Toronto Housing Market Trends – 2018 and beyond
The average price of homes in Toronto stands at around $892,000 in 2018, and the market saw a significant increase in new listings in September.
The general uncertainty about the North American Free Trade Agreement and its effect on the Canadian economy explains why many homeowners in Toronto chose to list their homes for sale. At the same time, it seems that now the majority of people feel comfortable with their standard of living and job outlook, and they are unlikely to list their homes for sale. In fact, the new agreement has not resulted in significant job losses to date. The unemployment rate stands at 6.1 percent. Job losses occurred in sectors such as the financial sector, warehousing and transportation, trade services, manufacturing, and construction. There are job gains in sectors such as public administration, healthcare, education, the building services, and agriculture. Brad Henderson, Sotheby’s CEO, notes that many employers are eager to find skilled employees, and this will result in wage increases. Higher wages, on the other hand, mean a higher demand for housing which will trigger an increase in home prices.
A recent report shows that prices went up by 1.9 percent on a year-by-year basis in 2017 and by 2.9 percent as of September 2018.
This means that a rise in new listings is unlikely, and home prices will continue to rise at a steady pace in the short term. New housing starts also declined in number in Toronto this summer, from 16,000 to 40,000 units. Given the high demand for housing which by far exceeds supply, experts predict a further increase in home prices. Prices in the luxury category are picking up compared to 2015. Sales of homes of over $1 million increased by 52 percent while $4-million homes saw an increase of 72 percent.
Trends – 2018 and beyond
Experts predict slow market growth between 2018 and 2020 mainly due to moderate economy growth, the new mortgage rules, and higher mortgage interest rates. Policy measures to stop mortgage debt from growing and to cool down the market make many weary of buying a home. Tighter borrowing rules and new underwriting standards made it more difficult for borrowers to meet the criteria for unsecured loans - (How would filing for bankruptcy affect your borrowing power) Higher inflation is a contributing factor. This means that more people will be eager to enter the rental market, which will result in decreased supply of rental housing. At the same time, experts predict that home prices in Ontario will go up by 5 percent in 2019 and 4.5 percent in 2020. According to the Ontario Housing Outlook 2018 – 2020 report, in Toronto, housing prices will grow by 3.2 percent in 2019 and 5 percent in 2020. This can be explained by rising populations, job stability, and stable economic growth. Several factors contribute to the more modest increase in home prices, including fewer housing starts and a subsequent modest increase in supply. Higher interest rates also keep homebuyers from entering the market. Homeowners who choose to put up their properties for sale may see them listed for longer than expected. Given that the market is expected to stabilize, homebuyers will take more time to shop around before they make a decision.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that was founded in Georgia in 1976 to help people access affordable housing through training programs, infrastructure improvements, repairs, and home building.
The organization was founded in 1985, and the first home project was completed the same year in Winkler, Manitoba. Today, it has some 56 branches across Canada. The organization runs different programs such as the Indigenous Housing Partnership and international programs in Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere. The goal is to help families in developing countries improve their quality of life.
Habitat for Humanity GTA
A nationwide, non-for-profit organization founded back in 1988, Habitat for Humanity GTA is dedicated to helping low-income families become self-dependent and self-sustaining by building homes. Thanks to the concerted efforts and work of community partners and volunteers and the funding provided by donors, the organization has built over 360 homes for families in need of affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity GTA shares key values such as inclusiveness, diversity, human dignity, and access to housing for all people.
Funding for Low-Income Families
Habitat for Humanity GTA offers mortgage loans with zero interest and no down payment. Payments are calculated on an annual basis so that borrowers can keep at least 70 percent of their income to pay other expenses. (See more options.) In exchange, they help build homes for other families in need and contribute a total of 500 hours.
Making a Difference
Having a home of their own is a life changer for many families, and the majority report that family members enjoy improved health and suffer less often from allergies and asthma. Children’s school performance also improves, and parents report improved self-confidence. There are benefits for local communities as well, one being that families moving to homes of their own vacate rental properties for people who are looking for a place to rent. What is more, new homeowners also pay property taxes and thus contribute to community wellbeing.
Funds come from different sources, including mortgage payments, ReStore sales, and donations. The organization welcomes donations in the form of cash, construction materials, corporate products, and professional services. Corporate and business partners can donate construction materials such as furnaces, doors, lumber, plywood, flooring, and tools and equipment. Habitat for Humanity also accepts donations in the form of trades and professional services by mechanical and electrical engineers, architects, consultants, and others. Corporate gifts include things like transportation services, accounting, and information technology services. Businesses and individuals can donate used items to the Habitat ReStore, including flooring, lighting, furniture, appliances, and others. The store accepts donations from individuals, wholesalers, retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers. Donated items are sold to raise funding for home building. Another way to donate is to sponsor a program or event such as the Habitat Building Days, Home Sponsor Program, or Title Home Sponsor Program. The Gingerbread Build 2018 is one event that offers families the chance to decorate a cake at home or with other families that join to help raise awareness of the need to secure affordable housing.
Major sponsors include companies and institutions such as Havas Canada, TD Bank, The Daniels Corporation, The Hawkins Family, Toronto Maple Leafs, and many others. Other options to contribute are to volunteer as a youth or school group or as a faith or community group.
Habitat for Humanity works on multiple projects to help build single family bungalows, two-storey townhomes, blocks of townhomes, and condo townhouses. Some of the projects are the Pinery Trail build project, Sunny Meadow Project, Olivia Marie Gardens, and others. A total of 58 homes are currently being built to accommodate families in need and 29 of them will be ready by the end of the year. Families are welcome to submit applications for homes under construction. Other projects such as Sunny Meadows are complete and ready to welcome new families.