Corinne McCabe , Broker

Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

Cell 416-888-9842 |

Market Update for February 2, 2024

Toronto listings are starting to see multiple offers starting up again. What has happened in the last week that has caused this frenzy? 

The psyche in the market has already started to shift. Could it be this unusually warm weather we are having? Does it feel like spring for the buyers? Do the buyers seem more “optimistic” about the housing market these days? Are they just plain tired of waiting on the sidelines or are they seeking to get ahead of any possible shopping frenzy spurred by expected rate cuts from the Bank of Canada?

This week in the east end of Toronto (E01-E04) there were 19 freehold sales and of those sales, 12 sold over the asking in bidding wars with the average sale-to- list price at 121%. We are also seeing bidding wars in other parts of the city as well.

Take for example a three-bedroom, three bath home in Mississauga's Erin Mills neighbourhood which sold Monday for $250,000 above asking after receiving a staggering 85 offers. It was listed at $749,000 and sold for $999,000. The listing agent did not anticipate the demand would be this overwhelming.

We don't know if we can definitively say it's a multiple [offer] market or a sellers’ market, but we definitely think we are starting to see people test the waters and figure out where their product lands and where the buyers are.

Buyer sentiment in Toronto began to show marked improvement in the last couple of months of 2023. According to data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, home resales in Toronto clocked in at 1,266 in December, and that figure was up 10% compared to December 2022.

Then January brought yet another rate hold from the central bank, along with the sweeping consensus that rates have finally peaked. Though the BoC is yet to say anything concrete about rate cuts and their timing, buyers are more motivated than they've been in months.

Good inventory that's coming to market that’s well priced and well-presented, in good pockets of the city, are the ones where you're starting to see some multiple offers, an increase in showings, and high traffic volume at open houses. Riverdale, Leslieville Roncesvalles, Bloor West — those prime pockets where families are looking to lay roots are definitely seeing buyer demand.


Ontario gives Sellers the option to share bid details with other Buyers

The blind bidding war has been a fixture of Canadian real estate for a generation, but even with new rules in Canada’s largest real estate market that will allow realtors to part the veil of secrecy, industry experts don’t believe an era of open auctions is upon us. 

On Dec. 1, the latest update to Ontario’s realtor legislation, the Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA), came into force, allowing sellers for the first time to direct their agents to share details of buyer bids with other buyers.

Blind bidding is a hot topic when the market is soaring, and the practice was mentioned in the April 2022, federal budget when the governing Liberals promised to create a “Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights” that would ban the practice nationwide. Almost two years later there’s no sign of a ban and Ontario’s new rules only open bidding voluntary.

 There’s little public data on how often bidding wars happen. For example, the country’s largest association – the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board – doesn’t collect the information and doesn’t make bidding wars a searchable category for online brokerages. What can be tracked is how often properties sell “over asking,” which, while imprecise, does offer signs that a property was bid up. 

“I think it’s actually going to be worse,” said John Pasalis, president and broker of record with Realosophy Realty Inc. “If this was a pure open offer system, where it is transparent, that’s completely different. That is not what this is. This is the Wild West. It’s worse for the buyer and probably better for the seller; the seller has more tools at their disposal to maximize sale price.”

New homebuyers have often been frustrated at the unfairness of the bidding war system as it was previously constituted, where sellers could host an offer night and receive multiple bids, but the only information allowed to be passed on to other bidders was the number of other offers. Blind bidding could extend into multiple rounds and buyers sometimes raised their bids even if they were already in the lead. At the end of the day people want more transparency – this is opening the door to that.

Reform of blind bidding was sometimes pitched as an affordability measure; though because of a lack of data collection around secret bids, it’s never been clear how much the practice might have increased prices. The Ontario government continues to promote approaches that encourage consumer choice in the real estate trade process. 

Industry veterans also warn that the new rules leave a lot up to the seller, and there will likely be as many ways to run an open or closed bidding war as there are realtors in the province. 

The new rules don’t provide a road map to how an open offer day would differ from a closed one, and the different approaches realtors have used for purely closed bidding wars can already make the practice chaotic.

As for the federal promise of open bidding, Housing Minister spokesperson Micaal Ahmed said that since real estate generally falls under provincial and territorial jurisdictions, the federal government continues to consult with stakeholders to make a home buyers’ bill of rights. 

The work is well underway and nearing completion, he said.


Market Update for May 12, 2023

Multiplexes can now be built in all neighbourhoods, meaning duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes can be built, without special permissions, in all neighbourhoods from Rosedale to Westmount that are currently dominated by detached and semi-detached houses across Toronto after approval from the city council Wednesday, a move intended to increase low-rise housing options in existing communities. 


This controversial move to expand as-of-right permissions for multi-unit residences is a centrepiece of the city’s housing action plan to meet a target set by Premier Doug Ford’s provincial government of adding 285,000 homes by 2031. Previously, 70 per cent of Toronto’s residential areas only permitted single detached homes with zoning amendments and additional approvals required if another form of housing was proposed. 


The plan to remove the exclusionary zoning policy has faced significant opposition from many residents’ associations who argue that the changes could have negative consequences, including increased traffic, lack of parking options and a loss of trees. Some organizations, including the Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations, representing 30 neighbourhood groups, called on the city to defer the decision until a new mayor is elected next month. They also said it would be better to pilot the plan in select communities rather than make a widespread rollout in order to monitor and make adjustments if issues arise. 


The new framework, allows new multiplexes to be built up to 10 metres high, or three storeys, as long as the design keeps with an area’s existing “physical features.” In areas where taller buildings are already allowed, four-storey multiplexes may be possible, the new rules say — and where the lot is large enough, the rules allow a multiplex abutting a garden or laneway suite. That would total five residential units on larger lots. 


City staff are also expected to advance further policy changes in the coming years to boost density, starting with a final set of recommendations on allowing four- to six-storey walk-up apartments on major streets in residential areas, which staff expect to release later in 2023. 


Toronto will launch a monitoring program to track the uptake and distribution of multiplexes across the city, as well as document concerns or barriers that arise, including impact on parking and trees. A report is scheduled to come back to council by early 2026 or sooner if 200 multiplex building permits have been received by the city.


Market Update for March 31, 2023

To ensure every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home, Budget 2023 proposes new measures to build on this important progress. Over the past year, the federal government has taken significant steps towards making housing more affordable for Canadians. These have included:

• Introducing a two-year ban on non-resident, non-Canadians purchasing residential property to help curb speculation and ensure that houses are used as homes for Canadians to live in, rather than as financial assets for foreign investors;

• Introducing a one per cent annual underused housing tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential property that is vacant or underused;

• Introducing a new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account to allow Canadians to save up to $40,000, tax-free, to help buy their first home;

• Making sure that profits from flipping properties held for less than 12 months are taxed fully and fairly;

• Doubling the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit to provide up to $1,500 in direct support to home buyers to offset closing costs involved in buying a first home;

• Introducing a new, refundable Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit, which will provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite for a senior or an adult with a disability, starting in 2023;

• Applying the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax to all assignment sales of newly constructed or substantially renovated residential housing, to help address speculative trading in the housing market;

• Launching a new $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund to remove barriers and incentivize housing supply growth, with the goal of creating at least 100,000 net new homes across Canada;

• Launching a $200 million stream under the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects;

• Launching a third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative, which is providing $1.5 billion to create 4,500 new affordable housing units for Canadians in severe housing need, with 25 per cent of investments going towards housing projects targeted towards women;

Launching the New Tax-Free First Home Savings Account

In Budget 2022, the government committed to introducing a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account—a new registered plan to give prospective first-time home buyers the ability to save $40,000 on a tax-free basis. Like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), contributions will be tax-deductible, and withdrawals to purchase a first home—including from investment income—will be non-taxable, like a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). Tax-free in; tax-free out.

• Budget 2023 delivers on this commitment and announces that financial institutions will be able to start offering the Tax-Free First Home Savings

Account to Canadians as of April 1, 2023. 

A Code of Conduct to Protect Canadians with Existing Mortgages 

Elevated interest rates have made it harder for some Canadians to make their mortgage payments, particularly for those with variable-rate mortgages.

• That is why the federal government, through the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, is publishing a guideline to protect Canadians with mortgages who are facing exceptional circumstances. Specifically, the government is taking steps to ensure that federally regulated financial institutions provide Canadians with fair and equitable access to relief measures that are appropriate for their circumstances, including by extending amortizations, adjusting payment schedules, or authorizing lump-sum payments. Existing mortgage regulations may also allow lenders to provide a temporary mortgage amortization extension— even past 25 years.

This guideline will ensure that Canadians are treated fairly and have equitable access to relief, without facing unnecessary penalties, internal bank fees, or interest charges, which will help more Canadians afford the impact of elevated interest rates.


Market Update for March 10, 2023

Toronto Real Estate Prices Just Made The Biggest Monthly Jump Since Rates Began Climbing


TRREB data shows home prices climbed in February. Prospective buyers with their buyer-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and asking, how can it be so? It came without rate cuts. It came without speculators. it came without cheap credit, stimulus, or foreign buyers.


The average price increased in the GTA for the first time since August 2022. This could indicate that the market may have found its way off the downward trajectory and back into a seasonal cycle, as prices typically rise from January to February.


The average sale price in the GTA came in at $1,095,617 – down 17.7% compared to the same month last year but up $57,000 or 5.5% from January. For the City of Toronto, the average sale price for February was $1,071,043 - down 11.5% compared to the same month last year but up $83,000 or 8.4% from January.


It has been almost a year since the Bank of Canada started raising interest rates (8 times). Home prices have dropped over the last year from the record peak in February 2022, mitigating the impact of higher borrowing costs. Many homebuyers have also decided to purchase a lower priced home to help offset higher borrowing costs.


The share of home purchases below one million dollars is up substantially compared to this time last year,” said Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President Paul Baron. GTA REALTORS® reported 4,783 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in February 2023 – down 47 per cent compared to February 2022, the last full month before the onset of interest rate hikes. The number of new listings entered into the system was down by a similar annual rate of 40.9 per cent to 8,367. 


Easing inventory pressures are reinforced by other major demand indicators. Active listings, the total remaining inventory, climbed 38.1% to 9,643 homes in February. Fewer sales and more inventory aren’t traditionally fuel for higher prices. That leaves a shift in buyer psychology as the culprit.


Has there been a shift in buyer psychology driven by the Bank of Canada? It’s impossible to nail down what caused the shift without asking every buyer. Even then, what a buyer says can differ greatly from their reasons. That aside, two major factors are contributing—mortgage rates and the Bank of Canada (BoC).


Does this mean the correction is over? Not exactly, it doesn’t indicate much in terms of market direction. One month doesn’t make a trend, and prices never move in a straight line. Most corrections also face a period where a group of consumers on the sideline jump in and call a bottom.


Sometimes they’re right and call the bottom—like Toronto homebuyers in 1996. Other times they learn that academics refer to this as the “return to normal” phase of an asset bubble.


Market Update for September 9, 2022

Canada’s housing market isn’t melting down as you’ve been led to think.

Housing markets are unique for their location, type, quality, and size, so a decline in the average housing price is different from a decline in the price of an average house, which sometimes makes it difficult to decide whether it’s the right time to buy or sell. Adding to the confusion is that some metrics suggest prices are falling and others show an increase, though, overall, housing sales are down significantly compared to the peak activity in February, while average prices are down to a lesser extent.

 Let’s have a look at the numbers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as an example to clarify how markets are moving. Sales in the GTA were down to 5,627 units in August, a year-over-year decline of 34.2 percent, while the average house price rose by a tiny 0.9 percent, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) data.

But TRREB’s quality-and size-adjusted Home Price Index (HPI) is a better indicator of price movements, because smaller and lower-priced homes might sell more frequently during slowdowns, which can lower the average price.

 Compared to August last year, the HPI was up 8.9 percent, which seems a lot different from the dismal-sounding newspaper headlines and economist forecasts. What gives? It appears a lot depends upon how the metrics are generated. For example, instead of comparing current sales and prices with those from the same period a year ago, you could make the peak housing sales activity in March 2022 the benchmark. Any comparison with March will exaggerate the declines.

 Sales in the GTA in August were down 48.3 percent from the peak sales observed in March, a much more significant decline than the 34.2 percent drop from August last year. Similarly, average prices in August, not adjusted for quality or size, were down 18 percent from the peak prices observed in February.

So, are housing prices declining or climbing then? The answer depends upon perspective. If, say, someone bought a house at the peak of the housing market in February and is trying to sell the same property today, they are likely to experience a noticeable loss. However, most homebuyers stay at the same place for longer than just a few months.

Even the significant decline in housing sales relative to the peak in February hides the fact that sales activity in lower-priced homes has picked up since then. The number of homes sold for less than $600,000 in the GTA has increased by almost 70 percent since February, while sales for homes sold for more than $1.5 million declined by 71 percent.

 Total sales volume in 2022 will clearly be considerably less than observed last year. Housing experts attribute the decline to the increase in the cost of borrowing resulting from the steep rise in mortgage rates. But what is ignored in such pronouncements is a phenomenon known as the “forward buy,” where consumers move up their purchases to benefit from something. Last year’s ultra-low mortgage rates were partly responsible for the extraordinary sales volume because many households likely advanced their home purchase from 2022 to 2021, thereby boosting sales.

Housing sales in the GTA jumped by 28 percent in 2021 from the year before, reaching an all-time high of 121,642. Overall, over 100,000 more sales were recorded in 2021 by the Multiple Listing Service in Canada than the long-term annual average. The decline in sales in 2022 is partly because some of this year’s sales were lost to last year.

 These more nuanced statistics should help us realize that Canada is not experiencing a meltdown in housing markets. The magnitude of sale and price movements is in the expected range. And since the average number of days a property is on the market increased to 22 in August from 8 in February, buyers in the GTA can now take their time deciding. The days of multiple offers and rapid sales are over, at least for now, which should be good news for homebuyers.


MARKET UPDATE August 19th, 2022

Sales of new condominiums in the greater Toronto area have declined by 19 percent in the second quarter of this year, while the average price per square foot reached a record high of $1,453, according to the latest report from real estate consulting firm Urbanation Inc.

 A total of 6,792 new condo units sold in Q2 of 2022, plummeting 24 percent compared to a year ago. Sales did however remain above the 10-year average. The drop in buying activity caused 11,703 new condo units to remain unsold. While new condo purchases slowed, the cost per square foot of these units surged by 20 percent on an annual basis, reaching an all-time high.

 Several driving factors were behind the price spike, including soaring construction costs, labour shortages, and higher-priced projects, according to the report. Looking ahead, rising interest rates and delayed approval timelines for projects will likely keep the cost of new condos elevated.

 “Prices are expected to hold firm amid low inventory and high development costs,” Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation said in a press release on Tuesday. “The strength in the rental market and shift in demand towardsmore affordable ownership options should provide support for condominium activity as the market works through the effects of higher interest rates.”

The supply of presale condo units reached the third highest volume on record with 9,924 units to hit the market in Q2. The recent pullback in buying activity however has caused many projects to cancel or delay future launch plans. 

The data shows there were 35,000 new condo units anticipated to come to market for the region in 2022. In the first half of this year, roughly 16,000 units have launched and 10,000 more are expected, leaving 10,000 units on hold. Thisis a sign that the broader real estate slowdown has spread to the preconstruction market, where purchases are seenas bets on future housing because buyers wait years for their properties to be built.

Pre-construction buyers, the majority of whom are investors, have been spooked by the jump in interest rates even though they do not immediately need mortgages when they buy pre-construction condos. Typically, a 20-per-centdown payment is required to secure a pre-construction unit. The buyer pays the remainder after the condo is built.

 Urbanation estimates that, in the second half of this year, buyers of newly completed condos trying to recoup their expenses through rental income will face an average monthly shortfall of $1.06 per square foot, or the equivalent of nearly $700 per month on a 650-square-foot unit. By 2026, Urbanation predicts, that shortfall, or negative cash flow, will amount to $1.87 per square foot.


Market Update for May 27, 2022

A Bubble, Eh? Scotiabank’s “Very Pessimistic” Outlook Is Real Estate Prices Rise 10%

Here we go again with another prediction! Canadian real estate is so bubbly a large bank sees prices soaring in a downturn. Scotiabank (BNS) reported earnings today, filing the bank’s macroeconomic forecasts. These forecast scenarios help to determine outlook, and include a base case, optimistic case, and two pessimistic ones. Even in the bank’s worst-case scenario, they forecast home prices will still rise at a breakneck speed.  

Let’s start with what the bank thinks is the most probable outcome — the base case. This involves everything carrying on as is, with no improvement or deterioration. In the base case, the bank has forecast annual growth of 16.6% from April 2022. In contrast, they had forecast annual growth of just 9.9% back in January. Higher rates have somehow accelerated their forecast. Which is a little odd since they’re also forecasting the higher end for interest rates.

The best case, or optimistic scenario, sees slightly higher growth than the base. Home prices are expected to show annual growth of 19.5%. This is a huge jump from the 12.5% prediction in January. 

The worst-case scenario, called a “pessimistic scenario” involves another downturn. They split this one up into two, and the first one involves short-lived stagflation - (a mix of slow growth and high inflation). In this scenario, home prices fall. BNS doesn’t actually see prices falling in their worst-case scenario over the next 12 months. Prices are seen rising 11.4%, up from the 3% in January. Since the last forecast, a conflict broke out, inflation soared to a multi-decade high, and interest rates are climbing. Somehow this boosted their outlook.

Then there’s the “very pessimistic” scenario for BNS, in which things become unhinged. It involves high commodity prices, financial uncertainty, and supply chain disruption. But the point is this is a terrible economy in this case. BNS sees this driving home prices 9.8% higher, accelerating from the 3.5% drop forecast in February.

The strangely high forecast is at odds with their interest rate forecasts. BNS has one of the highest forecasts in the industry and has been outspoken about inflation. Somehow reducing leverage doesn’t impact their outlook.

Bank chief executives and finance chiefs stressed they still expect economies to grow as COVID-19-related headwinds ease. They noted that most households are in good financial health, as many stashed away extra savings during the pandemic, while unemployment remains low in a tight labour market. Businesses are borrowing to bulk up inventories as demand for products outstrips supply, and some sectors, such as commodities, are booming.


Market Update for April 1, 2022

Ontario to hike fines and penalties for ‘unethical’ condo development practices.

The Ontario government announced plans this week to increase penalties on real estate developers who behave in an unethical way, particularly as it concerns pricing on new condominium developments.

The change comes after widely publicized stories of buyers being asked to pay more than they expected for new condo developments after entering into preconstruction agreements with developers. These price hikes caught buyers by surprise and put them in a challenging position. Those who are unable or unwilling to pay the increases have their purchase cancelled and are abruptly forced back onto the market. Though they will get their money back, those who bought in years ago will now find their money doesn’t go as far in the current market.

Government and Consumer Services Minister Ross Romano said that the proposed new regulations will come into effect in 30 days and be retroactive to the date of Thursday’s announcement. The proposed changes would double penalties for developers found to be acting against the provinces Home Construction Regulatory Authority’s Code of Ethics for builders. Those found in violation could face fines up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations on a first offence. Repeat offenders could face even higher fines or have their operating licenses revoked.

You could also frame the price increases as price gouging on the part of the developer. In a market with such low supply, many have called for increased developments as a necessary need to help cool things off. If developers are allowed to freely increase prices on a whim, affordability remains incredibly hard to achieve and consumers bear the burden of corporate greed.

Whether or not a price increase is, in fact, a necessary result of material costs or an attempt to increase profits will vary from case to case, and in reality, could lie somewhere in the middle. Though measures are set to be put in place next month, the province will still have to undergo lengthy investigations and deliberation on a case-by-case basis to reach a clear decision on whether to impose penalties.

“We’ve given notice. Developers need to take notice that we are not going to accept this behaviour,” said Minister Romano. “These are all tools that we are giving our regulatory authority to ensure that we are protecting the little guy.” A consultation process is underway for the proposed rules. Overall, consumer protections are a benefit to buyers. However, the actual impacts of such regulations rely on a proactive and diligent regulatory body, and some have concerns on how stringently these new regulations will be enforced.


Market Update for February 18, 2022

Almost A Quarter of Canadians Now Permanently Work from Home, Up Over 300%

As public health restrictions linger, more companies realize they don’t need office space. Statistics Canada data shows new public health restrictions had more people work from home in January. Nearly a quarter of labor now permanently works from home, with that share rising sharply in big cities. This shift can change cities from places for work, to places that compete for quality of life.


Canada’s national statistics agency has found cities adopting the trend much faster. Urban areas have seen 25.6% of the labor force adopt a permanent work from home arrangement in January. In rural regions, the share working from home is 17.2%, much lower than in the cities. More workplaces realize they don’t need an office as they’re forced to work remotely longer. Stat Can notes the 2016 Census revealed only 7.5% of workers did so at the time. The pandemic has accelerated this trend by years. In just 5 years, the share of the population working from home is over 300% higher.


Two very expensive housing markets now lead for those who permanently work from home. The share of labor working from home is highest in Ottawa (40%), with Toronto (34.7%) not far behind. Both cities have seen housing soar in price, partially due to the proximity to work. Having such a large share of highly mobile labor should be a concern for policymakers. They’re now located in the city for quality of life, not because they have to be.


Testing the waters? A significant share of workplaces has now adopted “hybrid” arrangements. Another 1 in 20 workers in the Labour Force Survey said they go into work some days and work from home the remainder. Some of the world’s largest companies have been using this to test the waters for a more decentralized office. This allows them to tap a much larger talent pool while testing if the situation is still manageable.

A highly mobile workforce can also lead to deflationary pressures in expensive markets. Top talent from all over the country is now competing, much of it in more affordable regions. This can eliminate the pressure of housing on higher wages for expensive regions. At the same time, it can be a boost for wages in more affordable regions that have less competition. Once again, this won’t be clear until the new “normal” is revealed.


Market Update for January 21, 2022

Doug Ford dropped rent control on new units in 2018. Since then, thousands have come online and tenants facing double-digit increases ask: was it worth it?

In 2018, the Ontario government introduced legislation that scrapped rent control on new builds. So, if you move into an apartment, a condo unit, or a basement unit that was first occupied as a residential space after November 15, 2018, there will be no legal limit set on how much your landlord will be able to raise your rent. In other words, the rent for the brand-new basement apartment unit that you’ll be moving into next month (the one you chose to rent because it is more affordable than apartments or condos) could become unaffordable for you in a year if your landlord wishes to raise your rent to make more profit. People in Toronto and other unaffordable cities in Ontario will once again face economic eviction in an unregulated rental market.

The government said it was meant to encourage more builds and increase the housing supply. The provincial government, backed by some academics and industry players, says the rent control exemption is a way to incentivize the development of much-needed rental supply with hopes of pushing rents down. But other academics and advocates argue the trade-off for tenants facing a lack of stability is too steep, and that the number of units actually built since the policy came into force hasn’t been enough to address demand.

This rental control was paused during the pandemic, but tenants in new builds will soon face a return to unrestricted rent hikes as the freeze came to an end at the end of 2021. Apartments that do fall under rent control have to follow Ontario’s rent increase guideline, which is capped at 1.2 per cent for 2022.

More than 7,500 purpose-built rental units have been built in Toronto alone since the policy was enacted, says market research firm Urbanation, plus an untold number of condos and other homes rented out by investors. And as the years go on, more and more tenants are finding themselves in units without rent control and facing the prospect of large rent spikes.

And with a pandemic-era rent freeze ending last month, Urbanation president Shaun Hildebrand expects some tenants who signed leases mid-COVID-19 — when some landlords offered lower rents or incentives amid lower demand — may see higher-than-expected jumps. “I think some tenants are going to face a bit of a shock,” he said. He thinks more renters ought to be aware of the rules and whether their unit qualifies before signing a lease.

The NDP is trying to pass a bill – The Rent Stabilization Act - that would ensure that when you move into a new apartment you pay the same rent as the previous tenant did. The bill is to stabilize rents and crack down on renovictions.


Market Update for November 27, 2021

A wave of change is sweeping through the profession of city planning. A staff report going before council’s Planning and Housing Committee signals real changes coming to the city’s house-centric neighbourhoods. The report is the boldest and most progressive planning policy to emerge from city hall since the amalgamation of Toronto in 1998, where zoning rules expressly forbids anything except detached homes. The plan suggests “multiplexes” – buildings with two, three, four or more apartments to be allowed on the leafy streets where they are currently forbidden.

What kind of city do we want? How can we make room for housing to create the kind of city that works? Planning has been obsessed with protecting neighbourhood character. Toronto’s Neighbourhoods are reserved mostly for houses. This is known as “exclusionary zoning,” and in 2021 it locks down much of the city for multimillionaires. For years low rise residential areas In Toronto were basically off-limits to any kind of redevelopment except teardowns. Even more modest ventures, such as replacing a single-family home with a triplex, could face hurdles.

Toronto is considering reform through a planning effort called “Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods.” Such neighbourhoods cover half of Toronto’s buildable land. It notes that increasing the population of these areas supports public transit, reduces carbon emissions by letting people walk or cycle, and uses existing infrastructure such as parks and schools more efficiently.

The reality is that even progressive city councillors who throw around terms like affordable housing fear the wrath of the NIMBY: “Not In My Back Yard”– highly organized residents’ associations that oppose development at every turn especially where they live.

Yet the city’s planning policies such as the principle of protecting stable neighbourhoods, are evolving bit by bit. Last year, council adopted a report which cautiously puts forward the notion of permitting missing-middle-type projects, such as garden suites, to go up in low-rise residential areas. And look at Toronto’s new laneway-housing future. The city’s architects provided proof of the concept for laneway housing back in the late ’80s. City Hall held back the future’s arrival with red tape, as it does, for about 30 years. In 2018, it finally passed a bylaw permitting the construction of laneway housing. Laneway housing provides new rental housing opportunities within established neighbourhoods, contributing to a wider range of housing options. 

Let’s be a modern voice of reason as opposed to homeowners who fear change, and city councillors who fear homeowners. Let’s take a risk.

Bosley Real Estate Ltd. is a full-service boutique brokerage operating in Toronto, Muskoka, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Hope, Cambridge, and Thornbury Ontario since 1928. We have three centrally located offices in Toronto and over 250 sales representatives selling and leasing homes and condominiums in all the vibrant communities we work in. Our brand is well recognized internationally thanks to our unique affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Our sales teams meet weekly to discuss market conditions, trending topics, and anecdotes that more accurately reflect the true temperature of the real estate market.


Market Update for October 1, 2021

Canadians are changing provinces at the fastest rate since the 90’s real estate bubble. Canadians haven’t fled their province in such a large volume in over three decades. Interprovincial migration reached 123,500 people in Q2 2021. This is an increase of 55.1% from the previous quarter, and the largest migration since Q3 1991. That was smack in the middle of the last affordability crisis, and the end of the early 1990s real estate bubble. Migration and quality of life improvements tend to go hand in hand. 

Ontario was by far the biggest loser, with many more people leaving than arriving. Net migration was -11,857 people in Q2 2021. It was the largest outflow for the province since the early 1980s. Other provinces also saw substantial outflows, but not nearly as big as Ontario. Big losses were seen in Alberta (-5,447), Manitoba (-3,513), and Saskatchewan (-3,362). Since it’s interprovincial migration, one province’s loss is another’s gain. British Columbia was the biggest winner, with net migration reaching 15,300 people in Q2 2021. Both Nova Scotia (4,700), and New Brunswick (2,100) also saw substantial gains. Life on the coasts must be appealing. The other provinces made minor increases, PEI (869), Newfoundland (806), and Quebec (626).

This migration reveals a lot about the province from the perspective of the people that live there. Provinces with big gains strike the right balance of local retention and attractiveness. Affordability was a major factor for people looking to move. These provinces are winning people over with a better quality of life.

Even though Ontario lost a number of people this year, immigration to Canada’s largest province, Ontario, welcomed nearly 83,000 newcomers in 2020. Ontario’s share of all immigration to Canada remained unchanged compared to 2019, with the province welcoming 45 per cent of the country’s newcomers. In 2019, 62% of immigrants indicated they would settle in Ontario. A variety of factors suggest that Ontario should see a significant recovery in its permanent residence status of new comers this year.

Bosley Real Estate Ltd. is a full-service boutique brokerage operating in Toronto, Muskoka, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Hope, Cambridge, and Thornbury Ontario since 1928. We have three centrally located offices in Toronto and over 250 sales representatives selling and leasing homes and condominiums in all the vibrant communities we work in. Our brand is well recognized internationally thanks to our unique affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Our sales teams meet weekly to discuss market conditions, trending topics, and anecdotes that more accurately reflect the true temperature of the real estate market.


Market Update for August 20, 2021

Condominium markets in some of Canada’s biggest cities have strongly rebounded this year, and analysts say the market could once again return to pre-pandemic red-hot conditions as rental demand surges and inventory is shrinking. 

The condo market, which had been hot for years, cooled quickly last year during the pandemic as investors fled, spooked by the exodus of renters from cities to live with families or find cheaper places elsewhere. Short-term rental demand dried up and first-time buyers flocked to the suburbs and smaller towns to work from home.

This year, the rental market is rebounding on the prospect of white-collar employees and students returning to offices and universities and a strong bounce back in immigration. Younger buyers are also returning to condos after prices for bigger homes surged during the pandemic. 

“Market confidence has rebounded very quickly,” particularly in Toronto’s downtown core, said Shaun Hildebrand, president of Toronto real estate research firm Urbanation.

In the second quarter, the downtown market made up the highest proportion of Greater Toronto Area condo resales in a decade, which “speaks to a renewed level of confidence, not only in the condo market generally, but more specifically in the downtown market,” Mr. Hildebrand said. 

About 12,700 condos sold across the GTA from January to April, surpassing the 10,300 transactions ahead of the previous market peak in 2017. And while they fell following a March high, they remained 15 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels. The average price per square foot for a resale condo in Toronto is $1,066 and for new construction condos its $1,104 per square foot.

Shrinking available supply is further boosting the condo sales market. Construction started on about 1,143 apartment and condo units in June in the Toronto area, down over a third from a year ago and almost half the level of two years ago. And while ongoing construction of condos was at a record 86,149 units in the second quarter, about 92 per cent of these were already pre-sold. The pullback in demand last year, combined with scarcity of land downtown, has dampened the launch of new projects, Mr. Hildebrand said. 

“Developers are somewhat reactionary,” he said. “Now that demand for downtown condos has returned, we will see more condos launching.”


Market Update for June 25, 2021

Is the real estate market slowing down? We are getting asked that question a lot these days. A summer slowdown is normal for the real estate market as we transition from the intensity of the spring market into the summer market, and this shift happens almost every year. Last year was different because we experienced the spring market in June and July because of the pandemic lockdown.

It’s still a seller’s market. There are still plenty of buyers out there and demand still outweighs supply. But we are seeing diversions, now that a majority of the population is vaccinated and buyer’s attention is focused on trips, events, and visiting friends and family rather than solely on their home search.

Homeowners planning to sell should not worry that the bottom is falling out of the market, but expectations should change compared to previous months. Here’s what the shift might look like:

• Fewer total offers on competitive homes

• Fewer properties selling within the first week

• Fewer homes being listed for sale

• Buyers being able to negotiate a better deal

• Less extreme price escalations

• Listing your home at market value – if you had an offer date set intentionally listing low and were hoping for a bidding war and you didn’t get what you hoped for, then re-listing at market value might be the right strategy

As markets stabilize and demand begins to moderate – something that was signalled in the data for May – one of the greatest challenges for agents in their role as trusted advisor is identifying those expectations and realigning them. Agents who play the long game will attest to the benefit of educating their clients with real time data to manage expectations upfront, over dealing with disappointment and frustration down the road. 

The more interesting trend we have been seeing is a month-over-month decline in home sales since the peak reached in March. March to May is typically a period when home sales are increasing from one month to the next, but the effects that COVID-19 has had on the real estate market continue to distort the traditional seasonal trends in the market. The average house price in May was $1,312,334 while the median was $1,140,000, up 32% and 33% respectively over last year. 

There has been some cooling over the previous month, and a slight shift away from a tight seller’s market to a more balanced model was likely to emerge. Nobody ever thought that this frenzy could continue at this pace. A balanced market can make for great buying opportunities, especially for first time buyers.

Bosley Real Estate Ltd. is a full-service boutique brokerage operating in Toronto, Muskoka, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Hope and Cambridge, Ontario since 1928. We have three centrally located offices in Toronto and over 250 sales representatives selling and leasing homes and condominiums in all the vibrant communities we work in. Our brand is well recognized internationally thanks to our unique affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Our sales teams meet weekly to discuss market conditions, trending topics, and anecdotes that more accurately reflect the true temperature of the real estate market.


Market Update for April 30, 2021

There are early signs that the rental market may be starting a comeback. In the first quarter of 2021, average condominium apartment rents were down on a year-over-year basis, however growth in rental transactions outstripped growth in the number of units listed over the same period, suggesting that rental market conditions are starting to tighten up once again.

In the GTA there were 13,168 reported condo rentals during the first quarter of this year. This represents an increase of 81% compared to 7,251 rentals in Q1 of 2020. The number of condos listed for rent during the first quarter of this year was up 78% compared to the same time last year. The number of condo apartment rentals reported in the first quarter represented a new record for the first three months of the year. This suggests we are accounting for pent-up rental demand from 2020. Strong rental demand is also an indicator of broader economic recovery with people willing to sign rental agreements because they are confident in their future job and income prospects. 

The average one-bedroom condominium apartment rent was down by 16% year-over-year in Q1 2021 to $1,820 compared to $2,187 in Q1 2020. The average two-bedroom condominium apartment rent was down by 13% over the same period to $2,447 compared to $2,812.

“The rental market will continue to contend with COVID-19 as the third wave keeps the GTA in a lockdown during the second quarter. However, market dynamics were set in motion in the first quarter to generate strengthening rental conditions as the year progresses — particularly later in the second half as the population becomes vaccinated, offices start to reopen, immigration rises, and post-secondary students potentially return to in-class learning. These variables are obviously subject to change and dependent upon exogenous factors, but as each day passes and housing prices get more expensive, the upside for the rental market rises.” Shaun Hildebrand, Urbanation.

Bosley Real Estate Ltd. is a full-service boutique brokerage operating in Toronto, Muskoka, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Hope and Cambridge, Ontario since 1928. We have three centrally located offices in Toronto and over 250 sales representatives selling and leasing homes and condominiums in all the vibrant communities we work in. Our brand is well recognized internationally thanks to our unique affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Our sales teams meet weekly to discuss market conditions, trending topics, and anecdotes that more accurately reflect the true temperature of the real estate market.


Market Update for March 12, 2021

The spoils of pandemic wealth have added billions to Canadian households and to their total wealth unexpectedly during this past year. In every province, net worth is on the rise. About two-thirds of the average wealth gain came from rising home values, with the rest owing to a surge of savings. It’s a situation that bears little resemblance to past recessions. Disposable income is up sharply, home prices have never been higher and stock markets erased their losses months ago.

Ontario saw its average household wealth rise by close to $50,000 or 7.2%. Roughly three-quarters of that was driven by real estate. In the Toronto and Ottawa areas, the average gain in home values was around $43,000 over nine months in 2020. The wealthy have certainly benefited. In high-income annual neighbourhoods, where average annual household income is between $190K and $300K, home values rose by an average of $106,000. In lower-income areas, it was less than $10,000. Keep in mind these are just averages. Some home values have way exceeded these numbers.

The key driver of wealth was savings. Over the first nine months in 2020, households in Canada saved in excess of $200 billion. The vast majority going to deposits, which include savings accounts, GIC’s and term deposits. The rest was used to pay down debt like credit cards.

The other side of the net-worth equation is debt. Statscan figures show Canadians lowered their non-mortgage debt last year, but also added $118 billion in mortgages, the largest annual increase on record. The value of real estate assets climbed by significantly more than mortgage debt, helping to bolster wealth. The Bank of Canada announced this week it wouldn’t be raising interest rates until inflation consistently stays around two per cent, something it doesn’t believe will happen until some time in 2023. Mortgage rates have already started to edge up as markets start to take note of several positive economic signals.


Market Update for February 19, 2021

More than two-thirds of Toronto condo investors are planning to sell their properties rather than pay the new vacant home tax, according to a new Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) report. Toronto City Council voted to create an implementation plan for a vacant homes tax in the city which would take effect sometime in 2022. The tax would encourage owners to sell or rent out their vacant properties, which would increase housing supply, the City of Toronto said in a news release. Those who do not would need to pay the tax, and proceeds would go toward building new housing supply.

A total of 40 % of those polled at the end of last year said that they intend to sell their investment property in the next year in part due to a prospective vacancy tax, as well as further restrictions on Airbnbs. TRREB has been up front in asking the City to be prudent with its implementation of the tax, calling for exemptions for snowbirds, U.S. citizens, commuters, and other groups.

Using data from Vancouver’s implementation of a vacant home tax as an example, if one per cent of Toronto’s housing stock is vacant, at a tax rate of one per cent on the average Toronto home’s current assessed value, this could equal $55 million to $66 million in tax revenue per year. Toronto’s tax rate will be determined in the tax development process. Determining how a home is deemed vacant will be part of the tax development process, but residential property owners would be required to make a declaration each year about the occupancy status of the home.

On another subject, TRREB is applauding Toronto City Council for listening to the concerns we expressed and has decided to NOT implement an increase to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on homes priced over $2 million. Had it been approved the portion of the property value over $2 million would have been subject to a 3.5% land transfer tax rate, up from 2.5% - a 40% increase.


Market Update for February 12, 2021

This week the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) released its annual Market Year in Review & Outlook Report for 2021, projecting optimism for a booming Greater Toronto Area (GTA) real estate market in 2021. The report forecasts near-record sales numbers of 100,000 units, with average selling prices expected to break records and exceed the $1 million mark.

The blazing start to the year comes from a strong finish in 2020. January recorded 6,928 sales which represents an over 50% increase measured year-over-year against January 2020. Sales growth was recorded in all market segments, including condominiums in both the 416 and surrounding 905 regions. New listings also increased year-over-year, though at a less pronounced rate, which led to a tightening of market conditions versus the previous January.

The average selling price for January 2021 spiked 15.5% year-over-year to $967,885, driven primarily by the low-rise market segments as condominium apartment prices dropped in Toronto during this period. Despite this, TRREB expects that the continued growth of condominium sales could soon lead to sales growth outpacing listing growth, and renewed condo price appreciation.

Is the real estate market picking up steam at an uncomfortable pace? One just has to look at the number of multiple offers and wild bidding wars to know that demand is at an all time high. Hopefully as we start moving into the spring market lets hope listings become more plentiful, especially after this long weekend and the kids are back at school. Let us take this weekend to be with family and see what next weeks brings us. Happy Family Day!