September 2015 Economic Fundamentals

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Boom in technology jobs is transforming Toronto and Vancouver's office markets

The two cities made it on a list CBRE calls its Tech Thirty, an analysis of the top 30 technology centres in North America that shows how tech workers have kept office markets humming.

“If you look at the tech job growth rate (in Canada) it is well above overall employment. The point is that tech employment is growing substantially faster than overall employment. It’s tech, all tech now,” said Ross Moore, director of research for CBRE’s operations in Canada. “We’ve got our fingers crossed.”

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New developments boost office vacancies in downtown Toronto

“With the new space coming on to the market, there’s no question that the vacancy rate will be up to the 10 to 12 per cent range,” said Allan Schaffer, president and broker of record for Devencore Realties Corporation Canada Limited, Brokerage, who contributed to a new Newmark Knight Frank Devencore Toronto-focused National Office Market Report.

“Space will sit empty longer, but I don’t see any situation like we had in the early ’90s when it was a bloodbath. Most of the developers today have very deep pockets and they’ll be aggressive in trying to fill the space. As long as we don’t get into any kind of major recession, I don’t think it will affect the market, except landlords will have to become more aggressive and creative in doing deals.”

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Hamilton's jobless rate drops to one of the lowest in Canada. And people LAUGHED when REIN named it #1

The Hamilton area's unemployment rate dropped in August to one of the lowest levels in Canada.

New figures from Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey show the Hamilton-Burlington-Grimsby area recorded an unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent in August. That compares to 5.3 per cent in July and 6.1 per cent in August 2014.

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For the record: Hamilton-Burlington real estate market sizzled through August

The Hamilton-Burlington real estate continued to sizzle in August.

New figures from the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington report 1,300 sales in the month, 7.2 per cent higher than the same month last year and 12.4 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

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East-end Hamilton apartment blocks sell for $51 million. Opportunity for revitalization

A complex of apartment buildings in the city's east end has been sold.

The buildings at 77 Delawana Dr., 11 and 40 Grandville Ave., and 50 Violet Dr. have been sold to Ottawa-basedInterRent Real Estate Investment Trust in a deal valued at just under $51 million.

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Intensification policies in #GTA are creating an interesting dynamic on #Toronto home prices

Housing affordability is key to the economic health and competitiveness of the GTA. But affordability isn’t only about the price of homes; it’s also tied in with incomes and interest rates.

Historically the main way to offer a snapshot of the cost of housing is to use average home prices. And why not; averages are a simple, powerful and age-old method of measuring markets. When it comes to understanding home prices in the GTA, however, the use of averages could be potentially perilous.


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Cars surpass energy as Canada's biggest export. #Ontario to become a "HAVE" province again? well...

Energy’s eight-year run as Canada’s biggest export is over.

A Statistics Canada report Thursday showed shipments of motor vehicles surpassed those of energy in July for the first time since 2007, as oil prices plunged and demand for cars in the U.S. accelerates.

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Look at #Guelph go. Unemployment rate still lowest among Canada cities at only 3.7%

OTTAWA — Guelph's unemployment rate has edged slightly higher but it still has the brightest jobs picture among Canada's cities.

Guelph's unemployment rate stands at 3.7 per cent. That's a touch up from the 3.6 figure at the end of July but well below the national average of 7.o per cent.

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Search for yield fuels “explosive” demand for rental property purchases

Statistics Canada says Windsor’s unemployment rate was nine per cent last month, making us the region with the highest rate in the country, far above the provincial average of 6.8 per cent.

By comparison, London’s rate was 6.6 per cent and Hamilton, another manufacturing centre, had a rate of 5.2.

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August 2015 housing starts in Ontario

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 9, 2015) - Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 67,113 units in August, up from 58,700 units in July, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(1) of housing starts.

"The Ontario residential construction trend in August reached its highest level since 2012. A broad based increase was registered for a second consecutive month as both low density and high density starts registered gains. While the pace of construction should ease in the coming months from elevated August levels, an improving job market, less choice in the resale market and strong rental demand will continue to support starts activity across the province," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist.


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Canadian housing starts jump as Toronto condo building booms

Canadian housing starts unexpectedly jumped in August from July as condo building surged to meet demand for lower-cost options in the nation’s hottest market, extending a housing boom that is one of the few bright spots in Canada’s otherwise tepid economy.

Wednesday’s report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. showed the seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts jumped to 216,924 in August from an upwardly revised 193,253 units in July. Forecasters had expected 190,000 starts.

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No sign of slowdown in Toronto as agents prep for fall housing market

Toronto’s fall housing market began gearing up this week – pretty much as soon as the folks at the Canadian National Exhibition had served the last chicken waffle on a stick.

For the past few weeks, real estate agents have been getting properties lined up and ready to launch on Tuesday morning.

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The ongoing reinvention of Yonge-Bloor in Toronto is special indeed

Although it has long been a key orientation point in Toronto’s urban grid, and the site of an important crossing of subway lines, the intersection of Bloor and Yonge streets has also been, until now, pretty mean.

On the northern corners stand a couple of utterly undistinguished high-rise office buildings. Also framing the intersection, to the north, is the dreary concrete hulk of Hudson’s Bay Co. Before its demolition earlier this year – a move opposed by architectural preservationists for reasons that escape me – Stollery’s, a low-rise menswear store occupied the southwest corner with indifference.

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Ally

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Another city that REIN was first to put on the Top a Investment a Towns radar continuing to provide excellent results for investors. Barrie ON

The summer real estate market sizzled in August, the Barrie and District Association reports.

Prices continued to climb throughout the Barrie area, with year-over-year averages rising 9 per cent in Barrie, which brings the average price of a detached home in the city to $378,549.

The largest increase occurred in Springwater Township – 16 per cent and an average August selling price of $504,120. The most modest increase occurred in Innisfil, where prices rose 3 per cent over August 2014 and prices averaged $392,115.


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Ally

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Average Hamilton house price jumps 16.4% in past year

The average price of a home shot up more steeply in Hamilton than anywhere else in the country over the past year, according to new numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Numbers released Tuesday from CREA show that when comparing this August to August 2014, the average price of a home in Hamilton rose 16.4 per cent, which is the largest such increase in the country. But the report cautions that average values can be skewed by changes in the mix of houses being sold (i.e. more or fewer high end homes) — which was especially true this year, when two multi-million homes were sold during August.

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Ally

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Hamilton housing prices see biggest jump in Canada

Looking at the Hamilton Census Market Area that includes Hamilton, Burlington and Grimsby, the RAHB increase was 13 per cent.

In the Hamilton CMA, 979 residential properties were sold with an average price of $426,026 in August 2015. Last August, 949 properties were sold with an average price of $377,015, according to the RAHB.

RAHB president Donna Bacher believes it's not just a case of demand vastly exceeding supply. For one thing, the hot market is encouraging homeowners of dilapidated homes to invest in their properties.


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Toronto the world's most livable cities

After four chaotic years under car-loving, crack-smoking former mayor Rob Ford, life in Toronto has returned to normal. Fortunately, the city’s “weak mayor” system gives the chief magistrate, like council’s other 44 members, just one vote. In other words, even the worst administration can only inflict limited damage. The city is no longer tearing itself apart and has returned its focus to realizing its enormous urban potential.

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In Toronto, sales of plus $3 million homes are brisk

People who have close to $4-million to spend for a house in Toronto appear to be poised to pounce as soon as new properties hit the market.

Janet Lindsay, an agent with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., says sales of properties with asking prices above $3-million were coming through in recent weeks even as financial markets were roiling.

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Ally

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Condos continue to drive Toronto rental market

High-rise condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area through the first seven months of 2015 numbered 12,269, the fourth-highest total in the last 10 years and above the 10-year average of 11,124.

“To the rental consumer, there’s not a distinction between purpose-built apartments and rented condo units,” said Jared Menkes, vice-president of high-rise residential for Menkes Developments Ltd.

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