The Ground Up

Spring 2019

These past few months have been interesting to say the least!

With increasing interest rates and the mortgage stress test throwing a curve into the market, more and more developers are seeking financing from non-traditional sources. Enter Cameron Stephens. Business is brisk. We’re busy putting together exceptional financing packages for our clients both old and new. See some recently funded Cameron Stephens projects or read about Market Intel and more in our Spring 2019 newsletter.

Streetcar Developments

Have a look at one of our satisfied customers, Streetcar, profiled here in our Deal Talk video. These videos showcase one of our “partners” in every issue of The Ground Up. Enjoy!

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Market Outlook

The Canadian Real Estate Market Update

The Theme: Humdrum But Stable

Market Outlook

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, 2019 will limp along as stricter mortgage qualifications and rising interest rates continue to put pressure on home buyers across Canada.

Sales figures released for January 2019 were down four percent from January 2018 – the weakest performance since 2015. Coupled with this, housing prices are down 5.5% on average across Canada to $455,000.

The weakness in the markets also affects mortgage lending. It will be interesting to watch the effects on the earnings reports from the Big Five banks in the coming quarter.

Compared to the rest of Canada, Toronto looks a little brighter.

Greater Toronto Area Forecast Summary

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019(F)
TREB MLS® System Sales 92,782 101,213 113,040 92,264 77,375 83,000
TREB MLS® System Average Price $566,624 $622,121 $729,837 $822,587 $787,195 $820,000

Accord to TREB President Gerry Bhaura, 2019 will show moderate improvement in terms of sales and average selling prices. “Although we won’t experience record levels, we do expect to see a better year in 2019 for sales and selling prices reported by GTA REALTORS® through TREB’s MLS® System. Many buyers who moved to the sidelines over the past year due to various government policies, including the OSFI-mandated mortgage stress test, have re-evaluated their positioning in the marketplace vis-à-vis home type, location and price point. It makes sense that Ipsos, in its Home Buyers Survey conducted for TREB, found that the share of intending home buyers has increased.”

At a recent Economic Summit hosted by The Toronto Real Estate Board, (Feb 22, 2019), the overall market conditions for 2019 in York Region look like this:

  • For the TREB market area as a whole, 83,000 sales are forecast to be reported through TREB’s MLS® System in 2019 – a moderate increase compared to 77,375 sales in 2018. TREB does not produce a specific sales forecast for York region, but York sales have accounted for approximately 18 per cent of total sales within TREB’s market area over the past decade. In 2018, the York share of total TREB sales dipped to 15 per cent.
  • Slightly tighter market conditions, similar to those observed in the second half of 2018, will support a moderate pace of price growth in 2019. The average selling price for TREB’s market area as a whole will increase to $820,000 – close to the peak reached in 2017 and up from an average of $787,195 in 2018. In York Region, home prices have historically been driven by the low-rise market segments and particularly the detached market segment. Over the past year, price growth for typical low-rise home types, as measured by the MLS® Home Price Index, was below the average for the TREB market area as a whole.
  • Ipsos results confirm that the OSFI-mandated mortgage stress test has negatively impacted affordability. TREB analysis found that, on average, GTA home buyers had to qualify for monthly mortgage payments almost $700 above what they will actually pay in 2018. In York Region, for low-rise home types, buyers would have to qualify for payments $650 to over $1,000 dollars more than they would actually pay on average, depending on home type. In order to account for the higher qualification standard, the Ipsos Home Buyers survey found that many intending home buyers in York have adjusted their preferences, including their purchase price point, the type of home they intend on purchasing and/or the location of their purchase.
  • The Ipsos Home Buyers survey found that the share of respondents in the ‘905’ area code regions of the GTA indicating that they were at least somewhat likely to purchase a home in the next year edged up to 26 per cent compared to 25 per cent a year earlier. This share was higher in York Region, at 29 per cent. Nine per cent of survey respondents, both in ‘905’ area code regions as a whole and in York Region, indicated that they were very likely to purchase a home over the next year.
  • The Ipsos Home Buyers survey found that the share of first-time home buyers at least somewhat likely to purchase a home in the next year has trended lower in the ‘905’ area code regions of the GTA, to 32 per cent compared to 37 per cent last year. The likely first-time buyer share in York Region was 24 per cent.
  • Over the last decade, for TREB’s market area as a whole, the number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System has trended flat to downward, notwithstanding a brief spike in 2017. Results from the Ipsos Home Owners survey suggest that the flat to downward trend in the GTA could continue in 2019. Listing intentions were similar to last year, with 37 per cent of surveyed home owners in the ‘905’ area code regions indicating that they are at least somewhat likely to list their home for sale over the next year compared to 38 per cent last year. In York Region, listing intentions were in line with this share at 36 per cent for the next year.

Source: Press Release, Mary Gallagher, Senior Manager Public Affairs,

Market Intel From Hunter Milborne

GTA Condo Market in a Nutshell – Part 2

Market Outlook

Back in December 2018, we met with industry expert Hunter Milborne, who provided us with a snapshot of the new condominium market. As the CEO of Milborne Group, Canada’s largest brokerage for new real estate, Mr. Milborne’s perspective is right from the trenches. We found his information so compelling, we asked him for his take on the current market for this issue of From The Ground Up. (to read Mr. Milborne’s original article, click here)

In the last three years, we at Milborne Real Estate Inc., have sold almost 17,000 residential condominium units. This represents almost $9 Billion, which is roughly 20% of the GTA total.

What did we learn? CMHC recently came out with an analysis— conclusions as follows: based on the projected increase in Federal immigration, anticipated domestic immigration to the GTA and the influx of new students each year, the GTA needs 50,000-55,000 new house units per year for at least the next five years.

Presently, we are getting 20,000 to 35,000 new condos per year and roughly 3,000 to 7,000 new single, freehold townhomes. Basic supply and demand economics will tell us that this strong demand with limited supply will keep prices moving up and mitigate any downward pressure that might arise for a variety of reasons.

There is a lot of condo development activity in Hamilton, Niagara, Kitchener-Waterloo, east to Bowmanville, and even Kingston. Even in these suburban markets, prices are strong and are based on a demand pull and a cost push.

Prices in Yorkville for super prime new condos have climbed to over $2,000 p.s.f. average for high-end developments. 50 Scollard, by Norman Foster Architects/Lanterra Developments, the “gold standard” is now about 25% sold.

At the other end of the spectrum, St. Clair and Keele’s “Stockyards” is over $800 p.s.f. average, at Keele and Sheppard – Mattamy’s ‘Saturday on the Park’ in Downsview is $800 p.s.f. There is nowhere in GTA that is less than $800 p.s.f. Again, a function of necessity based on costs and ability to sell based on demand.

There you have it, probably 17,000-20,000 new condo pre-construction sales will be made this year with an average price of about $650,000, so that it is still some what affordable for now!

Recently Funded Projects

Waterloo - 56.85 M
Vancouver - $21.25 M
Mississauga - $20.3 M
Bolton - $22 M

The Santa Shuffle Fun Run! CSMC Raises $25,000

Santa Shuffle

In December 2018, Cameron Stephens participated in the Santa Shuffle Fun Run to support The Gateway – a Salvation Army drop-in program which provides a place of safety and warmth for Toronto’s most vulnerable and helps prevent homelessness. Proudly, CSMC raised $25,000 through individual fundraising and donation matching – making Cameron Stephens the largest contributor to the event!

This year, the event will be held on Saturday December 7, 2019.