 2010 --Bill Johnston, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.
Toronto is a place that has long been known as a city of neighbourhoods, one in which the character of a community can dramatically change from one intersection to the next.
From a housing perspective, our neighbourhoods have been defined by the detached, semi-detached and low-rise structures that have stood for generations.
The condominium apartment boom of the past decade however, may well re-define our idea of what comprises a neighbourhood.
Affordability and certainly lifestyle are two driving factors in making condominiums so appealing. And for today’s condo dwellers a simple gym, pool or party room is no longer the standard. Buyers now view amenities as an adjunct to their private living space. As such, you can find yoga studios, in-door basketball courts, spas, bars and even dog washing stations included in today’s condominium developments.
Given that residents share similar tastes with respect to amenities, condominiums have in fact, begun to develop their own community identity. You can even find groups dedicated to specific condo communities on social networking sites like Facebook. Anything from a new workout buddy to nearby a dog-walker is just a click away.
In the next decade we’re sure to see condominium communities further evolve. With new immigrants entering the GTA each year we will continue to be faced with a choice to build up or out beyond the GTA’s furthest reaches. Given the reduced environmental footprint they create, those who choose condo living are setting us all on a greener path.