1 Jun 2011

Home sales declined in Toronto the first two weeks of May

Full May home sales data hasn’t been released yet, but housing officials in Toronto hope it finished stronger than it started, as the Toronto Real Estate Board reported mid-month that home sales dipped. Issued on May 18, the TREB report indicated there were 4,774 sales through the first two weeks of May, representing a 2 percent decline in home sales when compared to May 2010. Bill Johnston, president of the TREB, was generally pleased with the report, but said that the slowing sales rate may have been impacted by the jump in the average cost of a GTA home – rising 8 percent compared to the same first two weeks of May in 2010. Jason Mercer, TREB’s senior manager of market analysis, said the rise in prices is due to “increased competition between buyers for available listings.” TREB says the average Toronto home sells for $486,223. One thing that hasn’t increased is the cost of Toronto storage. Jiffy Self Storage…

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23 May 2011

Some people purchase big ticket items that they later regret, but according to a new poll, recreational properties aren’t one of them. According to a new poll conducted by Royal LePage Real Estate Services, an overwhelming number of Canadians are pleased with their vacation home purchase. Overall, the survey found that 89 percent of people who currently own a vacation property said it was a good long-term investment. Broken down by province, 87 percent of Ontarians indicated as such. “Canadians’ confidence in recreational property values is mirroring what we have been seeing in Canada’s urban centres,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage. “Canada’s traditionally buoyant recreational property market appears to have found its groove once more.” The…

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19 May 2011

While some reports have indicated the Toronto economy is slowing, the rate of luxury homes purchased in the GTA suggests things are just fine. According to RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic and RE/MAX of Western Canada, sales of high-priced homes have jumped nearly 66 percent across the country in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same three months of 2010. Elton Ash, regional Executive vice president of the Western Canada arm of the real estate organization, said the numbers are staggering. “The strength of the upper-end segment continues to defy expectations, said Ash. “That demand remains largely domestic speaks to the solid underpinnings of the market.” The average luxury home goes for approximately $1.5 million in Toronto, according to RE/MAX, and…

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11 May 2011

Toronto residents driving to work may have swerved a bit when they saw the price for a litre of gas. According to Torontogasprices.com, the cost for a litre of gas has never been higher in the GTA, as in a 24-hour period, the price jumped 6.5 cents. The gas price tracking website says the average cost per litre in Toronto now stands at $1.39. Another gas information website, GasBuddy.com, confirms that the Toronto area received a sudden increase in overnight prices, only they say the jump was slightly less significant at 6.3 cents more. If the cost of gas in Toronto alone wasn’t maddening enough, TomorrowsGasPriceToday.com reports that compared to the rest of the world, Canadians pay 4 cents more…

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10 May 2011

A new poll is indicating that instead of going out and spending money with their tax returns, most Canadians will be using it to pay down their debt or save it for a rainy day. According to a CIBC Harris poll, 42 percent plan to use the money to pay down debt on things they already own and 30 percent plan on investing it. Just 8 percent plan to spend their new found earnings. “The fact that the majority of Canadians plan to pay down debts or shore up their bank accounts with their tax refund is a clear sign that Canadians are indeed focused on getting their financial house in order,” said Jame Golombeck, CIBC’s head of tax and…

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6 May 2011

The state of Toronto’s economy has received a steady stream of good news over the past several months, but it may be in the midst of a spring swoon. According to a recent report released by the Toronto Real Estate Board, there were approximately 9,041 existing home sales in the month of April. That’s a near 20 percent drop in sales compared to the same month last year. Despite the decline, Bill Johnston, TREB’s president, said it should not serve as a sign of what’s to come. “Expect the pace of sales to remain robust through the spring, as the economy expands and home buyers continue to benefit from affordable home ownership opportunities,” said Johnston. But a report from the…

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2 May 2011

Homebuilders in the Greater Toronto area received some well-deserved kudos this past weekend at an award ceremony held by the Building Industry and Development Association. The award ceremony is an annual event and is held to recognize homebuilders whose work has been extraordinary. The most prestigious award – the Home Builder of the Year – went to Mattamy Homes, marking the fourth straight year it received the coveted trophy. The company has been getting so many of them, it may need to put a few in a storage unit to make room for their new hardware. Another trophy went to Jeanhy Shim of Streetcar Developments for outstanding achievement in residential sales. “As I look around the room and see so…

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19 Apr 2011

With the deadline to file taxes looming, Canadians from coast to coast are getting all their paperwork prepared so that they can report their income to the government. And if Canadian taxpayers are anything like Americans, they’d rather do almost anything else. According to the results of a recent U.S.-based OfficeMax study called “Tax it to Me,” 45 percent of respondents said procrastination was the biggest hurdle to overcome when it comes to filing taxes on time. In fact, 40 percent of respondents said they would rather cut their own hair than do their own taxes. As a result, the survey found that nearly half – 48 percent – relied on someone else to file their taxes. But even when…

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15 Apr 2011

Storage units and home continue to be a hard thing to come by in the Greater Toronto area, as a recent report from the Toronto Real Estate Board indicates March home sales reached record levels. According to Greater Toronto Realtors, there were 9,262 transactions last month, making March 2011 the second best month for March sales in Toronto’s history. Bill Johnston, president of the TREB, said a combination of factors led to the robust performance in the GTA housing market. “The strong home sales reported in March and throughout the first quarter of 2011 have been based on a solid affordability picture and improving economic conditions in the GTA and countrywide,” Johnston said. The average selling price increased five percent…

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8 Apr 2011

If storage units in the Greater Toronto area were hard to come by in March, there’s a reason: More people were moving to the region. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of total housing starts for the city’s metropolitan area increased 17 percent in the month of March, rising by 44,000 units. Shaun Hildebrand, CMHC’s senior market analyst for the GTA, said condominiums sold particularly well. “Housing starts data for Toronto continues to display divergent trends for single detached and high rise construction,” said Hildebrand. “Growth was again derived from the condo sector, which showed greater diversity last month as over 40 percent of condo starts occurred in the [Greater Toronto area]. Economists have…

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30 Mar 2011

The rate of home sales and storage unit purchases didn’t break any records in the first two weeks of March. In fact, when compared to 2010, the sales rate dropped. According to the Greater Toronto Real Estate Board, there were 4,138 home sales the first half of the month, a decline of 5 percent year-over-year. Furthermore, the number of homes being listed for sale also declined when compared to March 2010, dipping 15 percent. Bill Johnson, president of the TREB, said the numbers are actually a positive sign for how Torontonians are faring in today’s economic climate. “A positive economic outlook for the Greater Toronto area, including steady growth in jobs and incomes, has kept households confident in their ability…

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22 Mar 2011

The latest indication more people are snapping up storage units in the Toronto area? Condominium sales soared in February. According to the Building Industry and Land Development Association, 2,202 new condos were sold in the GTA last month. That marks the first time more than 2,000 condo units were sold in February, which is usually a slow-moving month. Stephen Dupuis, the president and CEO of BILD, attributed the rise in condo purchases to, among other things, struggling sales in the low-rise home market. “The relative un-affordability of low-rise product has caused a huge market shift towards high-rise condominiums, which is fine to a point, but only if steps are being taken to create a more balanced market over the mid-…

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15 Mar 2011

People who thought ahead and grabbed a Toronto storage unit, anticipating further growth in the housing market, were wise to do so, as a new report indicates housing activity has been steady. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, sales activity was just under 6 percent lower than what was reported in February 2010, but it’s the smallest year-over-year decline in nine months and the fourth consecutive month of maintaining the five year-average sales rate. Nationally, new listings in February increased 1.5 percent. “Most local housing markets in Canada are well balanced, but there are still a number of buyers’ and sellers’ markets,” said Georges Pahud, president of the CREA. “Housing market trends often evolve and diverge from national trends…

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10 Mar 2011

As some of the more confident people in the country about Canada’s real estate market, Torontonians likely won’t be moving or clearing out their storage units any time soon. If anything, they’ll be renting out Toronto storage units. According to a survey conducted by the Royal Bank of Canada, Ontario leads the country in the number of people who view the current housing market as being balanced, with a whopping 80 percent of those looking to buy – four out of five people – saying they plan on purchasing a home with in the next one or two years. That’s the highest rate in the country, which is saying something because a majority of Canadians – 90 percent – are…

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8 Mar 2011
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Good news in the Ontario housing front. Following a hot January real estate market in Toronto and in Ontario as a whole, latest reports from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation show an increase of 49% for total Ontario housing starts in February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 38,000 units. Rental activity at Toronto’s Jiffy Self Storage follows on the heals of this trend as Toronto real estate market shows signs of heating up again. Vacant storage units in Toronto are going to be scarce this this spring and summer and occupancies in self storage may reach an all time high. Businesses and families contemplating self storage should reserve early to get the right size for their storage needs. Due…

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8 Mar 2011

It’s becoming somewhat redundant, but there’s more good news to report in the Ontario housing market. On the heels of a prosperous January for housing starts in the Toronto area, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports that total housing starts increased by 49 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 38,000 in February. “The condominium segment is shaping up to be the engine of growth for the construction industry in Toronto this year,” said Shaun Hildebrand, CMHC’s senior market analyst for the Greater Toronto area. “The rising number of condo starts and completions reflects a growing preference for this housing type among first-time buyers, downsizers and renters.” Because the CMHC says condo sales are also high among those who…

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7 Mar 2011

With more storage units and homes being built in the Greater Toronto area to accommodate the city’s growing population, the building boom is particularly strong in condominiums. According to Urbanation, an organization that tracks Toronto’s condo market, sales for condominiums skyrocketed in the fourth quarter of 2010, going from 3,805 in the third quarter to 6,280 between October and December. “There was a huge jump in sales and that was directly relatable to the fact that we had 29 new projects and 6,500 units that launched in the fourth quarter,” says Ben Myers, executive vice-president and editor of Urbanation, in an interview with the National Post. “A lot of those were large-scale projects and a lot of them did fairly…

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3 Mar 2011

There are plenty of storage units that can be rented in the Greater Toronto area, but there’s a growing trend among many Canadians to build storage units of their own. According to the Vancouver Sun, there’s been an increase in purchases of wine cellars, as people are plunking down as much as $60,000 to house their collections. Peter Durst, sales consultant for the Toronto-based Rosehill Wine Cellars, told the paper, “The wine cellar construction boom has continued to grow, especially in Canada. The idea of a wine cellar appeals to many people and has many benefits. It can be a showcase or pure personal storage.” The paper says $60,000 is not the typical price to build such a cellar, as…

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2 Mar 2011

Toronto homeowners can be confident they won’t have to relocate their belongings from area storage units this year, as a recent report from Scotiabank reveals real estate sales will hover around the 10-year average. “Market conditions are expected to remain fairly balanced, favoring sellers to some degree in the spring and buyers by the fall,” said Adrienne Warren, Scotiabank’s senior economist at a recent forum held in Toronto. “This, in turn, suggests relatively steady prices, but with more downside risk later in the year.” Another executive who is bullish about Canada’s real estate market is Phil Soper, president and CEO of Brookfield Real Estate Services, pointing to the economy’s resilience despite the worldwide recession. “Few advanced countries weathered the global…

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