Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Average prices of single family detached homes across the GTA

You may see the average prices of single family detached homes across the GTA in the chart on the right. If you would like to see a larger chart, just click the chart and it will open full page.

Note that Downtown Toronto is by far the most expensive location in the GTA to live followed by Richmond Hill, Markham, then Vaughan followed by Mississauga followed closely by Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills, Brampton, Caledon area and finally Ajax, Pickering, Uxbridge

This chart is for figures from April of 2006

For more information, please browse to this page on average GTA prices.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bank of Canada announces Bank Rate increase to 4.5% - May 24, 2006

OTTAWA, May 24 (Reuters) - The Bank of Canada issued the following statement on interest rates on Wednesday.

The Bank of Canada today announced that it is raising its target for the overnight rate by one-quarter of one percentage point to 4 1/4 per cent. The operating band for the overnight rate is correspondingly increased, and the Bank Rate is now 4 1/2 per cent.

The strong momentum in the global and Canadian economies has continued, although there has recently been an increased degree of volatility in commodity markets, foreign exchange markets, and financial markets more generally. Recent Canadian data confirm that domestic demand remains solid, and that both CPI and core inflation are evolving largely in line with the Bank's expectations.

With today's increase, the target for the overnight rate is now at a level that is expected to keep the Canadian economy on the base-case path projected in the April Monetary Policy Report (MPR) and to return inflation to the 2 per cent target. The Bank will monitor global and domestic economic and financial developments, including adjustments in the Canadian economy, relative to the projection set out in the MPR. The Bank continues to assess the risks to this projection to be as presented in the MPR.

Information note:

The Bank of Canada's next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is 11 July 2006.

The Monetary Policy Report Update will be published on 13 July 2006
Read more at the Bank of Canada Website

No doubt mortgage interest rates and other lending rates will be rising in the next day or so. If you are thinking of buying a home in the next few months, contact your lender today and ask them to 'lock in your rate' at today's rates for the next 120 days. If you lender will not do this, please contact me and I will put you in touch with a TD-CT mortgage representative who will!

All the best,

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mortgage Interest rates have been on the rise for about a year

Mortgage Interest rates have been on the rise for about a year now. After sitting at or near all time record lows for most of the past 4 years, mortgage interest rates have now climbed about 2.5% over the past year. You can see the trend of mortgage interest rates graphed here.

The question "Should I lock in for the long term or go short term" is a common question. You will find the answer here.

The Bank of Canada has increased many times over the past year. The lowest rate in 5 years was in August of 2004 when the bank prime rate was 2.25 The Average over the past 5 years, from 06/2001 - 04/2006 was 3% and the High was in June of 2001 when it was 4.75 Banks and lenders typically charge a minimum of 1% above the bank rate for Bank prime for their best customers. Thus, with the Bank of Canada prime being 4.25 today, a Bank rate prime would be at least 5.25%

This is an excellent link to view and compare Today's Low Canada and Ontario Current Mortgage Interest rates from major lenders for discounted, variable, fixed and prime rates in Canada and a mortgage calculator

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Condominium sales post double-digit gains in Q1 2006 in most major Canadian centres, says RE/MAX

Condominium sales post double-digit gains in Q1 2006 in most major Canadian centres, says RE/MAX

06:30 EDT Thursday, May 11, 2006

"For some first-time buyers, condominiums represent the only means of homeownership."

MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 11 /CNW/ - Unprecedented demand for condominium apartments and town homes has sparked double-digit gains in unit sales in most major Canadian centres during the first quarter of 2006, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Condominium Report found that both sales and prices were climbing in the eight markets examined, including Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Victoria, and Vancouver. The highest percentage increases were found in Alberta, with sales in both Calgary and Edmonton ahead of 2005 first quarter figures by approximately 40 per cent. The number of condominiums sold in Victoria, Kelowna, and Toronto were up in excess of 10 per cent, while more moderate gains of five, four and three per cent were reported in Vancouver, Ottawa, and Halifax respectively.

"Rapid price appreciation has had a definite impact on condominium sales across the country," says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "As the cost of more conventional housing rises, condominiums represent the only means of home ownership for some first-time buyers."

Western markets, in particular, are reporting strong upward pressure on overall residential average price (includes all single-family dwellings, including condominiums). To illustrate, housing values in Calgary rose a substantial 26 per cent to just over $308,000 year-to-date while average price in Vancouver jumped 22 per cent over the 2005 level to more than $482,000. Although Toronto experienced a more modest increase of approximately six per cent over Q1 2005, hot pocket areas are seeing even greater appreciation.

"Affordability has become a serious issue across the country," says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. "Despite relatively low interest rates and the availability of longer amortization periods, many first-time buyers are finding they have to stretch their budgets to realize the dream of home ownership. Condominiums are the easy answer for most because they offer the best of both worlds -- affordability and location."

Entry-level purchasers and move-up buyers, typically aging baby boomers, are most active in the condominium market. The most popular price point is $150,000 - $250,000, although in markets like Vancouver and Toronto, the strongest segments are closer to $300,000 - $400,000. Luxury sales are brisk from coast to coast, with almost all markets surveyed reporting an upswing in sales over $500,000. In Toronto, sales of condominiums priced in excess of $500,000 have risen 68 per cent to 170 units year-to-date, compared to 101 units during the same period in 2005.

"For many years, young professionals under the age of 40 dominated Toronto's condominium market," says Polzler. "The pendulum is now starting to shift, with baby boomers between 50 to 60 years of age emerging as a force in the marketplace. The condominium lifestyle is the major attraction for most mature buyers."

In Vancouver, more and more upscale developments are coming on-stream, especially in the Coal Harbour and the Beach Crescent neighbourhoods.

"With Canada's economic engine firing on all cylinders, and no dark clouds on the horizon, it's relatively safe to say that 2006 will be a banner year for condominium sales across the board," says Ash. "This is particularly true in the West, where condominiums are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to single-detached housing."


- Inventory levels were an issue in many markets examined, resulting in
upward pressure on condominium values.
- Multiple offers were commonplace in three markets during the first
quarter of 2006 - Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.
- Condominiums accounted for close to 50 per cent of total residential
sales in the Greater Area Vancouver between January - March 31, 2006.
RE/MAX is Canada's leading real estate organization with over 16,150 sales associates situated throughout its more than 620 independently owned and operated offices across the country. The RE/MAX franchise network, now in its 33rd year of consecutive growth, is a global real estate system operating in over 63 countries. More than 6,320 independently owned offices engage 117,595 member sales associates who lead the industry in professional designations, experience and production while providing real estate services in residential, commercial, referral, relocation and asset management. For more information, visit: www.remax.ca

To view the report, please visit:

See more condos information in Mississauga

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Toronto Real Estate Board Reports Over 8,000 Sales - Solid April 2006

Over 8,000 Sales Make for a Solid April

April of 2006 was another great month. Volume of sales and average prices were up compared to previous months.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 -- Toronto Real Estate Board Members reported a solid 8,361 sales in April, TREB President John Meehan reported today. "April's result was the third best performance ever recorded for the month, and year-to-date sales, at 28,020, are up five per cent over January-to-April of 2005."

Meanwhile, prices trended upward in April, with the average rising four per cent over March to $366,683. It was also up seven per cent over the $342,032 recorded in April of 2005. "A price jump like this is good news for home-owners. However, potential purchasers can take comfort from the fact that, with listings up four per cent over last April 25,245), further increases should be quite limited for the remainder of the year."

The month of May is starting out strong and hopefully this higher level of activity will continue for weeks to come. The mortgage interest rates have increased marginally this year, from about 6% at the beginning of 2006 to about 6.45% in early May. This has caused many people who were locked in at the lower rates to enter the market and take advantage of their lower locked in rate.

I wish you all the best!


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

TREB Average Sales month and year to date

The chart at the right will show you the monthly and year to date sales volumes for the different areas of the Toronto Real Estate Board.

It's interesting to see West zones make up more than one third of all sales through the Toronto board. The West, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Oakville Brampton etc. are by far the hottest areas of the city with the highest number of sales.