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Affordability driving demand for condos in Toronto

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The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw higher sales and demand for condominium units due to increasingly affordable prices.

Data from RE/MAX revealed that the GTA accounted for nearly 37% of the total residential sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). Market share for this segment has been tracking higher since 2013, when the transfer of condominiums covered 30% of total sales.

Seen as the only property segment that rose above the 2017 market correction, the average price of a condominium apartment hiked almost 8% to $551,761 between January and October 2018, up from $512,552 during the same period in the previous year. Townhomes prices were at $571,058, compared to $568,165 in 2017. Meanwhile, prices of freehold properties, including single-detached, semi-detached, attached/row/townhouse, and linked townhomes fell year-over-year.

Despite the rising values, these home types are well-received because most Canadians still found it affordable and a sound choice for investment.

On the other hand, it was pointed out that the increased demand for condo apartments and townhomes was driven by immigration, population growth, and lifestyle choices. 

“Aging infrastructure, combined with a lack of transportation alternatives, longer commute times and the environmental component — with efforts to reduce carbon footprint — have all played a role in buyers choosing condominiums in Toronto proper that are close to both work and play,” RE/MAX noted in a statement.

The most popular area for condominium sales was still the downtown core, with 21.9% sold in the area bordered by Bloor Street to the north, the Lakeshore to the south, the Don Valley Parkway to the east and just past Dovercourt Road in the west.

However, supply remained low, which pushes prices higher.

“Limited inventory continues to place substantial upward pressure on prices, with fewer affordable housing options available — and that includes condominium rentals,” said

Christopher Alexander, executive vice president and regional director at RE/MAX of the Ontario-Atlantic Canada Region.

As a result, buyers tend to avoid the higher prices in the core and turn to condominium communities farther afield instead.

Currently, almost 51% of condominium sales in the GTA are below the $500,000 price point, but it is worth noting that builders and developers are currently facing skyrocketing construction costs and a land crunch within the GTA.

 

Related stories:
Revival of investor immigrant program stirs academic discussion
BC enters $1B deal to provide affordable homes

 

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Victoria real estate agent disciplined for false advertising, encouraging cash deal to avoid taxes

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A Victoria real estate agent is facing $9,000 in fines and a 60-day licence suspension after breaking several professional rules during the sale of her father’s half-million-dollar property, according to a decision by the Real Estate Council of B.C. 

Whitney Garside’s missteps — outlined this week in a disciplinary decision posted on the council’s website — included falsely advertising the property as being almost twice its actual size and advising the buyer they could avoid the property transfer tax if they paid cash directly to the seller.

The property on Burnett Road in Victoria was being sold in 2016 by the real estate agent’s father. That relationship was disclosed and isn’t among the reasons she has been disciplined.

According to the disciplinary consent order, Garside told the buyer — whose name is redacted — that by paying $42,000 cash on the side, the value of the property could be reduced to avoid paying the property transfer tax.

That cash arrangement was not shared with Garside’s brokerage, Re/Max Camosun, a failure that contravened the Real Estate Services Act.

The council also ruled that she “failed to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill” when she advised the buyer the property transfer tax could be avoided by paying cash directly to the seller. 

The council’s discipline committee also found that Garside committed professional misconduct when she failed to recommend the seller and buyer seek independent legal advice, specifically regarding the property transfer tax and the cash agreement.

Another issue the council considered professional misconduct involved the size of the property in question.

The council ruled that Garside published false and misleading advertising and failed to act with reasonable care and skill when the property was advertised as 8,712 square feet, when in fact a portion of the lot belonged to the Ministry of Transportation, and the actual size was just 4,711 square feet.

The discipline committee ordered Garside’s licence be suspended for 60 days, which will be completed Jan. 3, 2021.

She has also been ordered to complete real estate ethics and remedial classes at her own expense.

Garside was also fined $7,500 as a disciplinary penalty and $1,500 in enforcement expenses.

She agreed to waive her right to appeal the council’s discipline committee’s decision in September.

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Frisco apartment community sells to Canadian investor

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A Canada-based investor has purchased a Frisco apartment community as part of a larger Texas deal.

The 330-unit Satori Frisco apartments opened last year on Research Road in Frisco.

BSR Real Estate Investment Trust bought the four-story rental community that was built by Atlanta-based Davis Development.

Satori Frisco was more than 90% leased at the time of sale. The property includes a two-story fitness center, a car care center, a dog park and a resort-style swimming pool.

The Frisco property sold along with Houston’s Vale luxury apartments in a deal valued at $129 million.

“BSR recently exited the smaller Beaumont and Longview, Texas, markets and also sold noncore properties in other markets,” John Bailey, BSR’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are now using our strong liquidity position to invest in Vale and Satori Frisco, modern communities in core growth markets with the amenities our residents desire.”

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House prices on Prince Edward Island continue steady climb

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Residential real estate prices on Prince Edward Island continue to climb at a rate higher than the national average, according to the latest report from a national organization. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association released monthly figures for November 2020 on Tuesday.

They show that the average price for a resale home on P.E.I. is about 21 per cent higher than it was a year earlier. 

Only Quebec had a bigger year-over-year increase, at about 23 per cent. Overall across Canada, prices were up 13.8 per cent year over year in the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the fifth straight month, year-over-year sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to the same month in 2019,” the report noted.

“Meanwhile, an ongoing shortage of supply of homes available for purchase across most of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces means sellers there hold the upper hand in sales negotiations.”

That lack of houses coming onto the market compared to the demand means that in those provinces, there is “increased competition among buyers for listings and … fertile ground for price gains.”

There have been anecdotal reports for months that Prince Edward Island’s low rate of COVID-19 infection and looser rules around social activities have been encouraging people to buy homes on the Island. 

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