When purchasing a house or condo in Toronto, buyers are often faced with the decision of how much money to put down as a down payment. Traditionally, a 20% down payment has been the norm, but there are now options available for as little as 5% down. In this article, we will explore the advantages of opting for a lower down payment in today's market with higher interest rates.

Despite higher interest rates, purchasing a house or condo with a lower down payment still has its advantages. By putting only 5% down, buyers can still take advantage of a lower monthly payment now and can renegotiate when the rates come back down. This can help make the purchase more manageable for those who may not have enough funds for a 20% down payment.

Additionally, with Toronto's booming house and condo market, properties are still appreciating value quickly. By purchasing a property now with a lower down payment, buyers can still take advantage of this appreciation and build equity in their property sooner. As the value of the property increases, so does the buyer's net worth, providing a significant return on investment.

Another advantage of a lower down payment is the ability to invest money elsewhere. By putting less money down on a condo purchase, buyers can use the remaining funds for other investments, such as stocks or mutual funds. This diversification of investments can help spread risk and provide the potential for higher returns.

It's important to note that a lower down payment does come with some downsides. Buyers will typically pay higher mortgage insurance premiums, and their overall mortgage costs may be higher due to the increased interest rates associated with a smaller down payment. However, with careful planning and consideration of these factors, a lower down payment can still be a smart financial decision for many Toronto home buyers.

In conclusion, even with higher interest rates, a lower down payment option for home buyers can still be an attractive choice. With the Toronto housing market still experiencing appreciation and the potential for diversifying investments, a 5% down payment can offer significant financial advantages. As with any financial decision, it's important to weigh the pros and cons and consult with a trusted real estate professional before making a final decision.


A status certificate is a document that provides important information about the condition of a condominium unit. The certificate includes details such as the current financial status of the condominium corporation, any pending litigation, the status of common elements, the current financial obligations of the unit owner, and any other relevant information. It is important for both you and your lawyer to review the status certificate prior to purchasing a condominium unit, as it can provide valuable insight into the current state of the property.

The status certificate is issued by the condominium corporation and is typically requested by the potential purchaser of a unit in order to review the details of the condominium. The status certificate should also include the condominium corporation’s by-laws, rules and regulations, as well as details regarding any special assessments that may have been levied.

The status certificate should be obtained prior to closing on the purchase of a condominium unit. It is important that the prospective purchaser carefully review the status certificate to ensure that there are no outstanding issues that could potentially cause a problem after the purchase is complete.

It is important to note that the status certificate may be updated from time to time, and the prospective purchaser should ensure that they receive the most up-to-date version of the document prior to closing on the purchase of the unit.

In summary, a status certificate is a valuable document that provides important information about the current condition of a condominium unit. It is important to request and review the status certificate before purchasing a condominium unit in order to ensure that there are no outstanding issues that could potentially cause a problem after the purchase is complete.


GTA experienced a marked adjustment in 2022 compared to record levels in 2021. Affordability is lower from a lack of housing supply and interest rate hikes.

Following a very strong start to the year, home sales trended lower in the spring and summer of 2022, as aggressive Bank of Canada interest rate hikes further hampered housing affordability. With no relief from the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) mortgage stress test or other mortgage lending guidelines including amortization periods, home selling prices are adjusted downward to mitigate the impact of higher mortgage rates. However, home prices started levelling off in the late summer, suggesting the aggressive early market adjustment may be coming to an end," said TRREB.

75,140 sales in 2022 down 38.2% 0ver 2021's record new listings. 152,873 down 8.2% compared to 2021. Seasonally adjusted monthly data for sales and price data show a marked flattening of the sales and price trends since late summer.

While home sales and prices dominated the headlines in 2022, the supply of new listings continued to be an issue as well. The number of homes listed for sale in 2022 was down in comparison to 2021. This helps explain why selling prices have found some support in recent months. Lack of supply has also impacted the rental market. As renting has become more popular in this higher interest rate environment, tighter rental market conditions have translated into double-digit average rent increases," said TRREB.

The average selling price for 2022 was $1,189,850 up 8% compared to 2021. This growth was based on a strong start to the year, in terms of year-over-year price growth. The pace of growth moderated from the spring of 2022 onwards.

Read the complete TRREB Market Watch, Condo Report, and Rental Market Report. For December's graphs, see TRREB's Housing Market Charts

Please remember we are never too busy for your referrals.


For anyone in the process of purchasing a home in Toronto, it's important to understand the various closing costs you may encounter. Closing costs are fees due before you can take possession of your new home (Check out our calculators here!). These fees can vary depending on the type of home, the size of the down payment, and other factors. Let's explore what Toronto homebuyers need to know about closing costs, including the types of fees to expect and how to save money. 

First and foremost, it's essential to understand the different types of closing costs. These can include legal costs, land transfer tax, title insurance, adjustments, appraisal fees, and more. Legal costs are typically the largest expense and can include lawyer fees as well as title searches, document preparation, and other services. Land transfer tax is a fee that is charged by the governments of Ontario and Toronto on all real estate transactions in Toronto. Title insurance is also a common closing cost, and covers the cost of any errors in the title of the property, as well as any liens or encumbrances. Additionally, there may be other fees such as adjustment fees, which cover things like property taxes and utility bills that the seller may have already paid in advance.

It's also important to consider ways to save money on closing costs. One way to do this is to shop around for a good lawyer and we can recommend many that we have worked with in the past, as fees can vary widely. Additionally, it's worth asking your lender if they will cover any of the closing costs.

By understanding the different types of closing costs and how to save money on them, Toronto homebuyers can ensure they are well-prepared for all the steps of the home-buying process. Feel free to reach out to any one of us to discuss this or any other aspect of the home-buying process.


Saving money for a house can be a daunting task, especially if you're starting from scratch or working with a limited budget. However, with a little bit of planning and discipline, it is possible to set aside the funds you need to make your dream of homeownership a reality. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Create a budget: The first step to saving money for a house is to understand exactly where your money is going each month. This means creating a budget that tracks your income and expenses. By identifying areas where you can cut back or save more, you'll have a better sense of how much you can realistically set aside each month.

  2. Reduce your expenses: Once you've created a budget, look for ways to reduce your expenses. This might mean cutting back on non-essential items like eating out or cancelling subscription services you no longer use. It could also mean finding ways to save on your fixed expenses, like negotiating a lower rate with your cable or internet provider.

  3. Increase your income: In addition to reducing your expenses, you may also want to consider ways to increase your income. This could mean taking on a side hustle or asking for a raise at work. Even small increases in your income can make a big difference when it comes to saving for a down payment on a house.

  4. Save consistently: Once you have a budget in place and have identified ways to save, it's important to be consistent with your saving efforts. Set aside a specific amount each month and consider setting up automatic transfers to a dedicated savings account. This will help you build a solid foundation for your down payment over time.

  5. Consider a down payment assistance program: If you're having trouble saving for a down payment, you may be able to take advantage of a down payment assistance program. These programs are offered by federal and provincial governments, as well as some private organizations, and can help you secure the funds you need to purchase a home.

Saving money for a house can be challenging, but it's not impossible. With a little bit of planning and discipline, you can set aside the funds you need to make your dream of homeownership a reality


Toronto, 01 Sept 2022 -- 

5,627 home sales in  August 2022, a y-o-y dip of 34.2%, less than the last four month and an increase over July.

Sales represented a higher share of new listings compared to the previous three months. If this trend continues, it could indicate some support for selling prices in the months ahead. On a year-over-year basis, the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 8.9% and the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 0.9% to $1,079,500. The average selling price was also up slightly month-over-month.

While higher borrowing costs have impacted home purchase decisions, existing homeowners nearing mortgage renewal are also facing higher costs. There is room for the federal government to provide for greater housing affordability for existing homeowners by removing the stress test when existing mortgages are switched to a new lender, allowing for greater competition in the mortgage market. Further, allowing for longer amortization periods on mortgage renewals would assist current homeowners in an inflationary environment where everyday costs have risen dramatically, said TRREB.

Should a more flexible stress test be applied that follows the interest rate cycle? Removing the stress test for existing mortgage holders who want to shop for the best possible rate at renewal rather than forcing them to stay with their existing lender to avoid the stress test said TRREB. 

The ability to bring on more supply is the longer-term challenge. However, we are moving in the right direction on this front. The strong mayor proposal from the province coupled with the recent commitment from Toronto Mayor John Tory to expand ownership and rental housing options are examples of this. TRREB looks forward to hearing additional initiatives from candidates vying for office in the upcoming municipal elections, said TRREB. 

Read the complete TRREB Market Watch, Condo Report, Rental Market Report. For August's graphs, see TRREB's Housing Market Charts

Please remember we are never too busy for your referrals.

Semone, Joe and Bill Duerr.


Sales, Prices Lower 

Toronto, 03 May 2022 -- 

Higher borrowing costs continued to impact home sales in June 2022. Sales totalled 6,474 – down by 41% over 2021. Sales are also down vs May 2022.

The average selling price, $1,146,254, remained 5.3% above June 2021, and continued to trend lower on a monthly basis. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 17.9% year-over-year. Annual price growth was driven more so by less expensive market segments, including townhouses and condominium apartments.

“Home sales have been impacted by both the affordability challenge presented by mortgage rate hikes and the psychological effect wherein home buyers who can afford higher borrowing costs have put their decision on hold to see where home prices end up. Expect current market conditions to remain in place during the slower summer months. Once home prices stabilize, some buyers will re-enter the market despite higher borrowing costs,” said TRREB.

While the number of transactions was down year-over-year, the number of new listings was little changed over the same period. This has provided for more balance in the market, resulting in a more moderate annual pace of price growth.

“Listings will be an important indicator to watch over the next few months. With the low unemployment rate, most households aren’t in a position where they need to sell their home. If would-be sellers decide to take a wait-and-see attitude over the next few months, it’s possible that active listings could trend lower as well. This could cause market conditions to tighten somewhat, providing some support for home prices,” said TRREB.

“Our region continues to grow because we attract people and businesses from all around the world. All of these people will require a place to live, whether they choose to buy or rent. Despite the shorter-term impact of higher borrowing costs, housing demand will remain strong over the long term, as long as we can produce homes within which people can live. Policymakers at all levels need to make this their key goal,” said TRREB.

 Read the complete TRREB Market Watch, Condo Report, and Rental Market Report. For June's graphs, see TRREB's Housing Market Charts

Please remember we are never too busy for your referrals.

Semone, Joe and Bill Duerr.


Sales, Prices Lower 

Toronto, 03 Aug 2022 -- 

4,912 home sales in July 2022 – down by 47% over July 2021 and down from June. New listings were down 4%.The trend for new listings will continue to follow the trend for sales, as we move through the second half of 2022 and into 2023.

Market conditions remained much more balanced in July 2022 compared to a year earlier. As buyers continued to benefit from more choice, the annual rate of price growth has moderated. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 12.9% year-over-year. The average selling price was up by 1.2% compared to July 2021 to $1,074,754. Less expensive home types, including condo apartments, experienced stronger rates of price growth as more buyers turned to these segments to help mitigate the impact of higher borrowing costs.

"The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) population continues to grow and tight labour market conditions will drive this growth moving forward. Despite more balanced market conditions resulting from rapidly increasing mortgage rates, policymakers must continue to take action to boost housing supply to account for long-term population growth. TRREB has put realistic solutions on the table to address the existing housing affordability challenges. With savings high and the unemployment rate still low, home buyers will eventually account for higher borrowing costs. When they do, we want to have an adequate pipeline of supply in place or market conditions will tighten up again," said TRREB.

TRREB is also calling on all levels of government to reassess and clarify policies related to mortgage lending and housing development.

"Many GTA households intend on purchasing a home in the future, but there is currently uncertainty about where the market is headed. Policymakers could help allay some of this uncertainty. As higher borrowing costs impact housing markets, TRREB maintains that the OSFI mortgage stress test should be reviewed in the current environment," said TRREB.

"With significant increases to lending rates in a short period, there has been a shift in consumer sentiment, not market fundamentals. The federal government has a responsibility to not only maintain confidence in the financial system, but to instill confidence in homeowners that they will be able to stay in their homes despite rising mortgage costs. Longer mortgage amortization periods of up to 40 years on renewals and switches should be explored," said TRREB.

Read the complete TRREB Market Watch, Condo Report, and Rental Market Report. For July's graphs, see TRREB's Housing Market Charts

Please remember we are never too busy for your referrals.

Semone, Joe and Bill Duerr.


Market Watch – COVID-19 Weighing on The Housing Market 

Tightened restrictions as properties continue to swap hands in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of March’s activity began in the first two weeks of the month before the State of Emergency order was put into place. In fact, we had a head start on the spring market that was heating up earlier than expected, but activity seemed to fall off as physical distancing measures took effect.

We’ll need more time to pass to fully understand the impact that the pandemic is having on the housing market.

Ontario – Strong Increase in Sales For March 2020 As a Whole

Toronto, April 3, 2020

TREB MarketWatch

ReMax Hallmark Market Report

Ottawa — March Residential Resales Withstand Pressure of World Crisis

Ottawa, April 3, 2020 — Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,525 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,507 in March 2019, an increase of only 1.2%. March’s sales included 1,170 in the residential-property class, up 3.3% from a year ago, and 355 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 5.1% from March 2019. The five-year average for March unit sales is 1,465.

“Our results show that the Ottawa real estate market seems to have withstood the pressure of a worldwide economic event in March, however in context with our market’s performance up to this point, we can see the underlying effect. Before the pandemic, monthly unit sales were increasing between 10-16% from 2019, while March’s sales were just on par with a year ago. This is an indicator that there has been a slowdown in the real estate market due to COVID-19.” reports Deborah Burgoyne, Ottawa Real Estate Board President.

“Much of March’s activity likely began in the first two weeks of the month before the State of Emergency order was put into place. In fact, we had a head start on the spring market that was heating up earlier than expected, but activity seemed to fall off as physical distancing measures took effect,” she adds.

“Once the Ontario State of Emergency began, our Members and Brokerages rightly began to make all adjustments necessary for the health and wellbeing of our clients and customers. We welcomed the government’s declaration of real estate as an essential service so that transactions in progress could be completed. However, it was not and is not business as usual for our Members. They are heeding government and public health authority warnings and advice and are being diligent in taking extra safety precautions. All this, while still doing their best to help their clients successfully conclude or close real estate transactions that were already in progress,” Burgoyne acknowledges.

March’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $369,311, an increase of 27.3% from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $559,739, an increase of 16.5% from a year ago. Year to date figures show an 18.8% and a 23.2% increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums, respectively.*

“Our Members are evolving and adapting their business practices by leveraging the use of technology with virtual tours, live streaming, social media, and becoming more creative in their methods to facilitate the needs of their clients who may need to buy or sell right now because of their circumstances.”

“However, for those buyers and sellers who are not in that urgent position, our Members recognize the health and safety of our community is paramount. They are consulting with these clients on a case by case basis and may advise that they should delay the listing of their home or purchase. They are doing what’s best for their clients in the context of government advisories,” affirms Burgoyne.

When asked about the impact of COVID-19 on the number of new listings on the market, Burgoyne speculates, “The shortage of inventory has driven down the number of new listings for the past several years, so we cannot accurately state that the decrease in March was due to COVID-19 where we saw 1,579 new residential listings and 469 for condos. The 5-year average is 2,217 and 665, respectively. I believe that April’s number will provide a truer and more legitimate reflection of the impact of Covid-19 on our local real estate market.”

“In closing, I would like to say that we are grateful to have been granted the essential service designation and are working closely with all levels of government and our provincial and national associations to ensure that we implement the necessary steps and protocols to flatten the curve and remain the trusted advisors that the public has come to expect from the REALTOR® profession.”

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 746 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 550 at this time last year.

Britsh Colombia – Home Buyers and Sellers Adjust Their Activities in March Amid Challenging Circumstances.

VANCOUVER, April 2, 2020 – Metro Vancouver’s* housing market saw steady home buyer demand to begin March and a levelling off of activity as the month went on and concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak intensified.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential home sales in the region totalled 2,524 in March 2020, a 46.1% increase from the 1,727 sales recorded in March 2019, and a 17.4% increase from the 2,150 homes sold in February 2020.

Last month’s sales were 19.9% below the 10-year March sales average.

“The first two weeks of the month were the busiest days of the year for our region with heightened demand and multiple offers becoming more common. Like other aspects of our lives, this changed as concerns over the COVID-19 situation in our province grew.” Said Ashley Smith, REBGV president.

Daily residential sales on the region’s MLS® were 138 on average in the first ten business days of the month. In the final ten business days of the month, the daily average declined to 93 sales.

“Many of the sales recorded in March were in process before the provincial government declared a state of emergency. We’ll need more time to pass to fully understand the impact that the pandemic is having on the housing market,” Smith said.

“In recent weeks, REALTORS® have been working to help and guide their clients through this uncertain period. Many people have understandably chosen to put their home buying or selling plans on hold for now. Other people have more urgent housing needs and we’re trying to work with them to address these needs in the safest and most responsible way possible.”

There were 4,436 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in March 2020. This represents a 10.4% decrease compared to the 4,949 homes listed in March 2019 and a 10.8% increase compared to February 2020 when 4,002 homes were listed.

The total number of homes currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,606, a 24.8% decrease compared to March 2019 (12,774) and a 4.5% increase compared to February 2020 (9,195).

“Realtors were named among the province’s list of essential services last week,” Smith said. “This means that we have a responsibility to do what we can to help residents meet their housing and shelter needs while strictly following the most up-to-date public health orders and physical distancing requirements from our health officials and government agencies.”

Generally, analysts say downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below 12% for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20% over several months.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,033,700. This represents a 2.1% increase over March 2019, and a 1.3% increase compared to February 2020.

Sales of detached homes in March 2020 reached 852, a 61.1% increase from the 529 detached sales recorded in March 2019. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,450,700. This represents a 0.7% increase from March 2019, and a 1.2% increase compared to February 2020.

Sales of apartment homes reached 1,179 in March 2020, a 35.1% increase compared to the 873 sales in March 2019. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $687,000. This represents a 2.9% increase from March 2019, and a 1.4% increase compared to February 2020.

Attached home sales in March 2020 totalled 493, a 51.7% increase compared to the 325 sales in March 2019. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $791,800. This represents a 2.5% increase from March 2019, and a 0.9% increase compared to February 2020.


Alberta — COVID-19 Weighing on Housing Market

Edmonton, April 2, 2020 — Total residential unit sales in the Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) real estate market for March 2020 decreased 2.59% compared to March 2019 and increased 10.31% from February 2020. The number of new residential listings is down year over year, decreasing 14.01% from March 2019. New residential listings are up month over month, increasing 7.72% from February 2020. Overall inventory in the Edmonton CMA fell 12.66% from March of last year but increased 5.75% from February 2020.

For the month of March, single-family home unit sales are down 2.02% from March 2019 and up 13.59% from February 2020. Condo unit sales decreased by 2.04% from March 2019 and increased by 1.41% from February 2020.

All residential average prices are down to $343,951, a 3.78% decrease from March 2019, and down 1.97% from February 2020. Single-family homes sold for an average of $404,344, a 4.64% year-over-year decrease from March 2019, and a 5.13% decrease from February 2020. Condominiums sold for an average of $218,613, a 2.50% increase year-over-year, and prices are up 2.87% compared to February 2020. Duplex prices dropped 6.28% from March 2019, selling at $313,443, which was a 2.62% decrease from February 2020.

“The Edmonton market prices have declined in March and we saw a slight decrease in year-over-year unit sales,” says REALTORS® Association of Edmonton Chair Jennifer Lucas. “Of course, with the outbreak of a global pandemic and a hard hit to Alberta’s oil and gas sector, this type of market slowing is not surprising. There have been fewer sales of single-family homes, condos and duplexes than in March of last year. Single-family home pricing decreased 4.64%, duplexes are down 6.28%, and condos are up 2.50% year-over-year.”

Single-family homes averaged 54 days on the market, a six-day decrease from last year. Condos saw an eleven-day decrease at 66 days on the market while duplexes averaged 68 days on market, a three-day increase compared to March 2019. Overall, all residential listings averaged 60 days on market, a 9.09% decrease year-over-year, and decreased by fourteen days compared to the previous month.