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President's Toronto SUN Column

TREB President's Column as it appears every Friday in the Toronto Sun's Resale Homes and Condos section.

Home Prices Continue To Trend Upward

March 7, 2014 -- Home sales reported by Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® were up by 2.1 per cent compared to the same period last year.  Total February sales amounted to 5,731 compared to 5,613 last year.

And despite the continuation of inclement weather in February, we did see a moderate uptick in sales activity last month.  The sales increase was largely driven by resale condominium apartments.  New listings of resale condominium apartments were up on a year-over-year basis, giving buyers ample choice.  This is in contrast to the listings situation for singles, semis and townhomes, where supply continued to be constrained.  Some would-be buyers had difficulty finding a home that met their needs.

If we see renewed growth in listings for low-rise home types, the pace of sales growth will accelerate as we move through the year.

The average selling price for February 2014 sales was up by 8.6 per cent to $553,193, compared to the average of $509,396 reported for February 2013.  The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 7.3 per cent year-over-year.

I spoke with Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis, and here is what he had to say about the market report.

“While the strong price growth experienced over the last year should prompt an improvement in the supply of listings, sellers’ market conditions will continue to prevail this year.  Home prices, on average, will trend upwards at a pace well-above the rate of inflation.  The impact of strong price growth on affordability will be mitigated by low borrowing costs,” said Mr. Mercer.

TREB’s Commercial Network also released its latest figures. Commercial Network Members reported  368,513 square feet of leased space through the TorontoMLS system in February, for properties leased on a per square foot net basis where pricing was disclosed.  This result was down by 17 per cent in comparison to February 2013.  The industrial market segment, which accounted for more than three quarters of the square footage leased, was the driver of the year-over-year dip.

I asked TREB’s Commercial Chair Cynthia Lai to provide her outlook on the latest figures.

“There were fewer lease agreements signed for larger industrial spaces this past February in comparison to the same period last year.  It is important to note, however, that leasing activity can be volatile on a month-to-month basis.  With that being said, the overall average lease rate for industrial properties was up slightly in comparison to last year,” said Ms Lai.

The average industrial lease rate in February 2014 was $5.26 per square foot net – up by 1.2 per cent compared to $5.20 in February 2013.  Average lease rates were also up for the commercial/retail and office segments of the market.  While market forces accounted for some of the commercial/retail and office increases, a change in the mix of properties leased, in terms of size and geography, also impacted the annual rates of growth.

The number of combined industrial, commercial/retail and office property sales in February 2014 remained in line with the number of transactions reported during the same time period in 2013.  There was a total of 48 sales reported this year, for which pricing was disclosed, compared to 51 sales in 2013.

The year-over-year change in average selling prices on a per square foot basis was mixed.  The industrial selling price in February was up substantially in comparison to the same period last year, whereas the average prices for commercial/retail and office properties were down.

The share and geographic location of industrial sales over fifty thousand square feet was different this past February compared to 2013.  This accounted for the large year-over-year change in the average industrial selling price.  Average industrial selling prices for smaller size categories were similar on a year-over-year basis.

Dianne Usher is President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 37,000 REALTORS® in the Greater Toronto Area.

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Archive

 2014
January 31 Land Transfer Tax Exposes Budget To Risk
 2013
November 1 Staging A Home Is A Good Investment To Make
October 18 Helping Communities To Build Better Lives
September 27 Working Together Towards a Better Toronto
August 23 A REALTOR® Will Represent Your Best Interests
August 16 Finding A Vacation Property Is Easier Than You Think
August 2 Simplifying The Homebuying Process
July 19 Cottages Are Investments In Memories
July 5 New Beginnings At The Toronto Real Estate Board
June 21 Awards program will recognize Toronto’s best buildings
May 31 Inspired By The Volunteer Efforts Of REALTORS®
May 10 REALTORS® QUEST To Be The Best
April 26 Prep Is Key For Selling Success
April 12 Long-Term Outlook For Real Estate Remains Positive
March 22 Real Estate Profession Has Much To Offer
March 8 New Roadmap Is Valuable For Homebuyers
February 8 New Online Tool Brings Efficiency To The Household
January 25 It’s Never Too Early To Plan Your Move
January 4 Award-Winning Buildings Are Deserving Of Recognition
 2012
December 21 Transactions Take A Dip
November 30 Navigating Your Way Through Canada’s Housing Market
October 12 Buyers Always Benefit
September 21 Education Is A Lifelong Commitment
September 14 Learn About Up-And-Coming Neighbourhoods
September 7 Emphasis Will Always Be On Professional Services
August 24 Torontonians To Get Things Right
August 17 Resale Home Activity Continues At A Solid Pace
August 3 REALTORS® Have Access To All Kinds Of Information
July 20 Let's Recognize Those Who Do Good Work
July 13 New Mortgage Rules Won’t Hurt Affordability
July 6 It’s all about growing along with our clients
June 29 A look at Mortgage Lending Guideline Changes
June 22 Expect Number Of New Listings To Increase
June 15 Working To Repeal The Land Transfer Tax
June 1 TREB Announces Commercial Building Awards
May 25 Serving Others Is The Highest Honour Of All
May 18 Standing up for Homeowners’ right to privacy
May 4 REALTORS® offer key to a better life
April 20 Affordable Homeownership Benefits Us All
March 30 Keep Your Home Insurance Costs In Line
March 2 It Pays To Lower Your Expectations
February 24 Homes Continue To Sell Quickly
February 17 New Tool Measures Price of Home
February 10 New Building Awards Will Benefit Our City
January 27 Tightening market will mean higher prices
January 13 Expect demand to be strong in 2012
 2011
December 30 Finishing the year on a high note
December 8 It’s Time to Lend a Helping Hand
November 25 Helping those less fortunate
November 18 Building up to National Housing Day
October 28 First-Time Buyers Have Lots Of Options
October 21 Using A Realtor To Buy A New Home
October 14 Celebrating Many Years Of Service
October 7 Renovation Rebate Would Benefit Homeowners
September 30 Land Transfer Taxes Unfair to Home Buyers
September 23 Energy Rebates Should Be A Priority
September 16 Tell City Hall to Target Waste, Not Home Buyers
September 2 Realtors ride for a great cause
August 26 Strong economy sees numbers boosted
August 19 New Web Site Easy to Use
August 15 Learn to keep termites at bay
August 9

Public and Businesses See Eye-to-Eye on Municipal Finance Issues

July 22 Know when it's time to renovate
July 8 Treat first-time buyers fairly
June 17 Time To Repeal The Land Transfer Tax
June 10 Take a tour of the virtual office
June 3 Parking red tape should be streamlined
May 27 Helpful Advice Is Keystrokes Away
May 20 Taking a walk through REALTOR® QUEST
May 13 The social side of real estate
May 6 Staying on top of municipal issues
Apr. 29 Expect demand to remain strong
Apr. 22 Know what to look for in a condo
Apr. 15 Choosing between new and resale
Apr. 8 Learn to use the tools of the trade
Apr. 1 Expect demand to remain healthy
Mar. 25 City needs to cut parking red tape
Mar. 11 Select the right neighbourhood
Mar. 4 Consider investing in a fixer-upper
Feb. 25 Expect homes to remain affordable
Feb. 18 REALTORS® help clarify parking rules
Feb. 11 Learn the benefits of going online
Feb. 4 Increase the value of your resale
Jan. 28 Know the value of a REALTOR®
Jan. 21 Move is on to repeal an unfair tax
Jan. 14 Choose a home that fits your style
 2010
Dec. 17 Working Hard to Make a Difference
Nov. 19 Sorting out HST misconceptions
Nov. 12 Give more thought to going green
Nov. 5 All signs point to a healthy market
Oct. 29 Green your home and save money
Oct. 15 Keeping your best interest in mind
Oct. 8 All signs point to a healthy market
Oct. 1 Condos have become a way of life
Sept. 24 Setting the HST record straight
Sept. 17 Coming to 'Terms' with Real Estate
Sept. 10 Growing Up and going green
Sept. 3 Keeping your best interest in mind
July 16 Charity begins and ends at Home
July 9 Saving the HST with Resale Housing
July 2 Recognizing Our Volunteer Efforts
June 25 Getting to know all your options
June 18 Embracing Diversity in the GTA
May 28 REALTORS® need to know quite a lot
May 14 April transactions nearly met record
May 7 Shopping for the best deal in Town
Apr. 30 The Hidden costs of moving
Apr. 23 Knowing all the local options
Apr. 16 Many ways to cut energy costs
Apr. 2 It pays to renovate before you sell
Mar. 26 Working in your best interests
Mar. 12 Growing Tax burden is taking its toll
Mar. 5 A Professional Touch
Feb. 26 Registry links buyers to homes
Feb. 19 Mitigating the HST tax threat
Feb. 12 Expect strong start to 2010 to continue
Feb. 5 Helping those in desperate need in Haiti
Jan. 29 Having a green home provides savings and peace-of-mind
Jan. 22 REALTORS® assist with Rentals Too
Jan. 15 REALTORS® Give Back
Jan. 8 Why our REALTORS® are the envy of the world
 2009
Dec. 11 Making the jump to home ownership
Dec. 4 Your kind of town, Toronto is
Nov. 27 Emerging Neighbourhoods
Nov. 20 Mid-Month market report: The economic recovery continues
Nov. 13 There's More to us than MLS
Nov. 06 Fix-up Frenzy
Oct. 30 A Taxing Issue: Let's call on future mayor to roll back LTT
Oct. 23 Where to buy
Oct. 16 Value Added
Oct. 10 Market report
Sept. 25 NO sense of harmony
Sept. 18 Vertical City - The GTA is growing up and going green
Sept. 11 Go Site-seeing
Sept. 04 A changing shade of grey
August 28 Gateway to the World
August 21 Vertical City – Toronto is Growing Up
August 14 A new way to hunt for homes
August 7 Home Away from Home
July 31 The Canadian Dream
July 24 Move or Improve
July 17 Weathering the Storm
July 10 Mid-year market report
June 26 Making the Right Connections
June 19 Condo City
June 12 More co-op on grow ops
June 5 Investing in Real Estate
May 29 The News is Good
May 22 Ownership Housing Plays Important Role
May 15 REALTORS® Invest Time to Improve
May 8 REALTORS® take message to Ottawa
May 1 REALTOR® Education
Apr. 24 Community Spirit Alive
Apr. 17 Tech tools of the trade
Apr. 10 Public Wants Toronto Land Transfer Tax Repealed
Apr. 03 Invest In Future
Mar. 27 Agents of Change
Mar. 20 Harmonized Sales Tax Would Hurt Home Buyers
Mar. 13 Actions Speak Louder than Words on Affordable Housing
Mar. 06 Market review: 2009 so far
Feb. 20 Scholarships offered by real estate board
Feb. 13 Make Home Owners Priority of City Budget
Feb. 06 Federal Budget Helps Home Buyers and Owners
Jan. 30 January's Resale Housing Market Report
Jan. 23 TREB to Feds: More help to Homebuyers
Jan. 16 Lifestyles in the 416 and 905
 2008
Dec. 19 Be prepared for closing costs
Dec. 12 Toronto Land Transfer Tax Costs City's Economy $170 million
Dec. 5 Understand your privacy and rights
Nov. 28 Seasons of Real Estate
Nov. 21 Setting the Stage for a Sale
Nov. 14 The Ins and Outs of Inspections
Nov. 7 Outlook still good for GTA
Oct. 31 Taking Advantage of Taxes
Oct. 24 The Ins and Outs of Insurance
Oct. 17 Fighting Back Against Fraud
Oct. 10 Local Market Holds Steady
Oct. 3 Show Good Form During a Deal
Sept. 26 Using Equity to Your Advantage
Sept. 19 Choices Abound but Choose Carefully
Sept. 12 GTA Housing Market Stable
Sept. 5 Points to Ponder This Fall
Aug. 29 Don't Take This For Granted
Aug. 22 A Helping Hand
Aug. 15 A Market Report for July
Aug. 8 A Primer on Attracting Buyers
Aug. 1 Returns on RENOs
July 25 New Federal Mortgage Rules
July 18 Revitalizing the Big Smoke
July 11 Condos Changing the GTA
July 4 Feeding the City's Future
June 27 Recognizing Volunteers
June 20 Buyers, Be Aware of the New Rules
June 13 The Market Remains Healthy
June 6 Reasons to Pick a REALTOR®
May 30 The Power of MLS
May 23 Greening Up Resale Homes
May 16 A Quest for Knowledge
May 9 Lobbying Goes a Long Way
May 2 Toronto Compared
Apr. 25 Beware of Hidden Development Charges
Apr. 18 From the President
Apr. 11 Guarding Against Grow-Ops
Apr. 4

The Importance of the Budget

Mar. 28 Another Way to Invest in Real Estate
Mar. 21 Federal Budget Misses Opp
Mar. 14 Prepare Now for a Spring Move
Mar. 7 Remember to Budget for City's Budget
Feb. 29 From the President