All you need to know regarding the housing market in Toronto, Canada and abroad.
This week in Toronto: What housing data does and doesn’t tell us, Toronto has more room for density and the city’s housing recovery may trail Vancouver’s.
Elsewhere: Condos have become the last bastion of affordability in Canada’s big cities, Manhattan rent prices fall sharply and a plan for a new city in Oman.
Statistics Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. recently released a batch of data looking at “non-resident” ownership of housing in Toronto and Vancouver. Many observers have tried to spin the data in misleading ways, so it is important to look closely at what the data tell us – and what they don’t. Here are four important takeaways.
Toronto’s Housing Recovery May Trail Vancouver’s (Bloomberg)
To be sure, Toronto has seen some signs of recovery in the past two months, with sales in December having the smallest yearly decline since the introduction of a foreign home-buyer tax in Ontario in April. Still, the market now faces a new hurdle as homebuyers who don’t take out mortgage insurance will have to qualify at higher rates.
Scooch over: Toronto has room for more density, study says (Toronto Star)
“Canadian cities like Toronto, which are experiencing an affordability crunch, can accommodate much more housing supply. There’s a lot of room to grow, especially upward,” said senior policy analyst Josef Filipowicz, who wrote “Room to Grow: Comparing Urban Density in Canada and Abroad.”
Foreign buyers were never the source of the fevered real estate activity in the Toronto region, said Springate-Renaud, broker of record at the Toronto Central Engel & Volkers office.
High-end real estate has continued to sell and appreciate while the rest of the Toronto area property market endured a rockier year, says the CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
“To prospective homeowners in our largest cities, condominiums represent the last bastion of affordability,” said Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper.
Canadian real estate market outlook 2018 (Macleans)
What does all this mean for real estate markets in 2018? It means a possible return to the norm —a reemergence of a more boring, stable Canadian real estate market.
British Columbia’s superintendent of real estate is taking the province’s industry regulator to court, demanding the body begin disciplinary proceedings against a realtor accused of misconduct.
If B.C. Green Party Leader, Andrew Weaver had his way, a ban on foreign buyers investing in the province’s real estate market would be announced in the upcoming budget. “This is unsustainable,” said Weaver. “If we don’t curb the amount of the demand side of this equation, it’s only going to get worse.”
In the last year, American home buyers faced shortages in the number of properties available for sale. “We saw the lowest number of active listings for sale in over two decades, a full generation,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for Realtor.com, which maintains a database of more than 99 percent of homes listed nationally and provided data for this article.