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Deciding To Move in Your Golden Years

About 90% of those 65 or older want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). In order for that to happen, it’s important to have a plan. Aging in place could mean staying in your current residence or downsizing to something smaller in the neighbourhood. Making a move to something nearby allows you to find alternative accommodation with on-site support ranging from occasional, regular assistance, or chronic care.

1. Explore the Benefits of Staying Put
2. Do a Home Safety Check
3. Assess transportation
4. Ensure a supportive community or network
5. Look at Options Nearby in the Neighbourhood
6. Make it an Ongoing Process

But, eventually the day will come when you and your family decide that the time has come to sell your long-time home and move on. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the daunting task of moving after decades in the same house.

As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), I work with teams of professionals who can help you and your family including
professional down-sizers who will help you sort, discard, disperse, and decide what will fit in your new residence. You will probably decide to keep your most precious pieces, or even treat yourself to new items chosen especially for your next place.

I can help you find your next residence as well. There are many options. I can refer you to communities that cater to senior independent living; there are life lease homes where someone else takes care of the outside; condominiums to purchase or lease. Whether it is something smaller or larger all on one floor, we will find you something that also feels like home.

If you are contemplating a move in the new year, give me a call (416-925-9191).

I am happy to meet with you to discuss all of the options available to you.

September 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

September 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

The new normal in the Toronto residential real estate market has arrived. It has been finding its way for several months now, guided by the implementation of mortgage stress testing, the foreign buyer tax, and a number of mortgage interest rate hikes. It is now crystal clear, that the frenzied market of 2016 and early 2017 was in a phrase: driven by cheap, and easy money. There were other factors at play, such as a shortage of properties available for sale and the net migration to the greater Toronto area, but at the end of the day, it was access to mortgage rates that were, for several months, less than the prevailing inflation.

September’s market results illustrate the new normal. There were 6,455 reported sales during the month. In September of 2017 6,334 residential properties were reported sold, a 1.9 percent year-over-year increase. The average sale price followed a similar trajectory. Last September the average sale price for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area was $774,489. This September the average sale price increased moderately to $796,789, or 2.9 percent. The era of double-digit increases year-over-year is at an end.

This pattern can also be seen at the high end of the market. Last year there were 188 properties reported sold that achieved a sale price of $2 Million or more. This year the number of similar properties reported sold was 189. A comparison to similar properties sold in 2016 poignantly indicates how the market has moderated. In September 2016, 297 properties sold in this category: 57 percent higher than the sales achieved this year.

The distinction between the 905 and the 416 regional marketplaces persists late into the year. The average sale price for all properties sold in the 416 region (the City of Toronto) came in at $864,275. Last year it was $809,591. The average sale price in the 905 region came in at $796,786. Last year it was $775,546. Year-over-year the average sale price in the City of Toronto has increased by 7 percent, while the average sale price in the 905-region increased by slightly less than 3 percent. Sales in both regions were relatively consistent with last year, with the 905 region showing a small overall increase.

It Is interesting to note that all sales in the City of Toronto came in at 101 percent of their asking price. In the 905 region sales only achieved 99 percent of their asking price. Similarly, all sales in the City of Toronto occurred (on average) in 21 days. It took 26 days for sales outside the 416 region.

Inventory levels are beginning to stabilize as a result of a decline in new listings coming to the market this September. This year 15,920 new listings became available to buyers. Last year over the same period 16,433 new properties hit the market, a decline of more than 3 percent. Heading into October there were a little more than 20,000 residential properties available to buyers, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to last year. Expect that discrepancy to come to an end in the months ahead as properties continue to sell, and fewer properties come to market.

The bulk of the 20,089 available properties for sale in the greater Toronto area are located in the 905 region. Of those properties, only 5,830 were to be found in the City of Toronto, the rest in the 905 region. Translated into months of inventory there are 2.6 months of inventory in the 905 region and only 1.9 months in the City of Toronto. It is not surprising therefore that all properties in the City of Toronto sold in 21 days and it took 26 days for properties to sell in the 905 region.

In the City of Toronto, semi-detached properties remain the most sought-after housing types, notwithstanding that in most parts of the City they are becoming quite pricey. In September all semi-detached properties sold in only 18 days and at 106 percent of their asking price. The average sale price for all semi-detached properties sold in the City of Toronto came in at just shy of $1 Million ($995,951). The eastern trading areas in Toronto continue to be the hottest for these housing types. In the neighbourhoods of Riverdale, Leslieville, and the Beaches all semi-detached properties sold in only 15 days and for a startling 112 percent of their asking price. Inventory shortages of semi-detached properties are pushing down days on market and putting upward pressure on sale prices.

Condominium apartment sales in the City of Toronto lost some steam this September. Last year 1,362 condominium apartments sold in Toronto. This year that number dropped to 1,282, a decline of over 5 percent. Since inventory levels were only marginally different compared to last year, the difference can more likely be attributed to affordability. In the City of Toronto, the average sale price for condominium apartments came in at $615,582. Last year the average sale price was only $554,000. In Toronto’s central core, where most condominium apartment sales are recorded, the average sale price came in at a whopping $687,701, or almost 12 percent higher than last September. At prices now approaching $1,000 a square foot, the average priced central core condominium apartment is less than 700 square feet.

Given the strength of the Canadian economy, a further mortgage interest rate hike is expected in October. In combination with previous rate hikes and the stress testing that is now being applied by lenders, the residential resale market will be confined to its present pace and rhythm for some time.

Welcome to the new normal.

Prepared by: 
Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

 

Buyer Beware: Tax Implications of Buying from a Foreign Owner

 

Buyer Beware: Tax Implications of

Buying from a Foreign Owner

Imagine being the lucky winner in a bidding war and finding out you have to pay $625,000 extra on a $2,500,000 house purchase or even $125,000 on a $500,000 condo purchase. If you are buying a house or condo, there is important information you need to know about. If you suspect the seller of the property is not a resident of Canada or won’t be on the completion date, the onus is on you, the purchaser, to perform your due diligence to determine the sellers’ residency status.

Employment income, income from a business operated in Canada, and capital gains earned from selling Canadian real estate are all subject to tax. If a U.S. resident owned a condo in Toronto they used while working here temporarily and sold it, they would likely incur a capital gains tax. Likewise, if an Asian family had purchased a property for their children to attend high school or university and then sold it when it was no longer needed, capital gains tax could be owing.

Of course, collecting the tax from someone off-shore can be difficult if not impossible, so the Income Tax Act makes a provision for the purchaser to withhold 25% of the purchase price unless a Clearance Certificate has been issued by CRA or “after reasonable inquiry the purchaser had no reason to believe that the non-resident person was not resident in Canada.”  Generally a seller signs a “sworn” statement that he or she is not a non-resident of Canada (meaning the seller is either a permanent resident or citizen of Canada). Even if a statement is signed, it might not be recognized if you, the buyer, has ignored warnings that they may, in fact, be a non-resident.

There was a court case over the summer where a resident of California purchased a property several years ago and subsequently sold the Toronto condo. The seller was physically present in California on the completion date and signed a one-line statement that he was “not a non-resident of Canada for income tax purposes, nor will I be a non-resident on the completion date”. The Agreement of Purchase and Sale showed a California address to be used for document delivery. The judge in the case noted that the seller signed he had DECLARED he was not a non-resident. This was not a SWORN statement nor was it a SOLEMN DECLARATION. The judge further noted there were too many “red flags” to accept an unsworn statement and not to raise suspicion that this seller was not a non-resident. The purchaser was ordered to pay $92,000, which represented a whopping 25% of the $368,000 purchase price.

Most real estate transactions are closed by a lawyer acting on behalf of the seller, but a buyer should have their own lawyer as well. Make sure your lawyer requests proof of citizenship or permanent residency to eliminate your tax obligation on the purchase of your next home.

 

August 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

Market data for August came in as expected. Both the average sale price and the number of residential properties reported sold increased compared to August 2017. The average sale price for all properties sold came in at $765,270, or almost 5 percent higher than last year’s average sale price of $730,969. The number of properties sold compared to last year increased by almost 9 percent to a healthy 6,839 from 6,306 in 2017.

The increase in property sales was slightly unexpected. The 905 region was particularly hard hit by the implementation of the 15 percent foreign buyers tax. Since April of 2017 sales in the region have lagged behind sales in the 416 trading areas. That was reversed in August. Of the 6,839 sales achieved in August, 4,398 occurred in Toronto’s 905 region. It appears that the 905 market has adjusted to the implementation of the provincial legislation.

Although sales have clearly picked up in Toronto’s 905 region, sale prices continue to lag. For example, the average price of a detached house in the city of Toronto came in at $1,244,275 as compared to $907,780 in the 905 region. Similarly, semi-detached properties in the City of Toronto sold for almost $900,000, but dramatically less at $667,979 in the 905 region. Even condominium apartments in the City of Toronto out-priced sales in the 905 region. The average sale price of condominium apartments in the City of Toronto came in at $585,355 and at only $440,748 in the 905 region, although compared to last August average sale prices increased by 8 and 6 percent respectively in both trading areas.

The high end of the market also showed some improvement in August, but marginal. Last August 132 properties were reported sold having a sale price of $2,000,000 or more. This August 144 properties were reported sold in this category. The bulk of these sales were detached homes, although there were 8 condominium apartments sales in the $2,000,000 plus range.

In all categories, central Toronto properties continue to be the most expensive. Detached properties sales came in at $2,201,334. Semi-detached properties averaged $1,087,507, and condominium apartments averaged $662,059.

Listing inventories have increased compared to August last year. This August 12,166 new properties came to market, an increase if 6 percent compared to the 11,481 that came to market last year. As a result, active listings at the end of August were almost 9 percent higher than last year. In 2017 there were 16,419 properties available for buyers to view and purchase. This year there were 17,864.

A closer examination at the greater Toronto inventory indicates that it is overwhelmingly concentrated in the 905 region. Of the 17,864 active listings in the greater Toronto area, 13,056 were located in the 905 region with only 4,808 in the City of Toronto. Looked at from the perspective of months of available inventory, there are 2.6 months in the 905 region and only 1.9 in the City of Toronto. The same was true for new listings that came to market in August. Only 3,752 of the 12,166 new listings in August were in the City of Toronto. Interestingly, more than half of these new listings were condominium apartments.

Unlike last year average sale prices are only occasionally exceeding the average list price. In the City of Toronto all sales came in at 99 percent of the average sale price and sold in 23 days. In the 905 the sales to list price was lower, with sales taking place in more than 25 days, on average. Buyers are more deliberate, unwilling to pay any price to secure a property. Sellers’ expectations have modified dramatically since early last year and are more aligned with that of buyers.

The only trading area that has defied the changes that have taken place in the Toronto and area market place is Toronto’s eastern districts, especially those closest to the downtown core (Riverdale, Leslieville, and the Beaches), particularly semi-detached property sales. Sales in these neighbourhoods were all completed in 10 days on average, and all sales prices exceeded the average list price by 109 percent. At one time it could be argued that these trading regions bucked the norm because of affordability, but with the average sale price for semi-detached properties exceeding $1,000,000 that is obviously no longer the case. These neighbourhoods are simply some of the most desirable in the City of Toronto in their price point.

During the last part of this year the market is unlikely to vary dramatically from what occurred in August. In fact, price increase and property sales will likely be even more moderate that those achieved this August. The increases of 9 percent (sales) and 5 percent (average sale prices) were high compared to August 2017, the weakest month following the implementation of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan in 2017. Going forward expect increases in the 3 to 5 percent range for both sales and average sale prices.

Prepared by: 
Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

Featured Photo Credit: Shane Kingerski

Aging In Place: 6 Success Factors to Grow Old in Your Own Neighbourhood

About 90% of those 65 or older want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). In order for that to happen, it’s important to have a plan. Aging in place could mean staying in your current residence or downsizing to something smaller in the neighbourhood. Making a move to something nearby allows you to find alternative accommodation with on-site support ranging from occasional, regular assistance, or chronic care.

aging_in_place_info2

1. Explore the Benefits of Staying Put

There are many reasons why aging in place can be a win. It may be financially advantageous. For instance, depending on the situation, staying in your home can be less expensive than moving to an assisted-living community. There are the upfront costs of moving, monthly payments for room and board, which can easily range from $3,000 – $5,000+ a month. Home care could be a much cheaper option.

Even more important are the psychological payoffs of not moving away from one’s established community of friends, medical professionals, and faith community. Though these factors are hard to place a financial value on, they are a vital component of healthy aging. Your social connections will add to a happier, healthier life, which may get lost if you move. You shouldn’t just concentrate on finances.

2. Do a Home Safety Check

The first step in an “aging in place” plan is to run a complete safety check of your home.  There are some hazards that you might take for granted—for example, furniture obstructing pathways or stairs. Walk around the house with an eye for potential hazards that might cause trouble should vision or mobility begin to deteriorate. You can hire a home modification specialist to correct any issues.

Many of the improvements that may make it easier to stay in your house—such as raising electrical outlets to make them more accessible, and installing brighter outdoor lighting—aren’t expensive. Homes can be retrofitted by installing secure handrails alongside the stairs to the front door, switching doorknobs to levers, adding automatic lights to hallways, removing rugs that might become tripping hazards, and placing grab bars in the shower. Some of these options can be done long before your senior years. Having a home that is senior-friendly could make it more saleable when the time comes.
The sooner you start preparing, the better.

3. Assess transportation

Driving may be your lifeline and independence. Eventually, you may come to that  “I don’t think I can drive” moment. It’s tough, but often unavoidable. If you are at the point that you can no longer drive or walk to the grocery store or reach other important services, assess other transportation options.  Is there public transit? Ride sharing with friends or neighbours? Some grocery and pharmacy outlets deliver.

4. Ensure a supportive community or networkcamille5

Isolation is deadly at any age, especially in senior years. Communication and social connectedness are crucial. Do you have a local support network? Are you comfortable communicating via computer or smart phone/tablet? Start to put together a list of people and professionals who can step in and help if you need someone to go along to a doctor’s appointment, or someone to help with errands, or for lunch or dinner dates. If your family doesn’t live nearby, you may want to have a pipeline to neighbours you can call for periodic check-ups. Don’t be stubbornly independent. Let friends help.

5. Look at Options Nearby in the Neighbourhood

Be honest with yourself. Are you happy living alone? Are you lonely? At least look at facilities in your neighbourhood that might range from independent living (with or without a meal option) to assisted-living where support is available for some daily or occasional tasks to chronic nursing care. You may not need chronic care now, but if your centre offers it, you will have first priority should the need arise. Living with other seniors nearby might provide a delightful social community that you didn’t realise you were missing.

6. Make it an Ongoing Process

Once you have a plan, review it regularly by yourself and a trusted family member or friend. Once the home is retrofitted, keep an eye open to see if you are having trouble. What if you experience a health event, such as a bout of pneumonia that requires a lengthy hospital stay, or a fall that affects your cognitive ability or mobility.

Friends and family members may want to look out for any unexplained bruising on the aging person’s arms or legs.  Look around the home when you visit. Is there a pile of mail? Are things in disarray? Is the fridge bare? Is food spoiling? Be willing to reassess the situation to consider and decide whether the plan you put in place is still working.

– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results. 

Out in the City: Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma

Out in the City: Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma

Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma

Out in the City: Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma

There is an exciting partnership between Casa Loma and the Toronto Symphony. Their Symphony in the Gardens series, with Kerry Stratton conducting, brings a wonderful sensory experience: combining a night out in Toronto at a heritage location, good food and drink, and live classical music amongst the beautifully-planted gardens on a warm summer evening.

Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma

For the normal entrance fee ($30 for adults) to Casa Loma, you get access to the building, its grounds, and the musical event of the evening. The Toronto Symphony performs in a tented glass house with excellent acoustics.

Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma

Bring your sweetheart or friends and have a memorable evening al fresco with dinner, a glass of wine, tropical sangria, or gelato in the shadow of this important Toronto landmark.

Out in the City: Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma

There are two more evenings planned: August 21 st and August 28th at 7:30 p.m., but get there early, because seating is limited. The August 21st program is Screen Classics, music that has defined film and television. The August 28th program is Thank You for The Music, a celebration of Abba!

Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma
1 Austin Terrace

August 21 & 28 – 7:30 p.m.   

Website: casaloma.ca/events_feature2.html

Symphony in the Gardens Casa Loma

July 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

Symphony in the Gardens Casa Loma

Chip Barkel Toronto Real Estate Prices July 2018

 

July 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

There were no surprises as to the market’s performance in July. There has been a consistent improvement both as to sales volumes and average sale prices since January. July saw the most dramatic year-over-year improvement. As compared to last year, sales volumes in the greater Toronto area increased by 18.4 percent, and the average sale price was 4.8 percent stronger than the average sale price last July. In July 6,961 residential resale properties were reported sold in the greater Toronto area. Last year only 5,869 properties were sold. The average sale price came in at $782,129 as compared to $745,971 last July. The average sale price in the city of Toronto came in at $824,336, almost 6 percent higher than the greater Toronto average, notwithstanding that the bulk of the property sales responsible for this average sale price were condominium apartments.

168 Bethel Sideroad, Georgina, ON

For the first time since the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan measures, every housing type saw price increases as compared to last year, including detached properties. The average sale price for detached properties came in at $ 1,350,700, an increase of 3.6 percent. Semi-detached properties increased by 7.4 percent to $935,300, and condominium apartments continued their upward trajectory, coming in at $582,247, an increase of almost 10 percent. The average sale price for condominium apartments in Toronto’s central districts, where most sales take place (65 percent), came in at $653,137. Translated as the cost for space, central district condominium apartments are now selling for approximately $1,000 per square foot.

43 Lakeview, Stouffville, ON

July also saw a recovery in the high-end of the market. The high-end of the market, primarily single-family properties, was dramatically impacted by the implementation of the 15 percent foreign buyer’s tax, the new mortgage stress testing, and three rate increases implemented by the Bank of Canada. For example, during the first 7 months of 2018, realtors reported that

1,247 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more had sold. This number compares very poorly with the 2,625 similar properties that were reported sold over the same period last year, a negative variance of well over 50 percent.

In July this negative pattern was reversed. In July 181 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported sold. All but 16 of these properties were either detached (160) or semi-detached (5) properties. This compares favourably to the 149 similar properties that sold in July of last year, an increase of 21 percent. It should be noted that this improvement in sales volume is due to a combination of buyers adjusting to the various measures introduced by governments, increased mortgage rates and sellers accepting that their expectations as to the ultimate sale price of their properties had to be lowered. This is reflected in the fact that the average sale price came in at only 98 percent of asking price for detached homes, and in districts where Toronto’s most expensive properties are located, at only 96 percent. Even these figures are not entirely representative since they do not account for any price reduction from the original list price of these properties.

2 Wolford Court, Georgina, ON

Inventory levels are a concern. Throughout 2018 they have been declining, particularly in the 416 regions. Of special concern are semi-detached properties and condominium apartments. In both categories, levels are now lower than they were last year at this time. In July there were only 329 active semi-detached properties available to buyers in Toronto, and only 2,583 condominium apartments. Last year there were 2,710 available and that figure was substantially less than the prevailing buyer demand. Due to these shortages, all semi-detached properties sold at 103 percent of their asking price. All condominium apartments sold at 100 percent of their asking price.

23 Cedar Drive, Caledon, ON

Going forward the lack of inventory (semi-detached and condominium apartments) will continue to put upward pressure on average sale prices, but that pressure will be limited. The increase in mortgage interest rates and the implementation of the new mortgage stress testing will limit buyers’ ability to stretch to higher prices as was the case last year. What should result is moderate increases in average sale prices and the number of residential resales. Increases should not exceed 3-5 percent until either interest rates decline, or we see substantial increases in wages and salaries.

Prepared by: 
Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

Featured Photo Credit: Shane Kingerski

Cottage Dreams: Soyers Lake, Haliburton

 

Soyers Lake – Located on Soyers Lake, part of Haliburton’s 5 lake chain & only minutes to town w/ hospitals, restaurants, & plenty of shopping. 138 feet of frontage w/ sunny south exposure, incredible big lake views, & deep clean water. The landscaping takes advantage of the lot creating different spots to enjoy; the permanent waterfront deck, watch the kids play on the flat usable space, or sit in the shade on the stone patio. The lot is very private w/ matured trees on either side & both easy access from the road and from the home to the waterfront. This spacious 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home’s main level has a bright kitchen, formal dining room, large sun room w/ walkout to large deck & a spacious living room w/ wood burning fireplace. Main level master w/ view of the lake, walk in closet, and large ensuite w/ Jacuzzi tub, guest bedroom, 3 piece, and laundry. The lower level has a games room, media room, guest bedroom, 3 piece bath, bedroom & office. Tons of storage & 3 bay garage.

July is National Ice Cream Month

July 15, 2018

President Ronald Reagan signed the proclamation making July National Ice Cream month in July 1984. Ice cream brings up many childhood memories for me. I had the great fortune of being born to a Mother and Father who both loved ice cream. Many Friday nights found us at a family favorite Matlack’s, restaurant style ice cream parlor near my hometown that served baskets of pretzel sticks with their bowls of ice cream, or a summertime drive down to Dredge Harbour

Soft Serve ice cream near the river in my hometown, or my Mother bringing home a quart of her favorite hand-dipped Butter Almond or Chocolate or Mint Chocolate Chip for us to share.

 

One adult memory of ice cream surrounds my friend and former boss, Kris Weston. Kris was in palliative care and actively dying at a hospital near Yonge and Bloor. She was a real-life “Sex in the City” character. She also was surrounded by a coterie of single professional women of a certain age who were her support team. They were all there visiting one evening and when leaving to have dinner nearby, someone asked her if she wanted anything.

“Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche Ice Cream”, was the response.

When they returned, they told us that Pusateri’s in Yorkville didn’t have that flavour, so they were sending a pint down from the Pustateri’s on Avenue Road north of Lawrence in a taxi. (“Who does that?”, I thought.)

Sure enough, after they left the cab driver arrived at the hospital room door with the pint of ice cream. I paid him $20 or $25 + tip for delivering it.

Kris savoured her ice cream, enjoying every spoonful. She died three days later.

Toronto has many ice cream choices waiting for you to make your own summertime memories. I’ve sampled all of them. All highly recommended.

– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, REDM, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results. 

June 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

June 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

Nasty year-over-year comparisons came to an end in June. For the first time in more than a year, we saw positive variances in the number of sales and average sale prices. It was unrealistic to compare the first few months of 2017 to any period. Those months represented the most frenetic period in the history of the Toronto residential resale market, even more dramatic than Toronto’s last frenetic increase in real estate prices in the late 1980’s. Last year’s collective market psychosis was fueled by historically low-interest rates, demand that exceeded supply, and an unrealistic belief that house prices would never stop rising. When the Ontario Fair Housing Plan measures were introduced in late April, it was the electric shock that woke up the psychotic market. What the government’s measure couldn’t impact was demand. With the large number of people migrating to the greater Toronto area annually and the limited amount of new supply available to buyers, demand will always remain strong. It’s not surprising therefore that the residential resale market produced such strong numbers in June.

During the month of June 8,082 properties were reported sold. This compares favourbly with the 7,893 properties sold last year. It was not surprising that the average sale price also popped in June. In June the average sale price came in at $807,871 a 2 percent increase compared to the $791,929 average sale price last year. As the chart below indicates, the average sale price for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area has been making a steady recovery since the beginning of this year.

Demand and supply will continue to play significant roles going forward. It is troubling that only 15,922 properties came to market in June. Last year 19,561 properties came to market, a decline of almost 19 percent. Although active listings at the end of June were on par with the number available to consumers last year, most of that inventory represents the residue of the market build-up following the implementation of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan.

What the average sale price belies is the fact that it was achieved notwithstanding that the high-end of the market continues to lag. In June 237 properties were reported sold having a sale price of $2 Million or more. Last year 264 properties were reported sold over the same period. On a year to date basis, 1,067 properties in this price category have been reported sold, a stunning reversal from the 2,483 that sold last year. June’s results are, however, encouraging, and as continued positive variances are produced through the balance of 2018, the higher-end will begin participating equally with the rest of the residential resale market.

The long-term problem will become affordability. Average sale prices are starting to inch towards the numbers that prompted the Liberal government to implement the 15 percent foreign buyers tax. In the city of Toronto, the average sale price for all properties sold was $870,559, approximately 9 times the average household annual income. The resilience of the Toronto and area market makes it clear that if there is insufficient supply, and growing demand, no amount of government engineering will make housing more affordable. It will take a collective political will at the municipal, provincial and federal levels to address the supply issue. Unfortunately, we have seen no collective initiative in this regard.

Prepared by: 
Chris Kapches, LLB, President, and CEO, Broker