TREB’s President’s News Beat: Social Impact of Home Ownership

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: Toronto Realtor

TREB President’s Column as it appears every Friday in the Toronto Sun’s Resale Homes and Condos section.

December 5, 2014 — The season’s first flakes have descended on our city, which means that many of us will open our doors to host various holiday celebrations in the coming weeks, and collectively, we will be doing so again next summer when thousands of athletes and fans from countries throughout the Americas converge on Toronto for the Pan Am and Parapan Games.

Regardless of an event’s scale – whether it yields the opportunity to reconnect personally or to bring economic activity to our region – hosting typically offers a very positive return on the investment it demands. Similarly, I believe it is thanks to the investment of every individual who lives, works and studies in the Greater Toronto Area that our city routinely achieves high marks in various global rankings.

No matter what corner of the city you call home, chances are you’re proud of your neighbourhood, condo community, school, or sports association. At the most finite level, many Torontonians also take individual pride in their home ownership, a type of commitment that has a wide reaching impact on society.

The various effects, both immediate and long-term, that home ownership has on the people of our city were detailed in a 2012 report by Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area entitled Building a Better City.

Undertaken to study the experiences of those who had recently transitioned from rental housing to ownership of a Habitat home, the report’s results bear out what Greater Toronto REALTORS® have long known to be true: home ownership is directly associated with a range of benefits from improved health, to personal safety, to children’s academic performance.

Eighty-four per cent of the survey’s respondents for example, reported improvements in asthma after moving into their Habitat home, which has a direct correlation to healthcare spending, and a staggering 76 per cent reported improvements in their children’s grades, which bodes well for our region’s future economic competitiveness. In fact, virtually all of the children in these households, including 19- to 29-year-olds are still pursuing an education.

Equally significant is a finding related to engaging in the community: half of respondents reported feeling safer walking outside their homes and 72 per cent of those surveyed reported being friendly with five or more neighbours – a 25 per cent increase. Even recycling efforts grew: from 50 per cent prior to home ownership to 98 per cent thereafter.

A report published in 2012 by the National Association of REALTORS® in the United States illustrates similar findings.  For example, it indicates that since homeowners tend to remain in their homes longer, their residential stability lends itself to home improvement efforts and civic participation, both of which contribute to the quality of a community. It also found that homeowners are happier, healthier and contribute more to their children’s academic achievement.

These and a number of other studies make it clear: home ownership is not only a wise long-term financial investment; it is one of the most important steps you can take for your family’s overall well-being.

To learn about housing opportunities and various government programs that could make home ownership within your reach, talk to a Greater Toronto REALTOR® and visit

Paul Etherington is President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 40,000 REALTORS® in the Greater Toronto Area.

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November 2014 Housing Starts in Toronto

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: News Bulletin

TORONTO, December 8, 2014 — Housing starts in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) trended lower at 25,579 units in November compared to 27,877 in October 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.

“The lingering effects of fewer pre-construction condominium apartment sales between mid-2012 and mid-2013 continue to weigh on the number of apartment starts occurring in the second half of 2014. The pick-up in condominium apartment sales since the end of 2013 will begin to translate to more starts next year,” said Dana Senagama, 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 24,083 units in November, down from 25,565 units in October.

The City of Toronto recorded the highest number of starts in November, and captured almost all of the apartment starts in the GTA this month. The next highest municipalities were Brampton and Richmond Hill, which recorded robust low-rise starts.

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

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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:

Dana Senagama

Media Contact:

Beth Bailey

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca

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

Source: CMHC

Source: CMHC

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GTA REALTORS® Release November Housing Market Figures

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: Toronto Realtor

TORONTO, December 4, 2014 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 6,519 residential transactions through the TorontoMLS system in November 2014. This result was up by 2.6 per cent compared to 6,354 sales reported in November 2013.  Through the first 11 months of 2014, total sales amounted to 88,462 – up 6.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.  

While the trend of year-over-year sales growth continued, the supply of listings remained constrained, with active listings at the end of November down in comparison to last year. 

“Even with a constrained supply of homes for sale in many parts of the Greater Toronto Area, buyers continued to get deals done last month. Households remain upbeat about home ownership because monthly mortgage payments remain affordable relative to accepted lending standards. This is coupled with the fact that housing has proven to be a quality long-term investment,” stated Mr. Etherington. 

The average selling price for November transactions was up by 7.4 per cent year-over-year to $577,936.  The year-to-date average price was up by 8.4 per cent to $567,198. The MLS(R) Home Price Index Composite Benchmark price for November was up by 7.7 per cent compared to a year earlier.  

“The robust average price growth experienced throughout 2014 has been fundamentally sound, with demand high relative to supply.  Strong competition between buyers has exerted upward pressure on selling prices. Barring a substantial shift in the relationship between sales and listings in the GTA, price growth is expected to continue through 2015,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

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