Toronto house prices keep on rising
Expect the prices of homes in Toronto to keep heading upwards through into 2015. The Toronto Real Estate Board says the average price in November was 7.4 per cent higher than a year ago, reaching $577,936. For the year so far prices are up 8.4 per cent to an average of $567,198. There has been a 6.6 per cent increase in sales volume in the first 11 months of this year compared to 2013 with 88,462 sales. That figure would have been higher if supply had kept up with demand; there were fewer active listings in November than the same time last year. TREB's Director of Market Analysis Jason Mercer predicts that things will stay much the same in the New Year: “Barring a substantial shift in the relationship between sales and listings in the GTA, price growth is expected to continue through 2015."
It hasn’t all been booming; Canada’s more moderate property markets
With so much talk of the property boom in our major cities it’s sometimes easy for those dealing mainly in the big markets to forget that elsewhere in Canada it hasn’t all been about high volumes and prices. Since the downturn many smaller areas have struggled, including those that rely on buyers of second homes. Take Whistler for example. The resort town in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia was hit hard by the financial crisis back in 2008 and has taken a long time to see better times. Realtors say that there is now an uptick in sales volumes and prices are increasing, although moderately compared to the big markets. Single family homes under $1 million are doing particularly well but there is also growth in the high-end and condos and townhouses are also seeing a lot more interest. While the majority of buyers have always been from the Vancouver or wider BC area there have historically been a large percentage of buyers from the US (around 40 per cent) although this has slipped back to single figures in recent years.
Canadians are saving 40 million dollars a day from lower gas prices
The sharp drop in oil prices are a concern for the energy sector and the economy as a whole but for consumers it means savings on everyday expenses as the cost of gas has fallen sharply too. Analysis by QMI Agency shows that if the price at the pumps stays low for a year the total savings for Canada’s motorists will be $14 billion. With prices down to 83 cents in some areas and a national average of $1.12 per litre, it will certainly help boost consumer confidence. However an extended period of low oil prices is likely to start to have an effect on investment and job prospects in areas heavily reliant on energy companies. It will be some time before we see any real effects on the housing markets in those areas but it’s certainly already on the radar of many people.
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