A month and a half into 2014, the experts are still expecting this to be a good year for real estate in Toronto—for sellers, that is, who continue to benefit from exceptionally high average sale prices. Looking further ahead, though, the fate of the market is still uncertain. At least one group of analysts thinks 2015 will see home values take a modest dive. Here’s what else is being said about the Toronto’s housing market.
Canadian homebuyers have long been jealous of the detailed home sales information available on American real estate websites like Zillow—and, unfortunately, they’ll have to remain jealous for now, because the federal Competition Bureau has lost its high-profile bid to force the Toronto Real Estate Board to loosen its grip on the info. The bureau had accused the 35,000-agent board of unfairly keeping sales data from low-cost brokerages (and through them, homebuyers and sellers) for fear of losing out on commissions. (For its part, TREB says it has concerns about homeowner privacy and safety.) After a five-year investigation, two months of hearings and an eight-month wait, a federal tribunal dismissed the case at least in part because it was filed under the wrong section of the Competition Act. The bureau is considering whether it will appeal or re-file. [Globe and Mail]
Toronto’s housing market has been as hot as this week’s weather, but new data from the Greater Toronto Realtors Association suggests that the oft-predicted and much-feared cooling of Toronto’s market could finally be here. It seems that Canada’s new, stricter mortgage rules and a raft of bubble warnings have made buyers more cautious—well, that’s what pundits think, anyway. Here’s a breakdown of the most important numbers and what they may mean for Toronto homeowners:
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, Torontonians are so horrified by the land transfer tax that they’re running for the suburbs. The context: home sales and values are way, way up in the suburbs, while sales and values in the city are, well, also up, but less so. The TREB believes the land transfer tax is to blame (although Richard Silver, president of the board, admitted cheaper homes might also have something to do with it) and cites a recent poll that said 75 per cent of would-be buyers in Toronto and the 905 regions say they’re more likely to buy outside the city because of the tax as proof that it is pushing homebuyers away. However, that 75 per cent includes people who already live in the ‘burbs or wanted to move there anyway—we’d say the numbers suggest there’s some opposition to the tax, but don’t quite confirm a mass exodus of disgruntled house-hunters. [Financial Post]