Severe Housing Downturn in Canada is Unlikely

 

Royal Bank has stated that a widespread real estate downturn is unlikely and that the probability is “still low but has increased somewhat in recent months”. Mortgage stress tests and rising rates are making it harder for buyers to get a foot in the door.

Toronto, Vancouver & Alberta are currently at risk due to the high interest rates put on the high-priced areas, and affordability is a major at a crisis level. “Regulatory changes made the market healthier – it is now balanced, well supported by economic and demographic fundamentals, and while condo building activity is elevated we see few signs of overbuilding,” says RBC.

Montreal remains one of Canada’s stronger markets at the present time, says RBC. Elevated levels of apartment construction in Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto is a potential long-term concern, however unsold inventories are low.

 

For more on this article, visit: https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/severe-housing-downturn-canada-unlikely-rbc-190257940.html

 

Canada Considers Applying Mortgage Stress Test Rules To Private Lenders

Canada is considering subjecting private lenders to the same mortgage stress test rules faced by banks to prevent housing markets from being destabilized by the lenders’ rapid growth, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Private lenders currently account for approximately one-tenth of Canada’s $1.5 trillion mortgage market, and are still dwarfed by banks but their growth has accelerated since the new rules have been introduced. The B-20 rules that were introduced last January require banks to test the borrower’s ability to make repayments at 200 basist points above their contracted rate, and have resulted in more applications for loans being rejected.

As of now, private lenders are not subject to the B-20 rules because they are supervised by provincial regulations rather than the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, the federal regulator. Bringing them under federal supervision would require a change in the law.

Two options were discussed, either the federal government would have to ask provinces to apply the B-20 guidelines themselves, private lenders would then also need to provide stress tests the same as the banks’, or the less severe alternative – to recommend provinces ensure private lenders run tighter checks on the ability of their borrowers to repay loans but stop short of imposing the actual stress test. A final decision has yet to be made.

Mortgage investment companies (MICs), have been the main driver of private lenders’ growth, picking up borrowers spurned by the banks. Lending up to 90 per cent of a property’s value, they typically charge borrowers an annual rate above 10 percent, sometimes as high as 15-20 compared with the 3-5 percent offered by banks.

For more on this article visit: https://business.financialpost.com/real-estate/mortgages/exclusive-canada-mulls-measures-to-curb-private-lenders-growth

 

 

10 Canadian Housing Charts That Show How Out Of Whack The Market Is

After years of booming times, Canada’s housing markets are at a turning point. Interest rates are rising, and the new mortgage rules have taken some steam out of the market.

Below are 10 charts illustrating just how out of whack things have become.

Canadians have never had to shell out more of their income to own a home:

Condo construction is at an all-time high:

Young families are not wanting to live in said condos:

You need to be a one-percenter to own an “average” Vancouver home:

Vancouver homes are comically overpriced:

Vancouver’s new distinction: Worst housing market:

There aren’t enough new residents to prop up Vancouver’s market:

Toronto has as much as it can handle:

Mortgage growth is at historic lows:

Investment condos are now often losing money:

 

Liberals Look To Make Home-Buying More Affordable For Millenials

 

Finance Minister Bill Morneau gave a speech in Aurora, Ont., where he asked if Ottawa has any plans to help first time-buyers. Morneau said the Trudeau government is looking for ways to make home-buying more affordable first-time buyers.

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead in October’s federal election. The Liberal government has focused on three housing-related issues: Canada’s shortage of affordable housing, a run-up in real estate prices and ensuring millenials can afford homes.

He stated that the Federal government has already taken steps to increase the supply of affordable housing and to cool the hottest markets by introducing stress tests that limit some people’s ability to take out big mortgages.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price for all types of housing there was $810,000 in December. Detached homes were going for more than $918,000. Conservative MP Karen Vecchio argued in a statement Tuesday that Trudeau government policies, including it’s carbon tax, have made housing less affordable.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh proposed measures he insisted will help build 500,000 new affordable housing units across Canada over the next 10 years. He said Ottawa should stop applying GST to the cost of building new affordable units, provide a subsidy to renters who spend more than 30 per cent of their incomes on housing and double a tax credit for first-time home-buyers from $750 to $1,500.

In 2015, Liberals promised to enhance the popular Home Buyer’s Plan which enables first-time buyers to borrow up to $25,000 tax-free from their registered retirement savings to purchase a new home. The amount musst be repaid within 15 years. And in 2017, they unveiled a 10-year, $40-billion national housing strategy which the government has billed as a plan that will provide more social housing and affordable renting units.

 

For more on this article, visit:  https://www.princegeorgecitizen.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toronto remains popular choice for global CRE investors

Among the top 30 cities favoured by investors for commercial real estate, Toronto ranks among the top 30 cities. It has help this position for every year in the past decade. However, Canada’s only city in the annual JLL rankings has slipped down the list from 14th to 19th, through the duration of 2017 to 2018. Asia Pacific cities are increasing in popularity.

London is still being favoured in the commercial real estate world, despite Brexit. The global rankings show that investors prefer cities they are familiar with, that have a well-established investment market, and high levels of transparency. New York slipped back in 2017 with Los Angeles becoming North America’s top city.

“In a year when investors have had to deal with increasing populism, protectionism and political uncertainty, the appeal of real estate as an asset class has continued to increase,” commented Richard Bloxam, Global Head of Capital Markets at JLL.

Investors remain focused on gateway cities, despite tight pricing. Many are looking at alternatives or emerging locations, as well as varying real estate properties within these cities, rather than exploring other less familiar cities.

Total volumes in 2018 were $733 billion, up 4% from 2017, the best annual performance in a decade.

Cross-border purchases accounted for 31% of activity in 2018, close to the 10-year average, suggesting investors still have appetite to buy outside their own markets.

“A notable trend is that half of these established gateway cities are in Asia Pacific. Increasing transparency in these markets is encouraging more investment, moving these cities even higher up the rankings in 2019 and beyond,” Bloxham said.

Looking ahead for 2019
Over the next year, JLL is forecasting a pull-back by some investors due to caution and selectivity.

That could mean a 5-10% reduction on 2018’s volumes although real estate remains an attractive investment compared to other asset classes with strong fundamentals.

Yields are now at historic lows in most markets across the globe. A sharp correction is unlikely, as there is still a significant weight of capital looking to invest in real estate, and corporate occupier market fundamentals across many markets are positive.

Among other key factors in JLL’s forecast:

  • The institutional real estate universe will continue to expand, driven by factors such as low volatility, diversification benefits, long-term income and an attractive pricing premium to core sectors. Asset classes such as student housing, senior living and multi-family have continued to attract more institutional money in 2018 and this is likely to continue in 2019.
  • Industrial now accounts for 17% of all investment, up from 10% in 2009. In contrast, the retail sector has seen less activity as investors adjust their investment approach to reflect changing consumer behavior. In gateway cities, the office sector tends to account for a higher proportion of investment volumes—68% in 2018, compared to 51% in global volumes.
  • The top 30 will continue to be dominated by the gateway cities in 2019. However, at the edges, investors will consider a widening range of cities in their strategies. Reflecting real estate investors’ risk appetite, secondary cities in established transparent markets, such as Osaka and Atlanta, are likely to attract more attention, as opposed to moving into entirely new countries.

For More On This Article, Visit: https://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/

The drop in 2018 Canadian Home Prices Isn’t What It Seems

Robert Kavcic, a senior economist for BMO suggests the decline in Canadian home sales and prices is not as bad as it seems. “Remember: If the price of every house in the neighbourhood stays the same in a given year, but fewer of the expensive ones change hands in favour of the cheaper ones, the ‘average price’ will fall”.

The average price of a Canadian home this past December was $472,000 down 4.9 percent from the same month a year ago, according to the CREA.

For the whole year, home prices have gone down by 4.1%, marking the biggest drop since 1995. Sales were especially low in the costly Toronto and Vancouver markets, which is going to have a considerable pull on the nation average price.

Removing Greater Vancouver and the GTA from calculations trims close to $100,000 from the national average.

“Main points here: It wasn’t as bad as the headline 2018 national price decline look; but it wasn’t good for much of the country either; and this year could see housing stagnation become a wider and more persistent theme” Kavcic concludes.

 

For more on this article, visit: https://www.livabl.com/2019/01/drop-2018-canadian-home-prices.html?utm_source=Weekly+BuzzBuzzReport&utm_campaign=fa2f6e35d1-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_06_29_03_54_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6d6db2b31f-fa2f6e35d1-217826257

Clients Now Using Audio/Video Surveillance On Potential Buyers

Talkative Homebuyers beware – The seller might be listening!

According to an Ontario Real Estate agent, two of her clients recently used cameras and microphones to eavesdrop on potential buyers during home viewings.

Juliana Webster (real estate agent), warns “the wrong sort of comment could be used against the buyer, like, if they said, ‘Oh, we would totally pay much more for the house.'” She said she was unaware that her clients were using surveillance until they mentioned it. Neither seller had installed the surveillance devices specifically for that reason, and they did not use the information to their advantage in negotiations, despite how “tempting” it could be.

Webster says the rules should be changed to force sellers to say if homes are under surveillance. In Ontario, the ministry of government and consumer services set the rules for the industry which are enforced by RECO.

In a statement, the minister’s press secretary David Woolley said realtors are subject to federal privacy law and could not use this sort of material “for commercial purposes…without the consent of an individual in the transaction”

The council agrees buyers and brokers should be cautious, because recording devices are becoming more and more popular.

For more on this article, visit: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/surveillance-home-real-estate-1.4979049

 

TREB Takes A Deep Look Into 2018 GTA Housing Market

Sales, Listings, Prices All Down From Year Before, writes the President of the Toronto Real Estate Board

 The story of the Greater Toronto Area real estate market in 2018 was one of moderation, with improvement of market conditions in the second half of the year. Sales, listings and average selling price were all down compared with 2017: there were 77,426 transactions (down 16.1 per cent), 155,823 new listings (down 12.7 per cent), and an overall average selling price of $787,300 (down 4.3 per cent).

In the first half of the year, it’s likely that many would-be buyers chose to delay purchasing a home due to higher borrowing costs and the new mortgage stress test, which could have contributed to the decline in the number of transactions.

On the flip side, a decline in listings contributed to increased competition among buyers looking to find a home that meets their needs. In turn, this fuelled a resumption of moderate year-over-year price growth in the second half of 2018.

Toronto Real Estate Board Market Watch year in review for 2018.

It’s also true that certain segments of the market performed better than others, from a pricing perspective. For instance, home prices were up slightly in the City of Toronto where a large proportion of sales were of condos. The condo market was the tightest market segment last year, with substantial competition among buyers who were searching for relatively affordable ownership housing options.

It is important to remember that Toronto Real Estate Board’s market area is made up of more than 500 communities and market conditions unfold differently across these communities. This is why it’s important to work with a professional Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) member real estate agent who is familiar with local market conditions in your areas of interest.

For information on the GTA real estate market in 2018 and in December, check out the infograph accompanying this article.

Stay tuned for TREB’s fourth annual market year in review and outlook report.

Toronto Real Estate Board Market Watch for December 2018.

On Feb. 6, TREB will be releasing its fourth annual Market Year in Review & Outlook Report, this year focusing on envisioning housing options and supply for livable communities.

The 2019 edition will feature a comprehensive market year in review and outlook, including the latest results from Ipsos surveys of existing homeowners and intending homebuyers, covering home-buying intentions, impact of recent government policy decisions, interesting information on investment property ownership, renovation spending and mortgage trends.

Additionally, the report will contain information on the new-home, rental and commercial markets. And you won’t want to miss new research from the Ryerson Centre for Urban Research and Land Development on mid-density housing and from the Pembina Institute on transit-supportive development.

You’ll want to check TREBhome.com, or TREB’s social media channels @TREBHome for a copy of the report, beginning on Feb. 6.

Original Article Source: https://www.toronto.com/opinion-story/9117267-toronto-real-estate-board-takes-deep-look-into-2018-gta-housing-market/

Toronto real estate slated for another boom

Toronto real estate is slated for another boom.

Thanks to the city’s thriving technology sector, Ron Sally believes real estate—and condos in particular—are going to be the hottest commodity in town.

“Our tech industry in Toronto is about to explode,” said broker of record and owner of REMAX Millennium Real Estate. “It’s been slowly climbing up the ranks; it hasn’t reached its peak yet but it’s about to come out into the open. It’s currently ranked number two in North America and number four in the world.”

Sally added that Toronto’s financial sector is ranked third in North America.

“As of 2017, the ranking is number 11 globally for the financial sector,” he continued. “What this means is that in the world, Toronto is the eighth-most liveable city and our job sector is going to grow, as well, in the next few years. Toronto’s condo market is undervalued, so whoever can get a piece of Toronto real estate should do it while it’s still available.”

Toronto is presently rated an Alpha city, and joining Singapore and Tokyo as Alpha+ cities isn’t unfathomable.

“Our transportation system is being improved—the city is changing implementation,” said Sally. “A lot of changes are going to turn this into a global city. Right now everyone knows where Toronto is. We had 28,900 new tech jobs created in Toronto, and that’s more than the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington D.C. combined.”

Indeed, Microsoft, Uber, Shopify, Airbnb and Google Sidewalk Labs are all setting up shop in Canada’s largest city and economic heartbeat. Coupled with the fact that new tech sector jobs will be created in the years ahead, and the fact that supply already lags well behind demand, Toronto condo valuations are on pace to surge.

“Downtown on King St., condos are selling for $1,500 to $1,600 per square foot; Pemberton is also selling one at $1,200 per square foot,” said Sally. “Things are slowly changing and those who see the big jump coming in the next two or three years understand it’s the same jump we had in 2014 and 2016. We have one million immigrants entering Canada in the next three years.”

According to Matt Smith, a broker with Engel & Völkers in Yorkville who specializes in the luxury market, the city’s thriving tech sector has been fuelling demand for high-end homes.

“A new trend is on the horizon that will continue to push Toronto’s housing market and its luxury segment, and it’s the impending tech boom,” said Smith. “In the last five years, Toronto has created 82,000 tech jobs, more than Silicon Valley and more than any other city in North America.”

Toronto Not Able To Build Office Towers Fast Enough

Nothing says more about the demand for office space in downtown Toronto than QuadReal Property Group’s response to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce preparing to flee to a new development down the street.

While the first tower of Ivanhoé Cambridge’s 2.9-million-square-foot CIBC Square rises next to Union Station, QuadReal, rathher than fretting over a huge impending vacancy at it’s venerable Commerce Court complex next year, is working with city planners to add 1.8 million square feet of space to the complex with a new 64-storey tower.

With the BMO Tower at First Canadian place, which has held the place of Toronto’s tallest office building, no one seems to be questioning the sanity of QuadReal or it’s parent B.C. Investment Management Corp. who plan on creating the new tower which will stand as tall.

There’s 10.1 million square feet of new office space in the pipeline for Toronto’s core, but with none of it slated to open for more than a year. There’s apparent consensus that demand will further outstrip supply in 2019 – and that’s in a market that has already been North America’s tightest for more than four years.

Average asking net rents are up 38 per cent since 2013. It’s a sharp contrast to a decade ago, when big new office buildings started to rise again for the first time since the 1990’s recession. That wave of development (2008-2011) brought about three million square feet to market and had some expressing fears about a potential space glut. Now, after another five million square feet was added between 2012 and 2017, there’s the coming 10.1 million, which should all be open by 2024.

“Nobody’s getting reckless,” Mr. Forr at JLL says. “If you look at downtown or even across Canada, there’s still a conservative ownership and development community. You have a lot of pension funds and they’re looking long term. One interesting thing we’re seeing in this cycle is lots of net new tenants coming downtown.”

Five big names on that list include:

– Microsoft, which is moving in 2020 from the airport area, taking 132,000 square feet at Ivanhoé’s CIBC Square.

– Shopify will set up in a new 38-storey tower at The Well, which Allied Properties REIT and RioCan REIT are developing at Front Street and Spadina Avenue (Shopify has taken 253,000 square feet with an option on another 181,000).

– Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is moving its head office from North York to a new 46-storey tower that its real estate unit, Cadillac Fairview, is building at Front and Simcoe streets.

– Amazon has taken 113,000 square feet in Scotia Plaza (a building that will eventually lose many of its Bank of Nova Scotia employees to Brookfield’s Bay Adelaide North tower, where construction is set to start this spring).

– Tim Hortons is moving its head office from Oakville to 65,000 square feet in the Exchange Building on King Street.

When asked what factors are driving change most, Mr. Holmes of Colliers replies, “technology and millennials.”

While people recently feared Toronto’s core was overly reliant on financial services, Mr. Holmes says it has diversified, becoming a global player – particularly in tech, which relies on young talent.

“Millennials are choosing first where they want to live and then where they want to work,” he says, adding that Toronto’s core is diverse, welcoming, safe and fun. “Companies don’t want to be further out, even for cheaper rent in a better building. They need to attract and retain top talent and talent is choosing the core.”

Colliers projects that when the coming wave of buildings has opened, Toronto’s vacancy rate will climb to a healthy 6 to 7.7 per cent, which would still be North America’s third tightest, behind Manhattan and San Francisco.

City planners say another 31.9 million square feet are needed by 2041, but industry observers say that’s too far in the future to merit comment. What the golden goose definitely needs, they say, is more rapid transit through downtown, even before the core gets the 200,000 to 300,000 new jobs expected in the next 25 years.

 “Transit’s key,” says Mr. Forr, adding Union Station proximity is a big part of Ivanhoé’s success in leasing nearby CIBC Square.

With CIBC, Microsoft, Boston Consulting, AGF and others as its tenants, Ivanhoé’s first tower, scheduled for completion in 2020, was fully leased about 2½ years ahead of Ivanhoé’s usual timeframe. The second tower won’t break ground till 2020, but it is 50-per-cent leased already.

“If we had room for a Phase 3, I think we’d be looking at that very seriously,” says Jonathan Pearce, Ivanhoé’s North American executive vice-president for leasing. He sees transit as so important that it has, in effect, shifted the centre of Toronto’s core south toward Union Station, where all modes of transit converge and where the only certain downtown service expansion is in the works.

As for the prospects of Commerce Court, which began as one tower in 1931, once CIBC starts seriously packing to move down Bay Street, count Mr. Pearce among the optimists. “Toronto is such a strong market that the older-generation product in those iconic towers is still going to lease,” he says.

QuadReal, meanwhile, declined an interview request, but industry people say the planned new tower at Commerce Court, which will replace two shorter buildings to be torn down, will be impressive, is probably six or seven years out, and that there will likely be announcements in 2019.

 

 

 

 

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