This week’s news: Average GTA home price jumped 20 per cent in 2016

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(Source: Pawel Loj)

Our weekly round-up of real estate news in Toronto, across Canada and the world for the week ending January 6, 2017.

 

TORONTO

Average GTA home price jumped 20% in 2016 (Toronto Star)

The Toronto Real Estate Board says 2016 was a record year for the country’s largest real estate market, with sales climbing 11.8 per cent from the previous year.

That’s as sales last year in Vancouver, another one of the country’s most closely watched real estate markets, fell 5.6 per cent compared with 2015.

Toronto home sales set record in 2016, TREB survey indicates ‘low’ foreign interest (BNN)

Toronto’s housing market just capped off a second straight record year of sales. Total purchases across the Greater Toronto Area rose 11.8 per cent to 113,133 in 2016, with the dollar value of those transactions hitting $82,578,210,100.

But the president of the regional real estate board isn’t pointing his finger at foreign buyers. Survey data released on Thursday by the Toronto Real Estate Board suggests those international homebuyers account for five per cent of sales in Toronto.

Toronto housing has a record year amid supply shortages (Bloomberg)

Toronto’s housing market posted a record year in 2016 that saw double-digit price gains, tightening supply and the cost of an average home surpass C$700,000 ($526,355) for the first time.

Sales figures released Thursday by the Toronto Real Estate Board show the city’s realtors sold C$82.6 billion worth of homes last year, an increase of almost C$20 billion from 2015. Unit sales rose 12 percent and prices increased by more than C$100,000 to an average C$729,922. That’s up 17 percent from last year — the largest annual gain since 1989.

CANADA

Why a new wave of tech startups might actually, finally, disrupt real estate (Canadian Business)

The disruption of Canada’s real estate sector has long been more a fantasy than a reality—something discussed by industry players over drinks, while the actual experience of purchasing a property remained the same as it ever was. But 2017 might be the year that the speculation comes to an end. In 2012, investors spent $300 million on real estate technology businesses globally; in 2015, that number rose to $1.5 billion, and experts expect the number to continue to grow. More importantly, the companies they’re investing in could actually make home-buying a less stressful experience.

Vancouver Real Estate Board releases 2016 home sales figures (Toronto Star)

Home sales in Metro Vancouver dropped by 5.6 per cent in 2016, the city’s real estate board said Wednesday, wrapping up a tumultuous year in one of the country’s most watched housing markets.

The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver, as measured by the Multiple Listing Service home price index, hit $897,600 in December. That’s a 17.8 per cent increase from the same month the previous year.

Another sluggish year ahead for Edmonton real estate market (Edmonton Journal)

After a year of slow sales and modestly declining prices, Edmonton’s real estate market can expect more of the same in 2017.

“We definitely saw dipping sales, but huge stability in prices,” James Mabey, the new chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, said after the group released its yearly forecast. “It was unremarkable.”

Whoopsie! Vancouver Real Estate Document Accidentally Names Chinese Government (Better Dwelling)

Don’t you just hate when you insert the name of the wrong company in a contract at work? And isn’t it the worst when the company you accidentally inserted is also the branch of a communist government that purchases real estate for the purposes of stabilizing their currency? Never happened to you at work? Strange, because the City of Vancouver did the same thing and brushed it off like it was normal.

According to investigative journalist Christopher Wilson, a review of a controversial land swap deal in Vancouver stated that China’s state investment firm was accidentally inserted in a contract, and the city is claiming it was an honest mistake.

USA

Mortgage Rates, Home Sales and Prices Seen Rising in 2017 (The New York Times)

Nate Lowenstein has been shopping for a home in Los Angeles, on and off, for more than a year.
His search has been stymied by a stubbornly low roster of homes on the market and the hurdles that come with it: multiple competing bids and higher prices.

These Startups Are Bringing Commercial Real Estate Into 2017 (Forbes)

Commercial real estate is behind the times.

That might come as a surprise, especially since the industry is valued at $12.6 trillion. Thankfully, a growing community of tech startups is beginning to address common issues that plague the industry.

Real-Estate Agents on Their Biggest Challenges (Including Snakes) (The Wall Street Journal)

I had a multifamily [rental] property that I was selling in Providence. It was a three-unit building, and one of the units was an S&M den, pretty much. It had taxidermy everywhere: a big raven, squirrels—weird critters. I would have to show the apartment, and in one room you opened up a closet and it was full of snakes, in tanks and slithering around. In the bedroom, handcuffs were attached to the wall behind the bed. I was terrified to show it.

INTERNATIONAL

China home prices, property investment likely to rise in 2017 (The New York Times)

China’s average home prices are forecast to rise 4.1 percent in 2017 from the previous year, while growth in property investment would rise 5.4 percent, a state-owned newspaper reported on Thursday.

Wild spurts in China’s property prices fuelled worries of asset bubbles this year, particularly in the biggest cities, spurring policymakers to enforce curbs in more than 24 cities.

Demonetisation hits real estate market in Mumbai and Thane (The Times of India)

Real estate market in Mumbai and Thane has taken a severe hit since demonetization was announced on November 8.

Industry observers said the sector has reached stagnation point with many players claiming to be unable to crack even a single deal in the last seven weeks.

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