May 2014 Housing Starts in Toronto 

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: News Bulletin

TORONTO, June 9, 2014 — Housing starts in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending slightly higher at 32,812 units in May compared to 32,680 in April according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts.

“Sales of single-detached homes began to strengthen in 2013 and some appear to have translated into starts by May 2014. However, fewer overall new home sales last year continued to drag down total starts activity this year,” said Ed Heese, CMHC’s Toronto Senior Market Analyst.

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite variable from one month to the next.

The stand alone monthly SAAR was 37,594 units in May, up from 36,076 in April.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca

1 All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) — that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

Information on this release:

Market Analysis Contact:  

Ed Heese

Media Contact:

Beth Bailey

Additional data is available upon request.

Source: CMHC
1 Census Metropolitan Area
2 The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR).
Detailed data available upon request

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New Poll Shows Majority of Torontonians Want Toronto Mayoral and Councillor Candidates to Support Land Transfer Tax Relief for Home Buyers

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: Toronto Realtor

TORONTO, June 5, 2014 — With the municipal election campaign in full swing, a new poll is showing that a majority of Torontonians support a reduction of the Toronto Home Buying Tax (Toronto Land Transfer Tax), and would be more likely to vote for a Mayoral or Councillor candidate who supports reducing or eliminating this tax. Since 2008, the average Toronto Land Transfer Tax has increased 78%, more than double the increase in the average house price and outpacing inflation. 

“ The Toronto Home Buying Tax costs the purchaser of an average Toronto home about $8,000, up front, on top of a similar amount for the provincial Land Transfer Tax.  This is a huge cost that hits people when they can least afford it. It targets people like growing families and retirees when they need to move to accommodate their changing lifestyle.  It’s no wonder that Toronto voters want municipal election candidates to commit to relief from this tax for home buyers,” said Dianne Usher, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.  

The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid, between May 15th and May 29th, and found that, 

  • 58% of Torontonians support a reduction in the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, while 28% oppose.
  • A majority (51%) of Torontonians are more likely to vote for Mayoral or Councillor candidates who support reducing or eliminating the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, while only 10% would be less likely.



  • 52% of Torontonians support increasing the maximum rebate of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax allowed for first-time home buyers, while 32% oppose.


  • 67% of Torontonians planning to purchase a home in the next two years are more likely to consider purchasing outside of Toronto to avoid paying the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.



  • 56% of recent first-time home buyers, in Toronto, had to pay some Toronto Land Transfer Tax because City Hall’s first-time buyer rebate is insufficient because it has not kept pace with inflation.  

“Clearly, the Toronto Home Buying Tax is an important issue for voters in the upcoming municipal election. Torontonians understand that the Home Buying Tax is bad for our City’s economy and unfairly targets home buyers to pay more than their fair share of taxes,” said Dianne Usher, President, Toronto Real Estate Board.    

Independent research has demonstrated that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is having a negative impact on the City’s economy.  A 2012 study conducted by the C.D. Howe Institute found that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax has dampened Toronto home sales by 16% annually.  

A new study, released in April 2014, conducted by Altus Group Economic Consulting, found a significant loss of economic activity in the City of Toronto, and a corresponding loss of thousands of jobs, due to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.  The study found that, between 2008 and 2013, the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is responsible for 

  • a loss of $2.3 billion in economic activity
  • a reduction of $1.2 billion in GDP
  • a loss of 14,934 full time jobs
  • a loss of $772 million in wages and salaries
  • a loss of 38,278 resale home transactions 

Furthermore, the Ipsos Reid poll found that if recent Toronto home buyers had not had to pay the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, 19% of them would have spent that money on home renovations, 21% would have spent it on furnishings and appliances, and 45% would have used it to reduce their mortgage, thereby adding flexibility to their household budget for other spending. 

“ The Toronto Real Estate Board looks forward to continuing to highlight the impact of the Toronto Home Buying Tax during the municipal election campaign, and raising this issue, along with the public, with municipal election candidates.  We believe that Torontonians will, once again, expect City Council to take action on this issue,” said Von Palmer, TREB’s Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted from May 15th to 29th on behalf of the Toronto Real Estate Board. For this survey, a sample of 1,041 adults from Ipsos’ Canadian I-Say panel was interviewed online, of which 525 live in Toronto proper and 515 live in the surrounding 905 region of the GTA. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.  The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval.  In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/-3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in the GTA been polled, +/- 4.9 percentage points of all Torontonians, and +/- 4.9 percentage points of all those living in the surrounding areas of the GTA.

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