condo

Market Watch - March 2019

TORONTO, ONTARIO, April 3, 2019 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,187 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2019. This result was inline with 7,188 sales reported in March 2018. For the first quarter of 2019, sales were down by one per cent compared to Q1 2018.

While March and Q1 sales remained relatively flat compared to last year, new listings have declined more so than sales. March new listings were down by 5.1 per cent year-over-year and Q1 new listings were down by 1.5 per cent.

“The OSFI stress test continues to impact home buyers’ ability to qualify for a mortgage. TREB is still arguing that the stress test provisions and mortgage lending guidelines generally, including allowable amortization periods for insured mortgages, should be reviewed. The supply of listings in the GTA also remains a problem. Bringing a greater diversity of ownership and rental housing online, including ‘missing middle’ home types, should be a priority of all levels of government. TREB is happy to be taking part in the City of Toronto’s consultations for the Housing TO – 2020-2030 Action Plan, and will certainly be raising the supply issue during these discussions,” said Mr. Bhaura.

“While the City of Toronto’s recently announced Housing TO – 2020-2030 Action Plan is exciting and commendable and TREB looks forward to contributing solutions as a Member of the External Advisory Committee, the recently proposed increase to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on higher priced properties is problematic. As the recent City budget process showed, the MLTT is not a sustainable revenue source from which to fund municipal programs. On top of this, additional MLTT on higher priced homes could have a trickle-down effect on the supply of homes throughout the housing price continuum,” said TREB CEO John Di Michele.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 2.6 per cent year-over-year in March, while the average price for March sales was up by a lesser annual rate of 0.5 per cent to $788,335. The average selling price for Q1 2019 was up by 1.1 per cent year-over-year.

“Market conditions have remained tight enough to support a moderate pace of price growth. Despite sales being markedly lower than the record levels of 2016 and early 2017, the supply of listings has also receded. This means that in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA, we continue to see competition between buyers for available listings, which provides a level of support for home prices,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

Who’s Responsible for Repairs in a Condo?

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So you’ve purchased your new condo, or you are thinking about it. You're probably feeling really excited and a little overwhelmed. One of the main reasons you might be purchasing a condo is the lack of maintenance that you have to do. No snow to clear, no lawn to cut. You can basically lock the door and be on your way. But what if something happens inside your new condo? Or what if the window starts to leak? Who fixes that? Is that something that you have to pay for?

Some upkeep is done by the condo owners, and some is done by the condo corporation. To make matters more complicated, no two condos are alike. You will be required to do some research on the building you are interested in.

Condo owners are responsible for paying for the ongoing maintenance and repair of their units. The condominium declaration will define the unit’s boundaries. It may or may not include what is behind the walls, so it is advised to have your legal representative look over the declaration.

The Corporation is responsible for covering the costs of ongoing maintenance of common elements of the condo such as the parking lots and main lobby. Normally, some of your monthly condo fees will be put towards paying for these items.

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Some things to consider:

Timing

The Condominium Act requires that unit owners make sure repairs are done within a reasonable timeframe.

Damage

The Act requires that the corporation fix the condos and common elements immediately after damage, however, this obligation is typically altered by the corporation’s declaration. That is why it is important to read the document.    

Costs

The corporation uses funds from your condo fees to repair any damages. They cannot refuse to fix damages because of a financial shortage. They can, within some rules, raise your fees, or do a special assessment, or take a loan to top of the reserve fund.

Reserve fund

The Act requires the corporation to go through reserve fund studies from time to time to determine whether the corporation has enough funds for any upcoming repairs.

Delayed work

Condo corporations may decide to defer certain recommended repairs or maintenance if it is not urgent or if there are financial constraints. However, there are always risks, such as the failure of equipment or structures, secondary damage, or minor repairs that can develop into major issues.

You want to have a look at all of the condo corporation documents before you enter into a deal to purchase a condo. Not taking the time to research could be costly.

Get in touch to learn more.

Market Watch - February 2019

Greater Toronto, March 5, 2019 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Gurcharan (Garry) Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,025 homes sold through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2019. This sales total was down by 2.4 per cent on a year- over-year basis. Sales were also down compared to January 2019 following preliminary seasonal adjustment.

“The OSFI mandated mortgage stress test has left some buyers on the sidelines who have struggled to qualify for the type of home they want to buy. The stress test should be reviewed and consideration should be given to bringing back 30 year amortizations for federally insured mortgages. There is a federal budget and election on the horizon. It will be interesting to see what policy measures are announced to help with home ownership affordability,” said Mr. Bhaura.

Despite sales being down year-over-year, new listings actually declined by a greater annual rate. This suggests that market conditions became tighter compared to last year. Tighter market conditions continued to support year-over-year average price growth.

Both the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark and the average selling price were up modestly on a year-over-year basis in February 2019. The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark was up by 2.4 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by 1.6 per cent over the same period. Price growth was driven by the condominium apartment segment and higher density low-rise home types. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis the average selling price was down compared to January 2019.

“Home sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System have a substantial impact on the Canadian economy. A study conducted by Altus for TREB found that, on average, each home sale reported through TREB resulted in $68,000 in spin-off expenditures accruing to the economy. With sales substantially lower than the 2016 record peak over the last two years, we have experienced a hit to the economy in the billions of dollars, in the GTA alone. This hit has also translated into lower government revenues and, if sustained, could impact the employment picture as well,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.