Toronto prices stabilizing, foreign buyers drop, new benchmarks propel buyers

It would take 2.5 months to sell all houses listed in the Toronto area at the pace of sales recorded last month, says a recent report, compared to a low of 0.66 months in February due to a lack of inventory available.

Toronto

Toronto prices seen stabilizing as key housing ratio balances (The Globe and Mail)

The ratio of Toronto house listings compared with monthly sales has moved back into long-term balance, limiting the potential for significant further price corrections in the region, a new analysis concludes.

A report by National Bank of Canada economist Marc Pinsonneault said the ratio of listings to sales in the Toronto area hit 2.5 months in August, which means it would take 2.5 months to sell all houses listed in the region at the pace of sales recorded last month. That’s a significant change from earlier this year as the ratio hit a low of 0.66 months in February because of a lack of inventory available for sale in the city.

Foreign buyers drop in Toronto, Hamilton real estate deals (The Toronto Star)

Slightly more than 3 per cent of real estate deals in Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe from May to August involved foreign buyers, new statistics released by the Ontario government show.

From May 27 to Aug. 18, “approximately 3.2 per cent of 66,434 real estate transactions in the (Greater Golden Horseshoe) involved at least one foreign entity,” says the report.

Leslie Benczik understands why house hunters were frightened to purchase a property in the depths of the Toronto area’s stagnant summer market. Making an offer was like “a stab in the dark,” he says.

The broker with ReMax All-Stars Benczik Team Realty is based in Markham. The surrounding York Region is one of the areas hit hard by a steep sales decline in the late spring and summer.

Canada

It’s official: Ottawa’s Constitution Square sells for $480M (Ottawa Business Journal)

A consortium of investors closed the largest real estate transaction in Ottawa’s history Monday, buying the Constitution Square downtown office complex for $480 million.

The buyers – Greystone Managed Investments, Canderel and Canstone Realty Advisors –  announced the deal Tuesday. Regina-based Greystone becomes the majority owner of the three-building complex on Albert Street, while Montreal’s Canderel will take on the roles of property and leasing manager and Toronto-based Canstone will act as asset manager of the 1.06-million-square-foot space.

Toronto, B.C., job markets will survive a housing correction: report (The Toronto Star)

A new report says the real estate boom in Ontario and British Columbia has been a boon for housing-related jobs, but a home-price correction won’t trigger a major bust for the labour markets in those provinces.

DBRS says in a report today that the hot housing markets in B.C. and Ontario boosted job growth over the last decade in sectors such as construction, home-related retail and real estate by 28 per cent — faster than other parts of Canada.

Brace yourself for five years of glacial growth in Canada’s housing market, Moody’s warns (Financial Post)

Single-family house prices may be overvalued by as much as 60 per cent in Toronto, but cooling measures may take a bigger bite out of markets away from the country’s largest metro area, says a new report.

Moody’s Analytics maintains the brakes are being put on the housing market across the country and Canadians need to prepare for “several years of retrenchment” with at most as 1.3 per cent annual price growth per year over the next half a decade.

USA

Hurricane Irma won’t affect Florida real estate prices, says billionaire developer (CNBC)

The damage by Hurricane Irma in Florida is not as bad as it could have been and shouldn’t affect real estate prices, billionaire real estate developer Jeff Soffer told CNBC on Monday.

Irma, now a tropical storm, ripped roofs off homes and caused flooding and power outages across the state.

U.S. Mortgage Applications Volume Upticks in September (World Property Journal)

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Sept. 8, 2017, U.S. mortgage applications increased 9.9 percent from one week earlier. This week’s results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 9.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 13 percent compared with the previous week.

Detroit Real Estate Heats Up (The New York Times)

Picture Detroit, and blocks of foreclosed and abandoned homes may come to mind. But think again: While the “Motor City” days are far from returning, this city’s real estate market is showing signs of recovery.

Houses more affordable across half of UK now than in 2007 (The Guardian)

Homes across half of the UK are more affordable than before the financial crisis, with Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds among the places where the gap between earnings and house prices has fallen, a study has found.

Yorkshire Building Society research shows that with a continuing affordability crisis in London, popular destinations for people leaving the capital, such as Lewes and Exeter, have become increasingly affordable in the period since Northern Rock was bailed out 10 years ago.

World’s 10 Most Expensive Office Markets Revealed, Hong Kong Tops List Again (World Property Journal)

According to a new report by CBRE, Hong Kong is once again the world’s highest-priced office market according to CBRE’s semi-annual Global Prime Office Rents survey. The study also found that markets in the Americas and EMEA showed the most consistent growth in rent.

“Prime rents showed the strongest growth in information technology and media hubs, including Stockholm, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, New York and Seattle,” said Richard Barkham, Global Chief Economist, CBRE. “Co-working operators have been active in acquiring new space, particularly targeting tenants in tech industries.”

Melbourne top for Chinese property buyers (The Australian)

Melbourne has cemented its status as most popular city in Australia for Chinese buyers of residential real estate, two sets of new figures show.

The interest from buyers offshore comes even as they face a squeeze from both countries, with Victorian and federal governments introducing levies for foreign purchasers in the city, and China cracking down on capital outflows.

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