Hot Pocket Neighbourhoods in Toronto, and a Bumpy Road for Interest Rates

This week’s top real estate stories.

By  Jared Lindzon | 2 minute read

Aug 25

Wahi's Week in Real Estate

Every Friday, Wahi brings you the most important real estate stories from the past week.

Greenbelt Scandal Claims Its First Victim   

Premier Doug Ford may have spent the last few weeks denying and deflecting accusations of impropriety in regards to the Greenbelt controversy, but at least one staffer has taken some responsibility. Housing Minister Steve Clark’s chief of staff, Ryan Amato, resigned earlier this week in response to a 94-page auditor general report accusing the Ford government of releasing pieces of the economically and environmentally significant land to developers with ties to the minister. While the first shoe has dropped it may not be the last, as the RCMP confirmed this week that it was conducting its own investigation. 

“The rollercoaster ride that is Canada’s housing market is only getting bumpier, according to economists, so strap in and hold on tight.”

Detached Home Prices Fall in All but Six Toronto Neighbourhoods

Detached home prices declined in most GTA neighbourhoods in the second quarter of the year, but not all. According to the RE/MAX Hot Pocket Communities Report, there was a major drop in the first quarter, which led to a brief buying frenzy in the second, but the surge wasn’t enough to bridge the gap. In the end, 93% of detached homes in Toronto and Vancouver saw values decline since last year. There were, however, six Toronto neighbourhoods that experienced major increases — four in the city’s core. Prices rose 16% in Palmerston-Little Italy, Trinity-Bellwoods and Dufferin Grove, and 11% in Cabbagetown.

The ”Bumpy” Path Ahead for Canada’s Housing Market   

The rollercoaster ride that is Canada’s housing market is only getting bumpier, according to economists, so strap in and hold on tight. A recent RBC report suggests that declining prices won’t be enough to balance out high interest rates, keeping overall affordability down, even when prices fall. With no sign of a forthcoming rate decline in the coming months, the bank suggests the market is likely to remain “bumpy.” Recent reports by Scotiabank and BMO echo that same sentiment, and it appears nobody is able to say for sure where this wild ride will end.

Premier Accused of Using $1.2-Billion Incentive to Distract from $8.3-Billion Scandal 

This week Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a $1.2-billion incentive program designed to help municipalities build more homes. The Building Faster Fund rewards Ontario municipalities for achieving “ambitious, but realistic” housing targets, in an effort to keep the province’s promise to build 1.5 million new homes by 2031, which experts believe is far-fetched. In the same announcement, the premier extended “strong mayor powers” to 21 more cities that are expected to hit 50,000 residents by 2031. Critics, however, were quick to point out that the $1.2-billion pledge hardly makes up for the $8.3 billion in Greenbelt land giveaways. 

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Muskoka Lakefront Market Returns to Pre-Pandemic Norms   

It’s been a volatile few years for Ontario’s prime cottage country, but Muskoka’s coveted lakefront-property market is back on track with pre-pandemic trends. According to recent data from the Canadian Real Estate Association, sales were down 28.8% this July compared to last year, while median prices dropped 4.1% between January and July of 2023, compared to the same period last year. Waterfront properties also lingered on the market for 10 days longer this July. While the market is slowing experts say the current snapshot resembles the 2019 picture and expect sales trends to finally stabilize after a tumultuous few years.    

Jared Lindzon

Wahi Writer

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