Milton ON

New Build or Existing Home: Which One Is Right for You?

New Build or Existing Home: Which One Is Right for You?

Homebuyers today are facing a huge dilemma. There simply aren’t enough homes for sale.1

Nationwide, the number of newly listed homes dipped slightly in September, down 1.6% from August. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, that’s only about 2.1 months of inventory, which is far less than the five to six months that is generally needed to strike a healthy balance between supply and demand.2

Given the limited number of available properties, if you’re a buyer in today’s market, you may need to expand your search to include both new construction and resale homes. But it can feel a little like comparing apples to oranges.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors you should take into account when choosing between a new build or an existing home.

 

 TIMEFRAME

 How quickly do you want (or need) to move into your next home? Your timeframe can be a determining factor when it comes to choosing between a new build or resale.

 New Build

If you opt for new construction, you may be surprised by how long you have to wait to get the keys to your new digs. Nationally, the average timeline has more than doubled over the past 20 years from 9 to 21 months.1 And according to a survey by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, nearly 60% of builders are reporting delays—averaging six weeks—due to supply-chain disruptions brought on by the pandemic.3

These supply shortages have led to soaring prices, causing some builders to cancel contracts or demand more money from unsuspecting homebuyers long after agreements were signed.4 Unfortunately, this scenario can throw a major wrench in your moving plans and delay your timeline even further.

To minimize these types of surprises, it’s crucial to have a real estate agent represent you in a new home purchase. We can help negotiate contract terms and advise you about the potential risks involved.

 Existing Home

If you’re in a hurry to move into your next residence, then you may want to stick to shopping for an existing home.

You can typically move into a resale home on your closing date.5 While closing on an existing home can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, it’s almost always faster than the time it would take to build a new one.

If you need to move even sooner, it’s sometimes possible to close faster, especially if you’re a cash buyer. In fact, many sellers prefer a quick closing, so it can give you an advantage in a competitive market.

 

LOCATION

 From commute to construction to walkability, there’s a lot to consider when choosing your next neighbourhood.

 New Build

Canada is currently undergoing a major residential construction boom, and rural and smaller urban communities have been the first to benefit—primarily because the single-detached homes located in those areas take less time to build.6 That means, if you opt for a new single-family home, you could be facing a longer commute and ongoing construction for some time.

If you prefer a multifamily unit, there should be an increased supply coming on the market soon. Over the past year, condos and apartments have accounted for 55% of the housing starts. A growing number of these are located in master-planned communities that combine residential, retail, restaurants, and office space—enabling residents to live, work, and play in a single space.7

Existing Home

An existing home is more likely to be located in a neighbourhood with mature trees, established schools, and a deeply-rooted community. As a result, you may find the neighbourhood’s trajectory to be more predictable than an up-and-coming area.

But the amenities may be lacking and the infrastructure dated when compared to newer communities. And while some homebuyers love the charm and eclectic feel of an older neighbourhood, others prefer the sleek and cohesive look of a newer development.

 

MAINTENANCE

 Are you a DIY enthusiast, or do you prefer a low-maintenance lifestyle? Set realistic expectations about how much time, effort, and money you want to devote to maintaining your next home.

 New Build

When you build a home, everything is brand new. Therefore, in the first few years at least, you can expect less required maintenance and repairs. A 2019 survey found that millennials’ homebuying regrets often came down to maintenance issues, rather than other concerns.8 So if you would rather spend your weekends exploring your new neighbourhood than fixing a leaky faucet, you may be happier buying a turnkey build.

That doesn’t mean, though, that a new home will be entirely maintenance-free. In fact, depending on the builder, you could find yourself repairing more than you expected. Some home builders have reputations for shoddy construction and subpar materials, so it’s important to choose one with a solid reputation. We can help you identify the quality builders in our area.

 Existing Home

No matter how good a deal you got when you purchased it, you could come to regret buying an older home if it later costs you heavily in unexpected maintenance and repairs. For example, according to the home service professional network HomeStars, the average price to replace an HVAC system is $4,995. And you can expect to pay a similar amount ($4,750) for a new asphalt shingle roof.9

Fortunately, there are ways to prepare for these large expenditures ahead of time. We always recommend that our buyers hire a certified home inspector, whether they buy a new or existing home. Once we have the inspector’s report, we can negotiate with the seller on your behalf for reasonable repairs or concessions.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

 On a quest for greener living? If so, there are several factors to consider when deciding on your next home.

 New Build

There’s a growing demand for energy-efficient housing, and many builders are rising to the challenge. Currently, more than one million homes in Canada have received an EnerGuide Rating, which measures a home’s energy performance against a benchmark.10 While all newly-constructed housing must meet the National Building Code requirements, there are a number of certifications that homes can earn if they receive an EnerGuide rating that exceeds these minimum standards.

Examples include the Net Zero label from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, which is awarded to homes that are 80% more energy efficient than conventional homes and utilize a renewable energy system to fulfill their remaining energy needs. ENERGY STAR and R-2000 are other well-regarded certifications that can be earned by homes that meet certain performance standards. So if energy efficiency is a top priority, a new home with a low EnerGuide rating or recognized designation may be a good choice for you.10

Existing Home

Of course, a basic tenet of sustainable living is: reduce, reuse, recycle. And since a resale home already exists, it automatically comes with a lower carbon footprint. Research has also shown that remodeling or retrofitting an older home is often greener than building one from scratch.11

With some energy-conservation effort and strategic upgrades, environmentally-conscious consumers can feel good about buying an existing home, as well.

 

DESIGN

Double vanity? Kitchen island? Whirlpool tub? Must-have design features could drive your decision to build or buy resale.

New Build

With a new home, you can bet that everything will look shiny and perfect when you move in. Builders tend to put a lot of emphasis on visual details and follow the latest design trends. For example, newly-built homes are likely to include features that the majority of today’s buyers want, such as double bathroom sinks, kitchen islands, and walk-in pantries. They’re also less likely to include home theatre rooms or whirlpool tubs, both of which have lost mass appeal.12

However, some buyers complain of the cookie-cutter feel of new homes since they are often built with a similar aesthetic. That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t incorporate your own style. We can help you negotiate custom features and upgrades to personalize the space and make it feel like your own.

 Existing Home

In some of the most coveted neighbourhoods, an older home with classic styling and character can be highly sought after. But unless the previous homeowners have invested in tasteful updates, an existing home is also more likely to look dated.

While some buyers prefer the traditional look and character of an older home, others prefer something more modern.  If that’s the case, we can help you find a resale home that leaves enough room in your budget to renovate it to your liking.

  

WHICHEVER PATH YOU CHOOSE, WE CAN HELP

When it comes to choosing between a new build or an existing home, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. There are numerous factors to consider, and you may have to make some compromises along the way. But the homebuying process doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.

We’re here to help. And in many cases, our homebuyer guidance and expertise are available at no cost to you! That’s because the home seller or home builder may compensate us with a commission at closing.

Some new-construction homebuyers make the mistake of visiting a builder’s sales office or even purchasing a home without their own real estate representative. But keep in mind, the builder’s agent or “sales consultant” has their best interests in mind—not yours.

We are knowledgeable about both the new construction and resale home options in our area, and we can help you make an informed decision, negotiate a fair price, and avoid mistakes that can cost you time and money. So give us a call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation—and let’s start searching for your next home!

 

 

Sources:

  1. RBC –
    https://thoughtleadership.rbc.com/home-builders-are-tackling-canadas-housing-supply-shortage/
  2. Canadian Real Estate Association –
    https://creastats.crea.ca/en-CA/
  3. Financial Post –
    https://financialpost.com/real-estate/homebuilders-have-been-busy-during-the-pandemic-but-canada-still-needs-more-housing
  4. Better Dwelling –
    https://betterdwelling.com/canadian-home-builders-are-asking-buyers-for-more-money-to-finish-building/#_
  5. Legal Line –
    https://www.legalline.ca/legal-answers/when-can-you-move-into-your-newly-purchased-home/
  6. Financial Post –
    https://financialpost.com/real-estate/there-has-never-been-more-housing-under-construction-in-canada-but-the-city-that-needs-it-the-most-is-missing-the-boom
  7. BC Business – https://www.bcbusiness.ca/2021-Real-Estate-Report-With-a-push-from-COVID-the-BC-property-market-enters-new-territory
  8. Bankrate –
    https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/homebuyer-regret-survey-may-2021/
  9. HomeStars –
    https://homestars.com/cost-guides/
  10. Canadian Home Builders’ Association –
    https://blog.chba.ca/2021/05/14/are-all-energy-efficient-homes-the-same/
  11. Advanced Materials Research – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271358381_Comparative_Study_of_New_Construction_and_Renovation_Project_Based_on_Carbon_Emission

Canadian Home Builders’ Association –
https://blog.chba.ca/2020/11/26/todays-new-home-buyers-preferences/

Posted by Christine Pecharich
August 2021 Market Statistics

August 2021 Market Statistics

Market Watch

GTA REALTORS® Release August 2021 Stats

TRREB is reporting the third-best sales result on record for the month of August. While the market has taken its regular summer breather, it is clear that the demand for ownership housing remains strong. At the same time, the supply of listings is down. The result has been tighter market conditions and sustained competition between buyers, resulting in double-digit annual increases in selling prices.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,596 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in August 2021 – down by 19.9 per cent compared to the August 2020 record of 10,738. The condominium apartment market segment bucked the overall sales trend, with year-over-year growth in sales, continuing a marked resurgence in 2021. The number of new listings entered into the System was down year-over-year by 43 per cent.

The fact that new listings were at the lowest level for the past decade is alarming. It is clear that the supply of homes is not keeping pace with demand, and this situation will become worse once immigration into Canada resumes. The federal parties vying for office in the upcoming federal election have all made housing supply and affordability a focal point. Working with provincial and municipal levels of government on solving supply-related issues is much more important to affordability than interfering with consumer choice during the home buying and selling offer process or revisiting demand-side policies that will at best have a short-term impact on market conditions,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

The August 2021 MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 17.4 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all homes combined was up by 12.6 per cent year-over-year to $1,070,911. The strongest annual rates of price growth are still being experienced for low-rise home types. However, average condominium apartment price growth is now well-above inflation as well. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price continued to trend upward in August.

“Sales have accounted for a much higher share of new listings this year compared to last, and the story was no different in August. There has been no relief on the supply side for home buyers, in fact, competition between these buyers have increased. As we move toward 2022, expect market conditions to become tighter as population growth in the GTA starts to trend back to pre-COVID levels,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 26.1%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +45.3 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 22.8%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +52.6 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 20.9%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +42.6 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 24.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +56.4 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 15.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +56.4 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for August 2021   $ 757,651

Percent increase over this time last year +17.1%

Average Days on Market 13

Homes Sold in August 2021 #168 down -20.4%

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Blog Posts, Brampton, Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton Hills, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto
July 2021 Market Statistics

July 2021 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release July 2021 Stats

With almost 9,400 sales reported in July 2021, demand for ownership housing remained well-above average for the time of year despite being below the record July result set a year earlier. Market conditions actually tightened relative to July 2020, with sales accounting for a greater share of new listings compared to last year. The sellers’ market conditions sustained a double-digit annual rate of price growth.

“Demand for ownership housing has remained strong despite a pandemic-related lull in population growth. Of specific note is the condominium apartment market, which has seen a marked turn-around in 2021 with sales up compared to last year. First-time buyers, many of whom were slower to benefit from the initial recovery phase, remain very active in the marketplace,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,390 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in July 2021 – down by 14.9 per cent compared to July 2020 result of 11,033. On a seasonally adjusted basis, July sales were down by two per cent compared to June.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 18.1 per cent compared to July 2020. The average price for all home types combined was $1,062,256 – up 12.6 per cent compared to July 2020. The detached market segment led the way in terms of price growth, driven by sales in the suburban regions surrounding Toronto. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average price was up by 0.9 per cent compared to June.

“The annual rate of price growth has moderated since the early spring but has remained in the double digits. This means that many households are still competing very hard to reach a deal on a home. This strong upward pressure on home prices will be sustained in the absence of more supply, especially as we see a resurgence in population growth moving into 2022,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 27.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +61.3 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 24.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +72.6 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 21.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +55.4 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 26.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +21.8 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 18.8%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +123.5 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for June 2021   $ 740,000

Percent increase over this time last year +22%

Average Days on Market 13

Homes Sold in July 2021 #209  down -27.2%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton Hills, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto
June 2021 Market Statistics

June 2021 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release June 2021 Stats

June home sales were up compared to last year but remained below the March 2021 peak and were lower than the number of transactions reported for May 2021, consistent with the regular seasonal trend. The average selling price in June increased by double digits compared to last year as well, but the annual rate of increase moderated compared to the previous three months.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 11,106 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in June 2021 – up by 28.5 per cent compared to June 2020. Looking at the GTA as a whole, year-over-year sales growth was strongest in the condominium apartment segment, both in the City of Toronto and some of the surrounding suburbs. On a month over-month basis, both actual and seasonally adjusted sales continued to trend lower in June.

“We have seen market activity transition from a record pace to a robust pace over the last three months. While this could provide some relief for home buyers in the near term, a resumption of population growth based on immigration is only months away. While the primary focus of policymakers has been artificially curbing demand, the only long-term solution to affordability is increasing supply to accommodate perpetual housing needs in a growing region,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

In all major market segments, year-over-year growth in sales well outpaced growth in new listings over the same period, pointing to the continuation of tight market conditions characterized by competition between buyers and strong price growth. On a month-over-month basis, both actual and seasonally adjusted average prices edged lower in June.

The June 2021 MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark was up by 19.9 per cent year over year. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by 17 per cent over the same time period to $1,089,536. While price growth continued to be driven by the low-rise segments of the market, it is important to note that the average condominium apartment price was up by more than eight per cent compared to June 2020, well outstripping inflation.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 16%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +85.6 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 26.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +98.4 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 23.1%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +82.6 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 28.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +40.4 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 19.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +95.6 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for June 2021   $ 726,013

Percent increase over this time last year +18.7%

Average Days on Market 11

Homes Sold in June 2021   #275  up +7.4%

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Blog Posts, Brampton, Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton Hills, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto
May 2021 Market Statistics

May 2021 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release May 2021 Stats

Residential transactions reported through TRREB’s MLS® System remained high in May 2021, but fell short of the 2016 record and were below this year’s March peak. Despite a slight ebb in sales over the last two months, market conditions remained tight enough to push the average selling price to an all-time record in May.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 11,951 sales in May 2021 – more than double the result from May 2020, the second full month of the pandemic. May 2021 sales were below the May 2016 record of 12,789 but remained well above the average May sales of 10,336 for the 2010 through 2019 period. Often, May is the strongest sales month in any given year; however, 2021 results bucked this trend, with May sales below the 15,646 deals reported in March.

“There has been strong demand for ownership housing in all parts of the GTA for both ground-oriented home types and condominium apartments. This was fueled by confidence in economic recovery and low borrowing costs. However, in the absence of a normal pace of population growth, we saw a pullback in sales over the past two months relative to the March peak,” said TRREB President Lisa Patel.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by close to 19 per cent year-over-year in May 2021. The average selling price across all home types was up by 28.4 per cent year-over-year, reaching a record $1,108,453. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average price increased by 1.1 per cent between April and May 2021.

“While sales have trended off the March 2021 peak, so too have new listings. This means that people actively looking to purchase a home continue to face a lot of competition from other buyers, which results in very strong upward pressure on selling prices. This competition is becoming more widespread with tighter market conditions in the condominium apartment segment as well,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 30.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +112.1 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 30.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +123.8 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 22.9%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +108.1 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 28.6%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +60.9 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 21.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +111.4 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for May 2021   $781,254

Percent increase over this time last year +34.6%

Average Days on Market 10

Homes Sold in May 2021   #282  up +79.6%

Posted by Christine Pecharich
April 2021 Market Statistics

April 2021 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release April 2021 Stats

Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) set a new record for April and amounted to more than quadruple that from April 2020 – the first full month of the pandemic. Bucking the regular seasonal trend, April 2021 sales actually declined month-over-month. A similar trend was noted for the number of new listings reported.

GTA REALTORS® reported 13,663 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in April 2021 – a 12.7 per cent decrease compared to March 2021, but more than quadruple the number of sales reported in April 2020, when the economic impact of COVID-19 was arguably the worst. Compared to the ten-year sales average of 10,000 for the April 2010 to April 2019 period, the April 2021 sales result was up by 36.6 per cent.

New listings followed a similar track – down by 8.4 per cent compared to March 2021, but more than triple the number of new listings reported in April 2020. Compared to the ten-year new listings average for the April 2010 to April 2019 period, the April 2021 new listings count was up by 18.3 per cent.

“While sales remained very strong last month, many REALTORS® noted a marked slowing in both the number of transactions and the number of new listings. It makes sense that we had a pullback in market activity compared to March. We’ve experienced a torrid pace of home sales since the summer of 2020 while seeing little in the way of population growth. We may be starting to exhaust the pool of potential buyers within the existing GTA population. Over the long term, sustained growth in sales requires sustained growth in population,” said TRREB President Lisa Patel.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 17.8 per cent year-over-year. The Composite benchmark also increased on a monthly basis, but the pace of monthly growth decelerated. The average selling price of $1,090,992 was up by 33 per cent compared to April 2020, but was basically flat relative to March 2021. This was in contrast to most years in the past when the average selling price increased between March and April.

“Despite a modest slowing in market activity in April compared to March, selling prices for all major home types remained very high. Low borrowing costs during COVID-19 clearly had an impact on the demand for and price of ownership housing. While the pace of price growth could moderate in the coming months, home prices will likely continue on the upward trend. Renewed population growth over the next year coupled with a persistent lack of new inventory will underpin home price appreciation,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 29%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +106.4 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 30.1%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +114.8 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 24.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +100.1 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 32.5%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +58.8 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 18.7%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +101.5 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for April 2021   $752,993

Percent increase over this time last year +34 %

Average Days on Market 7

Homes Sold in April  2021   #294  up +276.9%

Posted by Christine Pecharich
Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

Finding a New Home for Your Next Stage of Life

Imagine the first place you lived as a young adult. Now imagine trying to fit your life today into that space. Not pretty, right?

For most of us, our housing needs are cyclical. A newly independent adult can find freedom and flexibility in even a tiny apartment. That same space, to a growing family, would feel stifling. For empty nesters, a large home with several unused bedrooms can become impractical to heat and clean. It’s no surprise that life transitions often trigger a home purchase.

While your home-buying journey may not look like your neighbour’s or friend’s, broad trends can help you understand what to keep in mind as you house hunt. No one wants to regret their home purchase and taking the time now to think about exactly what you need can save a lot of heartache later.

The Newly Married or Partnered Couple

The financial and legal commitment of both traditional and common-law marriage has provided a springboard to homeownership for centuries. And while the average age of first marriage in Canada is around 30, the average age of first home purchase has shifted even later to 36.1,2 No matter your age, there are some key factors that you should consider when you are ready to enter into your first home purchase together.

Affordability is Key

There’s no doubt about it—with home prices that just keep climbing, many first-time buyers feel that the deck is stacked against them when it comes to homeownership. But stepping onto the property ladder can be more doable than many realize, especially in today’s low mortgage rate environment.

While many buyers are holding out for their dream home, embracing the concept of a starter home can open a lot of doors. In fact, that’s a popular approach for first-time homebuyers to take. Fifty percent of first-time Canadian buyers report that they plan to eventually upgrade to a larger home.3

Chosen carefully, a starter home can be a great investment as well as a launchpad for your life together. If you focus on buying a home you can afford now with strong potential for appreciation, you can build equity alongside your savings, positioning you to trade up in the future if your needs change.3

Taking Advantage of Low Mortgage Rates

Canadian mortgage rates hit record lows in summer 2020, and while they are gradually creeping back up, now is still an ideal time to purchase your first home together.4 A lower interest rate can save you a bundle over the life of your loan, which can significantly increase the quality of home you can get for your money.

But what if both halves of a couple don’t have good credit? You still have options. First, boosting a credit score can be easier than you think—simply paying your credit cards down below 35% of your limit can go a long way.5 But if that’s not enough to raise your score, you might consider taking out the mortgage in only the better-scoring partner’s name. The downside is that applying for a mortgage with only one income will reduce your qualification amount. And if you take that route, make sure you understand the legal and financial implications for both parties should the relationship end.

Commute and Lifestyle Considerations

Whether you’ve lived in a rental together for years or are sharing a home for the first time, you know that living together involves some compromises. But there are certain home features that can make life easier in the future if you identify them now. The number of bathrooms, availability of closet space, and even things like kitchen layout can make a big difference in your day-to-day life and relationship.

Your home’s location will also have a significant impact on your quality of life, so consider it carefully. What will commuting look like for each of you? And if you have different interests or hobbies—say, museums vs. hiking—you’ll need to find a community that meets both your needs. Need some help identifying the ideal location that fits within your budget? We can match you with some great neighbourhoods that offer the perfect mix of amenities and affordability.

The Growing Family

Having kids changes things—fast. With a couple of rowdy preteens and maybe some pets in the mix, that 1,600 square foot home that felt palatial to two adults suddenly becomes a lot more cramped. Whether you’ve just had your first child or are getting to the point where your kids can’t comfortably share a bedroom any longer, there’s plenty to consider when you’re ready to size up to a home that will fit your growing family.

The Importance of School Districts

For many parents, the desire to give their kids the best education—especially once they are in middle and high school— surpasses even their desire for more breathing room. In fact, homebuyers report that school district is one of their top concerns.6 Of course, homes in the best-rated districts tend to be more expensive and harder to nab. But when push comes to shove, many buyers with kids prefer to sacrifice a bit of space to find a home in their desired location.

When you’re moving to a new community, it can be tough to figure out what the local schools are actually like—and online ratings leave a lot to be desired. That’s why talking to a local real estate agent can be a gamechanger. We don’t just work in this community; we know it inside and out. We’ll be happy to share our first-hand knowledge of the local schools and which neighbourhoods are most welcoming to families.

Lifestyle Considerations

For many families, living space is a key priority. Once you have teenagers who want space to hang out with their friends, a finished basement or a rec room can be a huge bonus (and can help you protect some quieter living space for yourself).

A good layout can also make family life a lot easier. For example, an open plan is invaluable if you want to cook dinner while keeping an eye on your young kids playing in the living room. And if you think that you might expand your family further in the future, be sure that the home you purchase has enough bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate that comfortably.

Functionality

Try to think about how each room will fit into your day-to-day. Are you anticipating keeping the house stocked to feed hungry teenagers? A pantry might rise to the top of the list. Dreading the loads of laundry that come with both infants and older kids (especially if they play sports)? The task can be much more bearable in a well-designed laundry room. Imagine a typical day or week of chores in the house to identify which features will have the biggest impact.

Chances are, you won’t find every nice-to-have in one home, which is why identifying the must-haves can be such a boon to the decision-making process. We can help you assess your options and give you a sense of what is realistic within your budget.

The Empty Nesters

When we talk about empty nesters, we usually think about downsizing. With kids out of the house, extra bedrooms and living space can quickly become more trouble than they’re worth. While the average buyer with young kids is most likely to trade up to a larger home, older buyers often sell the family home and move into a smaller, less expensive home. In fact, more than half of Canadian Baby Boomers consider the area where they live too expensive for retirement.7

Maintenance and Livability

What factors are driving your decision to move? Identifying those early in the process can help you narrow down your search. For example, do you want to have space for a garden, or would you prefer to avoid dealing with lawn care altogether? What about home maintenance? In many cases, a newer home will require less maintenance than an older one and a smaller one will take less time to clean. It’s not surprising that condos are among the most popular types of homes for Baby Boomers given they require less upkeep than single-family homes.7

Lifestyle Considerations

Many empty nesters have retired or are nearing retirement age. This could be your chance to finally pursue hobbies and passions that were just too hard to squeeze into a 9-5. If you’re ready to move, consider how you’d like to spend your days and seek out a home that will help make that dream a reality. For some, that might mean living near a golf course or a beach. For others, being able to walk downtown for a nice dinner out is the priority. And with more time to spend as you wish, proximity to a supportive community of friends and family is priceless.

Ability to Age in Place

Let’s face it—we can’t escape ageing. If you’re looking for a home to retire in, accessibility should be top-of-mind. This may mean a single-story home or simply having adequate spaces on the first floor to rearrange as needed. While buying a home that you plan to renovate from the start is a viable option, being forced into renovations (because of the realities of ageing) a few years down the road could seriously dig into your nest egg. Location matters, too—if your family will be providing support, are they close by? Can you easily reach necessities like grocery stores and healthcare? While it’s tempting to put it out of our minds, a few careful considerations now can make staying in your home long-term much more feasible.

Finding the Right Home for Right Now

One thing is for sure—life never stands still. And your housing needs won’t, either. In fact, the average Canadian homeowner will own 4.5 to 5.5 houses over their lifetime.8 At each milestone, a careful assessment of your housing options will ensure that you are well-positioned to embrace all the changes to come.

Whatever stage you’re embarking on next, we’re here to help. Our insight into local neighbourhoods, prices, and housing stock will help you hone in on exactly where you want to live and what kind of home is right for you. We’ve worked with home buyers in every stage of life, so we know exactly what questions you need to ask. Buying a home—whether it’s your first or your fifth—is a big decision, but we’re here to support you every step of the way.

 

Sources:

  1. The Canadian Encyclopedia –
    https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/marriage-and-divorce
  2. Mortgage Broker News –
    https://www.mortgagebrokernews.ca/news/sorry-gen-z-the-average-firsttime-buyer-in-canada-is-36-years-old-335685.aspx
  3. Savvy New Canadians –
    https://www.savvynewcanadians.com/starter-home-vs-permanent-home/
  4. Mortgage Broker News –
    https://www.mortgagebrokernews.ca/news/are-the-days-of-low-interest-rates-coming-to-an-end-for-canadian-homebuyers-338140.aspx
  5. Government of Canada –
    https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/credit-reports-score/improve-credit-score.htm
  6. Housing Sentiments and Trends Report 2017 –
    https://marketing.zoocasa.com/zoocasa-housing-trends-report-2017.pdf
  7. Royal LePage –
    https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/more-than-14-million-boomers-across-canada-expect-to-buy-a-home-in-the-next-five-years-690334391.html
  8. Zolo –
    https://www.zolo.ca/blog/how-many-homes-will-you-buy

 

Posted by Christine Pecharich
February 2021 Market Statistics

February 2021 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release February 2021 Stats

Record home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) continued in February as buyers remained confident in their employment situations and took advantage of ultra-low borrowing costs. With multiple buyers continuing to compete for many available listings, double-digit annual price growth was the norm throughout the GTA, with stronger rates of growth in the suburbs surrounding the City of Toronto.

GTA REALTORS® reported 10,970 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in February 2021 – a 52.5 per cent increase compared to 7,193 sales reported in February 2020. Looking at all areas of the GTA combined, the condominium apartment segment led the way with a 64 per cent sales increase compared to last year, with similar rates of increase in the ‘416’ and ‘905’ area codes.

“It’s clear that the historic demand for housing experienced in the second half of last year has carried forward into the first quarter of this year with some similar themes, including the continued popularity of suburban low-rise properties. It’s also evident that the supply of listings is not keeping up with demand, which could present an even larger problem once population growth picks up following widespread vaccinations later this year and into 2022,” said TRREB President Lisa Patel.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 14.8 per cent year-over-year in February 2021. Over the same period, the average selling price was up by 14.9 per cent to $1,045,488. While market conditions were tight throughout the GTA region in February, the detached, semi-detached and townhouse market segments in suburban areas were the drivers of average price growth, with annual rates of increase above 20 per cent in all three cases.

“In the absence of a marked uptick in inventory, the current relationship between demand and supply supports continued double-digit average home price growth this year. In addition, if we continue to see growth in condo sales outstrip growth in new condo listings in Toronto, renewed price growth in this market segment is a distinct possibility in the second half of the year,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 27.1%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  + 56.9 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 24.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +47.8 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 20%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +51.5 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 27.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 9.8 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 34.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +81.9 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for February 2021   $735,374

Percent increase over this time last year 23 %

Average Days on Market 6

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton Hills, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville
Is the Real Estate Market Going to Crash?

Is the Real Estate Market Going to Crash?

While many areas of the economy have contracted, the housing market has stayed remarkably strong. But can the good news last?

 

When COVID-related shutdowns began in March, real estate brokers and clients scrambled to respond to the shift. Record-low interest rates caused some lenders to call a halt to new underwriting, and homeowners debated whether or not to put their houses on the market. However, those first days of uncertainty ushered in a period of unprecedented growth in the Canadian residential real estate market, which currently accounts for a record-setting 9% of the country’s overall economic output.1

 

Now, as the spring market approaches, you may be wondering whether the good times can continue to roll on. If you’re a homeowner, should you take advantage of this opportunity by putting your home on the market? If you’re a buyer, should you jump in and risk paying too much? Below we answer some of your most pressing questions.

 

 

Why are home prices rising during an economic downturn?

 

At the beginning of the pandemic, fears of an economic recession were top of mind for homeowners all across the country. Overall, credit product origination declined across a variety of sectors, including car loans and credit cards, and government forbearance programs were put into place to cushion the blow of anticipated economic hardships. However, strong demand —coupled with ultra-low inventory and interest rates—caused real estate prices to continue to rise. The national average resale price soared 17% during 2020, and mortgage originations showed year-over-year growth of almost 30% on the strength of renewals and refinancing in response to record-low interest rates.1,2

 

According to the Bloomberg-Nanos Consumer Confidence Index, confidence in Canada’s real estate industry reached its highest level on record during the thick of the pandemic.3  Montreal Chief Economist Douglas Porter attributes much of the ongoing strength of Canada’s real estate market to a simple matter of consumer choice and priorities while noting that the downside of the resulting rise in home values is increasing consumer debt.1

 

 

Are we facing a real estate bubble?

 

A real estate bubble can occur when there is a rapid and unjustified increase in housing prices, often triggered by speculation from investors. Because the bubble is (in a sense) filled with “hot air,” it pops—and a swift drop in value occurs. This leads to reduced equity or, in some cases, negative equity conditions.

 

By contrast, the current rise in home prices is based on the predictable results of historically low interest rates and widespread low inventory. Basically, the principle of supply and demand is working just as it is supposed to do.

Effects of low interest rates

The Bank of Canada projects continuing low interest rates until sometime in 2023, aiding in economic recovery and increasing affordability.4 This helps offset the effects of high home costs even in markets where real estate might otherwise be considered overpriced. These low interest rates should keep the market lively and moving forward for the foreseeable future.

Effects of low inventory

Continuing low inventory is the primary reason for higher-than-average home prices in many markets.5 This should gradually ease as an aggressive vaccination rollout and continuing buyer demand drive more homeowners to move forward with long-delayed sales plans and as new home construction ramps up to meet demand.6

 

 

Aren’t some markets and sectors looking particularly weak?

 

One of the big stories of 2020 was a mass exodus from attached home communities and high-priced urban markets as both young professionals and families fled to the larger square footage and wide-open spaces of suburban and rural markets. This trend was reinforced by work from home policies that became permanent at some of the country’s biggest companies.

 

Not surprisingly then, one of the hardest-hit sectors of the residential real estate market has been the rental market, especially in population-dense metropolitan areas. The rise in vacancies has been fueled by several factors, including less international migration, fewer student renters, and less tourist demand for short-term rentals.7

 

Interestingly, landlords have not responded to these vacancies with lower rental rates, which have actually risen nationally. Instead, most have used incentives like lower deposit fees, free utilities, and move-in bonuses to attract renters. This suggests that most property owners expect demand to return to normal quite quickly as the vaccine rollout begins to take effect.7

 

Some analysts predict a decline in the Canadian housing market at large due to the impending end of government emergency measures and lender deferrals. However, others point to the increased demand for homes in smaller markets and lower-density areas outside of the country’s urban centers as an optimistic indicator, especially since these distant suburban and rural enclaves don’t normally benefit from increases in home values or an influx of new investment.8 As many of these new residents set up housekeeping in their rural retreats, they’ll revitalize the economies of their adopted communities for years to come.

 

According to Susan Hosterman, a senior director at Fitch Ratings, another strength that may help to alleviate the effect of financial pressures brought about by the ending of emergency measures is the relationship lenders in Canada have with their borrowers. Canadian lenders tend to be proactive in offering modifications to make loans more affordable for struggling homeowners.8

 

 

How has COVID affected the “seasonal” real estate market?

 

Frequently, the real estate market is seen as a seasonal phenomenon. However, the widespread shutdowns in March 2020, coming right at the beginning of the market’s growth cycle in many areas, has led to a protracted, seemingly endless “hot spring market.”

 

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) revised its 2021 Market Forecast based on more robust than usual figures for the second half of 2020. The new projection anticipates improvements even over 2020’s record-setting market figures, with potential sales limited only by the availability of inventory in most markets.9 Thus, we could be looking at another longer-than-usual, white-hot real estate market.

 

 

What’s next for the Canadian real estate market?

 

Projections vary widely, with some economists predicting a market correction and others predicting continuing strong growth. Overall, low inventory and lack of affordability appear to be the more negative factors applying downward pressures on the market, while pent-up demand and a return to normal employment and income levels, along with anticipated higher-than-average growth in the economy, point to ongoing good news in the sector.10

 

According to most indicators, the real estate news looks overwhelmingly positive throughout the rest of 2021—and possibly beyond. Pent-up demand and consumer-driven policies, along with a continued low-interest-rate environment and rising inventory, should help homeowners hold on to their increased equity without throwing the market out of balance. In addition, the increase in long-term work-from-home policies promises to give a boost to a wide variety of markets, both now and in the years to come.

 

 

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? WE HAVE ANSWERS

 

While economic indicators and trends are national, real estate is local. We’re here to answer your questions and help you understand what’s happening in your neighbourhood. Reach out to learn how these larger movements affect our local market and your home’s value.

 

 

Sources:

  1. Huffington Post –
    https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/house-prices-canada-bmo_ca_600c7a98c5b6d64153ac675b
  2. Global Newswire –
    https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/08/18/2079742/0/en/COVID-19-Pandemic-Drives-a-Decline-in-the-Use-of-Credit-as-Canadian-Consumers-and-Lenders-Brace-for-Uncertainty.html
  3. Weekly Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index –
    https://www.nanos.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2021-01-08-Bloomberg-Weekly-Report-with-Tabs.pdf
  4. Bank of Canada –
    https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2021/01/fad-press-release-2021-01-20/
  5. Toronto Star –
    https://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2021/01/27/supply-of-new-homes-in-the-gta-dwindling-amidst-sales-boom.html
  6. Bank of Canada Monetary Policy Report –
    https://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/mpr-2021-01-20.pdf
  7. CTV News –
    https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/cmhc-rental-vacancies-prices-edged-up-as-covid-19-spread-across-canada-1.5286012
  8. Huffington Post –
    https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/housing-forecast-canada-2021_ca_5fec942cc5b64e4421082979
  9. Canadian Real Estate Association –
    https://www.crea.ca/news/crea-updates-resale-housing-market-forecast-7/
  10. Canadian Mortgage Trends –
    https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2021/01/canadas-energizer-bunny-housing-market-2021-forecasts/
Posted by Christine Pecharich
January 2021 Market Statistics

January 2021 Market Statistics

GTA REALTORS® Release January 2021 Stats

  • January 2021 home sales amounted to 6,928 – up by more than 50 per cent compared to January 2020. This strong start to 2021 included sales growth across all major segments including condominium apartments, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions.
  • New listings were also up on a year-over-year basis in January, but not by the same annual rate as sales. This means market conditions tightened compared to January 2020, resulting in the continuation of double-digit growth in the MLS® Home Price Index and the average selling price.
  • The average selling price for January 2021 was up by 15.5 per cent to $967,885 year-over-year. The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark was up by 11.9 per cent over the same period.
  • Price growth was driven by the low-rise market segments, while the average condo apartment price was down in Toronto. However, if we continue to see condo sales growth outstrip condo listings growth, we could start to see renewed growth in condo prices later this year.

Milton Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 26.4%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +49.5 %

Oakville Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 26.5%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +46.4 %

Burlington Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 15.3%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +48.8 %

Halton Hills Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 29.2%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  – 13.8 %

Mississauga Summary:

Average Sale Price over this time last year:  + 13.8%

Number of Sales over this time last year:  +44.6 %

Guelph Summary:

Average Sale Price for January 2021   $ 707,971

Percent increase over this time last year 35.3%

Average Days on Market 10

Posted by Christine Pecharich in Blog Posts, Brampton, Burlington, Georgetown, Guelph, Halton Hills, Market Reports, Milton, Mississauga, Oakville, Toronto