By: Mark Weisleder
A year ago many pundits were predicting a real estate collapse in 2013. My view was different. I expected the market to stay strong and prices to hold up, which is what has happened.
By the end of September, 68,909 total homes had changed hands in the GTA, 1,000 units less than the same period last year. But the first half of October was strong – about 20 per cent higher than a year ago. So, it seems that sales for the year will exceed 2012’s 82,200 units. Average prices are also almost 5 per cent higher than a year ago and there are still bidding wars in many areas, because there are more buyers than listings.
Here’s why this is happening:
Low interest rates
Events like the U.S. fiscal cliff, civil war in Syria and instability in the Middle East, have had little impact here. Canada remains an island of stability. Things will only improve as economies in the US and European Union continue to improve. Interest rates may rise a little over the coming year, but the moves are unlikely to have a serious impact on the market..
Canada’s appeal to immigrants
We continue to be the envy of the world when it comes to quality of life and the fact that so many cultures and communities can live in harmony. That is why over 150,000 people come to Ontario each year, with the majority in the GTA. They have to live somewhere.
Low rental vacancy rates
The Toronto condo market has slowed somewhat, but prices haven’t crashed. The reason is that the vacancy rate for rental condominium units in downtown Toronto is 1.7 per cent. As a result, the average rent for a two bedroom condominium is about $2,500, which is also the amount an investor needs to carry an average two bedroom condominium, even if it costs $500,000. If you can carry your condo, you are in no rush to sell or lower your asking price.
People have been predicting the real estate market crash in the GTA for the past 13 years. It hasn’t happened yet and won’t happen next year either.