- Toronto home sales rise in June
- A movie poster I’d love to see
- Boeing, Embraer in tie-up
- Stocks, Canadian dollar at a glance
- What to watch for today
- China slams U.S. over tariffs
Toronto home sales rise
Toronto’s housing market is showing signs of rebounding from months of a policy-induced slump.
Both home sales and average prices in the Greater Toronto Area rose in June amid what the local real estate board said were “some positive signs” in a market hit by new mortgage-qualification rules and provincial measures.
Those initiatives by the federal bank regulator and the previous Ontario government were aimed at taming inflated prices and stopping a debt bubble from bursting.
Home sales in the region rose to 8,082 in June, up 2.4 per cent from a year earlier, and 17.6 per cent from May, the Toronto Real Estate Board said Thursday.
This follows a protracted period of monthly declines since the bank regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, brought in new mortgage rules in January.
The average price also rose last month, by 2 per cent from a year earlier and 3.3 per cent from May, to $807,871.
The MLS home price index, which is considered a better measure, though, slipped 4.8 per cent over the year, and was just about flat compared to May.
“Home buyers are starting to move back into the market, with sales trending up from last year’s lows,” said the group’s president, Garry Bhaura, noting this was preceded by months of “adjustment” from Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan and the new mortgage rules.
“The difference in the year-over-year rates of change between the average price and the MLS HPI was likely due, at least in part, to a change in the mix of properties sold in June, 2018, compared to June, 2017, with low-rise home types accounting for a greater share of sales in June, 2018,” he added.
Listings in the GTA were up 5.9 per cent in June from a year earlier, but new listings still slumped, by 18.6 per cent, which the real estate group said could still lead to bidding wars and, thus, stronger prices.
“The expectation is to see improvement in sales over the next year,” said Jason Mercer, director of Markets Analysis.
“Over the same period, however, it is likely that issues surrounding the supply of listings will persist,” he added.
“This suggests that competition between buyers could increase, exerting increased upward pressure on home prices.”
Mr. Mercer noted that there’s a new Conservative government at the helm, under Premier Doug Ford, and that the supply of housing “should be top-of-mind” for policy makers as municipal elections also loom.
The June sales rebound comes on the heels of a 23-per-cent plunge in May.
“In fact, sales have been down 20 per cent, year over year, or worse since January, so this is a snappy turnaround,” said Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic.
“To be fair, sales were plunging on a month-over-month basis at this time last year, so an improved annual trend was inevitable.”
Mr. Kavcic said the latest numbers suggest the market is “stabilizing, though still at subdued levels,” and that lower new listings have helped tighten the balance.
“It’s still relatively loose compared to past-decade norms, but suggesting stable overall price conditions,” he added.
As always in Toronto, the regional and home-type breakdown shows differences.
The average price of a detached home dipped 2.4 per cent to $1.35-million in the 416 area code, and 1.8 per cent to $928,560 in the 905 region.
Prices rose 1.4 and 1.8 per cent, respectively, for semis, 5.6 and 2.4 per cent for townhomes, and 9.5 and 3.4 per cent for condos.
While sales of all other home types rose in June, those of condos fell 6 per cent in the 416 area and 3.6 per cent in the 905.
Toronto’s numbers followed Wednesday’s release of Vancouver area statistics, which showed sales falling to their lowest in six years as prices were little changed.
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Boeing-Embraer in tie-up
Boeing Co. and Embraer are going head to head against Airbus and Canada’s Bombardier Inc., striking an aerospace joint venture they call “the most strategic partnership” in the industry.
The American and Brazilian companies said Boeing will hold 80 per cent of the venture, and Embraer 20 per cent.
It will give Boeing control of Embraer’s commercial aircraft business, which it valued at US$4.75-billion, and follows the C Series tie-up of Airbus and Bombardier.
The new venture, the companies said, “would be positioned to offer a comprehensive, highly complementary commercial airplane portfolio that ranges from 70 seats to more than 450 seats and freighters, offering best-in-class products and services to better serve the global customer base.”
Markets at a glance
What to watch for today
Markets always want to know what the U.S. Federal Reserve is thinking.
And, thus, expect a focus on the afternoon release of the minutes from the U.S. central bank’s mid-June meeting, when it raised its benchmark rate again, by one-quarter of a percentage point.
“The latest minutes should outline whether the Fed is concerned about an inflation overshoot and whether it has any concerns about the current uncertainty around trade, which might derail these plans to raise rates another five times by the end of 2019,” said CMC Markets chief analyst Michael Hewson.