Toronto Living Blog

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings in the Greater Toronto Area. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 6, 2024

Toronto Real Estate: January 2024 Signals Tighter Market and Potential Price Growth

🏡📈

In a report released on February 6, 2024, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reveals a notable shift in the real estate landscape in January 2024 compared to the previous year. Tighter market conditions and positive indicators suggest potential renewed price growth as the market transitions into the spring season.

January 2024: Positive Trends and Tighter Market Conditions 🔄🏠

Home sales in January 2024 witnessed a significant uptick compared to the same period in 2023. This annual increase was attributed to homebuyers benefiting from lower borrowing costs associated with fixed-rate mortgage products. New listings also increased year-over-year, although at a lesser annual rate compared to sales. The resulting tighter market conditions when compared to the previous year could signal a shift towards renewed price growth in the approaching spring market.

TRREB President Jennifer Pearce notes, “We had a positive start to 2024. The Bank of Canada expects the rate of inflation to recede as we move through the year. This would support lower interest rates which would bolster home buyers' confidence to move back into the market.”

Sales and Listings Dynamics 📊🏡

January 2024 saw 4,223 sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System, marking an increase of more than one-third compared to January 2023. New listings also saw a year-over-year increase, albeit at a lesser annual rate of approximately six percent. The stronger sales growth relative to listings indicates that buyers experienced tighter market conditions compared to the previous year.

On a month-over-month seasonally adjusted basis, both sales and new listings increased, with sales outpacing listings. This dynamic suggests a tightening of market conditions relative to December 2023.

Future Outlook and Predictions 🔮💼

TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer anticipates that as the Bank of Canada potentially starts cutting its policy rate in the second half of 2024, home sales are likely to pick up even further. Increased demand coupled with constrained supply is expected to result in more competition between buyers, putting upward pressure on selling prices over the next two years.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite in January 2024 showed a minor year-over-year decrease of less than one percent, while the average selling price was down by one percent to $1,026,703. On a month-over-month seasonally adjusted basis, both the MLS® HPI Composite and the average selling price trended lower.

Policy Considerations and TRREB's Call to Action 🏛️📢

While acknowledging the potential improvement with lower borrowing costs, TRREB CEO John DiMichele highlights the need for addressing policy issues at various levels. This includes a call for a review of the mortgage stress test, focusing on building new homes, and addressing Toronto’s structural deficit.

The report also teases the upcoming release of TRREB's 2024 Market Outlook and Year in Review on February 8, providing valuable industry insights and forecasts for the GTA real estate market, including research on the social implications of unaffordability and preparations for a rising population. 🌆🔍📈

 


If you are interested to know more about moving to Toronto, reach out to us or click on the link below to see what homes cost in the GTA.

 

 

Find Your Dream Home In Toronto

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 26, 2024

Embark on Your Ontario Homeownership Journey with the FHSA: Unlocking Urban Dreams!

Embark on Your Ontario Homeownership Journey with the FHSA: Unlocking Urban Dreams! 🍁🏙️💰

Are you ready to make Ontario your home and navigate the vibrant real estate scene? The Ontario-focused edition of the First Home Savings Account (FHSA) is your key to conquering the challenge of saving for a down payment in both Toronto and the wider Ontario area. 🌟

1. The FHSA in Ontario: Tailored for Urban and Wider Settings 🏦 Discover the FHSA, introduced in the 2022 Federal budget, designed to meet the unique needs of Ontario residents. With an annual contribution limit of $8,000 and a lifetime limit of $40,000, this plan is crafted to align with Ontario's diverse housing landscapes, from urban to wider settings.

2. Ontario FHSA Eligibility: Your Gateway to Homeownership in the Province 🍁🏡 To embark on your FHSA journey in Ontario, be a resident of the province, aged between 18-71, and a first-time home buyer. Let the FHSA guide you through the diverse homeownership journey Ontario has to offer!

3. Top Benefits of Ontario's FHSA: Empowering Urban and Wider Living 💪🏙️ Explore four compelling incentives tailored for Ontario living:

  • Tax-sheltered savings for up to 15 years, whether you're eyeing Toronto's skyline or the tranquility of wider Ontario.
  • Tax-deductible contributions to navigate Ontario's unique tax landscape.
  • Ability to transfer funds to an RRSP or Registered Retirement Income Fund, aligning with Ontario's financial strategies.
  • Compatibility with the Home Buyers' Plan for an even larger down payment in Ontario's competitive market.

4. Ontario-Specific Contributions and Deductions: Navigating Urban and Wider Landscapes 📜🏞️ Dive into the Ontario-centric details of contribution limits and deductions:

  • Lifetime limit of $40,000 with annual contributions capped at $8,000, accommodating both urban and wider Ontario lifestyles.
  • Carry-over contributions for unused amounts from the previous year, a useful feature for Ontario's ever-changing real estate dynamics.
  • Tax-deductible contributions that seamlessly integrate with Ontario's diverse income profiles.

5. Qualifying Withdrawals in Ontario: How to Utilize Your Savings Across the Province? 🏡🌆 Ensure tax-free withdrawals in Ontario by meeting specific conditions:

  • Be a first-time home buyer and a resident of Ontario.
  • Have an agreement to buy or build a qualifying home in any part of Ontario.
  • Intend to occupy the home as your principal residence, whether in urban or wider Ontario settings.

6. FHSA vs. Ontario's Housing Realities: A Comparative Overview 🔄🏡 Contrast the FHSA with Ontario's unique housing dynamics – no repayment required for FHSA, and the flexibility to use both plans for your first home in Ontario's diverse market!

7. Adapting to Ontario's Housing Changes: What if You Don't Buy or Build? 🔄🏠 Adjust to Ontario's dynamic housing changes by transferring savings to an RRSP or RRIF on a tax-free basis. No taxes until withdrawal, aligning with Ontario's ever-evolving real estate trends!

8. Ontario Real-Life Scenario: Meet Alex, an Ontario Dreamer! 🧑‍💼🍁 Explore the story of Alex, an Ontario dreamer using the FHSA to save tax-free for 15 years amidst the diversity of Ontario's landscapes. If plans change, Alex can transfer funds to an RRSP with tax implications upon withdrawal.

9. Key Takeaway for Ontario Residents: Unlocking Your Dreams with the FHSA 🗝️🍁 With the potential to save up to $40,000 (or $75,000 combined with the Home Buyers' Plan) tax-free, the Ontario-focused FHSA is your provincial game-changer. Navigate Ontario's real estate landscape, whether in the heart of Toronto or the wider Ontario area, with confidence!

10. Further Exploration for Ontario Homebuyers: Where to Learn More? 🤔🏡 Visit the Ontario-specific Tax-Free First Home Savings Account information page on the Government of Canada website for more details and updates tailored for homeowners across Ontario, from urban to wider settings.

Dream big, plan ahead, and with the Ontario FHSA, you're one step closer to the keys of your dream home in the diverse landscapes of Ontario! 🏡🌳✨

 

If you are interested to know more about moving to Toronto, reach out to us or click on the link below to see what homes cost in the GTA.

 

 

Find Your Dream Home In Toronto

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 3, 2024

December 2023 Toronto Real Estate Market Update

GTA Real Estate in 2023: A Shift Towards Rentals and Anticipated Relief in 2024 🏡📉📈

The GTA REALTORS® have released their comprehensive stats for December and the year-end of 2023, revealing a dynamic real estate landscape shaped by record immigration and affordability challenges. Here's a closer look at the key highlights and what lies ahead.

Overview of 2023: Demand Shifts to Rentals Amid Affordability Concerns 🌆🤔

In 2023, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) experienced a notable shift in housing demand, with a focus on the rental market. Despite the overall demand remaining buoyed by record immigration, the number of home sales dipped to less than 70,000 due to affordability issues stemming from high mortgage rates.

“High borrowing costs coupled with unrealistic federal mortgage qualification standards resulted in an unaffordable home ownership market for many households in 2023," highlighted Jennifer Pearce, the new Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President.

The year saw 65,982 home sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System, marking a 12.1% decline from 2022. New listings also declined in 2023, revealing a trend that has been largely flat-to-down over the past decade despite a steadily growing population.

Market Dynamics and Affordability Challenges 📊💸

The average selling price for all home types in 2023 was $1,126,604, representing a 5.4% decline compared to 2022. Affordability concerns prompted a shift in the market dynamics, allowing active buyers to negotiate lower selling prices. However, the declining trend in the MLS® Home Price Index Composite indicates the complexity of the situation.

“Assuming borrowing costs trend lower this year, look for tighter market conditions to prompt renewed price growth in the months ahead,” suggests Jason Mercer, TRREB Chief Market Analyst, hinting at potential relief on the horizon.

Future Outlook and Anticipated Relief in 2024 🌟🏠🔮

Despite the challenges of 2023, there's optimism for 2024. Jennifer Pearce anticipates relief as borrowing costs are expected to trend lower. Lower mortgage rates, combined with a relatively resilient economy, are predicted to spur a rebound in home sales.

“Record immigration into the GTA in the coming years will require a corresponding increase in the number of homes available to rent or purchase," emphasizes TRREB CEO John DiMichele, emphasizing the need for a balance between demand and available housing.

The GTA real estate market, navigating through challenges, stands poised for potential recovery and growth in the year ahead. 🌆📈✨

 

If you are interested to know more about moving to Toronto, reach out to us or click on the link below to see what homes cost in the GTA.

 

 

 

Find Your Dream Home In Toronto

Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 5, 2023

November 2023 Toronto Real Estate Market Update

🏡📉 **TRREB Housing Market Update: November 2023** 📉🏡

 

🌐 **Toronto Real Estate Landscape:**

- 📉 GTA home sales dipped by six per cent YoY in November 2023.

- 📈 New listings rose by 16.5% from the supply trough last year.

 

💰 **Affordability Challenges:**

- 📈 High borrowing costs and economic uncertainties impacting affordability.

- 📊 Selling prices remained largely flat YoY due to increased market choices.

- 📉 Inflation and elevated borrowing costs affecting interest rate-sensitive housing markets.

 

💼 **Economic Outlook:**

- 🔄 Relief on the horizon: Bond yields for fixed-rate mortgages trending lower.

- 💼 Anticipation of Bank of Canada rate cuts in H1 2024 for improved affordability.

- 📊 Lower rates expected to benefit existing homeowners and potential buyers.

 

📊 **Market Statistics (November 2023):**

- 📉 4,236 sales reported, a six per cent decline from November 2022.

- 📈 New listings increased by 16.5%.

- 📉 MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark and average selling price at $1,082,179 remained flat YoY.

- 📉 Seasonally adjusted monthly basis: MLS® HPI Composite benchmark down 1.7%, average selling price down 2.2%.

 

📈 **Price Adjustment and Future Outlook:**

- 📉 Home prices adjusted from peak due to higher borrowing costs.

- 📉 Affordability relief for buyers.

- 📈 Anticipation of renewed price growth as mortgage rates trend lower in 2024.

 

🏠📈 **Policy and Supply Initiatives:**

- 🏡 Productive policy decisions supporting affordability, including stress test adjustments for insured mortgage holders.

- 🏢 Calls for a similar approach for uninsured mortgages by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).

- 🚀 Emphasis on the need for additional policy measures to boost housing supply.

 

👥🗣️ **Quotes from TRREB Leaders:**

- 🗣️ "Inflation and borrowing costs have impacted affordability," says TRREB President Paul Baron.

- 🗣️ "Lower mortgage rates and growing population will boost demand," predicts TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

- 🗣️ TRREB CEO John DiMichele emphasizes the importance of policy decisions for stability and increased supply.

 

🔗 *Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)* 🔗

 

If you are interested to know more about moving to Toronto, reach out to us or click on the link below to see what homes cost in the GTA.

 

 

 

Find Your Dream Home In Toronto

 

 

#TRREB #TorontoRealEstate #HousingMarketUpdate 📊🏠

Posted in Market Updates
May 1, 2023

Legalizing Your House for a Secondary Dwelling in Toronto: A Step-by-Step Guide

Legalizing Your House for a Secondary Dwelling in Toronto: A Step-by-Step Guide

 

If you live in Toronto and are looking for a way to generate extra income, renting out a secondary dwelling unit (SDU) on your property could be a great option. However, before you can start renting out your SDU, you need to make sure that it is legal. In this blog, we will discuss the steps you need to take to legalize your house in Toronto for a secondary dwelling.

 

What is a Secondary Dwelling Unit?

 

A secondary dwelling unit, also known as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), is a self-contained unit that is located within the same building as a primary dwelling unit. SDUs can take many forms, including basement apartments, attic apartments, or additions to the main dwelling. These units often have their own separate entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and living space, and can be rented out to tenants.

 

In Toronto, SDUs are governed by the city's zoning bylaws. The city defines an SDU as a self-contained dwelling unit located within a single-detached house, semi-detached house, or townhouse, or within a structure ancillary to such a building. SDUs must have their own separate entrance, kitchen facilities, and bathroom facilities, and must be located entirely within the main building or the ancillary structure.

 

Why Legalize Your House for a Secondary Dwelling?

 

There are many benefits to legalizing your house for a secondary dwelling. First and foremost, legalizing your SDU ensures that it meets all of the city's health and safety standards, which protects your tenants and your property. In addition, legalizing your SDU can help you generate extra income by renting it out to tenants.

 

Furthermore, legalizing your SDU can increase the value of your property. According to a study by the Appraisal Institute of Canada, a legal secondary dwelling unit can increase the value of a home by up to 20 percent. This means that legalizing your SDU can be a smart investment that pays off in the long run.

 

Step 1: Check Your Property's Zoning

 

The first step in legalizing your house for a secondary dwelling is to check your property's zoning. The City of Toronto has different zoning bylaws for different areas of the city, and these bylaws dictate what types of secondary dwelling units are allowed in each zone.

 

You can check your property's zoning by visiting the City of Toronto's Zoning Bylaw Maps website. Simply enter your property's address into the search bar, and the website will display the zoning information for your property.

 

If your property is zoned for residential use, it is likely that you will be able to legalize a secondary dwelling unit. However, if your property is zoned for commercial use, you may not be able to legalize a secondary dwelling unit without obtaining a zoning amendment.

 

Step 2: Check Building Code Requirements

 

The next step in legalizing your house for a secondary dwelling is to check the building code requirements for SDUs. The building code sets out the minimum requirements for building, plumbing, and electrical systems, and ensures that buildings are safe and accessible.

 

The City of Toronto has specific building code requirements for SDUs. These requirements include:

 

Ceiling height of at least 2.13 metres (7 feet) throughout the unit

A separate entrance that is directly accessible from the exterior of the building

A kitchen that is separate from other habitable rooms and has at least one sink, one range, and one refrigerator

A bathroom with a sink, a toilet, and a shower or bathtub

A separate heating and ventilation system that is independent of the primary dwelling unit

It is important to note that building code requirements may vary depending on the type and location of the SDU. For example, if you are converting a basement into an SDU, you may need to install additional fire safety measures, such as smoke alarms and fire-rated doors.

 

To ensure that your SDU meets all building code requirements, it is recommended that you work with a licensed contractor or architect. These professionals can help you design and build your SDU in compliance with all relevant building codes and standards.

 

Step 3: Obtain Permits

 

Once you have confirmed that your property is zoned for an SDU and have designed your unit to meet all building code requirements, the next step is to obtain the necessary permits from the City of Toronto. In general, you will need the following permits:

 

Building permit: A building permit is required for any construction or renovation work that affects the structure, plumbing, or electrical systems of your SDU. You will need to submit detailed plans and specifications of your SDU to the City, along with any required fees.

 

Plumbing permit: If you are installing new or modifying existing plumbing systems in your SDU, you will need a plumbing permit. This permit is separate from the building permit and requires a separate fee.

 

Electrical permit: If you are installing new or modifying existing electrical systems in your SDU, you will need an electrical permit. This permit is also separate from the building permit and requires a separate fee.

 

Zoning review: Depending on the location and type of your SDU, you may need to obtain a zoning review from the City. This review ensures that your SDU complies with all relevant zoning bylaws and regulations.

 

To obtain these permits, you will need to submit detailed plans and specifications of your SDU to the City, along with any required fees. The City will review your plans and specifications and may require modifications or additional information before granting the permits.

 

Step 4: Pass Inspections

 

After you have obtained all necessary permits and have completed construction of your SDU, the next step is to pass inspections from the City of Toronto. The City will inspect your SDU to ensure that it meets all building code requirements and that it is safe and habitable.

 

The City may require multiple inspections throughout the construction process, including framing, plumbing, electrical, and final inspections. Once your SDU has passed all required inspections, the City will issue a Certificate of Occupancy, which confirms that your SDU is legal and can be rented out to tenants.

 

Step 5: Register Your Secondary Dwelling Unit

 

After you have obtained all necessary permits and passed all required inspections, the final step in legalizing your house for a secondary dwelling is to register your unit with the City of Toronto. This registration is required by law and ensures that your SDU is compliant with all relevant bylaws and regulations.

 

To register your SDU, you will need to provide the City with the following information:

 

The address and legal description of your property

The number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your SDU

The maximum number of occupants allowed in your SDU

The name and contact information of the property owner

The name and contact information of the tenant(s) renting the SDU

Registration fees may apply, and the City may require periodic inspections to ensure that your SDU continues to meet all relevant bylaws and regulations.

 

Conclusion



Legalizing your house for a secondary dwelling in Toronto can be a complex process, but it is essential if you want to rent out your SDU and generate extra income. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can ensure that your SDU meets all relevant zoning bylaws, building code requirements, and safety standards, and can be rented out to tenants with peace of mind. Remember to work with licensed professionals, such as contractors, architects, and inspectors, throughout the process to ensure that your SDU is compliant with all relevant regulations and standards.

 

If you are interested to know more about moving to Toronto, reach out to us or click on the link below to see what homes cost in the GTA.

 

 

 

 

Find Your Dream Home In Toronto

Posted in City Blogs
Feb. 26, 2023

Mississauga vs Burlington Ontario

Mississauga vs Burlington: Comparing Two of Ontario's Best Cities



Mississauga and Burlington are two cities in the Greater Toronto Area that are known for their high quality of life, strong economies, and thriving cultural scenes. While they share many similarities, there are also some key differences between the two cities that make them unique. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at Mississauga and Burlington and compare them in terms of location and geography, demographics and population, cost of living, economy and industry, education, transportation and infrastructure, and culture and entertainment.

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Posted in City Blogs
Jan. 27, 2023

The Cost Of Living In Mississauga In 2023

The Cost Of Living In Mississauga In 2023

 Mississauga Downtown

 

The cost of living in Mississauga, Ontario in 2023 can vary depending on a number of factors such as housing, transportation, and lifestyle choices. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the costs associated with living in Mississauga and how they compare to the rest of Canada.

 

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Posted in City Blogs
Jan. 21, 2023

7 Common Mistakes People Make When Moving To Mississauga

7 Common Mistakes People Make When Moving To Mississauga

 

Moving to a new city can be an exciting but also overwhelming experience. Mississauga, a city located just west of Toronto, is a great place to live, work and raise a family, but like any new city, there are a few mistakes that people make when they move here. In this blog, we will take a look at some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

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Posted in City Blogs
Jan. 19, 2023

The Toronto Raptors History

The Toronto Raptors History

toronto raptors scotiabank arena

The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The team was founded in 1995 as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada and has been a vital part of Toronto's sports culture ever since. The team plays its home games at the Scotiabank Arena, which is located in downtown Toronto.

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Posted in City Blogs
Jan. 17, 2023

The Mississauga Hazel McCallion Central Library

The Mississauga Hazel McCallion Central Library

Mississauga Central Library

The Mississauga Hazel McCallion Central Library is currently undergoing a major renovation, with the goal of creating a modern and accessible space for community members to gather, learn, and connect.

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Posted in City Blogs