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Driving Factors in H1 2023: Insights from the RE/MAX Hot Pocket Communities Report

In the first half of this year, the RE/MAX Hot Pocket Communities Report highlighted affordability as the dominant catalyst shaping purchasing trends. Amidst a landscape presenting its challenges, potential buyers found an opportune moment to make their move due to the lowered property values observed in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Greater Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley. Step-up buyers, recognizing this prospect, contributed to an upswing in detached home sales, a trend reflected in the report’s findings.

In the GTA and Greater Vancouver, detached home sales accounted for 44.7 percent and 29.3 percent, respectively, a slight uptick from the previous year. Although the Fraser Valley saw its detached market share drop to 37.5 percent from last year’s 38 percent, this shift demonstrates the evolving dynamics within the real estate market. Elton Ash, Executive Vice President of RE/MAX Canada, highlights this transformation: “”Buyers in today’s market prioritize properties and communities that add value, aligning with new market realities. Listings offering immediate or long-term benefits, such as basement apartments to offset mortgage costs or homes with renovation potential, are increasingly sought-after.””

This change in focus is evident in York Region’s second-quarter performance, where detached housing sales surged by 104 percent compared to the first quarter. The appeal of affordability comes into play here, as homes within the 905 area code boast lower price tags compared to their counterparts in the 416 area code. Furthermore, buyers in the 905 are exempt from the municipal land transfer tax, which has bolstered the region’s demand. June witnessed an impressive 18 percent uptick in overall housing sales in the area, solidifying its attractiveness to buyers.

A recent survey conducted by Leger unveiled that 28 percent of Canadians acknowledged the impact of the land transfer tax on their decision to engage in the housing market. This effect is particularly notable among young Canadians, illuminating the influence of policy on their pursuit of homeownership.

In conclusion, the first half of 2023 saw affordability as the linchpin guiding real estate activity, with potential buyers leveraging lowered values and strategic property choices to make their mark in the dynamic GTA, Greater Vancouver, and Fraser Valley markets.



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