The Royal LePage House Price Survey was recently released, and it suggests that the price of a Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home is going to exceed initial estimates this year. The housing market in Canada has been in turmoil for the past few years, but sanity is slowly returning, and many hibernating buyers are now emerging. This has forced experts to adjust their forecasts for GTA housing and expect higher prices than initially anticipated for the fourth quarter of 2023.
In the first quarter of this year, prices in the region were down year-over-year, with the aggregate price of a home falling 11.8% to $1,119,900 since Q1 2022. However, on a quarterly basis, aggregate prices increased by 4.8% since the previous quarter.
Median prices for single-family detached homes dropped by 11.9% year-over-year to $1,400,200, while GTA condo prices fell 7.4% to a median of $707,700 in the last quarter.
In Toronto proper, aggregate home prices decreased by 12.6% year-over-year to $1,144,300 in the first quarter of 2023, which is a 5.3% increase over the previous quarter. Median prices for Toronto single-family detached homes fell by 9.3% to $1,654,200 in Q1 2023, while condos declined by 10.3% to $705,400.
The GTA housing market saw robust activity at the beginning of the year, with many buyers reigniting their search for a home that they had previously put on hold. However, buyers are now facing a shortage of inventory, and the industry is not seeing as many deals close tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking, as they did during the pandemic boom.
Royal LePage has revised its forecast for the aggregate price of a home in the GTA due to the unprecedented spike in market activity. They are now calling for a 7.5% year-over-year increase in the fourth quarter of 2023 alone.
While many first-time homebuyers continue to struggle with affordability challenges and difficulties qualifying for a substantial mortgage, the rental market's prices are staying up as so many young buyer hopefuls have been unable to get onto the property ladder.
In conclusion, the GTA housing market is showing signs of improvement, but buyers are facing challenges. With the unprecedented spike in market activity, the forecast for the aggregate price of a home in the GTA has been revised. It will be interesting to see how the market performs in the coming months.
What do you think about the GTA housing market? Do you think the forecast will hold true? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Bank of Canada Holds Policy Rate Amid Strong Demand and Tight Labor Market: Expert Analysis and Insights
The Bank of Canada has just announced that it will maintain its target for the overnight rate at 4.5%, with the Bank Rate at 4.75% and the deposit rate at 4.5%. The Bank will also continue with its quantitative tightening policy. This decision was made in light of the current economic conditions in Canada and globally.
Many countries are experiencing easing inflation due to lower energy prices, normalized global supply chains, and tighter monetary policy. However, labour markets remain tight, and core inflation in many advanced economies is indicating persistent price pressures, especially for services.
Global economic growth has been stronger than expected, with the US and Europe experiencing growth surprises. However, this is expected to weaken as tighter monetary policies continue to feed through those economies. Recent stress in the banking sector in the US has tightened credit conditions further, and US growth is expected to slow considerably in the coming months. This will particularly affect sectors that are important for Canadian exports. Meanwhile, China's economy has rebounded, especially in services, and commodity prices are close to their January levels.
The Canadian economy continues to face strong demand despite supply constraints and a tight labor market. According to the Bank of Canada's latest outlook, the first quarter of 2023 has shown stronger than expected economic growth, with exports and consumption seeing a positive rebound. Although the Bank's Business Outlook Survey indicates a slight improvement in labor shortages, wage growth remains higher than productivity growth. Meanwhile, the housing market remains subdued.
Consumption is expected to moderate this year as more households renew their mortgages at higher rates, and restrictive monetary policies work their way through the economy. Softening foreign demand is also expected to restrain exports and business investment. GDP growth is projected to be weak through the remainder of this year before strengthening gradually next year. This implies that the economy will move into excess supply in the second half of this year. The Bank projects Canada's economy to grow by 1.4% this year and 1.3% in 2024 before picking up to 2.5% in 2025.
CPI inflation eased to 5.2% in February, and the Bank's preferred measures of core inflation were just under 5%. The Bank expects CPI inflation to fall quickly to around 3% in the middle of this year and then decline more gradually to the 2% target by the end of 2024. Getting inflation back to 2% could prove to be more challenging because inflation expectations are coming down slowly, service price inflation and wage growth remain elevated, and corporate pricing behaviour has yet to normalize. As it sets monetary policy, Governing Council will be particularly focused on these indicators and the evolution of core inflation to gauge the progress of CPI inflation back to target.
In light of its outlook for growth and inflation, Governing Council has decided to maintain the policy rate at 4.5%. Quantitative tightening will continue to complement this restrictive stance. Governing Council will continue to assess whether monetary policy is sufficiently restrictive to relieve price pressures and remains prepared to raise the policy rate further if needed to return inflation to the 2% target.
The Bank of Canada remains resolute in its commitment to restoring price stability for Canadians. The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is June 7, 2023. The Bank will publish its next full outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, in the Monetary Policy Report on July 12, 2023.
What do you think about the Bank of Canada's decision to maintain the policy rate at 4½%? Do you agree with their assessment of the current state of the Canadian economy? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Toronto is dominating the construction scene in North America with nearly 200 more cranes than 14 other major cities, according to Rider Levett Bucknall's Crane Index. With 238 cranes in Q1 2023, the majority are devoted to residential construction, followed by commercial construction, mixed-use projects, and hospitality projects.
Toronto's crane count outpaces other cities included in the index, with Seattle at second place with 51 cranes, and Los Angeles at third with 47 cranes. Calgary, the only other Canadian city on the index, had 20 cranes.
The Crane Index monitors the number of fixed cranes on construction sites throughout North America and has found an increase of 7.04% or 34 cranes from Q3 2022. RLB anticipates that the number of cranes will remain high in 2023.
Toronto aims to build 285K new homes by 2031, leading to the vast number of cranes devoted to residential construction. Despite workforce challenges and economic uncertainties, new projects are still breaking ground within RLB's 14 key markets.
However, Toronto's construction industry is facing a significant labor shortage, with the retirement of 43K construction workers. The Government of Ontario has pledged to double the number of skilled immigrants in the province by 2025 to address this gap.
RLB's Quarterly Construction Cost Report noted that residential construction in Ontario is being replaced by large infrastructure projects, which may cause completion delays. Nevertheless, the construction sector in Ontario is expected to remain in high demand, with a growing population and infrastructure upgrades.
Toronto's construction industry is bustling with activity, with a staggering number of cranes dotting the skyline. What do you think about this rapid pace of construction? Are you excited about the prospects of new homes and infrastructure upgrades, or are you concerned about the impact on the city's labor force and resources? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
The shopping malls in the Toronto area have been closely tied to suburban culture for many years, but due to declining foot traffic, increased land values, and the collapse of brick-and-mortar retail in 2020, property owners are struggling to find ways to make the most of their vast plots of land through new development.
For the past few years, a plan has been in the works to increase the density of the sprawling parking lots around CF Markville shopping centre in Markham at McCowan Road and Highway 7. While some mall owners are planning to demolish their retail properties, Cadillac Fairview is planning to keep Markville Mall as the anchor of a new community, expanding the facility's surrounding parking lots with mid-rises and towers, while also relocating surface parking to multi-level garages.
The plan involves constructing up to a dozen towers, with some reaching 44 storeys, mostly situated along Highway 7. Blocks of mid-rise buildings will be built to the north and west of the mall. According to a conceptual phasing strategy submitted to the City of Markham in December, the tallest towers will be built in the first phase to the southeast of the current mall. The second phase will be constructed to the north, while phases three and four will wrap around the west side of the mall.
The mall's east frontage on McCowan Road will remain the main entrance to the shopping centre, with new pedestrian paths carved through the community to support interconnectivity between the surrounding streets and retail concentration. The new development will also include parkland to draw pedestrian traffic to the mall.
Other suburban malls that are facing redevelopment or intensification include Square One, Bramalea City Centre, and Dixie Outlet Mall in Mississauga, as well as Scarborough Town Centre, Yorkdale, Sherway Gardens, Fairview Mall, the ongoing redevelopment of Galleria Mall, Yorkgate Mall, Jane Finch Mall, Agincourt Mall, Atrium on Bay, Dufferin Mall, Centrepoint Mall, Cloverdale Mall, and Malvern Town Centre in Toronto.
Have any thoughts, opinions, or questions about this development project? We would love to hear from you! Please share your comments below and join the conversation.
Ontario Proposes New Tenant Protections: 60-day Grace Period for "Renovictions" and Enhanced AC Rights
Ontario's government is taking steps to enhance the protection of renters against "renovictions", according to Housing Minister Steve Clark.
A renoviction is when a landlord evicts a tenant by claiming they will complete major renovations (or demolish the unit or convert it to commercial use). Landlords sometimes initiate a renoviction by giving tenants a notice to end their tenancy in the form of an N13 notice.
The proposed regulations will require landlords to give tenants a 60-day grace period to move back in once renovations are complete, at the same rent they were paying before. This is one of several changes the government is proposing to help renters, Clark said at an announcement in London, ON.
The proposed regulations also require landlords to provide written updates about the status of renovations while providing evidence that the renovation requires the unit to be vacant. The province is considering standardizing municipal rental replacement bylaws and doubling maximum fines for individuals and corporations that do not follow the law. The government will also give tenants more rights to install air conditioning.
In addition, the province will beef up the beleaguered Landlord and Tenant Board tribunal system that deals with disputes. Attorney General Doug Downey said the province will spend $6.5 million to appoint 40 additional adjudicators and five office staffers to the Landlord and Tenant Board. The new hirings will help the board operate more efficiently after seeing lengthy backlogs increase due to the pandemic.
Critics have long called for rent control in the province, but the government has not said it will do so. NDP housing critic Jessica Bell said she welcomed the new adjudicators, but remains trepidatious of any government changes because "they have not been on the side of renters."
While the proposed changes are a step in the right direction, many renters still feel that they are not enough. Critics argue that the government needs to do more to protect tenants from skyrocketing rents and renovictions, which have become more common in recent years.
According to a report by the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, renovictions are on the rise in the province, with landlords using renovations as a pretext to evict tenants and increase rents. The report found that the vast majority of renovictions are carried out without proper permits or inspections, leaving tenants vulnerable to unsafe living conditions.
The proposed regulations are a welcome change for tenants, but it remains to be seen how effective they will be in protecting renters from renovictions. While the government's decision to beef up the Landlord and Tenant Board tribunal system is a step in the right direction, it will take time to address the backlog of cases caused by the pandemic.
In the meantime, tenants are encouraged to educate themselves about their rights and seek legal advice if they feel that their landlord is violating them. By being informed and proactive, renters can help to protect themselves from the growing threat of renovictions in Ontario.
Royal LePage's recent report suggests that recreational property prices in Canada will decline over the next year due to a lack of supply and economic uncertainty. The aggregate price of a single-family home in recreational regions is expected to drop to $592,005 in 2023, a 4.5% year-over-year decrease.
The decline will be seen in various regions across the country, with Quebec expected to see the largest price drop at 8.0%, followed by Ontario (5.0%), Atlantic Canada (3.0%), the Prairies (3.0%), and British Columbia (2.0%). However, Alberta will reverse the trend with a 0.5% increase in prices.
Although prices had surged in the past two years, with a 26.6% year-over-year increase in 2021 and an 11.7% rise in 2022, the expected decline comes as a relief to buyers who were priced out of the market during the pandemic.
The national aggregate price of a single-family recreational property is predicted to remain 32% higher than 2020 levels, despite the fall. The aggregate price of a single-family waterfront property rose 9.5% year-over-year in 2022 to $736,900, while the aggregate price of a condo in recreational markets increased 16.6% annually to $432,000.
Royal LePage's report is based on forecasts and figures from 50 markets and a survey of over 200 brokers and sales representatives. A significant 57% of respondents reported less inventory in 2023 compared to the previous year, while 51% saw a decline in demand. Compared to the pre-pandemic market, 65% thought supply had dropped, while 38% believed demand had increased.
According to Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, the decline is due to a severe lack of inventory and general consumer inflation. While interest rate hikes have less impact on recreational property markets than homes in urban areas, Soper suggests that buyers are willing to wait for the right property, which is a stark contrast to the pandemic's frenzy.
Despite Quebec's predicted fall in prices, the province experienced one of the largest jumps in prices from 2021 to 2022, at 16.1%, with only Atlantic Canada seeing a more significant increase at 17.2%. The Prairies posted a 6.0% year-over-year increase in 2022, the smallest of any province, with an aggregate price of a single-family home at $271,300. The highest aggregate price is found in Alberta, at $1,165,500, largely due to the luxury properties in the Canmore market near Banff National Park.
As the world returns to normal, families are moving back to urban and suburban areas. While 56% of those surveyed reported that homeowners are not moving back, Soper points out that the long commute poses a challenge for those who do. The report suggests that living in recreational regions will return to being viewed as a weekend and summer escape from urban living.
What do you think of the expected decline in recreational property prices in Canada? Do you believe it's a good time to buy a recreational property? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
The City of Pickering, just east of Toronto, is preparing for massive growth projected during the next 15 to 20 years. From 100,000 people today, the city's population will grow to 150,000 in 2036. This will lead to more restaurants, bars, and fitness centers, which will give Pickering an extra dose of urban vitality.
Join Fahad Rehman in the video below as he walks through each of the sites (proposed, approved, or already under construction) to share an exclusive low-down of all of the details known as of January 2022:
[RELATED: Top 10 Best Domain Names for a Real Estate Business in Pickering]
Greater Toronto is expanding at an alarming rate, and there is not enough space. The provincial government has required suburban and exurban communities for years to make the most of the space that they have. Vaughan, Mississauga Brampton, and Brampton are just a few of the communities to Toronto's north and west. They have tried to build up, not out.
It's now the turn of the east end, like Pickering. There is plenty of space and a lot of empty parking lots. It makes sense to build on these areas.
Public transit is being built in the city. A special busway will be built along the Kingston Road corridor. People who live in tower communities near the station will be able reach downtown Toronto in about half an hour thanks to the improved GO service. This will allow them to leave their cars at home and take the pressure off the roads.
Pickering is set to become a much more vibrant and dense version of the city that it is now.