The sky is not falling. The pigs are not yet flying. And we are pretty sure that the price of real estate in Toronto is going to keep climbing, though perhaps not as quickly as it was already this year. But really, maybe it will. After the announcement of the Government of Ontario’s ‘Fair Housing Plan’ our in-house experts pored over the information looking for whatever information might lead us to think the suggested changes would improve housing affordability in the GTA. We quickly dismissed point 15 thinking that while working elevators are fairly essential in a condo building, their lack of movement up or down was probably not having a huge effect on affordability in the market. Many of us thought it might be fun to join the ‘Housing Supply Team’ or the ‘Housing Advisory Group”, but at the end of the day we all have full time jobs that we like. The two points that we did pull out that we think will affect the market were the 15-per-cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) and the imposition of rent controls on all properties in Ontario, eliminating the exemption for properties built after 1991. For now we wait patiently for the legislation that will make all these announcements law and will give us the details that will allow clarity moving forward. On one last note, if you were thinking of heading out of town for your next purchase you should probably take a look at the articles below on house prices outside the City of Toronto.
The Freehold market experienced the typical after holiday resurgence in listings, more than doubling from 181 during the previous holiday filled week to 436 this past week. The increase in listings was city-wide and should help provide options for those Buyers still hot to purchase in the spring market. Not surprisingly, following a week of fewer listings there were also substantially fewer sales last week. The freehold sales in our study area topped out at exactly 100 with an even 70% going above their list price, down from a peak of 90% three weeks ago. Two interesting things of note last week were the steep decline of listings selling before their offer date with only around 10% selling in pre-emptive offers and the easing off of the percentage of sale price above the list price which seems to be settling in around 120% above the advertised price.
The condo market also witnessed a huge increase in listings adding nearly 200 more new listings than the previous week, going from 258 to 447. Like the freehold market condo sales also declined last week dropping from 224 to 151 this week, though the percentage of sales above their advertised price stayed relatively high with 70% of units selling above the list price. We think it is the condo market that will be most affected by the new rent controls and suspect there may be an uptick in new listings as the market moves forward.