TREB Hosts Economic Summit, Releases New Consumer Survey Data

TORONTO, March 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the Toronto Real Estate Board will host the first of two Regional Economic Summits in Durham Region (York Region will be hosted on April 9) to discuss its market outlook, with updated consumer polling data from Ipsos Public Affairs and results from a recent economic impact analysis completed by Altus Group. This follows on the heels of a successful Toronto Summit and release of TREB’s third annual Market Year in Review & Outlook Report earlier this year on January 30, 2018.

Updated Market Outlook & Consumer Polling Data

Highlights of the updated Ipsos consumer research and market outlook include:

  • Home sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System have a sizeable economic impact on the Greater Toronto Area region, including Durham.  Altus Group estimated that every transaction leads to an additional $68,275 in spin-off expenditures.  There were over 90,000 transactions reported in 2017, including more than 11,000 in Durham, resulting in billions of dollars of economic activity.  These economic spin-offs are also associated with more than 100,000 jobs and billions of dollars in combined revenues accruing to all levels of government.
  • Ipsos survey results completed in the fall of 2017 suggest that buying intentions for 2018 dipped in the GTA, including in Durham Region, compared to surveys undertaken in the spring of 2017 and fall of 2016.
  • The psychological impact of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, as well as the OSFI-mandated stress test on mortgages, have made a dent on the demand for ownership housing in the first quarter of 2018.  Yet, these impacts are expected to be temporary. Home sales are expected to increase relative to 2017 in the second half of 2018, as home buyers come to terms with the various government policy changes pointed at the housing market.
  • Similar to home sales, average prices are expected to be down on a year-over-year basis in some months during the first half of 2018.  However, as with sales, we should expect selling prices to be up in comparison to last year in the second half of this year, especially in higher density segments of the market.

“The importance of the housing sector to the regional economies of the GTA is clear.  All levels of government must be mindful of the potential impact of housing policies on the market, from the perspective of economic growth, jobs and government revenues. As we move toward a provincial election, TREB encourages all candidates to make their housing policy direction clear so that it may be debated. It will be especially important to hear policy directions related to the supply of housing in the GTA – an issue which has yet to be addressed with any concrete policy moves from any level of government,” said TREB President Tim Syrianos.

“The fundamentals underlying the demand for ownership housing will remain sound in 2018. Population growth will continue to be driven by immigration and job growth and will be sustained across a diversity of economic sectors. However, we must be cognizant of the fact that, in the short term, higher borrowing costs and the effects of federal and provincial policy decisions will act as a drag on demand for ownership housing, particularly in the first half of 2018,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

Housing and Transportation Diversity Research

In addition to analyzing how market fundamentals influence demand, supply, and price growth, the report also includes several sections with new research focused on improving our regional transportation network. Studies from the C.D. Howe Institute and the Toronto Region Board of Trade, as well as submissions from government policymakers, including Toronto Mayor John Tory and other GTA Regional Chairs and mayors, all serve to identify the main issues with, and present innovative, evidence-based approaches to, solving these problems.

“The transportation infrastructure in the Greater Golden Horseshoe needs improvement, especially if we’re to keep up with the demographic changes that continue to shape our region. This report is full of evidence-based research and data that can help to serve as the basis for implementing innovative and practical solutions to many of the transportation and transportation infrastructure problems we face today, which is critical, because waiting to solve these issues is not an option,” said TREB CEO John DiMichele.

The report also features sections on the New Homes and Commercial market segments, and presents exciting research on the “Missing Middle” in housing from the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA), which seeks to provide a new solution to address ongoing housing supply pressures in the region.

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The report is available for download at
Greater Toronto REALTORS® are passionate about their work. They are governed by a strict Code of Ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service®. Over 49,000 residential and commercial TREB Members serve consumers in the Greater Toronto Area.  TREB  is Canada’s largest real estate board.

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