Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CMHC Outlook for GTA Resale Housing Market

In case you missed it, here is a report from CMHC about our housing market.

Here are some high-lights from CMHC and their thorough report:
For your information, please find attached the latest Housing Market Outlook data for GTA (Fall 2008 edition).

1. The New Homes and sales Market
i) High rise sales will dominate new home market...
- New home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) will continue to moderate in 2009.
- High rise sales have accounted for more than 50 per cent of the total share of sales since the end of 2007. This trend will continue and the share of high-rise sales will increase in 2009.
- New home sales will trend lower as choice increases in the resale market.

- The low-rise housing sector will experience moderating sales much more so than the high-rise sector.
- Strong immigration into the GTA has also played a role in increased demand for condominium apartments, due to their lower price point.
- Changing demographics in the GTA also explain the heightened interest in the high rise market. The average household size is shrinking with an increase in lone-parent and childless family households.
- The luxury high-rise market is also a growing niche that is catering to an increasing number of aging baby boomers and empty nesters.

ii) Starts of resale homes to edge down.
- Softer local economic conditions and elevated home prices will push the demand for home ownership lower.
- Following a healthy increase for 2008, total housing starts will edge lower by 21 percent in 2009.
- Low-rise home starts will decline at a greater rate than apartment starts.
- Condominium apartment completions have begun to trend higher and will grow at a stronger rate in 2009. For this reason, condominium apartment construction will remain at high levels through the end of next year.

2. Existing resale Home Market
i) Existing home sales off the peak...
- Over the next two years, the number of home sales under the MLS® system in the GTA will trend lower off the 2007 record high.

- Sales will moderate due to softer economic conditions domestically and elevated home prices.
- While home sales will be off record levels, continued steady net-migration and low borrowing rates will keep home buying activity in the GTA in line with the average over the past ten years.

ii) More real estate supply, moderate resale price growth.
- New listings will continue to grow to reach a record-high level in 2008. The trend will flatten out in 2009.
- The trend in listings growth will eventually slow and then change direction, however, as fewer home owners are able to sell their homes for the anticipated values for their properties. This will begin to happen toward the end of 2009.
- While the sales-to-new listings ratio will continue to decline, it will do so at a diminishing rate.

- The resale market will remain balanced, with prices growing in line with inflation.
- The average home price in 2008 will be up 2.6 per cent to $387,000. By the end of 2009, the average price of home will reach $394,000 - up 1.8 per cent.
- Not all housing types will experience the same moderation in price growth over the next year. Condominium apartments in the central Toronto area are a good example of this. The central Toronto area remains a tighter market than the region as a whole.

iii) First buyers of first time homesniche gets smaller.
- Over the long term, first-time buyers will remain the most important factor driving sustained demand for home ownership in the GTA. In the short-term, however, the level of first-time buying activity is subject to
the economic cycle.
- The number of households purchasing their first home will be trending lower in 2009. Softer labour market conditions along with elevated home prices will be the primary reasons. - Based on CMHC's Renovation and Home
Purchase Survey, the percentage of intended home purchases accounted for by first-time buyers declined to 40 per cent for 2008 compared to 47 per cent in 2007. This share will decline further in 2009.

3. Economic and final Trends
i) Toronto will continue to create jobs.
- Employers in the GTA have persevered in 2008. The rate of job growth will be 1.8 per cent in 2008 - above the average for Ontario.
- In 2009, job growth will remain positive, but the rate of growth will moderate to one per cent. Job growth will come from the service sector.

ii) Current Mortgage Rates.
- Mortgage rates are expected to be relatively stable throughout the last quarter of this year.
- Posted mortgage rates will decrease slightly in the first half of 2009 as the cost of credit to financial institutions eases.
- Rising bond yields, however, will nudge mortgage rates marginally higher in the latter half 2009.
- For the last quarter of 2008 and in 2009, the one year posted mortgage rate will be in the 6.00-6.75 per cent range, while three and five year posted mortgage rates are forecast to be in the 6.50-7.25 per cent range.

Thank you

Mark Argentino

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