MARKET UPDATE FOR THE WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 7TH, 2018

As with each passing year, 2018 was filled with its fair share of ups and downs. As we move forward into 2019, what will be in store for the real estate market in the GTA? Will there be calm and chaos? The big question now is how much will interest rates rise and will there be a correction in 2019?

This year the Toronto real estate market was heavily influenced by the mortgage stress test and rising interest rates. Affordability has also become an issue for first time buyers, with the average sale price for the City of Toronto coming in at $842,483 at the end of November. Renters are also struggling for accommodation. The average one-bedroom condo rose 9.5% to $2,163 and with rent controls and builder discouragement, new construction will dry up leading to higher rents and lower vacancy rates.

Low housing supply will continue to be an issue in the new year. At the end of November, TREB posted 73,677 sales year-to-date, and with one month to go we will be lucky if we hit 78,000! The last time we saw levels in this range was 2003 and 2008. Whether the banks raise interest rates in the new year, the uncertainty appears to be making consumers hesitant.

Compared to the record pace of home appreciation seen in 2016 and 2017, the GTA housing market is now positioned for a much healthier and sustainable growth in the future. Predictions are the housing market will maintain the status quo or could experience a slight growth in prices and sales in 2019. A return to a more balanced market that sees properties listed for a duration of time, we might need to go back to a more conventional way of approaching a deal and using the concept of negotiating.

People will continue to move for the usual reasons — whether they are downsizing, retiring, leaving town, and if incomes, jobs and population growth evolve stably, the housing markets are expected to respond accordingly. The spirit of optimism in Toronto will conquer all. Happy New Year!

Here Are The Top Five Trending Stories Of The Week:



Modest price gains expected in real estate in 2019

“Canadian realtors are predicting modest gains in the Toronto area re-sale housing market in 2019 — a return to a pre-bubble balance that will see home prices climbing in the low single digits.”




City of Toronto land transfer tax revenues miss target for first time

“The City of Toronto’s budget-balancing golden goose — the land transfer tax — is sick. For the first time since the tax on real estate exchanges was introduced in 2008, revenues that used to gush into Toronto’s operating budget will miss the target — $818 million this year — recommended by city staff and approved by city council, staff acknowledged Monday.”



Growing population in Toronto and Hamilton need housing’s ‘missing middle,’ report says

“The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region could be short 165,600 homes by 2041 if it doesn’t rightsize its housing supply to give families more space and build places that will induce seniors to downsize. Failure to do so could skew the population to an older demographic and impede its prosperity by discouraging younger, skilled workers, says a new study.”




The impact of 'unlucky' numbers on real estate and what some cities are doing about it

“ You can’t say higher interest rates and tough new mortgage rules aren’t having an effect on Canadian consumers.”



10 things you don’t know about the Bloor St. Viaduct as it turns 100

“One of Toronto’s oldest and most recognizable landmarks is turning 100 on Wednesday. To celebrate the centennial of the Bloor St. Viaduct, here are some things don’t know about one of the city’s most impressive feats of engineering.”