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GTA Housing Sales and Price Growth Continues in August


GTA Housing Sales and Price Growth Continues in August

Greater Toronto Area housing sales of 6,939 units increased by 8.5% in August, 2018, compared to August, 2017 when 6,306 unit sales were recorded.  The average price of a home in the GTA also rose by 4.7% year over year and now stands at $765,270, compared to $730,969 in August 2017.  Month-over-month sales and price growth also continued in August and the annual rate of sales growth outpaced the annual rate of new listings growth.

Detached home sales were up by over 16% on a year-over-year basis in August, substantially more than the 1.6% increase in the other less-expensive semi-detached, townhome and condominium segments of the market.

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The 905 Regions surrounding the City fuelled most of this growth in detached unit sales, particularly in the Peel and York Regions, which recorded increases in detached unit sales of 32.6%, and 25.7%, respectively, as seen in the chart below.  In the City of Toronto (416) detached unit sales increased by 10.3%.

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Conversely, the City of Toronto is where average sales prices increased the most, at 8.1% year-over-year.  Prices also rose by 7.6% in Peel Region, while other areas of the GTA mostly experienced a percentage decrease in average selling prices.

There is now only slightly more than  2 ½ months inventory in the GTA as a whole and less than 2 months of inventory in the City of Toronto.  Many GTA neighbourhoods continue to suffer from a lack of inventory, although this is more pronounced in the City of Toronto.  York Region (north of the City) continues to have the largest supply of homes available for sale at 4.3 months supply, while in Halton, Peel and Durham (the regions northwest, west and east of the City, respectively), inventories are only slightly higher than in the City, at 2.3 to 2.4 months supply.

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Ownership of a home remains a solid long-term investment in the GTA, a region where the economy remains strong and the population continues to grow.

If you would like to find out what these statistics mean to you, or if you are curious to know how much your property is worth today or how much you can afford to buy, please reach out. 

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May Market Report - Steady Price Growth in the GTA Housing Market


May Market Report - Steady Price Growth in the GTA Housing Market

In May, we saw a continuation of the steady price growth experienced in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market during the 4 previous months.  So far, in the first 5 months of 2018, average home prices in the GTA have increased by 9.6%, to $805,320.  Unit sales have also increased each month in 2018 - from 4,019 units in January, to 7,834 units in May.

As I mentioned in last month’s blog, the housing market conditions in 2018 are very different than the conditions experienced during the comparative period in 2017.  But beginning in May, and through the second half of 2018, the comparisons will become more meaningful, as May, 2017 was the first month last year when the impact of the foreign buyers tax began to effect a slowdown in the rate of price growth and market activity, following the frenzy in the months prior when prices were bid up to unreasonable levels due to short supply and speculation.  So for the first time, we have the impact of the foreign buyers tax in both monthly results year-over-year, which makes a May to May comparison a little more relevant.

It is interesting to note, therefore, that new listings were down by more than sales this May compared to last year, (26.2% versus 22.2%), meaning that competition heated up among buyers.  And there are indications from sellers that listing intentions are down significantly since the Fall, meaning the supply of homes available for sale could continue to be an issue in the latter half of 2018.  And when the supply of homes decreases, prices increase, as competition among buyers intensifies.

This is particularly true in the City of Toronto (416) where, for example, average selling prices were at or above average listing prices for all major home types in May.  What is even more interesting, is that the further out you travel from Downtown Toronto, the weaker the market gets.  And since the GTA housing numbers are an average over the entire 416 and 905 regions, this proves how strong the market is right now in the City of Toronto, compared to the rest of the GTA, as the following chart shows:

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Finally, these last two charts highlight the composition of the May sales by home type in each of the 416 and 905 sub markets.  In the 416 region, condominiums accounted for a commanding 57% of unit sales and detached homes made up 25%, while in the 905 region it was detached homes that accounted for the majority of unit sales, at 55% of the total.  What these charts clearly indicate is that condominiums are the dominant force driving unit sales in the 416 region and are in high demand compared to higher priced detached homes, while the opposite is true in the 905 region where the inventory of detached homes tends to be more prevalent and buyers have more choice, which means these homes take longer on average to sell.

If you would like to find out what these statistics mean to you, or if you are curious to know how much your property is worth today or how much you can afford to buy, please reach out. 

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Turning your single-family home into income generating property


Turning your single-family home into income generating property

Let's take a look at turning your single-family home into a two-family, income generating property. This strategy can be an attractive alternative for empty-nesters and retirees who’d prefer not to move – and who’d be happy to generate some extra income.

At some point, usually after the children have moved out, many home owners decide to downsize. Today, that usually means moving into a condo or to a smaller community.

But many couples would prefer to stay in the family home, continuing to enjoy the neighbourhood they know so well. Here’s an alternative for anyone considering their options in such a situation.

Why not re-configure your home into a two-family, income-generating property? This strategy has a number of advantages.

  • You get to stay in the home and the neighbourhood you love

  • You can avoid many of stressors involved in adapting to a new neighbourhood, new neighbours, and unfamiliar amenities and services.

  • You end up with less home to manage.

  • You can generate important extra income to help fund your retirement years and lifestyle enhancements.

  • You may significantly increase your property’s value when it’s reclassified as an income property.

Offsetting these advantages, you’ll have to deal with some challenging realties:

  • Living through the renovation process, likely four months to a year. During this period, you might have to find a temporary residence.

  • Financing the renovations.

  • Managing the renovation process to be sure it meets your expectations and stays within budget.

  • Living alongside tenants who may not share your lifestyle.

  • Assuming the role of “property manager” – this means, at a minimum, dealing with occupancy, rent collection and maintenance issues.


Should you decide to re-configure your home to generate an income, here’s an ACTION PLAN to get the process underway.

Zoning and Permits

First, you’ll need to check out zoning issues. Is your area zoned for the living arrangement you’re hoping to create? Do you need to apply for rezoning or get a zoning restriction waiver?

Requirements vary from region to region, although there are some basics that will apply almost anywhere – each residence will need at least one exit of its own, plus bedroom, bathroom and kitchen area, and perhaps separate utilities and meters. 

Other safety standards, such as fire codes, might change once you turn the space into a two-family dwelling – such information is available from your local building planning department.

Space planning

You’ll need to consider what kind of people you want to occupy the new space – a family, students, another retired couple? This will affect the number of rooms and their sizes, the design of kitchen and bathroom spaces, and other considerations. 

If you need or want to make big changes, consult with a structural engineer. This is the time to think about major issues like the building’s envelope, and to fix any deficiencies or reconfigure the roof, walls, windows or doors.

Determine the rental income you can expect

Contact a real estate agent you trust to determine the rental income you can expect to earn, taking into consideration periods when the unit is vacant. As part of this analysis, find out how this revenue will be taxed, and what portion can be offset as expenses when you file.


You may need to take out a home improvement loan, a business loan, or even a second mortgage. Prospective lenders will need to factor in a number of elements: the use of second unit, your credit rating, etc. Ask your real estate agent to provide you with a home valuation before beginning.

Retain an architect

To be sure your re-configured property is in compliance with local zoning, building codes and safety regulations, retain an architect with local knowledge and expertise in handling this type of project. Be sure to get at least two or preferably three quotes.

Recruit a construction company

Be sure the company is experienced in this kind of project. Get at least three quotes. Have the company you select meet with the architect to work out potential issues before the construction process begins. 

Have qualified back-up in place to help keep the project on track. It’s always a good idea to have someone who cares for you to act as your back-up or to offer support as you go through the renovation process. Maybe one of your grown children, or a close friend.

Should you wish to explore this alternative to downsizing, I’d be pleased to help you assess this opportunity in respect to your specific home.

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The word “Invictus” means “unconquered”.  It embodies the fighting spirit of these “warriors” and what they can achieve through their tenacity post-injury. The Games are about much more than just sport. Invictus captures hearts, challenges minds and changes lives. The motto for the games is "I am".

The Invictus Games are Prince Harry’s sporting event for the wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.  Perhaps you’ve seen His Royal Highness on the news this week. On Wednesday he was right in our own backyard - in High Park - to give out medals to the athletes!

Once again, we are so fortunate to live in such a great city! If you have a chance this week get out there and cheer these courageous people on and join the movement, started by Prince Harry in 2014, to help generate a wider understanding and respect for those who have sacrificed so much to serve their country and their people.


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Luba, xo