Brian O'Donoghue

Sales Representative

Direct 647-405-3126 | bodonoghue@bosleyrealestate.com

More than two-thirds of Toronto condo investors are planning to sell their properties rather than pay the new vacant home tax, according to a new Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) report. Toronto City Council voted to create an implementation plan for a vacant homes tax in the city which would take effect sometime in 2022. The tax would encourage owners to sell or rent out their vacant properties, which would increase housing supply, the City of Toronto said in a news release. Those who do not would need to pay the tax, and proceeds would go toward building new housing supply.


A total of 40 % of those polled at the end of last year said that they intend to sell their investment property in the next year in part due to a prospective vacancy tax, as well as further restrictions on Airbnbs. TRREB has been up front in asking the City to be prudent with its implementation of the tax, calling for exemptions for snowbirds, U.S. citizens, commuters, and other groups.


Using data from Vancouver ’s implementation of a vacant home tax as an example, if one per cent of Toronto’s housing stock is vacant, at a tax rate of one per cent on the average Toronto home’s current assessed value, this could equal $55 million to $66 million in tax revenue per year. Toronto’s tax rate will be determined in the tax development process. Determining how a home is deemed vacant will be part of the tax development process, but residential property owners would be required to make a declaration each year about the occupancy status of the home.


On another subject, TRREB is applauding Toronto City Council for listening to the concerns we expressed and has decided to NOT implement an increase to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on homes priced over $2 million. Had it been approved the portion of the property value over $2 million would have been subject to a 3.5% land transfer tax rate, up from 2.5% - a 40% increase.

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 This week the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) released its annual Market Year in Review & Outlook Report for 2021, projecting optimism for a booming Greater Toronto Area (GTA) real estate market in 2021. The report forecasts near-record sales numbers of 100,000 units, with average selling prices expected to break records and exceed the $1 million mark.


The blazing start to the year comes from a strong finish in 2020. January recorded 6,928 sales which represents an over 50% increase measured year-over-year against January 2020. Sales growth was recorded in all market segments, including condominiums in both the 416 and surrounding 905 regions. New listings also increased year-over-year, though at a less pronounced rate, which led to a tightening of market conditions versus the previous January.


The average selling price for January 2021 spiked 15.5% year-over-year to $967,885, driven primarily by the low-rise market segments as condominium apartment prices dropped in Toronto during this period. Despite this, TRREB expects that the continued growth of condominium sales could soon lead to sales growth outpacing listing growth, and renewed condo price appreciation.


Is the real estate market picking up steam at an uncomfortable pace? One just has to look at the number of multiple offers and wild bidding wars to know that demand is at an all-time high. Hopefully, as we start moving into the spring market let's hope listings become more plentiful, especially after this long weekend and the kids are back at school. Let us take this weekend to be with family and see what next week brings us. Happy Family Day!

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The Toronto condo market had cooled during the pandemic, but in this new year so far condo sales are booming. The month of January 2021 is holding December’s gains with sales activity in the 416 nearly doubling that of 2020 on a year-to-date basis. Although the Toronto rental vacancy rate increased, December of 2020 ended the year strong with an amazing turn of events that boosted market conditions with Toronto home sales up 64.5%. Last December’s data showed a big increase in demand for condos by investors who understood this was the beginning of a great time to get back into the market.
 
Analysts say low interest rates and a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel is driving up demand for condos in the city and the momentum isn’t stopping anytime soon. Real estate experts are all surprised by the pace of the market and suspect that the vaccine rollout has had an effect on buyers. And while there aren’t as many people from outside of Canada purchasing condos, the demographic of buyers has changed. The fact remains that downtown Toronto has a limited supply of land. Anyone who follows real estate trends can understand why downtown Toronto is beginning to catch more condo investor interest.
 
Toronto condo prices are still down about 5% year-over-year and down about 10% in downtown Toronto from their peak back in February 2020, which presents a good buying opportunity. The condo market has been traditionally reserved for first time buyers and downsizers, but as freehold home ownership becomes less affordable, we expect even more activity. Once activity ramps up mid-2021, it won’t be surprising to see condo prices rising to new levels.

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